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hflmusicislife 12-29-2011 05:23 PM

Riding in college?
I'm a sophomore in high school but i'm starting to look at colleges and such. I'd like to ride at school and I would love joining an NCAA team, but looking at some of peoples' application videos was a bit intimidating. I'd consider myself a good rider, but I've never had the opportunity to ride a "made" horse. I primarily break ponies and work with very green horses who can't even jump a cross rail yet, let alone look perfect over a 3'6 course... I think I'm going to start getting my name out and see if I can get some rides and show experience on bigger and better horses, though the problem is going to be financially because, as you all know, horses are not exactly cheap.

Anyway, my question is do any of you ride at your college? If so, where and do you like it? I'm primarily interested in NCAA, but I'd also love hearing about how IHSA works too. I'd just like to get a feel for how this stuff works and what would be the best thing for me to pursue because I have a feeling college is going to sneak up on me :shock:

lubylol 12-29-2011 05:42 PM

Subscribing! I'm in the same boat as you (sophomore) and looking for colleges.

I'm also interested in IHSA.
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Mickey4793 12-29-2011 06:59 PM

Hi. Freshman in college here.

First of all, don't be intimidated by other riders at all, especially if you're used to breaking in green ponies, that just shows you can ride anything! I'd include that in the application.

My colleges IHSA team is currently looking for more beginner riders to ride in the beginner classes, so even if you aren't spectacular (Which I'm sure you are) you probably have a chance because they'll probably need a spot in some class somewhere.

I did NOT try out for my schools riding team for two reasons. 1. Cost, almost 1000$ a semester if you factor in everything. That's insane especially when you're in college. Money will become scarce, you'll have to buy books and such.
2. There would be a chance I wouldn't be riding in shows because some people don't get to often. It seemed pointless to join a team and pay so much with the possibility of seeing minimum show time.

Also time will be scarce depending on your major. I'm a science major and the twice daily team workouts at the gym, solo workout once a week, 2 practices and one lesson would simply cram 20 more sardines into an already overflowing can.

These are things to consider, not trying to discourage you because every school is different, possibly cheaper, more ride time, easier schedule flexibility

Keep your option open! I didn't try out for IHSA but my school has a Polo team. It's slightly cheaper than the IHSA team, and is easier on my schedule. I made the team and it is SO SO SO fun! If you for some reason try out for the riding team and don't make it try something else! Of course it's limited by the schools options, but my school also has a dressage team and a western team so definitely keep an open mind you may have options!

thesilverspear 12-29-2011 06:59 PM

I went here:

Mount Holyoke College Athletics

I was not on any of the riding teams; I just boarded my horse at the stable. Nicest stable I have ever boarded at.

Idlepastures 12-29-2011 07:01 PM

I rode when I was in school. (Been out a few years now, though.) I just boarded and rode with the horsemans association at my college. We mainly did parades, drill team things, and trail rides. But it was a great group to be in.

Mickey4793 12-29-2011 07:04 PM


Originally Posted by thesilverspear (Post 1285239)
I went here:

Mount Holyoke College Athletics

I was not on any of the riding teams; I just boarded my horse at the stable. Nicest stable I have ever boarded at.

I personally live 5 minutes from MHC.

Small worl, and agreed, GREAT stable. :D

thesilverspear 12-29-2011 07:10 PM

Small world indeed. I loved uni. Fantastic four years.

I think my horse enjoyed the posh life at that fancy show barn and has been unhappy with me ever since I graduated and stopped keeping her in the lifestyle to which she had become accustomed. :-)

Mickey4793 12-29-2011 07:12 PM

that barn is seriously a luxury I've been to shows there my only complaint is that the warm up arena at their hunter/jumper shows can be flat out terrifying sometimes. Especially when more than 8 people are in it.

thesilverspear 12-29-2011 07:27 PM

Eight! I wish! There were times when there must have been at least fifteen or twenty. And most of them young kids zinging around on semi out-of-control ponies. I'm not a hunter/jumper in any sense but once or twice during the four years I was there I rode in those shows, just for a wee laugh. The first time I did it, my poor horse was like, "Holy sh*t! WTF is this!" And she was a seasoned dressage competitor at the time, but no warm up arena at a dressage show was quite like that.

What a great reminder of some good times. LOL.

GunSmoke 12-29-2011 07:32 PM

IHSA is a wonderful option. I'm on the Ohio University IHSA team and I really believe riding so many different horses makes you a much more rounded rider and can be a huge confidence booster. I'd really suggest looking into it.

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