During horse show weekends, I love walking into the barn in the morning, smelling the fresh alfalfa, and hearing the horses nickering for their breakfast. I’ve been around horses my whole life and it just feels like home.
The Lovett Equestrian team may be small, but our small size and our shared love for horses unites us. All of us want to win, but we also just want to be around these amazing creatures that do so much for us.
While the Lovett practice schedule isn't very demanding--we practice together once every two weeks--we all practice consistently outside of these times.
The team also has horse shows five times a year (so maybe you’ll see us in morning meeting at least five times). These shows include showing up a six AM and leaving around 6 PM, so it’s definitely an all day thing.
Mary Grace Samp, a freshman, has been riding for almost eleven years now, but has only been on the team for two years.
She loves being able to ride so many different horses, and she says the team is like having a second family. Despite how much she loves the team, she said getting up at 4:30am for the horse shows is not fun, even if it’s only five times a year. She also mentioned the fact that you don’t really need any experience to join, so you should try out! Anyway, it looks good on college transcripts.
A sophomore on the riding team, Mary Collier Childress, says that she really loves the team because everyone on it is so close, and working together is a lot of fun. However, like Mary Grace, she doesn’t like having to get up so early either, but she says that it really is a great experience being on the team.
She also says, unlike everything else about Lovett, practices aren’t on campus (though wouldn’t it be cool to see horses running around?), so it’s nice for a change of scenery and to be able to meet other people at the barn that might not live in Buckhead.
Ana Gray, another freshman, said that she really just loves being around the horses in general, but she also really likes how yes, the team can win overall, but it’s also an individual sport (if you don’t count the horse), which is pretty unique compared to most other sports. You can make it to finals without year team, which opens up a lot of opportunities.
And now, last but not least, the final high school rider: Kiley Jones. She’s a sophomore who is not only part of the team, but also the team photographer. She loves trying to get good shots of everyone on the team during their classes as she gets to see the highlights of everyone on the team.
Overall though, she really enjoys being on the team because everyone is so nice and knows each other well because of the team’s small size. She says she hates how time consuming the team is, but it’s worth it in the end (kind of ironic because we only have practices one every two weeks, but I get it, one day of your weekend is gone when we have horse shows).
An unusual aspect of the team is that some middle schoolers compete with us. Ella Anne is the sweetest girl and has only been on the team for about a month. She loves getting to ride all of these different horses and doesn’t really have a favorite. She really wants people to join just because it’s a great experience and a lot of fun.
I went to the first show, as I am on the team, and let me tell you, getting up at five on a saturday is not easy (yes, this is clearly a big theme for all of us), but the show was fun overall!
We arrived, fed and brushed the horses, and ate some breakfast (someone brought chicken minis, which kinda made up for having to get up so early).
We then got all the horses ready, and Mary Grace and I warmed up Lovett’s horses. There was definitely some excitement though, as Mary Grace’s horse wouldn’t stop rearing, and mine tended to take off with me, but hey, we made it through.
This horse show was very small (about one hundred riders which is less than usual), so the day went by pretty fast as it was filled with cleaning sweaty horses, cheering on our teammates, and trying to stay somewhat presentable looking.
Our middle school team did great, getting a third place overall, especially because it was the girls’ first show ever! Our photographer, Kiley Jones, also did an amazing job with all the pictures she took at the show! And she’s the one that finally got us in morning meeting, so a round of applause to her.
Hope this article makes you want to join the team, but if not, I hope it at least made you realize that we do have a riding team here at Lovett. So, if you’re feeling bored next weekend, we have a horse show! Come out if you want to pet some horses (but no, you can’t ride them).