Texas native Brian Moggre can’t drink or rent a car. He has just (and we mean just) earned the right to vote. But don’t let that fool you. The 18-year-old already has one of the top equitation resumes in the country — not to mention more show jumping accolades than many riders twice his age. Case in point: Brian’s career-making win in the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Ocala qualifier at Live Oak last March.
As the newest member of PonyApp’s U25 ambassador #squad, Brian Moggre sat down with us this week to share eight pieces of wisdom about how he won over his mega-talented gelding MTM Vivre le Reve, his top equitation superstitions, and the best advice he’s ever received in the ring.
1. Fake it ‘till you make it.
My first riding memory was on this little, white, Icelandic pony that I used to be obsessed with. I first started riding her when I was three years old, [but] I was supposed to be five [to take lessons], so I was basically “five” for a few years.
2. Trust the experts in your corner.
[MTM Vivre le Reve] was a little crazy when I first got him, and I struggled with him quite a bit. I was maybe 14 or 15 at the time, but [back then], I didn’t know how to work with a horse like him. Obviously, my parents and my trainers, Mike [McCormick] and Tracey [Fenney], knew he was going to be a very special horse. It wasn’t apparent to me right away, but that’s why you have to trust the people who are on your team, because it seemed to work out just fine!
3. Turn-out is about more than looking pretty.
I think your horses won’t perform at their best [for you] until they’re in top-care and [feeling] comfortable.
4. Be a true fan of the sport.
I’m a little bit of a horse junkie, so I definitely like to keep tabs on what’s going on around the world, like the Global Champions League horse shows across the pond, [and who’s winning ]. I’m a die-hard horse lover, so [even when I have downtime], it’s all about the horses for me!
5. Smooth is fast.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from [my trainers Mike and Tracey] is that smooth is fast. That’s what has helped me the most. If you’re running around a jump-off track, and you’re jerking on [your horse], even if it’s just 1/1,000th of a second, it can still make the difference. That’s definitely the best advice I’ve ever received and could give to anyone else.
6. A little superstition never hurts.
I am the most nervous, the most superstitious person probably in the whole sport. I have my lucky whip, and if I were ever to lose that, it would be the end of the world for me. It even comes down to having certain tack for the horses [and attire for myself]. I won the [Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat] Medal Final last year, and then after that, I wore the exact same outfit, every single article of clothing [for the next two indoors]. I washed it, hung it up, and left it for [the Washington International]. I showed in that class, washed it, hung it up, and wore the exact same outfit again for [ASPCA Maclay Finals] in Kentucky—literally, right down to the socks, the shirt, the tie, everything.
7. Don’t get a big head.
Looking back, the advice I would give my [10-year-old self] would be to stick with your goals, and also, to be humble, because you’re going to need it soon. (Read on…)
8. If at first you succeed… try not to mess it up!
I’ve done [ASPCA] Maclay Regionals three times [and] I won it the first two years. Last year, I won the first round and I went into [the flat phase] on top, and then… I trotted on the wrong diagonal! How awful is that? I hate talking about it, but it’s my most embarrassing moment, and I will never let it go.
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