Q: Where do we ride?
A: The club operates out of Willow Pond Farm in Toano, VA. The farm is about 20 minutes from campus and requires a car to get there. Because freshman and sophomores are not allowed to have cars on campus, underclassmen are grouped with upperclassmen in their lessons to ensure everyone has a ride to the farm. Willow Pond Farm is 90 scenic acres with a lit 150 by 250 foot outdoor arena, rolling hills and an eight-stall barn. Boarding opportunities may be available for club and team members, please contact Karen if interested.
Q: How much does is cost to ride?
A: The dues are $495 for the club and $595 for the competitive team each semester. Students who use their own horse in the program can negotiate with Karen for board and dues. These fees cover one lesson per week and coaching at all shows.
The IHSA team is considered a sport club at the College of William & Mary. Because of this, we receive minimal funding from the department of recreational sports. All fees not covered by the amount given to us from Rec. Sports so we must either pay ourselves, or earn through fund raising. Our main fundraisers include our home IHSA show held in the Fall as well as the annual spring W&M Equestrian Benefit Horse Show (a VHSA associate show). The club also organizes several smaller fundraisers on campus each semester.
Q: If I join the club, do I have to show?
A: No. The William & Mary Equestrian club has within it a club and a team. Both the club and the team ride together in lessons, but the team goes to the IHSA shows throughout the year. Club members still continue to ride recreationally in the weekly lessons at Willow Pond.
Q: Do I need my own horse?
A: At the IHSA shows, the host college provides the horses to be used in that show. The horse that each rider will compete with is determined randomly at the start of each show, taking into account the height of the rider. If a student loans their horse for use in the home show, their is no guarantee they will ride it. Riders may or may not ride the same horse in their hack and jumping class, but most likely will not. It is not necessary to own your own horse to take lessons and practice with the team. Our coach, Karen Greenwood, has horses that she gives lessons on. Usually, about three to five people have a lesson at the same time. Riders are grouped into a lesson by their riding ability and by their schedules. If a rider wants to bring their own horse, they should contact Karen.
Q: What other opportunities are there to participate as a team member?
A: Each year, William & Mary students have the opportunity to compete in another type of intercollegiate show, the Affiliated National Riding Championships. This is different from the usual IHSA format in several ways. First, competitors must provide their own horse--a mount on which they have practiced well in advance of the show. Second, the show takes place over three phases: a program ride (similar to a Dressage test), a cross-country or hunter trial course, and a stadium or medal-type course.
All three phases are judged purely on equitation, control, and the mastery of the principles of forward-seat riding as outlined by such greats as Vladimir Littauer. There is also a written horsemanship phase which is not included in the team total, but for which individual ribbons are given. Each school may field a team of 3-4 riders, plus individual riders may enter. The show location rotates from year to year to different host colleges within the organization. At William & Mary, most competitors provide their own personal horse, or are able to lease a horse from the program or private owners.
Q: Are there any guys on the team?
A: Yes, there are currently two gentlemen riding with W&M's program. More are always welcome!
Q: What if I'm a western rider?
A: At this time there is not enough interest in Zone IV Region 1 to hold Western classes in competition, but interested riders can contact us about future availability.