1. Mares or Geldings (why)?
Geldings! Without a doubt. I'm too moody to get along with a moody mare. I clashed so much with my mare growing up. I know there are some out there that aren't moody, but I still just prefer geldings. They are so laid back and affectionate (not saying some mares aren't, just that the ones I've worked with have been more independent). I'm glad there are mare lovers out there though or I wouldn't have Chrome lol. His mom is awesome!
Baby Chrome with his mom.
2. Green broke or fully broke?
This is hard to answer. I like starting from scratch (getting Chrome at five months old was awesome), but the older I get (and more chicken) the more I value a fully broke horse... it's a conundrum lol. Maybe I should start from scratch, raise them and have someone else start them under saddle. To be fair Chrome has been amazing to start under saddle. It's not anything he's done that makes me chicken. It's just not knowing what he's capable of... if that makes sense. With a broke horse you pretty much know from the previous owner what they like, don't like and what their response to fear is. With a green horse you're flying blind! I didn't know what he would spook at, how hard he would spook, if he would run, if he would buck, etc. He's done a little of all of that, but it's been fairly mild and easily redirected. Now I just hope it stays that way lol!! Also you would think I'd know all of this from my extensive ground training, but being on his back off property is a whole different ball game!
First time ever riding Chrome on this third birthday. He was so confused, but an angel!
3. Would you own a hotter breed?
I'd prefer not. I like calm, quiet, brave horses that enjoy trail riding without all of the histrionics. Chrome is a little bit hot for what I like, but I think with experience (on both our parts) that it will turn into a good thing when we start doing actual work, instead of spooking.
Chrome's "hot" side could totally be channeled into something awesome with lessons!
... but my heart is out on the trail and I hope his is too.
4. What was your dream horse growing up?
Black Beauty and the Black Stallion sums it up! I wanted a jet black horse. When I was younger breed didn't matter, but when I discovered Friesians it was love at first sight (not just because they are black, it's because of their personality, the hair and their movement... I'm shallow, who cares?)! Friesians are still my dream horse, but my more responsible adult self has decided it might be best if they just stay a dream. Besides Chrome is everything I ever wanted out of my dream horse.... except for not being black LOL! Also I've decided a lot of hair is just a pain in the butt (part of the reason for Chrome's roach)!
Just say no to hair hehe.
Me riding my best friend's gorgeous Friesian mare.
Me with Chrome's Friesian sire. Still LOVE them!
5. What kind of bits do you use and why?
I started Chrome bitless and wanted to keep him that way forever, but he got too strong for road riding without one. Once he's more finely tuned I'll probably go back to it. For now he's in a French link snaffe because it's mild. So far it's been enough even when he bolts. He has a soft mouth. :)
Before we started riding with a bit.
6. Helmets or no helmets?
I grew up never wearing a helmet (and riding western). No one wore helmets in our area and I didn't compete so it just never crossed my mind. When I started working at the dressage stable it was mandatory to wear one. Now it's just a habit to wear one. I'll admit I'm not the strictest with it... If offered a ride and I don't have my helmet I don't say no and I will go without one for pictures sometimes. I plan on being more strict about it though. It's a work in progress. :) Heck I even convinced hubby to always wear one and he never wore one as a kid (working ranch), so I definitely am pro helmet.
Hubby rocking the helmet.
Me without a helmet.... ummm......
7. Favorite horse color?
Black! It will always be my favorite. :D Gray is definitely growing on me because of Chrome. I also like certain shades of bay and buckskin (especially sooty). I almost forgot, appaloosa! I will always be a huge fan of appaloosas because of my mare growing up. My favorite patterns are blanket and leopard (obviously in black or bay). Oh and liver chestnut with flaxen mane (think Rocky Mountain horse) is gorgeous! I just really like dark horses.
Rocky is my black horse. :D
8. Least favorite horse color?
I'm probably going to offend some people.... the list is long.... I don't like anything with a lot of white.... gray used to be on that list but has changed because of Chrome (although I'll probably go back to hating it when he's solid gray and I have to keep him clean lol), so that includes pinto, double dilute and even palomino (white mane and tail would be impossible to keep clean!). Also pretty low on the list is chestnut. Now the reason for the pinto and chestnut is because EVERY HORSE IN MY TOWN has always been pinto and chestnut! I swear on my block there is one black and one appaloosa... the rest are pinto and chestnut! Well, bay too. I guess after drowning in pintos and chestnuts I just wanted something different. :)
Now before I really offend everyone keep in mind that I have seen gorgeous horses in all colors! I'm not lying when I compliment your horses on your blogs. Sinatra is the most gorgeous cremello I have ever seen and I'm a huge fan of all the chestnut OTTBS (and other breeds like O of course!) on the blogs I follow. Just because I don't want one doesn't mean I don't like them when they are owned by other people. Also if I found the right horse personality wise it wouldn't matter what color they were. If Chrome were chestnut that would probably be my favorite color hehe.
9. Dressage or Jumping?
Dressage. I haven't really ever jumped much (just on trails over tiny stuff like fallen trees) and don't see myself being brave enough to ever pursue it. Obviously if given the option to ride a trained jumper in a lesson I would totally go for it, but I don't ever see myself jumping anything huge.
10. How many years have you been riding?
Twenty five years with only a two year break in there where I was horseless. I didn't do much riding when Chrome was a baby, but I did ride several times a month with my best friend during that time so I did ride. I don't have any pictures of me riding when I was a kid on this computer (they are actual film photos lol).
Training Chrome was so much fun. I don't regret those years without a riding horse hehe.
11. Spurs/whip or no?
I haven't ever tried spurs. I probably won't either unless I needed to for some reason. Whips are a helpful tool to have in certain circumstances, but I don't carry one right now (just one more thing I'd have to keep track of lol). My favorite use for a whip is to play my Chase the Tiger game with Chrome LOL!
Chrome LOVES Chase the Tiger!
12. Your first fall?
I was riding Tony my buckskin pinto pony (ahhhh pintos ahhhh!!!) when I was five or six. He was my second pony (we gave the first one away because she was too hot for us kids). My mom had him on a longe rope in the neighbor's yard. We were just walking around in circles (mom isn't a horse person and kept us on the longe, but when dad was there we got to ride on our own). Tony decided to turn back in the other direction, but he turned his butt to the inside so the rope dragged me off his back. Mom was worried I was hurt, but I laughed and told her it was just like falling off the couch. I was a weird kid LOL!
13. When was the last time you rode?
Ugh October 4th....... wow.... I didn't realize it had been that long. :( My job is killing my soul... seriously I hate that place. I work ten hours a day, so by the end of the day I only have the energy to shower, take care of the animals, eat, get things ready for the next day and then fall into bed. I don't do well with having to get up early. On my days off it has been RAINING!!!! It has been raining for days! It rains EVERY WEEKEND! I'm seriously wishing I had an indoor arena.... so yeah I haven't been riding. :(
My last ride.
14. Most expensive piece of tack you own?
Saddles. Most of my stuff is sale items, gifts, yard sale scores, etc. I'm CHEAP! So yeah saddles are the only thing I've spent a lot of money on. After that it's probably his blankets (pads and turnout).
It took me a long time to get used to it, but I love my Aussie saddle.
15. How old when you started riding?
When I was five.
16. Leather or Nylon?
I prefer the way leather looks and feels, but I hate taking care of it and I can't afford it usually. I like the ease of nylon (and the colors, LOVE Chrome's halter)... that's why I love the beta biothane of the Two Horse Tack halter I won in a contest for Rocky (haha cheap remember?) because it looks like leather, but it can be washed with a hose! If I had the money I would seriously exchange all my stuff for beta biothane. :D
LOVE beta biothane. Looks like leather.
.....but I love Chrome's nylon halter too!!
17. Leather or synthetic?
Synthetic for the same reason as above. It's easier to clean and maintain and it's less expensive.
18. What "grip" of reins do you like?
I don't really have a preference or I've never really thought about it. I have laced reins. They are a pain to clean, but they are fine for riding with or without gloves. :)
19. English or Western?
Both. I prefer trail riding in a Western or Aussie saddle because it's more comfortable for my knees for long rides, but I also love (and miss) dressage! I would give anything to have a dressage saddle and lessons again. We need it so much, but finances are so tight!
20. How many horses do you currently own/lease?
I own two horses and one donkey.
My horses (and hubby).
21. Do you board your horse? Self-care? Full board? Half board? Home board?
I keep them at home. I have always had my horses at home. I've never boarded before. I like having my horses home because I can go see them whenever I want and have complete control over their care and I always know who (people and horses) and what they are exposed to. The drawbacks are no facilities, no arenas, no trainer, no lessons and no riding buddies. Doing without those things sucks, but it's worth it for the peace of mind (highly anxious horse owners raise their hands with me!).
Facilities are under construction at least hehe.
22. Have you ever put down horse you loved?
Not yet.... hope I never have to, but I'll do what is necessary. Storm was the first dog I had to put down and it still hurts two years later. :( Tony, the pony I mentioned above, died of colic when we had him (he was OLD) and I had one die of a twisted gut after I gave him away, but the rest of them are still happy and healthy. I even know where most of them still are and can go see them whenever I want to. :) My appaloosa Lady is twenty five this year. I really need to go visit her, but her current owner is in the hospital with Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever, so I'll have to wait until he's better...
23. How many saddle pads do you have?
Seven I think... Most of them were gifts hehe.
24. Slant-load trailer or straight-load?
Ugh this is another hard one to answer. I honestly don't really know. To be perfectly honest I'm terrified of all of them. I have severe trailer anxiety. I'm on the edge of panic every single time Chrome is in one. I really want one of those horse stock trailers because there are no mangers, dividers, etc. for a horse to get hung up on in a wreck and Chrome has always traveled loose. I'm scared to tie him up, but I'll have to teach him to one day...
25. Why do you ride?
Because I always have and I can't imagine a life worth living without it. Horses are a part of me. The two years I went without a horse were the most miserable in my life. To be honest I don't necessarily even have to be riding. As long as I can go hug my horse, groom him, teach him tricks, take him for walks, etc. I'm happy. Obviously riding is icing on the cake though. I miss it so much when I'm grounded due to the weather!