Your Highest Compliment 

It’s hard being an equestrian. This sport is not easy; in fact, a lot of the time it can be downright defeating. It seems like we all learn to survive, and thrive, on the little moments. For some it’s a hard-fought ribbon, for others it might be a quiet trail ride, or even something more simple like a therapeutic grooming session. Whatever it takes put a smile on our face and a happy, fuzzy feeling in our soul.

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And sometimes, in those quiet little moments that otherwise seem so insignificant, it’s someone else’s words that can bolster our spirits in momentous ways. They probably don’t even realize the weight that their words carry, but when we hear them they instantly warm us to our very core and make us feel like all the blood, sweat, and tears have been worth it.

Maybe it’s the trainer that says you have a great seat. Maybe it’s the vet that says your horse looks amazing. Maybe it’s the friend who says they wish their horse was as good about xyz thing as yours is. Whatever it may be, it’s a compliment that stays with you and helps get you through the hard days, or makes you feel an intense sense of pride in what you’ve accomplished.

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In the past two weeks I’ve heard the exact same sentence from two trainers. I’m not going to lie, their words meant more to me than is probably reasonable, but I can’t help it. They both said “You’ve done a great job with this horse.”. Both times, tears immediately sprang to my eyes (and I am not a cryer, crying is the absolute worst, there’s no crying in eventing, crying is only allowed in private, etc) and I had to grit my teeth to be able to swallow the flood of emotion. It’s a simple sentence, but one that carries so much weight with me.

I’ve always had young, green horses. Most of them I’ve put some miles on and re-sold, moving on to the next project. Henry was originally purchased as a project as well, but he’s become so much more than that. He’s been a bit of a challenge for me, and I constantly second guess myself. Am I doing the right thing? Is this what’s best for him? Am I bringing him along correctly? These are decisions I’m sure all of us struggle with. I mean… if I’m asking the question to myself, I think I’ve done a decent job with him, but it’s SO important to me that it be true, it holds more weight when other people (who’s opinions I greatly respect) say as much, especially unprompted. This horse is just so genuine and so honest, I feel an extra sense of duty to make sure I don’t mess him up.

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That responsibility sits on my shoulders all the time, and guides every decision I make with Henry. So when two different pros who have watched Henry and I’s relationship develop over time tell me that I’ve done a great job, that compliment goes a lot deeper than they might realize. The sense of pride that I felt in those moments means more than any ribbon ever could. As we slog through our day to day struggles, doing all the hard work it takes to make us better, I’ll always keep those words stored away in the back of my mind, and feel a little bit more confident in my choices and abilities.

So in the interest of taking a moment to celebrate our small victories, I want to know– what’s the highest compliment that anyone has ever given you, and what did it mean to you at the time?

66 thoughts on “Your Highest Compliment 

  1. This is a three-way tie … 1. Any time anyone has said my horse looks good about any of my horses–this never gets old. 2. This one is back-handed… I was struggling on a difficult horse and fell off, had an argument with my trainer which ended in me yelling, “just let me get back on and jump around and don’t say anything.” He looked very smug until I jumped everything and then he looked so happy and said, “I didn’t think you could do that, right on!” 3. After seeing me ride, the Colonel told me I could come ride with him any time. Hearing that from an Olympian does not suck.

    Thank you for triggering some great memories with this post!

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  2. This might not sound like much to an outside, but I was with my last trainer for almost 6 years. I was lucky in that she recommended me to all the other boarders to be the ‘babysitter’, and I got to ride almost every horse in her program at some point. This included the fancy junior hunter that only the owner and junior ever, EVER touched.

    One day one of my friends was talking to me about how much I was riding, and my trainer said it because she could get on a horse after me and not know I rode it. Now obviously there’s room for improvement, but the fact that she believed that I could get on all these different horses and at least maintain them, without installing any weird things that would have to be fixed, was really huge to me. It inspired me to get to the point where I could get on any horse and the next person would feel like the horse had gotten better from my ride. I’m not there yet, but it’s stuck with me even after moving away from that trainer and I miss her teaching a lot.

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  3. Once assert a schooling show, I had someone I didn’t know come up to me and tell me I was a very tactful rider, after i had a tough warm up. That one stuck with me.

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  4. “Your horse trusts you.”
    My BO/Farrier/Friend says that to me frequently. She said it when she saw me mount him for the very first time (I raised him from a foal), then when I put his very first baby rides, to us now, 8 years later doing endurance rides. I always play it off, mention some time when it seemed like he didn’t, but…he’s so honest (quirky, but honest), tolerant and just a character that he and I just “fit” together. And the fact that he trusts me, tries his heart out for me no matter what odd thing I do or ask of him, he never ever fails to make me proud.

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  5. There are two for me, one of which I e heard several times, and that’s that I have “great hands.” It always makes me very happy to hear that as I do pride myself on having an active, sympathetic connection. The other compliment – my favorite – is one time when I was taking a lesson at my old barn after a hiatus of about six months, a couple people I knew were watching. One of the women was a friend and the other, well, we tolerated each other. My friend told me afterwards, “We were talking and we agreed: even though you haven’t ridden in months you looked great. In riding you’ve either ‘got it’ or you don’t, and you definitely do.” I was just thrilled because as in-and-out as I’ve been in riding as a grownup it’s nice to know I still haven’t forgotten how to ride! 😉 (And plus it was satisfying that even people who don’t like me think I can, too)

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  6. First, let me say how much I admire that you seem to truly have the best interest of your horse at heart. Your post really struck a cord with me. We work so hard at riding/training and mostly get input on what we need to ‘fix’, seldom hearing positive input. So, after a schoolong session, a fellow boarder commented that I have a beautiful riding position and that I made it all look easy. It made my day! What she did not know is that I struggled for many years to switch from a hunt seat position to a dressage seat. So that comment meant a lot.

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  7. This post hits right in the feels. All the feels. ALL OF THEM.

    I will have to agree with both of your trainers in saying that you’ve done a wonderful job with Henry! He was a scraggly creature when you bought him sight unseen for $900, and the transformation is incredible 🙂

    I actually had this exact same thing happen to me the other day: one of our really good juniors was riding Roger for the first time, and she told me that she can see all the hard work I’ve put into him because “he’s really a super cool horse and such a good boy, I can see why you love him,” and that made me feel really great. He may not be the fanciest mover or worth $100,000, but he’s got an amazing brain and he’s goofy as hell (though not as goofy as Henry, because Henry wins that hands-down), and if someone else can see why I love Roger, then that’s good enough for me. There have been a few other compliments I’ve gotten from my trainer in the past year, but the one from the junior is the most recent and to me, it’s one of the most special.

    Now excuse me while I go wipe my tears talking about this haha. Great post!

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  8. Last year one of my trainers said she wished I could do lessons everyday so that I could get to Rolex even faster, that pretty much made my month. Really though I think the most meaningful are when judges or fellow trainers say they are impressed with how I’ve ridden a horse or progressed with a horse, I ride a lot of babies or known problem horses so when someone can see through all that to the actual training I’ve done and then see fit to complement it…cue all the warm fuzzies.

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  9. This is soooo true. Having the barn “know it all” say that your seat and balance is great because they’ve seen you sit things they can’t. Or a trainer say your a great rider. Or when you show up to your first show and your trainer says your horse looks great. These are things that stick with me and keep me going. Sometimes it’s hard to see the improvement in a challenging horse but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. And we need to remember no one is perfect, even big time trainers may have the wrong reaction to things at times, there is always gonna be someone better at this than us. Critical comparison is toxic. Admiration is where growth starts.

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  10. I did a post about this once. It’s funny how almost offhand this can mean the most to us, good and bad. We put so much of ourselves in our horses, we, in general, need to realize how much others do as well. Little words can mean a lot.

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  11. I love this post. Henry has come so far since you started blogging and it has been awesome to get to see.

    I had a lot of problems the past few years with trainers that didn’t like Houston and it destroyed my confidence. Finally someone I respected said what a good job I had done with him and I realized that maybe he’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I’ve done the best I can with him. He was a gangly 4yo when I got him and now he can school a lot of 2nd/some 3rd level movements and we’re getting back at it over fences too.

    Given that I picked Annie out myself it is always very flattering to have people walk up to my trainer at shows and comment about how nice she is or what a good brain she has. I might be “just an adult ammy” but I like to think I have an okay eye and it’s really nice to have that validated by respected professionals from around the area as well as my peers.

    Thinking back to the fact that less than a year ago I brought her home and she didn’t steer and had random
    Tantrums reminds me that I’m the one that got her to where she is. My hard work and time are paying off and it is really rewarding.

    This post is a perfect middle week pick me up!

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  12. I have two things. First, in taking a lesson with a new trainer she said “this horse is very well trained. He knows how to do everything you need for second level.” She didn’t know that I put all that training on him, and I felt really proud at that moment (even though the rest of the lesson was kind of crappy).

    But the thing that makes me feel like the whole thing is worth while is the calm happy horse I have under me after a test at a show. The pony that trusts me to treat him right, get him home, and be his friend. We feel like best friends and partners at that moment, no matter the shit we may have gone through. And that’s really all I want.

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  13. I don’t really believe people when they compliment me and the only thing that comes to mind really is “that horse’s bit could be barbed wire and you wouldn’t hurt her”, but that was also sort of a backhanded insult that I didn’t use my hands much/well/ever.

    But this year, Courage has started really coming out of his shell and trying for me and it’s amazing. I’ve had a lot of doubts and struggles with him, and when he starts coming together like this, it’s telling me that what I’m doing is working for him.

    To me, that’s the highest compliment.

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  14. I’ve absolutely loved following your progress with Henry. Your trainers speak the truth.

    I think the highest compliments I’ve gotten are similar, basically I have a poorly conformed, worried horse with “eh” movement and it’s been a long road with so, so many bumps, but my coach said he was lucky to have found me, and she doesn’t want to think of what would have happened with someone else. Some days I still want to throw my hands up in exasperation but moments like that really warm the heart, especially when I feel like I let him down a lot.

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  15. Mine is pretty much the same as yours. Whenever someone compliments my horse or my work with him. I feel like I’ve had a major part (although I didn’t do it alone) turning an ugly duckling to an pretty duckling without lead changes. 😉 He’s what I’m most proud of.

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  16. Just a couple of weeks ago I had a judge at a dressage show tell me, “I love your confidence when you enter the ring.” That was HUGE for me. Last May I broke my collarbone when my horse fell cantering a 20 meter circle and I’ve struggled with my confidence ever since. Hearing her say that was a massive boost for me, I can do it! My horse and I aren’t going to eat dirt every time we have to canter a circle!

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  17. At my very first show about a year-and-a-half ago, Jazz with being a real bear about loading. After I’ve been trying a while I was getting a little frustrated, so the BM offered to try and load her for me. She was even worse for her rearing up and being an even bigger jerk, and the friend I brought with me said, “she only doesn’t do that to you because she likes you”. Since it took over an hour to load jazz, we got there at 8 minutes before my first class. I want to go memorize my course while my friend talked up jazz. After my first round, we were hanging out in the hitching area, and Jazz was practically falling asleep (which was particularly impressive because it was a Halloween show with lots of scary decorations and she was afraid of practically every jump in the ring). My friend owns the former PSG Hanoverian, and she said, ” the last show on Willows passport was the Canadian dressage finals, and she’s not this quiet at shows”.

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  18. I really enjoyed this post! Compliments are always nice but I totally agree that the ones that come from those individuals you hold in high regard are the ones that really keep you going.

    I have a few compliments that I’ve hung on to that will always bring a smile to my face, but hands down the highest compliment ever paid to me was by my IHSA coach. It was my first year in college and it was probably only the second or third practice I had with the team. I was the lowly WTC rider, but for the flat work all of us were thrown in the ring together so he didn’t have to waste his time yelling at multiple groups of people. Apparently we all were riding terribly and he made everyone drop their stirrups and continue the practice that way. I little while later he yelled at everyone to, “HALT! HALT! EVERYONE JUST HALT!” No one dared look at him for fear of instant death but everyone stopped and he said, “Of everyone here, how is my WTC rider doing better than my Open riders?! She is the only one that is actually working hard. If we had a show right now she would beat all of you!” Yeah, he used me as an insult for other riders, but I didn’t care. That afternoon I was the best, better than those others that have been riding the nicest horses since they were 6, my coach said so. Even in the meeting at the end of practice he called me his “Shining star” and I almost cried, almost (I completely share your sentiments on crying). I wouldn’t say I’m a super confident rider so to hear something like that from a man I really looked up to (especially considering that before college I was just a backyard rider) was one of the best things ever.

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  19. My heart falls for horses before my head realizes that maybe it wasn’t the best idea. My previous horse was tough. Really, really tough. He had a lot of bad habits and weird quirks that were really hard to deal with for a long time. So being told that I had done a good job with him establishing a base to build his dressage training on, that was really nice to hear.

    I’ve had a few trainers in the last 10 years, but in the past 6 years or so, no one I’ve worked with very consistently. I’ve had pretty minimal professional help with my current horse. While it was not smart of me to purchase an unbroke 6 year old. I had help at the beginning, but have done pretty much everything myself since then. So any compliments on him mean a lot to me. My friend got on him for the first time in a year a few weeks ago and she said he felt a lot steadier in the contact, as well as said he felt a lot better in his gaits. I smiled about both of those.

    I have another friend who has never been on my horse, but is pretty critical in general. She doesn’t hand out a lot of compliments. So when she says he looks shiny, or his weight looks good, or he’s getting nice muscling, those mean a lot to me too.

    A cowboy got on his once and told me he was a nice horse. I mean, I love him to pieces and think he’s really special, but it always feels good when other people see that special quality that I see.

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  20. Great post!! I have a few to list
    1. I’m a fanatic about horsemanship. When people compliment me on my horses’ fitness, coat condition, etc., it is extremely validating. It always means so much to me when my trainer looks at my horses and says, “wow, they look great.” I keep them at our farm all year (except during WEF) so I take 100% care of them and it means a lot to me when he compliments my hard work.

    2. This is a nice compliment that stuck with me and was a big confidence booster. I did a Greg Best clinic a few years ago and he said, “if all of my riders were like you and their horses like yours, my life would be a lot easier!” Now, don’t get me wrong, I am by no means a perfect rider, I can miss a distance like its nobody’s business, but I do think I am a good student. I try to do exactly what an instructor says without questioning anything.

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  21. Wow, I wish my horse was that quiet .Said at a horse show. Took years for my old guy to be somewhat ho hum in new places. Forever he was the type where you would hide your kids and dogs. Unloaded off the trailer screaming, rearing and plunging. It didn’t help that I was flat broke and working 65 hrs a week so outings didn’t happen as often as they should have. Yes, it was really nice to pet my guy on the neck and say yes, he really is quiet isn’t he?

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  22. For Q, when decades-long endurance riders compliment what a solidly built little mare she is, I swoon. Endurance takes a really well-put together critter to compete and complete and hearing that my impulse buy, no papered, somewhat of a mystery little mare has it really means a lot.

    For Griffin, anyone noting how far he’s come and how amazing he has become under my training is so incredibly wonderful to hear – especially when it’s from someone who really knows horse flesh and has trained a lot of horses. He’s the first horse I’ve trained from nothing and being validated for doing well by him is a great feeling.

    For both, it’s always amazing to have validation from farriers about how great their feet look because I trim them myself. I haven’t met a farrier yet who hasn’t had something positive to say and that is SO reaffirming!

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  23. I think it was definitely this past fall when my favorite clinician/trainer/straight-talking horsewoman was in our area for a clinic. I’ve ridden for years and she’s always been complimentary (and very clear on what I need to fix) about my riding. Finally, I bought my own horse, two weeks prior to the clinic. He’s an unbroke coming-six year old Arab cross. I’ve always been picky and wanted to get a really great horse, but there’s that sense of terror that I’ve suddenly forgotten how to horse and will totally screw up. Long story short, I brought the baby horse for a longlining session. She worked with him and, at the end, said, “You picked a good one.” Could barely contain my relief and pride.

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  24. Warming up for my dressage test and Georgie is being a good girl. I typically spend most of warm up trying not to run into other people. So, I usually expect an upper level rider to tell me to get out of their way. So, when a 4* rider said to me “She looked lovely in warm up,” as I went to do my test, I nearly pooped my pants. It meant a lot that she even noticed my horse, especially since she had no idea who I was. I thought it was incredibly kind of her to say something and I’ll remember it forever.

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    1. There are a few 4* riders that always seems to go out of their way to be kind… I love that. It’s good to see people at the top of the sport who haven’t forgotten what it’s like to NOT be there.

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  25. Some years ago, I entered my Paso Fino mare hors de concours in a dressage schooling show (for realz!) Eyebrows went into orbit when people saw this little (14 hh) gal get off the trailer, and even moreso when they saw her move in the breeds signature paso corto. Fresa (“strawberry”) had never seen a dressage ring, the footing went from concrete to quicksand about every three or four strides, and Fresa was a Nervous Nellie at the best of times. In our first test, she took a few steps out of the ring, so we were eliminated but kindly allowed to finish the test. We got 48.8% (yikes!), but “good recovery after leaving the ring”. In the second test, we got several “well done”s, 6s and 7s for most movements, and 8 for the final one. “Very nice ending; excellent halt and centre line”. There were twelve horses in the class, all long-legged thoroughbreds and warmbloods, but had we been in the competition, we would have placed *second*, with a score of 69.2 %. Not too shabby for the little oddball “Strawberry of the Garden”!

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  26. First off, you have a soul?

    Just kidding. That sounds like an asshole statement that would come from Bobby and not this innocent human.

    Hmmm, as far as compliments go, that is a tough one. I think the favorite one I hear comes from a lot of different people. It is usually something along the lines of Bacon and I’s partnership. People I have never really met or talked to will come up and make a remark on that, and it gives me the feels every time.

    Another time, a random person was looking at Bacon and said “now that horse has the look of eagles” and I was tickled purple. Because pink is gross.

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  27. This post and all of the comments are seriously the perfect mid-day pick me up; it’s ridiculously heartwarming to see what everyone is proud of.
    I have a couple that’ve stuck with me: when a judge at a hunter show said she wanted to take Addy home, because getting Addy relaxed enough to look like a hunter was a PROCESS and I was so proud that we pulled it off; when a pony mom at the barn said that Frankie and I looked like a great team on the very first day I brought him home; and having my trainer laugh when I told her my goals because “we will have zero problems getting you and Frankie there.” Basically whenever anyone likes my horse and shows confidence in my ability to learn!

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  28. I just love reading all of these! A few things stand out in my mind… years ago my backyard-barn-never-been-to-a-rated-show self somehow got the chance to ride a very $$$$$ Regular Working Hunter (back when there was such a thing) at Mark Leone’s barn. Mark told me I gave the horse a great ride. I almost fainted. And every time I tell someone how old Dino is, and that he has Cushing’s, and their eyes bug out and their jaw drops and they tell me how good he looks, and how they thought he was half his age, I just swell with pride. When the blood, sweat, and tears I’ve put into managing this pony and getting him healthy are acknowledged, it’s just wonderful. The other compliments that always strike me deeply are those from people who knew Dino in his previous role as a very unhappy, unhealthy, naughty, and generally miserable college lesson pony. When people tell me they don’t even recognize him, or that he’s going so wonderfully for me, or when they tell me that it’s clear he loves his life with me, I couldn’t ask for a higher compliment!

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  29. You HAVE done a great job with Henry!

    Some of the compliments that resonant with me the most come from the people that are not effusive with their praise. The “I have no complaints for you” and the “Perfect” I got from Joe Fargis can lift my spirits any time I think about them. The “good” from Buck Brannaman was pretty awesome. When Greg Best remembered that I was a “Superstar” in the previous year’s clinic..I was on cloud nine…’course then I proceeded to ride like a blind monkey…but hey,the year before I did great. 😀

    I also appreciate any compliments on my horse’s condition or ground manners A throw away “she’s so shiny” means a lot to me or when a well-respected chiro/trainer said, ‘now this horse is an athlete’ with regards to his fitness. I beam when barn staff or the vet tell me what a pleasure it is working with my horses.

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  30. What a great post!!

    When someone worthy of compliments give one, it’s the best!!

    I love reading about you and Henry and you really have done sooooo well with him and I LOVE how he is always your first priority!!

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  31. 2 moments come to mind for me, and both are about Val, whom I’ve put more work into than any other horse, simply because I’ve never had so long to work with a horse, and I’m definitely hitting some uncharted territory. The first is when I asked if there was anything special we should work on or be doing in order to move up at our clinic back in August and Ragan told me that I’d done a great job with him so far and to keep doing what I was doing.
    The other moment is when my mama rode Val for the first time a few weeks ago and said “it feels like I broke this horse!” My mama has broken and trained too many horses to count, and all of her horses end up so soft and supple and just plain fun, so this was a really huge compliment.

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  32. “You can come back and ride my horse anytime; She just breathes a huge sigh of relief when you get in the saddle.” Said to me after I popped up on and helped a friend of a friend’s anxious horse who was so nervous she had two speeds – piaffe and bolt.

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  33. I’ve read every single comment on this post. They all make me smile. 🙂

    I have two that I’d like to share. I was getting my boy fitted for a new saddle this weekend with a very reputable saddle fitter in Denver. She’s never seen him before and has never seen me ride. It was a particularly busy morning at the barn and we had about 5 horses in the arena with us (one of which was broncing on the lunge line). Gavin and I went about our business as well as we could while trying alllll of the saddles. She must have said three separate times “this is the type of horse you keep a stud. This is the type of horse you want to breed. Great gaits, great brain, great confirmation, strong back”. I was beaming with pride.

    The other thing that ALWAYS makes my day is my bestfriend and I ride together all of the time. I consider her a gifted rider (certainly more talent than I have). She’ll hop on Gav about once a month. The other day she commented on how much he’s come along (responsiveness, softness, etc.). I love hearing that!

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  34. My all time best general compliment is “good girl” or “clever girl”. Hearing that from a woman I respect is awesome.

    But the best real compliments I get reflect upon how hard I work or what I have learned. I am not a very experienced rider, and I work my ass off to make up for the fact that I don’t know as much as I probably should in order to keep Murray progressing well. So for someone to recognize that I work hard or that I have been making progress is awesome.

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  35. I’m absolutely loving reading these, cue all the warm and fuzzies.
    Off the top of my head, I think having both a hunter/jumper trainer and a dressage trainer compliment my seat when I had just switched disciplines was a huge one. Here I was coming from this entirely different world, fumbling around, feeling like I generally didn’t even know how to ride and it was an amazing thing to hear that I did, in fact, know what I was doing up there. The other one would be anything related to my confidence or composure, because for so so so many years I was still that terrified little girl who nearly died and wouldn’t ride off of a lunge line.

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  36. There’s been a handful of them over the years, as I’ve been lucky enough to ride with some really supportive, positive coaches. A huge one was when my large pony – my first horse, one I’d been putting work into for the better part of six years – went out on lease, and after the first ride with his new little 13 y/o lease kid I got a text from that B/O saying ‘She rode him and she felt so safe. He’s beautifully broke, you should be proud of how great you’ve done with him.’ Made me glow, and I still have that message saved somewhere to peek at on days where I’m not feeling super confident in my abilities.

    I also recently had a great compliment in a moment of shakiness from my coach, who said that I had nothing to worry about with my new, tricky green mare. She said of anyone, I’d be the most willing to be patient and give her the time and work she needs to really blossom into a brilliant horse – which is exactly what she’s started doing our last few rides!!

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  37. Late to this party but the comment that really hit me the hardest lately was when my new instructor who is a 4* eventer told me: “You are the right person to ride this horse.” It really meant a lot because I’ve struggled over the past few months coming to terms with starting over from scratch, frustrated because I’ve had Fiction for 3 years and we never seem to progress. She told me this during the height of my frustration, where I was seriously considering selling Fiction. Since her compliment, our partnership has really blossomed. It’s nice to have an Instructor that is confident in me as a rider on a very complicated horse.

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  38. You guys seriously look amazing and deserve every complement.

    This is such a great post. Reading some of these brought tears to my eyes 🙂 (I don’t hold the same opinion of crying 😉 )

    I feel like I’ve had a couple recently that will really stick with me. It was rough going with Katai at first and I had more than one person either insinuate or actually tell me that she should go to the meat man but I did my best to believe that we could succeed in at least doing first level together and kept working on it. At a recent clinic the clinician said that I had done a really good job with her and I almost cried. Then a couple weeks after that I was talking with my coach about how much fun my pony is even if she isn’t wildly talented and she stopped me and said your pony is actually very talented. I think my jaw actually dropped 🙂

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  39. Mine arent very specific but in regards to Bacardi, numerous people have stated how great a job I’ve done with him and sticking out the craziness. He truly was whackadoo and I believed in him (most of the time) when most didnt.

    For Yankee it would be the fact that thousands of people know who he is. Seriously, all over the place. Hes been shown in the west, the east, the south and people just know him from that silly tongue of his that sticks out playfully when you ask, and his serious get up over fences. Its so cool to have people say they love your horse from watching them at a show that day, from 8 states away. I trained him myself, so thats always cool

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  40. This is an awesome post. And those words do truly mean the world!
    I think the best one I’ve gotten was about my horse Rio. Two years ago he was afflicted with EPM in such a way that he lost his facial function on the right side. Chewing, blinking, ear moving, etc. He had terrible vertigo, would only walk next to a wall, and had trouble balancing to have his feet picked. I thought I was going to have to say the forever good bye. But my vets are amazing, and we brought him back to health. He’s not perfect, but most of his function came back. When my vet came out last fall, he couldn’t believe the recovery. He gave me all the credit saying it was my care that got him back there. I’m not sure it’s true, but it felt great to hear from a professional.

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  41. My favorite compliment was from my trainer when she told me I was one of her favorite students because I was so “moldable” and that she could put me on any horse and have me do exactly what was needed. I also don’t like disappointing people and when you aren’t doing as awesome as you could be she puts a lot of pressure on you to be better and throws out lovely compliments when you do. Its a really great feeling almost every ride

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  42. With my mare being recently diagnosed with navicular, I’ve received so many wonderful messages from friends who have said they actually look up to me and admire me for taking on an older horse. It brings tears to my eyes.

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  43. I had a very experienced vet at an endurance ride comment on my boy when he was doing a Best Conditioned workout after a 100 mile ride. I wasn’t riding – he had just steered a friend round her first 100 miler so I was pretty damn proud of him anyway when the vet said to me “That is an awesome horse”. This is a lady who has vetted in just about every country in the world that does endurance. I took it as a compliment to HIM (and yes, I teared up!) but later I my husband pointed out to me that, since I have had him since he was two, he is awesome at least partly because of me. I can’t take credit for his conformation or his heart, but I CAN take credit for his brain and his fitness, and the fact that someone else can get on him and ride a hundred miles at a week’s notice.

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