Don’t forget to join the Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange! It’s a great opportunity to thank all those in the blogosphere that have supported you the entire year… plus who doesn’t love to get gifts in the mail?!
6. Favorite equestrian book and movie
Can I pick more than one book? Growing up I loved the Thoroughbred Series by Joanna Campbell. According to Wikipedia, the series started in 1991 and numbered 72 books, plus some other special editions and spin-offs. I definitely did not read all 72, but they were great stories for young horse-crazed teens like myself.Now? I’m really not sure. I don’t read classic equestrian books, like Hunter Seat Equitation By George Morris (although, I probably should). But I do enjoy The A Circuit by Catherine Hapka and Georgina Bloomberg. I guess I like my equestrian novels like by TV: soul-sucking and pointless.
For movie, it’s a toss-up between Seabiscuit and Secretariat. I know, I know, probably the two most commercialized horse movies in recent history, but I really do love them. The book Seabiscuit was based on was phenomenal, and even though Tobey Maguire isn’t my favorite, he did a great job. And the way that Secretariat was done, highlighting Penny Chenery Tweedy just pulled at my heartstrings. So sue me, I’m commercialized.
7. Most common riding misconception
The comment I receive most-often from family, friends and coworkers who know nothing about horses (that makes me crazy) is “why are you jumping so small?” I swear, the only exposure they’ve ever had to horses is either a) pony rides or b) the Olympics. I do not participate in either. And just because I only jump 2′ doesn’t mean it’s not fucking hard. Assholes.
8. 2 riding strengths and 1 riding weaknesses
I’m going to really challenge myself on this one, and go big picture, instead of saying “oh, my leg is weak, but I have soft hands.”
My biggest strength in riding is what I call my “trainability.” I am very focused in lessons, not afraid to ask questions to gain greater understanding and I am a really, really good listener. I might not know what to do 80 percent of the time, but if I have someone to coach me, I will get the job done (eventually).
My second biggest strength is my honesty. I am usually really good at not only being honest with myself, but honest with those around me. I can say “I rode that poorly” instead of blaming everything on my horse. I’m also generally pretty good at keeping it real: I know I’m never going to go to the Olympics and that even the 3’6″ Amateur Owner Hunters are a stretch in this lifetime.
My biggest weakness by far is my fear. I used to have that wonderful teenage invincibility, but that’s long gone now and I’m worried about falling and breaking. I know I used to school 2’6″, but now it makes me nervous. There are a lot of things about horses, including large, hot OTTBs, that I’m just plain afraid of and I know this feeling holds me back a lot.
9. Least favorite thing about horses and/or riding
This one is easy: the financial burden. I hate that everything equestrian is so, so expensive. Not only because it means I sacrifice a lot to be able to own, train and show a horse (like new cars, vacations, clothes and occasionally eating more than Ramen and PB&J), but also because it is a huge deterrent to others joining our sport.
I have gained so much from my equestrian pursuits, it would take a novel to write it all down. I wish that more people had the chance to learn and feel some of the things I have with horses. Sometimes I think the money is all that stands between a girl and her love for horses, and I hate it. That girl could have been me, and I can’t imagine myself without my passion for horses.
10. What do you feed your horse?
Change direction from all of the deep, emotional stuff and let’s get down to the nitty gritty details of horse ownership. Miles currently eats a whole bunch of food, including (but not limited to):
Morning – 1 1/4 scoop Purina Strategy; 3 Flakes Hay
Noon – 2 Flakes Hay
Night – 1 1/4 scoop Purina Strategy + 3 scoops ProBios; 3 Flakes Hay
I’m currently trying to put some weight on Mr. Miles, and I think it’s finally working. We got a compliment from one of the boarders at the show last weekend who doesn’t see Miles very often, so I was quite pleased.
Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.
Hi! I'm Tracy, a full-time marketing/communications professional from Central Ohio. Fly On Over follows my journey through horse ownership and as a working adult amateur trying to find success in the hunter/jumper show ring with my Thoroughbred, Miles.