MORGAN SKERIES | STAFF REPORTER |firstname.lastname@example.org
Butler has many well-known club sports teams such as soccer, tennis and basketball, but there also also some that fly under the radar, like the equestrian team.
Coach Dawn Stumm said the equestrian team has been around for at least 10 years. Stumm has been the coach for the past two years due to her passion for the sport.
“It’s a very nice opportunity for the kids to still be able to ride horses in college if they want,” Stumm said. “It’s a nice opportunity for the kids who never got a chance to ride because anyone can join.”
No one is cut from the team, and no experience is necessary in order to ride. Team members are not required to participate in any of the horse shows either.
Gen Bates is a first-year student on the team.
“Anyone can join even without experience,” she said. “I have friends who haven’t been on a horse; it’s a learning experience. It seems like a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to the weekends we get to spend at shows together. I’m super excited.”
The farm and horse stables are located at Greyhavens Farms in Zionsville, about a 30 minute drive from Butler. The team has a carpooling system that makes getting to and from lessons accessible. All riders fill out an availability sheet and groups are formed based on when they can all go.
Greyhavens has existed for 33 years. Stumm has been a coach there for 25 years.
The program takes all types of riders. The youngest rider they have is seven and the oldest rider is 73.
The program focuses mainly on teaching the riders how to handle their horse.
“You have to be one with the horse,” Stumm said. “You have to learn not only how to ride, but how to control this 1,000 pound animal underneath you.”
The program costs $240 a semester and includes as many lessons as the rider wants. Participating in the shows bumps the total cost for the year up to around $700.
The club president Kiersten Lindskoog can still accept students interested in riding with the team until Oct. 1.