Every rider has an idol or role model who they look up to. This person might encourage you to do better and try harder each time as a personal mentor, or maybe he or she is someone you admire from afar. Either way, they inspire you to be the best horseman you can be.
My role model and inspiration is Dan James. Dan is an amazing and very talented horseman—he always brings something new and exciting into the pen. Dan always takes his time while training, never confusing or frustrating the horse. Additionally, Dan cares so much for each of his horses and has a true bond with them.
I had the privilege to meet Dan during the 2013 Road to the Horse competition, when team Australia took home the championship.
After watching Dan’s performances, I was inspired to teach my horse to sit down and do tricks. As soon as I saw one of Dan’s horses sitting in the middle of the arena while music was blasting and he was riding another horse around it, I was hooked. It was one of the most amazing sights I had ever seen. Dan made horse training look like magic to me. I had already taught my horse to bow and lay down, but Dan made the sit look so easy. After a couple months and lots of practice, I got my horse to start sitting also!
Dan also has a gift of explaining his techniques in a way that make them easy to remember. I most admire Dan’s humility and understanding. Even though he has a lot of experience and many accomplishments, he talks to everyone and is truly in it for the horse. Dan has many clinics for horse owners during the year and great performances. My favorite is his Facebook page with all the pictures of his horses doing cute tricks. I hope to be half the horseman he is one day.
Who are some of your role models, and why do you admire them?