Barrel Racing

Senior Morgan Schoeperkoetter looks onto her horse Canon. Schoeperkoetter is currently a barrel racer and has won many prizes for her winnings.

Northwest Equestrian has provided students an off-campus opportunity to grow a unique passion.

The Equestrian Club is a group of students with a love for horses. The president of the club is Miranda vest. The club allows members to improve their knowledge of how to care and ride horses. It is open to any Northwest student, no matter the experience.

Members of the club are able to learn how to ride a horse through riding experiences at the stables just off campus. For those members who do not own a horse, the club goes out to different barns and provides the opportunity to ride one.

The club puts on different shows throughout the year and helps riders have a taste of competition both on and off campus. These shows are not only for club members. Senior Morgan Schaeperkoetter is a former club member who still participates in these events.

“They’ll hold a couple of fun shows out at the stables, and they’ll do a couple of shows over at Horace Mann to teach them a little bit about horses,” Schaeperkoetter said.

These fun shows are events that include pole bending, barrel racing, down and backs and more. The club hosts the shows and opens the competitions to anyone who wants to enter.

“We have no requirements and there are multiple age groups for equal competition We have family games set up as well,” Vest said.

The club events are normally held at the stables. The stables are open to any Northwest student and include an arena to hold competitions and shows. The cost to keep a horse at the stables is $100 per month, plus the feeding and maintenance cost of the horses.

While most students use the stables for leisure, the fun shows are what draws people to the arena. The shows provide those riders with little or no experience an opportunity to ease into competition.

In the event of barrel racing, the learning process is slow and requires dedication to yourself and your horse.

“It takes years of experience to learn. I’m learning new stuff every single day,” Schaeperkoetter said. “You have to keep your horse in shape and make sure they’re nice and flexed all the time.”

Caring for a horse is a major part of preparing for competitions and a main focus of the club. The club educates inexperienced members on many factors about horses. These lessons apply to everyday care and to the competition side of raising a horse.

“You want to make sure horse is settled in and comfortable in their surroundings. Even the most finished horses can get spooked in a new place,” Schaeperkoetter said.

All of these lessons will be on display at the club’s next Fun Show. The show will be held April 8 and will start at 9 a.m. The show is being held to help support Changing Leads Equine Rescue.

“A portion of the proceeds for this show is going to Changing Leads Equine Rescue, which is a huge reason why we are putting this on,” Vest said.

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