What was frustrating to me for the longest time was that I couldn’t tell my clients and students the same thing about the college search process because no one actually had written a book about it.
With the recent publication of The High School Equestrian’s Guide to College Riding 101, that’s all changed, however. Now there is a book all about the college riding experience.
Sloane Milstein, a former coach for a few high school and college programs (most recently an NCAA equestrian coach at Sacred Heart University) took the reins (forgive the pun!) and has finally assembled a handy guide that breaks down the differences between IHSA and NCAA riding programs and gives students a framework to help them begin the search process. Her business, College Riding 101, is based in Easton, Connecticut and she has spent the bulk of her career working with riders on the East Coast, so she’s familiar with many of the intercollegiate riding programs that have historically been powerhouses since the founding of the IHSA in 1967. She’s also watched varsity equestrian through the NCAA grow since its inception in 1998.
What I really like about the book is that it isn’t just straight text; instead, it’s full of helpful charts, diagrams, pictures, and worksheets so that students can take notes as they work their way through. (Also, for the visual learners in the crowd – myself included – it’s also much easier to get a feel for the ways in which NCAA and IHSA equestrian programs overlap if there’s a picture rather than just a description.)
With Sloane’s strong equestrian and coaching background, the admission and enrollment side of things isn’t her strongest point and, if I have to fault the book as it exists right now, that’s really the weakest part. The details of the application process aren’t as clear as I (with my admission counselor background) would like them to be, but the riding parts are done so well that I’m willing to let that slide.
I will definitely recommend the guide to my students as a tool to help them explore their college riding options – though just like my friend the riding instructor, I also believe that one can’t just learn about something by reading a book about it. No book will ever replace a riding lesson – just like this book will never be able to take the place of a real live campus visit.
(Want additional help in your college search from a real live educational consultant? Contact me – I’m happy to assist!)