Claire Hale: The Horseback Riding Student

Name: Claire Hale

Major: Engineering

Hometown: Upper Arlington, OH

Fresh off her appearance at All-American Quarter Horse Congress, Her Campus OSU had the chance to talk to student and horseback rider Claire Hale.

Her Campus: Can you explain to our readers what Congress is?

Claire Hale: Congress is the largest single breed horse show in the world. It is a month long horse show in Columbus with the top quarter horses in the world competing. In addition to the horses, there is a lot of shopping.

HC: What is your role at Congress, and how many years have you been attending Congress?

CH: I started riding when I was 10 years old, and I've been attending Congress ever since. The past three years I have had the opportunity to compete at the congress with my horse.

HC: How do you balance being a full time student and horseback rider?

CH: Thankfully my horse is with a trainer, which means my trainer rides and cares for my horse for me. However, when I’m not competing, I go ride a couple times a week, and during a show I have to go ride even more. During a show, time management is key. I have had to miss several classes, especially during Congress, so I’ve had to make sure I make up the work and learn the material I missed in lecture.

HC: Did your love of horses have any impact on what college you decided to attend? Why OSU? 

CH: Originally, I was going to attend the University of Findlay, which is known for their equestrian program, but I decided to attend Ohio State for academic reasons. I also went to OSU so I could stay close to my horse and continue to ride.

HC: Does OSU have any opportunities for horseback riders?

CH: Yes. OSU has both English and Western Equestrian Teams that compete with other colleges. OSU also offers horseback riding classes. Additionally, there is a Horsemen’s Association club, which is great for horse lovers.

HC: Do you plan on incorporating your love of horses into your future/career?

CH: Although I’d love to, I don’t plan on it. There is not a lot of money in the horse industry and because it’s such an expensive hobby, I plan to be an engineer so I can afford to continue riding and competing.