The Exciting Addition of Instructions at the Western Barn

By: Leah Palm, Staff Writer
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Change is one of the very few things that can be simultaneously anticipated and dreaded. While the idea of something new is exciting and can bring different opportunities, the idea of losing what was once had can be saddening. The University of Findlay’s western equestrian students were in the center of this whirlwind of change as they began their 2017 fall semester.
Last year, the program director, Steve Brown, stepped down into retirement as he moved to Texas. This year, the western program began the semester with the addition of two new professionals to the team. Randy Wilson and Jerry Coleman have stepped up as the new instructors for the facility; this change brings very exciting things for the future.
Randy Wilson graduated from the University of Findlay and went on to establish his own training and showing business. He now specializes in western pleasure and brings a new aspect to the University. With the addition of his expertise, the students at the farm will have the opportunity to gain another perspective on the training of their horses, while learning more about western pleasure itself. Wilson has begun spreading his knowledge to the students by teaching classes such as western pleasure and gait analysis.
Jerry Coleman has joined the program as an instructor that will bring a separate set of skills. Coleman specializes in reining and cutting, and brings the opportunity to once again expand the students’ knowledge of ranch disciplines after the retirement of Steve Brown. Coleman has begun by teaching a cutting class and assisting in the reining instruction. Coleman also provides a unique perspective for students and offers advice on all levels of riding.
The addition of these professionals to the University’s western program is exciting in many ways. To be able to learn from trainers as experienced as the instructors at UF, is an experience not offered at many other schools. Wilson and Coleman add a new dimension of knowledge to the program, and make this experience even better.
While this change brought about some sad endings with Steve Brown’s retirement last fall, it has also brought new beginnings. Along with the introduction of the newest instructors, Arthur O’Brien stepped up to the director’s position and is taking the program in exciting directions.
Being provided with the opportunity to learn from and watch these trainers in action is something to be treasured as I believe the addition of two new instructors only makes it better. The opportunity to watch the new changes unfold, and to continue to learn from some of the top professionals, is one to be valued. This change has been highly anticipated and the idea of a bright future at UF’s western barn is one that should be celebrated.

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