Broken bones, pain in the butt, pierced lungs, muddy clothes, and worst of all; your long, pretty nails with dark-pink nail polish and sparkling flower stickers, all gone! Doesnt that sound terrifying? Well that’s just a short list of what riding can cause to you. I’ve heard that it makes its way to the top ten of the most dangerous hobbies in the whole world, maybe that’s the reason why I love it from the bottom of my heart.
(c) Kerttu Saali, Icelandic horse
I started riding regularly only six years ago, but I have had a fascination for horses since I wore diapers. I used to watch many cartoons about horses and play with my favourite toys; my little ponies. That was my way to mitigate pain, caused by the fact that I could not get to ride. I kept always begging for to get even once on a horse, but it was always the same answer: “You are too young, what if you fall and break your bones?”. All what my parents allowed me to do was just sit on a horse, and someone else control it. That wasn’t enough for me.
When I finally grew, I was allowed to take a riding lesson with my sister and a friend. We booked a lesson at a nearby stable. And when that day finally came, I was thrilled to bits. We arrived at the stables and I opened the car’s door, walked inside the stable, smelled the usual smell of a horse stable, that was the moment when I felt butterflies flapping in my stomach. In few minutes I would be riding a horse by myself! Not a hobby-horse or some kind of a toy horse, a real horse with me on it’s back and holding the reins! It took about 15 minutes when I was ready to climb on top of it, and as soon as I sat to the saddle, I was on cloud nine! I finally felt the stirrups under my black Nokia’s Wellington boots, the riding helmet towards my head and reins in my very own hands.
Well why should you start riding then, I could write a book about riding’s good sides but here’s a few great examples: Example number one: It’s not just a sport! It’s therapy, it’s a lifestyle! You can escape from everyday-life while riding and forget all your school or work stress. And who wouldn’t love the connection between the rider and a horse? It is certainly rewarding to work with a horse. And when you realize that the animal under you is following your requests, you can be really proud of yourself. It makes you in such high spirits… Example number two: Extremely good exercise, specially for your butt. To disprove all thoughts that riding is not a sport, go ahead and watch those riding videos above. And for them who still believes that riders just sit on a saddle, then why on earth am I always covered in sweat after a riding lesson?! And no, it’s not raining always and no, I’m not showering myself with water before I go to ride, I AM DOING PHYSICAL EXERCISE WHILE RIDING.
(c) Kerttu Saali, Adorable icelandic horse filly
As in all hobbies, there are some downsides too. The most shocking part of it; It is ridiculously expensive, at least in the capital. More norther you go, more cheaper prices you can have. For example, in capital one lesson costs about 30 euros, but next to our summer cottage in the middle-finland, the same lesson is 16 euros, isn’t it unfair!? Downside number two: It is D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S! As I said in the beginning of this essay: u can hurt yourself extremely bad. You are risking your life by climbing on a horse, specially if it’s untrained. Downside number three: Dangerously attractive! If you don’t have money enough, do not even try it! You can’t get enough of it. It’s a mission impossible to get rid of it.
So, in the end; A pain in the butt – so what? IT IS WORTH IT
First some accidents :
And then Professional rider, Anky Van Grunsven
Essay made by Kerttu Saali