Rider Insider: One Reason to Ride

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Why Ride
Riding horses is therapeutic. Spending time communicating with an animal helps to alleviate the pressures of daily life and has even been shown to provide benefits to riders with mental or emotional disabilities.

Riding horses is good exercise, despite what your non-horsey friends might think. A British Horse Society study showed that an hour of riding burned 360 calories, similar to a moderate bike ride of the same duration.

Riding horses can be a great social outlet. Riders at boarding or lesson stables or who live in equestrian-friendly communities can often find like-minded people to ride and train with. Conversely, people with work and family demands often look forward to barn time as a chance to have quiet time with just their horse.

Riding provides a competitive outlet for those who are driven to win. From the glitz of western pleasure and polished perfection of hunters to adrenaline sports like three-day eventing and extreme cowboy races, competitive riders devote their days to the pursuit of a championship or a personal best.

Any rider can list off a dozen reasons why they love to ride and be around horses. The challenge would be whittling those myriad reasons down to one. For this month’s Rider Insider, we want you to do just that. If you had to describe the one primary reason why you ride or work with horses, what would it be? Click “Submit a Comment” below to share your thoughts. Some responses may be selected to be published in a future issue of Horse Illustrated!

Noble Equine
Throughout 2013, Noble Equine will be sponsoring the Rider Insider column in Horse Illustrated with a prize for the selected featured response. If you’d like to be considered for a prize, make sure to include your contact info in the email field of the contact form (emails will not be publicly displayed.)

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76 COMMENTS

  1. I ride for one reason and for one reason only: because my Lord blessed me with talented people to teach me, talented people to inspire me, amazing horses to capture my heart, and most of all He blessed me with a fierce passion to ride and train horses for His glory and for His glory alone. I ride because I love my God, and I love that He gave me a love for horses. I ride not because I think I’m a good rider, but because falling off and dusting off and getting down and dirty and becoming one with a half-ton beast is my passion that God gave me.

  2. I ride for the joy and thrill.Yes I’ve had some tumbles,but I got right back on and continued. The thrill of pulling a horse around big barrels and winning is awesome!

  3. It is hard for me to think of just one reason why I ride. Most of all I love feeling a surge of power underneath me every time I sit in the saddle. I love watching the flawless airy movements and how he/she effortlessly sores over a fence. I always think of how much my horse means to me, and how he has brought me closer to God. Riding is my passion. After every workout, I thank God I have this wonderful opportunity to work with these marvelous animals.

  4. Mostly because of the thrilling adventures I get to experience while riding. To see a newborn fawn, or to peek into a robinsnest while out on a trail ride really brings the wonder of being on a horse to light. God has been good to me in giving me these priceless experiences.

  5. Therapy. I can think of many reasons of why I love horses and riding, but therapy is the biggest one. Without my horse I probably wouldn’t be here. I am a Type 1 Diabetic and managing that disease, along with everyday life and responsibilities, is tough. My horse brings me comfort, relaxation and healing. Weather it’s riding, grooming or just petting him, I know I can count on my horse to help me ease through problems, listen to me and he will always be my shoulder to cry on.

  6. I ride because of my love for horses. I started riding when I was five and I fell in love with horses and ever since, it’s my favorite hobby, sport, and therapy.

  7. My one reason why I love to ride and work with horses is because they bring me a thrill I cannot describe or achieve from anything else. Just the thought of galloping on my mare after another friend on horseback fills me with joy. I thank God that He has given me the true appreciation for His magnificent animals, and love Him all the more for it!

  8. My one reason to ride and be around horses is the friendship or companionship they provide for me. I have some of the strongest friendships with horses. There’s just something about a horse that draws me to them and makes me feel so much more comfortable with who I’ve become.

  9. The reason why I love horse riding is because of the horses of course!They’re special,beautiful,and have a secret talent when you think about it

  10. The one reason I ride, is to feel like I’m part of something. You have to work with an animal that for the most part doesn’t understand you. That moment when you and your horse are in sync is the best feeling in the world, and that’s why I ride.

  11. I love riding because when you’re riding you’re trying work in sync with this big animal that is trusting YOU to take care of him, whether on the cross country course or in the western pleasure ring, the most special thing to me is that bond between the horse and rider, that trust that keeps other people looking at them and going, “Look at that!” I know it isn’t always like that for some people and their horses, but we all have to start some where right?

  12. I could, (and would,) go on for hours on why I ride, but if I absolutely had to choose one reason, this is what I would say: I ride horses because I love horses.

  13. I ride and love to be around horses, because it is a good stress reliever, a way to forget about all problems. To feel the wind on my face when riding is to feel free like I am on top of the world.

  14. My one reason for riding would be because it’s a challenge. To get a horse to preform the way you would like them too without forcing them or breaking their spirit is a challenge. The payoffs when you accomplish this are enormous!

  15. I ride because I love horses. It is amazing to be able to be in sync with a 1500 lbs animal and have such a great connection with them. It is amazing that these animals trust you, as a rider, to get them over jumps, or through water, or past scary objects on a trail.

  16. I ride becuase it feels right. Working with an animal that weighs over 1000 lbs is a huge risk worth taking. They make me smile, laugh, and cry even. I ride because I love horses and they are a huge part of my life.

  17. I ride horses because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be what I am today. I wouldn’t have a huge best friend who loves to cuddle, a barn full of loving friends, and a home away from home. Without riding, I would be lost. Before I started riding, I was in a deep depression that never seemed to leave. All I could think about was how ugly I am, and how I don’t belong anywhere. Horseback saved me. When I ride, I feel beautiful and free and complete. I can’t imagine what it would be like if I never found horses.

  18. If I didn’t ride, I wouldn’t be me. At times I look back at my life and take thebhorses out, and it wouldn’t be a pretty picture. Horses give me confidence, pride, and something to look forward to every day. I’ve gone through some rough times, and just being near my horse calms me and makes the whole world disappear for awhile. Without horses, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. They are my inspiration.

  19. Freedom from worries and stress, gaining confidence and insight. What a horse can do for a person is amazing. I don’t get to ride all the times I want too but just going to the barn or field and being with them brings a peace of mind

  20. Any rider has countless reasons why they ride. But, above all, my reason to get out of bed in the morning and go to the barn is because horses give an unconditional love. This love can only be experienced when a rider and horse connect, making riding that much better.

  21. I stopped riding for almost a year and it killed me. I missed seeing people I had meet on the show circuit and seeing the horses I loved. I’m glad I’m riding again. It let’s me be free an more relaxed. Riding is my life.

  22. Riding gives me a chance to relax and enjoy myself. All the other problems that I’ve been focusing on that day disappear and I’m able to relax and enjoy my horse.

  23. I live to ride. It takes away my worries and my fears. When I’m on the back of a horse, or even just brushing or doing ground work, everything else disappears. It becomes just me and my horse. My horse is who I run to when I can’t bare the burden of life any longer. My horse is my rescuer, and my hero. I ride to feel free. I ride to be normal for once in my life. All of my life I have been treated differently because of my medical problems. But when I’m with my horse, she doesn’t judge me, she sees me for my heart, and what I can do. Not what I can’t. So yes, I live to ride.

  24. The reason i ride is at the end of the day i am usually stressed out from everything that went on. Horses make my life complete, they take away my worries and fears. I can just go out to the barn and everything that has been on my mind suddenly goes away. Even if im not riding, my mind is still off of everything. My horse is the one who i run to when im having a bad day. Its my therapy.

  25. I love riding horses because I love to spend time with horses and to put all my effort into riding. It allows me to vent while enjoying a horses company.

  26. The reason I ride is to get away from all the stress and it’s what I love to do. I love riding the fields with the the wind in my hair and the sun on my face.

  27. I love riding and brushing my horse just because I enjoy spending time with him. Riding takes away all the stress in life. Even if I don’t ride, I always make sure to take the time (even if I don’t have the time) to give him a good, thorough grooming.

  28. Horseback riding is one of the most stereotypical sports there is, which I think can scare horse lovers away. For me, I ride BECAUSE of these stereotypes; to prove them wrong. I want to show the world what riding can do for a person and what it takes for someone to ride a 1000 pound animal! Horseback riding makes you a stronger person, and although many people don’t realize it, it can 100% change your life.

  29. I feel shy and somewhat inferior sometimes, but since I’ve got into horses, that has changed. When I’m with horses, I am confident of my abilities and my love for them makes me feel like I’m somebody. Horses raise your self-confidence and also are a transporter away from the world. When you’re working with your horse, all other problems go away and its just you and your horse.

  30. I believe there is a place in this world where everyone feels like they belong. A mathematician for example working on a complex math problem. Me, on the back of my horse. There is a peace and sense of true freedom when I ride. When I ride it”s just him and me and nothing else matters in this whole world. The past fades away and the only thing I see is the trail ahead of us. That is why I ride.

  31. Everything about the horse is beautiful to me,appearance, smell,and sound and I get great pleasure being around watching a beautiful living being move and being able to interact with

  32. It is very hard to describe, this wonderful animal is allowing me to be on its back and enjoying the sights together. The best feeling in the whole world!

  33. I ride because of the peace it gives me. I get to let go of overwhelming life and it is just me and my horse. Afterwards I’m always refreshed no matter how tired I was before.

  34. There is not just one way to describe the beauty of riding. I love the horses I work with, I don’t have to ride to enjoy their love and forgiveness. Just being around them is a huge stress reliever, and the bond between us is unbreakable.

  35. The main reason I ride is because it clams me and I can tell secrets to my mare and she won’t tell anyone. Except her friend Indie of course. 😉

  36. I ride because I absolutely love it. I could list a thousand reasons but it all comes down to love. Riding gives a sense of freedom and joy that only comes with very few things in life.

  37. I ride to relieve stress. My husband tells me when I arrive home from the barn all dusty with “helmet hair” I have a smile on my face and look very relaxed.

  38. The number one reason I love riding horses is the absolute feeling of power, love, respect all at the same time. It is the one place unlike any other on earth.

  39. I ride for the feeling of oneness. There’s something so amazing beyond words about knowing that you and your horse have a bond so incredible, you would do anything for each other. Knowing that this 1500-pound animal lets you ride around on it, lets you run it around barrels or take it over jumps just because it wants to please you is amazing. And there’s just something about being so synced with your horse, and having that indescribable feeling of oneness with the most beautiful creature in the world is just awesome.

  40. You get to learn a language not everyone can speak, let alone learn. You and your horse or lesson horse have your language that no one knows but you. It’s the bond in riding that counts. The horse speaks a language of your own and so do you but the horse and his/her rider get to meet in the middle and learn parts of eachother. The horse gets to learn to understand your feelings and what you do and why and you learn how to sense their feeling and help them achieve their best. The rider learns a lot from the horse. The horse learns from the rider and you get to learn to live as one together.

  41. You get to learn a language not everyone can speak, let alone learn. You and your horse or lesson horse have your language that no one knows but you. It’s the bond in riding that counts. The horse speaks a language of your own and so do you but the horse and his/her rider get to meet in the middle and learn parts of eachother. The horse gets to learn to understand your feelings and what you do and why and you learn how to sense their feeling and help them achieve their best. The rider learns a lot from the horse. The horse learns from the rider and you get to learn to live as one together.

  42. I ride for the little girl inside me. The one who still wants to marry a horse and believes in unicorns. I ride because it is the closest to heaven I’ve ever been.

  43. I ride because my horse completes me. Every minute away from him I constantly worry and fret but when I’m with him…all my fears melt away and I feel safe and needed and loved. I have an incredible bond with my horse and that is an amazing thing to have. I really don’t need a list of reasons when I have that.

  44. I ride because I like travelling to another dimension. When I’m on horseback I feel other worldly. When I’m on the ground I dream about being on horseback.

  45. I ride becuase if it wern’t for horses life wouldn’t be the same, ti wouldn’t feel like I had an escape, or like I didn’t have somone to confide in in someone that I knew wouldn’t tell my secrets no matter what, horses are just perfect like that!

  46. i ride because when i am on or around a horse, i just feel happy, and forget everything that is troubling me. when i am having a bad day, i can just cuddle with my favorite horse and the feeling will just go away. When i ride, its just amazing to feel like you are one with the horse. I just feel like i have a place in this world when i am near or riding a horse

  47. I ride because, when I get on a horse I can be myself. I don’t have to pretend I’m something I’m not. My horse accepts me just the way that I am, and I’m eternally grateful for that.

  48. When I ride the rest of the world just melts away, the only thing on my mind is my horse and becoming one together. Riding is like borrowing a piece of a horse’s freedom, whether it’s soaring over jumps, speeding around barrels, or just going for a nice trail ride. I feel released from any problems I’ve been facing when I’m on or spending time with my horse. Horses help us discover who we really are and remain a part of our soul forever, they are a gift from heaven that we are honored to have!

  49. I ride because it the only sport that you can work at seven days a week and still find something to improve on. Also, you meet amazing people who you can have a friendship with for a life time.

  50. I like riding and spending time with my horse because he always knows how to make any day enjoyable. It does not matter how I feel when I go to the barn because I always leave smiling and happy. Horses have a special way of sensing your feelings and impacting your life. They always do something to make you laugh especially on the days when nothing seems to be going right. Their great personalities and gift of understanding is truly my favorite reasons for spending time with my horse.

  51. I love to be around horses because of their wonderful companionship. Horses don’t care what you look like or how you dress; they only want a leader who they can trust to keep them safe and show them kindness. Whether you are preparing for a big competition or grooming your horse after a trail ride, you can be yourself and not have to worry about anything except you and your horse.

  52. I ride because it clears the mind. Riding my horse makes me happy and takes my mind off of stressful things in my life. When I’m at the barn I’m too worried about which saddle pad needs to be washed to think about anything else! I also ride because horses can’t judge you. They don’t care if your pants are ripped or if you’re polo wraps don’t match! And their great fun to work with!

  53. I ride because love the relationship that i have with my horse. it’s like we are one and i can’t beat that with any thing else. he wants to be with me and i want to be with him

  54. Riding is my anti-drug, my horse is the reason I make the right decision over the wrong one. Everything I do, I think will this benefit my horse and my riding in any way? Whether it’s the decision to buy something I don’t need, to drive faster than I should, or stay up later than I should. I think, I’d rather spend this money on my horse, I don’t want to get hurt and never be able to ride again, and I don’t want to be tired during my ride tomorrow. My mare keeps me safe even when I’m not with her, that is my reason to ride.

  55. The one reason i ride/work with horses is simply because of the peace they bring and the blessed feeling that goes with it. There’s something about horses that allows you to just be yourself, and they’ll love you for just that. You could be the coolest person or a loser, and as long as you treat them right they’ll treat you as though you shine the sun for them. Nothing is more peaceful than feeling that type of love and connection.

  56. I ride to fulfill a dream. I was 19 years old before I got my first horse, and after an entire childhood of desperately daydreaming of a horse of my own, just the privilege of being near these amazing animals is an honor and a dream come true.

  57. Have you ever dreamed of having one true best friend who understands you? Someone who will always be there, who will keep all your secrets, and who will make you feel happy and free when nothing else is going right? That’s what I dream of and that’s what horses are to me! I could be having the worst day and nothing be going my way, but when I enter that barn and prepare to ride all that stress just fades away. I know I have a friend there who will take my mind off of everything and who will love me for me!

  58. The reason i ride is because when i have had a tough day and no one understands me my horse does and when i ride him i feel totally free

  59. I love to go riding because it seems like nothing else in the world matters.All your cares just melt away when its just you and your horse.

  60. Many people have told me that the best cure for stress is to ride a horse; I’ve done it and it works every time. That’s one of the reasons why I ride, because it’s relaxing (and also because it feels nice to have my own means of transportation:).

  61. I ride because riding gives me my wings, my goals And my hope. Riding has tought me faith and trust. I ride because it is my safe haven it’s the only thing I can think about. That’s why I ride.

  62. The best part of riding that no one understands until they are a rider (not a pony-ride, or rent-a horse for the day type but year in to year out type) is the amazing bond you can create with a 1,000+ pound animal that could easily hurt you but doesn’t. The silent communication with a partner that speaks no words. Sharing goals and dreams with this trusting amazing loving creature that will always be there for you.

  63. If I could only choose one reason to ride, it would be obvious. Passion. Riding isn’t a “hobby” to me, it’s more like a lifestyle. Living in a different lifestyle, for example, would become challenging with the new ways. I often wonder what non-horsey people do after work, or school. I imagine it being very boring and bland. So, Passion is my one reason to ride.

  64. Being an equestrian isn’t just about riding. It’s about having a pure love for equines. I love to be at the barn because it is the one place that I can truly be myself. I can talk about nonsense to our donkey while picking out his burrs, obsessively take photographs, dance spontaneously, sing along with the radio… I see myself reflected in my four-legged friends. They have taught me something about myself I never could have found out on my own, and I have them to thank for the purest moments of my life.

  65. They become your family, and you seem to become their herd. Equestrians form unbreakable bonds with our equines, bonds that give us hope and courage, and for them they have gained love and reassurance. They make everyday we see them, a million times better. Our horses are our best friends, that we can trust and we know they won’t judge us. They help us with everyday stress, and make us all better people. Having an outstanding best friend is the reason why I ride.

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