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We Ask The Industry: If Your Horse Could Change One Thing About You, What Would It Be?

For our latest installment of WATI, we decided to suspend reality for a moment and ponder a hypothetical. We all do it…wonder what our horse thinks about us. So, we asked several leading exhibitors what traits they think their horse would change about them. The results were some funny and light-hearted answers from many competitors, often revealing some difficult, and possibly even annoying, characteristics about themselves. Some of their horses may even hope they will take this exercise one step further and do some self-discovery to help “fix” their issues.

If your horse could change one thing about you, what would it be?  Let us know in the comments.

Emma Brown – I think if Brett could change one thing about me, it would for sure be the nervous speeches I give him. Whenever I have a big show, I always talk to him and tell him my game plan, and I swear he gives me a side-eye and says “I got it, mom.”


Carrie Warren
– I think mine would say – stop messing with me…I got this…it’s not that hard. She’s pretty smart and catches on so quickly. I think she would say I get in the way.




Meg DePalma – Marley would try to get me to stop kissing her nose all the time. She’s not a fan, and well, I’m a crazy mom, so I’m sure I drive her nuts. She does benefit from my excessive treat giving, though.



Allison Rassinoux
– Most likely my horse show nerves. I tend to have an “electric backside and legs” in the show pen, so I constantly have to attempt to relax and not grip my horse so much. I’m sure my trainers would love for me to relax, too.



Lana Markaway
– They would want me to have more patience. I push a little too hard sometimes when some things take time.





Scott Reinartz
– I believe if Hank could change one thing about me, it would be my competitive nature. If I didn’t want to win so much, he wouldn’t have to work so hard. He would love that.





Tali Terlizzi – If my horse could change one thing about me, I think it would be for me to take a deep breath and relax, and show like I practice outside of the show pen, and keep my hands still.





Julie Hoefling – I think my horse, Lucky would change the length of my legs. Since I’m so tall, and he’s a little guy, they hit pretty low on his belly. Before me, he primarily had Andrea, my trainer, as his rider with little legs. I think that is his preference. Haha. He is a good sport, though, and puts up with me.

Ashley Leister
– My horse would tell me to stop being so hard on myself. I have very high expectations for myself, and sometimes that can translate into pushing us a little too hard. We don’t have to have it all together all the time. Goals and hard work equal success, but there is a fine line between being driven/motivated and obsessive.


Emily Ambrose
– I have owned my horse, Doc, for ten years since I was an 11-year-old kid. I spent all day at the barn, so there’s a lot I put him through in the past decade that he has been so patient about. I think the most relevant thing Doc would want is for me to have shorter legs so that he wouldn’t have to trot so fast during extensions in the showmanship. I’m 5’11,” and he’s 15 hands…so he has to hustle.



Jenna Tolson – Scarlett would tell me to sloooowwwww my brain down. My brain is usually trying to be eight steps ahead of what my body is communicating, and then the message gets fuzzy to her. Throw in some show pen nerves, and I often get the “what the hell lady!” look from her. She’s very expressive and opinionated. But she is commanding and makes me step up, learn and get better. I can appreciate that about her.


Carey Nowacek
– If Duke could change one thing about me, he would change where I live. He wishes I could live closer to him to ride and give him treats every day. (Or maybe that’s just what I would change).


Kathy Tobin
– Stay out of my way. Just trust me to do my job without exaggerating things.

Johnna Letchworth
– If Whiskey could change one thing about me, I think he would change my practice hours. He would like me only to practice after he’s had a nap or two in the mornings.



Jamie Radebaugh – Right now, she would say, “stop being such a perfectionist…I’m only three!” I’ve been fortunate to have great-minded horses who can put up with my constant practicing.




Brister Shum
– I have a new show partner, High Road Reload. I’m sure he would tell me, “Be clear about your signals to me and just trust me…we’ve got this!”




Natalia DeVencenty
– Moonie would change the fact that I have a job and I’m getting married. He is not a fan of me only seeing him two or three times a week instead of every day. We share a unique bond, and he’s slightly too attached.




Vanessa Froman
– Becky is a queen, and she rolls with whatever I do. She’s been pretty forgiving of me as I’m learning new things about her. My trainer Jenell and I think she would change nothing about me because we are perfect together. She is one of my best friends. My son Collin said, “She would change you into Jayna Rose because she likes her more. Jayna doesn’t use as much spur and doesn’t mess up her flying lead changes.” Jayna is Jenell’s 4-year-old daughter that is in love with her “Beckaroni.”

Beckie Peskin – Ohhhh, my gosh. He would probably prefer if I only liked to show one or two classes versus the all around. When we started adding the equitation earlier this year, I think he was a little put out that he didn’t get days off as often at the horse shows. Little does he know that there is more to come after that.



Jessica Baird Divine – If my horse could change one thing about me, it would be to not practice as much. He’s always a very willing partner, but I’m sure he thinks multiple rounds per day is a little excessive. “Wilson” would love to go back to Chris’ string — where he’s patted a lot  and only does one class a day.




What would your horse want to change about you? Let us know.