Kavita Sinha: At Ease in the Seat of a Saddle
By Manu Shah
HOUSTON: When Kavita’s father moved into a high rise apartment, the balcony offered a wonderful view of a stable and several horses below. At her mother’s suggestion, her father took her for a pony ride and 7 year old Kavita was ecstatic. All she could talk about was horses and it was only a matter of time before she enrolled in riding classes. To this day her father quips that “it was the most expensive ten dollar pony ride”
Kavita took to the saddle and horses with a natural flair and affinity. Under the tutelage of her trainer, Larry Smith, who she says is “almost like a father to her”, Kavita learned to ride and train horses. But it wasn’t always fun and games. It involved honest to goodness hard work where she was expected to take care of the horses which included washing and scrubbing them down, body clipping and cleaning out the stalls. Pretty soon, Kavita was a regular at competition circuits and more often than not came home proudly bearing the victory ribbon. Two weeks ago, she walked away with $1000 in cash prize by winning second place in the Great Southwest Equestrian Center’s Winter Series IV competition.
Watching Kavita participate in three competitions at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center, Katy, was a delight. Astride a strapping white horse, her face a study of intense concentration, she executed a perfect jump over every one of the poles making her champion of her division for the weekend. When the results were announced, an exuberant smile lit up her pretty face and Elvis, her horse knew he had a treat coming.
At 19, Kavita is presently studying business at Texas A&M. Her long term plan involves running a horse farm where she plans to buy and sell horses and a degree in business would come in handy. She is also the Manager of the A&M Equestrian team which holds the record for winning the championship 12 times in a row. How does she manage to juggle her schedules between riding and studying? She catches up on her studying at night and weekends when she is not riding and has resigned herself to a nonexistent social life due to her riding commitments.
With a quick conspiratorial grin at her mother, she says that while she would have loved to own a horse she’s glad she doesn’t as she can now ride any trained horse and has learned to handle horses with different personalities. That’s right. Horses can be as temperamental as humans. Practice sessions may be perfect but ask the horse to jump on the day of the competition and it could very well dig in its heels and refuse. There are horses that think they know it all, there are some that act like divas and will respond graciously to nothing less than profuse praise and there are some that become very attached to people. The key lies in understanding your horse and handling it accordingly – a fact, this petite, confident girl seems intent on mastering.
Kavita is looking forward to a three month training program at a horse farm in Argentina this summer. She will help take care of the horses and in exchange will be trained by a world renowned horse trainer. She is also looking for sponsors to help with the expenses that will enable her to achieve a professional status.
For more information, contact Sam Houston Equestrian Center at 713-433-7669 or email at email@example.com