According to Bella Sweigard and Kiley Cook, students from Beaver Local High School, equestrians are people who “love and work with horses”. They also say you need to “be calm, patient, knowledge of how to ride, and have confidence” before hand. You also need to acquire, “balance, confidence, and strength.” The horse is an elegant creature, and with their rider they should have a partnership. With that partnership, both the horse and rider should learn as much as they can from each other. Yes, there is hard work involved, but it can be enjoyable and pass time. As you and your horse are progressing you need to learn and master all the gaits. That way, your horse and you can be confident. The four main gaits, or paces, are walk, trot, canter, and gallop. Different horses have different gaits in between this gaits. With these gaits you can do sports like dressage, vaulting, polo, horseball, polocrosse, hunting, show jumping and race riding. As you’re practicing, you need to be prepared for the take off!
Now, there are different types of equipment for the horse and the rider. Depending on what sport you do, both the rider and the horse needs different equipment. For example, if your horse has as an overreach you need to get overreach boots or bell boots. If your horse has some behavior issue, you might need corrective equipment. For the rider, each sport has different equipment for the riders safety. The helmet is probably the most important, because if the horse does something unpredictable, and you fall, your head will be safe. Whips and spurs are used as a reinforcement when the horse is not responding to you. They can also be there just for looks or because it is traditional. However, there is different tack equipment. There is a saddle, girth, cinches, surcingles, breastplate, cruppers, stirrups, bits, and bridles. Each one plays a different part. You need to make sure the bit is
comfortable for the horse.
In Beaver Local we have sports like soccer, football, volleyball, and many other things. Bella Sweigard and Kiley Cook, freshmen at Beaver Local, if horseback riding is a sport. They said “ Yes, horseback riding is a sport, but sadly, not many people think of it as a sport.” They also think that is should be a sport here at Beaver Local, because other big schools have this option. Not a lot of people think of horseback riding as a sport. Many people think this because they think that the horse does all of the work. What they fail to realize is, that there is more work that the human does than the horse. In fact, most people think it is easy! Bella and Kiley say “No, it’s not easy.” and “Those people don’t know what they are talking about!” Yes, the horse has to listen to the rider, but the rider is responsible for the horse’s actions. Training takes days, maybe weeks at a time. Training or practicing is involved with every sport. Just like you have to be in good health and good physical shape. Horseback Riding involves these things according to Kiley Cook. In other sports, you have to have some sort of protective gear. That way, no one gets hurt, serious injuries, or potentially killed. When training a horse, it can get pretty dangerous very quickly. The horse is an unpredictable creature. Something could go wrong in an instant, just like any other sport. Despite not have an equine sport at Beaver Local, it might put those students who have a passion in their after school activities in a sport.
Interviewed: Bella Sweigard & Kiley Cook
Bibliography: Complete Book Of Horses And Riding By: Judith Draper, Debby Sly, & Sarah Muir