IHSA Team Bonding

Hi all! I’m a faculty advisor for a collegiate equestrian team (IHSA). We have a fantastic group of riders this year and I think they are going to be very competitive. However, they are all fairly young and clearly very used to thinking about riding as an individual sport. With such a large team, the coaches, president, captains and I are forced to make tough decisions about who travels to the shows and what classes they get to compete in. We are trying to be strategic to allow everyone as many chances to show as possible while still remaining competitive in our region. That’s meant dropping some girls down a level and restricting some to just riding on the flat, and a few don’t get to compete at our first show at all.

For the most part, the girls have been very gracious, but I’ve heard a few rumblings of disappointment. I fully understand the sentiment, but I think a little team spirit would go a long way towards soothing the ruffled feathers. Does anybody have some ideas for fun team activities to get the girls in the group mentality? Doesn’t need to be horse related, and low-cost ideas are always appreciated.

Our team does movie nights at someone’s apartment, group outings to the movies, a homecooked meal at someone’s house, etc. It definitely helps them become friends outside of competition/meetings/pressure.

One of the teams I know used to do a scavenger hunt around the barn - they loved that!