Theodore Roosevelt jumping over a fence on horseback, c. 1902

Theodore Roosevelt on a horse jumping over a broken down fence.
President Theodore Roosevelt on horseback jumping over a fence in c. 1902.

This photograph of 26th President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt jumping over a broken-down fence in circa. 1902 was taken while he was still in office. He was roughly a year into his term as President when this was taken.

Theodore and the rest of the Roosevelt family loved to ride horses. He was known to have ridden for 10 to 12 hours when hunting and would take daily rides with Archie Butt. However, Roosevelt did not believe that he was a talented horseman.

“I was fond of horseback riding, but I took to it slowly and with difficulty, exactly as with boxing. It was a long time before I became even a respectable rider, and I never got much higher. I mean by this that I never became a first-flight man in the hunting field, and never even approached the bronco-busting class in the West. Any man, if he chooses, can gradually school himself to the requisite nerve, and gradually learn the requisite seat and hands, that will enable him to do respectably across country, or to perform the average work on a ranch.”

It was likely that Roosevelt was underselling his skills in the saddle. There are countless images of him on horseback and he often declined the use of automobiles in order to ride horses. He was also a Colonel of the Rough Riders. The Rough Riders were a volunteer cavalry unit in the Spanish-American War.

There is no doubt that the 26th President of the United States was gifted in horseback riding.


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