District Highlights

Learn about horses with the Thomas Haney Equestrian Program

Students interested in riding and caring for horses have an opportunity to learn more about the animals while earning high school graduation credit next year.

Registration is now open for the Thomas Haney Equestrian Program for students in grades 9 to 12, and even those with limited experience are welcome to join, said Heidi Gawehns, an instructor with the program. 

“Owning a horse is not a requirement for any of the courses and you can be a serious competitor or a complete novice,” she said. “The only requirement is a passion and desire to learn more about horses and all things equestrian related.”

Horse owners achieve the practical components of the IDS 12 course by working with a coach or riding independently. Non-horse owners can attend scheduled barn lessons (not mounted) or may opt for riding lessons at their own expense at affiliate equestrian facilities. They also have alternate guided inquiry options.

Students can learn how to ride and care for horses with the Thomas Haney Equestrian Program.

The Thomas Haney Equestrian Program first launched in 2008. Fast-forward 13 years and the program has seen a team of students become successful farriers and coaches.

Grade 12 students may opt for concurrent studies through the University of Guelph distributed learning diploma and many graduates have moved on to attend post-secondary equestrian programs at Kwantlen University, the University of the Fraser Valley, and Olds College in Alberta.

A range of guest speakers have spoken to equestrian classes over the years, including Canadian Equestrian Team Olympian Chelan Kozak and Equine Canada coach Kay Vienotte. Past-program participants have also had the opportunity to take part in field trips to the Thunderbird Show Park, the Vancouver Police Stables, the Dog and Pony Shop, and the Southlands Riding Club.

The Thomas Haney Equestrian Program is open to all School District 42 students (pending space in the program) and consists of four courses worth up to a total of 16 credits. Courses include Equine Studies 10, Equine Studies 11, Equine Studies 12 and Independent Directed Studies 12. Course outlines can be found here.

• Does the Thomas Haney Equestrian Program seem like a good fit for you? Then contact Heidi Gawehns at heidi_gawehns@sd42.ca or speak to your school counsellor to find out more information.


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