EWU Equestrian Club rides high for philanthropy

By Al Stover, Eagle Life Editor

Illustration by Vania Tauvela
Illustration by Vania Tauvela


Alison Burke, junior, has been around horses all of her life and now she gets a chance to show EWU her skills as a seasoned horse rider.

“Ever since I was a child I would read articles about the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association and [you compete against other schools],” Burke said. “It’s always something I wanted to do.”

Burke is the president of the EWU Equestrian Team, which focuses on helping students develop skills in riding, jumping and other equestrianism areas, no matter what experience they have with horses.

Equestrianism focuses on exercises such as endurance riding, show jumping and dressage.

With the desire to compete against other schools, Burke helped reestablish the team back in the fall. It has grown to eight core members, most of whom have been riding for three years, including vice president Liz Drury and treasurer Janaesha Dimmick. For Drury, her favorite aspect is getting to ride horses without it costing as much money.

The team has weekly lessons at Double Eagle Stables. The lessons consist of English and Western riding and jumping lessons. For students who are interested, they can come and watch a lesson before paying club dues.

For Burke, the reestablishment of the club was not easy as there were difficulties in finding a trainer. There is also the task of finding horses for shows.

“The host school provides the horses and that’s upwards of 30 horses per show,” Burke said.

In addition to lessons, the team plans on volunteering at Free Rein Therapeutic Riding, which provides therapeutic horseback riding to anyone with physical, emotional or mental challenges, according to the Free Rein website.

According to Sandy Jones, director of Free Rein, a lot of volunteers who help at Free Rein are college students.

“It’s been great to have that resource,” Jones said. “This group I’m excited for [because of] their solid horseback riding background. They can help out with horse-related projects.”

Besides the riders there are also non-riding club members, who only play half of the club dues. One member is Olivia Lennick, who currently helps with the club’s fundraising. The club can also accommodate riders with disabilities.

“[Riding] horses is something that anyone can be a part of,” Burke said.

To contact the Equestrian Club, email [email protected]