‘Love for horse comes first’

| | Bhopal
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‘Love for horse comes first’

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 | Sana Riyaz | Bhopal

Equestrian player Zeeshan Malik said, “a strong connection and trust with the horse is all about equestrian sport."

The city equestrian player Zeeshan Malik is an inspiration for many players across the globe. Zeeshan is an experienced riding instructor, horse trainer and professional show jumper, who has competed in both national and international riding competitions in India and Europe.

He has been working with horses since the age of six. He now divides his time between India and Europe where he is training for the 2022 Asian Games and will be completing his FEI instructor’s certifications in 2019.

During a candid rendezvous with The Pioneer, Zeeshan shared about his love for horses, He also shared his journey as a brilliant equestrian champion.

Zeeshan spent seven years in the Madhya Pradesh State Equestrian Academy in Bhopal (2007-2014) and joined Delhi Public School in Bhopal as a full-time riding instructor from 2014 to 2015.

That same year he moved to Bangalore and began working at Embassy International Riding School as an instructor for clients of all ages and riding levels.

In 2018 he moved overseas to continue his professional training and is currently working with Team Marcotte Academy in France and returns frequently to India to hold riding clinics and workshops.

Sharing his love for horses, Zeeshan said, “As a child I always loved horses and used to watch them from my classroom and dream about riding them. It’s the only sport that involves a human and an animal. You have to trust each other completely and it’s this special connection between horse and rider that made me fall in love with horse riding.”

As he recalled his first encounter with the beautiful animal in a competition, Zeeshan said, “My first competition was 2008 at the Junior Nationals in Delhi and I won a silver medal. After that, I was addicted to this sport and it was all I thought about thereafter.”

Riding a horse is not so easy for anyone. But Zeeshan believes that a strong connection between the rider and the horse can make it easy.

“It’s not easy. Horses are like humans in that they have unique personalities and likes and dislikes. Horses have good and bad days just like people. I have broken my collarbone, I have scars all over my body from falls, and have hurt my back more times than I can count. But I love this sport so much that none of this matters.”

Currently he is training in Europe and competing internationally in order to gain experience and exposure. “I hope I qualify for the 2022 Asian Games and can make my family, city and country proud,” he added.

Talking about his recent trip to India, he said, “Despite the interest in horse riding in India, the growth of the sport has been very slow in this country. Every three months I come to India to hold riding clinics in an effort to share my experience and knowledge with young riders in the hope of growing the quality and awareness of this sport in India.”

He signed off saying, “In this sport horses come first, sport comes second. Love, training, and care of your horse should be your primary concern and focus. Competing should be secondary. If your horse is well-trained and cared for with the proper amount of exercise, feed, and rest, she will perform at her best and so will you.”

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