Profile: Finding a College — and a Stable — That Feels Like Home

A College That Allows You to Pursue Your Work And Your Passion

“While looking at schools, I wanted a college that was strong in academics with involved professors [that would also] allow me to continue to work with horses,” says Erin Kober, a sophomore at Randolph-Macon College and member of the R-MC Equestrian Club. But finding a school that had everything she wanted wasn’t easy for the New Mexico native.

After learning about R-MC from a family friend, Erin found the east coast especially appealing “because there is such a high concentration of equestrian professionals, especially eventers. R-MC is a small school in a small town, similar to [where I grew up], but the horse community is much larger.”

Settling Yourself And Your Horse into a New Home

But moving cross-country for college—with a horse—was no small task. “We drove my horse, Tommy, from New Mexico to Virginia a week before school started,” Erin says. Dana Lesesne, the Director of the Equestrian Club at Randolph-Macon College, helped Erin settle into the Richmond area. Then Dana helped Tommy, Erin’s Irish Sport horse, get settled at Hillbrook where the majority of the the eventing team also keeps their horses. Having Tommy with her and well-taken care of at Hillbrook made Erin’s transition across the country and into college easier.

“Without the help of the equestrian team, it would have been difficult to move so far away from home with a horse.”

Erin easily found her place in the college and the club because “the Eventing Team provides a community of students that are also focused on horses.” Once Erin acclimated to the area and the new pace that college life demanded, Dana connected her with upper-level eventers that Erin “would have never gotten the chance to meet in New Mexico.”

Being a Part of the Team

Even though Erin is deeply involved with the Eventing Team, she has found that the structure of R-MC has allowed her to pursue her passions in math and chemistry as well. “Randolph-Macon has a great research undergraduate program,” Erin says. “I was able to participate in SURF, which allows students to continue research over the summer.” She was even able to travel with the college group to Melbourne, Australia as part of The Schreiner Research Group. There, they presented some of their summer’s research and work in the field. Even though her chemistry research and college involvement are challenging, Erin notes that “having a horse really pushed me to stay on top of my school work.”

See Other Stories:

Eliza, a freshman who came to R-MC in part because of the sense of community the campus created—even in an individualized sport such as competitive horseback riding.

Madlen, a junior-status student who, even though she has ridden her entire life, continues to learn from the broad variety of riders and the experience they bring to the Equestrian Club.

Amanda, an R-MC senior who has relied on her time with the Equestrian Club to de-stress and help her finish her Chemistry degree strong.

Erin Kober on a horse

Find Out More About the Equestrian Club

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or submit your information and one of the club members will reach out with material about how you can become a part of R-MC’s equestrian community.