In addition to building the breeding program, last fall the ATI Equine Center added a driving program. Driving is when a horse is hitched to a cart, wagon or any other horse-drawn vehicle by a harness. Karen Wimbush, Ph.D., the technology coordinator of horse production and management, said, “I always try to innovate, and I was seeing more less experienced riders coming into classes and we don’t have enough beginner horses for riding. So driving is the perfect opportunity to team up students with the horse and carts.”The ATI Equine Center is placed in the perfect location to get the most experience with driving and cart horses given its proximity to the local Amish culture and communities. Ohio, especially the northeastern part of the state,has a large Amish populations. Over the past couple years, the horse program has been able to create a positive working relationship with local Amish communities. Wimbush said, “Since we are working more with the Amish now than we ever have before, we are able to bring draft horse teams out to the farm to educate the students and allow them to drive the team.” “The most valuable things to learn are outside of the classroom,” said Wimbush.
Photos taken by Aspen Adams.