For American paralympian Rebecca Hart finding El Corona Texel was love at first YouTube view.

“I have loved this horse from the moment I saw his video on YouTube. I love his personality and his intelligence,” said the Wellington-based rider. “He’s quite a fiery horse, but he’s an incredibly kind horse. I love how we can have a true conversation when we’re riding, and it just makes it a very unique, special partnership.”

You could say the same about Hart’s technique for picking freestyle music—it too is unique.

The three-time Olympian rode her 2018 World Equestrian Games test in the Grade III Freestyle on Week 2 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) CPEDI 3*. It’s music her horse helped choose.

©Susan J Stickle

“Marlene Whittaker put the freestyle together for me, and we worked really hard on that one,” continued Hart. “We actually all played [the music] for him so he could have a little bit of input. He would just be like, ‘Oh yeah’ and he’d start to get a little more exuberant, and we were like, ‘Okay, Tex likes this one!’”

Apparently, the judges agreed.

Hart and Tex won the Grade III freestyle with a personal best score of 75.278%.

Grade III is for riders who have severe impairments in both lower limbs with minimal or no impairment of the trunk or moderate impairments of the upper and lower limbs and trunk. Some riders in Grade III may use a wheelchair.