New Challenges for Riders of Any Experience Level
Whether you’ve never ridden a horse before or you’re like Madlen Lesesne—who started riding by the time she could walk—you’ll find a place in the Randolph-Macon College Equestrian Club. In fact, one of its greatest strengths is the variety of equestrian backgrounds represented. Right now, the Club includes novice riders as well as students like Madlen who are experienced riders but new to the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) competitions that R-MC competes in. The Club is also home to individuals with riding backgrounds that R-MC does not currently compete in, like reining and Western-style riding.
Tailoring Your Training
Even though so many backgrounds might seem like a distraction for a focused rider, they’re part of what adds to the Club’s overall value. Each rider can set their own goals and work with trainers and more experienced peers to achieve those goals. “We work hard to help the students find their comfort zone of what they want to do with their riding while they are here,” says the Club’s Director, Dana Lesesne. Student-members can simply enjoy the weekly break from the rhythm of college life, or they can continue to train and even participate in IHSA and United States Eventing Association (USEA) competitions.
“Everyone’s different experiences come together to broaden everyone’s horizons a little bit.”
“Most people get their start by working under an already established rider,” says Madlen, a junior Political Science major at R-MC. But since not everyone has had that type of opportunity, the school’s attendance at competitions and events help student riders connect with other equestrian professionals. Since Madlen has her sights set on becoming a professional 3-Day Event Rider after college, the Club allows her to network and make as many connections as possible. The Equestrian Club is helping her today gain the knowledge and training she will need for the future she’s planning.