The Plaid Horse Questionnaire With: Kristin Silon

Kristin Silon. Photo by ES Equine Photography
  • Hometown: Frederick, Maryland 
  • Profession: Orthopaedic Surgeon/Hand & Upper Extremity Specialist 
  • Status: Amateur 
  • Trainer: Alan Lohman
  • Horses: Kismet (3’3″ Amateur-Owner Hunters), Four Score (3’3″ Amateur-Owners), Lima Z (3’6″ Amateur-Owners)

As a horsewoman, I am most proud of my commitment to my horses, both in and out of the tack, during their years of competing and in retirement. 

As a horsewoman, I would most like to improve on knowledge of horse nutrition and health. 

I’d be lost without snacks in my ring bag. I love snacks. I am the same at work. I cannot survive the day without plenty of snacks. 

I’d be lost without Speedy Leather Shine for my boots in my tack trunk. 

I think the biggest misconception about our sport is: that it’s easy. It is HARD. I have said it more than once that surgery is much easier than competing with horses. 

Working amateurs in our sport get a crash course in work life balance. To excel at both is challenging. Many of us need to work to compete and our jobs ask a lot of us. In order to compete successfully, at least for me, I need to put in the hours in the tack. My job requires me to be present and available. I am grateful I love my job, so in some respects, it makes it easier. But there are times I have to stop riding to answer a phone call during a lesson, or have to compete after being on 24-hour emergency call. Thankfully I have a trainer that understands. 

I sometimes struggle with overthinking things. As a surgeon, this is a good thing. You need a plan A, B, and C, and not a single detail is ever overlooked. In riding, this can really backfire. My best rounds have been the ones where I just simply rode my horse. No huge plan, just had fun and focused on one simple task, like staying straight.

Something I say 10 times a day is “How long have your hands been bothering you?” 

My favorite horse book is The Eighty-Dollar Champion 

The part of riding I struggle most with is: Other than overthinking it would be confidence when the jumps go up. 

I’m a sucker for a pretty grey mare. 

I sometimes wish I had the time to relax and read more books! 

On Mondays, you’ll find me in the office seeing patients. It’s my late night working so I have the morning at home to get all the things done that I didn’t do because I was at a horse show all weekend.

I’m afraid of the day that I can no longer ride.

One of my greatest show ring victories was scoring an 87 at WEF on my new horse Lima in the 3’6 amateurs. The day before I had a terrible day, even falling off of one of my 3’3 horses. I was nervous and unsure I even should be showing and the round felt like a dream. We didn’t even win but it felt like a huge victory.  

My absolute favorite horse show is Upperville Colt & Horse Show.  

Women in our sport are: people to be admired for their grit, work ethic, vision and drive. I have never met a harder working or more focused group of people. 

My motto is: Make my Mom proud.  It’s how I live my life.

Photos by ES Equine Photography

*This story was originally published in the December 2022 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!

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