Recently, the movie ‘Grandprix’ was released and the movie ‘Champ,’ which is based on a real story about horse, is going to be released, soon. Historically, horses have been human companions for a long time. In the past, people regarded their favorite horses as their other self. In modern times, horses and human relations have grown apart, but still, horses are objects of admiration and that subconscious psychology carries into movies and interest in horse riding. The Sookmyung Times (SMT) asked about horse riding to Horse College professor, Kim Chul (KIM).
SMT What do the students learn at Horse College and what about their related future careers?
KIM In Horse College, students learn basic education, basic horse riding, horse improvement knowledge, rehabilitation horse riding, and business administration of a range. Basic education is learning horses’ characteristics and history, and improvement knowledge is for study on the prevention of safety-accidents. Especially, rehabilitation horse riding is receiving attention of the nouveau field of health treatment. After Horse College, students can get a national license and get various jobs related to horses. Jobs related to horses are, for example, a mounted party of policeman, working at a racecourse, judge of international games, and rehabilitation therapist.
SMT Originally, horse riding was regarded as a hobby of the upper class. In the modern society, does it still have the same meaning? If the meaning has changed, what is the turning point?
KIM Primarily, western horse riding started from the hobby of the upper class in the Greek and then changed to martial arts. It is different from eastern horse riding, which was firstly started as martial arts. In Rome, as the importance of the regiment of horses on the battle became bigger, horse riding as a martial art became very popular. But I think the biggest turning point of horse riding is the
establishment of the Federation Equestrian International in 1921. The Federation Equestrian International was established from 8 countries’ gathering to make horse riding into an official Olympic event. After that, horse riding became a friendly sport and leisure for the general public.
SMT Compared to other countries, how is the scale of the domestic horse industry? What is the condition for development of the horse industry?
KIM Korea’s horse industry is way behind other countries’ horse industry. In the case of the United States, the impact of thehorse industry to its country is as big as the whole movie industry. In countries like Australia and Ireland, the horse riding industry takes more than 3% of their GDP. Korea, also, since its GDP is still growing, the economic potential of the horse industry is quite high. The horse industry has the infinite possibility that can be the future higher value-added business for farmers. For development of the horse industry, government support for infrastructure and improvement of regulation is needed. Also, we have to try hard for developing new and various programs like horse riding competitions, and youngsters’ horse riding experiences. Moreover, people’s negative impression of the racing industry must be improved.
SMT If you want to recommend horse riding as a hobby to Sookmyungians, what are the reasons for that? What is the charming point of horse riding?
KIM Unlike other sports, horse riding is a sport which breathes together and is united together with a living creature. Human and horse share each other’s feeling and communicate without sound. It is the charming point of horse riding. Smooth and rhythmic bounce, which you can feel while riding horse, gives human not only physical but also mental comfort. A dog is the best friend of humans and a horse is the best partner of humans. Horse riding is like learning love from a horse. I believe every person who falls in love with a horse feels the same. At first, it begins at curiosity about the horse. Then, you can see its well-shaped, dashing body, and contrary to its big body, its innocent and clear eyes. Finally, when you ride the horse, you can feel a thrilling feeling which you’ve never felt before and fast passing scenery around you. Someday, it becomes like my old hometown father who always waits for me no matter the circumstances. Then the horse finally becomes my love and best partner who doesn’t know betrayal.