08 Oct Advice from Chris Pratt
Elvenstar was presented with the unique opportunity to hear from several of the great riders competing in the Longines Masters in Long Beach on October 1st. We were able to talk with Canadian rider Chris Pratt and he shared with us some of his wisdom. “If you want to make it to the top level you’ve got to be prepared to work hard. It takes thousands and thousands of hours, so you have to be patient with your riding and training. But that’s the dedication every one of the riders here has. We’re working with creatures who have their own minds and that can be difficult. You have to try and work as a team,” Pratt said.
Pratt has been working hard to create that seamless partnership with his horse partner. “It takes a lot of time and patience. You have to realize the strengths and weaknesses of every horse. I always ask myself ‘Can I get more from this horse?’ ‘Is it possible to do better?’ ‘Is this horse willing to do more?’ because every horse has his limitations. But it’s all about asking, never telling the horse. You have to work with them as much as they work with you,” shared Pratt.
Even though Pratt has created a beautiful bond with his equine partner he admits that he still has doubts about his abilities. “Every other day I doubt myself. I have to ask myself ‘Am I doing the right thing? Am I on the right path?’ But that doubt can be really helpful. It forces you to ask the questions that help you achieve your goals. If you’re ever unsure about yourself, the best thing you can do is stay positive.” Having a positive outlook is one of the ways Pratt remains so calm at horse shows like the Longines. “Visualize the course positively. You have to think about the course for your horse’s specific strengths. Even though I get nervous, it’s all part of the natural process. I have to be a little nervous to perform my best. A little adrenaline rush really helps me to focus,” Pratt disclosed.
However, nerves aren’t the only things that characterize a unique competition like the Longines Masters. “My favorite part about being her is the crowds. A horse show like this is so important, especially for riders growing up on the West Coast, and of course I love being able to compete against the top riders of the world. The footing is amazing, the courses are impeccably designed, it’s really a quality horse show,” shared Pratt. We were certainly happy he came to the Masters and was able to spare a few minutes to talk with all of us!