I was completely unfamiliar with these competitions, but I absolutely loved them.
I was awed by the riders’ skills to maneuver their bodies in ways that seemed to defy gravity. I was equally impressed with their ability to just “ride through it”. In no way were their horses perfectly behaved, but they didn’t get flustered and they just got on with the tasks at hand regardless of the bucks, rears, exuberance and refusals. What I found even more enjoyable was the camaraderie between the girls both on their own team and the others. I saw nothing but support and good sportsmanship throughout.
Halfway through the competition the girls were instructed to dismount, take a break, and get some water. Instead, they came together, huddled up in the arena and performed a little mini dance show.
My absolute favorite thing about the competition was to see the amount of FUN the riders were having. I’ve been to shows and have watched riders, where I find myself questioning if the person even likes horses, let alone riding and competing. This was a refreshing display of what equine sports could be.