What Henry’s getting for Christmas

I figured it’s ok to post this since he doesn’t have thumbs and therefore is unlikely to access the Internet and ruin his surprise.

1. Coggins/yearly shots! You might be thinking “That’s an awful present” but you have to look at it from Henry’s point of view. A) He gets lots of treats. B) He gets a couple days off. Definite win.


2. New blankets! Since the other ones don’t really fit him right, and these were on crazy good sale. Hopefully this eases our shoulder rub issues. He got a new sheet:

Free Runner Turnout Rain Sheet Royal Blue with Sand
And a new lightweight blanket:

His clothes don’t match, but I don’t think he cares.

3. New dressage bridle and fancy browband from PS of Sweden. Ok I’m probably more excited about this than he is but it’s so pretty. My preciiooousss. Even more exciting, they should be here today. Not that I’m stalking UPS or anything.

And the two things that will definitely top Henry’s list:

4. A bucket of NickerMakers. He loves these gross cheap things, so who am I to say no?

5. A special Christmas Day bran mash. Because he’s spoiled rotten.


What is your horse getting for Christmas?







There’s not a lot going on here that’s noteworthy. Henry’s been good, the weather has been gorgeous (Texas in winter = winning), and I’ve got no new riding pictures/video. But when I was scrolling through the pics on my phone I noticed something… I’ve got some serious horse people problems.

First, my car. There’s a lot of problems happening here. #1 – yes that’s a metal trashcan strapped into the front seat. I had to go to 3 stores to find said metal trashcan, and I needed metal so that it was rat proof. #2 – it’s strapped in because it’s full of baggies (that took me an hour to make) with rice bran nuggets, MSM, and DMG. #3 – it’s in the front seat because there’s a GIANT TACK TRUNK taking up the entire back seat. Don’t ask questions, just nod and move on. Oh, and we’re not talking about how dirty said vehicle is. So many #horsepeopleproblems.

If your helmet monogram is crooked by just millimeters it’ll bother you forever. That’s a sentence you don’t hear every day. #horsepeopleproblems

The amount of expletives that come pouring out when your beloved Amigo sheet gives your horse blanket rubs, even though it didn’t last year. So you buy him a fancy shoulder guard, which just gives him bigger rubs. AAAGGGHHHH! #horsepeopleproblems

I always wonder what someone would think if my phone ever got stolen and they went through my Notes. Lesson highlights wouldn’t make a bit of sense to someone who doesn’t have #horsepeopleproblems

and they’d be really disappointed when they realized just how useless a TIP or USEF number is to them

And finally, if your next 3 months look something like this, and you have to keep track of it with your phone lest you double book, you definitely have #horsepeopleproblems



How not to be a good horse show photographer

We’ve all seen a lot lately about the demise of the horse show photographer. I understand their plight and I sympathize… I really do. Even in the days where everyone has a friend with a nice camera, there’s nothing quite like a really nice, gorgeous professional photo. I have lots of them floating around, two of which are in my office at work

Another of which hangs in the hallway in my house

one of which would hang somewhere if I would ever frame it

and a bunch more scattered around random places, plus obviously all over my facebook. Mostly I buy digital images for social media use, but occasionally I’ll get a print. I’ve had a lot of pro photographer interactions by now.

However, a recent one with a shall-remain-nameless photographer really left me a little dumbstruck.

First, a week or so before the event an email was sent out letting us know that this certain photographer would be there and provided a link to their website. The site was very hard to read – gray background with white font, obviously homemade from a very rudimentary template, difficult to navigate, etc. However, I can live with that part. What really struck me was this paragraph:

For now, we shall not be charging for proofs from the other Horse Trials we photograph.  But shall take that step if sales drop.  The all images package sales for those shows still cover our expenses – but not by much.

Our early bird and on-site all images packages are less than the $155 charged by another Area V photographer and our non-discounted full price is far less than the Premium Package ($325 or onsite price of $275) of yet another eventing photographer.  Consider yourselves lucky you do not compete at quarterhorse shows.  At a recent one in Waco, the show photographer was charging $179 for ONE IMAGE with a commercial release.  And people were buying!”

Uhhh. Wha? Consider myself lucky??? I’ve never seen any professional website that so willingly tossed out the prices of competitors (especially in a not-directly-comparable circumstance) or essentially threatened to charge for proofs if sales dropped. This is why I did not opt for the early bird package. The lack of professionalism displayed there was a real turn-off for me. That and I couldn’t find enough pictures to tell how good their work actually was anyway.

I miss the Shawn McMillen days

Fast forward to after the event, and they post that proofs are available on a first come first serve basis if you email them. Well that’s kinda weird, but ok, curiousity killed the cat. I had to see what they got. A few days later I got an email back that was just a zip file attachment. The only text was “please open the attached zip folder”. No information on ordering, no hello, no nothing. Okie dokie then, no time wasted on pleasantries…

So I open the zip file to find lots of proofs. Yay, right? Wrong. They are all thumbnail size with the word PROOF written across them in bright opaque yellow. In most of the pictures I can’t really even tell if it’s me and my horse, much less if I want to actually buy the picture. I can’t see his face, I can’t see my face, I can’t see my position, I can’t see how his legs/body look. That’s frustrating, and kind of a waste of time for everyone involved, especially the person who put together all those proofs. How am I supposed to buy a picture when I can’t actually see it? I understand the need to prevent people from stealing proofs, but there are ways to do that while still allowing people to see the actual picture underneath.

Terri Cage – also lovely and super easy to work with

I could see enough of one picture to think I wanted it, so I emailed back asking how to order, since remember there was no information sent with the pictures nor was their any information on the website. I was told I’d get an email invoice the next morning. Two days pass and nada, then I get an email asking if I’d gotten the Paypal notice. I said no, and that if it’s going to be via Paypal it needed to go to X address. Later that day I got an invoice, I paid it, and the next day I had the picture in my inbox. That part went fairly smoothly. Ready to be puzzled?

After all of that… all the effort going into protecting their images and making the proofs impossible to steal (or even view), the photo didn’t even have a mark on it. No signature, no watermark, nothing. There’s no way for anyone looking at it to know whose work that is. Social media is free advertising, people! When you go to such great lengths to complain about the industry in general on your website and prevent image stealing, then not even mark your work… it’s baffling.

more pretty Monica Adams

Here’s the deal, photographers: I am more than willing to buy your work, and pay you fairly for it. But a) it has to be good b) make it easy for me to view the proofs c) make it easy for me to pay you d) try to be at least somewhat professional and not make yourself sound borderline crazy. By helping me, you help yourself. I would have probably bought 4 or 5 more pictures if it hadn’t been so difficult and the proofs had been reasonably viewable.

I’d like to say this was the first negative photographer experience I’ve had but it’s definitely not. Between badly timed/poorly exposed pictures, or pictures that took SIX MONTHS to show up after payment, I can understand why this business can be so tough for some people. All the talent in the world does not help you if you’re a poor businessman, and conversely being a good businessman does not help you if you lack talent. To the ones who do it well: thank you! Please come to my events and take my money.

Happy Horseversary, Henry!

One year ago yesterday marks the day that Henry officially became mine. One year ago today marks the day that I actually met him for the first time. In celebration of this little milestone I figured it would be fun to take a look back and summarize how our year went.

December 2013 –

On the morning of December 14th I made a really low offer on a cute potential jumper project horse I’d found on facebook. By mid-morning the money was sent via Paypal, by noon he had a coggins, and by mid-afternoon a horse named Jerry – a 2007 16.1h plain bay TB gelding with the registered name Hesalmostsweet – was loaded into a friend’s trailer, headed from Arkansas to her farm in North Texas.

The next morning I arrived (in a borrowed-last-minute truck and trailer) to pick him up from his layover location and bring him the rest of the way home. This was the first time I ever met him. This was also when I decided he was definitely a Henry, not a Jerry.

On that first day we got home after dark, but I pulled his blanket off anyway to at least get a look at what I had underneath. Answer: adorable, but really fat and really out of shape.

He got a makeover, and I slowly started riding him again (he’d pretty much just been in the pasture for a year). I also discovered that he had a hilariously derpy personality.


January 2014

By January he was more into a regular program and we started taking lessons. At this point he was very very fussy about his mouth and wanted to go nose-to-chest at any contact. He was also oversensitive to leg. Getting the right lead was a crapshoot. But I did discover that he was really honest, really tried hard to please, had a cute jump and easy lead changes. I spent a lot of time playing around with bits, trying to find something he didn’t totally object to.

February 14 –

The bit dilemma was temporarily helped by putting him in a hackamore. We still had a definite nose-to-chest tendency, but at least I didn’t lose him completely. Obviously this was going to be a long work in progress.

And he went to his first ever jumper show. We just did the 2’3″ and 2’6″ jumpers and we were pretty much the slowest pair there. My goal was simply to get him in the ring, let him jump around quietly, and get some miles. In our first class we had a grand total of 11 time faults. You can only get better from there! But all-in-all he was great at the show. He stayed very sane and rideable, and while he definitely had some green moments, he showed that he was going to be a pretty cool horse with a little time and a little confidence.

2’6″ jumper SA Charity show from amanda chance on Vimeo.

March 2014 – 

In March I took him to a Thoroughbred benefit show in Ft Worth. Again we entered the little jumper classes. This venue was quite visually imposing… a big coliseum with lots of atmosphere. Definitely intimidating for a green horse. I felt this was the show where he really began to blossom though. On the first day he walked into the ring as a pretty wide-eyed greenie that needed his hand held, and by the second day he actually started to “lock in” on the fences, look for his line, and he came out of the ring feeling like a confident horse. Everything seemed to really click for him here, for the first time. We still kept it simple with generous turns and nothing ambitious but I was able to ask him for more pace and he felt comfortable going more forward. He also got a second place TIP ribbon!

IMG 3192 from amanda chance on Vimeo.

April 2014 –

With the regular mechanical hackamore becoming a little too much bit, I decided to step him down to a plain sidepull hackamore for a while. I was occasionally playing around with him in a plain french link loose ring but all bits still seemed to immediately make him tense and worried and chompy. And I was still struggling with his nose-to-chest problem. We continued to have it in the hackamore, but it definitely wasn’t as bad.

We went to another jumper show and did the 2’6″-2’9″ and 2’9″-3′ jumper divisions. He was really really good here, even stepping up a couple times to save my butt, taking some tighter turns, etc. We were able to be competitive, and signs of maturity were really starting to emerge. I also learned that optimum time classes are our true forte.

photo by Lauren Mauldin

May 2014 – 

In May I started playing around with riding him bridleless.

At the end of the month we went back to another show in San Antonio. This time I was really too ambitious with what I was asking him to do, rode him badly, overfaced him a bit, and had a pretty bad show. Mostly bad because I felt like I’d made poor decisions and let my horse down, but also something just didn’t feel right with him there. He wasn’t himself.

photo by Lauren Mauldin

June 2014 –

Over the next couple weeks it became apparent that it wasn’t my imagination – he really wasn’t himself. He was having a hard time coping with the heat and humidity, his respiratory rate would go through the roof and he’d become pretty uncomfortable, but he was still sweating normally. I had the vet out to look at him and run blood work but the only thing we really came up with is that he seems to have some summer allergies that make it tough for him to get enough air when he’s working. It was causing him to have a very high respiratory rate and poor recovery time when I rode him. In retrospect I realized that he’d been acting pretty wiped out and uncomfortable at the show too, which happened to be the first really humid/hot weekend we had. At least now I had an answer. I started riding him in the cooler parts of the day and hosing him off a lot, and while it never really got better it was manageable.

I also decided that it was time to quit avoiding the issue and have a month of serious flatwork bootcamp, in a real bit. We worked on accepting hand and leg, moving out in front of my leg, and lateral movements. This is also when I started to truly learn a lot about how Henry’s brain works, exactly how much pressure I could put on him and exactly when I should quit. I knew when I bought him that the reason he’d been turned out for almost a year was because he’d gotten a bit mentally fried, so it was important for me to figure out what program worked for him without pushing him too hard.

July 2014 –

In July we moved to a new barn. I just felt like it was time for a change of perspective with a different trainer, and I was looking for a place that a) was closer to my house and b) had better footing. Henry is crooked legged and while it’s never caused a problem, I feel like I have to be even more mindful of his shoeing and the footing I ride him on than most people would be. We settled in at the new place, started lessons with the new trainer (who pinpointed A LOT of my own issues right off the bat) and got to work.

August 2014 –

Summers are generally our off season, being that it gets so hot here. We mostly just continued to plug away at lessons, jumping a little bigger and harder stuff, and kept working particularly on my position. I switched him to my beloved Nathe bit (which I had tried on him originally in January but it didn’t work for him then) and felt like he went better in it.

This also marked the first time I strapped on a safety vest and decided to go play around over the little XC jumps in the field at the barn. That little event ignited a spark…

September 2014 –

In September the eventing trainer at the barn asked me if I would be interested in going XC schooling. I had to think about that for .00001 seconds before saying absolutely YES. So away we went to see what Henry thought about XC. He was a little nervous when we got there, wide-eyed in the field taking everything in, but once we started jumping he was pretty much a machine. A little looky at one scary Novice train jump, and some confusion at the down bank, but otherwise he was a rockstar. And what’s more… he seemed to LOVE it. By the end he was clocking right over anything and everything I pointed him at, and he basically strutted back to the barn like he’d just finished Rolex. It gave him a lot of confidence and was the first time I ever really felt him be 100% engaged in what we were doing. He’s always been super willing and kind, but he never felt enthusiastic before. I started thinking maybe this was his niche?

Henry XC School @ MCP Sept 14 2014 from amanda chance on Vimeo.

At the end of September there was a very small show benefiting a local TB rescue. My original plan was to do the hunter derby and some jumper classes, but after XC schooling I got the hair-brained idea of trying the eventing derby instead. So we entered the Beginner Novice derby, with the hunter derby as a back-up plan in case I totally died. To be honest I had no clue how he would be. He’d never had to go to a show and jump things without getting to school over them first, he’d never done a dressage test, and he’d XC schooled only one time. But I figured if we were going to crash and burn, better to do it at a little show with fewer witnesses. He went in the dressage and was super obedient (albiet not very dressagey, we had a grand total of one dressage lesson beforehand) then marched right around the stadium and XC like he’d been doing it forever.

photo by Lauren Mauldin

October 2014 –

Time to seriously re-evaluate what this horse wants to do with his life. Sure, he’s perfectly capable of plodding around the lower local level jumpers his whole life and getting okay ribbons. But he does not have a ton of jump for big fences, and I don’t have a ton of money for rated h/j shows. And honestly… it’s pretty hard to ignore his joy for XC. So we switched to the eventing trainer, went on another XC school, and changed our goals.

HenryPineHill from amanda chance on Vimeo.

November 2014 –

The biggest goal change was to try to qualify Henry for AEC’s in 2015. That of course meant that we had to enter recognized events (at least they’re way cheaper than rated h/j shows). Feeling only slightly doomed and terrified, I sent in my entry for an event the weekend before Thanksgiving. We went on one more XC school to prepare…

crammed in as many dressage lessons as we could (giving us now a grand total of four) and off we went. My big goal was to not get eliminated, and despite awful weather conditions my little horse stepped up to the plate in a big way and showed that this is really what he’s meant to do.

December 2014 –

Here we find ourselves now, a year later.

Henry has far exceeded even my wildest dreams for him already. I had no intention of finding my way back to eventing again, but here I am and I’m loving it. I have a nice horse who tries his heart out for me every day and continues to prove that you just can’t beat a good thoroughbred. He’s positively the strangest horse I’ve ever known… he’s ridiculously goofy, he’s sensitive, and he’s particular, but he is so incredibly kind and would turn himself inside out to do what you ask. He makes me laugh every single day with his antics. I hope that this is only the beginning of our journey, and that he continues to develop into the horse I think he can someday be. I will keep doing my best to listen to him and stay out of his way, because after all – the world does completely revolve around him, just ask him. Happy one year, Henrypants… here’s to many more.

Review: PS of Sweden quarter sheet

When I first found PS of Sweden‘s website and began perusing all the cool stuff, their quarter sheet was one of the things that really caught my eye. It hit all my favorite criteria: it was fancy, it was navy, and it was unique.


Alas, when I made my first purchase from PS my budget was tight so I resisted adding it to my cart. Instead I just stared at it a time or two a week on their website and thought “one of these days”. Then, as if by fate, a couple months later they put it on sale for a few days – into the cart it went and I had it in my grubby little hands a week later (hats off for fast shipping).

I have had many a quarter sheet before. I will forewarn: I’m very very picky about them. I hate fleece and refuse to put it on a horse in any form. I only do wool – and not cheap acrylics, but real wool. And since I live in a climate where it’s rarely cold enough to need a quarter sheet for the whole ride, I need one that is easy to take on and off. That nixes the ones that go under the saddle, and the ones that either go under the flap or over the rider’s leg. They bug me when it’s over my leg and they’re hard to take off when they’re under the flap. So the fact that the PS quarter sheet had an attachment method that I had never seen before is really what drew me to it the most.

Exercise rug in wool
photo from PS of Sweden website

Of course I love how it looks – who doesn’t love a fancy braided hip ornament? It’s just as pretty in person as it is in pictures and I love the double cord piping. But the best part about it, IMO, is how easy it is to get on and off. On cold days I usually warm up with the sheet on and then reach down and simply unbuckle both sides (which is very very easy to do from the saddle with one hand – no contortionist skills required) and pull it off. I’ve also put it back on for the cool down and found it pretty easy to do from the saddle as well. Not quite as easy as taking it off, but pretty easy. It stays in place well while you’re riding, and the buckle is far enough back to not interfere with your leg.

Weight wise I would call it a lighter to mid weight wool. For my climate it’s plenty warm. It seems well made, I’ve used it many times now and there are no signs of premature wear or anything like that. I know some people don’t like the big branded logo on the side but I personally don’t mind it, so that’s more of an individual preference thing. I struggle to find anything negative to say about it really… I guess maybe if you have a fully clipped horse in a really cold climate it might not be thick enough? Or if you have a super giant elephant horse (like blanket size 84+) it might not be big enough.

I’ve searched for a nice wool quarter sheet for a reasonable price for years and never found one. Regular price is around $100, which IMO is a good deal. Similar quality wool quarter sheets run from around $75-200 so that puts it solidly on the lower end of that range, and none of them have this kind of (IMO ingenious) attachment design.

Bottom line? Two thumbs up. I gave my old wool quarter sheet away, and good riddance. This one has now taken up residence in my “winter riding staples” collection.

TOA Blog Hop: History of the Horse

Good news first: guess who’s going to Belgium?

Moving on…

Beka of The Owls Approve has started a cool new blog hop series centered around our ponies. I can’t resist that, because there’s nothing I like talking about more than my ponies. My non-horse friends and SO are painfully aware of this given that I struggle to come up with more than 5 words to say about anything non-horse related.

Before you met, where was your horse?  Who bred him/her?  What do you know about his sire and his dam?  What do you know where he came from?  Tell me about the time before he had a trainer.

I guess I’ll answer for both of my horses…

Sadie: I bred her. I leased her dam, picked the stallion, paid for the semen, had it shipped in from Canada, paid the vet, waited a year, and voila – baby horse. I knew her dam very well and felt like I had a good sense of the stallion from his owner and some friends of mine that knew him (Westporte). I was the first person to put my hands on her and there is zero mystery for me to Sadie, which is really nice. I know her as well as anyone could possibly know a horse… everything she’s ever done and everything that’s ever happened to her. There is no “before me” time.

Just a few hours old

so her head grew a little…


My favorite “grown-up” Sadie picture that everyone’s already seen a million times and will probably see a million more. Get used to it.


Henry is obviously more of a mystery but I still know quite a bit about him compared to most of the other horses I’ve bought. He’s a 2007 Arkansas born and bred TB by the stallion Skeet out of a mare named Lona Thump. I have never been able to find anything on Skeet other than the farm he used to stand at and some old racing photos. Not a clue where he is now, and I don’t know anything about his dam. I was able to trace Henry back to his breeder though, found her phone number online and called her. She was a very nice older lady who just had him and one other young horse at the time, and she remembered him but didn’t seem that interested in staying updated on him so I haven’t called her back. She bred him and owned him until he was 4 but never raced him… she said he was always more interested in eating than running. “The only thing he ran to was the feed bucket”, exact quote.

Henry’s sire Skeet. Do these facial expressions look familiar?

Her vet found him a non-racing home, although I’m not totally sure who it was with – this is the only gap in his timeline that I wasn’t able to fill. From there he went to an eventing/jumper trainer who showed him in the hunters a couple times and had him for sale (for quite a bit more than what I ended up paying), then started doing some other stuff with him. She said he got kinda fried so she turned him out to decompress, and almost a year later I bought him out of the field sight unseen.

Because it’s totally normal to buy a horse off of a picture this awesome


Fat, hairy, and fresh off the trailer

Hard to believe it’s been almost a year now!

Photo shoot outtakes. So much derp.

This past weekend I had a little photo shoot in an attempt to get some good pics of Henry’s PS of Sweden bridle and quarter sheet for upcoming review posts. Because we all know the outtakes are the best part anyway, I will waste no more words and leave you with only captions.

Come back here with that crinkly thing! #arabshowpose
I’m derpin’ so hard right now y’all
Because using human slobber…
to wipe off horse slobber is a totally valid life choice.
Me :”Hold still while I wipe the dirt off…” Henry: “STAAAAAHHHPPP”

We’re special.

Stuff for Sale! aka I need Belgium money.

Remember, this is why this is happening. Here. I have to go here, and see this.

Boy this was a tough list to make. I like all of these things, and some of them (like the Ovation bridle and the Chetak boots) are really difficult to replace, so I’ve been holding on to them for years even though I almost never use them. So make it quick, buy this stuff, and put me out of misery. Belgium better happen and it better be worth it. If you’re interested in anything shoot me an email at charliebrowntb (at) hotmail (dot) com. I prefer Paypal and shipping is not included in prices. Please keep in mind that between my work schedule and my horse and my real life, it can sometimes take me a few days to get things shipped out. If you need it ASAP just let me know and I’ll see what I can do to make it happen.


RJ Classics size 8R black hunter shadbelly. Comes with the original yellow points and reversible custom points, blue diamond pattern on one side and burgundy tone on tone floral pattern on the other. Only worn a few times. – $100

reverse side of the blue

Horse size raised fancy stitched Ovation bridle with matching raised fancy laced reins. – SOLD

Dressage bridle parts. These are a mixture of Dover’s Crown line, Bobby’s, and Delfina but I don’t remember anymore which is what. There is a black browband with clear rhinestones (never used), horse size black crank flash noseband (never used), black leather reins with buckle ends (never used), black crown piece (guessing cob – looks smaller), and a used black flash strap. – $50

blue Medium Horseware washable technical jacket. SOLD

Black Tipperary XC vest SOLD

Horse size Chetak open front boots and hind ankle boots. SOLD

Tory premium leather draw reins with snaps, 108″ per side. Comes with girth loop attachment. – $25

OTTB baby pad, I had this custom made with a jumping horse OTTB logo. White with black trim. Measures 21″ down the spine. Good condition, some staining under the bottom edge of the flap. $20

Bag o’ Crap – A bunch of odds and ends that come as a lot. One Gel Eze leg wrap/anti slip, used but no holes brown Ariat Heritage gloves, navy lycra tail bag never used, one fillis iron with cheesegrater pad (other was lost when package was damaged so it has no mate), two navy standing wraps, one neoprene hock boot, a pair of dee savers, and a pair of never used elastic and nylon side reins. It’s all tossed in a Dover tote and ready to live at your house instead of mine. – $50

And for local Austin area people, I have a nice small wooden tack trunk with bandage lid, measures 28″ long, 20″ tall, 16″ wide. Perfect for shows, not very heavy, is easy to move around, and will fit in a car. Asking $200. Yes I’ll clean my crap out before you come get it.

Weekend recap: picture overload

First: on Friday I got the one pro picture that I ordered from our event. My experience with the photographer was… interesting and unusual to say the least, but that is a long and winding rant story for another day. Until then, I present SUPER WATER PONY!

Last Thursday’s dressage lesson was a hard one for Henry (we’re starting to ask for more difficult work from him) so I decided to keep the weekend pretty low key to give his brain a break. He tries so hard that sometimes he gets flustered and upset when he’s learning new stuff but can’t quite figure it out, thus I wanted to just take all the pressure off and let him do things that are fun and easy. Saturday my fabulous photo-taking friend Amy was able to come back out, and I really wanted to get some pictures of things for upcoming blog reviews, so I just did a short hack out in the field then I got off and we played photo shoot.



My face… what IS that?
There isn’t a horse in the land that loves his teefers more than this one
slowly but surely getting steadier in the contact
Sometimes my body and hands relapse into their old life
and then they’re like “Oh yeah, we do different things now”
always pat your pony
Now we both have teefs!


I wasn’t going to share any of the non-riding pictures until later, but my pony looks so darn handsome I can’t help but pick a few. Sorrynotsorry.




On Sunday I put his hackamore on, tossed on my Ogilvy pad to spare my lady bits, and hopped on for a bareback hack. One of the recurring themes in my dressage lessons is that I tend to get stiff and tense in my hips, which in turn translates to the horse. I’ve been working a lot on loosening my hips, following the movement, not gripping with my upper thigh etc. Bareback, especially on my bouncy ball of a horse, is fantastic for that. You grip and tense up – you bounce and fall off and die. You loosen your thighs and let your hips go with the motion – you’re golden. So we spent about 20 minutes just walking around the property then did 10-15 minutes of flatwork in the field. No bit and no saddle shines a really big spotlight on how effective your aids are, and Henry was super. He is such an honest horse that he really goes however well you ride him. Which I believe is true of the vast majority of horses, but it’s especially true of this one, pretty much 100% of the time. He teaches me just as much as I teach him, if not more.

At the end I tried to get him to turn his head so I could get a picture. He wasn’t that interested.

So I bribed him with a cookie.

And got blurry shark horse. Picture fail.

Aside from that it was a fairly uneventful weekend, which is kinda what I needed and wanted after the previous week. I did manage to gather all my sale stuff together, clean it, and get pictures. I’ll have all that up tomorrow.

We also put our Christmas tree up! SO kept grumbling something about me having too many horse ornaments. I dunno what the heck he’s talking about, personally.