I answered these questions as posted by L. Williams over at Viva Carlos, and took the time to illustrate them to keep myself from chewing my nails off while waiting for the vet to come for round 2 this morning:
I'm weird: I have a soft spot for Roman noses after Tamarindo. I do tend to like horses with dished faces because they look more refined than horses with straight noses, but I find Roman noses adorable. In my book, the Roman nose will win over the dished face every time.
2. Mares or geldings? Why?
I used to love geldings. I prefer a well-trained (and unbred! They have a tendency to change after being bred!) stallion above all else, but good luck finding a place to board him at! There is just a certain spice that disappears when you remove the hormones. I currently own a mare, and work with a friend's mare as well, and in all honestly, some of the best sport horses I've ridden were mares. If I were to look for another horse, I would probably start the search with geldings, but wouldn't be against owning another mare. If I had my own barn, I would own a stallion. Not for breeding, but just because I like their personalities so much.
|Ahhh yes. Lusitano, stallion, buckskin, and a Roman nose.|
Veneno Imperial, from the Veiga lines and imported from Brasil, standing at stud at Shangrila Farms.
Yes. I still prefer an honest TB over a fancy WB any day.
|Can you say "athlete"? DAAAMN!|
Cobby build (thick legs, big feet, short strong back, naturally correctly curved neck), nice mover, incredibly athletic, sensitive, brave, independent, great work ethic, people-oriented. This is what I would look for, and in this country, it would probably end up being a Mustang.
In Fantasyland, my dream horse is a well-bred Lusitano or Andalusian. Emphasis on well-bred, which means, since we're in Fantasyland, I'd probably be importing it from Spain (if Andalusian) or Brasil (if Lusitano.) You can get some of these horses here at reasonable prices, but a closer look will often reveal an animal built by a committee.
|This Andalusian 5 yo stallion is actually for sale in my area on HorseClicks for $2,000. Advertised as a general all-arounder, and also as "a great colt that can breed color into your stock." *shudder*|
This Andalusian 8 yo stallion is for sale in Spain, available to be imported through Andalusians de Mythos.
Advertised as a dressage prospect, already at 2nd level, with doma vaquera training under his belt, and a quiet temperament. I have no idea what his price is, but I can tell you this is not a $2,000 Andalusian by any stretch of the imagination.
5. What kind of bits do you use and why?
I used to be a snaffle person. Specifically a double-jointed snaffle person. I have a bucket full of every double-jointed snaffle under the sun. Lily HATES them! For dressagey work, we have been going with a mullen mouth eggbutt snaffle, but she really works best in leverage bits, like our low port pelham and medium low port Weymouth. I am mainly using these for trail riding at the moment, as we have a lot more brakes with this kind of bit.
6. Stock horses or sport horses?
I do like stock horses, as long as their feet are proportional to their bodies! Hate the halter horse look!
|A proportional, foundation-type Quarter Horse.|
I am not partial to grulla-colored horses simply because quality tends to be lost over color 90% of the time in these individuals, but this man, Clayton's Romeo Drift from Spade Ranch, is one fine specimen.
Dappled gray. Anything dappled, actually. Dun/buckskin is second. And following that, anything different and "colorful", like LW said. :)
8. Least favorite horse color?
White and black, simply because they are cliche colors.
9. Dressage or jumping?
|This gorgeous beast is Fuego XII, an Andalusian stallion who became 'King of Hearts' at the 2010 WEG in KY.|
Mustang! Apparently they are classified as a stock horse breed. :)
|This is Padre, a pretty famous BLM mustang. Read his story here. He was the first wild horse to compete at Dressage at Devon, and there is a Breyer horse made in his honor.|
11. Favorite hot-blooded breed?
12. Favorite cold-blooded breed?
Friesian. I like the feathered guys in general. Shires and Gypsy Vanners are on my list, too.
13. Dapple grey or fleabitten grey?
14. Most expensive piece of tack you own?
My Ludomar Alta Escuela saddle.
15. When did you start riding?
10 years old, on Paso Finos.
16. Leather or nylon halters?
I like the leather ones, and currently own one, but it NEVER gets used for turnout! Only for special occasions. So though I prefer leather halters, I use nylon with a breakaway leather crown because it's so much cheaper to replace!
17. Apples or carrots?
Lily likes both, but prefers apples. Though when I buy them, I do choose carrots first, precisely for the stretching factor, like LW said. :)
18. Chestnut or bay?
Bay. Especially dark bay.
|And if said dark bay has dapples, even better!|
20. Lazy horse or hot horse?
Have to agree with LW on this one too: prefer a hot horse. Pull rides are better than push rides fo sho.
21. Have you ever been trail riding?
Yes! Any horse of mine has to be able to go out on the trail! I get very bored with arena work after a while.
|On Lily, riding through one of the park trails in South FL|
23. How many saddle pads do you have?
6. I'd have more if I weren't hyper aware that I'm a saddle pad hoarder...
24. How many bridles do you have?
Ummm...5? I had not counted them until now. I have one brown H/J one that is used mainly for lunging, one Smith Worthington dressage bridle with a crank noseband and gray trim which now holds Lily's snaffle, one black Plymouth dressage bridle with the noseband removed for everyday riding, one black and light blue biothane halter-bridle for the trail or situations where we may get wet, and another brown and black biothane halter-bridle from a different company that used to belong to my Paso. I've kept that last one as a reminder more than anything. His Colombian Paso bit is still attached to it.
Who the hell has FIVE bridles? Apparently I do...
25. Favorite saddle brand?
26. Beige or white breeches?
|Beige is so much less revealing than white...|
Saddleseat. It's the discipline in which Tennessee Walking Horses are competed.
28. Do you own a horse?
29. Do you collect Breyer horses?
I used to as a kid; I have several but they are back in PR. I started a Cheval Pony collection when I worked at the tack shop. We used to sell them, and I had first dibs when shipments arrived. I still have my little herd; they were one of the select few things that came with us in the car during the long drive from FL to VA. I think they are adorable!! They are hand-made in South Africa, and each one is completely unique.
|Joyful Jake is my FAVE!!! I own him in a buckskin.|
Blue, black or gray.
31. Private barn or boarding stable?
I boarded at what could be considered a private barn in S. FL. It was nice; I liked our co-op environment and being able to do everything myself. Currently board at a boarding facility. It's odd-up here in MD almost no one does partial or self care board.
32. Opinion on spoiled riders?
They are spoiled, often don't appreciate what they have, and have a tendency to treat horses like disposable items. I rode with many of them when I was on my barn's jumper team in PR.
33. Have you ever ridden tackless?
I've ridden bareback with a halter, but never completely tackless.
34. Have you ever stood up on a horse?
No. Not quite brave enough for that.
|Yeah, waaaay too many things can go wrong in this picture...|
36. Favorite face markings?
37. Why you started riding?
I was obsessed with horses.
38. Does anyone in your family ride?
Not currently. My mother and my grandfather on my mother's side used to ride. My grandfather bred Paso Finos when my mom and her siblings were young, and it was a rite of passage to give the children a horse as they got older. My mom was the only one that stuck with it, but after the death of her heart horse, she never owned horses again. I taught my cousins to ride, but they lost interest.
39. Have you ever owned a horse?
Currently own one. Have owned 4 in my life.
40. Something you want to improve on?
I'd like to actually look and perform like a dressage rider some day.
|Yes, like this.|
I still tilt forward in the saddle, especially at the canter.
|What I still look like at the trot...|
Overall hypersensitivity to the point where it is sometimes near impossible to keep her straight!
43. How high have you jumped?
44. Have you ever had dressage lessons?
Yes, for about a year while living in S. FL.
45. What really makes your horse spook?
Being in heat. Everything makes her spook when she's in heat. Ugh.
46. Trail riding or arena work?
Personally? Trail riding, but w/t/c on the trail, not just plodding along at a walk. With Lily? It depends on her mental state at the time...
47. Indoor or outdoor arena?
Depends on the weather. If the weather is good, I will always choose the outdoor.
48. Colorful or plain saddle pads?
I like unique saddle pads. My fave of the ones I own is my Ambleside pad.
49. Do you like horses with blue eyes?
50. Have you ever gotten into a fight with your trainer?
Yes, though it was more of a silent battle kind of thing. She is my ex-trainer now.
51. Light bay or dark bay horses?
52. What is your equestrian dream?
Olympics, though I've pretty much given up on that one in this lifetime. Maybe in my next life I'll be born a trust fund child so I don't have to work, yet can have a string of uber-talented horses and oodles of money to spend on alllll of those shows you have to do well at first before you can even hope to qualify for the Olympics... ;)
53. Long mane or pulled mane?
I love long manes, but only if the horse has a thick, gorgeous mane. Horses with thin scraggly manes look better pulled. My fave are long forelocks, regardless of mane length.
54. Opinion on fake tails?
I don't care one way or another. If I had a horse with a thin tail and was competing in the hunters, I'd definitely be using a fake tail.
55. Least favorite thing about your barn?
Our main trainer who hogs the arena despite the fact that it's not supposed to be a lesson barn... And the tractor, while useful and a time & back saver for the stable hands (I would totally want a tractor if I were a stable hand), can be a little annoying when you're trying to do anything with your horse in a barn aisle anytime before 1:00 pm.
56. Favorite thing about your barn?
My horse is there. There is an indoor arena connected to the barn, so you can always ride. Direct access to some really awesome trails. A knowledgeable barn manager.
58. Have you ever ridden a stallion?
Yes, many. Tamarindo was a stallion. Lucero was a stallion until fairly late in life. I had him gelded when I moved him from our home to a boarding facility and he started going cuckoo about being close to mares. Most of the Paso Finos and Trote-Galope horses I've ridden have been stallions.
|A friend's pinto Paso Fino stallion that I was allowed to ride on the beach in Arroyo, PR|
I like unusual, meaningful names.
60. If you could ride any horse in the world, which one would it be? Why?
Totilas. I would love to ride Totilas!
|Totilas and Edward Gal|
Paragon and Heather Blitz at the World Dressage Masters last year in Wellington.