We were lucky to grab a few minutes of Abby's time to be able to talk to her
about the first few months of college, the tryout process for an IHSA team, and more!
Horseplay: What made you decide to pursue an equine degree in college?
Abby: I never really knew what I wanted to do in college, I was always going in between degrees in biology, environmental science and geology, something that would fund my equestrian career as I aged. Eventually I took a tip from my guidance counselor and started looking into Equine Science degrees but I didn't want to be a trainer or a barn manager, I wanted to do something new and innovative. I found the rehabilitation program at Morrisville State College. It was new and different and one of the few in the country. I knew I wanted to do that when I researched the major more. I have always loved horses and have wanted to do something useful in the industry. I found my niche with rehabilitation.
Horseplay: How are you adjusting to life in the dorm? DO you have any tips for current high school juniors and seniors as they apply?
Abby: I'm adjusting very well I enjoy having a lot of free time to do my school work and hang out with the horses at the barn. My tips would have to be, don't stress out, the application process can be very convoluted and intense at times but it is not anything worth stressing over. Don't be afraid to ask questions, e-mail your admissions counselor or your school guidance counselor. You can even ask your favorite teacher at school, they have all gone through this process and know how intense it can be. Also when you look at schools go with your gut feeling, people in your life may say one thing but you're the one that will be attending the school, so do what you want. Lastly, good luck and have fun!
Horseplay: Congrats on making your school's Hunt Seat Team! Tell us about the try-out process and what happens next:
Abby: Thank you so much! Basically I went to an informational meeting where I
filled out a questionnaire based upon my riding and showing experience that tentatively placed me into a division. So I tried out for the novice flat and novice over fences division. I had day one of try-outs which was just flat. I was put onto a harder horse but she was good and very responsive not one of my best rides but it taught me alot in the 15 minutes I flatted her. I waited for an e-mail to find out I made callbacks. At callbacks we actually jumped a few jumps. I got put on this huge grey horse with a large stride and jump. He was very educated and like a gentle giant. So we flatted first again then popped over a few jumps. All and all it was a little stressful but the coaches made it a fun team atmosphere for everyone involved. Now I will wait for the dates of my practices and what days I'll be showing!
Horseplay: You've also been able to try some western riding as part of the team, how is that going?
Abby: The Equine Sciences program at Morrisville allows all freshman to do both disciplines. I've had such a fun time in the western saddle. Learning the proper equitation and way to ride western has really reflected positively as I advance in English riding. It's also been fun to get a chance to ride some of the talented retired Reiners the school has.
Horseplay: How long until your first show with the team?
Abby: I don't know when I'll be showing, but our season starts this weekend with our first show at Hartwick. Hopefully one of the next few shows I'll be showing, but until then I'll be on the sidelines cheering on my teammates!
Horseplay: What are you most excited to do or try in college?
Abby: I am most excited to keep being able to meet every horse I can and have
experiences that teach me and not only make me a better horsewoman, but a better person as a whole, and in the end just have fun.
Abby, thank you so much for answering all of our questions! We can't wait to hear more about how your season goes!