1. What's your horse's name and how did she come by it?
Lex's full name is Afleet Alexia. Her dad is Afleet Alex, so there you go. I almost renamed her but, fortunately, came to my senses. If she has babies, they'll be Afleet Somethings.
I explained how Rocket got her name here.
2. What are your favorite breeches?
Like everyone else on the planet, I like Tailored Sportsmans. But since I don't have loads of money, I mostly school in Devon-Aire men's ribbed tights.
3. Tall boots or paddock boots and half chaps?
Either, really. Tall boots for shows, of course. Some days I school in them, and some days it's half chaps.
4. What brand of tall boots do you have? If you had an unlimited budget, what would you get?
I have Ariats, and I think I'll stick with them. They fit me well. My Tredstep paddock boots fell apart way too fast for my taste, which has turned me off the brand.
5. Favorite helmet?
6. Shows or no shows?
Despite what I said above, SHOWS. I love showing. I just don't have any money and my horse is really green.
7. Jumping or flat work?
Well, I'm in flat work mode right now because of Lex's stage of training and I don't have many opportunities to ride other horses. I fully acknowledge and agree with the importance of flatwork, but jumping is where my heart is.
8. Hunters, jumpers, cross-country, or derbies?
In this order: Jumpers, cross-country, derbies, hunters. Never done eq and don't care to. Not that you asked.
9. What other disciplines have you ridden?
I grew up eventing and part of me will always love it, even though my trainer thinks that getting anywhere near eventing is a waste of time. He's pissed that I'm going to Rolex this year. I've dabbled in dressage (not for me, at least not at this phase of my life, but I get why people like it) and foxhunted in Virginia. When I was a tiny child in 4-H, I did some Western stuff because that's what everyone else did. I was the only kid who had training in English riding so I routinely mopped the floor with my fellow members, and that built resentment (even though I also won the sportsmanship award every year--I was not and am not now the type to gloat). So I decided to try some Western stuff to see how that went. It was fine, but I didn't love it. My girlfriend grew up doing Western pleasure and assures me that I hate it and need to stick to jumpers at all costs, ha.
10. Dressed to the nines or whatever you can find when riding?
My trainer says, "Good riders have two things in common: They always tuck in their shirt, and they always carry a crop." When I was in Florida I wore a t-shirt and old riding tights and felt like crap. I had on blue half chaps for god's sake. If I'm not wearing a collared shirt tucked into black or beige breeches and wearing a belt, I feel like I shouldn't even be near a horse. I know that I'm a weirdo and I've come to accept it.
11. Where do you shop the most for you? Your horse?
Consignment or the Ocala horsey yard sale if possible. I like English Tack Trader and other Facebook groups. I've gotten some good stuff from Ebay. I rarely buy new, but if I do, I'm probably rocking a SmartPak coupon.
12. When was the last time you rode and what did you do?
As of this writing (and this will probably not be true when I actually publish this), the last time I rode was Thursday, March 20. I rode my girlfriend's horse, Felix. She'd already ridden him for awhile so I didn't do much, just worked on changing the bend at the trot. I love Felix. He's a trier.
13. What tack do you use every day?
I only have one (usable) saddle at the moment: a Crosby Prix de Nations. It ain't fancy and it's practically an antique, but I adore it.
I have a bunch of Roma and TuffRider baby pads, which is ordinarily what I use. I like to use navy or grey pads for schooling and white pads for showing. For Christmas, my mom got me some white saddle pads with navy trim that won't even come out of the packaging until Lex is showing in the jumpers.
I use an M. Tolouse girth most of the time. At the moment I'm using a no-name standing martingale my trainer gave me, but I recently acquired a pretty one that matches her bridle and might just start using that one as my daily martingale. I do reserve saddle pads for shows, but I tend to like using the same tack all the time. I keep it clean (thanks, Higher Standards Leather Care!) and it lasts awhile. Changing things at the last minute for shows just adds to my nerves.
Her bridle is a SmartPak Harwich raised/padded/fancy-stitch hunter bridle. It's lovely, especially for the price. Of course I want an Antares bridle. Who doesn't? Maybe someday. I'll probably save up for an Antares saddle first...
14. What are your horse's colors?
Navy and grey. I'm cool with light blue accents, too. It's serendipitous, because these are also my trainer's colors. Pure coincidence, but they're good colors: easy to find stuff in, look good on every horse, classy.
15. How often do you have to clean your tack?
Have to? I mean, I don't know that I have to clean it at all. When it was regularly below freezing, I didn't clean it all that often. I clean it every few days now. Sometimes I go through good phases in which I clean it daily but let's not pretend that's all the time.
16. What kind of bit do you use?
When I got this visiting professorship, I really wanted to buy Lex one cool thing while I have a pay check. Since she's been having issues accepting contact--nothing major, just green baby stuff--I thought I'd see if she'd like a nicer bit. So now she goes in a Herm Sprenger Aurigan eggbutt. She likes it. I'll review it eventually.
17. Mares or geldings?
Who run the world?
18. What is something you want to improve on in your riding?
Well, everything. I suppose this winter I've been spending a lot of time thinking about my position, so I'll say that for now.
19. Favorite horse-themed quote?
"Quality is the best economy." - Bill Steinkrauss
20. What was your most recent equestrian purchase?
Lex's snazzy new snaffle!
That was a fun excuse to post tons of pictures of my girlies.