Horse Nation Horse-o-scope
The cosmos may have more to do with your riding than you think. Find out which famous riders share your sign and see what the stars have in store for you this month.
Aries (March 21 – April 19): You’re a little bit of a risk-taker, aren’t ya. And it gets you in trouble sometimes, doesn’t it. My homework for you this month, Aries, is for you to pause a moment the next time you feel an urge to do something risky–like jacking the jumps up to the top of the standards or challenging your buddy to a match race on your OTTB–and imagine yourself at the biggest show of the season, sitting ringside in a body cast.
Famous Aries equestrians: Margie Goldstein-Engle, Joe Fargis, Eric Lamaze, Marcus Ehning, Michael Whitaker and Anne Kursinski (show-jumping), John Williams and Ingrid Klimke (eventing).
Taurus (April 20-May 20): The astrological sign for Taurus is the bull, and bullheadedness is one of your signature traits. Sometimes, this can serve you well–you cling to your dreams like a horsefly on the rump of a bucking pony. Other times, though, your stubborn nature can be self-defeating. When it comes to turning those dreams into reality, a little flexibility and open-mindedness can go a long way.
Famous Taurus equestrians: Becky Holder, Blyth Tait and Zara Phillips (eventing).
Gemini (May 21-June 20): Geminis are naturally curious about the world and tend to get restless when they have to focus on one thing for any length of time. Gemini riders excel at sports like eventing, where they can divide their time and energy between multiple disciplines. In more singularly-focused sports, like dressage or hunters, be sure to include lots of variety in your routine so you don’t get burnt out.
Famous Gemini equestrians: Will Simpson (show-jumping), Mary King (eventing), Christine Stuckelberger and Sven Rothenberger(dressage),
Cancer (June 21-July 22): Cancers tend to soak up all the emotions of people around them–the good, the bad, an the ugly. When drama arises at the barn, they’re oftentimes the first to pick up on it and, try as they might to avoid it, they usually end up getting sucked in. Just remember, Cancer, that it’s their drama, not yours. Don’t let yourself get pushed into the middle of other people’s “stuff.”
Famous Cancer equestrians: Bill Shoemaker (racing), Isabell Werth and Nadine Capellmann (dressage).
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): You love being the center of attention–in lessons, at horse shows and even just around the barn. Your ambitious, confident nature can be a good thing as it helps you to excel in competition, but be careful that all those blue ribbons don’t go to your head. Remember that behind every victorious rider is a whole team of people–coaches, vets, farriers, sponsors, family and friends–who helped to get them there. Be generous with your thank-you’s.
Famous Leo equestrians: Kim Severson and Andrew Nicholson (eventing), Greg Best, Peter Wylde, Hugo Simon and John Whitaker (show-jumping),
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Around the barn, you’re known as a perfectionist who pays attention to every little detail. You’re a naturally polished rider and your horsemanship skills are second to none: Your horse shines like a mirror and your tack truck is practically in alphabetical order. Just remember that it’s OK to let your horse be a horse–a roll in the mud every now and again is good for his mind and his coat.
Famous Virgo equestrians: Steffen Peters and Debbie McDonald (dressage), Ludger Beerbaum (show-jumping), Captain Mark Phillips and Phillip Dutton (eventing).
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): For Libras, it’s all about balance–in the saddle and in life. You have a tendency, though, to let the scales get over-weighted on one end or the other, be it your career, social life, family or riding. Be vigilant about not neglecting one area of your life for another. If you spend all your time at the barn, arrange to meet your friends out for dinner one night a week. Or if work is eating you alive, remember that a trail-ride afterwards will re-energize you and make you more productive on the job.
Famous Libra equestrians: Leslie Burr-Howard, Melanie Smith Taylor, McLain Ward and William Steinkraus (show-jumping), Lucinda Fredericks, Pippa Funnell and Julie Richards (eventing), Guenter Seidel (dressage).
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Nobody is more determined that you are to accomplish your riding goals, and you won’t let anyone stand in your way. Just be aware that your determination can sometimes be perceived as aggressiveness to other people. When you’re at the in-gate at a horse show, smile like you mean it and compliment the round of the rider before you or wish the person riding after you good luck.
Famous Scorpio equestrians: Clayton Fredericks, Lucinda Green, Bettina Hoy and Jimmy Wofford (eventing), Beezie Madden and Laura Kraut (show-jumping).
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): It’s great that you’re always looking toward the future, but sometimes you get so obsessed with the “big picture” that you forget about the details. For example, you might spend so much time planning out your show season one afternoon that you run out of daylight to ride your horse. Or you’re so eager to get to the jump that you forget to pay attention to the quality of your canter on the way there. Learn to become a detail person, too. Pay attention to the little things that make other riders you admire successful.
Famous Sagittarius equestrians: Rodrigo Pessoa and Nelson Pessoa (show-jumper), Gina Miles (eventing), Kyra Kyrklund and Klaus Balkenhol (dressage).
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): You’re a practical, prudent, disciplined rider. At shows, you like having a warm-up routine that you and your horse can depend on, and when things get in the way of that routine–be it a busy warm-up arena or a distracting, blustery wind–you tend to lose focus and get frustrated. Keep in mind that conditions aren’t always going to be perfect, and the best riders are the ones who also know how to roll with the punches.
Famous Capricorn equestrians: David O’Connor, William Fox-Pitt and Bruce Davidson (eventing), Anky van Grunsven and Reiner Klimke (dressage), Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Comrad Homfeld (show-jumping)
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You put a lot of energy into forming opinions, and once those opinions are formed, you’re not usually willing to budge from your stance. With horses, though, it’s important to stay open-minded. Sticking to your tried-and-true methods isn’t a bad thing (they work for you, after all), but don’t pooh-pooh other riders for taking a different path.
Famous Aquarius equestrians: Karen O’Connor, Andrew Hoy, Ginny Leng and Jim Graham (eventing), Michael Matz and Franke Sloothaak (show jumping), Betsy Steiner (dressage).
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): You’re a dreamer, and you’re not afraid to dream BIG (Olympic and WEG fantasies are extra-common with Pisces riders). Just remember that all the day-dreaming in the world isn’t going to get you any closer to your goals: You’ve also got to go out there and break a sweat and get dirty and wrestle those dreams to the ground.
Famous Pisces equestrians: Frank Chapot (show-jumping), Amy Tryon, Ian Stark and Mark Todd (eventing), Edward Gal and Monica Theodorescu (dressage).
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