Giddy-on-up over to Dordt’s newest club: The Saddle Club

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Dordt has added the Saddle Club to its list of many activities and clubs this year. Kristina Helflin, president of the Saddle Club, is excited for the club’s future. According to Kristina, the club was created “to provide an opportunity for Dordt’s students to express their enthusiasm and interest in horses as well as provide a fun, educational environment for learning about new aspects of the equine industry.”

The group meets about once a month and includes students who have little to no experience with horses to students who know all the ins and outs of horses. Helfin does a good job at including all the members, despite their former knowledge.

Liz Boender, a Dordt Junior and member of the Saddle Club, joined this group because her previous experiences with horses caused her to have “a simultaneous love and fear of horses.” “Through Saddle Club, I hope to gain more knowledge and confidence with horses,” Boender said. “So far, I am liking where the club is heading. Although attendance to events is relatively small as of now, we have a very devoted president who is passionate about her love of horses, which makes the times together very educational and fun.”

Kristen Raygor, also a Junior and a member of the Saddle Club, joined because she realized that although she enjoys riding horses, she doesn’t know much about them. “Saddle Club will give me an opportunity to learn a wide range of things, starting from basic body parts to just how to understand horses,“ Raygor said. The group had their second meeting on December 8, and despite the cold weather, Raygor said, “We learned truly valuable basic information about horses that I think will be useful for when we first ride.”

Members of this group have already learned a lot. They started off by learning the differences between horse breeds, how to properly groom and maintain a horse, and the difference between essential terms such as “gelding, mare, filly, and colt.” Next semester, Heflin hopes to take the club out to drive some horses and a wagon. “We will probably discuss some training theory and visit some training and breeding facilities, as well as spend some time with an equine vet,” Heflin said.

Heflin wanted to ensure that people know this club is for everyone: “We have members who haven’t touched a horse before joining this club and others who have ridden their whole lives.  Everyone is welcome, no matter the skill level, knowledge, or experience.  Also, don’t just think this is a club for girls…a lot of the top riders in the nation are men!”  If you are interested in joining and would like updates for next semester, email Kristina Heflin at

Amber Vis, Staff Writer

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