The Red Mare: 25 Questions Blog Hop
1. Mares or Geldings? Why?
I still say geldings, even after having the princess show me why some people are so devoted to mares. I love the fact that a gelding has the same hormones every day and I don't have to worry about it being that time of the month. Having seen how badly it can affect some mares, I still prefer geldings. There's only enough room for one bitch in this relationship, and I called dibs.
2. Green-broke or Fully Broke?
I had Allen, my Hellbeast, that was as broke as the day was long. He knew everything. I had Fiona, my princess, that was a question mark on being able to canter. I enjoyed both. There's so much pride in teaching a beginner and getting to do all of the 'firsts', but having a fully broke packer gets you to the fun stuff faster. I'd go either way.
3. Would you own a "hotter" breed (ie. Arabian, Trakhener, etc).
One word for you: Hellbeast
4. What was your "dream horse" growing up?
I wanted a dark bay warmblood gelding to do the hunters with so badly.
5. What kind of bit(s) do you use and why?
Lots of lozenge mouth snaffles. I prefer not to use single joint bits and we're doing mostly dressage, so it's pretty much snaffles or bust. In the past I've gone through an amazing collection of bits, but that seems to be more the realm of exciting hobbies like galloping through the open on a TB with limited brakes. When I need more than a snaffle, I usually reach for a pelham or three ring, nothing too exciting. I really prefer not to use any kind of twist. I've also had good results with a hackamore and combi-bits with hot head horses. Nose pressure doesn't get quite the same reaction with those horses.
6. Helmets or no helmets?
Helmets, 100%, no excuses. I do not get on without one and I am very uncomfortable around anyone riding without a helmet. I've seen and experienced too many accidents.
7. Favorite horse color?
Black bay with some chrome.
8. Least favorite horse color?
White. Seriously, impossible to keep clean and you can see any flaw from across the show grounds.
9. Dressage or Jumping?
I do both, though dressage is the job and jumping is the hobby right now.
10. How many years have you been riding?
Around 30, depending on how you count. I took some time off in college, but I've been riding since I was five.
11. Spurs/whip or no spurs/whip?
I subscribe to the school of never going into battle without your weapons. Better to ride and never need them then to need them and not have them. Spurs on pretty much every horse. I like them for lateral work and they're something I can keep in reserve without it affecting the ride until I need them. A crop for any time I'm jumping, especially cross country, dressage whip depends on the horse. I train every horse to accept me carrying one, but some horses (*coughThePrincesscough*) just don't need them. Some horses like mi papi absolutely need the motivation.
12. Your first fall?
My third ride. I was all of five years old and the horse I was riding went from jogging to cantering when I got afraid and screamed. I came off and went under his hooves. Good thing I had a helmet on, since he stepped right on my head. No harm done, just some bruises, and I was tossed back on with a promise of ice cream for being brave.
13. When was the last time you rode and what did you do?
Yesterday. I had very little time, so Theo mostly went on the lunge so I could get him moving without the battle that can come from me being on his back. I hacked around for about 10 minutes without stirrups afterward, but the outdoor footing was frozen and the indoor was being dragged. He mostly got the day off.
14. Most expensive piece of tack you own?
My brand new Frank Baines Revolution jump saddle.
15. How old were you when you started riding?
Five years old.
16. Leather or Nylon halters?
Nylon with a leather breakaway and reflective piping for turn out, leather for shows and other outings.
17. Leather or Synthetic saddles?
Nothing against synthetic, I've ridden in a lot, but I do prefer leather. Specifically calfskin.
Thin rubber or rubber lined flat reins. I need the reins to be thin since my hands are small but I also need help hanging on to them. I hate hand stops.
19. English or Western?
English all the way, even though I've ridden Western and enjoyed it.
20. How many horses do you currently own/lease?
Just the one lease horse.
21. Do you board your horse? Self-care/full board? Home board?
Board. After working in the industry, I love having someone else taking care of stalls and feeding.
22. Have you ever had to put down a horse that you loved?
Yes. When Allen was 23, he broke his leg in a freak pasture accident while in retirement.
23. How many saddlepads do you have?
Don't tell the hubby, but I have to have 10 right now. And I have some more I want to order.
24. Slant-load trailer or straight haul?
Straight, so much easier to load and unload at shows when horses are on different schedules. With a slant, we had to unload everyone to get to the one in front if they needed to go show.
25. Why do you ride?
Good question. It's an addiction, I swear, and therefore hard to explain to anyone that doesn't have the same addiction. I find that riding forces me to be in the moment, doing something that is tactile and and immediate in a world where I'm almost entirely intellectual and working on things weeks or months before they happen. Horses exist in the present only and force me to slow down for a few hours and live like that. I also enjoy the partnership that you can develop and the feeling of teamwork that comes with the level of trust required to trust a flight animal and have them trust you.