Five Day Challenge -- Day 2

Well guys, we've had our first snow of the year! Sadly, it's mostly focused at my house, and not the barn. Still, the snow dogs are enjoying it!

6. Favorite equestrian book and movie
Book? This is really tough. I have a lot of favorites, but the one that I absolutely can't part with and still read is actually a huge compilation of stories, Roger Caras' Treasury of Great Horse Stories ( I was never much of a children's book reader (Exception? Really well done picture books. I still buy those ... for myself.), and preferred stories with engaging story lines that didn't feel like they were written for someone just learning the language. This compilation had great poetry and short stories. All of them absolutely have literary chops, but are delightful reads. Plus? A lot of the poetry and short stories are ones I've never seen in another collection. Looking for a book for your adult horse-loving friend? Seriously check this one out!

Movie? Easy. The Silver Stallion. When I was little I had a preoccupation with palominos (who didn't), and this was like palomino horse porn. (Hm, wonder what google searches will bring traffic here now...) However, my favorite horse in the whole thing isn't even a palomino. It's the chestnut stallion Yarroman. Holy gorgeous! Also seriously gorgeous? Young Russel Crowe as an Australian bushman. Ooooh yeah.
Yarroman. Looks kinda familiar, huh? Turns out I have a thing for pretty redheads...
(Did you really think I was going to put up a picture of Russel Crowe? Click here for those ... )
While searching for a photo from the film, I found that the whole thing is actually on Youtube. What?!

7. Most common riding misconception
"Oh cool, you own horses?! Where does your horse race?" Um, yeah, he doesn't anymore. And, most people don't own racehorses ... I honestly don't know why this one is so prevalent.

And also:
"Dressage? Isn't that expensive and just for rich people?" Well, yeah sort of, but actually about the same cost as any really intensive hobby. I mean, model builders have plenty of costs. People who show dogs have a lot of costs. It's not just for rich people, it's for people who have the drive to make their money work for their happiness.

8. 2 riding strengths and 1 riding weaknesses
Hm, strengths. Well, I would say that one of my biggest strengths when it comes to riding is my drive. I really want to get better at this whole game, and I'm not naturally a great rider. However, I really don't mind putting in the hours and the practice and the boring repetitive work it takes to improve. I actually thrive on that. In fact, that leads into my second biggest strength ...

I'm a good student. I love lessons, and I soak them up. I know that every time my instructor sees me, she can tell I've been working on my homework. Sure, everything isn't always perfect and I may not be ready to move on from the homework she gave me, but I know she can tell that I have been working hard and see improvements. I really work hard to make that the case. In addition, I tend to try to suck the last morsel of information out of my lessons. I like to sit and audit others rides, and I try to write myself a detailed write up of each lesson. I remind myself of key phrases, how my horse responded, what each thing felt like, and more. Each write up is like a moment in time, and going back to read them often reminds me of exercises or position work I could bring to the table to make my rides even better.

I would have to say that my biggest riding weakness is how readily my moods and emotions can take over my rides. Sometimes I find it very hard to release tension from a rough day at work, or anger from something in my personal life, and move forward with riding. This can cause a lot of upset between my sensitive red-head and myself. It's something I've been consciously working towards fixing, and it has been getting better. However, this is probably something I'm going to have to be aware of working on for my whole life.

9. Least favorite thing about horses and/or riding
My least favorite thing about horses and riding right now is the distance from my house and job that my horse is. My barn is 30 minutes north of my town. That's a tough drive to get motivated for, and makes slipping in riding time impossible without planning it in. Those of you with horses in your backyard, or a 10 minute drive away? I envy you. Those with longer commutes? Let's cry about it together ...

10. What do you feed your horse?
Grain: Guinness gets a full scoop of oats and a pellet that I'm pretty sure is Tribute Essential K twice daily. In the evening he'll get a top dressing of a 1/4 cup of raw, whole, flax seed and a SmartPak with a reduced dosage of SmartFlex Senior Herb-Free, a full dose of Mega-Cell multivitamin for horses on high alfalfa diets, and one and half doses of Farrier's Formula Double Strength.
Forage: Pasture (when it's growing and not covered in snow ... like it is right now) and/or a round bale of a grass/alfalfa mix. When brought in for his evening supplement or riding, he gets a flake or two of pure alfalfa.

Just as a side note: I love feeding alfalfa to my high octane thoroughbred. I've never noticed him getting hot from it, and it's great to help him keep on weight. Plus? He loves nibbling on it enough to keep wolfing it down in the trailer and at horse shows. Anything that keeps Captain PickyFace happy and eating is great in my book!

Now, off to my town's Christmas Festival and a night of cuddling with snow puppies!
What I'll be doing tomorrow!


  1. Replies
    1. Yay! Someone else has seen it! I was starting to think it was just me :)


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