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

Friday, June 14, 2013

Liebster Blog!

I'm very happy to be the recipient of the Liebster Blog award from Briana over at Equestrian Diaries. I'm pretty excited - this is our very first award! Thank you Briana!

How to Accept the Award
The Liebster Blog Award is a way to recognize blogs that have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a word in German that means beloved and valued. Here are the rules for accepting the award:

  1. Thank the person that nominated you and include a link back to their blog.
  2. List 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  4. Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
  5. Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or fewer followers to nominate and include links back to their blogs.
  6. Go to each blogger's page and let them know you have nominated them.
11 Random Facts About Me
  1. I love cats almost as much as I love horses. I'd probably be a crazy cat lady if given half a chance, but it would be from rescuing all the cats that come through ER whose owners can't afford treatment. :/ I got my first horse when I was 13; I didn't get my first cat until I was 20 (our dogs up until then had had big prey drives.) 
    Yeah, not quite like that, though...
  2. My favorite dog breed is the pitbull. I have owned (and have been owned) by dogs since I was born. My parents had a female Dobie (Gretel) and a Keeshond (Princesa) who used to argue over which one of them would get to guard my crib at night; the first animal I rode was my dad's male Dobie, Hans, when I was 2 years old. There are photos of that somewhere. I haven't owned dogs at home since moving in with Charles 8 years ago due to the limited space in rental apartments, and also because cats are just so much easier when both of us have crazy schedules involving 12 hour shifts. One of my dogs is still back in Puerto Rico living happily with my mom. She is a whippet mix named Ninuk. (Okay, so that was like 20 facts right there...) 
    Another "fierce" pitbull: Amaretto, one of our family dogs.
    Everyone that meets him falls in love with him.
  3. My family is well-known in Puerto Rico's art community.
  4. I'm shy and awkward until I get to know you. You'll know I feel comfortable with you when I start cursing in front of you. :)
  5. I have somewhat of a social phobia. It has gotten better with age, but I will avoid crowds if given a choice. If I'm going to a party, I like to get there early. I hate that moment when you walk into a big gathering of people and everyone turns to look at you. The only way for me to not feel "on the spot" at that instance is if I already know everyone there, or if it's such a large crowd that no one notices when I walk in the door. 
  6. I was stranded on a deserted island for 4 days. See the page Charles and Me for more details. It's my fave crazy anecdote. 
  7. Give me crazy horses, aggressive dogs, fractious cats: I can handle them. Show me a cockroach: watch me run for my life.
  8. My first language is Spanish, and English is a close second. I have an accent but people often can't place it. I think in English on a regular basis, but when I'm tired my mind switches to Spanish and I stutter. Ah, the joys of being bilingual...
    It would be easy if I could just talk like this all the time...
  9. I hate leaving voicemails and sound like an idiot when I do (or at least, I think I sound like an idiot...) I'd rather text you.
  10. I went to regular school until my junior year in high school, then chose to do my senior year in homeschooling, just to have the experience. This allowed me to ride 5 days a week, compete every other weekend, and participate in the Sea Scouts.
  11. I have a hard time being around small children. Why? Because adults treat them the way I treat my (canine & feline) patients. I feel really weird treating little kids like dogs. 
    Pernil is Puertorrican-style roast pork. This doesn't have anything to do with anything, but it's too funny not to share. :)

11 Questions From Equestrian Diaries
  1. When and why did you start riding? At age 10. I had always loved animals and one day my mom and I were at the pharmacy checking out their books (yes, really random) when I found Bonnie Bryant's Saddle Club book #2, Horse Shy. I had not read #1; this was my first time seeing this series. My mom bought me the book, and I started reading in the car on the way home. That booked changed my life. By the time I was done with it, I was begging for riding lessons.
  2. Have you ever taken any time away from riding? Why? I took 4 years off, from the time I was 19 until 23. I had become SEVERELY allergic to horses. My throat would close up around them - it was true anaphylaxis. I couldn't touch them or even clean a stall without feeling like I was going to die. And then I saw an ad for Flonase. I went to my doctor and requested it. He gave me Flonase and Zyrtec. 3 days after starting the meds, I was able to touch my Paso again. Within 6 months I had weaned myself off of the meds; I currently don't have to take anything to be able to be around horses. If you want something enough, you will get it!
  3. If you couldn't ride, what would you do with your horse/with horses? Retire her out to pasture and just let her be a horse.
  4. Where have you lived during your life? Oklahoma (born there; don't remember anything because we moved when I was 3 months old), Louisiana, Texas (San Antonio), Puerto Rico, Florida (Tampa and Fort Lauderdale), Virginia (only for 3 months), and Maryland.
  5. If you could travel to any place in the universe, where would you go?  Ireland. I've always wanted to go to Ireland and gallop on the beach there. 
    Like that. Yes.
    Inch Beach in Ireland.
  6. What horse (real or fictitious) has had a big influence on your horsey career? Believe it or not, Satan, the son of the Black Stallion. When Lucero, my Paso Fino, was growing up, he was a handful. He came to me completely and 100% untrained, just a weanling that had been out in a field with his dam. He'd never even had a halter on. I was just a kid-13 when he was given to me. Of course I was afraid of him. Our school library had Walter Farley's whole Black Stallion books series, and around that time I started reading them. Satan, the Black's son, was such a nightmare of a horse that he made Lucero appear a saint. (All he was doing was typical baby horse stuff, being testy and challenging authority. It sometimes involved kicking and rearing, but he just needed boundaries.) Satan made me brave in real life, brave enough to be able to train my own horse by myself. I started reading books on training horses and watching videos. By the time it was time to ride Lucero 3 years later, I could have sat under his belly without a problem. Oh yeah-and he remained a stallion until much, much later!
  7. What is one big thing on your "bucket list"? Ride on the beach at something faster than a walk! My bucket list is huge, but this is one that I'm hoping to get done sometime in the near future...
  8. What are two goals you would like to achieve with your horse? Get her sound again, get her going solo on the trails. I'd love to give competitive trail riding a whirl. (My goals with her are constantly changing and evolving...of course we haven't given up on dressage.)
  9. If you have a horse, what is his/her favorite thing to do with you? (If not, pick a lesson horse or a horse you used to have). Rubbing her forehead, just beneath her forelock. This will make her fall asleep. Hand grazing. Carrot stretches. I hope one day I can add "Going on trails" to this list...lol
  10. Do you play a musical instrument? If not, what is one you'd like to play? I used to play electric guitar. I owned a Gibson SG Gothic. I saved up all of my money working one summer so I could buy it. It had my symbol: the moon and the star on the fretboard. And man, what a sound. And it was so smooth to play! ADORED that thing. I was decent: I could play the guitar solo from Metallica's Nothing Else Matters and a bunch of other songs. Myself, my brother and my best friend's bf had a band together, playing our own music, not covers, but we never got to play live. And then I dated a bass player from an up-and-coming ska band in PR, and after we broke up, I made sure I forgot how to play all instruments. :( I should have stuck with it. 
    Yes, it was one of these. Soooo smooth to play!
  11. What is the most spur-of-the-moment thing you've ever done? Moved from PR to Tampa, FL to live with Charles. It felt like jumping off a cliff, hoping to somehow be able to fly. I flew. 

11 questions I made up for you:
1. Who is your favorite horse? (Either real or fictional) Why?
2. What is the most exotic/unusual pet you've ever owned?
3. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
4. If you ended up being something else, what made you change your mind?
5. What are your long-term riding career goals?
6. What is your greatest riding achievement?
7. What is your greatest regret?
8. What is your favorite movie? Why?
9. Have you ever read a book that moved you so much that it changed your life? Which book?
10. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? What would your house be like?
11. If you could have any saddle, which one would it be?

My 11 Blogs (in no particular order):
  1. Liz at In Omnia Paratus
  2. Mare at Simply Horse Crazy
  3. Beka at The Owls Approve
  4. Kate at Party Down
  5. L. Williams at Viva Carlos
  6. Lauren at She Moved to Texas (Lauren, I have no idea how many followers you have, but you have 104 Likes on FB, so I'm using that number for this award. :) )
  7. Kat at The Sixth Stride
  8. Lola at My Ex Racer
  9. Onthebit at A Horse and A Half
  10. Emmy at My Life On Horses
  11. Shannon at A Work In Progress


  1. Haha that's why I'm going to be a teacher--I find I can handle kids with no problem if I treat them like my dogs or horses. Sounds a bit weird but it works...I just don't tell parents/kids/professors that's what I do! :P

    1. Lol! That's what Charles is always telling me. He's a pediatric RN, and he's always saying that when in doubt, he just treats the kids like he would our cats...haha...


    1. I know, right? I always manage to stutter and stumble and leave some awkward pause somewhere in the message. Ugh!

  3. Thanks for the recommendation! I used to love ska music and am sort of surprised that other people acknowledge the genre. (Though, I was religious at the time, so all the ska bands that I knew were Christian.)

    1. You're welcome! :) Ska was a HUGE thing in Puerto Rico in the early 2000's. Charles was totally into the genre; he nailed the whole beret and button-down shirt & baggy pants look. I got into it when I met that bass player at the music store where I bought my guitar strings. That guy was AMAZING with the bass, and his band was very good. My fave ska bands during that time were Reel Big Fish and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

  4. Thanks for the shout-out! I'm glad you decided to de-lurk, I'm really enjoying reading your blog!

    1. You're welcome! :) I'm glad you're enjoying my blog; thank you for coming over to check it out. I've always found yours inspiring, especially given your back issues and how far you've gotten training Spider on your own. Love that he's a TB cross too!