Off Season: At Mid-Winter

And, it is back on the saddle.

the daily wardrobe: Deborah zipping up her tall boots over her breeches

While their 2016 season ended a few weeks ago, the girls have turned their attention to preparing for the 2017 season. The priority is sharpening their skills in advance of the two events they’ll be riding at the National Western Stock Show in two weeks. Much of their practices will be done at the RRC indoor arena. While a few sessions will be supervised by Trish, the girls will be left to practice by themselves. The complexity, thoroughness, and crispness of those practices can become quite intense. Not only does it raise their level of competitiveness, it also raises their level of riding.

advanced booking: the RRC indoor arena ready for a 7:00 am practice session (Dec 26 2016)

To prepare, they have studied several hours of video and over 2,000 photos. Their note-taking is extensive. No observation is insignificant. The aim is to improve their skill set and technique, and build on the successes of last season achieved in practice and in competition. Similarly, it is equally important to learn from the not-so-good moments and make the proper adjustments to minimize the bad habits and mistakes. Also, they rely on each other by sharing their observations of a ride during practice and competition.

The attention to detail and the level of preparation are the two qualities that Mark and Trish have appreciated in the girls. They simply go out and ride with their best effort. Moreover, they are not caught up in the statistical mish-mash (rankings, points, etc.) of the sport. Nor are they concerned about which show or which event is more prestigious. The important factor, though, is having fun.

In the coming season, the three agree the greater challenge will be putting together another season like the last. They rode very well, always in contention for the top ribbons. The expectations for the coming season are very likely higher.

fence rails: waiting to be used (RRC, Dec 28 2016)

If their practice sessions are any indicator, they may be riding better. A better indicator, shaving .20 seconds off the winning time for the FEI World Cup Grand Prix in Las Vegas.



6 thoughts on “Off Season: At Mid-Winter

    • It is. The vision and the lighting is absolutely perfect. The wood paneling is very impressive. I asked Mark and Trish how many riding lessons did it cost them. A lot was their answer. 🙂

    • “A nave with a low ceiling” is a good description. I’ve seen this design used in churches but not in practice arenas. Most practice arenas are dimly-lit, oversized metal warehouse type buildings.

      • I’ve seen those dim, warehouse-like arenas. It’s like the designers said “Lights? You don’t need no stinking lights!”

        • That’s true. When Deborah and Elizabeth were riding their first indoor event long ago, Andrea told me there was less light indoors than outside. Outside was dark, grayish and foggy.

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