It takes balance, coordination, and patience to ride a horse and even more to compete with one. Here’s how one group of horse riders are staying on top of their riding skills.
The winter months can feel like a lifetime,
“It’s hard. It makes me miss rodeo season and warm weather, which is hard to come by in North Dakota sometimes,” says Lindsey Miller, Rodeo Cowgirl.
Especially when you have an itch for riding horses.
“They’re so soft and I love riding them. I like it so much,” says Kinsey Woodbury, Young Rider.
That’s why the White Earth Valley Saddle Club has started a new tradition.
“We’re bringing people in doing off-the-wall games that you don’t see at a typical rodeo, but that way you’re not souring your animals to the same routine over and over again,” says John Woodbury, White Earth Valley Saddle Club President.
Frigid Fundays gives the riders and their horses a chance to stretch their legs.
“It allows you to get your horse out and kind-of get him -his freshness rode out as we say,” says Miller.
Which is especially important for Miller, as her high school rodeo season isn’t far away.
“It allows you to really just work different muscle groups of your horse and as well as check yourself as a rider and see if you’re cue-ing right and just really see where your horse is at with the different events,” says Miller.
Just like with other humans, the partnership takes work.
“It’s kind of like dating, you know? By doing these activities in the wintertime, you maintain that relationship versus taking a break for three, four months then trying to start over on day one,” says Woodbury.
The extra time spent together can make for a better connection, putting horse -and rider- on the same wavelength.
“Making sure my horse is ready to go and competing our best,” says Miller as her horse, Blue, nods his head. “And my horse agrees!”
It won’t be long before the riding and rodeo seasons are here.
The White Earth Valley Saddle Club will be hosting their 62nd rodeo the second weekend of June which is open to all.