A fun blog hop, from T over at Raincoast Rider
1. What's your favorite thing about your current horse?
Ben is very honestly THE NICEST PERSON. JT and I say it all the time. He is just the sweetest, most lovely horse ever. I don't think anything in the world could make this horse kick or bite a human intentionally. When he was on stall rest he ::ahem:: bounced on my arm a bit. But it was just sheer bouncing exuberance. Nothing nasty. When you do things that are painful (ie chiro adjustments, hock injections) he just makes sad puppy dog faces at you, he doesn't threaten. He is such a pleasure to be around because he is just so kind and nice.
2. What do you find to be the most challenging about your current horse?
His spookiness. He is genuinely quite frightened by a large number of things. We are getting much better at functioning in spite of it, but he will never be a brave horse. I am getting better at accepting this too and not trying to put a rational human brain onto his actions. He is who he is, everything he does is honest.
3. If you could only hire one person to help you, would it be with coaching, riding/training, or barn work?
Absolutely coaching. I don't have a barn so the barn work I do is to help the GY's out or because I enjoy it. And while Ben has definitely benefited from JT's training rides and shows, if I could only have one, it would definitely be her coaching me. Granted she does both coaching and riding.... soooooo if I get one person, it is her.
4. What's something you want to learn or wish you were better at?
Hrm... I would LOVE to learn how to start a baby from the ground up. If I ever own a baby, this is something I am definitely paying someone to do, but it would be very cool to learn to do it with the trainer.
5. Shout out to your support crew. Who are they?
My husband, absolutely, he hand walked at least twice a week when he was on stall rest while I was in vet school. JT and her whole barn - she does an AMAZING job cultivating a supportive, caring environment where everyone is cheering for everyone else. And the GY's. I have only know JT and the GY's since... June of 2021
and April of 2021
respectively, but it feels like I have known them so much longer.
6. Favorite book, website, podcast, or other equine resource?
Book wise, Equine Fitness by Jec Aristotle Ballou is one that I keep finding myself returning to every few months.
7. If money was no object, what would you do all day?
Each day would vary. I would certainly have a second horse. I'd keep the young, up and coming 3-5 year old with JT. She'd do 2 days a week and then I'd do 2 lessons a week on/with said horse. I'd work relief, 1-2 days a week, 7AM to 3 PM, to keep myself busy and keep my mind engaged. Ben would stay with the GY's and our schedule would be basically as it has been. Since I was only working 1-2 days a week though I'd be fully able to embrace riding him 5-6 days a week. The two horses, cat, husband, and I (and maybe the chickens and pigs?? Or I'd just pay someone to take care of them here in FL) would all go to the mountains of NC for July and August though, we'd have a nice 10 acre pasture up there somewhere with access to some trails to enjoy during their summer vacays. I might fly my BFF in from Oklahoma so I would have someone to ride with as well.
8. Because this is the real world and horses are expensive, have you ever had a side hustle or considered having one?
Kind of? During undergrad I was a TA for multiple courses, worked at the farmer's market every Saturday, and worked at the student Writing Resource Center. During vet school, I worked as a tech at the school and worked at Zinger's barn. Now I have my full time job, but also pick up relief shifts as they work for my schedule at a few different places. That money gives me less guilt about things like having to buy completely different saddles for the swap from Ben to Yoshi. But it isn't some unique and creative side hustle... it's just more of what I already do lol.
9. What's the best horsey decision you've ever made?
Oh man. Recent one would definitely be hunting down JT! She's an amazing trainer who helped me so much with Yoshi AND connected me to Ben.
In all my horsey career? Definitely deciding to keep Zing when I went to undergrad. I tossed around the idea of selling him because he was worth a decent chunk and financially it would have made more sense, but... yeah. Love of my horsey life.
10. Worst decision?
I still regret saying "yeah we can do one more" at the end of the clinic that led to Leila somersaulting. But it did show us her nasty cervical OA that was probably part of why she wasn't particularly willing to bend. She was just such a sweet, kind mare though and didn't deserve that trauma though.
11. What's the best thing that happened to you or that you accomplished in 2022?
Meeting and then buying Ben!