Grand Forks, BC – In most sports, athletes are expected to master the technical aspects of their performance before mastering the mental component. Horsemanship, however, requires the complete opposite. The partnership with the horse is the foundation of horsemanship. Without the necessary mental focus, that partnership is compromised.
Wendy Price is a certified equine Canada competition coach specialist and founder of WP Performance Horses, where she specializes in both training horses and coaching riders for national equine competition. As a coach, Price teaches her students how to get the best out of their horse by helping them cope with the stress of competition.
“It’s about, ‘How much can you get the horse to work for you?” explains Price. “My students are going out there to do the best that they can do for themselves.”
In competition, each participant is judged on their equitation or horsemanship; the horse is their tool. Participants are judged by how well they ride; how well they sit the horse; and how the horse performs through its maneuvers. But this is easier said than done.
“It takes a long time to get over your fear,” says Price. “Horses have a higher level of intuition. They truly feel everything we do. So when you’re in the ring being judged, you have to learn to go somewhere else.”
Price says her passion for horses first began when she was 17. She would ride any horse she could find and started out range riding 500 cattle.
“It’s the sense of being on top of an animal that you feel like you’re one with. It is my passion; it consumes my world,” says Price. “Every horse is different and every horse teaches me something new. I’m still learning and I’ll probably still be learning for as long as I’m alive.”
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