On April 21 I had the opportunity to take some photos of trick riding, which is the art of performing stunts while riding a horse. The person featured here, Jen, used to be a smokejumper, parachuting out of perfectly good airplanes in order to fight fires, but now she stays closer to home with her children while her husband does all the smokejumping in the family.
I was amazed at the strength, coordination, timing, and agility that is required for this crazy activity. Jen was vaulting from one side of the horse to the other, her feet were bouncing off the ground, she was standing on the saddle, or was upside down on the side of the horse, and seemed to defy gravity at times. All of this while the horse was moving at speed.
I asked her about the strength that is necessary for trick riding and she smiled and said the pull ups she did as a smokejumper helped. She still does pull ups, she works on her core muscles, and is also doing pilates.
Her friend that trick rides with her was only able to watch that day from outside the arena, sitting in a chair with her broken leg propped up on her walker. Yes, her friend broke her leg in three places a few weeks ago while trick riding.