Mini-Review: TuffRider Sport Dress boots

Normally I don’t like to review things until I’ve had it long enough to know how a little more more about durability, but I’ve had a lot of people ask me about these boots since Dover has them on sale right now for $99. They’ve been on sale for a while but it seems like supplies are starting to dwindle, so I’ll do my best to give you my first impressions now and then come back around later and comment on how they hold up over time. Sizes at Dover are becoming limited… there are some on Amazon as well but starting at more like $130.

There’s a pretty long thread on COTH about these boots, and from reading through it I saw that most people recommended ordering a half size larger than normal. I’m glad I saw that, because normally I wear an 8, so for these I ordered an 8 1/2 and they’re barely big enough. I wouldn’t be able to wear thick socks, but they work with thin or regular thickness. I also think they’ll stretch out a little bit more in the foot (they have a little already) and give me a bit more room. But – I definitely recommend to order a half to full size larger than you normally wear.

The calf size is more true. Several people on COTH said they run huge, and while I do think they’re a bit generous, there’s also a lot of elastic on these (a front panel AND a back panel). So, sure you can get a smaller size and they will zip up just fine, but you’ll also be putting a lot more pressure on the elastic – which IMO is a bit thin and flimsy. For the sake of longevity, I personally wouldn’t want to do that. I measure spot on what the size chart says for Regular width, so that’s what I got, and it zips up perfectly with very little stress on the elastic. When I first got them they looked a bit big in the ankle but once I rode in them and they molded to my legs, that cankle look went away.

Some people really hate the look of the elastic running of the front… I personally don’t mind. If these were my show boots I might hate it (especially if I did the hunters) but for schooling I don’t think it makes any difference. It’s a unique feature that I haven’t seen before on other boots, and we all know how much I like innovation, so for that I give them props. I also really like the design around the instep – mine is a bit high so a lot of dress boots are uncomfortably tight across that area, but the design of these seems to really take the pressure off the top of the foot.

These boots have a few other features that make them a little different as well. The first one you notice, as you’re putting them on, is a padded tongue that goes between the back of your ankle and the zipper. This is a constant problem area for me so I really appreciate this feature, and so far it has worked great. These boots are extremely comfortable to wear. I even mucked stalls, fed, and did waters last night in them because they were the most comfortable shoes I had with me.

Another interesting feature, which is very useful albiet a bit of a PITA, is the zipper keeper. I really have no idea what it’s actually called, but that’s what I’m calling it. On the strap that runs across the back of the knee and snaps to the other side, there are two layers of strap. The bottom one has a little rectangular hole in the leather part to thread the zipper through so that it stays put while you’re riding. These boots are so thin and soft that if you don’t secure the zipper through it’s keeper, they tend to come unzipped as you’re riding. So to prevent that, you stick the zipper through it’s little rectangular hole…

Pull the bottom strap across and lay the zipper down flat…

Then snap the top strap over it to keep everything in place.
Yes, that’s an annoying step. No, it’s not quite as annoying as I thought it’d be at first. Once you do if a few times it gets pretty simple. Unless you forget to snap your boots up before you put your gloves on, then it is suddenly damn near impossible to stick the zipper in that little hole and you hate it. So… don’t do that.

Durability wise, like I said these are very thin and soft (think Parlanti thin) so I don’t expect to get many years of life out of them. Then again, they were $99. Overall a good buy for schooling boots, and I’m pleased with the purchase so far.


– I hate the rounded toe. Really hate. A bit of a square would make such a big difference and give these a much more elegant look.

– There are no height options, so if you’re very short or very tall, these might not work. I’m pretty average size (5’5″) so they work well for me, although if I’m being picky I’d like another half inch of height.

– The slight annoyance factor of the zipper keeper. Granted, it’s a pretty smart way to solve a zipper problem, and it shows attention to detail in the design, but it’s still kind of annoying.

– The thin soft leather is going to make these less durable than other boots.

– The elastic is a bit flimsy. If you put a lot of stress on it, I wouldn’t expect it to last long. The quality of the materials in general isn’t high end (obviously, given the price point) but I don’t see any issues right off the bat, or obvious construction flaws.


– The price. $99 for a pair of tall boots? Sign me up.

– While I said that being soft and thin is a con, I also think it’s a pro. That’s why these boots required absolutely zero break in time. The feel is fantastic.

– I really think these have a very well thought out design. That little padded tongue in the back of the ankle is pure genius. I want that in ALL my boots. Ditto how the instep is cut.

– Comfort. I could wear them all day every day. The fact that I chose to do barn chores in them instead of tennis shoes speaks volumes.

– They look nice. The fact that they mold to your leg makes them really flattering on just about anyone.

Basically, if you buy these looking for a nice-looking schooling boot that is very easy on the budget and comfortable to wear, you’ll be pleased. If you buy them thinking you’re getting a nice show boot, or something hard-knocking that will last forever, you’ll be disappointed. That said, if they changed to a square toe and upped the quality of the materials a bit, I’d buy another pair to show in and ditch the Monacos in a heartbeat.

11 things you need to know about Bobby

Bobby is now preparing his second installment in his “Bobby Tells All” series, and since the first one was so popular, I thought y’all should get a little more insight into who Bobby really is. After all, I let him have free rein to say what he wants on my blog without even so much as a rebuttal, so it’s only fair to provide y’all with a little bit of insider info. And I figured… what better way to do that than to share snippets of some of our facebook messenger conversations. You need the real, nitty gritty, not-at-all-fit-for-public-consumption Bobby. I will admit, I couldn’t use 95% of the best material because it was so full of cuss words and inappropriate subject matter that it wasn’t even possible to censor it enough to put it here. That should give you some idea of this nutbag I have to deal with. Without further ado… things you need to know about Bobby:

1) He loves boob sweat



2. He has excellent sportsmanship




3. Don’t share a hotel room with him unless you’re prepared for some… unpleasantness



4. No matter how many times he writes it on my car, he is NOT my hero



5. For real – obsessed with boob sweat



6. He might act like I need him, but really it’s the other way around



7. He’s basically the opposite of fabulous



8. He’s equally as distracted about such pressing life mysteries as “What Unicorns Eat”



9. He’s kind of just a bad person



10. No matter how much he says otherwise, he really does love me



11. And even though he’s a huge pain in the ass, he’s still my boo


So, Bobby fans, as you wait in what is undoubtedly eager anticipation for Bobby Tells All volume 2, think these things over. I cannot refute most of what he may say about me, but at least now you know a little more about the source.

Blog Hop: All the horses

Since we have so little going on right now,  I figured – let’s do a history post. I’ve only been blogging for a little over a year, so Henry and Sadie are the only horses y’all really know, aside from quick mentions of past horses here and there. And because I never really read a lot of blogs before I started blogging myself, I don’t know a lot about most of y’alls history either. So – whether you’ve had one or one hundred, lets see all the horses you’ve ever had.


I have a penchant for projects and therefore have had quite a few over the years. Starting with the oldest and working up to the most recent (some overlapped – at one point I had 4 at a time. Oops.)

Charlie – my first, and most expensive, horse. He was still cheap, mostly because he was older, thin, roared, weaved, and really liked to run away with people. But he never refused a fence, ever, and I can count on one hand the number of rails he ever had. He was a nut, but he had a lot of heart, and he’s the reason I fell in love with the thoroughbred.

 photo chareq.jpg

Lexi – a little unbroke pony sized QH mare that a friend and I picked up for cheap. She was a really fun easy horse, perfect to be our first attempt at starting one under saddle by ourselves. She did some eventing and was sold to a Pony Clubber as a jumper. Pony had hops.

Lexi the day we brought her home, looking pretty rough

 photo Lex3.jpg

Imp – Surprise! Lexi was pregnant. This little one was my first foray into babyland.

 photo babypickfeet.jpg

Nova – This little mare was a summer project I picked up from LOPE. She did the hunters a little and then was sold to a friend.

Quinn – the quintessential OTTB hunter resale horse. He paid for all of my debt at the time, and most of my car. Thanks Quinn! He also made me kind of hate doing the hunters. Ultimately I thank him for that, too.

Irish – a friend (the same one who co-owned Lexi with me) and I bought this one from her picture on CANTER New Mexico to be a broodmare. She had a beautiful foal by Westporte for my friend and then went on to be an AQHA HUS broodmare.

Max – Max is what happened when I went to the scary ghetto horse auction. Poor guy seemed terrified, I couldn’t just leave him there. He eventually came around but you could tell he’d been treated really badly – it took a while just to get him to let me near his hind end, much less on him. Best guess is that he was either Welsh Cob or some kind of cross.

Gracie – When I got completely burnt out on h/j land I did a total 180 and bought a little QH mare off Craigslist. She belonged to a family with two little girls and completely had their number – she was very sour and rude at first. I had a lot of fun with her though, playing around with riding western, and bridleless, and going on lots of trail rides. She was just what I needed at the time to remind me that this is supposed to fun, and is still giving lessons and trail rides at the barn I used to board at.

Sadie – my first, and thusfar only, homebred. I leased the dam from a friend and bred her to Westporte… Sadie is the result.

Cruz – Because who can resist a 17.2h unbroke 4yo TB as a resale project? Certainly not me. He was a fun one though, also very easy to start and get going.

Henry – No introduction needed, right?


Jezebel – I really don’t know if this one counts or not. Technically she belongs to my friend Michelle, and Michelle keeps telling me that she’s mine. Hers, mine, hers, mine. Whatever. We’ll call it halfsies. I evented her in the early-mid 2000’s when she belonged to another friend, but now she’s a broodmare.

I will spare us all and not include the leased horses, lest we be here all damn day.

Ultimately I’ve been really lucky to stumble upon some nice ones along the way. Every single one taught me something, both about horses and about myself. And thank goodness I’m not rich enough to have a bunch of horses… looking at my history we all know I’d have a barn full of ragtag “projects”! Biggest sucker ever.

get the InLinkz code

Summer boredom leads to bargain hunting

Because of the very dog-filled weekend, Henry got 3 days off, then because I was super tired yesterday, a 15 minute dressage ride was all I could muster. There’s just not a lot of interesting stuff happening here since we’re in that “dead zone” time of year where it’s too hot to show and, thus I don’t have a lot to talk about. We did enter the event at Corona at the end of August, so hopefully Henry doesn’t pass out and die. I asked for the coolest ride times possible and plan on bringing his ice packs and multiple fans, so we’ll see. But for now it just kinda feels like we’re in that “whittling time away until something fun happens” mode. One of the side effects of that mode is that I tend to start hunting for (and picking up) bargains. It’s a bad habit.

First I got Henry a KK bit on consignment in the hopes that it would be some kind of Majikal Instrument of Dressage Amazingness. While he seems to like it, there’s no real discernible difference between it and the regular $25 copper lozenge loose ring I was using before.

KK: not majikal

I also got him the navy DSB’s that I talked about last week, which I totally love and think everyone should buy immediately. I hope they hold up well over time because I have no complaints about them so far. Of course the new boots inspired me to search for a new dressage pad to match. Sadly, I’ve had no luck. I want something navy or that has navy on it, and isn’t ugly or boring or really expensive. I didn’t realize how many dressage pads are one or all of those things. What’s up with that? So far the only one I really like is this USG pad below, which is $52. My penny pinching self is having a hard time wanting to spend $52 on a saddle pad when my lovely $14 Riding Warehouse pads work totally fine. They just aren’t navy.

Another thing I found on consignment was a Devoucoux cover. I’d been sorta kinda looking for one for a while for my dressage saddle… it came with a cover but not an official Devoucoux one, and Makila the Devoucoux said she really wanted to represent sa famille with a proper cover. I just didn’t want to pay $50 for that privilege. So when I saw one come up for $25 shipped I nabbed it, and Makila seems happy now.

Then I found a pair of almost new Renard et Cheval breeches on ebay for $30. I can’t turn that down, even if I don’t really particularly need another pair of tan breeches… it’s good to have a spare, right? I dig the contrast knee patch and it turns out they fit me perfectly. These might be my new go-to tan pair. I wish I could find more in other colors.

I also bought a new pair of tall boots. Not that I needed a new pair of tall boots, but when I wear black boots (which is often, because most of my breeches look better with the black ones) my only option is my Monacos. My expensive, beautifully fitting, yet kind of fragile Monacos that have already had the zippers replaced twice in the past 6 years. I really don’t want to have to replace those boots with something equally lovely (read: $$$) anytime soon, so it pains me to subject them to everyday wear and tear. When I saw the TuffRider Parwanti’s (ok that’s not the real name of them, they’re like Sport Dress Boots or something boring like that) on sale for $99, I figured I’d try them out. While there are some things I don’t love (the super rounded toe, the way you have to thread the zipper into the keeper to keep the zipper up, and legs that are cut to accommodate cankles) they aren’t bad little “beater” boots. They’re quite thin, so I don’t expect them to last a long time, but the benefit of being super thin is that they’re extremely comfortable. The footbed is nice and well padded too… it’s more like wearing half chaps and paddocks, but with the nice clean look of tall boots. For what I paid they’re pretty decent little boots, and they look nice enough.

The last thing I got (I think. Unless more things show up that I forgot about. Which is possible.) is this Ariat shirt. I wanted it for the dressage show that ended up not happening, because I thought it’d look really cute with whites. I wasn’t wrong about that, it DOES look really cute with whites, and my navy and white Mango Bay anchor belt. The fabric feels pretty cheap though and is kind of scratchy. Luckily I paid next to nothing for it, so I’m ok with keeping it in case coats are ever waived or we finally end up at a schooling dressage show at some point.

Oh yeah, and a “non-stuff” thing: I decided to try Henry on MagRestore for 10 days to see if I notice any difference. Extra magnesium is supposed to be good for horses that are tight and tense in the muscles, and overly sensitive/reactive to touch. I used to have Sadie on it because when she came into heat she would get so sensitive that she didn’t want to be touched, and it helped her, although I’m not super convinced it does a whole lot otherwise. Henry isn’t quite textbook for a mag deficient horse but he has a few of the typical symptoms. It was $20 and free shipping for the 10-day loading dose, and I should know by the end of the 10 days if it helps or not. If it does, great, if it doesn’t, oh well. Figured it was worth a shot. Expectations are low, so we shall see.

Show season really needs to start up again so I don’t have so much free time to bargain hunt. Starting on Thursday I’ll be back barnsitting the Trakehners again for a week, which doesn’t bode well… that last free hour of the evening between chores/shower/dinner and night check is the most dangerous time of day. That’s basically 7 hours of built in bargain hunting time! I need help…

The weekend of Quinn

Happy to say that Quinn is now home with us! Adoption papers were signed, microchip information was transferred, and he happily loaded up and came home with his new people and dog friends.


We headed out on Friday morning with Delia and Stewie. The town where we were picking him up was about 4 hours away, so our plan was to take our dogs up on Friday, spend the afternoon at the nearby lake, and then go get Quinn on Saturday morning before coming home. We figured that would be better than subjecting them to an 8 hour car ride in one day. We got there, grabbed some lunch, and immediately headed to the lake. We planned to hike around the outer loop, which would have been about a 2.5 mile loop.


It was quite hot, but it was shaded and we had water and were in no hurry so I thought we’d be ok. Delia was loving it. Stewie hated it and wanted to die. We made it to the very first scenic lookout point, less than a mile in, and he plopped down and refused to move. Then the plan changed from doing the outer loop to turning around and going back the way we came, which required me cajoling and half carrying him at times. Delia was bummed. Stewie was thrilled.

hiking dog
not a hiking dog

Then we pretty much just vegged at the hotel for the rest of the evening, which Stewie seemed to much prefer, especially since we had a California King and both dogs could fit on the bed with us. Sunday morning we headed out of the hotel bright and early to make the 40 minute trek from where we stayed to where we were supposed to pick up Quinn. Both of our dogs were still pretty tired from the day before so when we pulled up to the park and got out, we had nice normal calm sedate dogs for the first meeting (muahaha planning success). Stewie was just like “Oh hey there, equally little dude” and Delia looked at him and walked away, completely disinterested. So much for being worried about their initial meeting.

QuinnStewie QuinnStewie1

Quinn was very sweet and came right up to us for pets. When I led him off with Stewie around the park he just fell right into step like this was totally normal and no big deal. We chatted a bit with the lady from the rescue, let the dogs hang out for a while, and then, with absolutely zero commotion, loaded him up and hit the road for home. He never looked back. Once we were rolling he laid down in the back of the SUV and slept the whole way, in various poses of adorable squishyness. I’m pretty sure I spent most of the drive turned around in my seat taking pictures of him sleeping.


On the way home we stopped at the pet store to get him his own collar and leash and let him pick out a toy. Once we finally got home he hopped out and waddled inside. He briefly looked around and checked out his new digs, wandered outside into his new yard, then came in and plopped himself down like “Ok cool, we’re home.”. Totally seamless. By the time he’d finished assessing that we were adequate, we’d already fallen in love with him. How could you not?



that butt ❤

Quinnbackyard2 quinnbackyardstewieQuinnsleep

Saturday evening and Sunday we just hung out around the house, getting acquainted, and getting started on teaching him hand signals. He doesn’t seem quite 100% deaf, he can hear it if you clap really hard, but he’s pretty darn close to it. As the weekend went on he definitely started looking for us, watching us, and wanting to follow us around, so we haven’t had any problems yet with getting his attention or keeping an eye on him. He’s a little bit of a velcro dog right now. Poor guy, I’m not sure that he’s ever had a ton of attention or been nearly as spoiled as our dogs are.

My view as I was getting ready for work this morning
I’m being watched

Basically we are in love with him already, he’s transitioned pretty seamlessly so far, and I think he’s starting to love us too. It really couldn’t have gone much better. Welcome to the family Mr. Quinn!

A New 4-legged

Trying to be quick today, because we’re about to pack up and head out the door…

Anyone who knows me probably also knows that I really love corgis. I might be mildly obsessed. But, I already have a dog and Rob has a dog, so I’ve always just said “someday” I would get a corgi. Then a situation came up where a friend was looking for a home for their dog, and we talked about our capacity to add a third dog. We decided that we could do it, but that particular dog ended up not needing a new home after all. It didn’t take long for my thoughts to click over to “well… we could fill that third spot with a corgi…”. Rob was not so enthused about the idea originally, but he said if I could find one from a rescue type situation that needed a home, and preferably one around the age of our current dogs (7 and 10), he’d be ok with it. We have a “no buying dogs, must adopt” policy in our house.

Bat Dog and the Terriorist

After a little bit of emailing to the corgi rescue groups in Texas, I struck gold. One of them had a deaf 8yo corgi that had come to the rescue a couple months before, but she hadn’t listed him for adoption because she didn’t think he’d find a good home. His age fit right in with our two current kiddos, and the deafness issue doesn’t really bother us. I talked about him a lot with the rescue, talked about the two dogs I already have, went through the adoption application process, did a home visit, and got approved, all of which took a while to get done. So this weekend we are finally on our way up to North Texas to get him. I never wanted to say anything about all the “adoption proceedings” on here, lest I jinx anything, but now that we’re at the very end of it hopefully I’m safe. Knock on wood.

corgi eyes pierce the soul

We’re taking our two dogs with us to meet him and make sure everyone gets along. They’re pretty laid back and supposedly Quinn is too, so I’m hoping it’ll be uneventful, and then we to bring him home. Fingers crossed everything goes well! ERMAGERD CERGI!

Tell me your corgi name, because I’m endlessly amused by this. Captain Squiggy Bunnybottom, signing off.



Riding Warehouse wins again

Some of you may remember my post from a while back where I was considering buying a new body protector for cross country. Once I finally decided which one I wanted and what color I wanted, I was of course immediately unable to find the right size/color anywhere in the US. But I did notice that Riding Warehouse (my faves) carried the vest in black, so I figured I’d email and see if it was possible for them to special order it in navy, since they’ve done that for me before with other things.

Hello, Airowear Outlyne

They answered me quickly with an “absolutely, we’d love to” (they’re so nice I always want to poke them to see if they’re real), they put the order in for me, and we proceeded to wait. Having had items backordered from other companies before, I am always skeptical about arrival times, especially when they’re coming from overseas. I tend to order it and then forget it. But the projected timeline they gave me ended up being spot on, and I got a notification once they knew when it was expected to hit. When they received it they immediately (for real, within a day) had it on a truck to me, and it arrived 3 days later. Did I mention they had the best price of anyone in the US? Did I mention shipping was free?

full coverage on the sides

I’m waiting to do a review/comparison post of the Airowear vs the Tipperary until I wear it a few times, but visually and structurally the difference is huge. I let SO play the “HIT ME” game with me wearing each vest and boy could I tell a difference. But more on that when my thoughts are more organized. Do y’all have input on what type of review you’d like to see? I can do pictures, as is typical, or I can do a video review like you see on a lot of tack shop websites. Maybe a mix of both? Anything in particular you really want to see about one or the other, or comparatively? If you have specific questions, get them to me and I’ll address them in the review.

I also ordered a few more things from Riding Warehouse (because happy early birthday to me?) one of which is my long-coveted navy DSB boots. Once again they had the best price and free shipping. They’re pretty and I love them.

Henry is equally thrilled


I tried one more time to buy something from Smartpak a few weeks ago, mainly because they were one of the only shops left on the entire Internet that had still had a few of the now-discontinued shirt that I wanted. Once again the experience left me very very frustrated and required me getting pissed off before they offered to make it right. They resolved the situation and it ended satisfactorily, but I am officially done with them. I tried. I really tried. Riding Warehouse is just way better, and cheaper, and faster, and nicer, and has never once made me want to stab them in the eye. That’s saying something.

There’s no such thing as too far

First of all, I want to thank everyone who took the time to read and comment on my thread last week about the KEP Italia incident. I was not at all prepared for the ensuing whirlwind that my post caused. Once it hit social media it just blew up, and is now sitting at 8,000 hits and still getting hundreds more by the day. For several days I was drowning in comments, private messages, and emails from people on both sides of the fence. Whether you agreed or disagreed with what I said, it led to a lot of good discussion and spurred a lot of subsequent research on my part. Most shocking (and honestly horrifying at times) to me was just how much absolute misinformation is out there in the general public. I encourage everyone interested to research safety standards and the testing that goes into helmets for all the different certifications (yes there are different ones, no they aren’t the same). It might surprise you.

I admit that after answering all those messages and talking about it for days straight, my brain was mush by the time Friday rolled around. My limit for intense discussion had been reached and surpassed by quite a ways. So I did what any normal person would do and soothed my psyche by obsessing over unicorn stuff and finding more ATC swag for our team.


I know what you’re thinking about that picture. “OMG Amanda, is that a unicorn tapestry rug?”… why yes, yes it is. Majestic AF, isn’t it? When I saw it on eBay I figured we really needed a rug in our tack stall at AEC, so I offered $9 for it and within minutes it was mine. I had the fleeting thought that maybe I was going a little overboard with the unicorn theme… was I taking it too far? Then I laughed, realized that wasn’t possible, and ordered us a rainbow fringe curtain for the tack stall door and some Always Be a Unicorn white and rainbow silicone bracelets. Once you’ve committed to a unicorn theme you’re kind of obligated to take it a few levels too far, right?


By “some” I mean 25. Sharing is caring. Thinking about doing some kind of contest for a unicorn swag prize pack… ideas on what kind of contest?


I barn/house/cat sat last week where I board while the owners were on vacation, so for several days in a row I fell into the habit of coming in from the barn and settling down at my laptop to peruse the interwebs for unicorn stuff. I found so much stuff that would be great, like this unicorn bust

The Bayer Unicorn Head Mount in White Rose Glitter Staff - Unicorn Decor by White Faux Taxidermy - Unicorn Wall Mount Art - Kids Room Decor

but it’s $95 and I just don’t roll that deep.

I also thought this “Goth Unicorn Mohawk” had real potential, but Bobby wouldn’t agree to wear it. Way to be a buzzkill, Bobby.

Goth Pony Unicorn Mohawk

Other things I saw were just really confusing.

But I did order some glittery PrismFoil “I am a Unicorn” tattoos. Mostly because I couldn’t think of any good reason not to.

After I ran out of unicorn-related internet (sadly, it IS finite) I worked a little bit on the outline of our Course Walk idea, because it’s gonna be pretty elaborate. I decided a while back that we would tell a story throughout our series of pictures, and said story requires props and costumes and planning. Taking it too far? Neehhhh. This really just shows how deep my self control issues run.



Everyday fails

Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself, so I can’t resist Zen Baby Horse‘s Everyday Fails blog hop. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes and do ridiculous things sometimes, not to mention that horses are the most humbling thing I’ve ever come across. But it’s ok to fail, because that’s how we learn. Why not celebrate our failures just as much as our successes? We all take this sport very seriously, but sometimes we have to embrace the fail moments and inject a little levity.

Did you know I’m basically a professional mane sniffer?

Sometimes you just gotta get down in there and take a nice deeeeeep whiff.

This one is called The I-Can’t-Commit-to-a-Distance. Poor Charlie was a saint. This photo proves that there’s a horsey heaven, and he’s in it.

Jezebel’s first open ditch produced quite the deer leap. Monsters.

I still don’t really know quite what happened here, but that’s about as derpy as you can get.


That time I tried to take NICE PICTURES with my two HORRIBLE DONKEYS


That time Kai kind of forgot how big 1.00m is and left me clinging to him like a monkey


and then the other time


and then the OTHER time.


Charlie’s (and my) first Training level event, when he tripped in the water and we both came inches away from taking an unexpected bath.


That time I really loved the long spot


and the other time


okay it’s basically all the time.


The early days of Henry, when he was obese and downhill and overbent and I remedied it with intense piano hands.


Remember that time I won a bridle for 2nd and Bobby won a rubber bracelet for 3rd? I remember. Oh boy do I ever remember. #bobbyfail

and of course, even though this is 16 years old, it’s still the best video ever…

Fate laughed at us, we laughed back

It took less than 48 hours from when I posted last week about my plans for the rest of the year for things to go astray. I got a call on Thursday afternoon from the from the secretary of the dressage show I had planned for Sunday, telling me that they don’t offer Eventing tests, only USDF tests (despite the entry saying “Higher level USEF tests, Freestyle, Eventing, and Rider tests are welcome to be ridden Hors Concours (HC).”. Guess that line wasn’t supposed to be in the show bill? Boo. I didn’t really feel like trying to learn two new USDF tests last minute so I just opted out instead. Kinda bummed, because I thought we finally had a good little dressage show series that would let us do Eventing tests for cheap. But also not at all bummed, because I wasn’t really in the mood for a dressage show anyway.

Henry’s hay eyebrow remains dubious about dressage

So instead I packed the weekend with fun things that had absolutely nothing to do with dressage, because that’s way better. On Saturday myself and a couple folks from the barn went to Granger Lake again to trail ride.

We took our longest route yet, which led to some very unfortunate chafing to my lady bits by the time we were done, most of which went undiscovered until I got in the shower and the burning was very real. But it was worth it anyway for a nice relaxing ride with friends and a fun little canter. If your sound is on you get to hear me tell Henry “No bucking!” toward the end. He has no respect for my one-handed cell phone video attempt.

On Sunday I put the jumps up a couple holes and popped him over a few fences.

Hey look, I found the base!

It was pretty hot already even at 10am so I kept it short but he jumped around happily and even saved my butt once when I failed to steer (which unfortunately was not caught on film to go in the Fail Vault). Bless you Henry. He’s starting to feel more comfortable and confident with bigger fences… it wasn’t too long ago that he would have said hell no instead of saving my ass. Maturity – he’s getting it. Or he’s just given up and resigned himself to a sad life of carting around a moron. Either way, props buddy.

jumping719-1 jumping719-2

I think my favorite thing ever is his face when he’s locked and loaded on a fence. His ears. His teeth. It’s too much. Pretty sure he was much happier with our Plan B weekend than he would have been with a “stuffy, boring, horrific” (his words) dressage show.


His forelock when I got off was pretty hilarious too. All of that badassery really does a number on one’s hair.


Sorrynotsorry dressage show. We didn’t miss you one bit.