This is my passion. This is my sport. This is my life. Being an equestrian means that you often hear the opinions of others claiming that riding a horse does not make you an athlete or that something so easy shouldn’t even be called a sport. I usually just brush it off, but I think it’s time to clear up the misconceptions around this sport.
Most people who decide that riding a horse is not a sport have only ever gone on trail rides using bombproof horses. One of the most common claims about a horse rider is, “ You just sit on the horse and they do all the work.” Once I hear that, I automatically start fuming. Riding a horse is not easy. There is nothing easy about controlling a 1,000-pound animal with nothing but a piece of metal placed in the their mouth and your body. While the horse is walking, it is not a big deal, but when there is a large obstacle in front of them, things become a lot harder.
You see, horses, unlike any other tools in other sports, have a mind of their own. Horse riding is a sport where your ‘equipment’ can choose not to cooperate. Not every horse will easily go over the jumps. You need to know how to steer the horse, calculate the strides of the horse, know the rhythm of the horse, position your body and legs carefully. If you don’t pay attention to all that, you will effortlessly end up face first onto the dirt.
Riding a horse is not easy. It is far from that. It takes determination, countless hours of training and commitment.
This is my passion. This is my sport. This is my life. Horses have been in my life for a very long time and have become something I cannot live without. There are many disciplines in the spectrum of horse riding, mine being show jumping. It is not just a hobby, it is part of my life.
When you mount a horse, there is a special bond between the rider and the horse. It is not slavery but rather a partnership with trust from both sides. Yes, I do end up eating sand a lot of the time as a result of falling off, but the freedom of flying over a fence with your horse and acing the jump always compensates for that.
There is no feeling in the world that can compete with the cold breeze softly brushing your face as the wind blows your horse’s mane into the air. The thundering of your horse’s hooves approaching the fence brings a rush of adrenaline that unloads in an instant unlike any other. It is liberating. I would never want to give that up.
This is my passion. This is my sport. This is my life.
Eman is an aspiring international show jumper, a lover of music and literature, and short person with big dreams.