Why Ride?

  I am back with another post for all of you to read. I apologise for not publishing a post last week. I had meant to post, but since I was off on a mini vacation, there wasn't much time for me to sit down and write.

  Anyway, I've gotten a lot of questions from friends, family and strangers over the years about why I chose to start horseback riding and why I chose one discipline over another. I figured my response to these questions would make a good post that will allow you to get to know me a bit more.

  I had written a blog hop post related to this topic which you can read about by clicking here. In that post, I talked about why I still have my passion to ride and why I am so loyal to the sport. I explained that it's more than just a sport, but a special partnership too. What I didn't talk about in that post is what drew me to the sport to begin with.

  Every little girl would love to have their own pony and I was no different. I met my first horse at the age of three and begged my parents to ride until my first lesson at the age of seven. I couldn't tell you exactly what sparked my desire to ride because I can't remember.

  I was never a sporty person. Before I started riding, my parents signed me up for soccer, swimming and figure skating. None of these sports clicked with me like riding did. It didn't come naturally to me and I never had a desire to improve myself. In school, I was usually picked last when it came to physical activities. I was just never any good at playing volleyball, floor hockey or football. I always wanted to find a sport of my own. I liked the idea of being sporty, but I was never any good.

  Riding, however, came naturally to me. Even to this day, I'm a little surprised I ever did find a sport that worked for me. As I started to learn how to walk, trot and canter, I discovered the uniqueness of the sport and I was hooked.

  Where I lived, English riding (especially hunter/jumper) was generally the discipline of choice. So in some ways, my discipline was kind of chosen for me. I grasped the basics of riding at a hunter/jumper barn and learnt that I love jumping and didn't like the flat. My parents then enrolled me in a summer riding camp for a few years where they focused on eventing. This was where my views of the flat and dressage changed and I gained more respect and admiration for the discipline. This was also where I was introduced to cross-country.

  I am now at a point where I have to choose which discipline I would like to keep training in. I've decided to train in hunter/jumper simply because I've always had the goal of being like the show jumpers I've watched on tv for so many years.

  I have so much respect for riders of all disciplines and I believe there is no such thing as one discipline being better than another. Not one discipline is easier than another; they all have their challenges. If you love the partnership of riding, but you know that hunter/jumper or eventing is not right for you, there are so many other disciplines to try. I think that vaulting is amazing and that barrel racing is exciting. Maybe you'll find your spot in the horse world by training through natural horsemanship. You'll never know until you try.

  So I hope that you have learnt a little bit more about me through this post. I'd love to know why you chose to ride and why you chose your discipline over another. Please let me know in the comments or in a blog post response. I wish you all a wonderful weekend and thank you for reading.

  Until next time, happy riding!

Blog Hop: Continuation School

  Those who follow horse blogs are usually horse crazy. Riding is our sport, passion and obsession. We'll get back on no matter how many times we fall and we don't mind getting our hands dirty. We'll wake up extra early to go to the barn and we'll spend money on horse things when we could use some new clothes ourselves.

  So, why do we do it? Why do we ride?

Picture from:

http://suenostomanvuelo.blogspot.ca/2014/05/blog-hop-continuation-school.html

  This is my answer to the Viva Carlos' blog hop question...

  Just like any sport, the more you work at it, the more rewarding it gets. But horseback riding is different. Not only does it challenge you mentally, emotionally and physically, there's a new language you need to learn. We communicate through movements and emotion. The difficulty comes with communicating clearly with an animal that also has a mind of his own.

  So do I do it for the challenge? Not entirely...

  What I find the most rewarding part of riding is the partnership. Through all the training sessions filled with frustration, blood, sweat and tears, the two of you become a team. I think it's a relationship that you won't find anywhere else. To be able to communicate completely without the need for words and to be able to enter the ring not on an animal, but a good friend is a great feeling.

  I don't think you can find that kind of partnership in any other sport. You'd probably think I sound crazy if you've never experienced what I am talking about. It's something that's hard to explain because it's a relationship that is wordless, I guess. It's something that needs to be experienced rather than described.

  I think that's why riders become consumed in the horse world. It's hard for us to stay away because you won't really find anything like it anywhere else.

  Being in the saddle is a great place to think and clear your mind. You can unload all your worries without having anyone judging you. Horses can see who you really are the minute they see you. They are our mirrors. Though that might sound daunting to some, I find that liberating and refreshing. It's rewarding to be purely who you are and nothing more.

  In the end, I don't ride for the ribbons, the status or the challenge. What I truly ride for is the unique partnership.

  Well, this post has made me want to ride even more than I already do. I'm suffering from major riding withdrawal (haha). Hopefully, I'll be able to ride again sooner rather than later.

  But until then, thank you for reading. Be sure to check out the answers of other bloggers to L's question by clicking their links below. Also, tag yourself in this blog hop or write in the comments below why it is that you ride.  

  Until next time, happy riding!