Unknown to many, there exists in Pune a clan of people who spend most of their day 5 feet above the ground. For them, mornings begin at 6 am at the stables, afternoons are spent mucking around in boots and evenings often bring with them the sound of thundering hooves.
Wondering how to spend your summer this year? Horseback riding is a great new hobby to pick up! For Sanyogeeta Kadu, an avid rider who first took up this beautiful sport 10 years ago, horse riding has become not just a passion but a way of life. The 22-year-old from Pune has spent almost all her life around horses and is one of the known faces in the country in the field of the equestrian sport. “What I love most about riding is just being with horses. You’re teamed up with an animal that has a mind of its own and you have to bond with him, get to know him and perform with him. The whole experience is something you won’t find in any other sport.” Sanyogeeta is the proud owner of Demon, who she has been raising since he was just three. You can often find him rushing to the gate as soon as he hears his owner’s voice, waiting expectantly for his pat and treat. Horse whispering? Maybe! Or how about just pure, unadulterated love?
“They aren’t just a part of my world, they are my world,” Sanyogeeta adds.
Sanyogeeta has been trained by the much acclaimed and respected Col. GM Khan, an Arjuna Awardee and gold medalist in the Asian Games ‘Three Day Eventing’ category. He has trained and mentored some of India’s most accomplished riders and is one of Pune’s most loved coaches. He now grooms future equestrian champions at the ‘Ride to Live Academy’ in Bhiwandi.
It’s interesting to know that equestrian sport is one of the only sports where men and women compete against each other. Sanyogeeta says, “Personally, I’ve never felt that it makes any difference. No one asks my mare how she feels competing against stallions – if she doesn’t mind, I don’t see why I should!”
Another passionate equestrian who is widely known across India and beyond is Avadh Mathrani. He says, “Horse riding is a full body workout. It aids in the development of cognitive skills, gross and fine motorskills as well as the ability to concentrate, decision-making skills and a sense of responsibility, compassion and empathy. There is no other sport that has the same holistic, all-round positive impact on the human psyche.”
For those of you who are keen to try their hand at something horsey, here is a list of places you can ride at in and around Pune:
1. Japalouppe Equestrian Centre, Talegaon
2. Ceddar Equestrian Center, Nagar Road
More details here: http://ceddarequestriancentre.com/
3. The Ride To Live Academy, Bhiwandi
We hope you have a super, horsey summer, Punekars!