Moving to college can be a big change for many students. I was lucky enough to go to a school that allowed me to bring my horse to school with me.
But after I sold my faithful gelding, Lopin En Style, I was horseless and starting to get the itch to show again. Murray State University, thankfully, has an equestrian team that competes through the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.
I quickly learned that showing for your school brings a whole new kind of pride, whether it is through IHSA, the National College Athletic Association or the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.
IHSA is made up of co-ed teams whose riders range in levels of riding ability. There are eight levels in English riding, beginner through Medal, and six in western, beginner through open.
The IHSA website states that IHSA competition is ?highly praised for its structure of competition.?
NCAA offers varsity equestrian competition. The NCAA varsity equestrian website states that its mission is to ?advance the sport of varsity equestrian from emerging to championship status with NCAA by promoting the benefits of varsity equestrian to potential institutions, riders, parents, horse industry professionals and sponsors while developing the rules and format of competition.
And for those who are not into horse showing, there is NIRA. This association is made up of co-ed team members who compete individually and together to qualify for the College National Finals Rodeo held each year.
The goals of NIRA are to uphold standards for intercollegiate rodeo competition. It seeks to encourage intercollegiate rodeo on a national scale. NIRA promotes the Western lifestyle and the culture of rodeo.