25 Questions

Many people have been answering these in really insightful ways - where is my go at it.

Aarene did it here.

$900 FB Pony did it here.

1. Why horses? Why not a sane sport, like soccer or softball or curling?
I don't know - if you ask my parents it has been in me since birth.  There is no place as peaceful and calming and right as the barn.  Horses have captivated humanity for centuries for a reason - they are great balancers.  My horses make me a better person because they force me to address my biggest personality flaws.  

They are also soft and kind and warm and loving.

There are SO many reasons, as this ramble shows.  

If you ask my husband he says the brain damage is permanent now, so there is no going back.

2. What was your riding “career” like as a kid?
I started riding at 5 or 6 in one of the big commercial, but not fancy, hunter jumper barns in our town.  99% of the horses were OTTBs of various years and I loved it!!

3. If you could go back to your past and buy ONE horse, which would it be?
Ah - 3 horses instantly popped into my head.  All of them wonderful choices for completely different reasons.  Rebel, the 42-year-old Morgan who basically adopted me in middle school.  His owner was somehow out of the picture and the barn owner saw no harm in me loving on him, taking him for walks, and riding him around the property.  At 42 with no teeth, he was still sound and happy to journey where I wanted, but smart and sensible enough to keep us out of trouble and bring us home.

Tia, the jumper extrodiare who came to our barn to be leased out after she failed to get in foal.  She carted my butt around the 1 m and the 1.20 m jumpers safely and with great success.  She is still living out her life as a pasture pet after doing the same for generations of kids in the area.

George, the schoolie OTTB.  I started on him after we could not afford to keep the lease on Tia.  I worked off my lessons and his lease by working for my trainer as a stall cleaner and babysitter.  George was the sweetest and least confident horse I have ever worked with.  He was never scared but was quiet and introverted.  He had no fire, just serenity, and calm - which was the perfect counterpoint to 16-year-old me who wanted everything at warp speed.  I think I can credit my love of George with purchasing Uno - there is something to be said for the plain little chestnut gelding.

However, I would trade them all and then some for more time with my Dutch.

3. What disciplines have you participated in?

Hunters, Jumpers, Dressage, Eventing, Trail Riding, Foolishness, Fox Hunting

4. What disciplines do you want to participate in some day?
Endurance, Breeding

5. Have you ever bought a horse at auction or from a rescue?
 One day I will tell you the story of how I bid against myself to try and save a scared little baby mule - and the giant a$$ he grew up to be.

6. What was your FIRST favorite horse breed – the one you loved most as a kid?
I have ALWAYS loved the Thoroughbred.  George Morris has it completely correct when he says that the best horse to have will always be a good thoroughbred - I also like the not-so-good-ones too.

7. If you could live and ride in any country in the world, where would it be?
This is a tough one - I would love to live and ride in the UK or Germany, because it would make competing SO much easier and less $$.  However, I think having a farm set up that allows me to keep my current standards of horse care would be crazy expensive.

If you take out the living part - I would love to ride the American West, Africa, the Middle East, Russia, and Mongolia.

8. Do you have any horse-related regrets?
So many.

9. If you could ride with any trainer in the world, ASIDE from your current trainer, who would it be?
Danny Emerson and/ or William Fox Pitt - both are WAY above my current skills and aspirations.

10. What is one item on your horse-related bucket list?
The AEC's
A BN 3 Day
a 50 mile Endurance Race
3rd Level Dressage
Fox Hunting in Ireland

11. If you were never able to ride again, would you still have horses?

CDE - And if I can't keep up with the work of caring for a horse - CDE with a team of donkeys!!! 

12. What is your “biggest fantasy” riding goal?
My current goals are to qualify for a beginner Novice 3-day Event and to qualify for the AEC's. 

13. What horse do you feel like has taught you the most?
Hands down it is my Dutch.

14. If you could change one thing about your current horse/riding situation, what would it be?
More pasture and a real arena.  In my fantasy land, I could also afford to the myriad of injections that keep Dutch competition sound and not just pasture sound.  Oh, and a budget that supports showing 2 horses wouldn't be bad.  

15. If you could compete at any horse show/venue in your home country, where would it be?
The Kentucky Horsepark - maybe someday.

16. If you could attend any competition in the world as a spectator, what would be your top choice?

17. Have you ever thought about quitting horses?
Think about it in a, "What would my bank account be like kind of way?" Yes.  In actually I am long past being able to live without horses.

18. If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the horse industry, what would it be?
The rush to get as far as a horse can as young as possible.  There are many ills in the sport horse world, but I think the worst one is the wasting of an animal that would be sound and productive for years on Young Horse Competitions, or getting to the top levels as soon as the horse can. 

19. What’s the dumbest horse-related thing you’ve done that actually turned out pretty well?
This farm - it was not a good purchase, but it keeps me happy every day.

20. As you get older, what are you becoming more and more afraid of?
The ground.

21. What horse-related book impacted you the most?
The Black Stallion - Look as a literature teacher AND a horse person they are bad books, but the inked thoroughbreds that appeared scatted throughout the books will forever be my standard of equine perfection.

22. What personality trait do you value most in a horse and which do you dislike the most?
I want my horses to want to be with me.  I have no time for aloof creatures.  My barn is my happy place, the place I escape to - I want my horses to be as happy there as I am.

23. What do you love most about your discipline?
The challenge - You have to be a good all around horseman.  I love the challenge of figuring out what my horse needs to be successful at all 3 stages. 

24. What are you focused on improving the most, at the moment?
Transtions and my upper body.  I have a longer post to follow, but I ride too forward with my shoulders.  The pony is still a bit crooked in his body and it is impacting our transitions.  We need to work on getting the shoulders straight and the inside hind up underneath him.  Both of these require A LOT of strength for him so it will be a slow process.


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