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Athletic Equestrian: Riding In College Podcast

Navigating the world of collegiate riding is a mystery to most young rider athletes and their families.  Sally Batton, a collegiate varsity equestrian coach for over 30 years, interviews coaches, organizations and riders for their insight on what it takes to ride on a collegiate equestrian team.  So saddle up and join her as she reveals the inner workings of collegiate equestrian. 


A lifelong horsewoman, Sally’s diverse interest in the world of horses has led her to believe in the critical importance of developing correct and effective horsemanship skills at an early age.  The Athletic Equestrian method emphasizes the development of correct fundamental horsemanship skills, which in turn allows for progressive improvement in technique and performance. 

Sally began riding at Camp Tippecanoe in Ohio in the fifth grade, where she was introduced to western riding. From there, she quickly expanded her interests and went on to experiment with many different disciplines, including gymkhana, dressage, polocrosse, eventing, Morgan breed showing, foxhunting, polo and even side saddle. 

Sally received a Bachelor’s degree in Equestrian Studies from Lake Erie College in Ohio, and later a Master’s degree in communications from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. She began her professional career at Centenary College in New Jersey, where she worked first as the stable manager and later as an instructor and coach in the Equine Studies program, qualifying the team for the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) national championships twice. While at Centenary, Sally learned how to play polocrosse, essentially lacrosse on horseback, and traveled all over the US playing the sport. In 1988 she was asked to fly to Australia to research the sport and in 1990 her book was published, Polocrosse: Australian Made, Internationally Played. 

From 1990-2019, Sally was the Director of Riding and Varsity Equestrian Head Coach at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. In that time she managed as many as 150 riders per week from both the school and the surrounding community. Through the Tiny Riders program to her most “senior” of students, Sally had the chance to work with riders from ages three to seventy five. The Dartmouth Equestrian Team has long been known as a group of talented and competitive young equestrians, both in and out of the arena. With Sally’s coaching, members of Dartmouth’s team successfully competed at the IHSA National Championships at many different levels, and in 2015, the top two places in the McDonald Scholarship Challenge (an unmounted horsemanship test) were won by Dartmouth team members. 

Sally was on the Board of Directors of the IHSA from 1984-2017. She served as the organization’s National Steward from 2001-2017, and was recognized in 2013 with the IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2019 was inducted into the IHSA Hall of Fame. Sally is also a Level III certified instructor with the American Riding Instructor’s Association (ARIA), and in 2008 was awarded Instructor of the Year. She is a USHJA Certified Trainer and an American Polocrosse Association Certified Coach.