Small Business Spotlight AND GIVEAWAY: Mango Bay

I’m super excited about this week’s Small Business Spotlight. One of the best accessories in the whole world is belts. I love a great belt, and Mango Bay Design makes some of the best.


Their canvas belts are so versatile – they look great with breeches or just with jeans. I love the flat ring closures because they lie FLAT underneath a show coat and they don’t loosen or slip open while you’re riding. Not to mention the wide range of style choices. From bold lime or orange to classic gray or tan, chevron patterns to h/j patterns to dressage patterns – there truly is something for everyone. And the absolute best part? The price! At only $18 you don’t have to worry about picking just one, you can get several. Must Have ALL. The. Belts.


I have the “Equestrian Collage pattern on cornflower blue” belt and absolutely love it. As I said before, it lies perfectly flat under my softshell coat (I really don’t need any extra lumps, thankyouverymuch) and fits perfectly into the belt loops of my Animo breeches. I’ve also worn it in a non-horsey setting with shorts and a tee, a subtle but fashionable way to still show my equestrian pride. All belts are available in sizes S-3X, plus they can make custom sizes if you so desire.


Now for the best part of this Spotlight: THE GIVEAWAY! Mango Bay has graciously offered to give a belt to one lucky reader. Any belt on the website could be yours! You can earn up to three entries: 1) Leave a comment on this blog post telling me what your favorite Mango Bay belt is. 2) Go to Facebook and “Like” MangoBay. 3) Follow MangoBayDesign on Instagram. To register your entries PLEASE CLICK HERE. If you don’t do that part, I won’t know you’ve entered. Please make sure to leave your email address with your blog comment so I have a way to contact you if you win. Also you must be a US resident to enter. Sorry foreign friends, I am bound by laws and such. The contest closes Sunday night at 11:59PM CST, so get your entries in soon! The winner will be announced on Monday.


Want to know more about the awesome company who is making this giveaway possible? Pam at Mango Bay was kind enough to answer some questions so we could get to know them better!

1) When did Mango Bay start?

I started my business 5 years ago in 2009. Had spent the prior 30 years doing artwork for Broadway shows – painting backdrops – the large canvas that’s in back of all of the built scenery.

2) How many employees are in your company?

Right now I have 1 employee who helps when we print and then does a lot of the sewing.

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

Got the idea for my business because I love belts and was tired of the stereotypical preppy ribbon belts. I wanted to do an updated version, replacing the d-rings, which always loosen up, with flat rings, which stay closed. I really enjoy doing the equestrian designs, as I love horses and love going to the shows.

4) What is your background in horses?

I rode while in middle and upper school, then stopped in college, as it wasn’t “cool” to ride when one was going to design school, esp. in the early ’70’s. After college, I became addicted to sailing, owning and racing several boats when there were very few women doing that outside of dingy racing. I totally understand what it’s like to put all of one’s effort into excelling at something that most of the world thinks is as easy and elegant and painless as it appears in a Ralph Lauren ad.

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

New products – more designs on wider fabrics, a steeplechase print for the fall, and have had many requests for an equestrian print scarf for holiday gift giving, (when size can be an issue with belts). Most importantly, and one of the reasons I love doing shows, is to learn what my customers need and want!



Whether you prefer classic, bold, fun or modern, Mango Bay really does have something to suit any style. In writing this post I perused their website again and am now obsessed with the denim chevron belt. I NEED THAT. Next time you’re buying a belt, give this small business a shot – I hope you like your Mango Bay belt as much as I do!

In which I regain a little sanity

Yesterday my brain was just done. Too much stress, too much to do, too little time to do it. I went home after work and just blobbed out. Pants and bra came off (liberty!), PJ’s went on, and I plopped myself in front of the TV with a Ace Pineapple Cider. I watched the last episode of 24 then got up to make dinner – cajun corn on the cob, garlic smashed red potatoes, and Parmesan roasted broccoli – and started to feel a bit better. Three episodes of Orange is the New Black and a bowl of Orange Swirl ice cream later… I could breathe again. Sorry Henry, I just didn’t have the mental capacity for the barn last night.


I also got a pretty fantastic 8 hours of sleep. Of course, walking into work this morning instantly deflated me a bit, but only two more days. Just two more. I can survive that. Plus I’m going to the barn tonight and I have TWO ponies to ride. Life could be a lot worse.


Total random sidenote, but when I was in Walmart the other day I grabbed a couple of Danskin tanks in a sporty feeling fabric. I wore one to ride the other day and can’t believe how awesomely light it was and how well it breathed. Of course I went online to buy more since the store didn’t have other colors in my size, and they’re sold out online. It’s the “Danskin Now Striped Performance Racerback Tank”. If you stumble across any in your local Walmart I highly recommend grabbing a few. For $5 they’re awesome summer barn shirts. And if they have any smalls in yellow and blue, grab one for me. 😉


Wednesday’s 5 things

I’m pressed for time (I may or may not be hiding in a corner at work right now) and just way too tired to make coherent sentences today, so here’s a quick and dirty mid-week list of observations.

1) Being a grown-up sucks. I hate work. Too stressful. Yesterday I was ready to jump off the roof by 8:30am. Right now it’s 9:38am and I’d give a few appendages for a nap and/or vodka lemonade.

2) I tried Henry in a boucher yesterday, thinking he might like the stability more and be less chompy. It’s cute when I get ideas. If anything he was MORE chompy. Womp womp fail. But he was still pretty good. I’m most impressed with how much his walk has improved… it’s much bigger and he’s definitely feeling way looser in his back. Coincidence that this started right when I got the Ogilvy, or just completely a side effect of flatwork boot camp? Hmmm…

Too sleepy to ride today, come back never


3) Sadie was bred yesterday and Jez was bred last weekend, so everyone cross all your crossables for beautiful black dots on the ultrasound when they go back in a couple weeks for their pregnancy check.

4) I ordered six more monograms from Personally Preppy. I see a 12 step program in my future.

5) I have to admit, I’ve gotten a little excited about the prospect of having access to some eventer folks at the new barn. The idea of galavanting off to the dark side once or twice a year definitely has it’s appeal. I loved eventing, but I’m not an eventer, if that makes any sense. But having it as an “on the side” thing that I do for fun every once in a while to break up the monotony of jumper shows could be perfect. So I’ve been browsing through the rule book, reading up on what all has changed in the past 10 years since I last stepped foot in a dressage ring or start box. I’ve also been browsing gear a little bit… I mean, even if I never actually did an event, owning an XC vest isn’t really such a bad thing right? 😉

Hello, baby horse friend!


Happy frickin humpday.

DIY: Project Helmet Restoration

I knew when I saw the Pimp my Helmet DIY on Shadbelly that this was a project I simply couldn’t pass up. The timing was absolutely perfect. I had just dragged out my “summer helmet” from the depths of my spare trunk – a lightweight, easy to clean Ovation Schooler. Our summers are so hot and gross, subjecting a really nice GPA Speed Air to that kind of mess just isn’t desirable. Poor Ovation was looking kind of sad though. Between all the errant tree branches on trail rides, being crammed into random tight places in my trunk/car, dragged along who-knows-what, and everything else that may have happened to it over it’s past two summers, it was looking pretty darn sad. Lots of little scratches all over it. I swear I haven’t fallen in it yet but it sure looked like it.


So when I saw the DIY instructions I absolutely had to try it. As in, right now. I brought my helmet home from the barn, stopped at Home Depot on the way, then got to work. I have to admit – I am NOT as patient as Shadbelly was. My whole project took less than 2 hours start to finish including all the wait time for drying in between coats. Let’s face it, I’ve never been good at leaving things alone. Good news is – it worked great anyway. Also good to note: there are FOUR metallic brown Rust-Oleum Universal colors. We won’t talk about how long it took me to pick one. I walked in thinking “I’ll get brown!” and stood in the aisle gobsmacked for way too long. Just sayin, be prepared for too many options.


First I took the Ovation decals off the helmet and gave the whole thing a very light sanding, just a few swipes with fine grit sandpaper. The scratches sanded out amazingly easily, I guess they just looked a lot deeper than they really were. Then I cleaned it, wiped it down with a rag, and set it outside to dry while I prepared the rest of my supplies. In my daze of trying to find just the right brown at Home Depot I had forgotten to grab painters tape. The only other two options in the house were a little bit of leftover scotch tape from Christmas present wrapping and a small roll of duct tape I got in my race packet at the 3M half marathon. Thanks 3M – your weirdly patterned duct tape finally went to good use.

Sanded and cleaned


All taped up and ready to go


I taped over all the edge fabric and nylon harness strap that I didn’t want painted, set out some newspaper in the backyard, grabbed a wine bottle (to set the helmet on, not to drink) and got to work. I was a little timid for the first coat, barely misting anything on. Then I stood back, looked at it and went “OMG this is totally gonna work!” and did the first coat. A few minutes later I came at it again for the second coat, although now I was a little cocky and heavy handed. I sprayed a little too much on one of the vents and clogged a couple of the teeny holes in the mesh, so I ran inside for a toothpick to poke them clear. Crisis averted. Then I waited a few more minutes (remember how I said I was impatient?) and did the third coat, then finally inspected it closely and did touch-ups to make sure it was all even.

First coat, hanging out on the wine bottle



Sitting out to dry after the third coat


Dried and tape removed!


I let it dry for about half an hour, then slapped my new Personally Preppy helmet monogram on it, and voila – done. It looks brand new! And it goes with my brown boots! You really would never know this was spray paint, it just looks like any other regular plastic helmet finish. I still can’t believe how easy this was and how well it worked… it gets two solid thumbs up from me. Thanks Shadbelly!

Final product




Weekend recap: so much random

On Friday evening Henry got his feet done by the new farrier. He’s a really good boy about his feet, so he kept getting lots of cookies and “sweethearts” from the farrier for his good behavior. In return he kept trying to lick/nibble on the farrier’s back and neck to dispense more cookies. They got along great and his feet look much better already.



On Saturday morning I was feeling particularly masochistic so I decided to go on the weekly 35-mile bike ride that my fiance leads. I hate the route (hills are stupid, and there’s always a ridiculous headwind) so I’ve vehemently resisted going, plus since I’ve been riding the horse a lot more I’ve had very little time to ride the bike. Hence I’m pretty darn out of shape at the moment. I thought for sure I’d get left behind pretty quickly but I managed to hang in there and stay towards the front of the group of men, all of whom ride regularly and are in great shape. Walking was tough afterward and I almost puked a few times, but pffft minor details.



This was one of the rare days that SO and I have off together, so after our bike ride we went to brunch and then over to the soon-to-be-new barn since they were having a show out there. We didn’t stay long because it was just so hot and we were already pretty beat, but it was nice to have the opportunity to show him around the new place. Then we went home and collapsed in front of Netflix to watch some of the new season of Orange Is The New Black before heading to his sister’s place for dinner. All in all a very nice albeit mostly non-horsey day.

Sunday I headed out to the barn around 9 to try to avoid the worst of the heat. Nice plan, but it was still hot and SUPER humid. We’re used to hot around here but the humidity is strange for us and really awful. When I got there Henry was standing in his stall covered in sweat despite his fan. I also noticed that all the sudden he’s shedding like crazy, which is kinda weird considering he was body clipped in the winter and does not look like he has any coat to spare. Guess his body is throwing all the non-essentials overboard in this heat.

This was just from 1/4 of him!


He was not surprisingly a little dull in the crossties but once I got on he perked up and worked well. I picked up some little nubby spurs on Friday just to try them out, since carrying a whip seems to just make him really tense and over-reactive. Spurs went over much better and he actually got the hell off my left leg… novel concept. Side note: WHY ARE THERE NO SPUR STRAPS THAT MATCH MY BOOTS? Two tack shops, 4 different brands of brown, and they’re all either super red or super chocolate. Boo. My OCD can’t take this, it’s making me so twitchy.


Poor Henry was super hot when we were done so we walked all over the property then I hosed him for a while before dousing him in a liniment brace. I had a little more time to kill and there was no one around, so I took him out behind the barn and let him loose to graze. It’s always so funny to see his expression when I do this… he thinks he’s escaping and being so delightfully naughty, not realizing that I let him go on purpose.



Henry and my dog, Stewie



Then I did a little Sunday Funday afternoon project. I’ll post more details about it sometime this week, but here’s a picture hint!


All in all it was a good weekend with a nice balance of pony time and personal time. Boo, Monday.


Small Business Spotlight: Personally Preppy

In the words of Lauren from She Moved to Texas: MONOGRAM ALL THE THINGS. Monograms are awesome in so many ways. Not only are they really pretty and stylish, but for those of us who board we understand that personalization can help prevent things from growing legs and wandering away. Put down your Sharpie, people – there is now a better way.

My featured business this week for the Small Business Spotlight series is Personally Preppy. If you have Instagram you have probably seen one of their fabulous helmet monograms by now, which have absolutely blown up in popularity over the last few months. They also offer glove monograms, breeches monograms, monogrammed whips, cell phone cases, etc etc. Just about everything a monogram lover could possibly dream up. The best part is that everything is very affordable – you can go crazy and stick a monogram on everything without breaking the bank. See their full line-up on their Etsy store:


As soon as I first saw their helmet monogram I knew I absolutely had to have it. I opted for black since it would be more subtle on my show helmet, but still a really cute and fun way to personalize it. As soon as I had that, I ordered a monogram for one pair of my show breeches and my show gloves. Last week I ordered a light blue monogram for my “junker” schooling helmet. Because… awesome.



You aren’t limited to only the things you see in their store. If you can dream it, they can probably create it. Custom orders are no problem. In fact, I am getting ready to submit my fourth (addiction much?) order, for a custom heat transfer to go on a new fly bonnet. We won’t talk about how many fly bonnets I have either.

If you’ve read any of my Small Business Spotlights by now, here’s the fun section you’re expecting: words from the business owners!

1) When did you start this business?
Personally Preppy opened their online Etsy shop in April of 2014.


2) How many employees are there in your company?
We have about 5 employees, and a few brand ambassadors. Tate & Kir are very hands on with each order, but attribute our success to a hard work ethic, and a passion for horses & riders. As riders, Tate & Kir love supporting riders around the world, who also share the same passion for the sport and the animals.


3) Where did the idea for the business come from?
While competing at an IHSA show as Captain of the Salve Regina Equestrian Team, Kir recognized that the girl’s helmets, crops, gloves, and saddle pads were constantly confused and sometimes lost. As an avid “Prepsters” and Equestrians we knew monograms was the solution! Later that night, Tate and Kir started Personally Preppy. They said “It was a big risk starting a company in college but with hard work and perseverance Personally Preppy was born!”


4) What is your background in horses?
Tate & Kir, best friends, and sisters began Personally Preppy while Tate was pursuing her MBA and while Kirsten was a freshman, both at Salve Regina University.  While growing up in Westchester, NY we began horseback riding at a young age, and got hooked into the horse show world after our first Walk-Trot class!  Our parents, both successful entrepreneurs, consistently encourage us to find an idea, and be strong business women. Together, as a team, Tate & Kir ran pony camp to help pay for their horse shows. While working in the industry, and being avid horse show girls, we recognized that everyone has similar clothes, and equipment in the horse world. We agreed that monogramming would be a fun, yet classic way to let our preppy style shine in the ring. Today, Kir and Tate are thrilled with the consistent growth of the company, and continue to add new, quality products with a strong attention to customer satisfaction.


5) Any interesting notes about yourself, your business or your products that you would like for people to know?
We are a sister run company, we love working together as best friends, and business partners. We support girl power, and the power of hard work. We love supporting riders around the world who have a love for their horses as well as a love for equestrian style.
We want to thank our Mom, (our creative consultant) our Dad (our number 1 fan)  and our Brother Ricky (our production assistant) for believing in us, being patient while we hog the dinner table conversation with horses and always encouraging us to chase our dreams.




There is a lot to love about Personally Preppy. Style, practicality, affordability and fun. All of that while supporting a small business at the same time – doesn’t get much better. Find them on Instagram at personallypreppy to stay up to date on all their cool new stuff. Thanks Personally Preppy for all of your great products thus far, and the ones to come in the future!


Horsey life changes

It’s been a bit of a slow week for me horse-wise. I have a new farrier coming out to do Henry’s feet on Friday but until then they’re looking pretty shabby, so I’ve limited it to just a couple of short flatwork rides. Two good-news points from this though: he’s continuing to improve as far as his forwardness and consistency in the contact, and less barn time has meant more personal time. It’s been nice to hang out with the SO for a change, plus we got to go see X-Men! Staring at this for 130 minutes did not suck.



Back to the horse stuff. There are some big changes on the horizon… we’ll be moving to a new barn in July. Well, a re-new barn since I boarded there briefly in 2001 before I moved to the East Coast to be a working student. It’s tough to leave the current barn because I consider the trainer a friend, and really like all of my fellow barnmates. This was a very hard decision but due to a myriad of different reasons I think it will be a beneficial change for both of us. It’s very bittersweet for me and I’m sad but excited at the same time. It will however likely mean less horse shows, but there are lots of opportunities to have fun in other ways (maybe dipping my toe into The Dark Side?) so hopefully it’ll equal out.

Once we get moved I’ll post more details about the new place, but until then enjoy a couple of pictures pulled from the internet.

manor2 manor1


And since it’s great timing on Throwback Thursday, we’ll keep with the new barn theme… here’s a picture of me on my first horse Charlie, riding at this barn in 2001.



And me showing there on a catchride in 2010.



Review: Mondoni Kingston brown field boots

A couple weeks ago on Instagram one clothing company asked “How would you describe your riding clothing style?”. My reply was instant – classic with a modern twist. Sounds weird, I know, so let me explain. I love the look of rust breeches, brown boots, wide hunting bridles, and tweed coats. But I also love modern design and comfortable fabrics. If Animo ever makes rust breeches, my pocketbook is in serious trouble.

This spring I decided it was about time to retire my well worn Ariat Volants and find a new pair of schooling boots. But this time I decided I wanted brown. Here’s where I should mention: I am picky. I really like a Spanish top, a slightly squared toe, elastic laces and I was super particular about what shade I wanted. Not too dark, not too red (my complaint with each of Ariat’s brown shades). I spent weeks pouring over every corner of the internet in search of just the right boot. Unfortunately I also had a budget of under $400. That ruled out just about everything. Custom brown Parlanti’s, how I love thee, but alas it just was not meant to be.


Finally I stumbled onto a Dutch website called Divoza. And there, shining like a beacon of all things fabulous, I found the Mondoni Kingston.


They were exactly the color I had in mind, plus they had all the modern styling. I spent some time googling to find out more about the brand (good luck deciphering Dutch message boards) and found out that Mondoni is Divoza’s house brand. So basically – that’s the only place I could get them. But they were only $225, so for that price I figured it was worth taking a gamble. Then began my obsession with the size chart and many back and forth emails with poor Divoza’s customer service reps. I formally apologize to them for being a pain the ass. But I finally figured out what size I needed, ordered them, and voila – 4 days later they arrived from the Netherlands. No kidding – Four. Days. Divoza had them on the truck and sent me a tracking number within an hour of me placing my order. Pretty amazing.


When I pulled them out of the box it was love at first zip. They were beautiful and fit pretty darn well. It’s now been 4 months and I still love them. Brown is fabulous. For the price these boots are pretty nice. Are they as nice as my Ariat Monaco’s? No. But they’re also a quarter of the price. I get compliments on them constantly, and just looking at them makes me happy. I’ve even shown in them a few times… having a jumper has it’s fashion perks.


I will say that brown requires a little more upkeep. I don’t know if I’m being overprotective but scratches and rubs seem to show more. I polish them about once a month with chocolate polish, which has given them a really beautiful rich color. I’m also not sure that they’ll survive many years of daily abuse, but they’re very comfortable and I can wear them all day with no complaints. And again – for such a reasonable price they still seem like a good value to me even if I only get a few years out of them.


The best part is that if you sign up for Divoza’s email newsletter, they send out a 25% off coupon code about once a month. That makes the boots only about $200 USD including shipping. Definitely a good buy for that price!



Boarding barns: the must haves and the can’t haves

I was reading on a popular online forum the other day about boarding barns and barn rules and as I came across a couple of responses I thought “No way, that’s a dealbreaker”. Then I started thinking about all the places I’ve boarded in my life and all their different rules, practices, facilities, etc. There’s so many things that I’ve learned along the way that I must have in a boarding facility, or can’t have in a boarding facility. As I sat there pondering away in lalaland and reading through everyone’s stories about their own barns I came up with a list in my head…

Must Haves:

Turnout. I really really think horses need at least 6 hours of turnout a day. I’ve been at both ends of the spectrum – a barn that turned out maybe 30mins-1hr every other day, and pasture boarded horses that were out 24/7. Pasture board is tough in a Texas summer though, and I tend to need mine body clipped in the winter, therefore it’s not always practical. So to me the perfect compromise is 6-12 hours of turnout. If they have a run attached to their stall so they can come in and out as they please the rest of the time, even better.


Good footing. We all know how important this is. I can live with a place that won’t let you ride when the rings are wet, as long as the footing is good the rest of the time. It should be even, the right depth, not too soft, not too hard, and dragged/watered regularly. Keeping the horses sound is of the utmost importance. I also think its a huge bonus if there’s a nice big field to hack out in so we can escape the confines of the arena regularly.

Good care. The horses obviously must be watered at all times (most places here have auto waterers, but not everyone cleans them), they must have ample hay, they must be fed on a regular schedule, the stalls must be clean and bedded appropriately, etc etc. I can’t stand dirty waterers, meager hay, or filthy stalls. It’s also important to me that someone live on the property – the closer to the horses, the better.  And they need to be paying attention!


A decent trainer. I’ve boarded at lots of places with no trainer, and it’s been fine, but with the current horse I do need someone around that can help me develop him correctly. Preferably a person with a strong jumper background that has an eye for detail and is really nit-picky… that’s my favorite kind.


My can’t haves are basically the opposite of the above. Bad footing, bad care, no turnout and a bad trainer are things I cannot live with.

As far as barn rules go, I wouldn’t get far in a place that required X number of shows otherwise you incur a non-showing fee. Nope, won’t happen. I also won’t be buying all new blankets and equipment in barn colors just so everything can match. Nope again. I don’t think I could deal with boarding at a place that had specific hours/days that you were allowed to come ride. Barns that are totally closed on Mondays or by 8pm? What? Nope. All of those are dealbreaker rules for me.


Otherwise I think I could live with most things. I would consider rules about cleaning up after yourself, wearing a helmet, no sandals, no smoking, maintenance of the property, etc to be positive things. Heck, I grew up riding with a trainer who didn’t allow tank tops, required your hair be up in your helmet correctly, god forbid you have shavings in your horse’s tail or not get every square inch wet when bathing, not wrap a leg 100% evenly or not clean your tack after every ride. They weren’t written rules but lets just say you only made those mistakes once. 😉 But I really appreciate that kind of upbringing now, and try to keep high standards for myself… therefore it doesn’t really matter to me if that level of detail is expected since I do it most of the time anyway.


The one rule I can’t really decide how I feel about is the “no jumping outside of lessons”. I don’t jump all the time, but I do like to hop over a few low fences a couple times a week just as a refresher. And my pocketbook is not of the variety than can afford 3 lessons a week. If you had a made horse it probably wouldn’t matter, but what about a greenie? What could you do to cope with a rule like that? Set up pole exercises one day a week and do a lesson another day a week and say that’s enough? That’s the only one I’m really hung up on.

What about you – what are your must haves/can’t haves? What rules do you love, what rules do you hate? What do you consider a “dealbreaker”? I’m sure there are a lot more I haven’t thought of.

Weekend Recap: flatwork boot camp

There wasn’t much talk here of the Henrypants last week, mostly because it rained a lot at the beginning of the week so I didn’t ride much. I did have lots of time to sit and stew over the Great Horse Show Catastrophe ad nauseam though. I watched the video about a dozen times and came to one definite conclusion: we need better flatwork. I saw a horse that never truly looked like he was in front of my leg and into my hand the way he should be. I think because he has a major tendency to curl up behind the bit so much, I in turn tend to let him take the easy way out with a hackamore all the time, and don’t necessarily ride him as forward to get him UP into my hand. We’re both cheating.

That all changed on Thursday. Out came the dreaded (in Henry’s never humble opinion) loose ring french link, and we started flatwork boot camp.



While Henry isn’t much of a fan, he has been pretty cooperative so far. My legs however are dying. Getting this horse out in front of you is a serious job… he’d rather go through life at one speed with his nose tucked in like a roly poly at any hint of contact.  This weekend we trotted and cantered with impulsion, walked like we were on a mission, lengthened, shoulder-ined, haunches-ined, leg yielded, spiraled in and out on a circle, serpentined, halted, sat the trot, stretchy trotted (eh… kinda), flying changed, simple changed (through the walk like a gangsta), hand-galloped and we even did a couple impromptu dressage tests as a status check. What’s more – a couple times we even went straight. Like legit nose to tail straight. No wiggle, no wandering butt, no bulging shoulder, just right there perfectly between both hands and both legs. Everyone be impressed right now. I’m not saying we did all of those things particularly well, but some of it we did, and for the rest we damn well gave it our best shot. Baby steps.

I’m not quite sure who has done more work at this point – me or him. I’ve been pouring sweat like a water fountain and he’s been pretty whooped after each ride. But I feel like even in just these 3 rides we’ve made some progress. We’re both steadier and we’re both paying more attention to the tiny details. I am determined to get him in front of my leg and he’s going to learn that contact isn’t the end of the world, even if it kills me. I hopped him over a handful of jumps at the end of Saturday’s session and things seemed to feel a little better, so we’ll see where this goes.

Flatwork boot camp is hard, y’all


Also – how the hell is it JUNE already? Summer, here we come. I’m so not ready for 100+ degree temps yet, but we’re getting dangerously close to triple digits. Boo.