What do all these letters mean? What is the difference in IHSA, NCAA, NCEA, and ANRC teams?

The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) is a club level sport administered by Student Affairs.  The National Equestrian College Association (NCEA) teams are a part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which makes these teams more of a varsity level program that is administered by an institution's Athletic Department.  American National Riding Commission (ANRC) teams are education-based programs that emphasize the horse and rider.

Is the team English or Western riding?

There are five levels of Hunt Seat Equitation on the flat and three levels over fences as well as five levels of Western Horsemanship and Reining.  Each new member completes a form and a tryout that establishes placement level, then as a rider wins ribbons and points during their IHSA career, they move up through the divisions.

Do I have to tryout?

Yes. Members interested in trying out for the team will need to provide their weekday schedule and then will be assigned a tryout time according to their availability. They will need to arrive at the Clemson University Equestrian Center at least 20 minutes prior to their tryout time with a tryout fee made payable to Clemson University. RETURNING ROSTER MEMBERS- $10 per division, NEW MEMBERS- $15 per division. The actual tryout will last no longer than 30 minutes. For Hunt Seat tryouts please dress appropriately in breeches, a clean polo shirt tucked in, belt, boots, and an approved riding helmet. For Western tryouts please dress appropriately in jeans, a clean polo shirt tucked in, belt, boots, and an approved riding helmet.  If you do not have riding clothes or a helmet, please let us know and we will arrange some for you. If you do not have a car, we will arrange a ride for you. Please bring with you a note of which shows you will be able to attend as well.


How does CUET accommodate riders of all levels? 

The Clemson Equestrian Team has a spot for everyone, whether you have a very busy schedule and can't ride or want to ride every week and show. CUET is comprised of two levels. The show level membership is for members who have tried out and were accepted onto the team's roster to take a lesson and homework ride every week. They attend all mandatory events, and show when provided a show spot during the season. The club level membership is for those who participate in the club and are involved with team activities, including horse maintenance, and facilitate the hosting of our horse shows and clinics and can attend horse shows to assist with CUET delegates. Club level members typically ride at another barn besides the Clemson Equestrian Center to gain experience in hopes of eventually being on the show team. This is also the perfect place for those students in the Bridge to Clemson program who aim to try out for the team once they matriculate in their sophomore year.

What does an ISHA show look like?

In an IHSA Competition, the host school supplies the horses and the tack, so CUET riders need only bring themselves and their show clothes to the shows. The team supplies transportation and majority of the hotel fee. The riders are responsible for their own entry fees (at $25 per class with each rider competing in a maximum of 2 classes per show) and for feeding themselves during the trip. The shows in our Region are all held on weekends. We leave following class on Friday and return Saturday or Sunday night depending on the number and duration of the show(s) that weekend. Riders must travel and stay with the team. Friends and family who would like to come and cheer us on are welcome to show their support!

Do I have to have a horse to participate? Can I bring my own horse?

No. Team members ride horses that are owned or leased by Clemson University's Equine Center. Some team members do bring their own horses to college and board them at area facilities. This allows riders to continue to grow as an equestrian and stay "legged up" in between lessons.

How much does it cost?

Team members should be prepared to pay for weekly lessons and homework rides.  Other costs include horse show fees for classes at $15 per class, $10 a night towards hotel, and their own meals during competition weekends.  Costs for all club members include semester dues of $40-50, and costs for team members include yearly IHSA dues of $40 per year ($60 if both HS and W).  Riders are expected to provide their own riding apparel and to purchase a team jacket. 
See our financial page

How often can I ride?

The Team Captain coordinates weekly lessons.  Additional riding opportunities include non-structure "homework ride" opportunities, where show team members work on strengthening exercises and specific weekly assignments made by the coaches.  Homework rides are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and are fee based.

I am in the Bridge program, can I participate?

Bridge-to-Clemson students can participate in some Clemson Club Sports, however, the IHSA rules limit the team to students enrolled at Clemson University.  You are welcome to volunteer at the CU Equine Center to be involved with horses.  Additionally, you can come to support our riders at the IHSA shows both on and off campus and are permitted to travel with the team! 

I am attending a local technical college, can I participate?

Club Sports and IHSA rules prohibit students from participating who are not affiliated with the university.  You are welcome to volunteer at the CU Equine Center to be involved with horses.  Additionally, you can come to support our riders at the IHSA shows on campus!