Whether it’s eating as much crawfish as possible at LSU or singing at the top of their lungs to “My Heart Will Go On,” there is never a dull moment with the Texas State Equestrian team.
Students might not be aware Texas State has a well-known equestrian team. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, an Equestrian is someone who rides horseback. In the case of the Equestrian team at Texas State, the members compete with their horse-riding and handling skills in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). The region they compete in ranges from south Dallas to Louisiana and growing.
Madison Boyer, marketing and fashion merchandising senior, came to Texas State from Virginia because she heard great things about the Equestrian team.
Boyer has been a member of the team since her freshman year and has been riding horses since she was two years old.
“I came down to Texas State because I had heard such great things about the team, and I loved it,” Boyer said.
Jordan Hobbs, political science senior, said her first time at an IHSA competition was a great experience.
“(The competition) is really inclusive and just lets everybody do it; it’s very fun,” Hobbs said.
She said levels range from beginner to advanced, which opens competition up to everyone interested in competing.
The IHSA shows/ competitions last two days, and the hosts supply the horses.
Competitions consist of “catch riding,” which is when riders are randomly assigned a horse. Riders are not allotted time to warm up with or school the horse. Boyer referred to it as essentially the “luck of the draw,” since members never know which horse they will be receiving.
The Texas State Equestrian Team has been around for about six years, and currently has 35 members.
According to Madison Yearwood, communication design junior, many of the members find their best friends through the team, herself included.
The team consists of members from a range of majors and well-loved coach, Katherine Deichmann. Deichmann started training at Texas State in 2015. She also has experience competing with the IHSA.
“Katherine is the best coach I could have ever hoped for,” Yearwood said. “She takes people who have never ridden before, and helps them become the best riders at the barn.”
A perspective student member does not need any experience at all. The club accepts anyone who shows interest in the sport and discuss training schedules from there.
Most team members take private lessons with the coach at least twice a week, and all members meet for a team lesson and workout Fridays According to Yearwood, many active members give new members boots or other things they do not need anymore in order to help out with expenses and make them feel welcome.
Horses are provided through Hunters Chase Farms in Wimberely, where students train a few hours a week. They will often have work days at the farm with the whole team and pizza present. Team members get together occasionally for socials like floating the river, end of semester team trail rides and, this year, a large Christmas party.
Members occasionally volunteer at A.W.A.R.E. Therapeutic Riding Center. The students will hang out with the kids and exercise the horses.
“We have a very good reputation within the IHSA and within the horse world,” Boyer said. “We have a lot of really good people on the team and we do very well each year.”
The Equestrian Team at Texas State is growing each season. The team hosts group practices each Friday and welcome new members at any experience level. For more information about the team, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.