What you need to know about the IHSA

What you need to know about the IHSA

A guide to Intercollegiate Horse Shows
158
views

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.

Popular Right Now

If You Wear XL T-Shirts And Shorts, You're The Woman Of My Dreams

Enough with the war on comfort!
11423
views

Comfortable can be sexy, simply put.

For some reason there are people complaining out there about the Southern college trend that has been happening the past few years: big t-shirts and shorts, also known as the "srat uniform." There seems to be a clash between the girls who dress "nice" most of the time and girls who dress for comfort. As a guy, I don't see what the big deal is?

For college in the South, there are two reasons to dress up: college football (Roll Tide) and date parties. Any other time, you can find a majority of the female population in shorts and a big t-shirt that makes it look like they're not wearing pants. As a man, I personally don't see anything wrong with this. I love being comfortable as much as the next person, and most guys find the baggy t-shirt and shorts outfit to be cute. There's always a time and place for dresses and rompers.

But for all the haters out there that call these girls in XL t-shirts and shorts lazy, you've got it all wrong.

There are 4 reasons why the girls who don the "srat uniform" have it all figured out.

1. Girls have it rough.

See, it's tough being a girl. I don't know from experience, but I hear it enough and I've seen it enough to know it's true. When girls aren't dealing with f***boys, periods or having to do their hair and makeup routinely, they are being overly criticized by our society. I think society owes girls a break, and that break comes in the comfortable baggy t-shirt and shorts.

2. Southern Not-So-Comfort(able) weather.

Also, for all of the haters, maybe y'all haven't noticed that it's hotter than Satan's balls in the South! Tight, dressy outfits and pants constrict the body and cause you to sweat. I'd rather see a dry girl in a baggy t-shirt than a girl drenched in sweat trying to look cute with her outfit.

3. Perfect doesn't exist.

It's admirable when a girl can unapologetically be herself. A girl in an XL t-shirt and shorts is a girl that is saying "yes, I may have just rolled out of bed and brushed my hair, but I'm here dammit." Social media tells us we all have to be the dolled up, most "perfect" version of ourselves all the time, so it's nice to experience that reality check.

4. Guys think it's cute, regardless.

9 times out of 10, guys in college do not care what you're wearing. Trust me, we aren't doing much better. You could probably put on a garbage bag and we still think you're cute. Any guy that dates a girl that dates a girl only because she dresses nicely all of the time is a shallow man. You're cute, you're comfortable, and that makes for a much better vibe. We all win.

So, in the battle of dressing "nice" and dressing comfortable, I think that the girls who wear an XL t-shirt and shorts chalk up a win in my record book. No, I'm not bashing on girls who have a true sense of style and wear nice clothing... that's a great thing in itself! But, this is college and there are more important things to focus on besides what we're wearing.

Ladies, wear your srat uniform with pride. Some us think it's cute :)

*I want to thank the beautiful ladies at the University of Alabama for inspiring this article.*

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Extending Zack Martin Is The Best For The Cowboy's Franchise

It always starts up front.

153
views

Now, y'all would guess that more often than not the highest paid player on an NFL team is the quarterback. And you'd be right. What you probably don't know is that more often than not the second highest paid player is, thanks to Lawrence Taylor, a left tackle. However, for the Dallas Cowboys, the highest paid player is their left tackle Tyron Smith and then followed by Travis Frederick. Two offensive linemen while Dak Prescott the soon to be third-year quarterback is making is set to make a base salary of $630,000 while his offensive linemen make more than double that. So why is it important to pay the offensive lineman because without them there is no quarterback play.

In the past few years, the Dallas Cowboys have been upgrading their offense. In 2010, 2013, and 2014 3 of the current offensive linemen were drafted: Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin. Smith and Frederick were both given extensions before their rookie contract ended but Zack Martin had to wait until now. While all the details haven't been reported Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network stated that the Cowboys are going to be given Zack Martin a six-year extension which will make him the highest-paid guard in the league. Martin is now the highest paid guard in the NFL after making the Pro Bowl every year since his rookie year and being an all pro every year of his football career. To put it one way Zack Martin is one of the best guards in the NFL.

You may be thinking to yourself what is the importance of the offensive line in football and why are they worth these lucrative deals. Without an O-Line, you have no consistent quarterback play or running back explosiveness which helps puts points on the board. The O-line is known for winning the battle "in the trenches" and the Dallas Cowboys have done better in that situation each and every year. In 2014 which was Zack Martin's rookie year Demarco Murray of the Cowboys earned the NFL's Offensive Player of The Year award at the end of the season and put up over 2200 yards from scrimmage. The offensive line was more improved and became a pivotal point of success for the team.

While Dallas hasn't been a football juggernaut in recent years they have been able to build the team to become more athletic. Dallas has focused more on the offensive line and defensive players rather than just going for the speedy wide receivers (yes I'm looking at you Baltimore with getting Breshad Perriman) to create a team built on strength. While I disagree a lot with Jerry Jones as an owner and general manager seeing him with this strategy has actually been one of the smartest things he has done for the team.

In this past draft, the Cowboys addressed three needs for the team in linebacker, offensive line, and tight end. With Sean Lee getting older and having a list of injuries they got a player who can play sideline to sideline. What happens if one of your offensive linemen gets hurt and you don't have depth well that could be the difference in a game. While this article is about Zack Martin and Martin has not missed a game in his career it is still useful to have depth. Finally with Jason Witten retiring it was time to bring in a new tight end. He may not be Jason Witten and he might have the respect the rest of the team had for Witten but he will grow into this role.

We have seen the Cowboys give extensions to other offensive linemen and now it is Martin's turn. The other extensions have paid off but now will Martin's pay off?

Cover Image Credit:

astros / Flickr

Related Content

Facebook Comments