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A Horse, Of Course!

McKenna talks about the Equestrian team and some of the cool things they do.

McKenna talks about the Equestrian team and some of the cool things they do.

Carleton has an equestrian team.

I absolutely love to ride horses, so I was thrilled to hear that! I used to ride in middle school, but by the time I got to college, I was pretty rusty. (There aren’t many horses in the DC suburbs.) So coming to Carleton, I made sure to find the Equestrian team as soon as possible.

McKenna saying hello to some horses
I rode for a while in middle school, but my barn moved and I wasn’t able to continue in high school.

How to find us!

Every year, we have a huge club fair with representatives from almost every club on campus.  These clubs range from Bridge Club to the a cappella groups. Some club sports also have tables, including the Equestrian team. Everyone spreads out on the Bald Spot and students walk around signing up for mailing lists. It’s pretty common to sign up for a lot of activities, then gradually decide which ones you want to keep doing.  

Once I was on the email list, I started to hear about fun team events. My first event was a casual meeting in a townhouse. I loved meeting other members of the team, and the snacks were definitely a highlight as well! Everyone was extremely welcoming and I felt a lot more comfortable afterwards.

McKenna posing with her Carleton Equestrian hoodie
Later that year we got some awesome team gear!

Getting (Back) on the Horse

Every term, we set up weekly lesson groups. I usually do one lesson per week, but some people like to do multiple. Each lesson is about three hours long. That time includes transportation to the barn and preparing for the lesson.

We focus on the English riding style but we do lots of different things within that style. I’ve gone galloping through the snow and jumped over some creative cross-country obstacles. Our trainer is incredibly friendly and very knowledgeable. She is great at working with people who have never ridden before as well as people who are really, really good at it!

A horse with a bridle standing in an outdoor ring
Lesson time!

Team Events

Aside from weekly lessons, we like to do a few social things as a team. In the spring of my freshman year, we had a sleepover in the barn. My favorite part of that event was our late night ride. It was absolutely one of the highlights of my year!

We also do events on campus. Every week, we have a team dinner in the dining halls. During my first year, we made horse treats together. Sometimes we organize horse-themed movie nights, which are always really fun! My favorite on-campus event, though, is definitely “Horses On The Bald Spot.” We bring some horses (and sometimes a goat or two) to campus so students can say hello!

A horse and rider mid-air over a jump, as seen from behind
Sometimes Horses On The Bald Spot becomes Horses By The Lakes.

The Equestrian team is a huge part of my life as a student. I love all of the barn animals and I think it’s important to spend some time not studying. You also don’t have to know how to ride to join the team! So if you see us on campus next year, definitely come say hello 🙂

Two goats in snowy hay
These are the barn goats, Harry and William.
A cow saying hello over a wooden fence
P.S. our trainer has a cow now too!

McKenna is a Russian and Psychology double major who is thrilled to be spending the summer in Minnesota! On campus, she’s often designing lights for a student performance, speaking Russian in Parish house, or grabbing a meal with friends. She’s also a proud member of the Carleton Equestrian Team.  Off campus, she participates in the CLS Program and is a tutor with Paper Airplanes. Meet the other Bloggers!