By Tyler Bui | Staff Writer
Growing up as an equestrian, my team had always consisted of just me and my horse. I spent each day at the barn riding and bonding with my horses; they were the only teammates I had.
The equestrian world outside of the NCAA is very different from the college format we compete in — in a sense, it’s a very individual sport. Aside from our horses, there were no teammates. We competed as individuals against each other, and up until college, it’s the only way we knew the sport.
From age six to 18, I spent every day at the barn. My time with my horses was what I looked forward to most at the end of the day. After school, I would go straight to the barn to ride. On the weekends and in the summer, I would spend my days, not only riding, but learning how to be a better horsewoman as well.
I would travel from state-to-state to compete with my mom, my coach and the horses. It was what I loved and still love to do, but I always wished I had teammates by my side.
Up until I came to college, I was unaware of the true power of having teammates.
From my first day of freshman year, I had 64 girls beside me who shared the same passion and motivation. I came to Baylor nervous and uncertain, but from the day that I met my team, I knew I had found my people.
Not only did we share our passion for horses, we also shared a passion for our team.
Growing up with the individualistic nature of the equestrian world, I had never been able to reap the benefits of having teammates. Sure, I had my horses and coaches, but I never was able to say that I had a typical team experience.
Now, in the college equestrian setting, we all work towards the one goal of beating the other team. We no longer compete against each other, but rather work together in competition against our opponent.
We spend almost every aspect of college together — we work out together, eat together, study together and spend any moment of free time with each other.
It’s been amazing to see how we have all become so close despite our diverse backgrounds. We have learned to trust each other, help each other and rely on one another in times of difficulty. I’ve become not only a better equestrian, but also a better student and person through the guidance and motivation of my teammates.
I’ve learned more from my teammates than from anyone else in college; they’ve pushed me to work harder, challenge myself and be more selfless.
I couldn’t imagine college any other way. I have made lifelong friendships and found myself a more confident person with the help of my teammates. I have learned the importance of being selfless and become more mindful about helping others after I realized how much of an impact my teammates have had on me.
I am so grateful to be a part of such a great team and thank each and every one of my teammates for the impact they’ve had on me.