Frequently Asked Questions
Who can ride at JMU?
Our riders range from experienced equitation riders to complete beginners. Students do not have to be on the IHSA team to ride in the JMU Equestrian school program. Show team members must be full-time undergrad students. All riders will fill out paperwork with the help of our IHSA Captain and coaches that determines their IHSA class level and eligibility.
How often can I ride?
Members can choose which lesson package they would like: one, two, or three group lessons per week. Riders that wish to compete over fences in either IHSA or outside competitions must take at least two lessons per week.
I don't have a car at JMU- how will I get to the barn?
Briana makes the lesson schedule around the students' school schedules, meaning that students will never need to compromise their studies in order to ride. Because JMU does not allow freshmen to have cars on campus, we make sure to group freshmen into lessons with an upperclassman driver. This process is generally made much easier if freshmen can manage to schedule their classes in the morning and leave afternoons free or vice versa. Freshmen are expected to contribute gas money for shared transportation. On the way to IHSA horse shows, all showing riders ride together in a van driven by a team captain.
Are there tryouts for the IHSA team?
Yes, all riders who wish to compete with the IHSA team must try out. Team tryouts are typically held the first weekend of fall semester. For tryouts, Coach Briana matches each rider with an appropriate school horse to showcase their skills. While tryouts are important, they are kept relatively informal and stress-free. Riders are not required to participate in tryouts once they have previously been named to the IHSA roster. The team is subject to change based on performance in lessons and the discretion of our coach and captains, and the number of riders we take to each show varies based on the host school’s facility and size.
What types of competitions does the team compete in?
JMU Equestrian competes in Zone 4 Region 2 of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). IHSA promotes equitation-based competition for riders of all skill levels, including classes from the Walk/Trot through the 3’ level. We compete against the teams in our region, including Bridgewater, Hollins, Virginia Tech, Washington & Lee, UVA, University of Lynchburg, and Roanoke College. We compete in IHSA shows during both the Fall and Spring semesters.
Students also have the opportunity to attend local SWVHJA horse shows throughout the year. JMU riders can compete in various hunter, jumper, and equitation classes, and even qualify for/compete in year-end finals, aboard our school horses.
Does the club have social events?
Yes! The Equestrian Club holds weekly meetings where we catch up, and members also spend time bonding through various activities. Some popular social events in the past have been roller skating at Funky's, getting ice cream at Kline's, movie nights, tailgating at Foxfield races, and mixers with other club sports.