RED- FIELD - Flint is Sheila Price's 8-year-old quarterhorse, and she's been competing with him for awhile.
We both work hard, Price said.
The relationship between a rider and the horse is vital to performance, she said.
It's definitely frustrating if your personalities don't work together, Price said. We learn to adapt to one another.
And from that, Price and Flint have developed a strong bond.
Unlike how Price performs with her horse of five years, the equestrian events for today's Olympics are classified as English events, divided into three parts: dressage, eventing and jumping, according to the official website of the 2012 Olympics.
The English Equestrian events, established since the 1900 Olympics, are formatted differently than the Western events Price participates in.
From the materials used for riding to performance techniques - Western and English events differ.
According to the official website of the 2012 Olympics, English events focus on horse training, horsemanship and discipline, as well as fence jumping.
Because of the agile techniques used in English events, the saddle is much lighter compared to those used in Western events, which are larger, said Price.
Now entering her junior year at South Dakota State University as a biotechnology and animal science major, Price competes as a member of the university's Division I equestrian team.
I greatly enjoy the team, Price said. It's probably one of the best decisions I've ever made, she said.
Beginning her career at 8 years old through the Redfield 4-H program, Price's affection for riding grew as she watched older 4-H students take to the arena, she said.
Now 20 years old, Price credits her time in 4-H for her decision to join the equestrian team in college.
Western vs. English events
·Western: A heavier saddle is used. Riders perform horsemanship and patterns by trotting between cones as a guideline, said Price.
·English: A lighter saddle is used. The equestrian events performed in the Olympics are: dressage, which is the highest level of horse training and is the groundwork for other events; eventing covers every aspect of horsemanship - the harmony between horse and rider, stamina, and precision; and jumping fences.