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riding facilities for these schools: Hollins, UVA, Clemson, College of Charleston

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  • riding facilities for these schools: Hollins, UVA, Clemson, College of Charleston

    Hi, I've narrowed my college search down a little more and was wondering about these schools as far as riding is concerned. Ive heard a ton about clemson and UVA (but always would love to hear more) already but not as much about C of Charleston or Hollins (on their riding teams/facilities). And, because I know someone is going to warn me, DON'T WORRY, I DIDN'T PICK MY SCHOOLS BASED ON RIDING ALONE education is my priority, but i still need riding in there somewhere. these schools offer both, and appeal to me.

    I was wondering about the general riding facilities, team's program, all that stuff. I'd like to know how far away the team's barn is from the school, how often they generally practice, what type of riders generally make up the majority of the team (i know these are IHSA teams so they will take anyone, except charleston which is technically NCAA but im pretty sure they operate club-style and do club shows, someone correct me if i'm wrong) and all that stuff. I want to be able to figure out which schools will take the most time out of my day for riding as far as the commute goes (as far as a barn thats an hour away opposed to one on campus or a few minutes away) because i still need time for studying and such.

    Also kind of off topic for riding, but could someone tell me if freshmen are required to live on-campus at any of these schools? (probably most, but i'm just wondering) Also, how are the underclassmen housing situations? I want to know what the chances of getting a single dorm are. I know you can basically pay for one at charleston and you get one, but I don't know if you can request one or pay extra like at charleston or something to that extent at the other schools, or if it's just random. I ask because i seriously do NOT want a room mate by ANY means. If i have to live in a unit of some sort where i'll have my own private room but im sharing a common living space like kitchenette and bathroom and stuff, whatever, fine, but i want my own bedroom with a lock on it. I know i'm being picky, but i know i won't be able to actually keep myself on track academically if i have to share a room with someone.


    I hope i wasn't unclear anywhere, i'm really tired right now but figured i'd post before i go to bed, because i probably won't get on the computer til later tomorrow night, and i figure this should get some response between now and then.
    (|--Sarah--|)

    Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3

  • #2
    I agree that sharing a dorm room is not usually much fun. My daughters went to UMD, College Park, and never had to live in the dorms. There is an apartment complex next to the University (University View) that has single rooms with private baths in each apartment and a secure garage for your car. I don't know if they still take freshmen in the complex. My daughters (dressage rider and eventer) came home to ride their horses, but I know there is a hunter riding program not too far from the school. My younger daughter's roommate keeps her horse about 30 minutes from school, but also has ridden with the school program.

    Comment


    • #3
      I can only tell you a little bit (as I write a novel...) about Clemson's program.. I didn't go there, but I was the lone Furman rider at the barn, so I got to see/experience what they did. The facilities, Sovan Hill, are absolutely wonderful!! There are two barns, an upper which is newer and houses 6, and a lower shed-row type barn, wrapping halfway around a paddock that houses 9 and pastures that house even more. There's a lovely covered ring and a big outdoor with sprinklers (trust me, that's important, esp. in July!!!). They just put in a "track" around the hill out back, so lots of opportunities for hill work and cooling out with great scenery. The turn out is wonderful and all of the horses they use as schoolies are the best you'll find anywhere, I adore all of them.
      Both Katie and Sarah Spainhour teach the team now, and both are amazing. Katie will be your coach, psychologist and friend throughout it all, no matter your ability and trust me, you can't be more of a pain in the ass at shows (absolute anxiety attacks) or nutcase than I was and she still loved me (or at least made it seem like she did, lol). I believe Sarah won some big huge IHSA award last year (I forget, it's on her facebook pictures...) and is a fabulous rider herself and a great person. She really, really helped me at a couple of FENCE shows, and even let me ride her fab mare Phyllis at one.
      The care the horses get is absolute top-notch. They care about your riding, but they care about the soundness and health of the horse first, which to me is paramount. However, when your horse goes lame for all 3 years you're with her, she'll find you things to ride. I got to ride a lot of the horses, including the late, great Cortino and the best Child/Adult jumper in the world, Hurricane Opal.
      Plus, the people there are the best at any barn I've ever been at. I love the people I ride with now, but Sovan Hill riders and horse show moms and dads are the best. Katie's 2 kids are my favorite children ever (well, one is a teenager now... ) and Mr. Mark (Katie's husband) is one heck of a cook, and I can guarantee you will get to know his food well. If you like fresh cooked breakfast at horse shows, I would choose Clemson..
      The riders on the team span all levels from walk-trot (I believe they had 2 a couple of years ago) to really advanced (Sarah had done the Prix de States as a junior, and another girl regularly rides/pins at Culpepper and other AA shows). But they're all wonderful and in my 3 years at the farm I never came across a stuck up or mean girl. I didn't meet all of them, but the ones I did meet were fun girls who loved to ride. The barn is about 35-40 minutes from Clemson (depending on who you car pool with... haha).
      OH! And you get Lauren as the fab BM who will keep your life organized and in order. When I moved from SC, I really didn't know how to operate. Can you forget how to fill out an entry form? Yes, you can!! I STILL have to text her for things and I moved, like, 8 months ago.
      So that's my "Go to Clemson! Ride with SH!" spiel. Sorry it's so long, but I really cannot say enough wonderful things about that place, I owe them so much. You will definitely learn more than you thought possible, and Katie is such an effective teacher. But here's the website for the farm, if you haven't already seen it: www.sovanhill.com

      Good luck with your decision, it's a toughie!! It sounds like you've narrowed it down to some good schools, too; congrats on having so many wonderful options!!

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm an '03 Hollins alumn, who rode and was an RA, so hopefully I can tackle both parts of your question

        The Hollins stables are on campus, but a bit to the back and up the hill from the dorms/academic buildings. Less than a ten minute walk from the dorms. You pay for lessons for the semester, twice a week. From there, you can express interest in showing, either regular shows or IHSA stuff, and there are additional practices/lessons for that at no extra charge. There was also "free riding" (basically hacking time on a horse of your choice) many weekends. I cannot say enough excellent things about all the coaches and the barn manager there

        Housing has changed a bit since I was there, as first-years no longer have the option of a single room (except for those with medical reasons), and a fee applies to those upperclasswomen who elect to have them. Unless you're a local Roanoker, off-campus housing isn't done. It's a small community, and the best way to be a part of it is to live in it. That's probably my only regret, actually--I wish I hadn't had a single freshman year, because it does leave you a bit isolated.

        You didn't mention what you're interested in studying. I was a Communication Studies major with a French minor (go abroad!!!) and a Film minor, so if you're looking at any of that, I'd be happy to answer any questions you want to PM me with
        A Year In the Saddle

        Comment


        • #5
          '04 Hollins alum here. Jen EM covered a lot of it.

          The levels of riding vary a great deal. They generally have classes separated into Beginner I, II, II, Intermediate I, II, III, and Advanced I, II, III. The only problem is that you 'self-rate' so frequently there are people in the advanced classes who..ahem...shouldn't be.

          The barn is well run, there is room for your tack, and the horses are really nice. It's great having all of the riding facilities on campus, too.

          I had a single my freshman year and I regret it. It keeps you isolated and makes it harder to really connect with friends. All students must live on campus unless they live locally or have a medical problem. This is the best decision Hollins could have made. It really makes you feel like part of a community. Freshman can have cars, which isn't the norm at all schools you'll find out.

          Upperclass housing is great. The apartments are fabulous and you can live there generally your jr. and/or sr. years. You can opt for a single room, which is what we did. At that point, you have friends, so it's nice to have some private space. The dorm rooms in West are all different shapes and sizes, but many are HUGE with HUGE walk-in closets. Great windows overlooking campus as well.

          Hollins riding is very competitive and you'll find they frequently do very well in IHSA and VHSA shows.

          I didn't go to CofC for undergrad, but I have taken some graduate classes there. It's really a city-school and is very different from that 'campus feel' that Hollins has. You should spend time at both to see what you like. Parking at CofC is a nightmare...

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm sure you've already been told, but the UVa team rides at the Barracks. It's about 15 minutes from Grounds and they have 2 lessons a week.
            As for housing situations, as a first year you have two options. You can live in Old dorms or New dorms. New dorms are suite style and Old dorms (which is the way better option, IMO) are hallway style. You *can* get a single but they are tough to get and all of the people I knew who lived in one regretted it. I didn't want a roommate either but ended up loving it and wouldn't change that experience for anything. It's a very social school and I think you'd miss out in a single. After first year, very few students live in dorms.
            First years aren't allowed to have cars. It isn't a school rule (well, it was for the first semester) but now it's an Albermarle County law. I skirted around it, but was paranoid all year.
            Academics-wise, you will get a phenomenal education. Keep studying though, admissions are tough! UVa is in the list of top 20 schools applied to (volume of admissions) and the admissions rate is like 33%. It's not a small school, but it's not a huge school either. You get the best of both worlds. Big school opportunities with the small school feel.
            The Grounds are gorgeous. Charlottesville is gorgeous. The students are all in love with their school and take great pride in it.
            If you have any questions or if you'd like to hear more of my totally unbiased opinion, feel free to PM me.

            Good luck, no matter where you decide to go.
            Beth
            Fenway Farm

            Comment


            • #7
              Hollins was one of my top choices going into my senior year of high school. (I later changed my mind went with a larger, public university). I LOVED Hollins when I visited. The school is beautiful and the riding facilities are terrific. Nancy and Sandy are top notch coaches. The horses are some of the best donations in the country and oftentimes pin higher than the privately owned Adult Hunters at the A shows in VA.

              I just wanted to comment that at Hollins you will really appreciate the proximity of horses. It's really nice to have the barn on campus. Not only does Hollins host hunter and IHSA shows on campus but the SWVHJA is very competitive and right in your backyard. Hollins attends the SWVHJA shows (which have a very fun year end show and medal finals night) and the A shows at the Va Horse Center in Lexington (which is also not far from campus). If you show on the IHSA team you'll compete most of the year at colleges within an hour drive of campus because Zone 4 Region 2 is a small geographic region with a lot of schools.

              Also wanted to mention that the Hollins girls are always recognizable at the shows. They are polite and curtious in the warm up ring, keep their tack stall and barn aisle neat and tidy and their horses are always groomed to the nines. And if all that doesn't give away who rides for Hollins the green and gold on all their monogramed coolers, jackets, vests, etc will.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                thanks everyone as always, would love to hear more from anyone else who can contribute
                (|--Sarah--|)

                Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3

                Comment


                • #9
                  This thread may be a good opportunity to alert some of you to a special event to be held at the USEF Old Dominion Horse show on July 17, 2009. A College Night dinner will be held at the Deep Run Hunt Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va. ( Richmond area) where prospective students and their parents can gain knowledge of the programs offered by many different schools in one location. Approx. 25 Colleges and Universities have been invited to give a presentation about their schools riding and academic programs for this evenings format. Approx. 10 schools will present following a buffet dinner. A final list of schools will be available around June 1st. These institutions will have coaches, recruiters and/or alumni available to answer all your questions and give great one on one time to young riders. Some will have coaches there all week to observe the candidates in action at the show. This event is free to all junior exhibitors and open to others as available at a small fee. To receive further information and an application form to attend as it becomes available you may email your name, mailing address and email Happymouthmedia@comcast.net Include a prize list request if you would like to attend the show.
                  www.midatlanticeq.com
                  Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival,Scholarships and College Fair
                  November 11-13, 2016

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Fenway View Post
                    As for housing situations, as a first year you have two options. You can live in Old dorms or New dorms. New dorms are suite style and Old dorms (which is the way better option, IMO) are hallway style. You *can* get a single but they are tough to get and all of the people I knew who lived in one regretted it. I didn't want a roommate either but ended up loving it and wouldn't change that experience for anything. It's a very social school and I think you'd miss out in a single. After first year, very few students live in dorms.
                    First years aren't allowed to have cars. It isn't a school rule (well, it was for the first semester) but now it's an Albermarle County law. I skirted around it, but was paranoid all year.
                    Actually, that has changed now, and you can not choose old or new dorms, just request a single or double. I'm a really weird sleeper and against everyone's (very good) advice, I got a single. First semester I was feeling it when everyone was going out with their ready-made group of friends, but once I got into a group, it was fine. Definitely not as social, though. Singles are hard to get and the majority of them are in Hereford, which is an additional 15 minute walk from central grounds directly up this massive hill, so you end up taking the bus everywhere. After first year, most people move off grounds, unless it's part of their financial aid or they're going to study abroad for a semester. Asfr the cars, I wrote a letter to the Dean of Students, office of residence life, requesting permission for a parking permit. I explained that I have a horse who is living about 30 minutes from grounds and that neither city nor university transportation can get me there, and it was no problem.
                    -Grace

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Parker Rider covered almost anything but I just wanted to add that I was on the Clemson team. It was a WONDERFUL group of girls, we all became very close friends. While it's a bit of a long ride out to the barn, we all carpooled and had a blast with it. Lessons were great. I was an open rider so I enjoyed enjoyed the privilege of riding the top horses in the barn. The horses are wonderful, the people are wonderful, and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything!!
                      Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                      My equine soulmate
                      Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheOrangeOne View Post
                        Actually, that has changed now, and you can not choose old or new dorms, just request a single or double. I'm a really weird sleeper and against everyone's (very good) advice, I got a single. First semester I was feeling it when everyone was going out with their ready-made group of friends, but once I got into a group, it was fine. Definitely not as social, though. Singles are hard to get and the majority of them are in Hereford, which is an additional 15 minute walk from central grounds directly up this massive hill, so you end up taking the bus everywhere. After first year, most people move off grounds, unless it's part of their financial aid or they're going to study abroad for a semester. Asfr the cars, I wrote a letter to the Dean of Students, office of residence life, requesting permission for a parking permit. I explained that I have a horse who is living about 30 minutes from grounds and that neither city nor university transportation can get me there, and it was no problem.
                        That's horrible. Augh. I can't believe you can't choose anymore. There is such a huge difference between the two. Tragic. I guess I went at a good time.
                        You don't live in Hereford, do you? I heard so many nightmare stories of people who had to live there for one reason or another. (Usually housing mishaps on the University's part or horror roommates) That's where we stayed at orientation and I knew that that I could never live there. Too far away from the action.

                        Does Albermarle still have the law against first year drivers? The county passed that my 2nd year (2001-2002) and I remember it being a huge deal for all of the incoming first years. I parked on JPA my first year(which was WAY more convenient for me) and just had to avoid the campus police for the first semester. I don't know that I would've been so brave had the law been in effect then.
                        Beth
                        Fenway Farm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Don't have much to add except that I'M GOING TO HOLLINS NEXT YEAR!!!

                          Sorry I'm just really excited hahhaa
                          Originally posted by MistyPony
                          In all my years of riding, gravity is the one thing that has never failed on me!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My daughter graduated from Hollins and rode on the riding team.
                            She loved the school, and is now an attorney in Tampa, Fl. Email me if you would like to get any further information from her. sugarpony@aol.com
                            Sandy
                            www.sugarbrook.com
                            hunter/jumper ponies

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm starting at Clemson in the fall. All freshman, with the exception of those who live with their parents within a small radius of the school, are required to live on campus. You also have to be on the team or in a horsemanship class to ride there, according to an animal science major/ tour guide graduating senior with whom I spoke while visiting. I was on the fence about Clemson (incoming transfer student) but after the advice of several COTHers who went entirely out of their way to help me get to know the school, after one visit I fell IN LOVE with Clemson. By in love, I mean that shortly after visiting I was reading the poem "Something in These Hills" out loud to someone and, much to my surprise, about halfway through got choked up. I'm waiting to hear back on my loan, and if Clemson becomes an unexpected no-go for that reason, it's off to another of your choices, UVA. (Also looked at C of C.)

                              I've been given a medical single at Clemson for the fall. Last semester I had an awful rooming situation at my current university- but I don't regret it. I think that if at all possible, a double should be tried at first. I moved to a single this semester and most people I tell that respond, "I wouldn't want a single!" even if they don't get along with their roommate. I think it's an important part of the college experience, and there is a LOT to be learned from it, even if it doesn't work out and after a while you need to relocate to a single.

                              If you've visited these schools, skip the rest:

                              C of C is IN Charleston. You should really, really think about if that is what you want. I go to a school in a huge city right now, a school that like C of C is just a part of a big city. It is not at all the same feeling as going to a school with a community-driven campus.

                              Clemson is Clemson (or, as the flags say, Town and Gown: One Clemson). The buildings are Clemson colors, the hotels have paw prints, and on home game days it becomes the largest city in SC. It's the stark opposite of C of C in that respect (large rural campus). Consider which lifestyle you prefer carefully before making your decision!

                              Good luck!
                              <><

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                It is icky. Thankfully I live right across from the chem building. Singles in old dorms are broom closets. My room is 6 by 14...
                                -Grace

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'm a Hollins grad ('01), and the riding facilities are really top-notch. I chose not to continue riding there because it was too hunter-focused, but since this post is in h/j land, I'm guessing that won't be an issue for you. I can't say a thing against the facilities, though, or the horses (as hunters - coming from riding dressage horses and eventers they were a bit of a shock for me! ). The riding program is very well-supported by the school, too, which is a definite bonus (I don't know how it compares in that respect to your other choices, but it certainly was much nicer than the accounts I've heard from others at other schools). Walking to the barn (you CAN drive, but I always walked, as did many students) will definitely help with the fitness.

                                  Students are required to live on-campus all four years (unless they are local residents or petition for an exception, which won't be granted except in, well, exceptional circumstances). There is a lot of variety in housing options, though, and I think the on-campus requirement is part of what makes Hollins a phenomenal experience.

                                  I also firmly believe that, those with medical needs excepted, everyone should have to live with a roommate (in the same room, not just an apartment) their freshman year at least. Even if you hate the idea, it builds community in a way that even apartment living doesn't (I've done both, and with "strangers") and it teaches you things about cooperation, decision making, picking your battles, and consideration for others that you really don't learn as quickly or well any other way. And, honestly, it's nine months. If you can't deal with communal living for nine months out of your life (assuming you don't have a truly evil roommate - and there are channels for getting out of a room assignment that is REALLY bad), then you are going to be in for a real shock when you find out the sorts of things you think you are going to intensely dislike but will have to deal with for YEARS in the workplace.

                                  Two other great things about Hollins (in my opinion, anyway ), one living-related and the other horse-related: first, there is no meal plan as such. You pay your room and board, and you eat as much food from the cafeteria as often as you'd like. Some people dislike this (because you can't not pay for meals you don't eat), but my life in college (where food was concerned) was much less stressful than my friends who had to choose meal plans and calculate each week how many meals that had/would eat.

                                  Second, HALF of Hollins students study abroad. This is the horse-related part, because it means that you can go to Ireland and study at the University of Limerick and ride at Clonshire for a semester - for the cost of your Hollins tuition/room/board plus the plane ticket (and whatever you spend in pubs and on travelling whilst you are there ). It's an absolutely fantastic experience (whatever country you choose to go to, actually) that is either unavailable or much harder to pursue at many other schools.

                                  Whatever you choose, I strongly encourage you to visit your prospective schools and spend a night on campus (any admissions office should be happy to arrange this for you) before you make your final decision. Actually visiting a school will give you a feel for the place and the culture in a way that none of us could ever achieve on a bulletin board.

                                  Good luck!
                                  Proud member of the EDRF

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by TheOrangeOne View Post
                                    It is icky. Thankfully I live right across from the chem building. Singles in old dorms are broom closets. My room is 6 by 14...
                                    Thank God (for you)! I was a Humphreys girl.

                                    Cville's relationship with UVa is very much like the one RoyalTRider mentioned Clemson has. Cville adores UVa and vice versa.
                                    Beth
                                    Fenway Farm

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      loved UVA!

                                      I graduated from UVA more than 10 years ago; loved every minute of the riding team and my education, and am still close friends with my riding team buddies! The experience was fabulous. I still miss Charlottesville!

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        thanks everyone, but has anyone anything to say about Charleston???? i haven't heard really anything about it on here.
                                        (|--Sarah--|)

                                        Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3

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