May 20, 2011

SIUC offering horseback riding lessons

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Horseback riding lessons are available this summer at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the deadline to sign up is fast approaching.

The Department of Animal Science, Food and Nutrition in the College of Agricultural Sciences is offering beginner and intermediate sessions for adults and for youths ages 12-18. Each session includes eight lessons, taught by Stephanie Speiser, a lecturer in animal science, food and nutrition who holds Certified Horsemanship Association certification.

Beginning sessions are for those with little or no experience riding horses. Intermediate classes are for those who already have some horsemanship skills and can tack up and ride at walk, trot and canter. All lessons are at the SIUC Equine Center at 2194 Union Hill Road in Carbondale.

Sessions I and II meet June 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27 and 29. Session I is the intermediate adult class is for those age 18 and older with some riding ability and it meets each Monday and Wednesday in June from 10 a.m. to noon. Session II is the beginning youth classes for those ages 12-18 and it meets 1-3 p.m.

Sessions III and IV meet June 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28 and 30. Session III is the intermediate youth class and meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. The final session is for beginning adults and meets 1-3 p.m. on those days.

Participants can weigh no more than 250 pounds and must wear long pants and clothing fully covering their torsos. They must also provide approved safety riding helmets and boots and sign a medical release form.

The cost is $280 for an eight-lesson session.

There is a limit of six riders per session with spots going on a first come, first served basis. The registration deadline is May 25 or when the session is full. You can register with the Division of Continuing Education online at (find horseback riding lessons under the “personal development” tab at the top of the page) or, with credit card payment, by calling 618/536-7751.