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The Greenhorn Chronicles 32: Hyde Moffatt on Getting Started and Rankings (1)













Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Publisher Founding: January 1, 2014

Web Domain: 

Location: Fort Langley, Township of Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Journal: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Journal Founding: August 2, 2012

Frequency: Three (3) Times Per Year

Review Status: Non-Peer-Reviewed

Access: Electronic/Digital & Open Access

Fees: None (Free)

Volume Numbering: 11

Issue Numbering: 2

Section: E

Theme Type: Idea

Theme Premise: “Outliers and Outsiders”

Theme Part: 27

Formal Sub-Theme: “The Greenhorn Chronicles”

Individual Publication Date: January 1, 2023

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2023

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewer(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Interviewee(s): Hyde Moffatt

Word Count: 2,193

Image Credits: Cealy Tetley

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 2369-6885

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations, after the interview.*

*Interview conducted December 13, 2022.*


Hyde Moffatt, according to Starting Gate Communications, can be described as follows: “Andrew Hyde Moffatt had an unusual introduction to horses. When he was five years old, a girl at school brought in her horse for show-and-tell and Hyde was hooked! His top horse is Ting Tin, a son of the well-known sire Chin Chin, purchased in Belgium as a six-year-old. Hyde describes Ting Tin as a brave, intelligent and energetic horse who loves to play with people, but gets bored easily. Starting their Grand Prix career together in 2004, Hyde and Ting Tin have steadily improved with each outing, enjoying top ten finishes at several of the biggest horse shows in Canada including the Capital Classic Show Jumping Tournament, the Collingwood Horse Show, Tournament of Champions, and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. When he is not showing in the Grand Prix ring, Hyde competes with several horses in the Young Horse Development Series including Baron, who was crowned the 2006 Ontario Six-Year-Old Champion. In addition to his equestrian pursuits, Hyde also enjoys running. Although he is currently a middle distance runner at 10 to 15 km, he would like to work towards doing his first marathon.” Moffatt discusses: some of the dynamics involved in developing that interest; different disciplines within equestrianism; bumps along the road; Canadian show jumping; George Morris; rankings; and criticisms of those rankings.

Keywords: equestrianism, equitation, George Morris, horses, hunter, Hyde Moffatt, Jeroen Dubbeldam, Jill Henselwood, Mac Cone, Olympics, pony club, show jumping, sport, World Championships.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 32: Hyde Moffatt on Getting Started and Rankings (1)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: This is session 2 with Hyde Moffatt. As a preliminary note to this particular session, as with the Mac Cone first sessions, this first session with Hyde Moffatt, basically, went through the old system, the older computer. The audio file as corrupted, unfortunately. I have a new 2021 iMac. It is much better and things will be much more functional. So, Hyde, I apologize more formally. Let’s begin again, starting more from the perspective of a boy and an adolescent getting interested in horses, what were some of the dynamics involved in developing that interest?

Hyde Moffatt: I was lucky in the situation in which I grew up. It was a little bit of a small town. My introduction to horses was when a girl brought a horse to show and tell in kindergarten at 5-years-old. That peaked my interest. As far as getting into it, it was a little bit random. I do not have a family behind me. I do not have a family that has a lengthy tenure in the horse industry or anything like that. I was the first one of my family to be involved. Really, that was more of a fluke. As I grew up, I guess, some of the dynamics and stuff. Your friends all play hockey and baseball. I was very much more of a person geared towards individual sports, the way I operated. I didn’t feel a lot of pressure.

Certainly, my friends saw this as a girls sport. Lots of stuff people would say back then. It didn’t bother me. In this whole sport world, all you had to do was go out in the barn a few times to know that. It didn’t bother me at all. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the responsibilities that came with horses and all of the accompanying stuff. For me, it was easy to figure out this was a sport that I really enjoyed.

Jacobsen: What about different disciplines within equestrianism at large? Things like horse racing or dressage. Were these in play in consideration or just show jumping?

Moffatt: I’ve done a bit of everything over the years. My basics included a bit of pony club. My area was not super dense in high-level horse activity, equestrian activity. Pony club provided me with the opportunity to learn things and access information. There is a lot of 3-day eventing. A lot of the horsemanship and all those things. There is a little bit of exposure to dressage, cross country, fitness and conditioning. Some of those people went on to become more involved in endurance riding and things. Certainly, the exposure to different disciplines was there for me. When I was 14 years old, I started to break horses. We would break and start 105 race horses a year, quite a large number, for the operation I was riding for in Lancaster. Eventually, I have done more things. My pony club was also associated with the Hamilton Hunt Club. I have field hunting too. I think the wide-ranging exposure is, probably, something that we, maybe, lack a little bit of, in the development of many riders now. We seem to be one sport focused very early. I think those same discussions are happening in hockey and football as well. Where, people are specializing in a sport at too early of an age. I think it is beneficial to play between the disciplines at a younger age.

I think there is something to be learned from all of them. It is also important to have an interest outside of horses. Those that can educate themselves in another sport also tend to excel later on. Some of that stuff that you learn in how to use your body, even how to think quickly while multitasking. Some of those can be learn in other sports as well and be applied to horses.

Jacobsen: What were some of the bumps along the road for you? I don’t want to make the mistake in doing these interviews that those who do the sport nationally and internationally had an easy time all the time. Most of the time, people have to work a lot of hours and work hard, and overcome certain obstacles, even just injuries or things of this nature.

Moffatt: There’s been a number of bumps. I wouldn’t say any of it has been easy. My path, I was willing to do the jobs others were unwilling to do: Muck stalls, did all those things when I was very young. My interest in doing those things, probably, provided me an opportunity to ride some horses. When I took those opportunities, they weren’t always the most broke or the nicest horse, but my job was just to ride them and see if I could make them a little bit better, regardless of whether it would be a phenomenal athlete or if it didn’t have much of a future as a sport horse. By doing that, it gave me more opportunities. The thing was, everything built organically in my career. It was all through work. I was willing to work the horse that stopped or wasn’t always behaving itself or the horse that was green.

In doing so, maybe, in the process, you had an opportunity to ride a better one that rose up. It was always one foot in front of the other in terms of show up and do the work. As far as injuries go, I’ve had my fair share. You don’t survive this sport forever without getting hurt. Sometimes, they fall over. Sometimes, you fall off. I’ve broken legs, had surgeries, had ribs broken, and wrist issues, over the years. Fortunately, I’ve been lucky. Everything has healed up and nothing was a catastrophic injury. I, certainly, broke a leg badly, at one point, and had an 8” plate and 12 screws, and, probably, 18 months of recovery, of which 11 weeks were off a horse. It, probably, should have been more than that. There are, certainly, challenges. Then there are the challenges of finding your niche within the industry. As I said, I made my niche a little bit because I was willing to ride things other people weren’t willing to ride. When I was riding, I was able to make a difference, or, at least, people thought I did.

Because they would offer me more horses to ride. That’s how I got there. There was a prevailing fear, as well, speaking of speed bumps. That if you said, “No”, to a horse, then they’d go ask someone else. I rarely said, “No”.

Jacobsen: [Laughing] Hospitality mentality.

Moffatt: Absolutely.

Jacobsen: What areas do you think Canadian show jumping is focusing on very, very early? I’m told things like equitation and hunter are a big thing. Is this the trend that we’re seeing over time?

Moffatt: Yes. If we are building riders for show jumping anyway, which is the one I can speak to the most, I think in the stages of development. I think there’s a focus on the hunters and the equitation. In that, you’re skill-building. There are good places to skill build, where things happen in reasonably controlled manners. Where, there is incentive to focus on how things are done, not just getting them done. So, it is definitely the focus of the youth, for sure. Hunters is such a good introduction, where people learn rhythm, balance, and straightness. All the important factors of getting horses to jump well, and the equitation focuses so much on that. Also, on rider technique, function follows form in this sport. If you can make the right things happen, then you stand a much better chance of having a good conversation with your horse.

Jacobsen: I’m told pretty much 3, 4, 5, decades ago. If you were to look at a rider from Germany, France, America, from Canada, you could tell the style of riding without necessarily understanding the nationality of the individual. However, after George Morris, there has been an internationalization of the methodology in the training and the ride. So, this homogenizing fact reduces the differentiating factors of high-performance on that factor. What does Canada do a little bit different if at all in terms of that methodology that’s been taken over through copying of George Morris, if any?

Moffatt: I don’t know if we do anything necessarily different. The sport contains more international travel, and with horses, became easier. We have more riders and different styles, and horses, became frequent. The search to become better at sport; we ended up adopting from each of those styles that which seemed more effective or competitive. We didn’t morph more towards or the Germans, and the Germans didn’t morph more towards us. It was a melding of all those things in the middle. I don’t know if we necessarily did anything different. The one thing that we, maybe, have a little bit of a different – not necessarily advantage – is that with Canada being such a large country with a small population; no different from building infrastructure, everything is difficult in this country. It is always far, always hard, whether putting in telephone lines or trying to show across the country. It presents challenges that are present in some other countries. It eliminates some of those struggles. I think that, maybe, that helps to build the Canadian character a little bit. We have to really want it to get there. When you look at the 2008 games where Eric won, moreso, the team jumped off for gold.

You’d say, “We had a great group of riders and a great group of horses. We did.” It’s way more than that. Mac Cone’s horse was unable to finish. We were down to three riders and no drop score. Jill Henselwood’s first round in the team competition didn’t go according to plan. She was able to pull magic out and make clean in the second round. Stuff like that. That deep desire to do good, to be able to overcome those difficulties. It comes from somewhere. I’m not sure what it is. Let’s put it to geography and the Canadian nature.

Jacobsen: There’s another facet of some discussion in different aspects of the equestrian world, which I’ve been researching in the discipline of show jumping. I have noticed January to July. Our rankings were very, very good. Then there is a slight decline July/August to the present. I’m told this is more of a seasonal thing because, in North America, you have to travel farther. There are fewer per capita competitions to take part in compared to Western Europe.

Moffatt: Most definitely.

Jacobsen: If anyone is looking at the rankings throughout the year, there’s going to be a wobble in terms of how good a country is going to be performing depending on where the country is from, because it costs a lot of money to get a horse around and it is better if the place you’re competing at frequently is 2 hours down the road.

Moffatt: Yes. I will say this. The ranking system is somewhat flawed. There’s no perfect way to rank them. Any given horse and rider can be the best on any particular day. I try to avoid reading too much into the rankings because they can be quite skewed based on numbers of horses shown and the events available in a particular area. They are better, probably, as metadata rather than individually representative of any one particular rider’s performance.

Jacobsen: What have been some other criticisms of those rankings?

Moffatt: It is impossible to make it perfect. So, I am hesitant to give major criticisms. Not all events are created equal. We have no way of really separating that. We say, “Okay, there is a 3*, 4*, 5*. That’s great. It is, usually, based on money and jump size.” There’s a certain amount of money and jump size corresponds to that. A 5* is always difficult. Let me start there, a 5* where all of the top 10 in the world show up is, probably, a lot different in terms of how difficult it is to actually win that day, than a 5* when no one in the top 100 shows up. It’s all relative. There’s no way to quantify that. I’m not trying to quantify that. I’m just saying that it is not necessarily representative. If you win Geneva, like last week, you could be pretty sure this person really did something there because everyone shows up to it. It is one of the grand slam events. I’m not going to pick on shows. If you win a smaller 5*, as in it is less well attended, that’s still fantastic and still extremely good for you. It may not carry the same weight as another one would. The rankings can be deceiving. The best rider in the world who only has one horse. You take a guy like Jeroen Dubbeldam. He consistently sits in the 400s and 500s in the world. It is not his priority. Yet, when he comes out, he can win the Olympics and the World Championships. He’s got something figured out.






American Medical Association (AMA 11th Edition): Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 32: Hyde Moffatt on Getting Started and Rankings (1). January 2023; 11(2).

American Psychological Association (APA 7th Edition): Jacobsen, S. (2023, January 1). The Greenhorn Chronicles 32: Hyde Moffatt on Getting Started and Rankings (1). In-Sight Publishing. 11(2).

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. D. The Greenhorn Chronicles 32: Hyde Moffatt on Getting Started and Rankings (1). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, Fort Langley, v. 11, n. 2, 2023.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2023. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 32: Hyde Moffatt on Getting Started and Rankings (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 2 (Spring).

Chicago/Turabian, Notes & Bibliography (17th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott The Greenhorn Chronicles 32: Hyde Moffatt on Getting Started and Rankings (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 11, no. 2 (January 2023).

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. (2023) ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 32: Hyde Moffatt on Getting Started and Rankings (1)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, 11(2). <>.

Harvard (Australian): Jacobsen, S 2023, ‘The Greenhorn Chronicles 32: Hyde Moffatt on Getting Started and Rankings (1)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 11, no. 2, <>.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 9th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. “The Greenhorn Chronicles 32: Hyde Moffatt on Getting Started and Rankings (1).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vo.11, no. 2, 2023,

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. The Greenhorn Chronicles 32: Hyde Moffatt on Getting Started and Rankings (1) [Internet]. 2023 Jan; 11(2). Available from:


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