Duh, Horseback Riding Is A Sport Just Like The Sky Is Blue And The Grass Is Green
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Duh, Horseback Riding Is A Sport Just Like The Sky Is Blue And The Grass Is Green

Being an equestrian takes just as much work as a football player.

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Duh, Horseback Riding Is A Sport Just Like The Sky Is Blue And The Grass Is Green
Mackie Pritchard

There are many different things that annoy me, trigger me, and send me into a frenzy. Just ask my friends, and they’ll tell you that the list goes on for days with things like struggling to close a ziplock bag, getting stuck behind slow walkers, and being stuck in a conversation when someone just won’t. Stop. Talking.

However, the number one thing at the very top of my list is a specific statement: “No, horseback riding is not a sport.”

First of all—the words every girl uses when beginning an argument—you couldn't be any more far from the truth. Horseback riding takes about as much time, effort, and energy as a football player.

I’ve been an equestrian for the past 12 years, so trust me, I know what I’m talking about.

Just like every other sport out there, we practice a lot. My trainer will send out weekly reminders about when she is teaching and what times we need to be there, and we need to show up prepared to work hard and learn something new. Like coaches, horses are amazing teachers and each one has a different personality that will help make you a better rider.

One of the first horses I had ridden was named Gidget. She was a sassy, red-headed mare who knew her job and did it well. She taught me to not be afraid of starting new things and gave me such great confidence to keep going.

Every horse I’ve ever ridden has shown me new things that I can apply both in the ring and in my outside life. The amount of effort put into this sport is unmatchable to any other. You have effort coming from the rider, the horse, the trainer, and especially the parents.

As a rider, I put all my effort into making sure my horse is safe and executing courses correctly; my horse puts all his effort into taking care of me and getting the job done; my trainer makes sure my horse is taken care of at all times and gives me the knowledge to make my courses flawless; my parents supply an everlasting amount of support.

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not horseback riding is a sport, hopefully, this will help get you on board: when you’re playing with a teammate, it’s easy to communicate with them in order to get results, right? Now imagine having to move 1000 pounds of pure muscle with a simple leg movement.

Horses obviously can’t speak to humans, which is why it is so much more difficult and also why the rider does a lot more than they are given credit for. I am the one that decides which direction we go in, whether or not the horse should walk or canter, and what distance to take when jumping—which isn’t to say that I’m never wrong because I am, frequently.

While I am the one that makes most of the decisions, my horse never fails to bail me out when I’ve made a mistake. Baxter, who was the last horse I’ve ridden, is truly a knight in shining armor. Whenever I make a mistake, he always does his best to protect me and execute the plan as best as he can. Horses are magnificent creatures that work hard to do their jobs, just as the riders, trainers, and parents do.

So the next time someone poses the question, “Do you think horseback riding is a sport?”, remember that blood, sweat, and tears go into this sport just as they would in football, basketball, or even curling.

And if you happen to put a football player in front of a sassy, red-headed mare, I can guarantee you he would run for his life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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