Fashion riding boots are just catching on as the next big thing in cold-weather wear. But almost 30 SMCM students were sporting this footwear long before it was “cool.” However the boots of SMCM Equestrian Club members are less likely to make a fashion statement and are more likely to be covered in mud from marching into soggy fields to catch stubborn ponies.
For over 15 years, the members of the equestrian club have been going out to A Moment in Time Farm to take lessons, learn about horses, and compete in local shows. The barn’s generous owner, Bobby Lindsley, works hard to ensure every club member has a fun and productive experience on a horse. The variety of horses and instructors at A Moment in Time allow everyone from first time riders to advanced riders to participate in the equestrian club. Even our club advisor rides at A Moment in Time on his own horses. Since our club is so linked to the local riding community, we try to give back by volunteering at the Melwood therapeutic riding center and hosting our own shows and activities for local riders.
Many of our members also compete inter-collegiately as a team under the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. We have to practice hard because we don’t just compete against other club teams, but also against varsity teams from schools with on-campus equestrian programs like those at University of Maryland and Goucher College. Last year, we found a promising coach who we had hoped would guide the SMCM team to great places. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be and her husband’s new job required her to move. But who was there to pick up the reins? None other than SMCM graduate, Ashley Bailer. Thanks to her quick action, our team didn’t miss a beat. With the help of our talented members, our supportive local riders, and our new coach, we are now in a good place to host an official intercollegiate show – an important step to becoming one of the region’s top teams.