Can I join the team if I have never ridden before?
Of course! We welcome all levels of riders into our club. We have show spots available for every level of rider, from walk-trot for beginners, to open for people that have shown in the highest levels of the sport. Riders are placed into divisions based on previous experience, show winnings and placement rides based on the first few weeks of lessons.
Do I have to compete?
What show circuit does the team compete with?
The IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association), zone 5 region 1.
We compete against teams such as Sewanee, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee Tech, Maryville College, Vanderbilt, Murray, Belmont, and more!
What riding disciplines are available to me through the team?
The hunt seat team (or english team) competes in equitation on the flat and over fences. This means that the rider is judged on their position and ability to navigate the course. Western competes in horsemanship and reining. Both formats are designed to judge the rider and not the horse.
Do I need my own horse?
While several members of the equestrian club do have their own horses with them at UT, the IHSA was formed to allow riders to compete at the collegiate level without having to incur the expense of owning a horse. The school that is hosting the show provides the horses, and riders in each class "draw" a horse out of a hat, then get on and compete. It is a unique and interesting format that forces riders to be able to handle a variety of horses, but also to think on their feet and learn to adapt while on course. The team has a variety of great horses that we use in lessons.
I grew up riding 4-H or AQHA, and really like riding both disciplines. Can I do both?
Definitely. While riding both seats takes up a greater time commitment, there are many people who have done it successfully and enjoy every minute!
Who is eligible for membership?
Members must be UT students and maintain a 2.5 GPA. Members and members at large are required to complete a community service credit, a fundraising credit, and a clinic credit each semester in order to remain in good standing with the club. Through IHSA we also offer alumni from ours or other schools the chance to ride and compete with us.