|This is the best image in the world. Thank you, L. Williams.|
Two posts in one day? It’s the unicorn, y’all.
Seven great things/strengths in your riding life.
- I have two totally balling horses. Most people don’t even get to have one.
- I’ve always gotten along with ‘problem’ horses.
- Not easily intimidated- by jumps, horses, other competitors.
- Super spectacular trainer, when we can find the time to work together.
- Good working knowledge of a variety of disciplines and how training techniques from each can apply to my horses.
- Solid Pony Club education that is the foundation for my horse management and riding skills.
- Totally healthy, sound horses that I rarely have to worry about.
Seven things you lack or covet for you or your horse
- A younger horse. Seriously, Moe’s 19 and Gina’s 17.
- More saddle pads. With monograms.
- Pair of custom tall boots.
- Open-front leather jumping boots.
- Cob-sized figure-8 bridle for Moe.
- Passier dressage saddle.
- New horse trailer.
Seven things that make you angry
- When people assume that because you ride english, you are a pretentious imbecile with no working horse knowledge.
- When people waste nicely bred horses by letting them spend their whole lives in a pasture. (And refuse to sell them!)
- When good horses are ruined through poor riding or handling. (See: every post on Gina, ever.)
- Refusals at perfectly reasonable jumps.
- Cliques in an already small local horse scene.
- Horse (any animal, really) abuse and neglect.
- Losing, especially when I felt I did well.
Seven things you neglect to do or cut corners on
- Medical services. The horses see the vet annually for vaccinations, Coggins, and dental check. Unless something is super wrong, I doctor them myself. (True story: Years ago, Moe sliced his pastern open on a metal drainage pipe while we were out riding about a mile from home. I took off my shirt and tied it around the pastern, and hand-walked him in a sports bra and breeches back home. I performed some basic first aid, kept him in a stall overnight, and trailered him to the vet the next day. The vet determined the wound didn’t need stitches and we all lived happily ever after.)
- Therapeutic services; I’ve never hired an equine chiropractor, masseuse, or other professional.
- Blanketing. Unless the temperature or wind chill are extremely low and it’s precipitating, Gina and Moe are naked all the time.
- Supplements. When I needed to save some money, I cut out Moe’s SmartPaks first thing. With his recent antics, I am convinced he is not actually arthritic and will live without them.
- Riding apparel. I buy batting gloves instead of riding gloves, get soccer socks on clearance instead of riding socks, and once bought a ladies’ suit jacket at JC Penney instead of a riding coat (not recommended).
- Bit cleaning. I wipe my tack down after almost every ride, but I clean my bits like…twice a year.
- Boot cleaning. I have the best intentions of doing it after every ride, but once the boots come off, it’s over.
Seven most expensive things you own for your horse/riding
- My horse trailer. It was expensive 15 years ago when it was new, it’s expensive to get new tires, it’s expensive to drive it anywhere. (I’d really like to sell it and get something smaller.)
- Moe and Gina. Purchase prices were kinda high (in my opinion), but thankfully, ongoing costs are relatively low.
- My saddle. It’s used, but it was still pricey. Well worth it.
- My elderly Ariat field boots. Expensive initially, but have definitely given me my money’s worth.
- Gina’s various registrations: lifetime USEF, ISR-approved mare, etc. Happily, I did not pay those fees, but they definitely aren’t cheap.
- Safety vest for cross country.
- Wretched Tailored Sportsmans leftover from showing hunters in college.
Seven guilty pleasures or favorite items
- Showing off pictures cross country exploits to the unhorsey.
- Pony Club manuals.
- Buying obscene amounts of horse treats.
- Color-coding horse records with Sharpie pens.
- Dawdling at barn to avoid coming home and doing house projects/cleaning.
- Breeches. Buying all the breeches.
- Jumping Moe over silly, clearly-not-a-jump things. (Lie: everything is a jump.)
Seven things you love about horses and riding
- The simple joy of riding, even when it’s a less-than-stellar ride.
- The adrenaline rush of jumping and/or galloping.
- The look on the horses’ faces when they notice you have treats.
- The smell of horses.
- The friendships (even the friendly rivalries).
- The bond you form with your horses.
- The sense of purpose and responsibility owning a horse gives you.