Deborah Savage

Deborah Savage, Instructor of Equine Studies

Though her career only recently transitioned into higher education, Deborah Savage is a lifelong horse enthusiast and an experienced teacher. Originally from Lake Charles, La., she earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas and became accredited as a United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Senior Dressage Judge.

For 25 years, Deborah worked in medical advertising and publishing in the New Jersey/New York City area, home base to many pharmaceutical companies. Eventually, she chose to leave this field behind to make better use of her dressage riding and teaching skills. "I have been teaching riding for many years and decided to pursue new opportunities in this area," she said. "I enjoy passing on my enthusiasm for horses in general and dressage specifically."

Deborah's search led her to Lake Erie College, where she joined the faculty as an instructor of equine studies this past summer. In her younger years, Deborah had evented, which includes cross country and stadium jumping along with dressage as a three-phase competition. "As I got older, I realized that I had difficulty switching between the jumping and dressage, and also, I just wasn't a great jumper rider!" she said. "I decided instead to focus exclusively on dressage."

Deborah's passion for dressage has only grown over the years, as it is the "haute ecole" of equestrian sports, meaning the highest form of classical riding. According to Deborah, "Not only is it beautiful, but it also involves tremendous theory to figure it out."

At Lake Erie, Deborah teaches Introduction to Dressage as well as Horse Care Practicum, Balance Seat classes and Facilities Management. The latter course is one she wishes she had the opportunity to take herself. "In between my medical publishing and riding career, I had the good fortune to help build a world-class barn in New Jersey," she said. "I sure wish I had a class in Facilities Management before doing that!"

In the time she's spent teaching at Lake Erie, Deborah has grown to love "everything" about the College. "I love the school horses, the facility, the students, the faculty... all of it!" she said. Above all, Deborah's favorite part of the job is the opportunity to prepare students for rewarding careers in the horse industry. "The best thing is seeing the light bulb go on in a student's eyes each time they 'get it'!"