April 24th, 2024

Prairie Rose Public Schools announces new equine program

By ANNA SMITH Local Journalism Initiative on March 21, 2024.

Teachers Cory Schiebelbein and Cassandra Leung ride alongside a canine companion.--SUBMITTED PHOTO

asmith@medicinehatnews.com

Starting in September, Eagle Butte High School students will be hitting the arena with a new Prairie Rose Possibility in an upcoming equine program.

The program is a partnership with Coyote Creek Riding Arena, which is a mere four kilometres from the school, and will be taught by Cory Schiebelbein and Cassandra Leung.

Schiebelbein taught at Senator Gershaw School for 20 years, and has worked with horses for just as long, making him a natural fit for the upcoming program.

“We noticed this was an area we hadn’t developed as a school yet,” said Leung. “This is an opportunity for students to get to spend time at school doing something they love that they’ll hopefully grow into in the future after school. It also involves the community we have around here.

“We have such a rich resource of knowledge and people who have worked hard to set up some excellent facilities. I love that we are getting to involve the students in building a community and being part of it.”

Students have the chance to obtain their Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 of their Western Riding Instructors via Certified Horsemanship Certification (CHA) in the U.S., which they will be able to test for once they reach 18 years of age.

Those participating in the program do not have to own their own horse, though those who do will be able to board their animal at Coyote Creek or trailer in and pen the horse for the days students spend at the arena.

“Insurance companies recognize CHA as a viable horsemanship program and understand that someone with it knows what they are doing around horses and give insurance deductions for people who are trained with that certification,” said Schiebelbein. “This company is recognized throughout North America, so students can cross the border to work in the States in camps, equestrian facilities or at ranches. It’s not like we are just letting them ride horses, they are coming away with some certifications that will give them a jump up in the industry.”

Like many programs of similar nature, students will spend a portion each day on the focused programming, while still responsible for their other classes. Three days of the week spent at the arena for this period, and two will be spent on physical fitness or books related to their CHA manual.

Space in the program is limited so anyone interested should register as soon as possible.

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