Equestrian Program is Sweet Irony for Swedish Student
Lisa Wadstedt didn’t come to The University of Findlay to ride horses. As the first participant in an exchange program between University West, Sweden, and UF, she came to Findlay to take classes in business. An industrial management/engineering major, she was interested in gaining a more global perspective on manufacturing, especially in the automotive industry.
“I have been riding since age 2,” Wadstedt exclaimed. “When I arrived in Findlay and heard there was an equestrian major, I was so excited!”
Here for just the fall 2015 semester, Wadstedt is not competing officially, but riding daily with the UF eventing and dressage teams. With borrowed boots and her helmet hastily shipped from Sweden, she is more than keeping up with the other riders.
“Lisa is one of the more advanced riders in our sophomore group,” said Nicole Thungen, director of the English equestrian program. “She is a very good rider, focuses, is teachable and well respected here at the farm. It is a pleasure to work with her.”
One of five sisters, Wadstedt and her family participate in eventing in Sweden. Eventing actually consists of three “events:” stadium jumping, dressage and cross-country. She feels that she has been able to refine her riding during her time so far in Findlay.
“In Sweden, you start pretty fast,” she added. “There is more focus on the horse and not the rider. You aren’t as concerned with how you look on the horse.”
A senior at University West, Wadstedt lives in the Honors House at UF and attends classes through the College of Business. She wants to pursue a career in the automotive industry and has gotten off to a good start.
“I have worked since I was 16 and at Volvo since age 18,” she laughed. “I’ve done everything in the plant, including driving a forklift!”
Wadstedt lives in Gothenburg, a city of more than 500,000 on Sweden’s west coast. According to a travel website, Gothenburg boasts some of the best kayaking and canoeing in Europe and the “best chocolate café in Sweden.” She has found Findlay and the University family very helpful and friendly.
“I feel I can talk to anyone,” she said. “Also, the professors are very involved with their classes and students.”
Now that the “secret’s out” about the equestrian program, UF may see more students from Sweden than anticipated. Thungen recently gave a tour of the riding facilities to two University West representatives.
“They said that they will use Lisa as an ambassador to tell students at their university about our riding program,” Thungen added. “They are interested in sending more students to us, which I appreciate and find very exciting!