Q1: What hobbies do you have outside of riding?
I love to cook, so I think that counts as a hobby. I also help with homebrew beer including stewarding at competitions. I've even brewed my own 5 gallon batch of all grain beer that was good enough to let other people drink. It's progress.
Blue Moon clone using brew in a bag method
Q2: What is your boarding situation? Are you happy with it?
HA. Okay, Theo is currently on 24/7 turn out with a shed which is ideal for him. He's lived in this field for six years. Am I happy? Apparently not. Due to a number of things around footing, horsemanship, and the level of care, he's moving to a fancy dancy h/j show barn in three days. They have a shed with a small paddock attached that we're going to try with field turn out during the day. If that doesn't work, he's going in a stall at night and out in a field during the day. And if that doesn't work? I dunno, my back yard and sleep in my garage?
This will be a big change
Q3: What's on your horsey-related wish list?
New girths. His jumping girth is now too small (beefcake). His dressage girth is fine but with his shifting body I feel he needs more room behind the elbows. I also need some dressage boots, Trainer Z was giving my Ariat V Sport boots the hairy eyeball before I went in at my last show. If we're going to keep moving up (she brought up PSG again!!!), we need the boots that will make us look serious business. She's recommending Petries, I'm just here to look cute and sit on the horse and write the checks so that works for me.
Q4: What is your most expensive horsey-related item?
Like most, it's my trailer. Best investment ever. Hands down. I can't even imagine how I would have got to Second without it.
Q5: What was the hardest horsey-related decision you've had to make lately?Moving. Neither of us like change, both of us will be on ulcer meds for at least a month.
For better or for worse, this was home for a long time
Q6: What's something you feel you can't live without in your routine?
This is really funny coming from a dressage rider but I don't do routine. I am definitely a seat of my pants kind of person. There are a few things I must have. My stuff must be where I put it last or I won't be able to find it and I'll freak. Moving my stuff is the sure fire way to make my usually laid back persona completely leave the building. People still whisper about the time I found my dressage tack in the feed room. On the back of a chair.
I also require at least five minutes, preferably ten, of just walking when I start riding Theo. I'll start warming up with laterals while we're doing that, it's not just moseying around, but both of us are getting older and it takes a few minutes for us to feel like it's time to move. It also takes a few minutes for me to turn my brain from analyst to rider. It's a very different setting that requires me to be in the moment.
Q7: What's on your horsey-related calendar for the rest of the summer?September 8: NHDEA Schooling show, Second Level 1 and 2 (to qualify for year end satin)
September 29: Oakrise Schooling show, Western Dressage Level 2, 1 and 2 (moah year end satin!)
October 5 - 6: GMHA, Second Level 1 and 2
Q8: What is one thing you would willingly change about your horse?
A little forward tendency would be awesome, kthx.
Pony says no
Q9: What is something you most want to improve on with you and your horse?
Please see above. Also his range of longitudinal flexion. We've got sideways pretty well figured out but we both struggle a bit with making big and little steps as opposed to fast and slow steps.
Q10: What has been your [current] horses most severe injury?
Theo is the king of the NQR so I'm going to give this one to the Abscess Wars of 2015 that took him out for a month. RIP, Abby.
Q11: What do you feel your biggest downfall is as a rider?
Anxiety. In warmup, I was sitting my trot so nicely that Trainer Z commented on our progress. In the show ring? Theo and I both tense up which does not lead to pretty sitting trot. He's not carrying as nicely and I'm too tense to follow properly. It's getting better over time, but I still feel like I'm some lost h/j kid that doesn't belong with the fancy kids in the sandbox. Put a course of fences in front of me, I'll eat it up. An empty dressage arena? Meltdown.
Totally thinking about throwing up over his shoulder in this picture
Q12: What feeds your motivation?
When I call Theo's name and he comes tearing up to see me. When I shift my weight and feel him collect from just that. When I ask him for something that used to seem impossible and he does it as easily as breathing. All those little moments keep me coming back and grinding away through the tough times.