2019 Equestrian Black Friday Deals



Some of these sales are already active, others won’t be live until tomorrow or Friday. I’ve included date info where I can, but if you’re not seeing the sale yet, try their page again later. I’m tracking many more that haven’t announced specific info yet, so I’ll keep adding to this list as more details are announced. Keep checking back here! New ones will be posted AT THE BOTTOM BY DATE ADDED so they don’t get lost in the mix!

Riding Warehouse – Save 20% from 11/27 through 12/2. Discount will show up automatically in cart. There are a few manufacturer exclusions.

Luxe EQ – starting 11/27 at midnight get 30% off certain collections and 20% off sitewide (some exclusions) including an extra 20% off sale items

Spot On Braiding Wax – 15% off with code TURKEY15

Higher Standards Leather Care – 15% off from Black Friday through cyber Monday with the code 15OFF2019.

The Herbal Horse – 30% off starting 8pm CST 11/28 with code BFCM

Horse and Rider Books –  from 9:00 pm 11/28 though 12/2 get 20% off and free shipping within the USA.

Teddy’s Tack Trunk – 10% off orders over $50 with code TEN, 15% off orders over $100 with code FIFTEEN through 12/2

The Printable Pony – 20% off store wide with code cyber19, plus free domestic US shipping.

Bel Joeor Metier – 20% off handy bags plus free shipping storewide.

Rowen Ahearn Photography – central Texas folks! Rowen is offering holiday-themed black background mini-sessions (20 minutes of shooting, 6 digital images) for $70 if booked by December 1st.

One Horse Threads – 50% off all clothing 11/27-12/1. Excludes special holiday release shirts. Discount automatic at checkout.

Dark Jewel Designs – 20% off 11/29-12/2, no code needed.

Majyk Equipe – November 25th to December 10th get a FREE Backpack/bootbag with every full set of boots purchased, 15% off ANY girth or pad (discount taken at check out), and FREE shipping on any order over $100 shipped within the contiguous US.

Equestriess Atelier – On 11/29 buy one get one 25% off with code ponygiving, on 12/2 buy 2 get 1 free with code thankfulpony.

Levade Kentucky – 15% off plus free shipping

Do or Do Knot – 11/29 through 12/2 get 30% off your entire order with code SNAP30OFF. From 12/3 through 12/24 get 15% off with code KNOTTYORNICE15

Hufglocken – 20% off with code SANTAHUF

Equizone Online – Up to 75% off end of season stock, and 30% off storewide (some exclusions) with the code EZOBlackFriday19 from 11/29-12/2.

Rebel Equestrian – 20% off from 11/29-12/2 with code BFCM20.

Henry James Saddlery – various discounts

Hay Where’s That – 20% off with code HWT20

Hylofit – various discounts and markdowns

Retired Racehorse Project – November 29 through December 2, free shipping on all orders and free 2019 Thoroughbred Makeover lanyard with all orders over $50 while supplies last. RRP members receive 20% discounts on all orders.

Gray & Co Designs – save 25% off with code BF2019

Foxy Equestrian – 10% off on 11/29 with code BFF10

Ride Heels Down – sale starts 11/30

Pixio – $60 off any purchase with code CHRISTMAS before 11/30, or $117 off package of pixio/tripod/case, no code needed.

Equisense – 46% off from 11/27-12/2

Swanky Saddle – 25% off with code TGIBF

State Line Tack – up to 70% off select items

Horseloverz – various deals throughout the weekend

An Capall Equestrian – starting 11/28 get up to 25% off and free shipping

Horze – 20% off sitewide and 70% off clearance

Triple Crown Custom – 30% off and free shipping

Buckwild Breeches – all breeches $99, and spend $200 get a $25 gift card

The Tack Hack – 11/29 30% off sitewide, 12/2 30% off saddle pads, outerwear, martingales, and hunt coats.

Hunt Club – Daily deals, check their facebook page each day for discount codes, and get 25% off with code BF2019

Knixwear – 20-50% off sitewide

Point Two – ProFlex 50% off, canisters buy one get one 50% off, 25% off ProAir

Asmar Equestrian –  up to 75% off various items through 12/2

Cambox – up to 50% off

DecoPony – 15% off with code HAPPYDANCE

Spur of the Moment – 25% off

Big Dee’s – BOGO specials and various discounts

Grey Horse Candle Co – From 11/29-12/2 get 20% off with code FALALA

Ice Equestrian – up to 70% bridles, browbands, and accessories

It’s a Haggerty’s – starting 11/29 save up to 50% on ready to ship, plus various specials including BOGO deals

Cavaliere Couture – get 25% off with code GIVETHANKS25

Chick’s Saddlery – various sales and specials including blankets and outerwear

Voltaire Design – November 27th through December 2nd all accessories are 25% off through your local rep or the online store.

Total Saddle Fit – 20% off storewide Nov 29th with promo code BLACK

Centerline Style – 25% off with code GOBBLE

Purvida Healthy Horse – 50% off ANY order over $50 through 12/2 (discount will automatically apply when cart reaches $50)

Equifit – 15% off sitewide

JODS online – various sales and specials plus free shipping and free hat or credit card holder

Frankie Cameron – 20% off with code THANKFUL

Equestroom – 30% off all saddle pads and 70% off all breeches

Celeris Boots UK – 11/29 special checkout will open at 8pm GMT, get 20% off tall custom boots. Limited offer. Pay the deposit to secure the discount and then have one month to finalize custom options. UK, USA, and Canada residents or existing clients only.

Dreamers & Schemers – buy 2 get 1 free specials

Schneiders – various sale items and deals from 11/26-11/30

myselleria – up to 50% off various sale items

Seaver – 40% off plus free 6 month video subscription from 11/27-12/2 with code BLACKFRIDAY

Equiport – seven days of deals, various items added each day

Horse Pilot – starting 11/29 discounts on various products up to 50% off

Solo Equine – bridle blowout 11/29

Just Riding – deals up to 70% off from 11/29-12/2

EnviroEquine and Pet – 11/29-12/2 buy one get one free with code THANKFUL19

VTO Saddlery – additional 50% off clearance items in the Bargain Basement through December 2 with code THANKS

Ellany Equestrian – on 11/29 get 30% off sitewide with code BFCM

Topline Leather – 30% off charms, unicorn bits, barn essentials, and jewelry through 11/30 with code BLACKFRIDAY30. Browbands and gift certificates are 15% off through email orders only.

Aztec Diamond Equestrian – various discounts up to 85% off sitewide starting the afternoon of 11/28

Kastel Denmark – 25% off sitewide starting 11/28 with code BKF25

Adam’s Horse Supplies – various specials and discounts

LeFash –up to 70% off with code BLACK, free shipping over $50.

C4 – 30% off sitewide

USEA – 15% off USEA apparel and free shipping over $50 with code BLACKFRI15

Manhattan Saddlery –20% off storewide, 30% off house label from 11/29-12/2 with code GIDDYUP

Kentucky Equine Research – 15% with code SAVE15

Haygain – 10% off all hay steamers and ComfortStall flooring plus free item of apparel with purchase.

Kathryn Lily – warehouse cleanout up to 50% off

Barnes Tack Room – 20% off with code HolidayTack

Alessandro Albanese – 20% off through 12/2

Millbrook Leathers – 30% off through 11/27 (then 25% off starting 11/28) with code turkeyday

Callidae – 11/29-12/2 get 15% off

Dover Saddlery – various sales and specials

Southern Equestrian – 15% off with code 15OFF plus various daily deals

Katharine Page – up to 60% off Nov 29-Dec 2

Animo – various items on sale

Equestrian Stockholm – sale starts 11/29

Smartpak – 20% off with code Holiday19

Fenwick Equestrian – different sale items each day from 15-25% off and free domestic shipping

Used Horse Stuff – get an extra 40% off sitewide with code ALLOFIT

Ride-away Equestrian – Get an extra 10% off all sale items when you enter code RASALE at the checkout through 11/28

FITS – 20% off with code bf20

Loriece – 11/29 through 12/1 get 15% off jewelry with code BFJ15 and 15% off ornaments with code BFCO15

Flex-On – 15% off from 11/27-11/30 with code 2911BF

Mare Modern Goods– 15% off sitewide with code BLACKMARE19 from11/27-12/4

Joshua Jones UK – 20% off all clothing 11/29-12/2

Blanket Safe – pre sales starting 11/27, with other items on sale starting 11/29

Equi-Prism – 40% sitewide from 11/29-12/2

Fur and Leaf – 25% off with code BLACKSTALLION25 through 12/3

Saddle Threads – up to 20% off your entire order with code HOLIDAY from 11/29-12/2

Sporthorselifestyle – 30% off with code Holiday

Kentaur Australia – 20% off with code BLACKFRIDAYEARLYACCE-TTRSK

Arista – various discounts through monday 12/2

The Posh Pony – get 30% off belts (use code INEEDBELTS) and 15% off everything else

Finish Line Horse Products – 10% off sitewide from 11/29-12/1.

Equiline – 20% off the black line

Mane Jane – 25% off this week on all spur straps and belts

Botori – get 20% off with code JOSLYN10

Bridles & Reins – 40% off with code BFCMSALE

Huntley Equestrian – 25% off with code TURKEY19

Free x Rein – 30% off sitewide with code FXRFRIDAY2019

Mary’s Tack – up to 50% off various items through 12/2

Foot Huggies – get 25% off with code blackfriday

Cheshire Horse – 15% off sitewide plus free shipping with code THANKS19

Al’s Equine Conditioner – 20% from 11/29 through 12/2

LA Saddlery – 11/27 take 30% off sitewide with code THANKFUL, plus 25% off Iago show clothes and free shipping through 12/1 with code iago

Equiderma – Save 30% sitewide with code SAVE30 through December 6th

Saratoga Horseworks – different sales each day from 11/29-12/8, check their Insta for the promo codes per day

Equus Couture – various sales and specials on their facebook page

Huff Equestrian – up to 40% off starting 11/27

Incrediwear – buy one get second item 70% off

KWPN Marketplace – take 20% off through 12/15 with code KWPN holiday

Hay Chix – sale starts 11/29

My Barn Child – Holiday Sale section and 25% off tees & hoodies with the code T25


Premier Equine – up to 50% off sitewide through 12/3

Harcour – sale starts 11/29

Parlanti Boots – various discounts plus free shipping

Horse Lovers Outlet – 11/27 and 11/28 get 20% off beta biotane tack with code BBTACK20. 11/29 take 15% off storewide with code FRIDAY15. 11/30 take 15% off storewide with code SMALL15. 12/2 take 20% off storewide with code CYBER20.

Jojo Sox – 40% off sitewide with code BLACK40 through 12/1

Rose & Lace Equestrian – 30% off with code BF30

Bogs – 25% off with code CYBER25 through 12/2

Rebecca Ray – 40% off with code RRSALE40

Horsemen’s Outlet – 11/29 get 25% off any one item (excludes Tailored Sportsman and Charles Owen) with code BKF25. Take 20% off gift cards with BKF2019. Select turnout sheets $25, select turnout blankets $30. Every purchase made Nov 29-Dec 2 will be entered to win $100 Horsemen’s Outlet Gift Card.

Horseplay Apparel – 11/29 through 12/2 get 25% off with code BLACKFRIDAY

Belle and Bow Equestrian – get 30% off with code BLACKFRIDAY

Thinline – 11/29 through 12/2 get 20% off with code CyberMonday19 plus free insoles. Orders over $250 get a free hat.

The Hay Pillow – on 11/29 get 10% off with code FRIDAYHP

Flexineb – 10% off with code SAVE10

Walsh – through 12/2 get 15% off sitewide plus free shipping with code WALSH15

Breeches.com – up to 80% off clearance with code CLEARANCE80, 30% off sitewide on 11/28 with code THANKFUL30

PS of Sweden – up to 50% off starting 11/28



Flexible Fit – 30% off sitewide with code BLACKFRIDAY30 through 12/2

FeedXL – new plans, upgrades, and renewals are 50% off with code BF2019

Jeffers – get 15% off with code TURKEY through 11/29 (some exclusions)

The Tried Equestrian – 11/29 through 12/2 get BOGO on select clearance items. On 11/30 spend $100 and get a $20 gift card, spend $250 and get a $50 gift card, or spend $500 and get a $100 gift card.

The Tack Room – 15% off sitewide

My Horse’s Closet – 15% off with code Blackfriday15 through 12/2

The Equestrian’s Concierge – on 12/2 use code CYBER20 for 20% off

View Halloo – get 20% off sitewide through 12/2

Equus Now – entire store up to 40% off starting 11/29

The Collected Pony – starting 11/29 get 20% off most items with code BLACKFRIDAY19

Sweet Stitch Embroidery – 10% off custom embroidery orders through 12/7

Fleeceworks – flash specials throughout the holidays, keep an eye on their instagram page for offers and coupon codes

Kerrits – additional 20% off on sale items

HorseScents – 20% off ScentStraps and Sacs with code HOLIDAY20

Red Gorilla USA – 25% off sitewide with code BFCM25

Black Horse Clothing – 20% off sitewide through 12/2 with code BLACK19

Nunn Finer – 20% off sitewide through 12/1 with code BLACKFRIDAY

Horse PreRace – 35% off sitewide 11/29-12/2

Her Riding Habit – through 12/2 get 10% off one shirt with BFCM10, or get 15% off two or more shirts with BFCM15.

Bit by Bit Apparel – 20% off orders over $50

Masterson Method – discounts on book and dvd combo packages

Equestrianista – 25% off sitewide and up to 70% off select items all weekend with code BlackFriday

Herd of Zebras – 25% off through 12/2 with code SantaSPARKY

Paper Pony Co – 20% off sitewide with code HOLIDAZE

EQU Lifestyle Boutique – 20% off sitewide

Country and Stable – up to 50% off



Dubarry – select items on clearance

Equestrian Collections – select deals up to 90% off

Shop Halter Ego – save up to 30% off store-wide plus $150 off custom boots and 20% off custom bridles

Happy Hoof Pads – get 20% off pads and kits with code TG2019FB

DressageTraining.tv – various discounts on course downloads

Redpost Equestrian – various discounts

Old Mill Saddlery – various discounts up to 40% off

Cavalliera International – up to 50% off select items

Myst Equine Products – 25% off through 12/2

E-glove – select items up to 50% off

Royal Equine LLC – 11/29 through 12/1 get 15% off with code smallbiz15

Eqco designer horse wear – 20% off base prices for all Doesitall Lite products (in grey, burgundy, purple, royal blue, teal, and midnight), waterproof hi-viz and non hi-viz quarter sheets.

Celtic Rose Candle Company – get 25% off with code BLACKFRIDAY

Ippico – on 11/29 all items in stock will be under $99

Divoza – 25% off on one item of choice with code d19black, plus select items up to 50% off

Vision Saddlery – from 11/29-12/1 get 25% off all orders

Circuit Style – 25% off storewide through 12/2



The Tack Truck – 20% off sitewide

Mane Stream Equine – 10% off with code Turkey10

Sporthorse Essentials – use code BLACKFRIDAY25 for 25% off entire purchase through 12/2

Snaks 5th Avenchew – Up to 25% off all Snaks and accessories (some exclusions) with code BLACK25 on 11/29

Ronnar Design – up to 30% off

Black Knight Accessories – through 12/2 get a free nameplate on all RW’s, 20% off storewide, free gift on orders over $150 CDN, and free shipping on all orders over $200 CDN

Black Heart Equestrian – use code BLACKOUT for 20% off

Leveza – use code Fall10 for 10% off

Equestrian Fashion Outfitters – up to 50% off sitewide through Dec 2 (some exclusions)

Equestrian Coach – get 30% off all subscriptions, gift memberships, and pay per view videos with code BF30 through 12/3

CC Signature – 20% off sitewide with code CCHoliday20

County Equestrian Jewelers – 10% off all silver orders with code BLACKFRIDAY19

Ideana – up to 30% off with code BLACK30

Hansen Equestrian – 40% off all remaining prints

Devon-Aire – 25% off or more in their Amazon store through 12/2

Eponia USA – various discounts and deals

Espana Silk – 20% off all orders through 12/2, or $10 off Gift packs plus free ground shipping on orders over $99.

Ikonic Saddlery – 50% off wool rugs with code BLFR2019

Dalia Lehmann – up to 50% off through 11/30

Ecogold – 15% off anything black with code blackfriday

Ruespari– 15% off entire purchase with code HOLIDAYGIFT15 through 12/2

Heated Horse – various discounts sitewide

Wallace Eventing – 15% off everything with code FRIDAY15

Dressage Performance – 15% off sitewide with other various brands up to 30% off

Pup & Pony Co – 20% off with code BLACK

Alberto Fasciani – get 10% off sitewide with code BLACK10 through 12/1

Reverdy – 20-30% off select items

World Wide Tack – 25% off sitewide with code SHOPPINGSPREE through 12/2

USEF – select items up to 50% off, 20% off orders under $100, 25% off orders over $100, 30% off orders over $200, and 35% off orders over $300.



The Dressage Store – storewide sale up to 30% off with code BLACKFRIDAY

Struck Apparel  – 20% off regular priced items through 12/2

The Equine Edge – 10% off plus free shipping through 12/2

Equi In Style – get 20% off through 12/2 with code BLACKFRIDAY

Two Bits Equestrian – 40% off sitewide through 12/2

Annies USA – 10% off with code gratitude

Essex Classics – 25% off and free shipping with code FRIDAY2019

Redmond Equine – special bundles and deals

Zandona – 40% off sitewide with code BLACK40

Redingote Equestrian – 10% plus free shipping with code FRIDAY10

CWD – $150 off bridles and $85 off reins

Oaklyn Equestrian – on 11/30 get 15% off



AtelierCG  – 30% off with code blackfriday

Buck Off Cancer – 10% off any web order of $25 or more through 12/3

ReRide Consignment – up to 30% off

Barrington Saddlery – 25% off online with code preblack25

Pony Suds – 20% off with code GIFT

Handy Hunter Boutique – 50% off

Makebe – 30% off with code BLACKFRIDAY

Corro – 20% off sitewide plus free shipping

Amare Equipment – 45% off everything on 11/30 and 50% off everything on 12/1



Making Friends and Playing Dress Up

If you’ve followed this blog for more than approximately 2 seconds, you know that Henry is a total weirdo. You also probably have heard me say that he’s not particularly “normal” when it comes to horsey societal behavior. He’s one of those horses that tends to prefer to have friends from afar – ie he wants to see the other horses but he doesn’t particularly want to interact with them. He’s got that crochety old man “get off my lawn” personality.

I love him but he’s grumpy AF

So imagine my surprise to see that he appears to have struck up some kind of kinship with the yearling, JB. I’ve caught them playing over the fence too many times to count by now.

games that involve biting are their favorite
but also snugs

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen Henry play with other horses. Scream at them, yes, bite them, yes, chase them, yes, but play with them? And seem to genuinely enjoy it? And LEAVE HIS PILE OF HAY to do it? You could knock me over with a feather. I never would believe it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

I guess maybe he and JB have a particular connection. They’re both weird. Super duper mega freaking weird. Like I don’t think I can stress enough how weird they both are. None of the other horses really seem to like JB that much (Presto loves to play with him, but I’m not convinced that he particularly enjoys his company otherwise), and in fact most of them seem to find him quite annoying. He’s like the mega-strange little brother that you tolerate because you have to but you also kind of want to strangle. Henry is the most easily- annoyed horse I know, yet for some reason… he’s ok with JB’s particular brand of annoying?

These derps. I cannot.

Now I catch them playing almost every day. Granted, they don’t live in the same pasture, so I’m not sure that Henry’s apparent affection for the weird kid would carry over if they spent more time in each other’s direct company. Still though, it seems to have had the effect of softening Henry’s rough edges a bit when it comes to his social interaction in general. He and the older mare are stalled next to each other and I catch them contentedly hanging out, faces mere inches from each other, quite a bit. I’ve even caught Henry playing with Presto over the fence too.

Yeah I dunno I can’t explain that. I have no idea what was even going on there. Presto seemed content to have Henry hold his chin with his teeth?

Yeah sure why not?

I even ended up having to move Henry to a different pasture, otherwise he would just stand at the fenceline of the other one (which was of course the only muddy spot on the property) and look forlorn all day. The pasture he’s in now runs lengthwise to theirs as opposed to just sharing an end, so he can stay near them no matter where they wander. He seems happier now having more and closer access to them. It almost makes me want to try turning him out with their group to see if his friendly behavior would carry over and he could be normal for once in his life. I don’t even know what horse this is. Making friends? Enjoying the company of other horses? What??? Tis a Christmas miracle.

Speaking of Christmas, I have a photographer coming out on Friday to do holiday-themed pics of the boys. I’ve never had pro pictures done of them outside of shows, but there was a great deal on holiday mini-sessions that I couldn’t refuse. It’s also possible that I bought antlers for Presto.

admit it, you know he’ll make a good reindeer

I think Presto will just wear his green Kincade halter for his pics (he also has navy leather and black leather?), since it’s festive, but I think I want to put Henry in a bridle. I just have to decide which bridle, since he has, uh… five. Hackamore bridle, side pull bridle, dressage bridle, figure eight bridle, flat hunt bridle.

The hackamore and the sidepull are out for aesthetic reasons, and I think the figure eight might be too busy. That leaves me with the black dressage bridle with black rhinestone browband (like this one, except his is not patent and doesn’t have the flash):

Or his brown flat hunt bridle, like this one:


Thoughts? They will be black background style shots, if that matters. Never done this whole photo shoot thing before!

Boring Baby

Yesterday I did a ground driving session with Presto for the first time in a few months. All in all I’ve ground driven him less than 10 times ever, and only maybe 4-5 times with a bit… I’m not trying to do anything too specific, I mostly just want to give him some idea of how to understand and be comfortable with the bit well before I swing a leg over and actually try to ride.


I really haven’t done much of anything with him, aside from grooming, for almost a month. We’re at that point where honestly he’s quite ready to throw a leg over and start riding, but also he’s not three yet. If I can get a ground person to come help me, I do want to do a few very quick and basic “rides” on him this winter, but otherwise he’s just kind of chilling, and I’m in waiting mode. Every once in a while I get him out for a short lunge or ground driving session mostly just to check in and make sure he remembers everything. He always does.

I took him away from all the other horses, groomed him, tacked him up, led him out to the arena, and he still looked bored with it all. The blown-over dressage letters that Henry spooks at every time are mere curiosities to Presto. He wants to go put his nose on them, but he’s never once even looked at them in a semi-anxious way, not even when footing gets kicked onto them and they make a scary (according to Henry anyway) noise. At the beginning of every session I always lunge Presto for a couple minutes first, going over his voice commands. He knows whoa, walk, and trot 100% now. They’re good enough to where you can even transition between gaits pretty rapidly. The word canter is only about 50/50, mostly because I rarely canter him on the lunge line. He’s a big rangy horse with a big step, I don’t think his balance or his body is really ready for cantering on a 20m circle yet.

his best button is whoa

Once I’d practiced his voice commands both ways, I hooked up the long lines. One little squeeze on the left rein to move his nose left, one little squeeze on the right rein to move his nose right, and I was satisfied that he remembered what the bit means, so off we went around the arena. We turned, we went straight, we circled, and we made a somewhat drunken attempt at a serpentine. It’s a little hard to ground drive him because he’s almost TOO sensitive and turns a little TOO well. It would be a lot easier from the saddle where I could use my leg and body. But, he definitely remembered it all, and he did everything I asked, as if he does this every day. I halted him and took the long lines off then led him over to the stepstool, jumping up and down and leaning my body over the saddle from both sides. Again, never moved a muscle. At this point we were all of 15 minutes in and I had accomplished everything I had set out to do. I slid down and declared him to be the most boring baby ever.

he thinks I’m the most boring mom ever

And when I say boring, I mean that in the best possible way. He’s smart, he retains things easily, he’s confident, he’s obedient, and he’s not emotional. He can go for a long time between training sessions and pick it right back up as if it’s a daily occurrence. He’s very calm about “working”, and is far more of a thinker than a reactor. There is no “well let’s see what kind of mood he’s in today”… so far he’s always the same.

Don’t get me wrong, he can definitely be a goofy baby in his free time. He loves to run and buck and snort and turn into an arabian anytime the neighbor cows make an appearance. But so far, when it comes to his job (if you can even call it that yet), he’s very steady, predictable, and easy.

my favorite thing about this is that there was some godawful racket going on in the woods to the left and all of his horse friends had abandoned him and disappeared out of eyesight but he wasn’t concerned.

Things might change when I swing a leg over and actually start doing things… we’ll see. I’ve had some that were exactly the same for groundwork as they were under saddle, and others that were totally different. He IS only 2 years, 8 months, and 9 days old, after all (but who’s counting?).


It’s been a long week

I am kind of functioning at peak anxiety level right now. Work has been BONKERS in a way that it has never been before. Not just busy but also weird things happening and random problems that seem to sprout up every couple hours and need to be fixed, plus process changes and system changes that may or may not be working. Our customers are trying to wrap up their end of year spending so everyone needs everything RIGHT NOW. I don’t recall a time when I’ve ever been this stressed out at work, and I’ve been here almost 15 years. It feels a little like this:

Image result for everything is on fire gif

Plus the place that I like to escape to so that I can look at pictures of ponies and see all the fun things that are going on – social media – has been batshit crazy as well. It’s like a weird game of “how freaked out can you make equestrians on social media in one week”, and the universe accepted the challenge. The depo debacle, a trainwreck of comments at the ML reappearance, the FEI making helmets mandatory (I CAN’T BELIEVE PEOPLE ARE STILL ARGUING ABOUT HELMETS IN 2019), and then the GM thing. Bam bam bam bam one after the other. Like for real, I doubt the Chronicle’s facebook page has ever gotten this much action in a week. It’s madness.

Image result for angry crowd gif
it’s basically this

And then I had the bright idea to listen to the Hunting Warhead podcast, about the biggest child sexual abuse websites on the dark web, how they got busted, and the people who created them. It’s beyond fucked up. I mean, really though, everyone should listen to that podcast, it’s so important to understand, but jesus christ.

Oh yeah, and my horse is lame. Makes sense since I just finished paying an unrelated $1300 vet bill. WHY NOT GO FOR ROUND TWO. IT’S NOT LIKE I’M TRYING TO SAVE MONEY FOR A HOUSE OR ANYTHING. No profit sharing or bonuses at work this year either. Hope no one wanted Christmas presents.

Image result for fetal position gif

Also this morning I tripped over nothing and fell down while carrying all the horses’ breakfast. So. You could say things are going well for me at the moment.

In between torturing myself with real life, people screaming “it was a different time!” on social media, and dropping shit, I’ve retreated to the holy sanctity of memes. You can always count on a good meme to make you feel better, ya know? That’s the kind of mindless entertainment I need right now. Here are a few of the week’s favorites:

I can’t wait for my Muddy Mayhem calendar to get here

(Hair is currently burgundy as I work my way through my arctic fox colors…)


And perhaps the most relevant:

Might try that in the next meeting. That should go over fine, right?

I’ve also started putting together my big annual Black Friday sales list, which kinda makes me want to a die a little bit in and of itself, but hey why not. If any business owners are reading this, please shoot me a message via my comment page or on my facebook/instagram with info about your sale so I can make sure you get included. This will go live next Wednesday or Thursday and as usual I’ll keep updating it as we move through the weekend. Hope everyone is ready for some shopping (I’m not, because horses)!


Happy Friday!

Stewie the Barn Dog

I have had my JRT mix, Stewie, for 14 years. He is without a doubt my OG sidekick, having outlasted many relationships, had many horse-brothers, and been on all kinds of crazy adventures with me (fact: he LOVES kayaking, and he’s also finished a 5k.). I got him when he was just 6 weeks old, sourced through a post on an online horse bulletin board of someone giving away some “oops” puppies. He’s the first dog that was ever completely my own, and I must say, he was the cutest puppy ever.


He’s been around horses for his entire life, too, obviously. I couldn’t bring him to the barn with me daily, because he wanted to stay right on the heels of whatever horse I was riding, but he still got to come out on a pretty regular basis and roll in dirt, wallow in ponds, and try to sneak bites of horse poop (why, dogs, why?).

sitting on an empty feed bag after a successful pond wallow

It’s gotten a bit harder to do that in the past several years, though. Some barn owners don’t want you bringing dogs out, which I completely understand and respect. Stewie knows Henry, but they’re more like cousins who only see each other a couple times a year on holidays. They get along well though. Henry isn’t worried about dogs, and Stewie is scared enough of horses to generally keep himself out of harms way, but not so scared that they can’t interact.

a few years ago – too cute

Not to mention the elephant in the room – Stewie has aged. He’s still got a lot of that natural JRT zest, but he’s a little more… senile than he used to be. Plus he’s gotten quite hard of hearing.

When I moved out to the farm I decided to bring him with me. I prefer having a dog around when I’m alone, plus he really isn’t happy at home when I’m not there. He’s been my best dude for 14 years, and he’s not that “into” anyone else. Not to mention that, if we’re being totally honest, he much preferred being an only dog. He and Quinn the corgi aren’t enemies, but they aren’t the best of friends either. So Quinn and the cat stayed in Austin with the SO, and Stewie moved out to the farm with me. At 14, he’s finally a full-time barn dog.


And well… he loves it. He sleeps all day when I’m at work, then when I get home he comes out to the barn with me and hangs out while I do chores. He rolls in the grass, chases lizards, and goes around cleaning up whatever few pellets the horses dropped in their shavings. When I drive the spreader out to the way back, he waits for me about halfway down the alleyway, and as I come driving back he gallops along in front of me, leading the charge back to the barn. He’s delighted, and it’s adorable.

I do have to watch him extra-closely, especially since he’s almost deaf. He’s got that terrier instinct to want to put his nose in places he really shouldn’t, so I always have to keep an eye on where he is and what he’s getting into. There are snakes and coyotes and other critters out here. I also can’t call him if he gets too far away, since he can’t hear me. When I’m working directly with the horses, he has to stay inside.

Living the barn dog life, I can really see how much he’s aged, which makes me sad. But on the other hand he’s still pretty spry and happy and energetic for a dog that’s creeping up on 15. I do know that he’s quite enjoying his new role, though… he definitely LOVES being a barn dog again. That makes my heart happy too.

Farm Adventures: The Alarm Works

I figure there will be a lot of funny faux-pas type stories as I go along with my new full time farm living, so why not just go ahead and start a series? I’ve already been laughing at myself a few times, but my favorite dumb moment so far has been my misadventure with the alarm. The property is rigged pretty thoroughly with cameras and a Ring system, which the alarms are also synced with. To start the story of how I so thoroughly tested the alarm system, first I have to set the stage for you.

See, it was cold last week. Really cold, especially for a Texan, and especially in November. I mean seriously, a month ago it was 95 degrees, and all the sudden we had a whole week where it got down into the 20’s. And it was raining. There was legit frozen shit falling from the sky (ok, not at the farm, but nearby). I know I’m a baby compared to northern standards, but I was a popsicle.

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this isn’t even an exaggeration, I looked exactly like this

So on one of those cold nights, after spending days being some level of cold 24/7, when I got in the shower after cleaning stalls and feeding the horses, I cranked up the hot water. I mean really really hot. And I let it run until my skin was pink from head to toe and I was enveloped in a steamy wonderland and I was finally hot again. It was delightful. Eventually I climbed out of the shower, feeling refreshed and happy in that glorious way that only a truly hot shower on a really cold day can achieve.

And then, my dog pushed the bathroom door open.

As soon as the door cracked enough to release all the steam in the bathroom, it billowed directly into the smoke alarm. It immediately started blaring with that horrible ear-splitting screech, making me jump completely out of my skin. Mind you, I had barely even reached for a towel at this point, much less dried off or gotten dressed.

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A few seconds after the smoke alarm started blaring, the Ring alarm started blaring too. From on top of the refrigerator came another ear-splitting screech, so now there were two sources of screeching creating a lovely cacophony of noise in stereo. As I’m fumbling with the towel, trying to get out in the hallway to turn the smoke alarm off, I now hear my phone in the bedroom (from yet another direction) alarming too, because the Ring sends you notifications when alarms are triggered. Make that THREE sources of screeching.

So there I am, dripping wet, losing all of my glorious warmth by the second, trying to silence all these alarms coming from all different directions. I got the smoke alarm first, hoping that if I silenced the source it would shut all 3 of them up, but the Ring kept going. I had to dash across the house clinging to my towel (hello, across the street neighbors) and try to figure out how to turn it off. I was unsuccessful, so I dashed back to the bedroom, still in my towel (hello again, across the street neighbors), and opened the Ring app, where I was finally able to shut off the alarm.

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Now I was wet, cold, wrapped partially in a towel, and had left a trail of water in my wake from one end of the house to the other. And I was definitely no longer relaxed. Probably a bit traumatized about taking hot showers forever, honestly. I’ve developed a real complex about it.

And then of course, the home owner texted and asked what was on fire, because I forgot they get the Ring alarm notifications too. God, I can only imagine them sitting there eating dinner or something in Florida and all the sudden their phones go off with a fire alarm at home. I had to explain that no, nothing was on fire, I was just cold and took a shower so hot that the steam set off the smoke alarm. Only me. ONLY FREAKING ME.

I guess, in the alarm’s defense, it was a really hot shower.

What a Dep-bacle

Well guys, we’re almost a week into the announcement of the USEF ban on depo and nobody has imploded yet. Whew, it was touch and go there for a while. My goodness. If the comments on the COTH facebook thread about it weren’t enough to convince you just how much credence this ban has, nothing will.

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me, reading the hundreds of comments

The whole depo thing is a little confusing to me, to be honest. It was never on the prohibited substances list before, but the drug rule is:

Any product is prohibited if it contains an ingredient that is a
prohibited substance, or is a drug which might affect the performance
of a horse and/or pony as a stimulant, depressant, tranquilizer,
analgesic, local anesthetic, psychotropic (mood and/or behavior
altering) substance, or might interfere with drug testing procedures.
The USEF provides a common list of prohibited substances, however,
the number of substances that potentially affect the performance of a
horse are too numerous to list.

Considering that everyone says they were using depo to help horses “even out their moods” or “make them easier to handle”, it was technically already prohibited for that purpose. Just not expressly prohibited and testable as illegal. Of course, Perfect Prep would also fall under the psychotropic category IMO, and they have been a friggin sponsor for USHJA. That one has always really confused me, but that’s a rabbit trail for another day.

So what is depo, really? It’s a human hormone that most will be familiar with:

Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), also known as depot medroxyprogesterone acetate in injectable form and sold under the brand name Depo-Provera among others, is a hormonal medication of the progestin type. It is used as a method of birth control and as a part of menopausal hormone therapy. 

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Depo is particularly interesting due to it’s rampant misuse and the deaths attributed to it over the past couple years. I’ve never quite understood why in the world people were giving human female hormones to geldings. It makes no logical sense, unless the depo was giving some other effect outside of basic hormone therapy. Most over the year have used it in geldings to modify mood or behavior, although Depo defenders are very quick to insist that it isn’t a sedative. Technically they’re right. However:

Dr. Stephen Schumacher, DVM and chief administrator of the USEF Drugs and Medications Program, spoke about the perceived calming effect that MPA has on both mares and geldings and stallions, and the possibility that it’s related to the fact that MPA reacts with GABA receptors in the brain (much like benzodiazepines such as Valium or Xanax) to create an effect similar to tranquilizers. These receptors are very similar across mammalian species, so although the research hasn’t been done on horses specifically, it’s likely that the effect is similar to species that have been studied. 

While it’s not explicitly manufactured to be a sedative or tranquilizer, in horses it certainly has the potential to work like one.

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More recent studies also showed that it does not in fact have the ability to prevent ovulation in mares either, which was why most mare owners used it. Depo was a common alternative to Regu-Mate, since it’s easier to administer, but now we know that it doesn’t actually do what everyone thought it did for mares. In fact, from another article:

When MPA seems to be working better than altrenogest for mares, it’s likely because it’s working on the GABA receptors in their brains rather than preventing them from suffering the discomfort of ovulating at a show.

Basically, it’s covering up their anxiety about the discomfort, rather than actually addressing the physical issue that causes the “misbehavior” in the first place. Reading through the comments from a lot of depo users, that was a concern I had over and over again. People claiming that depo helped a horse with bad behavior, or one who didn’t like being turned out with other horses, or one who was sore, or one who was unhappy in the barn. It was concerning to me that people so often resorted to a needle in those behavioral situations, rather than looking deeper at the underlying problem. So much of what was described, particularly with the geldings who used it, sounded suspiciously like management issues.

I’m definitely not on board with giving it to geldings and stallions in any scenario, since it doesn’t make any logical sense whatsoever. I do understand, though, why people might have opted for it for mares in the past, thinking that it helped with their cycles. Of course, now we know that isn’t true at all, plus there IS a scientifically proven, USEF-compliant, FDA-approved alternative – Regu-Mate (altrenogest).

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“Medroxy (depo) is probably our single most abused drug currently,” said Allen. “If we had nothing to control estrus behavior in the mare, then it would be a different question, but we do, and it’s approved, and it’s FDA approved.”

The common complaint with Regu-Mate is that it puts the humans who handle it at risk. To an extent that’s true, it IS a hormone, so you don’t want to get it on your skin. However, I’m gonna call bullshit here. I worked at a breeding farm for years and handled Regu-Mate on a daily basis for much of that time. It’s called gloves. You can even use a handy little dosing gun to make it easier to administer. It’s just… not that hard or complicated. At all. Plus it’s SO MUCH safer than depo, and it’s actually proven to work. I admittedly don’t really understand the backlash against using Regu-Mate.

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Another pro-depo argument that I saw was that banning depo will mean that horses will have to be lunged a lot more, which is even worse for them than an injection. That one admittedly shocked me a bit. Especially when it came from the same people who insisted that depo isn’t a sedative. Those two points, uh… definitely don’t work together. If we find ourselves in a sport where horses either have to be lunged to death or given mood-altering drugs, either we need a different horse for the job or we need to look more closely at the sport itself. Maybe both. Excuse my language, but that is fucked up.

I have never used depo, so okay maybe I just “don’t get it”. But to be honest, we know that a) it has caused horse deaths in the past 2 years. b) it does not work in horses the way we thought it did – it does not suppress estrus. c) for horses it actually most likely works more like anti-anxiety medication. d) it can potentially cover up underlying problems. e) it was being used for mood-altering reasons. f) due to all of the above reasons, it really has no legitimate use for horses at all.

I have a hard time looking at all that and understanding why anyone would still want to use it, or advocate for it’s use as a legal substance in equestrian sports, yet it still seems to have a lot of supporters despite all those things.

Maybe this will make people take a harder look at their programs and the suitability of their horses. Or maybe they’ll just find the next best “non-testable” thing and use that instead. I don’t know. But I do think, for sure, that banning depo was the right move overall, and there’s no doubt at all that it was being heavily misused. How often are we reaching for a needle when horses are trying to tell us something?

TB Takeover (and let’s discuss live feed commentating)

Thoroughbreds are seriously having a moment this fall. First we had Unmarked Bills running clear around a tough Burghley on his first ever attempt, on a course where many other very experienced horses came to grief (Indy 500, another american OTTB, also ran clear across that controversial and influential course). Then we had Paddy the Caddy, a fan favorite, winning the Fair Hill 4*L in October. Plus Mucho Me Gusto‘s win the West Coast 5yo YEH Championships, and Not Ours going from kill pen to second place at the 5yo East Coast YEH (a mere 0.04 points behind the imported warmblood winner). It’s been a fun time to be a TB fan.

This past weekend provided ample opportunity to keep waving that Thoroughbred flag with enthusiasm. Willingapark Clifford, a full TB, won the Adelaide 5* again – the first horse to ever win Adelaide 3 times. Third place at Adelaide also went to a full TB, Sky’s Da Limit.

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Willingapark Clifford

As if that weren’t enough, Ocala Jockey Club also had thoroughbreds making headlines, with full TB’s taking the win in both the 3*L and the 4*L. They offer great prize money for thoroughbreds at this event, and boy did the horses deliver. Campground won the 4*L, Il Vici won the 3*L, and Bogue Sound was 2nd in the 4*S. Phillip Dutton’s mount Sea of Clouds had one of only two double clear XC rounds in the 4*L on Saturday despite being new to the level and was my personal favorite in the division on that phase. Steady Eddie also carried Mike Pendleton to his second 4*L completion in a month, making them qualified for Kentucky.

There were so many great moments with thoroughbreds this past weekend, I can’t name them all or we’d be here all day, but those were some of the highlights for me. It was a great weekend of sport, especially if you are a thoroughbred fan, and I greatly enjoyed having live streams available. I can’t thank events enough for doing that, it’s really great to be able to watch from home when you can’t make it to the event in person.

Just spending my weekend stalking Mighty Magic offspring on live feeds like it’s my job

I did want to talk a little bit about the commentating though. It’s often painful to hear the commentators, who tend to be upper level riders, try to talk about breeding. I don’t know if they just need to be provided with more/better information or what, but boy was I cringing. First they didn’t have the sheets with the horse’s information on them, then when they got the sheets a lot of it was incomplete. This isn’t their fault or the fault of the person who printed the data, which usually comes from the FEI or USEA listings – best case scenario all you get is the sire and dam name, plus so many horses are listed without any registry or pedigree information by their owners or riders. Even though it’s actually quite easy to find with a tiny bit of digging… I was successful in tracking down most of the “unknown” horses within 30 seconds. SIGH. Come on people. Please put in accurate data for your horses.

A lack of info led to a lot of missed opportunities to point out cool things, like “this horse is by the same sire as Deniro Z” or “this horse is out of the same dam as Tim Price’s 5* winner Ascona M” (yes, both of those scenarios were true). You know… things that, at least to me, are really fun tidbits to know and say out loud on a commentary, and can lead to good discussions or comparisons of horses. But they have no way of knowing most of that from the limited info on those sheets, and most people don’t carry those facts around in their head (ok I do but that’s because I have no actual life, those people are busy riding like 10 horses a day and showing every weekend). There was also no breeder information discussed, not even once, which made me sad. So many of those horses were American-bred, many produced by actual event horse breeders specifically for this sport, and none of them got acknowledged on the live feed. Some breeders even had several horses present. Missed opportunity for some conversation (and great self promotion) there.

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I also don’t think that top level riders tend to be great at commentating on the breeding aspect in general anyway. At one point both of them discussed that they had never heard of a “German Sport Horse” and the conclusion was that it must be something that people made up because they didn’t know what the horse really was. Yeah no. It’s an actual thing. One commentator also said that Oldenburgs can be a combination of many different things, which… is actually true of any of the warmblood registries except Trakehner. Trak is the only one with a closed book (they don’t accept anything but trakehner, arabian, and thoroughbred).

Which kind of tied into another comment about how a particular stallion was originally an Selle Francais but was sold to Germany so now it’s a Holsteiner. Much laughing ensued, because they thought this was hilarious. Sigh. No. That’s not how that works. See, a horse can only have one actual REGISTRATION, and that happens when it’s a baby. That registration will never change. That SF stallion will always be a SF. Stallions and mares can be APPROVED for breeding with multiple registries though, and that’s where it gets confusing. They can produce offspring for a different registry than their own. Registration and approval are different.

For example, Presto’s sire Mighty Magic is registered Holsteiner. This will never change, he will always be a Holsteiner. However, he has also been approved for breeding with Selle Francais, Anglo-Arab, Hanoverian, Oldenburg, Mecklenburg, Rheinland, Westfalen, and Swedish WB. That means he can produce offspring eligible for registration with ANY of those registries. To make it even more complicated, there are some registries that will accept foals for registration if they are by a stallion that is approved with certain other registries. For example, sBs (Belgian Sporthorse) is Presto’s registry. While Mighty Magic was not expressly presented for breeding approval with sBs, they accept foals by him for registration based on his other approvals and his sport results. Presto’s dam Sadie was not born sBs either, but she was presented for inspection to sBs and they approved her for breeding in their mare book (she is also approved Westfalen – just like stallions, mares can have multiple approvals).

a pony at his sBs stallion inspection in Gesves (he was adorbs)

Presto’s sire and dam were both approved for breeding with sBs, and that’s the registry we went with for him, therefore Presto is Belgian Sporthorse (even though yes, he was born and bred in the US, he actually has a Belgian passport and papers). Presto will always be a Belgian Sporthorse, even though his sire is registered Holsteiner and his dam is registered German Sport Horse (to make it more fun, HER sire was registered Hanoverian and her dam was registered thoroughbred).

This is very convoluted and confusing to an non-breeder, I get it. It’s why these are registries, not breeds. It’s also why the registry ultimately matters so very little, and tells us almost nothing about the horse. To know anything about what you’re really looking at, you must look at the actual pedigree. Most people have no idea how any of that works (as evidenced by a podcast I listened to last week when a big name rider said “well she’s Dutch, so we knew she would jump”. God, cue a massive amount of twitching.). It’s really not THAT hard to learn though, especially if it’s something you comment on to the public. Or if you buy young horses.

Another pet peeve, since I’m on a roll – one commentator kept saying that Zangersheide was German. It’s not. It’s a Belgian registry (there are 3 in Belgium – BWP based in the northern Flemish part, sBs based in the southern French part, and Zangersheide which started off as a private studfarm and turned into it’s own registry later).

that time we went to Zangersheide and saw so many stallions and it was awesome

I don’t know how to help with any of this though. Part of me wishes they’d throw a breeder in the commentator booth, with the express job of saying who bred the horse, where it was bred, and maybe a quick tidbit about the bloodlines. That would be my absolute dream come true. Let the riders commentate on the horses and the riding, and let the breeding person talk about that part. At the very least it would be nice to provide the commentators with some kind of pre-prepared fact sheet, with more detailed and accurate information about the horses. Show/live feed organizers, I personally volunteer to provide that. Dead freaking serious.

I love having the live feeds so I’m not complaining at all, don’t get me wrong. The quality was super and it was really really really well done. I’d rather listen to wrong information all day long than not have a live feed, that is 100% for sure. But I also feel like if we’re gonna do something, it’s worth doing the best we can. The live feeds especially are such a great opportunity to get more information out there, to recognize our breeders, and to really talk about the horses. It would have also been cool to discuss the thoroughbreds in more detail and what lines they shared – valuable information for people picking up horses off the track, and fitting with the ties to the Ocala Jockey Club. It’s how we learn, and we’re missing a good opportunity for some “free” public education.

Am I being crazy? Does the public not really care about any of this? Am I the only one getting twitchy about these things? Maybe so…

Latest edition of latest additions

Considering that my horses have been walking vet bills this year and that I’m currently saving for the tiny house, my purchases as of late have not been very exciting. Unless you’re into animalintex and blanket straps and eyebrow razors (for bots, not for me…) and crazy looking tooth-hole-flushing instruments.

Fun game: buy 400ml dosing syringe. Have it delivered to work. Let coworkers try to guess wtf it is. One thought it was for artificial insemination and I DIED.

But, you know, even on relative “lock down” sometimes there are things that are too good of a deal to pass up. Or a sale email hits my inbox on a particularly self pity-filled day and before you know it I’ve blacked out and bought more pants. These things happen.

The only truly exciting thing that has arrived lately was the closeout Mountain Horse boots that I actually purchased a couple months ago. They sat in customs for legit two weeks, and then USPS strapped them to the back of a 3-legged geriatric turtle to get them here. I mean I’m assuming that was the method anyway, considering how long it took. They got from Germany to New York in 2 days and New York to Texas in almost 4 weeks. Makes sense.


I’ve always liked the look of the Opus High Rider, but they weren’t available in America and I’m not really into paying full price for something off the rack. And then Mountain Horse put the model on closeout, which made them half price, and at $180 I had a hard time saying no. I mean, technically yes I do already have a pair of brown boots, but those are my semi-custom Pioneer boots, which are kinda fancy, and I feel guilty abusing them with everyday barn wear and tear. I know that Mountain Horse boots can take abuse, and since I don’t have to care about keeping them pretty, I could feel free to abuse them at will. Especially at that price.


So I bought a pair, slightly big on purpose so that I could also wear thicker winter socks under them. Both of my current pairs of boots are of the “fit like a glove variety”, which is great until it’s cold and you want thicker clothes. The Opus boots have just enough extra space in the foot and calf for all that, without being too big without it, and so far they’re working out pretty well. I don’t know that I would be in love with them if I had paid $360 for them, the ankle is not as nicely tapered and fitted as I prefer and the zipper feels a bit cheap, but for half price I think they’re fantastic.


They are a lighter/redder brown than my very chocolate Pioneer’s, so I’ve got some variety going on with my colors at least. I also just realized that all three pairs of my boots are dress boots. I guess that makes sense, I do really prefer the clean lines of a dress boot. I still haven’t decided how I feel about the contrast sole. I specifically didn’t order the light sole on my Pioneer’s because while I love the look when the boot is on the shelf, I think once you’re on the horse it just looks dirty, like you just finished walking your course and didn’t wipe your boots off when you got back on. I might get over it eventually (I probably won’t).

I also fell prey to one of stupidDover’s stupidBOGO deals. I always feel a bit dirty when that happens. But they sent out that stupidEmail and stupidMe clicked on it, because it was early in the morning when I’m at my weakest, and I was like oh look, two pairs of breeches for $80 AND free shipping? That’s basically free! I nabbed a green pair and a charcoal gray pair of Dover’s Wellesley breeches.

I guess Dover tried to make their own version of Smartpak’s popular Piper line (which I admittedly hated) with the contrasting piping, and for some reason I was optimistic that maybe Dover did a better job. To be fair, they did. The fabric is a little better (still don’t love it, but it’s better), as is the fit, and I really like both colors. Unfortunately they gap at the waist on me too, the same problem I had with Pipers, although they don’t sag or slide down, so it’s a lot more tolerable. I think if I’d paid more than $40/pair I’d be grumpier about it but for that price they’re totally fine. And I do appreciate that Dover included pictures of some not-model-thin people in the photos of the breeches.


I did have one pity-purchase too, when I was having a particularly frustrating day and just Could Not anymore. If there are two things I love, it’s socks and the f word, so when you combine them I’m definitely in. I grabbed a pair of Milton Menasco dreamers and schemers socks, and I truly have no regrets. They make me smile, which was their whole intended purpose.

I mean it would be better if it wasn’t censored, but whatever

There was also “the thing that got away”… the item I really really wanted and MAY have squealed out loud about when I found it, but talked myself out of buying because I felt especially poor that day.

See, the SO and I are grumpy a-holes, so on Halloween we went out for mexican food and then walked across the parking lot to World Market. The entire adventure was specifically designed to get us out of our neighborhood during peak trick or treating hours. So we ate chips and queso, wandered around WM smelling soaps and looking at all the foreign candy, and then as we’re wandering up the very last aisle, what do I see?


That is, I have to say, the best damn christmas stocking I have ever seen in my life. I was thisclose to buying it, but talked myself out of it when I remembered that we haven’t been brave enough to put up any christmas stuff since we got the cat. She is walking chaos, destruction, and mayhem. I feel like dangling stockings from the mantle would basically just be a written invitation for her to destroy everything up there, and then I would be mad at her for pulling down my $25 unicorn stocking. So… I didn’t buy it. And now I kind of regret it, but I also know I was right and the cat would totally ruin it.

What new pretties have you guys added to the collection recently? I hope they’re more exciting than mine.

The Gift of Literature

I know none of us are ready to talk about it yet, but we’re inching closer and closer to the holiday season. We’re a scant two weeks from Black Friday, which means that if you haven’t started contemplating gifts yet, you miiiiight want to get on that.

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I won’t be doing any big elaborate gift guides this year. The Black Friday bohemoth post is enough holiday masochism for me, thanks. However, when I was thinking back on my favorite things of the year, the first few items that sprang to mind were all books. To me (admittedly a major bibliophile) a book is a fantastic gift, especially for a horse person. You can find something out there to suit just about anyone. A book can bring so many things to the reader, whether it’s instruction, entertainment, or just pure happiness. What better gift is there than that?

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So for this one I’ve gathered my own personal top 10 horse-related books. Most are recent, but some are older staples that I feel like people should have in their collection. There’s certainly a wide variety, and I’m pretty confident that no matter who you’re shopping for, you can find something here for them. Well ok, unless its me… in which case I already have them all.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse

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If you aren’t following Charlie Mackesy on Instagram then I dunno what you’re even doing with social media. And if you don’t have social media, Charlie Mackesy alone is a good enough reason to get it. His art is simple but beautiful, and his new book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse is guaranteed to leave you with a lot more warm fuzzies than you had when you started. It’s pure simple goodness appropriate for all ages. Plus the hardcover is absolutely beautiful, perfect to display or have as a coffee table book. This one is a must-have, even for non-equestrians.

Riding for the Team

Riding for the Team

Another newer release, Riding for the Team is a collection of inspirational stories from top level riders in all disciplines, all the way from McLain Ward to Tim McQuay. I think it’s always interesting to get an inside peek into what goes on behind the scenes on the world stage, and learn more details about famous horses. Since this one covers show jumping, dressage, eventing, driving, vaulting, reining, endurance, and para-dressage, it should cover the bases with just about any horse person. Who doesn’t love an inspirational story?

Basic Training of the Young Horse

Basic Training of the Young Horse: 3rd Edition

This is, quite possibly, my favorite riding-related book of all time. There is no one quite like Ingrid Klimke, especially when it comes to riding and training young horses. Her approach is simple, it’s correct, it’s classic, and it works. Her principles and ideas are applicable across all disciplines, not just dressage or eventing. She’s an exemplary horseman who always puts the mental and physical well-being of the horse as the highest priority, and it shows. There are so many fantastic nuggets of wisdom contained within the pages of Basic Training of the Young Horse that I find myself looking back through it quite often. This book is a great resource for anyone who might ever find themselves sat on a young horse. Or, if you know someone who’s a particularly big Ingrid fangirl (ahem) there’s also a complete set of all 3 of her books.

World Class Grooming

World-Class Grooming For Horses

If you go to horse shows and don’t employ a team a grooms, or if you care for your own horses in any way shape or form, this book is your bible. From clipping to braiding to cooling a horse down properly to taking vital signs to choosing studs to traveling – this book covers everything (don’t believe me? take a peek at the table of contents) related to horse care. It’s chock full of fantastic tips and advice from, well, world class grooms. They’ve been there, they’ve done that, and this book contains all of the wisdom they’ve accrued over the years. There are tons of photos that help clearly explain how to do things and what it should look like. A grooming book might sound kind of silly as a basic premise, but World Class Grooming isn’t just a grooming book, it’s a complete care guide and has so many great tips that I’ve never seen anywhere else.

Chop Wood Carry Water

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I’ve talked a lot about this book before, and if you haven’t seen me talking about it, you’ve probably heard riders like Jenny Caras and Matt Brown mention it too. Chop Wood Carry Water is simple, full of short little life lessons that are very easy to read, but there’s just something about it that stays with you over time. This is the book that really served to jumpstart my quest to change and improve my mindset when it came to riding and showing, and I still think back to it all the time. It’s a great introduction to the idea of a growth mindset, and got my brain working in the right way to where I was ready to pursue the idea more deeply.  The subtitle of the book is “How to fall in love with the process of becoming great” and that’s exactly what it focuses on. It’s easy in this sport to get so stuck on the end goal that we forget about the journey, and this book does a great job of giving perspective. I think this would be a great gift for just about anyone who participates in competitive sports.

Brain Training for Riders

Brain Training for Riders

Along the same vein, my favorite equestrian-specific mindset book has been Brain Training for Riders. I think it breaks things down in a way that’s easy to understand, and it gives you tips for how to handle pressure, emotions, and fear. We all know just how mental this sport can be, and this book is really great at helping us understand why we feel the way we do, and how to change it, or how to move past disappointment or handle embarrassment. I have said before that IMO the mental side of riding is something we don’t talk about nearly enough, but it’s so incredibly crucial to our success and well-being. Every rider needs to own this book, and every trainer needs to read it.

Modern Gymnastics

Modern Gymnastics

Switching gears back into the actual riding side of things – if you jump, Jim Wofford’s Modern Gymnastics (which also comes as a DVD, if you’re friends with some weirdo who doesn’t like books) is a must. There are so many ideas for exercises, and it explanations what each one is aiming to accomplish. If this book can’t keep somone busy and invigorated during a long cold off season, nothing will. Great reference guide to keep a horse and rider tuned up!

Core Conditioning for Horses

Core Conditioning for Horses

Along the same vein – if you don’t jump, or if you also want a full arsenal of flatwork exercises to help keep your horse strong and loose, check out Core Conditioning for Horses. I have ridden with a Charles de Kunffy protege for years, so this book piggybacked perfectly off of his concept of dressage as a way to “gymnasticize” the horse’s body. The goal of flatwork should always be to make the horse stronger and more supple, and this book includes plenty of exercises (and pictures) to get you there. There are even suggestions for things to try for horses with kissing spines, for example. None of the work is particularly difficult to understand, so any semi-competent rider should be able to get something useful from it. Think of it as being kinda like yoga for horses.

Crowded in the Middle of Nowhere

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I think pretty much any human being on the planet would enjoy Crowded in the Middle of Nowhere. Horsey or not, avid reader or not, it just has such universal appeal. This book is a collection of stories from a veterinarian, most of them funny, some of them sad, some of them just downright jaw-dropping. The stories are all pretty short and easy to read, but the writer is an absolutely captivating storyteller. Oh, and who is that veterinarian writer? None other than the owner and head vet at the clinic where Presto spent the first few weeks of his life. They are great people.

In the Middle are the Horsemen

In the Middle Are the Horsemen

I’m not sure how many riders are left in America that don’t already have this book, but I feel like pretty much anyone would enjoy it. It’s just so… relateable. Tik Maynard has had an interesting journey throughout his career, and he’s learned a lot from so many different people along the way. In the Middle are the Horsemen a refreshingly honest story about what he did right, what he did wrong, and how all of those things shaped the thoughts and methods he has today when it comes to riding and training. Eventers, h/j folks, dressage riders, even western riders – this book combines all types of horsemen and shows us that there’s something to be learned from everyone.

I had to limit myself to 10, otherwise we’d be here all day, but these are definitely a good representation of my favorites. I tried to keep a wide variety, so hopefully there’s something on this list for just about anyone on your shopping list! If not, Trafalgar Square‘s (I send you there because they have such a good selection of horse books) website is conveniently set up so that you can shop by category, if you’re looking for something more specific, or they have a decent selection of DVD’s, or you can even just buy a gift certificate. Plus their shipping is free, you know how much I like that.

When in doubt, buy a book. Even if they don’t read it, they can just smell it until they’re happy.

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