Instead of me babbling on today, I thought we’d mix things up a little. Brooke Watson is a senior, International Studies major with a concentration in Security Studies from Madison, Connecticut. She’s been riding since she was four years old (definitely has me beat!) and has all kinds of different experiences with horses. At home, she rides western, which is super cool! It’s something I’ve always wanted to try. She’s been a part of the team for all of her time at Dickinson and is also a former captain, so I asked her to share her insight into what she thinks of our fabulous little team.
So, now that you kind of have a general idea of how these shows work (I hope), let’s take an in-depth look at one concept that is relevant at all collegiate shows—the horse draw. The horse draw can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. Here’s why.
A lot of people don’t realize that the horses we ride at these IHSA shows are chosen completely randomly. Usually (unless you’ve “drawn” them at another show), we have never even sat on these horses—no previous experience, nothing. And the best part is, once you’re on the horse, you don’t get to warm up. You walk straight into the ring for the judge to see and pray with all your heart that you’re not riding a demon horse (just kidding—kind of). Continue reading
Without a doubt, competing at Nationals goes down as one of the top 10 moments of my life so far. It was one of the greatest experiences I could have ever asked for as a collegiate rider, especially a competitive rider who had given it up in high school only to find she missed it so much she would literally get back in the saddle at Dickinson. It was a dream I didn’t even know I had and hopefully I can do it again.
How do you get to Nationals, you might ask. Last time, I gave you a little break down of all the divisions but I didn’t mention how riders can “point up” into the next division and what that can mean. Over the course of the show season, each individual rider gets points depending on how they place at different shows. Once a certain amount of points is achieved, the rider moves on, and is automatically qualified for Regionals where you compete against all the schools in our region. The top two riders at Regionals from each class qualify for Zones, which is where we, big surprise, compete against all of the schools from our zone. After placing top two at Zones, you move on to Nationals where you compete against riders from all over the country. Make sense? Continue reading
Show season is officially in the air—the very cold, and windy fall air to be exact. This past Sunday, the Dickinson Equestrian team competed at its first show of the season at Penn State University where the team placed second overall! This is a big deal. If I’m remembering correctly, I believe the last time this happened was in 2011, so kudos to Dickinson on this great achievement!
Let me start off by saying it was a miserably cold day—one that definitely went down in the books as the worst first-show weather ever. I mean, come on, it was only October 6th. The entire team was huddled in blankets and frantically running around looking for any extra layer they could find. It was that bad.
On a positive note, aside from our stellar performance as a team, we also had some great individual achievements. For the freshmen, this was their first show and they absolutely rocked it. Before I get into the specifics of names and places, let me explain how these shows work. Continue reading