Sonoma State’s Equestrian crew is likely one of the many hidden gems of the college. Established 13 years in the past, the crew has received many prestigious awards and skilled many Seawolves within the artwork of dealing with a horse. Present member Paige Hara even went on to earn the title of a nationwide champion simply final summer time.
Equestrian is an umbrella time period for any exercise that entails ability whereas each mounted and unmounted on a horse. The Sonoma State equestrian crew competes in two completely different disciplines: English using and Western using. Though the groups have fully completely different using types and present types, they each primarily concentrate on equitation, which is the place the athlete makes their experience look as easy as doable. The English crew makes use of a smaller saddle and practices abilities comparable to leaping, catch using and flat courses. The Western crew, nevertheless, makes use of greater saddles and practices horsemanship and reigning.
The crew welcomes Seawolves with none prior using expertise to hitch and encourages college students to step out of their consolation zone. Emma Williams, the equestrian crew’s treasurer stated, “If you happen to’ve by no means ridden a horse or should you’ve by no means even been close to a horse, you possibly can include us and we’ll train you every part that you must know.”
The groups’ total function consists of instructing and strengthening the right using types and disciplines of the Intercollegiate Horse Present Affiliation (IHSA). In addition they advocate for good sportsmanship, wholesome existence and inclusion throughout the equestrian group. The Captain for the Western crew, Paige Hara, stated, “Our objective is to herald anyone and everyone that’s excited about horses whereas additionally being as open and accessible as doable.”
Becoming a member of the Sonoma State equestrian crew is an effective start line for anybody excited about using horses, as the prices of classes and exhibits are cheaper than what most must pay for particular person classes. Nevertheless, as a result of the equestrian crew is a membership sport and so they get little or no monetary assist from the college, the members acknowledge that the associated fee might act as a barrier for college students excited about becoming a member of. Caroline Evans, the president of the membership and stand-in English captain stated, “One of many issues about our crew is that we’re individually funded so we as people pay for every part. We pay for classes, for attire and for exhibits. It’s all pupil run.”
The crew prides themselves on the wide range of athletes on the crew and are trying ahead to bringing in some range throughout the equestrian group. This yr, they welcomed a document variety of 4 males to the crew because the members have been predominantly ladies. The crew is moreover working in the direction of ending the stigma and misconceptions that encompass people who love these animals and this sport. Hara stated, “ A variety of stigma comes with being the bizarre horse lady and lots of people assume we’re usually Conservative or closed off folks, however that’s in no way what our crew is.”
The English crew’s first present is Oct. 23 and 24 at Stanford, and the Western crew is scheduled to compete at School of the Sequoias on Nov. 6 and seven. For a lot of riders, this would be the first time they compete. Christopher Sonntag, a primary yr, solely began using horses at the start of this college yr. Sonntag stated, “I really like the crew, I like every part that we’re doing and I’m excited concerning the future, particularly the exhibits.”
To study extra concerning the Equestrian crew, head to their instagram web page, @ssuequestrian.