For over 15 years, the members of the Equestrian Club have been going to A Moment in Time, a farm that allows them to take lessons and compete in shows. The Equestrian Club has a little under 20 members, but it changes from semester to semester. They are in unique in that they don’t have regular meetings, but instead have weekly riding lessons scattered throughout different days; they schedule for whenever works best for an individual and will work with everyone that is interested to find a time that’s best for them. Every lesson even has a carpool, so no one needs a car to be able to ride.
The Equestrian Club is one of the few clubs that is really able to take advantage of SMCM’s unique location. A Moment In Time is an integral aspect in how the club operates. The club works very closely with the barn and its owner, Bobby Lindsey, who in turn works very hard to make sure every member has a great experience. With the exception of team lessons, there is little difference between club lessons and community lessons. In fact, the members of the club are able to get to know many of the local riders from St. Mary’s County.
The Point News spoke with sophomore Lauren Therriault, treasurer and secretary of the Equestrian Club, who told us, “the club works at and participates in local horse shows in the community and at A Moment In Time.” They often hold bake sales at the barn’s events and have riders competing in these local shows. Once a semester, the college hosts an event at A Moment In Time that invites community members to compete in a Horse Trials competition to support the club. Club members help with the setup and running of the event.
Therriault added, “The event is another great way to interact with the surrounding St. Mary’s community. In addition to being a club, there is also a team component. This semester there are eight people on team and we compete regionally in Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) competitions. Other schools in our region include Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland, Georgetown University, and American University.” She continued, “We usually have at least one rider qualify for Regionals every year, and a couple years ago a team member qualified for the Nationals competition. Team is just a subset of club, so the team members are also involved in all of the events that the club runs. In the past there has been a larger separation between club and team, often with little to no overlap between the two, but this year we have been working to change that and make it more of a singular, cohesive community.”
The Equestrian Club is also looking to have a bigger presence on campus. Therriault told The Point News that “anyone that is interested in riding should contact us. Lessons come out to be about $35 per lesson and run for at least ten weeks each semester. We take riders from all experience levels, even on team. I rode a horse for the first time last September. I came onto team with zero experience. We need riders to fill classes of all experience levels and I don’t think people realize that literally anyone can join our club. If you want to learn how to ride a horse, we want to help you achieve that.”