Hello! We are thrilled that you're interested in riding for Princeton! We'd love to talk with you about our program, but first, read this page and find out if Princeton is for you. This page outlines some questions most often asked of our officers.
First of all, we are most often asked if there exist any scholarships for Equestrian activities. The simple answer: No. No Ivy League college awards any kind of athletic, academic, or special talent scholarships. But don't let that discourage you from visiting and applying to Princeton.
Princeton has one of the best need-based financial aid systems in the country. If you need to receive financial aid in order to come here, then you will get it! Most students here receive some form of financial aid. Don't be afraid to apply to Princeton because of the cost, because there is help, both at Princeton, and in outside scholarships that you can find nationally or in your community.
Another question asked by prospective students is what kind of resume one needs in order to get into Princeton. The best thing we can tell you is that there is no particular route to Princeton. In general, you'll want to take tough classes in high school and do well in those classes in order to maximize your chances of admission. Admitted students also typically have strong standardized test scores and have been involved in school or community activities. However, this also does not necessarily mean you'll need straight A's in all AP-level classes, 1600 on the SAT's, won a national title in a sport along with finding the solution to world hunger on the side. Such accomplishments certainly don't hurt, but the important thing to remember is that most Princeton students aren't geniuses - they're simply very hard workers who strive toward excellence. Check out the Admissions Office for more info and contact them with any questions about applying or to request an application.
Unfortunately, apart from talking to prospective riders and answering questions about what it's like to go here, we really have no "recruiting" power. We are a student-run organization with no ties to the admissions office. We want to help you, but we as an organization have no extra pull in the admissions office whatsoever. If you want to come to Princeton, just do everything you can to do well in school and your activities! That's the best advice we can give you.
If you are seriously considering Princeton and are interested in riding, we encourage you to visit campus and check out the barn and meet with team members. We can arrange informal overnights, invite you to eat lunch or dinner in an eating club or dining hall, answer questions, or have you watch a riding lesson or horse show. All of these are not considered to be NCAA recruiting trips and are arranged individually, since the admissions office no longer offers overnight hosting for prospective students until they are admitted. These are also just informal extensions of hospitality and do not have any influence on admissions, as, once again, we are not in any way connected to the admissions department.
Some riders own horses and want to know what options are available for bringing their horses to Princeton. If you are interested in finding out about local barns in the areas, please feel free to get in touch with us for more information. However, note that Princeton does not own its own barn, and while there are many farms in the area, there are few in walking/biking distance. Also note that the Princeton academic schedule is demanding and therefore limits the amount of time you'll be able to ride and care for your horse. Unless you have the money to pay for full care, and unless you have the time to fully investigate all available area barns, bringing horses to Princeton may not be a good idea. In addition, Princeton rides in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), which rules that riders must compete on unfamiliar horses provided by the host school. This means that you won't be able to bring your horse to IHSA shows.
Many riders want to know if the riding program is in conjunction with a pre-vet or Equine Sciences program. Princeton does not have an Equine Sciences program, and while many students here are pre-vet, the riding team is not affiliated with pre-veterinary work. At that, there is no structured pre-vet program: to be pre-vet, you simply need to take the courses required by most vet schools (such as biology or chemistry) and then apply to vet school! Some of our riders have gone on to veterinary school, and some horse care is taught at weekly lessons, but once again, the Equestrian Team is purely a fun, athletic organization.
Our semester-long program involves one hour-long group riding lesson each week - while the lesson is only one hour, the overall time commitment per lesson is three hours (one hour total of travel and one hour total grooming). Students seeking additional lessons must arrange and pay for them individually. However, most students find that one lesson per week is perfect, since academics are demanding and access to cars is limited. We are working on solutions to use University vehicles in order to make more lessons available to students, however, this is a work in progress.
We welcome riders of ALL ability levels. The IHSA has classes for every level of riding, from beginner's walk-trot classes to jumping fences up to 3'6". We don't hold try-outs and we encourage riders to show, as it is lots of fun and a great way to see how your lessons have paid off.
As a team, we hold dinners, fundraisers, group outings, and parties when we're not in the barn. We consider ourselves a tight bunch. At the same time, almost every rider is involved with other campus activities - from a capella groups to student publications to other club or varsity sports to class/college/club councils to sororities to community service to religious activities to ethnic organizations! We represent most any group on campus, but we are tied together by the common thread of horseback riding.
If, so far, our team sounds like fun and fits your college plans, please email us. We are always looking for new and enthusiastic riders for our team!! Have a good year, and good luck with your future endeavors!!