By Samantha Samant
The smell of manure, blood, sweat and tears were in the air at the North Shore stables, and Katherine Galvin, a junior nursing major, was right around the corner talking to her teammates.
Galvin is one of the 35 members of the varsity equestrian team and competes in horse shows throughout the year. She is regarded by her teammates as one of the hardest working members, balancing school, work and her love of horses.
“She’s a huge part of our team, and honestly I don’t know how things would stay organized without her,” Sarah Wung, a sophomore journalism major who is a member of the team, said.
The horses seem to like Galvin too, as one licked her hand as she approached to interact with him.
“She’s awesome, she’s great,” varsity coach Brooke Chasin said about Galvin.
Galvin started riding at Post as a freshman in fall 2016. “The varsity riding team here was a huge factor for me in my decision to come to Post,” she said.
She has ridden horses for most of her life. “I started riding when I was 7 and haven’t been out of the saddle since. Horses have just always been an integral part of my life,” she said.
“If I had to choose, my favorite part about riding is the relationship you form with your horse. I really enjoy working with ‘project’ horses (horses that aren’t fully trained or need work). It is rewarding once all the hard work pays off and the horse is able to perform at his potential,” Galvin said.
The equestrian team is unique in that each team member plays for their own score. Not all events or section of the competition require jumping, some events called floating events are done on the ground. The team with the highest score wins.
The score in a competition is determined by these general premises: horsemanship or how well the rider works with the horse, posture of the rider and how well the rider guides the horse to perform certain tasks such as turning.
While they may compete individually, Galvin is still a team player. She works as the team’s barn manager.
“I oversee the care of all 30 team horses. Each girl on the team has their very own ‘care horse’ to care for,” she said. “My job is to ensure that each horse is receiving the proper maintenance from their care person.”
Taking care of the care horse includes grooming, exercising, schooling, lunging (commands while guiding the horse in a controlled circle before riding), and several other tasks. Each member of the varsity team comes down to the stables daily to take care of their horses.
When Galvin is not at the stables or in school hitting the books, she spends her time in the yoga studio being an “Avid Yogi Namaste.”