Q1: What hobbies do you have outside of riding?
I like reading late-18th and 19th century British and European literature, especially the Gothic stuff. Pass all of the “horrid” novels this way. Trivia, which has always been enjoyable but I finally have an outlet for all my useless random knowledge about stuff: an online league. It’s improved my quality of life greatly. And … would Epicureanism count as a hobby? Can I live on aged cheese, stuffed olives, and wine?
Q2: What is your boarding situation? Are you happy with it?
I keep Eli at a full care hunter/jumper & dressage facility. I love it.
Q3: What’s on your horsey-related wish list?
I would like another set of my Professional’s Choice ice boots so I can ice all four of Eli’s legs at once.
Q4: What is your most expensive horsey-related item?
Probably the horse. The saddle is second, and well below Eli’s purchase price.
Q5: What was the hardest horsey-related decision you’ve had to make lately?
I feel as though I have been making tiny but difficult decisions daily with Eli, as we are in the middle of rehabbing an injury. These have been decisions related to the amount of turnout, amount of exercise, treatment decisions, dietary decisions … and then I check my brain, follow the vet’s advice, and focus on the bigger picture.
Q6: What’s something you feel you can’t live without in your routine?
Q7: What’s on your horsey-related calendar for the rest of the summer?
More trotting in straight lines.
Q8: What is one thing you would willingly change about your horse?
The answer to this is either “nothing” or “I wish I got my hands on him when he was young to see what he’d be like without having raced, what he’d be like if I pulled that tooth early in his life to have prevented that god-awful sinus situation, what he’d be like if I got to ride him as a 3-year-old and introduced lead changes without the track training and overuse of a crop.” (There is video evidence of Eli experiencing overuse of a crop in a race; I am not just assuming it blindly.)
Q9: What is something you most want to improve on with you and your horse?
LEAD CHANGES. Jeez.
Q10: What has been your [current] horse’s most severe injury?
Answering this feels like asking for bad luck and bad vibes. He is healing from an injury right now.
Q11: What do you feel your biggest downfall is as a rider?
Lately, my mental discipline is non-existent. This hasn’t always been the case, so perhaps I can foster some as Eli’s workload increases. Or not. Do I need mental discipline? I enjoy just hacking my horse for fun and fun alone. So maybe my downfall is that I am not at all competitive even though I once was and probably could be again. Is it selfish of me not to try harder? Am I wasting opportunities if I don’t have goals? I do not know the answer to these questions.
Q12: What feeds your motivation?
First: a desire to overcome an anxiety disorder one day at a time. Luckily, I have very little anxiety about riding itself. I feel healthiest when I am on a horse. Tied for first: enjoying time with my animals as much as possible and developing strong, positive, harmonious relationships with them.