Resources & FAQs

The College Riding Experience

1. It gives a student an opportunity to continue competing without having the financial/time commitment of bringing their horse to school with them. Specifically at the University of Pittsburgh-which is an urban campus-the students get the opportunity to leave the city, continue to ride, and get a break from urban living.In addition, members of the IHSA are eligible for several scholarship opportunities-I strongly encourage students to apply for these. Becki Bloom, Head Coach, University of Pittsburgh, PA

2. They develop team building skills, create friendships and networking that assist in college and way after. Lori Cramer, Miami Equestrian, Director of Riding.

3. Being able to integrate their riding into pursuing a college degree is important for the serious rider who is college bound.  Traditionally, the choices for competitive riders going to college have been to reduce their involvement in riding in order to pursue a non-equine related degree or to attend a college that offers equine degrees.  Intercollegiate competitions permit students to find the best fit in a degree program without having to give up horses for 4 years.  For riders who have always shown as individuals, the chance to be part of a team is a unique opportunity. Carol Burrowbridge, Mercer College, Head Coach

4. Our team at Wellesley is primarily a way for our members to continue riding while in college.  It is a great opportunity to continue riding and competing without a lot of pressure, time requirement, and without having to own and keep your own horse. Amelia C. Cutler, Wellesley Equestrian Captain.

5. An opportunity to grow as a rider as well as a leader. Erin S. LeCompt, Moorehead State University Head Coach.

6. It provides the collegiate”team” experience to the Equestrian athletes as well as the more traditional collegiate sports do. For many this is a new and valuable concept. Eddie Federwisch, Virginia Intermont Head Coach.

7. Getting involved with student organizations is so important to having a successful and meaningful college experience.  While academics are of course a priority, organizations such as an equestrian team are an outlet for growth, as well as making friends and memories that you will cherish for life.  Involvement to a group with a united cause or goal is incredibly valuable.  For example, on CUET we regularly talk about how much the team has helped us develop, bond, and learn new skills that will be vital to our futures, wherever those might be and whatever they might entail.  It is also a wonderful opportunity for people who have never been able to ride or show before.  Many teammates would not have the option of learning to ride or of competing if it weren’t for the IHSA and their respective team, making the team a invaluable.  Charlotte Powers, Clemson University, Equestrian Team Vice President.

1. One important aspect of the IHSA is its appreciation of all riders and the opportunities it presents to riders of every level, from top A circuit riders to those who have never come in contact with a horse before.  Because of this, riders of these varying degrees of experience are all welcome to join CUET- in fact, having beginners is important for shows as well, as the points earned in Walk-Trot are equal to those of Open, the highest level.  We accept everyone who wants to join, and as a result, have a large team of about 50 members.  It is our belief, which reflects the ideals of the IHSA, that everyone should have the opportunity to ride and become involved with a team. Charlotte Powers, Clemson University, Equestrian Team Vice President.

2. It is truly a matter to be determined by the individual colleges and student perspectives.  Eddie Federwisch, Virginia Intermont Head Coach.

3. The entry process for our team is not competitive at all, we accept all interested students. As a club sport we do not hold tryouts, and as an IHSA team, we require members of all levels. Amelia C. Cutler, Wellesley Equestrian Captain.

4. We are a club sport so there are no tryouts but required events, GPA and sponsors. Erin S. LeCompt, Moorehead State University Head Coach.

5. We host try-outs in the fall and take approximately 80 of the 125 that try-out and those that do not make the team are offered riding lessons and to contribute to be a part of the Miami riding experience and try-out later. Lori Cramer, Miami Equestrian, Director of Riding.

6. The equestrian club at The University of Pittsburgh is a “club sport” so membership is open to full time undergraduate students. Because the competitions offer limited entries, anyone is welcome to join the club, but their is no guarantee that every member will have the opportunity to compete. Becki Bloom, Head Coach, University of Pittsburgh, PA

7. It can vary greatly from school to school depending on number of students at the school interesting in competing.  Some teams are open to anyone willing to put forth the commitment in time and effort and others are highly competitive and not everyone will have a chance to compete at the shows. Carol Burrowbridge, Mercer College, Head Coach

1. Most students are accustomed to juggling studying and riding or other activities.  Obviously the time crunch will depend upon how demanding their degree program is and how demanding the riding program is and will vary from student to student.  Some teams will have study hall, fitness training or barn work requirements that will all so have to be added to the students time management load.  I would say that excluding any travel to and from the stable, students should plan on a devoting at least 5 hours a week to practice and related activities if they want to be competitive. Carol Burrowbridge, Mercer College, Head Coach

2. It is much like having a 3 credit class-the students have practice one night a week-with travel time factored in, the students need to plan to be away from campus for 2 1/2 to 3 hours on their riding days, then those who compete in the IHSA shows, have travel/shows in the weekend. Becki Bloom, Head Coach, University of Pittsburgh, PA

3. Academics are the priority and we are able to schedule around this and accommodate. Students are required to utilize time management skills but we assist. Lori Cramer, Miami Equestrian, Director of Riding.

4. I believe college in general is about time management so my riders know in advance what time is required of them and they work well within those time frames. Erin S. LeCompt, Moorehead State University Head Coach.

5. Our team is fairly relaxed, and does not require a great time commitment. A typical week is a 45 minute workout, 3 hours for lessons and a half hour meeting. Amelia C. Cutler, Wellesley Equestrian Captain.

6. Again it depends on the commitment and the time the student is able to invest. The IHSA was founded to provide this opportunity with the collegiate requirements in mind. Eddie Federwisch, Virginia Intermont Head Coach.

7. All IHSA teams differ on the time required.  While CUET does have some mandatory events, such as fund raising horseshows and meetings, it is an organization that allows you to get involved without consuming your entire schedule.  Most team members are involved with many other organizations as well, such as sororities, other sports, and service organizations.  A good illustration of this is that most teammates on CUET have excellent grades (over a 3.5 GPA); many are members of the Honors College, and all come from a diverse range of majors, including biology, engineering, psychology, and more.  Quite a few riders have their own horses as well, who they ride daily.  Much of CUET is how much each individual desires to put into it- there are so many opportunities to be involved and spend time with teammates, most of which are fully voluntary.  Charlotte Powers, Clemson University, Equestrian Team Vice President.

1. A rider should be coachable, a team player, and have a good sense of humor about oneself and others. Lori Cramer, Miami Equestrian, Director of Riding.

2. A love for the horses, barn and sport, along with dedication to the group. Erin S. LeCompt, Moorehead State University Head Coach.

3. All we require is that students be interested and willing to put in a little bit of effort-attend meetings, workouts, lessons, shows, and assist with fundraising. Amelia C. Cutler, Wellesley Equestrian Captain.

4. Sportsmanship, good work ethic and excitement. Eddie Federwisch, Virginia Intermont Head Coach.

5. First is having a good sense of humor. 2nd-and this is sometimes difficult for students who have an extensive show background-is the ability to put the “goal of the team” ahead of “personal goals” with respect to collegiate riding. Becki Bloom, Head Coach, University of Pittsburgh, PA

6. The key qualities that I look for in a rider are desire to make riding and team activities one of their top priorities and a willingness to work hard to learn how to be a better rider and horseman. I expect students to be open to learning, serious about becoming a better equitation rider and to take the time to care for the horse and tack before and after each ride. Carol Burrowbridge, Mercer College, Head Coach

7. Dedication, a desire to learn, a good attitude, and a desire to have fun are the main qualities team members should have. Equestrian teams are about coming together, supporting one another, and learning. Through these factors, it is also about growing as a student, a friend, and a professional; so many qualities that one develops, such as leadership and responsibility, are applicable to future careers and aspirations, and are therefore tremendously valuable. Charlotte Powers, Clemson University, Equestrian Team Vice President.

1. Get involved! College is not just about books and exams; it is about learning, growing, changing, and finding out who you are. By getting involved with groups, organizations, and teams, you’ll discover qualities that you didn’t know you had, goals you will aspire to, and friends that will change your life. Charlotte Powers, Clemson University, Equestrian Team Vice President.

2. Study! Compete! Succeed! Eddie Federwisch, Virginia Intermont Head Coach.

3. None in particular, it really depends on the school, riding program and personal goals. Amelia C. Cutler, Wellesley Equestrian Captain.

4. Have a great work ethic not only in the sport but in classes as well. I can promise you bad grades are not a result of the team but the choices made by the riders at night and on weekends. Erin S. LeCompt, Moorehead State University Head Coach.

5. Accurately represent your show/riding experience. Be open to differences in riding disciplines. If your background is in eventing and you are trying out for a hunter seat IHSA team-be open and receptive to the fact they are different disciplines, and be willing to adapt. BE NICE-collegiate riding is a team sport- in the IHSA the Walk Trot rider’s points count just as much as the Open Rider. Be as “riding fit” and in shape as you can be, and make a good impression at your tryout by having your shirt tucked into your clean breeches, wearing a belt, polishing your boots, and have your hair neatly contained in net. Becki Bloom, Head Coach, University of Pittsburgh, PA

6. Be honest with yourself and decide what you want to get out of college and college riding. If you do want to ride in college, be prepared to make it a priority, approach it with discipline and treat yourself and the horses as athletes. Both college-level courses and competitive riding require good time management and good self-management. Carol Burrowbridge, Mercer College, Head Coach

7. Enjoy your riding and see it as part of the big picture. Laugh and work hard, celebrate the little victories and keep your eye on the prize ( I stole that last part from my assistant hunt seat coach) she is a great motivator. Lori Cramer, Miami Equestrian, Director of Riding.

Athletics Questions to Ask as You Consider Colleges

It is not always obvious. Most coaches want to be flexible, so you might not receive a definite answer.

The response could give you an idea of when you may expect to be a starter.

That particular schools policy on red shirting may impact you both academically and athletically.

This will reveal the school’s commitment to training and conditioning as well as being competitive in the given sport.

This is the time to find out if the coach’s style will be compatible with your learning style as every coach has a particular teaching style that involves different motivational techniques as well as discipline policies.

This can be a very important question if you are leaning to one school because of a particular coach. Don’t assume that the coach will be at the school for the duration of your education. If he or she were to leave would you still want to attend that school?

This situation will vary from school to school.

This situation will vary from school to school.

This situation will vary from school to school.

Coaches may consider as many student-athletes as they wish for each position.

Each school has a different policy so you may be required to provide proof of insurance.

Again each school is different and you should have their policy in writing.

You may not transfer without the permission of your current school’s athletics administration. Ask how often coaches grant this permission and ask for an example of a situation in which the permission was not granted.

Be realistic about your athletics ability and the type of athletics experience you would enjoy. Some student-athletes want to be part of a particular athletics program, even if that means little or no playing time. Other considerations include coaching staff and style. Of course, the ideal is to choose a college or university that will provide you with both the educational and athletics opportunities that are right for you.

Academic Questions to Ask as You Consider Colleges

These are just some of the very important questions you should be asking during the school selection process.

These are just some of the very important questions you should be asking during the school selection process.

These are just some of the very important questions you should be asking during the school selection process.

These are just some of the very important questions you should be asking during the school selection process.

These are just some of the very important questions you should be asking during the school selection process.

These are just some of the very important questions you should be asking during the school selection process.

The response will suggest the school’s commitment to academics. You may want to ask the two follow up questions: What percentage of incoming students eventually graduate and what is the current team’s grade point average?

Look for a college that will help and encourage you to become a better student.

Special academic services may help you achieve your academic goals and some schools may be more accommodating than others.

It is important to determine how many credit hours are required for your degree and what pace you will follow to obtain that degree.

NCAA rules prevent you from missing class for practice.

You may need to take summer school to meet academic and/or graduation requirements.

You may need to take summer school to meet academic and/or graduation requirements.

School Life Questions to Ask as You Consider Colleges

The answer will give you a good idea of how much time is spent in class, practice, study and travel. It will also give you a good indication of what the coaches will expect from you.

The response should give you a hint of how comfortable you would be in your room, study areas, community bathrooms and at the laundry facilities. Also ask about the number of students in a room, co-ed dorms and the rules governing life in the residence halls.

If the answer is yes ask about possible exceptions.

Questions To Ask During College Visits

1. What events are you recruiting for next year?
2. What are you looking for in an athlete?
3. Who would I see for academic advice?
4. What is your coaching philosophy?
5. What is expected of riders during the off-season?
6. How are injuries handled?
7. What is expected academically from the riders on the team?
8. What is the graduation rate of the athletes at the school?
9. What is the average time it takes to receive a degree while being an athlete?
10. Will my scholarship cover my education during my fifth year if I need it?
11. Can you describe the training and the medical staff that are available to the athletes?
12. What type of training and workout facilities do you have and what are the training schedules like?

1. What does a typical day at school look like?
2. How many hours a night are spent studying?
3. Do the coaches make themselves available for individual concerns?
4. How do the professors view athletes and athletics at the school?
5. What are the dining facilities like?
6. How do you like the living arrangements?
7. If you had to do it over again would you still attend this school?

1. Will it be difficult to register for classes considering that I have time restraints due to my athletic training?
2. When do we have to declare a major?
3. What are the academic standards in my field of interest?

Useful Resources & Helpful Information

Video Tips

1. Most universities have questionnaires to fill out along with a request for a resume of your riding history.

2. Coaches would also like to see a video of your riding. Keep in mind your equitation/horsemanship.

3. If possible, please show your abilities on more than one horse and give a brief description of the type of horse you are on so we can look at the video in light of your mount. As much as possible, display how you ride the horse on the bit.

4. For Hunt Seat show examples of flat work-including basic dressage -type maneuvers such as circles, sitting trot, halt transitions, lateral movements and no stirrup work. Include some video of jumping as well and include some informal practice at your barn doing bending lines and equitation turns.

5. For Western Horsemanship, include clips from some of your horse shows, along with practice footage showing the walk, jog and lope in both directions as well as displaying some practice patterns.

6. For Western Reining, include clips from some horse shows, along with reining maneuvers from your practices or lessons.

7. Proper clothing is recommended – boots and breeches for English and an appropriate fitted shirt, jeans and boots for western.

8. If you have footage of past shows, please include some of that as well.

9. Timelier video is preferred as well, so coaches know what they are seeing is current and you are thinking about your horsemanship and equitation, not the hunters or jumpers or pleasure from a show.

10. Do not add background music.

If you have any questions about producing a professional looking video feel free to contact Equestrian College Recruiter as we also provide video editing services at very reasonable fee.

Scholarship Information

There are a number of different kinds of scholarship monies available:

1. Academic Scholarships
2. Financial Need Scholarships
3. Equestrian Scholarships and other Athletic awards
4. Scholarships based at the school where you plan to attend
5. Outside scholarships donated by businesses based on the following criteria:
A.) Financial need
B.) Essay Based
C.) Interview Based
D.) Interest Based

Please be aware that those riders who take money strictly based on horsemanship, may endanger their eligibility to play in the NCAA.

There are also numerous places to find scholarship money:
1. Your school guidance office
2. Search the Internet
3. Check with all the clubs and organizations that you currently belong to.
4. Check with the college you have chosen.
5. Check with local clubs and organizations such as PTA, Womens League, Junior League, Kiwanis, 4H, Friends of the Library, etc.

Your Guidance Office:

1. Check monthly to see what scholarship applications they have received in the mail.
2. Ask for help with all the scholarships you end up applying for.
3. Make sure you check your graduation eligibility for the end of the year.

Searching the Internet:

1. Find and look through all search engines.
2. Apply for all the scholarships that are free.
3. Apply for all the scholarships that you find. Some of them never have anyone applying for them.

Clubs and Organizations:

1. Check to see what scholarships they have to offer.
2. Apply for all of them that you are eligible for.
3. If they don’t currently offer scholarships perhaps you can get them started.

The College You Have Chosen to Attend:

1. Ask the financial office if there are any scholarships “in-house” that you can apply for. Examples: Valedictorians and Salutatorians usually receive extra money automatically for attending any college or university. Most schools offer academic and honors scholarships for incoming
freshman and transfer students.

Equestrian Organizations:

1. Do the research on what is offered, both from breed organizations and local clubs in your area.
2. Create new scholarship opportunities for others that follow.

Some Scholarship and Financial Aid Websites:

State Educational Benefits for Military Dependents:

Interscholastic Equestrian Association, Inc (IEA)

What is the IEA?

Promotes and improves the quality of equestrian competition and instruction available to middle and secondary school students (grades 6-12). Hunt Seat Equitation and Western Divisions.


Divided into Futures, Junior Varsity and Varsity based on grade and experience. Points at regular shows are used for qualification toward Regional and Zone Finals.

National Championship

For top qualifiers at the Zone Finals based on placings. Team and individual competition at all levels.


Horses and tack are provided by the host school and assigned by draw. Flat class riders mount and ride the horses with no warm-up; Over Fences class riders are allowed two practice jumps.

Useful Links

Showtime Horse Sales – Are you off to college? Do you need to sell your horse? Contact Showtime Horse Sales for all your buying and selling needs.

DerDau – For the finest boots and shoes Michael Imparato chooses Der Dau.

HorseLoverz – Michael Imparato chooses the Jaguar saddle for the ultimate in comfort and feel.

EquiFit – EquiFit, inc focuses on giving both horse and rider the most competitive and sound edge possible by developing technologically advanced products for use both in and out of the ring.

HITS Shows – Tom Struzzeri and his staff always put on a first rate horse show and we were proud to be a sponsor for the 2009 Finals.

Sumter Equestrian Center – Sumter Equestrian Center is the fastest growing horse show venue in central Florida. We cater to all breeds and styles of riding from Hunters to Miniatures. We are available for horse shows, clinics, inspections, schooling, etc. Please feel free to stop by for a visit or horse show anytime.

USRider – Showtime Horse Sales has peace of mind on the road because they are insured with US Rider. They are the only motor plan that actually has the safety and care of your horses in mind while you are trailering. US Rider has been there for us many times and we won’t leave home without them. The member benefits are incredible. Visit their website and see for yourself.

EZIce – Ice therapy for horse and rider.

EquiStaff – Find the best farm, ranch or equine related job worldwide today. Whether you are a groom, feed, farm hand, work with show horses, race horses or even the horse feed, pharmaceutical or veterinary industry you can connect in real time – FOR FREE.

Horse Show Schedules – Show schedules for all disciplines. Horse sales, tack, trailers, vehicles and industry pro’s to help with all of your horse needs.

Triple Crown Studio – Triple Crown Studio is looking for THE best showjumping photo. The winner will receive a watercolor painting created from that image. Valued at $150.00 Submit your jpeg files, at least 2000 x 3000 to

The Coaching Educator – Having the right college admissions and scholarship strategy in place can positively impact your education levels, finances and future career. The Coaching Educator sets you up for success, so you know that your future is on the right path.

Dressage Today Online – Study with the world’s most respected authorities in dressage. Whether you’re wanting to better your basics or striving for Olympic gold, Dressage Today training videos can help you reach those goals!

Draggonfly Saddlery – At our UK saddlery shop we offer horse saddle making and sell horse riding equipment, riding wear and equestrian clothing like body protectors, jumping bridle, showing bridle, horse bridle, horse bandages, horse riding boots, horse riding shirts, horse rugs and riding hats. Also wide range of horse saddles like jumping saddles and pony saddles and saddle accessories along with saddle fitting at our equestrian shop in Australia, equestrian shop in America, equestrian shop in Europe, UK.

Brendon Saddlery – Brendon Saddlery offers horse equipment and horse riding equipment which includes horse saddles and horse tack like horse bits, horse bridles, horse girth, horse bandages, horse reins, horse stirrups, horse whips. Also we provide horse riding clothing like riding jackets and riding coats for all at our Brendon Saddlery in Sussex, UK.

Ride Magazine – is your online horse source for your equestrian needs. We have everything you need regarding horses, horse riding, horse shows, horse tack, equestrian equipment, and horse training.

Next Day Jumps – Manufacturer of horse jumps including: brush boxes, cavaletti, flower fillers, gates, horse jump cups, planks, poles, standards, and vertical walls. Online ordering and fast shipping.

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