Miami University Equestrian

The progress of Miami University Equestrian

Campus Partnership: International Student Visit

The Miami University Equestrian participated in Campus Partnership, a program where Miami partners with a University in southeast China to give students 3 weeks to experience American Culture. The students were given a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn to ride a horse. The students mostly come from urban areas of China, and most have never been up close to a horse.  All the students received a tour of the facility and a chance to interact with the horses, those that were interested had the opportunity to sign up for a lesson the following week.


We had over 75 college students from southern China tour the barn.  They then signed up for riding lessons and we taught nearly fifty students  in groups of six how to ride.  The staff had a blast working with them and even learned several Mandarin words to utilize in our KNH classes.  As always, our horses were superstars and enjoyed the extra attention.

“It’s wonderful that the we are able to give students opportunities to see and experience things they may never have had the chance to before. We are so lucky we have the resources and the incredible staff that make programs like this become a reality,” Beth Akers, Assistant Director of Riding.


Head Coach USHJA Certified Trainer Heather Pinnick offers her perspective

This summer, the Miami coaches and interns have been getting a new perspective on the three riding disciplines. After the Dressage lesson with Jennifer Grant, and the Western lesson with Beth (Miami Goes Western(link)), it was Head Coach Heather Pinnick’s turn to teach a Hunt Seat riding lesson.


Courtney, Megan, Beth, and Amanda after their jumping lesson.

Heather graduated from The University of Findlay with her undergraduate and graduate degrees, and has been coaching at Miami University for 11 years.  During her tenure as coach she has taken beginner riders to National Championships in the walk-trot and has had multiple Cacchione Cup Riders (highest level open riders) finish in the top 10.  Heather is the regional president for the intercollegiate horse shows association Zone 6, Region 2 and the co-manager for the next two National Intercollegiate finals in Kentucky.   She completed her USHJA trainer certification in 2013. In order to receive and maintain certification, trainers are tested on a broad spectrum of relevant professional information, including training techniques, safety of horse and rider, horsemanship skills and business ethics.

 For this lesson, Courtney rode Lexie, Megan rode Indy, Beth rode Dudley, and Amanda rode Buckle.  They began their lesson by warming up on the flat and working on position as it relates to jumping. For the jumping portion they worked on trotting in and cantering out of a line.  Heather walked a line of jumps and discussed how you count strides and how lines are set and what factors go into how many strides a particular horse may get in a line.
Intern Megan Perry former team member who rode with success at both the regional level and higher in both hunt seat and western on the team stated: ” The lesson was great and sparked my interest to get back into riding more hunt seat again.”
Check back in for more updates as we approach the end of summer. See you all soon!

Miami Goes Western

This summer, the coaches and interns are getting a new perspective on the three riding disciplines by taking lessons from one another. The coaches and interns of the Miami Equestrian Team switched it up a bit and all rode western in a lesson taught by coach Beth Akers.


Courtney, Heather, and Amanda giving a thumbs up after a great lesson.

Beth is an Experienced 4-H open show judge in IN, OH, MI and she judges/clinics 10-15 events in the summer months. She has shown in the AQHA arena with top ten Congress finishes, multiple ROM, and enjoyed traveling quite a bit before working at Miami.  She is looking forward to pursuing her AQHA card – once her kiddos are a bit bigger. She has two boys – Curtis 12 and Adam 8, who play travel hockey.  She is in her 12th year of coaching/teaching at Miami with multiple successful seasons with Regional Champions, Semi-Final Qualifiers, and Top Ten National finalists.

During the western lesson, Heather rode Tonka, Courtney rode Brandi, and Amanda rode Jellybean. They worked on connecting the horses and bringing the motion upward utilizing the horse’s haunch.  They worked on riding the horses from their leg to hand and creating self-carriage in the horses while keeping them straight.   Opening the hip angle was a big focus as well as using the entire leg.  Beth said everyone rocked it in the lesson.
Keep checking back in for more updates on what is happening at the Miami Equestrian Center this summer!

Student Summer Updates

This summer, Miami Equestrian Team Members have been doing all sorts of amazing things. We caught up with a few of our team members and found out what they have been up to.

Miami Hunt Seat Rider Carlo Costanzo:

“In between lessons at home this summer I have gone to a couple horse related events.  Horsefest at Lake-metroparks Farmpark was fun.  I saw a lot of minis and carriages and I also got to meet some different breeds of horses including a Clydesdale. A couple weeks ago I volunteered at the Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic where I did everything from cut watermelons to help in clinics.  I also had a blast meeting Bernie Traurig and watching the Cleveland Grand Prix.  To cap it all off, I have the opportunity to come back to Miami for a weekend for lessons.”

Miami Dressage Rider Kirsten Drew:

She spent last semester studying abroad in Europe. She went to Miami’s Luxembourg campus, and was able to go to 14 different countries. If you want to hear more about her adventures abroad, she blogged about it! Visit her blog: Jet Set Brunette


Kirsten and Marked by Fame

Since returning to the States in May, Kirsten has leapt right back into the show ring. This summer, she got her Bronze Medal with her horse Redlight Roxanne and her trainer Karla Forrer’s horse Marked by Fame , and is spending the rest of the summer showing 4th level. She will be showing at Down Centerline 3 & 4, August 8th and 9th in Delaware, Ohio. If your in the area, be sure to go cheer her on! We are definitely glad to have her back next semester. Congratulations Kirsten!

Marked by Fame-001

Miami Western Team rider Lauren Marytn:



“This summer I studied abroad for 8 weeks in Spain. For 6 of the 8 weeks, I lived with the Castañón Aguilar-Galindo family in Gijón, Spain, where I attended classes 5 days a week. In the final two weeks, I completed El Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James) in which I biked and hiked 250+ kilometers from Oviedo to Santiago. I was also fortunate enough to travel to cities like Barcelona, London, Lisbon, Seville, Toledo, and Salamanca. This experience was truly unforgettable!”


Biking El Camino de Santiago


In Santiago upon completion of “The Way” with my certificate of completion, or Compostela.


Zach and Brandi

Miami Western Team Captain Zach LeCompte:

“I have spent the majority of this summer in Oxford performing undergraduate research, taking classes and working as an RA. In the near future I plan to unplug in Tennessee and Florida for a few weeks before returning to Oxford for the school year. In terms of riding I have spent the summer riding at the barn on campus, getting to spend lots of quality bonding time with Brandi as well as Tonka and enjoying the occasional heartfelt reunion with Joe and preparing to take my first full year in Intermediate by storm.”

Student Staff Leader Ethan Gaston:

A student staff leader at the Miami Equestrian Center, is spending the summer working in Colorado at a Dude Ranch as a wrangler. DSC02054DSC02053

Miami Dressage Rider Spencer Clark:

Spencer has been spending his last few summers out west working on a ranch. He has even been photographed by National Geographic.


We have some amazing team members, doing some incredible things. We are so happy to see the cool things our students are doing over the summer, and we can’t wait to have them back in Oxford for fall semester. See you all soon!


Miami Heads to the Mid Ohio Classic

On July 11, Miami dressage rider Kelsey Poleyeff and coach Heather Pinnick made the trip up to the Delaware County Fairground for the Mid Ohio Classic with Tanner in tow. The goal of the weekend was to finish Kelsey’s First Level scores towards her Bronze Medal, an award given out by USDF to any rider who receives qualifying scores in First Level, Second Level, and Third Level. The Miami trio was greeted with a beautiful, sunny day, the first rain free day all week.


Kelsey and Tanner riding First Level Test 2

The first class of the day was First Level Test 1. The class had 9 riders, most of them Open or Amateur. Tanner and Kelsey splashed their way through a very wet arena and put in a great test. The Duo scored an impressive 78.889% for First Place!


Kelsey, Heather and Tanner after their first ride.

Check out the video of their first ride here.

The second class of the day was First Level Test 2. This class had 10 riders, with Kelsey being the only JR/YR in the class. Tanner and Kelsey did it again, and scored another amazing score of 74.531% for another First Place!

Check out the video of their second ride here.

Two First Place ribbons and  a happy Miami team

Two first place ribbons and a happy Miami team

It was a successful and fun weekend, with the Kelsey finishing her first level scores and winning both of her classes. Keep checking back in for more show results and summer updates!

Summer Updates and Exciting News for Fall

This summer, we have been hard at work getting ready for everyone to return in the fall. We have been horse showing, breaking in our new staff members, and playing around with our fun new horses. Introducing the new (and some old) editions of the MUET Family.

We have a couple of new horses that have joined us and we are excited for you to meet them.

  •  Charlie is a 12 year old Wurttenburg gelding that previously showed in the performance hunters and junior hunters.  He has a sweet personality and is very comfortable to ride.

You can always find Charlie with his head out his window

  •  Hannibal is a 15 year old Wesphalian gelding that has shown third level dressage and schools fourth level.  He is a big guy and knows his job, he is ready to show you the ropes. The dressage riders here for the summer are having a blast playing with all of his big boy buttons, doing changes and half-pass like pros.

Everything looks small compared to Hannibal!

  • Danny is also back in work, Lindsey was able to further develop him and  he is ready to begin his work as a part of the western team.

Baby Danny is ready to get to work

We are also excited to announce our staff members for the upcoming year.   We would like to welcome Amanda Wasser, Megan Perry, and Courtney Previte as interns for the upcoming school year.

  • Amanda Wasser is a 2014 graduate of Miami and joins us as a previous student lead staff member.  Amanda has instructed the KNH classes as well worked our summer camp programming for the last three years.

Amanda Wasser

  • Megan Perry is a 2015 graduate of Miami and joins us having ridden both on the hunt seat and western teams, with numerous showings at regionals and semi finals.  She is the current OQHA queen and has been training and working with clients and bringing along young horses.

Megan Perry

  • Courtney Previte is 2014 graduate of The University of Findlay with her equine science degree and emphasis in dressage.  She stayed on as a graduate assistant and taught both the hunt seat and dressage students.  She is pursuing her bronze medal and working with her own horses.
Courtney Privet

Courtney Previte

We would also like to welcome Jennifer Grant and Skip Thornbury as they will be assisting the teams throughout the year.

  • Jennifer Grant is a USDF Certified Instructor, Silver and Bronze Medalist and “L” Program Graduate.  She has been training horses and teaching riders professionally since 1988.  Her early experience includes imprinting foals, starting youngsters under saddle, versatility competitions, mounted police training and natural horsemanship.  Since 1999, Jennifer has been dedicated to developing dressage horses, ponies and riders from beginners through the FEI levels.  Jennifer has been a working student for Pam Goodrich and has also ridden with Jane Savoie, Lendon Gray, Courtney King-Dye, Michael Barisone, Maryal Barnett, Steffen Peters and Lilo Fore.  Competitive successes have included top rankings in USDF Horse of the Year and Regional Championships. Her philosophy is informed by classical principles and anchored in the reality of the unique needs of each individual horse and rider.
Jen Grant

Jennifer Grant

  • Skip Thornbury is the owner and trainer at Equisports LLC in Goshen, Ohio.  Skip along with his wife Anne have had numerous USEF national and regional award winners.    In addition to being a successful trainer Skip has been an USEF “R” licensed judge since 1984. He has officiated in the Hunter, Jumper, Equitation and Hunter Breeding divisions at shows including the “Oaks” in San Juan Capistrano, CA., Menlo, Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, Washington International Horse Show, Caledon Equestrian Park in Canada, Gulfport Winter Classic, Winter Equestrian Festival, Devon, 2013 Region 4 ” Midwest” ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Regional Finals and numerous other shows in North America.
Skip and his wife Anne

Skip and his wife Anne

We can’t wait for all of our talented riders to return to Oxford. Keep checking the blog for more horse show results and updates coming into fall semester.

Alumni News! Congratulations Tom and Danielle!


Congratulations to Tom Schoen and Danielle Paulson on their engagement!

Tom and Danielle met through the Equestrian Team. Both were members of the Hunt Seat team, and both became President of the Equestrian Team, Tom from 2012-2013 and Danielle from 2013-2014.


Tom and Danielle at an IHSA horse show in 2013

For the past year, Danielle has been living in Chicago working for Purina, and Tom was in Oxford working as an instructional intern at the Equestrian Center.  In addition to his work at the equestrian center, Tom completed his Master’s degree in Education this spring.

The two are now moving to Nashville, Tennessee to begin their new life together. Tom will be teaching 7th and 8th grade English/Language Arts at Cameron College Prep public charter school, and Danielle will begin her career with Dell Computers in the sales department.


“I put the ring on the wrong hand”

We wish the couple luck as they take the next step in their lives, and congratulations on their new jobs and engagement! We can’t wait to see what amazing things the two of you do.

Mid Ohio Dressage at Wilmington

On June 12, Miami dressage rider Kelsey Poleyeff and coach Lindsey Carmack adventured to Roberts Arena in Wilmington Ohio for the first dressage show of the summer. The goal of the weekend was to help Kelsey begin to collect her scores towards her Bronze Medal, an award given out by USDF to any rider who receives qualifying scores in First Level, Second Level, and Third Level. Rominee Ros, known as Tanner around the barn, was the horse for the job.

Rominee Ros, aka Tanner the Cookie Monster

Rominee Ros, aka Tanner the Cookie Monster

There were many amazing horses  competing, ridden by some of the best riders in the area, but Tanner and Kelsey were up for the challenge of riding with the big boys. The first test of the day was First Level Test 1, in which they scored a 68.704% for First Place in a class of entirely Open and Amateur riders!

Happy after a great first ride!

Happy after a great first ride!

The second class of the day was First Level Test 2, in which they scored a 66.250% for another First Place! What a successful day!

It was a great weekend, both at the horse show and exploring Wilmington. The annual Banana Split Festival was in full swing, which included live music, a car show, carnival games, and of course delicious banana splits! Over the course of the weekend, Lindsey and Kelsey had seen many other guests in the hotel they were staying at carrying around animal carriers. When Lindsey inquired about why, they discovered that they needed to take a trip to the Roberts Centre to experience a different kind of animal show, the CFA Great Lakes Regional Cat Show!


Lindsey discovered her new life aspiration of becoming a cat breeder and trainer.

Overall it was a wonderful weekend full of success and fun. Stay tuned for more horse show updates.

Equivents Summer Series

The big men on campus

June 11th Miami riders Ashley Dowler, Kayla Akers, Megan O’Connell, Sydney Lewis, Intern Jackie Yeager and IEA rider Chloe Stephenson made their way to Marysville, OH to horse show at Equivents Summer Series hosted by Far and Away Farm. Head Coach Heather Pinnick took horses Thor, Carco, Maddie, Buckle and Twix to represent the University.

Ashley and Maddie aka Some Like It Hot

Ashley and Maddie aka Some Like It Hot

Debuting in the jumpers, Ashley Dowler rode Maddie in the Low Child/Adult jumpers and held their own with the big dogs.   The team was fast and zipped around the courses to many respectable 7th place finishes. Next up, Jackie Yeager and Kayla Akers rode the big boys, Carco and Thor, in the High Child/Adult Jumpers. Both pairs had clear rounds in the warmups as well as first through fourth place finishes in the division classes. On Saturday, Kayla and Thor placed 5th in the $1,500 classic, while Jackie and Carco placed 3rd. Sunday morning Jackie and Carco made their debut in the equitation ring, bringing home a 3rd place finish in the Ariat Adult Medal.

Kayla Akers and Thorwald

Kayla Akers and Thorwald

Jackie Yeager and S.F. Carco

Jackie Yeager and S.F. Carco

In the hunter ring, Megan O’Connell, Sydney Lewis and Chloe Stephenson all rode in the Limit Rider division. Chloe competed on Saturday and Sydney on Sunday  sharing Twix, while Megan rode Buckle. Megan rode wonderfully and came home with many respectable ribbons with  3rd’s and 4th’s on a new horse. Chloe won her first class and was 5th in the second round and Sydney was 3rd in the limit equitation on the flat and over fences and 5th in the limit hunter.  We are proud of all three girls as the limit division was large! Congratulations to Sydney who competed in her first Hunter Jumper show outside of the IHSA!

Chloe and Twix

Chloe and Twix

Megan and Buckle aka Buckle Down

Megan and Buckle aka Buckle Down

Sydney and Twix aka Showboy

Sydney and Twix aka Showboy

Overall, it was a wonderful weekend of horse showing despite the crazy weather at times. Stay tuned for more horse shows this summer!

Weekend At Windfall

To start the summer of horse shows off, MUET horses and riders packed up and headed to Windfall Farms, where they and four Autumn Rose IEA riders rode through the rain and shine. Miami horses Pleiades, Twix, Irish, Jack, Buckle and Larry were super stars and proved that they truly do like the horse show life.

FullSizeRender (5)

Jill O’Bryan and Pleiades made a wonderful pair for the Intermediate Adult Hunters. They brought home a 2nd, 3rd and a 4th over fences, with a 3rd in the hack and another 2nd in the EQ.

Jill and Mama P

Jill and Pleiades

Next up, Miami’s own Megan O’Connell and Twix made a great pair for the Limit Rider division. The pair for a 2nd and two 3rd’s over fences with a 5th place in both the hack and EQ.

Megan and Twix

Megan and Twix

During the summer horse showing season, head coach Heather Pinnick offers the opportunity to horse show to some of  IEA riders  from  Autumn Rose Farm out of Columbus, OH. This time around we were lucky enough to bring along four other riders to help them further their career and experience riding different horses.

ARF Windfall

Chloe, Sarah, Heather, Madison, and Lily showing off all their ribbons!

Chloe who attended horse shows with Miami last summer returned again to do the Beginner Rider division aboard Irish. The pair brought home a 2nd and a 3rd on Saturday as well as a 1st and 3rd on Sunday. Fellow teammate Madison who rode Larry in the Beginner Rider division came home with a 3rd, two 4th’s, two 5th’s and a 6th, while Sarah and Buckle who also rode in the Beginner Rider division came home with two 2nd’s, a 4th, and a 1st. Sarah and Buckle were named Reserve Champion of the Division!

ARF Girls

Madison, Sarah, and Lily

Lilly Johnson rode Miami’s trusty Jack in the cross rails and 18 inch division. In the crossrails, Lilly and Jack were named Reserve Champion, while in the 18 inch division, they brought home two 1st’s, two 2nd’s, a 3rd and a 5th place.

Overall, everyone had a wonderful weekend and we cannot wait to continue our summer series!

Jill and Megan had a great weekend!

Jill and Megan had a great weekend!

Post Navigation


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 27 other followers