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Relaxation and expertise at El Tomaria Horse Farm
Equine Science adjunct instructor Beth Uslemann teaches courses from her family’s 330-acre farm off I-55 South near Benton, Missouri.
The El Tomaria farm holds over 90 horses year-round. Uelsmann is known worldwide for her World Champion, National Champion and Hall of Fame inductee Paso Fino horses. Other horses can be found at the farm as well. Their purpose ranges from boarding, leasing, show, lesson, breeding and foaling.
She won many national championships and a world championship throughout her years of showing.
“I have competed all around the U.S. and won championships in Europe, South America and Puerto Rico,” Uelsmann said.
Uelsmann has achieved many different awards but has also had many different titles before becoming a teacher. She has been a trainer of the year and has also been a coach for the USA Olympic team.
Uslemann’s goal for students is to learn the basic horse anatomy to become independent riders and to leave the course more confident and comfortable around horses.
“We start out with the basic knowledge so whether you have horse knowledge or not, you’re safe. We provide the lecture and lab while out here. You will learn from the textbook, but then we apply it in the lab setting and be hands-on,” Uelsmann said.
When students come to class, they know they will learn a lot but also be able to unwind and connect with what they are doing.
Sophomore Animal Science major Avery Moore said she enjoys the relaxing nature of the class.
“I love how the class is very hands-on; this is a very relaxed but still a very informational class,” Moore said.
In the spring semester, Uelsmann focuses on the reproduction of the horses for the advanced horse science course. Students learn everything from the scientific side of horse reproduction, artificial insemination and the birth of foals.
“It’s so much easier to go over a subject in class that’s actually happening right now. Seeing is believing,” Uelsann said.
Sophomore Animal Science Major Caitlin Hoff has benefitted from being able to have hands-on experiences. Working along the horses, Hoff has learned to overcome her fear of the large animals.
“This class has helped me work through my horse anxiety,” Hoff said.
Biology, Forester, and Psychology majors benefit from these courses.
“Psychology majors have taken this course before because horses are now being used as a form of therapy,” Uelsann said.
According to Healthline, horses are intelligent, highly social animals that use sounds and body language to interact with the rest of their herd, and they can communicate with humans in a similar way by sensing one’s emotions.
Uelsmann’s courses have many different avenues depending on the student’s needs. Students may enroll for science, change of scenery, the love of animals or just to challenge themselves.
“This is a classroom that is made for anyone and everyone,” said Uelsmann.