GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – Horse lovers have gathered for a three-day dressage competition in the Grand Valley featuring many of the top riders from Colorado and neighboring states.
“I ride seven days a week, and we train and train, but when you get here our horse might have a whole different idea of how it’s going today,” said Karen Harkin, president of the Grand Valley Dressage Society. “I love this challenge of saying what horse I have today and how can I ride that horse to the best of his abilities.”
One of the horse exhibitors, Krista Nobilo, described dressage as being about connecting with the horse through the seat, legs and hands.
“So dressage is basically a demonstration of training your horse the way some of us look like we’re dancing,” Nobilo said. “We do a figure skating routine with our horse, and it seems like we are one with our horse.”
Competitors compete for specific scores. Each move can earn runners up to ten points, and the judges decide on the accuracy and proper execution of the move.
“The hardest thing about competing is ensuring your test is accurate because you can lose points so easily,” added Harkin. “By being inaccurate in your test all the time, you keep your horse soft and supple and with you. There are a lot of things going through your head at the same time.
Those who qualify can compete in the regional finals in New Mexico in September.
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