By Eric Halperin
This past weekend, five girls on Elon’s Equestrian Team showcased thier skills in Greensboro at the Sedgefield Showgrounds. The team has many experienced riders, including Allie Morris.
“I was the captain of our team in high school for all four years,” Morris said. “So coming to Elon, it was the first thing I joined and I’ve been faithful to it ever since.”
Horseback riding has been an important part of Morris’s life and many of the other girls women on the team for more than 10 years. She showed her passion for the sport on Saturday by cheering for her fellow teammates while they put their skills to the test. The team was judged on everything from riding posture to jumping.
Sophomore Yvette Bean loves when she gets to jump with her horse.
“It’s just such a thrill and the higher it, is the more like airtime you get,” Bean said. “It’s almost like when you’re on a roller coaster, your stomach kind of drops and you just have that like that moment of lift. It’s so, so fun.”
Elon’s Equestrian Team may have spent all day in Greensboro at Sedgefield but most of their hours go into hard work back at the stables. The women do many different things when working to train their horses.
“I mean, every day it changes,” Morris said. “Horseback riding is challenging in itself. But I think every day brings a new challenge that you kind of have to find and work through.”
Anne Morgan is the trainer for Elon’s team and loves working with them.
“It’s a unique opportunity to have a team atmosphere with riding as a very individual sport,” Morgan said. “So it’s wonderful to have a team that all works together.”
The competition may have been fierce and fun, but for Morris there’s more to riding than winning: building a relationship with the horse is her favorite part.
“I guess my favorite part about horseback riding is the connection you get with the horse,” she said. “Unlike riding a bike or driving a car, you’re working with something that has a personality and it is its own being. So you kind of have to learn how to best cooperate with the horse so you can work as a team.”