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Blog Hop: Your Perfect Horse

Blog Hop: Your Perfect Horse

Late to the party (as always), but this one comes from Olivia, who challenged other bloggers to describe their “perfectly perfect ideal horse”. I think equestrians are hardwired with a natural proclivity towards daydreaming, so it wasn’t surprising that the moment I read the question my brain started churning.

Don’t get me wrong, I love these idiots, but if I had $1,000,000 in my pocket…

The first thing that always comes to mind when thinking about a dream horse is how the horse looks, so let’s start there. I want something big. Bring me a 17.2hh monsterβ€”I love the feeling of being the tiniest girl on the biggest horse. I want something athletic, but not lanky. He should have a thick neck that looks good with a roach. This gelding has big hindquarters, a short back, and clean legs. His head is attractive, but not delicate (he might even have a tiny bit of a Roman nose!).

Color, of course, is very important (hey, if we’re playing “dream horse”, we’re going to really PLAY it!). Let’s get real: I’m a sucker for the spotlight, so I’m going to go ahead and add the words PINTO WARMBLOOD to the list of requirements. That’s right, we wanna turn some heads!

This gelding is so athletic that lateral work feels easy. Counter canter is easy. Lead changes are easy. He’s such a good mover that if he didn’t have a passion for jumping he’d be a killer dressage prospect.

He’s got BIG gaitsβ€”the kind that make you feel like time’s slowed down and you’re not moving when really you’re covering a huge amount of ground. On top of that, he’s got the scope to get us out of any situation and to take me as far as I want to go (okay, maybe not the Olympics, but at least the cool 1.30m money winning classes they have at local rated shows).

Cornet 39, HUBBA HUBBA. (photo by Stefano Grasso from the Longines site)

My dream gelding is also young (four or five), because I love having a project to work on. He picks up on things quickly, but if he doesn’t understand something he keeps guessing until he gets it right.

His work ethic is huge (but he’s also very forgiving). Not only does he want to do the job, but he’s so game that he never says no to any fence (unless, of course, it’s too dangerous to jump). Even though my leg only comes halfway down his barrel, he listens super well. Sometimes he might get a little over exuberant when we’re jumping, but he slows down when he feels me getting off balance and tries his hardest to keep me on.

Umenno, another one from Solaris Sport Horses. 😎

This dream horse LOVES water and is great on trails. He might stop and look at things, but you can feel safe riding on the buckle. He’s a chill guy in general; he doesn’t mind if other horses smush up against him, and he keeps out of any major trouble so that he stays healthy and sound. He’s a little on the cheeky side (he loves to be all up in your business), but he’s got good ground manners. When I let go of his bridle he strikes a pose so that I can take majestic Instagram photos of his handsome face.

Radikal, from Cocolalla Creek Sport Horses.

If you add all of those traits together, you might have noticed that my dream horse looks suspiciously like the horse you might get if you took Ezhno and Raglan and smashed them together.

Now if only I could combine them into one knock dead gorgeous athlete…

Take Ezhno’s color, his hardy feet, and his brawniness and merge them with Raglan’s size, athletic ability, and squishy nose (then dial it all up to 10 and add in the innate ability to pose for photos), and you’d have something pretty darn close to my dream horse. Maybe someday I’ll find the perfect combination of the two of them, but for now I’m very happy with my two bozos! πŸ˜€

And if I can’t have my dream horse, I’ll just take Caribis Z. :mrgreen: (photo from NF Style)
Blog Hop: Horse vs. Rider & Some Thoughts About the Future

Blog Hop: Horse vs. Rider & Some Thoughts About the Future

One of my favorite things about blogging is that there’s always someone that’s been in my shoes. Reading stories about riders coming to terms with horses that didn’t fit their needs makes it easier to work through my own feelings about my belated realization that Ezhno will never be my forever horse.

Recently Emma from ‘Fraidy Cat Eventing posted about the balance between the rider’s journey with an individual horse and the rider’s broader goals and ambitions. Her questions came at an auspicious time, and they made me think about what my goals are for my journey with my next equine partner.


Do you define yourself as a rider by your goals or ambitions?

I think at this point in my life, I do define myself as a rider by my goals. As much as I wish that I could let my sense of enjoyment be defined by Ezhno’s preferences, the truth is that I find his discipline of choice (pleasure/performance) boring. I’ve spent the last couple of months trying to make the idea of becoming a performance rider work for me, but it just… doesn’t. πŸ™

Have you had to make decisions about buying or selling a horse based on its suitability for your goals or purposes?

Hello, current situation. It sucks, but I also think that the ability to know when it’s time to let go and how to sell a horse are important. I’m trying to view it as a learning experience and an opportunity to move forward with my riding.

Do you feel like there’s something bigger out there, something more overarching in your own journey as a rider, independent of the horses that may come in and out of your life?

I think the over-arching theme to my riding career has been rebuilding my confidence and encouraging a sense of “bravery” in the saddle. I do my best to enjoy every good moment as it comes along, but I definitely get a bigger sense of satisfaction from having a set goal to focus on. I want to see progression in my skills and abilities (and the skills and abilities of my horse, too!).

This is what makes me happy AND terrifies me at the same time. πŸ˜›

So, what are my goals as a rider? What do I want to be able to do with Horse #2?

I want to be fearless. I want to be able to jump 2’6″+ the way I can jump 2’0″β€”without anxiety and with complete trust that my horse will save my ass if I screw up mid course.

If I’m thinking in terms of the 2018 show season, I’d like to participate in the entire Lake Washington Saddle Club summer seriesβ€”preferablyΒ in the jumper ring, even if it’s only at 0.70m. I like that jumpers is judged off the clock instead of personal opinion, and I love how well organized the LWSC shows are (plus Bridle Trails is my favorite venue!).

If all goes well (and I can find someone to go with me), I think it’d be great to do a recognized jumper event. The only “real” show I’ve ever been to was the Pinto show, but since performance wasn’t my jam I just went for the experience.

I want to try eventing (and, by extension, DRESSAGE, woooo), though I’m not sure if there are any schooling level HT’s near me and I think the closest recognized event is in Oak Harbor.

Ultimately, I think eventing is where I want to be. πŸ™‚

Blog Hop: Who can ride my horse?

Blog Hop: Who can ride my horse?

When I was a teenager, I dreamed of owning a horse that only I could ride. My thinking was that our bond would be so undeniably powerful that my horse would reject anyone elseβ€”how ridiculous!

Since I’ve come back to riding as an adult (hell yeah, re-rider status!), my outlook on the equestrian arts has changed dramatically. No longer do I want to ride a fire-breathing dragon whose antics scare away even the most talented of riders. Instead I prefer the comfort and safety of a kick rideβ€”a horse who takes everything with a good sense of humor, who never spooks and rarely misbehaves, and who makes me feel confident no matter what.

Literally a kick ride. He was the laziest ever when I test rode him.

Which brings us to the question of the week around the blogosphere:

Who’s allowed to ride my horse?

And the answer is pretty simple: almost anyone. Just like Nicole from Zen and the Art of Baby Horse Management and Olivia from hellomylivia, my ultimate goal is to make Ezhno as ridable as possible. After all, the easier he is to ride, the less work I have to do in the saddle and the more resale options he has should something unfortunate happen.

Not that anyone could resist this cute face.

At the stage in his training he’s at right now (at least, the stage he was at pre-lameness), I would probably only trust a few key people (Trainer A, Trainer M, and the Show Buddy) to put consistent hours on him if I were to, say, leave for a long vacation or break a leg or otherwise be out of the saddle for more than a week or two, but in terms of day to day riding I’m open to letting almost anyone on him, from complete beginners to the talented 4-H girls that ride at my stable.

Case and point: babysitter Ezhno carting around all of my non-horse friends.Β  πŸ™‚