Be an In­spired Rider

Horse & Rider - - From The Editor - By Jen­nifer Paul­son

AS A WRITER, I LOOK FOR IN­SPI­RA­TION EV­ERY­where. I’ve been do­ing this for 19 years, so some­times it takes more work than ex­pected, but I can usu­ally find some­thing to in­spire me to keep mov­ing for­ward in my work. It’s the same thing as a rider. Af­ter spend­ing many years in the sad­dle, it’s equally im­por­tant to look for new ways to stay mo­ti­vated. Both re­quire an open mind and a will­ing­ness to try new things.

You might’ve no­ticed some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent on our cover this month—for the first time in many is­sues, we’ve in­cluded a rider. And she hap­pens to be bar­rel racer Fal­lon Tay­lor, wear­ing tie-dye, sparkly fringe, and a crys­tal-en­crusted hel­met. If that’s not be­ing open­minded and will­ing to try new things, I don’t know what is.

An Open Mind Opens Op­por­tu­ni­ties

I met Fal­lon on La­bor Day at her clinic in Cheyenne, Wy­oming, thanks to our con­tribut­ing pho­tog­ra­pher, Mal­lory Bein­born. I had no idea what to ex­pect. I’d seen her on­line (she’s es­pe­cially ac­tive on Snapchat), but I’ve learned with so­cial me­dia that what you see isn’t al­ways what you get. Could some­one re­ally be that en­cour­ag­ing, mo­ti­vat­ing, and in­spir­ing in per­son? For Fal­lon, that’s an em­phatic yes.

From my seat, the rid­ers in her clinic that day all left feel­ing they’d been seen, val­i­dated, and mo­ti­vated, not to men­tion the au­di­tors who got up close and per­sonal in the arena while the rid­ers worked their horses. Fal­lon truly in­spired these women and girls, in­clud­ing my­self. That’s why I’m ex­cited you’ll have the chance ride with Fal­lon, in per­son. Get de­tails on win­ning a pri­vate les­son with her, thanks to Dy­namic Edge by Cactus, on page 63.

More In­spi­ra­tion

We of­fered our first “Best Of ” fea­ture in 2015, high­light­ing the best things that hap­pened in the horse in­dus­try that year. (You can find it on This year, we fo­cused on the best quotes we heard from train­ers, clin­i­cians, and in­dus­try lead­ers, be­gin­ning on page 39. The mes­sages come from our in­ter­views, photo shoots, and other in­ter­ac­tions with these pro­fes­sion­als, as well as from their own so­cial me­dia posts. I think I’ve used Brad Barke­meyer’s con­tri­bu­tion on my kids 100 times since I first heard him say it.

What’s your fa­vorite in­spi­ra­tional quote for bet­ter horse­man­ship? Send it to me at the ad­dress be­low. I hope we can gather enough to fea­ture them in an up­com­ing is­sue…be­cause who doesn’t need a lit­tle in­spi­ra­tion now and then?

Jpaul­son@aim­me­dia.com.

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