Mason Equestrian Club Goes to Regionals / Zones
Posted: April 21, 2015 at 1:22 pm
This year five Equestrian Club members qualified to compete at Regionals with one rider, Meghan Collins, finishing in first place and advancing to Zones.
Meghan says, “Winning at Regionals with Sue Buscher, my college coach as well as my personal coach, was special.” She adds, “And going to Zones was pretty cool because I got to see riders from schools from the rest of Virginia as well as from North Carolina.”
Although Meghan has been riding with the Equestrian Club since coming to Mason as a freshman, this was her first time competing at Zones. She, along with nine riders from other schools competed together in the Advanced Walk / Trot / Cantor class.
The riding style, equitation, judges riders and their horses in walk, trot and cantor. Typically, the horse is unknown to the rider and is presented to him or her only minutes before being judged. Riders are provided limited information and essentially learn their horse during judging. While in the ring, riders are individually judged on their ability to communicate with their horse, their posture and position, and their ability to make the ride look smooth and effortless.
Meghan says the day of Zones was very cold, windy and snowy at times, so she attributes that to her horse’s behavior during their time in the ring. Even with the pre competition advice she received from the founder of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), Robert Cacchione, she knew that once her horse started flipping its head it would be hard to score high. Her goal was to simply enjoy the competition.
She says, “Horses teach you a lot – patience, perseverance, and how to connect with another animal. I’ve been thrown to the ground, but when that happens I get back on and keep riding.”
As a senior, she’s seen the Club grow to be competitive and thinks they’ll continue to do well. She adds that it’s been fun competing with one of her best friend’s, Whitney Morcom, and says that between her being President for two years and Whitney being a member of the Club Sports Executive Council, they’ve been able to make some positive changes to the Club.
Meghan will graduate Fall 2015 with a degree in Community Health.
by Jennifer Lehman, MS RYT