Freshman Natalie Cooper competes in English riding

Freshman Natalie Cooper competes in jumping, flatwork and dressage

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Freshman Natalie Cooper competes in English riding

By Photo by Lindsay Roush

By Photo by Lindsay Roush

By Photo by Lindsay Roush

Allison Winker, Guest writer

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When did you start horseback riding?

I took a camp when I was seven years old, and I started lessons at age ten.

What made you decide to start horseback riding?

I’ve always loved horses, well, at least since I stopped liking elephants. It was my dream for a long time to ride a horse.

What specific type of horseback riding do you do?

I ride English horses, and I do jumping, flatwork and dressage.

What is your best memory from this activity?

Galloping in a field and jumping hard courses.

Why do you enjoy horseback riding?

It’s hard to explain, I just do. It’s my life, I’ve loved it since I was a little girl.

Have you ever been injured by horseback riding?

Yes. I fall off my horse a lot. Once it felt so bad that it hurt to walk for a while. My toes go numb and my wrists hurt all the time.

Who is someone that you look up to in this sport?

Cheyenne Smith. She is the best rider, and she’s a senior this year. She helps out a lot and trains the horses.

What is a typical practice like for you?

I have to get there fifteen minutes early. We groom the horses, tack up, and then warm up. After that, we have our actual lesson. Then, we cool off, untack, groom, and put away our horses.

What kind of a future do you see for yourself in this activity?

Ever since I was little I’ve always wanted to do something with horses. One day I hope to be a professional equestrian in show jumping and cross country. I would love to travel the world doing competitions.

How has this sport impacted your life?

Horseback riding is a big part of my life and I’d probably die if I couldn’t do it. My whole summer was spent at the barn and I couldn’t think of any better way to spend my time.

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