Whether “horse” is to you a hobby, a sport, a lifestyle or a mystery, here is the community to pique your curiosity and sustain your passion.
The only entirely student-run cooperative collegiate equestrian program in the country, Earlham College Stables offers affordable lessons and boarding to students and the community. With recreational riding on school horses and a competitive hunt seat equestrian team both available to our Co-op members in addition to the lesson program, we are in the unique position of being able to welcome new members from the full spectrum of equine experiences. It is through the collective wisdom of that diversity that our program flourishes.
A Welcoming Group Awaits You at the EC Stables
Before coming to Earlham I knew nothing about horses. I couldn’t ride, couldn’t name breeds or colors — I couldn’t even clean a stall. That first day of riding lessons, I was so nervous, there was so much to learn. But only three weeks in I began to look forward to them, savoring those two hours and wishing for more. Halfway through the semester I joined the barn co-op and my world exploded. I found a community of students bound together between their common love for horses. They accepted me and I counted myself among them.
Ask me any day and I’d say I joined for the horses but stayed because of the people. I’ve received enormous support while learning things foreign to me. Each week we exchange laughter and mirth and I walk away knowing I’m part of something productive. Already I have had so many fun experiences, and they just keep on coming.
I could always count on Cassandra greeting me with a loud “Hi Jeremy!” until I remembered her name. Every Spanish class I’d walk in knowing Maren would never tire of me asking her horse questions. The same goes for Zoe who always lets me talk to her about her future career as a horse veterinarian.
My first barn shift was brightened by Lillian’s witty sarcasm after she complemented my sweeping. Ha! Not to mention I have her to thank for teaching me to clean a stall. Even when I’m not working, being at the barn has been an incredible experience. I recall meeting Nate who told stories of his past and how he became a farrier. Annie even spent an entire hour talking with me over all matters of equine regalia while her horse was being shod.
I remember attending my first equestrian event, all of the horses: chestnuts, paints, bays and greys, and watching a multitude of English riders. There were seven representatives of the equestrian team, Rachel Ritter, Sarah, Lucia, Carly, Abigail, Jazmine, and Rachel Wadleigh. All of them shared their knowledge of the events, their personal backgrounds, and a humorous story here and there. They were so welcoming and enjoyable I’m already looking forward to the next team competition.
Over Thanksgiving break, Sierra and Kaitlyn let me work a few shifts at the barn that was so much fun! Christy even showed me how to trim horse whiskers, who would have thought!
And I’ll never forget the first time I rode a horse and the instructor who was so patient with me that day and every day thereafter. Hannah, how can I ever thank you?
Coming to Earlham I never planned on being involved in any extra activities. Just come in, get my education, and leave. Co-op has changed that. Now, I have something to take with me beyond my academics. I have met some amazing people (and horses!) that I look forward to working with in semesters to come. Cheers to all co-op members: we have more memories to make, and I hope you will all be among them.
Jeremy Bleh '17