Are you interested in competing on a riding team in college?
If you answered “yes” to that question, you have landed in the perfect place to begin your search!
The IHSA welcomes full-time undergraduate students, both men and women, to participate in both English (hunter seat equitation) and Western (Western horsemanship and reining) disciplines within a format designed for riders at all levels of experience. At all IHSA competitions, show hosts provide horses for competing riders, assigning horses via random draw. This format eliminates the expense of owning or transporting a horse and bringing intercollegiate equestrian competition within financial reach of over 10,000 college and university students each year in the united states and Canada. IHSA membership is open to all colleges, universities and junior colleges.
Currently, there are over 400 teams that are recognized by their institution as varsity or club under the umbrella of NCAA division I, II or III programs, NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) programs or NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) programs and other sanctioned academic and club sport programs. Click on IHSA Teams to find IHSA member colleges and universities located in each state.
University of Findlay competing at Otterbein University-hosted Zones in 2018. Photo by Heather Pinnick
IHSA shows incorporate both individual and team competition. Individually, riders accumulate points by placing in their classes at the shows and can earn the opportunity to qualify for Regional, Zone or Semi-Final competitions, ultimately reaching the IHSA National Championship. Similarly, teams compete for postseason opportunities, seeking to qualify for the IHSA National Championship.
Middle Tennessee State University at Nationals. Photo by Lisa Giris
WHAT LEVELS OF COMPETITION DOES IHSA OFFER AND WHERE WOULD YOU PLACE?
To determine the IHSA level that you are currently eligible for, download the Rider Placement Worksheet and answer the questions for each discipline. The last question that you answer “yes” to in each class will identify your competition level. Keep in mind this is a preliminary gauge. If you join an IHSA team in college, you will go through an official rider placement process. You will find a complete description for each IHSA class offered in the IHSA Rule Book under section VIII.
HUNTER SEAT CLASSES:
- Class 1 Introductory Hunter Seat Equitation
- Class 2A Pre-Novice Hunter Seat Equitation
- Class 2B Novice Hunter Seat Equitation
- Class 3 Limit Hunter Seat Equitation
- Class 4 Limit Hunter Seat Equitation Over Fences
- Class 5 Intermediate Hunter Seat Equitation
- Class 6 Intermediate Hunter Seat Equitation Over Fences
- Class 7 Open Hunter Seat Equitation
- Class 8 Open Hunter Seat Equitation Over Fences
- Class 11 Beginner Western Horsemanship
- Class 12A Rookie A Western Horsemanship
- Class 12B Rookie B Western Horsemanship
- Class 13 Level 1 Western Horsemanship
- Class 14 Level II Western Horsemanship
- Class 15 Ranch Riding
- Class 16 Open Western Horsemanship
- Class 17 Open Reining
IMPORTANT THINGS TO CONSIDER IN YOUR COLLEGE SEARCH:
- Academic programs you might be interested in
- The geographic location of the college or university
- Population and character of the school’s surrounding town or city
- Size of the student body
- Financial Aid
- Scholarship opportunities (academic and athletic)
- Plan a visit to the colleges or universities on your list
EQUESTRIAN PROGRAM AND/OR EQUESTRIAN TEAM OPPORTUNITIES:
- Riding discipline(s) offered
- Equine Studies, Animal Science, Pre-vet, or other related programs
- Athletic affiliation (NCAA Division I , II ,III, or NAIA, NJCAA, club or Academic)
- Coaching/Instructional staff
- Athletic recruiting process
- Riding team composition: size, varsity, club, or other
- Riding facility location (on or off-campus)
- Horse boarding opportunities
- Contact the equestrian team coach at each school on your list to introduce yourself and request information about recruiting process
- Prepare a resume of your riding accomplishments
- Prepare a short video of your best riding performance in a lesson and in a competition
- Complete the athletic recruiting questionnaire (if applicable)
- Visit the riding facility (it may be on or off campus)
- Make a good first impression!
CLICK ON IHSA TEAMS TO FIND IHSA MEMBER INSTITUTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA.
IHSA ZONE MAP