1. What is your biggest source of caffeine that gets you through your day? (drink, not just brand)
Legitimately, besides horses, coffee is the one thing I am truly obsessed with. Not just your basic white girl starbucks coffee, but legitimate coffee. Like, have my own french press, learned how to cold brew, loves to explore different coffees, adores plain espresso, visits every hole-in-the-wall coffee shop everywhere I go, obsessed.
Normally, my everyday is (iced in summer) freshly brewed caramel drizzle from folgers, with a large dash of half & half, and a pinch of sugar. Honestly sometimes I don't even add sugar either.
Sometimes I get the fancy froo-froo drinks from Starbucks or Cavu, but they're generally too sweet and not enough bite.
I got my habit down from 6 cups a day to two. I didn't necessarily need the caffeine, I just LOVE the way coffee tastes. There's something wonderful and safe and warm (or cold!) about coffee thats incredibly reassuring. I do NEED one at least in the AM because I am a drug addict and get a headache if I don't have it, but generally I'm good for the day afterwards.
I just. Love coffee so much.
2. Do you honestly think your trainer is the best for you?
This is such an interesting question, because generally we are limited to what resources we have in the area surrounding us, and if we had nay pick in the world, wouldn't we all in theory want to choose that BNT that went to the Olympics?
From experience I can say that those BNT can be DICKS and while they're full of knowledge and experience, if they're set out to make you miserable, thats not someone I personally want to train with on the regular (yet did for years, wtf).
I truly believe there is a trainer out there for everyone and if you personally love getting thrashed about and talked down to every lesson, then have at those nasty BNT with world competition experience, but I got zero out of it. I prefer someone that has knowledge and kindness and the aptitude to adjust to several type of horses and riding styles (timid, aggressive, new, old, experienced, green, etc).
|I luff her|
I am lucky that I live close to the heart of KY and OH which is lush with trainers and I've experienced many, ranging from the weird Clinton Anderson types, to the BNT in dressage and jumping.
However, I truly DO believe my trainer is the best for me right now. The entire barn, including Supertrainer, also supplements with lessons from a BNT that specializes in jumpers and I adore both my trainers. Supertrainer is not only fun and hilarious, but she specializes in OTTBs and knows exactly what I'm dealign with everyday on my crazy goons. She has a way of teaching what I need for that day and the horse I have under me and I truly adore her! BNT is stern but soft all in one, and she really knows her shit. I've seen her teach everyone from the very green to people like Supertrainer and she's a freaking goddess.
Resounding yes, they're amazing.
3. One token of advice from a fellow rider/trainer/horse person that you still remember to this day?
"Let the babies eat grass."
As in, green baby OTTBs in my case. I was always 100% against letting my horses eat while tacked up because it was AGAINST THE RULES (who's rules? Equestrian rules, duh). However, she had a point. When horses eat, they lower their head, chew and produce saliva. All things we want to stimulate and in turn helps to relax a horse.
|Alcohol also helps the human relax|
You will always see me at shows with my horses casually chowing down on grass, because lord knows they're high strung enough without trying to make them stand without having food shoved under their noses.
4. If riding meant costing your family so much money that they’d be basically on poverty line, or making your family terribly unhappy (if they were not supportive or understanding, etc.) would you still do it?
I simply would not have a family. I would kill them all for being so unsupportive of their queen.
But seriously, minus the "must love dogs" requirement for a spouse, "must be OK with me spending more than half my salary on horses" is another one.
Still working on Bangor loving my dog as much as I do, but if there's one thing, he incredibly supportive of my horse habit. Not only does he take endless videos and pictures for me, but he also brings me fucking coffee to horse shows, so he's pretty much a keeper.
|Ipad to record videos, to make me happy coffee to make me happy, and holding my horse, also to make me happy.|
He also doesn't know that I'm going to put a tow package on his truck, but thats another minor detail.
Incidentally though, I've pretty much lived on the poverty line for like 7 years BECAUSE of horses, so its nothing new to me. I do realize if I didn't own two horses and a set of tack (or 3) for each horse, I would be much wealthier...but I also would probably have 3 children and be a cocaine addict, so you know, trade-offs.
In all seriousness, having a family is important to me, but horses are also part of me and I am not willing to give them up for spawn. Therefore, holding off on procreating will ensure that my future family not only has equines and humans alike, but we will be financially stable enough to support it all.
5. Would you ride while pregnant?
Again, not having them anytime soon, but right now I want to say yes. Until its of course, too dangerous to. Like bloated to a balloon pregnant. But then again, riding in general is inherently dangerous, so the simple act of getting on a horse, regardless of what trimester, seems rather dangerous. But then again again, I love danger...and horses. So its like, I don't know until I know, you know?
6. How do you tell when a horse likes someone/has bonded with them?
Considering all horses are different, it really depends on the horse. Therefore I will focus on my beasts.
Yankee is a whore and will literally love anyone who has cookies, so theres that.
|You give me cookies now, yes?|
|I only want food from you, human girl|
Bacardi is like an angry teenage girl and is pretty particular who he will love on. I think by now he's realized that I am his person and he begrudgingly stands still for hugs and loves. I swear ONE time he nickered for me, but I think its because he was hungry. I still don't know.
|Food, now plz.|
7. Are horses capable of loving?
They say love is a human emotion that is used to described affection in other species. I am on the fence about the ACTUAL emotion of love. Love makes you do things you wouldn't do for others you don't love. Love is sacrifice, love is raw, love is hard and love is never-ending.
Can horses sacrifice? Will horses do for you what they won't do for others? Can horses understand what love actually is?
yes and no.
Yes, MY horses will be more willing to jump certain fences, cross that scary river or get on a trailer when others can't get them to do so. But is this love?
No... its familiarity. They know me and trust me.
I want to believe that horses can "love", but I think what they display is affection based on familiarity.
8. If you could have one horse from your past come back for 5 minutes, who would it be, why, and what would you do with them in those 5 minutes?
Spirit. Hands down.
I love my Yankee and he is glorious in all things, but Spirit?
Man. That horse was something else.
He didn't exactly show affection, but he would do anything I asked him, without hesitation. I don't think that horse refused one jump in his entire life. I felt 100% confident on him, despite his terrible dressage.
I would hop on him bareback and go jump the biggest XC fence I could find, just to give myself confidence again over solid obstacles... if only for 5 minutes.
9. Should a trainer also be a friend, or should it be a student/teacher relationship?
I love my trainer, but I think it might teeter precariously on the friend/student/teacher barrier. I love that we can go to shows and have a good time, but we still have a professional relationship too. It works for us.
10. One piece of advice/training you were given by a trainer or mentor that you look back on now and view it as incorrect?
Neither of my horses will ever be ridden in draw reins if I can help it.
No secret that I think they are destructive tools that do nothing but teach a horse how to evade the bit by curling backwards. Horrible things even in the "right hands". Thats just my opinion though.