I thought this would be a very fun thing to do, but was supposed to get this posted a while ago, and I just never got around it it haha. Well, better late than never! After reading Amanda and Michele’s blogs I figured this would be fun to do while I haven’t had much other news to report. The original idea came from Anxiety at A on this blog post here.
1: What is one of your favorite brands specifically for your horse, and why?
If it’s specifically for Amber, then I kinda have to say Back on Track products. She seems to respond very well to them, despite the fact I can only use certain things in the winter because it’s just so horribly hot here. But she loves her BoT saddle pad, and I think with all her ouchies it just helps her muscles. Because I have lots of neck stiffness from my bulging disk, I bought a neck wrap from them, and it honestly helps me a ton. Otherwise there’s not too much brand-wise that I really swear by. Maybe the Sore No More Ultra gelotion since I use that in conjunction with BoT on Amber and myself. I know it’s mostly the arnica in it that helps, but I can’t deny that it does since we both have issues from all our injuries lol.
2. If you were given a gift card for a tack shop with unlimited funds, what would you buy first?
Oh geez. Um, I basically have everything I need…? I mean, I’ve got everything from western matchies to english matchies so I am honestly not sure what I’d get first. Maybe a crap ton of supplements?? I mean, I’d love a new dressage saddle, but that’s waiting until I potentially get a second horse, sooooo…? I have no clue haha.
3. What horse event/clinic do you really want to audit or participate in? (Events like Equine Affaire, or the LRK3DE, or even local events, etc)
I was able to go to LRK3DE in 2017 and that was fantastic, so I’m hoping to go again in 2023. I’d also love to meet some bloggers there if others are going. I’ve always wanted to participate in a clinic instead of auditing like I’ve mostly done, but I’ve got no idea who I’d want to have a clinic with at the moment. Considering all the injuries I’ve gotten riding, I actually really want to participate in a Landsafe clinic to learn how to tumble off of a horse. I think that would be a hugely good skill to have in the toolbox for me wanting to event in the future.
4. What is something your horse has taught you that you didn’t expect to learn?
That I can forgive myself if I make a bad decision. Whenever Amber didn’t understand something or was just having a bad day, I’d break it down for her to understand or I’d pat her, tell her we’d take it easy if she wasn’t feeling it, and we’d just have a good time together. If I could do that for her, why was I always so hard on myself for missing a sign, for not understanding something, for making the wrong decision? If I could forgive her, why couldn’t I forgive myself? So I started changing it. If she did something in response to me, but I made the wrong choice or couldn’t get my body working, I’d walk her and pat her and tell her she was good girl, that was totally my fault. And I’d laugh, and I’d let it go, and I’d do it better the next time. She’s truly been my most wonderful friend and teacher.
5. If you could take your horse anywhere, right now, to do anything, where would you go and what would you do?
We’d go ride on the beach. Absolute bucket list item right there. She dislikes water, so I highly doubt she’d actually be happy with waves, but I’d take her anyway haha! She’s the only horse at the moment I’d want to do that with, and she’s been great about letting me drag her anywhere and everywhere, so I’d do that with her. I’d also love to play around a starter XC course if she was able to jump; she’d love the open spaces and the trees, but I know after a bit, she’d definitely say it was too much work and want to walk LOL.
6. What are your favorite colors to put on your horse? (think saddle pads, tack colors, browbands, etc.)
Navy/blues of any kind are the best colors on her. With blue on the opposite end of the color wheel from orange, and Amber being – well – orange, it makes sense. But I oddly love her in French blue. It just looks *chef’s kiss* on her. But I also love variety every now and then because one color all the time bores me (yay, for ADHD lol), so I still like her in greens, whites, browns, and the occasional deep red.
7. What is your least favorite equestrian brand?
Ahhh….. I’ll have to think on that one? I mean, there are some that I think are overrated, but there isn’t really a brand that I terribly dislike that I can think of at the moment. I’ll come back to this one if I think of anything lol.
8. If you could change one thing about your discipline, what would it be?
Since I’ve actually trained/shown reining, I’m going to answer this question on that. I don’t feel I have enough experience in eventing to fully comment on anything there. But boy, I’m hard-pressed to keep it to just one thing I’d change about reining. So I’ll keep it to one thing, and then honorable mention the other two haha. First, and what I do consider most important, I’d change the ages of the horses that show. It’s a big reason I switched to eventing, seeing these horses in their upper teens just romp around a 5* course and be sound and absolutely in love with their job. Reining horses don’t really compete past age 6 unless they become youth horses, and they have very little longevity. This makes me really sad to see these horses used up so hard before they’ve ever really lived their lives. So I’d love to see competitions that celebrate an aged horse, that the futurities aren’t held until the horse is 4 or 5 (preferably 5) and they’re still competing much later in life.
So my honorable mentions: if a reining horse is supposed to drop their hind end to slide to a stop, why in god’s name is everyone breeding them to be built so freaking downhill?? And: everyone is narrowing the gene pool by breeding to too many of the same stallions, and too many mares are just getting shoved in the breeding shed without having a show history or proving they’d be adding good quality to the reining QH.
9. Did you grow up in an ag/equestrian familiar family, or are you the first person in your family to step foot in a barn?
My mom always had a horse, always loved horses, and I was the only sibling that took to it like a duck to water. I often joke I’ve been riding since in utero, because I was the only kid my mom could ride with until she was 8 months pregnant. I’ve been extremely lucky to always have access to horses and that my parents were willing to pay for horseback riding lessons and didn’t make me stick with piano lessons or soccer lol.
10. Do you like the bit that is in your horse’s mouth currently or do you want to try a new one?
I like Amber’s current bit. It’s a Myler eggbutt, and the straight mouthpiece is really the only one that fits her tiny mouth. The roof of her mouth doesn’t allow a lot of room between it and her tongue, so it’s really the only type of mouthpiece she likes.
11. If you could change one thing about your horse, what would it be?
To not have had injuries haha. I’d heal those babies up so we could get back to doing fun things together. It’s the only reason I’m looking for a second horse – if she weren’t injured, it’d be a different story. Other than that, I adore everything about her, so I wouldn’t change anything else lol.
12. What is one thing about horses you are weirdly obsessed with? (i.e wrapping techniques, footing, grooming, hair care, clippers, saddles, etc)
Ahh, sniffing noses haha. For as long as we’ve had Whisper she’s had the absolute best smelling muzzle ever. I have had other horse people agree her nose smells awesome haha. They’ve also agreed that if I ever found a way to bottle the smell and magically put it into a candle they’d buy it lol. Amber’s nose is not equal, and does not smell as good as Whisper’s haha. Yes, I know it’s weird. Do I make Whisper put up with mandatory kisses every day just to smell her nose? Yup. I do lol.
13. What is the most advanced horse you have ever ridden, or what is the most advanced move for your discipline you have done?