As the school year wraps up, senior, Ana Weinfurther hangs up her helmet as she says goodbye to the West Bloomfield High School equestrian team. Ana says she has been on the team for three years, ever since it started at the High School. She was the only senior on the equestrian team, but she expressed that that did not matter to her. In a short interview, Ana explains what it was like to be on the team, and shared stories about her three years of experience
What did you do in equestrian and how were the competitions you went to?
“The word equestrian means “relating to riding” and that is what the team is about. We ride horses, and compete with them. The equestrian team isn’t like most sports.Because for hockey, baseball, soccer, any sport really, they are playing with a ball. In Equestrian, we are playing with a 1,000 pound animal that has a mind of its own. We ride in three main competitions per season. They are held at Milford High School (they have 3 large riding arenas) and last from 7 in the morning to around 6 or 7 in the evening. We compete in many events. There are three disciplines; Saddle Seat, Hunt Seat, and Western. Within those three disciplines, there are different events. Such as showmanship (where you lead the horse through a course), bareback (riding without a saddle), and equitation (riding with the horse). There are patterns that are performed in each event. The patterns show the rider’s skill and control with the horse. Then there are games. The four basic games are Speed and Action, Barrels, Flag Race, and two person relay. Then there is a trail pattern, while tests the rider’s control. You do obstacles such as walk over a bridge, open a gate on horseback, and much more. The final event is Hunt Seat over fences. This is where you are jumping with your horse. You are required to be at a certain level of riding to be able to participate in this class.”
What was your favorite part about being on the team?
“My favorite part about being on the team is just being with the horses and people and making friends. The team is small and everyone is close”
What did you love most about your team?
“The team is great to be a part of, they are like a family. They have been a highlight of my high school years, and they are so supportive and fun to be around. They are all amazing people and it feels like a family.”
Ana Weinfurther really enjoyed her time on the team. But for now she jumps off her saddle at West Bloomfield High School, and starts to ride somewhere new.