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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

October's 10 Questions

So I wrote this in October and published it in November from the Blogger phone app, but it was showing up on my blog chronological date thingy as if it had been published in October. Though after editing it on the computer to add more photos, it is showing up in November. Whatever: 10 October Questions answered in October and published in November, regardless. :) Thank you L. Williams for these!

1. How many pairs of breeches/jods do you own? 12. But there's only 4 that I really use a lot: my two pairs of Kerrits, my Irideon Issentials and my Cadences. Oh and my winter breeches: one pair of Kerrits, one pair of Irideons, and one pair of Tuffriders. So 7 that I really wear.

2. How many horses have you ridden?
A shit ton. I'm going to count the ones that I actually worked, as in not just sitting on for a pony ride and that I rode more than once. :)

At the Paso barn where I took my first lessons:
- Guarani - old chestnut Paso mare who was an absolute saint.
- Delilah - younger sorrel mare that was feistier. Think Gracie.


First summer riding camp at a jumper barn. All OTTBs from Puerto Rican racetracks, hence some of the names:
- Asisi - asshole horse whose bucks I could NOT ride out!
- La Sebastiana - older gray mare on whom I Iearned to post.
- El Si de Quique - beautiful chestnut gelding on whom I cantered for the first time...first time I came off at the canter too. 
- Mr. No Name - such a sweet black gelding. He had the smoothest TB trot I've ever ridden. We'd meet again at a different barn and I'd have the opportunity of getting my confidence over fences back thanks to him.
- El Bebe - huge blood bay with a stripe. Another cutie that I loved. He was the youngest school horse at 3 years of age. Yes he was fresh off the track. Yes they put beginners on him. Yes that's how we do things in PR...It's kind of a wonder that I ever stuck with the sport...


At Debbie's barn, where I learned to ride anything and everything:
- Gypsy - first mare with whom I had a relationship, and the first horse I showed. Chestnut OTTB. Loved her.
- Taxi - first horse I successfully cantered on. Big sooty palomino QH mare.
- Crazy - yes he was crazy, but only on the ground. They wouldn't let us kids tack him up because he both aggressively kicked and would bite. He had been severely abused prior. He was a lot of fun to ride.
- Sunshine - huge lanky chestnut OTTB on whom I tackled my first 3'+ jumps.


During my lessons with Ron
- Cookies & Cream - cute large paint pony. Decent jumper.
- Tricky - awesome troublemaker of a POA that would only jump for me. We LOVED arguing. She was a ton of fun if you could stick her antics.
- Bailen - my fave of the lesson horses. He'd do anything for you if you asked nicely.
- Megaman - sorrel QH. Exercised him a few times.
- Sweetie - younger gray OTTB mare that LOOOOOOVED jumping. Super hot mare and very sensitive. Lily reminded me a lot of her in the beginning. Except for the loving to jump part. Ha!
- Gracie - not the current one. Bay OTTB mare that I leased for a couple months that nearly destroyed my confidence over fences. She was green and a push ride.
- Bailey - asshole pony jumper. One of those that cracked his back over fences but he was a dirty, dirty stopper. He was supposed to help me with my confidence after Gracie, but he was one of the most frustrating horses I've ever ridden, and the #1 reason why I decided I would never jump another push ride.
- Antares - really nice TB that was being trained for the US hunter circuit.


After Ron left and I was taking lessons with one of his adult students:
- Tamarindo - the huge Argentinean TB stallion that stole my heart


At the Tampa rental horse facility where I worked as horse trainer:
- Seneca - adorable paint pony with some serious issues from a history of previous abuse.

- Goliath - Ginormous Belgian. Tried to scrape me off on the barn roof (yes he was THAT tall!) Only draft I've galloped on trail.
- Crazy Appy that bucked whenever you asked him to go faster than a walk
- The stubborn green broke WB mare whom I couldn't get to do anything!
- Frodo - medium pony that reared whenever you mounted up and then tried to bolt. I could get him to do what I wanted simply because he was small enough that I could use force to alter his balance. He was NOT kid safe! He was very much like Karen's Seabisquit. The advantage I had with him was that I was a 135 lb adult with a million tricks up her sleeve on dealing with little asshat ponies and a pro at dealing with bolters. I actually had fun riding him. BO wanted him for pony rides. I told him I didn't think he'd ever be able to be safely used for that purpose!
- Pantero - extremely shy rescued Peruvian that I broke to saddle. I finally earned his trust and BO had another trainer at the farm work with him...and undid the weeks of work I had put into him.

- Blood bay Peruvian Paso colt - I can't remember his name! Also broke him to ride. Super awesome little guy, and my #1 riding choice when I was too broken to ride non-gaited horses.
- Large halter-type QH that was one of the safest horses to ride there. Except when he had seizures (I'm now wondering if maybe he didn't have HYPP? I never did see one of his supposed seizures) This was a very classy place, guys. NOT!
- Titan - Paint gelding who actually belonged to me while I worked there. He was pretty much the only horse on the property that didn't have any serious behavioral or health issues. (Except for the blood bay colt. He didn't have issues either!) I chose him well.

Titan. He had one blue eye and one brown eye.
He was also my first experience working with a solid neck-reining horse. He had some pretty fancy Western buttons.

At the Tampa h/j barn:
- Grasshopper -Appendix QH that would jump a house if you let him.

Warm-up jump on Grassy at a show
- Divot - older OTTB that I helped bring out of retirement.

One of my first rides on Divot in the jump field.
Charles took this photo: it was the first photo he would take of me riding. :)
- Little Red - chestnut pony jumper that was a blast to ride.
- Primo - trainer's rambunctious bay TB being trained as a hunter.
- Rocky - very sweet OTTB whose owner said would not jump. I was dared to trot him over ground poles: his phobia used to be so bad he wouldn't even go near poles on the ground. He nonchalantly trotted over them at my request. His owner asked me to continue working with him to see if he could start going over fences again. He did: he started jumping again. 
- Bogart - chestnut gelding who was Grassy's turnout buddy and he couldn't jump. I hacked him many, many times.

South FL hunter barn
- The gray gelding I rode during lessons and hacks. Can't remember his name. I think he was an Arab cross?


South FL SPCA - volunteered as horse trainer
I rode a handful of horses here. I don't remember how many nor their names, but my time there was brief. It was an important time for me because I had always wanted to work re-training rescue horses and this was the first time I had this opportunity. At the time however, I was driving an hour one-way to work from Fort Lauderdale where we lived to the Doral area 5 days a week. I could only go to the SPCA during the week after work and it was adding an extra 30 minutes to my already long drive home. The shelter was on a huge property in a pretty sketchy part of Miami, where several horses had been mysteriously slaughtered in people's backyard barns by an unknown killer at the time. It was pretty lonely at the barn in the late afternoons/early evenings when I was there. I eventually resigned, not just because of the drive, but mainly because I simply did not feel safe.


H/J/Western barn in Davie - worked as horse trainer
Titanium - I rode other horses there but he was my favorite and my main project. He was a retired Standardbred who was a ton of fun to ride. My first experience working with a Standardbred. I would have bought him if we had had the means to own a horse at the time.

Early morning ride on Titanium. I think you can tell by my grin how much I liked him. :)

South FL dressage barn
- Bailey - a HUGE dark bay Irish draft
- Babe - gray Arabian mare

The equine rescue in Coconut Creek, FL
- Cloud, whom I adopted.

Cloud <3
- Dreamweaver - awesome jumper who was a bag of bones when he was first rescued. Never would have guessed he would turn out the way he did!
- Ricky Bobby - the most ancient, sassiest, most bombproof Paso I've ever ridden. He was dumped in someone's backyard in Davie!
- Mason - barn trainer's main lesson horse. (The rescue was also a boarding and lesson facility; I helped work some of the lesson horses as well as the rescues.) Loved him. He'd take care of the tiniest children on his back, trotting along slowly and carefully, but turn on the engines when it was an experienced adult riding him. Really cool horse. He was a gray OTTB.
- Quincy - BO's QH pony. Such a smooth trot.
- Tigger - trainer's TB. Super technical ride over fences.
- BO's QH gelding whose name I can't remember. Typical school horse who motorcycled around the corners and tried stopping at the gate. Hacked him a couple of times.


Oasis Ranch, where I boarded for the next 2 years:
- Rhythm - TB cross gelding I adopted, who ended up being neurological.

He was a sweet, handsome guy and more than a little bit crazy.
- Beau - Mark's QH gelding. Solid trail horse. Mark let me ride Beau when I was inbetween owning horses. Mark is awesome.

Mark and Beau. I rode on the trails with them the most back in FL.
- Bailey - my friend Diana's Perch/QH cross black mare.
- Pink Slip - Diane's AWESOME OTTB mare. Did training rides on her. Or rather, did discovery rides: someone had done an incredible job installing some really fancy buttons on that mare. I still wonder how she ended up abandoned in a field. That's how she found her way to the South FL SPCA, where Diane adopted her.

Pink Slip, the goddess mare. This photo was my blog header back when I first started the blog!
- Mecke - BM's OTTB jumper. Hacked him a few times and BM wanted me to start jumping him again, but BM moved to a different barn before Mecke could become an official project.

So what do you think? I think he overjumped  just a little...
(Please ignore my terrible eq; I had NO idea he would take this small cavaletti oxer like that!)
- Tater Tot - BM's bratty pony. What is up with the ponytudes? She wanted me to use him for lessons but it was a constant battle of wills with him, whether on the longe or under saddle. I started using Pink for lessons almost exclusively (another testament to Pink's greatness) after he tried scraping me off on the arena wall. Yes: not a kid-safe pony!
- Flyer - BM's super fun retired dressage horse.

Flyer. He was a Warmblood/Appaloosa cross.
- Stormy - my student's OTTB on whom I did training rides.
- Christa - paint mare I exercised for Elisabeth.
- Bella - BM's Welsh/Arab cross mare. Resale project. Took her to a hunter show just for fun.

Bella. We won the class.
(So we were the only ones in the class. So what. Lol)
- Rose - trainer's Azteca mare.

First MD barn:
- Houdon - hacked him for Tina.
- The infamous Jezebel, whom I exercised for her owner until the mare injured herself in turnout back in spring of 2013. She became a lunatic while on stall rest. (I don't blame her at all!) Rode her during the first part of her rehab but quit after she became too unpredictable to ride safely despite sedatives.

- Ramsey - BM's QH gelding whom I worked while his leaser was on vacay.

Ramsey was a powerhouse
- Nate - a friend's OTTB whom I hacked for her while she was out of town.

2nd MD barn:
- Angel - BO's Morab mare that I hacked a few times.
- Queenie - worked with her for Kathy.
- Willa - Connemara cross mare that I hacked for her owner while she was out of town.


Horses I have owned (8 total when you count Titan and Rhythm):
- Lucero - Puerto Rican Paso that I raised from a weanling. My first horse.

- Indio - Colombian Paso that was terrified of men. I made him kid safe. First horse I bought with my own money.

- Maia - OTTB mare that I owned during my first year in college.

- Lily
- Gracie

Other horses...I think this could be categorized as blogger horses? Both of them are AWESOME!!
Liz's Griffin
Photo by Becky Pearman
Liz's Q
I just love this photo. By Liz
If you count all of the horses I rode only once (rental horses, trial horses I rode for trainers/BMs, horses I was offered to take for a spin, etc) you'll easily get over 100 horses in 25 years in the saddle.

3. How many trainers have you had?
10. Wow: that's the first time I've counted.

4. How many barns have you ridden at?
Ridden at for lessons: 8. Boarded at: 6. Some of those overlap. 10 barns total.

5. What is the horse you consider yourself to have the greatest bond with?

6. What is your favorite show name you've ever encountered?
There have been a few but the only one I can remember right now was Grasshopper's: "Determined to Be". It just suited him so well! He was a very independent, kind of aloof guy (he was not a lovey type of horse) with a tremendous drive, will and work ethic. He was my favorite to ride at my Tampa trainer's barn.

7. What do you consider your biggest weakness/flaw in riding?
My fears.

8. What do you consider to be your greatest strength?
My confidence. 

9. Have you ever leased a horse?
Yes, the other Gracie in PR that almost made me quit riding altogether.

10. What was the first horse you rode? 
Blackie, a black rental pony.

I'm the little kid on the pony. Don't ask me how I remember the pony's name. I have no idea.
That's my mom leading the pony. I look exactly the way she did at my age.


  1. Replies
    1. Oh no, I think you win! I was dumbfounded by how many horses you remembered! It's what motivated me to start thinking to see if I remembered all of mine...you opened a Pandora's box! I've edited this post 3 times already because I keep remembering horses I forgot to include...lol

  2. Wow! That's a lot of horses! I can't believe you remember them all!

    1. The only reason I remember, honestly, is because I have SO many photos of them! And each photo has the horse's name and the date when the photo was taken on the back. Several are labeled on FB, but most of these photos are in albums or boxes and have not been scanned into the computer. I also chronicled a lot of my adventures with these horses in the journals I kept growing up, which helped keep the stories straight. I should write a series about them...I have enough material to last me a while!

  3. Tamarindo over Lily? Still? I guess you must still really miss him, huh?

    That's a lot of horses. I can't remember all of the horses I rode, but not nearly that many. I also wasn't at a barn until Ashke.

    1. I can't say I still miss him because time has healed that, but Tamarindo will always, always, always be #1. He was a Very Special Horse. I never owned him on paper, but I was his and he was mine from the first time our eyes met. It was love at first memory with him. He did things for me that he did with NO ONE else before or after I was in his life. He had stopped jumping as a 4 year old. He quit. And he was owned by an Olympic rider. I met him when he was 9. He never said no to me. He said no to everyone else, but he never even thought about it with me. We jumped 3'6". He wanted me with him, he took care of me, he would be SO upset if he failed me. I've never met a horse like him, before or after. It was effortless; I never had to work to win his heart. His heart was mine from the start. And mine was his. And I'm still waiting for him to come back to me.

  4. I love all the pics! Especially the one of Mecke over-jumping the cavaletti:)

  5. I have ridden literally over 1000 horses, thanks to my time at SRF. I rode 120 PER YEAR when I was there. Crazy.

    1. I believe it! Full-time training jobs at places where horses are constantly coming and going will definitely make those numbers go way, waaaay up!