WIHS Leaderboard Spotlight: Equitation—West  

West Coast Show Jumper on the road to the WIHS Equitation Finals–Q&A with Noah Nelson,
current 5th in the WIHS Equitation West rankings.
Rider: Noah Nelson 
Age: 18 
Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA 
Class/Division: Equitation, Junior Jumpers, Junior Hunters 
Trainers: Leslie Nelson, Sterling Silver Stable, Santa Barbara, CA and Ken and Emily Smith, Ashland Farms, Wellington, FL and Lexington, KY 
Horse: Quite Cassini, 19, Holsteinerowned by Ashland Farms 
Noah Nelson and Quite Cassini at The Devon Horse Show 2023 en route to their victory in the WIHS Equitation Jumper Phase class (Kind Media)
Question – What is something you would like to tell your younger self right before your first equitation class or final?    
Answer – If I were able to tell my younger self about where I am now, I don’t think he would believe me. I am eternally grateful for all who have helped me to get where I am and who have helped me when I needed it most. If I were to talk to my younger self, I would say believe in yourself and your ability, and trust in the decisions you decide to make.  
Q – Have you been to WIHS before? If not, what are you looking forward to this fall?  
A – I have never been to WIHS, and I am most looking forward to competing in the WIHS Equitation Final. I also look forward to meeting new people and making new friends as well as learning as much as I can and experiencing as much as I can while I’m there. 
Q – What is your routine for an equitation finals day, and what is one part of that routine you cannot skip? 
A – I have never actually competed in an equitation final but I do have a routine that I like to follow before I ride – I like to listen to a certain music playlist. It gets me into a positive headspace, and I feel like I can focus and ride better, as well as feel more confident.  
Q – If you weren’t competing in the equitation, hunters, and jumpers, what other equestrian sport would you want to try?  
A – I would like to try Western trail. I’ve never actually tried it, but it looks fun. It would also be interesting to learn a new discipline. 
Q – Are there riders you look up to and admire?  
A – I look up to include Kent Farrington, Gregory Wathelet, and Mavis Spencer. Each of these riders are who I aspire to be like, aspire to ride like, and compete against one day.  

Noah Nelson and Quite Cassini at The Devon Horse Show 2023 where they won the WIHS Equitation Jumper Phase class (Kind Media)
Q – What three words would you use to describe your horse? 
A – I would describe the horse I ride as easy, talented, and trustworthy. He is very fun to ride and is extremely focused when we’re riding. He has a great personality and I’m very grateful every day I ride him. 
Q – How to do unwind and relax with your horse(s) when you’re not at shows? 
A – I like to relax with my horses by taking them on walks/trail rides as well as letting them graze. I believe that time off is important for my horses so that when we are competing, I don’t have to worry about how tired they are if they have been showing for an extended amount of time.  
Q – Do you have a favorite equitation test?  
A – My personal favorite is the “Downward Transition Test” (Test 2). I feel it’s a somewhat simple test but also can be difficult under certain conditions. I also like test 20, the “Hand Gallop,” I feel that if done correctly and properly it will make you stand out from the other participants. 
Q – Biggest or most memorable win?  
A – I’d say that my biggest equitation win was quite recent, when I was first in the WIHS Jumper phase (Section B) at Devon! I rode Quite Cassini and I consider it one of my best accomplishments.  
Written By: Katie Grandelli, WIHS Communications and Marketing Intern 

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