Equestrian Team Tryouts


How do tryouts work?

We hold tryouts in the fall of the school year. Acceptance to the team often depends on what level of riders we need but also consider overall equitation, horsemanship and commitment to riding.

Can I join the team if I don’t have much riding experience?

Regardless of your riding ability or whether or not you have been to a horse show, riders are welcome to try out for the Equestrian Team. The IHSA has levels for all riders and we encourage riders with little to no horse experience to tryout. To win IHSA competitions, our riders must earn at all levels, from Walk-Trot to Open classes.

What is the time commitment of being on the team?

The time commitment to the team includes two one hour lessons a week along with an hour of tacking up and properly cooling down of the horses after lessons. Attending team meetings and one work-out a week are also required. We have a requirement of keeping a 2.5 grade point average to hold your spot on the team. Community service also plays a big part of our program and our riders are required to have community service hours. Many of our weekends are spent at horse shows and traveling depending on the dates and times of the events. Attendance is mandatory at all meets for all members of the team whether they are riding or not.

Team Member Expectations

Do I have to own a horse?

No, actually the school provides the horses for the lessons.

What are the costs associated with being on the team?

In the Fall of 2019, there will be a new team fee structure.  Team members will pay team dues, a per semester practice fee, as well as fees associated with traveling to meets, and all costs associated with their show attire.  We will be posting an estimated per semester/per year cost in the coming months so that you will have a better idea of costs associated with being a team member in 2019-2020.

Where does the team ride?

The team currently rents space for our horses at Century Oaks Farm. It is located at 9410 Old Greensboro Rd, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35405. We will be there until we move to the new facility close to campus.

What can I do to build my riding skills to better my chances of making the team?

Learn the main fundamentals of riding to build a solid foundation in your riding. This will be very important as you ride different types of horses. Ride as many different horses as you can, so you can develop those skills to adapt to the different temperaments of the horses and learn to adjust well.

What is the structure of Intercollegiate horse shows?

All riders are placed in classes that correspond with their skill by their coach. They range from walk-trot to open, based on IHSA rules. The riders compete in their division and earn points for finishing first through sixth place. The coaches use their discretion at determining how often riders show and strategically plan when they want the riders to ‘point out’€ of their divisions and also in determining their €œ’point’ rider to help the team earn points for the championship at the end of the show.

What is 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.

Tryouts are usually held the first weekend after classes start.  Spots are not guaranteed to returning team members; everyone tries out annually.  Tryouts will consist of a 20-30-minute tryout time.

Hunt Seat Team: 22 Team Members
Western Team: 10 Team Members


Any full-time (12 credit hours) UA undergraduate student in good academic standing (2.5 GPA or better) can apply to try out.

There is a $25 tryout fee.


UA Equestrian competes in the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association and has team members riding in both Hunt Seat and Western. The IHSA allows both men and women to compete. You will be expected to travel to 3-4 meets each semester, including one home meet. If we qualify, you will also travel to Regionals, Zones, Semi-Finals, and Nationals in the Spring.

2019-2020 Tryouts

Applications must be completed by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 20, 2019.

A general interest meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 22, 2019 at the Student Recreation Center, Multi Activity Room.

Tryouts will be held on Saturday, August 24 at Century Oaks Farm – 9334 Old Greensboro Rd, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405. Time slots and required waivers will be emailed to applicants on Friday, August 23, 2019 by 2 p.m.

Hunt Seat Application

Western Application