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[RC] Earning Varsity letters for riding - beth glover

This is for Mae, who asked if anyone had persuaded their high school to award a varsity letter for endurance riding.

A few years back, when I was very active in a local club/network of riders in Southern  California called ETI we had a very active group of teens riding. They were show riders, some of them did gymkhana, some did jumping and other pursuits.  We had the vice president of the club, who was very interested in having a high school riding team, speak with the principal. This woman was a former PTA president. In other words, she was very well known, respected, and ....pushy. (She's a dear friend so I can say that)

I would say that you would have to have an adult/parent/trainer very involved with your pursuit, because the school required the girls to have "advisors", such as the sponsors in endurance. We also had to push the fact that riding is not a passive activity, such as watching TV, because that is what the PE teachers, and the principal at this school percieved it to be. I was all set to do Pulses, respirations and other indicators of physical activity on the girls, preparing a graphic chart. We were gonna have them trot a mile or two posting, and show the changes in heart rates on the kids. However my friend the PTA lady was able to persuade the principal of the physical benefits of riding. This was because they were going to waive the PE requirement for the kids. And they did.

The other thing we had to do was to get other schools to compete against. They actually had some shows that just involved several high schools. You would have to have kids from other schools to compete against, even if it was at a sanctioned ride. That was one of our requirements.

If I were you, I would go to the principal  prepared to explain the physical activity level that you engage in when riding distance, show who you are going to compete against, show how you are going to be training--in a scheduled and organized calendar, and have an adult backer with you.

Good luck in your endeavour, I sincerely hope that you and your friends are successful. Please let me know how it goes, because we may want to be doing this again in our town, in a few years. (With our up-coming crop of kids!)

Beth Glover

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