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not a sport. won't qualify for PE

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    I graduated early from high school years ago, but almost wasn't able to because my school wouldn't recognize anything but team sports, golf, tennis, swimming/diving, wrestling, track and field/cross-country, cheerleading, or competitive bowling as athletic activities. Alas, I am terrible at bowling. My school wanted me to take a full year of electives (I'd already finished core curriculum and all AP classes offered) because they felt their pointless PE classes (which consisted mostly of walking laps on a track) were superior to a lifelong athletic endeavor like riding.

    In college equestrianism was a varsity sport, and we were truly treated like athletes (e.g. in access to sports medicine, physical training, varsity gym facilities). But I didn't need it for PE credits, because in a healthier environment that embraced a wider range of health-promoting activities I felt empowered to explore other sports in a way I never did under the tutelage of beer-bellied HS football coaches and hairspray-encrusted cheer directors. The way PE is implemented in K-12 in many places does as much harm as help to student health, IMO.

    I hope the family in question in this case is able to prevail in getting equestrian activities counted toward PE, and ideally an apology from the teacher who belittled the student's athleticism as a rider. Hopefully the pandemic will also inspire a rethink of some of the problematic PE programs out there and generate some new ideas about integrating things that are more likely to become lifelong healthy habits than, say, dodgeball.


      It counted as PE when I was in boarding school (back in the dark ages.) Perhaps someone should remind teacher that it is included in the OLYMPICS, which is a sporting competition.


        Years ago I had a riding student that needed a couple of days off for a horse show over Memorial Day weekend. She was a straight A student, senior in high school, and all her teachers signed off...except her phys.ed teacher, who said riding horses wasn't an athletic event and wouldn't excuse her from class.

        I called the phys.ed teacher and invited her to my farm for a free lesson on Saturday morning. She had never been on a horse, but had good balance and athletic ability and caught on quick. Didn't take long for her to be trotting/posting on the lunge line....and then I asked her to drop her irons and post. I needed to make a point...and I did. She could barely walk when she dismounted and apologized, saying she never knew how much work it is.

        Student was excused from class to attend the show.
        "Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them."
        -Richard S. Bach


          I remember going round in circles with a gym teacher who insisted that golf was a more physically taxing sport than riding, and that riding didn't even count as a sport. My school didn't allow you to get out of gym class for doing sports though - but I did center my entire fitness project around proving that riding was a physically taxing sport. I don't think I ever convinced that particular teacher that riding is a sport - even with heart-rate monitor data and calorie-burning crap we did to prove it - but I certainly convinced my classmates and the other gym teachers. Not that they needed much convincing to begin with, I always vastly exceeded the requirements of the fitness test for the boys, not just the girls'.


            Here is the Facebook post.


              We are doing virtual learning, and my daughter's PE teacher fully supports her riding and barn chores. She counts them towards her PE goal. If I were the mom, I would have requested a private meeting or sent an email, for an explanation of why she was called out in front the class, and if she had issues with what she felt were not "sports" or "exercise", that she come to me first. Surely, its a sport. A lot of people who haven't ridden however, may not view it that way until or unless they are 1) educated on the muscles and balance etc that are used, or 2) have ridden a horse themselves and can honestly say that they did not get any exercise or sore muscles .

              Then there is my 10 year old son, who has to video himself doing exercises...he just has to show he can do it, not actually video tape the entire session. I make my kids fulfill their PE time goals, but taping a 30 second video demonstrating exercises, is not very in depth. For sure, if I let him, he would just video the exercises and go on about his day. I actually make him do them (he is not horsey and shows no interest in horses, so that's not an option for him).