For those involved in the world of horses, horseback riding and competition, summer is the busiest season of the year. Rain or shine, wind, cold or blistering heat, dedicated competitors in various disciplines brave the elements in search of those elusive 1st place ribbons, trophies and prizes.
This week-end there’s a Reining competition happening at the #PrincessLouiseParkShowCentre in Sussex. Essentially, each horse and rider, depending on their level of experience and expertise, compete in classes by riding a specified pattern that includes loping, trotting, spins and sliding stops. It’s fun to watch and, for the riders, fun to do.
The actual competition takes place in the indoor arena, but each pair first has to “warm up” outside – making sure the horse’s muscles are loosened up and the rider is focused on what he or she is going to do in the ring.
Once inside you’re on your own. You have to remember the pattern, the point in the ring where you need to perform each maneuver, and definitely not to run over the judge and his/her scribe who are sitting on the edge of the ring.
Concentration is the name of the game! The day was promising to be a scorcher so those who got to ride in the morning were lucky!