|P's got questions...|
- Why horses? Why not a sane sport, like soccer or softball or curling?
- What was your riding “career” like as a kid?
- If you could go back to your past and buy ONE horse, which would it be?
- What disciplines have you participated in?
- What disciplines do you want to participate in some day?
- Have you ever bought a horse at auction or from a rescue?
- What was your FIRST favorite horse breed – the one you loved most as a kid?
- If you could live and ride in any country in the world, where would it be?
- Do you have any horse-related regrets?
- If you could ride with any trainer in the world, ASIDE from your current trainer, who would it be?
- What is one item on your horse-related bucket list?
- If you were never able to ride again, would you still have horses?
- What is your “biggest fantasy” riding goal?
- What horse do you feel like has taught you the most?
- If you could change one thing about your current horse/riding situation, what would it be?
- If you could compete at any horse show/venue in your home country, where would it be?
- If you could attend any competition in the world as a spectator, what would be your top choice?
- Have you ever thought about quitting horses?
- If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the horse industry, what would it be?
- What’s the dumbest horse-related thing you’ve done that actually turned out pretty well?
- As you get older, what are you becoming more and more afraid of?
- What horse-related book impacted you the most?
- What personality trait do you value most in a horse and which do you dislike the most?
- What do you love most about your discipline?
- What are you focused on improving the most, at the moment?
1. Why horses?
I'm not athletic. Like, at all. I know, you've seen me post about running, but I am NOT good at that. I don't enjoy it. I don't think it's fun to run around chasing a ball. But I do love animals. And competition. And honestly, why would anyone NOT ride horses? I love the challenge of having a partner that I can't talk to with verbal language. That I have to learn to read and he needs to learn to read me. It's pretty amazing really to form a partnership with a horse. So that's why horses.
|I mean... everyone gets a medal at these things.|
2. What was your riding career like as a kid?
I started taking lessons when I was a chubby, scared, little eight year old. I rode once a week for the first year, and then graduated to twice a week. The summer of my second year riding, I talked my dad into letting me lease a horse. I did a lease on him all summer, and then moved on to a different lease horse. That's when I started showing and got the bug. From there it escalated quickly. I had that second lease horse for a year. But he had a lot of medical issues that held us back, so I began a lease on a different horse. Sadly, she broke a leg in turnout and had to be put down after only a couple of months together. I was devastated, but in the end it led to me getting my first horse of my own. And that's when I started showing a lot. We had shows right at the barn I rode at, so it was much more affordable than if we had to travel a lot. My parents didn't have the money for all of that, but we could swing one or two a month at the farm during the summer. Eventually, when I was 13/14 my dad's business really started growing. I was able to show a lot more, and had a new horse that was the real deal. I did everything with him, devon, indoors, all of it. He was amazing.
|Did I mention he was an appendix quarter horse?|
This is tough! The obvious answer is Bud, because he was amazing, and literally took me from jumping 2'6" to the junior hunters at Devon. But I learned a lot of life lessons from all of them. I'll stick with Bud though. Because he was not only a talented show horse, he was also my best friend. He was there when I needed to cry out my teen angst, or when I was feeling sassy and wanted to ride bareback at night check in VT. He would do anything for me, and I for him.
|cleaned his own stall too...|
I'm pretty strictly a hunter/jumper princess. But I have done some lessons with dressage instructors. They weren't dressage lessons per se, more geared toward making my horse better for what I do with him. But they were really helpful. I've also done some western trail lessons. Those were stupid fun! Spinning in that little box is pretty unreal.
|Probably not the right outfit...|
I'm pretty happy with what I do... But I guess if I ever couldn't jump for some reason, I'd probably want to try some western. Though I can't for the life of me get the saddle on a horse... No wonder they prefer them 15 hands and under!
6. Have you ever bought a horse at auction or from a rescue?
Kind of? I got Ducky from a bad situation for a dollar. But it wasn't through a specific rescue or anything. Romey came from a thoroughbred rehab type place.
I was obsessed with Lippizaner's as a kid. My dad took me to see them when I was little, I think before I even started riding, and I had a book about them.
|Not a Lipizzan, just a cute baby horse|
I'm not sure... would I magically be fluent in the language? If so, maybe Holland. Rio came from there, and he was trained so well, I'd want to be around that more.
I wish I had really learned how to ride sooner. I did well as a junior, but mostly because I had a nice horse, and luck on my side. I didn't really learn how to ride, like REALLY ride, until right before I went to college. I just wish I could have shown my junior hunter with that knowledge and been a better partner for him.
I'm not really sure. There are a lot of great riders out there, but just because someone can do, doesn't mean they can teach it. I think it might be insightful to take a lesson or two with Beezie though. My old trainer from college rode with her and I came thisclose to getting some lessons with her back then.
11. What is one item on your horse related bucket list?
I'd love to ride a sane horse on the beach one day. Which is actually possible at the state park near here, but I haven't had a sane enough horse for that. Some day.
|Not the beach, but he's sort of beach colored.|
Definitely. I'd probably have a whole herd of minis. And they would be impeccably groomed.
13. What is your biggest fantasy riding goal?
I want to win New England Finals. I know that's not a huge goal. It's a 3' medal. And truthfully, it's something I could maybe do if I really tried hard.
Maybe with my next horse, I'll have a more lofty goal, like getting back to the a/o jumpers or something. But for now, it's winning finals.
I've learned so much from so many! But I'm going to say Rio here. While I brought 4 horses home to my brand new barn, he's the only one of the original four still here with me. He's the first that I had to handle some scary health things with on my own. He taught me to be brave. Both in the saddle and out. He taught me to be patient. And he's taught me to never give up.
|First ride in two years, because he never gives up.|
If you asked me this two months ago, I'd have a lot to say! I think right now, things are just as I need them. I am riding again, and getting my confidence back with Eros and Eddie. I want to have a horse of my own to show again, but I'm not ready just yet. I mean, in a dream world, I wouldn't have to work, so I could just ride horses and take lessons all day every day? But realistically, I think things are great right now.
I'm dying to check out WEC honestly. Maybe more for curiosity sake than anything. I've been fortunate to have been to a lot of the fancy places. If I wasn't limited to this country though, I would say Spruce Meadows.
17. If you could attend any competition in the world as spectator, where would it be?
I'd LOVE to go see the Olympics some day. I'm sure it's a total shit show, but I'd still like to go someday.
|Definitely not the Olympics...|
Maybe once I thought about it. After my junior hunter died, I took a break for about a week and a half. It was awful. Haven't looked back since!
|I mean, what would I do with all of my boots?|
The dishonesty. If people were more honest about everything, the horses would all be better off. Honest about the horse for sale and what his abilities are, health issues, etc. Honest about a rider's actual capabilities so they're not allowed to sit on or buy the wrong horse. Honest about not patching a horse up with meds to do a job. Etc.
20. What's the dumbest horse related thing you've done that actually turned out pretty well?
Most of the stupid things I do don't turn out very well... I guess I'll say importing a stallion was kind of dumb, but it worked out ok in the end.
|actual stallion here!|
I think I just get more chicken in general. I'm super nervous about jumping lately, but not for any good reason. That's happened before though, and I'm hopeful I'll find my brave again.
22. I'm not really one to read how to books, so I can't really think of any.
23. What personality trait do you value most in a horse, and which least?
Heart. A horse that has heart will always show up for you. One that doesn't won't. So I guess my answer to the least favorite is one that doesn't have heart.
|a little heart|
You know, there are a lot of crappy people out there, especially in my discipline. But there are so many that are really wonderful. Some of my closest friends I met through showing.
25. What are you focused on improving the most at the moment?
Right now I'm really focused on just getting back to where I used to be. I want to not only be the rider I once was, but just maybe be even better. I'd like to be more insightful with my horses, and do better for them.
Ok, now it's your turn! Copy and paste the questions above and do your own post!