Due to his family’s love for horseback riding, Mason Min (10) was exposed to horses at an early age. When he was seven, Mason began taking care of his first horse, Bristol, and was devastated when Bristol died three years later. At that moment, Mason realized his passion for horseback riding and continued to pursue this interest of his. For the past three years, Mason has been training at least twice a week at stables.
“I can’t stop horseback riding even though it is challenging,” Mason said. “The sport itself requires a great deal of time and money but the sensation and thrill I feel when I’m on my horse is intoxicating and makes everything worth overcoming .”
Hoping to actively , Mason started participating in dressage competitions since fourth grade. Since then, Mason has proved his abilities as a young equestrian, as shown in his competition results: first in B Class, the intermediate level, and second in A Class, the advanced level, at the 31st National Presidential Horseback Riding Competition, which was held at Bokyong Horseriding Center from Nov. 26-28.
“Despite his young age, Mason focuses extremely well and tries hard to excel at all times,” said Youngshik Hwang, Mason’s coach. “He is one of my prized riders because of his natural instinct with horses and his effort.”
Despite Mason’s efforts, it is inevitable that other riders, who are mostly home schooled and therefore have the time to practice almost everyday, have an advantage over Mason, who is a full-time student. However, instead of feeling discouraged by this setback, Mason uses the disadvantages as a means of motivating himself to work more diligently than others. Mason hopes to continue with this hobby as a college athlete and will continue to attend various competitions within Korea.
“Riding while keeping up with my academics is time-consuming because most stables are at least an hour away,” Mason said. “However, riding is the one activity that I am truly passionate about and what I want to do. I am very proud of my accomplishments so far and I will continue to ride with my lovely horses.”
Photo by Mason Min