Saturday, 14 December 2013

5 Day Challenge Day 2

6. Favorite equestrian book and movie

It took me a good hour of googling to find the books I was thinking of! I had a couple books from the 80's, the Blue Ribbon Series by Chris St. John, back when I was younger, and absolutely LOVED them!! Eventing books were (and still are!) fairly hard to come by, and I liked how these ones didn't have as much silly teenage fluff as a lot of the other books I've read. Would love to track down the whole series!

Another of my current favorites is Finding My Distance-A Year in the Life of a Three Day Event Rider by Julia Wendell. It leaves out nothing, you go through all the ups and downs, victories and hardships right along with her, I really enjoyed it. I've been lending this one to all my horsey friends!

There is one more book that I had as a kid and I have googled and googled and can't for the life of me remember the name! It's also an old eventing novel, a girl and her horse go to a big event after coming back from an accident where her and her horse crashed on a fence at the bottom of a steep hill, one of the guys on the farm had bet her that she couldn't do it or something along those lines. Anyways, the book covers pretty much the whole time she is at this event, and they do well if I remember correctly, even conquering the scary 3 fence combination on cross country set on a steep downhill. If this is ringing a bell for anyone I would love if you let me in on it, haha. Another book I would love to track down again!

ETA: THANK YOU DAWN!!!! It was Three Day Challenge by Joan Weir, also later published under the name Storm Rider.

As far as movies go, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken is definitely up there, along with Sylvester.

7. Most common riding misconceptions

The most obvious one is that "the horse does all the work." Which we all know is FAR from the truth! The other that bugs me is the assumption that anyone who has horses is rich. I've had some very odd/borderline offensive questions from non-horse people about the cost of horse things as well as my personal finances. I find it very funny how some find it appropriate to ask a perfect stranger personal questions about their spending and financial situation!

Also the questions "How much money do you make eventing?" (Um, none.) Always so predictably followed by: "Then why do you do it?" There's basically no chance in hell of explaining this in any sort of sufficient way to someone that's not a horse person.

8. 2 riding strengths and 1 riding weaknesses

One of my strengths is being able to step back and look at things objectively while riding. Most specifically when things go pear shaped. If I fall off or something goes wrong, instead of getting upset or scared I go "Well A, B and C went wrong, and I should have did X, Y and Z instead, so I'm getting right back on to fix that immediately!" I've had some things happen while I'm riding which I'm sure would scare the crap out of a lot of people, but for some reason I can easily push the emotional stuff aside and just carry on.

I guess I could call it a strength, my ability to just go with the flow. I see many riders, especially when jumping, get all flustered and upset if the slightest thing goes wrong or their horse blows a lead or gets an awkward distance in a combination, they will just stop or circle instead of working through and/or correcting the problem. Not everything is going to be perfect everywhere, especially in the show ring, so I think it's very important to be able to push through and just ride what you have at that moment, whether it's ideal or not.

A weakness could be that I don't see distances to jumps very well sometimes. That would be totally fine if I just sat up and rode whatever the horse gives me, but I for some reason I have this annoying habit of tipping my upper body forward when I don't see the distance. This sometimes results in my flailing around in a very awkward and ineffective way, and on occasion I will flail myself clean off the horse, which usually results in some fantastic photos! Definitely not ideal, especially on cross country where the back seat is the place to be!! But I'm working on it!

9. Least favorite thing about horses and/or riding

The financial aspect can be difficult at time. But that comes with the territory, you do what you gotta do, and I know many can relate! I am forever wearing my own jeans until they fall apart, or pushing back getting an oil change on the car because Sunny needs the chiropractor or a new blanket. It's all about priorities, and it can very hard to balance everything sometimes!

10. What do you feed your horse?

My current barn is one of the first places I have boarded where the barn takes care of the feed, not me. I've boarded at many places over the years and have gotten horribly anal about what my horses eat. I just shudder when I think about some places I've been over the years that feed sweet feed only or give all the horses the same scoop of feed twice a day regardless of whether they need it or not!!

Sunny gets free choice hay, timothy with a bit of alfalfa. The barn provides a high fat high fibre complete pellet, and I feed Sunny myself after I ride. Through the winter she basically gets as much pellet as she'll eat after I ride (1 1/2-2 scoops). She stays a bit on the thin side naturally, and I work her fairly hard year round, so we want to gain or maintain over the winter, not lose weight. Otherwise she usually gets about 1/2 scoop a day. No regular supplements at this time.


  1. OMG!!! I LOVE Storm Rider, and FINALLY got my hands on a copy of it last year! Also, did you ever read any of the Black Stallion books?

    1. I read the Black Stallion books as a kid, I should get on that again though!!

  2. So, I'm waaaaay behind on my blog reading...but so cool that Finding My Distance is one of your favorite books :) Hard for me to be objective, since Julia is a dear friend and the horses in the book are like family to me...but definitely one that I've gifted or lent to many many of my horsey friends as well! It's funny to go back and re-read it now, as many of the horses have now grown up, retired, or passed on...and Cavendish is a big bad Advanced horse now!