Time spent in the saddle is never wasted and riding a horse has long been a symbol of freedom. Not just for experienced riders but anyone, including: children, adults, mentally or physically challenged people (including those confined to a wheelchair), special needs or PTSD sufferers.
To those who have never gotten to know, become friends or ridden a horse, there is an initial feeling of intimidation at their sheer size and power. However, those who have spent time with them know (all too well), that once you earn their trust and respect, they can be very loyal, loving and friendly companions. A relationship that will, over time, create a very special bond between horse and rider.
The long-lasting effects of riding a large powerful, non-judgmental animal – one that you can control with a tug of the reign or touch of a leg, is so memorable that those who once fearful riders,, suddenly can’t wait to get back to the ranch to “saddle up!”.
Initial Fear of Falling
People often worry about falling off a horse. Horses are powerful and unpredictable animals sometimes. However, amongst riders in the horse world, you aren’t considered a real rider until you’ve fallen off!! It is a natural result of the learning process and part of the sport.
Just like hockey, football, rugby even basketball – there are always times when you will get knocked down. That being said, learning to get back up is the important part. The sense of accomplishment and confidence you feel will motivate you to try again (and again). Remember, don’t let the fear of falling off prevent you from getting on a horse (a good philosophy for many challenges in life).
Of Course Riding is a Sport
Riding is often not consider a “real” sport. But, it is not as easy as it looks. You need the core strength of a hockey player, the balance of a gymnast and the confidence of the race car driver to be a good rider – especially if you want to compete. It takes time to learn to ride and you have to do most of the work because horses just wants to go home and eat hay. Here is what equestrians say about those who think riding is easy:
They have pushed us aside, ignored our true talent. Said “it’s not a sport” or “it’s easy.”
Well, here’s life through our eyes. 40 miles per hour, is slow, 5 feet in the air, is nothing, controlling 1200 pounds with only your hand and leg, is simple. We endure the worst conditions, we embrace the small moments. We strive for perfection, and with our horses to stand by us, together. Let’s prove them, wrong. We are equestrians, and we would like to see you try it.
It might also be remembered as well that it is the only sport where men and women compete equally against one another (with zero differences in rules or conditions).
Lastly, there is something else to consider about horseback riding. Even if you do not want to be a competitive rider, recreational riding is equally fun and beneficial. Moreover, it opens up whole new vacation destinations through a variety of Equitour companies. Located all around the world, who can take you on horseback to places you might never have been able to see by car or on foot.
You have not felt freedom, till you’ve felt the power of a horse beneath you.
He knows when you’re happy
He knows when you’re comfortable
He knows when you’re confident
And he always knows when you have carrots.