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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

TXST Equestrian Team gallops to a new season, competition

Haley Velasco
Lauren Rosenberger, interior design junior, and her horse jump over the wall, Friday, Aug. 25, 2023, at Sunny Fox Farms in San Marcos.

At Sunny Fox Farms, members of the Texas State Equestrian Team are back and ready to giddy up for upcoming competitions. 

Starting in around 2011, the Texas State Equestrian Team began on an inconsistent route due to a lack of funding. That changed in 2014 when Katherine Deichmann, Texas State Equestrian coach, took over and managed the team for the better.

Deichmann said the team consisted of eight riders in 2018 but they didn’t receive the proper coaching to make them competitive.

“We kind of revamped the style of the team on making it just a little bit more structured and really having students commit to the riding and the team aspect of it,” Deichmann said. 

For the first time in its 10 year history, the team held tryouts this Saturday with about 40 potential new members and 20 returners. This evolution would not be without a highly reputable coach that has allowed riders to grow out of their comfort zones and bring home big wins.

Deichmann has a history with equestrianism since she was a week old and started competing at the age of five. Her intent to start coaching began when she was 15. She taught lessons and later went on to compete for her alma mater, Kansas State University. After graduating from college in 2010, she got an offer to coach for the Texas State Equestrian Team just four years later. 

Not only has she allowed the team to improve over the years, but many riders believe that Deichmann is a coach that accommodates every riders’ needs to make them a better competitor. 

Texas State Equestrian Team Co-Captain Rachel Hammer, a human development and family sciences sophomore, has been riding for nearly six years. After making a decision to take a break from riding once she went to college, she changed her mind once she had a great first impression of the team and coach. 

“One of my favorite things that [Deichmann has] ever said to me was, she was like ‘I’m being hard on you because I know you can be better than what you are, so just do better,’” Hammer said. “It’s tough love. She knows what you need and I needed that and it stuck with me.”

For other students that rode for longer, riding for Texas State was a given. But for students like Texas State Equestrian Team Co-Captain Lauren Everett, a psychology junior, riding for a different coach was an obstacle she was initially afraid to overcome.

Everett, who has been riding since she was eight or nine years old, said she didn’t think she could feel as connected to Deichmann as she felt with her childhood coach. 

“[Deichmann] just somehow really understands all of her riders. She knows when to push, she knows when to back off. She knows everything, it’s like she’s in your brain,” Everett said. 

Everett’s long history with equestrianism has allowed her to become a part of a winning group, with the Texas State Equestrian Team placing third in regionals in March. 

With big victories already in the books, Deichmann is looking forward to a bigger team with an even better season.

“Our biggest goal the last several years has been publicizing us and getting our name out there,” Deichmann said. “For a long time nobody really knew we existed, so we’ve definitely accomplished the goal of getting some recognition. I hope this year, especially with this many people that we have hoping to join, we’ll have a really competitive group.”

Texas State Equestrian Team Co-Captain Hannah Patterson, an exercise and sports science junior, has been a part of the team for three years and a team captain for two. Being a captain consists of trying to publicize the team, which Patterson also feels they have accomplished. 

Through participating in multiple competitions and hundreds of practices, Patterson’s favorite memories consist of the day-to-day lessons and team shenanigans that she can look back on for years to come. 

“Sometimes our coach will just blast music with a speaker and we’ll do fun week lessons where we’ll have no stirrups and we’re bareback all week,” Patterson said. “It’s not always hard, aggressive work. We do have a lot of fun out there and it is a huge, huge family that we all just love to hang out with.”

With tryouts closed, Deichmann still encourages riders to reach out to her if they’re interested in joining the team. 

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