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Rider Insider: Finding a Perfect Match

How did you know your horse—or the horse you ride—was a perfect match for you?

January 22, 2013

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Horse and Rider There's nothing quite like seeing a horse and rider working in perfect harmony. The only thing better is actually being the rider in that equation. When you have perfected the art of interspecies communication with your equine partner, it's as if you and your horse just click.

Some horse-and-rider teams that come to mind when we think of perfect matches include reining superstars Stacy Westfall and Whizzard's Baby Doll, show jumping champions Eric Lamaze and Hickstead and revolutionary dressage duo Edward Gal and Totilas. Of course, each of these riders had to put in a lot of time and hard work with their equine partners to reach the level of harmony that they ultimately achieved. That elusive "click" doesn't come easily.

Have you met your perfect equine match, and if so, how did you know? Was it an instant connection from the beginning, or did you have to work to achieve a breakthrough? If you haven't experienced this first-hand, have you witnessed another rider reach that level of unity with his or her horse? Click "Submit a Comment" below to share your story. Some of the responses may be selected for a future issue of Horse Illustrated.

Noble Equine Throughout 2013, Noble Equine will be sponsoring the Rider Insider column in Horse Illustrated with a prize for the selected featured response. If you'd like to be considered for a prize, make sure to include your contact info in the email field of the contact form (emails will not be publicly displayed.)

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Reader Comments

Michaela    Appleton, WI

10/11/2013 1:20:44 PM

I have met my equine match! My horse and I have been together for 4 years now, but have not always been in perfect sync. We used to fight all the time during our rides, but, thanks to a lot of hard work, have come a long way and even won a hunter hack class last summer!

Tierra    Waverly, IA

9/7/2013 3:52:51 PM

We got to his barn and the lady who owned him told me which pasture he was in and what he looked like. So I went out there and I'm looking around for a horse that fits her discription when all of a sudden I feel something shove me in the back. I look behind me and there is the horse. I hopped on and he waited for me to give him the cue. I didn't even have to go around the arena for a lap before I knew he was the one.

Tory    Mohegan Lake, NY

7/10/2013 10:47:59 AM

When I started riding, I had noticed this little bay gelding a lot during my lessons, because of the way he played with his bottom lip. I remember looking at him and thinking,"he's going to be special". Eventually my trainer put me on him for a lesson, and after that I never got off. Roo at the time was a 17 year old TB ex-lease horse gone school horse. He taught me so much, in and out of the saddle. Now since I've gone off to college, I don't see him much and now own my own mare. But that bond is still there with him whenever I go visit him, he's the one horse I feel completely safe and confident on. I don't know how I know it, but it's just something that hits you one day. It's the greatest feeling in the world.

Bailey    Apache Junction, AZ

6/5/2013 11:54:36 AM

I have met my perfect match. I love him dearly. The guy who owns him doesn't want to sell him sadly. But my dad is trying to work something out so that I can keep him. I just got a 20 in barrels! YAY! Now work on getting to 18 and 19s ;D

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