Monday, December 2, 2013

5 Day Challenge: Day 1

I'm stealing the 5 Day Challenge as created by Tracy at Fly On Over: 5 questions a day for 5 days. I'm a sucker for big survey memes, and these looked fun.

So! Day 1.

1. Most influential person on your riding.

This is a really tough question! Can I cheat and say Tristan? No?

Probably my first serious trainer, the coach of my college equestrian team, who helped me start Tristan. She gave me my confidence back, and helped me start Tristan under saddle and over fences, and introduced me to dressage. 

2. Piece of tack you’d love to splurge on.

Nunn Finer 5 Point Hunting Breastplate (Cob). Drool. We definitely need a breastplate of some kind; this has been on my wishlist for a very long time. 

3. Top 5 riding playlist

I can't listen to music while riding. I've tried, believe me, but it screws me up. (I can't listen to music with words while working, either.) I won't turn the radio off at the barn while I'm riding, but I never queue up a playlist, either.

However! I do sing while I'm riding. I can remember the exact day this started: the day after Tristan's disastrous first show, when I took him back out to the warmup area he'd lost his marbles in the day before in an attempt to retrieve them. We spent a solid 45 minutes jigging and bucking and occasionally bolting and about halfway through I started to sing Cole Porter songs to remind myself to breathe, and to give him something to calm down, hopefully. It seemed to work. So now I sing Cole Porter when I am nervous, or when I think he's nervous, or when we're on a long hack and I feel like I'm alone. "Night and Day" is a favorite, followed by "Under My Skin."

(I also almost always clean tack to Astaire & Rogers movies, sensing a theme?)

4. Most important aspect of your barn?
Gorgeous scenery doesn't hurt.
Horse care: first, last, always. This is absolutely crucial to me. Do they notice if he's colicky? Do they text me if he's injured himself? Do they follow my instructions when he's recovering? Do they check in with me when I've asked them to? I tip toward the neurotic end of horsekeeping, and a barn manager that will work with me and understand that is key. My current barn fulfills all these requirements in spades, and thankfully I had seen them go the extra mile (or hundred miles) for other horses before Tristan had his surgery, so I had the utmost confidence in their hard work and professionalism.

5. Three winter riding goals.

1. Topline - that is to say, rebuilding muscle.
2. Fitness - mine and his. 
3. Jumping again, to see whether his foot will hold up.


  1. Replies
    1. Isn't it delicious? I admit, part of me wanting it is to look like a proper eventer, but at least part of it is also that his saddles DO slip back when we're hacking up the mountain. And it's just so pretty.

  2. I sang Oh Canada for the entire first class of one of Joy's early shows. She was nervous, I was nervous, our trainer taught me to sing so that I would breathe, and they had sang the anthem just before the class started..... Apparently the other entries in my class were by turns amused and annoyed ;). I think we switched to our standard Kim Richey, Let the Sun Fall Down ( for our next class :)

    1. I have sung other things from time to time, often with made-up words to them, but Cole Porter is really my standby. But singing to breathe, yes! Exactly. There was a 4* eventer who used to go around XC singing at the top of his lungs, he was quite well known for it.

  3. I've never personally sang out loud, but when I'm struggling with pace, I sometimes sing in my head.... row your boat for trot and monster mash for canter, haha

    1. Ha, nice! See when I sing for pace...I adjust my singing to Tristan's pace, so it never works to keep me honest. I've never had a good system for that.

      I am absolutely NOT a singing out loud person, usually, which is why I keep my horseback singing to times when I'm 100% positive we're alone - on the trails, out in the field, late at night in the indoor.


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