Gernaat, Jannett Show Dedication To Equestrian Team


Joe Mony

If you are looking for a small group of people who are hard-working and passionate about their sport, the Plainwell Equestrian team is where you might find yourself. You could often find them at the Barry County Fairgrounds where they compete at. 

The equestrian team is a team sport involving showing horses that was just recently added to our school again in 2017. There are only two riders on the team:  Megan Gernaat ‘21 who has been on the e- team all four years of high school and Kadence Jennett ‘23 who is new to the team this year. They are coached by both Jenny Gernaat and Payton Deyoung. Both girls on the team have been riding horses for most of their lives. The e-teams show usually take place on Saturday and last all day.

Each rider has their own ways of getting ready for a show. Gernaat  spends her nights before the show washing and banding her horse. She typically spends three to four hours the night before the show packing her trailer with all of the things she´ll need for her horse, Zeb.

After packing the trailer she shampoos and conditions her horse to make him look nice and clean. Next, she spends time putting her horse’s mane (the long strip of hair on the horses neck) into multiple little pony tails. 

After the horse is bathed and banded he gets put into what Gernaat calls his ¨PJs¨ which is like a giant blanket that is tied to try and make sure he doesn’t get himself all dirty the night before the show. The next morning when it’s the day of the show Gernaat  wakes up at 5:30 a.m. to load her horse and do the final touches of getting around.

I love waking up early in the morning and spending the whole day at the horse show and seeing everyone get their horses ready before the sun comes up. Gets me all kinds of excited”

— Megan Gernaat

Gernaat and her family like to be at the show and unloaded by 7:30 a.m. After arriving at the show, competitions run all day long, which usually consists of events where they try and go as fast as they can around barrels or where they try to get their horse to go through a certain pattern that has a set of obstacles. The family usually get home right around 7 p.m. 

Both Gernaat  and Jennett  love showing horses. Kadence says riding is ¨important to me because I don’t have to think about everything. I can relax and I don’t have to think about the stress of school.¨ 

Although this is Gernaat´s fourth and final year, Jennett will have no problem filling those shoes for the rest of her high school career.