What is the TSU Equestrian Team? Truman State University Equestrian Team welcomes both casual and competitive riders. We have team members whose first ride took place at evaluations and team members with distinguished A-circuit show careers. While many of our riders ride before joining the team, no previous horse experience is required. At home, many of our riders ride disciplines and seats other than what IHSA offers. Our Equestrian Team has dressage riders, eventing riders, hunters, jumpers, reiners, western pleasure riders, saddle seat riders, and more.

Who is our Coach? Coach Emily Costello teaches Intro to Equine Science, is the Horsemanship Instructor, and is the Equestrian Team Coach at Truman State University. Emily graduated from Truman State with a degree in biology in 2007. Her horse Daiquiri lives at the University Farm.

How much prior experience do I need to be on the team? None! We have had several showing members whose first time on a horse was at evaluations! If you are unsure, we recommend enrolling in the Horsemanship I course to get your feet wet (or at least dirty).

What are the member requirements?  Fees are $160 for new members and $135 for returning members to participate on the team for the whole year. This price includes a team t-shirt and the fee is used to help pay for horse related expenses including the farrier, chiropractor, and tack. Every member is required to do 15 work point hours assisting in jobs around the farm that benefit the team over the course of a year. These can be horse laundry, jump and arena painting, cleaning tack, sweeping the tackroom, etc. Members are also help out with the TSU Stock and Hunt Show during the fall semester. IHSA showing members are required to pay dues to IHSA that range from $40 to $60 dollars and also are responsible for horse show related costs such as food, hotel expenses, and some class fees.

What are other things that the TSU Equestrian Team participates in? The TSU Equestrian Team has monthly team bonding events that range from service projects around the farm, spaghetti team dinners, movie nights, and so much more!

What is the Clyde/Mini program? When you join the TSU Equestrian Team, you will be paired up with an older member who can assist in how the team functions. This member will have a similar riding background. This is a great program that allows new riders to get to know returning members.

What is the TSU Showing Team? The team rides both English and Western and competes on teams for both Hunt and Stock Seats in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) show circuit September through May. The English team competes in Zone 7, Region 5 and the Western Team competes in Zone 7, Region 4. We travel throughout Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa with a few trips farther North or South depending on the season schedule. Because horse shows are held on weekends, most of our riders do not miss classes for competitions.

Do I have to show in order to join? No. However, the Equestrian Team is competitive and we encourage all to participate. If you are not interested in showing but would still like to be part of the team, you are welcome to do so.

How has our team done in the past? Our IHSA showing team has been very competitive throughout the years. The hunt team has been very successful in the past years with high point and reserve team placings in Zone 7 Region 5. We have several riders who advanced to Zones and Nationals. We also had our team advance to Nationals and had riders represented in the Cacchione Cup. The western team has been very successful in the past years with several third, fourth, and fifth team placings in Zone 7 Region 5. We have several riders who advanced to Semi-Finals and Nationals.

When and where are practices? The team practices at the Truman State University Farm in the evenings Monday through Friday. We offer beginner practice during the week offering individual, one-on-one attention. Generally, practices are open for everyone; however, we close practice one week before a show to allow those competing exclusive attention. When the show season gets going, we often hold morning practices and weekend practices. Practice is never mandatory; although, those attending shows must complete six practices in the two weeks prior to the show.

Who are our horses? Our team has many generous sponsors including the donors of our riding herd and breeding program horses. Many of our horses are the results of donated breedings! Most breeding seasons we are very fortunate to have generous stallion owners allow us to breed one of our university mares to their stallion. The rest of our riding herd is composed of donated horses and horses bred on the farm from our two stallions Leo (Leos Royal Bonita) and Mouse (Tanyas Playboy).

Will I get to pick which horse I ride at practice? It depends. More often than not, Coach will decide. However, the more you progress with the team, the more selection you have in which horse you ride. Before shows, Coach tries to rotate riders through as many different horses as possible.

Do I need my own tack to practice? Can I bring my saddle? No, the farm provides everything you will need except boots. You are required to provide your own riding shoes. With Coach’s approval and as long as it fits our horses, you can bring your own saddle. Our tack room is small, and we do not guarantee a spot for your private saddle.

Can I bring my horse to Truman? Yes, but the farm has limited boarding facilities. If the farm is full, Kirksville has several other boarding facilities within a few miles. Keep in mind that many students find it is difficult to keep up with their own horse and still fit in the required practices on team horses before shows. For more information on boarding horses at the University Far, contact our farm manager, Bill Kuntz, at brkuntz@truman.edu.

Do I need all of my own show clothes? No, the team has a large collection of show clothes that you are welcome to borrow. However, beginning to collect your own show clothes is a good idea if you plan to be on the team long-term and show frequently. More information will be provided at the New Member Information meeting.

How can I contact with the team? You can email the team directly at equestrian@truman.edu or Coach, Emily Costello, at ecostello@truman.edu. Another option is staying in touch with our facebook page and following the events that the team offers. This will be the most relevant dates for new member orientation.