H. Jerry Schurink

Director of Equitation
IHSA Equitation Team Coach

Phone: 413-549-3252
Email: hgs@vasci.umass.edu

BS: University of New Hampshire, 1984
AAS: Thompson School, UNH, 1982
Bereiter training:
Klosterhof/Medingen, Germany 1977-79

Fall Classes:
AnSci 153 Intermediate Equitation
AnSci 154 Advanced Equitation
AnSci 244 Equine Business
AnSci 344 Theories & Methods of Equitation Instruction

Spring Classes:
AnSci 153 Intermediate Equitation
AnSci 154 Advanced Equitation
AnSci 241 Breaking & Training of the Horse
AnSci 247 Equine Breeds, Types & Selection
AnSci 280 Topics in the Equine Industry

Recent Outreach Accomplishments:
United States Eventing Associations Instructor Certification Program Committee Member, 1999-Present
Green Mountain Horse Association Junior Horsemanship Clinic Director, 2001-Present
Regularly conduct regional and national riding clinics

Equestrian Accomplishments:
An event rider with experience through the Advanced level
A dressage rider with experience through Prix St. Georges
A jumper rider with experience through the Open Class
As IHSA team coach have had representation at the National Championships from 1997-2001
Instructor through the advanced level in eventing, the FEI levels in dressage and open jumpers
1985 Co-Coach of the Silver Medal Young Rider Championship Team in Eventing.
1982-84 Selected for USET Three-day rider development program under Jack LeGoff
1980 USDF Young Rider of the Year Award
1979 Three-day Eventing Young Rider Championship Gold Medal Team Member

Teaching Philosophy

Academic Instruction

In classroom instruction the use of the most up to date technical information relative to the course objective is employed. Many applicable props from simple overhead projections to video and computer generated files projected on an overhead screen are used. Often the subject matter deals with anatomy of the horse and instructionally prepared anatomical parts are also used. All of these props are designed to stimulate the student’s interest in the material being covered in class.

However, the most influential component of my teaching style and philosophy is relating the material to the real world. Having extensive experience in the horse industry within and outside the university environment, I am able to relate and apply the lecture material to real life situations. This seems to stimulate and create the students thought process and involve them to apply the material covered in their own minds. Questions and participation in lectures from students in and outside of class is always encouraged.

My philosophy is not to merely lecture and give out the information but to stimulate students to use and to apply the knowledge in a way that they will use it in the future.

Equitation Instruction

Consider the height, weight and speed of a horse, combine it with the activity of riding dependent on non verbal communication, add the free will and spirit of the horse; one has entered into a potentially dangerous yet wonderful activity.

The riding instructor must always hold safety close at hand. The communication between the horse and rider is of the utmost importance and is based on a logical progression of ques and aids. It is the responsibility of the instructor to teach the rider to become balanced enough to carry out those ques in as clear and relaxed a manner as possible.

It is my philosophy to when instructing riders that they must first be matched with a horse that they are able to control but also follow the direction and gait in which they command. In order for the student to progress in the sport of riding and acquire a higher level of skill they must be challenged physically, mentally and emotionally. This challenge should not at any point have the rider loose control of their balance or of the horse; and thus be put in harms way.

Riding is a skill that is learned over a lifetime. Here at the university we give students a foundation to their riding upon which they can base a lifetime of experience. Our courses are designed as extra circular electives within the department and thus our goal is not to produce professional riders (though may go on as such), but to give students an outlet in their studies that will help develop a well rounded equestrian.