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

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

20 Questions

Because it's raining and cold outside...cold enough to make it miserable to even try riding in the rain, but not cold enough to turn the rain to snow (BOOOOO! Think mid-30's) I'm doing this questionnaire that has been making the rounds lately.

1. What's your horse's name and how did they come by it?
Lily came with the name Lely. She responded to it, but I hated it. Lely is some golf resort in Naples, FL. Ummm, no.
When Charles and I were younger, we were in a group of Sea Scouts together. Him and I were the eldest of the group (25 teenagers, most of them boys) and we quickly became the ring leaders. I love the Peter Pan story, and I used to think of Charles was Peter Pan (the boy who never grew up) and I was Wendy, and the rest of the Sea Scouts were the Lost Boys. (We had some AWESOME adventures in that group, including getting stranded on a deserted island! True story. You can read about it in the tab "Charles and Me.")
Anyway, Lily's name. Her full name is Tiger Lily, in part after the brave Native American girl in the Peter Pan story, and also after the tiger lily flower. I had had a really bad run with horses when Lily came into my life. Lilies in general symbolize the return of happiness. I made Lily her nickname (instead of Tiger) in the hopes that she would live up to that name. :) And since it sounds similar to Lely, she's always responded to it. Win!

Tiger lilies are ORANGE!!!
With black spots.

My Lily makes that same face, too.

2. What are your favorite breeches?
My absolute favorites are Irideon, specifically the Cadence breeches, but their tights are awesome for riding on uber-hot summer days. Follow ups are Kerrits and Equine Couture breeches, both brands of which I have several pairs. Ironically, I prefer to ride in jeans whenever I can.

3. Tall boots or paddock boots and half chaps?
Paddock boots and half chaps, hands down. I did the tall boot thing. I've honestly never understood why anyone should have to use footwear that requires months of sheer torture to break in just so you look pretty and proper in the show ring. Tall boots do look pretty, and at one point I did have a pair of semi-customs made of French leather that went on like butter from day one, but give me paddock boots and half chaps any day.

4. What brand of tall boots do you have (if you wear them)? If you had an unlimited budget, what would you get?
I don't remember what brand my semi-customs were. That was a bazillion years ago when I was doing the jumper circuit in Puerto Rico. I also owned a pair of Ariat field boots (who knows what model; it was before they had zippers. That's how long ago) and a pair of Treadstone field boots.
If I had an unlimited budget for tall boots, I would get THESE: Cordoba Andalusian Riding Boot, in black. They would look so sexy to ride in the Alta Escuela with...

Some day I will have $300 just lying around and I will buy these.
Maybe in 17 years when the student loans are paid off...
And since the budget is unlimited, I would also get these, because my feet get freaking cold in the winter no matter what wool socks and liners and boot combinations I do: Mountain Horse Rimfrost Rider Boots.

5. Favorite helmet?
I love the Tipperary Sportage. I love the way they're made, love the vents, love the low cut to the back of the helmet. They just don't fit the shape of my head right. I have one, but if I wear if for more than an hour, it gives me a horrible migraine. I tried sizing up, but it just falls off my head. I currently have an older model IRH ATH that was supposed to be my show helmet but it is so comfortable that I just wear it all the time. Plus it keeps my head warm this time of year thanks to smaller vents.
Next time I'm at Dover, I should probably try on the Tipperary T2 and see if the fit is different. I wouldn't be surprised if it fit. Because it's more expensive, of course it's going to fit!
I've heard great things about the Ovation Protege, and it's a more reasonable price. I'll be checking that one out next. I just hate that it's a dial fit (I have weird equipment preferences thanks to having worked at a tack shop...)

6. Shows or no shows?
I wanted to show my own horse sooooo badly. And then I showed Lily once and kind of got it out of my system. I really wanted to try Working Equitation, and that's still in there as a goal for some day, but for now, I really want to give limited distance endurance (LDs) a whirl. :) I like showing off my horse's abilities, whatever they might be, and training towards a goal.

7. Jumping or flat?
Did the jumping. Love the intricacies of flatwork when it involves dressage.

8. Hunters, jumpers, cross country, derbys?
What if someone rides Western? What if you don't jump? These choices are very limited.
I'd say endurance. Working Equitation. If it has to be one of those four, then jumpers. I could never do cross country but I love watching it.

9. What other disciplines have you ridden?
Paso Finos. I learned to ride on Paso Finos and the first horse I broke to ride was a Paso Fino. I also competed in Equitation Over Fences and Jumpers, and am currently enjoying dressage and trail riding.

10. Dressed to the nines or whatever you can find when riding?
Inbetween. I prefer to not look like a bum at the barn or on my horse, but I have no problem with showing up in bootcut jeans, a well-fitted shirt, and hiking boots to ride in. It doesn't have to be breeches, boots and a polo. The jeans I wear for riding are good brands - I find that Guess and Lucky Brand boot cuts make awesome, durable jeans that can be very appropriate for riding (snug in the calf and knee, so they don't ride up). All of my name-brand riding jeans are scored on eBay for no more than $30, though. eBay rocks. :)

11. Where do you shop the most for you? For your horse?
For me: eBay and REI. For Lily: Smartpak, El Sueno Espanol, and The Distance Depot.

12. When was the last time you rode and what did you do?
Last Friday. Went on a 9 mile, 3 hour ride to Redneck Park with Kathy and Queenie.

13. What tack do you use/ride in every day?
My Ludomar Alta Escuela saddle with the sheepskin cover, a cotton quilt saddle pad, a Smart Quick Headstall in Dayglo Blue biothane and matching reins, with a homemade rope halter under the bridle.

14. What are your horse's colors?
Neon blue, navy blue, orange, black and white.

15. How often do you clean your tack?
The saddle gets cleaned about once a month. It is suede and nubuck under the sheepskin, so there's only so much you can do to clean that kind of leather. I have a spray cleaner for suede with a brush that I use for the top of the saddle. The smooth leather under the panels and flaps gets cleaned with Effax Leather Combi and conditioned with Leather CPR.

16. What kind of bit do you use?
We've finally settled on a low port kimberwick. I kept trying to go back to snaffles based on principle. "A well trained horse should be able to go in a snaffle." Lily just doesn't like them. She likes curved mouthpieces and has been much happier in the kimberwick than in the shank bits we had been playing with.

17. Mares or geldings?
I like geldings, but I also like my mare.

18. What is something you want to improve on in your riding?
My own fitness. I am incapable of going outside to run when it's this cold. I don't have the clothes yet for it, and we just have too many other things that we need to get at the moment. We need to join a gym.

19. Favorite horse-themed quote?
"Wait for the jump."

20. What was your most recent equestrian purchase?
Smartpak supplements.


  1. I, too, fell in love with the Tippery Sportage. It didn't fit and the woman at Dover said that if it is tight at the sides (where it was tight on me) I would end up with a headache. I guess they are designed for round heads and mine is oval. Or maybe it's the other way around.

    I ended up with an Ovation Extreme. It fit very well, seems to have enough vents to be comfortable, is slightly adjustable (so I can wear a fleece liner under it) and looks sooo much more sexy than my white toilet bowl.

    1. Good to know about the Ovation Extreme! Another for the list. :)

  2. Also, I love the new background pic you are using. You and Lily look awesome in your blog photo.

    1. Thank you! :) The background pic was a gorgeous sunset at the current barn.

  3. I've been wanting a new helmet.....was thinking of a Tipperary for myself - but my head is also oval....perhaps a no go for me as well.
    That's interesting about the bits. My horse also prefers a straight mouthpiece over a snaffle. We use a small mylar curb as our bit of choice for trails. If we are just fooling around at home (especially in the cold months), we go for a Nurtural bitless bridle. Grif actually does better in the bitless than a snaffle (although he goes best in the Mylar).

    1. I had looked at the Myler curbs and ported bits and had them on my Watch List on eBay for awhile. I happened to have the kimberwick already and just tried her in it one day, and she was so happy in it that I've just kept it. I love Myler bits. The one snaffle that she more or less tolerated was one of their Comfort Snaffle loose rings.
      You can always try the Tipperary on at a store and see how it fits. They come with different types of padding that you can use to help adjust the fit, but even with that it still didn't work for me.

  4. Do working equitation! I bet she'd be so good at it :)

    1. It was our original goal for training. :) I agree - I've always thought she'd be good at it!

  5. Love reading these things about other riders :)