First of all, in response to T Myers' question on my last post as to whether there are any hot men in this crazy British fantasy world that is Oxford, I have but one reply:
That would be a yes. (For the full details on the calendar these fine ladz posed for, which features shots of 12 different varsity teams at Oxford, check out this article; so much drooling.) On a more day to day basis, the fact that one sees men in well-fitting black tie on a weekly or even daily basis doesn't hurt either. There's a lot of eye candy to go around.
But on to more serious matters: awards! Thanks to Viva Carlos and The Polka Dot Periodical for nominating me for a Sunshine Award. I'm honestly really touched, and getting nominated made me still feel like a real member of the 'horsey' blogging community, even though I don't get the chance to do much talking about horses anymore. So thank you!
To the questions:
Mares or Geldings? I have great admiration for mares, but the best horses I've ever owned have always been geldings. I'm a pretty stubborn, pushy, catty b*tch sometimes, so it's probably not the best idea for me to have a horse with all of those personality traits as well. Though I do love diva geldings (looking at you, Ray).
English or Western? Well from a competition standpoint I've competed English my whole life, but the few times I've competed Western have been so much fun. I've often wondered if, when I come back to riding after this current hiatus I'm on, I might give something like reining a try. Those reining horses are AMAZING and it looks like a fun new world to explore.
Do you prefer younger or older horses? I don't have a ton of experience starting out youngsters, though I'd love to get better at it. Unfortunately my neck and back problems make it so that I have to be more careful about the horses I ride, as I have to try to minimize the risk of falling off, so that makes doing the young horse thing a challenge. But there's no better feeling than riding and succeeding on a horse you've done most of the work on yourself.
Have you trained a horse from ground zero? Sort of, in that I've done all the pieces separately, but on different horses. I've never gone all the way from first backing to, say, first Training level event on one horse. Again, given my physical limitations, that's probably not something that's in the cards for me in the future unless I find a truly exceptional and safe horse. But I'd love to get a young horse and, with the help of a trainer to get through the 'wild and wooly' phase, get as close to that experience as I can.
Riding or Groundwork? Well, obviously, riding. But anyone who knows me knows that I also take groundwork very seriously! My horses always have good manners, ground tie, and generally stay where I put them until I put them somewhere else. The only slight exception to this rule was Ky, who proved a very tough nut to crack indeed, but even he came around by the end.
Do you board your horse or keep them at home? I've done both, but I truly love keeping them at home.
Do you use all natural products or commercial? Mostly commercial. If I have one 'activist' thing at the barn it's trying to save/use every available ounce of water, but I'm not much of a hippie.
All tacked up or bareback? Both are wonderful in their time. There's nothing more therapeutic than a great bareback ride after a stressful day, but if I actually want to work on things then I like being tacked up.
Equestrian model: Pippa Funnell, Mark Todd, Bruce Davidson, Tuny Page, Charlotte Dujardin, Paddy Smithwick, Tony McCoy.
What's your one main goal while being in the horse world? At the moment, to get back into the horse world someday! But my overlying goal in riding has always been the same: I want to always remember to put the horse first, I want to stay true to myself as a person, and I want to never stop learning. I used to get tangled up in certain material goals, but the great thing about transitioning from one discipline to another and having to start all over was that it really drove home that the most wonderful thing about riding is the journey (as awful and cheesy as that sounds). I like riding because I like the day to day process of being in the barn with the horses and improving my skills as a rider and a horseman. All the material goals are secondary to that.
10 Blogs I've Nominated (hopefully with a minimum of repeats!):
...Sending Postcards (I know this one isn't horsey, but gosh it's a favorite)
Walking the Fine Line Between Clever and Stupid
Confessions of an AA Event Rider and Convicted Overthinker
Just a Girl and Her Horse
The Adventures of Lucy
Charlie and Me
Pacific Coast Eventing
Bicycles and Icicles (also not horsey, and unfortunately it hasn't been updated in a while, but I love it too much not to include it)
Thanks again for the nomination!
Coming up this week in the adventures of Oxford-land: MOAR BLACK TIE, my first boat club social event, ALL THE READING, and hopefully some Halloween hijinks. Stay tuned.