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Because of Horses

Sep 13, 2019

This week, the Because of Horses Podcast is celebrating its 100th episode with a very special conversation with legendary reiner, Shawn Flarida! Shawn is the winner of five gold medals at the World Equestrian Games, winner of the All-American Quarter Horse Congress nine times, and the first person to break the $6 million mark in Reining, which he did at the 2017 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity.


But, despite all of the record-breaking firsts and the extraordinary career achievements, for Shawn, family is the most important thing in his life — and, of course, he really loves his horses! At a very young age, Shawn knew he was going to be a trainer. And as the son of a respected horseman, who both encouraged and demanded the best of him, he developed a keen understanding of horses, a passion for reining, and a reputation for being one of the hardest working riders in the sport.


Tune in to hear all about Shawn’s successful career journey, his tips on reining, some of the most impactful moments in both competition and training, and his incredible passion for working with horses that has led him to be as successful as he is today! Shawn also shares many additional tips on what to consider if you’re debating going pro, how to raise your performance in the show ring, what young aspiring riders (and their parents) should consider when they begin to compete, how to better read and train your horse, and which qualities are most important for a reining horse.


Topics of Discussion:

[:25] About today’s guest, Shawn Flarida!

[1:10] What it has been like for Shawn to share his remarkable career with his family.

[2:19] What about reining holds such appeal for Shawn personally?

[3:20] Shawn gives a ‘101’ about reining and what listeners new to the sport should know!

[4:16] Shawn shares some tips for two difficult movements in reining: the spin and the slide.

[7:00] Shawn reflects on some memorable moments from what is known to be his breakout year in 2001, where he won several major events.

[8:10] What does Shawn remember from his first time representing the United States overseas?

[9:40] Before Shawn’s incredible success, was there ever a moment where he realized the potential of having — not just a successful reining career — but one that would include breaking many firsts in reining history and breaking multiple world records?

[13:38] What goes through Shawn’s mind right before he begins his pattern?

[17:05] Shawn’s perspective on wearing two hats as a trainer and a competitor.

[18:58] How to raise your performance in the show ring.

[20:15] What Shawn thinks riders should consider when debating going pro.

[22:20] Having competed and traveled all over the world, why is Springfield, Ohio home to Shawn?

[23:49] Shawn speaks about the significance behind the large quote on the homepage of his website: “Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life, it’s about what you do to inspire others.”

[25:00] Shawn offers some tips on how to better read your horse as well as how to teach it.

[26:25] Shawn describes his unique connection with horses and whether or not it comes naturally to him.

[28:49] What qualities make for a great reining horse?

[31:30] What does Shawn look for in a horse when determining their potential for reining?

[33:25] Has Shawn ever had a horse-of-a-lifetime?

[36:45] Shawn describes why reining truly takes a village!

[39:40] Shawn shares some of the moments that stand out for him in his career.

[41:52] What would Shawn like his legacy to be?

[42:40] What was it like for Shawn to see his son, Sam, show for the first time?

[44:39] What was it like to show with his son? And how did that performance come about?

[47:52] Shawn gives his thoughts on why our connection with horses is so deep for some of us.

[48:58] Shawn explains what he believes is the difference between a good reiner and a great one. He also gives his advice to young aspiring riders and their parents.

[50:55] What does Shawn think drives us to be with horses?

[52:15] Shawn speaks about some of the individuals from the NRHA Hall of Fame that inspire him.

[55:40] How does Shawn define success?

[1:00:18] About next week’s episode of Because of Horses!

[1:02:01] Where to learn more about Shawn online!


Know Someone Inspirational, Whose Life Has Been Forever Changed Because of Horses? Because of Horseswould love to get to share their story!

To recommend someone please send an email to


Mentioned in this Episode:

The Hampton Classic

Shawn Flarida

EquestFile(Use coupon code: BOH10 to receive a 10% discount for two months off your subscription)

Rodney Atkins

Winston Churchill

NRHA — Shawn Flarida

NRHA Hall of Fame

NRHA Legend — Bill Horn


Like what you hear?Because of Horseswould love to hear your feedback!

Please email elise@becauseofhorses.comto send Because of Horsesyour thoughts.


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