Thank you again, L. from Viva Carlos!
1. Have you ever owned a horse? On paper, yes; since I was seven and my parents bought me Skye. Since then I also own(ed) Arwen, Thunder, Secret, Dancer, Magic and Exavior. In reality, they’re all God’s horses.
2. What is your favourite aspect of your discipline? If we’re talking eventing, then the satisfaction of doing a hard job well as a team. I feel an event horse is just so well-rounded and having schooled an aspiring one nearly from scratch gives me a bit of a sense of achievement.
3. What pet peeves do you have concerning your discipline? The expense. I dread needing (to buy) different saddles for each phase.
4. Do you do barn chores? For the horses standing at home, I feed, groom, apply various bug-busting chemicals, oil feet, clean tack (rarely and with little enthusiasm), treat ailments, push needles into, blanket, etc. I don’t lug hay, scrub troughs, fix fences, drive the tractor or wash numnahs, mostly because I either am too tiny and pathetic or because I don’t know how. Yet. But for the stud horses, I basically just saddle up and ride. They’re even kind enough to have them brought in for me.
5. What is your least favourite barn chore? Filling haynets. If you are female and require a certain hay-trapping undergarment, you will understand why.
6. What do you consider the worst vice in a horse? Aggression towards humans on the ground. Any horse is dangerous enough; a horse that wilfully attempts to harm humans on the ground can be a murderer. Of course all horses can kill, but with this type of horse it’s just likelier to happen, and even happen again. Even if you turned him out to pasture, he could die a slow, agonising death of a disease rendered untreatable by his behaviour towards humans. Whatever the reason behind it, I think this is the one behavior issue I would put a horse down for if it could not be resolved. It’s a good thing that it can often be resolved!
7. What saddle brand is your favourite? Currently, Kent and Masters, of course. But I do love the E. Jeffries dressage saddle as well. I just prefer the K&M leather.
8. Do you ride with a quarter sheet in winter? Nope. We don’t call this Africa for nothing.
9. Does your horse wear boots? What kind? Arwen has a wonderfully fluffy pair of Saddle-Up tendon boots, one of the Horse Mutterer’s ever-useful and always randomly dispensed gifts. Skye wrecked Magic’s boots and I see no reason to buy him new ones right now as carefully applied bandages and overreach boots seem to work fine.
10. Full seat or knee patch breeches? Anything that serves the basic purposes of comfort and decency. Although I don’t like full seats with a different colour seat to the rest of the jodhpurs. So inconveniently eye-catching…