FYI - it has taken me days to complete this post!
Allow me to accept this award:
HOW TO ACCEPT THE AWARD: The Liebster Blog Award is a way to recognize blogs who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word that means beloved and valued. Here are the rules for accepting the award:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog.
2. List 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
4. Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
5. Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or fewer followers to nominate and include links to their blogs.
6. Go to each blogger's page and let them know you have nominated them.
11 random facts:
1 – I’m a metal singer! I grew up singing country and broadway, but I’ve now been seduced to the dark side by symphonic metal.
2 – I was a math failure for most of my life. In my late 20’s, things finally started to click and I ended up being a math tutor and civil engineering major. I’m a damn good math tutor, too!
3 – I was in the Army. While I was in the Army, I spent some time riding horses for the Army. Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard!
4 – Part of me wants to be just as accomplished sidesaddle as I am astride.
5 – I love Victorian fashion.
6 – I love having PAINTED fingernails, but I hate PAINTING my fingernails.
7 – I want to play the cello… I don’t even own a cello…
8 – I want to climb glaciers.
9 – I climbed my first mountain at the age of 33.
10 – I want to quit my day job and train with a top rider (but, who doesn’t?). My husband will never understand.
11 – I’m going to be the crazy cat lady… That is, if I’m not already…
11 questions to me from Mona:
1. Were horses in your childhood?
Yes! I rode for the first time when I was 5 years old on an Arabian stallion that belonged to my mom’s friend. I was hooked instantly!
2. What's the weirdest lesson/clinic you've ever had on horseback?
I haven’t had any particularly weird lessons or clinics… I did have one lesson that was bareback in a round pen to focus on correct balance. One of the exercises, as we cantered around the round pen, was to hold one ankle. For example, imagine sitting classically on your horse, bareback. Now, draw your inside heel up until your naturally hanging inside hand can cup your ankle. Now, maintain that while cantering! It was great for demonstrating how the thigh needs to reach down and around the horse as well as the calf. I would only do this on well-broke horses!! And don’t forget to work both legs each direction!
3. What one thing would you change about your horse?
I can’t think of anything I would change about her… Unless it would be to make her a 16.2hh warmblood… But, then she wouldn’t be her, would she?
4. What one thing would you change about yourself?
Bravery. When I was a teen, I didn’t know fear as I galloped and jumped anything in my path. Now that I know apprehension, I still want to ride like that! It wasn’t bravery before, because the apprehension wasn’t there…
5. Do you board or keep your horse at home?
That’s kind of tricky… I’m in a unique (and oh, so sweet) situation. I don’t own the mare… We shall call her owner my sponsor, and she boards her where I had the Old Man so that I can ride her and put miles on her. So, I guess I still board!
6. What is your favorite thing about boarding or keeping your horse at home?
I love the social draw of boarding. People miss me if I don’t show up for a while. There always seems to be something to do with someone else, so I don’t feel like I’m riding alone. Even when I am the only rider in the arena, someone is aware that I’m in the saddle, and I’ve caught the occasional head popping out of the barn to make sure things are still alright.
On the other hand, I love the flexibility and control that keeping a horse at home offers. I knew exactly what he was eating and when. I knew if he was off. I could just enjoy watching him from the back porch or the kitchen window…
7. What is your least favorite thing about boarding or keeping your horse at home?
I could do without the politics that come with any boarding operation. It’s always there and is virtually unavoidable.
On the other hand, keeping my horse at home leaves me without facilities or the training opportunities presented by an ever-changing environment.
8. What nicknames do you have for your horse?
The Old Man had several nicknames… Boo, O-Pie (pronounced like “The Pie” from National Velvet, only with an ‘O’ instead – we were always saying “O-Pie can do it!!”), Pie (when the extra syllable was just too much), and Killer (because he wasn’t).
Psycho Mare is still developing her nicknames. Coach calls her “Little Mare” and I have started referring to her as “Pony Mare.” I think she’s going to start going by something along the lines of Super Mare, though!
9. What scares you the most about riding/horses?
Not getting to ride or maybe messing up someone else’s horse. Everyone rides differently. I am always honored when someone trusts me enough to ride their horse. The last thing I want to do is undo the work they have already done by riding differently than they do. It’s a recent thing I’ve developed… Never mind that I’ve started quite a few horses and put solid foundations on all of them…
10. What is your best skill around horses?
Laughing through spooks! I honestly find the things horses spook over hilarious. They may not think it is funny at the time, but my laughing gets them over it faster and keeps me relaxed enough to follow them through most evasive behavior. I suppose it is an extension of my ability to keep my cool through crazy things. Usually, anyway…
11. What is your dream pony vacation?
My dream pony vacation is whatever one my husband will join me on. However, it isn’t likely that he will willingly go along with such plot. Instead, I’ll have to settle for a mule ride through the Grand Canyon. Which would still be pretty darn cool!
Assuming that I am vacationing without him, I want to do anything that gives me an opportunity to ride fancy warmblood horses across Europe! Does that vacation package even exist?
11 questions for the bloggers:
1) What is your dream job?
2) How old were you when you started riding?
3) What has been your biggest success?
4) What has been your biggest challenge?
5) How do you stay fit for riding?
6) Treats or No Treats?
7) How do you support your horse habit?
8) What is your favorite helmet, and why?
9) Dressage: love it or hate it?
10) Splint Boots, SMBs, or nothing?
11) Can you tell I’m running out of things to ask?
11 bloggers with 200 or fewer followers:
3- Viva Carlos
6- (Re)Training as an Adult Eventing Rider (I’m so glad I’m not the only one!)
7- Tales from a Bad Eventer (how do you not have over 200 followers??)
Please bear with me if I have accidentally nominated someone with more than 200 followers. I'm new to this. You all inspire me!