August 10

Thank you once again, L. from Viva Carlos for the fun blog hop content!

1. What is your biggest source of caffeine that gets you through the day? Without a doubt, coffee. So much coffee. I wasn't really much of a coffee drinker until I got married to my husband, the coffee addict, and now I absolutely need a cup or two in the morning, and sometimes one to get me through the mid-afternoon slump.


2. Do you honestly think your trainer is the best for you? I've had 'the best' trainer for me lots of times, and the reason for that changes as I develop as a rider and face new challenges. Right now, my trainer is pretty great for both Dino and I. I always come away from my lessons feeling like we really accomplished something, and I so appreciate how she will chat with me 'after class' and help me process what I've learned. She is also FABULOUS at dealing with my occasional emotional meltdowns with grace, kindness, and a big dose of 'git 'er done'. A+!

3. One token of advice from a fellow rider/trainer/horseperson that you remember to this day? Oh my goodness, I've received so many nuggets of wisdom from so many people over the years, it's hard to pick just one! But one thing that is a great little earworm that I've held onto from my post-college jumper coach is "Pat-pat the pony!" She could be heard shouting this across the arena after one of our sainted lesson horses totally saved someone's butt over a fence, instilling in all of us an appreciation and gratitude for all that our wonderful horses do for us. Pat the pony, thank the pony, appreciate the pony. They give us so much.

Thank you, buddy!
4. If riding meant costing your family so much money that they’d be basically on poverty line, or making your family terribly unhappy (if they were not supportive or understanding, etc.) would you still do it? Um, sorry, but I'm not putting my family in the poorhouse for horses. That's irresponsible and selfish. Obviously, if I were to fall into some sort of financial hardship, I would ABSOLUTELY make sure that Dino was well taken care of, but no way am I putting my family in jeopardy for my own selfish wants. However, if my husband were not understanding and supportive of my riding, I wouldn't have married him in the first place! 

5. Would you ride while pregnant? Oh, sure! As long as it was safe and didn't put my health or the tiny human's health in jeopardy. Probably wouldn't jump, but I think I'd probably still hack my trusty steed on the flat. 

6. How do you tell when a horse likes someone/has bonded with them? With Dino, it's easy. Especially when I first got him, he was a very closed-off pony. Not affectionate, not easy to connect with, and pretty much only wanted anything to do with humans who had food or would give him a good scratch. Definitely would NEVER leave his hay pile for a person, or come in when called from the pasture! With the people he loves, he really comes out of his shell. He will follow me around like a dog, always interested in what I'm doing. We have this little greeting ritual when I arrive at the farm in which he walks up to me, puts his nose in my hands, and we touch foreheads. He and I have our own language, and he definitely works better under saddle for me than for most people. He also LOVES my friend and barn owner, and is very snuggly with her as well, often putting his muzzle on her cheek for a 'smooch'. I think when any horse displays a strong desire to be near a person, wanting to connect with them and touch them, and displaying affectionate behaviors, it's pretty easy to see that there is a bond there! 

True Love. 
7. Are horses capable of loving? Yes. Absolutely. 

8. If you could have one horse from your past come back for 5 minutes, who would it be, why, and what would you do with them in those 5 minutes? I would love to have Sally back for 5 minutes! She was, aside from Dino, the horse I loved most from college. I really had a lovely relationship with her, and absolutely adored that mare. I'd just pet her and give her scratches and treats, Lord knows the old girl certainly deserved her retirement! 

9. Should a trainer also be a friend, or should it be just a student/teacher relationship? While I've certainly been FRIENDLY with all of my trainers, past and present, the relationship definitely leans towards professional. While I have enjoyed socializing with my trainers, maybe going out as a group for dinner or drinks after a lesson or show, I don't generally consider my trainers to be my BFF's. I think things have less potential for drama if kept more on the professional end of the spectrum, and I have been able to keep in touch and maintain healthy relationships with ALL of my past trainers this way!

10. One piece of advice/training you were given by a trainer or mentor that you look back on now and view it as incorrect? I've received so, so much bad advice over the years. Probably equal in measure to the good advice I've gotten! One particular gem I remember was from my first "dressage" trainer in high school, who I quickly realized had absolutely no earthly clue what she was doing. She told me that if I rode my horse on a 20m circle and pulled on the inside rein, it would go on the bit. MMmm hmmm. And, in general, the entire premise of the first 8 years or so of my riding education was that we as riders had to "make" our horses do things. Not ask, not train for understanding, but MAKE or FORCE, and if a horse didn't comply, they ought to be punished. Thank God I learned better and came to understand how wrong that mindset is! 


  1. Ah I love your gif too! Grade A gifs flying around this morning!

  2. Awww, love that b&w of you two!

  3. That gif is my life! Such lovely photos in this post :)

  4. Love the photos and the last question made me think - there are so many teachers out there that we can learn incorrect information from!

  5. lol at everyone that thinks yanking on the inside rein is dressage

  6. I teared up at your ritual. So precious

  7. Those photos are to die for. Love.


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