If you were to ask me what my favorite sport was, I would immediately respond “horseback riding.” Specifically, I am a Hunter/Jumper. I love the sport; it's a huge stress reliever, it's certainly a whole lot of fun, and horses are amazing creatures. However, this sport does add some problems to your life that wouldn't otherwise exist. Every rider who is any rider will have horse girl problems like these...
Withdrawal. I don’t know how many other people get this problem, but I certainly do. You know when you haven’t ridden in a week or two, and you feel… empty? Well, I call that withdrawal. We will probably all go through it sometime.
Bratty Barn Girls. We all have to deal with the popular girls at school, but what if the worst ones followed you to the barn? I must say, I have seen some pretty bad barn brats in my time. You can identify them by how many horses they have, their attitude, and, more importantly, if they know what they’re doing. Because most of the time, they don’t.
Misbehaving Horses. Here is how the story usually goes: You’re at the barn for a lesson, your trainer gives you a horse that has just been broken or bought, and the horse doesn’t like what you’re doing and bucks you off. It’s almost always as simple as that.
Trainers. I love my trainer. She understands the way I learn; she's funny and extremely nice to everyone. But I’m not talking about her. I mean the other trainer—the one that fills in for your trainer when she isn’t available. You know who I’m talking about—the person who tells stale jokes and yells at you too much and has a bad temper. Yeah, that one. Now, don’t get me wrong; sometimes it’s good to have a lesson where you really have to up your game. But let’s face it—you never enjoy lessons like that.
Showing. With your friends and family there supporting you, being in the show ring, feeling everyone’s looking at you, and winning ribbons, horse shows can be lots of fun. Horseback riders know a little secret, though: shows are probably the most stressful thing we go through. Some of the questions you end up asking are: When is my event? Am I late? Where is my trainer? Do I have time to go grab a bite? Who is borrowing my tack? Where did you say my hunt coat was?
Money. We all know that horses are expensive pets. There’s the vet fee, the farrier fee, the boarding fee… and so much more. All of that adds up. I know from experience that once you get your cleats, jersey, shin guards, and ball, you’re pretty much ready to go with soccer or basically any other sport...but not horseback riding.
Injuries. Broken legs and arms suck no matter what. But when you ride and you injure yourself, you are scared sick asking yourself one thing: will I be able to ride again? And it's the same for your horse, asking will he be ride-able again?
Is It Really a Sport? Yes, it is. But the majority of people that I have talked to say, "No, it isn’t a sport." And I just think, then why in the world would it be in the Olympic Games? But anyone who rides knows the physical and mental exertion it takes, not to mention the fact that we have organized competitions (which, you know, is the definition of a sport).
Obsession. Horseback riding is obsessive, and when you're immersed, you're immersed. You can't draw anything but horses, talk about anything but horses, buy video games that aren't about horses, and you compare what you’re doing to something a horse does. Horses become your life.
Barn Smell. This is probably the most important. You know when you come home from the barn, and you smell like horse poop? And your shirt has horse slobber on it? And you’re all sweaty and grungy? If you’ve gone to your barn for more than an hour, you know what I‘m talking about.
Even though we riders have some or all of the named problems, it is all worth it in the end, to have that special kind of trust with an animal, and do what we love.
Are you a horseback rider? Do you agree?
Post by Horserider3573!