The Oakdale High School Equestrian Team

Ella Ward

The Oakdale equestrian team has been on its best this season by winning first, second, or third place in all of their competitions. Competitions occur once a month, year round, and they compete against ten other teams.


The girls on the team train at least once a week. This year, they have had group lessons to ride their horses and continue improving their skills.


During competitions, there are three classes total for each person. The first two classes are equitation classes. Equitation is the art or practice of horse riding or horsemanship. Equitation classes are the rounds where judges score the rider. Once placed in any of the two classes, the rider gets leveled into the jumping round. The riders and their horses go through an obstacle while jumping over hurdles.


Getting the horses ready for competition is the same as getting them ready for any other casual riding occasion. The rider has to release the horse off at the stable they ride at, brush the horses and tack them down. Putting on the saddle is also necessary for getting them ready to compete.


Like all riders, when the girls on the team are competing, they have specific attire for riding. Most of the attire is for safety precautions. Brooke Weadon, a sophomore on the team, expressed, “The attire during competition is tall boots, breeches, a white polo shirt, a belt, a black riding jacket, gloves, a hairnet, and a helmet.”


Like all performers, horseback riders get the thrill of riding their horses in front of judges and a large crowd. Freshman Paige Smith declares, “I usually get nervous until I am on and in the arena and then it all goes away because I know it will be fine.”

Smith also comments on how she deals with the nerves before getting ready to ride: “I usually go around and help everyone else because it calms me down and gets me in the phase where I am ready to compete. I also spend time with the horse so I know what they’re like.”


The team is looking forward to riding again next season. Riding different horses, spending time with the team, and creating new memories are some of the things they enjoy doing.