With the semester under way, the Judson College Equestrian Team is getting ready for the up-coming shows.There are only a couple of shows left in this season to qualify for regionals, so everyone is really trying to step it up and get those last few points. As part of getting ready for shows, our coach, Mrs. Jennifer, usually tries to have at least one clinician a year come in to work with us. This gives us the chance to work with someone different and hear another instructors perspective and opinion about our riding. This year, instead of having someone come to Judson to work with us, we are going to go to Auburn University and work with the coach of the Auburn University Equestrian Team and ride with their team members.
This is going to be an amazing experience for us to not only have instruction from a very talented coach and trainer, but also to work with the members of an NCAA equestrian team. And, because we are going to Auburn to ride, we will get to ride their horses. Having the opportunity to ride horses that we are not used to is always good, since we are an IHSA team that has to compete on strange horses that we have never ridden before. The more horses we ride outside of the show ring the more experience we have with different types of horse and different personalities of horses.
When Mrs. Jennifer announced that we were going to do this the first day of classes, we were all excited,but nervous at the same time. Some of us are a little worried about being up to “speed” by February 1st. This being said, we are all working our hardest during and outside of class to build our endurance and stamina. This includes riding a little longer during class and adding some additional workouts to our schedule. Today during class we decided that we were going to try to have a class yoga session on Tuesday nights to work on our flexibility and balance. We are also preparing by making the best of our time in class, like this past Tuesday when it was too cold to ride. We did an exercise where one person held a bit in her hands, close to her mouth, and was blindfolded while a second person held the reins attached to the bit the first person was holding and then guided them through a set of cones in the barn hallway, as if the blindfolded person was a horse and the second person was the rider. This exercise made us more aware of the importance of giving our horse clear guidance and cues.