Wednesday, June 19, 2013

11 questions... or 55 :)

Okay, so I'm always late and slow to the party with bloggy award things which usually means that folks have already been named 42 times and I get all discouraged about passing things on.  But that doesn't keep me from being flattered to make anyone's list (still moderately shocked that anyone anywhere finds my ramblings coherent enough to follow), and I definitely like answering questions so I'll at least get that far in the game.

Huge thanks to Lindsay, Mona, Jess, Hillary and Niamh for the shout out!!  I appreciate it and love reading all of your respective blogs :)  Below are each of their 11 questions, but first some random facts about yours truly.  

1) I studied Animal Cognition in college and had some absurdly entertaining research and replicated well known primate studies with pigeons.  Nothing debases arguments for upper level cognition like watching a relatively stupid bird solve the same puzzle :) 

2) I secretly hate grocery stores and nearly always get The Boy to "grab a few things" on his way home.  

3) I cracked my head open as a child.  My brother was chasing me and I fell and split my brain box open on a stupid brick planter that was built into our living room.  My dad convinced me that the massive scar on my forehead was just "my star."  (ps wear helmets.  all the time apparently)

4) I strongly dislike thinking about/touching/dealing with raw chicken.  ergo, I don't cook it.  ever. 

5) My college mascot was the "jumbos" (an elephant).  Endless entertaining options for "JUMBOS" written across our sweats and jackets and what have you for both the volleyball team and Equestrian Team.  we were convinced that we were very clever.

6) In high school my trailer fell off the truck on a major interstate on the way to a show.  I nearly died of terror and didn't not haul a trailer for 3 years after that.  Respectably, my pony mare decided that getting in trailers was not something she was interested in after that.  I think my gelding forgot about the incident entirely.

7) I was captain of my cheerleading squad, which is not something that many people know.  I started cheering because our "alternative" school forbid a good friend from starting a squad because cheer "didn't fit the school's values."  I thought forbidding something for being too mainstream was just as crappy as forbidding something for being alternative so I got pissed, supported her and somehow ended up on the damn team... It was a short lived career. 

8) For Halloween one year my pony was a "princess horse" and ended up with quite a bit of sparkly puffy paint all over.  She had puffy paint on part of her ear until the following September.

9) I make seriously outstanding guacamole.  There are a few secret ingredients and I'm not sharing.  (I also make wickedly good totally traditional potato salad).

10) I really wish someone told me to take Spanish before I decided that 7 years of Japanese class was a much better decision. 

11) Among my former occupations, I've ironed and packed linens, been a barista, a chief of staff for a mucky muck in NYC, a yoga instructor and a warehouseman.  I'm not really sure what I am now.

And the Questions from everyone else:

From Lindsay:

What is your favorite thing about your horse?
This is hard.  With Prair its probably her trot. I can trot on her for ever and ever and ever.  With Pia, it's probably the looks she gives you, and with Gus it's definitely his treat face and his big white beak. 
When things don't go well during a ride, what do you do and how do you handle it to move forward?
Usually I try to walk and do some lateral work.  But sometimes I just get really really mad and have to remind myself I like what I do.
What do you do to treat or pamper yourself?
Buy the horses things that are cute and/or match.  Also I eat more sushi than is probably healthy (mercury poisoning anyone?) and am a sucker for really good wine.
What's your favorite childhood memory?
Oh man.  So many good ones.  One of my favorites though were the nights I spent sleeping in my pony's stall.  She kicked me once though (accidently) and then I moved my sleeping bag to the hay...
What's your general barn routine?
Show up, stuff treats in everyone's mouths, groom for 30 min, ride for 40, groom and meander for 30, stuff more treats in and head back to work...
If you could have as many horses as you wanted, how many and what would you do with them (if anything)?
I'm not sure there's a limit.  I'd have a big pretty breeding facility with big pretty pastures and do absolutely everything with them.  The Boy really wants a mule.  
What's your favorite meal?
Crappy mexican food at horse shows!  More importantly a few margs to go with...
What's your mindset like during a typical ride?
Focused and more goal oriented than it should be I bet..
Favorite tack brand and why?
Uh oh.  I can't pick one.  I do adore Otto Schumacher.  The leather is insane and I love the custom options.
Favorite breeches and why?
Pikeur. They last forever, their talls are actually tall and they fit my weird waist/no waist situation.
Tell me about your first riding experience.
my first "real" riding was at a summer camp on a 10 month pregnant mare named Honeybucks.  She refused to canter ( I don't blame her) and I called her honeybucket for the first few days.  She was beautiful.

From Jess:
1. Would you rather ride a mule or not ride at all?
mule! I love mules.  Plus Prair's oversize ears might boarderline qualify her as one...

2. List your three favorite books about riding or horsemanship.

I can only think of one that is beloved - Centered Riding by Sally Swift.  It's probably the only book that I've consistently been able to go back to and always absorb some new piece of information. 

3. Have you ever used the Clinton Anderson or Buck Branaman methods to teach a horse groundwork?
uhh, not specifically, but I have spent a ton of time on groundwork probably in a mish-mash of different methods.  I learned most of my structured groundwork from Cowboy Man when he had Pia.  I don't like Buck's flags, but I do think horses are capable of tuning into insanely subtle body language.

4. Do you know any gay riders (besides me, if you know me)? (Duh, I'm obviously going to ask this.)
yes! Several :) 

5. What's your favorite discipline to watch that you don't compete/train in?
I'm gonna have to say Rodeo.  There's aspects that scare the crap out of me, but I'm pretty sure I could still TOTALLY be a bad ass at barrel racing or team penning. Secretly I love team penning.

6. Totilas or Blue Horse Matiné? (There is a correct answer! Ha!)
I have a soft spot for Blue Hors Matine.  But I like mares. 

7. Who is your favorite thoroughbred racehorse of the last ten years?
I did really like following Rachel Alexandra.

8. Biggest pet peeve on horse blogs?
Hmm.  I don't know that I have a pet peeve per se, but I definitely notice that I tend to read whiny/angry ones a lot less. 

9. The Black Stallion or Black Beauty?
sophie's choice! bah.  I'm gonna go Black Stallion.  Beauty breaks my heart.

10. Would you rather ride in the heat or the cold?

11. Your area of the tack room or your bedroom: Which is cleaner?
I'm a neat freak in both.

From Mona:
1.  Were horses in your childhood?
Yes.  My grandmother grew up foxhunting and bought me my first lessons at 5.  My dad still blames her for that

2.  What's the weirdest lesson/clinic you've ever had on horseback?
Polocrosse.  I am not good at that. And my horse was immensely confused.

3.  What one thing would you change about your horse?
Assuming we're talking about Prair.... hmm I don't know actually.  Maybe a bigger tail.  No such thing as too much tail.

4.  What one thing would you change about yourself?
a bit more patience would suit me for more than just my riding

5.  Do you board or keep your horse at home?
Right now I board... but I would love to have my own farm again someday

6.  What is your favorite thing about boarding or keeping your horse at home?
I loved having my horses at home because I knew/saw everything.  How much water they drank, they're patterns/habits/etc.  I love having my horses boarded because I'm reasonably confident they are getting good care when I'm not there and it's much easier to leave town for a few days...

7.  What is your least favorite thing about boarding or keeping your horse at home?
I guess they inverse of what I said.. I hate not observing all the little details of the day when the horses are boarded.  But having them at home restricts a lot of other activities...

8.  What nicknames do you have for your horse?

Prair is PrairieDog, P-Dog, Doodleberg, doodle, Big Beak and Monster.  Pia is P, Piaroo, Roo or Piasaur.  Gus is Gusford, Gus Gus and Gussie.

9.  What scares you the most about riding/horses?
I don't think I've been "scared" about riding since the first time I ran Prelim.  but I suppose the notion that someday I'll get thrown against a wall in a particularly unfortunate way is also in the back of my head.  I guess I'm always a little bit terrified of losing my horse.

10.  What is your best skill around horses?
I think I'm very good with them on the ground.  I can usually work with a nervous horse pretty easily.

11.  What is your dream pony vacation?

Oh lord.  Anything.  A friend of mine lives in London and goes foxhunting on the weekends, but really it's a glorified pub crawl.  That sounds like an amazing way to spend a weekend to me. 

Hilary's Questions!
  1. Favorite gait?   a big huge, medium trot.
  2. Favorite breed of horse?  Hmm.  Partial to the Hanoverians at the moment...
  3. Favorite famous racehorse?  I should know more about racing.  I loved Seabiscuit's story.
  4. Favorite tackshop?  Olson's.  Hands down.  All my money lives there, not at a bank.
  5. Favorite tack brand?  Gonna stick with Otto S.
  6. If you could be anyone for a day who would you want to be?  Oh interesting.  Queen Elizabeth? I find the British royal family fascinating.  Influence without authority... so intriguing. and so much classier than the Kardashians....
  7. Discipline you would like to try?  I'm getting closer and closer to the Jumper ring... Also, eventing still rolls around in the back of my head but I'm not sure if that counts since I've already done it?
  8. Thing that you are most afraid of? SPIDERS.  Dear god.  I'd obliterate them all if I could.  Charlotte be damned...
  9. Favorite TV show?  I don't have cable so we thrive off network tv and PBS... Downton is still high on my list at the moment, 2 Broke Girls is my current fav sitcom thingy.
  10. Biggest barn pet peeve?  People who don't sweep up! it just looks messy! and entitled.
  11. If given a an unlimited budget and 1 month to travel where would you go?  Hmm, probably back to Africa.  Our safari was potentially the most amazing trip ever, I'd love to spend a full month exploring other parks in different climates and countries.  Also I hear the South African wine country holds it's own....

And Finally, Niamh's Questions: 

What's your biggest fear as a rider? *I feel like I don't trust people who say "nothing".
Haha, I think I said "nothing" earlier.  Realistically I'm always a little nervous that Prair is about to drop and run.  I guess I'm always waiting for the bolt.

Who's your favorite rider and why?
Ohh. Tricky.  Bruce Davidson was the first rider who I seriously envied.

What's the most useful piece of advice someone's given you as a horse owner?
"It's not a motorcycle.  You don't get the same ride two days in a row."

How old were you when you got your first horse?
 I was 11.  My dad made me primise three things in exchange for buying my favorite lesson horse that was being sold.  No french kissing until high school, no sex until college and give him grandchildren by 30.  (my family has less than traditional parenting techniques).

Burghley, Badminton, or Rolex?
I've never been to any of them.  Rolex is first on my list, but then I'd love to see Badminton.  Wouldn't mind owning a horse running in any of them, but no desire to have the ride...

Quick, you're trapped on a desert island, what three things do you bring?
Assuming the island has pasture grass I'm bringing a pony (not a horse, since I'm not bringing a vet), my kindle, and assuming my husband isn't an option I guess I'd pack myself a big ass tent.

If you could could have dinner with anyone (alive or dead, famous or not) who would it be?
Bill Clinton would be high on my list actually.  But if we're really considering anyone I think it'd be pretty neat to chat with DaVinci, Tallyrand or Kate Moss.

Favorite guilty pleasure? 
I've got a great feature of pretty much not feeling guilty about anything I enjoy, but one of my trashiest indulgences is a subscription to US Weekly.  Shameful I know.

Tell me three things on your bucket list. 
Own a beautiful Equestrian show facility. 
Spend more than a month sailing on a boat with my husband and stay married.
Run more than 2 miles consecutively (that would be a big deal, trust me).

If you could ride any well known horse who would it be and why?
Remington XXVI've just always liked the look in his eyeball. and there's something about eventers to me that is so attractive.. I think it's the adjust-ability combined with the athleticism. 

Would you rather: Ride without stirrups for the rest of your life OR have one arm tied behind your back at all times?
Without Stirrups! I think I spent most of my teenage years bareback anyway since I was too lazy to tack up.  However I do still cherish having both reins....



  1. Oh girl I love guacamole... i will gladly sample your master recipe!! :)

    1. PS. the promises your dad made you make for the horse are GREAT!! Brilliant man :)

  2. Loved reading that post - thanks for sharing!
    I agree with Karley, your dad is a legend!

  3. Lol, I admitedly hate the grocery store and avoid it like the dentist (a whole other story). I would gratefully give up my 4
    + years of Spanish classes (still talk like a gringo)for Japanese ;)

  4. FYI I also listed you for Liebster, even though you did the rigamarole already =P Love your adventures and especially your post titles which are just so true.


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