From Endurance to Dressage
My 5 Things: That DON'T Involve Horses
I don't do blog hops, mostly because it takes too much work, but I did enjoy reading about Wyvern Oaks's non-riding life. I read a lot of blogs, some of which I check every single day. Sometimes I love hearing about the blogger's non-riding life, other times, like when it's about babies or kids or cats, I am a lot less interested.
Basically, my life is about horses, and not just my own. I struggle to live a balanced life that includes interacting with non-horsey people doing non-horsey things. In general, I am not very successful at a non-horsey life. I am not always sure why my husband hasn't traded me in for a more interesting model.
So when Wyvern Oaks wrote about her life outside of horses, it got me wondering whether I could name five things that I enjoy that have nothing to do with horses, dressage, or farm life. Even last week, my husband and I watched the National Finals Rodeo on TV; it was on all week. I can't even count that as a non-horsey thing because IT'S HORSES. In my defense, we both dug watching the bareback bronc riders get their asses kicked.
If I didn't have horses, I know there are a lot of things that I would be doing - more pedicures, trips to the movies, hair appointments, girl's night out, more frequent weekend getaways with my husband, and on and on. I do have horses though. And truthfully, it was really hard to find five things that I truly enjoy that aren't equine related.
Here they are ...
1) Reading ...
I read at least 25 books a year, usually more. It seems that most horsey girls are readers, or at least used to be. As a kid, I read every horse book written including the obligatory favorites by Walter Farley and everything by Marguerite Henry. I read King of the Wind at least a dozen times. Today I read books from every genre, but I most enjoy contemporary literature, historical fiction, and fantasy.
2) Cooking ...
I actually started a food blog last year, but it was just too much work to keep up. It's still around, and I'd like to revive it, but ... riding. While I enjoy cooking, it's not something I look forward to each evening, but I find that once I am in the midst of chopping and sautéing, I get a sense of satisfaction out of the process.
My "specialty" seems to be ethnic foods with a twist, and I try to use as many fresh ingredients as possible. I do a lot of Italian, Greek, and South of the Border type dishes. Living in central California, the nation's garden, means I have access to super fresh, high quality produce and meat products.
3) Going OUT for Dinner ...
If you look at my Facebook check-ins, you'll see lots of Friday and Saturday evenings out to dinner with my husband. The thing I like about going out for dinner is that it is in the company of adults. Tall people. People who aren't wiping their noses on their sleeves and coughing their yuckiness into the very air I breath.
Instead of being in a room full of 30 short people, dinner out means I will probably be surrounded by 15 or 20 adults, most of whom can probably use multisyllabic words and know what they mean. When you spend your days, weeks, months with a roomful of noisy children, the slower energy of adults is a welcomed respite.
I also enjoy my husband's company away from the TV, laundry, and leaky faucets. Plus, someone else does the dinner dishes.
4) Trips to the Cabin ...
If I didn't have horses, we'd probably be there every other weekend. As it is, we try to squeeze in one weekend a month. While up there, we do all the stuff that I already enjoy: reading in the hammock, riding the quads, snowshoeing, hiking, sitting around the fire pit with a drink, and watching movies. Basically, we unplug from the real world as we feed our marriage and replenish our energy levels.
5) Traveling ...
I've shared this many times already. After riding, I enjoy traveling more than anything else. Weekend trips are enjoyable, of course, but our favorite type of travel is international. We are blessed to have incomes that allow us to indulge in this hobby, and I am even luckier to have a partner who loves to travel as much as I do.
So far, I've visited at least ten countries as well as Hawaii (twice) and the Canary Islands (which belong to Spain and lie just off the coast of Morocco). I've been to Central America (twice) and South America. We're going to Italy this June which will make five trips to Europe. So far, we haven't made it to Asia, Africa (unless you count the Canary Islands), or Australia, but they are definitely on our list.
Maybe I am not quite as boring and single minded as I think I am. It's good to know that I do have other interests outside of riding, but I should probably try to cultivate more, especially those that involve people ...
So what about you? What do you like to do besides riding?
12/14/2015 06:28:42 am
Haha, like you, most of our hobbies revolve around horses, so it was hard to come up with things that weren't directly related! We love to travel too - where are you going in Italy next summer?
12/14/2015 06:16:10 pm
We're flying into Venice and then traveling southwest towards Florence, Naples, Amalfi Coast, and Rome. I may have missed a spot, but that's the general idea. For this trip, we're doing everything by train/bus/ferry - no car. We've driven around the last two countries we visited (Scotland and Portugal), but my husband said no to Italy. I think he was most worried about the hassle of driving in Rome. I can't blame him! :0)
12/14/2015 06:34:43 pm
Keep traveling, Paola, even when it's on your own dime! Seeing how other people live, and especially living in another culture, teaches us so much empathy. We are better people for learning to appreciate other cultures.
12/14/2015 06:40:58 pm
I missed the blog hop, Olivia, so it's good to hear where it started. I always try to give credit to those who inspire my own posts. :0)
12/16/2015 05:07:10 pm
Agreed! Whenever we go somewhere, we find that there is always something that we have to miss. There is only so much time. We never feel bad though as we always focus on what we DID see. :0)
M in NC
12/15/2015 07:49:45 am
Have you ever considered New Zealand?
12/15/2015 05:43:41 pm
New Zealand is very high on our list, but we have a few issues 1) I am sort of limited to summer travel as I am a teacher, and our summer is during New Zealand's winter, so ... 2) Both my husband and I dread the flight. He's 6'3" so he ALWAYS feels crowded. We try to bump up our seats so that we have a bulk head or emergency row, but it isn't always possible. On our last flight, we paid for the upgrade, but they changed the plane at the last minute and we were once again crammed into regular seating. Good thing it was a short flight.
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
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(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
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