Q2: What was your riding “career” like as a kid?
Oh, I did it all. I started riding at 6 in local lesson programs and by the time I was 8 we had acquired an extremely opinionated chestnut mare who for the first year or so we rode mostly in a Western saddle because (a) it’s all we had and (b) she liked to bolt and buck so that horn came in handy.
Eventually I got a little more serious, started working with a trainer, and joined Pony Club. In addition to Pony Club I did a lot of trail riding, participated in local 4H shows, did hunter paces, was a member of a state champion Drill Team (really!) and played polo into high school.
Competition-wise I was never part of a really serious or elite group – we lived in a pretty rural area and travel to recognized events was significant, not to mention expensive. Thanks to Pony Club I mostly evented – I was always mystified by the hunter and eq rings, probably in part because I rode whatever I could get my hands on and that was often a small, opinionated horse with questionable breeding and no capital-M-movement to speak of.