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Horse riding not a sport...?

Answers:1   |   LastAnswerAt:2010.01  

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Emily 
Asked at 2010.01.17 07:13:50
Alright...whip out those thinking caps. I have had an ongoing argument with a friend for quite some time now. He thinks that horseback riding is NOT a sport. Now I am not talking about going for a leisurely ride, I am talking about jumping, eventing, dressage, reining, cutting, etc. He thinks that anyone can hop on a horse an be able to accomplish these things within a year. He thinks sports need involve hand-eye coordination, and for the most part they also require playing with a ball of some sort, horse people have NO endurance or cardio vascular strength, no muscle tone etc etc blah blah blah. He is under the impression that the horse does ALL of the work. Now I tend to get flustered when I am in a disagreement and lose my train of thought...in other words, all good points go out the window. I am looking for some good opinions and points on this...WELL WORDED. This is meant to be more fun than anything, and I will show him the results. Thanks all!
answer black bunny  Answered at 2010.01.17 07:13:50
Ha...one...just ONE ROUND of team penning, roping, reining, cutting, barrel racing...pretty much you name it...and he would be singing a different tune.

Because he is insistent that the horse does the work...fine. He has to be put on a 'finished' horse. Let's just start with roping. If he can even stay in the saddle for the first burst of speed...that takes legs, seat, and stomach...Let's see him 'coordinate' throwing a loop on horse that is in a dead run. Many times without a tight grip on the reins. Then come off a horse before it is even stopped all the way. He may survive the first day...then ask him to get back on the same horse the next 3 days. He'll have to buy stock in ibuprophen and tylenol! I'm sure the pain will convince him of the need for muscle tone.

Same for any western event that requires any speed from the horse. Cutting, reining, barrel racing...any of these require eye/hand/and body muscle coordination. Without these things...wrong signals are given to the horse and is the difference between losing or winning an event.

One more thing...your friend can VERBALLY communicate with a trainer/coach. Just how soon does he think he can turn his muscles and body language into a form of communication for a non speaking animal?? He has to learn to let his muscles "talk" for him. That's some serious 'coordinating' that has to be mastered. Not able to be done by just 'anyone.'

Let's see how his muscles 'feel' when he gets dumped again and again...as he is learning. It takes mental strength too...to know you can only communicate with your body language. Besides the obvious 'whoa' and such.

I don't know many people...outside the ones who actually do it...who can ride a finished cutting, reining, barrel, or cow horse. They don't have the strength or the flexibility...and usually end up hurt. The same as I would...if I tried to play football with real 'players.'

Can't speak for dressage or english...I only do western.

**EDIT...I do have to agree with Blue Sage Badger. You will notice that my examples are done in 'competitions.' Competition is a contest to see who is the best. NOT A SHOW...I do agree you have to be 'doing' something and not just riding on the trails or around an arena. This is hard to explain! Oh hell...anyone with common sense should know the difference between speed and agility events and just riding a pattern. That's the best I can explain it at this time...
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