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riding in collge

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  • riding in collge

    I know there are currently a lot of posts going on about this but... do kids really have to be showing big eq to have a chance at riding for an NCAA team?
    i mean NCAA teams for other sports (team sprots-football,baseball,ect.) have kids from smaller towns who haven't necessarily been on national championship teams but who are great players who are starters every year.
    i understand that local show only experince won't always prepare a rider for that level of competition but a parent souldn't have to be able to spend huge sums of money to allow their child to be able to get a scholarship otherwise what is the point of it being a scholarship!
    i guess i am saying could a child riding in state rated shows "GHJA" or any other state h/j assoc. qualify for this type of scholarship?

  • #2
    The good news is that your child doesn't need to ride in the Big Eq or show nationally to ride on a college team. In fact, if she goes to a college with an IHSA program and she has showed well at unrated shows, they can put her in a lower division. This was the case with me and I got to go to IHSA nationals twice. For the NCAA programs, she would have to be comfortable showing at 3'+ since that is the minimum height (I believe).

    Without showing at big shows etc she might not get offered a scholarship right off the batt, but I was a walk-on my freshman year and by my second semister I had a scholarship.

    Basicly, college teams are really looking for a good solid rider who has a great work ethic and can successfully ride a wide variety of horses over equitation style courses.

    Good luck. And if you have some more specific questions, feel free to PM.
    The stirrups aren't just "home," the damn things are in the storm cellar.


    • #3
      As I have said on the other threads we have several girls from our barn riding on NCAA teams. Out of those girls I only know of one that has a substantial scholarship. She was the one that did compete in the BigEq and large junior hunters. I know that one of the other girls competed and did well in our local organization and she did hunters and eq up to 3'3". She goes to a different university than the first girl and she got a small riding scholarship I believe.

      I also know that each university decides how to hand out the scholarships. Many of them spread the money around to as many of the girls as they can. It is very competitive just getting into these programs. We are fortunate that DD has a nice horse now that excels at hunters and can also do the BigEq. We are watching our dollars but will pick and choose the AA shows over the next couple of years so that she can hopefully do well at 3'6" to boost her resume for when she applies to colleges.


      • #4
        Yes, they can qualify for such a scholarship IF they are a talented rider. Look up the news articles on the new scholarship kids on the team for the school you are thinking about. They typically list each rider's accomplishments, I think you will find almost all have competed bigeq but a few are just consistent state org. riders.

        ETA: I go to Auburn, but am not on the Equestrian team because I had too many horses to sell and they REALLY discourage you from bringing a personal horse to college; it just wasn't a good fit for me as my heart is really in Jumpers and not Eq. A word of warning: be prepared (@ AU at least) to run 1.5 miles in under 12 or 13 minutes...a few friends have been sorely disappointed to not make the team because they couldn't make the run time.


        • #5
          SkipChange - Thanks for telling me about running 1.5 miles in less than 12 to 13 minutes. I will tell this to me DD when she is complaining about running the mile at school (which she always does well at!). If I say to her that she better keep it up in highschool if she hopes to ride in college then maybe she will stop complaining about it.


          • #6
            The timed mile is pretty standard at a lot of schools. Ours is 8:30 for one mile. Anyone trying out has to run it but they don't cut people based solely on the time. When we run it as a team and you don't make it you get put in breakfast club running at 5:30 am during the week. Be aware that the workouts are pretty intense. The team I'm on works out 3 days a week and about once a week we do sprints on the football field. I guarantee you that field looks a lot longer at 6am then on game day and by the time you get to that 15th sprint across 20 seconds from endzone to endzone doesnt feel like enough time. Otherwise we do lots of abs and some weights. Between riding, workouts, study hours and other team requirements it a very large commitment.

            If you ride well you have a good chance of getting on most of the smaller teams even thought it may be as a walkon. However that still gives you the chance for scholarship money in the future. A lot of it will depend on the individual coach and their preferences along with what riders they need to recruit to complement the team they already have.


            • #7
              Tollriffic--thanks for the insight. I think it is so cool that equestrian teams are getting the funding and being run like other sports through the NCAA format.


              • #8
                If she has never done the big A shows and she's not doing the 3'6" eq classes and consistently doing well, than honestly she probably won't make an ncaa team. im a freshman in college and I didn't do the huge shows but I did do fairly well at the A and AA shows. When I talked to some ncaa coaches from different teams, they seemed clear that they recruited most of their riders. I was looking at schools for the academics, NOT the riding programs, but I was interested in riding on a team and 98% of the riders no the ncaa teams were on the bates eq list. I'm now at a good school with a really good ihsa team, and I love it! It's a very competitive team and all of the riders on the team are good, but it is fun and not as intense as ncaa teams. unless she wants to spend all of her time at workouts and practices, I wouldn't go for an ncaa team. all of the people that I know on ncaa teams are struggling with the team and school, because of the time commitment.


                • #9
                  If you haven't competed in the 3'6", there's always a chance you can make the team as a walk on. I only did the 3'3" stuff locally and the 3' stuff at the A shows and was able to walk on. I worked hard my first year and was able to earn a 50% scholarship.

                  As far as the running, I've never heard of a team cutting people because they couldn't make the run time.


                  • Original Poster

                    thanks everyone for all of our input! i think the time commitment will not be a problem for her at all! She spends all of her summer at the barn 8 hours a day and wants to be a professional horse person.


                    • #11
                      So what happens if you physically can't run that fast? are you able to make a team at all?


                      • #12
                        Not all NCAA teams have the same criteria, the big guns like Auburn won't even look at a rider without Big Eq experience, however there are a few other programs that will evaluate and consider riders who do not have huge long horse show resume's.

                        The NCAA teams treat their riding team like any other real college sport, and demand that their riders train like the rest of their athletic teams. Students who accept those scholarships need to be prepared to train like athletes and conduct themselves accordingly.

                        There are also a handful of colleges with varsity teams, who offer scholarships, and compete in the IHSA, where there are more levels of competition.

                        THere are a couple of groups who offer clinics to college bound riders to help them sort out their collegiate riding opportunities.

                        Equestrian Talent Search and the College Bound invitational come to mind.

                        Do your research, and good luck
                        West of nowhere