Equestrianism: Luxury Sport or Hobby?

By Darshan Hagalahalli Shrinivas, Global Co-op

When I first heard about global co-op, I thought I would go to a place where I had never been before, and to meet different people and exchange cultural views. However, my strong love for the place where I grew up led me back to Bangalore.

Bangalore, also known as Bengaluru, is the capital of the Indian State of Karnataka. With a population of 12 million and people from around the globe, Bangalore carries a diverse, multicultural character. Nearby location such as the Nandi Hills, Bangalore Palace, Mysore Palace, and the rich, fog-covered coffee estates of Coorg are popular destinations that attract visitors from around the world.

When I received a co-op offer from Shell – Bangalore, I was happy to  be returning to the beautiful place where I grew up for a few months. Working at Shell gave me a hands-on experience with  Project Management, with a safe work atmosphere, welcoming colleagues, and a top-notch kitchen complete with its own line of chefs. During my period as a co-op intern at Shell, I met several of the company’s Vice Presidents, General Managers, and even the CEO of Shell, Mr. Ben Van Beurden.

Parallel to work, I found new interest in horseback riding through the Embassy International Riding School, which was located close to my workplace. The campus was spread for about 240 acres, with some 71 horses and 22 ponies, and for me served as both a quick getaway from work and a relaxing leisure spot. Generally, horseback riding is considered as a luxury sport, in which jockeys race on horses during competition, but I wanted to learn the sport as a hobby that had always been on my bucket list. My favorite horse, a German-bred horse named Sandy, soon became one of the highlights of my experience.

Horseback riding has been on my bucket list for at least two years, ever since I visited the Daria Daulat Bagh Palace in Srirangapatna, Southern India. After enjoying the view of the palace, we came across a person who offered us a horseback ride for a short period. I sat on the horseback with a enthusiasm of trying something new for the first time. Later, when the horse started to trot, I felt insecure, constantly thinking that I would fall of the horse. I knew that horseback riding was for many people not as difficult as it was for me, and this insecurity convinced me I had to learn the sport.

A year and a half later, when I got an offer from Shell in Bangalore, I was happy that I will be going back to the place where I grew up, and took the opportunity to learn a skill I’ve always wanted to pursue. A few days after starting my work, a friend of mine introduced me to horseback riding at Embassy International Riding School, and I gradually learned this sport and made it my hobby, one that I would like to continue when I return to the United States.