Sport, or Not…?

by Elli, grade 7, Belleville, Ontario

“What is your favourite sport? Why do you enjoy it so much?”, asked the journal question on the board. It was a normal Monday morning and the grade 6 students were busily working. They much enjoyed a topic like this, for they could talk about what they really liked apart from the normal school related subjects. Some of the students were dreaming of hockey or skating. Some were dreaming of soccer or basketball.  Only one of the students was day dreaming about horseback riding.

The teacher asked row by row for the students to share their answers. When the girl who wrote about horseback riding shared, all the students began laughing.  “How’s that a sport?” they laughed, or “That’s a girly-girl activity” or “Riding the little ponies.”. The girl was shocked. Of course horseback riding was a sport………..isn’t it?

Many horseback riders face a similar situation at least once during riding career.  I have experienced this a lot, from enemies and friends alike.

However, horseback riding is most definitely a sport. The definition of a sport is “A sport is an organized, competitive, entertaining, and skillful activity requiring commitment, strategy, and fair play, in which a winner can be defined by objective means.”  There are rules and skills involved in horseback riding, and many horse shows.  To some it is entertaining.

To cover the second question, about a girly-girl activity, horseback riding is both physically and mentally challenging.  It uses ones muscles in different ways than most sports.

Many people believe that the horse does all the work.  This is not true in the least.  Why would a thousand pound animal do what a human wants when he could be eating or sleeping?

If you are still strong in your opinion, I encourage you to go out and try horseback ride. Not just trail riding, real riding. If you are not convinced, grab your boots and get up and ride.

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