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The Truth About Horseback Riding Essay

913 words - 4 pages

Did you know that horseback riding is the fifth hardest sport, according to TheTopTens.com? If so, why do people say it is easy, and that equestrians don’t work hard enough to do their sport? More importantly, horseback riding is misunderstood and an underestimated sport.
People who are misunderstood about horseback riding think that it is easy. Many people think all they need to do is sit there and steer the horse. Truth is, it isn’t that easy. +78,000 people have visited the emergency room since 2007, and that 75% of head injuries occur while physically mounted on a horse, according to ridersforhelmets.com. To be an equestrian, a person who rides horses, it takes skill to control an animal than is 1,000 pounds or more. Focus is key, because horses have a mind of their own, and are unpredictable. Balance is also needed. Horses can go up to 20 miles per hour, and the rider needs to be able to sit balanced, keep their equitation, the proper way to sit mounted on the horse, correct, all while controlling the horse properly and stay safe. If people were to understand this, equestrians would be more respected.
Equestrianism has been featured in the Olympics since 1912, and in every one ever since. So why do people still think it isn’t a sport? According to cbssports.com, the activity has to meet six standards to be considered a “sport”. The first standard is athletic ability. Yes, athletic ability is needed to ride and care for your horse. The rider needs to have strength, to control the horse and post. Posting is where the person sits and stands every beat at the trot, which can be very tiring if you do not have the muscle, which leads to the second standard, strength. Standard three is endurance. Most professional equestrians train for up to 17 hours a week! That can be up to three hours daily. Equestrians and their horse have to have endurance to go for a two hour lesson, with only a five minute walk break in between. There also is an event called endurance riding, which of course, takes much endurance to go on distances that can go up to fifty miles. The fourth standard is strategy. Sometimes there might be a jump that the horse keeps refusing, or an obstacle he wont go past. A strategy to overcome those problem might be to walk him up to the jump or obstacle and let them observe it before trying again. Another example is the rider might go out of their way to groom the horse spotless, and make them look presentable to the judge. That could be a strategy for earning those few extra points that could bump the rider to the top of the rankings....

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