Baylor Riding brings horses to Fountain Mall

San Antonio Ashley Ricciardell, a junior and member of the Trail Riding Club, rides thunder around campus Monday morning. Brooke Giacin | Multimedia Journalist Photo credit: Brooke Giacin

By Camille Rasor | Reporter

The Baylor Riding Association brought two of their horses, Dapp and Thunder, to campus on Monday to give students an opportunity to meet the animals and learn more about the organization.

The group, a non-competitive horse riding club founded in 1949, comes to campus with their horses once a semester as a way to spread the word about their club and let the Baylor community know about what is going on in their organization.

“We just like to bring them out and have people pet them, get to know us a little bit, and it’s really good for bringing new members every semester,” Danielle Sanchez, the president of the riding association, said.

The horses are boarded at C-Bar Ranch in Valley Mills, where the association’s members ride them on trails around five times per week on a 1,600-acre plot of land.

Unlike the equestrian team, the riding association does not compete in any events. It exists purely as a recreational outlet for those interested in riding and horse care.

Ashley Ricciardell, the fundraising chair for the organization, said she had no previous experience riding horses but learned through the riding club.

“What makes this club a lot different from the equestrian team is you don’t have to have any experience before joining,” Ricciardell said.

The riding association is currently fundraising for two new horses to add to the club. Sanchez said because the trails they ride the horses on are difficult, once a horse gets into their late teen years, they try to phase them out by placing them on other ranches where they can socialize with other horses as pasture mates.

“We’ve had a lot of problems happen with our horses in the past few years,” Sanchez said. “We’ve had two pass away from unforeseen things and illnesses, and we’ve had to retire quite a few because they were really old and it’s just not fair to them to have them go on the trails.”

Since they opened their GoFundMe page in May, $2,015 has been donated to help reach their goal of $5,000. The last donation was made three months ago.

“It’s slow,” Sanchez said. ”We had a lot over the summer, but I don’t think we’ve had any donations in a while.”