Is Horseback Riding a Sport - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-02-2011, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Is Horseback Riding a Sport

Hi everybody, in school I'm doing a persuasive essay, and my topic is going to be why horseback riding is a sport. I know why it's a sport (teamwork, amount of muscle you use, mentally and physically challenging), but I'd like some extra info just incase. I'd also love if some of you would explain to me why people don't think it's a sport, so that I can explain why it is a sport so that it makes sense to them. Thanks!
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post #2 of 3 Old 09-02-2011, 10:32 PM
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It's been considered a sport for a very long time. It's in the Olympics long before baseball!

There are rules. There is specific equipment. Strength, coordination and balance are required. Teamwork and training. We don't ride much anymore as a way of life or for an occupation (such as plowing a field or running cows, though some folks still do, thank God) So, isn't that enough to make it a sport?

Anyone who thinks it's easy should try doing what Olympic jumpers do. They are SOOOO strong it isn't funny.
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post #3 of 3 Old 09-02-2011, 11:08 PM
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Sport is defined as "an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc."

Word Origin & History

c.1400, "to take pleasure, to amuse oneself," from Anglo-Fr. disport, from O.Fr. desport "pastime, recreation, pleasure," from desporter "to divert, amuse, please, play" (see disport). Sense of "to amuse oneself by active exercise in open air or taking part in some game"

Sport | Define Sport at

By that definition, riding horses can be a sport. Or not. Some riding is done as work, and for most of history, riding was done to accomplish something, not just for fun. I still remember a book I read on the Civil War Cavalry - breaking camp, mounting at 1 AM, riding in the dark in the winter for 40 miles, then doing it again for another couple of days, then one more time and attacking a defended position at the end of day 4...I was in pain just reading it. And there were 2,000 riders involved! Nothing like a pleasant outing at 3 AM in the winter with no lights with 2000 of your closest friends on horseback!

In the modern world, few ride out of necessity. Most do it for pleasure - "
to amuse oneself by active exercise in open air or taking part in some game".

Personally, in contrast to the dictionary, I think of sport as being in some way competitive. In that case, jogging is not a sport but running the 400m is. The riding I do would not be a sport (believe me, I'm competitive at nothing when riding!), but a great many others do compete.

For an assignment like this, it is probably best to define terms and then show what aspects match and what do not.
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