Saturday, April 4, 2009

Horse Survey

Saw this on a friend's blog and thought it would be fun to answer.

1. How old were you when you first started riding?
My first pony ride was when I was about 4, but I started lessons when I was 21.

2. First horse ridden:
Mmmm, lesson horse named Amy I think? Morgan, I think?

3. First horse trotted on:

4. First horse cantered on:
Amy... flew off her right shoulder when she started bucking out of excitement... all the lesson horses were cantering at the same time. Couldn't canter for MONTHS after that, still have trouble with canter departs in an arena.

5. First Horse fallen off of:

6. Most recent horse fallen off of:
Zephyr. As I recall, I was walking him down a gentle snow-covered slope and he did some weird kind of duck and spin thing, and I came off over his right shoulder. I suspect I always come off over the right shoulder.

7. Most terrifying fall:
My old TB gelding "The Gentleman" that I owned in college... I was jumping him in the outdoor arena and the sand was waterlogged. Showing off for the boyfriend (now hubby). He took the corner too fast and fell on my left leg. BAD sprain... heard it pop in three places but no broken bones.

8. First horse jumped with:
Hmm. Not entirely certain. Possibly Gentleman? I rode a lot of lesson/lease horses before him, so maybe not.

9. First horse who ran away with you:
The TB gelding, no question. He was FAST for a cull!!

10. First horse that scared the crap out of you:
Amy. Falling off at the canter really did a number on me.

11. First horse shown:
The Gentleman (“Manny”).  He had a god-awful trot and ran away over jumps... no ribbons that I remember.

12. First horse to win a class with:
I don't remember ever winning. I might have, but I'd have to look at my ribbons to be sure.

13. Do you/have you taken lessons:
Yes, in college. My instructor called me her 50mph student because I was such a fast learner. At one point she accused me (teasingly) of taking lessons somewhere else in between her lessons, but really I was just going home after each lesson and visualizing it over and over again until I got it right in my head. Then next time I rode I DID get it right. Little did I know that I was doing an actual accepted method of learning!

14. First horse you ever rode bareback:
A QH gelding that I leased during college before I bought Gentleman. Don't remember his name.

15. First horse trail ridden with:
Probably that same QH, but I'm not sure.

16. Current Barn name:
None, I have Zephyr at home and it's really not a "farm" so hubby says it would be silly to name it. I think if I WERE to name it, maybe I'd call it PineApple Creek Farm?? We've got a lot of pine trees, a lot of apple trees, and a creek. Also, pineapples are the symbol for hospitality, and I like to think that hubby and I are very good hosts.

17. Do you ride English or western?:
Endurance. That is, whatever works. Right now it's a shanked hackamore and an English treeless saddle. Zephyr neckreins and direct reins, so no problem there. He doesn't do a western jog though, he foxtrots/racks instead.

18. First Horse to place at a show with:
Probably the TB gelding I leased during the year after I graduated college? I took him to some dressage shows and some regular hunt-seat shows. He was a real stinker, I remember getting 2nd or 3rd in a big equitation class one time because he was acting up SO badly... just not quite badly enough that we had to be excused from the ring, and the judge told me she really admired the way I handled him.

19. Ever been to horse camp?:

20. Ever been to a riding clinic?
Yes, several. Took Zephyr to four sessions of gaited riding clinics (two were at Equine Affaire), and attended a couple with local horsemanship trainers (two as an auditor, one as a participant).

21. Ridden sidesaddle?

22. First horse leased:
Can't remember his name.

23. Last Horse Leased:
Can't remember his name either.

24. Highest ribbon in a show:
I really don't know. I might have won a class or two but I'd have to go look at my ribbons to know for sure.  Zephyr did get Reserve Champion at a 25-mile competitive trail ride last year. 

25. Ever been to an 'A' rated show?:

26. Ever competed in pony games/relay races?:
No. Endurance rides, and CTRs, yes.

27. Ever fallen off at a show?

28. Do you ride Hunter/Jumpers?:

29. Have you ever barrel raced?
No. OMG that is a funny thought. Absolutely not.

30. Ever done pole bending?:

31. Favorite gait:
Depends. Love a nice relaxed canter, but there's nothing like the "high" you get from a really great extended trot!

32. Ever cantered bareback?:
Yes. It's way easier than trotting.

33. Have you ever done dressage?:

34. Have you ever evented?:

35. Have you ever mucked a stall?:

36. Ever been bucked off?:
Probably, but I consider it more “lost my balance and slid off”.  It’s never during the actual buck... only after.

37. Ever been on a horse that reared:
Yes, but not one that went very high.

38. Horses or ponies:

39. Do you wear a helmet?
Every time.

40. What's the highest you've jumped:
Maybe 2'? I'm a scardey cat with jumps, especially in an arena. Out on trails, on a straightaway, I'm more brave.

41. Have you ever ridden at night?:
Yes. I even got a 'completion' at the 2007 Moonlight in Vermont 50-mile endurance ride.

42. Do you watch horsey television shows?:
Sometimes. The ones that aren't educational are often highly irritating, so I try to avoid them.

43. Have you ever been seriously hurt/injured from a fall?
I had that bad sprain, but I don't know that you'd call it SERIOUS.

44. Most falls in one lesson:

45. Do you ride in an arena/ring?:
When I have access. I don't have one at home.

46. Have you ever been trampled by a horse?

47. Have you ever been bitten?

48. Ever had your foot stepped on by a horse?:
Sheesh, do you have to ask? Of course!

49: Favorite riding moment:
Whenever I want to go to a "happy place" I think about the Justin Morgan 50 back in 2007. There was this one field about halfway through when 4 of us were cantering side-by-side down a mowed path... the sun was shining and the birds were chirping and the air was thick and warm on my skin... I dropped the reins, spread my arms wide, and lifted my face towards the sun. ALL was well in that moment.

50. Most fun horse you've ridden:
Zephyr. He and I are basically one person at this point, I think.


  1. Love your horse's name Zephyr, which I think means a small breeze. I notice you are in Bucksport, ME and I've been there many tmes on my way to Deer Isle where my folks had a summer place (an old farm house). I've seen this survey also and it's fun to answer and think back on the many horse adventures. I read your blog about loading on a trailer and just want to give you and your friends some information that is significantly different from that of Clinton Anderson and the other "natural cowboys". It is Basic Training for a Safe Trail Horse with subtitle of Eliminating the Fear Factors. It is a small paperback narrative with instructions available at amazon or at author's email of To give you one example of how its information differs from just part of your description of trailer loading, we can look at your use of a rope and the words "to send". This indicates that you are placing yourself in the position of a predator when teaching your horse. You are on the right track to use a word for the horse to learn to load, but it's much better to be in the position that your horse would perceive as the alpha mare and that doesn't involve using a rope to "send" send your horse away. Check it out!

  2. I do not believe that "sending" my horse is predatory behavior. I think if you read the rest of my blog stories you will see that Zephyr, trained using the methods you find "predatory", is one of the safest horses out there. He's certified for Search & Rescue, and has done shows, parades, and 50-mile endurance rides without a single hitch. He also practically runs towards the trailer to get on... so I must be doing something right.

    I resent that you're using blog comments (in a very condescending tone, too) to anonomously promote your books. A simple google search revealed this tactic. I suggest that you be honest and up front with people about the fact that you are the author.

    However, I do try to be openminded so I read the book review at While the author says the book contains some good ideas about training a safe horse for the trail, she doesn't mention trailer training methods being in the book.

  3. Dazey,
    Why not post in her trailering blog then? It sounds like you are trying to get some free advertising by writing in her blog! I suppose there are no limits to what people can use blogs for, and there are countless ways to teach horses to safely load into trailers- I think it all depends on the kind of training the horse reacts best to!