Monday, January 29, 2007

Making the IHSA Teams

Finally!! It was time for tryouts. This was the event that I had been looking forward to ever since school had started. Intercollegiate Horse Show Association breaks down the levels of riders into classes based on previous experience and past show record. Then each rider participates in a placement test, which can include both flatwork and over fences work. A unique feature about Del Val's IHSA's hunt seat team is that there are no cuts, so if you are interested in being on the team you will be allowed to join- no matter what your level. This makes our hunt seat team one of the largest teams in the nation with over 100 riders!

The day came quickly and it was my turn to ride. I can't lie...I was nervous! And not just a little nervous- I could feel those butterflies flying around in my stomach like never before. Now this was not the first time I had ridden with Coach Cory. Equine Studies students had a slight advantage over other majors because we had already had a few riding classes under her instruction. But that didn't matter- I still wanted to make a good impression. As I watched the other riders in the ring, I noticed that one horse that was obviously acting up. Well, of course, that was the horse that I was assigned to ride during my tryout! This didn't help my nerves, but that is what IHSA is all about-doing the best you can with the mount you draw. As soon as I was given a leg up, my nerves disappeared. Nothing comforts me like being on a horse. The placement ride seemed to go very well, with no real “exciting” moments. Usually, when I can't remember exact moments in the ride, its a good thing! :-)

After placement rides, the team captain and the coach decide where each rider will best succeed. There are flat classes from Beginner Walk, Trot to Advanced Walk, Trot, Canter and then three Over Fences classes, Novice 2'3 Intermediate 2'6 and Open 3'0. When we were told our placements I was excited to find out that I was assigned to the Intermediate class. Now as you can imagine I couldn't WAIT for the first show.


At Tue Feb 06, 10:57:00 AM GMT-5, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For just the beginning of your college adventures, it sounds like you are off to an excellent start! I know that it takes years of hard work and dedication to accomplish the level of riding that you are currently at. While it is obvious that you have an incredible future, you must have had an amazing past. You are a wonderful example of how a young rider can accomplish such heights in riding ability with a wonderful trainer and tons of dedication. Your success at the very beginning of your college education is a wonderful way to be introduced to the equine community. It is an advantage to have a platform that will enable individuals to follow your progress though graduation and watch as you develop a career driven by experience, motivation, and skill. Best Wishes Ms. Gumbiner.

At Wed Feb 07, 05:11:00 PM GMT-5, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara- I remember you when you started riding. In fact I remember when you were too young to barely be riding. Although I am in Montana now, I am so proud of you and wish I was closer to watch you experience it all. Laura


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