“It’s much harder than it looks. Even with broken bones, you still get back on.”
-Shanelle Spotts ’19
Here at Wilson, the equestrian community is large and bustling. It is a usual sight to see students walking to class in breeches and boots, sporting riding team jackets, and horse hair fly through the air during the spring shedding season. We even have a Blessing of the Animals that takes place on the main green, which even some of the horses from the stables attend.
Many equestrians have heard the statements and questions like “you’re always in those funny pants” and “well don’t you just sit up there? It can’t be that hard”. Even if you don’t ride very much and just spend most of your waking hours at the barn, you have probably still gotten used to explaining the presence of hay tangled in your hair, horse spit down the front of your shirt, and that heavenly aroma of manure. If you are new to the wonderful equestrian world, get used to all of the above.
There are many sides to equestrians, and being a student at Wilson will likely give you the opportunity to see a few of them. Before you make any assumptions about horse people or their loyal steeds, just take a walk over to the stables.
Here are some things we discovered our Wilson equestrians would like their non-equestrian peers to know about wearing the sometimes itchy pants of being a horse person:
“Horses are love. Horses are life. You don’t insult someone else’s pony.”
-Kirstin Lehman ’18
“‘why does the horse have pink nail polish on?!’ And then you have to explain to the person that those are bell-boots. Sometimes we also have to explain that horses turned out with grazing muzzles aren’t wearing them because they bite.”
-Risa Hurst, Instructor
“You don’t get to play all day, and you get to clean up a lot of poop.”
-Ali Arnold ’16
“‘Why would you blind a horse like that? Isn’t that mean?’ … ‘That’s a fly mask…they can see…'”
-Taylor Huntley ’17
“Being an equestrian is the most fulfilling, thrilling, exciting, and scary thing you ever feel. Equestrians are strong people that get to create a bond with an animal 3 times our size no other person will be able to create. Equestrians are crazy but loving people who would rather buy new shoes for their horse before themselves.”
-Molly McElroy ’17