BY: Jaleena Reber
Hello everyone, it’s Jaleena! This weekend I am leaving for Redmond, Oregon with Missy to OHSET and WAHSET regionals. Now you probably don’t know what that is so let me explain :-).
From January to June, many highschoolers with their equine partner compete with their teammates against other high schools. OHSET stands for Oregon High School Equestrian Team and WAHSET stands for Washington High school Equestrian Team. OHSET and WAHSET is a high school sport so there is a team for each school.
For example, I attend high school at Yamhill-Carlton and I have 12 other students from my school on my team. Washington and Oregon are the only states to have an equestrian team. OHSET is like any other high school sport. Each state is divided into districts, Oregon has 8 districts and Washington has 6 districts. Each district has 3 meets where the teams compete. These are considered the district meets. I compete in the north valley district and we have a meet in January, February, and March.
There are many events in OHSET that you can do which is one of the many reasons I enjoy competing in OHSET. They have a wide variety of individual events that include timed events and performance events. Timed events are all the cow events like roping and daubing and all the gaming events like barrel racing and pole bending. Performance events are events that you are judged on like jumping, western pleasure and showmanship. I only listed a few events because there is so many!
Another very unique thing about OHSET is it has team events where you compete with members from your own high school team. The team events I competed in were Canadian flags, team birangle, team penning, in hand obstacle relay, and drill team. Canadian Flags and team birangle are gaming events that you do as a team.
Team penning is with 3 people and the goal is to separate 3 cows out of a herd of cows and chase them into a separate pen. Last year my team penning team placed 2nd in our district and 6th at state.
In hand obstacle relay is competed with 4 teammates. This event is competed from the ground meaning that we are not riding our horses we are just leading them. The goal is to lead our horses through an obstacle as fast as we can but also the prettiest. We are timed and judged in this event. This year my team placed 4th in our district for in hand obstacle relay.
Drill team is another event that I did this year as well. Drill team is with 4 teammates as well. In drill we all carry flags while mounted on horseback and we do a freestyle pattern. Drill team is very hard but also exciting. It requires extra practices and equal cooperation from everybody. In our drill team we do many different maneuvers. At each district meet we compete for points, what I mean by this is that depending on how you place in your event, you get a certain amount of points. At the end of the district meets, they take the average top 3 people to state or 10% depending on the event. This year I went to state in barrel racing, pole bending and drill team. I was the first alternate in figure 8, In hand obstacle relay, and team penning.
I had a very successful year at districts and even won a very nice jacket. I won the jacket because I got 3rd overall for versatility. To qualify for a versatility award you have to compete in 3 timed events and 2 performance events. After the district events, we go on to compete at state. In Oregon, the top 3 competitors from each event from every district go to state. At state this year, our drill team got 2nd place at state which is a very big deal. This year is a new thing for OHSET because they added regionals. The top 5 people from every event from Washington and Oregon state meets are competing against each other and my team is one of them!
I am very glad to be part of such amazing youth programs that involve my horses. Without these programs and support from my leaders, coaches, parents and teammates, I wouldn’t be the rider I am today. I am also very thankful for Wilco who supplies my horses with their essentials and some of my clothing.