The Wolfpack

She’s Got Horse Power

Horseback Riding Sophomore Reaches 11 Years in Competition

Sophomore+Reese+Parker+rides+her+horse+during+a+day+of+practice.+She+first+started+horseback+riding+when+she+lived+in+Virginia%2C+and+has+been+practicing+the+sport+for+11+years.+%0A%22The+way+you+feel%2C+like+%5Bwhen%5D+my+ears+pop+whenever+I+jump%2C%22+Parker+said.+%22There+is+no+way+to+describe+it+unless+you+have+done+it.+It+is+the+overall+feeling+that+makes+you+feel+so+amazing.+Galloping+across+a+field+at+sunset%2C+bareback%2C+is+something+that+cannot+be+described+in+words.%22+
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She’s Got Horse Power

Sophomore Reese Parker rides her horse during a day of practice. She first started horseback riding when she lived in Virginia, and has been practicing the sport for 11 years.

Sophomore Reese Parker rides her horse during a day of practice. She first started horseback riding when she lived in Virginia, and has been practicing the sport for 11 years. "The way you feel, like [when] my ears pop whenever I jump," Parker said. "There is no way to describe it unless you have done it. It is the overall feeling that makes you feel so amazing. Galloping across a field at sunset, bareback, is something that cannot be described in words."

Photo courtesy of Reese Parker

Sophomore Reese Parker rides her horse during a day of practice. She first started horseback riding when she lived in Virginia, and has been practicing the sport for 11 years. "The way you feel, like [when] my ears pop whenever I jump," Parker said. "There is no way to describe it unless you have done it. It is the overall feeling that makes you feel so amazing. Galloping across a field at sunset, bareback, is something that cannot be described in words."

Photo courtesy of Reese Parker

Photo courtesy of Reese Parker

Sophomore Reese Parker rides her horse during a day of practice. She first started horseback riding when she lived in Virginia, and has been practicing the sport for 11 years. "The way you feel, like [when] my ears pop whenever I jump," Parker said. "There is no way to describe it unless you have done it. It is the overall feeling that makes you feel so amazing. Galloping across a field at sunset, bareback, is something that cannot be described in words."

Morgan Kasel, Reporter

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While other athletes spend their time keeping their eyes on the ball, sophomore Reese Parker keeps her eye on the horse. For 11 years, she has been practicing the sport of horseback riding, as she learns to trust and understand the animals she competes with.

Parker said she discovered the sport of horseback riding when she still lived in Virginia. She started competing in dressage, a form of riding that is more focused on improving the rider and horse than on competing.

“I didn’t have any friends,” Parker said. “I wanted to do something athletic and I figured [I would] try something where I don’t have to look too awkward doing it, I’ve [been] in love with it ever since.”

After moving to Texas, Parker said that she left the world of dressage behind and started competing in jumping. She said that what makes jumping difficult is that it always comes down to how the horse is feeling.

“A lot of it is really unpredictable,” Parker said. “If you feel really confident, your horse could have a bad day and run off.”

Despite competition days being unpredictable, Parker said that jumping is unlike other sports also because of how it is hard to make enemies.

“What’s really great about horse shows is that it is such a partner sport and everyone there loves the other horses, so your competitors cheer you on,” Parker said. “They congratulate you if you do really well and there are never any bad feelings about anyone.” 

There is no way to describe it unless you have done it.”

— Reese Parker (10)

Even outside of competition, Parker said that the world of horseback riding is small, and therefore makes for a pretty friendly environment.

“Everyone knows everyone,” Parker said. “It’s just a small world and everyone wants you to do well. No one is rooting against you. People will help you get scholarships, help you do things, and everyone is just nice.”Being a horseback rider for most of her life, Parker said that she cannot put her love for the sport in words.

“The way you feel, like [when] my ears pop whenever I jump,” Parker said. “There is no way to describe it unless you have done it. It is the overall feeling that makes you feel so amazing. Galloping across a field at sunset, bareback, is something that cannot be described in words.”

She said that in college, she hopes to continue jumping and riding horses and maybe even become an instructor. For people just starting to ride horses, Parker said that trust plays an important role in mastering the sport.

“It’s okay to fear,” Parker said. “It’s okay to be terrified. If you’re not terrified, you aren’t doing it right. You have to learn how to trust [the horses], but you can’t trust them completely because at the end of the day, they are still animals and if they don’t like something you are doing, they will let you know.”

About the Writer
Morgan Kasel, Reporter

Morgan Kasel is a sophomore and this is her first year on the Wolfpack staff.  She's involved in book club and enjoys reading dystopian and fantasy fiction. She dedicates most of her free time outside of school to soccer.  She enjoys writing about entertainment and people's experiences in life, as well as creative fantasy short stories for fun. Although she doesn't know which college she wants to go to, she plans on studying journalism and creative writing, while playing soccer on the side. Her favorite team to watch is Atlético Madrid. She grew up in Colorado and moved to Texas before the start of sixth grade.

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She’s Got Horse Power