An in-depth look at Lambert Equestrian Team


Used with permission from Lambert Equestrian Team

The Equestrian Team during a show at Willis Park on October 2nd. The Longhorns will be hosting their own riding competition at this same location in January.

“It’s not like anything else that other athletes would do. Riders, we depend on usually a one-ton animal between our calves to keep us safe and to make sure we don’t go flying headfirst into a fence.”

Junior Lauren Aubin, has always had a love for horses. “My mom used to show for Western style and so she has always loved horses. I have baby photos of me sitting with her on saddles. She used to work at Otwell Middle School and they had a riding club, so the middle schoolers did some smaller events and I would come along. One time at the shows they had what was called a “pee-wee” course, I was around six at the time, and I got to ride around with my mom holding the horse; we got first place. It was just a participation thing, but I didn’t know, so I loved that.”
Approximately a decade later, she is one of the 15 elite members of the Lambert Equestrian Team, a group of students dedicated to perfecting their skills as riders. As one rider, Bhargavi Tiruchinapalli, puts it, Equestrian Team “is a rewarding experience not only because you find a way to channel your energy but you make new, lasting friendships”.

With weekly practices and roughly one to two shows every month, the riders of the Equestrian Team are definitely kept busy. According to Senior Team Captain Madi Casey, some equestrians on the team even ride nearly every day in order to perfect their skills. Needless to say, being a rider is no easy task. Aubin describes her typical day of practice as walking, trotting, and cantering with the horse. “There are different things we have to do with each part of that and it’s actually really hard. It doesn’t sound that hard, but it is”.

The team has been more selective this year in its members and the “competitive members represent riders that have shown hard work and dedication, as well as riding ability, and an ability to compete under pressure” Casey says. Due to the selective and small nature of the team, relationships between teammates flourish. “It’s really tight knit” says Aubin. “We all know each other very well… everyone in the team has their own responsibilities and relies on one another”.

Along with the relationship developed among teammates, the relationships developed with the horses is just as important to some riders. “The best part is ultimately the horses, and being able to share a love of horses with a group of peers” Casey says.
“I love working with horses because in a barn environment you find a way to relieve stress.” Tiruchinapalli adds. Unlike other sports that typically rely on some sort of ball, riders on the Equestrian Team are able to develop strong bonds with their animal. However, working with another animal can sometimes be dangerous task. Aubin recounts a time while riding in which her horse spooked. “I went headfirst into a fence and got a concussion”. To protect from accidents such as this, helmets worn by riders have been tested to withstand 60 mile-per-hour impacts. Despite this, the team still treats each and every horse exceptionally well. As Casey says, “We treat every horse we have at our barn, and the ones we lease for shows, like they are our own personal horses”.

Through all of this, the goal of Lambert Equestrian Team is officially “to provide recognition of the Equestrian athlete and to give them an opportunity to achieve that recognition in a fair, positive, and educational environment”. Casey’s personal goal is to have the riders “grow in confidence and love for the sport” and also become a more competitive team as a whole. Proving from the positive results of the most recent competition at Tulip Pond during the last weekend of October, the team is well on its way to achieving both of these.