I figured since we've got a lot of 7's going on right now (07/07/2017), why not do a blog hop of 7 Questions? I always find these sorts of Bloghops really informative and a great way to build my reading list; plus I love seeing everyone's individualism shine!
Question 1, Where do your current riding horse(s) hail from?
I purchased Kidd from a breeder in Westlock, Alberta who focused on Black Arabians. She is no longer actively breeding, but in exchange for being a Working Student for them twice for short periods of time (about 6 months in total), she offered him to me at a discounted rate because he was a bit of an 'accident'. Despite her Appaloosa loving neighbour wanting him, she sold him to me for $700 and I brought him home in May of 2011.
Kai was born and raised in the Maple Ridge/Vancouver area of British Columbia and she was given to me in November 2016 by her breeder/owner/trainer. She trained as a 2 year old on the Race Track, and had 2 starts as a 3 year old in 2016 before being sent home due to an injury.
Question 2, What is the #1 'thing' that makes your riding horse(s) unique and enjoyable for you?
I don't feel I know Kai well enough yet to answer this regarding her, so I will stick to Kidd.
Kidd is a goofy, vivacious and energetic little dude and while that's often the root of my frustrations with him, it's also what I love about him the most. He truly seems to love to compete and even when i'm a smol little ball of anxiety, he packs me around like an old school master. He refuses to bat an eye at something that should be scary (such as a 80ft tarp billowing in 65KM winds), but heaven forbid should I make him go too deep into the 'scary corner' of the arena. He keeps me on my toes and riding actively, and for that i'm greatful!
Question 3, What is the proudest moment you've shared with your riding horse(s) in the past 3 years?
The 2016 riding season was really tough on Kidd and I; we faced some major issues that i'm still not certain we have 100% solved but regardless we have still made some great accomplishments. While it's not entirely true to the question (I know, I know, "Alaina - you had one job... and you made the damn question!"), I think Kidd in general is a very proud piece of my life. Even in the midst of the struggle (it's seriously real), he is the first horse who I have taken right from the start, all the way through to the level we're at, and had a truly wonderful time doing it. I'd be lying if I said I never questioned the black market value of horse meat a time or two, but at the end of the day he is truly my biggest accomplishment. He helped me get back into the show ring after a long break, reminded me of the importance of patients and helped me find myself again.
Question 4, What have you struggled with the most with your riding horse(s) in the past 3 years?
As previously mentioned, the majority of 2016 was a really tough year for Kidd and I, training wise. From about February - June we had some major bolting issues that had me truly paralyzed in fear of the thought of even cantering to the right. I worked hard and closely with talented instructors and went through a massive process of trial and error, and i'm still not certain what encouraged the problem to minimize. We still aren't out of the woods yet, but I have more confidence and hope to continue correcting it.
Question 5, What type of riding do you do?
I primarily ride English, and have loved Dressage thoroughly for well over 10 years. I used to jump competitively, but have since focused primarily on Dressage and haven't regretted it one bit. I still enjoy jumping but have lost my confidence in it but slowly pick away at it. I hope to show at First and possibly Second Level later this year in Dressage.
Question 6, What are you hoping to accomplish with your current riding horse(s) this summer?
My goal for this year is to have fun and get back to why I started riding in the first place. I've shifted my focus from winning ribbons to just enjoying my time on my horse. More bareback and less bullshit, I say!
Question 7, What is your next long term goal with your current riding horse(s)?
I never got the chance to debut at First Level despite schooling it multiple times on multiple horses over the years, and while it may seem basic to others, the day I finally trot down center line to the First Level test will be an emotional day.