One Last Time

Well, here we are at the end of the month, which means… it’s time. Time to turn the page to the next chapter, time to say goodbye to the place we’ve called home for the past 2.5 years, and time to bid farewell to my beloved fields. It still stabs me right in the heart to think of this land being torn up and covered with houses soon.

what a waste

Bobby is moving his boys to a dressage barn, and while of course I will miss him and Cannavaro, I’m also very excited for him. He’ll be able to pursue his older horse’s dressage career in earnest, be part of a show team, and have readily available professional help for Cannavaro. The footing is lovely in the arena there and they have a covered arena that means they always get to ride, so it’ll be great for the senior horse’s soundness and health. And Cannavaro can get some pro dressage rides to help get him started in his eventing career. I think it will be great for Bobby and his horses, and that’s what matters, so while I’m a little sad to no longer see them on a regular basis, as his friend I couldn’t be more pleased for him.

I’m not sure if Presto will miss Cannavaro, but I will. I still have dibs on him if something ever happens to Bobby.

On Wednesday we all met after work so we could go on one last hack in the field. We walked, we trotted, we cantered, we galloped, there was some bucking, and plenty of laughing. The weather was gorgeous, and it was a perfect little sendoff. Today I’m going to go back out alone and take one last canter across the place that has given me so much peace and happiness. I’ve become weirdly attached to this back acreage where we’ve spent so much time working, playing around, and just decompressing and escaping the worries and responsibilities that live outside of these fence lines. My troubles have never been allowed to come in here with me.


But I also know that the end of this chapter signals the beginning of another. Last night we took a trailer full of jumps to the new barn, and I got to see it again with fresh eyes. The first time we came, I was still kind of reeling and panicking about the quick and sudden ejection after we got the news of the barn closing. This time I got to see it for what it was, and start planning where I was going to put things and how I was going to use the space. It will be really nice to have a good, usable arena (that is dragged regularly!) again. The field where we get to hack isn’t as big or as rolling, but it’s a really beautiful piece of land in it’s own right, and the footing is lovely. It’s better maintained and mowed regularly, so I don’t have to worry about stickers and burrs or wildlife hiding in the brush or random holes.

These frenns get to stay frenns

The barn owner is so kind, really gracious, and cares deeply for the horses’ happiness and well being. We picked out which stalls we wanted, talked about turnout options, got some ideas for how we’ll fit our stuff in the tack room, and discussed feeding plans. While I’m not excited to more than double my commute, I do feel like the boys will all be really happy there, and we’ll still have the same kind of freedom and quiet environment that we’re used to. Now that I’ve had time to process everything, I find myself actually really looking forward to the move.

Soon the boys will all be going out together, and living side by side in the barn. There are fewer horses, more one-on-one care, much better facility maintenance, and lots of options. It’s a good thing. Or it will be once we’re all there and unpacked anyway… moving all this shit is the worst part.

Daydreaming and Window shopping

When life gets a little stressful, as it has been for me lately, I find myself focusing more on whatever fun things I have planned. For me, right now, that would be our Coconino trip in July with the horses, and our Europe trip in September for Burghley/seeing stallions.

It’s become a bit of a hobby to watch the weather in Flagstaff, where Coconino is held. This past weekend they had their first show of the year there, and on Friday it was snowing like crazy. I can’t imagine driving to a horse show in a snow storm, that’s definitely not a thing in Texas. But as our weather heats up and the humidity becomes unbearable, I certainly find myself looking forward to those 50 degree and 15% humidity July evenings at Coconino.

This is crazy for the end of May

I’ve also already started a “want to see” list for Burghley shopping. When we were in Germany for Bundeschampionate a couple years ago, I looked at all kinds of things we don’t have heare, and I bought some tall boots. There’s so much stuff over there that we don’t have here, or that is way cheaper to buy over there. It’s really fun to poke around the shops and see so many things that are different from what you typically see here.

I really want to check out Fairfax. I’m not the biggest fan of their marketing tactics, but I do like a couple of their products. The most interesting one to me is the breastplate.

The Fairfax Performance Breastplate - Andrew Hoy

I like the simple collar design, having a horse who jumps with a lot of bascule and motion through his shoulder. The bridge style breastplate has worked well on him but I  still feel like it pulls between his front legs, even when that strap is adjusted as loose as I can safely make it. The Fairfax is basically a bridge without the chest strap. Is it as stable as a bridge? Probably not. Would my horse be more comfortable in it? Maybe. I want to look at it in person and ask some questions. It’s stupid expensive though, for a breastplate. Over $300, even in the UK.

Another brand on my list is Champion, the maker of my skull cap. I love that thing, and have been really impressed with the brand in general when it comes to safety and design. Their body protector looks interesting, and they have some new helmet colors and styles that they teased at Badminton but aren’t available yet. It’s such a hugely popular brand in the UK (and having the skull cap, I understand why) but they’re just starting to branch out over here. They’ve got my interest though, so I want to see more.

The other brand that I’ve already got bookmarked is Henry James Saddlery. A couple people that I follow on Instagram in the UK have been using this brand and I really like that you can build your own bridle on their website. They have a really neat crownpiece that sits up off the poll, a figure 8 with buckles on both sides of the nose (so you don’t end up with awkward buckle placement over the mouth) and a pretty non-crank flash. They also have a slightly modified version of the NunnFiner soft grip rubber reins that I love so much, and a wide stirrup leather ala Millbrook but in what looks to be much nicer leather (on a sidenote, I noticed this morning on RW that Ovation has come out with a wide stirrup leather as well, and it’s only $40! Anyone tried those yet? I’ve been pretty pleased with my Ovation strapgoods in the past…). Last fall Henry James teased a breastplate similar to the Fairfax but I haven’t seen anything about it since. A similar cheaper option would certainly be nice.


Once we get closer to Burghley and there’s a vendor list, I’ll go off the deep end completely and make a must-see list. I swear Europe has so many more fun brands than we do, and more unique designs. It’s fun if you’re into that kind of thing. What are some of your favorite UK brands, or cool new products? I’m having fun with the virtual pre-window shopping.


Presto the show buddy

On Saturday Dobby went to his first Beginner Novice derby, at a local charity show. They didn’t offer any classes that went high enough for Henry, plus I was still nursing my sprained ankle anyway, so I decided to take Presto along instead. He was pretty darn excited to be included, even if Henry was super pissed. He watched while we loaded Dobby and Presto (they both self-loaded like proper children!), and as soon as Henry realized he wasn’t coming, he starting bucking and running angry laps in his paddock. I’ve got some nerve, taking those two little turds in HIS trailer without him.

But Presto was SO EXCITED for adventures!

My main objective for the day was for Presto to have to stand at the trailer by himself when his buddy leaves. He’s stood at the trailer when he’s gone places alone, but he’s never had to deal with the whole clearly-i’ve-been-abandoned-here-to-die-alone aspect that comes into play when traveling with a buddy and you don’t have stalls. I didn’t really care if he spent the whole day screaming or dug a hole to China, as long as he stayed attached to the trailer.

first requirement for happiness: food

He was real screamy when we first got there. I took him away from Dobby almost immediately and went off to the XC area to walk him through the water and up/down the little banks. He would scream, Dobby would scream, I would move his feet a little, one of them would scream again, etc. He went into the water without much trouble, although when I sent him down the little bank (I mean like 6″, y’all, it barely counts) he LEAPT off of it, landing almost on the other side of the little water. My options were either let go, which… I figured a 2yo running around loose at a little charity show full of tiny humans was probably bad… or go with him. So with him I went, flying through the air like a human kite, and I narrowly missed faceplanting right in the middle of the water. Instead I just ended up shin-deep and had to wade out with my Blundstones full of gross black water. Thanks Presto.

checking out the showjumping, where he learned that not all gray horses are Dobby

After that his butt got put to work a little, trotting around me, changing directions, yielding his shoulders and hindquarters. I took him out and sent him over a couple of the tiny XC jumps, just to give him something to occupy his brain. He never really gave up singing the song of his people, but he settled enough to where I felt fine about parking him at the trailer by himself while I went to video Hillary’s dressage and then jumping rounds. I could still see him from my vantage point, and he pawed a tiny bit and neighed a few times but otherwise just stood there eating his hay by himself for an hour or so.

Didn’t seem to care much when Dobbins (hims so sleepy, dressage is hard) came back to the trailer for a quick wardrobe change

I had talked Hillary into doing the in-hand trail class just for shits and giggles, so when she was done riding we took both boys over to where all the obstacles were set up so they could check them out before the class started. Presto has seen them all before, so he didn’t care much, and neither did Dobby. No one could believe Dobbins was a just-barely 4yo that’s been off the track since December, he was so freaking quiet about everything. The only thing Presto didn’t really understand was the “pedestal” that they were supposed to stand on with their front feet. He kept trying to jump all the way over it. I can’t fault him for that, normally his job IS to jump all the way over things. But eventually he figured it out, even if he thought it was real dumb.

Pretty sure I could take him to try out for the circus. You ever seen a giraffe on a pedestal??? 

Dobby was first to go in the in-hand trail so we hung around up there while I videoed his round. Or tried to, anyway. Presto is the freaking WORST videographer’s assistant. At one point he knocked over the judge’s drink, so I had to pick it up real quick, and in that split second Presto somehow managed to swing around and get his feet tangled in a hula hoop, which I then had to extract him from, and in the process of that he knocked her drink over again. Once I got all that sorted he managed to hold himself together quietly for the next few obstacles, and then when Dobby got to the “gate”, all I saw on the screen of the video was Presto trying to eat the tree we were standing under.

scenes from Jurassic Park

There is never a dull moment with that one around. Are you not entertained?

Mission accomplished for the day though. Presto got to see more sights, and he remains unbothered by the show environment. I also now feel pretty good about leaving him tied at the trailer… even if he gets upset he’s very respectful of the fact that he’s tied and doesn’t try to get loose, nor does he panic. As long as he has food he seems to do just fine with self-soothing and chilling out. His next great adventure? A FEH class next month! Hopefully he’ll decide to fill out a little bit by then…



Well, this month just continues to be a real kick in the pants. I mentioned on Friday that one of our senior dogs wasn’t doing well, and unfortunately over the weekend things continued to decline for her. On Sunday we confirmed what I had feared since the initial bloodwork last Wednesday – liver cancer. By yesterday afternoon she was in full blown liver failure, and we opted to let her go before she got too uncomfortable.


Delia was always a super happy, sweet dog, and she remained that way right up until the end. We opted to put her down outside of the clinic, under the trees, since she always has been a lover of nature. All of the doctors that worked on her came out to say goodbye. They were all really great and professional but still incredibly kind. I really don’t know how veterinarians do this on a daily basis.

Delia was SO’s dog really… he pulled her out of the city animal shelter ten years ago, and they were best buds from day 1. I only got to know her for 6 of those years but I can say without a doubt that while all dogs are great, she was one of the best. While there is no doubt that she was SO’s dog, we were running buddies and great friends. She loved affection (which earned her the title Needy Deedee) and going on walks and hiking and especially her pet cat. Yeah ok, we told Delia that we got Grem for her. They were two peas in a pod.


Poor SO is not doing well at all. This was his first adulthood dog, and for years it was just those two against the world. He bought his house for her, took her everywhere, and his life revolved around her. Just a month ago we were hiking around Bull Creek celebrating their 10 year gotcha-versary and all was totally normal, so this has definitely blindsided him. I don’t think the word devastated accurately describes it. She just went downhill so fast.

Unfortunately I think most of us are all too familiar with how he feels right now. We don’t get to keep our animals for nearly as long as we’d like, and it sucks. But I know without a doubt that Delia had the best life you could ever imagine for a dog, and she was deeply loved. Miss you, sweet girl.

Friday Wrap-Up

This is one of those weeks where I feel like I’m coming in hot to the weekend, flying sideways with tires screeching like it’s Tokyo Drift. There are major upheavals at work, one of our senior dogs is not doing well, and we have to start packing/moving stuff to the new barn this weekend. Things are busy and stressful.

Image result for tokyo drift gif
it’s been one of those months, and I’m in the passenger seat.

I’m not in the right frame of mind for deep, insightful blog posts right now. My brain is overwhelmed as it is. But what I can offer, happily, is some levity. Specifically the kind that comes wrapped in a wobbly, fuzzy, pony-baby sized package. That’s right, I come bearing more pictures of Nunez WTW, who I am personally calling Mijo because it’s taking Michelle too long to come up with a barn name.

If you’re not dead from cute after this, I’m not sure if we can be friends.

I also have a few general updates or things I want to mention. Once again I have to plug the US Event Horse Futurity, because I’m completely hooked on watching the videos of these young horses as they progress through the beginning of their careers. It’s been so educational for me already. Best idea anyone has ever had, documenting all of this on video. Watching how the trainers are working through problems and setbacks is something we don’t often get a front row seat to. If you still aren’t following, you really should. Plus if you’re active on the page with likes and comments and shares, you can win swag. OR, if you really want to promote the program, you can buy some swag too. Presto already has the hat… maybe he wants in for 2021?

Maybe I whut?

As to the winner of the Australia vs Germany race, it was definitely Australia. The shirts from Black Horse Clothing arrived on Monday, and I really like them. Full review coming after I get to wear and wash some more, but the initial impression is very positive.

I was getting really worried about my boots (the German package) there for a while, when 5 days passed with absolutely no updates on the tracking. I’m relatively certain DHL strapped them to a dolphin and sent them across the ocean that way. But now they’re saying the package should be here tomorrow, so hopefully that’s true. Pretty new boots would make me happy. If they fit. Please fit.

Here, have some more Mijo, you deserve it.

I took a few days off from riding this week, to let myself keep healing more. My ankle was pretty mad on Tuesday and Wednesday, swollen and bruised again, so I just iced it and rested it completely. The bruises on the right side of my body from the fall are starting to fade a little bit. Nothing is really that sore anymore, except my back. I got on Henry yesterday in my dressage saddle and mostly just walked, with a little bit of trot, and things felt pretty good. I’ll definitely stick to a few more light days before I try to ramp anything back up, but I think I’m over the hump and through the worst of it. Now I just have to be careful not to re-injure anything I think. Being patient is hard, and taking days off from riding is not a particular strong suit of mine. I need to get everything healed up though, because the thought of trying to move all my shit and both horses next weekend with a broken body sounds extra miserable. So… rest it is.

sorry that you have to endure a a closeup of my big white pasty thigh but if you come here on the regular I have to assume you knew the risk you took when you started scrolling. Also, that non-bruised spot in the middle? HUGE DENT IN MY MUSCLE. It feels real good.
This stupid thing was still pretty mad on Tuesday
This is my cankle. There are many like it but this one is mine. It’s a lot smaller today, though! 
Here is your reward for looking at those pictures.

Last but not least, Trafalgar Square Books is having a memorial day sale starting this evening through Monday night – 20% off plus free shipping in the US. I wish I was done with the Eric Smiley book and ready to review it for this occasion, but I’m still a few chapters away from being done. It’s a really interesting book though, and covers a wide range of topics, from riding to horsemanship to theory.  The books description on the website summarizes it best:

Riding well can be a puzzle. This book puts together the pieces, including

– How humans and horses learn
– Striving for partnership vs. dictatorship
– Early training and developing skills
– Demystifying equestrian-speak
– Dressage outside the arena
– Ground poles for the rest of us
– Jumping and cross-country tips
– Solving problems, wherever you ride
– Competition psychology
– Being coached and being a coach

They’ve also got Denny Emerson’s new book, as well as Tik Maynard’s (among tons of others) so if you haven’t picked either of those up yet, now is the time!

Hims wittle tongue

Have a good holiday weekend, everyone!




It’s a Dangerous Day

Not as dangerous as Black Friday, but still… today is the day that a lot of Memorial Day sales go live, including Riding Warehouse.

This would be more exciting if I wasn’t in a bit of a self-imposed spending freeze at the moment. Between the new boots and the Burghley tickets/airfare and a few smaller things I bought during the pity party I threw for myself at the beginning of the month, I need to chill. Which is sad, because I’ve been living for that Wish List feature lately, adding shit to it like it’s my damn job.


Yeah ok, maybe I have problems. Nothing a cool 2G’s wouldn’t fix, though.

That Schockemohle bridle might be the death of me if I try to resist it for much longer. The whole “buy a Schockemohle bridle and get $50 off Schockemohle reins” promo they’re running right now isn’t helping. I so can’t afford a new bridle right now though, nor do I need it. Although technically if I start showjumping Henry in a bit again, another brown bridle would be nice to have…

Killing. Me.

Shoot, I just realized there aren’t any breeches on my wish list. That can’t be right.


While I won’t be splurging and buying anything fun, I do need a few of the basic essentials for the boys, like magic cushion and poultice and fly spray and salt blocks. I also anticipate needing some new tack room organizational items for the new barn, since we’ll have a much smaller space, but those purchases will have to wait until after we move and we see just how much condensing we have to do and how much space we have.

Image result for packing gif
what it will actually look like when I try to pack

Schneider’s has a lot of good racks and bags and stuff that are on sale right now too… if only I could decide what I might need. I have SO MUCH SHIT for two horses. How do y’all store your blankets and stuff, Rubbermaid bins? I think I could fill two or three big ones. Not to mention all my med supplies, horse boots (it’s possible that I’ve got like 10 sets), and tack. I have a whole drawer full of just bonnets, for crying out loud, and I regret nothing. Having an entire corner of the tack room to myself has been nice, though. I can’t believe we’re only about a week away from the upheaval. Just the thought of moving everything fills me with dread. I’m ready for the fresh start though, and to have a functional arena to ride in. It’s just the actual moving part. Ugh. Guess this would be a good time for a clean out.

Anybody have their eye on something during these sales? A new bridle or some LeMieux pads (anyone tried their breeches yet?) or a new helmet maybe? The new dark brown Mountain Horse boots? A bargain-hunting extravaganza through the clearance section? Let me live vicariously through you…


Holly Hill Weekend: Part 2

Our plans to continue our XC schooling on Sunday got dashed when it decided to rain for most of Saturday night. The course was just a little too wet by morning, but since we were already there, the facility owner allowed us to make a Plan B: jumping lessons in the arena. It would have been great to get back out on XC and try to correct the mistakes of the day before, but none of us can control the weather. At least we were able to get back on and jump some stuff. I can definitely always use more lessons, in any form, and it was good for me to be able to jump some things to keep rebuilding the confidence from the day before.

from this angle a grimace looks like a smile! PC: Dusty Brown

Henry seemed to feel just fine despite our mishap on Saturday, but I was pretty body sore. My previously-acquired sprained ankle still hurt a bit, but the main problem for riding was that I seemed to have tweaked a muscle in my back in our fall on Saturday. Well, my whole right side was a little battered. I had bruises from my hip to my thigh, and I was sporting a pretty gross dent toward the outside of my quad. My back felt like I’d gotten punched in the kidney, which… I guess I kinda did. I’d expected to feel a little worse though (don’t worry, by Monday I definitely felt like I’d been hit by a bus, then a semi, then a train).

PC: Dusty Brown

Mostly the problem was whatever soft tissue runs from the middle of my back to my hip. It was pissed. Trotting was relatively awful, but cantering wasn’t bad, and jumping seemed fine enough as long as I kept my body straight and still. Between the sprained left ankle and tweaked right side of my back, it kinda evened out? I was sore, but capable enough, and I wanted to jump.

So did this goob. PC: Dusty Brown

Of course, since we’d planned on XC schooling the whole weekend, I’d only brought my XC tack and gear. Henry had to wear his XC boots and his XC bridle, and I had to wear my skull cap. I wasn’t sure how he’d do jumping in the arena in his Dr Bristol full cheek. In the past I’ve had a hard time getting him in front of my leg even in just a plain loose ring, hence the swap to the hackamore. That was over a year ago though, and the horse I have now is a bit more forward-thinking.

I actually liked jumping him in the Dr Bristol a lot, and Trainer agreed. He was more adjustable, and I could get him back quicker and more easily and then let him go forward again. I did have to be careful to not pull, because it was easier to shut him down in that bit than it is in the hackamore. We’re definitely going to experiment more with showjumping him in that bit, or trying him back in a plain loose ring again. Training is an evolution, and if he’s at the point where changing something up is what works best for the horse I have now, I’m certainly open to it.

PC: Dusty Brown

We jumped a few courses set from T to P height, and also played with adjustability on an outside 4-stride to 4-stride or 5-stride to 4-stride line. Henry was actually really good, jumping well, and seemed to be completely undeterred (both mentally and physically) by what happened on XC the day before. That made me feel loads better. I didn’t hurt him or ruin him. Bless that little horse, he’s a saint.

PC: Dusty Brown

All in all it wasn’t the stellar, hit-it-out-of-the-park kind of weekend that we always want, but I came home with a lot. A lot to think about, a lot to work on, a lot to be grateful for, and a lot of motivation.

I also have to say, it’s so fun having a front row seat to Hillary and Dobby’s newfound partnership. That horse is learning so much, he gets better and better every time out, and he’s really found his confidence and understanding in his new job. Watching him and Hillary evolve and start to trust each other is so cool, and makes me kind of miss having a green horse. I love this part, when they’re learning so fast. Dobby is smart, and he’s taking to the job really well. Those two are going places, I think! It definitely makes me ready for Presto to be 4.

Holly Hill Weekend: Part 1

Despite eventing in Area V for the last 5 years, I’ve never been schooling at Holly Hill. I’ve shown there twice, and it’s probably my favorite venue, but we’ve definitely never been there to school. Probably because it’s 5 hours away in Louisiana. But… everything is far for us, so I still really really wanted to go, and finally talked Trainer into it as well. Of course, if you’re going that far, it’s not going to be a day trip. We planned to make a weekend of XC schooling, so Hillary and I left midday on Friday with Dobby and Henry.

His “happy to be at Holly Hill” face, I guess?

The complication was my sprained ankle. I had taken Monday and Tuesday off from riding, did a bareback dressage ride on Wednesday, and by Thursday I figured I should see if it would hold up or not. I put my boot on, got in my jump saddle, and went out to the jump field. My ankle felt okay, aside from when we landed from the jumps. The bigger problem was that the tendons on the outside of my lower leg were really sore and angry. The pain was survivable though, so I iced it and wrapped it and took the NSAID’s, hoping that would be enough to make it better by Saturday.

By the time I mounted up for my XC lesson on Saturday morning, it was definitely improved. I could still feel it, especially those last few strides up to fence when I tried to sink into my heel, but it was good enough. After a couple warmup fences we started at the water, hopping a log in, then adding a skinny out, then doing the drops in. The drops definitely had me grimacing on landing, since Henry will apparently never just drop down without some kind of flamboyance, so we only did them a couple times.

that felt real good

Mostly I wanted him to pop off of the brush-topped one, since he’s never seen one like that before, where you really can’t see the water until the last second. He didn’t bat an eye. His style is weird, but I’m happy with how brave he’s been about the down banks, considering that’s been his bugaboo in the past. He likes to pat the ground at the edge, but he’s definitely going, so that’s ok with me.

After the water we went and jumped a little two stride combo to a brush on an angle, which was no problem, and then headed over to another bank complex. We jumped the little bank up, two strides to bank down, then a bending line to the skinny wedge. I got him there a little crooked but he locked on and went anyway. He’s always been pretty good about skinnies, but he’s definitely reading and looking for them a lot more these days.


Then we went to the weldon’s walls, which I might never stop hating. We jumped the Training one last fall when we ran here, and he didn’t care about it but I rode it terribly. We started by jumping the Training one a couple times, then pointed to the Prelim one, which is a little taller and a lot skinnier, a wall of brush just floating in the middle of a ditch.

Jumping the T one. P one to the right, although you can’t really see how much skinnier it is than the ditch it sits in.

He stopped the first time, because I rode it completely backwards and made it kind of impossible for him. Fair enough. Then I decided maybe to put my leg on and ride up to that bitch like I meant it, and he jumped it fine. Stupid weldon’s walls. Y’all are gross.

it looks so tame from this angle. Way more gross from my point of view. 

Then we went down to the coffin complex, which is set at the bottom of a pretty steep hill. I didn’t get him rebalanced well enough at the top of the hill, so we were still having a discussion a few strides before the first big log. The energy was backwards, Henry didn’t have his eye on the jump… it was really a terrible approach on my part. He tried to stop at the last second, realizing what was ahead, but the momentum from the hill didn’t really make that possible and he hit the log. I ejected over his shoulder, and he tried hard to stay upright and not land on me as he tried to climb over the jump. It all happened in slow motion, and I just stayed tucked in like a turtle on the ground while he flailed around above me. Somehow he did manage to miss most of me, grazing my right hip and thigh.

I got up slowly, but was fine, and Henry seemed fine too. Both of his right boots had been pulled down in the scramble, but the only mark on him was a scrape on his nose. I got back on, trotted a few circles to make sure he was ok, went and jumped some smaller fences, and then we came back to the coffin and broke it down into pieces. The ditch to the log one way, then the ditch to the log the other way, then the whole thing. Henry, bless him, seemed undeterred by our mishap.


My biggest fear in all of this has always been hurting or ruining my horse. I’m not particularly scared of getting hurt myself, but I would be devastated if anything happened to Henry. This one rattled me. We’ve managed to avoid disaster so far… this is the first time I’ve come off him in over 5 years, and definitely the worst mistake I’ve made. But the bigger and more technical the jumps are, the less he’s able to pull us out of hairy situations. I know it’s important not to let this accident live in my head, but I also know that it’s important to remember it so I don’t make the same mistake again. I also know that when you start pushing the boundaries and doing things that are hard, mistakes will happen. I’m still processing it, I think.

To be honest, I’m not particularly happy with how I’m riding right now. Sometimes we’re just rocking and rolling and everything is clicking, and sometimes it’s not, and at the moment I feel like I’m in a downswing. The mojo we had a few months ago isn’t quite there. I’m not being as proactive or as focused as I need to be. Maybe all the other upheavals in my life are having an effect that I wasn’t really aware of. I’m re-evaluating and re-arranging my schedule to try to get things back on track and refocused. I have to be a little better than this.

We ended the day with plans to come back out the next day and tackle a few things again, and smooth some stuff out. Mother Nature, however, had other plans…

Baby Bets contest results!

Yep, you know what that means – baby #2 has arrived! Stormie foaled a black (will turn gray) colt yesterday morning! His name is Nunez WTW, named after Michelle’s friend and neighbor who always helps with the breeding duties and other stuff around the farm. This little dude is adorable and already full of character.


He’s still got that narrow smooshed-up newborn look, so right now he looks a lot like a drunk spider. I’m highly amused. He’s a pretty big dude, too, for a newborn pony foal! No wonder Stormie looked like a beached whale.

Even with his size she managed to rocket him out 5 minutes after her water broke, like a seasoned professional, around lunch time. She and Sadie have a lot in common with the quick daytime foalings I guess. Mom and baby are both doing well and all looks good so far!


He seems to enjoy climbing all over this mother. This has happened repeatedly. It leads to some pretty hilarious viewing on the foaling cam, especially when Michelle is running to try to stop him from smashing headfirst into the wall. I can already tell that this one is going to be extremely entertaining.


The Baby Bets contest was a bit brutal this year. People who got a lot of points with Lissa’s foal got next to none from Stormie’s, and vice versa. Almost no one got the foaling dates/times correct. It really came down to the color/gender/markings and it was a close one! We had a 3-way tie, and ended up having to put names in a hat to draw a winner.

 used a US Event Horse Futurity hat, naturally

Congrats Stacie! I’ll message you about getting all your prizes rounded up and on their way.

More pics of Nunez coming later this week once he starts to fill out and unfold a bit more!

Moo Pony

Ok technically “Moo Pony” is what my SO calls a cow (I dunno, he’s weird. I’m weird. What more do you expect?) but I have to be honest, this week I have officially seen a real bonafide Moo Pony.


That would be Stormie, the pony mare, the last one we’re waiting on to foal for our Baby Bets contest. She is a freaking whale. Every time I see more pictures all I can think is OH LAWD SHE COMIN because I’ve spent way too long laughing at that Chonk Chart thing that was going around facebook a while back and now every time I see a fat animal that’s my ingrained reaction.

Image result for chonk chart
This one.

For real, I saw a fat corgi when we were out the other day and I said OH LAWD HE COMIN before I could even stop myself. I have a problem.


But really, is Stormie growing a full size pony in there? She’s still about a week away from her “due date”, but she’s passed the 320 day threshold that is considered full term, so it could theoretically be any day now. Hopefully soon, because… geez. Also because 1) I need some pony baby pictures in my life. 2) I really wanna see what color it is. 3) Nalah needs a friend. Nalah is still beautiful, but she is bored. Adult horses aren’t fun. Baby horses need other baby horses to do dumb baby horse things with. Hopefully Nalah doesn’t smoosh the pony baby, but she’s ready for a friend for sure.


In other fun news, the Usandro frozen semen finally arrived from France a little while back (lord, it was a paperwork nightmare getting that stuff exported), and we’ve got our first confirmed pregnancy with it! The quality is good and obviously it does the job, and it’ll be fun to see what we get from him.


There really isn’t another stallion like Usandro available here in the US, and I’m still unsure what the market will be like for him, but he’s proving to be a successful producer in Europe already. Will the American breeders use him? I don’t know. Next year we’ll start marketing him more and see what happens.


two young Usandro sons competing in France

In other slightly Europe-related news, my Burghley tickets already arrived! I wasn’t expecting them to actually mail them for a while, so that was a fun surprise when I opened the mailbox the other day and saw an airmail envelope. I’m excited to really start planning the trip, since we’ll also be spending several days after Burghley driving around France, looking at stallions. I’m trying not to get too excited about seeing Mighty Magic in the flesh, in case it doesn’t happen, but… I’m hopeful.

They even came in a pretty folder with a Burghley decal, grounds map, info on all the different train lines, and schedule.

Last but not least for today, if you haven’t listened to the episode of Major League Eventing with Boyd Martin, you should. He’s pretty candid about a lot of things, including the new flag penalty and the Will Coleman/Rolex situation. It’s an interesting episode, long but worth the listen! OH and if you missed the one last week with Jess Redman (the OTTB seller that Cannavaro came from) – that one is also a must listen. Lots of great info there for OTTB fans, riders, and buyers.

Happy Friday everyone! We’re off to Louisiana for a weekend of XC… hope you have something fun in store too.