You may recognize that name more in its short form—the IEA. The middle and high school program that offers riding opportunities to kids and teens across the country. Established in 2002, Durant was one of the founding members of the non-profit organization. Beginning with just 200 participants, the IEA now has over 14,500 members across 46 states in North America and supports three disciplines: hunt seat, western and dressage.
Durant will explain in the podcast that she wanted to create a program that introduced middle and high school students to the draw-based competition format to set them up for success on college riding teams. She was inspired in high school when she was riding, but saw a gap in representation between school teams like football and baseball and riding teams. Many schools not only set up their student athletes for success in college, but also celebrated their victories. Durant didn’t see the same happening for riders or riding teams. Later in life, she wanted to find a way to integrate riding teams more into school athletics, and her story came full circle when she helped found the IEA.
In this episode, Durant also discusses the disciplines and divisions in the IEA, how the team atmosphere of IEA riding contributes to growth and relationship building and how she thinks the organization has impacted kids across the country.
Thanks to the sponsor of this week’s episode, Troxel. Troxel would like to introduce the new Terrain helmet! This next level, low profile helmet features 12 extra-large vents and a frontal reinforcement cage for maximum airflow and added impact resistance. With a patented, moisture-wicking Coolcore® headliner treated with innovative FUZE technology that fights odor-causing bacteria, this helmet is engineered for cool, comfortable rides.