I don’t know why I have never had the idea to do a blog about my two favourite hobbies before! So, its mid February which means its ski season here in France, which means at the moment my ideal weekend is riding Mya on Saturday and then going skiing for the day Sunday.
I have been riding since I was five years old and I learnt to ski at the age of 18 years old and I found I took to it pretty quickly as many of the skills you need to ski I had already because of riding.
So here are the reasons why I think horse riders make great skiers.
1. It’s all about position. When you learn to ski, you learn that the position of your body affects where you go and how well balanced you are. Just like when you are riding your horse, if your position isn’t quite right it has the potential to mess everything up!
2. It’s all about confidence. Although there is no horse to sense this when you are skiing, it hinders your performance if you are terrified just like when you are riding. In both sports you will move your body defensively which affects your position, which will ultimately affect your balance.
3. Both sports I have felt the fear and did it anyway! There has been many times that I have been terrified jumping a massive course of show jumps and have never told anyone and also many times where I have been terrified skiing down a black run with my mates. I use my pretend everything is fine face for both sports! However it’s much easier to hide the terror skiing as conveniently you wear goggles.
4. Ski Pistes are a lot like cross country courses, just with no actual jumps, just ice, moguls and a varying degree of steepness to them . You totally get that same buzz when you have done a challenging ski run as when you have finished a round of cross country jumps. The pistes vary just like cross country courses too. Green/blues are like your 65-80cm classes that are great for people gaining confidence or new to the sport. Reds are your 90cm courses, there are some challenges but then blacks are your 100 cms plus courses that sometimes you just have to look at them to feel nervous!
5. On the other hand skiing can be like a nice hack. If you stick to the blue pistes, you can have what feels like a gentle stroll around the mountains similar to a trail ride vibe.
6. Horse riders are used to wearing boots all day. Ok admittedly ski boots are slightly more uncomfortable but it’s the same principle. Also in both sports you wear a helmet and gloves too. Samesies.
7. Horse riders are not put off by a bit of weather. I think it helps as well if you are a British horse rider like me. Let’s face it if we waited for it not to be raining in the UK to ride we would never ride. So a bit of snow and wind isn’t going to bother us when we are on our ski hols either.
8. Leading on nicely from that, horse riders are used to feeling absolutely freezing after riding in the winter. That feeling after being out all day at a winter showjumping competition and a day of skiing in the cold are very similar.
9. Also horse riders are used to falling off, so falling whilst skiing is actually not as bad! We are used to falling from a height, skiing you just fall at great speed, something we are actually used to as well.
10. Ski pistes can be a lot like warm up arenas. You need a level of awareness of what is going on but that same level of disregard so you can concrete on your skiing and not be worried by anyone else.
11. Horse riders are used to having to lug heavy equipment around before and after riding like saddles and jumps etc. Just like skiing where you have to carry your skis to and from the piste. Skis are actually a lot lighter than a full water bucket or wheel barrow for sure!
12. And finally in general I think its fair to say that horse riders (particularly British ones) enjoy a drink. Skiing is famous for it’s drinks at the apres – Ski. The perfect way for the skier/ horse rider to end a day of sport!
Let me know in the comments if you are horse riding skier!
Copyright of Louise Dando & In Due Horse 2020.
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