You haven’t had the true college sports team experience until you’ve crammed a herd of horse girls (and the sole guy on our team) into two giant vans and embarked on a five hour drive across the state. Sleeping on each others shoulders, taking pictures that will appear on the end-of-season slide show of team members snoozing with their mouths open (a practice one of our captains calls fly catching) – now that’s team bonding at its finest.
Last Friday the NDSU hunt seat equestrian team drove across Minnesota for our season opener, a show at University of Wisconsin River Falls. We call ourselves equestriennes, but after this weekend I’ve begun to think that word is a little overrated. Because lets be real here – we’re all still little girls at heart who love ponies. I found that out on Saturday as I sat on the bleachers with my teammates and awaited my turn to ride. I have no idea how the subject arose, but somehow I mentioned the Saddle Club in conversation – you know, those books made into a television show about BFFs Stevie, Lisa and Carol and their adventures at Pine Hollow stable?
At the mere mention of the children’s show, the girls seated next to me freaked out. And I mean FREAKED THE HECK OUT.
“AAAHHHHOHMYGOSHILOVEDTHESADDLECLUBSOOOOOMUUUUCHWHENIWASLITTLE!!!!!!!” was the concurrent exclamation that came out of everyone’s mouths.
The conversation that proceeded was a solid 20 minutes of Saddle Club chat about our favorite characters, horses (Prancer, Starlight and Cobalt were my personal faves), episodes and random unrealistic horse scenes that bother every semi-knowledgeable horse person. We recounted the days when we pretended to be members of the Saddle Club with our horse friends, and vowed to have a team Saddle Club viewing party to watch every episode ever made.
We might all be in our late teens and early 20s, but reliving your childhood never seems to get old.
Those were the days. When life was simple and being an adult wasn’t a thing. Back when the toughest decision you had to make was which Saddle Club movie you wanted to watch and whether you would pretend to be Stevie, Carol or Lisa when you played with friends on the weekends.
Now life is full of big questions, like what to do with your future. One of the girls on our team was recently engaged. Another dramatically altered her career goals and changed her major. You never know what the future holds, what lies just around the corner. So for the weekend, we lived in the present, savoring our personal victories in the show ring and our two collective champion team victories from Saturday and Sunday. We celebrated by creating our own rap in the parking lot outside the show ring. One of the captains laid down a sick beat while I rapped like an equestrian version of Iggy Azaelea.
The ride home involved more sleeping on each other and probably dreams of the Saddle Club. It was a great weekend.