Ego 7 boots: First Impressions 

Ask and ye shall receive! A full review on these will have to wait a little while, but since several of you wanted to know, here are my first impressions.

I specifically wanted new brown boots for schooling, and wanted to stay under $400. Since Karen’s Ariat’s fell apart in a year, and the Mountain Horse don’t come tall enough unless you also have a slim calf, that nixed both of those. I liked my Mondoni’s a lot, but wanted something a little bit higher quality and darker brown this time around. When I saw that Ego 7 was coming out with chocolate brown, they immediately shot to the front of the line. I first saw Ego 7 a few years ago at AETA and quite liked them. Makes sense, since they’re designed by Franco Tucci, and I love my Tucci’s.

The first obvious difference between these and the Tucci’s is of course the price. The Tucci’s are closer to the 1k mark, whereas the Ego 7’s run more like $500 USD. Which, yes, if I had bought them in the US that would have put them out of my budget. But in Europe they run about 299 Euro, which is around $350 USD. Thus why one of my biggest missions for Europe was finding these boots. Granted, you don’t have to actually fly all the way to Europe just to buy them from Europe… there are plenty of online shops that will ship here and you’ll still come out ahead.

For the price I paid, I’m satisfied with the quality. Not blown away, but satisfied. They are not the fine Italian leather of the Tucci’s, but at the price that should be obvious. They still seem well made and I like the materials and design a lot. They have all the design features of the higher end boots: nice tall spanish top, close fit through the ankle, snaps at the top and at the bottom, a padded “tongue” inside the back of the ankle, and little tab at the top snap to thread the zipper pull through so that it doesn’t fall down. It’s not as innovative and awesome as the snap system on the Tucci’s, but it works. I also like the E-Tex material on the calf. It’s pretty grippy, and blends in perfectly to the pretty chocolate brown color of the leather. We’ll see how it wears over time. I do think that a more squared toe would really take them up a few notches in the style and class department.

I like the little spur rest design that these have, with 3 different “levels”. When I first saw that feature I was worried that it might end up kind of acting like a spur, but I think unless you really ride with a seriously clamped heel then that’s not going to happen. The little nubs are pretty small. I do ride with spurs most of the time, so this particular spur rest design definitely helps keep them in place with no sliding around.

Fit wise, I’m glad I was able to try them on first. The foot seems to run a bit big, IMO, and the calf runs SMALL. Like go up a size from whatever the size chart says you would be. Really I could have ended up in a bigger calf size than I did, but I was limited to what the store had with them, so I’ve made this work. It did require some stretching, and they’re still not quite there yet, but we’ve made a lot of progress. If anything, these first couple weeks has definitely been a testament to the hardiness of their zipper.

To me the instep seems to run a smidge high, I have some extra room there. The ankle is very well tapered though, which gives these a nice slimming look. I also was able to get the regular height, and they’ve dropped to be pretty perfect.

Overall I’m happy with them so far. For a schooling boot, or even a low budget show boot, I think they’re a good choice. I definitely like them more at the $350 I paid than the $500+ that I would have paid in the US.

Blog Hop: Equestrian Book Collection

Books are, without a doubt, one of my favorite things on the planet. E-books or real books, I’m not a snob either way, as long as it’s a book. I’ve talked about my intense love affair with Thriftbooks on this blog before, and it’s the biggest reason why I have so many equestrian books. Hard to resist loading up the cart when they’re like $3. I’ve seen enough bloggers posting book reviews to know that I’m definitely not the only one with a equestrian book collection, so let’s play I’ll-show-you-mine-if-you-show-me-yours!

Take One: Dammit Grem, get off the Wofford book!

For mine I’m gonna stick to all the non-fiction, because ain’t nobody got time for that otherwise. This isn’t everything (where the f did my Holsteiner Stamms, Sporthorse Conformation, 101 Gymnastics Exercises, Blessed are the Broodmares, GM, Geoff Teall on Riding Hunters, Jumpers and Equitation, and Frank Chapot’s conformation books go? Obviously I have another stash somewhere in the house…) but it’s a good chunk of the collection.

Take Two, much better

First are the miscellaneous group. Bloodlines, foals, young horse training, gymnastic exercises, and a grooming book. I love all of these books, but I would call World Class Grooming an essential for everyone who shows (so many pictures and instructions!), and Basic Training of the Young Horse an essential for anyone who rides babies. I mean, it’s a friggin’ KLIMKE book, essentially a bible for starting sporthorses under saddle… need I say more?

Then there’s the “I will have my own place someday” collection. It’s sad how long I’ve had most of those books, but never give up on the dream, right?

The dressage book collection is small, but it’s mostly de Kunffy. Pretty sure I’m missing one or two from this picture, even. I feel like he’s kinda the Gandhi of dressage, and I love his books almost as much as I love listening to him speak. There’s a lot of theory, and overall good horsemanship is the central theme. But of all the books in this picture, The Ethics and Passions of Dressage is the one I’d say is an absolute must have for any rider – dressage or not.

And last but not least, the largest chunk of my collection: eventing books. Several of these are old, published in the 80’s or 90’s, which makes the pictures really interesting. Eventing sure don’t look like it used to. They’re all interesting in their own way though, and I’ve gotten at least a little tidbit of knowledge from every one of them. Granted, I haven’t read much of Life in the Galloping Lane yet, because I have a little bit of a hard time with KOC. That aside, it still seems interesting… some day I’ll actually read the whole thing. My favorite of all these is probably the P Dutty book, there are lots of exercises and how-to’s with good pictures.

Let’s see your collections! Or you can just tell me your favorites… that works too…

**It’s possible that the writing of this post spurred another Thriftbooks hunt, which resulted in adding The de Nemethy Method and Breaking and Training Young Horses to the collection. Sorrynotsorry.

Henry’s Grand Conspiracy

This horse, y’all. He is in So. Much. Trouble.


First of all, I swear he smiled awfully damn smugly when Hurricane Harvey turned toward Houston. It cancelled our grand plan of Henry going down and spending a week with Trainer while I was in Europe… something that would have been really helpful for everyone. But no, instead he spent several days before I left, and the entire time I was gone, standing in his stall getting fatter. Two weeks off total. Well played, Henry. I don’t know how you conjured a hurricane, but it sure did have your signature.

Then I got home from Europe, hacked him once, and showed up the next day to find his big ol’ “I ATE A BEE” elephantitis head. Again, he seemed awfully damn smug as I put all my tack away and wrote a check to the vet instead. Three more days off.


On Monday the swelling was finally pretty much gone, so I tossed all my jump tack on and went out in the field. A 20 minute hack went off without a hitch, so I popped him over a few little jumps. A grand total of 5 fences in and he tripped and came up missing a shoe. And of course, farrier couldn’t make it out until sometime today, and let me tell you who cannot be ridden without a shoe because omg his footie. Two more days off.

I can’t even make this shit up. WTF horse.

He doesn’t even have the decency to pretend he’s sorry

This would be much less annoying if we didn’t have a show this weekend. Our first recognized in over a year, and our first recognized Training. Henry appears to be doing his best to get to the show without having been properly ridden in 3 weeks. The good news is that I’ve given up in advance on actually doing well, and now the focus has shifted to just finishing in one piece. Nice dressage? HA. Clear stadium? LOL. Let’s just focus on not dying, how bout that?

so everyone knows what times to start praying


Trainer is bringing a rosary and some holy water, so maybe it’ll be fine?

Epic European Adventure: By the Numbers

It’s officially the last post about our trip, so don’t worry, you’re at the end. There was A LOT that happened that I never did end up covering in the blog posts (mostly because the mobile version of WordPress SUCKS) so I figured I could hit some of the high points here.


4: countries visited – France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.

174: kilometers per hour, our top speed on a German highway in our rented Peugeot (which was basically just a hopped up lawnmower), or about 106mph according to Google. It was exhilarating in that super terrifying “omg is the Peugeot actually airborne right now?” kind of way.

2200: kilometers traveled by car, or a bit over 1,200 miles.

8600: miles traveled by air

1: how many times we got the middle finger amid all those miles. It was from a Frenchman that drove like a douche canoe, everyone act surprised.


5: how many times we drove back and forth trying to find Emerald’s barn, since neither GPS knew whereTF it was and there was no sign or street number. You have to be an expert stalker to find that place (don’t worry, Michelle is, she whipped out the satellite view and started looking for arenas).

2: how many times we heard a very techno version of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” playing over the loudspeakers at Bucha. There was a lot of techno. And not at all censored rap. Kind of confusing.

2000: how many cows some Russian guy tried to sell us at the wine bar after he learned we were from Texas (I’m not joking or exaggerating on this one). The best part was that he only spoke Russian and a little bit of German, and I only speak English and a little bit of German, so it included a lot of pantomiming. Use your imagination.

1: hours it took for me to find, try on, and purchase my coveted brown Ego7’s at the trade fair on day one of Bucha. Look people, I don’t mess around.

2: how many Canadians literally thought I worked for a particular vendor because I really liked some reins and they happened to walk up when I was explaining to Michelle why they were so great. This is not the first time this has happened to me.

20%: how much of the German that I actually understood from the Italian guy in line behind us at Aldi. He was undeterred by my vacant nodding and just kept chattering away.

3: schnitzels consumed during our 3.5 days in Germany. By me anyway. Michelle accounts for another 3, so I guess make it 6.

2: number of Kinder Bueno’s purchased and consumed on road trips

6: number of times we said we should have bought more Kinder Bueno’s

9,983,837: number of roundabouts we went through along our 2200km journey (ok maybe this number is perhaps just slightly dramatized)

4: how many stop signs we saw during the ENTIRE trip. I’m not kidding, those people love their roundabouts and yields.

7: times that people grimaced when we said we were from Texas, and also the number of times we had to explain how far Austin and Midland are from Houston, thus why Hurricane Harvey didn’t really effect either of us.

1: how many horses we saw at Bucha that could have literally walked right into the hunter derby ring and won. It finished last in the eventing, obviously it needs a new career. Takers?

6: how many days in a row that I ate french fries and it was a totally valid life choice, stop judging me.

2: how many of my gears are still grinding. One over how amazing (and so important) their pony jumper riders and classes are, and why we can’t replicate that system here. One over the almost saddlebred tendencies of a couple of the young dressage horses, and why in the world we’re rewarding that in dressage.

Horse is a Hot Mess

I’ve been back from Europe for almost a week now. The original plan for Henry was to go to Trainer’s while I was gone, but of course Hurricane Harvey ruined that idea. Instead he got basically two full weeks off, which he didn’t seem to mind. When I got back he kind of looked at me like “Oh, it’s you… got any cookies?”.

Henry seemed to do just fine with the down time, other than the fact that he’s a bit fatter (omg horse, stahp, I can’t feed you much less) and it seems he was quite itchy while I was gone. I dunno what it’s been about this summer, but he’s been Mr Walking Allergy since May. The only thing that’s been able to keep him from rubbing all his hair out is my magic spray, which ran out while I was gone. Thus, I came home to this:


His face looked almost as bad, it’s just not quite so noticeable since it’s more spotty.

The very first thing he got on Wednesday (after a nice hack) was a very thorough bath, after which I covered his body in every elixir I could find to make him stop itching until my new bottle of magic spray arrived.

Then on Saturday I pulled him out of his stall to find this:

WTF with the elephant head, Henry? I took his temp, checked his respiratory rate, etc. All totally normal. He was acting normal, had eaten breakfast just like normal. Nothing about his routine had changed. He has a bit of a history with random swelling (last summer it was the sheath) so my first thought was some kind of allergic reaction. I texted pics and his vitals to the vet, who said he didn’t think it was an emergency but he wanted to come examine him just to make sure there wasn’t something bad brewing. In the meantime Henry got a little bit of banamine, and we settled in to wait for the vet.

And by “settled in”, I mean someone got a makeover. Fall season officially starts this weekend so it was time to make him look less feral. We started with dying his tail, and then I body clipped him. Yeah, it’s early for a first clip, and not much hair came off, but every little bit seems to help keep his fat ass cool, so I’ve just given in to the fact that I’m going to end up clipping him every 2-3 months by default.

The vet showed up, examined him, checked all his vitals again (still pretty much the same as when I checked them), felt around the edema, and then took a long look in his mouth. He had some irritation to his soft palate, and a kind of suspicious looking little red spot. The vet stood there going hmmm, and then looked at me and said “Honestly, it looks just like a bee sting, but…. inside his mouth…”. Who knows for sure, but if any horse could manage to eat a bee, it’d probably be Henry. He got some dex, the vet left me with a couple more days worth, and said if it’s not better by then to let him know.

Sunday morning it wasn’t much different, size wise, but the edema was definitely softer. On Saturday the pitting had been like memory foam… if you pushed your thumb into it, it took a while to spring back. On Sunday there was no pitting if you pressed it.

I texted the updated pics (and vitals – all still normal) to the vet and got the okay to at least take him on a long walk under saddle to stretch his legs. Someone is going stir crazy. He spent half of our walk jigging sideways and snorting, so I’m going to guess he feels just fine despite the elephantitis throat.

Afterwards I gave him another dose of dex and decided to ice the area. May not help, but it can’t hurt, right? Henry was pissed.

Two peas in a pod
tell me how you really feel

It looked a bit better last night, so I’m hoping by this afternoon it’s made some significant progress. I’m sure Henry thinks this is a swell way (ha, pun) to prolong his vacation, but it’d be cool if I could actually get some real rides in. Details…

Epic European Adventure Part 7: Living Legends

It’s possible that I strongly considered just staying in Germany and becoming an illegal immigrant. I really felt at home there. The country is absolutely beautiful, the people were so welcoming, the food was awesome, and honestly there just wasn’t anything about it that I didn’t love. Despite the busy schedule, our time there was the most relaxing, most enjoyable, and most peaceful. I could have stayed for a lot longer in that little farmhouse in the middle of nowhere.

Backroads and rainbows in rural Germany

Alas, by the time Monday morning rolled around, it was time to start making our way back to Brussels toward the airport. We weren’t quite done with Fabulous Horse Stuff In Germany yet though, because thanks to a few pulled strings we were able to get an appointment at Schockemohle to see their stallions. The name might not mean much to non breeding geeks, but you may have heard of a few of the stallions they have… Sandro Hit, Balou du Rouet, Kannan, Diarado… just to name a few. Some of the best, most successful stallions in the world for both dressage and showjumping.

Michelle grabbing a coffee in the reception area at the barn entrance
part of the stallion barn, featuring several treadmills

We got up early to make the drive north from Ostbevern to Muhlen, pulling into the stables around 9:15. One of the people in the breeding office (I wish I had taken more pictures of this farm, it was insane) took us around through the stallion barn, letting us get an up close and personal look at all of the stallions we were interested in. Yeah, I stood there patting Sandro freaking Hit on a run of the mill Monday morning. Surreal.

What up, Sandro Hit?
24 years old and still looking pretty good (albeit bored)

We made our way around and saw pretty much all the stallions that were at the farm at the time. Our main objective for the visit was to see Diarado (Michelle has 2 mares in foal to him) and Balou, both of whom were there. It’s funny… Diarado and Sandro Hit are probably two of the best producers in the world, but they’re also some of the most unassuming looking stallions we saw the whole time. Sandro Hit is very refined, to the point where he looks like a thoroughbred. There’s nothing about him outwardly that would indicate what a renowned sire he’s been, and his temperament is a bit “special”.

Diarado is absolutely beautiful, really one of the most perfectly put together horses I’ve seen, but smaller and more compact and more refined, not the big stereotypical “look at me” warmblood stallion presence that you often see. He almost had a bit of a pony-esque look to him.

Foodz for Diarado?
I don’t think this lady has foodz, only craziez…

He seemed pretty bored with us in general. His son Diatendro was in the stall next to him and I swear was a least a hand bigger and a lot wider. Goes to show that you can’t always judge a book (or a stallion) by it’s cover, because of all of the horses we saw go at Bucha all week, the Diarado offspring stood out to me head and shoulders above the rest. They varied a bit in size and type (although none were as small as he is) but they were all beautiful and they could all JUMP and they all seemed very sensible and rideable. He’s a fantastic and very consistent producer. I liked Diarado before, but I came home as a Diarado SUPERFAN.

Casallco wanted just a little nibble
Balou du Rouet – didn’t like him as much as I was expecting

After we were done meeting everyone at Schockemohle we were back in the car en route to Belgium. But instead of heading straight to Brussels to tuck into the hotel for our last night, we made a small detour by Euro Horse. What is Euro Horse? Oh ya know, just the home of Olympic stallion Emerald.

You guys know Presto’s BFF Liam, sired by Emerald, because you’ve seen him so much on this blog. Michelle is a huge Emerald fangirl (and rightfully so, really, the horse is incredible) and I thought for sure she might hyperventilate before we got there. His owners were SO incredibly nice and welcoming, and had one of the grooms pull Emerald out of his stall for us so we could give him some scratches and get a closer look at him.

Michelle falling hopelessly in love
Emerald strongly considering a wee love bite

If you want a horse with presence, Emerald has it in spades. He knows he’s handsome, and he knows he’s special. He’s big, he’s eyecatching, he walks with a swagger, and is just so captivating to look at. He’s also very cheeky, oozing character, and always waiting for the opportune moment to try to sneak in a little “love bite”. He stood outside behind the barn while we took pictures and talked about him, clearly enjoying being the center of attention. That is a pretty special horse right there. It’s also incredible just how similar he and Liam are.


Funnily enough, Emerald and Diarado are by the same sire, yet just about as polar opposite in type as two horses can be. Mare lines shining through, y’all.

After I peeled Michelle off of Emerald, we got back in the car and headed to Brussels. Even thought the horse part of our trip was now over, we still had one more night to be tourists, and we were gonna do it up proper. Our hotel room was literally IN the Grand Place, with our window opening out into it. You really can’t beat an iconic view like that. Once we’d gotten settled in and did some social media updates (thank you, glorious wifi) we went down the street to a restaurant to do some people watching while we had some drinks, frites, and a sausage and cheese plate. People-watching at the Grand Place is pretty great. Never seen so many selfies happening all at once in my life.

The view from our window

Once we were properly fed we wandered around the area a bit, taking in some sights and hitting up some of the super touristy yet still really amazing shops. Mostly chocolate ones, because when in Brussels. We grabbed a waffle with nutella to eat as we strolled, bought some souvenirs, and then finally called it a night. Unfortunately we had to be up early to get to the airport.


It was a quick trip, yet we managed to cram a whole lot of stuff in. We met so many great people, saw an endless supply of fantastic horses, got some serious education, and even had the opportunity to pat a few living legends. Not bad for a week. Yet even though we did so much, it feels like there was still a whole lot left to do and see. Until we meet again, Europe. ❤

Epic European Adventure Part 6: And the winners are…

Woooo Sunday, the final day of Bucha, and the day where the champions would finally be crowned! We did some last minute shopping in the trade fair in the morning, then watched the jumpers for a little bit before heading over to the XC field. When we were looking at the course the first thing I said was “Americans would probably shit themselves over jumping this stuff on 5yos”. What say you, Americans, arst thou shitting?

table to corner line
skinny brush to angled brush to water

A couple of horses had some issues, and there were some green moments, but otherwise the majority skipped through it like it was a walk (gallop?) in the park.

Once again I was looking forward to seeing how my 3 favorites went on XC. Seeing them in stadium gave us a good idea of their basic talent, but we all know that XC is a whole different ballgame. We sat/stood on a bank complex off toward one side of the grounds, which gave us a pretty decent view of most of the fences. The first one to go out of my 3 favorites was the Diarado mare, Deike 22. She was such a nice eventer type, with a great effortless gallop and plenty of jump. Really, really lovely horse that certainly looked like an upper level eventer.

A little while later, it was the Mighty Magic’s turn. He zipped right around like it ain’t no thang, easily handling all the harder questions. Never waivered from his line, never sucked back, never missed a beat. He was clever, he was brave, he was athletic, and he was forward thinking. Loved him even more on XC. Which is a good thing I guess… would have been a bummer to hate the horse by the same sire as Presto. Luckily the MM genetics held true. After they announced his XC score (8.7) his rider cheered and hugged him and looked like she was about to burst into tears. She very clearly adored him.

Finally Gentleman, the Grey Top stallion, was towards the end of the order. Clearly the spectators had already heard the buzz, because by the time he started there were people stacked up everywhere to watch him go. The crowds here are clearly very educated.

His round was pretty great (I mean… I would expect that from a horse who has been piloted by Olympian Sandra Auffarth for his entire career) and his score of 9.5 secured his overall win.

We hung out to watch the awards presentation and victory gallop, which was all very amusing in itself. The Diarado (who ended up 3rd) stood there grazing throughout the whole awards ceremony, while the Mighty Magic (who ended up 4th) just looked bored AF. Meanwhile the one with the TB sire was spinning like a top (clearly pumped to have ended up 2nd).

Mighty Carerra

After the 5yo eventers were done, we headed back up to the showjumping ring to watch the end of the 5yo jumpers and then the 6yo 2* class. The winner of the 5yo’s was Diaron 2, another one sired by Diarado, out of a Come On mare. Super super nice horse.

By this point of the weekend we were pretty much professional bleacher sitters, and we manged to snag ourselves a spot on the shorter bleachers, on the top row. That way we had the back railing to lean on, which was pretty damn amazing after hours and hours of regular bleachers. It’s the little things, ya know?

After the first round we finally threw in the towel, took one last slow stroll through the vendors, and made the long walk back to the car. Our 2017 Bundeschampionate was over.

and look who we caught up with on the road

But we weren’t quite done with Germany yet, and still had some pretty freaking awesome plans for the next day. First though, one last stop at our favorite restaurant Dreibruckenhof for an epic Spezial Balkan Platte.

This thing said it was for two people. Michelle and I did a pretty impressive amount of damage, but there is no way two normal people could eat all of that. Steaks, sausage, schnitzel, fries, vegetables, rice… all so good. Way too much damn food, but it was really fun trying to eat it all. Love you forever, Germany. ❤

Epic European Adventure Part 5: Zombies 

Not gonna lie, after all the wine on Friday night at the party, Saturday morning was ROUGH. Luckily there wasn’t anything happening super early at Bundeschampionat that we felt like we absolutely had to see, because both of us were zombies. Zombies with varying degrees of headache that had major caffeine requirements and were definitely over-sensitive to the bright morning sun. Four hours of sleep after a lot of wine did not cut it for me.

But when things like this are waiting for you, you soldier on

We missed the eventing horses’ dressage, but caught the tail end of the eventing pony dressage and basically stayed parked by the ring for a while to watch the eventers’ showjumping. Neither one of us wanted to move that much anyway.

F’real tho, hubba hubba

By midday a little bit of frozen yogurt with strawberries had perked us up a bit, as did intense stalking of the 5yo by Mighty Magic. By this point I’m basically a professional MM offspring stalker, so one of my biggest objectives for the show was to get eyes on him. Overall I had marked 3 horses in the program as “ones to watch” based on the pedigrees I liked – the MM, a Diarado, and a Grey Top.

Gentleman 251 (Grey Top x Fabriano) stallion
Mighty Carrera (Mighty Magic x Chequille) gelding
Does his face remind you of anyone we all know?
Deike 22 (Diarado x Alcatraz) mare

There were several quality horses in the 5yos, which was nice to see. All 3 of the ones I’d marked were definitely still my favorites once I saw them go, and – spoiler alert for tomorrow – my 3 were all in the top 4 by the end. I think the one that stood out to me most on Saturday though was the Mighty Magic (me, biased? Nooooo…). His rider made a big boo-boo at the first line and he proceeded to bail her out in pretty spectacular fashion, without even turning a hair. That’s a quality I definitely appreciate in a horse.


After watching the eventers showjump, we walked over to the big jumper ring to watch the 7yo 2* class. I wanted to see a particular stallion, Diacontinus, mostly because I find his pedigree very interesting for eventing (Diarado x Contendro x Argentinus) and for a jumper stallion he got pretty high dressage marks at his stallion testing. He was quite handsome and did not disappoint.

After the first round we were a bit bleary-eyed and we’d seen so many horses that they were starting to blur together, so we peeled our butts off the bleachers and plodded wearily to Aldi to grab some easy dinner to cook at the apartment. So cheap, and good food too. Can we talk about why food is so much better in Europe? Nevermind, that’s probably another rant.

We collapsed into bed pretty early that night, both out of sheer weariness and in anticipation of the next day: the last day of the finals, and the crowning of the 2017 champions!

Epic Europe Adventure Part 4: what had happened was…

So, I didn’t intend to leave you guys hanging on Friday. It was working out pretty well to where I’d get back to our accommodations in the evening, I’d put up a blog post, and the time difference would make things line up just fine.

My first german meal was a proper one: Paprikaschnitzel mit pommes
Our Air bnb in Germany

Until Friday.

What happened Friday? Well, it was the first day that we were at Bundeschampionate, for one. And we met up with Gerd, the breeder of one of Michelle’s mares, who had a horse competing there in the dressage. Like pretty much everyone else we met along the way, we were fast friends, and he quickly took us under his German wing. Mostly at the wine bar. Germans plus alcohol… can you see where this is going?

Gerd’s dressage horse. I’m told he jumps, too!

For most of the day we were on our own while Gerd was with his horse, so we spent a long time hitting up the trade fair (omg, it seriously rivaled Rolex)

Tiniest parlantis ever

then watched a little bit of everything – jumper ponies, jumper horses, XC, and dressage – and got ourselves oriented to the facility. There were A LOT of rings and a lot going on.

5yo pony, I think this was the eventual winner
5yo jumpers
More 5yo’s
6yo eventer
I have a lot of opinions about the 3yo dressage stallions we watched, but I don’t think any of us have the time or energy for THAT particular rant right now.

At the end of the day we rendezvoused with Gerd again, expecting a quick little chat in the ringside tent over a glass of wine. Ah, that’s cute. Somehow it morphed into a 6 hour wine bar extravaganza where we made a whole lot of brand new German BFF’s and somehow ended up at the rider’s party, which was complete with some serious lights and dance music. Oh, and currywurst, which is super good at midnight with some pommes. The things you learn at BuCha.

What. Is. Happening.

Long story short, this is why no blog post on Friday, since we ended up being at BuCha for like… 16 hours total. The next morning was painful too, so I just didn’t have it in me. We learned really quickly that we cannot keep up with the Germans.

But hey, how often do you get to hang out with a bunch of REALLY good breeders (and riders), IN Warendorf, AT Bundeschampionat, drinking wine and attempting to speak some really broken German? The lost sleep was totally worth it.

Oh, and what did I get at the trade fair? 

Exactly what I was looking for! Henry got some fancy leather bell boots, too… he’ll model them soon.