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Riding Strong: Bollywood Star Yash Raaj Singh Recounts His Favourite Equestrian Adventures

Updated on: 30 September,2021 02:21 PM IST  |  Mumbai
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Riding Strong: Bollywood Star Yash Raaj Singh Recounts His Favourite Equestrian Adventures

Yash Raaj Singh

Did you know that Bollywood has an equally scintillating equestrian of its own? Making his debut in 2019’s War, actor Yash Raaj Singh perfectly embodies the spirit of the mythical half-man, half-beast as he rides off into the Egyptian sunset.

Join us as we talk to this seasoned horseman about his eternal love for riding.


Q.1. Tell us about your fascination with horses and riding? How did it begin? 

Ever since I was a child, I was obsessed with horses. I could sketch horses before I could even write my name. I remember visiting the police stables as a child and meeting Radhika, my favourite childhood companion.

After that I almost started living at the stables, I even insisted on sleeping there and eventually, they had to set up a special bed for me.

I never felt alone or unhappy in their company. I think I was 3 or 4 at the time and I wanted to ride a full-fledged horse, not a pony. This, of course, led to some consternation as I was so tiny and horse-riding is quite a dangerous sport. 


Q.2. Who was your favourite riding companion as a child? 

A horse is a thing of beauty, grit, power and Radhika was all that and more.  

just feel that when I was a child, I had a best friend. When I was with her, I was a better version of myself. I didn’t feel worthless, and there was nothing wrong with me. I never felt small, scared or weak. 


Q.3. According to you, what is the mark of a good rider?

Horse riding is all about the connection that a rider has with his horse. It's a bond based on trust and mutual respect and is especially important for me because I don’t like roughing up horses. 

It takes time for me to build a relationship with them, where they trust me enough to follow my lead. Once you have gained the horse’s trust, both man and beast become one.


Q.4. You seemed to have formed quite a close bond with horses from an early age. How did it impact you?

When I was riding, no matter how many times I fell, I never felt broken or defeated. I would just get up, dust myself off and try again. This taught me how to accept failures later on in life; every time I stumbled, I would get up and start again. 

I believe they taught me to be at peace with myself, to realise my inner strengths and self. Even though she never said a word verbally, Radhika listened to me. She followed me around without being led, and when she’d rub her head gently against mine, I felt cared for. 

She helped instil confidence and self-esteem in me and showed me a level of kindness that as a human being, I am still striving to achieve.


Q.5. What a wonderful story. Is she still with us?

No, sadly I lost her some time ago. After that, life took over and I gradually drifted away from riding. While time may have faded those hoof prints, the ones she left on my heart never disappeared.

Some cultures believe the horse is a mirror to your soul. I guess my heart will always be wild and free.


Q.6. You went horse-riding in Cairo, how did it feel to be back in the saddle?

It was great, actually. I had an amazing experience shooting in Egypt among the sand dunes and revisiting my childhood passion for riding.

I must thank the instructors at Ride Egypt, Emma and Muhammad, for helping me fall in love with riding again. Their advice and instruction were invaluable, especially as I had to unlearn a few wrong habits. 


Q.7. You are also quite passionate about nature conservation. Was it inspired by your childhood love for horses and riding? 

Yes,  they taught me how powerful and gentle nature could be at a very young age. These big, hulking beasts were enough to intimidate any man, yet they were so unbelievably gentle with me.


Q.8. So, what’s next for you?

The pandemic made me realise the uncertainty of life. If life’s to be short then so be it, I’ll live every moment doing what I love. 

As an actor, I am looking for exciting roles that will help me explore a wide spectrum of human emotions and discover what I am capable of. 

When asked about his equally well-known passion for cars, he says, “There is not enough horsepower in the world to replace my love for riding. Like our innermost thoughts and passions, the thrill of the ride is one that stays with you forever.”

If you would like to learn more about what’s in store for the actor, follow him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.



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