Things are pretty quiet around here; Christmas hunt was canceled due to the weather, I haven’t been riding as much as I should have, and when I have been riding, it’s been very unexciting day-in-day-out sort of stuff. Thanks to L. at Viva Carlos, there’s stuff to write about, though!
Does your horse need shoes?
Generally, no. Both horses have tough, well-formed feet and are comfortable handling a variety of terrain barefoot. I get steel shoes put on Gina’s front hooves for hunting season to give her some protection from the very rocky footing at the fixtures we hunt.
What do you think of the barefoot vs shoes debate?
I think it’s a silly one; I think people ought to do what’s right for their horse.
Favorite season for riding?
Oh, they all have their merits. Spring and fall have enjoyable weather, but I can go swimming on trail rides during the hottest days of summer! Winter means hunting season, and while it’s not necessarily fun to keep Gina legged up in miserable weather, it’s worth it for those action-packed hunt days!
How many shows do you think you’ve gone to?
A conservative estimate is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of seventy or eighty. I began competing at age 10 and went to a lot of shows as a youngster. I also rode for my college’s equestrian team and competed on my own horses for a few years in college. I took a little showing hiatus from 2007 until around 2011, but have been showing fairly regularly since then.
Do you consider yourself a good rider?
This is a difficult question. I think I am a basically competent rider; I do not ride in a way that hinders my horse, and I have a lot of good basics thanks to excellent instruction as a beginner. However, I have a lot of room for improvement. My lower leg could be tighter over fences, I don’t have an automatic release, my dressage position is…questionable at times, and I have a rogue right arm. There’s always something to work on.
How experienced do you think someone needs to be to own a horse?
It depends. If the person wants to own a horse and keep it at a full-service boarding facility, I don’t think they need to be very experienced at all. (Except at writing checks, amiright?) If a person wants to own a horse and keep it at their own facility and provide its care, I think they need to be fairly experienced. I’d also argue it depends on the horse.
Have you ever gotten into a fight with your trainer?
No, never. I’m not an argumentative or confrontational person. I also haven’t had a regular trainer in a very long time; even so, I’d quietly take my business elsewhere rather than start a fight.
Describe your dream horse.
Moe, duh. No, really- I love having a brave, enthusiastic partner that’s game for any jump, any obstacle on the trail, any exercise! That’s always my dream.
Does anyone in your family ride?
Johnny rides! He’s a very green, very fair-weather rider, but he rides! Both of my parents have ridden at various points in their lives.
If you could ride any horse in the world, which one would it be?
Like Monica, I’ve always wanted to gallop on Man O’War!