1. The person who most influenced your riding?
I couldn't decide between two people, so you get hear about them both! The first is my childhood instructor. I'd been riding for awhile, but Trina is the instructor who pushed me to get serious about getting better. Even though I was just a lesson kid barn rat, and was only able to ride once a week, Trina was tough on me. I still hear her voice yelling at me to close my fingers every time I ride! She wasn't just tough, though. She knew how to push the envelope, and encouraged me to jump things I was scared of and stick with the harder horses. I was a pretty big chicken as a kid, and her pushing kept me from stagnating. I actually ran into Trina a year ago. When I whipped out my phone to show her a picture of Guinness she had two things to say, "I see you still have a thing for chestnuts" and "Your fingers are open." Some things just never change!
My other influence is my current instructor. She's been a huge help in turning me from a generic English rider to a serious dressage rider. I'm not awesome, or anything, but I feel like I can get on any horse and look like I ride dressage. She's taught me a level of awareness I didn't think was possible, and been a fabulous guide in the training and development of my horse. I wouldn't be looking forward to Second Level without her!
2. Piece of tack you’d love to splurge on?
This is easy! I'd love a really nice custom dressage saddle. I'm absolutely in love with the County Fusion, so that's probably where I'd be headed! I'd also love a nice shaped browband, though I don't want anything blingy. Turns out that's impossible to find.
|Mmmm ... looks so comfortable!|
3. Top 5 riding playlist
There's a radio at the barn that's constantly on when other riders are there, and it drives me nuts. Not that I don't like listening to music while I ride, but radio hosts of top hits stations blathering loudly is one of my number one pet peeves. When riding by myself, I prefer silence or some sort of folky style of music. Guinness has indicated a particular liking of Johnny Flynn, we tend to agree on that.
4. Most important aspect of your barn?
TURNOUT! My horse is on 24/7 turnout in a 30 acre pasture/wooded area. Being out 24/7 has its downsides (Wet horses on rainy days, constantly being coated in mud from the knee down, hiking a mile to get your horse only to realize he's in the other corner and it's pouring... really anything related to rain.), but Guinness' soundness has never been so consistent. He's a happy kid out there, too. Chilling out with his ladies is just about his favorite thing (besides apples).
5. Three winter riding goals
Whoo! I love goals!
1. Get comfortable with all the movements required in Second Level.
2. Go galloping in the snow.
3. Don't lose my boots or fall face first in the mud.