A local trail rider is hitting her stride this summer. Diane Prinsen excelled at her first two competitions and doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon.
She placed first in a competitive trail ride in Lumby, and fifth in a 50-mile endurance ride in Summerland.
Prinsen has been taking part in competitive trail rides for five years and broke into endurance riding three years ago. She says she enjoys the challenge and the longer ride, adding that it’s nice to see what your horse can accomplish.
“You still have to pace yourself but it’s faster,” she said. “Your horse has to be conditioned quite a bit better to have a faster pace and it’s longer distance.”
The sport is dominated by Arabian horses, but Diane rides a foundation-bred quarter horse, who she calls her “four wheel drive.”
“He seems to do quite well at it,” Prinsen said.
Arabian horses tend to have good heart rate recovery for trail rides based on their muscle mass. Prinsen said her horse is more muscular so it takes longer for his heart rate to slow down, but they still do well.
“He has quite a bit of ‘go’ and I like that,” she said. “He’s a really sure-footed horse too.”
Prinsen trains on several trails around the Shuswap including South Canoe, Larch Hills and Skimikin. She also owns Brookside Stables where she has an outdoor arena and an indoor arena for training in the winter.
“A lot of it is being out on the trails and going to new areas,” she said. “And you make a lot of new friends. It’s a competition that doesn’t feel like a show where you’re really competing. It’s more relaxed.”