Students practice competitive horseback riding
Reese Thompson, Reporter
Horseback riding is becoming an increasingly common sport, ranking as the 13th most popular sport in the U.S. The equestrian community is prevalent on the island, where riders find benefits in health and companionship.
Students Rumor Pollard and Georgia Mechura competitively ride horses. To many, horse riding is seen as just a hobby, but they take it just as seriously as other popular sports.
Mechura has been riding for nine years, five of which have been competitive. She currently rides and competes with her horse, Willy.
Pollard rides with her horses, Galen and Jinn. She has been riding for eight years total, showing and competing in fairs such as the King County Fair, Puyallup State Fair, and participates in the United States Dressage Federation, as well as the United States Equestrian Federation. She has been showing for nearly seven years.
Riding has brought both girls joy and has helped them detach from the stressors and occasional chaos of the world.
“[Riding] always makes my day. Just going to the barn and spending time with my horse … makes me happy,” Mechura says, “It de-stresses me. When I’m around horses, all of my nerves go away.”
Horse riding has helped support Pollard emotionally as well, which has further encouraged her to continue the sport.
“I’ve been riding so much, it feels like an escape. It shows I can actually do this, and I can really see the benefits,” Pollard said, “The way I train, the movements are very beneficial to the wellbeing [of the horse] in general. So I know it helps them, too. The bond I can create with the horse [is] really an emotional bond. It’s just like having your own dog, but five times the size.”
Mechura has not only become more knowledgeable about herself, but has learned about others.
“The whole experience has been amazing,” Mechura says. “I’ve gotten to meet new people [and] I’ve learned so many new things about myself.”
Riding has shown them who they are, and who they want to be.
“Training them is something that really means something to me,” Pollard said. “That’s what I’m going to do. That’s what I want to achieve.”