Trying to take a picture with Henry: the full experience

Yesterday while I was at the barn a friend texted me and asked how miserable it was out there, with the cold weather. I thought I’d be clever and send a picture back of me and Henry looking sad and cold. The following is exactly how my selfie attempt went (and exactly why I should never try to be clever).


Whuzzat? COOKIE?


Don’t be sad, hooman.






Hold my head. What do you mean the crosstie chains in your skull hurt?


I give you kissy



And then finally… we got one. Although he looks more naughty/pleased with himself than sad. Close enough.



The Circle of Death

Last night’s (really really ridiculous cold, seriously WTF IS UP WITH THIS CRAP why is it freezing in November in Texas? I don’t have the right clothes for this!) jumping lesson featured the circle of death. Of course like pretty much everyone I’ve done this exercise a million times before but honestly very very little with Henry.

With just poles we nailed it very easily. As soon as the jumps came up our inconsistent pace issue was highlighted in bright yellow. It took me a couple tries to really get a feel for the pace I needed – I always want to whoa too much – but we got it and I think it’s really a great exercise for me with this horse. Then we cantered some single jumps, working on squaring the corner a bit and getting very straight while keeping a good pace and rhythm. He was great, we got the point of it, so we quit with that. I didn’t even bother asking Trainer to get video since I figured the Circle of Death with little jumps wasn’t very interesting. Or at least not interesting enough to remove hands from gloves and pockets. On Saturday we have another jumping lesson and my picture taking friend is feeling a lot better so hopefully she’ll be able to come out and get some visuals.

In the mean time – we’re only a week away from our first event! I’m feeling pretty calm and reasonable about it, except for that 5% of me that’s occasionally goes

I finally learned my dressage test (BN Test B, why you gotta be so awful?) and started making lists of what all I need to do over the next week to get ready. I may or may not have stalked the entries list to see who else is entered… I’ve got some serious competition. The good thing about feeling a little bit outclassed is that I tend to feel less pressure and take it less seriously, which ends up working out a lot better in the end. Hopefully I can stay that way.


1) Remember dressage test

2) Stay in the ring

3) Don’t fall off

3) Remember the stadium course

4) Don’t get eliminated

6) Remember the XC course



I want a number, not a letter.

Don’t worry mom, I got this!


B&BS Blog Hop: Can’t Have Just One

I have a lesson today so hopefully I’ll have some actual riding content tomorrow (I swear I still ride), but until then…


I’m super late to this one (somehow I missed it!) but if there was ever a blog hop made for my hoarder collector self, it’d be this one.



Breeches and Boat Shoes asked:

What horsey things do you have that you can’t have JUST ONE of? From breeches, to bits, to bridles, I want to know what you hoard in the endless world of equestrian things.

Oh boy.

Well, since I gave a bridle away earlier this week I’m down to only 6 – the PS of Sweden, a Mark Todd, an Ovation hunter bridle, a custom hackamore bridle, a dressage bridle, and a spare dressage bridle (minus cheekpieces). That’s not too bad right? Planning on selling the spare bridle and maybe the Ovation.

PS of Sweden


custom hackamore bridle


Mark Todd bridle


Ovation hunter bridle


Delfina dressage bridle


My breeches collection isn’t nearly as bad impressive as some of my fellow bloggers. I’m down to just two pair of Animo, two pair of TS, a pair of ADE, and two pair of Annie’s. But of course I’m always looking to add to the collection. Looking at YOU, Tardis blue Annie’s and Spring ’15 ADE… come live at my house.


One of my major loves is bonnets, in case the big Firefly logo on the sidebar isn’t a major indication of that. I feel like I’ve displayed excellent restraint in only owning 7 (as of this exact moment in time). One for each day of the week. Maybe someday I’ll have one for each day of the month. A girl can dream.



or as SO calls them: horse yarmulkes


sometimes they’re dunce caps


or rock star hats


Whatever, they’re awesome. And Henry approved.


Belts. I have no words, only a picture. Actually I take that back, I have two words: Mango Bay. And this isn’t including the 3 belts (two Mango Bay and one C4) that live in my locker at the barn.


The last thing would be Roeckl gloves. I’m up to 4 pair – two gray, one black, one navy. I’d take 10 more in a heartbeat. BEST GLOVES EVER.

especially when they’re MONOGRAMMED

Surprisingly I don’t actually have that many bits or saddle pads…

Those awesome mail days

I’m really really annoyed by the fact that it’s colder in Texas right now than it is in Alaska, so instead of several paragraphs of me whining, let’s talk about something fun instead.

Monday was a banner mail day… sometimes the UPS man seems like an angel in brown. All the stars aligned so that some early Christmas presents, some random stuff I ordered for our event NEXT WEEKEND (we’ll freak out about that in another post), and the stuff we won at the eventing derby all came at once. I walked in the door to a huge pile of boxes and it was awesome.


So lets explore what was in those packages.

So big and blue and beautiful.

because apparently a padded leather halter isn’t soft enough for Mr Sensitive, he has a rub on his head


Frank needed a cover



Navy. Shocking, right?

Which I promptly tried out on myself, obviously.


… and hairnets and a navy lead rope which I figure y’all don’t really care to see pictures of.

So basically expect lots of product reviews sooner or later.

Thank goodness for the cool stuff to alleviate my otherwise super grumpasaurus mood. I can’t even tell you how much I hate cold weather but opening lots of packages of cool stuff totally helps. The only perk of the cold? I get to use my new PS of Sweden quarter sheet today! I’m holding on tight to that perk, because it’s really all I’ve got. So – tell me: what was your best mail day ever? Cheer me up vicariously!

Review: Aztec Diamond Equestrian show shirt

Anyone who reads this blog with any kind of regularity knows that I’m always looking for nice, pretty, unique and modern riding apparel. But I also am pretty picky about fabrics, fit and features, so it’s tough to find a lot of things that I really like. When I saw the Monochrome Luxe shirt at Aztec Diamond, I was intrigued.


It’s short sleeve, which I wanted… I have several long sleeve shirts but nothing short. It’s white (necessary) but it’s got just enough unique features to keep it classy and interesting instead of being your run of the mill everyday white show shirt.

First – the fabric is Scotchgarded. I don’t know why all show clothes don’t have that. Brilliant. The closures are on the back of the neck – a row of snaps. I was pretty hesitant and skeptical about that feature because I’m really weird about having stuff touching my neck all the time, but I found that this didn’t bother me and was easy to fasten up. It’s not too tight and it doesn’t come up too high, so I didn’t really even notice the collar when I was wearing it. I like that it looks SUPER clean and elegant from the front with no buttons or snaps.


The other main interesting design feature is the slight puff sleeve. Admittedly, I’m not a puff sleeve fan, but this one is small enough to not bother me much. I found the shirt to fit well (body skimming without being body strangling) and be comfortable to wear. The fabric has enough stretch in it to move with you, and it’s thick enough to not be super see through but not so thick as to be hot.


The real test was when it came to washing. At one point after a show I let this poor shirt sit on top of my dryer under a pile of saddle pads for TWO MONTHS before I washed it. It had horse snot, horse slobber, and various other pigpen-type filth on it for that entire time, getting more and more baked in by the day. I threw it in the wash thinking there was no way it’d come totally clean. Guess what? IT DID! I couldn’t believe it… it was bright sparkling white, just like new. I wish I could say the same thing about my Tailored Sportsmans, they did not fare so well.


It’s priced at 45 GBP which is about $70 US right now. I’d call that mid-range for a show shirt, and think that this is a good buy for the price. It would be especially well suited to dressage or jumper riders – it’s easy to wear it with or without a coat and still have an elegant formal look. I also wore it for our eventing derby and thought it transitioned well throughout the day between disciplines. As for Aztec Diamond the brand – I am still madly in love with my Houndstooth breeches and have had nothing but fantastic experiences with their customer service. Their website is also now set up for international orders, which makes it super easy for those of us overseas. Someone get me the Luxe Technical Gillet, STAT! I can’t wait to see what new designs they’ve got coming up for 2015.


Weekend recap: facelift

You might notice that things are looking a little blue-er around here. I decided it was time for a few little changes to the blog but didn’t want to do anything drastic. I added a few things to the menu bar at the top, changed a few other little things with the layout, and added some stuff to the sidebar. It should make navigation a little easier.

It was a pretty boring weekend around here. We got a lot of rain last week so the barn was swampy. We mainly just handwalked (which really is just Henry grazing because I get tired of trying to drag him around) a few days and that was it.

I nom so hard

Luckily I have the coolest horse in the world and sitting in his stall for almost a week doesn’t change a thing about him so yesterday when it was finally dry I just got right on and did a dressage ride. Love ponies that are so easy to own. I also got to try his new Firefly bonnets on him. As usual – LOVE!

Black square front with gray trim, white cord, and a row of black rhinestones


Ear embroidery makes me happy


V-front in Firefly colors to match his new Firefly logo baby pad

Then he did more of this:


Told you it was a boring weekend.

When I got home from the barn yesterday I was feeling particularly fat and gross (WHY IS THERE SO MUCH HALLOWEEN CANDY STILL IN MY HOUSE AND WHY IS IT SO DELICIOUS?) so I decided to go for a run. I used to run a lot when I did triathlons but I quit mainly because I have chronic exertional compartment syndrome, which makes running difficult for me. I guess I just kinda forgot about what exactly that entails and kept trying to push through it before I remembered that once it starts it doesn’t get better, so 3.5 miles later my dumb ass ended up hobbling the rest of the way home. Legs are not happy today. I really need to get a gym membership back so I can swim again because something’s gotta give.

If you’re wondering why there have been basically no pictures of me riding lately, it’s because my awesome photo-taking friend has been pretty sick. So if you ever want to see decent pictures again, send her some positive vibes! Get well soon Amy, I think everyone misses you.

Fun Friday: time for a poll!

Lauren’s post yesterday got me wondering “why DO people actually read this blog?”. There are a couple dozen blogs that I read on an almost daily basis, the reasons for which vary from me thinking they’re awesome to me finding them to be absolute train wrecks and I just can’t look away.

Personally I don’t read anything without pictures, or anything super rambly, or anything “educational”. But I know we’re all different and find different things appealing so, like I’m sure most of us did, I started doing a little introspection about the why. I don’t have a lot of rhyme or reason or structured plan behind my content (which is probably not news to most of you), I just write about whatever I feel like writing about, so I’m sure this place mostly seems to contain a lot of pointless rambling. I would never have imagined when I started that I would end up with as many regular readers as I do now, or that anyone would ever really give a crap about anything I had to say. And that one time this silly little slice of the internet got 1,049 unique visitors in one day.. whaaaa?

So – out of genuine curiosity (and please be honest) – what brings you here?

Again – be honest! Even if it’s not nice. I don’t have internet feelings, so whatever.

Because everyone likes a good sale

Super busy day for me, so I’m just popping in quickly to share a few sales in case y’all haven’t seen them yet!

First – Annie’s USA has their Tiffany Blue with chocolate full seat breeches on sale this week for 50% off plus free shipping.

For the eventers (or runners or cyclists or trail riders or whatever) Road ID is having a sale on all of their products today. Road ID’s are 25% off!

the Wrist ID Slim

Buy yourself something nice for Christmas from Luv Inspired Jewelry and Charms. Get 30% off through midnight tonight with the coupon code royalrush30.


Divoza has 30% off winter apparel (with lots of other random stuff on sale too), if you’re feeling particularly euro chic this season.


SFTS Blog Hop: That One Thing

The timing on this blog hop is pretty good since a few friends/family have already asked what I want for Christmas, which prompted me to make a list anyway. Now I just get to copy it over here! Yay for minimal effort. It’s a rainy gross week so I have nothing else exciting going on. Sorry.

Stories From the Saddle asked:

First, I wanna know: what is the ONE piece of tack (or clothing) that you simply cannot live without?  Second, I’d like to know what you’re currently saving up for or lusting after. Basically, what item do you have your eyes set on right now? If someone handed you enough money, what would be the first thing to buy on your list? 

The first one is easy – I can’t live without my CWD. I love it to bits and it fits my pony well. It makes my butt happy every single day.

The second part is pretty simple too… there’s not a whole lot left right now that I really really need, but there are a few things that aren’t completely superfluous wants:

Optimum time watch, in blue of course. Because it looks like something a blind smurf would wear, and that’s awesome.

Navy Roeckl gloves. Because navy.

Dublin River boots. Because apparently I’m an eventer again but I don’t roll deep enough for Dubarry.

Dressage boots for all 4. Because I’m tired of wrapping polos or using my open fronts for flat rides.

Shipping boots. Because I’m tired of wrapping standings at the crack of dawn to throw the horse in the trailer.

So basically the overall theme here is that I’m lazy.

If we wanted to get into everything I want we’d be here forever, but those things are a good start. Anyone who knows me should not be surprised that I couldn’t pick just one.