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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Riding community grows within Central Valley

The greater Fresno region is well-known for outdoor activities, one of the most popular being horseback riding. There are many different disciplines in horseback riding, disciplines across the entire spectrum can be found in the valley. Many students at FC enjoy this hobby because of the connection to a living animal that requires a partnership that can be likened to a ballroom dance.

Riding is practiced at FC and in the valley from the very highest world championship level to the casual backyard rider. Enjoyment of a unique bond is one of the driving forces to keep people interested in the sport. This hobby is different from others in the amount of time it takes as well as the large international and historical influence of the horse.

Campus students draw from many different areas to our school, from Kerman to the foothills of east Clovis. Mikayla Messer, ’14, and her family reside in east Clovis, she is an athlete and also holds good grades. Messer was introduced to the horse riding hobby when she was young.

“I got my first horse two years ago,” Messer said. “I had always been interested in horses. I even attended a few riding camps when I was younger.”

Another quality of horse back riding that attracks participants, is that age does not matter; it is a life long hobby. The amount of physical activity put into horse riding is overlooked most of the time. A detailed routine is required to prepare the horse for a safe ride.

As a first-year teacher on campus, Dr. Karen Walters reveals that she too enjoys the sport. Walters lives in the foothills of Clovis and has owned and ridden horses for many years.

Walters rides three-day-eventing horses and dressage, these two disciplines are more traditional European styles of riding. But now that she is so busy with teaching, it is hard for her to make time for riding.

“Time. Time is the most hindering factor in riding,” Walters said. “It is hard to make time to ride with all of the daily tasks that need completion.”

Weather also plays a large part in the ability of people to ride. Some professionals have large covered arenas, but the average rider is subject to mother nature. Messer often faces the challenge of heat when trying to exercise her horses.

“If its to hot, it’s not good to work the horse very hard because they can overheat and become sick,” Messer said. “When it’s cold I personally have a lot less fun. But heat is usually the most common because we live in Fresno.”

Preparation is a key part in riding horses, as it is in many other things. Riders must make sure the arena is groomed so the horses feet do not become sore, the bridle and saddle need to be secured and snug but not to tight in order to make sure the horse it fit to ride. Most people do not realize the quantity of work put into a single ride.

This author can be reached via Twitter: @beal_trevor. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more features, read the Sept. 24 article, Beach trip activities create memories, bond students.

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