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The Columbus School News Portal

The Discoverer

The Columbus School News Portal

The Discoverer

Balancing Dreams and Textbooks: The Challenges of Young Equestrian Student-Athletes

Moreno, riding at horse competition in Club Campestre

Young athletes pursuing competitive sports, especially those in disciplines like equestrianism, face a unique set of challenges that often go unnoticed. The world of young equestrians explores obstacles while striving for excellence in their sport.

Equestrians, often still in school, juggle the demanding roles of being both students and athletes. Balancing rigorous training schedules with academic commitments can be challenging. Time management becomes crucial to maintain performance in both areas. This double life can be mentally and physically taxing, leading to burnout and stress.

“In the world of young equestrians, we walk a tightrope between our dreams and our textbooks, balancing on the thin line of dedication and determination. It’s a constant struggle, but it’s in these moments of challenge that we find our true strength.” Paulina Moreno, Grade 12, said. 

The pressure to perform at a high level in academics and sports can take a toll on the mental health of young equestrians. Competitions, exams, and the need to meet expectations can lead to anxiety and chronic stress, impacting their overall well-being. Young athletes must develop healthy coping mechanisms to deal with their pressures. This includes seeking support when needed.

“The relentless pursuit of excellence in both the classroom and the arena often feels like a never-ending battle. The weight of expectations bears down on us, threatening to shatter our resolve. In these moments, we learn the true meaning of resilience.” Carla Echavarria, Grade 11, said.

Equestrianism is a physically demanding sport, and young athletes are not exempt from the wear and tear it inflicts on their bodies. Riding horses involves inherent risks, and young equestrians are not immune. Injuries can disrupt their training and academic schedules. Intense training can affect the growth and development of young athletes. They must strike a balance between pushing their limits and avoiding harm.

“Through the highs and lows of our equestrian journey, we learn the value of strength, perseverance, and self-care. We ride on, knowing that each hurdle we face only makes us better riders and stronger individuals.” Echavarria said.

The financial burden of equestrian sports is multi-faceted, encompassing horse-related costs, trEmilia Echavarria Londoñoaining, and coaching fees, competition expenses, equipment outlays, facility charges, and various other miscellaneous expenditures. While these challenges are substantial, the dedication and passion of young athletes, coupled with the support of their families and the equestrian community, drive them to pursue their dreams despite the formidable financial obstacles they face.

“The passion, dedication, and the unbreakable bond between rider and horse carry us through. We ride on, not despite the financial obstacles but because of them. For in every leap, in every gallop, we find our dreams and they are carried by our own sport spirit.” Moreno said.

The world of competitive equestrian sports is highly competitive, and young athletes must learn to navigate its intricacies. Rivalry among young equestrians can be fierce, leading to added stress and pressure to outperform their peers. Expectations from parents, coaches, and themselves can be overwhelming, which makes it very important to manage expectations making it a vital skill.

“The desire to outshine our peers, to hear our names echoed in applause, fuels our want to excel. The pressure to perform is both exhilarating and daunting. It’s a challenge that tests not only our physical prowess but also our mental one.” Moreno said.

Young athletes pursuing equestrian sports as student-athletes encounter a multitude of challenges, from managing their dual roles to dealing with physical and mental pressures. However, their resilience and passion for the sport drive them to overcome these obstacles and excel.