Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) competitions were designed for undergraduate college students with various levels of horsemanship skills to compete as both individuals and as teams. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Equestrian team (UNL-ET) was a student organization and functioned as a club sport. In the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic year, 142 individuals (74 and 68, respectively) tried out for the 38 to 45 member team which was split into both western and hunt divisions. The UNL-ET conducted weekly riding practices and nmonthly meetings, participated in barn chores, conducted fund-raising activities, and hosted IHSA competitions each semester. At the end of the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 regional competition, UNL-ET members were asked to complete a survey. Nearly 80% of UNL-ET members indicated participation on the team had a positive influence on their life skill development. Furthermore, 78% of team members indicated that they learned to “be more adaptable to new situations” and “adjust to new situations quicker” after the UNL-ET experience. Participation on the team required a significant commitment; however, members indicated it was easy to devote time to team requirements. A very positive influence on student's overall undergraduate experience was indicated by 62% of UNL-ET members.
university equestrian team, IHSA, life skills, horsemanship skills