Equestrienne Rebecca Dosch is all about balance

Equestrienne Rebecca Dosch is all about balance
By Walter Ang
June-August 2007 issue
Asian Dragon Magazine

The morning dew is just beginning to evaporate from the tree leaves. Under the light of the morning sun, Rebecca Aragon Dosch impishly mentions that when she was in college she didn't care much for the studying and wanted to "just ride horses." If you were eavesdropping and this was all you heard, you might be tempted to conclude that she's one of those wild, reckless types with no respect for rules and discipline.

But then you would end up being very far from the truth. At a veranda near the stables, Rebecca is the picture of poise and grace. Her spine is arched just so, her words are clear and deliberate. She sometimes takes a moment of thought before she answers. This is a woman who has competed (and won) international equestrienne events, something that certainly requires control and discipline.

It's a good thing she continued to ride while studying business management in De La Salle University-Manila, because the training gave her the honor of bringing back medals for the country. She's part of an elite force of very few women, like Mikee Cojuangco and Tony Leviste, who have excelled in the sport. Quite a feat since "men and women compete on the same level in this sport. Unlike other sports, there are no separate divisions," she says.

After competing in the 90s and a stint as an assistant coach at the Olympic Youth Festival in Australia in 2005, in perhaps a funny twist for someone who claims to not have cared much for studying, Rebecca now teaches riding full-time.

"It's important that I pass on a passion that's very dear to me," she explains. There is no question that she simply loves what she does as her sultry eyes light up when she speaks of teaching.

Rebecca points out that "It's all about balance." This is a sport, after all, where you are working together with another living being and the relationship is key. "It's about coordination and rhythm. There's a point when I let my students ride bareback (i.e. without a saddle) to let them feel what the horse's muscles are doing. It's about being one with the horse."

The right mindset also helps. "It's not about strength. You need to have respect for this majestic and powerful creature. Like any sport, it takes hard work and determination. If you fall, you just have to get up."

Rebecca was recently requested to train the new White Castle girl, Roxanne Guinoo, to learn riding in just ten days. "She was able to do it because she had the right attitude and she was willing to work hard. She was a sweet girl and respected what I had to teach her. It didn't matter what she had to do to learn, she just did it."

While it usually takes a little longer than ten days to learn to ride, Rebecca says, "It really depends on the student. Children have less inhibitions so they learn faster." She reminds us however that, "Every horse has its own personality, so it's different every time. It's a never ending process of learning." As with life, persistence and endurance goes a long way, "The older you get, the better you get."