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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Carleton has an equestrian team?

<ir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-a1ac7776-5454-0b5c-b631-b197117f89c7">Among many other things, Carleton prides itself on the diversity of the student body and each student’s different experiences and perspectives. Because of this, some students find the time to participate in specialized sports that might not be mainstream to the rest of America. Carleton offers a wide variety of varsity, club and intramural sports in which the student body can take part. One of the more unique opportunities that Carleton offers is the club equestrian team.

Carleton first had an equestrian team in the 1920s in an effort to expand the women’s physical education department. In its heyday in the 20th century, the team had over 100 members. Unfortunately, the funding for the program grew scarce in the middle of the 20th century and the program was eventually disbanded. The program ultimately started back up in 1985 and has thrived for many years now.

The team has around 15-20 members who regularly participate. Erin Young-Dahl, a member of the equestrian team stated, “something that we really strive to do is make riding accessible to whomever wants to try.”

According to Young-Dahl, who is also the club’s treasurer, “Most of our funding from the school goes towards offsetting the cost of lessons, so members end up paying only 2/3 of the cost of a riding lesson.”

Young-Dahl said that because “horses are expensive, we try to offer a more affordable program for interested students.” The funding from the school along with payment schedules created by the club allow the team to increase affordability and accessibility to all Carleton students.

The team trains weekly at the Apple Treat Stables with Melissa Fox. Located about 20 minutes off campus, the school provides transportation to students in order help them practice for competitions. All team members participate in a weekly lesson at the stables where they work with the horses and prepare for their upcoming competitions in the Inter-Collegiate Hunt Seat Association (IHSA.)

On the competition side, the team plans to compete in the IHSA this season after taking a 2 year break from the competition in the league. Although the team hopes to be competitive and get results in the IHSA, the team is also always happy to have newcomers join the club.

Team member Caroline Foster said, “We are welcoming to all levels whether you have been riding for 15 years or never sat on a horse before.”

Other than competing in the IHSA this winter, the team has plans to try and increase interest in the club and riding in general. Erin Young-Dahl said that the team is “planning on bringing back ‘Horses on the Bald Spot’ during spring term, where [they will] bring a couple of horses to campus and ride around the Bald Spot one weekend in May to stir up some interest in riding!”

The good competition the team will face in the IHSA, along with the plans to bring horses onto the Baldspot for all students to enjoy, are just some of the many exciting plans upcoming for one of Carleton’s most unique club sports.

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