An exciting announcement and other misc things

Sadie is officially 14 days in foal to Mezcalero! Please cross all your crossables for an easy and problem free pregnancy. The first 60 days are the most nerve-wracking, I don’t think I’ll have any nails left by the end.


We have yet another new blogger among us – everybody go say hi to B at Auf Der Autobahn – she rides at my barn so obviously she’s pretty cool.

Don’t forget the tack sale/swap! InLinkz doesn’t seem to work as well with WordPress so you have to click on the little froggy thing at the bottom of the post to see the links of the other participating bloggers. Celebrate payday by buying yourself something nice.

Also thought I’d share some pics I took the other day at our ice cream factory tour. It was so neat, I loved it. We weren’t allowed to take pictures in the actual production area, but just imagine a sea of machinery and ice cream and cookies and candy and everything amazing. There were giant boxes of cookie dough pieces that I’m pretty sure I’ll spend the rest of my life dreaming about. My head is now also filled with lots of useless information about Blue Bell… if anyone ever needs to know the top 5 best selling flavors, I’ve got you covered.

Coolest elevator ever
White chocolate almond and Buttercrunch
storage tanks full of milk
The flavor pyramid


 And don’t forget to enter Cob Jockey’s awesome giveaway!

Facebook Pony Blog Hop: Tack swap/sale

Come one, come all! Gather all your excess stuff, raid your piggy bank, and lets have some fun.

Because I’m not cool enough to have my own Blog Hop logo, nor do I want to do this regularly. Enjoy a showjumping bunny instead.

So – what do you have for sale? Or trade? What items are you looking for? We need pictures and prices and the whole 9 yards! Think of this as an opportunity to refresh your horse stuff collection.

Here’s what I’ve got to get rid of (maybe trades? not looking for anything specific but I’m always interested in browsing!):

running martingale attachment. Brown Ovation, never used – $15


Le Fash shirt, lavender with black. Size M (approx 36), only worn once. It just doesn’t go with all my navy stuff so I never wear it and it pains me to see it hanging in the closet looking unloved.  – SOLD


Cheval Fashions shirt. I have no idea how I even have this in the first place because it’s not anywhere close to my size. It’s a 14 (approx 42). Super cute though and in great shape, has a snap collar. – $45

cheval1 cheval2

Tuffrider pad, navy trim with light blue piping. I used it at two horse shows but just really prefer baby pads. Has some staining at the girth area. – $10


Pro Choice girth 54″, I’ve used it for a couple years but it’s still in great shape. Princess Henry can’t do neoprene. – SOLD


Bits! 5″ baucher and 5″ D-ring – $10 each (Baucher sold)


Horse size custom navy bonnet with dusty rose trim and a row of ivory pearls. I got this for my mare but there’s no way it’ll fit her Hippoverian head. -SOLD


Alright guys – GO!

get the InLinkz code

How to have an awesome birthday in 5 easy steps

1) Take off work. It’s even better if you take off work for the actual day and also the day after. SO has to do the same so that when you want something you get to say “but it’s my birthday!” and they’re required to do it.

2) Go ride your pony. When trainer does a double take and asks you why you’re there at 9:30am on a Tuesday, reply with gusto “It’s my BIRFDAY!!!! I don’t work on my BIRFDAY!!!”. Then he will laugh and offer you a free lesson as a birthday present. More details on the lesson in a minute.

We're in the middle of a meeting, go away
We’re in the middle of a meeting, important horse business, go away

3) Spend some time outside with the dogs. It really doesn’t matter if it’s 98 degrees, pack a picnic lunch, load up the dogs, and go for a hike. Even when it’s hot as balls Austin is still beautiful. Just bring a few dozen bottles of water.


4) Have Indian food for dinner. Because chicken tikka masala and stuffed naan. Boom.


5) Enjoy a brownie pull-apart cake and several Ace Berry ciders in the evening with good company.



I feel like I’ve finally mastered the art of How to Birthday.

As for the part everyone cares about, the lesson, I come bearing another diagram. The jumps are still set up the same, with the zig zag exercise, but we did it a little differently. First we did just the zig zag alone except started off the right lead, so it was right lead to the first jump in the zig zag, left turn rollback to the second, right turn rollback to the third, left turn rollback to the fourth, right turn rollback to the fifth.

Then we made a different course out of it.



It was just okay. Henry felt a little behind my leg and I still don’t really feel on my A game right now. I’m trying so hard to fix a lot of little things but only succeeding at about half of them at any one time, so I’m getting impatient with myself. I know it’ll come eventually but still frustrating. Very grateful for the surprise lesson anyway… the more we work on it, the better it’ll get.

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes on Instagram and fb! Today we’re off to an ice cream factory for a tour and free ice cream, to cap off the celebrations. Because that’s how it’s done.

And here's a picture of Henry eating his buddy JD's face
And here’s a picture of Henry eating his buddy JD’s face


Tomorrow: tack swap/sale! Hope you’re ready.

EaH Blog Hop: Equestrian Wardrobe

I just can’t resist a blog hop like this one.


Hillary of Equestrian at Hart asked:

I want to know about what you ride in and why? Show us your Equestrian Fashion choices and tell us why you wear them!

Riding clothes are my favorite. Breeches, shirts, boots, helmets, gloves, socks, boots, belts… all the best things. Functional is important but I also want to look well put together and nicely turned out.


First, breeches. As we all learned last week, I’m obsessed with Animo. My second favorite is Tailored Sportsman, and these are the only two brands in my closet. I have navy Animo, french blue TS, charcoal TS and hunter green TS for schooling, then a pair of tan TS and a pair of tan Animo for showing. Since I do jumpers I am usually not limited to only tan for shows and some of my other breeches have been known to make an appearance. I’m fairly satisfied with my breeches collection except it needs more Animo and I feel like I’m in dire need of some Redwood or dark brown (or both).


Redwood TS = life necessity
Redwood TS = life necessity

For shirts we’ve also already covered my love of Kastel. I have 4 of those (with plans for more) in peach, white, gray/tan and royal blue. I also sometimes ride in a few old Essex show shirts or, if I’m feeling particularly fancy, a Le Fash – although I usually save those for shows. I also have a long sleeve Animo polo that I love but it only comes out in the winter.

cream/pink/blue Le Fash
my favorite Le Fash – cream/pink/blue plaid

As far as footwear I’ve got brown Mondoni tall boots and black Ariat Monaco’s. Generally the Monaco’s are for showing only but I’ll whip them out every once in a while for a lesson or something. I’m digging having brown boots a lot though. Whenever the Mondoni’s die I want to order Eiki customs in chocolate brown with navy piping, because I’m a little obsessed.

imagine in chocolate with navy
imagine in chocolate with navy

My GPA Speed Air is one of my favorite things, although I have a little Ovation Schooler that I use during the summer to prevent the GPA from developing The Funk. Both have their own Personally Preppy monogram of course.


I have to give a mention to hairnets here too, since I consider them essential and I’m honestly a total snob about them. I do proper “hunter hair” every single ride and having the right hairnet is really important. Aerborn heavyweights, all day every day. None of this fancy one knot or no knot or whatever other modern day voodoo they’re trying to bottle these days. No bobby pins, hair clips, double hair nets, panty hose, or what have you. If you know what you’re doing, an old school Aerborn heavyweight and a hair elastic is all you need. I’ve never once been unable to get someone’s hair done properly with just those things. And it takes less than 30 seconds.


As you can see, I’m a Roeckl-only girl when it comes to gloves. Nothing else lasts as long or looks as good or works as well for me. I absolutely love those things and need them in every color.

For socks I’m a little different – I really hate the “boot socks” sold by most equestrian manufacturers. Those thin little slippery things were great when everyone was still suffering through pull on boots but in our modern day zip-up boot era I mostly just find them annoying. They’re too thin and wear out too quickly. Instead I buy socks mostly from Sock It To Me . These things wear like iron, are thick enough to be comfortable, but at the same time they’re not too thick as to be hot or alter the fit of your boots. Plus they have some awesome ridiculous socks and I love ridiculousness. For how majorly stick-in-the-mud I am about hair, I’m the total opposite about socks. Be crazy, have fun.

sitm1 sitm2 sitm5 sitm4

Last but certainly not least… BELTS. The Mango Bay obsession is real.


Plus I’ve got a wide navy Equine Couture quilted belt, a couple of plain leather belts and a Peruvian belt on the way.




You’ve probably noticed by now that Hillary and I seem to have a lot of the same stuff. Mutual awesomeness, that’s the proper term for it…


Weekend update: In which I almost die

I did so well last week with my whole “trying to be less fat” thing. I rode my bike 5 out of 7 days and rode my horse 4 out of 7. So naturally on Friday night when we had our Old Horse Friends Happy Hour I ate like a freaking pig. In my defense we decided this was my pre-birthday celebration and therefore we should order the Pazookie Party Platter. Let me show you what this looks like.


Basically we all got The Diabeetus and gained 5lbs in the process. Worth it. (Side note: my friend K who took this picture just started her own blog! Everyone should follow her, she’s cool and smart and has cute animals.)

On Saturday I was up early to go ride Henry. He was a little wild, which with him comes out as silly spookiness, so we did some snorting at random things and trotting sideways because the sandbags that are always sitting by the rail were STILL SITTING BY THE RAIL. Terrifying. But he settled fine once he got his sillies out and as usual left me giggling at his antics.

After I got home from the barn I had the bright idea that I should ride my bike over to visit my mom in one of Austin’s suburbs… cuz ya know… major day-after guilt from The Party Platter Diabeetus Incident. It really isn’t a bad journey, only about 19 miles round trip, and no major hills or bad traffic to negotiate. What I was failing to take into account is that it was 101 freakin degrees. I opted to wear a Kastel shirt instead of a regular bike jersey to keep the sun off my arms, but again failed to take into account that I wasn’t wearing gloves. Guess who has a super sexy hand sunburn? Guess who just about died of heat stroke by the time she got home? Total idiot. I will say though, that Kastel felt a million times better than my regular jerseys.

The Neapolitan look is hot. Pun intended.
The Neapolitan look is hot. Pun intended.

Sunday morning I was once again up bright and early (feeling like a tired sack of dog crap) for cyclocross practice. We did a warm-up ride through the park – aka by the time we were done with the warm-up sweat was rolling down my legs and face like someone had turned on a faucet – then proceeded to practice sprint starts 9,000 times. This could be a slight exaggeration, but not much. It was hell. Then we practiced barriers and run-ups, which I can only explain to you as a lot of running and carrying and other awful things like that. By the time we were done I was completely out of gas and really hot. So off I went for a lesson on Henry because as we’ve already discovered, I’m a total idiot.

sprint start number 8,999
Sprint start number 8,999. I’m the one on the banana.

Trainer had set up an exercise in the center of the ring that basically made a crap ton of turns and necessitated a steady collected pace and deeper distance if you wanted to succeed. Great… the exact things that take a lot of work for me, since I wasn’t already beat to shit. Note heavy sarcasm.


We went through the exercise a couple times with the jumps tiny, then put them up a little bit and did it a couple more times. When I actually sat up and rode and had a plan it worked out pretty well. I wish I could sit here and tell you that I sat up and rode and had a plan more often than not, but meh… 50/50. The fact that I was still on the horse by this point was kind of miraculous.

Hey chicken wings!
Ugh. Whatever.

Then we added more jumps after the zig zag exercise. An outside line that rode in a short six, across the diagonal over what was also jump 4, to the other outside line also in a short six. They were set short enough to where if you jumped in from a gap or with much of a bold pace, it was a 5. Guess what I did the first time? Womp womp.

I apologize for the wonkyness of the lines, I did it yesterday when I was in the throes of death. Just do me a solid and pretend they’re less drunken looking.

The second time was better, I actually rode to the deep one with a collected canter and the six worked out on both lines but I still felt like I was crooked and reacting instead of creating. At this point Trainer asked me if I was okay (pretty sure my face was past the color of a tomato) to which I replied “No, I’m about to fucking die. Let’s do it again.”. I really wanted to get it right.

Late, but wheeee
Late, but wheeee

Halfway through the last attempt I was starting to get dizzy but I managed to finish and it wasn’t awful. Still not really what I’d call great but passable. Henry and I were both cooked by then so we called it a day. My quads were quivering when I got off and I had to hose myself down in the washrack a couple times. Completely overdo yourself in one weekend? Yes please!

Video of the last part of the last attempt – best on full screen since it’s little. Also turn the sound on for Trainer’s glowing praise of “Alright… that was better” at the end. Hilarious. Poor guy, sometimes it really must be a struggle to be positive.

Henry Aug10 from amanda chance on Vimeo.

Blog tack swap/sale update

Attention other bloggers:

Since there seemed to be a lot of interest in this idea when I mentioned it yesterday I figured I would give everyone a heads up over the weekend. I do plan on setting this up next week, so now is the time to go through your stuff and make a list and take some pictures. Think of it as summer cleaning!

salememe1  salememe3 salememe4 salememe5 salememe6 salememe7 salememe8

bridle measuring time and a question

Several unrelated things happening here today, so I apologize in advance for the random.

First – today is the LAST DAY to use coupon code fbpony14 to receive 15% off your Mango Bay order. Get on it!

Tools for obsessive bridle fitting

Second – I measured Henry for his PS of Sweden bridle last night. I was finally able to get in contact with them and they answered some questions for me, so I’m going to take the plunge and order one. It’s definitely different looking but I think it’s pretty and has the same general idea of a Micklem without being so ugly (IMO). I’m sure I’ll get lots of weird looks at shows but I’m okay with that. Hopefully it works for us. He measured pretty solidly in the middle of the cob size measurement range except for the upper part of the nose, where he was on the higher end. I was kind of hoping he’d measure as a full so the bridle would fit Sadie too, but I’m afraid it’d be too big for Henry. Cob it is.

Play dead, Henry

Interesting to note: The prices on the PS of Sweden website include the 25% VAT that Euro buyers have to pay. Of course, I am not a Euro buyer so the bridle is actually only $267 for me. That makes it pretty reasonably priced considering it comes with reins. They are backordered until mid-month for the model I want and then it has to ship from Sweden so it could be a while until it arrives. Fingers crossed that it fits and we both like it! Total leap of faith here but I can’t get it out of my head so I’ve gotta give it a shot.

I may or may not stalk their facebook page…

Third – As I’ve been going through my excess stuff lately I realized that I have several things just sitting around that I’d like to sell. Would anyone be interested in a “tack sale/tack swap” type of thing? Maybe in a blog hop style format or something? Open to suggestions. The idea just occurred to me the other day when I listed a couple things on a fb sale group and I figured I’d see if anyone else had any interest.

And for a little bit of Friday fun… since everyone enjoyed Henry’s tongue antics so much yesterday, I thought I’d make a video of a typical day with him and his weirdo tongue. This is what it’s like pretty much all the time, although the more bored he is the more he plays with his tongue. Last night he was pretty bored after all the measuring. 😉 Now you can probably see why I have more pictures of him making faces than I do of him standing there being normal.

Henryxties from amanda chance on Vimeo.

In which Henry thinks he’s Super Naughty

On Tuesday I was feeling pretty lazy and unmotivated (this has been a trend lately), so I just put Henry’s hackamore on and decided to have a simple fun ride. My friend Amy came out again to play with her camera therefore we have photographic evidence.

He was extremely enthused about the ride from the very beginning…



But he started out pretty normal

canter1  trot3canter3 trot5


Until the lightbulb went off and he realized “Wait a minute… I’m in my hackamore… I CAN PLAY WITH MY TONGUE!!!!”


So I reached down and played poke the flopping tongue while he cantered around the ring yelling “You can’t take away my FREEEEDOOOOOM”, Braveheart style.


Poke the flopping tongue made him angry, so when we started jumping he decided to teach me a lesson and be horribly naughty.


He dolphined all the way through the corner, but he doesn’t seem to realize that bucking should also include the hind end, not just the front. He was very impressed with his rodeo display. I on the otherhand was overcome with hysterical fits of laughter. Naughty Henry becomes confused as to why the human is not appropriately terrified of him.


I was laughing so hard I literally had to stop and collect myself to avoid sliding right off the side. This must have broken poor Naughty Henry’s spirit, because after that he just jumped around with a defeated attitude, like he wasn’t sure how I possibly survived but surely some kind of magic was involved.

jump1 jump2 jump4

Poor Henry. Some horses are just really bad at being bad.

Oh and PS – if anyone is interested in a horse size Ovation figure eight bridle, I have one for sale. 😉



Mango Bay coupon code and CANTER swag

I’ve got two super fun ways to spend money today!

First – Mango Bay Design has been kind enough to offer my readers a 15% off coupon code! There have been some recent additions to her shop so if it’s been a while since you’ve browsed, go take a look. Use coupon code fbpony14 for your discount.

MB = Happiness
MB = Happiness

And since Viva Carlos’ latest blog hop determined that we all need more poneh shirts, here’s your chance to add to your collection while also benefiting a good cause. CANTER TX is selling these super cute t-shirts! TB fans, you need one.

cantershirt1 cantershirt2



To order:
– Paypal
– Price is $25 including shipping, or $20 for local pickup if you’re in/near San Antonio.
– Make sure to put CANTER Texas shirt in the message, as well as your size.
– Keep in mind these are slim fit. If in doubt, order a size up.
– If you want more than one shirt shipped, email the above address for price.

The ponies thank you for your support!



My favorite things: breeches edition

I should preface this post by saying that I’m really picky about breeches. The fit has to be perfect, the fabric has to be perfect, they have to wear well, they have to be comfortable, they have to be flattering, they have to wash well, they have to be attractive and they have to hold up to a lot of abuse.


Over the years I’ve tried so many brands it’s ridiculous: SmartPak, TS, Pikeur, Ovation, Grand Prix, TuffRider, Equine Couture, Kerrits, Tredstep, Ariat, Tropical Rider, Animo, Riding Sport, Trainer’s Choice, Goode Rider, etc etc. Most never made it out of the dressing room. The vast majority of those that did were either taken back or resold.

The top three?

Animo, TS, Pikeur. I consider TS and Pikeur to be pretty interchangeable for me. I might like the Pikeur a little more but I like the price tag and colors of the TS better, so in my mind they equal out. However the Animo are head and shoulders (and torso) above the rest.


I know what you’re thinking… “$400 breeches are not happening”. Give me a minute to make my case.

My oldest pair of Animo breeches are my navy ones, which are now almost 3 years old. First, I bought them on sale for around $250… still pricey, but let’s keep talking. They are BY FAR my most worn breeches – honestly I wear them probably twice as much as any of my TS. It’s fair to say they’ve seen a lot of action by now. I’ve shown in them, I’ve fallen in them, I’ve mucked stalls in them… you name it, they’ve done it. Literally the only wear they show is some pilling of the fabric behind the knee, which mostly occurred when I spent several months riding in too-tall boots that rubbed the back of my knee area.


Other than that, they still look just as good as the day I bought them. The stitching is all still flawless, the buttons are firmly attached and the zipper has given me no problems. The fabric has not changed since day 1. No fading, no thinning. I also can wear them probably 3-4 times between washings (in the machine!) – stop saying ew and hear me out. The fabric does not hold moisture or any kind of scent. They don’t smell like a dead animal after a particularly sweaty day. I can also take a wet rag and just wipe the fabric down to get rid of any dirt that’s showing. Literally – I wet the rag that I also use to clean my horse’s bit and wipe off my thighs. It happens. And it works. The best thing though? They don’t show moisture. This is great if you’re like me and have a pretty raging case of swamp ass in the summer. Being able to go somewhere after the barn without looking like you peed yourself? Awesome.


The fit is fantastic. They’re the most flattering breeches I own and also the most comfortable. The cut of the knee area is genius and I absolutely love the sock bottom. Far superior to velcro in every way. My favorite feature though is also the one I was originally the most skeptical about: the silicone knee patches. If you need grip, those things are unparalleled. I used to have a jumper that literally felt like being strapped to the back of a coked up deer sometimes. If I wasn’t wearing the Animos I would add a little sticky spray to prevent being launched into orbit, but I found that with the silicone patches I didn’t need it. I never felt “stuck” to the horse, but if a time came where I needed some extra grip, they provided it. They’ve helped me out on a couple of particularly naughty horses as well.

So what’s a gal (or dude) to do if (s)he wants Animo but doesn’t have the money to drop on retail price? My advice – shop sales and shop used. Pretty much every Animo vendor I know has regular sales or periodic end of season clearances. Mine have all been purchased for under $250. My tan ones that I use for showing were a whopping $111 during a Selwood Equine sale. No that’s not a typo. They can be very affordable if you know where to look and are patient.


For the sake of curiosity, let’s do some math. Let’s just say that you pay $300 (on the high side of sale price) for a pair of Animo. You then wear said breeches twice a week every week for, let’s say, 5 years (I feel like that’s being conservative on the life span). That’s 58cents per wear. My $110 Grand Prix breeches lasted a year and a half, at around 1 wear per week because I didn’t love them that much, before they sprung a hole. That’s $1.41 per wear. Which one is really the better deal? Quality costs money but a) it’s far more enjoyable on a daily basis b) it’s cheaper in the end.

I’ve discovered that Animo has so thoroughly spoiled me that I find a lot of breeches totally intolerable now, with my main complaint being the fabric. The only other brand I own is TS and that’s largely because the fit is so good for me and they’re comfortable. They still aren’t Animo but they work. Eventually I’d like to empty my closet of everything else and fill it only with Animo. That’s how obsessed I am. It will happen eventually, one sale at a time.