PonyApp Presents Brian Moggre: Why Hunter & Equitation Rounds Pay Off in a Big Way in the Jumper Ring
By The PonyApp
February 21, 2020
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Talk about a European debut! Last week [September 2019] in Opglabbeek, Belgium, a standout team of American young guns helmed by Chef d’Equipe Anne Kursinski led from start to finish in the 2019 FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Youth Final CSIOY. Among the star players: Gia Rinaldi (Arsouille du Seigneur), Natalie Dean (Don’s Diamant), Sophie Gochman (Carola BH), and our own PonyApp U25 Ambassador, Brian Moggre, aboard Mtm Los Angeles.
Brian Moggre & Mtm Los Angeles in the 2019 FEI Jumping Nations Cup Youth Final CSIOY ©Brian Moggre/Facebook.
At 18, this is far from the first big success Moggre has had in the jumper ring (he took home the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Ocala qualifier at Live Oak last March). But Brian, who began his career in the jumper ring with MTM Farm’s Mike McCormick and Tracey Fenney in Flower Mound, Texas, has found no time spent in the hunter and equitation divisions has been wasted. Quite the opposite, in fact, and his Big Eq accolades—which include the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final last October at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show—speak for themselves.
Here, Brian breaks down four reasons why learning to ride in the hunter and equitation rings has been part of his roadmap to success, moving up the ranks and onto the international showjumping stage.
#1. Difficulty Leads to Discipline
“Whenever you’re doing the equitation, it’s about making the course seem as seamless as possible,” Brian explains. “You learn to ride all these ridiculous tracks, and you’re being asked to do these ridiculous tests that you would never imagine [in another setting]. But it really disciplines you as a rider, and I think that helps with the jumpers… It’s about having the discipline to ride a track [well] and making it look as [effortless] as possible.”
#2. Good Position Is Part of the Process—Not the End Goal
“My personal opinion is that, with all the equitation, it’s not really about your position over the jumps — that’s not what’s going to get you to excel in the bigger [jumper] classes. When it comes down to it, equitation is about pure, genuine riding, and I think that’s what is [or should be] rewarded the most in those classes.”
Brian & MTM Vivre le Reve at Live Oak International © Erin Gilmore/Live Oak International
#3. Keep the Focus on the Horse
“In the hunters, you really learn how to make the horse perform at its best. You want the best [jumping] spot for your horse, because that’s what [the judges] are watching for — how you set up your horse to succeed,” says Brian, adding that the same idea is essential in the jumpers, where bad spots or a lack of support for your horse can lead to downed rails on course.
#4. Put It All Together
“When you add up the [things that matter in the equitation and the hunters], it’s really about how to make the horse perform well, and how to keep yourself disciplined. Those are great attributes to apply to your jumper riding,” Brian says. “I think each ring complements one another.”