Riders of any level are welcome to join the team. Our members range from those who have never ridden a horse to those who jump and show competitively. Our goal is to create a cohesive, supportive, and competitive team of friends.
To be eligible to compete you must attend weekly lessons. These lessons are typically 30 minute private sessions or one hour semi-private. Carpools are arranged around class schedules and lessons are held Tuesday through Friday and scheduled around your class schedule. Lessons are on school horses to further prepare you for riding unfamiliar horses in the competitions. It is required that a team member lessons the week of a competition.
The IHSA provides collegiate riders of all skills the opportunity to compete individually and as teams in equestrian competition. It was founded on the principle that any college student should be able to participate in horse shows regardless of his or her riding ability or financial status. The emphasis is on learning, sportsmanship, and fun. The competitions are structured so the least experienced rider is just as important to the team as the most experienced.
The team competes in ten regular season competitions every year. These competitions are split over both the fall and spring semesters. Team members compete on horses provided by the host school in fences and flat classes. When not competing, our members can always be found ringside cheering on their teammates. Members are expected to attend 2/3 of the shows per semester, whether they’re showing or not, in order to boost team moral and show support.
Competitions are split up into levels: Open, Intermediate, Limit, Novice, Pre-Novice and Introduction. Each class has equal weight towards the team’s total, so the most beginner rider is as valuable to the team as the most experienced.
Many accomplished riders have competed in the IHSA, including US Olympians Beezie Madden and Peter Wylde.
WHAT TO EXPECT
You’ll be able to compete with a team that is continuously growing and learning together. We not only take lessons and compete; we also have team parties, fundraising events, and just a lot of fun no matter what we’re doing. Our members are heavily involved on campus with various organizations. We pride ourselves on our well-rounded members who balance the rigorous academics of Lafayette, involvement in various campus groups, and being a member of a competitive athletic team. You will find a group of friends that support each other. You’ll find that every member on our team is valuable, from the rider who has never sat on a horse before to the nationally ranked rider. Please consider joining our team. We look forward to hearing from you!.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where do we ride?
We ride at Top Notch Equestrian center under the instruction of our coach, Kelly Poff. The barn is located in Phillipsburg, NJ which is about a 15 minute drive from campus.
Do I need any prior riding experience?
No. That is the unique thing about IHSA Equestrian Competitions. There are classes for everyone from the beginner rider to the most advanced riders. And the competitions are organized so that the beginner classes matter as much as the advanced, so no prior experience is necessary to be a valuable part of our team.
Do I need to have my own horse?
No, lessons are held on provided horses. At the competitions, you will be riding horses donated by the host team.
Can I bring my own horse to college?
Yes! Kelly Poff has extra stalls and can accommodate your horse if you wish. Please contact the current president or coach directly if this is something you are interested in.
How much of a time commitment is the team?
As with any extracurricular activity, you will spend a significant amount of time on team responsibilities. Lessons are required weekly, but your lesson time will be tailored to your schedule. There are also weekly meetings, which typically last about an hour. Then there are the competitions themselves, which tend to take an entire day. Besides these three time requirements, we also have various social dinners and fundraising activities throughout the year.
Are there tryouts?
There are currently no try-outs to become a member of the Equestrian Team, but we do hold a placement day to determine which level fits each rider best!
When do I need to decide if I want to join the team?
The team typically holds their first meeting the second week of the fall semester. It is encouraged that if you have interest in joining the team you e-mail the captains as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com so we can add you to our mailing list.