Sian Mooney

A headshot of Sian Mooney, in a riding helmet and jacket.

Why did you choose UNH? Although I loved my home in California, I wanted to branch out and live somewhere new, at least for a while. I applied all over the states, but UNH struck a chord with me. The deciding factor when choosing UNH was the equine program. When touring schools, there were programs that had equine courses, but mostly they were only minors. UNH not only has a three track major, but also an on campus barn and riding facility. With the beautiful campus, interesting courses, and amazing teachers, it was a no-brainer.

When you arrived on campus, did you know you would be in your current major? I did. I specifically chose UNH because of the amazing equine program, though I am thinking of minoring to broaden my horizons - there are so many cool things to learn about!

What's been your favorite class thus far? Although all my classes are amazing, I have to say Horsemanship is my favorite, if only because of how unique it is. The class consists of a 1 hour lecture and 3 hours worth of lab each week . The lecture teaches students about how a horse learns, their natural conformation, and how to affect the horse when riding. In the labs, the students take lessons and have journals to keep. I never would have imagined being able to ride for a class, but UNH proved me wrong!

Which UNH faculty member has had the greatest impact on you? Sarah Rigg has been the most amazing teacher.  I have only had her for my horsemanship classes, but in that short period of time, she has taught me about riding, learning, and teaching. Sarah has an approach to teaching that I have yet to see in anybody. She is somehow able to boost a rider's confidence within a semester, and still able to improve the rider's position without criticizing.

I believe the best kind of teachers are the ones who not only teach you about the subject, but also how to learn, teach and apply the principals of the subject to everyday life.

What activities related to your major have occurred outside the classroom that has been most beneficial to you? This year, I tried out for the Dressage team. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it, since I was fairly new to that specific style of riding. Luckily, I was able to make the team and compete with them. The team has been testing my ability to ride dressage tests, work as a team within an equine environment, and take defeat and wins with sportsmanship. Although I have just started, I plan on becoming well versed with these tasks, which I'm sure my teammates will help me with. My teammates have already given me more friendships and support than I could ever imagine, and I am prepared to give it all back by the time I graduate.

Describe something non-academic about which you are passionate.: I love to swim. In high school, I was part of the water polo and swim teams. Though swimming has become more difficult since starting college, I can still sometimes make it to the indoor pool the school has during lap swim hours.

It's a good way to relax and de-stress.