Riding Through the Wind
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Hoofbeats clopping along the ground echo the sound of the rider’s heart as she strives to take home the first place ribbon. Many people in Michigan share a love for horses, but a lot of people don’t have the option of being on an equestrian team during their high school career. This is something that PCHS offers, and anyone can join. If you’re one of those people that enjoy riding horses, the equestrian team might be the right club for you to join. The season lasts from April to September, and the head coach is Angeline Muscato. We interviewed Sarah Tolfree, a member of the team, for insight on its inner workings.
During the season, the team gathers for clinics taught by trainers who specialize in a certain seat or style of riding. These clinics are usually optional, but they require members to attend a certain amount in order to compete in the meets. They have practices all summer and then they are required to attend 2 to 3 meets in the fall depending on how many points they collect during the first few.
The equestrian team is not funded by the school; it’s a club. Members must fundraise all the money they need. People that do not go to PCHS can also join the team since it is not technically run through the school.
“It’s a lot of fun and really exhausting,” said Tolfree when asked about the equestrian competitions she attends. The atmosphere is very hustle and bustle throughout the entire day, and many times into the next day. Competitions can last multiple days. Tolfree made it to regionals her sophomore year and districts her junior year.
Many people on the equestrian team don’t ride the same horse for an extended period of time. Tolfree, a junior, started on the team her sophomore year. She has been riding for just over a year. The first horse she rode on the team was a fleabitten gray Welsh Pony named Casper. Her junior year, she rode an Appy mix named Lucky Boy that was missing his left eye. At the moment, she is riding a Quarter Horse named Taz.
The equestrian team will accept anyone who would like to join. If a member does not own a horse, one will be provided for them through a lease agreement. Tolfree feels that the team is growing and improving on their riding abilities and will continue to do so throughout the season.
The equestrian team held one of their final meetings of the season on April 21st, giving information on their next season. If you missed this meeting, you can speak to Allyssa Toth, one of the captains, for more information on how to join.