Brother from another mother

How is it Monday again already? And how is it almost September? I feel like it was just August 1st a few days ago. Time is flying. Although I don’t really mind if summer wants to move along a little faster, it’s hot as shit and I’m over it. We didn’t get a drop of rain from that hurricane and the triple digit days are starting to wear on all of us I think. Except maybe Presto, who still naps in the sun even when he’s covered in sweat. Gotta solidify all that awesome sunbleaching I guess.

He’s also randomly decided that he likes Oatmeal Cream Pies now

Since it’s hot and gross, Henry continues to have a light schedule. He went for a hack on Saturday, but I try to be careful not to make him too hot, especially when the “feels like” is gonna be 115 or some shit by later in the day. The mornings have been pretty humid too, so… he’s living the chill life at the moment. Such is the way for him every summer. I have literally no future plans in mind for him at the moment, so I don’t feel any need to push things or feel pressured about it. He’s happy and perky and always a little wild. I can’t complain.

very serious riding business

Presto got a little bit of time “off” after that particularly wild ride on my birthday. He just wasn’t himself that day, and was suddenly worried/anxious/spooky about the wooded areas that he had never been concerned about before. I got on him the next week after that for a few minutes and just walked in the arena and he still felt very on edge and spent a lot of time staring off into the trees. Really out of character. I’m not sure what changed from his perspective but my gut told me to dial it back, so instead I just spent the last week and half handwalking him out there, letting him graze, and doing some groundwork until I felt like he understand he was safe and fine and no longer staring anxiously into the brush. He’s naturally quite a brave and bold and confident horse, so if/when he raises a concern like that it tends to be pretty genuine, and I felt like if I’d tried to force it he would have ended up losing confidence either in me or in himself or both. We’re in no hurry. He’s 3. We’re laying the bricks that have to sustain him forever, so if we have hiccups I’d rather take a step back and let him figure it out than try to force him. Trying to keep making deposits into the trust bank.

He seemed back to normal by the middle of last week, so on Sunday I got back on him out in the grass field (where the original meltdown took place) and he was super. Back to his normal self. I kept it very easy and light, about 15 minutes of walking and trotting on a loose rein. He was interested in what we were doing, but not in a tense or worried way, just happy to go forward and listen and stay relaxed. After we were done in there we walked down the fenceline next to the brushy area and then stopped and hung out and watched some fence construction (which had just started the day before). He was super chill about all of that, not worried in the least, so hopefully he’s over whatever set him off in the first place. I still have no idea what that was, but… horses. Sometimes they just need a minute to recalibrate. I get it, so do I.

It’s also possible that I totally stalker/fangirled with Will Faudree over Mama’s Magic Way (Mason). The more I found of that horse the more and more he seemed identical to Presto, so I’ve become I wee bit fascinated. I found baby pictures and omg.

same face, different ears

I was curious about his personality though, so I couldn’t resist, I had to ask Will. And the response was legit spooky. I’m relatively certain they’re the same horse. Will said “I describe him to people as a 5 year old little boy on a sugar high in a toy store. He is the biggest character and comedian.”. Sounds familiar. Very accurate description of Presto. He also sent me a video of Mason being Mason, and I had to laugh because I had a really similar one of Presto, which I sent back. He agreed, they’re basically the same.

Thanks for humoring me Will. God, can you imagine two Presto’s in the same place at the same time?

But if he’d like to take after Mason in other respects I wouldn’t really mind. Just saying.

This’ll do

Now I have a new “brother from another mother” to watch for sure. I see resemblances between almost all the MM’s, I can pick the majority of them out of a crowd, but I’ve never seen one that was such a carbon copy of Presto as Mason is. They have similar dams too, half TB half Hanoverian. How could I could I not take a shine to Mason? New favorite upper level horse.

I did stalk a couple more MM’s this weekend too on the live feed from Strzegom in Poland. There was one on the *4 Nations Cup team for Germany

Mighty Spring

and one in the 2*.

Magic Mick

Thank you live streams for enabling me to be creepy AF worldwide. It occurred to me as I was sitting there at 5am on a Sunday watching the 2* that there might be something wrong with me. I’ve accepted it though, please don’t stage an intervention. It’s become a serious hobby and I don’t want to be helped.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Foal Friday: Two Holes

So I’m sure anyone that’s been reading this blog for very long can vividly remember the story of that time Michelle thought Manny was a Maddy. In her excitement after his birth she didn’t get a very good look under the tail and he was a very pretty foal, so it took a few days for her to notice he had a ween. Hence the story that she will never live down (not as long as I have a say in it, anyway) and the occasional nickname of “Two Holes”. Because ya know… you gotta count the holes under the tail. Colts = one. Fillies = two. She’s been an exceptionally good sport about it all.


But anyway, she’s been waiting for a filly out of Stormie in particular. Last year’s foal was a colt, and obviously Ollie this year is also a colt (and he’s been dangling his bits since day 1, so there’s no room for doubt on that one). She was a bit bummed about that, because she was reaaaaaally wanting a grulla filly by Usandro out of Stormie, and she got SO close. And despite her extreme love for and devotion to Ollie, I think he must have sensed the minor twinge of disappointment somehow, because he did a thing. A real yucky thing.

No one is totally sure what he did or how (best guess maybe he was rubbing his butt on the fence or something and ended up with a poorly placed splinter? Who knows. Babies.) but he came in one day with a really really swollen… uh… under-the-tail region. Like at first it looked like a super big bad impaction trying to force it’s way out.

Here’s where you stop scrolling if you don’t want to see horse bumholes.

There is literally nothing cute happening in the rest of this post.

It starts out cringey and quickly devolves into horror movie status.

You were warned.

I’m not kidding.

Ok you asked for it.

Obviously that’s horrifying. Cue panic. Immediate veterinary assistance.

It took a little time to determine that it was actually an abscess. A really really big disgusting deep one, right under his tail. It must have been seriously painful, but Ollie was tolerant of all the poking and prodding and attention. And finally, they got it to open up to drain. And it was NASTY.

Look I already warned you to stop scrolling.

You should be questioning all your life choices right now, you sicko.

Ok fine here it comes.

And once there was a drain hole, drain is indeed what it did. It just kept going and going and going and going.

Clearly it was extremely important to keep it open and draining but also keep it clean, so Ollie had to go stay at the vet’s. This was just too big of a job, and closely monitoring that extra hole was going to be very important. So Ollie has been gone, hence why there isn’t a better, cuter, tremendously less traumatizing Foal Friday to share with you this week. Without Ollie, things are a little dull.

But anyway, as most disgusting drainage abscess holes do, it got worse before it got better. Like… so much worse. But all the puss that was stuck deep down in there finally made it’s way out and holy crap it was like Dr. Pimple Popper on steroids.

I seriously implore you to NOT continue scrolling.

Like you might not ever come back from this.

If you’ve eaten anything recently you should stop right here.

This image will be seared into your brain forever.

I might need you to sign a release.

Wow you’re disgusting, you know that right?





Poor Ollie, you know that thing really has GOT to hurt, especially being right under his tail. That drainage hole is like the same size as his little pony baby bumhole. He’s been a super good patient though, which says a lot about his character. He’s charmed his caretakers and added to his already large fan club.

And luckily, things are going well. The drainage looks to be pretty much finished now, and the hole is starting to close up now from the inside out. It seems much less painful for him, too.

he’s judging you for looking at all of his bumhole pictures

He’s been given the all clear to come home, so that’s a huge sigh of relief. He’ll be happy to get back to his friends, I’m sure. Being stuck by himself is no fun, especially for his poor mother.

Hopefully it continues to heal well and poor Ollie can keep himself out of trouble. Valiant effort on his part to appease Michelle and convert himself to a Two Holes, but that just didn’t really quite work out.

For everyone who’s made it all the way to the bottom of this post, I’m not sure if I should commend you or be concerned about you. Probably both. But um… happy Friday? If that’s even possible anymore…


The only bad thing about buying a saddle from overseas is that crossing the pond isn’t always the fastest, and I’m an instant gratification kind of girl. Patience is not my strong suit when it comes to pretty things and the mail. It’s been 2 days and it feels like a week.

eshap help | Tumblr

Also perhaps I’m weird (I am indeed) but the part I’m looking forward to most is giving the saddle a bit of a makeover. It’s got a two-tone look so I’m thinking it wants to be re-dyed to a nice even chocolate brown. And maybe this time I’ll play with a beeswax finish. It’s been a few years since I’ve dyed a saddle and I don’t want to admit this in from of witnesses but I find it really fun and gratifying. Crafting in general is not my favorite thing at all, but sign me up for some tack rehab. It’s possible that I grabbed all the necessary supplies already. Don’t judge me, it’s 2020 and I’ll get joy wherever I can.

I’m kind of hoping it won’t take that long to get here though. In all fairness the last two things I got – a rubber chicken from a place in NY state and a blanket from the UK – were interesting examples. The rubber chicken took 3 weeks and the blanket took 2 days.

yes, Presto now has a monkey blanket and a unicorn sheet

The rubber chicken was highly amusing though. I figured if I was going to order a ridiculous toy for Presto, I may as well spring for the biggest one I could find, which was a 29-incher. When I pulled it out of the parcel locker the other day, I was cracking up. They had shipped it just in a bag, with it’s feet sticking out of the corner, which was hilarious in and of itself. It was basically folded in half to fit in the locker (thanks mailman!). It’s noise maker thingy is very sensitive, so any little bit of touch or jostling sets it off. And it doesn’t squeak, it MOANS like a dying cow. A very very loud one. Just walking back from the mailbox to the house, it was moaning constantly. I can only imagine it’s journey across the country to get here, with every truck driver, mail carrier, or sorter. Just stuffing it into the parcel locker must have been a sight (and sound) to behold. I was absolutely dying by the time I got home, tears of laughter streaming down my face, since it moaned loudly the whole way.

So far Presto seems pretty unimpressed by it (Henry is terrified) but hopefully it’ll grow on him. It’s a lot heavier than I was expecting and I think that makes it a little less fun for him to play with.

Dis a dumb toy

I also got a super sweet surprise in the mail from Michelle – a custom HERS Equine journal with baby Presto painted on the front!

HERS Equine does all kind of custom horse painting, on everything from decor to clothing. Not gonna lie, I kind of want a jacket with a jumping Henry on the back. Katie did a great job painting baby Presto, it looks JUST like him. Still hits me right in the feels to remember him as a foal. And what a great idea for a gift, who doesn’t like stuff with their horse painted on it? Now I just have to figure out what I want to use the journal for, because obviously I’ll want to keep it forever.

On the subject of Mighty Magic babies, I totally meant to post this the other day and forgot…. because I’m the ultimate stalker, I made a little compilation video of the ones that were at Grand Meadow. There were 2 in the 4* and one in the 3*, and all 3 were clear XC.

There were also some MM’s stretching their legs at Arville in Belgium last weekend – there were FOUR MM’s in the top 16 in the 2*. There wasn’t a live stream though, which was sad, but Figaro’s owner posted some video of him… he’s competed through 4* but hasn’t been out in a while, and it looks like he had lots of fun.

One of them in particular reminds me a lot of Presto. Which one do you think it is?

Hell Week

When it rains it pours, right?

Yesterday, the 25th of August, is generally what I think of as the shitty conclusion of what I’ve come to call my own personal annual “hell week”, bookended between the date of my mom’s passing and her birthday. The 25th is her birthday, which is not exactly the easiest day, as you can imagine. So then yesterday morning I get the call that my grandmother, my mom’s mom, has died from covid. That was a kick in the gut, universe. You can stop kicking me, I’m already down.

This is the first time covid has hit so close to home for me, even though I knew by the sheer rule of numbers that it would happen sooner or later. You know when’s an extra shitty time to have it happen? On my dead mother’s birthday. To her mother. Dying in a nursing home in Mississippi. A strong proud fiery woman who worked hard her entire life and certainly didn’t deserve an end like that. So let’s have a real talk, because I’ll be honest… I’m pissed off.

I know we’re all getting tired of this covid crap. Everyone is itching to return to normal, people are starting to get more lax and not take the guidelines so seriously. I see it every single day. People are tired of staying home, they wan’t to go out to eat and have a drink at a bar and go shopping and have parties (looking at you, neighbor behind us who has parties every damn weekend) and go back to school and go on vacation. Everyone’s patience is wearing thin, and I get it. I understand. I feel the same way. There is absolutely nothing fun about a global pandemic and I hate it too. The fact that this whole thing has been politicized from the beginning makes my blood absolutely boil. But this isn’t over just because we’re tired of it. It won’t be over for a long time.

So I ask you to please wear a damn mask (correctly). Please wash your damn hands. Please socially distance. Please avoid unnecessary gatherings and travel if at all possible, and if you truly must, please for the love of god be smart about it. Stop getting on airplanes because you found cheap tickets and need a weekend away. Please do everything within your power to avoid being the link in the chain that passes this disease on to someone vulnerable. Please don’t be the reason someone’s Mammaw dies of a brutal virus on her dead mother’s birthday.

I have had it up to my last millimeter with the “we’ve just got to get back to normal, we can’t keep doing this forever” and “but the death rate is so low” arguments. I just freaking cannot. Don’t even get me started on the people who won’t wear a mask. Which friends and family members are y’all willing to sacrifice to an end like this, you freaking sociopaths?

Horse show people, I’m peering extra hard over my theoretical glasses at you right now since y’all are the ones in my social circle. Please think long and hard about everything you do and why and how you do it. It’s easy for things to start feeling more normal again now, let your guard down, and start taking more chances or being less diligent. What we do is a luxury and superfluous, so if you’re going to do it, it’s up to you to 1) accept the very real that fact that you could be putting people in danger even if you do everything right 2) actually DO EVERYTHING RIGHT. All the time when you’re traveling or at the show. Every single thing in your power to be very diligent and minimize that risk as much as possible. So what if other people think you’re ridiculous. This isn’t a joke and it isn’t over and there are very serious repercussions.

Don’t be the idiot that kills someone’s family or friend.

Baby’s First Saddle

I’m sure it will surprise literally no one to hear that my horses are not shaped similarly at all. Because of course, who would be that lucky (all of you people that have multiple horses that all fit perfectly into the same saddle: it’s possible that I hate you just a little bit). I know that I got incredibly lucky with Henry when it comes to saddle fit – he’s built like he was custom made for a standard Devoucoux D3D panel. A bit curvy and a bit wide, but not TOO curvy or TOO wide. I thanked my lucky stars for that when I bought his saddles, because I am a French saddle girl to my core and nothing pleases me more than sinking my butt down into some ultra-close contact buttery calfskin perfection. They’re the only saddles I’ve ever truly loved.

So naturally, Presto doesn’t come anywhere close to fitting in a curvy French tree.

It isn’t unusual for horses to start out with a bit of a straighter back when they’re young, before they finish growing and before their withers really pop, and before they start adding a lot of muscle. But Presto is definitely the straightest-backed horse I have ever had. His mother had a pretty straight back too when she was 3 and 4, and eventually curved up juuuuuust enough to fit the flattest possible french panel, so I haven’t lost all hope yet. But Presto’s profile from front to back, at least at the moment, is about as flat as a dang table. 

As it stands, Henry’s saddle is too wide and too curvy for Presto. I could help with the too wide part, with my shimmable half pad, but there’s only so much I could do about the curviness. I shimmed it 6 ways to Sunday and made it passable enough to get him started, but the reality is that this saddle would not work for him long term or once he starts getting ridden more often. I had kind of been waiting for his late spring/early summer growth spurt to finish up before I made a final decision (desperately clinging to the hope that he might magically get a little curvier I guess *cue sobbing*). Now it’s wrapping up and yeah… still flat as a pancake up there. The writing was on the wall and the truth was unavoidable: Presto needs his own saddle. 


Of course, he’s also 3.5 and will change A LOT over the next year or two. That means I’m not gonna go drop thousands of dollars on something fancy, nor is he yet eligible for anything custom. The real challenge was finding something that could fit him well enough and that I didn’t totally hate. Have I mentioned my intense love of French saddles and nothing else? It’s a real problem when your horse doesn’t fit in them. In reality I knew I was going to be looking more at the English-made brands, specifically one on a pretty straight tree with a straighter panel. It’s possible that I had a minor moderate internal temper tantrum about that. Once you go French it’s hard to go back. I’ve not particularly cared for 95% of the English-made saddles I’ve ever sat in. But Presto’s comfort is the most important thing, so I contacted a couple saddle fitter friends, got some ideas for brands, and started to hunt.

I didn’t get very far with my search in America.

Here’s where I’ll admit that I did back myself into a bit of a corner right out of the gate, because I was only considering monoflap jump saddles. The thing I hate most about a lot of the English-made saddles is how bulky they feel, and I’ve been sitting in only monoflaps for years now. If I’m gonna be forced to go English I’m at least gonna get a monoflap, okay? It’s the only thing that could slightly appease that inner temper tantrum. It was my only “must have” rider request, and I was sticking to it. But… it did greatly reduce the pool of saddles available. That and my budget, because you know who’s not spending more than 2k on a saddle that a baby horse will likely outgrow in a year?

Frankie Shaw Bridgette Bird GIF by Showtime - Find & Share on GIPHY

I just cannot.

It didn’t take me long to shift my search focus overseas. I mean… I’ve bought a lot of saddles from Europe by now, and pretty much all of them have worked out. My current Devoucoux jump saddle came from England, sourced via facebook, and I’ve also bought saddles from France and Germany over the last decade. I think by now I’ve gotten fairly good at judging the shape from photos, plus I had my fitter friends to offer their opinions as well. I spent hours and hours scouring the internet looking at saddles. I’m relatively certain there isn’t single monoflap available for sale in the UK that I haven’t seen by now. Once I finally decide to embark on a task, I’m super obsessive about it, and this was no different. I left no stone unturned.

I was getting pretty distraught about it there for a while. There just weren’t many saddles that I liked the look of at all, most of them were written off pretty quickly because I hated the leather or the balance or the twist looked wide as an elephant (god I hate a wide twist). I did eventually narrow it down to 3 models, and then had to try to find one, in budget, in the right size. Not a small task. But I did finally find one, in the form of a Mark Todd Charisma.

not sold on the two-tone, there might be dye in this things future

As with literally all saddles, people on the internet either love it or hate it. But I have a pretty good idea of what I like by now, and the design looks right on par for my own preference. It’s definitely not French leather, but the general structure looks promising both for me and for Presto. About a dozen pictures and some videos and some fit debate later, it got the nod. The best part is that it was way under budget. Much easier to take a risk on something when it’s cheap, and much less painful later on when he inevitably outgrows it. I made an offer, we talked logistics, and the deal was done. Presto now has his very own saddle coming his way. Hopefully it a) makes it here with as little drama/delay as possible given the current world situation b) fits well enough to work for Presto for a while.

There is nothing worse than saddle shopping.

The only fittings I really need for it is stirrup leathers. My Free Jump irons are super easy to take on and off the leathers so I can swap those back and forth between saddles in a matter of seconds, but I don’t really want to be wrestling with swapping the leathers themselves. So I’m on the hunt for an inexpensive used calfskin pair, if anyone has seen some send them my way!

Something wet fell from the sky


There was a bit less riding happening this weekend, due to a beautiful and much-needed rain storm that came through on Saturday morning. We got about an inch to inch and a half over a few hours, and it was MUCH needed, so I’ll happily give up a day of riding in return for a good (and rare) August rain. Plus it dropped the temps a little bit, which was an even more welcome reprieve. 


The farrier came last Thursday, and I was really nervous that we’d have to put shoes on Presto since he’s been destroying his feet on the hard, dry ground. The farrier did have to trim a bit more than usual to get everything cleaned up, but luckily Presto had grown so much foot in 5 weeks that even with all the chipping and cracking, he hadn’t done any major damage. For now we’re holding off on the shoes. I’d really like to keep him barefoot a bit longer. I ordered him a pair of Cavallo Simples to use when the ground is hard or if/when he chips his feet up again. They’re a little more streamlined than Henry’s glittery Cavallo ELB’s that I got for when shoes go missing, even if the black is a bit boring after the glitter ones. I now own 5 Cavallo boots. This is getting ridiculous. These new ones fit Presto well though, and I took him out for a lunge in both the grass ring and the dressage arena and they stayed put really well. 

I wasn’t reallllly planning on buying him another set of boots, because I was thinking they’d be more like $200 and Henry’s glittery ones were technically passable (albeit not ideal), but Corro had them for only $120 plus 10% off so I bit the bullet. I’m glad I did, these are definitely more secure on his feet for riding.


When the farrier was doing Henry’s feet I did stand Presto right next to him and the truck for a while though, so he could hear/see the forge and see all the smoke come off Henry’s foot as the farrier was fitting the shoes. He was slightly concerned that Henry was on fire. No one tell him that one day he’ll be on fire too.

On Friday when I came out both boys were sporting a purple ribbon – Henry on his halter and Presto braided into his mane. My mom’s favorite color was purple of course, so I knew what they were for. The barn owner had put them there knowing what a tough week it is for me, and it was quite possibly the best and kindest show of support ever (without looking me in the eye and making me talk about it, which I massively appreciate). Sometimes the most meaningful gestures are the silent ones. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

I love it, and the boys are keeping their ribbons through tomorrow, which would have been my mom’s 67th birthday. It also got me thinking again about how I always wanted to add some sort of discreet purple accent to my show ensemble and never did figure out exactly what. Maybe it’s as simple as a purple rubber band around a braid? I’m still thinking on it, but this makes me think I should definitely revisit the idea.

I also used the last of my Amazon gift card birthday money to buy a pressure washer, which a) officially makes me old and boring b) I’m stupid excited about. It’s supposed to get delivered today, and honestly nothing is safe. Everything that can be pressure washed shall be pressure washed. Especially saddle pads and boots. And I think I might try it on some of my dingier white breeches. And our deck. And our fence. And the house. And my truck. The possibilities are endless.

Hope everyone had a good weekend! Even better if you got some rain.

Foal Friday: That Thing You Do

This week was a little bit more sedate with the babies. Nobody got special toys or a lake or played dress-up. Summer is starting to feel long and tiresome to everyone I think. But they do continue to be their adorable selves and show off their personalities, which I think we’ve all come to know pretty well by now.

Like how Ollie can always be found at both ends of trouble.

the only part of Ellie he can easily reach
Ellie practicing her (angry) half pass
So many bossy fillies, geez
Even the ultra-patient DudeBroRemi has enough pestering sometimes
I really felt like we just needed a closer look at that face

Yet he also always continues to be quite pleased with himself, 24/7.

Remi is definitely still the more sedate older brother – calmer, less antagonistic, a bit of an Adonis, and getting blonder by the day.

the Ramiro B face is starting to show more
OG big bro and little sis, still BFF’s. He loves her.
Just slightly egotistical, he knows he’s bound for greatness

Oakley has certainly calmed down a lot from her very early days where she was almost as bouncy as Ollie. Now she’s perhaps more into snuggles and naps, but does still enjoy a good romp and definitely doesn’t let anybody boss her around.

I have a lot of Oakley pics like this. Someone loves attention.
Nap Queen
Watch out Ollie, she’s awake!

And there’s dear sweet gentle giant Ellie, who definitely inherited the big floppy ears and familial derp factor. She’s a bit of a momma’s girl (Sadie thinks it’s super convenient that she birthed something that can already reach high enough to give a good wither scratch) but she definitely has a silly, playful side to her too.

A little more derp every week

It’s fun to see how they’ve changed a little bit over time, but also how they’ve stayed the same. They’re definitely four very distinct personalities. I know everybody had their original favorite foal – has yours changed at all over time as their personalities have come out more and more? Despite my obvious bias towards Ellie, Ollie’s little devil personality (which is a bit like Presto on steroids, a thought that is both hilarious and terrifying) makes it hard to not love him. Mostly because I’m not the one having to clean up after his various antics or deal with him 24/7. There’s something really likable about all the babies though – Remi’s got an undeniable “it” factor, Oakley is really friendly and smart, Ollie is the most entertaining foal on the planet, and Ellie is super sweet and goofy – it’s hard for me to pick a clear favorite! What do you think?

Happy Friday, everyone!

Famous Last Words

Remember a couple weeks ago when I was talking about all the stuff Presto puts in his mouth on a daily basis and a few people were like “hope he never goes for your reins!” and I was like “that’s one thing he hasn’t really done!”.

Yeah, I should have known better than to say that.

Yesterday while I was riding he put them in his mouth three times. While I was riding. THREE TIMES. Pretty much every time we halted and stood for more than a few seconds he’d reach around, grab it, and just hold it between his front teeth. Great. Super. Cute new trick. I find myself really glad that I bought him some super cheap clearance reins a couple months ago…. I won’t be upset when he inevitably trashes these since they were only $25.

This is why he can’t have nice things, probably ever, since this particular brand of lifelong mouthiness seems to be genetic. I’ve definitely given up on the idea of him growing out of it. Was hoping he wouldn’t develop an affinity for reins like his sire though.

On the subject of things that Presto will likely destroy, his pre-order unicorn sheet finally came in. His monkey blanket came months ago, but I wanted a no fill sheet in the unicorn pattern, which didn’t exist in his size at that time, so I had to request one on their next order. And then I promptly forgot all about it until I got the email the other day saying that it had arrived in stock.

So now he has a unicorn sheet and a monkey blanket waiting for him this winter, and I’m going to absolutely strangle him with the remains after he kills them both, because I know he will.

I also realized the other day that I seem to have misplaced my neck strap. Which doesn’t really make me too sad, because I was thinking about getting a new one anyway, maybe something with a little color. I like the Clever with Leather one, which I could do in brown leather with navy padding, but by the time I add the saddle attachment and a plate and pay for tax/shipping it’s now a $90 neck strap. That’s a lot, I’m definitely not convinced I want to spend that much for what is essentially a belt.

I do kinda like the customizable biothane ones that SuperXCountry sells, they’re fully custom and you can get the saddle attachment as well. In a way biothane is a little more appealing to me for a neck strap, since it’s so easy to clean and Presto sweats a ton. Of course they’re in the UK so I’m looking at around $58 by the time all is said and done, which is definitely better than $90 but I’m still not totally convinced I want to spend that much on a neck strap. What else have you guys seen out there that a) has color (ok navy – navy is the only color) b) has the saddle attachment c) isn’t too expensive? Extra bonus points if you can have a name or saying printed on it or attached to it.

Off Kilter

I am admittedly not really myself this week. Monday was the 5th anniversary of my mom’s passing, and the week between that date and her birthday (the 25th) is generally never my favorite. It’s honestly gotten harder every year, not easier. Grief is weird. Normally I’m the type to just shove feelings down and bottle them up so deep that I’m not even sure Jacques Cousteau could find them, but I’ve come to give myself the week to withdraw a bit and indulge in missing her. At some point I’ll crack and have my annual cry in the car, I’m sure, but it hasn’t made its way to the surface yet. I don’t really like to talk about it. But if you notice a decrease in activity on my social media or a weird undercurrent on the blog – that’s why. I’m off kilter.

I’ve distracted myself a bit by working longer hours and – my favorite coping mechanism for anything – disappearing into books. I’ve perfected that particular technique in my 37 years on this planet. But I have also managed to fall into a couple other rabbit holes as well.

I don’t even remember how I found my way to Jump 4 Joy’s page, but I did. Originally I was really eyeballing the giraffe standards (I want these bad)

but then I ambled over to their XC jump page. I’ve seen their jumps at big events before but never really paid them any mind, knowing they’re expensive. And they are expensive, but some of them weren’t nearly as bad as I thought. I was originally eyeballing this super skinny arrowhead

Which, the price of $488 didn’t seem that awful considering it comes with:

  • 2x Telescopic Cross Country Stands
  • 1x Arrowhead Filler – Skinny
    (1.25mtr wide x 1.35mtr)
  • 2x Safety Cups.
  • 2x Cross Country Flags (with clips)

But then I noticed this one:

At $725 it’s obviously quite a bit more, but it’s also 3 options in one. You’ve got the ladder pieces that could be used as fill, the arrowhead top piece which could be used as a skinny, or all of it put together makes a corner. Plus three of their telescoping standards, which I like (they could also be used for lunging o/f). It’s kind of smart. More bang for your buck. Or I could try to make something similar I’m sure. I’m just… not a builder. I’ve been intending to make a skinny arrowhead panel for like 3 years. Shit, I’ve been intending on buying some brush to make brush rails for at least a year and that’s literally one of the easiest things you can do. I’m clearly quite shit at projects like that. I also have zero jump fillers right now… I should probably acquire at least a brush box or a wall or something before Presto starts jumping.

I dunno. Something to think about the next time I’m in a Treat Yo-self position. I.e. not when we’ve just bought a tiny house.

The other thing I’ve been obsessing about is Presto’s feet. He does great barefoot 9 months of the year, so I don’t want to jump the gun and put shoes on him yet, but the extremely dry weather and hard rocky ground of summer are starting to take a toll. They run and play so much out there, he’s breaking chunks off left and right. It’s really difficult to keep barefoot horses here if they’re super active like that. Henry, who isn’t even active at all in comparison, had beautiful bare feet when he arrived in Texas and they were destroyed within a week. Luckily Presto hasn’t done any major damage yet, he’s a hard-knock kid, but he’s making me nervous. I’ve been putting Henry’s sparkly Cavallo boots on when I ride him, just as a precaution, and they’re working fine, but those are their low-end boots which I got to just be a “lost a shoe, need something to wear in the pasture for a few days” type thing. I feel like a different style would probably be better for riding.

But also if he’s only wearing them for an hour a week for the next month or so until we start getting some rain again and the ground softens a little, it seems a bit ridiculous to drop $150-200 on yet another pair of boots. I was kind of tempted to have him wear them 24/7 but I have a feeling he’d destroy any boot I put on him, plus I don’t want his feet to get softened up by being inside a boot all the time if it’s not 100% necessary. I’m probably overthinking all of this. I just mega-cringe every time I see a new chipped piece of hoof right now, or when I see him gallop off across the pasture. The farrier is coming tomorrow, so I’ll get his take on things. I was planning on putting at least front shoes on Presto next year when his work load increases but… I’d really rather not do that until it’s necessary.

Texas, rain please. Some rain would be great. Plus it would match my mood.

Presto’s Pool Party

When Presto heard about the Willow Tree Warmblood babies getting their own “lake”, he was a little jealous. I’m pretty sure there was some grumbling about how back in his day they didn’t have so many luxuries and kids these days are spoiled. While I can’t go dig him a water feature in his pasture, I can do the next best thing and buy him a pool. (Ok all of this is a massive lie, I saw a video on facebook of a horse rolling in a little inflatable pool and found it both hilarious and very Presto-like, so I bought him a pool from Amazon with a gift card I got for my birthday. Whatever. Totally similar story.)

I got the pool last week, inflated one of the sections, and asked Presto for his opinion.

Not particularly impressed.

He also got a new ball, so I decided to debut them properly on the same day. If you’re gonna have a pool, you really need pool toys right? So on Saturday I dragged the pool into their pasture, put a few inches of water in it, and tossed in the ball. And while he never did roll in the pool, I wasn’t disappointed in the level of entertainment.

Granted, I think he wasn’t as into the pool until I added the ball. It has definitely remained his favorite toy. Once he was done splashing and biting at the pool, he took off with the ball and chased it around for a while.

And while Presto was distracted with the ball, JB dealt a few death blows to the pool. Presto had already put a few small tears in the bottom with his feet, but JB ripped a big chunk out of the side with his teeth, and then proceeded to tromple over it’s muddy corpse.

I’m totally ok with that. I bought the pool knowing it was probably only a one-time toy, and it’s good to see sometimes-timid JB come out of his shell and be brave about playing with scary things. The pool served it’s purpose. Plus I decided I’m going to cut out the bottom and use it to make a liverpool, so it won’t go to waste.

I am a little less pleased about the fate of the brand new ball though. I came out the next day to find a body slung over the fence into Henry’s pasture.

Didn’t even make it 24 hours, that one. In it’s defense, both of the babies were playing with it pretty hard on Saturday. It got chased, bitten, and kicked up one side of the pasture and down the other by both of them. It’s hard to say who dealt the final death blow and how it happened, but this ball definitely had a rough go of it. Luckily I already had another one waiting in the wings, so they won’t have to go without for very long. They could be a bit less murderous of things though… hard knock pasture life.

Still waiting on that giant rubber chicken to arrive. Maybe that will survive longer than a day? Yeah probably not.