Photo credit: Rebecca Palmer
Before one of her competitions, third-year psychology and public administration student, Emma Munro of the equestrian team sat down with the Fulcrum to talk about everything about falling off a horse to addressing the Gee-Gees’ surprising bond with Carleton University. Munro competes in both flat and hunter jumping across Ontario, and in New York. For all you newbies, hunter jumpers are judged on performance, soundness and jumping style. But, during flat, the judges are looking for the manners, performance, and style of the horse and rider.
How long have you been riding?
I started riding when I was six, and competing when I was 10.
What is your favourite part about competing on the equestrian team?
Being a part of the team, working together. It’s an individual sport but everyone on the team helps each other out and cheers each other on.
Do you need a horse to be on the team, or does the University of Ottawa supply you with one?
When we practice, we have school-supplied horses. During competitions we use the horses that are there. The school we go to supplies us the horses.
Is there a bond between you and the horses?
It is kind of tricky because the ones we practice on, there is definitely a relationship. But the ones at competitions, you maybe spend like five total minutes with the horse. Sometimes if you’re lucky you’ll get the same horse at different competitions.
Is there a rivalry with Carleton?
There are two different divisions that we compete in: Ontario and in the United States. The circuit I compete on is in the States. But with the one in Ontario, it’s more that Carleton and Ottawa team up against everyone else.
How does one join the equestrian team?
They do tryouts. I didn’t even know the school had a team. It’s one of those things that you have to know about. They have a meeting at the start of the year, and then go to a tryout. When you compete you have to submit all of your history with riding. From that, they make a decision. The year I tried out, they didn’t cut anyone because there weren’t many people. This year we made cuts.
Do you have horses back home?
I don’t own a horse right now. I did before, but I sold it before university.
Did you ever fall off a horse?
Not in competition, surprisingly. It does happen sometimes.
Does it hurt?
Yes! If you’re riding a little one it’s not as bad, but it can be pretty gruesome.
Did you ever lose control of a horse?
Yes. It happened to me last year in a competition. The horse was big and I’m not very tall. I ended up missing some jumps, but nothing crazy.