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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Riding with gratitude

Cameron+Crenwelge+is+a+senior+equestrian+rider+and+participates+in+the+horsemanship+event.
Photo by Photo by Paul Burke

Cameron Crenwelge is a senior equestrian rider and participates in the horsemanship event.

As the Texas A&M equestrian team starts the new season next month, riders on the team are more eager than ever to pick up where they left off.
As last season’s most improved player, horsemanship senior Cameron Crenwelge said she anticipates her riding confidence to only grow more due to her coach and team’s support. Last season Crenwelge earned five wins, three MOPs in horsemanship and recorded a season-high of 78 at SMU (Feb. 15) for the team.
As a child, Crenwelge said she began to admire horse riding when her family went on a vacation trail ride in the Colorado mountains on horseback. Crenwelge said she remembers the woman who led them through the trail was very well-spoken and accomplished, and that became something she looked up to.
“I was a shy kid growing up, so I would pick up pamphlets and cut pictures of horses out and put them in the inside of the microwave, under my parents’ pillows and in the closets because I was too nervous to ask them to buy me horse and get me in a riding lesson,” Crenwelge said. “Finally my mom asked, ‘Is there something you need to tell us,’ and I told her I really wanted to ride horses, I wanted a chance to get into it.”
Crenwelge said her dream has always been to ride for the Texas A&M equestrian team, and victories before her college career helped encourage that dream. Her father was also an Aggie, so she learned the war hymn early enough to sing it to her horses.
“I remember my first 1st place in a 14-18 class,” Crenwelge said. “It was a much larger division, it was super intimidating to me and I was terrified. In hindsight it does not seem that big, but at the time it was the biggest thing in the world.”
Waking up at 7 a.m., walking patterns every Monday and reaching out to ask for every practice video was what earned Crenwelge the most improved player at the team’s annual banquet this past season, she said.
“I was really proactive about trying to figure out how to step into a greater role on the team,” Crenwelge said. “I don’t think it was my skill set but it was that [horsemanship coach] Suzy made it really clear that she believed in me.”
As her mindset improved, Crenwelge said she began riding more confidently her junior year. It was a process of getting past the nerves she had the first two years of being a rider and having the right support system that made her feel a passion to contribute more to the team, she said.
Crenwelge said last season being cut short makes this season that much better.
“We were devastated when we realized we could not compete at state or nationals last season,” Crenwelge said. “We didn’t send our seniors off the way they deserved to be sent off due to COVID-19. We had been working super hard and we were ready to see results.”
That missed time and stronger feeling of gratitude is going to translate into a promising season from everyone on the team, said Crenwelge.
“No one is complaining at 6 a.m. workouts, everyone is going through it differently,” Crenwelge says. “I think we all have a different outlook; every practice, every scrimmage, and every drill is filled with gratitude for being able to ride.”

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