Join Our Team
What is IHSA?
IHSA, the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, provides collegiate riders of all skills the opportunity to compete individually and as teams in equestrian competition. It was founded on the principle that any college student should be able to participate in horse shows regardless of his or her riding ability or financial status. We compete against other colleges in our region (Zone 1, Region 2).
What are the requirements?
Riders must have an approved helmet, tall boots, and gloves. Riders who wish to show must have breeches, show coat, show shirt, and belt.
What are shows like?
IHSA shows are a bit different from normal horse shows. We travel to other collegiate barns in our region where we compete on the hosting school's horses with their tack. Horses are chosen by random draw and riders don't get any warmup time. The theory behind this structure is to equalize variables of the competition and test the horsemanship of the contestants. Classes range from walk/trot for beginning students to the Open Division for the more experienced riders. We travel together as a team and usually stay at a team member's house who lives close to the horse show. These shows are a true bonding experience for the team members and are really fun!
Riders competing in each division may earn points both for their team and as individuals. Team points are used to determine the champion team of the show (and cumulatively to determine the yearly regional champion) while individual points are accumulated, allowing riders to move up divisions as well as qualify for Regional, Zones, and National competitions.
Do I have to show?
No. We encourage all of our riders to support the team by traveling and competing with the team to horse shows. However, if you only want to ride and take lessons, you are not required to show.
How often will I ride?
All team members are required to take at least one lesson a week with Coach Steph Plaisted. Many members take two lessons a week. The more you can ride, the better!
Are there fees to be on the team?
As with most aspects of equestrian, there is some financial responsibility that comes along with being on the team. Riders are currently responsible for paying for their own lessons which must be prepaid ahead of time. Dues at the beginning of the year cover our team dinners and team building activities. Bates College generously pays for all of our horse show fees, membership fees, and coaching fees at the horse shows.
Do I need my own horse?
No. Team members ride an assortment of well-behaved, quality horses at Greystone Stable, many of whom are privately owned. However, if you do have a horse you would like to bring with you to college, please contact us for more information.