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  • Midway University Students Embrace Winter Break with Horse-Care Dedication

December 12, 2023

Winter break typically conjures images of restful days and late mornings for college students, but at Midway University, a group of equine studies students is breaking the mold. A dedicated team of around 10 students are spending their break not in hibernation, but in the barn, caring for the university's cherished herd of 34 horses.

A Different Kind of Winter Break

While many students are relishing the end of finals and enjoying a well-deserved break, this passionate group is rising and shining at 7 a.m. daily to ensure the well-being of the horses at Midway's equestrian center. For them, the commitment goes beyond personal leisure; it's about recognizing that the horses don't get a break and need daily care.

Behind the Scenes of Equine Care

Led by freshman Emily Sue Watts and her classmates, the equine studies students are engaged in a range of activities. From cleaning and maintaining barns to ensuring fresh water for the horses each morning, their responsibilities extend to daily mane and hoof cleaning. They understand that horses, being unable to clean themselves, require attentive care to prevent complications.

Lunging into Winter Fitness

The morning routine includes hauling hay for feeding, lunging exercises, and getting the horses out of their stalls for exercise. Senior Jayden Hamilton, a horse enthusiast since childhood, emphasizes the importance of this hands-on approach. Beyond the necessary care, these activities contribute to the overall well-being of the horses, ensuring they remain in good shape.

A Learning Opportunity and Professional Work Ethic

For students like Hamilton, who enjoy riding but aren't on the formal riding team, this is a chance to learn and connect with the animals they love. Dean of Business, Equine and Sport Studies, Dr. Mark Gill, highlights the valuable skills being developed during this time – skills that will pay off in the long run. The program's goal is not just to educate but also to instill a professional work ethic in students, preparing them for future success.

Celebrating 50 Years of Equine Education

As the equine education program at Midway University prepares to celebrate its 50th year on campus, this unique winter break tradition adds another layer of significance. The commitment of these students reflects the enduring passion and dedication that has defined the program over the years.

Equine Excellence in Competition

Midway University's dedication to equine studies extends to its competitive teams. With Equestrian Western and Equestrian Hunt Seat teams participating in the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association, the university's equine program continues to shine both in and out of the arena.

To hear more about this heartwarming winter break tradition and the dedication of Midway University's equine studies students, check out the full story here.