Photo by Osteen Schatzberg
By Julie Daniel, Daniel Training Center, and Apex Riding Academy
In the vibrant and competitive world of Arabian horse showing, the lure of blue ribbons and prestigious awards can sometimes overshadow the true essence of the sport – sportsmanship. As trainers, riders, and horse owners, it is incumbent upon us to uphold the spirit of fair play, respect, and camaraderie that form the backbone of equestrian sports.
At the heart of every barn, every training center, and every riding academy, there should be a steadfast commitment to fostering an environment that values sportsmanship. This starts with trainers who embody these principles and pass them on to their students, regardless of their age or experience level.
The Trainer’s Role: More Than Just Mentoring
A trainer’s role transcends teaching riding skills or preparing a horse for a show. We are mentors who have the power to shape the attitudes and values of our students. We’re entrusted with the task of instilling a deep respect for the sport, the animals, and the community.
At our farm, we champion this philosophy. We believe in molding not just skilled riders but also respectful and fair competitors. Winning isn’t merely about clinching the top spot; it’s about the journey that gets you there – the early mornings, the dedication, the hard work, the perseverance, and above all, maintaining integrity and respect throughout.
Nurturing Sportsmanship from Scratch
Our Riding Academy is a testament to the importance of sportsmanship in equestrian sports. Here, we believe that the learning process extends beyond riding lessons. It’s about cultivating an environment that values honesty, respect, and a genuine love for the sport.
As Riders, Owners, and Trainers, irrespective of their age, we should learn that sportsmanship isn’t confined to how one celebrates victory but, more importantly, how one handles defeat. It’s about respecting fellow competitors, applauding their successes, and learning from one’s own failures.
We firmly believe that not everyone can win the best ribbon or award, but everyone can achieve their personal goals. Whether mastering a new riding technique, overcoming a fear, or improving upon their last performance – every small victory is a testament to their personal growth and journey.
The Standard for All
Sportsmanship should not just be a concept; it should be a standard held across all barns and their programs. As members of this wonderful equestrian community, it is our collective responsibility to uphold these principles and ensure they are passed down to future generations.
Indeed, we all want to win. But let us not forget that at the heart of every sport, including ours, lies the spirit of sportsmanship. After all, it’s not just about the destination; it’s about the journey. And what a beautiful journey it is in the world of Arabian horses.