TAAHH Blog Hop: Your First Horse

I simply cannot resist TAAHH’s blog hop asking us to showcase our first horses!


I was a certified barn rat when I was a kid, spending as much time as possible at the barn, working off lessons, grooming at shows, and sitting on as many horses as my trainer would allow me to toss a leg over. Old, young, crazy, quiet… whatever. If it had 4 hooves and a tail, I was happy. In those days I rode at an A show hunter/jumper barn, and as the years went on it seemed like all of my peers got their own horses. I had a couple lease horses for a while, but mostly I just rode whatever sale horses we had in the barn at the moment. I fell in love with one in particular, and when he was sold to another girl in the barn I was pretty devastated. Enter Charlie.


Although that wasn’t his name to start with. This tall, scrawny, neurotic TB had come from one of the horse trader guys that my trainer got a lot of his sale horses from. Who the heck knows what the horse’s backstory was, or how he ended up with a horse trader. He was bodyclipped (really badly) when he arrived but he came with no name, so he was called T-4. The horse trader’s name started with a T, and whichever ones came without names usually got a number added on to the end. Except my trainer forgot that we’d already had a T-4, so really Charlie was T-4-II. Instead my trainer started referring to him as “the brown horse” which I morphed into Charlie Brown… thus Charlie. I started riding him right off the bat, and he proved to be quite the interesting horse. He was older, probably early to mid-teens, yet he acted like a horse that hadn’t been off the track for long. He weaved, he roared, he rushed the jumps, he ran off with me at least once per ride, and sometimes for funsies he’d go flying backwards when you put your foot in the stirrup to mount. He was quirky as hell.


But the horse could also jump, and he loved the job. Granted, getting him stopped at the end of the course usually required running him into something, but he would jump anything from anywhere and never touch a rail. This barn rat was smitten. The best part? Nobody else really wanted to ride him. I had him all to myself.

Eventually the pressure ramped up for us to either buy him or he was going to be shown to prospective buyers, and my parents agreed. He may have had more than a few screws loose, but he was mine, and that’s what really mattered to 16 year old me.


My trainer made me show him in the hunters and eq a few times (I can only assume this was for his own entertainment, because lord have mercy) before we switched over to the jumper ring. I preferred the jumpers anyway, so I was super happy with that, and Charlie brought home more than his fair share of tricolors.

After high school I moved to Maryland to be a working student, and Charlie came with me. I’m pretty sure he weaved for all 1500 of those miles on the Equine Express semi, because he unloaded looking absolutely skeletal and more than half-crazed. But he settled into pasture life in Maryland pretty well, and together we started learning the ropes of eventing. We went to Full Moon, and Jenny Camp, and Elysian Hills, starting at BN and then moving to N. I only had a jump saddle and all of my hunter show clothes, so we stuck out like a sore thumb, but we did it. Eventually we moved back home and tackled our first Training, where I literally fell off at jump #3 (a big table that he for some reason decided to bank, throwing me over his shoulder). In those days Training riders could get back on after a fall, so once someone caught my horse for me, I got back on and we finished the course. It was only when I got off afterward that I realized he’d stepped on me and I had cracked a couple of ribs.


Our dressage was always borderline hideous, and he legit had THE BOUNCIEST TROT of any horse I’ve ever encountered in my life, but that horse was nothing if not tryer. He taught me how to be brave, humble, patient, and persistent, but most of all he taught me what it was really like to love and appreciate a horse. He might not have looked like much to an outside observer, but he meant the world to me.


Over the years he mellowed a lot and seemed more settled with his life. Eventually Charlie went to the retirement farm when his hocks could no longer hold up to the job, and he got to live out his days with his best TB friend, eating all the grass he could possibly desire. One day he was found dead out in the field, likely of a heart attack or aneurysm, and seemed to have passed quickly and peacefully. He was buried beneath his favorite tree.

I always wonder where Charlie came from, what his story was, and what happened to him along the way, but mostly I’m just glad that he found me. Nothing would have been the same without that crazy old nut of a horse.

I am so good at riding 

Yep, it’s true. Because riding is so easy, and clearly I have mastered it.

For those who would like to see that picture a little bit bigger:

That’s the fat green ass of talent, right there, y’all.

Or really that’s what happens when you pick all the way to the base and lean up the neck and your saintly horse is like “omg for real stop it”. Somehow I didn’t fall off, I think only because Henry decided to wheel around left instead of right. I still ended up sitting on my right stirrup somehow. It was graceful.

So, uh… as you can see, we had a jump lesson this weekend. And despite that truly brilliant moment, it was actually a good lesson.

sometimes I am semi-competent

I’m still working on getting (and keeping) that good uphill canter all the way to the base, which I’m fairly certain is something I will be working on forever and ever and ever. With Henry it really requires riding every single step, working on getting the hind end to take a slightly longer step than the front, and thinking about slight haunches-in around every turn to always keep the inside hind under him. It’s hard. It’s exhausting. It requires every brain cell I have. It was a lot easier to just lope around smaller fences on the forehand. But every once in a while we get it right and it’s like OOOOHHHH THERE IT IS.


And then, ya know… it’s usually gone again by the next jump. Baby steps.

Trainer put the jumps up a bit bigger for this lesson, since it’s our last jump lesson before Texas Rose in a couple weeks. We jumped a bit over Training height, which is what I always need. Gotta get to the show and think the jumps look small. I’m glad that these days Training does always look small, and Prelim doesn’t look particularly huge either, which is good for my confidence. I make less stupid mistakes when I’m confident.

I said LESS.  Let’s be realistic here.


Sometimes the horse just plain jumps me out of the tack


I’m really happy with some of the lesson video, and not at all happy with other parts of the video. I still see a whole lot to work on, and I’m kind of hit or miss with my efforts at this point. But I guess that’s to be expected when you make changes… there’s a strugglebus of a learning curve. Sometimes you’re inside the bus, sometimes you’re underneath it.


I’m looking forward to capping off our season (as paltry as it may have been) at Texas Rose, then spending a few months trying to keep polishing everything up. This year was about moving up and not killing myself in the process, and it required a lot of “next level” finesse and work when it comes to my riding. Next year I’d like to… ya know… be at least a little competitive at the recognized shows.

Or at least not almost go flying over my horse’s head. That’d work too.


Small Business Spotlight + GIVEAWAY: Two Socks Designs

Man, it’s been a while since I did a Small Business Spotlight. Why I haven’t done this particular company before, I have no idea, because I’ve been getting stuff from them since 2014. For shame. But I’m here to correct my oversight now, and just in time for the madness that is the holiday season!

Two Socks Designs Logo

Two Socks Designs is a semi-local company to me that basically does just about anything and everything custom and/or cute. Shirts, saddle pads, hats, patches, any kind of embroidery, banners, decals… you name it, they do it. I first came across them at a small horse show, where I bought my ever popular (and still 100% accurate) “World’s Okayest Rider” shirt.

Image result for "world's okayest rider"

The following year, Two Socks did the awesome custom unicorn design (which they came up with!) on our team saddle pads for AEC’s, coordinating the unicorns to our individual colors. This year Two Socks made all the banners and polo shirts for the Willow Tree sBs inspection. Everything I’ve ever seen that has come from them has been fabulous, and very well done.



So, without further ado, let’s get to know a little bit more about Two Socks, in their own words!

When did you start Two Socks Designs and where did the idea for the business come from?

I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so I knew for a long time that I always wanted to have my own business as I was pretty miserable in the corporate world working for other people.  By chance, back in 2011, I happened to wash my half chaps (who washes half chaps?!) with all of my saddle pads, which naturally turned them all blue.  I ordered new ones, took them to a chain embroidery place to be monogrammed, and was shocked that they charged me like 25 bucks to embroider a name.  There were so few font options and colors to choose from and was all just so…boring.  And just not “me”.  It was right then that I decided that the world needed fun saddle pads and I was going to make that happen.  I had no idea how to sew, or what an embroidery machine even looked like, but before I knew it, Two Socks Designs came to be.


How many employees do you have?

Up until earlier this year, it has been only me, with my husband making the occasional trip to the Post Office.  Artwork creation, social media, email correspondence, order fulfillment, shipping/receiving, accounting and maintenance are some of the many jobs you learn to balance as a small, one-person business owner.  I am fortunate in that my business has steadily grown over the years, so when my mom retired earlier this year, my parents made the decision to relocate from Oklahoma to San Antonio, TX, and now my mom helps me with getting orders cleaned up and ready to ship.  She is still very leery of running the machines, though.

What is your background in horses?

I started riding hunter/jumpers back in Oklahoma in the late 90s, and like the rest of us crazy equestrians, it’s been pretty much where all of my money goes ever since!  I just began leasing Metro, a giant 18.1 hh TB, that I plan on competing in TIP/Take 2 classes next year, and I also have my long-time partner, Casino (for whom Two Socks Designs is named) that is being leased out to a lovely dressage rider.  Most of your readers know Michelle from Willow Tree Warmbloods by now; I also have one of Michelle’s 2015 babies, Jag “Carrera R”, that will be started under saddle next year.  He has two adopted pony friends, Spradley and Turbo, that keep him company.  Wow, that sounds like a whole lot of horses when I put it on paper…Have I mentioned that my husband is a really nice and understanding person?

my newest and most favorite sticker

Any interesting notes on your business or products that you would like people to know?

Although Two Socks Designs is best known for embroidery, I also offer screen printing and vinyl decal and banner printing.  I don’t have any minimum order requirements on embroidery or printing, so if you just need one of something, I can help.

Also, If you are looking for a cool and unique equestrian-themed gift this year, please take a look at the Two Socks Etsy Shop, www.etsy.com/shop/twosocksdesigns.  More items will be added to the shop in the very near future and everything in the shop can be customized.

Finally, to see more of what I do, please visit my website, www.twosocksdesigns.com, or check Two Socks out on social media, www.facebook.com/twosocksdesigns or on Instagram, @twosocksdesigns.

P.S. – A huge thanks to Amanda for the chance to tell her blog readers about what I love to do.   Reading your blog is always an enjoyable part of my day and I’m always waiting to hear what will happen next in the Henny and Presto sagas!

Now to the extra fun part – the giveaway! Like the above saddle pad? You could win it!

There are 3 different ways to enter, feel free to just choose one or stack the odds in your favor and do all 3.

1) like Two Socks Designs on facebook

2) follow Two Socks Designs on Instagram

3) leave a blog post comment here and tell us what your favorite Two Socks Designs product is (I highly recommend perusing the Etsy store on the gallery on their website!).


The giveaway will stay open for one week, then I’ll announce the winner on 11/6. And if you want to place Christmas orders from Two Socks (which I highly recommend, their stuff makes for fantastic gifts), now is the time to start thinking about it! They can make just about any idea come to life, but they do get quite busy in the holiday season so it’s best to order early.

Sweating Bullets

Yesterday was lesson #2 of our new, buckled-down, every-other-week dressage lesson schedule. It might not seem like much to most people, but a dressage lesson every other week is by far the most we’ve had, like…ever. Usually it’s more like once every few months. Which is probably obvious to literally anyone that has ever watched us dressage.

he’s skeptical of us, too

Henry was not particularly enthused about me throwing him on the trailer mere minutes before dinner time, and he was even less enthused when we arrived and he saw where we were. He knows by now that nothing fun ever happens at the fancy place with the wall of mirrors. This week’s lesson started much the same as last week’s (because does anything that exciting ever happen in dressage? No.) and then quickly progressed to a lot of haunches-in work. My dressage trainer is a protege of Charles de Kunffy, thus is big into using particular exercises to “gymnasticize” or strengthen parts of the horse that might be weak. For Henry that’s his lower lumbar/SI area, and Dressage Trainer likes to use haunches-in work to help strengthen that area. Of course, Henry is weak there, so it’s hard work for him, especially to the right. It’s like bodybuilding for him (we won’t talk about how much my own abs and thighs hurt today).

We did haunches-in on a circle, then on the long sides, and eventually graduated to doing some baby half pass. I have toyed with the concept a few times with Henry before, but not much. This is the first time we’ve worked on it for real. The trot was a struggle at first but he finally “got it” a bit after a few tries. At the canter it was much easier (this is always the theme with Henry), with Dressage Trainer even saying he has some talent for the canter half pass. Granted, it was all very very very rudimentary attempts at half pass, with varying levels of success.

“This is a lot of bullshit.”

I have to say though, I’m ready for this supposed cold front to hit Texas already, because I had sweat flowing freely down my face and directly into my right eye by the end of the lesson. Not that my riding is any worse when I’m essentially blind. It’s just uncomfortable. And our one-handed lengthenings, as I’m trying desperately to clear the sweat from my eye, are not so good.

I also did a thing and entered the event that I swore up and down I wouldn’t, because their XC is on steroids. I’m just gonna jump everything with my eyes closed, I think. That should be fine. $20 and my eternal gratitude to anyone who goes out and burns this thing down before November 11.

Oh, and guess what came in the mail from Germany? Sadie’s official, newly re-issued, upgraded, COMPLETE papers/passport! She’s 100% legit now!

Many thanks to the folks at RPSI/Westfalen and The Jockey Club for helping me get everything sorted out, DNA uncovered, and pedigree fixed! Her papers being incomplete has been the source of much stress, anger, and disappointment over the last 10 years (yes TEN), so to finally have them look the way they should have all along really makes me happy.

Legs For Days

I’ve been asked a few times to share my post-XC leg care routine, but I’ve been kind of hesitant to do that. Mostly because every horse and every situation is different… a horse with previous issues might need more than a horse with none, a horse running Novice won’t need the same intense care as one running Intermediate, and you might be inclined to do a bit less if the ground is good instead of bad. So consider all of that stuff to be the disclaimer here. The aftercare for my thoroughbred with a little bit of wear and tear that is running Training is far from a one size fits all.


A lot of times here in Texas, the ground is hard. Ice becomes a necessity once you’re at T and above, IMO, although some people don’t start doing it until Prelim. My little horse has crooked front legs, so if he’s spending 5 minutes at 470mpm pounding on hard ground, I’d rather be overly cautious. I’ve had a few different kinds of ice boots, but the ones I’ve liked best for my horse are the supremely dorky, good old fashioned suspender style boots (we have these). He absolutely will not, under any circumstance nor threat of death, stand in a muck tub full of ice water. Will not. I’ve tried several times. It never ends well. Although these boots don’t include the foot, they’re the best I’ve found for actually getting the legs uniformly cold, and ice can go up over the knee. I just dump ice in them and leave Henry with his hay for a little while. Henry absolutely hates them because there’s no escape. Take that with a grain of salt, he hates everything.

such a happy face

For overnight, I like to put poultice under the wraps. Specifically SoreNoMore poultice, because nothing has ever worked as well for me as that stuff. Legs are always tight and beautiful the next day. Plus its easy – slather on some poultice, slap some wet paper on top (I broke down and bought the roll of “poultice paper” because it was just easier to tear off correctly sized sheets rather than deal with anything else, and I don’t regret it because I’m lazy), wrap, and you’re done.

The SNM poultice at work last week when Henry whacked himself in his stall #athletic

The last thing I do, if the ground was hard, is pack the feet with Magic Cushion. I’ve used it forever and it’s always done a great job at soothing sore feet. I just wet my hand (in theory I would use a glove, but I can never find one at the exact moment I need it), scoop out a small handful, spread it in the foot, grab a handful of smaller/dustier shavings to pat down on top of it, and done. I don’t put this in until after all the handwalking and stuff is done for the night. It stays in well if the horse is just standing in the stall, but not so much if you’re moving around a lot over different footing or terrain. You can always wrap the hoof to ensure it stays in, of course, but I’ve never felt the need when the horse is in a stall.

Image result for magic cushion hoof

I also think the boots you use are super super important, but that’s more of a pre- than a post- leg care. I don’t do neoprene at all, and XC boots must have shatterproof tendon/cannon guards. I love my Majyk Equipe boots for that – they’ve saved Henry from an overreach or contact injury on more than one occasion, and his legs don’t get hot. It makes our post-XC care much easier.


As far as the legs go, that’s really it. What do y’all do for post XC (or post horse show) leg care? Favorite products?


Day of Henny

Thanks to Olivia doing this little exercise, we learned that Frankie apparently naps for like 22 hours a day. I’m equal parts jealous of his life yet pretty sure he also has a sleep disorder. But how does Henry spend HIS day? Let’s find out…

8am: OMG BREAKFAST!!! If it’s above 40 (which is basically 11 months of the year in Texas) he was turned out all night. He’s always the first horse brought in for breakfast because as soon as he sees the barn worker’s truck he starts screaming non-stop, and if you’ve never had the privilege of hearing a Henny scream, it’s unnecessarily loud and high pitched. “Trumpeting” would be a good description, if trumpets sounded like Mariah Carey. No one wants to listen to that.

8:15am: He makes lots of terrible faces at the mare next door while she eats her grain, because SOMEONE’S fat butt is already finished. Then he paws his hay everywhere because he’s angry about… literally everything. So many feelings.

8:20am: He starts licking his salt block and passes into ZenHenny mode. He finishes his hay, which is now scattered from one end of the stall to the other. Then he demands to be taken back outside (as long as it’s not over 80 degrees).

9am: If it’s under 80, he goes back out. If it’s over 80, he gets his fans (yes plural) turned on and left inside. Hims is delicate. Hims cannot go outside when it’s hot. Hims melt.


10am: If he’s outside, he’s instigating a game of Bitey Face with the quarter horses across the fence. If he’s inside he’s peeing and then taking a nap in it, or begging every single person that passes by his stall for a cookie. It usually works.

12pm: If he’s inside, he gets more hay. If he’s outside but the day is getting too hot, he’s brought in and given hay. If the weather is nice, he stays out until dinner, mostly either grazing or pestering the other horses over the fence. Sometimes he likes to lay flat out and play dead during random odd times of the day just to make sure the barn workers are paying attention.


4pm: I always arrive right at dinner time (except for the serious heat of the summer, in which case I ride him at 6am), which basically ruins his whole day. I give him a handful or two of his dinner and chat with the barn workers while I groom and tack up. Usually there’s a “what did Henry eat today” story. Like… sunflower seeds, Doritos, Bugles, Goldfish crackers, cinnamon sugar cookies, french fries, bananas… it’s always something. Whatever snacks the workers have, he usually tries, because he’s the barn favorite and is S-P-O-I-L-E-D. Oddly enough he’ll eat all that crap yet he absolutely will not eat an apple under any circumstance. Henny logic.

Oatmeal cookies: duh

4:30-5:30pm: Ride. Alternate between pretending to not know what “go” means and pretending to not know what “whoa” means. Spook at the same round bale every day, both while headed out AND while headed in. That round bale is obvs a portal to hell. Or food. But portal to hell is more likely, let’s be real.

5:30pm: Post-ride rinse and graze, if it’s warm (usually), or curry if it’s cold. Get a few minutes of psoas stretches and back/butt massage while he pretends to be pissed (he secretly likes it but cannot ruin his street cred by admitting it), then liberal applications of fly spray and anti-fungal spray because HIMS DELICATE.

5:50pm: OMG DINNER!!! The mare next door has already been turned back out, so he makes ugly faces at the stall wall instead.

6:00pm: if it’s nice weather, he goes back outside with his hay. If it’s still hot he stays inside and eats his hay, and the barn worker comes back and turns him out once the sun goes down. If it’s super cold he stays inside with lots and lots of hay that he first spreads everywhere and then eats every tiny morsel of. It’s like a DIY scavenger hunt.

All night, when he’s in: Pee, then sleep in it. While not sleeping in pee, he grinds all the poop up so that it’s thoroughly mixed into the bedding. Everyone loves this.

All night, when he’s out: find some kind of prickly weed or ant mound, then sleep on it, inevitably causing something terrible to happen to his skin. Because he has the smarts, y’all.

Super Stalker Weekend

Alyssa recently told me that my horse stalking skills, especially when it comes to stallions or young horses, are really impressive. She asked me how in the world I remember all the different horses, bloodlines, what they’ve done, etc. The answer is pretty simple: I spend a ridiculous amount of time obsessively watching and looking. Also I have nothing else of particularly important use taking up space in my brain, so it’s totally possible for me to dedicate like 98% of my brain cells to the cause. Everyone’s gotta be good at something, right?

Image result for we're smart gif

The weekend of stalking really kicked off on Friday morning. Mundial du Lion (which hosts the world championships for 6 and 7yo event horses, with a CCI* and CCI** respectively) was live streaming from France, and there were a few horses in particular that I really wanted to watch in the dressage. One of course being a Mighty Magic in the 2*, who’s ride time just happened to fall in the middle of my morning commute. No big deal… I just pulled over to watch on my phone. Technology is amazing.

would not be sad if Presto is this nice when he’s 7

On Saturday I was volunteering at a horse trial, running dressage scores in the morning and XC jump judging in the afternoon. While running dressage scores is not my favorite job (why was it 90 degrees? why was my ring so far from the office? why was I so sweaty?) it did give me enough free time for one horse in particular to catch my eye in warmup. I finally got close enough to see his number, looked him up on the sheet, found his name, and looked him up. Ah, he’s a 6yo by Diarado out of a Sandro Hit mare. No wonder I liked him (Sadie is in foal to Diarado for 2018!). I made sure to come up and see his showjumping round and then of course I got to see him come through my fence on cross country. He won the Prelim.

looks so much like Diarado!

On Sunday morning I was up before to sun to watch the live stream of showjumping from Mondial du Lion. And when I say “watch” I mean with 3 windows open on my computer – the actual live stream, the order of go, and horsetelex – a European pedigree site. The order of go had the sire and the dam listed, but I want to see the whole pedigree and the blood percentage, and horsetelex is great for that. Sit there long enough, look at enough horses, and you start to see commonalities.

my idea of a good time at 6am on a Sunday

These championships have a fantastic record for producing future stars – fischerRocana, Horseware’s Hale Bob, fischerTakinou, Upsilon, Quimbo, Annie Clover, La Biosthetique Sam… I mean really, MANY of the best horses in the world competed at Mondial du Lion while they were up and comers. Oh, and someone we all know named Mighty Magic, who was 2nd his 6yo year and won his 7yo year. It’s fun to watch them all and try to pick out which ones will be the next Sam or Rocana.

Your new 7yo World Champion, Alertamalib’or, by 4* horse Summer Song out of a French Anglo Arab mare

Then last night I found myself clicking through the videos of the Goresbridge auction horses. Goresbridge is a big auction for young event horses in Ireland – lots of big ones have come through there, including Copper Beach and both the East and West Coast 2017 YEH 5yo Championship winners. It’s fun to click through for like half an hour, fantasizing about buying one, and then it’s less fun when you’re like “yeah this is never going to happen ever in my life”. I picked out my favorites though, so now it’s kind of a game to see how much they all end up selling for and to who.

I did pry myself away from the computer and volunteering long enough to ride my own naughty creature. On Sunday morning he waited to roll until I was literally parking my truck (I swear to god he made eye contact with me before he went down) and then after about 15 minutes decided he was done with letting me curry all the mud off.

There is so much sass in our relationship.

Prefixes and Suffixes

There is a lot of discussion among the breeding community right now about a suggested rule change proposal that would make it mandatory for people to keep a breeder’s prefix or suffix on a horse’s show name. You could change the name part itself, but not the prefix or suffix. So basically if you had a horse that was named Looney Tunes WTF, you could change the Looney Tunes part, but not the WTF part.

maybe we should have made his suffix WTF

Like most things breeding related, I have a lot of feelings about prefixes and suffixes (this is shocking, I’m sure). I would never take a prefix/suffix off of a horse’s name, just because I know how important it is to breeders to have that easy recognition for their horses. It’s a nod of respect and recognition to where the horse came from, and all the blood, sweat, tears, money, and time that someone put into creating that horse. That’s not to say that there aren’t terrible ones like BRA or MF… I’d be less thrilled about those too, so I understand if someone wants to change a bad one. I still don’t think I personally would do it, but I would understand.

I also find it annoying how a lot of big sale farms just tack their prefix/suffix onto a horse they got in, jack the price up because it’s a (insert whichever one you want here – Fernhill, Cooley, RF, CR, FE, etc), and it becomes more of a “look where I bought this horse from” thing instead of a nod of credit to the person or farm that created the horse in the first place. Pretty brilliant for the seller though, since now everyone knows who sold the horse. I can hate it all I want, but it’s effective.

Even though I am a big fan of breeder prefixes and suffixes, I don’t really support this rule change proposal. I don’t think it should be up to USEF to monitor their useage and application. They got enough problems, man. Not to mention, what do you do about the fact that there are plenty of prefixes and suffixes out there that are used by more than one breeder. Who gets the “rights” to the letter R? What do you do with the ones that already have it? Sticky. Way too sticky.

I do have plenty of respect for the breeders who put into their sale contracts that the buyer can change the name but not the farm prefix/suffix. That seems totally reasonable to me. Granted, if that person sells the horse on, the next person isn’t bound to keep that.

All the new microchip recording stuff with USEF will help a lot of this, I think. Horses will no longer be able to just go *poof* and reappear under a new name with a new age. All of the information is much more likely to follow a horse throughout it’s career, and I think people will be a little less inclined to change the name. If nothing else, hopefully we become a bit more diligent about making sure the breeder information and the pedigree information get recorded with all the other microchip information too, and stay with the horse even if any prefixes or suffixes are dropped or names are changed.

But the most interesting thing that I’ve seen while following along with all these discussions in the last few days was that several people (non-breeders) said that they would not buy a horse with a prefix or suffix if they weren’t allowed to change it. Like even if the horse was otherwise perfect, it would be an absolute dealkiller to have any kind of prefix or suffix on it’s name. That seemed kind of crazy to me, but I guess names are THAT important to some people?

Presto of course is registered as Like Magic WTW – with the Willow Tree Warmblood suffix. Because I’m proud of my friend and her farm and the horses that she produces, and I want Presto to be a bit of a “spokesman” for her program, wherever he goes. He will wear his suffix with pride.

What do y’all think? Hate prefixes and suffixes? Love them? Would they be a deal breaker if you couldn’t change them?

The purple breeches that weren’t

Remember how excited I was last week about the dark purple breeches? Yeah well. They accidentally sent me burgundy. Burgundy is not purple.

Which wouldn’t be bad, because they’re beautiful breeches, but a) I already have a pair of burgundy breeches, b) they do not measure how their size chart said they did, so they’re too small, c) the company (QJ Riding Wear) is in Australia. I emailed them to see what they wanted to do, since not only are they not the color I ordered, they also don’t measure as advertised. They were not very helpful and asked if I thought I could just sell them here. They seemed to have no interest in getting me my purple pair that I was so excited about, or rectifying the mistake. I said I would try, and that was the last I heard from them. No gold stars for customer service. Or maybe I’m just accustomed to how fabulous Riding Warehouse is to deal with and my expectations are too high.

Too bad, really, because like I said, I quite like the breeches. Very very Animo-esque and a gorgeous merlot color. If anyone is interested in them, I’ll sell them to you for a bit less than what they cost with shipping from Australia to the US. They are AUS size 14, which was supposed to have been their equivalent of US 30/32, but the waist measures just a hair under 30 so they’re really more like 28. A slim-fitting 28. They have a sock bottom, silicone knee patch, and silver detailing at the back zipper pockets. I’ll sell them for $75USD including shipping anywhere in the US.

And I guess I won’t be getting the purple, since the company seems uninterested in my plight. Boo.

It wasn’t a total loss of a week for breeches though, because I got my hunter green Ovation Aqua-X breeches in the mail and absolutely love them. The color is stunning with my chocolate brown boots, and I like the new sock bottom a lot. As usual, they fit me perfectly. Ovation to the rescue! Maybe someday they’ll make the Aqua-X in dark purple…

I also bought Presto his first rope halter (or as I like to call them – MANNERS), and ordered him a yearling size in rainbow. Because he’s my unicorn, and I can torture him however I want.

Image result for dark neon rainbow rope halter

I can’t wait to see him give me that patented Presto side eye while he’s wearing that thing. I won’t even be able to take him seriously.

Still trying to decide if I should bother buying him a winter blanket or not. He’s pretty impressively hairy, I dunno that he’ll actually need anything to keep him warm. But then again, it might be nice to at least have a waterproof sheet on standby, just in case…

Horse Toys

No, not these kind of horse toys:

Image result for horse toys

I’m looking for suggestions more along the line of these:

Image result for horse jolly ball

But better. A lot better.

A couple weeks ago when Presto was stuck inside due to weather, he decided to take his angst out on the wooden support structure in his stall’s run. He’s not the first to go for those things, but he went at it pretty hard and heavy there for a few days, despite having a huge pile of hay to eat. Bored Presto is Bad Presto.

look who’s taller…

Michelle tried spraying the wood with all the different things known to man to deter chewing. Presto is a) smart b) not a quitter, so he figured out that if he could just endure the flavor long enough to lick it off, his problem was solved. Eventually she wrapped all the wood in a few layers of chicken wire, and that finally put a kibosh on the chewing. The wood beams were saved, and now turnout is possible again, so it’s not such an issue anymore.

He can’t take credit for all the damage, but omg for real

Presto will likely find himself stuck inside again at some point though, with winter coming, and I’d rather he not find other naughty things to eat or do.  He has a Jolly Ball, which gets played with a little bit, but it’s not interesting enough to keep him truly entertained. He hasn’t been super impressed with the big horse sized ball either. His diet is very very very carefully managed and balanced, so I don’t want to get him any of those stall toys with treats or food either. Plus he’s so smart I don’t think those would last long anyway.

I’ve heard of different homemade type horse toys, involving milk jugs or soccer balls or ropes… has anyone made anything like that before? Did they work? Or are there any horse toys out there on the market that helped at keeping a particularly smart and hard to impress baby horse entertained for more than 5 minutes?