Horse science instructor Sarah Schobert embraces growth and learning, for both her students and herself.
“I love the challenge riding brings,” she said. “Every day is a new thing and you’re constantly learning more.”
In her personal time, you might find Schobert running, playing cards or in the saddle.
“Luckily my job is a huge part of my passion,” she said. “I enjoy riding with other professionals in the industry to continue to progress my skills.”
Schobert also enjoys helping students achieve their goals. Helping students succeed keeps her energized and fulfilled as an instructor.
“There is nothing better than seeing students smile because they know they are growing and accomplishing their goals,” she said.
Becoming a horsewoman
Schobert has called many places home, to the point where she’s not sure if she has a hometown. She was born in Germany, and her family moved to California when she was three.
The family’s plan was to move back to Germany after two years, but then her dad accepted a position in Indiana. That is where Schobert began riding and showing horses.
Andrea Devoursney, a neighbor of a childhood friend, had a barn full of ponies and horses, and Schobert and her friend would ride them all, big and small.
“I am lucky I had her to start me out, because to this day, I am not sure if my parents would be able to put the halter on a horse without my supervision,” Schobert said with a smile.
She started showing in 4-H and other events after getting her first horse. 4-H also exposed Schobert to horse judging.
Her family moved again, this time to Virginia, where she attended high school. This is when her passion for English riding and jumping events took flight.
In Virginia, Schobert met Shannon Simms, a trainer she had an instant connection with who encouraged her to push her limits.
“She had me ride often, and she was tough,” Schobert said. “There is no doubt she trained me to not only ride, but to be a horsewoman, too.”
She met BHC faculty members Aaron Callahan and Drew Cotton at the AQHA Youth World in 2010. They spoke about horse judging in college, and Schobert was interested.
Later that year, on a rainy night while Schobert was putting horses into a barn, an unknown number popped up on her phone. She took a respite from slipping in the mud to take the call in the barn office.
Callahan and Cotton were on the line, checking in to see if she was interested in studying at Black Hawk College East Campus. She was, and she started making plans to graduate early to get started as soon as possible.
“I felt like I needed a change and Black Hawk was the answer,” Schobert said.
Black Hawk College journey
She didn’t regret her decision to attend Black Hawk College. From participating in a variety of activities to learning from motivating faculty, she had a great experience.
Schobert encourages students to attend if they want hands-on opportunities and a top-notch education at an exceptional cost.
Equine faculty members were her favorite instructors because of their mutual passion, but other faculty members stood out to her, too.
She noted that history instructor Kirk Watson always made her laugh in class and chemistry professor Dr. Alan Abbott’s calm, kind disposition made him a great professor.
Her involvement at Black Hawk College included Student Government Association, the Horse Judging Team, the Horse Show Team and Phi Theta Kappa.
She graduated in 2013 with her Associate in Science, and transferred to Oklahoma State University. She earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in animal science there.
When a faculty position opened up, the timing was perfect for her to return to Black Hawk College as an instructor in 2017 after graduating from OSU.
Last year, the college unveiled new equine facilities at the East Campus, including renovated learning spaces and an expansion allowing the college to now house more than 90 horses.
The BHC Equestrian Team added a Hunt Seat division in 2018. Schobert is the team’s Hunt Seat coach.
She is looking forward to the future and continues to grow professionally with no signs of slowing down. Semester after semester, she’ll keep using her skills to help students grow, too.