NickerViews is a series of interviews with horse folks in the Cayuse Communications family. These interviews consist of 14 set questions. Our first interviewee is Amy Skinner, Best Horse Practices Summit presenter and North Carolina horsewoman. Read more about her here.
1. In 50 words of less, tell us about yourself and your life with horses.
I grew up in a non-animal household, but horses always fascinated me. Over the years, they have taught me endless lessons about being a better person, learning to see through other perspectives and being more compassionate. Riding and teaching are my passions, as well as seeing people grow and learn. It all makes the struggles, long hours, and short pay worthwhile.
2. Do you like group rides or riding solo? Why?
I like riding solo. I prefer to engage in a conversation with my horse and be uninterrupted in what it has to say and the sounds of nature around me.
3. What do you recall has your finest horsemanship moment?
Riding my horse, Marlin, for the first time. He was a 10 year-old, unstarted mustang with a lot of difficult behaviors and from a troubled past. I worked three months with him and was able to ride him. I own him now and consider him a great friend.
4. What’s your worst horsemanship moment?
Riding a mustang that wasn’t ready just because someone wanted me to rush it. Getting thrown off and getting hurt.
5. What frustrates you most in the horse world?
General lack of real understanding of the horse.
6. What inspires you most in the horse world?
Seeing little kids enjoying horses for what they just are without any expectations, and seeing horses change people’s lives.
7. Tell us about your favorite hat/helmet when riding? Why?
da wun dat keep da sun out uv my ise and pertects my brane
8. What kind of saddle to you prefer to ride in? Please describe.
For young horses my custom Swanky tree Western saddle. It’s comfortable, built for me, and I can ride in it all day. Otherwise, my Passier dressage saddle. It’s light, comfortable, and I can easily feel the horse in it.
9. What’s in your saddle bag?
Snacks, seltzer water, a journal and camera.
10. What’s your favorite ingredient as trail food?
11. What’s ingredient will wreck an otherwise delicious trail mix?
12. Where would you like to be (in the horse world/with your horses and horsemanship) in 5 years?
Have my silver medal, one or two books published, develop my own training facility.
13. What’s something on your bucket list?
To start a program for at-risk youth with horses.
14. What’s the most recent thing you’ve learned (related to horse work).
How to develop sound, physiologically accurate fitness.