22nd October 2000 - Happy Horsin'

Sun, 10/22/2000 - 00:00

Do you often wonder why you are riding? What is this feeling that drives you to go seek a horse and mount it at least four times a week? Riders often say it's the true passion for the equines that make them addicted to the equestrian sport. Others claim they do it for physical reasons or for just to be outside. Or do they ride for pure entertainment. Albeit, it is unquestionable that horses work like a drug, that they are an obsession, an indoctrination which chains (or liberates) you for life.

Once you buy a horse you can say lala-land goodbye. Responsability and concern will dominate your life until you sell your horse or until your beloved friend dies. How many of you have scratched 'a holiday' from their things-to-do-during-the summer list, because of horses? How many husbands and wives feel neglected because you are not there doing laundry, the dishes or changing dipers. Instead the spouse or life partner has to be searched for in stalls, the feeding room, the hay or somewhere on a horse.

What is killing me most is the struggle to find that one goal in your equestrian career. Do you want to learn to ride in order to compete, or do you just prefer spending time with your animal. What satisfies you most, winning a trophy or watching your horse enjoy the last fresh grassof this autumn? I think the challenge and the difficulty of horse riding -- read dressage -- are two of the reasons that addict you to the sport. Day after day you get the impression that you will never master the art of dressage, that you are only screwing up your horse or even injuring him by bumping in the saddle and pulling the reins. How often do you say, "dear friend, please forgive me for abusing you so much, unintentionally"?

-- Astrid Appels (Editor)