Learning about the Equestrian Team
Prior to coming to Dartmouth, I had no idea what being on the equestrian team meant. Now, my best friend is on the equestrian team on campus, and it's enthralling to hear what she does. So, I recently interviewed my friend, Grace Silverman '25, to show the world what she does with the equestrian team at Dartmouth.
- No. 1
How long have you been horseback riding? Why did you start?
Hello! My name is Grace Silverman, and I'm a '25 studying Environmental Studies and Public Policy. I started taking horseback riding lessons in sixth grade. After my elementary school graduation, my mom was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. My parents signed me up to take lessons with a friend over the summer while my mom was going through treatment. Thankfully, my mom is fine now, but I loved being at the barn and riding so much that I kept it up.
- No. 2
Could you describe what being on the Dartmouth Equestrian team is like?
I’ve really enjoyed being on the team. We are one of the smaller teamsnwith usually around a dozen or more riders on the roster. Our small size definitely improves team cohesiveness. Small practices give me the chance to talk with and get to know all my teammates, and they were some of the first friends I made when I got to Dartmouth.
Dartmouth owns a barn in Etna, NH, which is a 15-minute drive from campus. Morton Farm is in a beautiful spot in the hills with plenty of turnout space for the horses. There is an indoor arena attached to the barn for winter practices in addition to an outdoor jump arena and a dressage court. There is also some good trail riding on the property, so sometimes we have fun hacking out while the weather is nice.
While competing in the fall and spring, we practice 4-5 days a week. We also lift in Floren varsity gym twice a week. Our coaches Tenley Walsh and Megan McGill are very experienced, and the team has a string of 16 fantastic horses for us to practice and compete on. During practices, we receive a lot of feedback so we can put in the best ride possible in the show ring.
The team competes in equitation over fences and on the flat; however, team members have experience in several different disciplines (jumpers, hunter, eventing, saddle seat). I have a hunter background and was on an IEA team in high school.
Team practices are a significant time commitment, but there are many available resources to help us effectively manage our workload. The Dartmouth Peak Performance (DP2) program offers academic support and career counseling services
- No. 3
What is your favorite memory with the team?
One of my favorite memories with the team is traveling to Lynchburg, Virginia over spring break. Switching to NCEA has given us the opportunity to travel to competitions farther away. Through these trips, I have gotten to spend much more time with my teammates visiting places across the US that I’ve never been to before. Traveling to ECAC conference championships with the team this year was special because the whole team got to be in Virginia together.
- No. 4
How has being a member of the Dartmouth Equestrian team challenged you, changed the way you think, or helped you in ways you did not expect?
Being a member of the equestrian team has given me opportunities to expand my comfort zone with the support of my teammates and coaches. By prepping for NCEA meets, I have had to learn more difficult flat tests and jump courses than I rode in high school. Working together as a team to run home shows and compete against other schools has also forced me to take more responsibility and think about how to make the group as successful as possible.