UCSC Equestrian Team

Frequently Asked Questions

How much experience do I need?

We accept all levels and riding backgrounds. Some previous riding experience is preferred, however, as it ensures a safer riding experience for all team members. IHSA accepts competitors from Walk/Trot all the way up to 3' Open Fences courses. 

Do I have to try out?

Nope!  We do like to watch our potential new members ride before they register with IHSA, however.  This helps us ensure that everyone is placed into the class where they will be the safest and most successful. Our evaluation ride is held at the beginning of the school year.

Who do you compete against?

The IHSA team competes against Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Santa Clara University, Sonoma State, and Cal Poly SLO during the regular season.

Do you have a Western team?

Unfortunately, no. We don't currently have a facility in the area that is able to accommodate an IHSA western team.  

Do you have a Dressage team?

Yes! Our dressage team rides with IDA. You can contact them at ucscdressageteam@gmail.com.  

Can I ride with both teams?

Yes! Our riders are more than welcome to ride with both the IDA and IHSA teams. 

How much does it cost?

Costs vary depending on how often you are taking lessons, how often you show, and whether or not you choose to buy team apparel. For more information feel free to email any questions to ucscet@gmail.com.

How often do you ride?

Competitive riders are required to take at least one lesson a week, and should expect to ride in weekend shows several times a quarter, as scheduled.

Where's the barn? Is it on campus?

UC Santa Cruz Equestrian does not own a barn or have a barn on campus.  The IHSA team rides at coach Cassie's barn which is about 30 miles off campus. The website for the barn can be found here: http://www.belmonttraining.com/. 

Do I need a car to get there?

No! Carpools are organized for all lessons, shows, and team activities.

Do I need to own my own horse?

Absolutely not! Coach Cassie has plenty of excellent horses for the team to use during lessons and when we host shows. A personal horse is not needed nor beneficial in IHSA--competitors pull a random horse out of a hat, belonging to the barn hosting the show, and execute a show round on it, with no warm-up. It tests the individual's horsemanship skills and their riding 

Do I have to compete?

Short answer-yes, you do. Long answer-currently we do not have a recreational team -- we just don't have the people-power to organize it! If you feel our competitive team is not for you, we would be happy to send you a list of barns in the area to help you find the right riding fit. Our coach currently only has time to work with our competitive members.

It's the middle of the school year, can I still join the team? 

While we do accept new members throughout the year, we can only accept competitive members at the beginning of Fall Quarter due to registration deadlines with the IHSA and IDA.  Riders who join mid year will not be able to compete until the next school year, but can participate in team lessons.  However, competitive members do get priority for lessons space. 

Do you have scholarships?

Currently, no. UCSC does not offer scholarships for any athletics teams or clubs. The Equestrian Team is classified as a competitive sports club, and as such most team costs are student funded.