What’s your definition of “fun”?

I often see or hear riding programs referred to as “fun” and it makes me wonder: Is my program fun? Would someone who rides here describe the lessons as fun?

Well, we don’t often play games on horseback. We don’t do bareback lessons. We don’t do many trail rides as part of lessons. If we are working regularly in the arena, are we still having fun?

For me, fun is learning something new. Fun means overcoming obstacles or rising up to meet a challenge. Fun is doing something you never thought you’d do. Maybe it’s being able to put together eight jumps for a great course. Perhaps you rode for 10 minutes without stirrups or executed a perfect simple change of lead. Maybe you got your horse to walk without jigging or performed a superior canter departure. Or maybe you jumped a swedish oxer for the first time. These things are hugely fun when you’ve never done them before – when you’ve worked hard to accomplish something new. The hard work leading up to a breakthrough becomes even more worthwhile and you feel proud of yourself and your horse. What a moment!

That’s what I love about this sport. There’s always room for improvement. We can always be better and we should always try to help our horse be the most he can be. That’s the fun of riding and it’s why I teach: so others can find that joy in setting and reaching a goal, all from the back of a magnificent partner, a horse.

What’s your definition of "fun"?

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