Thursday, October 27, 2016

Ten Questions for October

First Question: Which is the real Rio?
I had to jump on the band wagon this month and take a stab at L's 10 questions for October. So here we go!

1. What do you consider jumping high for yourself?
Um, current self or former self? I think jumping high for me is anything 4' or above (roughly 1.2M or higher). That said, I can barely jump around 3' right now so there's that...
Former Self with Rio the wonderhorse.
2. What are you short term goals for riding?
Ride a horse that doesn't have a limp! But seriously, I'm hoping to find a way to keep riding this winter, even if it's not on one of my own horses. I don't want to have to start all over come spring like I have the past many years.
Less of this please.
3. What are your long term goals for riding? Do you think you'll reach them?
Long term, I REALLY want to get back in the show ring with a real partner. I want to find a horse that I trust to not only get back to showing in rated divisions, but to be competitive there. I don't really have a preference over whether it's in the A/O hunter ring or high AA jumper ring. I just want to find a horse I can really bond with. (No offense Jampy.)
Heart horse #1
4. How many barns have you been at in your riding career?
3 trainer barns, 4 if you count my own back yard barn. I rode at the same barn for my entire junior career, then moved on to my college barn. After leaving the college barn, I actually moved back to my first barn before building my own. I count my current trainer's barn even though I don't really ride there that much.
home sweet home
5. How many different trainers have you been with in your riding career?
This number is kind of high. The barn I rode at growing up had a bit of a revolving door, and trainers came and went. College saw some changeover as well. Let's see... I'd say 7 at first barn and 3 at college barn, and then I've had a few different trainers help me at shows once I moved home, so we'll go with 4 after college.  That's what 14? That's an awful lot considering I've not moved horses around much!
Current trainer in natural habitat

6. Ever worked at a barn? What did you do?
Yep! After graduating from a ridiculously expensive college with a psych degree, I got hired as the stable manager at my college barn. I wanted to keep my amateur status, so my duties did not include riding or teaching. I was in charge of making sure the horses all got out every day, were properly groomed and blanketed, they're health care, etc. I also oversaw the working students. It was a really fun job, but a ton of work. We had 45 school horses and about 15 boarders.
Tom and Cajun: best walk trot horses you'll ever encounter. EVER.
7. Scariest thing that has happened at your barn?
Ugh. You have no idea. You guys. My barn where I boarded when I was 14 BURNED TO THE GROUND. It was horrifying. All of the lesson horses died, including my project pony Abbey. I wrote my college essay on that experience and though it sounds dramatic, that fire had a big impact on who I am today.

8. Have you ever given a lesson? What level was the rider?
I have! Not since aging out of the junior ranks of course since I'm an amateur. But when I was in high school one summer I had a couple students of my own. They were a brother and sister visiting the area on vacation for two weeks. They had never ridden, but were athletic kids. She was a figure skater and he was a hockey player. The girl struggled a bit, but I think she did canter by the end of her stay. The boy was some kind of phenom and had started JUMPING by the end of the two weeks. I wonder what ever happened to them...
occasionally I drag tiny family members around the yard too
9. What is your opinion on the accuracy of critiquing riders online?
Pffft. Not accurate. Most of the time online critiques are of a photo. I'll tell you what. I take a decent photo if it's caught at the right moment. But that does not mean I'm a good rider. Feel free to critique this though:
this is how you do it, right?

10. What is the ideal height of horse for you?
Probably between 15.3 and 16.2.  Romey is a bit short, and Jamp and Rio are both around 16.3. Since they're slab sided it works though. I'm short but have normal length legs, so I can kind of fake it on most sizes. Even Venti worked for me this summer, though he was kind of huge. Definitely taller than 17 hands. That said, I do think riding a short horse makes the fences look bigger, so I don't like anything too tiny.

And there you have it! Ten questions for October!


  1. Oh man, your barn as a kid BURNED DOWN?! That is is so sad, and I'm so, so sorry :-(

    1. Yep. It was terrible, obviously. One of these days I'll write about it on here. I have trouble being concise though. I think my college essay was like 20 pages long. Might be a bit lengthy for this little blog!

  2. I love slab sided horses for my little stick legs

  3. That's terrible about the farm during down. Barn fires are a fear of mine. Owning a sound horse is a goal of mine too.

    1. It was horrifying. I live very close so as soon as I heard I went over to help. It was so hot and so scary.
      The elusive sound horse... maybe we'll both find one some day!