Sports are typically an exhibition of human finesse, but one club competes with another factor: a horse. The equestrian team at Mines was started five years ago and has been growing rapidly with about 20 members this year. The team takes lessons and competes, with its most recent show on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22.
The show on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22 was co-hosted by Mines and CSU and put together by the team. The president of the team, Meghan McIver said, “It’s actually a lot of work for the horse shows,” and explained all of the logistics that have be sorted out including her job of having to sort horses to be drawn. In order to keep shows fair the rider chooses a horse out of a hat.
“Any rider can hop onto basically any horse, so you pick a horse at random,” said Catherine Chorney.
The team has all levels of experience. McIver has been riding and competing since she was six years old, whereas the last show was Chorney’s first ever. “It was really fun, I was super nervous,” Chorney said.
In a show, the team competes against much larger schools such as CU and CSU, but that does not deter the Mines team.
“When our entire team pulls up in one car next to another school’s charter bus and leaves with the winning ribbon, it is a very rewarding feeling,” said Anna Green. Green also said, “The biggest challenge at shows is being the underdog,” but that it just drives the team to work harder.
For members of the team, the equestrian team is about a lot more than just competing. It is about community. “We all have that common link and then we can branch out with other common links,” said Chorney.
McIver also found comfort in being around the equestrian team after growing up riding. “I grew up riding horses and horse people are their own particular type of group,” said McIver. She explained that the team also hangs out outside of shows, doing activities such as carving pumpkins and volunteering at a horse rescue.
Another factor that is important for members of the equestrian team and offers them balance is simply being able to be around horses. “[Horses] offer me nonjudgmental company and seem to take my mind off everything else. With the stress of being a student at Mines, I use horses as my therapy,” said Green.
The equestrian team is looking forward to both their coming shows this year and the years of growth ahead of them. “I have a lot of hope for our team,” said McIver.