Monday, September 8, 2014

Real Post Procrastination

With a lack of recent photos and some truly disgusting weather outside, I don't have much in the way of recent events to report.  However, the great thing about the equestrian blogging community is that we seem to have somehow gotten license to steal other people's cool posts to fill in the gaps (just kidding... mostly).  I'm of course referring to blog hops!  And in an informal blog hop sort of way, both L.Williams at Viva Carlos and Checkmark115 at Chasing the Dream (a brand new blog to me, I followed the link from The $900 Facebook Pony), have posted 10 questions to answer.

L's questions:

1. Is your horse spooky or bombproof? I wouldn't really describe Jazz as either, but she's definitely closer to spooky.  Luckily, (*knock on wood*) Jazz  is a good spooker.  She jumped sideways in a lesson recently at something or other, and my trainer remarked that I was lucky she 'spooks good'.  It's not much of a buck or bolt (*knocking on wood intensifies*), though it has been before.  Generally she just jumps to the side or bulges away from whatever it is a little and then stops, looks back, goes 'oh, okay. I guess I'm not dead yet from that unexpected dead leaf.  Now what?'.  Plus a nice bonus is that it's taught me a better seat correcting for the occasional sudden detour.

2. Does your horse have a long or short stride?  Uhhh....... okay this is where I admit to how long I really haven't been riding (green and green, whatuppp), and say I honestly don't know.  I'd guess that it's short because Jazz is short and it doesn't seem particularly ground covering.  Of course Jazz just loves to race around at the canter, so it gets quick and big pretty fast.  Those who've been reading a while might remember Jazz just learned to do circles at the canter.  Not 10 meter circles, half of the arena circles.  Seriously I've had actual steering at the canter for a little over a month, so I can't brag about its qualities just yet.

3.  Describe your current barn in 3 words?  Convenient, Friendly, Well-suited (to us).

4. If you could switch barns, would you?  Yes and no.  The biggest drawback to my place is the mares' pasture is so muddy.  It's annoying and not great for her feet.  That said, it is, as far as I know, the only place I'm aware of with indoor facilities in my area, price range, and preferred atmosphere.  The people are great, and the training and other boarders are close enough to my ability that I don't feel inadequate or judged, while also not worrying about other people running me down on horses they don't know how to ride.  There's a couple other barns with indoor in my area, but they're all either wayyyy too expensive, or they're more of a competition barn where I'd feel awkward about my ability level.

5. Favourite brand of breeches? The only ones I've tried that weren't hand-me-downs, Kerrits.

6. How many blue ribbons do you have? (Red if you live in Canada or Britain).  0.  I have never been to a show that gave out ribbons.  I once won a hay net and a fly mask from my gymkhana club for coming in second in flag picking, third in stakes race (I think, it might have been poles... or maybe I was third in both poles and stakes...)

7. How many saddle pads do you own?  2 English square pads, my pretty purple Lettia coolmax pad (which I'm obsessed with. I want thirty), and my blue and greenish blue shedrow affectionately referred to as the Westjet pad.  I also own 2 Western pads because I send them out to be professionally cleaned (they don't fit in my washing machine), so I always have at least one.

Pretty purple Lettia

The Westjet pad. (both these photos are reposts, sorry no good photos of the western pads on hand)
8. Is your horse your phone background/lock screen?  Yes, and yes.  She's both my phone and ipod background, and my ipod lock screen.  Three of my favourite photos of her and I.

Ipod lock screen.  It's also hanging on my bedroom wall.  Also it was my facebook profile forever and ever.  Also probably my favourite photo of me of all time. 

Ipod background.  This was taken the first time I saw Jazz after I got her for Christmas (I was out of town for actual Christmas).  Also look at my cute baby woolly winter beast! 
Phone backgound and longtime facebook cover photo.
9. Do you go trail riding often? (weather permitting)  Not really, though I really want to more.  There's lots of great people at my barn who trail ride with their experienced horses who I could go with, but Jazz's feet just aren't good enough right now for a lot of the terrain they go over (namely rocky riverbanks), so I'm looking at hoof boots and working to get her feet better in hopes of more trails to come.

10. Favourite horsey movie?  Hidalgo, hands down.  It's like Indiana Jones with horses.

Checkmark155's questions:

1.  If your horse was a person, who would they be? (you can generalize personality if you can't think of someone).   I really can't think of anyone or anything specific.  I think she's a lot like me, which is why we work well, but she's also obviously not like me or we would drive each other bonkers.  I'm gonna go for the cheesy cop-out and say if Jazz were a person, she'd be my best friend.  

2. What is one (or two... or five) pieces of equipment you cannot live without? I don't know.  Obviously I love both my saddles, they fit me and Jazz like a dream and both came at an absolute steal ($300 for my Western saddle that was so new the leather still squeaked, and $100 for my English saddle I literally cannot believe I was able to afford it's so nice).  I also love, love, love my old black Ariat cowboy boots I've had for going on six years and they are some of the comfiest shoes I own.  I'm also incredibly partial to my hoof pick. Not that it's a particularly exciting hoof pick, but I'm very pick-y (I'm also hilarious).  

Get out.  (I SERIOUSLY hate these.  You can't get any leverage with that stupid brush in the way)

Aww yiss. 
3.  When did you start riding/what discipline?  Besides a few nose-to-tail guest ranch type trail rides and pony rides, I went to Western riding camp starting seven years ago.  I went for five years, and it closed two years ago.  It was also a nose-to-tail affair, but with steep hills, river crossing, bushwhacking, and speed!  It was a great way to learn a basic seat for all the gaits (especially the lope.  Oh my god I am so happy I learned a basic seat on a horse that basically steered itself and only moved in straight lines). I rode only Western until more recently.  I had not so much as sat in an English saddle until last summer.  

4. Do you have a barn dog? If so, what breed? Nope.  I'm a cat person.

5. Do you like doing stalls or nah? I'm trying to decide if I should be proud or sheepish I've never had to clean a stall.  Jazz is a pasture horse, and I haven't had to do any sweat equity... yet.

6. What treats does your horse go nuts over? Everything.  Seriously.  I have seen her refuse treats once ever, and that was a strong, hard peppermint.  She is the biggest cookie monster of all time.  I don't give her treats much anymore because a) she will look for treats in everyone's hands and pockets for literally weeks and b)her feet are junky as mentioned above largely because she got too much sugar (this year's grass was sugartastic).  That said, she will happily gobble anything you will give her.  One time she ate half of my nature valley honey and oats bar.

7. If you've switched disciplines, why? If not, also why? I switched to English for no reason I can put my finger on.  I just liked it, so I wanted to mess around with it.  I still plan to ride Western for Gymkhanas, trail rides, whenever someone less experienced will be riding, and whenever I feel like messing around with it, but I find I have better feel with less saddle, so I like precise work in my English tack.  

8. What is your least favourite discipline and why (yeah, I ain't afraid to be scandalous)?
I'm not a fan of Tenessee Walking horses and soring,  though I'm not trying to say that everyone in the sport does it.  I also have a hard time watching any discipline where I see a rider doing hard checks on the reins or otherwise having harsh hands.  

9. Who is currently your favourite rider?  I don't really follow equestrian sports closely honestly. I'm also not much for celebrity.  Johnathan Field, I guess (but he's a clinician I don't know if that counts).  

10. What is your BIGGEST pet peeve regarding horses?  For Jazz specifically, her gross strung out crazy trot.  She sometimes zooms into hyper trot when I ask for the canter and it's awful and feels so discombobulated and it makes me CRAZY.  For horses in general, pushiness/no manners.  I cannot deal with a horse with no manners, especially an older horse whose owner has just let them get away with everything for years.  I'm too spoiled with Jazz's manners to deal with pushiness.  

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