A Passion for Riding

By Natalie A. Trout
Director of Marketing & Communications

Katian Hornbostel ’22 was only six years old when she started riding horses. Fast forward to Grade 11 and she is riding competitively as a part of the Canterbury School Equestrian team, which also includes riders from other schools in the area.

The team is a member of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), which has more than 10,000 riders from Grades 5-12. The unique aspect of IEA is that competitors do not ride their own horses. The host barn provides the horses, and each rider draws a random horse to compete on.

“I would say that my biggest accomplishment with the equestrian team hasn’t been the ribbons I’ve won but gaining the skills and confidence to step on an unknown horse and then go jump a course of eight jumps,” Hornbostel says.

Hornbostel competes year-round, but only from September to February for the Canterbury season, and they are limited to five shows. Canterbury has a history of qualifying for post season every year and has also sent many riders to national championships.

While competing is exciting, Hornbostel especially loves being with the horses.

“I love building a relationship with a horse that it is a partnership,” she says. “They have to trust you as much as you have to trust them. Horses weigh more than 1,000 pounds, so you are never going to force them to do something. If the trust is there, they will be willing to do whatever you ask.”

Hornbostel says the sport has done a lot for her self-confidence. She also loves the fact that she isn’t just competing for herself, but for an entire team. They count on each other to each do their best.

“The equestrian team is a lot of fun,” Hornbostel says, “especially when we get to travel to shows out of state. IEA has given me some of my best friends, and I have learned good life lessons.”