For ZU student, happiness is endurance racing

Zayed University student Roudha Mohammed trains for an endurance horse race in the desert in Abu Dhabi. (Photo by Asmaa Aljneibi)

By Asmaa Aljneibi

ABU DHABI—Roudha Mohammed, an Emirati endurance horse rider, started riding as a child. In the very beginning, she wasn’t really interested in equestrian, perhaps  because at that time she didn’t even try it. She never knew what that kind of horse riding was all about.

A turning point came in her life and changed all her thoughts about what she could be.

The Zayed University student started riding when she was 11 years old. At that time, her father encouraged her to participate in different kinds of sports, including swimming, horse riding and shooting. He gave her plenty of choices, and she had to decide to be specialized into a specific sport by the time she grew up when she would have the ability to take her own decisions. She said her fathr is very supportive and always wants to get the best out of her.

Endurance Rider

Roudha Alnqeeb mounts her horse before an endurance race. (Photo by Amal Alnqeeb)

Roudha did not actually come from a “horsey family,” she said. This means none of her family members were familiar with horse riding sports. By the time she grew u,p she started feeling home with horses and ponies.

She first registered her horse at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. There she started building up new relationships with the staff, and her new horse-riding friends seemed very friendly and cooperative.

She became very social and enjoyed riding on different horses, meeting new people and discovering things she never knew about horse riding. Between 17 and 18, Roudha became more specialized as a rider. She started improving and developing her skills and abilities. She has always been ambitious, knowing that she had more powers and abilities to prove herself right. She wanted to show her family riding was not just a passing phase of her teenage life.

At that point, she started realizing that she was shaping her future and her journey filling herself with positivity and clean mind. She only focused on how to keep her horse strong and healthy and how to keep herself happy and satisfied.

Despite the time and effort she puts into riding, she has never forgotten the rest of her priorities, including time spent with family, her studies at ZU and her friends. She manages to balance her time. She has classes, homework and daily horse-riding practice that require solid time management.

The ZU student has settled on endurance racing as her sports passion. Roudha had her first race in 2013 at Al Wathba Endurance City. The race was 40 kilometers. She said that  as a first try she didn’t face any difficulties.

The second qualifying race was 80 kilometers, which she described as very exhausting. For that competition, she spent seven hours at Dubai International Endurance City. Roudha also joined an endurance race at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club in 2014.

Roudha was always positive that one day she would become what she always wanted to be, and now she has reached one of her goals in life.

“Happiness and satisfaction are what horse riding means to me,” she said.

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