What you need to know about the IHSA

What you need to know about the IHSA

A guide to Intercollegiate Horse Shows
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Dartmouth equestrian kicked off our season this weekend with double-header horse shows at Middlebury and the University of Vermont. I personally love being a part of the equestrian team because horses are a great break from my hectic life as a Dartmouth student. I joined the team because I really wanted horses to be a large part of my college experience. Up until college, I spent a lot of time riding, but never really got a chance to horse show because I never had my own horse. Intercollegiate horse showing is much different than the average horse show. Here are a few things most people don’t know about the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.

1. Students draw random horses that they usually have never ridden.

This is probably the largest difference between intercollegiate horse showing and regular hunter/ jumper horse shows. Unlike most shows, where riders bring their own horses to compete on, in the IHSA riders draw random horses to ride. Usually the horses are owned by the host school and the riders most likely have never ridden the horse they draw. Getting on a horse you have never ridden is a game changer compared to normal horse shows where the riders get to ride their own horses that they work with on a daily basis. I really like the challenge of having to figure a new horse out and get it to jump around a course of fences smoothly without really knowing it. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be a little bit luck of the draw as to which horse you get, which can occasionally be slightly frustrating. One great thing about this system though is a lower cost for the girls showing. Bringing horses to each competition gets very expensive and by riding the host school’s horses, expenses are significantly decreased.

2. Riders are judged on their equitation.

In English, that means riders are judged on how nicely they look on a horse. Some specific things a judge tends to look for when judging a rider is his/ her leg position, shoulders, subtleness, and overall ability to get the horse to jump all the appropriate fences. The judge is supposed to consider which horse a rider is on and distinguish rider ability without considering the quality of the horse. Unfortunately, it can be a very subjective sport and some judges look for a certain style or rider characteristic more than others.

3. It is a team sport.

Though riding horses is an individual sport, in the IHSA it is also very much a team activity. Individuals compete for their school and in each division one rider from every school is considered the “point rider”. Only the point riders’ results for the day get considered when calculating a school’s team results from a show. This point system allows smaller schools to compete on an even playing field against larger schools. It also makes for a very close team dynamic because everyone has a common goal to represent their school in the best way possible. Some of my closest friends at Dartmouth are people I know through the equestrian team. I couldn’t ask for a better group to spend all of my weekends with.

4. There are classes offered for all riding abilities.

One great thing about Intercollegiate equestrian competitions is that there are divisions, also referred to as classes, offered for riders of all levels. From walk/ trot all the way up to open fences there is a class for all levels and abilities.

5. There are jumping and flat classes.

IHSA horse shows are divided into two sections, jumping and flat classes. The jumping classes are in the morning and usually consist of three divisions. The first division is open which is the most advanced division. The most experienced riders usually show in open and the fences are usually set at the highest height of the show for this division. There are also intermediate and novice fences. These classes have lower fence heights but are relatively similar to the open jumping division. Riders go in the ring individually and are expected to navigate their way around a course of predetermined jumps. In the afternoon, there are open/ intermediate/ and novice flat classes. These classes are usually many of the same riders from the jumping divisions and riders are expected to ride the horses they have drawn at a walk, trot, and canter. Flat classes are done in larger groups with usually about 5-10 riders and horses in the ring at a time. Riders must have the proper position and be able to leave a lasting impression on the judge despite the larger crowds. After the first set of flat classes, there are more flat classes that tailor towards lower level riders that are not ready to jump yet.

6. Riders can compete all the way up to a national level.

Inter collegiate horse shows are not just local. If riders compete all year successfully they can have the opportunity to advance to regionals, zones, and even nationals in their respected division. Dartmouth also competes in the Ivy League championships every spring.

7. Varsity Coed sport.

Many people don’t know that Dartmouth equestrian is a varsity coed sport. Though the sport is definitely dominated by female athletes, equestrian is one of the only Olympic sports that is coed. Most people don’t know that the equestrian team gets the same support as any other D1 team such as access to the varsity gym and collaboration with tutors.

If you want to find out more about IHSA showing and the Dartmouth equestrian team make sure to come watch our home shows at Morton Farm on October 23rd and November 5th.

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Antonio Brown Vs. JuJu Smith-Schuster

AB's low-blow at JuJu has put a target on his back for the impending 2019 season.

JordynL
JordynL
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Recently, Raiders wide-receiver Antonio Brown initiated a Twitter "war" after Steelers wide-receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was named MVP for the 2018 season. Brown retaliated with a response to a tweet shared by a fan that sparked a fire and brought emotions to an all time high within the NFL fan base. All of which took place after the former wide-receiver for Pittsburgh previously tweeted "Keep your emotions off the internet" just hours earlier, acting as if he is the herald of good advice. Ever since then AB has been nothing but emotional, even taking down a former teammate in the process.

Personal Twitter Screenshot

We've all been exposed to AB's attitude since he was drafted to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010, but it's gotten worse over time. Still, Pittsburgh fans disregarded his actions for a while because of his skills on the field and million dollar smile. His charm and endless pictures of his children always, if not most of the time, managed to get the fans of Steeler Nation to turn a blind eye to his mischievous ways- at least until the past few seasons. It seemed that his attitude had gotten worse, along with his sense of entitlement and spreading of hate and jealousy toward his fellow players. His attitude and purposeful actions eventually granted his wish of being traded from the Steelers, ending up as the Raiders' new wide-receiver. Ever since the trade, his ruthless attitude and ongoing hypocrisy continues to ascend to greater levels than before, after JuJu fired back at Antonio with a dose of his own medicine.

Personal Twitter Screenshot

Immediately following, JuJu expressed the betrayal and disrespect he received, regardless of the fact that he practically idolized AB since he got drafted in 2017. The rookie MVP called out the Pittsburgh veteran for the size of his ego and ability to fire shots at people that adored him. If anything, this debacle was an enlightening event for the young WR and is now aware of what kind of person his former idol is.

Personal Twitter Screenshot

Following this, AB decided to take advantage of one of his known slogans #CallGod a few days after the fact. Instead of continuing his antagonizing behavior, he decided to quote the Bible as if it would excuse his initial shot toward JuJu. In doing so, he decided to carefully pick verses from Luke 6 in order to fit his own egotistical agenda.

Personal Twitter Screenshot

"But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return." Luke 6:35, a verse that is visibly ignored to avoid contradictions for his recent actions. As we can see in the tweet thread, fans are recognizing the hypocrisy that Antonio Brown is proudly exuding and are emphasizing it. AB's repugnant attitude and "preaching" has pushed fans to see that Brown will betray anyone who attempts to take his spotlight, regardless of him making the same mistakes in past seasons. The once-beloved, former Pittsburgh WR is ready and willing to place blame on fellow teammates but will very rarely take blame for his own faults. Because of this trait and actions that have followed, Brown now has a target on his back for the 2019 season.

Personal Twitter Screenshot

The NFC is ready to avenge JuJu Smith-Schuster and I don't believe Antonio realizes what he's gotten himself into. It's no secret that Brown has quick feet and can run across the field with great speed and agility, but people always find a way when rage drives them. It seems as if JuJu has great support across the entirety of the NFL, regardless of rivalries that exist.

Let's remember: Antonio Brown was in his prime with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Raiders are getting the aftermath that won't last much longer. It wouldn't surprise me if the Raiders make arrangements for someone to buy-out his three-year contract if his attitude doesn't improve. No team, no coach, will tolerate Antonio longer than Coach Tomlin did. Regardless, AB better start taking his "Call God" slogan seriously because he might need the Big-Man soon if he continues his disgusting and childish shenanigans.

JordynL
JordynL

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