Confessions of a Pony Kid: What People Don’t Understand About Equestrians
Our pony blogger Ainsleigh is back!
No matter your status (junior, adult amateur, or professional) riding horses is hard work. We often hear the perspectives of our peers, but have you ever stepped back to think about what we do from the eyes of a young child? Get your dose of adorable insight with this new column featuring Ainsleigh, a young rider who dreams of jumps larger than a crossrail as she tackles her first show, a few falls, and much more. Today, Ainsleigh shares her thoughts on the perceptions of horseback riding by the general public.
Hi everyone! It’s Ainsleigh and I am still 10. One thing that really bugs me is people who don’t ride and don’t understand the amount of strength it takes to ride. It can be difficult to get your horse to understand when it is time to work and when it is okay to just relax. Also, it really wears out your body when you ride because the horse weighs a ton and so you really have to put leg on.
When my friends ask me, “What did you do this weekend?”, I tell them about how I went to ride and they will brush it off and jump into a story about Sky Zone or a camping trip. Once, I even had two boys tell me that “all I knew how to do is ride stupid horses”. When they said that it made me feel like no one understands what it is really like to ride a horse. I wish that my classmates understood how much muscle it takes.
Another thing that really gets me is that at recess I will ask my friends to stop or slow down because my legs are SO SORE from riding. Sometimes they will listen, but other times they will be too caught up in tag and I will have to take a timeout. They don’t understand how tough riding is and how hard it works your muscles. The toughest thing is when your horse is fresh and they just want to take off and run away with you. Although, my friends do listen if I have fallen off and have a big bruise to prove it!
I wanted to know what my friends didn’t understand about riding so I talked to my cousin who recently came out to the barn to ride with me for the first time. She told me that she didn’t expect it to be hard at all, but didn’t think it would be too easy either. The best part was that she said when she was in the saddle she thought to herself “I wish I could do this every day”. After the ride her legs were super sore, but she said it was so worth it.
I love riding, but it can be frustrating when people don’t understand how tough it is. Horseback riding takes just as much effort as other sports such as soccer or football. When my cousin understood how hard it is, it made me feel great because I finally had someone who didn’t ride on a daily basis understand how hard it is. In the future, I hope that more people will learn about horseback riding just like my cousin did.
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