The competition is heating up as the IU Sout Bend Equestrian Team gets ready to start their 2015-2016 season.
The Equestrian Team at IUSB is a non-varsity sport of competitive horseback riding, allowing IUSB students to horseback ride competitively at a very affordable cost.
The horses and the tack, horse supplies and accessories, are provided to every member of the Equestrian Team.
According to the Titan Atlas, “This is not a varsity team so each member must pay for his or her own portion of all practices, association fees, competition costs, and attire.”
The IUSB Equestrian Team is open to all full time students, male and female, who are interested in riding horses competitively. Students are not required to have any previous experience of horseback riding in order to be a member of the Equestrian Team.
“It’s all levels, you can be a complete beginner or you could have competed your entire life” said Renae Michalski, president of the IUSB Equestrian Team. “We have a lot of beginners who only have been riding horses for a month, and most of them placed in their first competition.”
Team members are highly trained and coached by professional horse trainer Lindsay Rudd of Harnish Performance Horses in South Bend.
The IUSB Equestrian Team is trained to compete as a Western team through the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA). The Equestrian Team competes in the Western Pleasure style of horseback riding.
“Western Pleasure is more of a test of how well you ride and how well you communicate with your horse,” said Michalski.
The IUSB Equestrian Team competes against other universities such as Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, IU Bloomington, Purdue, St. Mary’s of the Woods, and many more.
“The last two or three competitions, every one of our members placed in their class,” Michalski said. “About a handful of girls from the team last year are expected to qualify for regionals after this year.”
IUSB Equestrian team members are only required to attend a minimum of 1 practice a month. Practices are held at Harnish Performance Horses.
Michalski highly encourages all students to join the growing IUSB Equestrian Team.
“It is the absolute most affordable way to get into competitive horseback riding,” she said.
More information about the team can be found at the IUSB Equestrian Team’s Facebook at facebook.com/IUSBEquestrianTeam.
If students have any questions regarding the IUSB Equestrian Team, contact Megan Oswald, student representative in charge of Equestrian Team recruitment at firstname.lastname@example.org or Renae Michalski at email@example.com.