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Penn State Equestrian Team Ready To Get Back In The Saddle

After almost a year and a half on pause, the Penn State Equestrian Team (PSET) is ready to get back in the saddle.

Last year, the team didn’t hold tryouts, lessons, or attend shows, but members were still able to connect with freshmen through GroupMe and bonding with older members.

Between a new semester and being back in person, the team saw around 130 equestrians try out this fall over the course of two days. There were just 20 spots available for new members, in addition to the 32 other returning team members. Those who weren’t selected for the team have the option to join as associate members.

President Joe Messner put an emphasis on being an associate member because it still allows members a chance to take lessons and participate in events.

Experience on the team ranges from beginners to advanced riders with a focus on hunt seat equitation. The PSET season consists of riding lessons once a week with coach Kristin Gretok and various shows throughout the season. Riders who aren’t as advanced can also learn from more experienced members.

This year, the team is tasked with hosting the national show for club teams in Harrisburg at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex.

A big part of being on the PSET is being involved on campus, especially THON. During THON 2020, PSET and Professional Golf Management ranked No. 4 in fundraising among general orgs.

Throughout the year, the team fundraises and connects with families through THON Explorers. THON Explorers allows families to visit the barn and hang out with team members — both two-legged and four-legged, that is. The team also has high expectations for THON 2021 and hopes to adopt a new family.

Courtesy of Penn State Equestrian Team

Obviously, the equestrian team has a very unique aspect to it: the horses.

What have they been up to without the team being as active? Over the past year, members of the team took on the responsibility of leasing team horses in order to help cover boarding costs. Local members also assisted with feeding and cleaning stalls when possible. Several horses left the team due to medical problems or temporary donations, but with new contributions, PSET was able to reach its goal of 15 horses.

With a new season around the corner, Messner is excited to be back in the saddle. But more importantly, he’s excited to be back with his team.

Courtesy of Penn State Equestrian Team

“My favorite part is being a family,” Messner said. “We try to be really close-knit as a group. It’s a real unique club having horses and being able to use them.”

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About the Author

Dana June Nunemacher

Dana is a redshirt sophomore, who is studying public relations. She is from the 570 and yes, she has watched The Office. Her passions in life include drinking unsweetened iced tea and spreading her love for agriculture (yee haw)! Send any cow pictures or complaints to [email protected]

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