Article By: Piper Hale
Published: Nov 11, 2011
Lindsay Ronsentrater, from Newtown, Connecticut, is working toward a B.A. in equestrian studies from SCAD Savannah.
Lindsay Rosentrater has been fascinated by horses since before she can remember. As a six-year-old girl, she lived near a horse farm and would beg her parents to let her ride the horses every time they drove by. After she kept this up for a while, her parents finally relented and enrolled her in horseback riding lessons. "They thought it was a typical phase, like every little girl loves ponies," says Lindsay. "But I stuck with it and fifteen years later, I'm still riding."
When she began researching colleges, Lindsay planned to study photography and worried she might not be able to continue riding in college. In her research, she read about SCAD and its competitive riding team; she says she felt relieved to find that there was an option that would allow her to continue her riding while pursuing her education. She enrolled at SCAD, and when she first saw the 80-acre equestrian complex
, "I was speechless," she says. "It has a barn unlike any I've ever seen. To be able to use a facility like that as a part of my curriculum is unreal."
The longer Lindsay spent dividing her time between the equestrian center and her photography classes, the more she realized that her passion was really for horses. This realization was confirmed one summer when Lindsay was working both at a barn and as an intern for a wedding photographer. "I would be so miserable going to do these wedding shoots," says Lindsay, "and I was just like, 'I can't see myself doing this and editing all these photos.' But then I'd wake up at six o'clock in the morning to go feed horses and muck stalls, and I was like, 'This is relaxing! This is great!'"
Lindsay switched her major to equestrian studies
after that summer, and says she hasn't looked back since. The equestrian studies program has helped her realize that she can pursue a career doing what she loves. "For me, being here and meeting different professionals within the equestrian world has shown me, 'Wow! I can do this!'" Lindsay says. "Riding and being around horses doesn't just have to be a side thing while I have a desk job. This is going to be my career."
Since coming to SCAD, Lindsay has excelled in competitive riding as part of the intercollegiate team
. She won her class in the regional showing last year, despite being assigned to a horse she had never ridden before, and was able to move on to the next level of competition. Because of that victory, she was able to earn enough points to progress to novice division, a classification for more skilled riders, and hopes to move up to the next level soon.
Lindsay says that learning in an art-focused environment has given her valuable insight into riding. "There is an art behind riding," she says. "You have your different medium. You have a horse and each horse is unique and you have to communicate, just like when you're working with acrylic or charcoal or clay. You have to make them move a certain way. For me, horses and art go hand in hand."
Lindsay plans to pursue internships while she continues her studies. Her graduation is still a year away, but she already has a lead on a potential job. A well-known California-based trainer recently came to SCAD to deliver a lecture and spent some time talking to Lindsay about her future plans. After their talk, he told her to send him her application when she graduated, and Lindsay plans to take him up on his offer. In the long term, she hopes to one day open her own training facility where she will teach children how to ride and care for horses.