Preparation to ride in college - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-31-2012, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Preparation to ride in college

I'm a junior in high school and I'm starting to pick out colleges. I'd like to go to Indiana University (I live instate and both my parents went there) and study computer science... before totally disregarding that I have a computer science degree and proceeding into work with horses. I've already been told this is not a great idea. I realize that training is a hard job and I'm not likely to ever make a lot of money, and all of that's ignoring how difficult it is to get started. That's why I picked computer science as a major, instead of business or equine science - if I ever need a job, I've got an extremely versatile major that pretty much proves that I don't suck at being a functioning human being.

Now for the actual question!

I've been riding pretty much my whole life, but all of my practical experience is on the flat riding Arabian hunters. I consider myself a pretty advanced horseperson, since I know what I should be doing and I know the theory behind what I do. I do not consider myself an advanced rider, since I have confidence issues and really dislike how easily I fall off.

My barn recently welcomed in a college equestrian team, and I'm starting to realize how far I have to go before I can be competitive. I've been showing at Arabian shows for probably five years, but I've never jumped at a show. My equitation over fences, while I can stay out of the way pretty reliably, leaves quite a bit to be desired.

I'd like to know what specific things college riding teams look for so I can improve on those things. Ideally, I'd like to compete in both western and english, but if I had to pick one, it would be english.

Any other pointers or tips would be greatly appreciated, too (has anyone here been on the IU team?).
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-31-2012, 07:18 PM
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Are they an IHSA team or a NCAA team?
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post #3 of 4 Old 01-31-2012, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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ISHA - I don't think I have a hope of getting recruited for NCAA, and besides, IU doesn't even have an NCAA team.
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-01-2012, 10:47 AM
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Yeah, I know our coach refused to do NCAA because they only allowed one rider plus an alternate, I think, per division. But that's ok it means I can help you! I rode IHSA in college. Our school didn't have the horses or interest for a hunt seat team so I only got to ride western. I don't know as much about the hunt seat classes, but I believe they have flat for everyone and over fences classes for the higher divisions. Here's a link to IHSA website you might be able to find more information out there: Intercollegiate Horse Show Association: Home

IHSA show are supposed to be judged strictly on the rider. They're looking at your form and how well you handle the horse. The classes are broken down into divisions based on the rider's experience, so beginner riders can be on a level playing field with the advanced riders. The divisions are as follows: Beginner (this is the only walk/trot class), Intermediate, Novice, Advanced, Open. In stock seat shows Open riders can also compete in reining. The coach will typically place you in the lowest division that your experience allows. As you compete in shows, you'll earn points: 7 for 1st, 5 for 2nd, 4 for 3rd, 3 for 4th and so on. Once you earn 35 points you move up to the next division and start over from 0. You must point out of your division to qualify for regionals. This can be hard to do if your region doesn't host a lot of shows, but don't worry your points roll over from year to year until you get to open. Because it's the highest level points start over at 0 every year. At each show the coach designates a point rider for each division. While every one is competing on an individual lever, only the point rider earns points for the team. At the end of each show the top two teams with the most points are announced. IF you're in a high enough division to compete in two classes, there is also an award for the high point riders.

As far as I know you shouldn't have a problem competing in both stock seat and hunt seat. We didn't have that option, but one of my friends rode at a school that offered both and she was able to do it. The only time you would run into issues would be if a stock seat show and hunt seat show were scheduled for the same weekend. But I don't think that happens very often.

I hope that helps a little bit. It's probably all as clear as mud, but if you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them.
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