By: Rachel Frederick
Now this is an odd game to inspire someone, and it was not an inspiration of wielding a sword and fighting off monsters. The Legend of Zelda; Ocarina of Time however, inspired me to further my love for horses, and riding. When I was 6 years old my stepbrother had this game at my father’s house, so whenever I was up visiting he would let me play the game. Now, I didn’t understand what the drive of the game was and what I was supposed to do, but I would always get Epona and ride around Hyrule field for however long. I would find any fences that I could and have Epona jump over them, including the massive one in Lon Lon Ranch – the one that had the cool cut scene when you did it. Not only did this inspire my love for horses, but it also made me fall in love with the Zelda franchise as well, and it is one of my favourite games now.
But this is also what created my drive for show jumping. After this game I quickly became obsessed with any riding games that I could get my hands on. For anyone who doesn’t know what show jumping is, it is essentially a type of competition where you and a horse have to jump large fences and have to race against time and other competitors, while making sure to not knock anything down. This passion that started when I was 6 years old and could not stop. Finally in junior high I started riding, originally not show jumping, but still able to get on a horse.
Once I got older I started getting into the world of show jumping. I am originally from Calgary, Alberta and the sport is very popular there, with lots of chances for different competitions including the biggest international ring in North America, Spruce Meadows. I never got super advanced, but I am still proud of how far I got, and I even have many ribbons from the competitions. I also was lucky enough to get to own two different horses in my life who taught me a lot – and I will argue were as gorgeous as the infamous Epona. After deciding to move to Newfoundland I have taken a break from riding horses, but I plan to get back into it at some time. Right now, I get my joy from it by riding Epona in the many Legend of Zelda games, while eagerly awaiting the new one.
It is kind of interesting to look back and see that a great adventure game, and one that is so popular, is the game that got me into a sport that was my life for 8 years. During the time I was show jumping my life was surrounded by school and horses. I never truly finished a Legend of Zelda game until Twilight Princess, where Epona was even more important in the game. So thanks to this franchise, and my excitement for horses. I got to be in, in my opinion, one of the most exciting sports that are out there. Because for me, there was nothing more fun than riding against a clock and having a rush of adrenaline from jumping over fences while trusting a horse to get you there.