10 Questions For July From Viva Carlos

Thanks to L. Williams at Viva Carlos for the fun blog fodder! 

1. Do you actually always pick the horse’s feet? Always? Really? YES I DO! No hoof, no horse, man! I always, always, always at the very least check the feet. 

2. What is the biggest obstacle/reason preventing you from becoming a professional or competing full time with ease? Let's be real, while I have been paid for riding and teaching in the past, I am nowhere near talented (or ballsy) enough to do it professionally and be successful. Time and money and a husband who sometimes likes to spend time with me are the things that prevent me from riding and competing full time.

3. Do you think it will ever not be about the money? There will always be someone with more money to buy a nicer horse (or more nice horses) with more and better training than you have. Always. More money means more experience as well, which comes with the financial freedom to show and take lessons much more often than those of us who have to scrape our pennies together to go to a schooling show a few times a year. Thankfully in the lowest levels of lower-level eventing, I can still get by OK on my cranky, PITA $25 import. Because at this level, even the rich riders don't ride that much better than I do! 

4. Was there ever a horse that you loved and really wanted to have a connection with, but it just never panned out? Details. When I was about 16 I was running a beginner lesson program with my best friend, and the owner of the farm (obviously he was crazy and had no clue what he was doing to let teens run his business!) would bring in horses from the dealer for us to trial as lesson horses. We had one come in, Kidd, who I absolutely fell in love with. Kidd Sunrise Lace was a registered paint we got in from the dealer skinny and nervous, with the auction sticker still glued to his rump. He was a beautiful light roany chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail, a white face, and overo spots that looked like paint splatters. He followed me all over the farm like a puppy, no lead rope required. He was very obviously not suited to up-down lessons, so I took him on as my personal project since my mare was recovering from an abscess at the time. I did tons of work with him in the round pen, and rode him every day. When Kidd got upset, which was often, he bucked. And reared. And I loved him. He had a great jump in him and was a rockstar trail horse, and I loved him so! Looking back on it, I realize now he probably had some pain issues that went unresolved because of our collective ignorance. Eventually he was sold to a family of novice riders as a trail and pleasure horse (talk about an inappropriate match), and oh how I cried when he left! It felt like my own horse had been sold right out from under me. I was so heartbroken. I still think about Kidd sometimes and wonder where he is and if he's being cared for. 

Dino is not amused by my lack of skillz.
5. What is one weakness in your riding that even your trainer doesn’t pick up on, only you? Pretty sure my trainer has me figured out, even though she's only been working with me since the spring. She's got my control-freak-hunter-princess-panic-pulling-crooked-nagging thing on her radar. And a few other things I'm sure I don't even realize I'm doing wrong. 

6. What is the biggest doubt/insecurity you ask or tell yourself in your head? Oh man, I let my imagination lie to me all the time. It tells me things like I'm not a good rider, I can't see a distance, my pony will stop, and I'm not cut out for eventing. It also tells me that my nearly un-spookable pony will spook at things like bunnies on the trail, which has literally never happened. 

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 that it’s going to come down any time. Do you call people first, or head in straight to save the horses? I'm a rescuer by nature, so I sprint my butt in there as fast as I can to get as many horses out as possible and hopefully not dying, while on the phone calling for help. Cell phones - great for multi-tasking while risking your life! 

Would definitely risk life and limb for these two! 
8. What is one event in your riding career/horse/anything that you’re still not over, even though you might tell others you are? I get a little sad sometimes that I never had very good instruction until college. I wonder how much better of a rider I'd be now if I started off on better horses (i.e. not lame and/or crazy) with good trainers that taught me more than how to jam my heels down, sit up straight, and hang on. And I'm still not really over the crash that killed my confidence a few years ago. That fall comes back to haunt me continuously. 

9. If you could tell off one person you just don’t like, what would you say? I hope one day your bubble of privilege pops and you fall right out of it onto your dumb, inconsiderate butt! 

10. Have you ever seen questionable riding or training practices, but let it go/ignored it? How do you feel about it in hindsight? I've definitely seen stuff that is borderline abusive and not said anything for fear of how people would react. In hindsight, I feel a little cowardly and rotten about keeping silent. 


  1. Oh gosh that is one of my huge insecurities too. I always wonder where I would be if my parents didn't get divorced and I showed competitively still

  2. My imagination lies to me too. Also I feel your answer to #8. I often wonder how things could be different had I been in a better program too. But then I'm also pretty grateful for that first tiny barn anyways so I guess it all works out

  3. #10 I feel the same, I always feel like an insecure coward for not calling people out on shit.


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