Equestrian sports are unlike other sports for one very obvious reason…no other sport involves having a 1,200 pound animal as your teammate. Owning and competing on horseback is a privilege, but it’s also a great responsibility. Why? I’ll explain.
As an athlete, there will be many competitions you attend. You will train and train, and then train some more. You likely have certain goals, such as going to nationals. You stay focused on what you want, and this is when it’s easy to become more focused on the sport rather than the horse. Whether you have fallen into this behavior in the past or someone you know has dealt with it, it’s easy to forget when you’re on the fast track to accomplishing your goals that your horse should always remain your number one priority.
If it wasn’t for your horse, you wouldn’t be at the level of competition you are. If your horse hadn’t challenged you, who would have made you better? Your horse is likely one of the first sights you see in the morning and one of the last sights you see before bed. Your life was built from your love of horses, not your love for competing. Yes, competing is fun, but the horse that you have the privilege to swing a leg over is the reason you wake up in the morning and do what you love all day.
Never forget that the horse comes before the sport. Don’t make the mistake of not meeting your horse’s needs. A show will come and go and a blue ribbon will fade, but the bond with your horse will last forever.
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