YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – College can be a stressful time. Between classes and often times a job, students can get bogged down.
A new class offered at Youngstown State University this fall is not only teaching students but helping them relieve some of that stress. Professor Amy Watkins says this is with the help of horses.
“The horses can just kinda read the people they’re good for the soul.”
The class came from the YSU Equestrian Team. The team has been together for five years but they needed more riders and more support from students and financially the school.
While giant, weighing over a ton, horses can be some of the most calming animals. It’s for that reason that Watkins says a lot of the students took the class. She gave them a questionnaire on the very first day asking why they took the class. She expected a lot of responses to say something along the lines of, “to get an easy A,” but that wasn’t the case.
“I was surprised with the response, a lot of them took the class because college is very stressful they know the horses are very therapeutic. They wanted to come and enjoy the experience,” she said.
The class isn’t all horsing around though. Hard work is involved, especially with the care of the animals.
They’re learning how to groom the horses, saddle them and ride. They’re also learning about safety and nutrition.
They’re also learning about a different way of life on a farm. Whether it be raising horses or other animals.
One student, Ashley Mealy, says she’s looking forward to the challenge and hope they can use what they learned one day.
“I think it’s awesome because they’re out there. They’re working every day making sure not only their family is fed but their entire community is fed,” Mealy said.
13 students signed up for the class.
This is the first semester that the university is offering the option of an equine class as an elective. Registration for classes is closed for the Fall 2019 semester.