Frequently Asked QuestionsAnswers to common questions.
Do I need to own a horse?
No, the university provides horses for you to take lessons on.
What do I need for gear or equipment?
All riders will have the opportunity to purchase a “spirit pack” with the following being required: team warm-up, polo and schooling shirt which will be approximately $200. There will be additional apparel items offered for workouts and schooling which will be optional.
Western Show clothing to be determined by the coach. Western schooling attire: jeans, non-lace up, riding appropriate boots required. No tank tops.
When are tryouts and how are they run?
Tryouts occur in early Fall. Please check back in Summer 2017 for more information on applying.
How is it determined who makes the team?
The team is determined first by the need of riders for certain levels. In the IHSA each season team members have the ability to point out’ of their level and create opportunities for other members to compete. The level of riding ability to available spots, eagerness to work with the team, and a positive attitude are areas looked at as well. At this point every team member would be selected for the IHSA team.
Do I need to know how to jump to be on the team?
Not necessarily. Currently our team has the biggest need for Walk Trot riders which IHSA rules have not had more than 24 weeks of instruction. The next level up, WTC requires riders to have not competed in jumping more than 18 inches.
What is the IHSA?
The IHSA promotes competition for riders of all skill levels, who compete individually and as teams at regional, zone and national levels. The association was founded on the principal that any college student should be able to participate in horse shows regardless of his or her financial status or riding level. The IHSA currently has over 420 teams with 10,000 athletes competing annually.
The IHSA honors the heritage of Equestrian as a co-ed sport (Equestrian is one of the only Olympic sports where men and women can compete on an even field). We have had talented male athletes on the equestrian team. Hunt seat events include jumping and flat classes, while western includes horsemanship and reining classes.
Does the University have hunt and western seat teams?
Yes, The University of Alabama has both hunt and western seat teams. We will begin competing in horsemanship and reining in the fall. We are very excited to be able to offer both teams to be competitive in IHSA competitions. We look forward to expanding our program to include polo in the future.
What teams do we compete against?
Auburn University, Berry College, Emory, Georgia College, Georgia Technical Institute, Judson College, Kennesaw State University, Mississippi College, Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi, University of Georgia, University of North Alabama, University of North Georgia, University of West Georgia.
Where is the equestrian facility located?
Our equestrian team currently operates out of a private farm in Tuscaloosa which is about a 15 minute drive off campus.
Can I bring my own horse?
You are welcome to bring your own horse and board anywhere you like around in the surrounding areas. The equestrian program does not use a student’s horse for the team.
Does the team offer scholarships?
At this time, the UA Equestrian Program does not offer scholarships.
Does the team accept horse donations?
We are always looking for quality horses in both our Hunt Seat and Western programs as well as for Therapeutic riding. For more information, please contact the Director of Equestrian Operations at 205-348-2333.
What can I do to help the program?
We have many ways for individuals to help within our Program. We are eager to find a way that best fits how you want to help. Please contact the Director of Equestrian Operations at 205-348-2333.
What do you need to join the team?
A positive attitude to be on a team, to constantly grow and excel as an individual both on and off the horse, and have attention to detail with care of horses and equipment. The IHSA team takes riders of all levels. There will be a form available in August for interested riders to fill out and submit in order to be selected for tryouts. You do not necessarily need a rated show record or AQHA record to compete on the team.
Still have questions?
We receive many questions concerning our program that cannot be answered with our FAQs. Please feel free to fill out the form below and we will get back with you as soon as possible.