Written by Kimberly Jones
While some students have a passion for running cross-country or kicking a ball, others look forward to spending time with their four-legged friends.
UMHB now has its first equestrian club. The Crusader Riding Association has officially been chartered and had its first interest meeting Oct. 23.
It was held to see all the potential members of the organization and to discuss safety precautions when the riding begins.
CRU RA is for riders of all levels. There are four groups: Group A with little to no experience, Group B with some experience, Group C that has much experience and Group D with the most.
The club offers students the opportunity to learn about culture and to be a part of a social group. It also allows students to appreciate wildlife and value nature.
Director and sponsor and modern foreign languages professor Karen Frederick saw the club as a great idea and assumed there are many students who love horses.
She was right. At the moment, more than 50 students have expressed interest, including sophomore and president of the club Katherine Johnson, vice president Sarah Davidson and secretary Stephanie Garza.
Johnson is in charge of making major decisions, organizing fundraisers and meetings. Garza records the minutes of the general meetings.
“I also distribute all constitution amendment proposals and make changes to the constitution when an amendment comes to pass,” Garza said.
The purpose of CRU RA at the moment is not for competitions but about the passion of riding horses.
“We just want to have game nights, trail rides and availability of horses so students can just go out and ride whenever they have free time,” Frederick said.
Johnson said the overall goal is to promote horsemanship on campus and to develop relationships through the love of horses.
“We want to allow UMHB students to develop their skills in a fascinating and rewarding hobby and, of course, to make great memories and have fun.”
CRU RA will have horses available for members to ride, groom and to take care of.
Currently about 10 horses are available and depending on the final number of members, horses will be available for their leisure.
The horses are kept at a nearby farm approximately 12 miles from campus.
The club meets at least once every two weeks to discuss ideas and basic care and exercises for the horses.
The cost of the club is $100 per semester, but Johnson and Frederick explained that they will work with the students if a payment plan is needed.
Because the club is new and became chartered in the middle of the semester, students will not have to worry about the fees until the spring. But the money will go toward club and horse fees.
Frederick said, “There are a lot of expenses involved with horses: feed, hay, saddles, bridles, halters, vaccinations, hoof trims, and so on.”
Those who are interested in the club may contact Johnson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I think this club will be a great experience for anyone who has ever loved horses,” Johnson said. “Mrs. Frederick is a great sponsor, and we are coming up with some great ideas.”