Equestrian Club may be the newest organization on campus, but it’s got big ambitions.
Co-presidents sophomore Honor Beeler and sophomore Jessica Luebker already have events planned for the rest of the term and ideas for the coming year.
This term, the club has set up two workshops at nearby stables in which ground lessons will take place.
“We’ll be taking a whole bunch of people who have already signed up to the barn to do a basic two-hour session about how to feel comfortable around a horse, leading a horse around, grooming a horse and tacking a horse — how to get a horse ready for a lesson,” Beeler said.
These workshops will serve to welcome any and all potential members into the club. “Absolutely anybody can join, regardless of horse experience,” Beeler said.
Another event that has been prepared for this term is a volunteering opportunity at Rainbow Riders, an organization in Monmouth that offers therapy through riding lessons for handicapped children. The club has a great interest in helping out the community, and especially this organization, Luebker said. “It’s a nonprofit organization … they run off volunteer work,” Luebker said. “[The owner] was really excited to hear that we were starting the club and that she was going to be an aspect of our club.”
In the future, Beeler and Luebker hope to see the formation of an equestrian team that would compete with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA). “It’s a nation-wide, college-based competition team where any college can become a member, and then you compete depending on the region you’re in,” Beeler said.
Although this may take some time to come about, the club hopes to put Knox on the map with an equestrian team. “When people say ‘Knox’, I want them to be like, ‘Oh yeah, they do have an equestrian team,” Luebker said. “I want people to be aware of it.”
Underlying the co-presidents’ aspirations for the club is a desire to form a like-minded community on campus. “We’re just a bunch of equestrians that have a place to hang out,” Beeler said.
“It’s just to be horse nerdy, and talk in horse lingo, and watch movies and just create that horse environment,” Luebker said.
Both Beeler and Luebker hope that the Equestrian Club will attract other Knox students who share their passion for horseback riding.
“I’ve been riding my entire life — since I was five,” Beeler said. “There have been moments in time when I’ve had to take off [from riding] for various reasons, and it’s been rough. Horseback riding has always been a passion, and I think for the rest of my life it always will be.”
“Riding horses, being around horses is the most frustrating and humbling and rewarding experience,” Luebker said. “There is a therapeutic aspect of it, just to be around a horse.”
With this much passion, the co-presidents of Equestrian Club hope to see it go far.