This page is designed for equine enthusiasts to come together and read about and share experiences they have had. The love of horses is one that is shared by many people so feel free to comment or just read about other peoples experiences and their favorite equine friend.

About Me

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I have been riding horses for 10 years and I am an active member of the United States Pony Club. I own 3 horses and I am an HB in the Pony Club rating system. I enjoy eventing, dressage, and instructing younger club members but love to do anything dealing with horses. Currently, I am studying animal sciences and hope to use this to increase my knowledge of horses.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Purdue Equestrian Team

One of the most frequently asked questions after people learn that I ride horses is "Are you on the Equestrian Team at Purdue?" Unfortunately, I have to tell them no I'm not now and probably never will be. You might be wondering why this is or what is wrong with the team. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Purdue's team, it is just a decision I made early on.

When I first started looking at colleges, if the school had an equestrian team it was definitely pushed higher up on my list. But, after learning more about collegiate equestrian teams I decided it was not something that I wanted to participate in. There are many different types of teams offered throughout the United States colleges. Purdue offers both a western team and an english team. From my earlier posts, you know I would only be interested in the english team for now.

Some other colleges, especially in Kentucky, offer eventing, dressage, and hunter/jumper disciplines in their teams. Purdue however only participates in the hunter/jumper discipline and this is something I have never actually tried, but feel like I would not be very good at. The biggest difference between eventing (what I currently do) and hunter/jumpers is that in hunter/jumpers, you are scored on the rider's position as well as the horse's form over jumps. In eventing, as long as you make it over the jumps, you are fine and it doesn't really matter how you look.

The other big thing that made me turn away from collegiate equestrian teams is there way of competing. You use the school's horses and the school is responsible for bringing some of their horses to each show. Once you get to the show, before your round, you draw a horse's name out of a hat. This is a horse that you have most likely never ridden or even met before. You then have a short time to get used to that horse and ride it around and over a few jumps before you have to enter the ring and show on this horse. For some people this probably sounds like fun, but for me not so much.

The thought of having to show a strange horse is not appealing to me. I get nervous before going in the show ring on a horse I have spent 10 years riding. If I can not feel completely confident showing a horse that I have actually bonded with, how can they expect me to show a strange horse.

If the team competitions were organized differently, I would be more likely to try my hand at joining the team. However, because there are quite a few people that enjoy this aspect of the team and because they try to give everyone an equal shot, this part of the collegiate equestrian teams will probably not change for awhile. There are many people involved with the equestrian team and I have no problem supporting them. I just don't see myself as a member of any collegiate equestrian team.

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