Let’s get ranchy!
One of the great things about attending a school like UF, is that you have the chance to get involved in so many ways, and really get to try a variety of things. I love walking into the barn and seeing the variety of horses we have on grounds, and what they are all capable of. We have everything from western pleasure horses, to all-arounders, to reiners, to our “ranchy” cutting horses.
Earlier this semester, the UF Ranch Horse Team held their spring show at the western farm. It was really cool to see the differences between the Ranch Horse Show and the IHSA shows. For starters, they do completely different events, including cow classes! I got to see everything from cutting and boxing, to team penning and ranch riding. Another difference was the way in which the Ranch Horse Team sets up the arena, and uses their space. As they were doing cow classes on Saturday, they needed some holding pens for the cows at one end of the arena, and had panels set up all around so that none of them could get out when they were released into the arena for the class. It was a completely different show atmosphere, compared to that of an IHSA show.
Friday night before the show started, the team helped set up all the panels in the arena, and took care of other last minute preparation work for the show. They also put on various clinics for ranch riding, reining, flag work/cutting and ranch trail. The clinics were led by some of the upperclassmen on the team, which was a wonderful opportunity to showcase what we learn throughout our years here at UF. Saturday and Sunday were the actual show days.The diverse nature of the equestrian program and the opportunities here have got to be one of my favorite aspects of being here. The UF Ranch Horse Team is another way of being involved with horses, even if you’re not an equestrian major! Tryouts for the team are held at the beginning of the fall semester, and practices are held throughout the week. All my friends who are on the team tell me it’s a lot of fun, and definitely something people should consider trying. So don’t forget about the Ranch Horse Team when thinking about whether you want to be on one of Findlay’s equestrian teams!