Henry is a Bad Horse

Last week Henry got his feet done on Wednesday, so I rode him pretty lightly that evening. Thursday I decided we’d do a conditioning hack, so I tacked him up in his ghetto fab bridle with obnoxiously awesomely bright blue reins and walked him over to the big field next door.

As soon as I got on I thought he felt a little funny, but once we got out to the road he felt better, so I figured maybe he was just a touch footsore on the gravel driveway. We made our way through the cornfield, back into the grassy field behind it, took two steps of trot, and I immediately pulled him up. He was lame. Like – felt totally crippled kind of lame.

We walked back, I put him on the lunge line, and immediately thought OMG he’s broken every bone in his body. I had to call the barn owner out there to look because my brain was screaming in terror and could not see anything but CRIPPLED in flashing neon letters. She immediately spotted either left front or right hind, so we went poking around and eventually found this under his bell boot.

I don’t know what the hell he did, but he did it with gusto. Considering he wears big thick heavy duty bell boots 24/7, that’s a hell of a wound. We pushed on it a little and he threatened to kick both of our faces in, so we deduced that this was in fact why he looked so incredibly lame. I took him in, washed it out (which was really fun because those little dried mud balls don’t wash out, they have to be picked out with your nails), wrapped it up, and called the vet. I wanted him to come out to just make sure there were no signs of infection, and so he could give him the once over and make sure no other damage was done.

Undeterred by my attempt at shaming with a hot pink wrap

The vet didn’t have a spot in his schedule until Sunday, and since I’d calmed down the hysterics by that point, I said that was fine. I cancelled my dressage lesson for Saturday, and kept coming out daily to flush it out, medicate and wrap it… it was still a little muddy out in his pasture so I wanted to leave it wrapped for a few days.

Stewie supervised while Henry’s foot dried

By Sunday Henry was much less sensitive about it, but I would rather be safe than sorry so I kept the vet appointment. The vet poked around, we jogged him, hoof tested him, palpated the leg, and declared that Henry would in fact live and there was no other damage to be found. He already looked significantly less lame in 3 days time… it seems he’s just a drama queen. The vet cut off the flap of tissue, I slathered some ointment on it, coated it in AluShield, and that was that.

Fingers crossed he’s better in a few days. He’s looking awfully pleased with himself right now as I shove cookies into him, poke at his foot, and then don’t ride him. Just what he needed, another vacation! Turd.

And of course I did what any sane person with a lame horse would do – mailed in my deposit for the Buck Davidson clinic in December.

I’m a grandma! and baby contest winner

Well, a horse grandma. Sadie’s baby was born last night at around 8:30pm – it’s a BIG bay colt! He looks like a little copy of mom, with the exact same little white sock and tiny speck of white on his forehead, and her trademark donkey ears. He’s gonna big a big, rangey dude. I’ll have more/better pictures later this week as he unfolds and they go outside, but here’s a few to get you started!

sadiebaby3 sadiebaby4 sadiebaby5 sadiebaby6


All went very well, it was a quick birth and he was trying to stand almost immediately. Sadie was also up quickly and passed everything in one piece. She’s being a great mom, totally loves him. You never really know how maidens are going to feel about the whole thing until the moment comes.

That brings us to the issue of who won the Baby Contest. It ended up being neck and neck. No one guessed the exact date but ONE person guessed June 26, so was only 2 days off. She got the color right and was only a couple hours off on the time, and missed the gender (don’t worry, initially everyone thought it was a filly too), but it was close enough! Congrats to ashequine! I cannot get to your blog page link so please contact me so I can get you your Riding Warehouse gift certificate!

Henry: a horse show progression

I’m shamelessly stealing Lauren’s idea (much love to ya, girl) from last week because I thought it was brilliant. I’ve had Henry for a little over a year and half now and he’s come a long way from the obese pasture puff that walked off the trailer from Arkansas. Plus photo progressions are fun! I don’t have as many nice pictures as Lauren does, and I really struggled to remember the shows and the classes, but I think I got it. Also I didn’t want to put up a million videos so I just included a video from his very first show, and then the video from stadium at his latest horse trial.

February 2014 – 2’3″-2’6″ jumpers

March 2014 – 2’3″-2’6″ jumpers

April 2014 – 2’6″-2’9″ jumpers

photo by Lauren Mauldin

May 2014 – 2’9″-3′ jumpers, 2’9″ hunters

hunter derby – photo by Lauren Mauldin
jumpers – photo by Lauren Mauldin

September 2014 – eventing derby, BN

photo by Lauren Mauldin

November 2014 – USEA recognized horse trial, BN

April 2015 – USEA recognized horse trial, BN

I only got two pictures from this whole event, soooo a late one is all you get

May 2015 – USEA recognized horse trial, BN

May 2015 – 3′-3’3″ jumpers

May 2015 – USEA recognized horse trial, BN

June 2015 – USEA recognized horse trial, Novice


Looking at the video from his first show, I had honestly forgotten just how horribly overflexed and balled up he used to get, and how difficult it was to fix. Nothing like cantering up to a fence thinking that your horse might not actually be able to see it. He’s much easier to ride now that his head/neck/shoulder has come up and he can keep the power coming forward. Out of all the project horses I’ve had (11, but who’s counting) I’ve never had one where I had to get the poll UP and nose OUT. Henry enjoys being abnormal.

It’s also hilarious how the coal cart jump from our April event looked a little worrisome to me at the time, and now 2.5 months later I’m like “It’s so cute and little!!!”. Perspective and miles change everything, even in a short time.

It occurs to me that I should probably go to a dressage show at some point… it’s kind of the one thing we haven’t done. Whatever. Rectangles are scary.

HG Blog Hop: Every day tack setup

I was just thinking last week how sad it was that no one was really doing Blog Hops anymore… and here comes Hand Gallop to save the day, with a good one too.


“It’s fun to try new stuff and experiment with the latest goodies, but I’m curious to know what your every day tack setup is like.”

I love stuff. I especially love my stuff. Well most of it anyway. It’s taken me a long time to accrue a collection that I’m happy with.



Devoucoux Makila saddle – I love her. I love her so much. It seemed like it took forever to get here from Germany when I bought her on eBay, but she was worth it.

Total Saddle Fit calfskin leathers – I keep meaning to review these because I’m pretty “meh” about them, but they work.

Royal Rider flex irons – I think we’ve all heard quite enough about all my stirrups by now.

PS of Sweden Flying Change bridle – Another “love” item, especially with the blue Metallic Rock browband that now lives permanently on this bridle.

Nunn Finer Piaffe girth – finding the right dressage girth has been quite a journey… it took 5 different models of girths until I finally found one we both like.

Riding Warehouse logo dressage pad – a nice basic lighter weight everyday pad that was SUPER cheap, and I like being able to rep my favorite online tack shop in the process, so win-win.

Ogilvy dressage half pad – Henry likes his Ogilvy’s. I like my Ogilvy’s. Done.

Dressage boots – I don’t remember the brand, I bought them from SprinklerBandit. They’ve served their purpose perfectly, but I’m upgrading to these sooner or later. Because navy. He also lives in bell boots 24/7.

Bit – copper lozenge link loose ring.  That’s what he seems to like the most right now, so I go with it.



CWD SE02 saddle – I bought this used from France many years ago for a pittance and it’s been such a great saddle for me (and miraculously managed to fit every horse I’ve had pretty well). One day I’ll probably venture into the land of the monoflap, but for now this one is still trucking right along like a champ.

Schleese calfskin leathers – another eBay steal, many years old.

MDC S Flex irons – again,  I think we’ve all heard quite enough about all my stirrups by now.

PS of Sweden Olympic Revolution bridle – my favorite PS bridle. All the awesome features typical of PS but with classic, simple styling. It sports the Go Sweden browband… not because I’m a fan of Sweden in particular, just because it’s my colors.

PS of Sweden High Five breastplate – I always jump in a breastplate, personal preference. Usually the High Five but if I’m in a hurry sometimes I’ll use my Ovation.

random leather girth – I have no idea what brand it is, just that it’s leather with elastic on both sides, has a dee attached in the middle, and was $25 on English Tack Trader. All my favorite things.

Ogilvy jump pad – see previous note about Ogilvy’s. ❤

Bobbigee’s baby pad – I love all my custom Bobbygee’s pads.

Norton Boots – I usually put on his blue set of open fronts and hind ankles for jumping lessons, although sometimes he goes bare legged. In the picture he was bare legged because I was too lazy to walk to my car to get his boots.

Bit – He jumps in the same bit he does dressage in.

Conditioning work/hacking:


frankenbridle – my extra shitty Royal Sports head stall with a leather sidepull and fancy beta reins with blue rubber grips. It is one ugly mother effer of a bridle, but it works.

Otherwise he usually wears the same stuff that we jump in, but with the dressage boots.

Trying to take pictures of this horse alone is impossible, and I’ve learned he hates dress up. His attention span is about 3 seconds before he’s off hunting for food or glaring at me for changing his outfit yet again. The things we do for the sake of the blog…

the majestik thoroughbred
I’ve had enough of your crap, I’m out

Bobby Tells All: Volume 1

Several of you expressed a desire to hear things from Bobby’s perspective, and well – be careful what you wish for, because here you go. Behold Bobby’s first ever guest blog post, and remember: you did this to yourselves.


Confessions of an Epic Stepbrother (Gregory McGuire fans will like my play on words!) by Bobby

I have heard all the requests from my fans, begging asking for a blog post from MY point of view, and I’m here to deliver. FINALLY you all get to hear the real story behind Amanda, or as I refer to her (at the top of my lungs across the barnyard) “YO, CHANCE”  – which usually gets me the finger. Don’t be fooled by her quasi-friendly blogger persona… she ain’t.

Amanda’s spirit animal

There are just so many stories I could tell that show the other, untold side of our Bobby/Amanda adventures…

like the washed up two-time Olympian becoming our wannabe bestie and clearly wanting to be MUCH more with Amanda (not mentioning any nationality hopping names)…


or the story of how the ‘Course Walks with Bobby’ came about…

or Pimp cups…

or Plastic tack (WHICH IS FABULOUS YA’LL)…

sponsor me, Wintec

But of all these delicious possibilities, I’ve actually decided to focus my first Tell All on the story of Texas Rose and Amanda’s big move up to Novice. Now she’s spoken of how bored she was at BN and pondered at great length the pros and cons of moving up to Novice at Texas Rose – she even had a couple blogs about it.  She made it sound like Texas Rose was her great decision, and hers alone. Well, I am here to tell you that’s BS.

First of all, I harassed her and harassed her to go to Texas Rose and she told me no, due to a wedding she had to attend.  It was a baseball themed wedding that was serving no cheese. NO cheese.  I repeat: baseball theme, NO cheese.


Second of all, Amanda has many nicknames for me, but her favorite is ‘Sandbagger’. It’s not my fault I’m basically unbeatable at Beginner Novice.  Knowing Amanda, the REAL motivation for moving up to Novice was for no other reason than to give justification to my nickname and to shame me into moving up as well.  She’s been showing Henry for a much shorter time than I’ve shown Halo, so mission accomplished… she’s that calculated.

Well, needless to say Amanda went to TX Rose so you can see who won that one, although I’m not sure if it was because of my persistence or if she finally acquired too many t-shirts and felt the need to show them off to people. Either way, I am the one that deserves all the credit for a successful move-up, not her. We all know she’s a shitshow when I’m not around.

On August 29th I will go Novice at Corona – however, she threatened me with a throat punch if I am in her division. Why you so scared, CHANCE?

Hopefully the throat punch will come AFTER our ‘Course Walks with Bobby’ as I am not sure I can do head stands while coughing, and I wouldn’t want to let down my legions of adoring fans.


CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!!  (HONK, HONK, HONK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Cheers, bitches! Until next time…

Big name clinicians – worthwhile?

There are a few really big name riders/trainers coming to our area this winter for clinics, and I’ve been giving them a bit of thought. I’ve only done one clinic before, way back in 2003ish with Phyllis Dawson. To be honest, I really got nothing out of it. I don’t remember a single thing about it except for her telling me how much she hated Waterford bits (what my horse at the time was going in, because she pulled like a freight train and the Waterford was magic). That experience put me off a bit.

freight train

But now Henry and I have jumped into this eventing thing with all 6 of our feet and I have actual goals that include possibly another level beyond the one we’re at. We also don’t get super frequent instruction over fences, and almost never have XC schools with a trainer present (if we’re counting, we’ve had a supervised XC school a grand total of twice) so maybe we would actually get some useful tidbits out of a weekend clinic. Of course, my devil’s advocate side says we’d probably get just as many useful tidbits from a weekend XC school with one of our other local trainers, and I have one planned in July. There’s still something kind of fun about the idea of riding with a big name and the possibility of gleaning a little extra wisdom from their wealth of experience.

The thing I’m stuck on is – are they really worth the money? By the time you factor in the cost of the clinic, the cost to the facility, the stall, the gas money, the hotel, etc etc it would probably cost me as much as a recognized event. That’s not astronomical, but it’s not chump change either, especially when your budget isn’t exactly overflowing with extra cash.

help us

I know that whether or not a two day clinic is really worthwhile depends a lot on who the clinician is, which has factored into my thought process as well. Of the ones that are coming down here, really only two interest me: Buck Davidson and Boyd Martin. From reading articles, clinic reviews, and watching videos, I’d probably lean more toward Buck (too bad because Boyd is dreamy AF and it’d be nice to stare at that for 3 days) but would need to look into both of them more.

I also have the possibility of clinicing with Charles de Kunffy at some point this year. Not as expensive as Buck or Boyd, but still not cheap for a 45 minute ride.

What do you think – are big name clinics worth the expense, or are you better off just using that money to take more lessons with your regular trainers?

Weekend recap: lessons and mimosas and new stuff

The weekend started out with a lot of promise. We had gotten a couple rainy days last week so were unable to ride except for hacking down the road, but the sun came out towards the end of the week and we were hopeful that things would dry up. A couple of new things arrived in the mail for Henry – a new bonnet from If the Bonnet Fits, and a new-to-us Nunn Finer Piaffe dressage girth. This is now the FIFTH dressage girth I’ve bought for this horse in an attempt to find just the right one, and finally – FINALLY – I think we’ve got a winner. More on both items coming up soon.



On Saturday we hauled over to Dressage Trainer’s covered arena for lessons. Henry hadn’t really been ridden in a week, save for one road hack, and for him he was actually a little wild. There was someone else riding in the arena during our lesson and every time she smacked her very lazy horse with the whip, Henry got more and more worried that she was going to come beat him next. It was not our best lesson, he was a little tense and dragging me in the down transitions, but it had some good moments. Mostly I’m just happy we actually got to ride.


And then it rained. And rained and rained and rained some more. Sunday we had plans for a barn-wide road hack and mimosas, but it looked like we were gonna get rained out.


Still, we are alcoholics troopers, so we sat in the barn drinking our mimosas while it rained. I let Henry sniff mine and he stuck his entire tongue in to taste it (he said EW). I drank it anyway, because it’s never going to stop raining and we’re never going to ride regularly again and I need a coping mechanism whether it’s got horse slobber in it or not.


When the clouds parted we all jumped on and actually managed to have perfect timing. We fit our little road ride in and were settled back in the barn before it started raining again.

Y’all know all three of these faces – Bobby, me, and Brandy
poor Henry looks teeny in this picture

Y’all need a better picture to fully appreciate my shirt… Bobby got this for me for Texas Rose. Yes that’s a rainbow butterfly caticorn. I can think of nothing more magnificent. Bobby loves me.

caticornshirtSadly we’re rained out of our riding plans for today and tomorrow but hopefully the sun will come out and start drying things up. Surely it will eventually… right?

Oh, and for those wondering how Sadie is doing – she actually regressed after I posted last week and is now holding steady in the “maybe any minute, maybe two weeks from now” stage. I really wouldn’t expect anything less from her, she’s gonna toy with us until the end.

Who, me?

pro pics from Texas Rose

I was pretty ridiculously ants-in-my-pants excited while waiting to get these pictures. Terrie Hatcher was the photographer and she does really beautiful work, plus Texas Rose Horse Park is such a gorgeous facility – it was the perfect storm for great pics. Not to mention the fact that it was Henry’s first Novice and I wanted as much media as possible of my superpony. I was hopeful that Terrie would get some good shots and I’m certainly not disappointed! I will probably go back and buy more but here are the first five, starting with my new absolute favorite photo of Henry ever:

you may have noticed a glimpse of this at the top of your screen – Henry’s first Weldon’s Wall
jumping into the bending line that we angled
out of the water over the cabin
Bobby is in charge of reminding me to shorten my stirrups next time, so yell at him. Oh yeah and #rolledupsleeves because it was #hotasballs
I’m getting jumped out of the tack and the saddle is getting jumped off the horse. Sorry USEA for hunterizing eventing and thank god for breastplates.

Thanks Terrie for the beautiful pictures! This is why it’s so important to support our really good photographers – we need them to keep coming back to help us make the memories into treasures. Great pictures are truly irreplaceable.




As you can probably tell, I used last night’s rain as a good excuse to finally redo my blog. Aside from the cosmetic changes with color and picture, I now have my own domain name: the900facebookpony.com. You can access my blog either through that link or from the previous the900facebookpony.wordpress.com link. Both should work, although you might have to change the link if my blog is on your blog roll… not sure.

You should also no longer be seeing any WordPress generated ads on this site. I want 100% control of what businesses and products I endorse here, so they had to go. If you see one (especially if you’re on mobile, since that’s where they seemed to show up the most) let me know and I will yell obscenities at the appropriate person at WordPress.

There are a couple new things in the menu bar as well, and some updates to both my and Henry’s About Us posts. Most notably, I added a Contact page so you can email me directly if you want.

Sadly when I switched over to a new template all of my sidebar widgets re-set (thanks WordPress) so I had to start from scratch. I think I restored everything back to working order, but if you see anything broken or out of place or missing, please let me know. Also, if you don’t see something that you want to see, let me know so I can consider adding it.

Hope you like the new look and link. And if not, well.. too bad, because it took HOURS and I’m not re-doing it anytime soon. Instead enjoy this unicorn gif and lie to me and tell me you love it.

Confessions of a tack snob

If you read this blog even semi-regularly, you know how particular I am about tack. Someone will have to pry my PS of Sweden, CWD and Devoucoux from my cold dead hands. Therefore what I have to confess to you here today might be pretty surprising… in fact, I surprised even myself.

Bobby (of Course Walks with Bobby fame) is a Wintec guy. I keep telling him that he’s the worst gay I’ve ever met, because he’s basically anti-fabulous. He has one saddle, one bridle, a white saddle pad, and a red saddle pad. That’s ALL he brings with him to events. He likes tack that he can hose off when it’s dirty, right on down to his rubber boots. I tease Bobby endlessly about his plastic and nylon and rubber ensemble, but really Wintec should be sponsoring him because he kicks everyone’s ass in his plastic tack, including mine.

This is what a sandbagger looks like

So, on one of our many adventures this spring I was telling Bobby about a shop on English Tack Trader that sells Beta reins with colored rubber grips. I think he NEEDS the red ones for XC, because I will accessorize this man if it’s the last damn thing I do and no matter how much he protests. Then last week when we were out doing trot sets my Mark Todd rubber reins finally gave up the ghost and melted. Into my gloves. Like, I could open my fingers completely and my reins stayed stuck to them, that’s how melted they are. Since those reins are on my cheapie hackamore bridle that I only use for hacking and conditioning work, I really didn’t want to spend much money on reins, yet I’m pretty particular about what kind of grips I like. Enter the idea of “Well… I could just get the beta ones that I’ve been ragging on Bobby to get. They’re cheap, they have the grips I like, and no one will ever see them anyway since they’re on my ‘junker’ bridle!”. Brilliant. “And while I’m at it I should get blue, because I’m an eventer now and those kinds of ridiculous things are expected of our kind.” Double brilliant.

new reins

Off I went perusing their site to order the reins, and I stumbled across a halter made from beta. I immediately sent it to Bobby since it was his colors (red and black). He was like “OMG that’s awesome, I could just hose it off to clean it and it’ll last forever!”. Hmm… he has a point there. My nice leather halter, while I do love it, gets nastier by the day. I gave up keeping it clean a long time ago because it’s impossible. It’s perpetually dirty and the brass nameplate is tarnished and sad looking. Henry looks a little bit like a hobo horse. The Beta halters were only $40 and you could order whatever color combo you wanted. Something came over me and next thing I knew I’d ordered one of those too.


Honestly, I don’t even know what happened. I can’t explain myself. I don’t know what to say. But somehow instead of accessorizing Bobby’s plastic and rubbery tack collection, I acquired my own. And to top it all off, I’m really not even sorry.