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oliviasmith1060
Apr. 13, 2009, 10:52 PM
Hi, I was just wondering which college and university riding teams are the best in the NCAA and IHSA. Which ones are the most dedicated, have the best instruction, and are most active in their competetion? I'm a junior now and I want to start looking into colleges.
I've looked into A&M, SMU, Findlay University, Centenary, and Virginia Intermont. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

lauraware
Apr. 14, 2009, 02:13 AM
Umm...UCLA is the best for IHSA, obviously!! :D

I have a friend going to Texas A&M (NCAA). She is a great 3'6" equitation rider, and is receiving a some scholarship. Anyhow, she loved the coaches and the whole atmosphere of it, and from what I read on the Varsity Equestrian website, they seem to be ranked pretty high! And apparently, they have some little chestnut horse that everyone is in love with (according to her and my buddy at SMU). Oh, and a lot of girls from socal are at SMU right now, and they all seem to love it!

Good luck!

LotsofSlots
Apr. 14, 2009, 07:58 AM
What about Mount Holyoke? They are always in the top. Findlay was good also.

AStubbe
Apr. 14, 2009, 08:06 AM
I went to SMU for Equestrian, and I absolutely loved it. I came from the east coast and absolutely fell in love with Dallas, TX. Best college experience and a wonderful team experience. The girls and coaches are just the greatest. Unlike other larger equestrian programs like A&M or OSU, every girl is involved in the equestrian responsibilities and horse shows. SMU has athletes from all over the country and from around the world. Truly a top of the line program, and they are only climbing higher!

Kaelurus
Apr. 14, 2009, 08:11 AM
Check out the University of the South (Sewanee), in TN. Fabulous school, very competitive varsity team, beautiful on-campus facility. PM me if you want more info.

www.sewanee.edu

http://sewaneetigers.com/index.aspx?path=equest&

mrsbradbury
Apr. 14, 2009, 08:18 AM
I am a Findlay grad, and was on the team when the NCAA push and title 9 started; so forgive me as not so familair with the NCAA showing.

However, my experience with UF was great, quality horses, opportunity to network outside of the program, consitent coaching, the facility is great. We were successful then, and believe they are still quite sucessful. So much so in fact, there may be a waiting list.

ridingstudent
Apr. 14, 2009, 08:32 AM
Cazenovia college, great equine business program and riding team!

gasrgoose
Apr. 14, 2009, 09:08 AM
University of Georgia or Auburn University.

Tollriffic
Apr. 14, 2009, 09:30 AM
OSU. Their program is one of the larger NCAA ones but is still very good. They just won the Big XII Championships a couple of weeks ago against Baylor and A&M. I think they're entering the VENC as the 6th seed for English.

*Bounce*
Apr. 14, 2009, 11:53 AM
I've heard positive things about St. Andrews for IHSA and USC for NCAA. I went to Virginia Intermont so if you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

Pirateer
Apr. 14, 2009, 06:03 PM
VIC is pretty much the best for IHSA :) (and IDA!)
NCAA there are a lot of great options.

That said, to be competing on either the best NCAA or best IHSA teams, you have to be GOOD. We had 90+ on my IHSA team at Va Intermont.

If you are wanting to show at every show, you may want to check out other options.

If you have any questions about VIC feel free to ask me, I LOVED it.

Wizard of Oz's
Apr. 14, 2009, 06:17 PM
Auburn has pretty much the best NCAA team and they've won nationals a few times. Their team is very hardcore though, so if you want to ride there be prepared to work your ass off.

kaazs
Apr. 14, 2009, 07:51 PM
I'm pretty sure Auburn is number 1 for NCAA. I'm not sure about the IHSA colleges. I'm riding in USC's equestrian clinic again in a couple of weeks, so I will get some more info about their team, they're supposed a pretty good :)

http://www.varsityequestrian.com/universities.html

oliviasmith1060
Apr. 14, 2009, 08:21 PM
thank yall so much yall are all so helpful! With any luck, I'll be able to visit Waco on Thursday and watch some of the national final riding and get to study the colleges mentioned.

*JumpIt*
Apr. 14, 2009, 08:41 PM
I am a junior and I am also looking into colleges, though acedemics comes first so I look at the school first then I look at riding team. So far my favorite is UNC, great acedemics and great riding program. I am currently riding with the coach and couldn't ask for a better instructor; everyone on the team is really nice too. http://www.unc.edu/uncet/index.htm

Tollriffic
Apr. 14, 2009, 09:06 PM
Definitely go watch in Waco. If you've never seen the NCAA format make sure you get to see a competition and determine if its for you. I just signed my letter of intent to OSU's team last week for next year and I looked at several of the other teams mentioned so send me a PM if you have any questions.

iridehorses
Apr. 14, 2009, 09:42 PM
mount holyoke is definetly good. university of georgia is top top top! & university of south carolina i heard is good

IsolaBella09
Apr. 14, 2009, 10:10 PM
USC, Georgia, and Auburn are the top three. Texas A&M is very good also. I've heard good things about Findlay and have a handful of friends whom are at Centenary. But you should focus on picking a school for academics, not just for riding. Other good schools with good riding programs:

Skidmore (GO TBs! Class of 2013! :D)
Mt. Holyoke
College of Charleston
Brown
Pace
Drew U
Cazenovia
Ithaca (have a friend who goes here on the team)

Check out varsityequestrian.com.

SEFBH87
Apr. 14, 2009, 11:06 PM
I speak strictly from the IHSA aspect, I have almost no knowledge of NCAA.

It really depends on the type of experience you would like to have throughout your college career. If you want to have early morning practices and five day a week mandatory workouts as well as being on a strict diet and MAYBE get to show regularly your senior year (other years? prob not unless you are God's gift to whatever), consider one of the "horse schools" (i.e. Findlay, VIC, Caz etc etc).

If you want a more laid back experience where you have a chance to ride at most every show and have fun with it, consider schools that don't list Equestrian as their most popular degree program.

I thought I wanted the first type and tried it for a year. But it really wasn't worth it once I figured out that I didn't want to have to depend on my passion to pay my bills. I'm at Otterbein in Ohio now (I guess you could think of it as a "horse school" as well... but it is not mainly what the school is known for) and love that I can focus on opportunities within my major (psych) as well as going to the barn and going to horse shows occasionally. I love it! There are chances to show outside of IHSA/IDA and it is fun, which is the most important factor for me.

But as I said, you need to really consider what you personally feel comfortable doing and want to do. Not everyone likes IHSA and not everyone can make it in NCAA. You just have to find your niche!

snobrd1016
Apr. 16, 2009, 08:22 PM
If you are looking to go to school to ride seriously, I would def look into more of a NCAA school, I think scholarship money is more common, and to be honest in some regions, IHSA is kind of a joke. In my IHSA experience the horses were so so and the fences were rarely actual height they were supposed to be and half the time people sit around and debate meaningless issues. IHSA might be great in other areas though. Have you looked at Sweet Briar College? Yes, it is all girls but its a great school and they have a beautiful campus and barn. Good Luck in your college search!

schmoe1
Apr. 17, 2009, 08:28 AM
Where can you find results for the Championships going on in Texas right now? I went to varsityequestrian.com, but there is nothing current for this year. Thanks.

Mara
Apr. 17, 2009, 09:08 AM
Auburn has pretty much the best NCAA team and they've won nationals a few times. Their team is very hardcore though, so if you want to ride there be prepared to work your ass off.


I believe Maggie McAlary, the 2006 Maclay winner, is riding for Auburn.

JstMyLuck3
Apr. 17, 2009, 09:13 AM
Agree with above regarding IHSA.

I went to Boston University (finding a good financial program was #1 for me so I could afford to ride after graduation), whose equestrian team was merely a "club sport". We received nothing from BU for funding. BU had already raped me of all of my money even w/ a scholarship and financial aid, so paying $500+ a semester to ride was tough. We even had to pay (out of our pockets) for our own gas to get to the barn in BU-owned mini vans.

We only rode once a week, yes it was at Holly Hill, but it really was painful for me. I loved my coach and she was great (Phyllis Cervelli), but just didn't have enough time to do intercollegiate with all of the hunter/jumper clients she had. In my lessons I could be with a walk-trot beginner, a wtc beginner, and novice o/f rider. Their lesson horses were good for the most part, but in our region (Zone 1 Region 4), some of the horses were verrrry scary at horse shows. 85% ponies, 3-legged, blind in one eye, partially blind in the other, no joke.

Of course, ever year, Stonehill won b/c equestrian is big at their school and considered a varsity sport (thus, lots more funding). There were many times at horse shows, and both years I rode in regional finals, where the judge gave me a pity 1st place (i.e. a test where I had to counter canter, but the horse was so off it couldn't hold the lead).

So anyways, sorry for my long rant, but just be careful. It sounds like you're looking at good, classic riding colleges so I'm sure you'll be fine. I'd say the best school in Zone I, if you are going the IHSA route, would be Mount Holyoke hands down. I always looked forward to riding at Zones because they had great horses, great facility, and what seemed like an awesome program!

RoyalTRider
Apr. 17, 2009, 09:28 AM
Unsolicited advice to take or leave. :D

It's great that you're a junior and doing this research now! You'll be much happier for knowing what you are getting yourself in to with the riding programs since you want that to be a big part of your college life.

However... I just finished the transfer process, and it's not pretty. I had to do it because I didn't pick my college for the right reasons. I thought a few things about my school could make it all worth it, and one of those things was a sport. And while I'm very happy in the areas I emphasized when picking, I'm miserable with the school in general. I've realized that I only get a very, very short time to be a college student and I want to use everything that time has to offer to its full. You can find a great riding program at a school that will make you happy otherwise, and my strongest advice would be to look at schools, or what kind of school, would make you the most happy and figure out riding teams from that list, not the other way around.

I bring this up because I noticed the great variety of schools on your list. Of course, you're still early in the process, so you may be narrowing them down other ways. But really consider every aspect of the schools. You have schools that run the entire range from huge to small on your list. Think about what that means for your college life, because you will only spend so much time with horses and at the end of the day you will be back in your dorm, or in the caf, and you will not want the only good part to be riding.

Another thing I wish I had considered: When I choose a school in S. FL, two huge reasons were playing lacrosse and (equestrian) polo year-round. At the beginning of my second semester, when the seasons were going into full swing, I badly injured both legs. You never know what will happen to you with riding. Consider each school as if it didn't have riding. Are there other things you could get involved with and love? Is the setting of the school right for your happiness besides the horses? And then, do those things in addition to your riding. You can always jump in and get involved but it's much easier to do so at the beginning, when friendship-forming is in full swing, IME.

Good luck! :)

jerseypony
Apr. 17, 2009, 09:33 AM
I'd say the best school in Zone I, if you are going the IHSA route, would be Mount Holyoke hands down. I always looked forward to riding at Zones because they had great horses, great facility, and what seemed like an awesome program!

Very true. They are consistently at nationals and the facility is just fantastic. A lot of serious riders end up here. Not to mention it is also very good academically. I am an alum if you want to know more.

Dramapony_misty
Apr. 17, 2009, 09:41 AM
"Cazenovia college, great equine business program and riding team!"

It really is a great school with an amazing colelge-owned facility and a degree program. The degree gives you so many other options outside of just training, riding, and owning your own barn...trust me, this is a good thing. A friend of mine just knew she wanted to ride and train for a living...3 years out, she hated the hands on-stuff and is now looking for a non-horsey job. Keep the riding as a hobby and an escape.

The ISHA teams (western and hunt seat) and the IDA dressage team are all quite competitive, and are fairly small so everyone gets a chance to ride. I never rode hunt seat (only western) before I went there and ended up representing the team at nationals in the advanced W/T/C division my sophmore year. You don't have to be the best...the beauty of IHSA is the different levels of experience are all equally important to the sucess of the team...from the beginner W/T to the Open riders.


It really depends on the type of experience you would like to have throughout your college career. If you want to have early morning practices and five day a week mandatory workouts as well as being on a strict diet and MAYBE get to show regularly your senior year (other years? prob not unless you are God's gift to whatever), consider one of the "horse schools" (i.e. Findlay, VIC, Caz etc etc).

If you want a more laid back experience where you have a chance to ride at most every show and have fun with it, consider schools that don't list Equestrian as their most popular degree program.


:no: I totally disagree when it comes to Caz. Like I said above...it's a small but competitive team. Amy Sherrick-von Schiller is very fair. If you work hard and be a team player, you are rewarded by more riding time. Please don't lump the smaller equine schools with the big Universities.

grimesklynn
Apr. 17, 2009, 10:15 AM
I went through the IHSA program at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN. I had a blast. They built a very nice equestrian center - the Tennessee Miller Coliseum the year after I graduated. Anne Brzezicki is the coach and she taught me so much about riding. The team's website is: frank.mtsu.edu/~eqteam - I couldn't get it to work this morning, but hopefully it'll be back up soon. MTSU (mtsu.edu) is a nice school with good academic programs. It's big enough to have things to do, but small enough that you get personal attention from the faculty.

Moxie
Apr. 17, 2009, 10:53 AM
I am a senior at Mount Holyoke and ride on both the IHSA and IDA teams there - I chose my school because I knew that I wanted a place where I could ride a lot and still be challenged academically, and I have been extremely happy with it. If you want to know more about it, feel free to PM me.

Pirateer
Apr. 17, 2009, 11:45 AM
:no: I totally disagree when it comes to Caz. Like I said above...it's a small but competitive team. Amy Sherrick-von Schiller is very fair. If you work hard and be a team player, you are rewarded by more riding time. Please don't lump the smaller equine schools with the big Universities.

Amy is awesome! (Ex- VIC coach!)

To whoever was moaning about their bad IHSA experience, they probably didn't ride on the east coast.
Yes, OBVIOUSLY the experience will be different everywhere, especially dependent on funding. However, if you are looking at the BEST teams you will see funding.

At VIC we paid for NOTHING. Lessons were part of your tuition in the equine department, and other than that we paid the $30/year IHSA membership. We got hotels, transportation, food, coaching, etc. AWESOME!

touchstone-
Apr. 17, 2009, 02:44 PM
Another contrary view here:

Unless you're gunning for scholarship money, or are dead-set on a career in horses, I'd really strongly consider going to the best academic school you can, without a lot of regard for the riding program. One of the best things about the IHSA is that there's plenty of opportunity for individual achievement, and varsity teams compete on equal footing with smaller club programs. That means you could be getting an elite academic degree at the school of your choice and still succeed all the way up to Nationals. It's a rare opportunity--and one you don't see in other sports.

When I looked at colleges, I focused on academics first, but I did vet the IHSA teams and the riding opportunities in the area. I ended up at a school with a club team and it worked out just fine. I made it to the post-season several times.

Tollriffic
Apr. 17, 2009, 03:13 PM
Where can you find results for the Championships going on in Texas right now? I went to varsityequestrian.com, but there is nothing current for this year. Thanks.

http://shownet.biz/ and I think they're on the homepage of varsity equestrian now too.

QHEventr
Apr. 17, 2009, 03:47 PM
Just a thought to add....(eventer chiming in)

I went to Auburn, with the intention of riding for the team. We had VERY early morning workouts 4 days a week, riding everyday, and all of your classes on top. Beware that if you join a NCAA team such as Auburns, that you are treated like everyother NCAA athlete at the school (football team included). You have mandatory study, workouts, etc. I had NO problem with these things. The problem I had was that I would not be able to compete my horses, as well as ride for the team. I had two horses at school with me. One was competeing Advanced, one at Prelim, and they were my first priority. It's a great option if you don't intend to bring your own horses along, but just keep these things in mind. I Dropped the team in favor of my horses competitive career.

Pony+ an inch
Apr. 17, 2009, 04:51 PM
Just a thought to add....(eventer chiming in)

I went to Auburn, with the intention of riding for the team. We had VERY early morning workouts 4 days a week, riding everyday, and all of your classes on top. Beware that if you join a NCAA team such as Auburns, that you are treated like everyother NCAA athlete at the school (football team included). You have mandatory study, workouts, etc. I had NO problem with these things. The problem I had was that I would not be able to compete my horses, as well as ride for the team. I had two horses at school with me. One was competeing Advanced, one at Prelim, and they were my first priority. It's a great option if you don't intend to bring your own horses along, but just keep these things in mind. I Dropped the team in favor of my horses competitive career.

I'm glad someone brought this up because the rules regarding riding as an amateur and playing on an NCAA sport get blurred. Also be aware if you are planning to ride your own horse(s) outside NCAA, you cannot collect any prize money or awards.

The one other thing I will say about NCAA, although in a previous thread a number of people disagreed with me, if you want to ride varsity, start getting in touch with the coaches now. Unless you have medal/maclay notoriety, you need to be willing to go up and make your presence known and what you've done and what you can do. Getting on the team and in some cases getting scholarship money relies on who knows you and who you know--I'm not talking about the A circuit realm, I'm talking about NCAA/riding school realm. Auburn does a GREAT camp for those high schoolers thinking about doing NCAA which gives you an idea of what varsity eq life is like and also gives the coaches a heads up on what talent they might be able to get for the team. And be sure when you are visiting the schools with varsity teams to talk to team members about how the team functions--how the coaches run practice, team members get along, how who gets to show is decided--it varies school to school.

IHSA has a range school to school.

competing independently alongside school work has its merits, although admittedly, the time management and balancing act can get overwhelming at times. However, I have been forced into this situation and I find it worthwhile--mainly because I cannot function without having riding in my life.

tja789
Apr. 17, 2009, 06:15 PM
A girl in my daughter's 4-H club is also looking for excellent academics and a great IHSA team. Does anyone have first-hand information about teams at any of these Northeast colleges:

St. Lawrence University
Colgate University
Hamilton College
Alfred University

Thanks!

jhg140
Apr. 17, 2009, 06:28 PM
I agree with the people who advocated vetting the school in areas other than riding - SO IMPORTANT. I rode very seriously as a junior, somehow convinced my traditional, hard core private high school to let me do FL, almost took a year off to ride and possibly turn pro (but didn't b/c my mom literally would have disowned me), and was grudgingly shipped off to college. I rode on the team my freshman and sophomore years at a Big 10 school. Very good program for the area, and some great riders - my sophomore year, we were reserve champions by 1 point at IHSA Nationals, to Mt Holyoke no less! The "traditional powers" were shocked, to say the least.

But despite the successes I had with the IHSA team, I quit after sophomore year, b/c I joined a sorority that same year, and the team was not very forgiving of me splitting my time between the different activities. All I have to say is, junior and senior year were the best 2 years of my life. I am so glad that I WAS at a school with options besides riding - I got heavily involved in Greek life, and really enjoyed it. And b/c I went to a nationally recognized school (my degree program was #1 in the country the year I graduated), I was able to get a job that payed in the high 5 figures as a new grad. Not to be condescending, but Fortune 500 companies don't recruit at Sweet Briar, Mt Holyoke, at the same level that they do at national public and private universities that are easily recognizable to the average executive. Unless you plan on working in the horse biz, in this economy, it is wise to start thinking about how you will PAY for riding as an amateur. My job allows me to ride on my own, and I'm glad to be back!

Not trying to be down on horsey schools or the horse business in general, b/c I almost went that route. And not plugging Greek life, or quitting riding, or anything like that - it was a personal choice, and I just wanted to share my experience with the IHSA and choosing a college. I have friends who went to Sweet Briar and loved it, but it wasn't for me. I'm so happy with the college choices I made, and I wish everyone ended up having even one day of college that was as amazing as those last 2 years. Basically, like others said, school is more than riding.

IsolaBella09
Apr. 17, 2009, 07:59 PM
A girl in my daughter's 4-H club is also looking for excellent academics and a great IHSA team. Does anyone have first-hand information about teams at any of these Northeast colleges:

St. Lawrence University
Colgate University
Hamilton College
Alfred University

Thanks!

I believe Alfred has just built a new equestrian center. However, IMO, Alfred is not a academically challenging school. I've heard good things about St. Lawrence, Colgate, and Hamilton.

juniormom
Apr. 18, 2009, 12:20 AM
Check out the IHSA team at Clemson University! Everyone has a great time together and do a lot of things besides ride together. You will learn a lot riding with Sovan Hill Enterprises and Katie Maxwell of Landrum, SC. The farm is about 45 minutes from Clemson, but everone carpools, stops for dinner, etc. It is an opportunity to ride, learn a lot, make new friends, and enjoy your college life as well. They have had several riders go to Nationals and place the last few years. Not to mention the wonderful football, beautiful weather, and close proximity to A/AA shows. Clemson has a great academic reputation as well.

I have heard good things about St. Lawrence academically, but do not know anything about their riding teams.

We know someone at Oklahoma on the Varsity NCAA team and they have been very happy.

Do look into the rules regarding the NCAA teams. You are not allowed to keep one penny of any of your earnings from shows, even if it means just applying them to your entry fees. That is something to consider.

We know several "Big Name" riders who said they enjoyed "just being in college", as it goes by so quickly. If you don't want to ride professionally, give a lot of consideration to what you are going to do in order to support your "horse habit."

Good luck and be sure to talk with students at any school you are considering. They can give you the best current information in regards to all of your questions. Once you have narrowed it down, spend a night or two on campus to get a "true feel" for the campus.

Have fun looking at schools and investigating your opportunities! :)

hj0519
Apr. 18, 2009, 12:37 AM
I feel like all the schools being thrown out on this thread are very, very different from one another. Figure out the other things you want in a school first - location, size, academics, student life, what the other students are like (preppy, artsy, very diverse etc.) - and then make up a list of schools that meet those criteria. Once you have that list, then you can narrow it down more by looking at the riding.

Don't pick a school just because it has a good/top riding team, because riding is only one part of college and if riding is the only thing you like about a school, well, whenever you're not riding it pretty much sucks (speaking from experience here).

juniormom
Apr. 18, 2009, 01:03 AM
How do you find the results on showbiz.net or do you have to be a member? Thank you for your help! I was trying to find the results from Friday.

2DaPoint
Apr. 18, 2009, 11:15 AM
For NCAA National results, try Google-ing just that. I went last night and found a lot of info.

About the schools.....
I attended Cazenovia and Virginia Intermont (back in the dark ages to most of you....).
Caz was only a 2-yr program at the time, so I transferred to VI to complete my education.
I also taught at Virginia Intermont for two years.

Since that time I have sent students off to William Woods, Findlay, OSU, South Carolina, and East Texas State.

You REALLY do have to decide what you want out of your college experience.
Most of the NCAA schools are NOT "Equestrian Degree" schools, so you need to know if that's what you want.
Many of the IHSA schools aren't either, so check into the curriculum.

One of the big deciding factors in your search should really be the amount of time you need and want to spend at the barn.
NCAA riding is usually more a "team practice" type of thing, and not about THE HORSE. And, as others have said, you have to get up early, do your weight-lifting program and fitness, go to practice, (and pee in a cup at random intervals), AND do your University level school work on top of that.
The IHSA Equine programs will have you spending a good deal more time at the barn, and some of your classes will be about THE HORSE.

NCAA divisions are also pretty elite in the level of riders who get to ride for the team.
The IHSA has a much wider variety of levels at which you can compete.
And, as others have said, the restrictions on what you can do with your OWN horses, even off season, are pretty tight for NCAA riders.

Scholarships are available for all kinds of reasons at all kinds of schools. Look into the individual colleges to see what's available.

Yes, you are super smart to be starting this process as a junior.
Hope you were able to get to Waco to watch the teams in action.
Good luck.
KD

FourGreen
Apr. 18, 2009, 08:16 PM
Good luck. SEC is the way to go for college equestrian

katie16
Apr. 24, 2009, 11:20 AM
Another contrary view here:

Unless you're gunning for scholarship money, or are dead-set on a career in horses, I'd really strongly consider going to the best academic school you can, without a lot of regard for the riding program. One of the best things about the IHSA is that there's plenty of opportunity for individual achievement, and varsity teams compete on equal footing with smaller club programs. That means you could be getting an elite academic degree at the school of your choice and still succeed all the way up to Nationals. It's a rare opportunity--and one you don't see in other sports.

When I looked at colleges, I focused on academics first, but I did vet the IHSA teams and the riding opportunities in the area. I ended up at a school with a club team and it worked out just fine. I made it to the post-season several times.

Excellent advice! I wish more high school kids would listen to this train of thought!

slp
Apr. 24, 2009, 12:54 PM
And if you are interested in going the NCAA route, then you need to educate yourself on the athletic recruiting process and start making your contacts. It's a lot more involved than just calling the coach and telling them that you want to ride for them.
Here are two very good threads that discuss this whole topic:

http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?p=3677205#post3677205
http://chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=170253

Filly85'
Apr. 25, 2009, 11:46 AM
I am a junior and I am also looking into colleges, though acedemics comes first so I look at the school first then I look at riding team. So far my favorite is UNC, great acedemics and great riding program. I am currently riding with the coach and couldn't ask for a better instructor; everyone on the team is really nice too. http://www.unc.edu/uncet/index.htm

Two thumbs up for UNC!!! The academics are definitely unbeatable! Plus, no one on the east coast quite does basketball like us either;) The EQ team trains at one of the top barns in NC right now too. A WC rider owns the farm. I'm not on the team, but only because I have my own horses to ride and take care of. As far as UNC, best bang for your buck IMO. You really do get the whole college experience here, and I only have good things to say about this college. UNC is honestly the east coast vesion of UCLA.

bascher
Apr. 25, 2009, 03:06 PM
Originally Posted by touchstone-
Another contrary view here:

Unless you're gunning for scholarship money, or are dead-set on a career in horses, I'd really strongly consider going to the best academic school you can, without a lot of regard for the riding program. One of the best things about the IHSA is that there's plenty of opportunity for individual achievement, and varsity teams compete on equal footing with smaller club programs. That means you could be getting an elite academic degree at the school of your choice and still succeed all the way up to Nationals. It's a rare opportunity--and one you don't see in other sports.

When I looked at colleges, I focused on academics first, but I did vet the IHSA teams and the riding opportunities in the area. I ended up at a school with a club team and it worked out just fine. I made it to the post-season several times.

<<This is exactly what I did as well, and although we too are a club sport, we still send students to zones and nationals. I definitely looked at academics first and foremost but ended up at a school with a wonderful IHSA club, wonderful trainer, etc.>>

Jumper6252
Apr. 25, 2009, 07:42 PM
Centenary is great and just won nationals.

Windswept Stable
Apr. 25, 2009, 09:18 PM
Don't forget the Virginia IHSA schools-- Bridgewater College has a great program and very nice facility. Hollins, Sweet Briar, Virginia Intermont also nice choices.

My daughters went the NCAA route and loved it. They did not "know anyone" as an earlier poster suggested, nor were they famous A circuit riders--and they were heavily recruited by NCAA teams across the country.
Unfortunately the team they selected, Stephen F Austin in Nacogdoches, TX --was discontinued due to budget cuts. One daughter stayed to finish her education at that school. Other daughter came back home to finish her education in Virginia since she really wanted to ride. Actually, Stephen F Austin is now doing a club IHSA team--so my older daughter is getting to experience both ==NCAA as freshman/sophomore and IHSA as junior/sr.

SaturdayNightLive
Apr. 26, 2009, 11:11 AM
My daughters went the NCAA route and loved it. They did not "know anyone" as an earlier poster suggested, nor were they famous A circuit riders--and they were heavily recruited by NCAA teams across the country.
Unfortunately the team they selected, Stephen F Austin in Nacogdoches, TX --was discontinued due to budget cuts. One daughter stayed to finish her education at that school. Other daughter came back home to finish her education in Virginia since she really wanted to ride. Actually, Stephen F Austin is now doing a club IHSA team--so my older daughter is getting to experience both ==NCAA as freshman/sophomore and IHSA as junior/sr.

Things have changed quite a bit recently when it comes to NCAA recruitment. Competition for scholarships and letters of intent has gotten quite a bit fiercer than when I signed, and that was only three years ago. At this point, you really do need A circuit experience at the 3'6" level, preferably in the BigEq, to get recruited by a D1 school.

anchorsaway
Apr. 26, 2009, 12:17 PM
Noticing that you mentioned Findlay, you could head north and check out CMU(Central Michigan University).

Do you have any inkling as to what you want to study? CMU has a great business and education program and is just opening a huge medical program. The Journalism/Communications and Broadcasting are also top notch.

The team itself is rather new and somewhat small(around 30 girls or so) but good. We didn't have an IDA team this year but are nagging the BO and resident trainer to start one again:lol: I'll be a freshman at CMU in the fall and there are a few other girls who have shown interest in starting again. The barn that the team is based out of is the barn that I currently board and have ridden at for quite some time.

The ISHA coach is great(even though personally, I don't get along with her all that well) and she's professional and competitive.

Windswept Stable
Apr. 26, 2009, 02:08 PM
Things have changed quite a bit recently when it comes to NCAA recruitment. Competition for scholarships and letters of intent has gotten quite a bit fiercer than when I signed, and that was only three years ago. At this point, you really do need A circuit experience at the 3'6" level, preferably in the BigEq, to get recruited by a D1 school.

I would disagree with you on that. You are probably right for the top 3-4 schools--but there are quite a few other D1 schools that the "famous" junior riders are not heading to & those schools do offer some nice scholarships for talented & experienced riders.

Tollriffic
Apr. 26, 2009, 03:15 PM
Things have changed quite a bit recently when it comes to NCAA recruitment. Competition for scholarships and letters of intent has gotten quite a bit fiercer than when I signed, and that was only three years ago. At this point, you really do need A circuit experience at the 3'6" level, preferably in the BigEq, to get recruited by a D1 school.

I just signed my letter of intent this spring and would have to agree that recruiting has gotten much more competitive. I had significant experience in the 3'6" divisions and still ran into some schools that were not interested as well as some that were. Lots of riders are starting to look at NCAA as an option to ride in college making it much more competitive to get on a team and get scholarship money.

Mayaty02
Apr. 26, 2009, 03:49 PM
A girl in my daughter's 4-H club is also looking for excellent academics and a great IHSA team. Does anyone have first-hand information about teams at any of these Northeast colleges:

St. Lawrence University
Colgate University
Hamilton College
Alfred University

Thanks!

I went to St. Lawrence and rode on their team albeit years and years ago...but they are always competing for tops in their region, if not zone, and always have someone, if not a few, competing at Nationals. I highly recommend it, best decision I ever made :D

Mayaty02
Apr. 26, 2009, 03:54 PM
I agree with the people who advocated vetting the school in areas other than riding - SO IMPORTANT. I rode very seriously as a junior, somehow convinced my traditional, hard core private high school to let me do FL, almost took a year off to ride and possibly turn pro (but didn't b/c my mom literally would have disowned me), and was grudgingly shipped off to college. I rode on the team my freshman and sophomore years at a Big 10 school. Very good program for the area, and some great riders - my sophomore year, we were reserve champions by 1 point at IHSA Nationals, to Mt Holyoke no less! The "traditional powers" were shocked, to say the least.

But despite the successes I had with the IHSA team, I quit after sophomore year, b/c I joined a sorority that same year, and the team was not very forgiving of me splitting my time between the different activities. All I have to say is, junior and senior year were the best 2 years of my life. I am so glad that I WAS at a school with options besides riding - I got heavily involved in Greek life, and really enjoyed it. And b/c I went to a nationally recognized school (my degree program was #1 in the country the year I graduated), I was able to get a job that payed in the high 5 figures as a new grad. Not to be condescending, but Fortune 500 companies don't recruit at Sweet Briar, Mt Holyoke, at the same level that they do at national public and private universities that are easily recognizable to the average executive. Unless you plan on working in the horse biz, in this economy, it is wise to start thinking about how you will PAY for riding as an amateur. My job allows me to ride on my own, and I'm glad to be back!

Not trying to be down on horsey schools or the horse business in general, b/c I almost went that route. And not plugging Greek life, or quitting riding, or anything like that - it was a personal choice, and I just wanted to share my experience with the IHSA and choosing a college. I have friends who went to Sweet Briar and loved it, but it wasn't for me. I'm so happy with the college choices I made, and I wish everyone ended up having even one day of college that was as amazing as those last 2 years. Basically, like others said, school is more than riding.

Totally agree with this! I rode on the IHSA team, did great, went to nationals, etc but I also quit sophmore year and joined a sorority....I had spent my whole life riding and sacrificed my personal life entirely, then discovered that there was a whole lot I was missing. I stopped riding in college, but rode during breaks and summers, and it was perfect for me. There's something to be said for find a good well rounded school and being open to where it takes you.