July 15, 2016

The Not So Silent Radio Silence

Ever since I posted my radio silence post, people around blog land have been posting interesting fodder for the blog sans actual riding content. I haven't seen my horse in two weeks now which is a problem, but it is also just reality right now. I do have something fun planned next weekend though which I am excited about.

In the meantime, Viva Carlos posted 10 questions and I am going to bore entertain you all with my answers.

1.) Do you actually always pick the horse's feet? Always? Really?
Yup. Every single time both before riding and after. I'm a slightly obsessive groomer and spend the time really going over every inch of her body to make sure nothing is off. I have caught early signs of thrush, shoes gone wrong and all sorts of stuff by being so diligent.

2.) What is the biggest obstacle/reason preventing you from becoming a professional or competing full time with ease?
The $200,000 of medical school student loan debt. If I came home and told the hubby I was quitting to train horses, I think he would have a stroke.

In addition to that, I have zero background or education in training people or horses. I got Gem where she is today but that is about the extent of my abilities.

As far as competing full time, it is the lack of money, time and horse flesh.

3.) Do you think it will ever not be about money?
To be honest, I really don't know what this question is actually referring to. Do I think those with the most money will always be on top? Yes, I do.  It takes money to pay for the one on one training, the tack, the horses, the events themselves. But I also think that you can have a ton of fun and be competitive locally without having a crap ton of money. In endurance, my only reference in the competitive horse world, money makes a difference when it comes to the ability to get to all the events and earn the points, but feed lot horses, craigslist ponies and the like all have won races and BC.

4.) Was there ever a horse that you loved and really wanted to have a connection with, but it just never panned out?
I don't think so. Gem was looking that way for the first 3 years, but then something finally clicked.

5.) What is one weakness in your riding that even your trainer doesn't pick up on, only you?
I'm not brave and bold when it comes to riding. I can fake it pretty darn well, but deep down most things scare the crap out of me until I repeat them 1000 times and make it boring. Once it is boring, then I move on.

6.) What is the biggest doubt/insecurity you ask or tell yourself in your head?
That I am going to break my horse. Every time I ride I am always thinking that I am making Gem lame and that I will break her for good. Every time she slows down or acts punky I am convinced I broke her and she will never be able to ride again. I wish I could turn that off. I think our ride times would be much more competitive if I could.

7.) There is a barn fire. You are the first person to discover it and see that the roof is collapsing in slowly and you can tell its going to come down any time. Do you call people first or do you head straight in to save the horses?
Call. When I wasn't a mother I would have probably run in to try to save them myself, but now I have someone relying on me. Plus I don't see the value in just one person running in and grabbing a horse without having any back up. What would you do with that horse when you went back in for the next? The more people to help, the better. I'd secure help first and then save the horses.

8.) What is one event in your riding career/horse/anything that you're still not over, even tho you might tell others you are?
Road riding isn't my favorite. I've done better with it since Gem doesn't seem to care, but my TWH Moonlight that I rode before her was petrified to the point of being dangerous. We had to ride alongside a super busy road that people went 65 mph on with motorcycles, cars, construction trucks and semis to get into the State Game Lands with trails and it got so bad that I eventually had to stop riding. (She ended up being donated to a really great therapeutic riding facility when I went to medical school).

9.) If you could tell off one person you just don't like, what would you say?
Would 100% depend on the situation and the person. Really, I'm not known for hiding my opinions or feelings, so I don't have anything pent up at the moment. If I don't like you, I just cut you out of my life and move on. No sense surrounding yourself with negative people and interactions.

10.) Have you ever seen questionable riding or training practices, but let it go/ignored it? How do you feel about it in hindsight?
Um, I am pretty sure I have been that "questionable riding practice" person a time or two. Not in a vicious, mean spirited way but in a general not knowing what I am doing and trying my best to diffuse a tense and pissed off Gemmie. Our early days together were...entertaining to say the least.

But to answer the question - no I have not been witness to such bad horsemanship that I would feel the need to intervene for the horse's benefit. Have I seen some things that I wouldn't do? Yeah a time or two, but that doesn't mean it was dangerous or abusive and I tend to mind my own business and try to not judge someone in the split moment I see them working with their horse. If I ever did see something outright abusive, I would say something.

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