What do you consider “jumping high” for yourself?
Since I don’t really jump anymore, even baby crossrails seem high to me now! Back when I was jumping, I did take Jack over a few 3' jumps that terrified me, but we got over them.
What are your short term goals for riding? Do you think you’ll reach them?
Turn Cinna into an adequate W/T/C solid citizen and get her out to a few shows. I think that’s a very attainable goal that I should be able to manage in the next year or so.
|She's coming along....|
Long term goals for riding? Do you think you’ll reach them?
Honestly my long term goals are kind of fuzzy at the moment. I’d like to find a trainer and get into a regular lesson program, and start showing recognized shows. I’d love to have both girls going really solidly so they could compete in some breed shows (Regionals, Nationals, and even maybe the Andalusian World Cup!). Mostly I just want to keep enjoying my horses. I had just as much fun on a 2.5 hour trail ride last weekend as I did at any horse show I’ve ever been to. So while my goals might change over time, I just want to keep doing what I love. I think continuing to enjoy whatever I’m doing with my horses long-term is very attainable – the rest, who knows. Currently I’m limited by finances more than anything else, and I'm not sure that will change in the foreseeable future.
How many barns have you been at in your riding career?
In terms of boarding barns, three. I’ve kept horses with a few private farms (where I was the only boarder) and at my own place. In terms of riding with a trainer at a barn, never.
|Panda is king of the rock mountain.|
How many different trainers have you been with in your riding career?
While I’ve had infrequent lessons over the years, I’ve only had two trainers that I rode with more than three or four times.
Ever worked at a barn? What did you do?
I’ve worked off part of my board at two of the three barns I boarded at. The first barn was just stalls. Now I do stalls, feeding, scrubbing buckets, basically whatever needs to be done.
|#sweaterweather is upon us.|
Scariest thing that has happened at your barn?
Nothing is really coming to mind honestly. Once at the previous barn I boarded at, one night while a group lesson was being conducted in the arena, the owner of the facility (who lived in an apartment in the barn) attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head. I wasn't there at the time, but obviously it was terrifying for the lesson kids. They had to LifeFlight him out so I'm sure having a helicopter land in the field adjacent to the barn was also scary for the horses.
Have you ever given a lesson? What level was the rider?
I’m barely qualified to ride myself most days, so I’ve never given anyone else lessons. Unless you count occasionally yelling at DH. But I’m not getting paid for that, sooooooo.
|He doesn't listen well anyway.|
What is your opinion on the accuracy of critiquing riders online?
I think it’s very easy for photos to be deceptive, and I find that frequently people who are very vocally hypercritical of others typically have minimal skills themselves. There’s a FB group I’m a member of that has several particularly hateful people who have a vendetta against UL dressage riders like Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester. These people can’t ride their way out of a paper bag, but they sit around tearing down the riding of Olympians. I’m certainly not saying that being an Olympian should exempt you from criticism, but sometimes the loudest voices have the least useful things to say. That being said, I would put myself in the category of those who can’t ride their way out of a paper bag, so I try to refrain from criticizing the riding of others and focus on myself :)
*Edited to add* I mean just normal critiques of photos, not something obviously off like the situation with ML where she is jumping around with blood streaming from her horses mouth :(
What is the ideal height of a horse for you?
About 16 hands with some body to them – Tres was a smidge too short, Topaz was the perfect height but a little too wide, Ruby is about perfect (although I know she’s taller than 16 hands), and Cinna should be pretty well perfect as well when she finishes growing.