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College Riding Teams

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  • College Riding Teams

    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?


  • #2
    Umm...UCLA is the best for IHSA, obviously!!

    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!


    • #3
      What about Mount Holyoke? They are always in the top. Findlay was good also.


      • #4

        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!


        • #5

          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.


          The knowledge of the nature of a horse is one of the first foundations of the art if riding it, and every horseman must make it his principal study.
          ~Francois Robichon de la Gueriniere


          • #6
            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.


            • #7
              Cazenovia college, great equine business program and riding team!


              • #8
                UGA or AU

                University of Georgia or Auburn University.


                • #9
                  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.


                  • #10
                    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.


                    • #11
                      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.


                      • #12
                        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.


                        • #13
                          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

                          Confessions of a Cool Kid! <--- check out my blog (:
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                          • #14
                            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.


                            • #15
                              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
                              “It's about the horse and that's it.” - GM

                              !! is the new .


                              • #16
                                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.


                                • #17
                                  mount holyoke is definetly good. university of georgia is top top top! & university of south carolina i heard is good


                                  • #18
                                    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! )
                                    Mt. Holyoke
                                    College of Charleston
                                    Drew U
                                    Ithaca (have a friend who goes here on the team)

                                    Check out varsityequestrian.com.


                                    • #19
                                      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!


                                      • #20
                                        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!