I have always wanted to ride but have never taken lessons.  Can I still join the Equestrian team?

Yes! The IHSA is set up to provide an opportunity for all riders to participate.  Even beginners are able to show in walk/trot classes, so the Bowdoin Equestrian team is looking for all levels of riders.  Lessons at Stonewall Stables are available for all skill levels on safe lesson horses.  If you love horses and would like to learn how to ride, you are welcome to participate in the Bowdoin Equestrian Team.

Do I need my own horse to ride at Bowdoin?

No, you do not need to have a horse to ride either in lessons or shows.  Lessons at Stonewall Stables may be provided on lesson horses, while horses are provided by the host barn at IHSA shows.

If I have my own horse, can I bring it to school?

Sure! Stonewall Stables offers boarding and there are a number of other barns located around Brunswick that we would be happy to give you more information about.  Full board in Maine is around $400 – $600.  There are many different types of facilities available which suit all styles of riding, from Western to Hunter or Eventing.

How much does Equestrian cost?

Because the team is a club sport, participants are expected to pay some of the fees associated with riding.  These include lesson fees and USHJA memberships and totals approximately $1,500 a year.  The Equestrian team does receive funding from the Student Activities Committee, which alleviates some of these costs.  For students on financial aid, additional funding is available for lessons and show fees.
Are there tryouts for the team?

No.  The Equestrian Team accepts all levels of rider, regardless of experience or physical ability.

What are IHSA shows like?

Bowdoin Equestrian competes in Hunt Seat against other schools in Zone 1 Region 2 (Bates, Colby-Sawyer, Castleton, Dartmouth, Middlebury, University of Maine, University of New Hampshire and University of Vermont ). IHSA shows are designed to level the playing field for riders by having riders compete on randomly assigned horses provided by the host school.  Riders may compete in both flat and over fences classes according to their assigned division.  The IHSA division requirements are as follows:

Walk-Trot – No more than 24 weeks of instruction. Never cantered or loped in a competition.

Beginner Walk-Trot-Canter – More than 24 weeks of instruction, must not have competed in a show that required them to jump more than 18″

Advanced Walk-Trot-Canter – Must not have jumped 2’9″ or higher in any competition prior to registration, must not have competed in any recognized shows.

Novice Flat & Fences – Must not have won more than five Hunter Seat Equitation classes on the flat in recognized shows. Must not have won more than six classes in any over fences classes at 3′ or higher.

Intermediate Flat & Fences – Have won more than six Hunter Seat Equitation classes on the flat, must not have won more than six classes at 3’6″ or higher.

Open Flat & Fences – Have won more than six classes over fences 3’6″ and higher in recognized competitions, have won more than six hunter seat equitation classes on the flat.

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 and Zonal competitions.

What if I want to ride but do not want to show?

All active team members are asked to show throughout both the fall and spring semesters.  We understand that we’re all busy at school and want to experience the range of activities available at Bowdoin, so riders are not required to attend every show, but should either be attending the shows that they can make it to or working towards showing depending on their previous horse experience and ability level.

I am a prospective Bowdoin student.  Who should I contact about visiting or just learning more about the Equestrian team?

We would love for you to come out and see us at Bowdoin!   Whether you wish to see the barn or just talk to some of the members of our team, feel free to contact Carly Lappas at clappas@bowdoin.edu or Gillian Kramer at gkramer@bowdoin.edu  for whatever questions you may have.


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