I have been loving the Instagram question templates just like everyone else, but Amanda had the genius idea of blogging the questions, so us slow people can actually read and provide good answers.
Why horses? Why not a sane sport, like soccer or softball or curling?
I am convinced there is some gene mutation that expresses as “horse person.” Otherwise I don’t really know “why” horses. I do know “why not” other sports: I don’t run, I am barely coordinated on a good day, and I like sitting as opposed to standing. Are darts and billiards sports? I feel pretty good about doing those, although not well.
What was your riding “career” like as a kid?
I started lessons at a neighborhood barn, got my first horse, was a working student, and started competing in lower level eventing and dressage, and bought a second horse off the track. I got burnt out by 16 and took a few years off from showing, although not from riding.
If you could go back to your past and buy ONE horse, which would it be?
Okay my real truth is I would buy them all, but I have been lucky enough that some of my favorite horses that I haven’t owned have stuck around for me to be their weird aunty cookie lady. However, around the same time I started riding Eli, a dressage trainer at the barn had a sale horse in the form of a Trakehner named Foxxy that I also got to ride frequently. I REALLY liked him and totally would have bought him had I the money. I did eventually buy Eli, though, so I am not too sad about it.
What disciplines have you participated in?
Eventing, dressage, jumpers, & hunters
What disciplines do you want to participate in some day?
I could go back to dressage. Polo looks fun, too. I’d really like to try mounted archery, actually. I like regular archery as it is, so why not?
Have you ever bought a horse at auction or from a rescue?
I have not, but I would consider it.
What was your FIRST favorite horse breed – the one you loved most as a kid?
You can blame the combined powers of Walter Farley and Francis Ford Coppola for my brief obsession with Arabians. Cass Ole lived (sometimes) in the neighborhood where I grew up, so obviously my mom took me to go see him.
If you could live and ride in any country in the world, where would it be?
I think I am pretty happy in the United States. Canada is looking pretty fabulous, too, lately, but the cold would be hard to get used to.
Do you have any horse-related regrets?
Not especially. I constantly think about decisions related to my horses’ health and well-being and question whether I did the right thing or not, but that’s not exactly regret.
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?
Pony trekking in Scotland.
If you were never able to ride again, would you still have horses?
Definitely. “Never able to ride again” is such strong language. When I see the Para-Olympians riding, I am not sure what it would take to get to “never.”
What is your “biggest fantasy” riding goal?
I am not really making goals right now and I pretty much ride for the enjoyment of it. BUT for the sake of the question, I will answer: “International Hunter Derby.” This would not be an Eli goal, in case that’s not obvious. It is also not financially feasible for me right now. Nor do I currently have the time or discipline for it. Such is the nature of fantasy.
What horse do you feel like has taught you the most?
This is really hard, to know what to answer. I have learned so much from many of the horses I have ridden and interacted with. The horses I have owned have taught me the most, obviously, but I can’t really say who among them has taught me the most. Except to say that every horse is an individual and probably has something valuable to teach.
If you could change one thing about your current horse/riding situation, what would it be?
A covered arena would be nice.
If you could compete at any horse show/venue in your home country, where would it be?
Devon I guess? WEF if I had the money? I am not super into showing so I am not sure the venue matters that much to me. The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival actually looks like a really nice option.
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?
I do not understand this question.
If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the horse industry, what would it be?
I’d eliminate cruelty, neglect, and abandonment.
What’s the dumbest horse-related thing you’ve done that actually turned out pretty well?
I try not to do dumb things around horses because they usually do not turn out pretty well.
As you get older, what are you becoming more and more afraid of?
What horse-related book impacted you the most?
National Velvet still stands out for me today.
What personality trait do you value most in a horse and which do you dislike the most?
I value a horse that has a desire to work. I dislike dullness in a horse.
What do you love most about your discipline?
The behind-the-scenes dedication, detail, and hard work it takes to produce a competitive round.
What are you focused on improving the most, at the moment?
Ha, I think the answer to this question will never not be “the canter.”