Why don't more people like to ride horses any more?Jul, 29 2023
The Glory Days of Horse Riding
One of the absolute joys in my life is horse riding. Those hazy, lazy summer holidays from my youth - down at the farm, saddling up and going out for a ride through the captivating, rich Australian countryside, are some of my most cherished memories. Beautiful creatures, horses are, with such a lovely co-existence of strength and grace that few other animals possess. Back in those days, it seemed like everyone was keen on doing that. But lately, I've been wondering, why don't more people like to ride horses any more?
Perhaps it's a changing world. Back in the day, just a few decades ago, horse riding was as common as, say, riding a bike. Almost everyone did it, either for transportation, sport or pure pleasure. There was this unparalleled sense of freedom and connection to nature that we experienced. But as times have changed and technology has taken over our lives, it unfortunately seems that these primal joys and elemental pleasures have taken a step back.
The Mirror of Modernity
Technology, as advantageous as it is, has seduced us into a world of convenience. My dear Harper, ever patient and insightful, made an interesting observation. She noted that with the convenience of cars, buses, trains, and planes, the need for horse riding has significantly diminished in the modern urban environment. What was once a straightforward means of transport has become an equestrian hobby at best, or a vaguely recollected historical fact at worst.
Plus, we have the internet - the digital Aladdin's lamp, granting our every wish (well, almost every wish). From information gathering to socializing, from leisure to work - everything happens in front of a digital screen. Where does a horse fit in here? No USB ports, I'm afraid. So, does that mean we should forget them and adapt to the 'new'? Maybe not. Because, in my humble opinion, there's so much we can learn and experience from horse riding that a video game or a subway trip can never offer. Never, by a long shot.
Let's look at it in terms of health benefits. Horse riding is a great exercise, whether you believe it or not. Maintaining balance while riding strengthens your core muscles and overall fitness. It's not just about sitting pretty on a equine back - it's about using your muscles, energy, and maintaining constant communication with an animal. It makes you fitter and teaches you values such as patience, empathy and understanding. Can a trip to the gym offer you that? You tell me.
And let's not forget the psychological advantages. As someone who has had a lifelong relationship with these four-legged wonders, I can assure you that there's a peculiar level of tranquility and satisfaction that you can tap into while horse riding. Again, something that the latest meditation app on your phone simply can't compare to.
The Gift of the Gab
A growing cause of worry is our disconnection from the natural world. We are living in concrete jungles and hiding behind digital screens. Contrariwise, riding a horse allows you a direct connection to nature. The warm, firm contact between you and your horse, the rhythm of its galloping, and even its mildly grassy scent - all serve as a gratifying reminder of our harmonious bond with nature.
Plus, horses are such good listeners! On many a day when life was too overwhelming, I have shared my worries with these gentle giants. A smooth pat on their backs, a quiet tête-à-tête – if you listen closely, they have a way of speaking to you without saying a word. Do try it out someday. I guarantee you won't regret it.
The Way forward
When we were young, horses were a symbol of freedom and adventure. That feeling is still there, it's just that we have strayed a bit too far from it. Riding a horse is almost like a meditation, aligning you with the rhythms of nature. So, is it too much to ask for a little trip down the memory lane? Maybe introduce our children to these beauties? No amount of computer animation or auto-enhanced special effects can ever replace the warmth of a horse's nuzzle or the thrill of galloping through a meadow.
So, Australia, let's saddle up again! To enjoy the sun on our backs, the wind in our hair and the cadence of hoofbeats echoing in our heart. Let's ride, not because we have to, but because we want to – to connect with nature, with ourselves and certainly, to keep the legacy alive for the generations to come.