Asbury Equine Program Shines in National Event
September 27, 2018
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Asbury University’s Equine Program shined brightly this week with its 12th year of participation in the National Mounted Police Horse Colloquium. The 34th Annual Colloquium runs through Friday at the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Thanks to the unparalleled service mount training program, Asbury Equine students are given the opportunity to showcase their dynamic training at an internationally recognized event.
In participating in the Colloquium, Asbury students have the opportunity to engage in clinics with mounted police departments from all over the continent, including Lexington, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Detroit and Vancouver, Canada. There are even representatives from Israel at the event.
Simultaneously, the Asbury-trained horses are exhibited to the participating departments. Through the service mount program, police departments are able to meet and potentially purchase Asbury’s trained mounts.
In addition to the practical experience gained at the event, Equine students served as volunteers throughout the week and performed tasks to help make the event run more smoothly.
“Those Asbury students are so knowledgeable and so very helpful,” one of the officers from Oakland County (Mich.) said. “We love those students here every day in those purple Asbury shirts!”
By exercising servant leadership, students get to give back to those who provide security and protection to us. On Wednesday night, a group of Asbury students — in conjunction with the Wilmore Police Department — served dinner to the visiting officers.
Putting it simply, Equestrian Director and Professor Harold Rainwater said, “It’s our way to serve those who serve us.”
The service mount program is one of a kind in the United States. Asbury is currently the only university in the country to offer a service horse training program conducted by students.
Horses are specially trained, preparing them for use by police departments in the United States and Canada. They become available for sale upon reaching the age of three. The horses are trained by students, who are synchronously being prepared for their future careers through hands-on work.
“Asbury exists to train students, not horses,” said Rainwater. “People have jobs because of Asbury; what they learn is unbelievable.”
Students are also very pleased with the education they are receiving because of the program.
“I couldn’t even imagine not being in service mounts,” said Kiana Casto ’21. “I feel [like I’m really] a part of the Equine Program and love growing as a trainer and in relationship with my horse and fellow trainers.”