The New Normal

After working from home for a while, I had to go into work yesterday to give a presentation and move some inventory around. It was my first time in the city in 5 or 6 weeks, and it was a little weird making that drive that I used to make every day but haven’t in so long. The amount of traffic was about normal, so nothing seemed particularly eerie until I got to work. Seeing everyone in face masks and having all kinds of new procedures in place was interesting. Plus the building was a ghost town, with 80-90% of the company working from home. Our company hasn’t yet put an “end plan” in place for working from home yet, and I think it will go for a least another month if not longer for most people.

But the state is letting the current stay-at-home order expire today, and in it’s place will be an order with fewer restrictions. Bars, restaurants, malls, theaters, libraries, and museums can open but with a limit of 25% capacity. They want other businesses like gyms and hair salons to open by mid-May. The new order also overrides any local mandates for required face coverings or fines if they don’t wear one. The state order encourages wearing a mask but doesn’t require it, whereas most of the local governments in the more populous areas had required face coverings a while ago and now the state order will override that. This is all really interesting considering the number of cases is still increasing and our state has done very little testing compared to most others – we’re close to last on per capita testing with only about 1% of our population having been tested. As for outdoor sports, right now they will be limited to 4 participants, with social distancing practices encouraged.

Of course, horse shows are still on hold. USEF announced an extension to their competition suspension (through at least May 31) and USEA followed suit. I think that surprised pretty much no one, there isn’t much other choice at this point given all the different state orders. During my drive yesterday I was listening to some podcasts about when/how horse shows might get rolling again and that combined with my weird day at work really brought home how, even with things starting to mobilize again, we’re still a very very very long way from “normal”. And that our new normal will look quite a bit different, probably for quite a while. It will be interesting how horse shows choose to handle things going forward, once restrictions are lifted enough to permit them.

Of course, it’s already getting hot down in Texas (we’ve hit 100 already) and we’re nearing the end of what would typically be Henry’s competition season. By mid-late May it’s already too hot for him, so horse shows won’t be happening. We’ll see about the fall season, but I’m not really holding my breath too much considering it stays hot until November. I think instead the focus will be getting Presto out and about, be it on trail rides or to small local shows just to hang out when/if they start happening again. I had no plans to show him in the Future Event Horse stuff this year anyway (which I might be second guessing right now if shows were still happening because he’s actually looking pretty good) but the fact that all of our local qualifiers have bit the dust just kind of cements that. No FEH for him.

he’s not sad about it

USEA still says that they’re planning on going ahead with AEC’s, which if people still need to qualify for they’d have to do it real damn quick. It’s hard to even guess what things will be looking like by the end of August. Will there be a second wave? Will they have relaxed limitations on large gatherings? Who the heck knows. We’re in uncharted territory here. I am starting to think that none of the 5*’s are going to happen this year, although I’m still crossing my fingers for Fair Hill. I am seriously itching for some horsey travel, and we may or may not have already booked an RV site for LRK3DE 2021.

Since I was in town yesterday I stopped to grab food from a couple of my favorite restaurants to take home. That was my first time going inside anywhere aside from the grocery store, so it was bizarre to see all the guidelines and the spacers. Going to lunch is a very different experience these days. I did order one more mask too – right now I have a mask and a gaiter, but I think our office will require wearing masks for a while to come so I wanted to be able to have plenty at my disposal, as well as different options. Giving a presentation while wearing a gaiter was a new experience too.

Did I pre-order an F-bomb mask? Yes I did.

Like everyone else, I am itching for things to start getting back to normal again. I want SO to start his job so we can order our house and start getting the current one ready to rent. I want shows to start happening so I can get Presto out to see the sights. I want the economy to start picking up so our oil and gas industry can recover and our company can make some money. I’m also just getting bored and stir-crazy. But I also don’t want everything to try to start up again too quickly and make things worse, or put people in danger. It’s a tricky thing and I don’t envy the people making decisions.

For now we’ll be keeping our distance, wearing a face mask, and waiting to see what happens next. What are you guys thinking is going to happen with horse shows this year?

Preschool Progress

I took advantage of SO being here on Saturday to get some video that wasn’t just us trotting past my phone set on the tripod. And, naturally, baby horse was very blah that day. It had been hot the day before, but Presto and his little 2yo friend had galloped around chasing each other all afternoon anyway, so I honestly think he tuckered himself out. He was overly snoozy from the second I got him out, and required a lot more encouragement to get him moving. Even his typically lovely big gaits were blah. It’s hard being 3, y’all.

He was well-behaved though, so we “worked” for all of 10 minutes. We’ve started working on changes of direction at a trot, with figure 8’s and serpentines, regulating his trot rhythm, and tuning in the “whoa” from my seat that will eventually work its way into a half-halt. Changing directions in the trot kind of confused him at first, he wanted to just default back down to a walk, but by the third one he got it.

We cantered each way, and for the first time he picked up the wrong lead. He initially had the correct lead, then kinda bulged out by the gate a little bit and broke to trot in the process. I clucked and he went immediately back up into canter, but since he wasn’t really balanced/prepared for the transition we got the wrong lead. It wasn’t a big deal, I let him canter down the long side, trotted, then asked him to canter again, and he picked up the correct one. It didn’t really even dawn on me until then that he had yet to have picked up the wrong lead so far at all.

Since he did feel so sluggish and blah, I kept it super short. He was also being fussier in his mouth again, I think probably a symptom of our lack of forward, so we kind of just ticked the boxes for the things I wanted to work on and then I let him be done. He’s going to have days where he’s brilliant and we can do more, and he’s going to have days where we just touch some basics and be done. That day was the latter. For anyone counting, this is still only his 8th ride. We’re very much still in preschool.

He’s getting really good at whoa from the seat though, that might be his favorite. He and Henry have that in common.

Since I did have a groundperson there that day, I decided to end the ride with a bit of a hack around the field. We walked out of the arena and into the field, and made a short lap. Presto walked very politely on a loose rein and never put a foot wrong. He’s certainly not immune to shenanigans, but on that day he was so quiet already from his escapades the day before, it seemed like a good time for his maiden voyage in the field.

I’m quite pleased with how consistent he’s being about a lot of it. He stands well at the mounting block, he doesn’t anticipate or get worried, and he retains everything. The progression is pretty fast, even if some rides he’s tired or some rides he’s looking for his friends, or whatever. The quality of the work steadily improves from ride to ride, even when his mood is different. I like that about him a lot. I think I’m going to keep experimenting with bits though, he still just feels overly fussy in the mouth to me. His mother really liked a Myler comfort snaffle so I’m going to put that on next time and see if there’s any difference. If not we may go back to the Nathe.

And, lest you think he is always Baby Genius, I leave you with this gem:

Yes, he did indeed trip over 3 out of his 4 feet within like a 20′ span. It’s really hard to keep up with all those legs, y’all.

Tiny Home Tuesday: Change of (floor)Plans

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about the tiny house. Everyone’s lives and plans went on hold when this pandemic started, and ours is no exception. We had originally planned to order the tiny house in early/mid April, and clearly that did not happen. At this point I don’t really know when it’s going to happen.

The good news is, we’ve saved more than enough for the down payment we wanted to put down. The bad news is, SO was supposed to start a new job the same week everything went on lockdown, so they’ve pushed back his hire date to an as-yet-undetermined date. He had already given his old job his 2 weeks notice, so when they did layoffs he was naturally one of the first to go. Therefore he’s been unemployed for about a month now. Financially that’s ok for a little while at least (although his money to live is now coming out of that accrued down payment savings) but it does make things complicated when it comes to ordering the tiny house. It’s tricky to get a good loan when you’re technically unemployed.

We’re still going back and forth about exterior colors, this shit is harder than I thought. I do know for sure that I don’t like red. 

SO has already applied for other jobs in the mean time of course, since at this point we have no idea what’s going to happen with the other one, but as you probably guess, not a lot of companies are hiring right now. That leaves us in kind of in this weird gray area, having to wait to see what’s going to happen. Once he does start a new job, it’ll be a month before we can go order the house and do all the loan paperwork, and then the houses take 5-6 weeks to build. So… we’re going to end up at least a couple months behind schedule, best case scenario.

But – there is a little bit of a silver lining. This spring the builder released a new tiny home model, one that we actually quite love. They already had a lot to choose from, but we have a king size bed that we are unwilling to give up, and as you can probably imagine, not many of these 399 sq ft tiny homes have bedrooms big enough to fit a king. So originally we only had a few options, which was fine because we really liked one of those floor plans anyway. The new one, though, can also accommodate a king. AND, it has a bigger closet. Plus you can add a back porch without taking away too much of the bedroom space. It does mean that the living room area is smaller, but both of us really like the bigger closet and the back porch.

Technically the one we like is a combination of two of this model’s floor plans:


Basically it’s the bottom one with the loft/stairs, but with the back porch added from the top one (we’d probably do smaller porches – 6′ front and 8′ back). Adding the back porch requires moving the washer and dryer to where the pantry would be, to open up that space for a door. You can see an example of one like what we’re thinking in this video tour.

I actually really like the model in the video. Like a lot. More than I’ve ever liked any other model as-is. There are only a few things I would change: that ugly reddish orange accent color, the kitchen sink (I want stainless), the door on the little pet nook, the location of the closet door (I’d like it opening into the hallway rather than the bedroom, and with a pocket door). And we don’t want/need cabinets up in the loft. And the bedroom door needs to open out, not in. And I’d add an island on casters in the kitchen. But otherwise… I’m obsessed with it. I like the colors (except the red), I like the brick accent, I like the shower tile, I like the closet, and I like the little raised area in the loft that would make a damn fine reading nook. I even like the exterior. That’s rare.

I think the big reason we like this one so much though is because with such a small house, we plan on being outside a lot. We want a porch we can hang out on, when it’s not too hot, and had planned on putting a big front porch on the other model. I had been waffling a lot about screening in a front porch though. I love the practicality of it, because if we’re going to be outside a lot, I’d prefer to not be inundated with bugs, but I HATE how a screened front porch looks on these models. It makes it look exactly like the cabins from the Girl Scout camp I went to as a kid, and I absolutely hate the idea of my house looking like a camp cabin.

go ahead, try to tell me I’m wrong

But if we did two porches, we can leave the front one pretty and screen in the back one, using the back one as our primary outdoor space. That gives us the best of both worlds. Also having the screen door access off the back porch means that we could make the little fenced in dog-potty area back there, instead of at the front. I would much prefer that. The only downsides to this model are the smaller living room (I think we lose 2′ of length in the living room compared to the other model), slightly less cabinet space in the kitchen (maybe one set of cabinets), and slightly smaller bedroom. Our king would still fit, but it might be up against the wall on 2 sides. We both think we’re ok with those sacrifices, but we need to go look at the inside and see how it feels before we decide for sure.

I thought we’d had everything pretty much decided, but this new model definitely threw a wrench in the plans. Maybe it’s not so bad that we got delayed after all? We may not have seen this one otherwise. Fingers crossed we’ll be back on track soon so we can finally order one!

Getting Creative

Things are relatively quiet around here, which I suppose is the case with just about everyone at the moment. I’m still riding Henry about 4 days a week, which for him is a pretty relaxed work load. Some days we do dressage in the arena, some days we jump or do pole work, some days we do canter sets in the field (which are mostly him spending the first few minutes leaping around all over the place), some days we do bareback flat work, and some days… I get more creative.

Presto really likes to watch me ride now that he’s also getting ridden occasionally, it’s kind of funny

Last week after a few relatively sedate and boring days, I made up a little mini-XC course for him. All of the pastures here join together, so I opened a few gates to let us pass in and out a few different pastures, kicked any rocks and sticks out of our projected path, and put a couple jumps in the dressage arena. I already have a little baby log (like a foot tall) out in one of the farther back pastures, and some coops/barrels in a middle pasture. By opening the gates and linking them all up, I was hoping we could string together enough jumps to make Henry feel like he was having fun. They were all small, the biggest being 2’9″, but it gave us a little bit of that XC feel.

pardon my shitty course diagram, you get the idea

We started at the little log, went down to the little natural ditch (it barely counts as a ditch, more of a little dip for runoff, but Henry always jumps over it like it’s a ditch, so…), then out of the far pasture into the middle one, where we jumped a skinny coop to a barrel bending line, then looped back to the other skinny coop, out of that pasture into the dressage arena pasture, where we jumped a barrel and looped around to a stadium fence, before galloping back out to the far pasture to jump the ditch to the tiny log again. I had Henry in his sidepull that day, so it was a yee-hawin’ good time. For him anyway. He was jigging afterwards, like he really did just run XC. Close enough I guess? It seemed to make him happy, so we’ll call it a success.

It was quite hot the rest of the week so we kept the other “work” a little more basic.

Record-setting heat for April. Great.

Tuesday was Presto’s really good “redemption” ride, which I already talked about, although I did ride him on Saturday too (ride #8!). We’ll talk about that separately. Mostly he just spent his week galloping around the pasture like a lunatic and playing with his ball. Or rather, teaching me to play with his ball. He kept tossing it over the fence and watching me retrieve it and toss it back. It happened 4 times in a row before I realized he was legit playing fetch with me, except I was the one fetching. Who’s the idiot now?

He’s really trying to secure a ball sponsorship

I did order some breeches from Luxe EQ last week, which came in the mail. This is my first pair of Cavalleria Toscana and boy are they comfortable. Those damn Italians, I dunno how they’re so consistently superior at making riding clothes. They’re super stretchy and a really pretty green. I may or may not have worn them basically all weekend.

with matching socks, of course

Getting those in the mail appeased some of my sadness about packages. The Mattes pad I ordered for Presto way back in January left Australia almost a month ago and hasn’t been heard from since. Either it’s just sitting somewhere in California in a pile with a million other packages, or a man on a very tiny boat is rowing it across the Pacific… I’m not sure which. And the pretty new La Cense bitless that I ordered is stuck in the country of manufacture at the moment, with nothing really moving outside of their borders, so, no idea when that will come. But I did get some good news last week – the navy Brockamp bareback pad that I’ve been waiting a couple months to be back in stock did ship last week and will be here this week. I was concerned I might not ever see that, since 1) they’re made in Italy, then distributed out of Germany 2) they have a very limited number sent to the US distributor every year anyway. But my navy one did arrive in the latest batch (which may end up being the only batch for the US this year), and it’ll be here hopefully on Wednesday.

hello Precious, my crotch bones are very eagerly anticipating your arrival

I also decided to try something different for Presto’s crazy thick mane – a dog rake.


I don’t really pull manes anymore, but Presto’s is so thick he really has enough to have one whole mane on each side. A few people on my facebook were discussing a thinning rake, and I figured… for $12 on Amazon, might as well give it a shot. There was a slight learning curve to figuring out the best method of attack, but it did seem to help. I’m gonna do a little bit at a time over this week and then shorten his mane… we’ll see how it turns out in the end. But I think we thinned it a good bit on the first go and it’s quick and painless.


What has everyone else been up to? Staying sane I hope!

Rolex Kentucky 2000

Today would have been cross country day at LRK3DE, if not for the coronapocalypse, and it’s got me feeling a little nostalgic.

My very first trip to Kentucky was in 2000. I was in high school, had grown up in the h/j world, and found myself starting to contemplate what the heck I was gonna do with my life after graduation. One of the options on the table was being a working student, and in those days working student programs really only existed with eventers. May as well go see what the sport was about, eh? Rolex was the first event I ever attended, my first introduction to the sport. And while those were the days before phone cameras or DSLR’s (I’m pretty sure I took these with a disposable) I did manage to get a few pictures.

Bonus points to anyone who recognizes some of these combinations! There are some big ones here.

one of my top 3 favorite event horses of all time

In a lot of ways this was a catalyst event that changed the course of my life. And it’s kind of crazy how everything still looks so similar, even all this time later.

On that same trip we went to several big thoroughbred stud farms, getting to see the likes of Seattle Slew, Rahy, Wild Again, and many more. We even stopped at Churchill Downs and got to see the Derby horses working in the morning – I picked Wheelaway.

While I’m bummed that there’s no LRK3DE this year, hopefully everything will be back to normal by 2021! Here’s to 20 years of being an eventing fan.


Foal Friday: In Sync

The dynamic between Remi and Oakley has settled down a bit since last week. She still terrorizes him, for sure, but I think she’s also realized he can be fun sometimes. She is definitely the annoying and more clever/manipulative little sister, but deep down she likes him. Their friendship has settled in a bit, and they play, explore, and nap together.



if only synchronized napping was an Olympic sport

Oakley remains a more bold, in-your-face, no-holds-barred character, and Remi is the sweet plucky gullible one.

when you’re practicing for your modeling career
nailing those poses
and your annoying little sister ruins it
and then you try to retaliate but it doesn’t work

Remi is also still a mama’s boy, and what a good mama Peyton has turned out to be.


Not only did she create a pretty fantastic colt, she also isn’t hesitant to discipline him and teach him how to behave properly, so the kid has got some really good manners. Peyton is definitely more of a “hands on” mom. Oakley on the other hand? Well… she’s more of the rebel child and has no shortage of personality or guts. Her mom Daisy is the “yeah sure, go for it, kid” type. And go for it, she does.



And although they’re very different in so many ways, they’re also both still really adorable.



Stormie is officially only 2 weeks away from her “due date” and last year she foaled a little bit early, so maybe by this time next week we’ll have a new pony addition? Lord help us if it’s another filly. Stay tuned…

Henry David Rose

Way back many years ago there was a bloghop going around where you had to pick a fictional character that was like your horse. I picked April Ludgate for Henry, which I still think is pretty accurate, but after binging all 6 seasons of Schitt’s Creek, I think I actually have to amend my opinion and change it to David Rose. Henry’s definitely got the sarcasm of both April and David, but his flair for the dramatic pushes him over into David territory I think. For example:

When I ask him to do literally anything he doesn’t want to do

David Rose Comedy GIF by Schitt's Creek - Find & Share on GIPHY

When Trainer and I are discussing his weaknesses and things we need to work on

Schitts Creek David Rose GIF - SchittsCreek DavidRose ...

Trainer to Henry in dressage lessons

Pride Month Spotlight: David Rose – Nerds and Beyond

When we have a rail

cbc GIFs - Primo GIF - Latest Animated GIFs

When we go out for XC

Pop Tv GIF by Schitt's Creek - Find & Share on GIPHY

Every time he saves my ass on XC:

David rose GIFs - Get the best gif on GIFER

When he morphs into a cracked out dolphin and starts bucking and squealing, and I’m like “HENRY STOP IT” but also I can’t stop laughing

Pin by A Brown on Schitt's Creek in 2020 | Schitts creek, Funny ...

To Presto, every time we pony him

Schitts creek david rose GIF - Find on GIFER

To Presto, when he sees me give Presto a cookie

David Rose Schitts Creek GIF - DavidRose SchittsCreek ...

The general response to “Henry, quit being rude.”

Schitts Creek David Rose GIF - SchittsCreek DavidRose ...

When he spooks at something really stupid and I laugh at him

Best Schitts Creek GIFs | Gfycat

His thoughts on having to do an entire four minute dressage test

mad, tired, pop tv, poptv, schittscreek, schitts creek, dan levy ...

When we go to places with cross country jumps but I make him do dressage instead

Pop Tv Wtf GIF by Schitt's Creek - Find & Share on GIPHY

Every day when I get on and I’m like “Okay, let’s just have a chill ride…”

David Rose GIF by Schitt's Creek - Find & Share on GIPHY

When I come out of the tack room AGAIN without a cookie

Schitts Creek David Rose GIF - SchittsCreek DavidRose ...

When I turn him back out and he mugs for one more cookie but I tell him that I don’t have any more

Were Done With You David Rose GIF - WereDoneWithYou DavidRose ...

Every time I take a day out of HIS blog to post about some dumb mare and foal and don’t talk about him at all

patrick brewer | Tumblr

And last but not least, his general life philosophy

scedit | Tumblr

I rest my case. Also, best David compilation video on the internet:


Ride 6 (or 666) and 7

Presto has had TWO rides in the past week, bringing us up to a grand total of 7 in the last month and a half. So, ya know…

Things Are Getting Pretty Serious GIFs | Tenor

Just kidding, there’s nothing really serious about it. I ride him when it works out time-wise and weather-wise, but since I have the luxury of not having to do a “first 30 days” or “first 60 days” type of training scenario, I can take time between rides and it’s not a problem. He retains everything just fine even if a week goes by in between, and his body can have more time to adjust to all this new stuff.

Ride #6 was on Sunday, and by the time I got to him it was really hot and sticky outside. That’s fine baby-riding weather though, less likely to incite shenanigans and our rides have only been 10-15 minutes long, so no one would be dying of heat stroke. I did our usual routine of tack up, lead him to the ring, lunge him with lots of transitions for a couple minutes (I’m not trying to make him tired or take the edge off with lunging, I’m trying to focus his brain – hence transitions), then get on. And in the beginning, all was fine.

though it be but tall, it is narrow

Then all 3 of the other horses completely disappeared from his line of sight and he Did Not Like That. To be fair, he didn’t get scared or worried or lose his mind. No, he just got mad. He threw a bit of a tantrum where he only wanted to go the direction he wanted to go (towards where the other horses had gone), and at the speed he wanted to go there (real fast). He flipped me the bird like an angry mare. Which, joke is on him, angry mares are my specialty. So, ya know… we discussed it. Not in a mean or domineering way, but basically my theory was if you really think you want to go in that corner then ok, we shall go to that corner and work, and when you decide you’re ready to go where I want you to go like a civilized creature, then you can rest. It didn’t take him long to get the concept, and he decided maybe it was better to just play my game because his corner wasn’t really that fun after all.

everything was more interesting than I was

While he was temporarily possessed by a demon in the beginning, we ended the ride on a good note, and instead of dismounting in the ring like I usually do, I decided to ride him back through the field and around to the barn. It was his first time hacking back, and as soon as we left the arena he did a little “I’M FREE” head toss/scoot (newsflash, he was not free) and then settled down and walked back like a good boy.


But since he was kind of an angsty teen on Sunday, I didn’t want to wait a week in between rides. If it was going to be a continuing problem I wanted to nip it in the bud sooner rather than later. On Tuesday I got Presto out and repeated our usual program: groom, tack, walk to arena, lunge for a couple minutes with lots of transitions, then get on.

Whatever evil spirit took up residence in his soul on Sunday was completely exorcised, and he was really really good. Not one single naughty moment. We walked for a while, working on some little half turns off the rail, circles, baby leg yields, etc. Then we picked up the trot, doing some circles here and there but mostly working on regulating his tempo and rhythm. The go/whoa/turn is working pretty well now so we can start to focus on the foundation of his gaits a little bit more.

Once we trotted both ways and did some transitions I went ahead and cantered. I cantered him a little bit back on ride 5 – like literally 3/4 of a circle one direction – but this time we cantered a couple big circles each way. Then I brought him back down to trot, crossed the diagonal making a big figure 8, halted, and ta-da, done. Twelve minutes. Good boys have easier lives.

Here’s a one minute condensation of clips if you want more than GIFs. I’ll have more footage on his next vlog. Maybe even some that’s not from my phone propped up on a tripod.

Now that Presto’s not just a super drunken noodle I’m starting to see and feel some of his natural quality. Even at an awkward, growthy age, his natural balance is quite good. He’s not a dressage horse, but for one that’s bred to gallop and jump, it’s definitely not a bad starting point. He covers so much more ground than Henry, and is much lighter in his front end and across the ground. For his second time cantering under saddle, and in a dressage ring no less, I was pretty impressed with how well he was able to keep himself together. Right now the only real criticism I can give him is that he’s pretty busy in the mouth and tries to get his tongue over the bit, but… we’re 7 rides in. He’ll figure it out.

He’s also really started to bloom in the last few weeks, rounding out a bit and physically he just looks so much stronger and more mature. It’s pretty exciting to see him start coming together into a real horse. And, of course, to ride him. I’m not disappointed.


I was one of those lucky enough to qualify for and receive a government stimulus check last week. A small piece of it went towards paying my taxes, which was ironic in many ways – here government, have some of your own money back – and also, the reason I owe on my taxes is because of all my side gigs. Why do they think I have the side gigs in the first place? Anyway. While I’m in a “hoarding money” mode and want to put most of the stimulus check in savings for the tiny house or whatever unforseenhell may be waiting, I also wanted to use a little bit to give back to some of my favorite small businesses that I know are being majorly impacted right now.

There are so many vendors that are SOL without horse shows. Many of those mobile tack shops that we’ve come to rely on and enjoy so much at shows make most if not all of their living from just that – shows. Being down and out for several months is a huge blow. Luxe Eq, a store that I’ve worked at a few times in the past, is a mostly-mobile vendor that travels from show to show, so when it came time to pick a few shops to spend some of my stimulus check at, they were an easy choice.

They DO have a website, so that makes browsing easier, and they’re also offering personal shopping, which is pretty cool. Want to browse the mobile shop a bit, or maybe have questions about how things fit or compare to each other? You can contact Megan and get a one-on-one shopping experience via Skype, Facetime, or Zoom. For instance, I didn’t really know what I wanted so I just said “What do you have that’s green and under $X?”. And she proceeded to pull out a few different pieces to show me, plus even tried on some different brands of breeches to show me how they fit. If you can’t be there in person, it’s definitely the next best thing. And fun. Highly recommend.

They’ve also got some good deals happening right now, like a big Animo sale, 30% off show shirt sale, sweaters on sale, belts up to 50% off, free shipping over $100, $50 gift card with orders over $250, etc. The sale page has all kinds of great deals. Or, if you’ve been thinking about trying one of the higher end brands but were nervous to just buy online, maybe the personal shopping experience could help you pick a fun splurge item.

This dark purple Duftler belt is GORGEOUS and on major sale. The turquoise and cobalt are deeply discounted too!

Megan is super nice and really knows her brands well, so if you have any questions about fit, sizing, or how things compare, definitely just ask. You can email or message or Instagram, she’s easy to reach. She can 100% steer you in the right direction or maybe even suggest some better options you may not have known about. I started at Animo breeches and ended up at Cavalleria Toscana, after seeing the fit comparisons. Luxe EQ has a lot of really cute casual clothes in addition to riding clothes, too, so I’m 100% certain they have something for pretty much everyone.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to give back a little bit to your favorite horse show vendors right now, please consider it. And if you’re looking for a place to support with a little bit of that stimulus money, please take a look at Luxe EQ. They’re good people. ❤


Ok, I’m ready to admit that this covid situation is starting to wear on me a bit. It has sucked BIG TIME since the beginning, of course, but I am of the “you can’t control every situation but you can control your attitude towards it” persuasion so I was trying to focus on the positive and keep perspective. And in the beginning, that wasn’t too hard. I love being out at the farm all the time, not wasting 1.5hrs of my day commuting, and not having to put real clothes on. I’m also really good at handling solitude, and indeed I prefer it.

These did make me smile, I ordered them a while back and forgot about them so was happily surprised when they showed up

I have it WAY easier than many (or even most) other people, which I am acutely aware of and immensely grateful. But even I am starting to feel a bit “over it”, which I always feel majorly guilty about and thus don’t ever say out loud, because I do have it way easier than many other people. Like… oh no, poor me, stuck on the farm with my horses. Even I want to roll my eyes at that idea. If you’re going to be isolated somewhere, there is no better place to be. So for the most part I’ve tried to just sit in my corner, not complain, do my part to try to help this pass as quickly as possible, and be grateful.

This weekend it finally started to break through my wall a little bit though. It’s the uncertainty that’s getting to me, I think. The fact that everything shut down right when the SO was about to start a new job, which got put on hold, which technically makes him unemployed. And the fact that I work in the oil and gas industry, which in case you haven’t noticed is absolutely in the shitter in a big major bad way. Cheap gas is fun when you’re filling up your car, but it’s slow death to our industry. Pay cuts are likely imminent, and perhaps reduced work schedules. We’re just trying to weather it, at this point. I am really sad that we had planned on ordering our tiny house right about now, and that’s on hold for the foreseeable future, at least until SO’s job starts or he finds another. I miss seeing my friends. I miss being able to go have lunch with my dad. I miss traveling (RIP Ireland trip that never really even got off the ground). I miss the opportunity to go to horse shows, even if I didn’t take them. I miss chips and effing queso and chicken tikka masala.

But I am SO SO SO SO SO SO grateful that I don’t have to miss this face

On the other hand, every time I start feeling like I want to indulge in a little self-pity, I think this whole thing has been a really big reminder not to take anything for granted. That life can change in an instant. That we are entitled to nothing. How when you strip all the “noise” away, it’s easy to see what’s really important to you. All the things I miss so much are such huge luxuries that it just sounds silly in the grand scheme of things. And that ultimately, I’m an insanely lucky person, even now. Especially now.

Still, sometimes the feelings sneak through, even when you try to barricade them behind positivity and gratitude. A little bit of anxiety and gloominess seeped out this weekend. Which… admittedly might have partially been triggered because I binged all 6 seasons of Schitt’s Creek and a long book series simultaneously and finished BOTH the same day, which kind of left me with an even greater sense of loss because I’m totally one of those people that gets really invested in fictional places and characters. I’m still not over it.

A Wonderful Quote: You Know You've Read a Good Book | Darla McDavid

Thus, naturally, my drug of choice that’s been helping me cope? The horses. They always help.

In one of those classic “can’t tell if I’m losing my mind or finding myself” moments, I may have dressed up Quinnie and Henry in some wildflowers. More than once. It’s the prettiest time of year in Texas, at least, and one day while I was headed out to fly spray Quinnie and bring Henry in to ride, I found myself stopping to pick some flowers. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve done that. Probably not since I was a kid. Both horses got flower crowns. I’m noticing little things like all the different shades of flowers, because that’s what you get to do when life slows down.

Quinnie is now demanding a bouquet every time she’s fly-sprayed

Presto also got his replacement ball at the end of last week, and it’s his new (same) BFF. How would it even be possible to watch him play with his ball and NOT have your spirits lifted? This kid is a one man comedy show. During particularly frustrating work conference calls (of which there are so many now) I can step out onto the back porch with my laptop and watch the horses, which instantly lowers the anxiety level.

I’m also still able to ride, and there is no amount of Xanax that would ever have the same effect as swinging up onto your favorite horse does. I have to admit that I’m enjoying this pressure-free time with Henry, where I don’t feel like we HAVE to have a lot of structure, or we MUST work on any particular thing. I mean… I’d already been doing that for a few months before any of this started, but now I don’t have to feel guilty about it. I haven’t even put a bit in his mouth in like 2 months, and I could not possibly give less of a shit about it. I’m just having fun with my horse, exploring, tuning out the world for a while, and doing whatever we feel like doing that day. And sometimes instead of riding I just sit there and watch him out in the pasture, grazing with his friend, and I get a full recharge of happiness from the fact that he’s happy.

Sometimes Presto follows us down to the ring and watches, which is equal parts cute and creepy.

When I’m looking between those ears, I remember that this too shall pass. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Life might look a little bit different afterwards, but things tend to happen in the way that they need to. Maybe this is an opportunity for a “reset”. If nothing else, it’s definitely changed how I see some things.

Hope everyone is hanging in there, especially if you’re not able to get adequate horse time.