Have you heard of IEA?
The Interscholastic Equestrian Association is designed to get junior riders in grades 4-12 to be involved in equestrian sports without the major price tag of traditional showing. IEA strives to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction. IEA teams can be found across the states and membership includes over 13,500 riders. Competition includes Hunt Seat, Western and Dressage.
Here's 5 reasons to get involved:
Riders travel to a ‘host’ facility and compete on the horses provided by the venue. They are not required to bring a horse, pay for stabling, grooming, etc. The only cost to the rider is their show entry fee ranging from $40-$60/day, the fee to their coach and traveling fee which is usually minimal because riders can usually get required number of shows down close to home or ‘in their region.’
2. No need to own a horse!
At each IEA show the horses supplied by the venue are put into there appropriate divisions. For example; some horses don’t jump so they are only used in the flat classes. Some horses are used just for the 2’6 division because they’d be too much horse for a cross rail rider. When they are called riders go to a draw table. At the draw table they line up and ‘draw’ which horses they will be showing on. This levels the playing field as the rider will be showing a horse they are not familiar with. Since the playing field is more level, the energy between barn's ‘teams’ is more unified instead of the separation felt at some shows. For example; you will hear riders from other teams asking ‘what horses did you draw?’ And then they will have a conversation about the horse or give tips on how to ride said horse.
IEA also offers more of a camaraderie as riders ride for team points as well as individual points. The whole team stays all day to cheer on their team mates.
4. Catch Riding Development
Before the show starts riders have the opportunity to watch the horses be warm-up by non competing riders. During this time rider and trainer study how the horse likes or needs to be ridden. The host venue also supplies trainers with a horse list that explains the ‘things to know’ about each horse. For example; Betty draws Bella for her jumping class. Betty and trainer read note given by show ‘Bella is sticky to pick up left lead, use a lot of leg,’ and they read their notes about Bella. Once they’ve read the notes they come up with a game plan on how best to ride and show Bella.
5. Scholarship Opportunities
Scholarship money is awarded every year by the IEA. They have a National Sportsmanship Award every year and each Zone has scholarships they award. The members grow every year in IEA and so does they generous amount of money being given in scholarships.
Interested in learning more? Kalember Equine is an IEA vetern and happy to answer any questions about getting involved with your region.