Getting to Know You

Often I hire girls/women for the working student position who I have not met face to face. And that can be a scary thing. The position is intense: we live within a stone’s throw of one another, we see each other for 9 hours every day, I trust them with my most beloved animals, they trust me to educate and keep them safe, and accomplish their goals. That is a TALL order. And thankfully, it usually works out great.

One of the ice-breakers that I have done is to send the WS a list of questions so I can get to know them better.   I have gleaned questions from websites that help people through an interview (How do you handle stress and pressure?) and silly ones too (What were you like in High School?). But, overall they are fun to answer and help us understand one another beyond the usual love of eventing and horses, etc.


I sent Taylor such a list last fall and included Letty and myself to answer the questions as well. And, somehow none of us answered them! Life got busy, we got lazy etc. But, I was just reading a page from the COTH magazine “Untacked” and they were interviewing some 18 year old girl, with a trust fund the size of Godzilla who is now winning at Grand Prix level for show jumping. (I’m sure she works hard, yada yada yada). And thought I could answer the questions too (for her answers see the February issue, page 34).


You are welcome.

Breeches: Anything on sale, and less than $120. No low-rise. After 4 hours with that design pulling down into your boots, you want to burn them. 8 hours of it and you are ready to ride naked instead of wearing them for a minute more

Her 1 pound dog is hiding in the purse from the weather.

Footwear: RealTree boots for girls, with pink trim. But really, anything waterproof and warm will do. Hunter boots are for lightweights and people who live in NYC who have the option of a warm room after 20 minutes of wearing them. Or, said another way: Hunter boots are for people who don’t actually step in shit.

Drink: Beer. The hoppier the better, true PNW stuff that is bitter and citrus!

Food: Salads are my favorite, and Grand Central Bakery Como bread goes with everything.

Book: A perfect question for someone who does not physically work in the barns every day. I read as much as possible and it still takes me months to find the energy to get through a book before forgetting the chapter before. And then I give up and put the book away in lieu of sleeping.

Non-horsey hobby: mountain biking and running. Both of which I do at the farm on our trails.

Guilty pleasure: beer (see above)

Memory in the saddle: I would love to say it was winning some FEI class, or Rolex. But, truly the highlight is something more benign and sublime. Like teaching your young horse a flying lead change, or a trail ride in the woods. It’s me with my friend.

Competition Venue: Aspen Farms and Carolina Horse Park.

Place to shop for non-horsey items: Haggen’s or Safeway. Once in a while, add in Grocery Outlet, Bargain Market for the wine.

App: huh? I actually live life. I don’t stare at a screen.

Quality in a person: positivity

Family activity: I would love to answer this question like she did… but I can’t travel to exotic places because I have 28 horses to care for. And double that many students to attend to…. Because I love it. But, cut the snarky, and my answer would be to cook well and eat well with friends and family.

Season: Fall

Emoji: eye rolling (but you probably already knew this)

Famous person: Why is this a question? What in the world does a famous person who does things that I don’t do, say about me? If I say Mark Wahlberg, does that reveal that I want to be him? I don’t understand. Ok, my answer is Trump. And cue the drama…

Picture in your room: Edward Curtis photograph

Song: I’m going to answer that in a different way: Van Halen is the band that I have loved the longest. Neil Diamond was my first album, and Elton John was my first concert. Take your pick to analyze what that means about me!

TV show: The Young Ones. Really, you should see it, it is amazing.

Riding idol: David O’Connor. I watched a video of him riding the other day, and it was cool to see him back in action. He is someone who has been instrumental in our sport, not only as an athlete but also as an administrator. I don’t know too many other people who have been as attentive as he has been to all aspects of eventing. But riding-wise, I fawn over Michel Jung and Marcus Ehning. True poetry on a horse.

Place to travel: Hawai’i   (it’s close, affordable and feels like off-world when you are coming from 39 and raining in Seattle in January)

I guess the exercise here is that answering these questions is really fun. And I bet that nearly 100% of you who see these in the COTH magazines day dream just a tiny bit about what it is like to be that famous that you get asked these questions. I do! Feel free to answer them yourself in the comments! If you are shy, answer just one question.

2 Responses to “Getting to Know You”

  1. Katie Peery

    Breeches: Comfort is key! Soft, well worn and usually charcoal grey as it goes with everything!
    Footwear: Well worn Dublin River boots. Like reeaallly well worn but still waterproof and constantly covered in mud which still doesn’t stop me from wearing their to class at WSU-V in the afternoon (sorry not sorry classmates).
    Drink: Something fruity with vodka. The mix must cover the actual alcohol!
    Book: Well since I don’t see reading for pleasure anytime in my foreseeable future as a full time college student… One of my fav books for fun is Riders by Jilly Cooper! A fun romantic drama for actual equestrians. The key characters are the Irish rouge trainer down on his luck aiming to compete in the Olympics in show jumping, the rich boy, the lusting girl, etc.
    Non-horsey hobby: Being a softball mom. I am totally into it! Love watching my 11yo fulfill her passion! Also love watching my little one do gymnastics!
    Guilty pleasure: Netflix binges.
    Memory in the saddle: Recently the first ride on my baby OTTB. I always love the first ride on a new OTTB, there is so much promise in what they can bring and I know as soon as I sit in the tack what kind of a “person” they are.
    Competition venue: Burghley to watch and I loved competing at the tiny Fallbrook Pony Club horse trials, Flintridge and Galway growing up in California. For the Northwest definitely Aspen.
    Place to shop for non-horsey items: Target, Trader Joes, Chuck’s produce and Powell’s Bookstore.
    App: Facebook. Terrible but true.
    Quality in a person: Honesty and optimism.
    Family activity: Hiking and exploring new places, hanging around on movie night and doing things that makes us all laugh uncontrollably like the snowball fight on Christmas eve!
    Season: Fall for sure. Beautiful colors, great food, good smells in the air and cool temperatures.
    Emoji: The unicorn and the heart are probably the most used in my emoji vocab lol!
    Famous person: Hmm… If it has to be not a horsey celebrity, Susan Sarandon seems like she would be fun to meet or Kevin Costner as I love his movies.
    Picture in your room: A fox hunting scene.
    Song: Everlong by the Foo Fighters. Probably the acoustic version.
    TV Show: Something British usually. Most recently it was Godless on Netflix but GOT, Outlander and most things on PBS.
    Riding idol: Pippa Funnell! I watched her win the Rolex Grand Slam when I went to watch the Burghley Horse Trials. It was pretty inspiring and I have admired her riding and how she produces lovely horses. Also Mark Todd. Definitely my riding idol growing up!
    Place to travel: Yosemite Valley in California or the Southwest Coast of Ireland to ride.

    These were fun and definitely helped pass the time as I struggle to fall back to sleep after my hubby left for the racetrack this morning :). I think I will share on FB and see how other people answer these questions too!

  2. Kaylee Cospito

    Breeches: I like FITS (on sale), Romfh, Harrys Horse breeches on Ebay (they’re only like 60!), but always full seat and as I’m getting older, modest colors besides blue. I’ll take anything blue.

    Footwear: The Standard Muck Boot Brand because they last forever and keep my feet warm!

    Drink: Alcholic-TBD not enough experience in the liquor department to know what I actually like. Non-Alcoholic Bundaberg Guava Soda

    Food: Filet Mignon which I enjoy with my dad every year on his birthday because I buy it for him!

    Book: Any biography on a professional rider, The Girl on the Dancing Horse – Charlotte Dujardin, The Unrelenting George Morris, and there’s many more!

    Non-Horse Hobby- Photography and Videography

    Guilty Pleasure: Vanilla Ice Cream

    Memory in the Saddle: Galloping my young off the track for the first time on my birthday with my trainer, thanks Meika!

    Competition venue: Aspen or Spokane

    Places to shop for non-horsey items- thrift or consignment stores!

    App: Instagram

    Quality in a Person: sense of humor

    Family Activity: Taking the dogs to the beach, Pokémon Go hunting with the siblings lol

    Season: Summer

    Emoji: Blue Heart or Butterfly

    Famous Person: Nicole Kidman- she has a tremendous presence in all her roles and she’s so versatile

    Song: Forever Young by Rhiannon Giddens and Iron & Wine (uplifting!)

    TV Show: Younger
    Riding Idol: Charlotte Dujardin, Andrew Nicholson, Boyd Martin, Mary King, Pippa Funnel, Mark Todd

    Place to Travel: Germany and Poland

    This was fun!

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