GET STARTED: FOR SCHOOLS
Riding with the Inter-School Horse Show Series (ISHS) means partnering with a community of schools, students, mentors, and motivators who support your students and help you turn independant athletes into team players. We've made it possible for over 40 schools to get in the saddle, and we can't wait to welcome yours to the family!
On this page, you'll find basic ISHS information to help your school get started. Watch the video below to have your questions quickly answered, click here for more details about how our shows work, click here to contact us with questions, and click here to sign up.
Riding with us means offering students a 3-season, co-ed sport-- without adding any extra work to your load. Seriously.
- You don't need to have horses.
- You don't need to host games.
- You don't need to buy uniforms.
- You don't need to hold practices.
- You don't need to buy equipment.
- You don't need to buy extra insurance.
- You don't need to provide transportation.
- You don't need to hire a coach.*
- You don't need to pay for your riders.*
*But you can if you want to.
ISHS is a competitive community that both challenges and supports your students. We emphasize good sportsmanship, teamwork, and we strive to create a positive, encouraging environment that celebrates the hard work, dedication, and athleticism of our riders.
Horseback riding is typically a solo sport, so most young riders never get the chance to be on a team. Our goal has always been to give these athletes the opportunity to reap the rewards of riding together, so we've created a totally new team-oriented equine experience that connects, supports, and empowers equestrian athletes.
We’ve made it possible for over 500 athletes to participate in school-organized sports, and together we can turn your school’s independent athletes into team players.
WHY SCHOOLS LOVE ISHS
ISHS is a self-sufficient show series that we developed in collaboration with Athletic Directors to ensure that starting a team is simple and that sustaining it is seamless. We've eliminated all of the work that standard school sports require, and you don't even need to know anything about horses to start and support a flourishing Equestrian Team!
Offering horseback riding as a sport increases participation in your athletic program, and many of our schools say that having an Equestrian Team attracts new students to enroll in their school.
NO HORSES NEEDED
Unlike traditional horse shows, riders to do not need to have their own horse or tack (AKA equipment) in order to compete in the ISHS. Riders are allowed to compete on their own horses, and riders who do not have their own horses can "lease" one from the host barn at each show. Judging is based on the rider-- not on the horse-- so every rider is competing on the same playing field.
Because you do not need to own a horse, our shows have made riding more affordable and accessible to students, schools, and parents. Not needing a horse dramatically decreases the cost of horse showing and opens the door for more kids to compete. It's extra cool because no one else does it! Click here for more information on leasing a horse.
SPORTSMANSHIP & AWARDS
We believe that being a great athlete means being a good sport, so in our series we recognize both athletic ability and good sportsmanship.
We pin each class individually, and award Champion and Reserve Champion for each Division (just like at a standard horse show). But in our series, we also reward the top two teams of the overall show.
We keep track of the rider's points and the team's points throughout the series. Then, at the end of the year, we welcome the top riders to our Invitational Show, and shower the top teams with Year End Awards.
The Sportsmanship Award is crowd sourced, and nominations are open to everyone all year long. At the end of the year, we award one JV rider and one Varsity rider with a pat on the back (just kidding, winners get very big plaques). Click here to for more info about scoring, and click here to learn more about our Sportsmanship Awards.
We love to seeing school spirit displayed at our shows! Many of our teams have represent their school by riding with a saddle pad bearing their school name. Outside of the ring, riders support their teammates by rocking equestrian team apparel, such as jackets. Our shows are like an all day tournament with a friendly, festival vibe and many teams bring banners to hang at their “home base”.
This may be the first time many of your riders have had the chance to represent their school while competing in their sport, so we encourage you to celebrate their wins! You can display their ribbons in your award case, announce show results during assemblies, include the team in sports banquettes, and publish their picture in the yearbook. These young athletes work incredibly hard and we love to see their dedication recognized and rewarded!
STARTING A TEAM
We make it impossibly easy to start an equestrian team. Basically, all you have to do is offer the sport to your students, then we take over and do all the work.
Teams can be made up of any number of students (even 1!), and ISHS allows both equestrian clubs and teams to compete. Many schools start off as an club and then evolve it into an varsity sport once they see how may students enroll and how simple it is to sustain the team.
Horseback riding is a year-round sport, so you can offer riding in the fall, winter, and spring. Riders need to be in grade 5-12 and have at least one year of horseback riding experience. Your school doesn't need any extra insurance because the host barns have it handled.
- Start any time during the season.
- Register one show at a time.
- Participate in as many (or as few) shows as you want.
- No minimum number of shows entry.
HOW WE WORK
We know that the horse world may be new to you, so we translated horse-show-jargon into standard-sport-speak to help you understand how we work. Click here for more detailed information and contact us with any questions.
You do not need to host games because our horse shows are the "games"! They're held on Sundays and we have about one each month during the school year. We have both JV and Varsity shows, and classes for all experience levels. Click here for more detailed info about how our shows work.
Schools do not need to hold practices. To compete in our shows, riders must be taking riding lessons-- but the lessons do not need to be organized by the school. See our Rules page for more information.
Your school does not need to provide uniforms. We call it show attire and do require riders wear it, but most of the kids will already own it. Click here for more information on show attire.
Teams must have a coach on-site at the shows, but your school doesn't necessarily need to hire one. We provide ISHS coaches at each show, so your team can just check the box when they sign up and we'll hook them up with an awesome coach.
If you'd like to have a coach for your team, it can be any adult who knows about horses that can helps the kids during the show. Many of our schools use teachers, riding instructors, ISHS alumni riders, or parent volunteers as coaches. Click here to learn more about coaches.
The biggest expensive in horse back riding is buying a horse, caring for it, transporting it, buying tack for it, ect... Since we don't require riders to bring their own horse, we eliminate the bulk of the burden to create an opportunity for riders of different socio-economic backgrounds to compete.
Some of our schools do pay the show fees for their students, but most of our riders pay for themselves. So having an ISHS equestrian team doesn't have to cost your school a cent. Click here for more info about pricing.
SIGN UP NOW
Ready to register? Click here to sign up.