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Horseback Riding is a Sport, and so much more!

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/11/2013 Category: Sports
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,567 times Debate No: 35511
Debate Rounds (3)
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So many people have been telling me that horseback riding is not a sport. Well, those people couldn't be more wrong. Horseback riding is a sport and so much more.
According to Google a sport is: An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others.
You might say it takes no skill, muscle, and that there is no team involved, even in competitions. However, it takes a lot of skill. Try going from a simple walk to a canter with no trotting in between. As for muscle? Come on, your goal is to get a 1500 lb animal who is 10 times bigger than you and has a mind and soul of its own. And as for the team, although you may not think about it, the horse and the rider are team mates who can only communicate with each other through silence.
A lot of people who admit that it's a sport, say it's an "only-girls'" sport. Actually there are more men in the world who ride than women. Also, men are better built for riding. Now, I'm not saying that men are always BETTER at it than women. Obviously, everyone knows that the only way to get better at something is by doing it often. What I am saying is that men a physically more built for it.
I've had someone tell me that it's the rider's fault if he/she falls. This is an invalid statement. Again, horses are animals bigger, and stronger than humans with minds of their own. You can never have 100% control over a horse. It could choose to buck, rear, stand on its hind legs, or throw you off at any given moment. Also, all riders fall at some point in their life. Horses also can spook at just about anything.
Another thing I've heard is that, "okay it's a sport but it's easy... all you do is sit there". Those people, either a) have never ridden and have seen how effortless riders make it look b) ride but are beginners or c) have only been on a horse at one of those carnival rides where you sit there and a leader takes you around. To be honest that carnival ride is not actual riding. Riders make it look effortless, but in reality it takes tons of effort, and beginners will soon learn how difficult it is once they become more advanced, that is if they keep riding.
Horseback riding is very dangerous. One mistake could mean you'll never see the sun again. I have heard many stories of people getting, seriously injured, paralyzed, or even killed, and some injuries occur on ground. One story is about how one woman fell off and was paralyzed for the rest of her life. My instructor was bitten by a horse. Some stories I've seen first-hand. One day I was riding with my group and two horses got into a little fit, and one of the horses stood up, and, from fear, the rider, also my friend, lost his grip on the reins and slipped off. His skull went in by a centimeter. One centimeter may not sound like a lot but when it comes to bones denting, that's a lot. It was enough to have him unconscious for the rest of the day, and to send him to the hospital. THANK GOD he's okay now, but that could have been different. But THANK GOD!

(Sorry for such a long start, I just feel strongly about this topic)

Personal Experience
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I've been horseback riding for 5 years. I do barrel racing, equestrian vaulting, and trails. According to a sport is an athletic activity requiring skill or physical powerness, also competative. Even though i ride horses i dont think its a sport.

One reason i think horse riding isnt a sport is because it doesn't require much physical skill. (Getting a horse from a walk to a canter isn't good for it). I play hockey, ski, and mountian bike and used to play soccer and base ball. Compared to ice hockey, horseback riding isnt physical it all. Yes, you are controlling a large animal but most of it includes common sense. Hockey is skating up and down the ice, shooting pucks, and checking (slamming people into plexiglass).

Another reason i think its not a sport is because it isn't very competative. I play ice hockey and we have people trash talk, give dirty looks, and fight. I dont see horse riders fight or trash talk. I've been to my fare share of competitions and dont see how its competative. When i went to completions people where generally friendly, laid back, and not competative. The definition of sport even had competitiveness.

Last i dont think horseback riding is a sport because, except for barrel racing, in competitions its judged by scores given by a judge. Scores in baseball or soccer games record the points of the game. The score reflects how well the judge thought the competitor did. Even the judge has knowledge of the sport it can still be bias and different people have different opinions so it isn't accuret. Also the score in other sports gives the exact mark of points. Scores vary a lot.

Also next time can you make yours shorter? I made mine long because you did.

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Debate Round No. 1


ashinsky17 forfeited this round.


Okay? Hope your still in this debate. Onto the next round.
Debate Round No. 2


ashinsky17 forfeited this round.


Again. On to the next round
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by thg 3 years ago
Interesting topic, friends! Too bad there were so many forfeits!

My leaning at this point would be to agree with PRO... but it all depends on your definition of sport. Yes, this is semantics, but it seems to me a reasonable debate cannot occur unless you both agree to the basic definition of sport. It appears to me that PRO's definition of sport is much broader than CON's. If CON's definition is more accurate (that sport is something that is fiercely and physically competitive on the court or playing field and includes trash-talking, etc.), then maybe CON has a point.

I tend to agree with PRO's definition, however, which includes any sort of contest or competition that involves even subtle physical and mental skills. According to this definition, even chess or spelling can be viewed as "sport", as even ESPN tends to proliferate (as that network includes coverage of chess, poker, spelling, the hot dog eating contest, and the like). By this definition of sport, most anything can be turned into a sport once the participants vie for some prize (whether formal and official or completely informal, such as within one's workplace or home). The fact that such competition is judged by scoring points directly via the actions in the event or by judges who confer points is immaterial.

Nevertheless, I would even submit that various horse-riding skills are, in fact, highly charged with all manner of extraordinary physical and mental skill, and so many equine events have been viewed as sport for so many years all around the world that I would lean heavily toward including these events right alongside all the big commercial sports out there. My understanding, in fact, is that equine sports rank among the most popular sporting events throughout the world.

Just my two cents'...

Now, would anyone like to debate me on whether or not baseball requires more skill (both physical and mental) than other major commercial team sports (football, soccer, basketball, hockey, etc.)?
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