Monday, May 4, 2015


The high prices being paid for sport horses during the last few years is a fairly new development. Race horses have sold for big money for years, but recently I have read of show jumping, eventing and dressage horses reaching prices from $1 million - $15 million.

So I was wondering what a really expensive horse would be like to ride. Would it be like a luxury car with more bells and whistles but most experienced drivers could drive it? Or would it be the difference between a single engine plane and a fighter jet where you need a lot more training and experience to pilot the jet?

I think it would be somewhere in between the car and the plane, especially when you consider the horse’s specialty. The faster you go or the higher and faster you leave the ground or the more technical the movements performed, the more sophisticated and experienced the rider has to be.

So if we have more Million Dollar Horses (MDH) then there needs to be more MILLION DOLLAR RIDERS (MDR). So I started to think about the skills, feel, understanding, judgement, etc that would be required to become an MDR. And yet only a select number of riders may have an opportunity to ride an MDH. 

What I realized is that if we aspire to ride or own a MDH at some point, then we need to start riding all of our horses like we are an MDR. In order to be ready to ride that very special horse, we need to ride as if we are an MDR each and every time we sit on any horse. 

Now some horses are born with remarkable natural movement and athleticism, but without the appropriate training and time taken that horse might not ever reach its potential. However if the training is correct and time is taken, then those horses without the crazy talents can often perform to the same level.

If we start riding to the MDR standard every time we sit on any horse, that horse might just turn into a MDH. Or you might start to beat that fancy horse with your horse because you have become that MDR whose skills can create an MDH.

The quality of every horse’s gaits, transitions, movements and jump can and will rise to a higher standard when we aim that high every time we ride. One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Duke Ellington - “There are only 2 kinds music. Good music and the other kind”. And I think this applies to riding as well. Watching any rider sitting in any saddle on any horse, we often inherently know when we see “good riding” and we know when we see “the other kind”. So if we aspire to become an MILLION DOLLAR RIDER, we can start to create the “good riding” that will produce and sustain our MILLION DOLLAR HORSE. 

Practice what you want to happen, not what you don’t want to happen. Find an appropriate  program to work in or emulate and your skill level can start to consistently support your horses’ performance no matter what discipline you are training for. Find your own people to work with by asking for personal recommendations or go to local competitions to watch and listen in the schooling and competition arenas. Ask questions and go to watch lessons or take one yourself to see if it might work out. And remember you can always change programs if the first doesn’t work for you.

Aim to ride as a MILLION DOLLAR RIDER and you will start to raise the level of your riding so you can produce a MILLION DOLLAR HORSE so you do not have to buy one.

Below you will find a video of someone who rides to a very high level at their early stages of riding. You can imagine this same rider sitting on a horse and successfully jumping up to 1.60 M with the same position, balance and riding skills. And by the time they are finished they might be the first BILLION DOLLAR RIDER!

Maja Marchwicka i JARY zwycięzcami finału grupy A1, HPP-B DiM - Leszno 2015. Poniżej zwycięski przejazd z rozgrywki.
Posted by Świat Koni on Sunday, April 12, 2015