Just over a year ago, I joined an IEA team, and I will always consider it one of the best decisions of my riding career. I was super hesitant at first. I had only ever ridden at one barn. I knew of people on the team already who were much better and much younger than me. I wondered how I was going to balance it with my regular lessons. Plus, the cost, the location of the barn, and the location of the shows didn't make it an easy decision.
|Willow, my o/f draw from the first IEA show|
And I had an awesome, energetic, supportive team.
|I didn't get the tall boot memo|
|But I did get the paddock boots & half chaps memo|
And winning a grooming tote was pretty cool too.
|Smiling even though I was freezing my butt off|
|Bond not always present|
I am aware that success in riding is mainly based on the quality of the training. Joining an IEA team alone won't turn you into a Grand Prix show jumper . . . although having a Corbinator can aid in that. With that being said, if you are in middle or high school, I highly encourage you to join a team, and if there isn't a team around, look into starting one. There is a lot to learn from having to effectively ride a wide variety of horses while sitting pretty.