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Student Spotlight – Jennifer Schott

UTK Community Outreach Practicum

Meet Jennifer at Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR):

Jennifer Schott

My future aspiration is to be an art therapist, which is an unique form of therapy. I wanted to experience another unique therapeutic experience, so I was excited to find a facility using horses for therapeutic lessons and to see the impact it has on the riders as well as the horses.

I biggest concern when starting this practicum was my lack of experience with horses. The people who work at STAR are familiar with horses and many own horses themselves. At first, I felt like a fish out of water because of my lack of knowledge on anything horses.

After being here, I have found that the staff members are very welcoming and willing to help me understand horses. I have learned facts including the general knowledge of horses and their health to the facts of each individual horse at the facility. I no longer have this concern because I know that everyone at STAR is more than happy to help gain knowledge.

My biggest accomplishment so far would be learning how to correctly handle horses and beginning to learn how lead a horse into a trot. Because I haven’t ever personally handled a horse I was proud of myself for learning quickly and being able to apply that at my placement every day.

With this placement, there are many exciting events that have already happened as well as many to happen throughout the semester. My favorite moment so far was getting to ride a horse named Mater during training. He is one of the biggest horses at STAR but is known as the gentle giant. I was so ecstatic when riding and formed an instant bond with my first horse at STAR. He introduced the bond I could make with each and every horse. I plan to have many stories throughout the semester.”

If you have questions for Jennifer, please email me at