Applied Research in Horses
Opportunities for graduate research and assistantship support in equine science are limited. Research in horses is currently directed towards the following:
- Applied studies examining equine biomechanics, particularly as influenced by standard management techniques such as shoeing techniques, training programs, nutritional supplementation, etc.,
- Applied research examining the role of oxidative stress in the performance horse and
- Applied research examining the effects of basic horsemanship training on rider position and balance.
Equine Training Unit
The Equine Training Unit, also called the Arena Farm, is located on the same facility as the Livestock Instructional Arena. The facility consists of a covered arena as well as an indoor, climate controlled arena, providing ample riding space. A classroom is located within the facility as well, allowing several equine courses to be held at the facility. Approximately 30 horses are managed on the farm, and are mainly used for teaching purposes. A small band of horses is maintained year-round for use in hands-on labs and other activities such as Animal Science in Action. Approximately 4 student workers are employed at the farm throughout the year.
Aside from the horse judging team extracurricular activity, several clubs are available to the undergraduates. Most of the animal science undergraduates are involved in the largest club on campus, the Block and Bridle Club. This very active club sponsors several events throughout the year including the Little International (a day of showing all livestock species trained by the student), the Great Southland Stampede Rodeo in April, a spring trip to outstanding farms in the Southeast, and various social events. Of special interest to the equine student are the UGA Horsemen's Association and the Equestrian Teams. The Horsemen's Association meets with horse industry leaders and professionals. These experts relate their expertise and insight into a wide variety of areas within the horse industry and aids students' process to "network" with the industry. Currently there are two Equestrian Teams at the University of Georgia – the club team and the varsity team. The club team participates in Zone 5, Region 2 of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. Team members and alternates are selected during tryouts each fall and spring semester. Each team rider accumulates points on individual placing at IHSA shows. When a certain amount of points are acquired they move up a level and qualify for regionals. The top three riders of each class go to the zone competition and the top two riders from the zone compete at Nationals. The Equestrian Team holds practice sessions weekly. The team members host horse shows, clinics, and work on various projects to subsidize the private donations on which the team relies for financial support. The varsity team began NCAA competition in the Fall of 2002. There are approximately 70 women on the team. Riders compete in either English (Equitation, Equitation Over Fences) or Western (Horsemanship, Reining) disciplines.