Wednesday 3 August 2016

August 10

My little riding vacation is coming to an end, and we'll be jumping back into things in a big way with multiple shows and events over the next couple of months. For now, though L Williams once again bails me out content wise with her 10 questions for August...

1. What is your biggest source of caffeine that gets you through your day? (drink, not just brand)

I'm the strange person who doesn't really do caffeine. I still haven't developed a taste for coffee, and don't drink much tea or soda so I guess my answer for a pick me up will have to be chocolate? If it's truly desperate times I'll have a mocha. That happens once every few months and then I get all weird and jittery and remember why I don't do caffeine.

2. Do you honestly think your trainer is the best for you?

I'd be surprised if a ton of people say yes to this...grass is always greener and limited resources and all that. I'd say in this area she is the best for me, and as far as coaches I've ridden with she's top 10%. I feel pretty lucky. Of course there are a couple of people I've clinic'd with that I'd love to ride with on a more regular basis :)

3. One token of advice from a fellow rider/trainer/horse person that you still remember to this day?

Treat your horses fairly and consistently. Break everything down to the easiest step, reward the good, ignore the bad.
So cute that you could never be unfair to her

4. If riding meant costing your family so much money that they’d be basically on poverty line, or making your family terribly unhappy (if they were not supportive or understanding, etc.) would you still do it?

I have managed to set up my life so I can spend all the $$$$ on horses. So:

- no kids,
- a husband who is cool with time consuming and costly obsessions  hobbies, and
- a good job to finance the hobby myself

5. Would you ride while pregnant?

Again, no kids. But if I was planning to I'd take my doctor's advice and be super careful if he gave me the OK.

6. How do you tell when a horse likes someone/has bonded with them?

Generally speaking, happy ears when they see you coming and tolerant of your quirks. With my two opposites, Ginger is a normal friendly horse if she likes you (rare), and comes when you call and tries to anticipate everything you might want from her if she really likes you (super rare, maybe two people). If you're the majority she doesn't like, you'll never get close to her and she will act terrified of everything. Bridget is a normal friendly horse at almost all times, with the exception of a few people she dislikes and even then she still cooperates, just makes a lot of grumpy faces.

Ginger's default view of you

7. Are horses capable of loving?

I don't know, but they're capable of pretty complex social relationships. When I was a kid the pony I rode had a best friend and after he died she slept in the field away from the herd for hours on end and just generally started going downhill in a big way. She had been abused and didn't like people, just me (probably because I was the most non threatening tiny child ever) so she would get up and say hi when I was there but her interest in life was pretty minimal. Coincidence? Not sure, but it was heartbreaking and eventually she was PTS too.  After that, I lean towards saying yes, in their own way, they can.

8. If you could have one horse from your past come back for 5 minutes, who would it be, why, and what would you do with them in those 5 minutes?

The above mentioned pony (with her bestie). I'd spoil her rotten and tell her how special she was one more time.

9. Should a trainer also be a friend, or should it be a student/teacher relationship?

I prefer to keep it student/teacher. I feel like that way the lines don't get blurred as far as time and money goes and also I like feeling that my coach holds me accountable without worrying (too much) about making me angry ;)

10. One piece of advice/training you were given by a trainer or mentor that you look back on now and view it as incorrect?
So much bad advice. The one thing that is still a bit of an issue is from the trainer back in the day who essentially advocated for making your hands super busy until your horse drops it's head. Luckily, I never got too crazy with that, but I definitely still tend to fidget a stride or two before I sit and use more leg instead to create an actual round pony.


  1. I feel like a lot of people got that bad busy hands advice in their pasts, it sucks!

  2. Busy hands is such a bad habit to break

  3. Ugh agreed on the busy hands! I think it's second-nature for a lot of us to just get super handsy right off the bat!

  4. Oh man I basically live on caffeine haha. hope you're having a great vacation!!