Debby Savage, Equine Studies
In the world of education, one of the greatest feelings for many teachers is when a student "gets it." This has been the case for Debby Savage, an instructor in our School of Equine Studies, who takes great care to help her students overcome their challenges and achieve their goals.
Born in Lake Charles, La., Debby spent most of her early life in Texas before moving to New York City in the early 1980s and then New Jersey in the 90s. She spent over 25 years working in the pharmaceutical advertising and marketing industry, though horse sports have always been her passion. In particular, Debby is passionate about dressage and is a USEF Senior Dressage Judge and a USDF gold medalist, having judged since the mid-90s.
“For me, dressage is the ballet of horse sports and has an appealing intellectual component that other competitions lack,” she said. “It is a true performance sport and art form when performed correctly. Its emphasis is the development of the horse’s natural movement, and to see that come to fruition is very rewarding.”
As a judge, Debby happened to attend a competition at the George M. Humphrey Equestrian Center in 2011 and really enjoyed the experience. When she ultimately decided to leave her corporate job to exclusively focus on horses, the opportunity to return to LEC as an instructor was the perfect fit.
Debby teaches courses in dressage as well as in general riding, facilities management, equestrian activities and horse care practicum. “I believe it is important to give back and help groom the next generation of our sport, so teaching is very rewarding for me,” she said.
Debby’s favorite memories at LEC involve seeing her students achieve their goals and improve in their craft. One student in particular who stands out for Debby is Andy Armstrong, a recent LEC graduate, who took dressage classes her senior year. “At first, she really struggled with the concepts as they can be quite different from those in other systems,” said Debby. “However, by the end of her last semester, she really got it. She’s now working for a busy training center and showing her own horse. In fact, she wrote to me that she recently received an ‘outstanding’ score at a dressage competition and she thanked me for teaching her.”
To prospective students of the College, Debby stresses that the learning opportunities here are endless. “Even as an instructor, I have learned so much from every person on staff,” she said. “The students here are so enthusiastic and the horses are wonderful!”