I recently watched a video of a para-dressage rider who is wheelchair bound but through horses she competes at the highest levels of para-dressage. What stuck with me is the incredible power of the horse. I explained why I skydive, but its time for why I horseback ride.
Horses are calming. When I think of peace, I think of listening to horses munching hay as the sun rises on a summer morning. The stable is where I go to unwind and relax.
Horses teach us about commitment. I was doing barn chores while other 13-year-olds were hanging out in malls. Horses cannot be put on hold. This lesson stuck with me for life.
Horses teach about fair competition. I started participating in horse shows at eight-years-old. I competed on the local level all the way to the national level. There is the ugly side of competition but I know the accomplishment of training daily to reach my goals.
Horses are therapeutic. Equine therapy is a widely respected field. Horses allow disable children the freedom of movement. They teach about positive interaction through herd dynamics. They have a lot to offer.
Through horses I met some of my best friends. Horses tied us together as kids and still tie us together as adults.
Horses are for life. Ian Millar a ten-time equestrian Olympian is 68 years old. There are endless opportunities with horses from therapy programs, to hunter and jumper, to dressage, to eventing, to vaulting, to reigning, to barrel racing, to racing, to driving, to para-equestrian and simply riding for pleasure.
Horses are a passion that sweeps you up and encompasses a lifetime. This is just the beginning.
Why do you ride?