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musicinmotion101
Jun. 7, 2011, 03:08 PM
I'm just wondering how to get noticed by riding teams. I personally, do not have enough money or the right "expensive" horse to be completing at Maclay or any big, top shows, but I would seriously like to compete in college on a team. And I was just wondering what are some good ways to get noticed by the big schools, more specifically, Auburn, University of South Carolina, and UGA.
What are some thing I can do to get noticed by these big schools? I still have two more years before going off but just trying too see what is needed to get noticed

Beenthere
Jun. 7, 2011, 03:11 PM
Get signed up for the College Prepatory Invitational because college recruiters attend. Also, check out Equestrian College Recruiter, LLC.

joiedevie99
Jun. 7, 2011, 03:15 PM
Some schools have open-house days where you can go and visit the riding program. Some have interest forms located on their websites that you can fill out to get more information. Both of those help.

Definitely get into the collegiate invitational program. Otherwise, prepare a good riding resume- including things like clinics, shows, lessons, etc. You can edit it down when the time comes to send it out. Also, make sure someone is taking good video footage of the shoes and clinics you do attend so you have show footage to send in to colleges when the time comes.

Jsalem
Jun. 7, 2011, 03:19 PM
You will need to attend their camps. Honestly, those SEC schools recruit the top equitation riders in the country. Those are NCAA teams that only have one level. You might get noticed if you attend the camps and prove yourself to be a hard worker and a highly skilled rider. You might get accepted onto a team. But if you aren't a heavy hitter, you're likely to sit on the bench. That's the reality.

Don't rule out the other option which is the IHSA route. Those teams accept riders of all levels.

It seems like everyone these days wants to ride on a college team. I wish folks would realize that there are lots of options for riding in college. But if you aren't one of the top ranked equitation riders- you're not going to get a big scholarship on an NCAA team.

You can ride privately at a stable near your school, you can ride on a club team. Just don't expect for the riding to be free. If you need college $$, you're a lot better off going after scholastic money. Really.

musicinmotion101
Jun. 7, 2011, 03:21 PM
Those are just schools in my area which if i dont get into the riding program, I will most likely be attending anyways, thats why I pulled those names

Jsalem
Jun. 7, 2011, 03:25 PM
The 3 you mentioned are all NCAA teams. They go after the top riders. Without Medal experience or 3'6" experience at rated shows, it will be an uphill climb. I think UGA also has a nice club team. Auburn doesn't have a club team, but there are nice farms in the area to ride at. Not sure about S. Carolina. There are other smaller colleges in the area that have nice IHSA riding teams. I have a student that will be attending Berry College in the fall and will be riding on that team. She's a great student and got all kinds of academic money.

Stoneheart Equestrian
Jun. 7, 2011, 03:26 PM
If you go onto the website of the schools you are interested in you can take a look at the roster and it will give you a brief bio of what their team members have accomplished. That way you know what you have to do to be "noticed" or considered by these schools.

Don't limit yourself to the top Varsity schools. If it is Varsity that you are really interested in take a look at all the Varsity schools and you might be surprised that not all of them require the same type of experience.

www.varsityequestrian.com provides a list of all Division 1 and Division II schools. The best time to contact the school is during your Junior year of highschool. The coaches won't talk to you before that time. Most schools have an online recruitment questionnaire to fill out prior to them asking for any videos or additional information.

When we went through this I sent out a bio of my daughter in May of her Junior high school year to all the Varsity schools we were interested in. We had interest expressed from 5 schools during the summer - did official visits to 2 in the fall and received a letter of intent in May of her senior high school year.

Good luck!

ponymom64
Jun. 7, 2011, 03:33 PM
You will need to attend their camps. Honestly, those SEC schools recruit the top equitation riders in the country. Those are NCAA teams that only have one level. You might get noticed if you attend the camps and prove yourself to be a hard worker and a highly skilled rider. You might get accepted onto a team. But if you aren't a heavy hitter, you're likely to sit on the bench. That's the reality.

Don't rule out the other option which is the IHSA route. Those teams accept riders of all levels.

It seems like everyone these days wants to ride on a college team. I wish folks would realize that there are lots of options for riding in college. But if you aren't one of the top ranked equitation riders- you're not going to get a big scholarship on an NCAA team.

You can ride privately at a stable near your school, you can ride on a club team. Just don't expect for the riding to be free. If you need college $$, you're a lot better off going after scholastic money. Really.

Very true. Also, some of the NCAA schools also have either club or IHSA teams, too.

Even if you don't get recruited D1, you may still get scholarship money for academics or other attributes that you bring to the school. My DD wasn't recruited D1, but got some very nice $$ merit scholarship offers from schools because of her dedication to riding and the effort she's put in over the last 12 years.

saanengirl
Jun. 7, 2011, 03:44 PM
You might consider Mercer University. It is a very nice private university in Macon, GA and has an IHSA team. I take private riding lessons from the Hunt Seat coach for that team, and she is excellent. I work with the equestrian program at Fort Valley State University, and am hoping to get an IHSA team started here.

musicinmotion101
Jun. 7, 2011, 04:11 PM
Thanks for the responses everyone. I'm an upcoming Jr in High school so I still have a little time.

kateh
Jun. 7, 2011, 04:29 PM
Don't rule out IHSA. I learned a lot and had a great experience. Some of the teams have really good programs with high level trainers and nice horses; my old team just switched to an A show barn. Financial support is determined by the school: I know schools that pay everything out of pocket and others that are treated as "varsity" and pay almost nothing.

mroades
Jun. 7, 2011, 08:12 PM
SC just started a club team....but I want to second what JSalem said. They are simply not going to look at you without 3'6" success. Notice I said success, not experience. The coach for SC told us that to our face at the camp this May.

xxreddxheaddxx
Jun. 7, 2011, 08:35 PM
OP- I am an upcoming senior in high school and I understand where you're coming from. My advice to you is to keep riding, working, and keeping yourself productive and moving forward. See if you can get a job at a barn doing anything, literally anything. I clean tack, feed horses, turn out horses, groom, work for my trainer. Literally anything to keep making money to support my riding. In your situation I think you should put the most effort into becoming a better rider through clinics and lessons. If you are not with a trainer really wants to teach you to become a better rider and horseman, it is time to find a new one. NCAA is a difficult option (not saying impossible though!) but I think you will be able to find a decent IHSA team if you can ride well without the show experience. You might be surprised though, I came into high school absolutely sure I was going to sell my horse after high school and ride on a team until the beginning of this year when I realized that that might not be what I want anymore. Good luck and don't stress, you have plenty of time to figure this all out!

musicinmotion101
Jun. 7, 2011, 08:35 PM
SC just started a club team....but I want to second what JSalem said. They are simply not going to look at you without 3'6" success. Notice I said success, not experience. The coach for SC told us that to our face at the camp this May.


you being from SC, do you think that the PSJ medals would be something good to have under my belt? or do they need to be bigger shows than that because I ride in Landrum we do all the "bigger" stuff that comes up here but we really dont travel any father that Landrum/Tryon area because it makes thing so much more expensive.

LulaBell
Jun. 7, 2011, 08:36 PM
At College of Charleston we had a few girls on our extremely competitive IHSA team that did NCAA on the side (just for fun and experience) that were both experienced and successful in the Big Eq and Jr Hunters. Obviously, it is continually changing, but that is one team that continually does very well. Because it is NCAA, they receive athletic funding from the College, which is really nice. Considering it was super cheap to ride in college, plus academic scholarships, college was a bargain, and a great experience!

These days, the only ones getting recruited to NCAA teams are the Megan Massaros, Kels Bonhams, etc. Well actually Kels is at SCAD but they have an amazing equestrian program as well.

mroades
Jun. 7, 2011, 08:43 PM
PSJ Medal is not something they are looking for....

juststartingout
Jun. 7, 2011, 08:45 PM
SC just started a club team....but I want to second what JSalem said. They are simply not going to look at you without 3'6" success. Notice I said success, not experience. The coach for SC told us that to our face at the camp this May.

Very similar conversation.... no open tryouts and if you do not have a name its not going to happen..... sad when you think that even the top football programs have the occassional walkon....

SaturdayNightLive
Jun. 7, 2011, 08:55 PM
As others have said, you've got a tough list of schools. By all means, send out videos - you never know what might happen. But, without 3'6" experience, you're going to have a hard time of it.

I rode NCAA in college (graduated in 2010). When I was recruited, it was a fair bit easier to get a little scholarship money without having been to Finals. Today, the competition for scholarships is pretty fierce.

If you're dead set on those schools, send them videos, but be prepared to not get offered a spot on the team.

If you're dead set on NCAA in general, send out videos to some other schools. Places like TCU, UT Martin, or NMSU might have a place on their teams for someone like you.

Good luck!

musicinmotion101
Jun. 7, 2011, 08:58 PM
I'm not dead set on going to these schools, its just they're in my area. I'm in SC and I want to stay in the south. I know Clemson doesn't have a good team and I'm looking there, but not to ride. I want to stay in SC, NC, GA, AL or even TN area. So even I don't make a team at any bigger uni. then I will still end up going to one of these schools. Thats why I listed them.

Keep the responses coming you guys! Y'all have me doing my research (:

Stoneheart Equestrian
Jun. 7, 2011, 09:02 PM
I agree with the posters that have said the really competitive schools such as Auburn, UGA and SC are looking for riders who place in the 3'6" medals but they are not the only schools.

Some of the less competitive, but active, NCAA programs are looking for riders who can ride a variety of horses. That is the essence of Varsity equestrian. Being able to get on a strange horse, warm up for 4 minutes, jump 4 practice jumps and then effectively ride a 3' - 3'6" course of jumps.

To the OP - don't give up if this is something you really want to do but don't eliminate other options, such as club teams and IHSA either.

LulaBell
Jun. 7, 2011, 09:05 PM
PSJ Medal is not something they are looking for....

Hate to say it, but agreed. They're looking for Big Eq winners from AA shows. PSJ Medals would certainly be good experience, but not want they want.

mepkkg
Jun. 8, 2011, 02:52 PM
Don't count out riding privately at school either. I don't ride on my school's ISHA team but instead found a fabulous barn near by that I love. I lease a horse and get that opportunity to ride other horses as well. As much as I would love the "team" experience I'm happy to get away from the everyday college life and enjoy nice horses and good trainers.

silanac
Jun. 8, 2011, 03:20 PM
I rode at Auburn in college and was a walk-on. Auburn, and other schools i am sure, hold equestrian camps during the summer. I sent a video to the coaches and they told me to come to the camp. At camp they said 'welcome to the team'. This was in 2004 so it was the NCAA format.

There is an enormous problem with how recruiting works because most of these teams do not have spectacular or easy horses-the majority are donated horses that were issues for a big time trainer. Sure there may be a few exceptions, but for the most part the horses are very tough to ride. They do most of their recruiting from maclay finals, etc, where most of those riders have expensive horses. Let's face it, a 200k horse rides very differently than a throw away. What i saw time and time again on the team were the scholarship riders falling off, getting refusals and DQ'd as a result of not having the horsemanship abilities on so called 'problem' horses.

That aside, it is possible to get recognized outside of those huge medal finals, etc. put together an equitation video and send it to coaches would be my first step and go from there.

Good luck (and if you choose Auburn WAR EAGLE!)

PonyPenny
Jun. 8, 2011, 03:40 PM
This is very interesting about how recruitment works. Since the format for NCAA is so different from what most top riders are used to doing, it is surprising that that the coaches look at riders that only ride their own fancy horses and not ones that ride a variety of different horses successfully. You would think that a top rider would not want to ride for a college team, when they could probably continue to ride their own horses after high school at the big AA shows.

Stoneheart Equestrian
Jun. 8, 2011, 03:58 PM
There is an enormous problem with how recruiting works because most of these teams do not have spectacular or easy horses-the majority are donated horses that were issues for a big time trainer. Sure there may be a few exceptions, but for the most part the horses are very tough to ride. They do most of their recruiting from maclay finals, etc, where most of those riders have expensive horses. Let's face it, a 200k horse rides very differently than a throw away. What i saw time and time again on the team were the scholarship riders falling off, getting refusals and DQ'd as a result of not having the horsemanship abilities on so called 'problem' horses.

This is so true - one of the best rides my DD had last year was on a horse at UGA that only has one eye (Nelson) and 90% of the turns were to his blind side. She adapted and was awarded an 85 or an 83 and won her team a point.

MY DD is a great example of a Varsity team member who has not placed at the Maclay's but has won several equitation classes and has ridden MANY different horses. She wasn't recruited by one of the top schools but her experience has still been great. A great school, academic program that she loves, partial scholarship and she is riding and competing on a regular basis. We are very happy.


You would think that a top rider would not want to ride for a college team, when they could probably continue to ride their own horses after high school at the big AA shows.

The reason might be the scholarship $$$ they receive that pays for all, or most, of their university fees.

ponymom64
Jun. 8, 2011, 04:10 PM
This is very interesting about how recruitment works. Since the format for NCAA is so different from what most top riders are used to doing, it is surprising that that the coaches look at riders that only ride their own fancy horses and not ones that ride a variety of different horses successfully. You would think that a top rider would not want to ride for a college team, when they could probably continue to ride their own horses after high school at the big AA shows.

Many of them do continue to show their own horses while going to college and competing NCAA.

Stoneheart Equestrian
Jun. 8, 2011, 04:14 PM
The problem with that is they are not supposed to accept their $$$$ winnings. This might be a big deterent for many to continue riding their own horses while in college.

Catch riding isn't a problem as long as you don't accept any remuneration.

musicinmotion101
Jun. 8, 2011, 06:14 PM
Thanks for the responses you guys. They are all greatly appreciated! (:

allicolls Aefvue Farms Deep South
Jun. 9, 2011, 12:25 PM
I rode at Auburn the first year it was an NCAA sport. Remember that Equestrian is a Title IX sport - which means much bigger rosters than the number that actually compete. Take a look at those rosters - not every team member won the AQHA World Championship or has had success in the Maclay, etc. However, 99% of the people actually competing do have the big time credentials. If you want to get to ride everyday, enjoy the camaraderie of the team, and take advantage of all the perks of being a major college athlete, give it a try. You do actually have a chance to send a tape, walk on, etc, with the understanding that, like any other sport, you have a chance to prove yourself. Just realize that as the sport increases in notoriety and top-notch riders now see it as a viable option, competition has gotten much tougher. I started in 2003, and we had some people with very little experience competing (people who had started in pretty low levels when the team was IHSA had stayed with the team when it went varsity...and had plenty of success because college riding didn't attract many of the superstars at that point). That's definitely not the case anymore, but there is still a small chance for a genuinely talented rider, who may not have had the opportunities to compete at the highest level, to work their way into the lineup. Good luck!

Giddy-up
Jun. 9, 2011, 01:50 PM
The problem with that is they are not supposed to accept their $$$$ winnings. This might be a big deterent for many to continue riding their own horses while in college.

I see NCAA riders showing & winning substanial prize money (ao jumpers & GPs) so there must be more to the rules.

Stoneheart Equestrian
Jun. 9, 2011, 02:16 PM
Giddy-Up - I know exactly what you are talking about. However, when my DD was recruited we were definately told that she could not accept any prize money, bursaries or any other equestrian scholarship type $$. If there was prize money won it was to be donated back to the competition.

Perhaps there is someone else on this board who has more knowledge of that ruling. I wouldn't know where to go to find the specifics.

sallysue
Jun. 9, 2011, 06:31 PM
You can win money, it just can't be more than you spend on the event( show fees, ground fees, hotel, travel, hauling, food etc.)

Tollriffic
Jun. 9, 2011, 10:37 PM
Actually money may be taken only in the off season i.e. the summer and may not exceed expenses. That's a new rule change from the past couple of years. The way the NCAA calculates expenses only includes certain things though. Whether or not those riders are actually following the rules and doing the proper paperwork depends on their compliance department.

Trilogy48
Jun. 10, 2011, 08:36 AM
Another vote for trying IHSA:yes: