November 10 Questions

Feeling really “content-lite” right now guys…sorry, not a whole lot happening in horsey-ville or running life at the moment.

So I poached Liz Stout‘s “10 Questions” post so there’s at least something on here for November.

How old is the youngest/greenest horse you’ve ridden?
Mimi is the youngest…she was 3-1/2 when I got her. Greenest? Probably Beamer. He’d been to a couple of different trainers by the time we got him, but he was really inconsistent and knew the least in terms of “things beyond the very basics I had to install on him.”

How old is the oldest horse you’ve ridden?
Probably Snappy…he was in his late 20s the last time I rode him.

Were you scared of horses when you first started riding?
I wasn’t…until I got dumped within my first month of riding, and then proceeded to part ways with the same horse a number of times over the course of that first year of riding.

Would you say you’re a more nervous rider or a confident rider?
More nervous. See above. I’ve gone through cycles where I’ve felt super-confident, would climb on and ride most horses without thinking twice, and be really brave and bold. And then there’s the flip side of that, where I’m doubting everything I know, question my own capabilities, have a hard time trusting the horse, and am looking for the boogieman around every corner. I’m really trying to reclaim that confidence cycle again.

Biggest pet peeve about non-horse people around horses?
Probably bad attitudes about right-of-way and trail sharing. I understand that not everyone may be familiar with trail etiquette, and I try to give people the benefit of the doubt and educate first — “Hi there, can you slow down or stop while we pass? Can you speak up so my horse knows you’re a person? Hiding in the bushes may not be the best idea, horses might think you’re a predator.” And so on. But I’ve unfortunately run into a few pieces of work (most commonly mountain bikers and some hikers) who have a major attitude problem about trail sharing.

A time you’ve been scared for your life?
I guess it’s a good thing that I really can’t think of anything? Several times where I knew the end result was going to hurt, but if there’s anything else, I’ve done a good job of blocking it out of my mind.

Have you ever fallen off at show? What happened?
Ahahahahahahaha…multiple times. Most memorably? Parting company with the pony in the warm-up ring at the International. Oh, yes. Biggest show of my life, and the most memorable part of it was I got dumped.

What’s a breed of horse you’ve never ridden but would like to ride?
Peruvian Paso. Andalusian.

Describe the worst behaved horse you’ve ridden?
Spooky, ansty, won’t settle, explosively reactive, can’t handle contact, rears under pressure.

The most frustrating ride you’ve ever had? 
This is a hard one to answer. I’ve had a lot of frustrating times/moments along the way. You know I’ve got a passion for horses when a lot of this journey has been an uphill battle, and I still keep forging onward (mostly because the good times have been so good, it’s worth the struggle to get there). I  can think of a number of times when, if pushed, I would say “Yes, that was a frustrating moment” but I try not to dwell on those moments too much, and instead try to spend more time focusing on the positives that happened. So I don’t know if I’ve had one ride that stands out in my mind as “most frustrating time ever.” So I’m going to go with “doing everything right at a show and being under a judge who just doesn’t like your pony.” Because you can’t do anything to change that when your horse moves with impulsion and rhythm and the judge like foot-shuffling peanut-rollers.

sunshine award

Thanks to Gail at The Journey to 100 Miles for the nomination! I’m normally soooo bad about following through on these, but I’ll give it a shot. :)

The Sunshine Award is for people who “positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” The nominee must do the following: thank the person who nominated her, nominate 10 bloggers of her own (I think my entire blogroll has been nominated at this point), answer the 10 questions given to her, and post them and the Sunshine Award button to their blog.

My answers to the questions:

1. Mares or geldings?
Mares. Maybe it’s because it’s what I’ve started with, but I’ve always gravitated towards mares. Or maybe I’m just a masochist and love a challenge. Once you’ve got a relationship with a good one, they’ll go to the ends of the earth for you. I’ve met just as many moody, attitudinal, cranky geldings as I have mares.

2. English or western? 

English. I learned to ride huntseat, and Western has always felt disconnected and distant to me. I get a lot of security out of the feel and style of an English saddle. Lately, I’ve been gravitating towards more of a centered dressage position than classical huntseat for endurance, but the vast majority of the saddles I’ve owned have been English-style.

3. Do you prefer younger or older horses?
My favorite is a semi-blank slate that someone has started (30-60 days under saddle) but is wide-open for me to fine-tune and finish, then reap the benefits when they’re older and trained exactly how I want. Not a fan of older horses that are set in their ways that vary drastically from what I like to see or how I like to ride.

4. Have you trained a horse from ground zero?
Not yet.

5. Do you prefer groundwork or riding?
Riding, hands (and hooves) down. I recognize groundwork is the necessary basis for all good riding time, but I rarely do groundwork for “fun.”

6. Do you board your horse or keep him at home?

I’ve boarded Mimi since I’ve owned her. It’s been a long-time dream of mine to one day have my pony in my own backyard.

7. Do you do all natural things or just commercial stuff? 

I don’t box myself in to any one particular category. I use the right product for the job. For instance, good luck getting anything natural to knock out our summer mosquitoes here. If a natural option works for something, great. But if I’m spending my money, it’s going to be on whatever works.

8. All tacked up or bareback? 
 The last few times I’ve ridden bareback, I’ve either fallen off or nearly fallen off. You don’t ride bareback on a 55-gallon drum with no mane, no withers, and a low headset. Maybe more when I was a kid, but my Velcro-butt abilities are limited to being in an actual saddle.

9. Equestrian role model?
Julie Suhr. Mark Rashid. Sally Swift. Linda Tellington-Jones.

10. What’s my one, main goal for my equestrian journey?

On the specifically definable goal level? Finish Tevis. On a more cerebral level, to, at the end of it all, be able to say I done right by my horse.