University Equestrian Clubs

 

The start of the new academic year is almost here, and for anyone who is off to university, it’s an exciting time. You might be feeling excited but also nervous, and you’ve probably got 101 things you need to think about before moving into student accommodation! For horsey students, heading to university may mean selling or loaning out their beloved horse, whilst others may be able to take their horse with them. If you aren’t studying an equine course, you may be concerned about how you will be able to keep riding.

Many universities have an equestrian, riding or polo club that’s run by students. This blog article outlines what it’s like to ride with a university equestrian club and why it’s worth getting involved!

 

Joining a University Equestrian Club

Most universities hold a Freshers’ Fair at the beginning of the academic year. This is where you can go and meet the people running the various clubs and societies, and sign up for taster sessions and team trials. It’s worth popping along to see if your university’s riding club is there and ask them any questions you may have. 

It’s also a good idea to look online and check social media as your university equestrian club may have a website or social media profiles. It’s worth asking them questions such as what kinds of lessons they offer, how much they are and what equipment you should bring with you. 

 

Can I Ride if I’m a Beginner?

Usually, university equestrian clubs will take beginners. Student unions are very keen to promote engagement in sport, so it’s likely that most sports clubs will have to allow beginners to join. What’s really important is that you are honest about your level of experience so you can be offered the right lessons. 

 

Will I Get to Compete?

A lot of university equestrian clubs have a team that competes either in friendlies or affiliated BUCS (British University & College Sport) competitions. Most university equestrian competitions consist of a dressage round (this was prelim / novice level at my uni) and a showjumping round of around 80cm. It’s worth noting that BUCS does not allow anyone to compete on their own horse because it is deigned to be accessible to everyone. Instead, you will ride a horse from the host riding school and compete against the riders from the other team(s) who will also ride the same horse. 

 

Volunteering for a University Equestrian Club

The success of a university club or society depends entirely on the committee. University clubs are affiliated to the university’s student union and are run by students. Therefore, it’s really important that people are willing to volunteer their time and skills to help manage the club. Depending on your student union’s rules, the club will usually require a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, as well as someone to manage the teams, organise events and competitions, run lessons and manage the social media and marketing. 

 

Heading off to Uni? Remember Your No Horse? No Problem! Lesson Journal!

If you’re going to ride with a university equestrian club, then be sure to get yourself one of my lesson journals! You can use it to keep track of your riding lessons whilst at uni, even if you’re spending time away from your own horse. The Lesson Journal is for all riding school clients, regardless of whether you are a total beginner or advanced rider.