Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need my own horse?
No! The beauty of our program is that you do not need to have your own horse for lessons OR shows. Wesley Clover Parks provides us with a great team of horses for our weekly lessons! At the shows, hosting schools and private owners provide their own horses for use.
Where do you ride? How long does it take to get there?
We ride at Wesley Clover Parks, in the West End of Ottawa! It is about a 20 minute drive from school, depending on traffic.
How often can I/do I have to ride?
Ideally, we would like team members to ride at least once a week, but you can ride more or less often to accommodate your schedule provided that there are available lesson spots. We recognize, as students, that everyone may need to take a week for Midterms off from riding. As long as you attend 12 lessons per semester, there is some flexibility.
Do I need my own equipment?
You should have your own riding apparel (outlined in the recruitment section). It is possible that teammates will be able to lend you or even sell you their own equipment, if need be. You should have your own riding boots and a helmet, because it is important for your own comfort and safety that those fit you right! No personal tack is needed as the team shares saddles and bridles from Wesley Clover Parks, as well as saddle pads, horse boots, and martingales, etc. As this equipment is borrowed, we take the utmost care of it, keeping it clean, polished, and kept in top condition.
Do I have to go to every show?
Yes! Being a part of the uOttawa Equestrian Team requires commitment to your show season AND your team members! Once it is decided on which circuit you will compete, you will sign a contract committing to attend every show that semester. You will be informed ahead of time how many shows have been scheduled, and given an approximate cost based on last year's expenses. We understand that in extenuating circumstances, some riders may not be able to attend every single show. In this case, exceptions can be made. If you cannot commit to every show due to financial considerations, there may be the possibility to compete as a 'Wild Card'. This rider would take over any absence of another regular competitor, due to extenuating circumstances.
How do we get to shows and/or lessons?
We try to make it as convenient as possible for our members by arranging carpools for each lesson. The Lesson Coordinator is responsible for organizing lessons and carpools to those lessons, while each show coordinator is responsible for arranging transportation to IHSA and OUEA shows. For shows, we usually end up renting cars if not enough people can drive. For lesson carpooling, each person in the car (apart from the driver) is responsible for providing $5 to the driver for gas money.
I've never ridden before. Is that a problem?
NOT AT ALL! In fact, we are always the most excited when we get beginners, because at the moment we do not have many, so we are not representing ourselves as strongly as we could at shows! It is always nice to see someone become interested in the sport we love! If you're unsure, send our secretary an e-mail and come watch a lesson or a show!
I am a grad student but I would still really like to participate. Is there a way I can still participate?
You will not be able to participate in the IHSA show circuit unless you have ridden with us before, in which case you may ride as an Alumni. The OUEA does offer showing for graduate and part time students. Certain graduate programs are considered "undergraduate" in the States so please ask!
When are tryouts and what do I need to do?
Tryouts will happen at the beginning of each semester. Don't be nervous though, because we want to recruit as many people as possible! Basically we use that time to evaluate what level you would be most comfortable riding at on the team, so just go out there, do your best, but HAVE FUN! Check our Calendar of Events section to see upcoming tryout dates!