Snohomish riders a dynamic duo

SNOHOMISH – Jody Faldborg of Snohomish beat 70 competitors to win a recent world amateur horse riding championship.

But beating her mom was the toughest part of the competition.

It’s not because Faldborg, 21, felt bad about defeating her mother.

It’s because her mom was the defending champion.

Faldborg won the amateur reining world show, which the American Quarter Horse Association held earlier this month in Oklahoma City.

Winning didn’t surprise her.

“This year everything was coming together,” she said.

Her mother, Laurie Faldborg, said her daughter stays calm under the gaze of the audience and is driven to win.

“It’s kind of cool,” her mother said of the pair winning the same title in back-to-back years.

Reining is similar to figure skating, except with a horse, Laurie Faldborg said. A rider spins, speeds up and stops a horse with precision, as if they shared one body.

Like a good skater, a good rider makes all the maneuvers seem effortless, she said. But a rider has to invest a lot of time and energy to become proficient in reining.

The mother and daughter ride at least an hour almost every day.

“When you spend every day with them, (trust) builds up,” said Jody Faldborg, a student at Cascadia Community College in Bothell.

Confidence plays a key role, she said, because a horse can sense when a rider is nervous.

“You kind of have to stay calm and think about what you’re doing,” she said.

Jody Faldborg, who started riding at age 5, said it has helped her grow.

“Responsibilities, just taking care of a living thing,” she said. “There’s more than just riding.”

The mother and daughter critique each other’s performance and are used to competing against each other in contests, Jody Faldborg said.

“There’s no hard feelings,” she added.

They haven’t decided whether to go to the next year’s world show, Jody Faldborg said.

But she said she was glad she could win with her horse Blade, 11. “I wanted to do that before I retired him,” she said.

Reporter Yoshiaki Nohara: 425-339-3029 or

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