Jumping is, first of all, a spectacular sport. Beautiful horses, spectacular jumps over obstacles, bold riders. All this would not have made such an impression if there had been no mutual understanding of man and horse.
The ORIENT correspondent talked to the young rider Mergen Khaljanova, who shared her personal experience of friendship and working with the Akhal-Teke horse, a restive and freedom-loving one.
“Friendship begins with a smile,” sang in a children’s song. And friendship with a horse-mate begins with training.
– The horse feels the mood of his rider, his breathing, courage and fear. If you are excited or unsure, then it is instantly transmitted, and it starts to get nervous, ”says Mergen.
In show jumping, associated with a certain danger, you can not be nervous. Despite the height of the obstacles, the rider should be as concentrated, calm and steady as possible.
“I often watched show jumping competitions,” Mergen says. – I always wanted to be among the participants there, in the arena, and not in the audience places.
And Mergen resolutely went to the racetrack as a student. I thought that the rapid jumps would immediately begin. But it was not there. For starters, inexperienced riders were waiting for a dressage test and a gallop, but most importantly – acquaintance with a newly made “friend.”
Before entering the arena, each rider cleans and equips his horse. Itself. This should be done carefully, without rushing. The care shown to your pet will later affect your work with him.
Horses therefore look magnificent because they receive due attention and care from their horseback. Like children, they are waiting for treats and affection, clapping a hoof and bowing in gratitude.
– Horses love to enjoy fruits and vegetables. If you grate an apple, carrot and watermelon, mix, season with a little sugar and treat your horse with such a salad, it will surely find a way to express its gratitude to you, – reveals the secret of Morgen.
The trainer offered Mergen the calmest horse. Not quite in shape, it needed extra care. But it didn’t scare her.
First, she treated her partner named Vepadar. I bought balms and ointments required for care. The horse was wounded on the saddle, and the wound was festering on the scruff of the neck. Mergen visited her pet twice a day.
“Each time I came to the stable, I called him by name so that he would recognize my voice,” the young horsewoman continues.
It turns out that every horse has its own name for a reason. Names are given based on the capital letters of the parents. If a mare was born, then the first letter of her name will coincide with her mother, and if a foal, then with the capital letter of the father’s name. Vepadar received his first “V” from its father Vepa, which translates from Turkmen as “Faithful”.
Feeling the attention of the new mistress, Vepadar quickly recovered, and the long-awaited training began.
Horses designed for show jumping have fairly inflated leg muscles. Three steps before the “jump” – overcoming the obstacle – both the horse and the rider must literally merge with one energy clot so that the jump is higher than the beams and the landing is safe.
The purity of lightning fast take-off and “descent” depends on the intensity of the jump. Do not touch the surface of obstacles with hoofs. And yet, who is the main in this duet, a rider or a horse?
Great responsibility on both! From the horse it requires a powerful approach to the barrier, a sharp repulsion and coordination of movements. From the rider – posture, clarity of action, the ability to keep the occasion in a stretch.
Already in a few classes, Mergen had mastered some of the elements well. Of course, she fell and stuffed bumps, but did not leave her passion for show jumping.
At the competitions held at the end of each week between students, Mergen won a victory more than once on her horse. Raising the bar, the rider did not doubt the courage of the horse, which, of course, will overcome a height above 1.5 meters. But for beginners, this is a good result.
“I went here for adrenaline,” says Mergen. – And then she realized that she was not attached to the place, but to her brave Vepadar. I realized that I love horses so much that I am ready to spend days and nights at the hippodrome.
The development of show jumping in Turkmenistan is gaining momentum. More and more young people are trying to get to the hippodrome in an effort to get acquainted with such a beautiful sport and make friends with magnificent horses.