Thursday, 27 October 2016

October 10 Questions

Courtesy of L at Viva Carlos

What do you consider “jumping high” for yourself? 
Right now, anything that cannot be walked over. I don't jump, and haven't for a long time. In my youth the answer was 3'9"-4' (sometimes I can't even believe what I used to do lol)

What are your short term goals for riding? Do you think you’ll reach them?

Improve my position and Kachina's connection, bend and suppleness. Compete successfully in Training Level (scores above 65%) in 2017 and introduce all First Level movements. I think those goals are reachable but it's going to take work.

Long term goals for riding? Do you think you’ll reach them?

Ride at Prix St. George. Become a dressage judge. Bring a horse through the dressage levels myself. I don't have a timeline for any of these goals. I like to think I can reach them, but I honestly don't know yet, I'm not close enough to analyze my chances accurately.

How many barns have you been at in your riding career? 

8. That's over 21 years and 4 cities. 

How many different trainers have you been with in your riding career? 

Only counting regular trainers here, not occasional lessons or clinics: 8. 6 of those were as a kid. 

Soaking up some sun, with one eye open and one closed - what a weirdo ;-)

Ever worked at a barn? What did you do? 
Not really, just fed and did chores to cover for vacations a few times.

Scariest thing that has happened at your barn? 

The dump fire. My current barn is less than a mile from a rural dump. The dump was poorly managed (i.e. things like whole propane tanks ended up in there) and it started on fire a few years ago. Dump fires are ridiculously hard to extinguish and it burned for months. The first few days were the worst where a thick plume of black smoke was filling the whole area. The authorities didn't know how toxic that smoke might be and evacuated the area of all people. There was no chance to get the horses out right away and for a couple days we couldn't even get in to check on them. I was so worried about my girl Ellie and actually hiked a couple miles through a back way to get a view of the pasture and make sure she was alive (in hindsight, maybe not the smartest move, but at the time I was desperate). Once we were able to officially get in, the horses were mostly okay, and we moved them all to a safe location for the remainder of the fire (though that location was just a bare 1/4 section with zero facilities, and it was the middle of winter).
Also, while it doesn't affect the whole barn, colic is always terrifying. 

Have you ever given a lesson? What level was the rider? 

I was in 4-H for a few years. I was one of the senior members and so I spent a lot of time teaching some of the junior members about horse care as well as riding. I also volunteered for a few months at a barn as a TA where I taught beginner kids how to groom and tack up the lesson horses. I've never given a paid lesson though. 

What is your opinion on the accuracy of critiquing riders online? 

Individual pictures are so far from showing the whole story so there are a lot of problems with trying to analyze them. That said, not everyone has an instructor they can work with in person and there are some helpful tidbits you can glean by reading critiques. 

What is the ideal height of a horse for you? 

Under 16hh. I'm 5'2" so I don't exactly need a tall horse. Shorter horses are easier to mount, and they are frequently cheaper as well because of supply and demand (I find it crazy how many ISO ads are written by riders who only want a horse over a certain height). I seem to always end up with horses who are 15.2 or 15.3, but there's no reason I couldn't go a hand shorter. 


  1. Sometimes I wish I rode Dressage because the amount of short horses out there is staggering!

    1. Yep! There's definitely a lot of shorter horses. At my barn, Kachina is actually one of the tall ones!

      I think jumping in general and hunters in particular certainly drives the demand for taller horses. Maybe they should do classes for strides less than 12'?

  2. My mind is always blown when I see these wee little riders on giant horses. My first thought is don't they realize that they are making riding even harder???

    1. My mind is just blown when I see ads for two similar horses but where the horse over 16hh can be $10,000 more expensive!

  3. I like short horses and I'm 5"8... they're like driving sports cars instead of SUVs!

    1. I have heard that analogy before, I've never ridden a big enough 'SUV' to have experienced that difference myself though ;)

  4. I share your feelings about jumping for sure! The dump fire sounds pretty crazy, eek!

    1. Ya, I fought with nervousness over jumping for a while, and then realized that if I didn't like doing it, I just shouldn't :-)

      The dump fire was super scary, but at least it didn't turn out as badly as we were initially fearing.