I wrote this before the holidays, and then apparently never published it. Oops!
Yet another blog hop for content while my horses enjoy stuffing their faces and multiple layers to avoid succumbing to the arctic deep freeze. Thanks Aarene
* Introduce yourself!
My name is very German, and therefore difficult for the general populous to pronounce. It's also unique enough that I prefer to go by my username for public posts (honestly, it wouldn't take much sleuthing to figure it out because it's been posted by a couple of bloggers but I like to keep the illusion).
I'm a lifelong equestrian, avid eventer and a perpetual student. Who needs money anyways?
|I've got more photos of me with this horse than I do with my dad|
* Introduce your horse(s)!
Currently the herd consists of 4 hayburners!
Dee is my leading lady. She is just the best. She came to me at a time when I needed a new horse to help me rebuild my confidence after the RedHellMare
. People thought I was nuts buying an older, small, Saddlebred but it was the very best thing I could have done. She's 20 this year and while we've been dealing with some soreness issues she shows no signs of slowing down.
William is the new guy. He's a 5-yo, 16HH OTTB who ran his last race on Sept 10 and then shipped out to me (sight unseen) on Sept 12. He's such a good kid. He's got a great mind and a solid work ethic and it is exciting to see where we go in the next year.
Sullivan (better known as #littleasshole) is my hopes and dreams rolled up into a cute/ugly package. I've owned him since he was an hour old and he's out of a mare who reminds me strongly of my heart horse I had as a young teenager and by my friends very cool stallion who I had the ride on last year. He's seriously opinionated and would be a total trainwreck if he was owned by a beginner but I keep reminding myself that upper level horses have quirks, spark and strong personalities.
Chase is last but in no way least. I've owned him since he was 4 and he's 19 this year. At this point he really belongs to my SO more than me. They have quite the bromance going on.
* What's your favorite horse sport? Do you cross train in other activities?
I am an eventer at heart but I've dabbled in almost every discipline you can think of (I grew up riding western and didn't get into jumping seriously until I was in my 20's). I've got the cattle penning buckles to prove it :)
|I will never tire of this photo|
That being said, I get bored just doing one thing so I'm always up for a new adventure. I've discovered I really like endurance and would love to get out to a few more rides this year.
* Who else in your family rides?
My SO will go on slow trail rides with me but it's not really his thing. He really just wants to give Chase cookies and brush him. Which is fine by me :)
My brother can ride (and is super talented) but hasn't ridden in years. He rode growing up because that's just what you did in our house.
But my mom is the biggest reason I ride. She is an avid horsewomen who has been riding since she snuck onto the back of one of her uncle Trotters in Germany. When I was growing up she trained horses and taught lessons as her profession. Nowadays she works with her business partner who is an equine osteopath. She has 3 horse of her own, including Merlin, the horse who took me to my first event and then babysat me through another after I blew my ankle, when I really had no business riding. She really isn't that interested in jumping but is finding her niche in Western Dressage, Cowboy Mounted Shooting and Extreme Cowboy (all done on her WB's).
My mother is far and away my favourite person in this world. I'm so incredibly lucky to have her in my life. I'm grateful every day that we have an incredible relationship, not only as parent/sibling but as friends and horsewomen. I see the relationships my friends have with their mothers and I realize that while I didn't grow up with any money (we were seriously poor) I grew up with experiences, strength and love that no money could buy.
* What's your proudest equestrian accomplishment?
Conquering my anxiety and successfully completing multiple Training runs this year. 2 years ago, when I bought Dee, I was terrified to jump all oxers and most fences that were 2'9" and over. Dee (and a very skilled sports psychologist) help me figure out how to function and dispel those fears.
|We survived our first Training!|
* What was your lowest moment as a horse owner/rider?
Having to let my heart horse go when I was 15. He unfortunately contracted Strangles when he was 19. He ended up with a paralyzed windpipe and was literally starving to death on his feet. I've never cried so hard, or for so long. It's been 15 years and I still miss that spitfire. He taught me so much, but most importantly, he taught me humility.
* What's the most important small thing you ever learned in a lesson?
Ride from your elbows, not your wrists. Every time I manage to remember this my rogue left hand becomes manageable.
* Do you have any riding rituals or superstitions?
I always wear my Straight Shot Metal Smashing
bracelet on XC. If I forget to put on my courage one it's ok, because I wear my horseshoe one every day so I've still got one on :)
* What are your short term goals for yourself/your horse?
Build up Dee's lower back muscles to help her stay sound. Let William set the pace of his training. Simple, yet so hard.
* Long term goals?
I want to ride Prelim (I'd love to go above but that would require having to travel out of AB and who knows when the budget will allow for that)
* If time and money were no object, what is your dream equestrian vacation?
Spending the winters somewhere warm with my whole herd.
* What kind of horse activities were you doing 10 years ago?
I was living in Ireland 10 years ago so I was working as the Assistant Yard Manager and teaching almost all of the lessons. I was riding on the beach at least once a week but wasn't doing any competing.
* What kind of horse activities do you think you'll be doing 10 years from now?
I will very likely still be eventing. And hopefully I will have finally figured out how to get myself a driving pony to do combined trails with!
* What is the quirk about your horse that you like most?
I love that Dee loves to jump. She's just as happy with a cross rail as she is with Training/Prelim jumps.
|This is her expression, no matter the fence height|