Adventures in Saddle Seat
Part 1 [Have Saddle, Will Travel]
Part 2 [First Team Practice]
Part 3 [Three-Gaited & Five-Gaited]
Part 4 [Do I Miss Equitation?]
Part 5 [Traveling for the Team]
Part 6 [What Is Equitation?]
Part 7 [Rail Work vs Patterns]
Part 8 [Riding for the USA]
Part 9 [Out-of-Saddle Activities]
Part 10 [International Saddle Seat Style]
Part 11 [Show Report]
Video of the awards ceremony is available on the USEF network > On Demand > Saddle Seat World Cup Competition.
World Cup outside of the horses and competition was honestly the most enjoyable part. I really feel that all 12 riders on team USA bonded and embraced becoming a “team”. There isn’t a single person on the team I wouldn’t consider a friend and there are a few I would consider lifelong friends.
I also enjoyed getting to know the Canadian and South African teams. I did mingle with the Namibians but the English/Afrikaans language barrier with that team was a little difficult so I didn’t hang with them as much. Everyone was so nice and excited to be here, it created an infectious atmosphere.
Two of my South African friends, Anike and Anje, are coming back to the states in August to watch the Worlds Championship Horse Show. I can’t wait to hang out with them again!
Hearing the United States called out as the 5-gaited gold medalist was an unbelievable moment. The buildup leading to that moment had the entire team on edge. We all kept mumbling through our teeth how nervous we were as we were listening to the Namibian national anthem being played for the bronze medal. We knew we were either going to be silver or gold but the scores were too close to call. The South African’s had won gold for the 5-gaited division in the previous two international competitions so the United States REALLY needed this victory. Once South Africa was announced as the silver medalist it was all we could do not to scream out with excitement. When we all took the podium and the Star Spangled Banner began to play, it gave me chills. Saddle Seat will never be in the Olympics so this is the closest I will ever get. It gave me a great sense of pride to be able to get the United States back on top of the 5-gaited saddle seat world.
This ends the Road to the World Cup guest posts. Thank you, Reagan! KTW