Tag Archives: equestrian

Building Family at the Equestrian Center


by Kailee Shollenberger ’18

We often neglect to take a moment to connect with the world that encompasses us in its beauty every day. I find we are losing the awe we once felt watching birds soar through the sky, seeing flowers bloom in bright colors in the spring, and listening to the pitter patter of rain on our bedroom windows when we were children. As a young girl, I always found myself able to connect with horses, something many do not have the opportunity to experience. During my search for a high school, I looked high and low for something, anything, about a school that would enable me to strengthen my understanding of myself, as well as about the beauty and secrets hidden in nature. Upon arriving at George School, I was immediately captivated by the beautiful horses and extensive Equestrian Program. I finally knew where I belonged and was determined to be a part of the family housed at the barn.

Now almost halfway through my senior year, I can confidently say the barn has been a place of solitude and comfort for me through the stressful weeks of exams, as well as the joyful moments, like receiving my acceptance letter to Bucknell. I had never been part of a team as close-knit and family oriented as the equestrian team here at George School. Tiffany Taylor, our director of the Equestrian Center, has become a second mother to me, ready to offer guidance through unfamiliar situations or a simple hug when needed. She has taught me more than I ever thought I would learn through riding. The horses are another source of wisdom that have remained a constant through all the changes I have gone through in my time here. At the end of the day, going down to the barn offers an immediate sense of relief when I see the horses munching on hay or whinnying at each other. High school is stressful, but the barn is a place where that all vanishes.

When I am riding, all I need to focus on is my connection with the horse. I have no choice but to be present and ready for anything these animals may throw my way. Centering myself, literally on the horse and figuratively in my mind, is something so important to my well-being. This time spent riding and caring for the horses at the end of the day is my time to build a connection and understand a creature so different, yet so similar to me. These horses have a mind of their own, and they are not afraid to let you know when you need to relax your arms while you are riding or create a stronger connection between your leg and your reigns. They are exquisite creatures with so much to teach us.

Not only am I fortunate to spend time with these animals every day, but I could not be happier to say I am part of the equestrian team. The key word here is team. When people think of riding, they often think it is just you and the horse. How could there be a team? I am here to say loud and proud that they are right. We are not just a team, we are a family. Through these years, I have fostered friendships with my fellow equestrians unlike any relationships I have had before. My family at the barn is the biggest support group I have, constantly letting me know when I have done well, but also when I may need to work on myself riding and socially. There is no possible way for me to express my gratitude to this family through words, but I want them all to know that I love them.

I hope to experience a family like this at Bucknell, and look forward to bringing the wisdom and love I have gained here at George School to Lewisburg, PA. Whether you find peace with horses or simply taking a walk, remember to dedicate some time each day to center yourself and connect with your surroundings.

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A Morning Walk

Editor’s Note: 

This post is a personal essay written for Colette Weber’s  sophomore English class. From the assignment: “Philip Lopate in The Art of the Personal Essay sees the hallmark of the personal essay as its intimacy.  He says, ‘The writer seems to be speaking directly into you ear, confiding everything from gossip to wisdom.  Through sharing thoughts, memories, desires, complaints, and whimsies, the personal essayist sets up a relationship with the reader, a dialogue—a friendship, if you will, based on identification, understanding, testiness, and companionship.’”

by Dana ’17

While most people can enjoy the luxury of sleeping in on a Saturday morning, I have to get up by 6:30 in order to get myself ready for a busy morning of work outside. Since it’s wintertime, the first sleepy rays of the sun have just begun to peak out over the horizon, casting a low light over campus. Checking the day’s temperature, I shiver just from thinking about the intense cold waiting for me outside. One layer quickly becomes three, which then becomes a total of five layers with a scarf on top. Finally, I feel ready to face the outdoors. I quickly walk down the stairs of the dorm, trying not to let my footsteps, made heavier by snow boots, echo too loudly. Leaving the dorm so early seems wrong at first, as though I’m running away from home, or going against the schedule that everyone else tries to follow. I always worry that I’ll wake someone up, and be confronted about why I want to leave so soon. Continue reading

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Follow a Student: Sara ’14

Sara is a senior and a day student. She practically lives at the barn and loves taking photos.

Personally, I love Tuesdays. I start the day in World Literature with one of my favorite teachers. I learn more from Kim McGlynn in a week than I have from some other teachers in an entire year. I have so much respect for her as both a teacher and a person. Today we discussed the motif of singing/ rhymes in 1984 by George Orwell.

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8:00 a.m. classes are always hard, but I had some Navajo tea that I brought home from my service trip to make the morning a little better.

Next I have a lab period of my Alternative Photo class. I love that George School’s photo program is not the stereotypical program. We have learned to shoot meaningful, truthful images instead of bowls of fruit and smiling friends. I feel completely prepared to continue photography in college.

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Danielle demonstrated, in the dark room, how to print the pictures we took over break with a Holga camera. Then, I worked with her to plan out my AP project. Danielle is the sweetest, most caring teacher I have ever had. She cares about her students as if we are her own kids and wants the best for us. She, just like Kim, pushes us because she knows that we are capable of so much.

After a quick consultation with my history teacher about a project I went to Physics. Today we did a lab on momentum and measured the velocities from different types of collisions.

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Almost every Tuesday we do a lab, my favorite part of any science class.

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I learn best by doing so this really helps me understand the concepts we discuss in class.

Then I walked down meeting house hill to the library for my Simplicity class. Despite the power going off, we were still able to have a good discussion about time and how it controls our lives.

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We ended the class with meditation, guided by our teacher Carolyn (pictured).

On Tuesdays my classes end at 12:50. I have my free period after lunch, which I either use to get some of my work done before practice or to go down to the barn early to get in extra time with the horses and our coach Tiffany (pictured).

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I love spending time at the barn. I have been riding at the GS barn since I was little so it is a home away from home for me.

The trainers and my teammates have become like one big family. This horse, Bob (owned by Courtney Smith), is one I have been riding and caring for over the past year. This winter has been hard for us with all the snow. We have barely been able to ride since the rings are full of snow and ice, but I take every opportunity I can find to spend quality time with Bob even if it’s just some bareback snuggling. Developing relationships with the horses and people at the George School Equestrian Center is an experience truly unique to George School and is one that has shaped who I am. I will be forever grateful for the experience that the equestrian program has given me.

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