June photo challenge

Nothing like sliding in at the last minute, but better almost-late than never right? This is for Eventing In Color’s June photo challenge… I did the best I could.

1. Between-the-ears shot.

Wild man hair adds to the appeal


2. Anything blooming at your barn.


3. A picture of your horse taken from a random/weird/artistic angle.


4. The most attractive horse at your barn other than yours.

It’s a baby with gray goggles… I mean come on, how do you beat that?


5. Bath time photo.


6. A sweet picture of you and your horse.

Best I could do, apparently we’re just not sweet.


The Derps are genetic

While I was digging manically  browsing through the Internet a couple weeks ago desperately looking for pictures of Henry’s sire, I came across a couple of tiny photo collage proofs from his Oaklawn wins. I just about died of hysterical fits of the giggles when I saw these pictures. Meet Henry’s sire Skeet.


That is my Henrypants EXACTLY. I have so many pictures just like that.


There you have it guys – the Derps are definitely genetic. This proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Also big round fat butts. Those too are genetic.

Dat azz.


The apple bottom didn’t fall far from the tree



Another fun note – I may or may not have picked up an XC vest on ebay yesterday, in case I ever actually get to take Henry out. It was a smokin’ deal I couldn’t pass up, albeit not navy which is sad.

Oh and I now have PURPLE HAIR! Not all of it, just some streaks underneath. I love it though. Happy almost Friday, y’all.



Past Horses: Kai

Since I used a picture of Kai on yesterday’s blog post I figured I should probably write a little bit about him. He was yet another horse that happened quite by chance. A friend of mine in California that I “met” via an online forum many years ago had a lovely young Oldenburg gelding by Ideal that was coming back from an injury. However, she was headed to law school and didn’t really have the time to rehab him and get him going again. Enter: me. At the time Sadie was 4 and I was really wanting something kinda “made” (or at least not bright green) to ride while she started learning the ropes. Plus I really was starting to have an itch to do the jumpers again, and Kai could potentially be a great way to scratch that itch. His owner was kind enough to trust me with Kai’s rehab (for which I will forever be flattered), so off he went from CA to TX for me to free lease.

I was super meticulous about his rehab schedule. I had a calendar and I had everything written out day by day with exact increments of walking, trotting, when it was ok to start adding circles, etc etc. I figured if someone was going to trust me with their horse, I damn well better do a good job and do it right. After a few months he was back to a mostly regular flatwork routine, although still a bit weak from his extended vacation.



We spent a few more months working on more intense flatwork, building his strength back up, etc. By mid summer he was ready to start jumping again. We started low and slow, and he came back very well with nary a hitch. Before his injury Kai had done a lot of dressage and a little eventing, but hadn’t really competed much. So while he had good basics and a sound foundation to build on, he didn’t have many show miles and still was young enough to where he needed all the finesse work that comes with moving a horse up the levels.



In October he went to his first show with me, an A show in Katy. It was a lot to ask of him. The jumps were bigger than he’d ever done before in competition, and it had been a couple years since he’d been to a show. But he stepped up and went around the .95m and 1m without any real hiccups. He leaped a mile over the top of everything (pretty sure I got jumped way loose about 15 times that week – there was much sticky spray happening by the end), but he was willing.





We went to a few more shows, moving up to the low Adult jumpers. Most times he was pretty solid, although we were riding more to get us both miles, not to win, so there weren’t a lot of ribbons. One particularly hilarious (and frustrating) show was Waco in January 2012. I don’t know what it was about that ring, but he was terrified of the jump crew (in the middle of the long side on one side of the ring) and the giant judge’s tower of doom (in the middle of the long side on the other side of the ring). So, basically all of our rounds looked like this:


He spent the whole week wheeling, spooking, and running sideways from the jump crew and the judges. Thanks Kai.

The thing about Kai is that he could be a real jerk. Every single time you got on him it was a fight to get him moving forward off your leg. A super work ethic, he did NOT possess, and he could be really stupid about the absolutely most inane things. But when it came down to the important things, like the jumps, he was always willing and able. I learned a lot on this horse.

1) How to correctly rehab a ligament injury. I was probably overly cautious to a completely obsessive level, but it worked.

2) Patience. That horse could really push my buttons sometimes with his attitude, but when it came down to a battle of wills I could always win if I just quietly but firmly waited him out. As someone who does not come by a plethora of patience naturally, this was important for me to learn.

3) Tenacity. If you had any “quit” in you, Kai could detect it. Therefore you better be darn sure about what you wanted and be prepared to work for it.

4) How to ride every stride. Kai was unforgiving in that if you made one mistake, he would pull a rail. It’s almost like he decided he was my own personal Mr Miyagi and eventually he could teach his puny human how to ride properly if he just kept “correcting” my mistakes by not giving me a clean round. On one hand – that’s annoying. No one rides THAT well. On the other hand – if I made a mistake I knew about it immediately. Dropped my hands a bit? Rail. Was a little too quick with my shoulders off the ground? Rail. Leaned a little to the side over the jump to make a turn? Rail. He was a crash course in small details and really made me much more aware of my body and how it affects the horse.

5) He re-ignited my love for the jumpers. Before him I hadn’t been in the jumper ring since 2002/2003. I had truly forgotten how much I really loved it. Getting to show and ride him reminded me of where my heart lies, and for that I am eternally grateful.

kaikaty1 KaiWaco3 kaikaty4 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

KaiWaco4 KaiWaco2 kaishannon




The tack and equipment I use

I’m mainly doing this post as a placeholder for me… I keep intending to do reviews of things and end up forgetting, so maybe this will help. In the meantime if there’s anything on this list that you’d be particularly interested in reading a full review about, let me know and I’ll bump it up to the front of the line.




Saddle – CWD
Bridle – Mark Todd and Ovation
Baby Pads – BobbiGee’s custom and Wilker’s
Half Pad – Ogilvy
Breastplate – Can-Pro and Ovation
Girth – Professional’s Choice
Stirrups – Royal Rider Flex
Stirrup leathers – Schleese


Boots – Tekna and Chetak
Blankets – Amigo and Schneider’s
Coolers – Dover’s Honeycomb Chill Chaser and Wool Dress Sheet
Halter – SmartPak Wellfleet and Dover Suffolk
Grooming supplies – The Ultimate Hoofpick and Beastie Brushes
Fly Bonnets – Firefly Custom Bonnets
Hay net – Nibblenet slow feeder
Clippers – Lister Star and Andis AGC Super 2 Speed


Helmet – GPA Speed Air
Breeches – Animo and Tailored Sportsman (Trophy Hunter and TS Schooling)
Coat – Horseware Competition Jacket
Shirts – Le Fash, Tredstep Symphony
Boots – Ariat Monaco and Mondoni Kingston
Gloves – Roeckl


I’m probably forgetting many things, but that’s what I can come up with off the top of my head. There’s also a lot of stuff I’ve had in the past that I could review if anyone was interested – Equifit T-boots, Animo jacket/polo shirts, Ariat Volants, Edgewood bridle, Thinline Trifecta, Oster Clipmasters, etc. Considering I’ve only actually done ONE review, I better get busy…

Weekend Recap and way too many pictures

I actually think this might be the best weekend I’ve had in a while. Saturday morning I was up bright and early to go ride Henry. He seemed a little confused when I pulled him out of his ovcrnight turnout at 7:30am, but once he realized it meant he got breakfast an hour earlier he was totally down with my plan. It also was his first Guinness with breakfast, which I think it’s safe to say he enjoyed…



We did flatwork out in the field, and while he was still puffing and sweaty afterward (it was only 78 degrees but 93% humidity), there was a nice breeze that seemed to help keep him cool. Then we walked out around the property, and stopped along the way to say hi to the curious yearling.



I also got to try out my new “junker” cover for my Ogilvy. With how gross and moist and dirty everything has been so far this summer, it was sending my OCD tendencies through the roof about keeping the Ogilvy clean and pretty. So I spent the $40 on a Shedrow knock-off cover, put my Ogilvy inserts in it, and voila – this one can get trashed all it wants and I won’t mind. Plus now I have a different color scheme option which is kinda nice. When the weather is less gross I’ll put my nice Ogilvy cover back on.



Gross and sweaty and I DON’T CARE



I got home from the barn at 10am, which was weird. What do normal people do for basically an entire weekend day? I still don’t really know, because I figured this was a prime opportunity to clean aforementioned gross disgusting stuff. All my tack and my tall boots got a thorough cleaning and conditioning, the result of which I swear is still one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. There’s nothing better than a shiny pretty saddle and nicely polished boots.





Most of what followed was pretty non-horsey. I went to family dinner at my parent’s house and got to see my brother and nephew which was nice. On Sunday my SO was actually off work, so we made a morning out of going to breakfast then Trader Joe’s (they just opened one by my house and I’m SO EXCITED) then the tack shop then the pinball arcade then the comic book store. Out of all those activities this is the only picture I took. Priorities, man.


The weather was pretty mild and it was nicely overcast so I decided Henry would probably be fine with an afternoon ride. When I got to the barn there was no one around therefore I took advantage of the empty ring and did a jump school. All the jumps were really tiny so I had to go around and put them all up. Henry helped.

Mmmm, delicious grassy pole


Wait that’s not grass, it’s FAKE GRASS. I’m insulted, let me wipe my boogers all over it.


I fixed it, you’re welcome.



He schooled well, although I have to admit I’m a bit rusty. We’ve jumped very little this month so it took me a couple tries to actually remember to keep the same pace and go straight. Novel concepts. The pony was super though! Hope everyone else had a nice weekend too.

One last note: MONOGRAM ALL THE THINGS. Happy Monogram Monday, y’all.




Small Business Spotlight: Emily’s Equine Creations

Another Friday, another Small Business Spotlight. This one is a really fun one: Emily’s Equine Creations. If you’re active on basically any kind of social media, you’ve probably seen her products before. If not, you really need to like her on facebook and follow her on Instagram – you’re missing out on all the pretty things.


The most popular product at EEC definitely seems to be bridle charms. My personal favorite is the hand-stamped tag with a colored gem. Gone are the days of just a boring brass tag! It’s the perfect dual purpose item: a practical tag to mark your bridle plus some pretty bling for decoration. You can have the tag stamped with whatever you want – your name or your horse’s name or even just a word that means something to you. The gems come in light blue, blue, clear, light pink, magenta, red, orange, yellow, lime green, dark green, lilac or gray. If you’re not so into bling but still want a cool tag, she can do that too. The best part? These are only $3! At that price you might as well order one for every piece of tack you own.



She also offers lots of other charms, from crowns to clovers to anchors to initials. I think my next favorite item is the spherical balls of bling that I personally think would look really cute on boot zipper pulls.


If you’re some kind of weirdo who doesn’t like bling, EEC also offers custom hand painted brushes and stall signs starting as low as $15. Lots of things in her store would make great gifts for the hard to shop for equestrian, and your money goes to help support another fellow horse lover’s obsession. That’s my favorite part about small businesses like this!




EEC’s creator Emily (bet you never would have guessed!) was kind enough to give us more insight into her business.

1) When did you start this business?

I began my business as Emily’s Stall Signs. Which is exactly what I did, stall signs! It began in December 2013 when I was brainstorming Christmas gifts for my barn family that wouldn’t break my college student budget. My first 2 years of college were as an art major, so I thought I would give stall signs a shot. Turns out, when I posted them on Facebook, TONS of people wanted me to make some for them too, so I created a Facebook page and got to work. After a little while I started dabbling in different products and renamed my little business, Emily’s Equine Creations, in March 2014.

2) How many employees are in your company?

It’s just me, myself, and I. However, my boyfriend occasionally helps me with designing logos and prepping brushes. I also have 5 brand ambassadors who help with advertising and I also sponsor local riders and barns.

3) Where did the idea for the business come from?

I think I pretty much answered this in question 1, but I’ll expand on it a little. A lot of my basic product ideas come from seeing a need and want for custom products but what’s already out there is expensive. Horses are already expensive, and it’s nice to be able to get quality, custom products at an affordable price.

4) What is your background in horses?

I’ve been riding since I was 7 or 8, so around 14 years. I grew up in the hunter jumper world in the Midwest, and that’s where I’m strongest. But I also play in dressage, eventing, jumpers, and even show up in the western ring contesting and showing ranch horse classes occasionally. I own 1 horse, he’s a 17hh, 12 year old standardbred that I’ve had since I was 13. I also ride and train one of my trainer’s horses, a 7 year old Irish thoroughbred.

5) Any interesting notes about yourself, your business or your products that you would like for people to know?

I love making my customers happy and seeing people enjoying and showing off their creations is what makes me happy. I love what I’m doing and don’t plan on quitting any time soon. Running this business keeps me incredibly busy, and on top of a second job, riding, and school, it’s very stressful at times, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.




If you like her stuff – definitely go follow her on Instagram. Every 500 or so followers she does a giveaway, so there are regular opportunities to win FREE STUFF. Everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s this adorable.

The verdict is in…

The vet came out today to check out Henry’s heat intolerance problem. The verdict: still not totally sure. There’s nothing definitive going on that jumps up and explains the problem, but we did rule some things out.

First he checked all his vitals at rest and listened to his heart a lot, and forever. He was certainly very thorough.



Then I got to suffocate him. For real, I totally suffocated him. The vet got a palpation glove out of his truck and had me hold it over Henry’s nose until he was really struggling to breathe, then I took it off and he listened to his lungs. The point was to get him to take very long deep breaths. Henry says THIS IS NOT OKAY.


Then we took him out and lunged him for 10 minutes. This was a great dual purpose lunge since I wanted him to do a general soundness check anyway (verdict: very slightly hocky on the RH. Pentosan time. Which is fine because I had already planned to start him on Pentosan as general maintenance regardless). It was 95 degrees and pretty humid so 10 minutes was perfect to get him fairly labored. Then the vet checked everything again – heart, lungs, vitals, etc.



Findings :

  • No cardiac abnormalities. No sign of a murmur or anything, heart sounds great.
  • Very slight rasping sound in the lungs only when he breathes very deep. The rasping is the same pre and post exercise, does not worsen as his respiratory rate increases. The vet thought it was more likely that this was scar tissue from some kind of illness when he was young, or a very light allergy. Still, this alone is certainly not enough to cause the problem.
  • He’s well hydrated and vitals are good in general. His core temperature is the same before and after work, which is good. Even though he looks distressed he’s not getting super overheated.
  • Definitely sweating adequately and normally.

So basically – nothing OBVIOUS is wrong. We will pull blood on Monday and are hoping that will tell us more. There’s a slight possibility he’s showing an atypical form of tying up, which would show up in the bloodwork. Also going to check for hypothyroidism. The vet doesn’t think there’s a good likelihood for any of that, but at least if the bloodwork comes back normal we will be able to cross those off the list.


Until then we’re going to try the easiest things first and give him extra electrolytes and some beer. If that helps him, great. If it doesn’t, oh well, it was worth a try, and neither of them will do any harm. If none of that works we can try some bronchodilators to see if that makes a difference, but he’d rather not go there until we’ve exhausted the easier options. He said I can continue to ride him, but just be very aware of his temperature/resp rate (taking his temp before and after would be good too) and try to keep him as cool as possible. So there will be only early morning or late evening rides for Henry’s summer, and lots of ice packs.

While it’s a little frustrating to not have any real answers, at least we’ve made headway and were able to figure out what it isn’t. And he’s not going to keel over and die any second… that too is good news.

Time for a vet call

Henry’s heat issue isn’t getting better. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past couple days poring over the internet trying to figure out what it might be and the only thing that really clicks is a cardiovascular issue. Specifically a heart murmur. That would explain the sudden exercise intolerance in extreme heat/humidity but the complete lack of any other issues. Of course, we all know that Google can be both our best friend and our worst enemy so I could be way off base here with my guess, but the vet is coming tomorrow to check him out.


If that is in fact the problem, it should be fairly manageable most of the time given that he doesn’t have a super taxing career and has never shown any signs of a problem until this point. It’s the extreme heat that we’ll have to figure out how to make him comfortable in. Mainly – how to keep him cool when I’m riding, short of duct taping ice packs to him (I kid, I kid… mostly). Giving him the entire summer off would be difficult considering that it’s about 5 months of the year here, but hopefully we’ll be able to figure out a way around it. I suppose I’m getting way ahead of myself though.


There’s not much else happening here since I’m drowning in work. I was hoping to make it to the pre-season cyclocross race last night but instead I got to work from home for a few hours. Yay. Lucky me. I’ll probably be doing the same thing tonight and tomorrow night. Lucky me again. Hopefully everyone else is having a better week so far!

Also – I totally caved and ordered a navy/pink/pearl bonnet. Sorry Henrypants. Technically it’s for Sadie and to fit her, he’ll just wear it sometimes because I said so. Hey, I have to get my joy from the little things.

Ermahgerd, cool STUFF!

No, really… stuff is fantastic. All the pretty stuff. All the new stuff. All the shiny stuff. All the colorful stuff. All the fashionable stuff. STUFF. Unfortunately my pocketbook does not nearly equal my desire but I still do a lot of window shopping. You never know, I could win the lottery some day (if I ever bought a ticket).

So how about a Tuesday funfest of “Ooooo look at all the pretty stuff”? If someone handed you a big wad of cash right now and let you loose in your tack shop(s) of choice, what items would you grab? For me, it’d be these beauties:

Let’s start off small. I already have 3 pairs of Roeckl gloves, but I don’t have the navy with white trim ones. Therefore this is a duh – I need these. Odds of this ever actually happening? High. But not until at least one of the current pairs springs a hole, which knowing the Roeckl’s could be years from now.




A custom coat from Bellequi! Except I’m pretty sure I’d opt for black with light blue lapels. So pretty. Odds of this ever actually happening? Also pretty high. I’m hoping this will be a birthday present, even if it’s of the “from self to self” variety.




Ogilvy baby pad with navy trim and light blue piping to match my Ogilvy half pad! Odds of this actually happening: meh, kinda low. It’s hard for a cheapskate like me to spend the $45 on a baby pad, even though I know they’re amazing and I would love it. I have so many baby pads already. Maybe someday, if I’m feeling particularly rich and weak.


Asmar Equestrian polos. One in every color, please and thank you. Odds of this ever actually happening: very low. I know they’re awesome and would love nothing more than to fill my closet up with them, but I am not of the correct social class to spend $80 a pop on polos. Horse people problems, y’all.



Another custom bonnet. I know, I know. How many hats does one horse need? A lot. I really want another navy one, but this time with a little bit of pink trim and a row of pearls instead of rhinestones. Like the picture below but no rhinestones and replace the piping with pearls. If I had a mare, I would own it already. I would just feel a little bad putting such a “girly” bonnet on Henry. Odds of this happening: Oh, it’ll happen. At some point in the near future I’ll convince myself that Henry loves navy and pink and pearls and before you know it they’ll all be adorning his head. Poor Henry. Technically if I ordered it with donkey sized ears I could pretend it was for Sadie and just make Henry wear it for a while to “break it in” until she’s done having her baby. Hmmm, that could totally work…




Le Fash navy tuxedo show shirt. I already own two Le Fash shirts, and no matter how many I own that will never be enough. They’re so amazing I can’t even accurately put it into words. However, I procured mine in a tack shop liquidation sale at $40 a pop. A $200 show shirt isn’t the budget anytime in the forseeable future (see previous lament about the lottery). Odds of this actually happening: someday. Ya know, like 3 years from now when they’re several seasons old and on clearance.




MDC S Classic irons. After all my obsessing, I think these are the ones I want. Of course I need a few more months to stew on it and be sure, but it’s looking good so far. Odds of this actually happening: middle of the road. Maybe I’ll just give up and keep the Royal Rider’s forever, because I don’t really neeeeed these. But want. So much want. Christmas? I’m gonna run out of holidays and special occasions to use as excuses.


Custom Tipperary eventing vest in navy (yes there’s a lot of navy happening in this post, leave my life choices alone) with light blue piping. Cuz… someday I’ll go XC schooling, I swear! And… pretty colors matter! Odds of this actually happening: hahahahahahaha none. I’ll probably just buy a secondhand vest off of ebay for cheap. It’s cute when I dream big though.


Custom Equifit D-Teq open front boots in navy with black ostrich! OMG THE PRETTIES. Look at them. Just look. Let them sink into your soul. Now back to reality: odds of this actually happening? None. Another case of being in the wrong income bracket. God they are beautiful as hell though. And if you haven’t played with their custom creator yet, you’re seriously missing out: http://www.equifit.net/custom/index2.php



Aztec Diamond Fantasia breeches. These really pique my interest because they are cut and styled so much like my beloved Animo’s but are only about $135USD. Plus there’s a unicorn on the butt. Seriously, pink maned unicorn with a smattering of pink stars trailing in it’s wake! Holy god, my inner 13yo is screaming like she’s just spotted that Beiber chick. Odds of this actually happening: Pretty good, I think. I really want to try them, I just need to get to a place where I feel like I actually need another pair of breeches (I so don’t) and can spend the money.




Weekend recap and Mango Bay Giveaway winner!

The fun part first: congrats to Hillary H., you’ve won the Mango Bay belt giveaway! Check your email for details on how to claim your prize. Big thank you to everyone who participated – this was the biggest weekend ever on my blog and there were almost 70 entries in the giveaway! If you didn’t win, get on over to Mango Bay and buy yourself something nice to ease your sorrow.

My weekend was decidedly horsey and not much else. After a hellacious week at work I pretty much just vegged and watched documentaries on Netflix when I wasn’t at the barn. Friday night was dinner/happy hour with a couple of my favorite horsey friends, then I went to bed early. Party animal – that’s me. On Saturday I got to the barn in the morning to try to beat the heat a little. Apparently everyone else had the same idea – the barn was bustling!


We focused mostly on lateral work and lengthenings, and just being steadier with the contact in general (mostly MY issue). Henry was really super and gave me some really nice moments. Despite several walk breaks and a long cool down walk around the property, he’s still getting way hotter than he should. Not really sure what’s up with him but he’s not handling the heat very well. He’s sweating great, works normally (not lethargic or dull), drinks very well, seems well hydrated, and doesn’t seem distressed when we’re actually working, but by the time I get off he’s very hot and breathing very hard. Even just standing in his stall in front of his fan he’s sweaty and pretty warm. Planning on calling the vet today to see what she thinks. It’s really not even hot yet by Texas standards but it is WAY more humid than normal, so I’m not sure if that’s a contributing factor. He is and always has been a Southern horse though so he should be used to it… I’ve never had a horse have this hard of a time with the heat, even my non-sweater. But this seals the deal on no horse showing for the summer – he’s obviously not a hot weather creature. I’m okay with that since we have the barn move coming up in a couple weeks anyway.

junetrot1 junetrot2

On Sunday morning I decided to focus on transitions, and that wasn’t a particularly great idea. We did the 15-15-15 exercise (15 steps walk, 15 trot, 15 canter, 15 walk, etc etc) which he did pretty well about 4-5 times the first direction, but mentally fell apart the other direction. It was just too much and he got very anxious and worried about any tiny move I made. So instead I had to redirect the ride and spend the rest of it walking and trotting around, getting him to stretch out and relax again. Note to self: he’s not ready for that exercise yet. Point taken, Henry. But once he chilled and accepted the leg/hand contact again I cantered him over a few little logs in the field then went for a walk. Again, he got very hot and it took me a while to cool him down. Hose, scrape, walk. Hose, scrape, walk. Hose, scrape, fan. I’m starting to think this is how our whole summer is gonna go, poor guy.

I think this is how Henry wants to spend the rest of his summer.



After the barn I spent some time hanging out with my dad for Father’s Day, then went down to the park with my cyclocross bike to brush up on my flying mounts and dismounts. There’s a pre-season race tomorrow evening that I’ve got my eye on, but I haven’t been on my CX bike since January when the season ended. Figured I should probably get back on it and practice some of the trickier maneuvers, lest I trip over my own feet and break my neck. We’ll see how tomorrow goes… if I could leave a CX race without shedding blood, freezing to death, or being coated in mud, that would be fantastic! I think I’m safe from the latter two but the first one is never a guarantee.