Equestrianism

My favourite hobby is horse riding, undoubtedly. I have always had a special connection to these animals that I find not only beautiful but astonishing.

A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful – and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence. Pam Brown

Caballo-Arabe-NegroThe horse has played an important role throughout human history all over the world, horses have been used in wars and in peaceful moments. It is not easy to affirm the exact date horses were domesticated and when they were first ridden; it seems that horses first were ridden approximately 4500 BC. Nevertheless it seems evident that horses were ridden long before they were driven.

What is clear is that horse riding is a hobby which is enjoyed by all ages. Most people start horse riding when young,but there are many people who take up horse riding for the first time later in life.

Horse riding (British English) or Equestrianism (from Latin equester, equestr-, horseman, horse)  refers to the skill of riding or driving horses. This description includes the use of horses for working purposes or competitive sport, not forgetting that horses are also used to improve human health and emotional development.

The most popular form of horse racing is Thoroughbred horse racing. In the UK, it is known as Flat racing. Arabian horses , Akhal-Teke, Apaloosas, American Paint horses and other light breeds are also raced worldwide.

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Riding has some risks, we cannot forget that when mounted, the rider’s head may be up to 4 m from the ground, and the horse may travel at a speed of  65 km per hour. Being  injured cannot be ruled out. Injuries maybe minor but they can also become fatalities.

A recent study in Germany reported that the riskof injury from riding a horse, compared to riding a bicycle, was 9 times higher for adolescents but that riding a horse was less risky than riding a moped. Other researches, found that equestrian sports had the third highest incidence of serious injury, after motor sports and power boating. It is easy to injure yourself fracturing your ankle. Helmets likely prevent traumatic brain injuries.

If you have had horses for many years or have been riding for long, you can start at the Certificate level. There are 7 levels, called “Galopes” . You must have a certain amount of knowledge of horse care and horse psychology. The Certificate prepares you to coach riders from the beginning stages to high competitions With the Certificate qualification you can become a free lance instructor, work in a larger riding centre or run your own business.

For many people, horse riding may look like just sitting. They may think that all a rider has to do is give the horse some simple instructions like go, whoa, and turn. This is totally wrong. There are benefits beyond simple enjoyment; physically, mentally and emotionally. It is a proof of courage and at the same time a pleasure.

Riding develops balance and coordination. When you ride you use many muscles because it does not depend on strength alone, but on stability and coordination.

Furthermore, riding keeps your brain exercised. A total beneficial activity for you brain to keep young.

Anyone who loves horses will feel a connection with nature. While working with your horse you can find companionship. Moreover, most people find it a relaxing pastime. Besides, if you like to be alone, riding can provide that as well. In times of stress riding relaxes you, a horse is always a quiet friend.

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I have learned to horse ride in Regaton Riding Academy. It has been a family-owned equestrian facility since 1972. They are located in Laredo, Cantabria where you can find over 30 km of wooded trails and 7 km of beach. It offers a vast variety of trail rides, horseback riding lessons, horse leasing and summer camps.  I was only 6 years old when I began to ride. From the first moment, I realized that  I would really enjoy myself and I understood that horse riding was not just a sport or a hobby.

The love for a horse is just as complicated as the love for another human being…if you never love a horse, you will never understand.

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