Cowgirl Rachel Dice gives a barely perceptible nod. The gate swings open.
Dice and her horse Katie shoot forward, angling to the right where a barrel waits amid dry mounds of dirt. Rider and mare slow as they approach the barrel, leaning their bodies into the curve. Dice’s white shirt billows in the lashing wind.
Dice and Katie successfully clear the second and third barrel, placed in a triangle formation. As they head back toward the gate Rachel gives Katie’s chestnut muscles a spurt of kicks, urging the horse faster during the last stretch.