Foal Friday: The Fantastic Four

Well, so close to four. Finally got 3 of the 4 babies all in one shot!

small, medium, or large?

Ellie was with her dam at the vet that day – Sadie was a little colicky but don’t worry she was fine with some drugs and fluids. It did cause Ellie to miss out on their first official group photo, though. Maybe next time.

There are still a few new pics of Ellie though. And she did get to meet Ollie at least, they did a little bit of log-sniffing together. It’s a favorite activity with the babies.


But mostly she hung out with mum.


Or practiced her canter-halt-canter transitions.

I love that she got Sadie’s wide-set semi-floppy ears, all of her babies have them

I also don’t have a ton of Remi pictures, sorry Team Remi. It’s just that when it comes to getting cute baby pictures he’s a little less rambunctious than some of the others (ahem OLLIE) so it makes for fewer paparazzi opportunities. He’s like the Brad Pitt of the group, always just standing there being beautiful.


and in love with Oakley

Which… he must be rubbing off a little bit on Oakley because look who decided to pose for some glamour shots of her own this week.



Ok maybe her slightly utilitarian quarantine haircut isn’t the prettiest but she either doesn’t know or doesn’t care. Girl is rockin’ those legwarmers like they’re the latest fashion and she DGAF if anyone else doesn’t like them.

In between all the standing around looking beautiful, there were still plenty of shenanigans. Mostly from everyone’s favorite little spitfire grulla pony. His favorite hobbies include climbing the round bale and jumping over puddles. Bold as brass, this one.

I thought he was part Welsh, not part mountain goat

Ollie also got to meet Oakley and Remi, and decided that maybe he likes Oakley best (she’s definitely Miss Popular, gotta give her that).

hello baby brother


I think Ollie mostly likes her best because she’s more willing to engage in shenanigans with him. They also both really enjoy trotting, and are better at it than their Big Baby Horse friends who have so much leg that it’s still easier for them to either walk or canter.

showoff #1
showoff #2

They’re also both BIG fans of galloping in circles as fast as they can for no apparent reason at all.



Although Oakley seems to have put herself in charge of critiquing Ollie’s form.


I am determined that at some point we’ll get all 4 of them in one frame, but for now you’ll have to settle for all 4 of them in one post. Next week I’m thinking about doing a GIF-edition Foal Friday, full of GIF’s from videos of them running around and playing – thoughts on that? Also working on a “Where Are They Now?” post for all the past WTW foals, as has been requested! If you have any other ideas or stuff you want to see just let me know and we’ll work on it… these posts are as fun for us as they are for everyone else, I think.


Happy Foal Friday, everyone!

The only problem with dogs…

… is that they don’t live forever.

We adopted Quinn (the corgi) in 2015. At the time he officially brought our menagerie up to 3 dogs, all 8 years old or older. The rescue we got him from wasn’t 100% sure on his age, their vet said around 7, but our vet thought closer to 9. So… we just went with 8.

We specifically sought out an older dog from the rescue, knowing that they are harder for them to place. Indeed the rescue hadn’t even bothered listing Quinn, because he was both older and deaf and came to them with a horrid skin condition (he had been surrendered by his owner to the local shelter, so no one really had any information about him. They didn’t even tell the shelter his freakin’ name, only that he was aggressive towards their kids.). When we applied and specifically asked for a senior dog, he was offered to us.

He’s definitely a total weirdo that was NOT socialized properly, but we love him all the same. He’s been a good dog overall, and he especially excelled in his very part time gig as a mobile tack shop greeter.

welcome to my shop

We’ve had him for 5 years now, so he’s somewhere between 12 and 14. We’ve never really had any problems with him (aside from nasty teeth and the fact that trying to bathe him or clip his nails is akin to wrestling a grizzly bear) until he started to show some loss of mobility and feeling in a hind foot last year. For corgis especially that’s a biiiiiiiiiiig warning bell. And unfortunately the warning bell turned out to be right – he has DM.

Being a pembroke corgi of likely questionable breeding/origin, this isn’t such a surprise. It’s pretty common within the breed, and something I knew could happen. It is a progressive eventually fatal disease, so in the past few months I’ve made it my job to find out as much as I can and connect with others who have experience dealing with it.


The good and bad thing about it being so common with corgis is that there is a lot of support out there to be had. Facebook groups, websites, books… you name it. I bought a book, joined a couple facebook groups, and started looking at what we could do to help him out. He’s lost most of the mobility of both hind limbs now, so he can’t really walk unassisted, he mostly just scoots. We started looking at wheelchairs, but $500+ is a lot to plunk down for something that will get relatively short-term use IF he will even adapt to it and use it at all. Through a facebook group I found CorgiAid, a 501c that helps fund rescues, but also runs a wheelchair rental program. We applied, sent his measurements, paid the deposit and shipping, and now have a cart coming for him. If it works and he uses it, we’ll look at buying one for him.

Through a facebook group I was also able to procure an EZ lift harness, which should help make the short outside bathroom trips easier. Right now we just have to hold his hind legs kinda wheelbarrow style and toodle around the yard with him. I’m excited to get the harness and see how it works.

He still has some motion and feeling in the hind limbs, just not enough to move them on his own in a coordinated effort. Most importantly, though, he’s still very happy and bright. As long as that’s the case we’ll continue exploring ways to help keep him that way. We’re trying to keep him as mobile as “usual” for as long as we can. The good news is that while DM is totally devastating, it isn’t painful. Still, we won’t let him get to the point where he’s completely paralyzed and unable to move on his own.


Thanks to the book and online resources I think I have a pretty good idea of what to expect going forward and how to deal with it, which makes me feel slightly better. It makes me sad to know that the writing is on the wall, so to speak, for Quinn, and now it’s really just a matter of time. We lost Delia, one of the other seniors, a year ago yesterday, and neither of us is really quite ready for that again. Knowing there’s nothing we can do to change it, we’re just trying not to dwell on it.

For now Quinn is really enjoying getting to spend more time on the couch, having me sneak him extra treats, and sleeping in that california king that we really bought mostly so he would have ample bed space. ❤

I was yesterday years old when I learned

So I was scrolling mindlessly through facebook yesterday afternoon, as one does, when this article caught my eye:


Link to it here, in case you also need your mind blown today.

See, I have a bump on the roof of my mouth. And until yesterday I had NO IDEA that most people don’t. NO IDEA. NONE. I THOUGHT THIS WAS HOW ALL HUMAN MOUTHS WERE SHAPED. Being the natural skeptic that I am, I starting asking friends. Surely everyone has this mouth bump right?

WRONG. Out of the first 8 people I asked, no one else had a mouth bump. They just have these big ol’ empty bat cave mouths, apparently. Finally I asked my dad and he too has a mouth bump. He is the standard by which I judge all other humans, therefore I concluded that our mouth bumps are normal and all you smooth-mouthed people are weird. What do y’all do with all that extra space? You hiding something in there? A weapon? A snack for later? Pills to help you cope?

Gif Collection

Being a Weird Horse Girl, it only took a matter of minutes for me to make the leap over into wondering if horses have this or not (apparently not – the closest thing for them would be a low palate I suppose) and then thinking to myself “boy I would NOT like a ported tongue relief bit at all, would I?”.

Horse Chicks Are Weird – Phyllis Stein
my SO has this shirt, he wears it a lot

But… it really does make you think about just how differently mouths can be shaped and why finding a comfortable bit for your horse is so important. I fell soooo deep into a rabbit hole about horse mouth anatomy. I know that Henry doesn’t have a low palate (I’ve spent a lot of time staring at the inside of his mouth thanks to his weird teeth and the vet bills they bring) but he does have a fat tongue… we’ve already been down this road with all of his mouth weirdness and bit-searching in the past. But I’ve not gotten a super good look inside of Presto’s mouth yet. When we pulled his wolf teeth I was more preoccupied with what was coming OUT of his mouth. I feel like we’re pretty programmed to be focused on teeth but maybe not so much on the shape and characteristics of the mouth itself. Not gonna lie, I’m gonna be creepin’ on the dentist for every horse I come across from now on. I must see more horse mouths, it’s fascinating.

Low Palette? How can I tell? - Free Speech Horse Forum
a low palate

I’m still a little shook about finding out that there is a whole other species of Bat Cave Mouthed humans out there, though. Some intense googling did reveal a study that loosely linked the mouth bump to higher bone density, but otherwise all I learned is that mouths are inexplicably freakin’ weird in all animals.

Do you have a bump-mouth or a bat cave?

Double Digits

Presto had TWO rides over the long weekend! One was about 15 minutes and walk-only, so might not count, but whatever lets go with it.

one ear on mom, one ear on Ella

On Friday (ride #10) he had two landmark moments in his 15-minute walk-only ride. First, it was his first time being ridden in the ring with another horse. The barn owner and I wanted to take the babies (her 5yo and my 3yo) for a short little hack across the property, so we started in the arena first. I led Presto out with the mare, got right on him with no lunge, and proceeded to stand in the middle and play tripod while I videoed the mare doing a few w/t/c laps around the ring. He stood like a champ and didn’t mind at all when she passed close by him at speed. I’m not sure you could ask much more from a 3yo that hadn’t been ridden in a week.

Then we walked out through the pasture, down the path, to the back of the property. Presto has gone a little ways that direction before, one time, but never all the way to the spooky back. He was interested, but stayed calm and quiet, and seemed to enjoy having a companion. It was a quick hack but both babies were super.


On Sunday (ride #11) I wanted to do more of what has become his “normal” short w/t/c ride. Well, first I wanted to check on the canter. You might remember me saying last time that I didn’t even canter him, because he’s growthy right now and was falling out of his canter lead behind on the lunge line. Out of character for him, but that happens sometimes in growth spurts. So first I lunged him for a couple minutes each way, checked the canter (his balance is back to normal!) and then got on.

He’s at that stage right now where he retains things so much that you feel like you’re building something tangible out of Lego’s. There’s a real satisfaction to getting on and seeing that despite going a week or two between rides, it’s as if the last ride was just yesterday. On his last real ride we started doing figure 8’s, changes of direction across the diagonal, and even big 3 loop serpentines at the trot. He was a little confused by the changes of direction at first, thinking he needed to walk through them, but this time he never even tried, just kept trotting right on through like “ok, now we go dis way”. He’s also getting a little bit straighter on his trips down the long side. I wouldn’t say he’s anywhere near actually being straight, but… it’s less drunken. The trot rhythm is starting to get a bit more consistent, too. It’s far from perfect but there are little baby improvements with every ride and I’m quite pleased with his progress with only this many rides spread over 2 months time.

Since his canter looked better on the lunge we went ahead and cantered under saddle too. He was a bit quiet about it that day so I had to encourage him forward a little more. Granted, this was, what… the 4th time he’s cantered under saddle? Sometimes he wants me to sit on him a bit more and help him balance (usually in the turns) and sometimes I need to get up off him and just leave him alone/send him forward. It’s a fine line between not hindering him but also not wanting to help him too much. I try to just adjust what I’m doing to suit how he feels underneath me at the moment.

Honestly his canter is as balanced on ride 4 as Henry’s was on year 3 of dressage

I propped my phone up in the corner of the ring so I could get some stills and maybe a few flashes of video. I’m not editing all 13 minutes of the ride down to take out the “empty space” so I just nabbed the last minute that shows some canter and trot. Sorry, this is where my level of commitment is at right now.

The good news is that I finally caved and ordered a Pivo “robotic cameraman”, so hopefully I will have improved video capabilities soon. I was a little skeptical about the Pivo at first, but as they’ve done more updates it seems to be getting pretty good reviews from riders, and it’s very reasonably priced, so I figured why not try it. If you haven’t seen the Pivo, it’s this little device that you set your phone into and it tracks you/rotates as you ride around it, so you can get video on your phone while you’re alone that isn’t just a bunch of passes by the camera on a fixed tripod. Pivo seems to have recognized that it could potentially have a good market in equestrian sport so they’ve been doing a lot of updates, support, and marketing toward us. From the feedback in their facebook group it seems that the original Pivo (the red) works pretty well too, but the Silver has 2x faster tracking ability so I figured for $30 more I might as well go with that. There’s a good video review of it here.

Ride with Pivo : How to Film Your Equestrian Videos - YouTube

I’m not expecting it to be perfect but even if it only gets half of my ride, it would be worth it to have the phone video footage that doesn’t just consist of “trot past… wait a few seconds… trot past in the distance… wait a little more… oh there he went again… now enjoy the view of the arena for a while…”. Nobody likes that, me included. The Pivo seems easier and less fussy than the SoloShot or Pixio (you legit just pair the Pivo to your phone, plop it onto a tripod or a barrel or a mounting block, and start recording – that’s the level of work I’m into), albeit definitely far less fancy. Granted, it’s also only $110-$140 vs $700+. I’m hopeful that it’ll work well enough for what I need it for.

I’m also currently in the process of trying to plan Presto’s first off property trail ride. The plan all along was to get him broke enough in the spring to where we could spend the summer mostly hacking and trail riding, and I think he’s there, so I’m keen to see if I’m right. Maybe in the next couple weeks!

A little Catch-up

Good news – look what finally made it from Australia!

It’s a little hard to tell in the picture because my phone just could not get the color right, but it’s navy with dark green sheepskin, and gray and dark green piping. The sheepskin runs along the underside of the panels as well. I kind of wish I’d gone ahead and gotten the correction system built in, since this one is for Presto, but I didn’t since I already have a correction Mattes half pad for him. Right now he is in a real funky, weedy stage, so I’m definitely having to use the correction system. For now this one will be living in my trailer, waiting for Presto to a) fill out b) be a show horse. It’s a really pretty trailer decoration though.

My PSoS/Horselet import fees situation still isn’t resolved, although it seems to have been resolved for most other people. They remain responsive and helpful, so my fingers are still crossed that we can fix this by end of day tomorrow so the package doesn’t get booted back to Sweden. We’ll see. It’s out of my hands at this point.

My pre-ordered masks finally showed up as well!

I’d been looking for some nice lightweight masks so I have extras, and these from Dreamers and Schemers definitely fit the bill. They’re really lightweight and comfy, so much so that these have now become my primary masks and my other one has been delegated to the extra-one-I-keep-in-the-car. Somebody in Lowe’s on Saturday noticed the F-bomb mask and chuckled, saying “accurate”, so… the sentiment is shared right now I think.

While literally nothing exciting or noteworthy is going on, I’ve still been riding.

I ❤ my bareback pad

It’s getting hot for Henry, but I’m trying to keep him ridden at least 5 days a week while I can. Lately it’s mostly been hacking out, as I’ve been waiting for the mowers to come and hack down my jump field. That got done yesterday afternoon, so this week I’ll go set up a little course again. I still haven’t been able to get Henry out for the gallop he so desperately needs, and it’s currently rainy, so I’m not sure if/when that’ll happen. Jumping should make him happy though, and help take some of the YEEHAW out of him.

Last week’s snortfest brought to you by the fact that I moved the coop from where he’s standing over to the pile with the rest of the jumps

Presto has been on some adventures too, but we’ll talk more about that tomorrow. I gave up on finding him one of those big corner feeders I talked about last week, and opted for a simpler solution for now. I got him just a simple corner bowl type feeder that bolts in, so we’ll see if/how this one lasts. If he’ll keep his feet out of it, it might be ok. At least for now he’ll actually get more of his food into his mouth, rather than what he was doing before with flinging the bucket off the wall, tossing his food from one end of the stall to the other, and eating basically none of it. It just ends up mixed in with the shavings, and then he won’t eat it. Considering how much I spend on his high-fat low-NSC feed and fancy oil, I sure would like if he’d eat it instead of stand on it. 

You know who ALWAYS eats his food? Henry.

I bought the feeder from a place called Corro, which I’ve mentioned on here before. I first found them when I bought Henry’s sparkley boot last Black Friday, and now I’ve ordered from them 4 more times, mostly because they’re one of the few places that has Presto’s flaxseed oil, they have the best price on it, and they don’t charge an extra freight fee to ship it. Their product range is still a bit limited, but 1) their prices are great, 2) they ship FAST. This time I tossed several things into my order. All I really needed right this second was the corner feeder and another jar of the latest breathing supplement I’ve been trying for Henry, but I wanted to get to that $75 free shipping threshold so I figured I may as well stock up on stuff I would need eventually anyway. Well ok, I hit that $75 threshold once I added a gallon of fly spray (which I won’t need for a few more weeks, but their price was $2 cheaper than even the sale price at other places) but I decided to grab a couple other necessities as well. Like a new manure fork (I’ve been wanting a nice aluminum one but didn’t want to pay $40-50 for a shit fork. This one was $18. SIGN ME UP.) and more fungus spray (I’ve probably got about a month’s worth left but we’re entering that season where Henry’s face hair likes to fall off in mass quantities, so I don’t want to be caught without). 


So basically, I stocked up on essentials that I could have waited a few weeks to buy but figured I may as well toss them all into one order. I should be good til at least July. And despite all that big, heavy stuff, Corro still didn’t try to slap me with an oversize or overweight shipping fee. It all shipped for free! AND I ordered on Thursday night and everything arrived on Saturday. I remain super impressed and pleased with Corro, all of my orders from them have gone this way. That combined with their prices are making them really hard to beat for basic stable supplies/supplements like this, especially the stuff that I can’t get at my usual favorite places. If you’re interested in trying them I think using this link will get you $10 off your first order of $50 or more. If not let me know and I’ll email you the link directly. 

We’ll see how I feel about the AniHist after this next jar. With the first one I wasn’t convinced that it WAS helping, but I wasn’t convinced that it WASN’T helping either. Henry doesn’t really care for the taste of it but he does eat it begrudgingly, and there were a couple of humid days where I thought he should have been puffing a lot more than he was. But then there were other days when I was like “yep, this is how awful he always looks in the summer”. So I dunno. May is still a bit early yet to be a true litmus test, so I think I’ll find out for sure in the coming month. I would be delighted if it did help him, since nothing else has, but I remain skeptical since… nothing else has. But it’s only $20 so I figured it was worth giving it another month before reaching a verdict.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about what Presto has been up to (well, aside from tossing his food all over the place and making us all want to throttle him)!

Foal Friday: The full WTW Class of 2020

Since all the 2020 foals are finally here, the Foal Friday posts can now be all-inclusive! Right now they’re turned out in pairs – the two older ones Remi and Oakley, and the two younger ones Ollie and Ellie. As you can imagine, the latter pair is somewhat comical, with Ollie so little and Ellie so big. They’ve only been turned out together for a couple days and their dams are still being a bit overprotective, so they haven’t interacted much yet, but Ollie is a spitfire and Ellie is a gentle giant, so I think it’ll work out. So what have they all been up to this week?

When he’s not zooming around the pasture like he was born with a rocket booster implanted in his bum…


Ollie’s been spending some time climbing the round bale like it’s his own personal jungle gym.

I feel like Stormie’s face says “I’ve given up telling him to get down from there”

Right now he’s definitely the most boisterous and exuberant one. They all like to gallop and play of course, but Oakley and Remi have settled down a bit as they explore things like eating grass, and Ellie, while she’s unfolded a lot, still has a whole lot of leg to manage.

I mean look at these stilts


She manages them pretty well though, and remains super balanced, as she’s been from the very beginning.


She’s been doing some running and bucking herself, but isn’t quite as zoomie as little pocket rocket Ollie.

showing that round bale who’s boss (this round bale takes a lot of abuse for some reason)

As I mentioned, Ellie and Ollie just recently got turned out together, so while they aren’t quite interacting yet, they’re getting pretty darn close. They’re definitely curious about each other, and with foals it usually never takes long for them to start playing once the curiosity wins out.


The mares just aren’t quite having it yet, both still a little overprotective and territorial. They’ll relax and give up on trying to keep the babies apart soon, and I bet by next week we’ll have some pics of Ellie and Ollie playing. I kind of can’t wait to see that.

Mare 1 – not having it yet

Mare 2 – packing up her baby and exiting stage left

As for Remi and Oakley, they’ve had an exciting week too. Well, mostly Oakley. It’s been very hot here in Texas (triple digits) and Oakley had a super thick fuzzy coat, so she was sweating to death. Remi and Oakley are both starting their foal shed, but still mostly just on their faces/legs, so Michelle took pity on Oakley and clipped her a bit. Not only is she much happier, we can get a really good look at her color and the dun markings that were under all that fuzz!


I think she’s going to be one of those bay duns that remains pretty light, more buckskin looking, and her leg bars/dorsal stripe/black-tipped ears are quite a strong contrast. Her head and legs remain unclipped (this was a clip job for practicality, not for beauty) but they’re shedding out nice and dark. She’s going to be a pretty color.

Oakley has also caught up a bit closer to Remi in size, their butts are only about a hand different in height at the moment. If I was a gambling woman I’d say she’s going to end closer to the 15.2 end of the spectrum, but we’ll see.


wuv you, Oakwee


As you can see, she still very much owns Remi. He is 110% obsessed with her and she’s got more of the Regina George “why are you so obsessed with me?” response. Remi is still a complete super model, but Oakley doesn’t seem wooed by his good looks and charm.


These two both lead really well and have good manners, and of course Oakley now bathes and body clips too. They’re well on their way to being solid baby citizens.

While the babies will remain in their paired groups for a while, they do share a fence line and have gotten themselves acquainted over the fence a little bit.

The biggest with the littlest 

As their personalities and herd dynamics continue to evolve, there’s one thing for sure: they’re all still ridiculously cute.




tell me she doesn’t have the sweetest, kindest eyes

Happy Friday, everyone! Who’s your favorite foal from the 2020 class?

Chasing My Tail

Small update to the situation I posted about on Tuesday about theHORSElet/UPS shipping fee drama. UPS finally got back to me and just kind of threw up their hands and told me I was on my own. They said that clearly I had already paid the seller for shipping, they could see that from my receipts, but since no one had paid UPS for shipping yet, they couldn’t (read: wouldn’t) help me. They said I would need to get in contact with the seller and try to have them work it out on their end. That’s about the level of helpfulness I expected from UPS, and the fact that it took 3 days and 6 different people to end up being a completely useless waste of time in the end is also no surprise.

Ups delivery packages GIF - Find on GIFER
No. No you cannot.

I did finally get ahold of the seller though. Emailing PSoS directly seemed to do the trick – they answered me, and then a few hours later I finally got a response from theHORSElet (on my Instagram DM that I had sent the day before, not to the email I sent via their website 4 days before). They apologized and said they would fix it, and they had already been in contact with UPS to get everything straightened out. That was Tuesday.

In the meantime, my package arrived. Or tried to arrive, anyway. I did not accept delivery, because by signing for the package I could end up getting stuck with those charges. They tried again to deliver it yesterday, but the fees were still showing on my account, so again I didn’t accept delivery. It was then marked as “final attempt” so I had no choice but to have the package rerouted to the only store option it gave me (which is about 25 minutes away and I pass approximately 9,025 other UPS stores to get there). They will only hold it through next Tuesday before they return it to the sender.

Hot Mess GIF by memecandy - Find & Share on GIPHY

As of this morning the charges are still showing on my account, so now it’s a stand-off. Will the charges be cleared before the package gets booted back to Sweden? It’s anyone’s guess. I’ve kept in contact with a few other people that ordered around the same time I did and also had this happen, and their charges have yet to be removed either. I know from prior experience that UPS red tape tends to move at a freaking glacial pace. I did email the rep I’d been in contact with before to ask if he could at least confirm that there was a case ongoing about this, but surprise – crickets.

So that disaster is unfolding however it will, I suppose. I appreciate that PSoS/theHORSElet finally got back to me and says that they’re trying to make it right, and it does seem like a genuine mistake. I will remain wary until it’s actually fixed though, because we’re definitely nowhere near that point yet. If it ends up booted back to Sweden… lord only knows wtf will happen then.

Since apparently that wasn’t enough, I also decided to frustrate myself even further this week by scouring all of Texas for those big plastic corner feeders.

CF-40: Corner Feeder, 40" – High Country Plastics
like this

I think I’ve called at least two dozen stores and emailed/messaged another dozen. You can order the feeders online but the freight almost doubles the cost, so I was trying to find a store within a couple hours of me that carries them. I found places that USED to carry them. I found places that normally carry them but sold out and have no idea when they’ll have more and would not let me pre-order/get on a wait list. I found a bunch of farm supply store workers who didn’t understand wtf I was asking about and kept trying to suggest a metal cattle feeder. And I found a bunch of places that carry them according to the manufacturer but in actuality definitely DO NOT carry them. I just know there has to be some random little feed store in the middle of podunk nowhere that has these, but so far I just can’t find them. For now I’ve given up, though. I’ve had all the frustration I can take for one week. I spent a ton of time chasing my tail on all this stuff with nothing to show for it yet.

But the good news is that I have a 4 day weekend coming up, and tomorrow is Foal Friday, and Riding Warehouse is having a Memorial Day sale! Well ok I’m not really sure if that last one is good news or dangerous news, but seems like a good time to stock up on fly spray and such (this is always how it starts, me just “stocking up” on something…).

Hopefully this weekend I’ll be able to get Henry over to the giant property across the street so he can go for a gallop (please lord, let us be able to go gallop, I’m getting tired of finding myself at the rodeo every day even if I do keep winning the bronc riding) and get Presto out for another little hack. The forecast starts looking pretty crap on Sunday though, because clearly the 6″ of rain we got last week wasn’t enough. Sigh.

Why do you horse show?

With USEF releasing their new horse show covid guidelines, there has been a bit of a stir across the interwebs. Some people seem ready and willing to get back to horse showing no matter how different it looks, but other people don’t want to participate until the guidelines are able to be loosened.


I admit that when it comes to the latter group at first I was kinda like “damn, y’all have spent months whining about not horse showing, and now you’re whining about not wanting to have to horse show like that“. But as I read their explanations a bit more and understood where they were coming from, their reasons made more sense.

To me, horse showing is not a social experience. I mean… it is, by it’s very nature, being a large gathering of like-minded people, but it’s not the reason why I horse show. I tend to be the reclusive one that disappears somewhere by myself for hours and rarely goes to a competitor party. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing all my friends (except Bobby, he’s a loser) but it’s not what draws me the most. For me, the biggest perk of horse shows is being able to spend focused one-on-one time alone with my horse, taking care of him myself, doing what we love to do, while enjoying time in our little bubble away from the real world. My favorite non-riding part of showing is getting up early and having some quiet time in the barn or hand-walking my horse in the quiet calm before the storm. None of the new covid restrictions would change that.

But not everyone is like me, obviously. There are a lot of people that really really love the social aspect of horse shows. Spending time with their friends, going to the parties, talking about horses 24/7, having their family come watch, etc. I am not a social person so that’s not me, but can still totally understand it. Especially those who don’t get a lot of “horse time” or “horse friend time” in their regular day to day lives. For them these new covid restrictions, while absolutely 110% valid and necessary and the right thing to do given what’s going on in the world right now, put a big damper on all the things they love so much about showing, so they’re opting to stay sidelined until things relax a bit.


There isn’t actually choice here for me to make anyway, about whether or not I want to start showing again. It’s summer now, already nearing triple digit temps in Texas, and my heat intolerant horse is unlikely to do much of anything until fall. Maybe a very local jumper show or a day trip for XC schooling, but definitely not any real horse showing. Our season was done before it started when he bruised his foot so badly in November, so this really isn’t even a debate for me personally. Seeing both sides of the fence though, I can see a lot of different reasons why someone would or wouldn’t want to get back to it – health reasons, economic reasons, social reasons, horse-specific reasons, you name it. It’s a strange new sea we’re living in, and not everyone is in the same boat.

I admit that I’m a little surprised USEA still says AEC (Championships) are a “go” for August in Kentucky, though. That seems like a Bad Idea to me for myriad reasons, but I sure won’t be judging anyone who wants to go as long as USEA is willing to make it available. Again, it’s not even on the table for me anyway due to the whole “August in Kentucky” part so it’s easy for me to not feel tempted.

I’m curious though, now that I’ve spent some time way overthinking all of this: why do you horse show? What are those little moments that keep you coming back for more? Are you eager to get back out there no matter what kind of covid restrictions are in place, or are you going to wait until things ease up a bit?

Shipping Drama

Considering how many things I order from overseas, I’ve had surprisingly few issues over the years. The odd thing stuck in customs forever, but nothing too crazy or dramatic. Guess my time was due.

I mentioned last week how I ordered a quarter sheet from PS of Sweden’s new outlet site, theHORSElet. I paid for it, including shipping charges, and two days later I got a shipping confirmation. All was going normally. And then, the next day, I get an email from UPS saying I owe $263 in import charges.

Season 3 No GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

So off I go to investigate. First – was the email legit? I logged into my UPS account on their website and yep, there it was, a notice about owing import fees on the Sweden package. I have had to pay import fees here and there on some things I’ve ordered from overseas, so ok sure, but the rate is generally 9-20% of the value. $263 was… waaaaay off. Like, closer to 500%. So then I pulled up the UPS invoice itself to take a closer look. Turns out that actually none of that charge was import fees or duty fees or taxes – it was all freight charges.

At work my department is under the same organizational umbrella as Shipping, and indeed my best work friend was the head of Shipping for almost 10 years. And we use UPS, including for international shipping. I sent the invoice to him and he immediately said “They forgot to check the box”. On international shipping paperwork there’s a box where the shipper designates responsibility for the UPS shipping/export charges. If they don’t check that, then all the freight gets charged to the recipient. He told me that if I had already paid theHORSElet/PSoS for shipping as part of my purchase, I could dispute it.

Dread GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

So I started calling UPS. Five transfers later (including one VERY FREAKIN RUDE lady) I finally got assigned a case rep, who seemed very confused about the whole situation. I told him that I had already paid the company for shipping, and it looked like they messed up their paperwork. He asked me to send him any invoices/receipts I had from the purchase and he would look into it and call me back. That was Friday morning.

I had also emailed theHORSElet to let them know of the mistake. At this point I am still willing to assume it’s a mistake, anyway. I got an auto-response from PSoS saying they would get back to me ASAP, and since it was Friday I was fine to wait until Monday.

Yesterday came and went with nothing from them. I could see both of their accounts active on Instagram, so I contacted them there as well, telling them the whole situation, what was happening, and saying I had sent them an email about it but not heard anything back. While I was waiting for a response I heard from someone else who also ordered from them last week and ALSO got a big invoice from UPS. It looks like my issue was not unique. I know that last week was the first time theHORSElet offered international shipping, so I’m still inclined to believe this is a mistake made by their shipping department on the paperwork. However, it clearly wasn’t an isolated incident. They need to fix this.

Doctors We Can Fix It GIF by New Amsterdam - Find & Share on GIPHY

They messaged me back on Insta, but only addressing the part where I said I had emailed and not gotten a response – they just asked me when I emailed them. That’s now as far as we’ve gotten. Hopefully they will actually be helpful in getting this resolved. If they aren’t, I definitely will not be happy.

I also have another email in to the UPS rep, asking for an update. This is a mess, start to finish. There is some added complication in that the receipt I have is of course from theHORSElet, but they shipped it under their PSoS company name. That could cause some problems when it comes to proving that I’ve already paid them a shipping fee.

We’ll see what happens. For now I would definitely recommend holding off on ordering anything from theHORSElet (or honestly even PSoS) since my situation does not appear to have been a one-off. Hopefully we can get it cleared up quickly and they can fix whatever happened in their shipping process. I’ll update once I get some resolution!


I feel like this year so far has been one big Adjusting To Change exercise. Learning the new normal, and then learning the new new normal, and then learning the new new new normal, which just keeps evolving. Really kind of brings home the Heraclitus quote “The only thing that is constant is change”.

his commitment to side eye never changes, though

Working from home from my actual home is definitely a different ball game than working from home from the farm. I’ve changed the structure of my day, although every day looks a bit different depending on what’s going on. It’s not as easy to duck outside for an hour and go ride Henry before it gets hot… now “ducking outside to ride” is a minimum 3-hour thing. I am lucky to have some flexibility though, and indeed my day is actually most productive when I break it into two parts. Sometimes I have a day packed with meetings that makes it more challenging to unshackle myself from my laptop, and it doesn’t give me a whole lot of time at the barn during the week. But in this particular era where everything is temporary, I’m just taking it day by day and making it work as best I can.

Because of that, I don’t really have time for both horses on weekdays. I have to pick one or the other, and of course Henry has priority. This is always the time of year that I dread the most with him, heading into summer, because of his struggle with the heat. I’m trying to get him ridden as consistently as I can before I start having to back off. Despite being a bit of a chonk he does feel really good right now. Maybe a little too good. The sass level is high. Later this week I’m going to try to get him over to the giant field across the street so he can gallop, because he definitely feels like he needs to blow off some steam.

the face of a horse who spooked at 3 different dressage letters in one ride

Presto, on the other hand, has been shelved for the past few weeks. After I bonked my head I thought it was probably a bad idea to ride the baby horse for a little while. Although now that I think about it, Presto is generally the far less spooky one. Hmmm.

But anyway, now I’m healed up and I finally had time for both horses yesterday, so Presto was called back into duty. And how was he after 3 weeks of doing absolutely nothing? Clearly he was quite feral.

Thank god for that shimmable Mattes pad, I am constantly moving shims around right now with how fast he’s changing

Yeah no just kidding he was super quiet. It was as if not a single day has gone by since his last ride, everything was retained and there was no silly behavior. That’s the longest he’s gone between rides since I started him, so I was curious to see if he would backtrack a little or not, but nope. This was ride #9 and I continue to be fairly pleased with how he’s going despite our slow progression. He’s had as many rides in 2 1/2 months as most have in their first 2 1/2 weeks, but our atypical program seems to be working just fine for us.

I always put Presto on the lunge line for a few minutes before I mount up, just to get him focused. We do a lot of transitions to get his brain into “it’s work time, pay attention to me” mode. It also gives me an idea of where his head is at. Sometimes the upward transitions come with sass, other times you can’t even get the whole word “whoa” out before he’s stopped dead. Yesterday was the latter. After a grand total of 3 minutes lunging, I got on.

crazy baby horse on the loose

I did notice on the lunge line that he’s a bit unbalanced in the canter at the moment. He’s definitely growing, as you can see in his picture, and the canter quality and balance tend to come and go during these spurts. Because of that I decided not to ask him to canter this ride, so we just rode around the ring for a few minutes, walking and trotting and doing some circles and figure 8’s and transitions. Then I figured… he’s being so quiet, lets go out to the field.

He perked up a little bit out there, but was still a good boy. After we walked for a little while I decided to see how he felt about trotting out in the open, and it was very anti-climactic. We trotted a lap of the field, I told him he was amazing, and we quit with that.

much perkier ears

I think he’s ready to start riding out in the fields more now. That was my whole goal for the spring – getting him “broke” enough to be able to hack and trail ride this summer, and I think he’s pretty much there. Or at least ready to start small and work our way up. Obviously with 9 rides he isn’t a super quiet broke reliable horse but he’s got an excellent whoa and he’s not particularly spooky or anything, so at this point I feel pretty comfortable riding him out.

We’re still waiting for his tongue-relief bits to arrive (there was Bombers back-order, they’re supposed to ship this week) but Presto seems content enough on a loose rein in the Myler for now. Knowing horses, I will be shocked if he actually likes the fancy expensive bits that I spent hours discussing and agonizing over, because they’re turds and nothing can ever be that easy.  But we’ll see. I have a long weekend coming up so I’m hoping we can do some more exploring.

Hope everyone else had a good weekend!