Only a month behind!
1. How old is the youngest/greenest horse you've ever ridden?
I was the first person on Castleberrys Protege's (Shae's) back, and it was my first time riding a Welsh Cob. He was not quite three, but Dr. Marks assured me I weighed so little she was fine with it. That deserves a post of its own sometime.
|April of 2010|
Dillon, who saved my confidence, was 24 and semi-retired when I rode him when I first came to my trainer and barn nearly six years ago He's now 29 and totally retired.
3. Were you scared of horses when you first started riding?
No, that came later!
4. Would you say you are more of a nervous or confident rider?
On ponies, I feel like I could conquer the world and giggle through bucking and bolting. On horses, I am the biggest chicken that ever lived. Not that I won't ride horses, but misbehaving horses feel completely different to me than misbehaving ponies.
|Castleberrys Aviator smiling for the camera|
5. Biggest pet peeve about non-horse people around horses?
One time during a break in the CrossFit Regionals Nicole and I wandered the Ohio State Fairgrounds and found people moving into a national Morgan show, complete with mostly Hispanic men setting up elaborate stall setups and owners in fancy cars. Non horse people see that and think all horse owners are wealthy enough to put fountains and streetlights outside their show stalls for no reason at all. It's so different from that for the average person.
|From Morgan shows to media hours|
6. A time that you've been scared for your life (horse-related)
That time we got caught in a freak snowstorm with horses, and the truck and trailer did a 180 across three lanes of I-275 in Cincy and stopped facing the wrong way on the interstate, one inch away from sliding (probably would have rolled sideways, actually) down a 30 ft embankment with no guard rail, and mature trees at the bottom. Except I was WAY more scared for Connor's life than I was for mine. There's no feeling like being certain you're going to watch your horse die at any moment as a result of a situation you've put him in. Thankfully rig, people and horses were all totally fine, not even a scratch on any of us. I actually cried when, an hour after that happened, I was finally able to throw open the trailer door and Connor greeted me with pricked ears and his usual nicker.
|At our temporary housing that night, thanks to a kind network of Indiana eventers.|
7. Have you ever fallen off at a show? What happened?
Not that I can think of.
|Taylor at an IHSA home show, 2009. The pony that got me into ponies. RIP little mare.|
8. What's a breed of horse you've never ridden but would love to ride someday?
I'd love to ride a true draft, if only for the pictures of my legs sticking out the side like this:
|From my 2011 post about riding Adagio in a lesson.|
9. Describe the worst behaved horse you've ridden.
Gosh, it's gotta be Bella the Wonder Pony. Thanks, Austen.
The scale is hard to see here, but remember: I am not quite 5'1 and 105lbs. If I make something look small, IT'S REALLY SMALL.
10. The most frustrating ride you've ever had
My parents' donkey Festus takes this one. Growing up, I wasn't allowed to ride the horse, but could hop on Festus whenever I wanted as long as I had a helmet on. I spent so much time bareback with a halter kicking valiantly as he ignored my little legs and grazed. Except that one time we were in the back pasture and he heard my mom come out to feed and cantered a couple hundred yards to the barn. If you've never cantered a donkey bareback, it is a WEIRD feeling!