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Education & Learning

New Equine Program Starting at Eagle Butte High School in September

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Registration is now open for a new equine program at Eagle Butte High School that will start in September 2024. The school has partnered with Coyote Creek Riding Arena and students interested do not need to own a horse to be eligible for the program. Students will have two hours each school day in the program with three of them at the arena and the other two dedicated to completing certificate requirements, undertaking physical training and hearing guest speakers.

New Equine Program Starting at Eagle Butte High School in September
March 26, 2024

A new equine program at Eagle Butte High School will launch this coming September. Cory Schiebelbein and Cassandra Leung will be teaching the program, which already has close to 10 students registered.

Schiebelbein taught at Senator Gershaw for 20 years and transferred to Eagle Butte this academic year. He starts colts and has worked with horses for the past 20 years so was a natural fit for the new program, which is partnered with Coyote Creek Riding Arena, a short 4 km distance from the school. The best part of the program is students who register don’t need to own a horse. If they do, they can board at Coyote Creek or trailer in and pen the horse for the three days the students are at the arena each week.

Students have the chance to obtain their Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 of their Western Riding Instructors through Certified Horsemanship Certification (CHA) in the USA and will be able to test for those levels once they are 18.

“Insurance companies recognize CHA as a viable horsemanship program and understand someone with it knows what they are doing around horses and give insurance deductions for people who are trained with that certification. This company is recognized throughout North America, so students can cross the border to work in the States in camps, equestrian facilities or at ranches. It’s not like we are just letting them ride horses, they are coming away with some certifications that will give them a jump up in the horse industry,” stated Schiebelbein.

Students will have two hours each school day dedicated to the equine program while still being responsible for all their other required classes. Three days will be spent riding at the arena and two days will be at the school for physical fitness related to horsemanship or working on green certificate books and the CHA manual. Additionally, various guest speakers are booked to come in and speak to the students on topics such as working as a farrier, veterinarian, saddle maker, leatherworker, colt starter, roping, barrel racing and hat shaping. Field trips to Cypress Hills, Historic Reesor Ranch and other destinations are also being planned.

“This whole area is steeped in a ranching history and horses are a big part of that. The program is going to be a positive influence because nothing has been offered before, that I know of, where we can get them CTS credits and certificate credits,” added Schiebelbein. “They are going to come away with so much stuff from this program along with the knowledge of all the clinicians we are bringing in, to have access to that as part of the school program is amazing.”

Grade 11 student Kiandra Gaetz is excited about the new program and the work Schiebelbein and Leung have done to start it and make it easy for students to do something they love while at school.

“We are a school outside the city and lots of the kids who come here rodeo and are doing that sort of stuff. I’ve been riding my whole life, I own horses, rodeo, jackpot, and train,” said Gaetz. “The certificates would be very useful, I could coach, teach, help my clinician who I study under with clinics and make the equine and horse program bigger and better to help people to learn and teach and do everything surrounding horses at school.”

Leung is aware of the diverse population of students at Eagle Butte and the way the school is unique in bringing different opportunities forward for them to learn and grow.

“We noticed this was an area we hadn’t developed as a school yet. This is an opportunity for students to get to spend time at school doing something they love that they’ll hopefully grow into in the future after school. It also involves the community we have around here. We have such a rich resource of knowledge and people who have worked hard to set up some excellent facilities. I love that we are getting to involve the students in building a community and being part of it,” said Leung.

Space in the program is limited so anyone interested should register as soon as possible. For more information, contact Eagle Butte High School at 403-528-1996.

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

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