OCET coach Ric Weitzel and his wife, Julie, own a farm about a mile north of Oberlin called Equine Differences (EQD). They offer boarding and lessons to Oberlin community members and have an Interscholastic Equestrian Team for middle and high school students alongside helping out the Oberlin team. The facility has 32 10x10 box stalls, concrete aisles, a heated indoor wash rack, automatic waterers, 2 indoor arenas with heated viewing area, 1 outdoor jumping arena, a round pen, trails, outdoor turnouts, individual lockers for boarders, and an indoor restroom. OCET uses a dozen lesson horses of all levels and disciplines, and some boarders allow us to use their horses as well. We are very lucky to be able to take lessons in the indoor regardless of the weather!
EQD was renovated in the summer of 2009 because of our team's expansion. We now have our own wing of the barn,a brand new indoor arena ready to host shows, and some jumps painted in OC colors! Ric, Julie, OCET, and many community members undertook a team effort in the fall of 2009 to host our first IHSA show and it was a great success. We anticipate hosting at least one western show per year and hope to begin hosting hunt seat shows as well. EQD is located just 1 mile north of Oberlin College on Route 58.
Ric has been an avid and competitive rider for many years. In addition to coaching OCET, he shows on the competitive APHA (American Paint Horse Association) circuit, judges, and announces for local APHA shows. He has coached many winning Youth and Amateur APHA riders in the past ten years, including one who made it to Reserve World Champion! He has also started an equestrian team for grades 6-12.
Ric coaches the western team, helps out quite a bit with the hunt seat team, and gives some lessons. Julie helps with OCET organization and fundraising. Because of the high demand for lessons, we have the privilege of bringing in several associate instructors to give regular lessons and occasionally help out at IHSA shows.