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What does it cost to show IHSA?

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  • What does it cost to show IHSA?

    Hey all,

    I am currently working with a group trying to get an intercollegiate riding team put together for a local university. We are still trying to get all of the details sorted out, but our biggest concern seems to be finding the right prices for lessons and dues. Obviously, the average college student doesn't have unlimited funds for these things. We want to set prices that are reasonable and comparable to other schools. As of now, this will be a club team with the hopes of becoming a varsity sport at some point in the future. So my questions are: For those of you who have been on an IHSA team...

    What did you pay for lessons and dues?

    How many lessons did you have per week?

    For those of you who had your own horse at school, did you get a discounted rate on lessons?

    Did you pay an additional fee for schooling at shows?

    What was the level of instruction? Did your coach have significant experience coaching at the upper levels?

    Thanks so much!

  • #2
    Hi, I was on IHSA in college and I thought I would chime in.
    What did you pay for lessons and dues?
    I think we payed something like $300 a semester (2005-2009).

    How many lessons did you have per week?
    At the time my college had an equestrian facility. During the course of my schooling it was closed down due to budget cuts. However, the trainer offered lessons for the team at 6am on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. She also offered two jumping lessons a week in the afternoon. In order to compete riders had to do one western ride a week, and one english ride per week. Jumping members had to do 1 jumping lesson in addition. Western riders were made to do english as well, and english riders were also made to do western.

    For those of you who had your own horse at school, did you get a discounted rate on lessons?
    At my school riders that had their own horse at the facility were not allowed to take lessons for IHSA on their own horse. This is because at a competition you draw a horse. Riding your own would not help in this department.

    Did you pay an additional fee for schooling at shows?
    Our trainer did not go to the shows with us. We relied on each other. At shows our team split gas, and hotels. The school let us use the school vans, but we had limited funding.

    What was the level of instruction? Did your coach have significant experience coaching at the upper levels?
    We had a very experienced hunter/jumper, dressage trainer. She was older and kind of out of the game, however, she was very sufficient for IHSA. IMO ISHA is very cautious about how much a rider can do. Their were people on my team that had a horse and jumped quite high. But because of their show experience or something like that she showed for IHSA at a much lower level.

    If you have any other questions I would be happy to answer them.


    • #3
      I ride IHSA for my school, but my answers might be bit different than your situation because my school has a farm and owns about 25 different english and western horses that are used for IHSA practice. Most of the horses were bred by the school for IHSA, although we also have a few donations.

      Each year we pay around $100 for team dues and IHSA dues to show. Practices are 5 days a week, although not mandatory except the weeks before a show. We don't pay anything for lessons since the school owns the horses.

      We don't pay anything at shows for schooling or anything like that. The school pays for all horse show expenses except class entry fees (which are really reasonable) and hotel expenses. We split the cost for hotel rooms.

      The coach is great. She is an alum so knows the whole IHSA song and dance and also showed before IHSA. I wouldn't say she has a lot of upper level experience but for IHSA coaching you really don't need a lot. The highest the jumps go is 3' in open.

      Another expense you might not have considered is show clothes. My team has an extensive wardrobe of show clothes for students to borrow. Many of the students, especially those showing at the lower levels, won't own show clothes which as you probably know are quite $$$!


      • #4
        I showed in IHSA from 2008-2012 and totally loved it. To answer your questions...

        1) I believe dues were $400 per year, and that covered administrative costs as well as something like one lesson per month. We were expected to lesson weekly (at least) with the team coach, so that was another $120 per month ($40/lesson) to factor in. I usually lessoned 2x per week. As a club sport, we also got some money back in the form of reimbursements from the club's fund - that was proportional to our involvement, so the more shows, lessons, and events you went to, the more money you could get back at the end of each semester.

        There were also some fees associated with registering with the IHSA and with USEF, I think, but they were only annual and weren't huge.

        2) People were pretty variable in terms of number of lessons per week. I usually did two - both group lessons so they were more affordable - and a private here and there. A lot of girls who boarded their horses elsewhere (our coach didn't have boarding at her barn) did not lesson nearly as much with our coach.

        3) No, because the team/coach's lesson barn was purely for training, not boarding (she had about ten lesson horses of varying levels there).

        4) I believe the fees at shows were $20 per class (up to two - one flat and one fences) and $25 for a day of coaching.

        5) Our coach had been with our team for years so was very experienced in coaching at shows. She had previously coached for another excellent school in the area, but as of the year before I started, she cut back to just my school's team. She came to almost every show, but she sent her assistant coach or had another school's coach work with us for the day if she couldn't be there. We were responsible for all travel to and from shows on our own, but we were never expected to be by ourselves at a show. Our coach always came in the warm up ring with each of us prior to our classes and coached from the sidelines during classes as well.


        • #5
          I can answer some of these questions, but a lot of people on varsity IHSA teams will not have answers for the finance question because as a varsity athlete, we don't pay for anything.

          How many lessons did you have per week?
          We have 2 lessons a week and are also required to hack a minimum of twice a week.

          For those of you who had your own horse at school, did you get a discounted rate on lessons?
          I have my own horse at school. I get to ride him in lessons paid for by the college (some, not all of my lessons) because I allow him to be used at our home shows and in lessons by other team members. So the school benefits from me riding my own horse because they get to use him.

          What was the level of instruction? Did your coach have significant experience coaching at the upper levels?

          My coach has over twenty years of experience, but not really any in coaching at the "upper level" (you may also want to define what you mean by this. Maclay riders? IHSA nationals?) Lack of experience at big shows doesn't diminish skill level, and she is one of the best trainers I have...better than other trainers that would be closer to having experience at upper levels.

          Hopefully this was at least somewhat helpful!


          • #6
            Former team captain and club president chiming in here. Our equestrian club was just that, a club, rather than a varsity sport.

            When I took the reins, the club was in a bit of financial trouble, thanks to what can most politely be described as a set of massive "oopses" by multiple people the year before. We had about $300 in our account from the previous year's fundraising, and, while we'd normally have gotten considerably more than this, the equestrian club (which also encompassed the team) received about $1500 in aid from the school.

            The first semester, we put almost the entirety of our school-granted funds and our $300 into reducing the cost of lessons (discounted already from our host barn.) We had about 30 people in the club; 12 of us competed IHSA. Dues were about $350. This included 10 lessons, 1/week during the semester. Those of us showing were also expected to join IHSA and USHJA on our own dime; some of the remainder of our club cash went into memberships for our trainers.

            The second semester, we had fundraised a pretty good amount of money, but in the interest of having something to kick forward into the next year, reduced semester dues only to $300. We fund raised a heck of a lot more and were able to pay for team activities through our fund-raising.

            None of us had our own horses at school. I did bring my own horse to the host farm to take a few lessons, and did not receive a discount, nor did I expect one.

            Those of us who showed all paid the trainer for training at shows, as we'd have done as any other kind of student.

            Our coaches did not have "upper-level" teaching experience, but were both well regarded in the area. Our main coach had worked and ridden for some bigger names but felt strongly that his calling was to educate horsepeople, rather than teach people to win ribbons, so he had chosen to teach a riding school rather than at a show barn.
            "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

            Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
            Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


            • #7
              I'm currently on my school's IHSA team. Because we have a facility on campus and riding is actually a class, the IHSA team is paid for by the college. Riding in general is paid for by a one time "block ride" fee, and you can choose how many rides you get. The smallest package will cover just lessons 2x a week. I'll answer your other questions, though!

              How many lessons did you have per week?
              We get 2 lessons per week as our "class," maybe with a different instructor. We have actual IHSA practice once a week, and we don't pay extra for that.

              For those of you who had your own horse at school, did you get a discounted rate on lessons?
              No, I pay as much as boarders not on the IHSA team.

              What was the level of instruction? Did your coach have significant experience coaching at the upper levels?
              We've been through 3 coaches since I've been here. The first had been the IHSA coach for 4 years, and came from a jumper background in NY. I believe he did ISHA in college. He was also an instructor in the school's program. After he left, we had an interm coach who had done IHSA for my school while she was in college. She is also the Director of Riding. She had previously coached IHSA for the college and coaches the ANRC team. The new coach is a new hire who coached IEA for several years and did IHSA in college. She was also an assistant trainer for a well known barn. The level of instruction in all three cases is pretty high, high enough to send riders to zones and nationals every year, and once the whole team.


              • #8
                I helped start a team from scratch this year. Pm me with your email and I can give you all our details


                • #9
                  Former team captain for a club-level IHSA team that rides out of a private farm a half hour from campus. Our coach is very, very good and has A-circuit clients as her primary business. Costs:

                  $400/semester for an 8-pack of lessons; additional $350 on top of that for a 16-pack.
                  $15 for each "practice ride" (school on the flat with captain or other upper-level rider supervision)
                  Show entries were $30/class by the time I graduated in 2011.
                  Each team member was required to fundraise $100/semester to help with the cost of hosting our own show and subsidizing the team enrollment fees/club team dues to the university.

                  Don't forget that now, too, all IHSA members must ALSO be USHJA members. That adds another fee on top.

                  IHSA is great but depending on how much your school pitches in, it ain't cheap. I think we got about $1,500/year from our Athletics department. They allowed us to take vans to each show, though, which helped on gas and vehicle costs.


                  • #10
                    I am the treasurer of an IHSA club-team. The way my school does it, club sports are allocated budgets and we are responsible for contracting and submitting paperwork for all of our expenses, and staying within our means.

                    This year, the budget was 18k, which was a cut from last year.

                    All team members pay an extra $350 per semester for lessons, but the school budget covers show fees and registration costs. We have a fairly large team and each show usually costs us $1000+, and then there are all of the little dues and stuff that IHSA collects, which definitely add up.

                    ETA: Our team had an average of 15-20 girls showing at each show, to give you an estimate of what the cost is per person.


                    • #11
                      I've been at two schools with IHSA programs and participated in both. So ill share my insight and differences.

                      School A was considered a varsity program with a very successful team. To be considered for the IHSA team you were required to take 2 lessons a week @ $1250 per semester, which turned out to be about 24 lessons. Riding is also offered as a PE credit and just to the general school as well for those interested There were no team dues as anyone in the riding program because even those taking it as a PE credit were eligible for the team and that's a lot of money to round up from 120 girls. At the beginning of the year they ask interested riders to come to a meeting and talk About Ushja and IHSA memberships and we had to pay that on our own.
                      If you owned your own horse there was no discount but one of your 2 lessons was on your horse. Normally everyone has a flat lesson Monday or Tuesday and a jump lesson Wednesday or Thursday.
                      We didn't pay any coaching, entry, hotels, or anything thing. They actually would give us lunch/dinner money depending on long we would be gone.

                      School B was a much smaller program. You were supposed to commit to 10 lessons a semester @ $30 a lesson but pay as you go. No team dues but still had to pay Ushja and IHSA. We had to transport ourselves to the shows and paid our entries and coaching was $100 per person. I don't know if you got a discount for boarding a horse there as I did not.


                      • #12
                        Seems to be a lot of variability here. My experience: $1600/semester for lessons, but lessons are 2x times per week and you essentially get unlimited free riding with that. (Not truly unlimited, of course, but I ride 4-5x a week and can ride 2 or 3 horses each time, usually). Annual team dues are $150. Its expensive for a student, but we have amazing trainers & horses so it really feels like a deal to me in the end. No additional fees for IHSA shows (except for maybe initial registration?) and I think the team tries to cover all ANRC costs too. No boarding discounts, but there is a student package price if you want to show one of their horses in one of home schooling shows or the like.


                        • #13
                          What did you pay for lessons and dues?
                          Dues were $450 for a team of about 50 riders, including 10 1-hour group lessons a week. IHSA membership costs were included in that $450. The cost of each class shown in ($25/class, max of $50/day) is NOT included in dues.

                          How many lessons did you have per week?
                          We had 1 one-hour long group lesson a week.

                          For those of you who had your own horse at school, did you get a discounted rate on lessons?
                          No. I have two of my horses at the farm where the IHSA team rides. Lessons are not discounted, but the convenience of having my horses there was worth more than a discount (in gas money alone). Lessons are inexpensive at this barn compared to home.

                          Did you pay an additional fee for schooling at shows?
                          No, this is where the additional unaccounted money from dues goes to.

                          What was the level of instruction? Did your coach have significant experience coaching at the upper levels?
                          Yes. The coach is very knowledgeable. In the realm of IHSA, she has brought our team to nationals for the past 8 years. I've personally watched a rider begin in novice fences to competing as our region's Cacchione rider under our coach's instruction.