Foal Friday: Hoarding Weaners

Taking a quick pause on the Glamour Shots posts (I know, I know, I still owe you Ollie’s and Ellie’s) because there’s been quite a newsworthy and entertaining development in Babyland this week. We officially have 3 weanlings! Since Ellie was born latest she’s getting a little more time with her dam, and to help ease the other babies into weaning, Michelle decided to try putting the remaining babies out with Sadie and Ellie. They’re all used to each other of course, all the mares and foals have been turned out together all along, the only difference is that the older 3 foals are now without their dams.

Since the foals for the most part have been pretty independent of their mothers for a while now, not much really changed. It was a largely peaceful transition, perhaps more akin to going off with your friends and having their mom be in charge. Ollie, as is typical, didn’t really care much. He’s lived a YOLO type of life up to now anyway, so nothing has changed much as far as he’s concerned.


Oakley had some brief periods of wondering why her mother abandoned her, but generally only when she wants a snack.


Remi has struggled with it the most (I mean, he DID have a helicopter mom so that shouldn’t be such a shock) and has been clinging closer to Sadie, but he hasn’t been too terribly upset.

And how does Sadie feel about all this? Absolutely freakin’ delighted. When they were all turned out together, mares and foals, she seemed pretty indifferent about the other babies. She wasn’t mean or aggressive, but she also wasn’t afraid to put one in it’s place or send it back to it’s mother if it crossed the line (“the line” usually being that they were trying to eat her hay). Now, however, with all the babies entrusted into her care… it’s like her wildest dream has come true. Finally, all the babies are HERS!

feeling quite pleased with herself as she supervises her brood

Ellie isn’t quite sure what happened. Her friends all the sudden think her mom is REALLY COOL, and she can’t decide how she feels about her mom being so nice to her friends either. She’s far too polite to get upset about it, though. For the most part she seems pretty content to chill with her friends, and has found herself to be much more popular with the other foals than she used to be. True to form, all the other foals think Sadie is much cooler than Ellie does.

Ollie: your mom is SO awesome Ellie: I mean, yeah she’s cool sometimes I guess…

She does think that perhaps Remi is a little too clingy with her mother though.

um, bro, that’s MY mom
no sorry, this is my new emotional support animal and she’s mine now

Don’t worry, Ellie and Sadie still get some private time together too, which seems to be enough to keep Ellie happy.

Although Sadie is weirdly delighted to have been given 3 more babies, she won’t get to keep them for long. This was just an intermediary step to start the weaning process, and soon the four babies will be off on their own (or maybe with schoolmarm Hanna, who rules with an iron hoof) before they head east to their new owners. No one tell Sadie though, she’s hoarding weanlings like her wildest dreams have finally come true.

One more thing today! A reader contacted me about a fundraiser they’ve got going, trying to raise money to start up an equine-assisted therapy program. Please check it out and consider donating if you’re able!

It’s in the Blood: Pau 2020

Being the only 5* of 2020, Pau was particularly good this year. The field was absolutely stacked with quality (as evidenced by the fact that the top 21 horses after dressage all had scores under 30), there were some question marks about how the event was going to go down, given how unconventional the year has been. Lots of tried and true 5* veterans were in attendance, and right alongside them was a healthy helping of 5* first timers. Add in a sprinkle of course designer Pierre Michelet – known as Michelet the Menace – and it had a real anything can happen vibe.

Anyone familiar with Laura Collett‘s story, or at least has seen some of the roller coaster moments of her past few years or her relationship with long-time mount Mr Bass, had to have been pleased with her win. Laura and her young gun, London 52, were the buzz of the pre-Pau discussion, mostly with the “can he or can’t he?” question lingering in the air. London has had some up and down moments as he’s gone up the levels, and while he has all the talent in the world, the real question was whether or not he had enough heart for 5*. He answered that question unequivocally on Saturday, and it was really fun to watch. This quote from Laura in Eventing Nation‘s post-Pau recap admittedly had me a little choked up.

there’s a big of a Henry/Presto parallel here

Anyway, moving on to pedigrees!

We’ve done these breakdowns enough by now to where some things aren’t much of a surprise anymore. Would it even be an eventing competition if we didn’t have multiple horses with Contender in their pedigrees? Of course not, and this field is no exception with Contender showing up within the first 3 generations of 4 different horses (3 times on the sire’s side, once on the dam’s side). We also see other familiar names with multiple representations, such as Cavalier Royale (4 representations, all on the dam’s side), What do Contender and Cavalier Royale have in common? The legendary Cor de la Bryere – Cavalier Royale’s sire and Contender’s grandsire. Again this isn’t news, we see A TON of Corde in upper level event horses, and indeed if you go further back in the pedigree he is represented in many more horses throughout the field (20 to be exact) via various sons and daughters.

Two thoroughbred stallions have multiple representations within the first few generations – Laudanum xx is the sire’s sire of two horses and Ben Faerie xx is the dam’s damsire of two (half siblings!). We also see some other familiar thoroughbred stallion names throughout the field, such as Mytens xx, Shaab xx, Ghareeb xx, Exorbitant xx, I’m a Star xx, and Sky Boy xx. There are no full TB’s in the field but 8 horses have a full TB parent (7 as the sire, 1 as the dam) and an additional 8 horses have a full TB within the first two generations. There are also two horses with a full French Anglo Arab parent (both as the dam).

Laudanum | The Horse Magazine
Laudanum xx

The average blood percentage of this field is slightly higher than we’re used to seeing for a European 5* (likely because of the high number of British and French entries, which tend to have more blood) at 59%. If you average the blood percentage of the horses that managed double clear XC rounds, the average drops slightly to 55%, partly due to 5* first timer Charly van ter Heiden, who managed a phenomenal XC performance despite a blood percentage of only 24%. When you average the blood percentage of horses who managed to showjump clear on the final day, the percentage goes back up again a bit, to 57%. The average blood percentage of the top 10 finishers is 54%.

One entrant, the aforementioned Mr Bass, is sired by a stallion who now stands in the US after a successful carreer in Europe – Carrico. Carrico has enjoyed success in the jumper ring, the hunter ring, and also as a sire across several disciplines. While Mr Bass (out of a mare by Exorbitant xx – definitely eventing blood) is his most successful eventer offspring so far, he’s not the only one, with several others creeping up the FEI levels behind him.

Carrico - Redfield Farm
US-based stallion Carrico, the sire of Mr Bass

Not for the first time, we’ve got the half-sibling duo of Xavier Faer and Faerie Dianimo in the same field (we talked about those two and their incredible dam in last year’s Burghley coverage, another time where they competed at a 5* together). In this field we also saw one of the half-siblings we mentioned a couple weeks ago in the Mondial du Lion coverage – Colorado Blue (by Jaguar Mail) is out of the same dam as Hush a Bye Baby. This was Colorado Blue’s first 5* attempt, and while he impressed with a courageous double clear XC, he sadly was one of 7 horses who didn’t make it past the second horse inspection. (I know I should try not to be biased but I am a fan and will be keeping an eye on this one for the future!)

If we examine the dams of the horse’s in this Pau field, only a few of them had sport careers themselves. Two of the French entrants as well as GB entrant Zenshera had dams that competed through 1.30m showjumping and 1.35m showjumping, and of course we know about Faerie Dazzler. Otherwise, we see a lot of career broodmares amongst the dams of these entrants. We talked about Colorado Blue’s dam and MHS King Joules’ dam in the Mondial du Lion post, but there are even more who have produced a string of good foals, which means a lot of half-siblings that have been successful in sport, mostly in the jumper ring. Just to name a few of the more notable ones – Scuderia 1918 A Best Friend has a half sibling showjumping at 1.50m level, Zenshera has a half sibling showjumping at 1.60m level, Carneyhaugh Rua has a half sibling currently competing at 3* eventing, and Trompe L’oeil D’emery has 4 half siblings showjumping, one through 1.60m level.

Paulina Koza & Banjo Boy fot. Oliwia Chmielewska
Zenshera’s talented half-brother, Banjo Boy

As you can see, jumper breeding with a heavy dose of blood once again dominated another 5* field, with a couple entrants having some dressage breeding (Dimaggio and Flemmingh being the closest in the pedigree) but none being completely dressage bred.

My last In The Blood post for 2020 will be in a couple weeks, with the 4*L field for Tryon! I don’t have the time required to dig into this year’s FEH/YEH field (which always takes FOREVER to find and build the pedigrees of those young horses because without fail they’re either not entered anywhere or only partially entered) but USEA has done a pretty good job of covering it, so check out their coverage if you want to see more info on the babies!

Safety vs Tradition

Can y’all believe we’re still debating helmet usage in 2020? I thought we’d moved past the aversion to helmets thing in the past decade or so, but then I saw the article on Dressage News about all the top level dressage riders who had signed a petition in response to FEI’s upcoming 2021 rule requiring helmets for all disciplines. The petition was these riders’ attempt to get the FEI to continue allowing them to wear top hats in competition if they so choose.

My first response was an eyeroll. The h/j world went through something similar almost 20 years ago when they started requiring helmets instead of hunt caps. Things were a lot different then in regards to helmets and how widely-used they were. Back in those days a lot of us wore those hunt caps with the snap-on harnesses, and as a junior it was kind of a right of passage to finally be able to unsnap that harness and show without it (juniors had to have a harness on their ridiculous hat). The approved helmet rule went into effect the year I moved into Adults, and I definitely remember how salty everyone was about it at first, myself included, even though I can look back now and say that it was 110% the right thing to do and I’m glad they did it. Within a couple years pretty much everyone had quit their bitching and look at how far that world (and eventing) has come in regards to their views on rider safety. Honestly I don’t think it would have evolved on it’s own nearly as much if people had the option. Plenty of folks would STILL be out there wearing those silly hunt caps. How many people have been saved from injury by now because of that rule?

That hunt cap with a clear plastic harness. I thought I was so cool. I was not. I looked stupid.

Still though, I didn’t get much past my initial eyeroll until I clicked into the article and read the actual petition.

“There has never been a serious accident at an international dressage competition, and the riders believe there is no reason to change that for senior competitors at CDI4*/5*, Games and championships on Grand Prix level.”

Huh. This is an interesting argument. We know of several big time dressage folks that have been seriously injured at home in very silly accidents, but I guess since it hasn’t happened YET on the world stage with everyone watching and bearing witness, it’s fine. I have not yet been in a car accident serious enough to deploy my airbags, thus there’s no real need to put them in the car. Sorry but “not yet” is a ridiculous argument.

“The top hat is an essential part of the identity of dressage.”

I feel like Charlotte Dujardin managed to nail down the “identity of dressage” just fine without it? If an essential part of your identity as a sport is based on a hat that makes you look like a butler from the 1800’s, it miiiight be time to re-assess priorities.

“It should be noted that there are other disciplines that are not required to wear helmets, and we feel that this inequality is not warranted”

Ah yes, the classic “but THEY don’t have to, it’s not FAIR!” argument. Good one. Although the only sport that will be exempt from the new helmet rule is vaulting, so…

We believe it is the right of each individual rider to choose between the use of a top hat or protective headgear. This right cannot be revoked.

Honestly this one kind of just made me crack up when you think of it in regards to rules. They tell you what color boots you can wear, what kind of coat, which tack, what bits, how long your whip can be, how big a logo on your saddle pad can be… but a top hat is THE “right” that cannot be revoked? Of all the absolutely ridiculous and asinine rules that DO exist already, the FEI finally passes one that attempts to increase safety and that’s the one people are petitioning about? The butler hat is really the hill they want to die on (no pun intended)? I also have a problem with the whole “personal choice” argument when the person wearing said top hat isn’t actually the only person that could be affected by their choice. What about all the people close to you, your friends and family, that now have to take care of you and everything else in your life after an accident because you just had to wear a top hat? What good does it do for the sport if you fall off and crack your skull open in the middle of a big event packed with spectators, televised or on a live stream? How does that story circulating in the media help anyone at all?

By the time I made it to the bottom of the petition I was embarrassed for the people that wrote it. It’s bad. It’s cringey. I thought “omg who in their right mind would sign this?”. Turns out, A LOT OF PEOPLE. OMG SO MANY PEOPLE. People I had a lot of respect for. Carl Hester? Kasey Perry-Glass (this one was extra confusing to me, because she’s been pretty pro-helmet)? Many of the 150 people on the list are sponsored by helmet companies, even. Not a good look, y’all. These are the people that our young riders look up to, the people who set an example for others. What kind of message do you want to be putting out into the world at the moment when all eyes are upon you?

I think it’s odd how equestrians are always so desperate to be taken seriously as a sport, especially on the world stage such as the Olympics, but attempts to modernize us a bit or even just make us look more like serious athletes is met with such resistance. I have a hard time imagining other sports being so anti-safety equipment. The football player saying “No, please don’t give me this fancy new helmet with the latest safety technology, I want to wear that weird leather cap thing because tradition!” would never happen. Can you imagine a NASCAR driver writing a letter with “my daddy didn’t run moonshine in a car with a HANS device, I ain’t gonna use one neither!”? In the cycling world (which I have had one foot in for a while) they’re crawling over top of each other to acquire and wear the latest safety technology – MIPS is old news to them, they’ve been utilizing that technology for over a decade. It’s a source of pride any time there’s something new and better, and something the media loves to talk about any time these sports are in the spotlight.

Have we not learned a lot by now? Have we not progressed in our view of the sport as an actual SPORT, one that requires safety measures? Have we really not figured out the importance of helmets by now? There’s a point at which clinging to tradition is detrimental – not just for the safety of the participants but also for the forward progression of the sport itself. I think we’re at that point. Put down the top hat, put it in your display case or something as a memory of a bygone era, and let’s move forward to better things. The loss of one antiquated item of apparel seems a small price to pay for all there is to gain.

(Also, your butler hat looks ridiculous in the modern era. Especially you male eventers with the really really tall ones that make it look like you’re compensating for something. There, I said it.)

THT: Let there be light

As I mentioned last week, we’ll no longer be using the words “t!ny” and “h0use” together in these posts, since it attracts waaaaay too many random hits, comments, and emails. I can’t deal with it. The past week has already been enough to where I’m having dreams about glow in the dark worms crawling into my pores or being chased by Trump around a Sam’s Club with some kind of chemical weapon in a spray paint can and only Chris Christie and the Scooby Doo gang for protection. Clearly I’m stretched to my mental capacity.

But anyway, the house is aaaaalmost ready to be lived in. It got leveled and set and anchored last week (which mostly just made me realize that nothing ever looks level to my eye, even when it absolutely is) and they installed the back porch fan, back screen door, all the other drawers, etc. The next thing to tackle was the electric, which is a very long story that I’m still far too traumatized to re-tell. Short version: it took two days, a lot of bruises, more expletives than even I knew I possessed, a tractor, an electrician (who is himself most of the story), and I learned waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more about electricity than I ever thought I would possibly need or care to know. When those lights finally came on at 11pm on Friday night, I could not possibly have been more relieved (yet also totally dead inside by that point).

and it’s BRIGHT AF in there

On Saturday the SO came out to see it for the first time, and we finished unwrapping the appliances and looking at all the measurements for furniture options. We wanted a sofa with a chaise, but we also want a lift-top coffee table that can do double duty as an eating spot, and the reality is that we just can’t fit both without entirely filling up the room with furniture. So I think we’ll have to forego the chaise. We don’t have one on either of our couches now, so it’s not a huge loss. We also went up to Lowe’s and got a few big stepping-stone pavers to put in front of the stairs so that I stop tracking so much dirt in there on my quick trips in and out. Eventually we’ll put a little pea gravel walkway down, but the pavers were a quick and cheap temporary solution.

Presto is always keeping an eye on what’s happening in there
and ever so helpful when it comes to getting measurements (and look, the last time you saw his smile it was super snaggle-toothed from all his shed caps. Looks like a normal mouth now!)

On Sunday we finally did a “giveaway day”. By this point I’ve donated 14 big black lawn bags of clothes/shoes/bags/small items over the last few weeks, but there was still a lot of random decor, books, small appliances, christmas stuff, rugs, a couple old rickity rocking chairs, bigger household items (like a couple hampers, an old vacuum, etc), and that kind of stuff left over that I didn’t really want to have to haul away to donate because it would have been several loads in the truck. So instead we put all that stuff in boxes, put up a FREE STUFF ad on Marketplace and Next Door, and let people just have at it. There were some good little gems in there, but nothing was really worth enough on it’s own to bother selling, and it definitely wasn’t worth enough collectively to justify having a garage sale during covid. All the stuff left in the house that IS worth selling (which isn’t much, mostly furniture) can go on Marketplace individually. But anyway, we put everything out with a sign and just left it there, and within 45mins everything was gone. Massively easy, and hopefully people got some stuff that made their day. It definitely made me feel a lot better to just have it all out of the house and off my list of problems.

This wasn’t even all of it

Yesterday I made the 5-hour round trip drive up north to pick up our gray tank (and rolled over 150k miles in my truck in the process). I had to wait an hour at the place for someone to be available to load it, because they were busy loading HUGE tanks onto big trailers. It was a little frustrating because I could literally see my little tank sitting there just on the other side of the fence. But it was fine, once they got to me it took all of one minute to plop it in the back of my truck, I secured it with ratchet straps, and off we went back to the farm to drop it off.

I had measured and re-measured 4 times before ordering to be sure I got something that fit nicely under the back of the house, and it slid right in there like it was made for the space. Thank the lord. Later this week we’ll get everything hooked up to it. The water is hooked up at the house now too, so… I think we’re reeeaaally close to having a livable space. Hook up the tank, install the turdburner toilet…. then I think we’re there. After that stuff is done I’ll need to figure out getting WiFi service and skirting/back stairs, but those things aren’t quite as urgent as everything else, obviously.

The ONLY acceptable decoration to go on the little shelf above the turdburner toilet, and the only decor item I’ve bought yet.

Once the major stuff is settled and done, we’ll move on to acquiring the furniture and decorating. My brain just can’t quite handle that yet. All I really need in order to live there is a bed, which we’re moving from our house, and a few kitchen items, which will probably also move from our house, and towels, which I need to buy. The rest of the stuff can slowly be added as we go. I have some ideas, and a lot of stuff saved in Favorites. There’s not really much to acquire besides the sofa, coffee table, rugs, new bathroom towels, a couple items for the kitchen, and then whatever we decide to put in the reading nook and on the back porch. Ok, confession, I did already buy one of those hanging egg chairs for myself. It was on sale.

I can’t help it, I love the porch so much and I can’t wait to sit in that thing with a book and look out at the ponies. The porch is for sure the best spot to be.

Today I’m taking a quick pause from all things house because I’ve GOT to catch up on all the work I’ve missed over the past several days. I’ve been logging in early and late to get the bare necessities done, but everything else is piling up fast.

Hopefully next week everything will be done and ready to go and we can proceed to talking about move-in and furniture/decor, which I’m sure will probably be more interesting than all of this not-very-fun stuff. And hopefully I stop having insane, anxiety-filled, trippy AF dreams. That would be cool too.

Barn Boot Recs

First off – I know, I know, I missed Foal Friday last week. Many apologies, and no I’m not dead, but truth be told I’m insanely busy right now and sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Unfortunately when that happens the blog is the first thing to go by the wayside. I have some posts half-done, including foal stuff and Pau analysis, but I’ve had zero time to sit down and finish. It’s coming, I promise.

Until then, I have a practical, more pressing issue.

My beloved barn boots have been on their way out for a few months now but the insanity of the past week has been their real coup de grace. They’re falling apart more and more by the hour at this point, and I need new boots like yesterday. I’m not 100% convinced I want to go with Blundstones again though, I feel like these didn’t last me as long as my previous pair. I don’t pay much attention to the paddock boot market so I’m not sure if there’s anything similar out there that I should try this time instead.

Here’s what I want:

  • ankle height
  • pull on with elastic sides
  • brown
  • good tread
  • can take a beating – I muck stalls and dredge through mud in these things
  • not stupidly expensive
  • comfy for all day wear
  • not narrow in the footbed or toe

Give me your recommendations please!

I’m off for another full day, hopefully things will be more normal around here by tomorrow.

Just a quick one

Note to self: must not use the words “T!ny” and “H0me” in a post together, much less a post title. I get 9 bajillion hits every time, most of which are people who typically never read this blog and found their way here because of those keywords and want to ask me a bunch of questions via my contact page email (it BLEW UP) that google could easily answer. I’m not into it. At all. Henceforth those posts shall be titled “THT” and the house will just be referred to as like… or “the mini abode” or “the diminutive dwelling” or “the petite palace” or… I don’t know. Anything. Anything but those two words. I can’t keep using the T word with the H word, I don’t need that kind of headache.

So, um, as you can probably tell, I’m wound a little tight right now with the house stuff. I have A LOT to get done in the next two weeks and I’m majorly stressing. I didn’t have a lot of time to dedicate to this post today because I have a million other things to do, so my apologies. BUT I did want to take a second to show y’all a really cool Instagram giveaway that I’m cohosting, in case you haven’t seen it yet. I had a vague idea of putting together something to encourage/reward our fellow equestrians for voting, and luckily was able to find two equally enthusiastic cohosts that helped develop the idea and get it off the ground. We were lucky to find a bunch of amazing brands that were equally enthusiastic about the cause to throw in toward the prize pack, too! First, the prizes:

over 1k worth of stuff!

It’s easy to enter too, you just have to 1) follow all the hosts/brands (you should follow them anyway, they’re great people and super generous), 2) tag a couple people in the comments, 3) post a photo to your Instagram feed with #equestriansvote. Easy peasy.

Here are the guidelines for the photos:

-Take a pic with your “I voted” sticker

-Take a pic dropping your sealed ballot in the mail (NOT of the ballot itself – sealed and with any sensitive/personal information covered)

-If you’re too young to vote or voted super early & didn’t take a pic, write “I will vote for (or voted for) ______” on a sign & fill in an ISSUE you’re passionate about (i.e. education, women’s rights, etc), NOT a candidate. We want to know what motivates you the most! Take a pic with the sign.

You can involve a horse in your photo or not, it’s up to you. Have fun with it! In addition to the main winner, we will also have two additional winners that get a monogrammed Majyk Equipe fly mask.

See this post for full entries rules/details. It’s open through voting day, but I know many people are voting early, so go ahead and get your photos in!

View this post on Instagram

Election Day is just around the corner! 🇺🇸 One of the greatest privileges of living in a democracy is having your voice heard via the voting booth. Myself, @modernequestrian & @brittsabbah put together an 𝐀𝐖𝐄𝐒𝐎𝐌𝐄 𝐆𝐈𝐕𝐄𝐀𝐖𝐀𝐘 to reward 3️⃣ lucky winners for exercising their right to vote! _____ 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐆𝐑𝐀𝐍𝐃 𝐏𝐑𝐈𝐙𝐄 𝐩𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐚𝐠𝐞, 𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐮𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐭 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 $𝟏,𝟎𝟎𝟎: @MajykEquipe full set (front & hind) of brown leather jump boots in M/L or Cob/Pony @Decopony custom stall plaque @LevadeKentucky vintage varsity sweatshirt @TheHerbalHorse Horse & Rider gift basket @BoyoBoyBridleworks custom Double Square Loop belt @MareGoods “Badass” necklace & Mindfilly band @SilverOaksFarm tee of winner’s choice @DreamersnSchemersSocks 4 pairs of socks @Mane.Jane.Eq spur straps @Callingallhorsegirls water bottle & pin @Huntsmen_and_Hounds Mini Clutch $100 CASH 💵 (Winner’s choice of Venmo or digital Visa card) _____ 𝐓𝐖𝐎 𝐚𝐝𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐬 will each receive a @MajykEquipe monogrammed fly mask! _____ How to enter: 1. Follow giveaway hosts @the900facebookpony , @modernequestrian , @brittsabbah 𝐀𝐍𝐃 all brands above. 2. Tag 2 friends in the comments who may be interested in this giveaway. 3. Then choose one of the following (swipe to see the hosts’ examples): -Take a pic with your “I voted” sticker, post it & use hashtag #equestriansvote OR -Take a pic dropping your sealed ballot in the mail, post it & use hashtag #equestriansvote OR -If you’re too young to vote or voted super early & didn’t take a pic, write “I will vote for (or voted for) ______” on a sign & fill in an ISSUE you’re passionate about (i.e. education, women’s rights, etc), NOT a candidate. We want to know what motivates you the most! Take a pic with the sign, post it & use hashtag #equestriansvote *** Giveaway is 𝐧𝐨𝐧-𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐚𝐧. Entries including a candidate’s name will not be considered. *** Horses don’t have to be included in your pics, but we’d love if they were! 🐴 Giveaway closes on 11/5/2020 at 11:59pm PST to give time to those voting on Election Day to get entries in. Winners chosen & announced on 11/6/2020.

A post shared by The $900 Facebook Pony (@the900facebookpony) on

If you have any questions feel free to DM me. I’d love to see a reader win this contest!

Ooooo shiny

I feel like I’ve spent Presto’s entire life obsessing over his condition. He’s been a scrawny, rangey, skeletor-type kid since the word go, and I kind of feel like we’ve always been playing catch-up, in a way. I don’t know if it’s all his thoroughbred, the fact that he’s been pretty fast-growing, or if this is just him, or if there’s some kind of lingering effect of all his digestive-system-related problems early on in life, but keeping condition on this horse has always been a challenge. Over the years I’ve run just about every test on him that you can imagine, never quite satisfied. He’s never looked BAD, but he’s just never looked truly GREAT either. I have an actual spreadsheet where I’ve logged and broken down all of his feed and nutrition information over the years, trying to find just the right formula.

The only solution is more cookieeeeez

To be fair, it does seem to come and go a bit with his growth spurts. He always thins out when he’s growing, and because he is such a blooded horse, he doesn’t naturally have very much in the way of natural muscle bulk. I’ve always hoped that this would improve with age, and it definitely has, especially since I started riding him lightly.

I also don’t believe in throwing a ton of concentrated feed at a horse, especially a warmblood baby. That’s just asking for issues. And when he was boarded, while he did have access to grass and hay, it wasn’t nearly as much as I would have ideally wanted. I did what I could, buying him premium feeds and extra fats and extra hay and making sure everything was balanced, but y’all know how it is when you board – there’s only so much you can control.

Remember when I struggled to keep weight on Henry at a few boarding barns? LOLOLOL. He is a literal air fern here.

Now that Presto is “at home” I’ve had a lot more leeway with what I can feed him, and he has 24/7 access to grass and/or good quality hay. I also switched both of my horses over to a top of the line feed, and added flaxseed oil to Presto’s. It definitely helped some – Henry’s grain amount has been cut in half, and Presto has held his weight better. Still though… never quiiiiiiite the kind of condition that makes you feel really pleased. You know what I mean.

I’ve never been much of a supplements person, I always start at the roughage and then add a super high quality (and low NSC, high fat) feed, and I strongly believe those two things are by far the most important basis for a horse’s diet. I have a bit of a grumpy grumbly old man response when it comes to supplements, a distrust that runs deep enough to where you might hear me mumble something that sounds a lot like “snakeoil salesmen” and “show me the non-biased research”. Henry and Presto both have been on various powders and potions over the years, me trying things out here and there, but none of them have made any real noticeable difference. The barn owner is a long-time user and big fan of the Platinum Performance line, which admittedly I have always heard really good things about and her horses definitely look great, but with boarding two horses that supplement line has also always felt a bit hard to swallow budget-wise. They aren’t cheap.

Not that either of my horses have ever given one shit about my budget

There have always been a couple little niggly things with each horse that have continued to bother me a little though. Henry’s a walking Mr. Sensitive. Like if you look at him wrong his hair will fall out, or he’ll break out in hives, or his butt will start flaking off, or he’ll have an allergic reaction to like… dirt or whatever. Tres sensitive. And with Presto, it’s always been just that little lack of truly great condition. Not-quite-shiny. Not-quite-thriving. You guys know what I mean, when a horse seems 95% of the way to “great” but you just can’t seem to bridge that final gap.

The BO and I got to talking about supplements one day when she had let one of her mares’ supplements lapse and noticed a difference really quickly. The more we talked the more I was kinda like… ya know what… I’m in a place right now where I can afford to drop a little bit of money on one of the few things left that I haven’t tried – let’s just see what happens. I mean, worst case scenario I was out a couple hundred bucks right? WHAT THE HELL ELSE IS NEW WITH HORSES.

I wish Presto had been closer yesterday when I took this picture so it was clearer, but you get the idea

It’s been about a month now and honestly? They both look great. Presto especially. He’s on Platinum Performance Equine and Platinum Balance, and Henry is on Platinum CJ. I haven’t noticed quite as much difference in Henry yet… I do think his skin and coat look nicer/shinier, but granted there was not as much room for improvement with Henry, he already looked pretty good. Presto though… wow. Despite already having a good start to his winter hair, his coat is looking the best it ever has. He is SHINY, the hair itself feels different, and he’s rounding out a bit. Not in a fat kind of way, but in a topline kind of way. My skeptical side wants to pipe up and say that he’s rounding out because we’re heading into the time of year where his growth rate slows down, and he’s getting older, but even if both of those things are entirely responsible for the change, he’s still shiny AF. I can’t even tell you the last time I gave this horse a soap bath, nor have I touched him with a shine spray. Shit, he only gets groomed once or twice a week. He’s about as filthy and au natural as you can get right now. I was watching him yesterday though, while the crew was there to level the house, and I was like DAMN. Who dat horse???

low quality GIF, high quality shine

Kind of can’t wait to see what he looks like after I bathe and clip him.

The Platinum supplements have earned themselves an extension for sure. I’m not quite 100% sold on it for Henry yet but the difference in Presto over the past couple weeks has been pretty undeniable. I’m finally feeling pretty pleased with his condition. I don’t know if it’s the Equine or the Balance or the combination of both. I don’t know if it’s the extra vitamins or extra fats (he was already getting a lot of both between his feed and flax oil) or if the digestive assistance is helping his body utilize the rest of his diet better. Maybe a combo of everything. Either way, I’m not going to question it. If this is what it takes to give him that last little bump towards THRIVING, count me in. Bye money.

Tiny Home Tuesday: She’s heeeeere

Surprises abound last week. First, the Turdblaster (or Incinolet if you want to be proper. I don’t.) arrived on Thursday. When I ordered it at the end of September they were quoting a 6-7 week lead time, so I hadn’t planned on seeing this thing for a while yet. It was quite a surprise to get a shipping notification for an 80 pound package from a company I’d never heard of until I googled it and found that it was the parent company of Incinolet. It only took 4 weeks, yay! I had it delivered to the property since I thought it would be coming after I was already moved out there, but since it made it before the house did, it just got stuck in a storage barn to wait.

All 73 pounds of it

And it didn’t have to wait long, because the house was delivered the next day. This was a complete surprise to us… when they completed the build they were supposed to contact us to set up a delivery time. I don’t know what got miscommunicated or who forgot to do what, but the only notice we got of delivery was the driver calling my SO when he was about an hour away from the farm with the house. I sort of panicked, mostly because I don’t like surprises. I’m a big fan of itineraries, as anyone who’s traveled with me would definitely know. Honestly though it kind of worked out perfectly – I was already at the barn, both of the barn owners were home and available, the spot was ready… let’s do this.

here she comes!

It was definitely disorganized-feeling though, with the lack of communication. I didn’t know that there was a separate set-up crew that comes in later to level and block it and finish everything out. Basically the driver parked it, handed me an envelope with all the keys and paperwork, had me sign for it, and off he went. I was like, uh… what now? A phone call would have been great just so I knew what to expect. I did find out yesterday that the set-up crew is coming today, and they texted me last night with an estimated arrival time, so it’s fine, but Friday it was all very confusing. All’s well that ends well I guess (says the twitching INTJ).

parked in her spot!

Even though it’s not set and blocked, it’s plenty stable enough on it’s trailer to get in and poke around. Which of course is the first thing I did. Having thought about all the options we picked, changed our minds, second-guessed, changed our minds again… I had to see how everything actually turned out. That eye for design that my mom had, and many women seem to have, did not get passed on to me. I have a really hard time envisioning things in my head and how they’ll actually look/go together when it’s done. Putting a bunch of samples together on a table is nice but it really doesn’t help me picture how it’ll look in real life at all. I need a configurator tool for everything (thank you Mattes for understanding this).

Anyway, I was kind of nervous opening the door.

But… I really love it. I don’t think it looks TOO gray, partially thanks to that black backsplash that I impluse-switched to and then second guessed a hundred times. I think everything works well together without looking too much like all one color. I love the touch of black, and the stainless appliances. My totally bitchin’ deep stainless farm sink with fancy faucet was 100% worth the splurge, too. I’m definitely glad we opted for the upgraded painted cabinets instead of the wood grain, it looks a lot cleaner to me. All the windows we added make the inside look pretty bright and airy, too, even when it was overcast and had no lights turned on.

But you want to know the best part about the living room/kitchen area? Turn around and take a look out my living room windows.

Presto was fascinated by WTF I was doing in there

Um yes. Best view.

The bathroom is pretty standard, I think the only real upgrade we got in there was the rain shower head and the tile shower vs tub. Of course we have to remove the regular toilet and install the Incinolet, so that will look a bit different once we do that. The bedroom is literally that – a bed room. We have a California king so it will pretty much fill that whole room minus the walkway space toward the closet/back door. It’s nice to have a small walk-in closet though, something pretty unheard of in a house this small. I don’t have a ton of clothes left after my big purge so I won’t have any problem fitting my stuff into half of it. The loft space is really nice too, it’ll be perfect for storage and the cats’ litter robot, plus I have an awesome reading nook on the far side that I plan to make into a cozy little space.

Did already try to shove a giant bean bag up there. Needless to say it didn’t work.

The real icing on the cake, the shining feature of this house, is the back porch. It’s where we spent the most money in upgrades, not just adding the porch in the first place but also making it big and fully screened, with a fan and a tv jack. It’s basically like having a second living room, and it’s REALLY nice. I can’t freakin wait to sit out there on a cold morning with a blanket and some hot chocolate, looking out at the horses. I foresee myself spending a lot of time out there.

the porch (10′) is almost half the length of the house itself (26′)

I’m also pleased with the exterior colors and how they came together. Since we couldn’t agree on any roof color except galvalume, we picked a deeper gray exterior color to contrast. I think it looks good, and should help keep the house cooler. I also really like the black front door and can’t wait to get the horse door knocker on it that I got for my birthday last year. It’s the little things.

Once they come and finish the set-up today, there is a lot that has to happen in the next couple weeks. It kinda feels like we’ve been waitingwaitingwaiting and now bam – we’re off and running. The barn owners leave for Florida on the 7th, so basically we’ve got a couple weeks for it to be livable and have me and the dogs moved in. I already started buying a few things, measuring for a bunch of other things, and have appointments/quotes out for yet more things, but I’ll update on all that next week. For now – welcome to the farm, little house!


Does anyone else ever find themselves wondering just how annoying your horses think you are, or is it just me?

Why yes, that’s Presto with Henry’s rein in his mouth. I guess Henry has double the annoyances: me AND his little brother.

Not that I really have to wonder that much, considering both of my boys have expressive faces. I’m relatively certain that Henry is 9 out of 10 annoyed with me on pretty much a daily basis, he’s had almost 7 years to become permanently pre-donewithmyshit. The only thing keeping me from a 10 out of 10 is my steady supply of Oatmeal Cream Pies (“A cream pie a day keeps the grumpies at bay!” is something I like to tell Henry every time I give him one, so it’s really no wonder I’m always sitting at a 9). Presto isn’t nearly as donewithmyshit yet, but he does run out of patience for some of my schemes. Especially if they require him to stand still for any length of time. He’s not into that.

Mom, no.

Like yesterday, when I had to dress him up to get a picture for an Insta giveaway (going live this morning!) that I’m one of the hosts for. He didn’t mind the sticker, or me setting up the Pivo and tripod, or the hat (I mean this kid has been wearing hats since he was a year old, he’s pro by now), or the fact that I had stuffed the hat with those air packets they put in boxes as packing material in order to get it to stand up and the plastic made a horrible crinkly screeching noise right next to his ears. All of that was fine. The whole “be still” thing though? DUMB. ANNOYING. HATE IT. MOM SUCKS. Five minutes and he was mega-annoyed with me. I wouldn’t even let him knock the Pivo over with his nose. I’m a tyrant.

I mean I guess he’s plastic-broke?

We also experimented with a (loose) drop noseband this weekend, which I quite like so far but he thinks is real dumb. Makes it much harder for him to gape his mouth, cross his jaw, and try to yank the reins out of my hands (his version of a tantrum) and we have differing opinions on whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Presto is easy to appease when he’s annoyed though…. you just give him something to put in his mouth and all sins have been forgotten.

ok I like dis hat now

I mean, Presto and Henry both still come up to me in the pasture to be caught, and Presto still DEMANDS my attention at least twice a week. He’ll stand at the corner of his pasture staring at me in the barn, alternating between knocking on the fence with his foot or resting his foot on the bottom board. This is both a cute and terrible habit. I’ve hollered “GET YOUR FEET OFF THE FENCE” more times than any one person should. But still… he can’t find me that annoying if he wants my attention that badly.

except for when I reposition him 3 times and make him stand still for a quick confo shot, then he’s reached peak hu-mom irritation

I think Presto’s still got the innocence and optimism of youth working in his favor. Henry, however, does not, and I managed to annoy the crap out of him yesterday too. How, you ask? Body clipping. He’s very well-behaved for it (as long as you don’t do his ears or his legs, we came to that agreement years ago) but he hates it. First of all, he hates baths. I rode him, bathed him, and then turned him back out in his pasture to dry while I got Presto out. Henry’s pasture is really grassy so I didn’t think he’d be able to get very dirty again even if he rolled, but I was wrong. Super wrong. I don’t even know where he found that much dirt but he was dirtier when I went to go get him than he’d been before his bath. It was very thorough too, he coated both sides and really ground it into the top of his butt. I’m 100% convinced he did it on purpose, because he’s petty like that when he’s been annoyed.

Petty McSavage

I was done in less than an hour and considering it was almost 90 degrees he sure seemed to feel better when I turned him back out, so really it can’t have been that bad. He didn’t make a beeline for the shade like he usually does, so clearly body clipping helped. Still, he was very annoyed with me and wanted to make sure I knew it, giving me one last whack in the face with his tail as he marched away. He’s never shy about letting you know when you’ve erred against him.

He looks good clipped though, even if he’s mad about it

And that’s how, by the time I finished with the horses yesterday, I’d managed to thoroughly annoy the shit out of both of them. The true mark of a good day at the barn.

Foal Friday: Oakley’s Glamour Shots

If you missed the beginning of our little Glamour Shots mini-series, don’t forget to go back and check out Remi’s from last week. This week we’re moving on to the next 2020 foal, Oakley (she’s a sportpony cross in case anyone has forgotten by now – Usandro Tilia Derlenn‘s first foal born in the USA)! She too got all braided and fancied up for her pictures, and it’s as if she knew, because she really rose to the occasion and showed off for Belinda, the photographer. As with Remi’s photos, I think Oakley’s personality really shines through.

She knows she’s beautiful, first of all, and she isn’t afraid to make sure you know.

At times it was almost as if she played intentionally to the camera.

You’re getting this, right? Just checking. Here we go!
four way off the floor

Wait… pause for butt scratches please.

Ok let’s continue.

Of course, she’s also a big fan of zoomies. Maybe not quite as much as Ollie, and maybe not quite as often as when she was a wee foal, but she still does her fair share for sure.

It’s a trait that she shares with her dam, Daisy, who is the biggest Zoomies fan of all the broodmares and also didn’t hesitate to show off for the camera.


Most of all though, Oakley really wants you guys to know: always remember to bring snacks.

Happy Friday!