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  • Virginia Shaw, BTB Trainer

A Horse Can Only Be As Good As Its Rider

A horse can only be as good as its rider. Whoa. What a truthful statement! I overheard someone, who isn’t in the horse business I might add, say this to one of my students the other day and it literally stopped me in my tracks. I was slightly stunned that someone who just watches had the insight to say that someone. However, it got me thinking and I have to admit, I think it’s true.

It’s really too bad that we can’t flip the script because how funny would it be to hear our horses say:

“Dude, did you see my rider drop their right rein in front of that jump? I had to stop or what would have happened to us?”

“If my kid drops her eyes and leans one more time I’m telling ya!”

“Hey Buddy, how many times did you have to jump that course before they got it right?”

In all my years I have heard plenty of rider excuses about what the horse won’t do, so I can’t help but think it would be cool to hear what they think about us for one day.

I can think of so many times I have watched horses do some amazing things for us and for that I am forever grateful. Not only are they a teacher and part of the family, but they can also be our greatest mirror. You will see this expressed a lot in meme’s on social media in the hope that people can truly understand what gift these animals are to us.

As a trainer, or perhaps a rider, this statement should resonant. When you dig into it, your horse can only be as good as its rider. It can only be as good as the information being giving to it; it can only be as good as the work being put into it; it can only be as good as the expectations set upon it; it can only be as good as we allow it to be. As they accept our insecurities, missteps and faults, we must accept theirs.

Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves and our horses is recognize where we are in our journey and allow our horse to show up and meet us there. For they can only be as good as we are.

Happy Horsin’


Head Trainer of Behind the Blue LLC

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