Equitation: What People Think I Do

In the wake of the highly popular meme trend of “what ___ thinks I do” images that have been appearing across the internet, I decided to write my own opinion piece of what non-horse people think I do. To provide an example of what I mean, here is an example of one of those images:

Image courtesy of Horse Forum.com

What my friends think I do:

Most commonly, my friends who know me well know that I jump fences in a set pattern with a focus on not simply ‘going fast’ but instead maintaining an even rhythmic ‘pace’. However, most general acquaintances are only familiar with equitation in the sense that it involves me on a horse doing ‘stuff’.

Stuff like this, for instance. Pictured are CrackerJack and myself . Image courtesy of Carol Curley.

What society thinks I do:

Society’s general understanding of horseback riding is often fueled by the racing industry. While avid equestrians look up to equestrian stars like McLain Ward and Frank Chapot, your average joe off the street may be more familiar with names like Zenyatta, Barbaro, and horses that often are bet on and televised in crowded bars. While I love and respect the horse racing scene, it does bother me when people come up to me and ask how my ‘race’ went.

Pictured: Zenyatta (wearing #4)Image courtesy of NY Times.

What my future spouse will think I do:

Though I am not currently in a relationship, I have had experience hearing the opinions of spouses of equestrians before. Often, one of the most common opinions I have heard is that equestrianism is a waste of money. Instead of buying brand-new off-the-shelf riding apparel, look into local consignment stores which have equally acceptable equipment for much less terrifying prices.

Image courtesy of Ride For Less blog

What my trainer thinks I do:

Thankfully, my trainers ( and coaches) are incredible equestrians and have more faith in my riding than I often deserve:

Though on a bad day, I sometimes understand that they may think I do this…though not as successfully:

Pictured: Rodrigo Pessoa. Image courtesy of Equine Ink

What I think I do:

As a tri-captain of the Goucher College equestrian team, I like to think I can jump the moon, find all the best distances, and get mistaken for Laura Chapot on a good day. The truth is, I really only want to be a rock star rider to my team partner CrackerJack.  If he is under the false impression that I have half the talent of Laura Chapot, then I must be doing something right.

Understandably, most little girls dream of riding like Laura Chapot (pictured), though few come close to such talent. Image courtesy of Horse Web

What I actually do:

The word ‘equitation‘ literally encompasses the concept of working horsemanship. Equitation competition focuses on precision, tactful use of legwork and body position, and done correctly should fool people into thinking riding is easy. Put simply, I do this:

Practicing with trainer Nancy Wallis in Lake Placid, NY. Image courtesy of Carol Curley

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One thought on “Equitation: What People Think I Do

  1. Linda says:

    This is just perfect! Thank you.
    I hope everyone at Duncraven gets a chance to enjoy this as much as I did.

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