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Equestrian Team rears up for spring semester

By Kelly Higginson
On January 17, 2014

After a successful first semester, the Miami University Equestrian Center is preparing for spring events during winter term.

Holding a total of 58 horses, the Equestrian Center keeps the horses occupied during the winter term break while the students are gone.

"For the break, the horses are getting rotated throughout two pastures. One is a log cabin, and the other is a long pasture so they get some time outside, and in the barn," Associate Director of Riding and Head Coach Heather Pinnick said.

President of the Equestrian Team Danielle Paulson is also taking the winter term break from riding.

"During the worst winter months, January through March, we rent out local barns to keep the horses in a place that is warm," Paulson said. "We also blanket the horses and keep them in their stalls during storms, they work hard all semester and love having time to relax."

When the team returns to campus, the team will begin traveling for six weeks with the horses to train. Around 110 students ride on the team and 220 students ride in through the Kinesiology Health Program Equestrian courses.

"We rent different places and trail our horses, this year we are training in a facility near Oxford and the other is in Hamilton," Pinnick said.

According to Paulson, if temperatures are more than 25 degrees, the team practices in the outdoor arena rain or shine.

This first semester the Hunt Seat team and the Dressage team finished head of their regions. The Western team is in second place, closely following OSU's Western team.

"All three teams hope to win their region this year and move on to Zones. From there, the teams would have a chance to go to Nationals and win," Paulson said.

Most other teams are at an advantage with having their indoor facilities at home, but the Equestrian Center is looking to fundraise to begin the process to build one.

"We are actively fundraising so we can get enough funds to build our indoor arena. The blueprints for the arena have already been finalized and approved by the University, all we need now is the money," Paulson said.


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