Buff athletes train hard to be the best that they can. Whether it’s football, volleyball, or even the WTAMU equestrian team, they work to compete and become a top contender.
“We’re pretty active on campus, as well as working out three times a week. If you’re on varsity, go and ride horses three times a week,” Mallory Fulwilder, junior equine industry and business major said.
The team is separated between varsity and junior varsity. However, only the varsity team competes. Within the team there are different styles of riding, hunt seat and western.
“Western is more of the cowboy style of riding and hunter seat involves the smaller saddles and most people think of it in regard to jumping,” Amanda Ellis, head coach of the equestrian team, said.
The competition process covers four events including, western horsemanship, reining, equitation over fences and equitation on the flat. The process of choosing the horses to compete with is different from traditional horse shows.
“They have a random draw for their horses, which are provided by the host university. Riders have no warm up time before competing with their new mount,” Ellis said. “You can’t even touch them, you just get on and then you go into the ring, that’s when your brain starts and go onto your horse real quick and show to the best of your ability,” Veronica Beagle, sophomore equine industry and business major, said.
Along with competing, the team is involved with other events and activities on WTAMU’s campus.
“We’re pretty active on campus, we do concessions for the football game and we are going to be doing a part of the dodgeball tournament,” Fulwilder said.
The camaraderie between the team is also an important aspect to their dynamic. As the team travels thousands of miles together over the years, they become closer.
“This is a stone cold pack of weirdos. We often joke that this is an athletic sorority as far as expectation of social engagement, communication between team members and time spent together,” Ellis said. “That’s like the greatest thing about the equestrian team.You have all of these people that you’re teammates with, but it’s more than just like teammates…it’s
like family,” Beagle said.
When it comes to experience, students can join through a tryout process and aren’t required to have a certain amount of experience. Many of the teammates have different backgrounds when it comes to equine. If students are interested, there is more information on gobuffsgo.com.