At MSU we have many different student organizations, clubs and teams. It is easy to lose track of how many there are. VIM is here to put the spotlight on a club which a ton of Spartans might not know about: the MSU Hunt Seat Equestrian Team.
The MSU Hunt Seat Equestrian Team is a club which really acts more like a team. The group of approximately 30 women and men has tryouts every year before their showing season starts. The different divisions of riders are then determined, and members soon find out if they’ve made the team or not.
Congratulations! You’re now apart of the MSU Equestrian Team. Now what? What does this mean? What will you have to do?
First of all, for those who aren’t familiar, there are many different styles of riding. Western and English are the main ones, but the list goes on! The Hunt Seat Team focuses on the English style of riding.
During the school year, the team will compete in shows throughout their region, which is located within central to lower Michigan. Shows typically last the entire day from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and are hosted by a different school each time in the region.
They compete in classes on the flat (aka not jumping) and over fences. Riders are judged on equitation, which is their form while riding. Usually, a single judge will watch each rider go through their course over fences, but will look at a group of around four to eight riders while judging on the flat. They determine which rider has the best equitation and then the placings are divvied out accordingly.
Just this past year, Michigan State placed 10th in Nationals at the Kentucky Horse Park, which was the first time anybody from that region has qualified to go. They plan on competing in Nationals again this year, which will be hosted in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
And that’s really it! The team has a bunch of social events outside of going to shows. Typical activities include movie nights, blanket making, holiday parties, hayride and more! Many members join for their shared love of horse riding, but stay for the fun events and lifelong friends made through the team.
If you’re interested in joining or just want to learn more information, check out their Facebook page.