SUBMITTED BY R-BAC PHOTOGRAPHY
Alberta is horse country so you would expect to find multiple shows going on every weekend. This summer has been no exception. Often these riders must choose between shows or attend more than one in the same weekend. As a photographer, I can only cover so many riders in so many places at once, so this is only a drop in the bucket of what’s been happening this summer. Preparation for the Battle starts years in advance of the actual event. These horses and riders are athletes and spend every chance they get together, honing their skills to perfection. They take their show season seriously and every event gets more serious as they get closer to the Battle. Dressage and Equitation are classes that are similar to what these teams will encounter during the Compulsory section of the Battle. They are meant to showcase the communication between horse and rider, the willingness of the horse to perform and the skill of the rider in the use of their aids.
When it comes to “Driving” in the horse world, there are many varieties. For the Battle, drivers and Horses must negotiate a course of Jeopardy Trail obstacles that will test all of their skills. Events that showcase dressage as well as maneuvering the cones obstacle courses are great practice.
Barrel racing is a timed event that takes place at the Battle. Most of the local shows give the riders an opportunity to practice these skills.
Jumping is another of the Battle events, and very common at most of the regional shows
It looks like all work and no play for these teams, but that isn’t always the case. Local shows offer several classes designed to allow the riders to have a great deal of fun while challenging their skills at the same time.
The Delsey Derby (ribbon race) is one…
or the Egg and Spoon race.
Cross Country jumping is not one of the Battle events. However, it allows this rider a great opportunity to condition her horse, work on her jumping skills and enjoy a great day in the sun…all at the same time.
Any time these riders get a chance to be in the saddle, they are building a better relationship with their mounts. Whether they are trail riding, practicing for shows, attending events or just having fun.