Great Coaching: IEA to Intercollegiate Riding

IEA Team Rider


For many individuals, horseback riding is not just a hobby, it’s a way of life. Rather than choosing to play a more traditional sport in middle school, high school or college, many equestrians opt to join their IEA and collegiate riding teams. These programs are excellent ways to build on riding experience and be part of a team; plus, riders do not need to own their own horse.  Team experiences allow young equestrians, with the help of a great coach, to learn the ins and outs of the horse show world.

Whether a rider is enrolled in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) during their middle school and high school career or the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) while they attend college, the relationship they form with their coach has the potential to completely transform their riding experience for the better. A great coach can open doors for their students by building upon what they already know and teaching them what they don’t. Coaches serve not only as a riding instructor, but also as a mentor – especially for green riders who are still learning the ropes when it comes to horse shows. Further, great coaches help build the team’s bond and sportsmanship, which elevates their competitive commitment and success. 

If you are interested in launching or continuing your horseback riding career by joining a high school or intercollegiate riding team, conduct some research to be sure that you will be learning under an excellent coach; this person will likely be one of the most important individuals in the development of your riding skills. As one of the top trainers in North Carolina with many championship wins under her belt, Alicia Wilkinson is your go to coach for IEA and NCEA horseback riding teams! Find her online at for more information.

Jenn Crow
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