The stipulations to become a card-holding professional in any Western sports association are rigorous. Only a limited number of individuals manage to prove their skills in order to obtain the classification, and an even smaller number obtain the honor in more than one discipline.
Throughout his career, Matt Goodman has been a card-holding member of both the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the National Reining Horse Association.
“Bull riding was actually how I got into horses. People knew that I could stay on something that was bucking, so they started bringing me horses they were ready to give up on,” Goodman said. “I never set out to be a horse trainer, I just loved horses.”
Knowing that the skills required to successfully guide a reining horse were fundamental in any aspect of equine athleticism, Goodman began learning the maneuvers and skills needed to pilot through the reining pattern.
“I started realizing that I had garnered respect working with problematic horses, but that I needed to be proving it in the showpen too if I wanted to really build a business,” Goodman said.
Since deciding to enter the show pen, Goodman has won several NRHA Affiliate Championships, has become a household name of the South Florida Reining Horse Association, and has obtained sponsorships from Ranch Hand Coffee Co. and MVP Supplements.
“There was a time when I wasn’t sure if this was actually the path I was supposed to take,” Goodman said, his voice filled with emotion. “We prayed a lot that my path would be made clear, and then we saw miracles in how it all played out.”