Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Like everybody knew

This questionaire has been appearing at some of my favorite blogs so I thought I would join in.

1. How old were you when you first started riding? I was twelve, almost thirteen, really. I never rode a horse before the day I bought my first horse, Alfie, unless you count pony rides, where you go around in a circle like a live merry-go-round.

2. First horse ridden: Alfie, a 7 year old, 13.3hh, palomino Appaloosa (Welsh/Appaloosa or POA?)
3. First horse trotted on: Alfie

4. First horse cantered on: Alfie

5. First Horse fallen off of: Alfie. I fell off so much in the beginning!

6. Most recent horse fallen off of: It's been a few years now, but I believe it was Annie.
She dropped her head and bucked me off. I cracked a rib from the fall.

7. Most terrifying fall: This was on Dude, a 3 year old Paint I was training. I was riding him alone, in a halter, in the fields away from the barn, (stupid, I know) when he spooked and bolted. I knew I couldn't stop him as we headed in the direction of the barn at a dead gallop. There was a steep hill we'd have to go down and a two lane paved road with lots of traffic, so I bailed off. I limped back to the barn wondering if he'd be all right. He was okay although he did get a nasty road burn or two on his legs where he must have slipped on the pavement.

8. First horse jumped with: Shannon, my dapple gray thoroughbred, because I jumped real jumps with her.

9. First horse who ran away with you: I used to ride Alfie bareback and bridleless in the arena and kick him to run. LOL, he never ran away with me. However, once, my three friends and I went swimming in the flooded river under a train trestle. I didn't want to get my leather bridle wet so I used a halter. When the train came, all the horses spooked. Some went down river but Alfie bolted up the riverbank towards the train tracks. I couldn't stop him and I was afraid he was going to run in front of the train when he finally veered off into the woods. Don't you think I'd have learned not to use a halter for riding out of the arena by the time I rode Dude?

10. First horse that scared the crap out of you: I'm sure it was Shannon! She was five when we got her and only greenbroke.

11. First horse shown :!) Alfie!!

12. First horse to win a class with: Alfie! We used to ride in the monthly gymkhanas at our barn. At one show, my brother and I got the high point trophy with Alfie. We rode and won almost every gaming class they offered and I won in the pleasure and equitation classes with him too. The only class we could never show Alfie in was a halter class, because he wouldn't keep his ears up or trot. I didn't know enough to train him properly for one, really.

13. Do you/have you taken lessons: I took jumping lessons for three months. I used to always choose Edgar, a bay thoroughbred, because he bucked whenever I used the crop on him. It gave me a thrill, I guess. lol. I found that most schooling horses are very insensitive to their riders and harder to ride than one's own horses. I realized that I was learning more just riding my own horses and besides, they were much easier to do things with. At the time, I had three horses, Alfie, Shannon, and Sandee, a 2 year old I trained myself.

14. First horse you ever rode bareback: Alfie, of course!

15. First horse trail ridden with: This must be getting boring, Alfie, of course. We had about three miles of woodsy trails to ride through to get to the lake. We had a stream crossing too. However, I have never taken a horse on a proper backpack overnighter which is my dream.

16. Current Barn name: Dunno? Fantastyk Voyages?

17. Do you ride English or western?: both, although I guess I prefer western. I don't really know how to jump; those paid riding lessons didn't help too much in that area, and I wouldn't venture to say that I am a "dressage" rider. I have my own style of cowboy dressage.

18. First Horse to place at a show with: Alfie! We won lots of gaming classes with him, like barrels and poles. My proudest achievement was winning the western pleasure class with him. I trained him for pleasure all by myself. I bitted him up in a curb (he was a Tom Thumb bit horse) and taught him to jog and lope on proper leads, back up straight and change leads from my cues. A few years later, my first semi-professional ride was on a little buckskin Paint mare that I rode for a breeder in a Paint show. We placed third in an English pleasure class. He needed to earn points on her.

19. Ever been to horse camp?: No

20. Ever been to a riding clinic? I have watched riding clinics but never participated.
21. Ridden sidesaddle? no, unless you call swinging one leg over the horn while you ride, sidesaddle. I used to do that a lot on Alfie. I even practised trick riding. I was pretty good at the Apache hideaway. This is where you swing down on the side of the horse by holding onto the horn.

22. First horse leased: Never, I always buy my horses, although I would love to lease out one of my current ones.

23. Last Horse Leased: N/A

24. Highest ribbon in a show: see above, High Point trophy

25. Ever been to an 'A' rated show?: Yes, I rode the Paint mare in one.

26. Ever competed in pony games/relay races?: Absolutely! I love the keyhole race the best. This is where you race down the arena into a drawn (chalked) keyhole (think lightbulb shape). You have to turn around without stepping over the lines and race back. My horse learned to do a rollback without even knowing how.

27. Ever fallen off at a show?: no, but I have fallen down! I was in a trail class with my Dude (Paint horse). The judge had us dismount and trot/jump over a bale of hay leading our horse. My spur caught on the bale string and I tripped and fell, hands splayed out front. My horse jumped and landed on my hand. I don't know how nothing broke but it was sheer agony! I finished the class with my hand crumpled into a fist so no one probably even knew that it happened. To top it off, I didn't even place!

28. Do you ride Hunter/Jumpers?: No. Before I bought my first horse, I used to have dreams of me riding a leggy thoroughbred in jumping classes. However, reality chose another avenue and I got my little western horse. Then I got Shannon and we jumped some in the two years I owned her. However, I've never jumped more than three foot.

29. Have you ever barrel raced? Oh yeah!

30. Ever done pole bending?: I love it! Your horse does flying lead changes every stride or two automatically. I often trot through standing poles to train my horses. I have poles laying in my arena even now.

31. Favorite gait: I love to go into a full gallop in an open field.

32. Ever cantered bareback?: Sure, and ponied another horse at the same time.

33. Have you ever done dressage?: not officially. I had a half Arabian mare, Shahreen, that was trained to third level and I could put on a performance with her. We could traverse at the trot and canter and she could change leads every stride. She also knew how to kneel from the saddle.

34. Have you ever evented?: Not officially, however, I was in Pony Club and Shahreen and I would run a little crosscountry course.

35. Have you ever mucked a stall?: For reals??!? Of course! In my senior year in high school, I would drive to the stables every morning, turn out the horses (Dude and Shahreen), muck their box stalls, and then go home to shower and get ready for school.

36. Ever been bucked off?: Absolutely! Annie cracked my rib a few years back.

37. Ever been on a horse that reared?: Only baby rears, a couple of feet up or so, so no, not really.

38. Horses or ponies. ?? Scout is between 14.1 and 14.2 so officially, he is a pony. Alfie was only 13.3. I had a little Shetland for a few months that I retrained. However, I prefer small horses.

39. Do you wear a helmet?: It wasn't even considered when I was a teenager and I had my first horses. Nowadays, I try to, especially on the trails. Although, I do admit, I'm certainly not 100%. I do require others to wear them- "Do as I say, not as I do."

40. What's the highest you've jumped: About 3 foot. I would love to jump higher but I want to be on a horse that knows how to. Mine don't.

41. Have you ever ridden at night?: Oh yeah!! I love riding at night! On full moon nights, when you can see shadows, I like to ride out and around.

42. Do you watch horsey television shows?: Whenever I can. I like the old westerns like Dr. Quinn, medicine woman.

43. Have you ever been seriously hurt/injured from a fall?: Oh yeah, Many times! I was looking at a possible project horse, Riddler, an unridden three year old gelding. My husband gave me a leg up and planned on leading us around. Riddler bolted and ran down the field, crashing into the fence and falling on me in the process. I still bought him even though my leg had a hematoma the size of half of a nerf football on the inside of my knee area. My leg turned black and blue from the knee down and I couldn't bend my knee at all for three months.

44. Most falls in one lesson: ?? as in jumping? No!!

45. Do you ride in an arena/ring?: I do have an arena at my house, so, absolutely!

46. Have you ever been trampled by a horse?: not yet, although I have been knocked down. Does my hand incident count?

47. Have you ever been bitten?: Yes, one time I was offering Riddler some apple pieces and he bit down on my finger tip, to the bone. Also, I had an Appaloosa mare, Beighley, Scout's mother, who bit me in the back as I was grooming her. There have been other times, too, I'm sure.

48. Ever had your foot stepped on by a horse?: Yes, Beighley stomped on my big toe once when I was grooming her while wearing rubber boots. I'm sure she fractured it because it wouldn't bend for weeks. And I'm sure she did it on purpose.

49: Favorite riding moment: Too many! Riding in the river, balloon fights on horseback, racing trains, playing hide and seek in the woods on Alfie, jumping and cantering Shannon, trail riding with Nadia and Scout, or taking Annie for a ride. I even like just sitting on a horse's back as they placidly graze grass.

50. Most fun horse you've ridden: I think Shahreen was my favorite because she could do anything. We were at a level of mutual understanding that is rare to have. When I felt down and out, I would take her out and we'd race across the fields.
I also loved to ride Alfie because he was such an incredible little gentleman. He was always so good that it was thrilling when he'd act up.

Bonus question- What's your dream horse(s)? I have always wanted to own a Friesian or a pinto Vanner because of their feathery legs, crested necks, and stout bodies. Andalusians are way up at the top of my list too. I want to experience a passage and a true extended trot. I want to ride a Lusitano or an Andalusian on the beaches of Portugal or Spain.
I would also like to ride a cutting horse in action.

Like everybody knew - song: The Motel, artist: David Bowie, album: Outside


Tammy said...

I've been wanting to do an abbreviated version of that questionnaire on my blog. Much of it doesn't apply for me as I had a pony as a kid (like age 3 or 4!) and then went almost 35 years before the next horse came in my life! And then when I thought about how I would chg it to my way of riding, there were a slew more questions I would put in! LOL! I wish I had the experience that some had in their youth. I am going thru all the hard knocks as an adult!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Great answers, thanks for playing along. It's fun to get to know more about you. I've always wanted an Andalusian or Lusitano too. We should take one of those riding vacations to Spain or Portugal and get all our blogging friends to come. Have a great day.

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Neat information. You've had a lot of experiences and I appreciate you sharing them.

Hopefully, on April 19 you can check off riding an Icelandic Horse.


Fantastyk Voyager said...

Tammy, yeah, there could be a lot more questions, anything about trail riding, or first accomplishment that you're proud of, most challenging part of riding, etc...

Grey Horse, that would be so wonderful! I AM going to go to Europe some day for a vacation and I intend to do some riding. It's going to have to be in the next couple of years too, because I'm not getting any younger!

Dan & Betty, I am soooooooooo looking forward to that day!!!!! We should talk soon and discuss where to meet up, etc. I could bring along my horse(s) too.

Jo Castillo said...

This is interesting learning about you and your horses. I haven't been on a horse since 1973, whew! I rode a lot before that. My Dad was a ranch hand.

You have great photos, too. See you again.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

In a way I'm so envious of you, Val. You had all those great horse-related experiences as a young girl, when all I could do was
dream about them...and wait.

And like Tammy said, 'go through all those hard knocks as an adult'. gah!

But I'm also happy for you, too. 'Cause you've been so kind to pass on some of your knowledge to me.
I hope all your wishes and dreams come true, my friend.


The Wades said...

Val, amazing experiences!! You have to be a darn good rider having had all those accidents. I've heard that only makes you better.

I don't ride enough to have accidents. The thought of falling off all that way makes me cringe.

The Wades said...

Are there any pictures of Alfie?