December 11, 2016

Haiku Farm Blog Hop

I do love blog hops :)  This one comes from Haiku Farm and is a great way to re introduce myself to any readers.

Straight from her blog:

Here's the directions:

  • Answer the questions (below) on your own blog, and leave a link to that post in the comments here.
  • In your post, invite readers to answer the questions on THEIR blogs, and link those blogs to yours AND to here.
  • Let's see how far this can travel!
  • Pictures!  Let's see lots of pictures of people and horses!

1) Introduce Yourself

I am a 34 year old full time working mother who lives in SC. My son is my whole world and pretty much everything I do is with one eye on him and how it will impact him. That doesn't mean I don't get out and do stuff for myself, but he is my #1 priority at all times. The way I figure it, why else be a mother?

In 2014 I decided to open my own private podiatry practice and added yet another layer of responsibility to my life. For the most part, I think it was a good decision, but there are times that I question my sanity. Health care is a very interesting beast here in the USA and one that I am extremely passionate about. Never get me started on the state of affairs of health care unless you have several hours to dedicate to the subject. The elderly are my main focus point.

Wyatt got face paint for his b-day. I made him a shark and he made me a purple monster (Lord Dregg from TMNT) then we went grocery shopping. The looks people gave me were priceless. 

Outside of all that, I love to read, color and have 15 active pen pals from all over the world.

2.) Introduce Your Horse

Gem is a 15H bay mostly Arabian mare. She has one line of QH way back on her pedigree and is actually registered as breeding stock pinto. I have her papers stashed away in our safe, but haven't looked at them in years. She came to me in 2010 and will hopefully not leave again for a very long time.

Her registration picture. Attitude all the way.

She is extremely intelligent, holds a grudge like no other and is not very brave or confident. It took me 3 years to convince her to open up and let me in and ever since we have reached a new level in our relationship. With all her quirks, she is extremely athletic and game to try almost anything I ask of her.

3.) What is Your Favorite Horse Sport? Do You Cross Train in Other Activities?

Ride and Tie is my true passion, but I don't currently have the means to do much of it. Combining running and riding is just so much fun and a whole new layer of athleticism is required. No one can say that the horse does all the work, thats for sure!

Endurance is a close second with the hunter pace series coming in a third.

I don't think I truly cross train, at least not nearly as much as I should. I have such limited time right now that I tend to stick with what will have the most impact on our ability to compete. In the past I used to do quite a bit of intro level dressage work and jumping during the week and then trail riding on the weekend. With the up coming move, I hope to get back to that routine.

For myself, I run three times a week working with an interval app. It has really made a big difference in my enjoyment of running and my times. I think I may actually like running now! Pre Wyatt I lifted weights two days a week as well, but you know...that whole time thing again. There just isn't enough of it.

How I feel about running most days. Having to squeeze it in at 8:30 pm after a 10 hour day of work followed by playing with Wyatt before bed, may have something to do with it. 

4.) Who Else in Your Family Rides?

That is easy - nobody!

5.) What is Your Proudest Equestrian Accomplishment?

Hands down the Biltmore 100 mile endurance ride. Finishing it in 18 hours with plenty of time to spare and mid pack with enough horse under me to go out again if needed was inspiring. Gem was a beast and never let me down.

Pictures Courtesy Liz Stout

6.) What Was Your Lowest Moment as a Horse Owner/Rider?

The entire first year with Gem was really bad. I lost my temper a lot. She had no interest in me. We just were not on the right page and ended up fighting each other way more than we should have. Things got a whole lot better when we moved to WI and she was in my back yard so we could just hang out together and learn to like each other. Then it just kept building from there.

I can't find any pictures of me in WI, so this will have to do to prove we really did once live in the snow. 

7.) What is the Most Important Small Thing You Learned in a Lesson?

I haven't taken many real lessons, so I don't have a lot to pick from. I'd say the best thing I was ever told was by a friend:

Horse + Rider = 10 Always.

When Gem comes at me at an 8 I need to calm the poop down and bring my own level to a 2. Likewise, when she is Miss PokeyPants at a 3, I need to up the ante at a 7.

It has really helped me in a lot of situations.

8.) Do You Have Any Riding Rituals or Superstitions? 

Not really. I always groom her starting on one side from head to butt then walk around, give her a big hug around her neck, then do the other side.

That one time I go bus lost for 6 hours in the woods without food or water. Oops. It did teach her to eat and drink whenever able thought, so that was one good thing that came out of it all. 

9.) What Are Your Short Term Goals for Yourself/Your Horse?

Move the horses home so I can actually see my horse again. Then I would like to begin riding again and build back up to where we used to be fitness wise.

More of this please!!

10.) Long Term Goals?

Make that elusive Decade Team in endurance. Only 7 years to go!

I'd like for Gem to get her bronze medal in 100s (only 2 to go), but I'm not so sure I'd like to be the one in the saddle doing them. Night riding just wasn't my thing.

Even longer term, I'd love it if Wyatt got interested in some level. Maybe he could be my R&T partner, do hunter paces with me or tackle to endurance trail. Any and  all would make my life complete.

11.) If Time and Money Were No Object, What is Your Dream Equestrian Vacation?

A coast to coast ride across Wales on Welsh ponies. It was our 10th Anniversary plan, but then we had Wyatt. When I was traveling overseas, Wales was my favorite place on earth and honestly, retiring there some day isn't that far fetched.
Our honeymoon spent in France

5 days of riding from the French Alps to the Mediterranean

Pure perfection

12.) What Kind of Horse Activities Were You Doing 10 Years Ago?

None. I was deeply entrenched in medical school, living in the city with horses no where in sight.

13.) What Type of Horse Activities do You Think You Will be Doing in 10 Years?

That seems so far off. Gem will be 28 and our decade team either awarded or abandoned. She will likely be retired or just doing short fun rides. I'd guess I would have a new horse although I can't even begin to imagine what that horse will be.

I'd love to branch out and learn to jump on a horse that actually enjoys doing it, so that will play a big role in what type of horse I'd have.

What I'd love to be doing is R&T with Wyatt.

Riding with the hubby again would be lovely. We rode really well together with him begin braver and pushing my envelope a little each time. 

14.) What is the Quirk About Your Horse That You Like Most?

Gem watches for me coming into the barn drive and knows my car (it is pretty funny when I get a new car). She then come over to the gate and makes sure I know she knows I am there. Once I get out and say hello, she takes off at a gallop with tail flagged to the far side of the pasture. I have to go out and walk over to her while she stands behind a tree, hiding. Once I am within 50 ft or so, she will slowly walk to me and put her head down to get her halter on.

It is a cute game she has to play. We will see how it changes once she is home.


  1. Great post! Thanks for hopping along with us!

  2. The "horse + rider = 10 always" thing is brilliant. It's how I always thought/acted but that's the perfect way of putting something vague into concrete terms. I'm going to have to borrow that ;)

  3. I loooove the idea of pen pals and it is so cool that you have so many!

    Gem is so awesome when you meet her that it amazes me how hard you had to work to get here where she is. You have accomplished so much with her and should be very proud!

    I'd love to try ride 'n' tie one day. I will probably suck at it since I hate running and am slow and out of shape, but it's still on my to-do.

    I really wish we didn't live QUITE so far apart because I think we could really get into some shenanigans if we did!

    Finally... I laughed pretty hard at Gem's little game/ritual. What a personality!

    1. far away is Ivor Va from you? It's about 6 hours for me. First time R&T being held in conjunction with the endurance ride in march. I was hoping to go. We could partner up!

      I also wish we weren't so far. I know we would get up to all sorts of fun stuff together.