Did You Know Maranatha has an Equestrian Team? Just Ask Amanda Dundas

We sat down for a Q&A with Maranatha sophomore Amanda Dundas to learn more about the sport of Equestrian. Amanda has been a faithful rider for the Maranatha Minutemen for the past two years, placing in each of the shows in which she has competed. Maranatha is thankful for both Amanda and her mother, Debbie, for the hard work and dedication they poured into the program.

How long have you been riding and what do you love about the sport?

I have been riding consistently for the past couple of years, but have always had a fascination with the sport and have always been interested in it. My favorite part about the sport is being able to build a connection between myself and the horse; especially because I do not always ride the same horse because I do not own one. I get the opportunity to build a connection with many horses with different personalities. It is also a stress reliever from school and a busy life while providing an opportunity to relax doing something I love.

How did you get involved with equestrian?

I have always been interested in equestrian, but was discouraged at a young age because it is a high contact and dangerous sport that is also expensive. However, my parents finally gave in and took me to my first lesson to see if I would actually stick to it, and I haven’t stopped since.

We hear horses, like people, have distinct personalities. How do you control such a large animal and do you have any stories about the horse you are riding?

You have to learn to go with the flow in some circumstances because sometimes a horse’s personality will not match a rider's, just like with other people. You have to learn to coexist to get to a goal with a horse. I don’t have any particular stories except to say that some days you do home feeling accomplished, but not all days end that way.   

Explain Maranatha equestrian and what it’s like to represent the school?

Basically, when you compete in school league shows, you tell them which school you are representing and ride on the school’s behalf. I've enjoyed representing Maranatha in these shows.

What’s the most exciting and most challenging aspect of riding horses?

The most exciting part is hanging out with the “barn friends” that aren’t your normal school friends. They can relate with you about horses in a way my school friends often cannot. The most challenging thing about the sport is that you have to rely on a 1,200+ pound animal that can’t speak, unlike a normal athletic team where you can communicate more easily. As I like to put it, the outcome of any ride or show depends 50% on the horse and 50% on the rider…they go hand in hand. Some people say riding is easy because all you do is sit on the horse. NO, this is not the case at all. In a high contact sport, especially if one key component doesn’t speak English, it becomes a much harder sport to succeed in when relying on 50% animal and 50% human. You cannot do, or succeed in, the sport if you do not have both components working together.

What would you like people to know about you and your horse?

Being that I do not own a horse and ride a variety of lesson horses, I learn about all of their different personalities and I become a better rider when learning how to coexist and work with their personalities in different situations. When you spend a lot of time around the horses you learn about their own little traits and it is fun to watch some of them embrace their quirks.

Last Add…

I plan to continue riding throughout college, as well as competing for a long time beyond high school while maintaining a good GPA.


1st Place - Freshman Western Equitation
Saddle Seat and Western School League of Greater Los Angeles Horse Show at the LA Equestrian Center
April 15, 2017

Reserve Champion - second highest points for her division
Saddle Seat and Western School League of Greater Los Angeles Awards Banquet
April 23, 2017




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