Interscholastic Equestrian Association logo photo of hunt seat equestrian rider photo of western equestrian rider photo of saddle seat equestrian rider

IEA was formed and organized to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction available to middle and secondary school students.

Fast Facts

  • No need to own a horse to participate. Classes are offered in four ability levels: beginner, novice, intermediate, open. Any combination of ability levels on a team is permissible, but it is advantageous to have at least one rider in every class to be competitive as a team. Riders in grades 6-8 are eligible for Middle School Teams while riders in grade 9-12 compete at the High School level.
  • Points are tracked for individual rider accomplishments AND for overall, team accomplishments. Individuals and teams earn points to qualify for regional, zone and national finals.
  • Teams take turns hosting horse shows throughout the season. New teams are NOT required to host any shows. Second year teams are required to co-host at least one show. Teams in their Third year or additional years must host one show or co-host two shows per year.
  • The competition season starts September 15th and ends at the National Finals in late spring / early summer.
  • Students ride horses that are furnished by the host barn and chosen by random draw. The use of personal tack is not allowed and limited schooling is permitted. This equalizes competition variables and tests the horsemanship of the contestants.

Getting Started

Many things must come together to get a new IEA team off the ground. Assembling a group of riders who are interested in the program is the first step. You must have three (3) riders in an age group to start a team. Once you're ready to get going, you must have the following:

  1. Host Barn: Every team should have a facility to practice and access to enough horses to support team lessons and showing. While IEA teams do not need to be affiliated with a school, many enjoy the support of being on a school-recognized team.
  2. Coach: An IEA Coach must be 21 years old and have proof of liability insurance. Liability insurance that specifically covers IEA activities is also available from Equisure and can be purchased through the Membership Office.
  3. Membership Applications: Once you have the riders, coach and facility, you must submit a membership Packet to the IEA. A Membership Checklist is available that reviews all required paperwork and forms for teams, coaches and riders.


Coaches and barns with IEA Teams enjoy the following benefits:

  • Increased teaching and coaching revenues from additional lessons, team practices and show-day coaching fees.
  • An introduction to showing for students without horses, lower level riders and those without the financial means to show at larger shows.
  • An incentive to bring new riders into your facility! As your IEA team becomes successful and your riders share their experiences with others, you have an additional service to offer new clients that other barns in your area may not be able to offer.

Download the above info as a PDF

Frequently Asked Questions


Starting a New Team

Starting a new team is easy and rewarding! Our Quick Start Guide will give a concise overview of how IEA competition works and of the benefits of starting a new team. If you have any questions or need help getting started, please email our Membership Marketing Coordinator, Jennifer Eaton.

Applying for Membership

Membership applications are available from early May until November 1 through the IEA website. All membership applications are available through an online application system that will allow payment to be made by credit card or check.

A check list is available to help team leaders when organizing paperwork to send to the Membership Office. If you need help or have questions our Membership Office is always standing by.

Requesting Membership Applications by Mail

For members that reside in areas that do not have access to the internet, the IEA Membership Office will be happy to mail the 2013-14 Membership Forms. Expected delivery guidelines through the USPS for most of the continental United States is 7-10 business days.

Team Roster Is Not Yet Available

Team applications are processed by the Membership Office in the order in which they are received. Depending on the time of year and volume received by the Membership Office, the average wait time to receive a team roster is 15 business days. Once the roster is processed the team Coach will receive a welcome email from the office with access to the IEA database. If you believe that it has been more than 15 business days since the team applications were submitted we recommend contacting the Membership Office.

Log-in Unavailable for IEA Database

Coach and Contributing members that are registered with the IEA for the current season will have access to their team rosters through the IEA database until June 30th of the competition season. After June 30th all access to the team rosters is unavailable until the member re-registers for the new season.

Members that do not have access during the season should contact the Membership Office. Members that need team information after the season has ended can access class and point information through the IEA website under Archived Results.

Changing Teams

Individuals or Coaches may not switch teams during the competition year. Under extenuating circumstances a petition may be filed with the IEA Membership Secretary who will send it to the Zone Chair and Zone Ethics Committee for a team change review. Should a petition be filed and granted then the following stipulations apply:

Riders must wait thirty (30) days before competing with the new team after the team change petition has been submitted to the IEA Membership Office.

Riders are not eligible to be designated as a point rider for the new team throughout the remainder of that competition season.

Riders may carry any individual points earned and the number of shows in which they competed to the new team.

Membership Opportunities

All information regarding the many opportunities available to IEA members can be found on our website.

IEA Founders College Scholarship Awards

Each year at the IEA National Final competitions, the IEA awards a total of $15,000 in scholarships to the top placing and second highest placing Seniors in Individual classes at our National Finals. 

National Sportsmanship Award

Our National Sportsmanship Award is open to recipients of the Sportsmanship winners from each of our regular season shows. In years past, the award winner has received $500 from the IEA and up to $1000 more in associated scholarships sponsored by the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.

Zone Specific Scholarships

Each Zone within the IEA offers scholarships to their graduating seniors. For more information please contact the Zone Administrator in your area.

IEA Benevolent Fund

Each year the IEA offers assistance to our members through programs funded through the IEA Benevolent Fund. The Financial Assistance Program offers aid to incoming rider members who require help financing their IEA competition. The Coaches Assistance Grant offers financial assistance to our member Coaches in their time of need.

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