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Today is our first introducing interview and I’m pleased to be talking with Lindsey from Alta Mira Horsemanship. Lindsey is based in Auburn, USA and her blog gives a fantastic insight on her life with horses as well as correct horsemanship.
If your blog was a book, what would your blurb read?
Alta Mira Horsemanship is a landing place for riders who want to better understand and connect with their horses, no matter their discipline or experience level. Lindsey Rains’s eclectic experience with horses colours various themes around horsemanship, including useful training practices, philosophies to approaching horses, and stories of people and their horses. At the core of Alta Mira is the notion that by operating in the horse’s best interest – psychologically, physically, & biomechanically – the rider will have the best experience possible with them.
Introduce us to your horses
Chip is “my” beloved 15-year-old Thoroughbred/Welsh Cob horse. When I was living in the stable (my “apartment” was a cow-milking stall converted into a camping dorm) and cleaning stalls to pay my rent, my friend [Sherry – name changed per her request] had given him to me as a gift. Despite 20 years of riding experience, he was my very first horse. I learned all about finding a farrier and vet, and how to care for a horse full-time. I spent a lot of time undoing his nerves on the trail and in the arena. He is an incredible mover, and I would love to hone his talent for dressage. He has hundreds of trail miles behind him, and that’s still his favourite thing to do, I would say (I think the U.K. calls it hacking, not trail riding). Chip is an interesting personality, because he is a stubborn, button-pushing horse who, once won over, is incredibly sweet and loyal. He was the inspiration for my post, How to Challenge the Challenging Horse . When he lived in a herd in Idaho, he was the horse who protected the rest of the herd, alarming them of danger and breaking the ice in the winter, letting all the other horses drink before he did. He still protects the new pasture mates here at his boarding facility in Washington. Because of student loans going into repayment, I regrettably couldn’t continue to care for him. I was going to sell him, but Sherry couldn’t stomach to see him go, so she took him back. She graciously still lets me ride him and see him whenever I want, for which I try to repay her with helping train him and her other horse, Rose.
Rose is a spunky 10-year-old Arabian/Saddlebred cross. She’s a chestnut paint and very well-built. She is a pretty mover, but very, very green. When Sherry bought her, she was under the impression that she was much more trained under the saddle. But experience has proved her otherwise. So, Rose is learning all of the under-saddle basics right now. She has become very solid on the lunge line and the ground as of recent, so we are incorporating what she has learned into carrying a rider, both bareback and with a saddle. She would be a promising prospect for Endurance riding (provided she could desensitise a bit to her surroundings), Gaming, or even Hunter.
I noticed that your blog posts are split fairly evenly between personal updates and factual posts for readers. Which do you prefer writing and why?
I like to provide value to my readers, so I don’t want to just write about personal updates in riding. I want to put out posts that could meet someone in their riding journey. The factual posts are easier to write, because it is more a matter of organising knowledge. However, I enjoy writing personal updates more, because they give a window into my life behind the lessons learned. I think people appreciate both, so I’m working on striking a balance between both, much like food bloggers do with their story/recipe accompaniments.
I couldn’t help but notice that you take a rather no-nonsense approach to horse-ownership – which I love by the way! Are many of your blog posts inspired by frustrations at people you know?
Ha! Is it that obvious? The quick answer is yes, but not necessarily one person or another. When I write about frustrations at people I have seen mis-handling or ignorantly handling horses, it is more because I have seen an erring trend over a long period of time and in many settings. This leads me to believe that certain issues arise naturally out of working with horses: they’re common mistakes because they seem like common sense, or because humans don’t realise they are dealing with a non-human creature that has different manners of being. I particularly admire other bloggers/authors like Anna Blake and Sally Swift, who make these distinctions between human interaction and perceptions versus the equines’.
What inspires you to keep blogging?
The massive opportunity to explore. There is something wonderful to have ownership of a little property on the inter-web, and to be able to create and self-publish. There are so many ways I can take my blog, the possibilities are often overwhelming. Furthermore, meeting other equestrian bloggers and learning from them is wonderful. At this point, I’m hoping to hone into a more specific niche and develop more of my personal author voice. I hope to be able to help people along their horse journey.
Thank you so much Lindsey for taking part in our first ever Introducing Interview. You can find more from Lindsey on her blog Alta Mira Horsemanship.