Back in the Saddle: Club president keeps equestrian team alive


Adeline Kolsto, president of the CMU equestrian club, rides her horse during lessons with their coach on Dec. 10, 2021.

Walking into the barn filled with hay, dirt, sand and the smell of animals, Illinois sophomore, Adeline Kolsto, strolls past the horses in their stalls. Kolsto arrives at Pippin’s spot in the barn and starts to brush him and put the gear on his back, feeding Pippin treats if he behaves.

Renae Dickie walks to the ring before lessons Friday, Dec. 10 at Sunshine Farms in Bay City.

Kolsto joined Central Michigan University's equestrian club her freshman year in 2020. Since there was no competition last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, Kolsto said this is her first year competing. 

Despite being new to the club, she is also the president.

When Kolsto found out more information about joining the club through a Zoom meeting, there were only five people on the call. 

Adeline Kolsto, president of CMU equestrian club, brushes her horse before lessons in the barn where the team takes their lessons on Dec. 10, 2021.

“I told the president at the time that this is what I want to really be involved in on campus,” Kolsto said. “She was graduating and none of the other people had any interest in being involved so I had to take this on if I wanted it to work.”

With help from the former president and eight other girls in the club, Kolsto has kept the equestrian team alive.

CMU Equestrian Club Captain Adeline Kolsto rides a horse during lessons Monday, Jan. 27 at Sunnyshine Farms in Bay City.

“It is very motivating and very fulfilling because I get to give very motivated girls the opportunity to do what they love and create a really positive environment where they can further develop their skill,” Kolsto said. “That honestly kept me so happy throughout all of this and it makes me very proud that I took on this position.”

A horse stands in the stables after being ridden Monday, Jan. 17 at Sunshine Farms.

Throughout pandemic restrictions, a decrease in membership and now, this year, being able to compete again, club members count on each other to uplift their spirits.

“My team members will tell me how thankful they are for this or how much better their day is once they've gone to the barn,” Kolsto said. “I'm just really happy that I'm able to provide that for these people."

Photo courtesy of Adeline Kolsto

The CMU Equestrian Team gathers to have their photo taken during University of Michigan's Horse Show Saturday, Jan. 22 at Willowbrooke Farm in Plymouth.