As part of our new “Stern Hobbies” series, The Oppy is taking a look at off-the-beaten-path interests among some of our classmates at Stern. If you have a hobby you would like to write or be interviewed about, please e-mail the Oppy at email@example.com. Today’s feature is a Q&A with MBA student, Rosa Toledo-Rebuck, the Equestrian.
How did you get into horseback riding?
I’ve loved horses since I was old enough to walk. I was definitely that kid in preschool that begged their dad to let them ride ponies at the school fundraisers a gazillion times. On a more serious note… My dad’s side of the family has a ranch in Chiapas (in South Mexico) and my family has always loved horses. They bred Arabian horses, so I grew up around them. I officially started taking lessons when I was 8 (Mrs. LeMaster wouldn’t let me take lessons until I was 8). Trust me, I think I made my dad take me to LeMaster’s Stable every year from the time I was 5.
Mrs. LeMaster sounds like a name from a Disney movie! What was the hardest part about being an equestrian?
The funny outfits I had to wear for competition.. JK. Being a competitive equestrian is demanding. It’s a grueling sport where you have to train at least 4 times a week, travel a lot for competitions and build a real connection with your horse. The challenging part is hoping that when you are in the arena jumping your course, you and the horse will be perfectly in sync. I was a Hunter, so it’s a subjective sport where a judge determines how well the horse and I performed versus the jumper discipline, which is scored based on the objective speed and accuracy the rider has over the course.
How many horses have you competed with and what were their names?
My first horse was a bay-colored Arabian-Thoroughbred Mix. His name was Poet. Horses always have show names, though (for when you compete). His show name was Poetry in Motion. My second horse was a chestnut-colored thoroughbred named Fozzie. Fozzie’s show name was Just for Fun. If I remember correctly, he was a little over 17 hands tall, which is 68 inches (In Britain and America, you measure a horse’s height in hands).
Wonder how many hands tall I am. Do you get to ride often now?
I rode competitively from the time I was 8 until I finished high school. I gave it up competitively when I moved to North Carolina for college. During college I was part of Duke’s Equestrian Club, but only rode for fun. Keeping it up in NYC is nearly impossible, so now I only get the chance to ride when I go to the ranch every New Year’s.
See you at the ranch next year, Rosa!