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8 Common Traits Successful Equestrians Have

8 Common Traits Successful Equestrians Have

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To become a top equestrian takes hard work and the right mindset. Though talent and a good work ethic will get you far, many great riders have other characteristics that help them achieve greatness.

No matter your experience level or the discipline you ride, having these characteristics will help you find success in the saddle. Many top riders in our sport will benefit from having these desirable traits.

Here are eight traits successful equestrians have.

1. Dedication

It’s not easy waking up at 5 am to drive to a horse show or mucking stalls when it’s freezing cold out. Horse girls have true grit to look after their horses day after day.

If you want to make it to the top you have to commit to every step it takes. Even when you have a frustrating ride and feel like giving up, you push through.

Long, hard tiring days are part of being an equestrian, but when you see how far you’ve come as a rider it is all worth it.

Female equestrian holding a horse in a field
Osetrik /

2. Integrity

A good rider will have integrity both in and out of the show ring. They will have respect for their fellow competitors no matter the outcome of their placing.

Riders with this trait will be honest with themselves. Part of being a good rider is being willing to realize your mistakes and learn from them. In addition, it is important to help others out and cheer them on in all their accomplishments.

Also Read: 7 Common Mistakes Horse Riders Make & How To Avoid Them.

3. Passion

Equestrians are incredibly passionate about their horses. They possess a strong love for horseback riding and enjoy sharing their love with others.

Having a strong passion for riding makes achieving your goals even more meaningful. It takes a lot of work to care for horses, but the passion behind it makes it all worth it. When you are passionate, you enjoy the ride for much more than the ribbon you won.

Woman wearing traditional dressage clothing and holding a black horse
Dmitry Kalinovsky /

4. Confidence

Horseback riding is not for the faint of heart. It takes confidence to get on such a large creature.

No matter what discipline you ride, you have to be able to believe in yourself. It can take a lot of courage to enter the show ring, let alone to get on a horse to begin with. Confidence is key to finding success with horses.

5. Patience

One of the most important traits to have as a rider is patience. It takes time for both you and your horse to get to the highest level of competition, no matter what discipline you ride.

In riding you can’t cut corners or take shortcuts to get to the top. You must trust the process and take your time, as rushing things isn’t how to get them done right.

In order to create a strong bond and trust with your horse, you must have patience.

6. Optimistic

No matter how well you know your horse or how long you have been riding, things do not always go as planned. Whether you fell off during your lesson or placed last in your class, it is always important to remain optimistic.

No matter how tough things get, you always want to look at the bright side. Instead of basing your ride off the ribbon you got, think about how far you came to get you there.

Believe in yourself and your riding abilities and don’t forget to appreciate all the hard work you have put in.

Woman holding and looking at a bay horse
Standret /

7. Imagination

Imagination may not seem like an important trait of a good rider, but it can make a huge difference. Being able to imagine your ride in your head before you hit the show ring can help prepare you for any scenario.

Whether you are coming up with a dressage freestyle or deciding the best route for your jump course, it takes imagination. Being able to be creative in the saddle can help keep you sharp and at the top of your game.

8. Focus

Focus is a big aspect of finding success while riding. You can’t let yourself get distracted by overthinking.

It is important to focus on your ride and not allow yourself to become distracted by what else is on your mind. Focus on achieving one goal at a time and never lose sight of the big picture.

Top riders focus on riding every step while staying in the right mindset to achieve their goals.