Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Team atmosphere? 
The Equestrian Team is a great opportunity to meet students with similar interest in horses and competition. It is an excellent team experience! We love what we do and love having fun, and encourage everyone to join us!

Who May Join the Team?

All students interested in competing in Hunter Seat Shows and in good standing with the college are invited to join the team regardless of ability level. No prior experience is necessary. Competing members are required to fulfill a minimum of three lessons a month. Show priority is based on dedication to the team and attendance at team functions. Riders interested in the team, but not ready to show may still participate as team cheerleaders!

How Often Do Team Members Practice? 

Team members are required to take one lesson per week with Coach Lindsay Vulich at Hollyhurst Farm. Further riding during the week is recommended and encouraged.

Can I Bring My Own Horse?
Hollyhurst offers full board (contact Lindsay Vulich for information). Show riders with their own horses are required to take lessons on other assigned horses in order to practice for the unique IHSA competition circumstance of having to ride an unfamiliar horse without warm-up.

How much will joining the team cost?

Costs for the team vary year to year, depending on the size of the team. Lessons are 1 hour, with Coach Lindsay Vulich and cost $60 per lesson. Participants are expected to pay $30-35 upfront for lessons. The remaining $30 is paid through the college. Riders who participate in shows are also expected to pay for their classes upfront, at a cost of $40 a class, and pay for membership in IHSA and USHJA. Traveling expenses, such as hotel overnights, are funded by our fundraising done each year. There are also may be dues each semester (about $30-50). Riders are expected to provide their own show equipment; however the team provides some equipment, such as show helmets, that can be borrowed.

IHSA

What Can I Expect at an IHSA Competition? 

Individual colleges host each event and provide the horses, which are paired with riders of the appropriate level by random drawing at the start of each show. Personal tack and schooling warm-ups are not permitted. Judging is based strictly on the rider’s ability to demonstrate a pleasing and effective hunter seat equitation position on an unfamiliar horse. (Horsemanship and reining divisions are offered by the IHSA, but Dickinson currently offers only hunter seat.) Levels range from Beginner Walk/Trot to Open 3′ Fences. (Although you may have ridden successfully above the 3′ level, the challenge of getting on an unfamiliar horse and instantly producing a single smooth round can prove to be a unique new test of your abilities.)

Who Does Dickinson Compete Against? 

We compete in Zone 3 Region 1. We compete against other club teams in our region. Riders will find themselves competing against challenging competition.

What is the IHSA’s point system?

Participants earn points based on the placing chart below. A rider can “point out” of their level if they receive 36 points throughout their college career except in Open or Alumni where you need 28 points to go to regionals. Points for flat classes and over fences are not cumulative. Riders in the Open & Alumni level restart their points each year, but the high point Open rider for the year automatically qualifies for Nationals. A rider’s ultimate goal is to qualify for regional’s and make it to Nationals.

Placing

Points Earned

1

7

2

5

3

4

4

3

5

2

6

1

At every show the team coach chooses one rider from each class to serve as the point rider. These individuals’ points contribute to the teams points.

IHSA Classes

There are 8 classes:

Walk Trot 1
Walk Trot Canter 2 (Divided into two parts: Less than 18 points – 2A; More than 18 points – 2B; same division, you just ride in a different set of classes at shows)
Novice Flat 3
Novice Fences 4
Intermediate Flat 5
Intermediate Fences 6
Open Flat 7
Open Fences 8

After graduating, riders can represent Dickinson by competing in alumni flat and alumni over fences classes in any IHSA region in the country.