First a quick note, I did not do any no-stirrups work over the weekend (I don’t even have a good excuse. I just forgot.), and I haven’t been able to ride since because of all the rain, but I have been keeping up with my workouts. So yay me!
I’ve got a list put together of blog posts I want to put together, but in the mean time this sounded fun, especially since I’m still semi-new to blogland and this is a fun way to learn more about me. Thanks Cathryn from That Red Mare for hosting a 25 Questions Blog Hop!
1. Mares or Geldings? Why? I usually prefer geldings, but most of the horses I’ve really bonded with have been mares, and my baby horse is a mare, so I guess maybe for long-term I like mares, but for projects I prefer geldings? I find that geldings are often more compliant and easy to work with, but once a mare bonds with you, I feel like they will often do more for you. Maybe I’m just crazy. Even Val acts like a mare most days, so who knows.
2. Green-broke or fully broke? I’ve ridden enough green-broke/barely broke horses in my life, that I very much appreciate a fully broke horse. Even one with baggage.
3. Would you own a “hotter” breed (ie. Arabian, Trakhener, etc)? I’ve definitely had and worked with a number of hot thoroughbreds, and Val definitely falls under that category, but I love me a dumblood.
4. What was your “dream horse” growing up? When I was little, I was in love with Rocky Mountain Horses, because I loved the Chocolate color with a flaxen mane and tail. I also dreamed of having a mustang and taming it myself, but that was probably a product of reading too many YA horse books.
5. What kind of bit(s) do you use and why? I’ll use almost anything if it seems like the right fit for the horse, but Val is pretty simple. He goes in a hollow, oval link loose ring. His mouth is super soft, and this is the one bit I’ve found that doesn’t offend him when I have to pull on it, although sometimes if he’s feeling lazy it’s still more than he’s willing to accept.
6. Helmets or no helmets? When I turned 18, I went through a brief phase where I was all “No one can make me wear helmets now!!” and I rode my mostly sane jumper on the flat without one sometimes, but I pretty much always wear one now.
7. Favorite horse color? I love a true black with a lot of chrome. But my second favorite is Blood Bay or Liver Chestnut.
8. Least favorite horse color? Grey. So much work to keep clean. Bright chestnut is right up there too. If there’s a lot of chrome and they aren’t too orangey it’s not so bad, but I’m just not a fan.
9. Dressage or jumping? Jumping. I like dressagey flatwork, but I don’t think I have the attention span to do full dressage all the time.
10. How many years have you been riding? I’ve been riding since I could hold myself up so…20 years?
11. Spurs/whip or no spurs/whip? Like bits, this depends on the horse. Some get cranky with spurs, some hate whips, some just don’t need either. With Val, I will occasionally pull out some itty bitty baby spurs for lateral work, but he’s got plenty of go. Often at a show I will carry a crop just to have it, but I rarely use it.
12. Your first fall? I think my first fall was when I was about 5, and I was on a trail ride with my mother. I was on a small donkey in a western saddle, and when he put his head down to graze, somehow the whole saddle slid over his withers and I went down his neck. It’s funny now but I was pretty traumatized!
13. When was the last time you rode and what did you do? The last time I rode was Sunday, and I jumped a 4′ oxer. Twice!
14. Most expensive piece of tack you own? Definitely my CWD, and it’s worth every penny.
15. How old were you when you started riding? I think I was two when my mom first put me on a pony by myself, and I did competitive lead-line (Yes. Really.) at a circuit in Maryland when I was 3/4. In case you were wondering, I was year end champion. I won a platter, and my picture was in the paper. I was kind of a big deal.
16. Leather or nylon halters? I like leather because it looks nicer and is more likely to break if you need it to (unless you have a break away tab on a nylon halter which is kind of ugly) but they take a lot more maintenance, and they’re more expensive. So I’m not sure on this one.
17. Leather or synthetic saddles? Leather. I’ve never sat in a synthetic saddle that was comfortable or sticky.
18. What “grip” of reins do you like? For jumpers, I definitely prefer rubber reins, but for hunters, I like braided reins.
19. English or Western? English. It’s way more exciting!
20. How many horses do you currently own/lease? I don’t technically own any, but Val is the horse I ride and sort of lease I guess, and the horse–Stellar–that will eventually be my fancy hunter/derby horse lives with my parents on their farm and is actually owned by them right now.
21. Do you board your horse? Self-care/full board? Home board? Val is at a full board facility, and my parents farm is technically full board, but my mom does most of the work so it’s kind of like self-care?
22. Have you ever had to put down a horse that you loved? I’ve only been there once, for a horse that was severely impacted and was not a good surgery candidate. That was pretty heartbreaking after being up with him to change out his fluids all night. There’ve been other beloved school horses who had to be put down, but I wasn’t there for it, and they weren’t actually mine.
23. How many saddle pads do you have? Um…9? Wow. That seems like a lot more than I thought when I actually have to count them. And I’m excluding shaped pads…
24. Slant-load trailer or straight haul? I think most horses are happier about a slant load, and I do like that once you put them in they have a wall behind them and not just a bar. I actually had a medium pony set back and then force her way under the butt bar once. She was ok, but she scraped up her back and the whole thing was really tender for a few days.
25. Why do you ride? You could see my recent post For Love of the Horse for all of the reasons, but in short, I ride because it makes me feel whole, and because I couldn’t imagine my life without horses, nor do I want to.