Things come and things go

Moment of silence please for my Mondoni field boots. They served faithfully, almost daily, for 3.5 years, but this weekend I finally wore all the way through the sole on one of them. They’ve been slowly falling apart this year… first I wore holes through the lining inside the foot, then laces rotted and fell apart, the tongues started to split, and now finally, this:

Maybe it’s finally time to let them go. Especially because I just about implaled my foot on some particularly crunchy grass the other day. Texas is so great. Even the grass attacks you.

I think the Tucci’s will have to step in and take over everyday riding duty until we go to Europe, because I’d rather get replacement boots there. I can get the Ego7’s for about $300 instead of $500, which is obviously much more appealing. Plus then I could be the weird girl that wears her tall boots home on the plane, since they’re unlikely to fit in my luggage. Win-win.

But with one item headed out the door, I did acquire a fun new thing, and for only $25… behold my new dressage arena! (Thanks Megan!)

Ok, so I still have to actually measure things out and set them up. And find a good, fairly flat (ish. kinda.) spot for that. But in theory I have a dressage ring now. Ish. Kinda.

On my way back from picking up the letters, I stopped at Dover to pick up a dressage whip. I figured that since I’ve been using one now for like a month, it was probably time to graduate to Big Girl status and buy my own. Their selection wasn’t great, and who knew dressage whips were so expensive (at least at Dover, they were all $30-70!), but now I actually own one. The cheapest, ugliest one they had, but… still counts. This is a landmark moment in Henny history.

In retrospect I should have just waited until the next time I did a Riding Warehouse order, because they have the exact one I wanted and it’s only $13, instead of paying $30 for a shitty one from Dover. That was exceedingly dumb on my part. Now I think maybe I should return it…

But while I was in the store I wandered around to see if there was anything else I had to have. At the big wall of fly masks I stopped to dig around for a weanling size, figuring there was no way in hell they’d have one, but lo and behold:

Okay, Dover, you’ve earned back like .005% of my respect. Of course, it was $3 more than it is anywhere online, but in the realm of Dover that’s not bad markup. And not only is it weanling size, it’s the one with ears and the long nose. In theory, it could protect Presto’s little pink nose. In reality, I’d be shocked if the mask stayed on for more than 5 minutes. It’s the thought that counts though right?

Brutal Honesty 

Boy did the interwebs get all spun up yesterday about Katie Prudent’s comments on the WiSP Sports Horse Show podcast. I read the transcript of her interview really early, as soon as it was posted, and when I was finished I knew that a whole lot of people were probably going to be all kinds of offended soon. And, because the people of the internet are nothing if not reliable, they were.

Image result for offended gif

I have to say though, for the most part I agree with Katie. Sure, lots of people got their hackles up about this particular comment: “The sport has become for the fearful, talentless amateur. That’s what the sport has been dummied down to.”. Many folks got knee-jerk mad about what they perceived as being called talentless and fearful, taking it as a slam on all amateur riders. But really… put your emotions back in their glass case for a second and ask yourself – is she wrong? Because, at the root of things, I don’t think she is.

First of all, her complaint here really is the fact that the sport now caters to the lowest common denominator, and somewhere along the way has become more about horse showing and less about horsemanship. Both of which are pretty true, although whether that’s a good or a bad thing depends on where you’re standing. Her second end point from that statement was that these talentless, fearful people can buy super nice horses and rise to a level (sometimes near or at the top) that they wouldn’t otherwise be riding at. That point I’ll leave alone, because I don’t think I’m qualified enough to determine that one. I do see what she means though, and can think of a couple examples right off the top of my head. But let’s go back to the part where a bunch of people got offended at the idea of Katie Prudent putting a spotlight on the “fearful, talentless amateur” (even though, IMO, a lot of people took that comment out of context).

The reality is, I’ve known for a long time that I’m not exactly chock full of top-tier talent, and the fact that I can’t really make eye contact with a Prelim level table kind of speaks volumes about the fearful part (I mean… I prefer to call it “knowing my limitations”, but, a rose by another name). So I have no real problem with someone at the very top of the sport thinking that I am talentless and fearful. On the scale of a lot of other amateur riders I know, I’m probably marginally talented and considerably less fearful than most, but that’s not the measure she’s referring to here. On Katie Prudent’s scale of talent and balls, the one that is looking for the next McLain, I’m DEFINITELY talentless and fearful. I can own that with no problem.

And while people don’t greet me at the gate with a bottle of water and a fan, hey, I wouldn’t turn it down if you did.

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Look, there are A LOT of things in our sport that cater to amateur riders. The governing bodies themselves even cater to us a lot, because they know we’re their bread and butter. There are plenty of people plugging away at USEF, USEA, USHJA, USDF, etc who are tasked with reeling in the amateurs and keeping them entertained. Because let’s face it, as amateurs we really do own the sport these days, at least at the lower/national level. We have entire divisions, special awards, points categories, programs, etc. We outnumber the pros at staggering numbers. We bring in the majority of the money that keeps the associations and horse shows in business. There are even support groups for amateurs, for god’s sakes. We’re not victims, so let’s move on.

Rub a little bit of ointment onto that initial butthurt from Katie Prudent pointing out that talentless and fearful amateurs are a real thing that exist, and then please keep reading the rest of her interview transcript. What Katie has to say is a whole lot bigger than that one comment. It isn’t an attack on amateurs, it’s an observation of the current state of the sport itself, what it’s evolved into, how the business has changed, and how that effects what’s happening at the top levels.

Image result for how it is gif

A lot of what Katie says during that interview is pretty spot on. It might make some people uncomfortable, and it seems to have come across as a bit too brutally honest to the more sensitive among us (which, ironically, kind of proves her point), but her comments are honest and I can certainly appreciate that. She says what a lot of people don’t have the guts to. It’s easy to see that the sport is changing (not just showjumping, either) and her concerns about where we’re going to get our next generation of top talent is valid.  Her comments on the dumbing down of the sport are valid, too. I mean… it’s worked out to my own particular benefit, but it’s still a valid observation.

It’s entirely different now than it was in Katie’s heyday, some ways for the better and some ways for the worse. It seems like pretty much everything circles back to money, which was really one of her biggest concerns. It’s turned into a little bit of a pay to play game, even at the top levels, which she believes has been a bit detrimental to our pool of young talented young riders… and really that was the entire point she was trying to make here, IMO.

Of course, I don’t have any answers for how to fix it, and she didn’t seem to either. Honestly, if you’re asking me, I don’t think it’s fixable, but that’s because I think a lot of it is a reflection of our culture in general. There’s no turning back the clock at this point, it’s more a matter of finding our footing in our current reality. Something that, luckily, is not my job, because that’s a pretty tough thing to try to conquer.

But that’s just my very amateur opinion on the whole thing, which is probably worth about as much as you paid for it.


Barnsitting Therapy

It’s been a while since I’ve barnsat for my favorite Trakehners and their fluffy friends. This time was just a short 3-day stint, but it was fun just the same.

Quinnie’s standard greeting
she loves me though, even if she won’t admit it

I mean… technically, looking after 8 horses, 2 dogs, and 2-3 cats (the exact number of cats is up for debate) is work, but it’s still fun. I enjoy the labor and the quiet time and the solitude that accompany barn chores… it’s kind of therapeutic when you usually work in an office. Once I got to the barn in the afternoon after work, I literally wouldn’t see another human until I got to work again the next day. That seems like a win.

It was hot (omg the sweat) and of course not without our fair share of mischief. One of the kittens never actually showed up at all. No idea if he wandered off at some point before I got there, or if he just hated me so much that he never showed his face. The other two cats followed me around the whole time, telling me what to do, so who knows.

Toni the stallion is always super sweet, and he seemed particularly cheeky this time. He took extra care to slobber all over the handle of the muck cart at every opportunity, and oh-so-innocently crept up behind me as I was cleaning his stall.

are you not terrified of the wild stallion?

One of the other Trakehners thought it would be great fun to bust through the little strip of hot tape along one side of the pasture, swirling the tape all over the place and completely snapping a couple of plastic t-posts. Luckily no one seemed injured (except the tape) and it was just a sectioned off portion within a pasture, so they didn’t get loose either.

All of the adult horses blamed it on the filly… I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt until I went back out there to fix it and hadn’t even walked 10 feet away before she waltzed right through it again. Didn’t even have the decency to let me get out of sight first.

wouldn’t make eye contact

And because there has to be drama with literally every species, one of the Dog-Fluffs decided to do a little overnight remodeling of the dog beds.

I woke up to bits of foam scattered from literally one end of the house to the other, and there was Lola, happy as could be, tongue hanging out the side of her derpy mouth. It’s hard to be mad when they’re this cute.

Now their mom is back home, and I’m back at my house and back to my normal life, featuring Henry and an almost-as-derpy-as-Lola corgi. It was nice to have a few days of peace and quiet, with plenty of time for life reflection while doing barn chores. I’ve been thinking pretty hard about the future lately, trying to figure out if I want to make a big life change. I finally decided to put some feelers out and just see what, if anything, comes of it.

Does anyone else find barn chores to be kind of therapeutic?

Dreaming of Fall

This is that time of year in Texas where the grass is crunchy, the ground is hard, and the air feels like a moist oven. Therefore, naturally, the things I find myself doing most often are a) sweating profusely, and b) dreaming of Fall.

It’s Hot.

Since we had to sit out Fall 2016 due to Henry’s fence-kicking injury, I’m feeling a little gung-go about doing All The Things this year. I wanted to spend the spring finding our footing and building our (ok, my) confidence at Training level at schooling shows before spending the $$$ to hit the recognized shows, and I feel like we did that. We had a momentary hiccup with Henry’s confidence at the down banks there for a couple months, but *knock on wood* he seems to be 100% back on track now. MeadowCreek in June in particular was a big deposit in the “we can do this” bank as Henry packed my butt around the XC like an old pro.

Ok, so maybe I still don’t have the balls to actually walk up to most of the tables or corners or trakehners-of-death at Training level (I don’t need to know how wide it is, thanks), but I know for sure that he can easily jump anything I point him at on course. That counts for a lot.

trakehner of death

I’m still not sure yet if the budget will allow for 3 recognized shows or just two… we’ll see how talented I am about pulling extra $ out of thin air. But our most optimistic plan looks like this:

Sep 16-17 – MeadowCreek Park H.T – The Fall Social Event

Oct 28-29 – Holly Hill Fall H.T.

Nov 11-12 – Texas Rose Horse Park Fall H.T.


With, of course, the addition of some FOX HUNTING thrown in there for good measure. Trainer has been giving lessons to some of the ladies from the local hunt and they’ve offered to “show the ropes” to anyone interested. This is a big bucket list item for me, so I’m definitely in. Pretty sure Henry will think he’s died and gone to heaven.

Image result for fox hunting print
So us.

If I can keep my spending for our Germany trip pretty low, and don’t have any big unforseen expenses otherwise (ha. hahahahaha.), hopefully we’ll be able to do all 3 shows. If not, I’ll have to pick 2. I dunno yet, we’ll see how things go. Plus Texas Rose is, for us anyway, the biggest baddest course in Area V, so we’ll see how ballsy I’m feeling by then. Our plans will stay fluid.

why tho?

And then in late fall/early winter Henry will get to go spend some time with Trainer to prepare for their Prelim debut. Just the thought of her (read: anyone) having to sit his trot for an entire test is hilarious. Mostly because I’m not the one that has to do it.

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Saddle Fitting is Fun

Said no one ever.

Can I annoy everyone and complain for a minute about how frustrating it is to have a horse that fits perfectly into the most basic panel that Devoucoux makes? Mostly because I’m shopping used, and it seems like pretty much no one else has a horse shaped like mine. If he had giant withers with hollows on each side, we’d be in business. That panel configuration is EVERYWHERE. Alas, he does not. Although I guess I should take a minute to seriously thank Henry for being shaped like a French tree at all, because I’d be infinitely more sad if he wasn’t.

I knew as soon as I sat the Chiberta on Henry last week that it didn’t really fit. It has a 4P panel, the most popular modification I’ve found, which means there’s extra padding in the front part to accommodate a high shark fin wither. Henry doesn’t have a shark fin, but he has a decent wither on him, so I figured it was worth a try.

spot the problem

I could tell as soon as I put it on him that the panel wasn’t right. Sticking it on top of the Ogilvy seemed to improve the balance enough to where I at least felt ok doing a quick ride in it, to at least see how it felt. And as soon as my butt hit the saddle, it was everything I remembered about Trainer’s saddle. Absolute grippy French perfection. For me it was a perfect fit; love at first sit. Deeper love at first gallop. Henry offered up no objections, either. But… that panel…

So when I saw that our Devoucoux rep, Janine, was going to be in my area on Friday anyway, I asked if she would come out and check the fit. I knew it wasn’t going to work as-is, but… maybe she was a miracle worker? Maybe she could offer me an option to make it work? Or, hey, maybe she had something perfect in her inventory. I dunno. I was desperately clinging to some delusional dreams here. This is the price you pay for loving a delightfully molded memory foam panel.

made for wither hollows that Henry doesn’t have

But of course, as soon as I tossed the saddle up there, the rep saw the exact same issue I did and said it was a no-go. I could technically have it re-paneled for $650, but at this point that’s just not in the budget considering the saddle itself was already near the very top of what I could spend. Shout out to Janine here: I am a super annoying person with approximately 9000 questions, and she was super nice as she thoroughly answered each one, both in person on Friday and the ones I’ve sent via email in the past few days.

Since she was already out there I asked if she would check his dressage saddle. To my eye that thing has always been a near perfect fit on him, and he’s always gone REALLY well in it. It has just a plain D3D panel, no modifications, so basically it’s as “off the rack” as a Devoucoux gets.

Pretty much the second she settled that thing onto his back she was like “Wow… yeah… this is the perfect panel for him.”. Ok, so that’s one half of the equation down, we know exactly what Henry needs. But what about me? The 18″ 2AA had felt pretty perfect but, since she was there, I figured I should have her see me sit in it, and figure out if maybe I could fit into a different configuration to open up my options.

Yeah no. I’m 100% perfect in the 18″ 2AA. I know I can do an 18.5″ just fine, but probably not any smaller than an 18″ since the Dev’s run small. And I’m long from hip to knee, so I definitely need the extra forward 2AA flap.

She looked through their used inventory but didn’t see anything that met both our specs. Apparently it’s not a very common one, and when it does pop up, it gets snatched pretty quick. If we needed a 4P panel or if I could fit into an A flap, we’d be in business, but alas neither of those things work. I spent most of the weekend scouring every corner of the internet and came up with nada. But now I’m on “the list” with the rep, so to speak, so hopefully something in our specs will come up soon. Like… really soon… because I don’t have a jump saddle at all at the moment.

It sure was sad when I had to put that saddle in it’s box and send it back, though. Our relationship was brief, but our love was real.

Stabby Adventures

Henry had some pretty exciting times last week, starting with his biannual routine vet visit.

scary tiny horse
When Henry had his January appointment, the vet wanted him to get his teeth done every 6 months instead of every 12. This is mostly because Henry has what I (lovingly) call “Janky Jaw”. It’s a little crooked, so his teeth don’t line up perfectly. If he goes a whole year between dental appointments he ends up with some pretty big hooks on the right side.

nickering at the tiny little palomino stallion
He also was starting to feel kind of wonky in his left lead canter. In January we opted to just inject the right side of his SI area and see how things went, since at that point the right lead is what felt wonky. For months it was the magical cure and I had my normal horse back. Then he slowly started to feel the same way to the left that he had felt to the right before his injection. I figured that if we were going to knock him out to do his teeth, we might as well check and possibly re-do the SI. I also wanted the vet to check on his spine again and make sure he wasn’t having any pain there, since we know he has a couple of close vertebra. So… basically I wanted to just go ahead and look at/take care of everything before the fall season starts. Summer is slow for us, now is the time!

Of course, when I called the vet’s office they told me they couldn’t fit Henry in until the first week of August. Err…

After discussing what all we needed to look at and do, he was able to refer me to another vet. I’ve heard a lot of good things about that vet (and figured it never hurts to know another, right?) so I called his clinic to make an appointment. They were able to get us in the next day!

I liked this vet a lot…he listened to our history and what we’ve been doing, and briefly checked Henry out. He definitely agreed that he was sore in the left SI, and showing some sensitivity on the right as well. He thought that since we had seen success with the first SI injection, we should just go ahead and inject both sides, which is what I was thinking anyway.

He also checked out his spine and saw no soreness and no need for any kind of maintenance there… we’ll just continue to check it once or twice a year and make sure nothing progresses. Otherwise there were no other areas of concern.

The techs got to work scrubbing the injection area while Henry got a little night-night cocktail. Even though this wasn’t the first time seeing the needles for the SI injections, they still look ridiculously giant and make me cringe. Henry stood like a rock though (he’s a cheap date), and he was done within a few minutes.

Then it was on to teeth! Again the vet didn’t see anything particularly concerning, just some moderate points on both sides. He floated everything down to be nice and even again, and declared Henry good to go.

The best part is that the bill was about half of what I was prepared to spend, and a couple hundred less than I thought it would be. In the world of horses, sometimes that feels like a win. Plus now we know a new vet!

Hopefully now Henry is feeling good and will be ready to hit all the recognized shows in the fall. He’s getting some days off and then I’ll be back aboard mid-week to see how he feels.

“Would You Ever Breed Again?”

As I was showing some Presto pictures to a friend last week and talking about all of the trials and tribulations of the first few weeks of his life, they finally asked the big question: “Would you do ever breed again?”. Honestly, I’ve been thinking about this for a couple months now and it took me a while to really figure out how I felt.

I knew heading into this whole breeding adventure that the chance of losing a mare or foal (or both) is very real. I’ve been involved with other breeders and the breeding business long enough to know that even when you do everything right, it’s very easy for things to go wrong. I’ve bred before, and I didn’t exactly go into this whole experience with the naivete that many first-time breeders have. I knew the risks, and I even wrote a post about it last fall.

I consider myself a pretty pragmatic person, not particularly emotional or easily upset. But those two weeks where Presto was living very much hour-to-hour at the clinic, struggling just to stay alive… that tested me to my absolute limits. In my adult life I can think of two instances where I’ve sat in my car and ugly cried until the tears ran out: when my mom died, and literally every single day of those first two weeks of Presto’s illness. Emotionally drained doesn’t even begin to cover it.

If you had asked me then if I’d ever do this again, I would have told you no. I was raw, I was bitter, and I was spent. I’ve lost a horse before, but he was old, retired, and died peacefully out in the pasture. He’d had the most idyllic life that any of us could possibly script for a horse, really. The situation with Presto was different. He was young, he was special, and I’d had a hand in creating him. And while his illness came on suddenly, it dragged on and on and on, with constant ups and downs. It didn’t seem fair for that to happen to a foal, and it was a whole different level of heartache. Even though, in the end, he managed to come back from the brink and survive his ordeal, all I wanted to do was protect myself from ever feeling that way again. Then I realized how absolutely idiotic that was.

As human beings, we are always going to be affected by tragedy or loss. That’s the price you pay for loving something. And it almost seems worse, or perhaps just more frequent, for animal lovers. Dogs and horses don’t get to stay with us as long as most people do, and it’s never easy to lose something that is so important to you. But in the end, it’s the price we pay for all the joy we receive from them. Never breeding again isn’t a way to guarantee that I’d be safe from the danger of loss or tragedy… the only way to guarantee that would be to hermit myself away from all other people and animals and live a life of complete solitude.

Would I be feeling this practical about things if Presto hadn’t made it? I think eventually yes, but it would have taken me a lot longer to get there. While I’ll never be able to forget how I felt when he was sick, I’ve decided to try not to let myself be haunted by it. It took me until, well… NOW, as I’m drafting this post, to be able to go back and look at his newborn pictures and the ones from when he was at the clinic. It just wasn’t something I could face without re-living it.

The world keeps turning though, and while time might not completely heal all wounds, it does at least put a scab over them. I’ll never forget what happened, but I can’t allow my life and my choices to be dictated by things that are beyond my control. I choose to keep trying, to keep hoping, and to keep allowing my dreams to be untempered by circumstances beyond my control.

So… would I ever breed again? The answer is yes. Sure, I never want to feel that kind of devastation again, but there’s another thing I felt during all this that I haven’t talked about as much. That very first moment when I saw Presto’s little white foot followed by his little white nose, I fell in love with a horse. With those first adorable little nickers at us, when he was trying to figure out which of us was his mom, I fell in love with a horse. When he took those first few steps and wobbled his way over the top of the hay pile, I fell in love with a horse.

And at the end of the day, isn’t that why we do this? Isn’t that why we give our heart and soul and blood and sweat and tears to these animals? Sure, its a risk, but the reward – when we get it – is unparalleled. There is something remarkable about the privilege of loving a horse from the moment it takes it’s first breath, and that’s something that no amount of heartache can take away.

How to Get a New Trailer

Ok, so I didn’t actually get a new trailer, but I did get the poor long-suffering SO (henceforth known in this post as PLSSO) to say the words “Let’s just buy you a new trailer” AND he didn’t even flinch when I rattled on forever about exactly what I want and where to get it. At one point he even muttered – mark this one down – “that seems reasonable”. I know… I was also shocked. But how did I get that to happen? Quite simple really, here’s my How To guide.

Step 1: Bring trailer home so you can wash it and do a few minor upgrades.

Step 2: Ask PLSSO if he can come with you to Tractor Supply to help you load up all the new rubber mats you want to buy. Let him go measure the space (even though you already did), because he’s a dude and dudes love to play with tape measures.

Step 3: Stand at Tractor Supply and argue about how many feet you actually need to make it work. Enjoy baking in the 100 degree heat for 30 minutes while waiting for someone to cut the mats for you. Watch lily-white PLSSO get more and more sunburned by the second.

Step 4: Buy PLSSO some candy while you’re in line at the checkout, because he’s already getting grumpy and he has no idea what he’s even in for yet.

Step 5: Casually mention, while sitting in traffic on the highway, that you want to stop at Lowes to grab some wire mesh to put behind the plexiglass windows in the front of the trailer. Ask if he thinks he can do that. Of course he can, he’s PLSSO!

Step 6: Spend 45 minutes in Lowe’s because the layout makes no freaking sense whatsoever and you can’t find shit.

Step 7: Get home, pull down the box of car cleaning supplies from the shelf you can almost reach, drop it, and send the contents of the box clattering in every direction underneath the giant ’56 Mercury. Smile apologetically as he climbs under said car to retrieve everything.

Step 8: Start washing trailer while he gets to work trimming the mats down to a perfect fit (in theory). Accidentally spray him a little. SWEAR it was an accident. Pretend not to notice the glare you get from PLSSO.

Step 9: After about 20 minutes you’ll hear a loud string of expletives and see a mat go flying in one direction and a box blade go flying in the other. Keep pretending to not notice.

Step 10: Keep scrubbing the trailer while he finally wrestles the mats into place. Casually point out that one of them is overlapping and that just won’t do. Definitely DO NOT NOTICE the glare you’re getting by now.

Step 11: Make a big fuss about how beautiful those almost-straight mats look! PLSSO offers to help scrub down the inside of the trailer, since you can’t really reach the ceiling. Take him up on his offer, then feel kinda bad when he basically covers himself in dirty mold water as it drips down on his head.

Step 12: Ok so maybe you’re like 5 hours into this project at this point, but why stop now? You’ve still got windows to do! PLSSO is actually kind of pumped about this part, because it seems more fun than cutting rubber or getting dripped on. At least… until he accidentally breaks the plexiglass trying to get the window off.

Step 13: Get back in the car. Go back to Lowes. Buy more plexiglass. Don’t even bother trying to buy him candy at the checkout this time, there’s no more sugarcoating his annoyance at this point.

Step 14: Go home and take about 25 tries to get the holes drilled into the plexiglass correctly. PLSSO is really starting to not like your ghetto-ass trailer anymore.

Step 15: Supervise as he insists on cutting the wire mesh so you don’t cut yourself. Watch him cut himself after approximately 3 seconds. Here’s where you should take a step back, because he’s about to yell “I’M JUST GOING TO BUY YOU A NEW EFFING TRAILER, THIS IS RIDICULOUS, THIS PIECE OF BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP…”. Get comfy, that part goes on for a while.

Step 16: Once that’s out of his system, follow him back out to the trailer and help hold things in place while he screws stuff down (and only cracks the plexiglass once), rattling on and on the whole time about possible trailer purchases. PLSSO’s eyes have glazed over by now, he’s dead inside. You’ve got him right where you want him.

Step 17: Start packing everything back into your pretty, shiny, so-fresh-and-so-clean-clean trailer. Step back and admire your amazing handiwork. Look for PLSSO to share this moment with you, but he’s already retreated to the garage and cracked a beer.

Step 18: Order his favorite Chinese food. Thank him about a thousand times for all the help. Continue interjecting thoughts about new trailers… next summer perhaps? He nods and says “Yes. And let’s get a NEW one. A nice new one. I am never ever doing any of this shit again for a long long long time.”

And with those words, you have WON THE DAY! Enjoy your victory! Even if you got a hell of a blister on your thumb and there were no Bandaids left because PLSSO used them all.

*corgi not required, but strongly suggested for levity.


48 hours

48 hours.

That was all it took.

On Thursday, Henry’s face looked like this:


I gave him Friday off, and showed up Saturday morning to this:


It seems like every summer he tries a fun new thing. There was the time all the hair fell off his chest. Then the next summer was a bald spot on his shoulder. Which was the same summer he rubbed the top of his tail out. Oh and let’s not forget the randomly really swollen sheath that one time where I was like omg he’s never going to be able to pee again.

At least he’s consistently inconsistent in his delicate flower-ness? I have come to expect by now that every summer we’re going to have some kind of hair loss and/or skin disaster and/or allergy blowup. I just never really know where or when it will express itself.

But I’ve managed to halt any further progression (and it even looked a bit better this morning) with our favorite fungus products combined with 24/hr fly mask coverage and upping his allergy supplement. Let me tell you how thrilled he is about all THAT. He is so very itchy right now in general, just like every summer. I get that, but I would really appreciate it if he’d at least keep all of his hair where it’s supposed to be. Like… even coverage, at least. No bald spots. Especially not on his face. This mug is so not Instagram worthy right now.

Fairly certain he’s mad at me for riding him at 6am every day and this is his form of payback. Okay, maybe not.

And what was I doing in the 48 hours while he was trying to remove as much hair from his face as possible? Oh ya know… just dropping $$$ and spending hours upon hours (with literal blood, sweat, and near-homicide) to do some upgrades on his wheels. You’re welcome, Henny! But that’s a whine for another day.


New Pretties (The Eagle has landed)

Yep, the saddle came yesterday!

I’m headed out this morning to try it on Henry and take it for a spin. Fingers crossed we both like it because it’s pretty and I don’t want to give it back. I also forgot how crazy lightweight these saddles are, I was holding it with two fingers.

Last week also brought a couple of other fun new things to my doorstep, namely:

Henry’s Eponia Outlaw bridle. So far I really like it, there are a couple of super smart design features and it looks good on him. It was a bit stiff out of the bag but took conditioner amazingly well (like for real, it was soaking up Belvoir through the backside of the leather like nobody’s business) and has softened up a ton already. I was hesitant to add sparkles to his head but the black and gray are quite subtle. So manly for Henny (who is basically a mare, ironically).

I also nabbed a pair of these bad boys when Millbrook caught me in a weak moment on Instagram and ruthlessly exploited my love for navy (ok maybe that’s not exactly how it went down).  Have to admit, I think they look good, and hopefully this will keep my spurs from denting or rubbing the Tucci’s, because I found a dent on them a couple weeks ago under my spur and was sad.

A couple more Lund things hit my mailbox yesterday too that I can’t wait to test out and share with you guys. I’ve gotten to oil/condition new leather 3 times in the past week, and that’s one of my favorite things in the world to do. These are fun times that we live in, people.


And if you haven’t checked out the 4th of July Sales post yet, get on it! I’ve seen a couple of really good deals, including those bright-ass TuffRider breeches for $20 (if you’re into that kind of thing). Buy yourself something nice, because ‘Merica.