William Woods University Equestrian programs are home to four different seats: Dressage, Saddle Seat, Hunter/Jumper and Western, each with their own unique characteristics, styles and perks. When a student comes to William Woods, they have the opportunity to experience all four seats, but then have the opportunity to specialize in any one with riding courses and practice specific to each.
How will you ever decide? Here are a few tips to consider when choosing which specialization is right for you:
- Keep an open mind.
You may have ridden one particular seat your whole life, but it isn’t rare that students come to school and fall in love with a new one — it’s like falling in love with riding all over again! In fact, it happens at William Woods all the time, and it’s the reason students gain knowledge of all four seats in courses like EQU 111 – Introduction to the Horse Industry.
- Get to know them all.
Every seat at William Woods has rich history and exciting perks, like specialized clubs and seat- and breed-specific competitions all over the U.S. They each have their own unique challenges and hurdles as well.We’ve written a few blogs with interesting facts about Saddle Seat, Dressage and Western at William Woods worth checking out to learn a little more.It’s also important to understand a little about each seat as an equestrian professional and ambassador for the sport. The more you know about each, the more marketable a job candidate you are, and the greater appreciation you acquire for the equestrian industry as a whole.
- Ask around.
Talk to your professors about what they love most about their favorite seats. They have been making a case for their favorites for years, with years of industry experience. They are incredibly brilliant sources for what is awesome about a particular seat, but also aren’t afraid to tell you about a seat’s challenges either.
- Follow your heart.
Chances are after asking around, each expert will have made a really good case for their respective seats. Your job is to ultimately follow your heart for what you love most. But be warned: four years of hard work will seem to fly by a little faster when you’re working toward what you love.
No matter which seat you pick, we can assure you there will be plenty of opportunities in each — clinics, teaching, competitions, and maybe most importantly for a bachelor’s in equestrian student — practice.