Thursday, November 10, 2011

Walk, Trot, Canter: Pro Staff Equestrian Lesson

On Tuesday night, Tiffanie and I had the chance to drive out to Oatland Stables in Gaithersburg, MD to visit the UMD Equestrian Club Team for a lesson. The drive from campus, even in rush hour, wasn't bad at all and we made it out to the farm in about 45 minutes. Once we got there, the other members were already tacked up and out in the ring so we quickly headed out to the barn to meet our horses.

Tiffanie and Sammi

Katie and Feathers

It was dark by the time we started our lesson, but Oatland's outdoor ring has lights so we were good to go. Neither of us are experienced riders, so after mounting our horses we had the chance to just sit and watch the other club members and their horses do a few low jumps. It was amazing to see the club in action!

The club hosts 8 lessons a week at Oatland Stables with each member riding only once a week. Even with limited practice time, the competitive team is ranked 7th in our region & placed 4th out of 12 schools at their last competition at Christopher Newport University! The club is a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and is currently preparing for their next competition on November 19, an IHSA show hosted by Towson University at Featherdown Farms.

After watching the team practice for a bit, we got to test out our horsemanship! We did a bit of walking around the ring and after a few minutes Star, the team coach, asked if we wanted to trot. There was a resounding "yes" from the team, so Tiffanie and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and said "alright!". We were instructed on how to "grab mane", sit in 2 point, and get going!

Let me just say... woah. No wonder you all love this sport! I can honestly say I didn't want to get off Feathers at the end of the lesson. We did a bit more trotting, a bit more walking, and the lesson ended as the next group of riders walked up to the ring.

The girls warned us that our legs would hurt the next day... they were right, but I'm looking forward to getting out to another practice sometime in the spring! Thank you again to the Maryland Equestrian Team for allowing us to participate in your lesson!

Recent team photo

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