The Equestrian College Advisor is Randi C. Heathman, an educational consultant with over a decade of experience in higher education and a lifetime of involvement with equestrian sports.
Heathman holds a B.A. in English and has received her M.A. in communication studies. She honed her craft as senior assistant director of admission at Albion College (Albion, Michigan) while working extensively with their equestrian program as both a recruiter and as a mentor to the riders on the team, traveling to their shows and advising the campus equestrian club.
Heathman was an integral part of the creation of the riding program at Albion, as its roots stem from her undergraduate Honors thesis, Enhancing Education through Equitation: A Promotional Plan for an Equestrian Facility at Albion College. During her tenure, she gained valuable experience in guiding students and families through the search, application, and financial aid process – all while she also acquired expertise regarding the sport of intercollegiate riding.
Today, those experiences and the connections she forged with coaches and personnel at other colleges and universities across the country form the foundation of her practice.
Heathman is the only independent educational consultant who includes both enrollment and intercollegiate equestrian program experience on her resume. She is an associate member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), a member of the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), and travels to dozens of college campuses, educational workshops, and equestrian college events each year to increase her familiarity with the options available to her students.
A lifelong horsewoman, Heathman is a member of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the United States Dressage Federation (USDF). Growing up, she competed in a variety of disciplines before concentrating her efforts on dressage. In 2009, she and her Dutch Warmblood gelding Ricochet were named GAIG/USDF Regional Champions at second level in the adult amateur division. Today, she is a USDF bronze and silver medalist who actively competes at the FEI level.
A popular speaker on topics ranging from the college search to equine careers, she was featured at the 2013, 2014, and 2015 College Preparatory Invitational Horse Show in Wellington, FL. (She will return in 2016.) 2014 was a particularly significant year, as Randi spoke during the Dressage 4 Kids Midwest festival at Hampton Green Farm in Fruitport, Michigan, published her debut book, Horses for Courses: The Definitive Guidebook for the Prospective College Equestrian, and was one of the experts consulted for the Dressage Today education feature “Exploring Equine Education” (published in the November issue). In 2015, she contributed an article to the IEA magazine Take the Reins and also to the NRHA member publication NRHA Reiner. She will be a featured speaker at the Junior Equestrian Festival in Connecticut in October 2015.