Have you ever been told that horseback riding isn’t a sport? Nonsense. Here are seven great reasons why horseback riding IS a sport.
1. We Have Teammates
In riding, our teammates are thousand-pound animals with minds of their own. They may feel uncooperative, and they might not understand what we’re asking because we don’t even speak the same language, but still, we trust our teammates with our lives.
2. We Train Harder Than Anyone
Think about the hours of training and schooling that you’ve put in with your horse. In fact, when you think about it, it takes riders longer to learn the art of their sport and to be ready for competition than it does most other athletes. You can learn to play soccer, football, and lacrosse fairly quickly, and can be ready for a lower-level game in a matter of months. That’s not the case when it comes to riding – we train for years before we’re ready to compete.
3. We Become Physically Strong
Serious riders become incredibly strong. Riding requires core strength, upper body strength, and leg strength that most people don’t readily have. Riders develop that strength out of necessity.
4. We Get Hurt
If you’ve been riding long enough, you’ve gotten hurt. From bruises and scrapes to broken bones, injuries are a part of riding. Hopefully your injuries are minimal, but you’re almost guaranteed to have them if you ride regularly. If you have fallen off a horse and are nervous about gettin back in the saddle, check out these 5 ways to regain confidence after falling off a horse.
5. We Take Risks
Every time that we head into the arena on our horses, we’re taking a risk. Football players risk concussions, skiers risk broken bones. So do we. Horseback riding is a risky sport, and injuries to riders are so common and serious that you could even argue that horseback riding, or at least some riding disciplines, could be considered an extreme sport.
6. We Don’t Just Sit There
So many people argue that horseback riders “just sit there.” Not true. If a rider just sat on a horse, the horse wouldn’t go anywhere. Instead, we’re creating impulsion and regulating stride and helping the horse to balance, in addition to the countless other ways that we affect the horse. If we just sat there, the ride would fail.
7. We Get Tough
Horseback riders are some of the toughest athletes out there. We get dirty and muddy, sweaty and sore. We get scraped up, broken, and tossed on the ground. But we keep coming back to do it again. If we weren’t tough, we couldn’t participate in this thrilling and exciting sport.