So this is supposed to be posting for everyday, but I’m going to slip these in amongst my usual updates. So since I’ve missed the first 7 days, here’s AAALLLLLLLL seven of them in one post. Enjoy!
Day 1: When and why you started riding
I started actually riding and taking lessons when I was six. I was a wee sprout but determined to FINALLY start riding. But I was put on the backs of horses and led around probably since before I could walk. I was the definition of horse crazy – I didn’t want to even watch a movie that didn’t have a horse in it. Or a book without a horse. Black Beauty and the Black Stallion books/movies were my go-to. Also adored Misty of Chincoteague (1961) and Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit.
Day 2: The last time you rode your horse and what you did
I rode my horse yesterday actually, starting western again to prepare for the show this weekend. We practiced our horsemanship pattern as well as parts of the trail pattern with a little bit of reining thrown in there. She was a good girl, and we got nice and sweaty.
Day 3: Your best riding
I am disappointed in my riding at the moment, but I would still have to say my best riding has been recently. Over the past few years I’ve become a better, more sympathetic rider, trying to once again view riding through the ammy lens with only a dash of trainer thrown in there instead of the other way around. It’s a major work in progress still, but so far, I’ve had a lot of success with it with Amber.
Day 4: A ride that impacted your life
I rode a pony named Air Myles for the 4 years my family lived in Hawaii. Once we retired in Las Vegas I got to go back after 2 years and ride him once more. He was ecstatic to see me, and my coach let me take him out to jump “cross country” in a field (the fences were super low and it was only a very small section of field). But that ride planted the eventing seed – it just took me a few years of doing other things before really wanting to start eventing!
Day 5: Your first fall
The first one I actually remember was at a show. Thankfully I don’t think I fell much as a kid (don’t worry; I got my comeuppance later in life when the falls REALLY hurt), but this one was at a show in a hunter under saddle flat class. I was riding pony Air Myles and he was already feeling really lit that day. I remember he just felt like something was really bothering him, but anyway, we were cantering, and someone in the stands sitting right next to the covered arena opened a giant neon green umbrella as we cantered by. I don’t remember whether Myles sidestepped or bucked or what, but I just remember landing on my tailbone really hard and standing there ready to cry. I was super embarrassed but also just really shocked. Myles was a sweetheart and walked right back to me after a lap or so around, and I hopped back on as we stood in the center and the rest of the class finished. I pet him a lot though since it calmed me down and of course he hadn’t done anything wrong. I’ll tell you what though – since that fall, I can’t do sit ups on a hard surface or even one of those mats. I have to do them on a bed or something thickly cushy because otherwise it hurts lol.
Day 6: Favorite tack and riding clothes you have (brand/color/other details)
Oh, I love these! My favorite tack items are my PS of Sweden Flying Change bridle and their Golden Delight browband. I think the gold brings out the shine in Amber’s coat and really makes her color pop. Next we have my Prestige Sinead monoflap event saddle. I adore that thing. My butt loves it, Amber’s back loves it, and I love that the monoflap allows me a super close feeling to her body and I don’t feel like I’m sitting on a wider barrel than I already am lol.
My favorite riding clothes are my Ovation Aqua X breeches and my Mountain Horse Sovereign tall boots. The breeches are so cooling in the summer, but they also have the best fit of all the breeches I have. I just wish the exact same fit and style was available for winter…. And my new tall boots I just love. So far, I’m only keeping them for showing with a few rides every now and then to keep breaking them in, but so far they feel better and better every time I put them on.
Day 7: Your favorite ribbon won at a show and why
Now we’re all caught up! Air Myles features in this one again. Although Amber’s third place ribbon means a whole lot to me, too, I have to go with the Amy Rich trophy and champion ribbon I won with Air Myles before I left Hawaii. He was a pony, so naturally he had sass in spades, and that always transferred to the show in flat classes. He hated flat classes. He wanted to jump, dammit! But a flat class we were in, and he was bucking and kicking and tossing his head in the air and being a right ass and you know what? We won the class. I was so confused until learning that that specific class was to reward a young rider’s determination to get the horse or pony to continue to be forward and going somewhere. And, well, Air Myles was worse than the other pony in the class, so I had work harder to get him to behave and actually, you know, trot. While it’s very nice to win a championship ribbon and trophy, it really had a positive affect on me to keep going, to keep working and develop a determination that I could do it. I could work through it and succeed.