"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

35 Asks

Stole this one from L. Williams again. :)

1. A time you've been scared for your life on horseback.
I was riding Rhythm at Wolf Lake in Davie, FL. It was our first time there, and Mr. Spookiest Horse I Have Ever Ridden was behaving beautifully! He was in the water up to his belly, and I was on him bareback. No helmet, of course. And no shoes nor shirt-I was in shorts and a bikini top! The bait fish in the water started nibbling at the hair on his legs and belly, and he gave 2 giant bucks, trying to get out of the lake. I lost my balance and I thought, "Oh, I'm just gonna fall in the water. No biggie!" But I stayed on. He galloped out of the lake, leaping up and down with each stride like a freaking dolphin. I was hanging sideways off of him as he made it onto the very rocky bank, running full-tilt, and I thought, "I'm going to fall head-first onto the rocks and smash my skull open because I was stupid and didn't wear a helmet..." In the time it took me to think that, I managed to somehow right myself on Rhythm's back. Bareback. Not only did I stay on, I brought him to a halt 2 strides before he crashed head-on into the party of the South Florida Trail Rider's Association.
I got a standing ovation from the trail riders (about 20 of them!), which was pretty funny. But I was shaking-I really thought I was a goner. I immediately put my helmet on, and didn't remove it for the rest of the day. I've had many scares, but this was one of the few where I actually had time to think I was going to die while it was happening!

I normally always wear a helmet if I'm on a horse.
On that day I decided  that even aquatic horseback activities require helmets...

2. There's a huge party at your friends' house or you could have a lesson that night. Which one do you go to?
The lesson.

3. Favorite markings a horse can have?
A thin stripe from forehead to just above the nostrils.

4. Would you rather deal with bolting, rearing or bucking?
Have dealt with all of them, alone and in combination. Prefer to deal with NONE, thank you.

5. Agree or disagree: to have good eq means to be a good rider?
L. Williams said it perfectly: having good eq doesn't necessarily mean you are an effective rider or that you can sit out anything the horse decides to do, whereas being an effective rider doesn't necessarily mean you have good eq.

6. If you could try any discipline on any horse for one day, what discipline and what horse?

But I'd like to do it on this horse:

This is Merlin, an amazing bullfighting Lusitano, ridden by Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza.

I've always wanted to try out endurance, too!

7. 3 horses you'd want to ride/meet the most?
Klein mare - LOVE that mare. She is a full-blooded Percheron that events! Check out Stacey's blog  (click on the link) if you've never heard of them before. I'm sad that she's been posting less and less.
Paragon -Heather Blitz's dressage horse. I've posted pics and videos of him here before.
AA Omner - still considered one of the greatest endurance horses of all time. My introduction to the sport of endurance was through a photo of him:
AA Omner and Beverly Gray. That horse was hard core!! 
8. On a scale of 1-10, how good would you say your seat is?
For dressage? A 4. For jumping? I used to be a 7. Not anymore.

9. One of your goals for the next year, horse-wise?
Get Lily sound and rideable again.

10. Would you rather teach lessons or train horses?
Train horses.

11. Have you ever given a lesson for money?

12. If you were a trainer, would you prefer to train little kids, pre-teens, teenagers, or adults?

13. Have you ever ridden someone's horse for money?
Yes. As exercise rider and as trainer.

14. If given the opportunity, would you exercise track horses?
No. It was something I would have loved to do when I was younger, and at one point I did look up jobs as an exercise track rider, but I have outgrown that phase.

15.On a scale of 1-10, what is your confidence like in the saddle?
It is usually between 9-10.

16. 3 things you need to work on, riding-wise?
Sit up straight, heels down with the longer dressage stirrups, keep a steady contact.

17. 3 things your horse needs to work on?
Healing, healing, healing. Once healed: symmetry from left to right, correct bend, and true collection.

18. Top 3 favorite riders?
Nuno Oliveira
Jean Claude Racinet
Philippe Karl

19. Is there anyone you'd say is a bad rider? (Don't give names!)
Hell yeah. The guy riding Totillas nowadays. Can't stand watching him ride. Someone needs to rolkur his ass.

20. Are you better on the flat or over fences?
I used to be better over fences. I need more work on the dressagey flatwork.

21. How high do you think you've jumped?
I don't understand this question-I think most of us that have taken lessons and competed in jumping know how high they've jumped. My highest was a course at 5', one time. Consistently? Between 2'8"-3'.

22. How high do you think your horse would be capable of jumping?
Lily has jumped up to 3', on the lunge. She hates jumping as a general rule, though, and with her tiny pony hooves and toothpick legs, we just stay away from it altogether.

23. Opinion on tackless riding?
Very cool.

24. Have you ever lied or over-dramatized anything about your riding?
I wouldn't call it either. With the dressage stuff, Lily and I often do stuff that feels amazing (since I haven't done it before), and then when I see it on video, I realize I suck! My mare has talent, but I need work so I can get her going correctly for real. We were about to start lessons when she got injured. :(

25. Do you think you're a good rider?
I think I'm a decent rider, but there is room for improvement. There always is, no matter how good a rider is.

26. Ever had barn drama?
OMG, too much of it. Hate barn drama.

27. Favorite things about the barn you're at?
Close to home, trail access, indoor arena, knowledgeable barn manager and stable hands.

28. Will you show next year? If so, in what?
I don't make show plans until we're making progress in lessons. It's going to be awhile before we can even think about lessons again, let alone showing.

29. Plans for your horse over the next year?
See question #9.

30. Would you share your tack with people?
I'll share tack if someone absolutely needs it, and if I don't need it first. But I will not share my tack on a consistent basis. I'm not big on sharing things that are valuable to me.

31. Has a horse ever shattered your confidence?
The horse that flipped over on me back in 2005 made me deathly afraid of rearers. And Rhythm truly shattered my confidence with all of his issues that turned out to be neurological.

32. Ever been scared to get on a horse?
Yes. Rhythm. I rode him 5 days a week because it was suicidal to give him time off, but I had to pep talk myself into doing it each and every single time.

33. Do you get nervous before shows?

34. Hunters or Jumpers?

35. Last time you fell off? What happened? Were you hurt?
Last month. Lily bucked me off when I tried to hop on bareback. I had a big scrape on one elbow.

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