December 10 Questions

December 10 Questions courtesy of L at Viva Carlos – why not give it a try this month? Thanks to the weather and life, I haven’t actually ridden since the show 2 weeks ago…

Does your horse need shoes? Maybe. Subi was shod all around for years. When I moved him to self care and got Hayley, I kept them both shod for the first year but they both were so uncomfortable with the snow. I’m sure Subi was always uncomfortable with the snow, but it’s amazing how when you’re not seeing your horse 1-2x/day, you don’t see those things. Anyway, my farrier and I decided against snow pads and pulled shoes that next winter with the plan to put them back on in the spring. That was… winter 2010? He’s been barefoot ever since. If we ever get back into hard work, we MIGHT need shoes, but his feet are FABULOUS now. He used to be 3-legged lame when he lost a front shoe. He was also the horse that got drugged to get his feet done. Maybe the issue was the farrier? I have no idea. But, as of now, he doesn’t need them. Going barefoot in winter was the best decision and the results likely would have been different if we pulled shoes in the summer (that happened once and was a disaster, but the farrier/circumstances were different… full care, bad management, long story). Batty is fine barefoot up front on good surfaces but needs boots on trails. He’s also abscess prone and would benefit from shoes in some situations. But, because I’d pull for the winter season and I don’t want to do pads, we keep him barefoot. We use boots when necessary and adding flax to his diet has helped a lot. He has a terrible, misshapen hind hoof as a result of tearing off 3/4 of it as a 2 year old…

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What do you think of the barefoot vs shoes debate? If a horse needs shoes, great. If a horse doesn’t great. If a horse’s needs change, fine. One view doesn’t fit all. If boots help, great. If they don’t, that’s fine too. If they’re retired and comfortable in the field/paddock/whatever barefoot, who cares what they need to be more sound, they’re retired.

Favorite season for riding? Temperature-wise, spring and fall. Light wise, summer. I am the weird person who actually hates fall. I hate the fact that it’s getting dark, I hate the angle of the sun, I hate the fact that migraines get worse. I hate that everything is dying. I hate fall. Yes, I’m strange.

How many shows do you think you’ve gone to? Not that many. Before this past show, it’s been about 7-8 years since I went to a show.  I only showed Subi a handful of times a year (3ish) since that was all I could afford (2007-2009) and then college shows. So all of those.

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Do you consider yourself a good rider? No. I’ve always considered myself way better on the ground than on a horse. I’m certainly not an equitation rider either. I can be effective though. I’ve been told lately that I’m much better and stronger than I think, but…

How experienced do you think someone needs to be to own a horse? No real answer than this. As long as a person is willing to ask questions and has access to people with knowledge, I don’t think their is an amount of experience necessary. Or, people can have a lifetime of “experience” and ownership and have no clue about care thanks to full care situations. I really knew nothing until I moved to self care.

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Have you ever gotten into a fight with your trainer? Yep. Made worse by trainer also being barn owner and my boss… And passive aggressive… One such issue was barefoot incident I alluded to above. Many incidents existed…

Describe your dream horse? Something quiet and brave with no stop and no spook. Large, adjustable stride, but not fast. Good ground manners and good personality. Gelding. Not a mare. I don’t do mares. Hacks alone or in groups. Cross country or rings. Same if ridden daily or off for a weeks. Lives outside too! Yes, I’m asking for a miracle. And costs me nothing! Haha. Basically, I want a Batty with Subi’s jump and stride but probably in a warmblood body. Color isn’t important, plain is fine, though something comfortable would be nice, but honestly isn’t necessary! I find my super large bouncy trot thoroughbred comfy! Basically, I just want brain without a spook or a stop who can pack me around!

Does anyone in your family ride? Not really. My husband with hop on if I beg him to but I can’t say he rides. But, at least he’ll take a trail ride with me if I ask. Too bad I don’t have 2 trail safe horses!

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If you could ride any horse in the world, which one would it be and why? Not really sure at this point. I’d probably just say either a super fancy 3′-3’6″ hunter packer that I could never, ever afford, or, if we’re  being really unrealistic, some crazy fancy small pony hunter just because that would be awesome.

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