The IECP Blog is pleased to feature Zhenzi Xu in its first Student Spotlight post! Zhenzi is from China and has been studying in the IECP since the spring 2018 semester.
As you might have guessed from the photo above, Zhenzi has a very unique hobby: horse riding. Not only does he enjoy riding horses, but he also competes in local competitions where he has already won many ribbons for different skills. It is really remarkable because Zhenzi has only been riding for a year! In addition, Zhenzi reports he is the only non-American he has seen in competition and one of very few men.
Zhenzi even has purchased his very own horse, which he named Wifi. He and Wifi have won many ribbons together. According to Zhenzi, horses are spiritual animals that can communicate with and understand people.
Recently, Zhenzi took the time to answer some questions for the IECP Blog:
What made you first interested in horses?
I am interested in horses when I watch the Kentucky Derby. I am interested to see the majesty of thoroughbreds at full speed. It is amazing in person when you can feel the earth move beneath your feet. The horse is an amazing animal.
How long have you been riding and competing?
I have been riding…since last June. I have been competing for a year.
What have you learned about American culture through this activity?
I have learned responsibility because you have to come out and take care of your horse every day even when you are sick or lazy. You can’t just decide not to come in. Horses depend on you.
What do you recommend to people who are interested in horse riding?
Horseback riding is an amazing game. You may learn the value of hard work. Sometimes it takes weeks or even months to perfect your riding skill. If you spend hours and hours to keep training you will overcome it.
We look forward to hearing more about Zhenzi’s and Wifi’s adventures together! If you have a question or comment for Zhenzi, comment below!