Adventures with Babies

Originally Henry was supposed to go to a little jumper show this past weekend, but it got cancelled due to the rise in covid cases. They did, however, replace it with a $5 open schooling day (very limited numbers of people and by appointment only) so I figured it was the perfect opportunity to take Presto out instead. I asked Hillary if she wanted to meet me there so that we’d have a buddy, made an appointment for mid-afternoon, and off we went.

I’m pretty happy with how he’s looking right now

We ended up being the only two people in our time slot, so it worked out perfectly. I didn’t really even think about it but I hadn’t ridden Presto the day before, nor did I bother putting him on the lunge line when we got there. He’s not quiet, he’s got monkeys in his brains for sure, but he’s not completely stupid either. Plus, ya know…. I had a neck strap. I felt fine to just get on.

Since we essentially had the entire property to ourselves (jumping arena, cross country field, trail obstacle course, and dressage arena), and there were no more appointments after ours, we made a plan to meander around and briefly hit all of them. More bang for our buck. Since I was on a silly 3yo and it was mega windy, we decided to hit the jumping arena first. When I first picked up the trot to start warming up Presto just couldn’t quite contain his glee and wanted to canter, so that was fine, we cantered a few laps each way before he settled into a very giraffey trot for a few more minutes. He’s just like a kid in a candy store sometimes – so much to see, so much to do. As long as he’s not rude or malicious about it I tend to just wait it out, because he does inevitably settle within a few minutes. This ride was no exception.

things are fine once I get the listening ears

When the barn owner saw which horses we pulled out of the trailers (aka KIDDOS) she was kind enough to put some of the jumps down for us. There were a few crossrails and some small verticals and oxers. When I brought Presto I honestly had no plan for what exactly I wanted to do with him, I just wanted to bring him and let him see everything. Hillary jumped a few things with Luna and I was like well why the heck not let’s just see what he thinks. He has yet to actually start jumping yet, the only thing he’s jumped under saddle were those few little logs the last time I took him to Pine Hill. But, ya know, when in Rome. This is a better space than I have at home and the jumps were already there and waiting for us. I figured he wouldn’t have any issue with the little crossrails, so I pointed him at one to see what happened. And, well, he basically just did the world’s tiniest, most bored little hop over it.

So I strung a few crossrails together. Yeah same thing. Big yawn from him.

Ok then, I pointed him at a vertical. Same reaction.

May as well up the ante then right? How about a line of verticals with flowers and fill, trotting in and cantering out. MEH, he says. WhAt, LiKe It’S sUpPoSeD tO bE hArD oR sOmEtHiNg?

he even shortened up when I asked him

Sometimes I think he’s mocking me.

We barely even canter much at home yet but alright then. Guess he jumps. Not bad for a first effort. Honestly I feel like I probably could have just done the whole course that was in the ring if I really wanted to, but I figured that was a great place to call it quits since we were still at the beginning of our journey around the property.

From there we wandered out to the XC course to find their baby banks/ditches/water. I’ve been exposing him to the holy trinity of eventing on the ground since he was a yearling, so it’s nice how now that he’s under saddle these things aren’t totally new concepts to him. Different, being under saddle instead of in hand, but not new. He understands the elements at least.

First we walked up and down the little mounds, then walked up and down the tiniest bank. No problem, ma. Easy peasy. So then I trotted him up and trotted him down. Aside from almost continuing on and jumping off the big side (ok there kid, reel it in), he was perfect. I just grabbed my neck strap, gave him a loose rein, and let him go. It’s really fun to feel his brain actually focus for once, when it’s got something worth thinking about. Those focused moments are rare. I think it feels like a game to him, so he’s into it.

I’ll post the whole video at the end, you have to watch his little hops up and down. It’s adorable, and I’m definitely not biased.


Then we went over to the little ditches, which he just trotted over with zero fanfare, so we didn’t linger for long. Then it was over to the water. But in order to get to the water, we first had to pass by this adorable dude:

Which both horses were initially a bit horrified by. Presto’s horror very quickly morphed into a desire to play with it (naturally), so he was first to approach and make friends. Luna remained relatively befuddled by the “abomination” (her word) and maintained her distance.

Once we succeeded in getting past the donkey, we walked together through the water. Honestly I thought he might balk more about going into it, their water is narrow and dark and a lot of horses are spooky about it, but after putting their noses down to take a sniff they wandered right in. Good babies.

We took turns trotting back and forth through it, but it was pretty uneventful. Except the time Presto thought he might want to take a canter step into it, splashed water right up his nose, and thought he was dying. He took two steps out the other side and stopped dead to cough and sneeze. I didn’t even have to do anything, he waterboarded himself.

that cocky moment right before you make a bad choice

I’ve noticed his tail is an indicator of impending tomfoolery. Too bad I can’t actually see it when I’m riding.

After the water we walked through the little trail/obstacle course, and I couldn’t resist walking him over a little bridge thingy and through the pool noodles. He’s seen stuff like that in hand, too, and didn’t care much about it under saddle.

he totally wanted to trot it

We capped everything off with a walk around the dressage arena, stopping to sniff (ok, lick, he licked it) the judge’s table before heading back to the trailers.

There’s more video of his day here:

Overall I was incredibly pleased with him. I can’t really express how neon-green he still is, our rides at this point are like twice a week and 98% walk/trot. He’s only got about 40 rides total at this point, all by me, probably at least a third of which are just hacking. Mostly we spend 10-15 minutes working on response to the aids, moving off the leg and seat, and steering. We’ve not really branched out beyond that at home yet, so for him to go off property and take on whatever I point him at, I can’t really complain. He’s definitely not a super easy quiet horse, not by any means. He’s very easily distracted. He’s got a motor. He’s squirrelly. Sometimes he spooks for fun. Sometimes the power steering goes out. Sometimes (a lot of the time) it’s like riding a drunk noodle. The neck strap is my best friend. BUT – I really enjoy riding him. He’s forward-thinking and willing, he learns fast, and he loves a challenge. That makes him super fun to ride, in my book. Is he a monkey? You bet. Does he make me excited about the horse I’ve got for the future? Also yes. There are moments of brilliance amidst all the shenanigans, and he’s so smart and brave. Things come very easily to him, especially the cross country – he just GETS it like it makes sense.

Hellloooooooo anyone home?

I’ve always been a baby/green horse person, so I’m loving this stage. They’re little sponges and it’s really rewarding, especially when you have one that feels special like Presto does.

Many thanks to Scissortail for having us and to Hillary for coming along with us and getting media! It was a great baby day.

THT: Skirted

This might be the last t!ny h0use update for a while, because we’ve kind of hit a plateau as far as interesting developments or noteworthy changes. There HAVE been some notable additions since the last THT post though, so let’s get caught up.

First and foremost – she’s got skirting! It ended up taking a little longer to get this done than I had originally wanted since so few people actually got back to me with quotes, but like I said last post, it ended up being a blessing in disguise. If the skirting had gone on right away we might never have noticed the water leak, so in the end it all worked out for the best. The leak issue seems to be totally resolved since the TH company came out to repair it (knock on wood).

Ultimately for the skirting I went with a local handyman business because they were actually responsive and professional. The quote was slightly higher than another one I had, but this guy actually emailed and called me back, so… that means a lot. And since he IS a handyman type, he was also able to build out some stairs for us off the back porch. He came out with his teenage son over the course of a few days and they installed/built everything, and in the end I think they did a great job. She’s now fully dressed and closed up.

peep my cute little internet dish, it kinda blends in
a door for easy access to the tank

Also, having watched them install the skirting I am 100000% certain that hiring someone else to do it was the right call. It’s not COMPLICATED work, you can definitely DIY it, but it is tedious AF, and the tools they had definitely made it easier than if we’d tried it ourselves. It seems like one of those projects where you end up intensely hating your spouse afterwards.

Those two things were a pretty big chunk of money so I haven’t really bought anything else for the house that’s noteworthy, and we’ve still got another month or so to wait before the couch comes in. I think I’m going to hold off ordering anything else until that gets here so I can get a better idea of colors and space. We did put some string lights up on the back porch to give it some ambiance (those can lights in the ceiling are BRIGHT AF, you could land a plane on our back porch) but that’s about it.

Otherwise we’ve kind of settled into a little routine here. As you can see in the first pic, the dog ramp is attached to the front steps. I want to make a little dog run area off to the side at the bottom of the ramp, but I really wanted it on the other side, which I can’t currently do because the hand rail for the stairs is on that side. We’re going to look at either moving that rail to the other side or removing it completely, I just haven’t gotten that far yet. Right now I supervise the dogs when they’re outside and pick up the poop daily, so it’s not particularly urgent.

this loony toon is loving the barn dog life

I’ve also gotten in the habit of riding my bike back and forth across the pasture to the barn. The only bike I retained in the purge is my cyclocross bike (which is sorta like a road bike with knobby tubeless tires and components that are meant to handle mud and dirt) so it’s perfect for the job. Okay not so much on rainy days, but those have been few and far between so far. A golf cart would be easier (especially when I have to hike to the back 40 to take blankets off mid-morning) but the bike works for now.

I did get a little tiny space heater for the bedroom – it only draws 500 watts (most are more like 1500) but it does a great job of heating up small spaces. Which, coincidentally, I have plenty of. I can put it in the bathroom for 10 minutes before I shower and its nice and toasty in there, or have it on for a little while in the bedroom with the door closed and it warms it up enough to where I don’t have to turn the big heaters on. Those heaters are intense. Like being blasted with dragon’s breath. It’s not ridiculously cold here, and so far it’s been easier to use the teeny space heater when we just need a little more warmth.

I’m also really digging the big 4″ memory foam mattress topper I got when I first moved in. It’s comfy AF.

they’re really roughing it out here on their California King

I’ve also decided that since they’re farm dogs now and I’m not a total masochist, they’re going to the groomers once a month for a proper bath. Quinn is a freaking nightmare to bathe and dry but he’s a super gross dog, and Stewie loves to roll around in the grass every day while I clean stalls. If they stink at all, the whole house stinks, plus they tend to track whatever is clinging to their bodies into the house. And honestly, I don’t exactly have ample space in here to be wrestling with trying to bathe and dry two grumpy old man dogs. The local grooming place I took them to last month did a good job, only took an hour from drop off to pick up, and was super affordable, so we’re just gonna keep a monthly appointment there. They go back in on Friday. I’m all about making my life easier.

I remain happy with this little house. It’s all the space I need with none of the space I don’t. It’s much easier to keep clean (I did a “whole house” clean on Sunday in 30 minutes HAHAHAHA), and I haven’t found myself feeling cramped at all. Granted, SO and the cats are still living at the other house (progress has been made towards getting it ready to rent, but I’d say he’s only 50% of the way there) so I know it’ll be different with more humans/animals in here. I’m glad to have this time by myself though, to figure out the best way to do everything and maintain everything without having to worry about another person.

I think that’s it up to now for the t!ny farmh0use, y’all are all caught up. More updates later once we get more stuff in here!

Seven Years

Can you believe it’s been seven years since I bought this dodo?

yes I’m reusing his birthday photo because it’s still accurate

It’s crazy to even think of my life pre-Henry. Hard to remember a time where this goober wasn’t the center of my world. Also cute that I was ever deluded enough to think I was actually going to re-sell him. Ha. Hahahaha. That’s a big fat nope. Jokes on me.

who else would put up with my bullshit so well though?

Turns out that this chonky, grumpy, cheeky little wannabe-QH carved himself a permanent place in my heart and in my life. He’s never going anywhere. Stuck with me forever. He’s the best teacher, friend, and big brother that I never even went looking for. You don’t question the universe when it sends you a gift like this.

what a gift

And while we both seem to live for that feeling when we leave the start box together, 2020 failed to deliver on our favorite high. I mean, we got to go XC school once, and we certainly fit lots of jompies in at home, so it wasn’t a total loss. In a way though, having the pressure of horse showing taken out of the equation and off of our relationship has been a really good thing. There are no expectations on the time I spend in the saddle. No strict schedules to adhere to, no timelines to stress over. There’s just less noise, so to speak. If there’s one perk of a pandemic, it’s clarity, and what’s perfectly clear to me is that having fun with this horse and keeping him happy are the only things that really matter.

he always delivers on the fun

If possible, our bond has actually gotten even deeper. Each year that passes, it just seems to grow and solidify even more. We understand each other, we know each other, and we can read each other so well by now. Especially now that he lives in my backyard. Having him right there has deepened the connection even more, in different ways.

who wouldn’t want to see this smiling face every morning?

I love both of my horses dearly, but they definitely take on different roles. Presto is the fancier, more athletic young gun that needs lots of attention. In some ways that may make it seem like Henry fades into the background a bit, but no. Quite the opposite actually. Presto is fresh and fun and exciting yes, but swinging a leg over Henry’s back feels like coming home. To know a horse this well and to trust him and just enjoy his company no matter what we’re doing – that’s a pretty special role. In a lot of ways they balance each other, and they balance me too. Henry keeps us all grounded.

I’ve used my seven favorite pictures of Henry from this past year in this post and looking at them now I think it shows a little bit of everything that’s so great about him. I hope we have many more years and many more photos to come, so here’s one more to grow on.


If this horse has taught me anything, it’s that when your gut says “there’s just something about this horse”: buy the damn horse. Even if it makes no logical sense at the time. Even if you’ve never actually met the horse in person before. Who knows, it might be the best thing you ever did.

Foal Friday: See Ya Later, Class of 2020

Well guys, here we are, the last Foal Friday post for our 2020 crop of WTW foals. They’ve provided us with plenty of cuteness and some much-needed levity this year, every Friday since Remi was born in March. He was quickly followed by Oakley, then Ollie joined us about a month later, and we capped off the collection when Ellie joined us in mid-May.

It’s always a good season when all the foals find new homes, especially when those homes are as perfect as the ones these guys have landed in. Ellie and Remi are now in Tennessee with Alex Green Kerby, and Ollie and Oakley are in Kentucky with Caroline Dannemiller (def follow her Insta if you want updates on these guys – she posts them a lot in her stories and they already have their own Highlight!). And since they were all going to the same general area, they all got to ship together, too, which definitely helped make things easier for them.

They all got fantastic report cards from the shipper, and stepped off the trailer together in Tennessee.

They all settled right in and were quick to make new friends.

After a little rest and relaxation Ollie and Oakley loaded back up to make the rest of their journey to Kentucky… where they were promptly greeted with some SNOW! That was a new one for them, for sure. Luckily Caroline was ultra-prepared and already had (super adorable if I may say so myself) blankets ready and waiting for the ponykids.

They’ve settled in perfectly with their babysitter friends and have wasted absolutely no time getting comfortable with their new routine. Which, naturally, includes lots of naps.

Ollie has been… Ollie. His personality clearly has not been dampered at all by his lifestyle change.

They’ve even gotten to go on some fun little adventures already, like checking out some of the jumps in the XC field.

They got to wear some awesome hats for a holiday photo, too. Yep… they’re fitting in just fine.

And while these kiddos will absolutely be missed at WTW (things are definitely different without Ollie around), there is no better feeling than seeing them go to perfect homes like this and being able to watch them grow up and develop with their people. We really could not have asked for better homes and better matches than these. Congratulations and best of luck to everyone, we can’t wait to see what the future holds!

As for Foal Friday, we’ll pick it up again in March. Hope you guys enjoyed following along with these babies this year and getting a little dose of weekly cuteness.

Blogger Secret Santa 2020

I haven’t even shipped my box to my SS recipient yet (still waiting on one last thing – hopefully this weekend) so I’m feeling very inadequate as a gifter over here, because my own SS gift already arrived! Michelle (Cruisen in Stilettos … I have a lot of Michelle’s in my life…) is seriously on top of things in a way that I most definitely am not. And at first I was like maybe I’ll wait until Christmas to open this, but then… nah. Nah like I didn’t even make it all the way to my house, it got opened in the barn. I am who I am.

First of all, peppermints as packing material is a legit choice. Very smart. Henry has had a few already. Presto has too, although he can’t decide how he feels about them. He eats it, says it’s yucky, and then eats another one. Who knows with that kid.

There were also human treats in the form of chocolate, which maybe I’ve already eaten half of one. Maybe. It’s possible.

There were even “future treats” (clearly she understands me and my bunch – we’re all highly food motivated) although I have a major black thumb when it comes to plants, so I will be recruiting the SO to grow these for me. He has a couple planters of veggies and peppers that he manages to coax to life, so now he can grow me some goth carrots too. Very fitting at the goth farmhouse.

Oh yeah btw all this stuff was individually wrapped but I didn’t take a picture of that because I was too busy opening things. I told you I like presents.

The main item was this super cute pin from Forge Hill

the little bag is even in Henry’s XC colors!

It’s totally Henry and Presto. Grumpy Henry face and WANNAPLAY Presto face. I thought that immediately, before I even opened the card…

And I only have one stock pin, which I don’t really love, so this is great. It totally looks like both boys!

I know I’m a tough one to shop for, and even more so now that I have the tiny house/no space factor, but Michelle did a great job. I love everything and am so delighted that it all came from local and small businesses to boot. Thank you so much Michelle! And also many thanks to Alberta Equest for being willing to take the reins from Tracy and host the Blogger SS for us this year.

To my own recipient, sorry you got me, I’m hurrying I swear.

Making the Rules

Yesterday kicked off the annual USEA convention (virtual this year, although I’ve always watched online anyway) and the first session right out of the gate was one of my favorites – RULES! Coming changes, rule change proposals, all that good stuff. It’s not that I like having lots of rules per se, it’s more that I really like knowing and understanding them. Who has actually read the rule book cover to cover? (me. it was me.)

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Anyway, like I said the Rules discussion is really interesting, and it never fails to give me some thinking points. This time the one that stuck with me was the proposal that, at shows where stadium happens before cross country, IF a horse and rider have 5 or more rails it equals automatic Retirement and they are not allowed to run XC (applied at Training level and above). Reason being that they have seen a correlation between a high number of rails and cross country falls. They didn’t provide said correlation data in that discussion, so I don’t know if it’s a tiny correlation or a large one, or how consistent it is, or how far back this data goes, or what it looks like at each level. Interestingly enough they DID say that while they saw a correlation at 4 rails and 5 rails, once you got to 6 rails and above there did NOT seem to be a correlation between the rails and the XC fall rate. That part just raised more questions for me.

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I’ve gone back and forth on my thoughts about this. As the owner of a horse who does not give a flying F how many rails he pulls but is an exceptionally good and safe XC horse, my knee jerk reaction was no. Granted, he’s never pulled 5 or more rails (but we have pulled 4 rails a couple times) so this never would have impacted us anyway. Unless of course I found myself riding around with the thought in my head of “OH NO WE CAN’T HAVE ANY MORE RAILS” and then I massively choked and murdered the whole rest of the course. Which is entirely possible.

But I can also easily sit here and think of several upper level horses who pull lots of rails but are some of the best XC horses I’ve ever seen. Quick and safe and smart on XC, but tap their way around stadium because they know the difference (ironically – or not – most of the ones I’m thinking of are Irish or TB). One in particular locally… if they R’d him every time he had 5 or more rails, he’d rarely make it to XC. He doesn’t plow through them, he just taps every single one and it’s a matter of how many stay in the cups. That horse is a BEAST on cross country though.

On the other hand, I definitely don’t think that exceptions should guide rulemaking, especially in regards to safety. So if there really IS a significant correlation, and if 5+ rails equaling retirement WOULD prevent accidents in a large number of cases… it’s hard to argue with that.

fun fact, we actually had 4 rails in this round

Back on the other side of the coin, I have some concerns about the ripple effect a rule like this would have, on the horses and industry and the sport. For the horses: are the less careful ones suddenly going to find themselves out of work and unwanted? What happens to them? For the industry: is it going to become completely impossible to sell horses that consistently have 2 or more rails on their record, no matter how good they are on XC? Does this mean that people could be more likely to resort to shady tactics behind closed doors in an effort to make horses jump more cleanly? For the sport: is this going to sway a heavier emphasis toward people buying horses that are more careful jumpers (much as how the FEI scoring that made dressage more influential had an impact on the types of horses that were being sought out)? Because carefulness is definitely not always a safe quality to have in a cross country horse. If we end up inadvertently swinging the pendulum that direction, could we actually inadvertently make the fall rate higher and the sport more dangerous?

I guess a lot of my opinion hinges on the details within that correlation data, but I’d love to hear more pros/cons discussion too.

There is another proposal to increase the number of MER’s required to move up the levels, which I am 100% wholeheartedly in support of. I’ve always thought the current MER’s were quite easy to meet as-is, and I think asking people to do more shows at their current level before moving up is reasonable. MER’s cover a particular number of rails in stadium as well, so even by this rule alone, horses who pull a lot of rails would take longer to achieve their MER’s and thus be forced to move up more slowly. They just wouldn’t be forced to retire from the competition.

What are your thoughts on this one? Other potential pros and cons that you can see within this proposal?

Mini-Christmas to Me (and the boys)

I won’t lie, I love the week after Black Friday. Blame the society I grew up in and was brainwashed by, blame 2020 and it’s depletion of simple joys, blame it on the fact that I haven’t had Mexican food in like three months, but I love the “your package is out for delivery” notification email, ok? Sue me. “Follow your delivery on a live map”? Um, hell yeah UPS, don’t mind if I friggin stalk this truck all day, thank you!

And after Black Friday it’s like… raining packages. Essentials for the horses, a couple fun things for me, Christmas gifts? Make it rain. USPS, FedEx, UPS? MAKE IT RAIN. They’re little boxes of joy amidst all the other mundanity and you cannot convince me otherwise. Doesn’t matter if it’s a box full of dewormer and fly spray, I. AM. DELIGHTED.

It’s been a long year y’all.

Anyway, I got a few fun things this time so it did feel like a little bit of a Merry Christmas to Myself moment. Those are my favorite. I buy myself the best gifts.

The green Horze breeches were the first thing to arrive and damn y’all, this color is ON POINT. It might be the most perfect green I’ve ever seen, much richer than it looks in the stock photo. It’s also possible that I’ve been basically living in these pants since they arrived. I almost wish I had bought them in Patriot Blue too, when they were on sale.

Next was the Riding Warehouse package, with my sheepskin grooming mitt, cookies, dewormer, and a new girth for Presto. The billets on his saddle are abnormally long and the holes start low, so he really needed a 22″, and this one was on sale on top of sale, so in the cart it went. I couldn’t help but chuckle at how tiny it looks though. Looks like I ride a pony.

I think I like it so far but I’m not in love with it. There are things I like and things I don’t like. I generally prefer leather girths but I couldn’t find one I liked enough that was in the price range I wanted. It works for now though, and I DO like it better than Henry’s Collegiate girth, and I get the feeling Presto will outgrow the 22 soon anyway. When that happens they’ll get a nice leather girth that they can share.

Speaking of leather…

cameo from the Oh Shit strap I got a while back

My leather bit came! I’ve been toying with the idea of buying one for a while, not just for Presto but for Henry. My trainer has been using one on her fussy-mouthed OTTB with great success, and I figured even if neither of them likes it, it’s a good thing to have in my bit collection (I know everyone has a bit collection right?). I haven’t tried it on Henry yet but I rode Presto in it and honestly I DO think he liked it. He carried it quietly, no chomping, and seemed happier to take a little bit of contact. We’ll see going forward, jury is still out.

Next up was his giant ball and cover, but y’all already saw how that one turned out.

RIP ball

Smartpak had some of their giant slow feed nets on clearance (hey they still do, just not quite as cheap) so I picked up a four-flake one in Patriot Blue.

Seen here with the rubber chicken that he put to bed and covered in a blanket of hay and shavings

Henry’s got that net too and it’s 2 years old and still looks great. Plus it’s HUGE (seriously, Hillary got inside of one once), holds a ton, and the 2″ openings aren’t too hard for the horses to get hay out of. Both of my horses will just quit trying if the holes are too small, and these seem to be just the right balance. Small enough to stretch out how long the hay lasts but still gives them enough to keep them interested. I actually like this color too, it’s sort of navy. And Smartpak got it to me a lot faster than they usually do. I tend to avoid them like the plague if I can but maybe they’re slightly working their way back into my not-so-bad graces.

The real MVP of my Black Friday haul, though, was Corro. I first discovered them last year during Black Friday and have been a steady customer ever since. Their warehouse is in Dallas, so stuff gets to me super quickly, and while they don’t have a huge selection, they do have some of the essential stuff that I need and buy regularly. Like balls, and fly spray, and flaxseed oil. So I made an order of exactly that, plus a few little grooming items and something for my blogger SS gift. And then FedEx promptly mucked that one up. It was supposed to be delivered on Monday, saying it was “out for delivery”. The day came and went, but nada. I checked the tracking again that evening and it said it had been “returned for inspection”. We use FedEx at work so I texted my work friend the shipping guy and asked what that meant, and he said it usually means the package was damaged or leaking and they’d either open it up and check it and then deliver it, or return it back to the sender. Ok, so I waited. Next day it said “out for delivery again”. Still nada. Then “returned for inspection” again. OMG. So I contacted Corro to let them know what was up, they checked it out, apologized profusely, and promptly shipped out a whole new replacement order. The next day FedEx AGAIN said “out for delivery” and then AGAIN “returned for inspection”. Finally, the next day, there was a box at the door, clearly not the original box it had come in, with no paperwork, no packing materials, a sad bit of tape on top, and about half of the items I ordered.

I don’t know where the rest went. FedEx never said a word about it, so I’m assuming the original box was damaged, some stuff was lost/leaking, and this was their solution? Thank goodness for Corro. The next day I had the replacement order at my door, packed just like they usually have it, with all my items intact. A+ customer service. Although now I have a shitton of flaxseed oil.

As for the more fun stuff… there were a lot of sparkles and I regret nothing.

when the boot PACKAGING looks like this, you know the boots themselves are gonna be bomb

These Majyk Equipe sparkle boots are the classiest sparkle boots I’ve seen in my life. The leather is gorgeous, with just a hint of subtle sparkle along the back. They’re like “yes I’m here to win, but also I’m already dressed for the party afterward”. Love isn’t even a strong enough word.

And because one should never have just a single sparkly item (ok I have like 5 or 6 now but who’s counting) I also added this lovely creature to my bridle collection – the Halter Ego Natalia.

I don’t want to hear one word about my bridle collection. Not one word. Some people collect saddle pads, or polos, or whatever. I have very few saddle pads. No polos. Not a single matchy set. 10 or 11 bridles. Partly it’s because I like bridles. Partly it’s because I don’t like changing bits or nosebands or resizing things from one horse to the next, therefore you gotta have a bridle for every occasion. Leave me alone. It has BLACK SPARKLE PIPING.

You know what makes dressage better? This. Proven scientific fact.

Plus I only had one black bridle before. And how badass is that gonna look on Presto with a spiked browband? Glam punk is his aesthetic.

On that note, I originally wasn’t gonna post these since they’re a non-horse item, but I’m so in love with them that I’m thinking I might need to do a 3Day JUST so I can jog up in these bad boys.

The horses have sparkle boots and now I do too. Are they ridiculous? Hell yeah. Do they bring me a ridiculous amount of joy? Also hell yeah. I wore them to early vote in our local runoff elections last weekend and a little old lady told me they were “magnificent”. She is not wrong.

Tell me they wouldn’t make a rad jog outfit with a leather jacket or something. Showpiece shoes, that’s what those are. I’m gonna have to take a pic of them next to henry’s sparkle Cavallo hoof boot, they’re pretty much exactly the same glitter.

Hope everyone else has been enjoying their BF packages as much as I have! It’s always kind of sad when they all arrive and Mini-Christmas is over though… luckily real Christmas isn’t too far away.

Presto and the Giant Ball

I really need Presto to work on some kind of sponsorship deal with the company that makes these balls (I was today years old when I learned they also make jump blocks and stuff too, who knew?). At this point his addiction is getting expensive. Sure, I could just stop buying them, but he loves them so much. And now that JB is gone for the winter he’s playing with it even more. It brings him joy, therefore it brings me joy. He could be like… slightly less murderous about it though.

On my Black Friday Corro order I tossed another new 30″ ball in my cart, since the one he’s got has a slow but steady leak. I’ve been saying (to myself… I only talk to myself these days…) that when he destroys the 30″ cover I’ll spring for the giant 40″ ball and cover – the biggest one they make. I started with the 30″ originally because it was the medium size, and he seemed less likely to high-center himself and fall over. I’ve just stuck with the 30″ ever since. I have to admit though, now that he knows how to handle himself with a ball, would the 40″ one be even MORE fun? But on the Friday after Thanksgiving when I ordered the 30″ replacement ball, the cover was still intact. Fastforward 24 hours (like right after I got the notification that the Corro order had shipped) and I went out to find him actively ripping apart said 30″ cover. SERIOUSLY. At this point the only way I can get it to stay on the ball is if I deflate it a bit and then tie it on. So I figured ok, now’s the time since they’re still on sale anyway… and I ordered him a 40″ ball and cover too.

And that thing is BIG. Like… BIG. Thank goodness I have one of those things for filling up air mattresses to use on these balls, because even with that it took about 10 minutes to get it inflated. It’s comically huge. When I tossed it out to Presto and he first started playing with it, I don’t think he registered the size difference. He kept trying to put his feet on top of it and lay on it like he does with his 30-incher (which is currently more like an 18-incher, tied inside it’s tattered cover) and it wasn’t working very well. He tried to pick up and swing around but found that it was heavier than he expected, too. I think he liked it a bit more the next morning when it was cold and the ball had lost a few inches of inflation, so he could grab a good mouthful of cover to pick it up.

At first I thought the 40″ experiment was maybe a dud, and then the next night I was heading down to the barn to bring them in and in the fading light all I saw was a streak of yellow followed by a Presto, high-tailing it as he chased the ball across the pasture. Ok, he was definitely playing with it. And the bigger ball rolls a little better without getting stuck on sticks and things, so it’s faster. He digs that. Once he figured out the size difference he was out there laying on it and putting his feet on it and picking it up, just like with the smaller one. The only thing he remained unable to do was swing it around as much. He loves to swing the ball up and down and whack himself in the head with it, and this one is just a big too big and heavy.

But maybe he figured it out a little bit too well, because THIS is what I came out to find yesterday at dinnertime.

It must have just happened, because it was rapidly deflating as I walked up. And then when it was dying Presto was like OH NO BALL, IS YOU OK and stomped it as it’s life oozed out of it. Ball was decidedly not ok. SOMEONE put a mouth-sized hole in it. I dragged the body out of the field so I can get a replacement ready today. I mean geez, he murdered that thing in like 5 days. Totally not the ball’s fault though, y’all have seen how he bites and smashes those things. This one was no exception. He is really really rough on them. God it’s fun to watch though, and he just loves it.

But now I’ve got a 40″ cover in mostly good shape (its got a couple holes), a 30″ cover in really bad shape, and two 30″ balls. Sigh. They need to sell these in bulk or something. Or I need a frequent buyer’s punch card. He’s a ball serial killer.

Foal Friday: Ollie’s Glamour Shots

He might be the last of the Glamour Shots series, but he’s certainly not the least. While all the babies this year were cute and fun in their own way, it was impossible not to love Ollie. Smallest in stature and largest in ponytude, he kept us entertained with everything from leaping into round bales to opening pool house doors and removing insulation, to whacking the other foals with pool noodles. Ollie is definitely a fan favorite of the 2020 crop, as well as the class clown.

if you see this in your viewfinder, TROUBLE has arrived!

Due to time constraints Ollie wasn’t braided for his pics, but honestly… it kind of fits. He’s a fun loving kind of guy, and his mohawk matches his personality.

He also seemed to really like having his picture taken (surprise, surprise) and insisted on some super arsty shots to include in his portfolio.

I think he liked having a lady with camera (thanks Belinda!) following him around. He thinks this should be happening 24/7. *cue Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi”*

And while it’s easy to get distracted by his squishy little cuteness, always be on the lookout for that sasstail. It means things are a-brewing. Naughty things.


That’s a wrap on Glamour Shots, the final installment of our last series for our 2020 foals. We’ve got ONE MORE Foal Friday post next week to wrap up their season, and then we’ll just be playing a waiting game until the 2021 kiddos hit the ground… which luckily a) there are 7 – SEVEN! – of them, b) we’ve only got a few months to wait.

Happy Friday!

Presto’s Futur(ity)

Some of my Instagram peeps may have noticed the other day that I reposted a particular post from the US Event Horse Futurity in my stories.

That first entry for the 2021 Futurity? It was Presto! And I know a lot of people have already been murmuring about it, so I thought I should address it openly and lay out what it really “means” for him.

Truth is, I’ve been on the fence for basically the entire past 2 years about whether or not to enter him. He’s meant to be my horse, not an upper level pro’s big time horse or a sale horse. He’s also, IMO, unlikely to be mature enough to be ready for YEH Championships in the fall, which is where the Futurity culminates.

Me? Immature? Noooo….

But, the Futurity has a lot of goals and perks aside from just that. A horse can do the Futurity and not do YEH, it’s not a requirement for the Futurity horses (to be eligible to win actual Futurity payout money you have to complete Championships, but you can participate in the Futurity without having to do YEH Championships). The Futurity has 3 main goals – highlighting US breeders and US-bred young horses, connecting breeders and riders, and promoting young horse trainers. We can do all of those things, no matter whether he ends up being ready for YEH or not. In fact, I have to say, in the past 2 years of watching the Futurity horses and their vlogs, one of the most interesting parts of it to me was seeing which people decided to pursue YEH/Championships with their horses and which people didn’t, and why. It was a big part of what made it so fun and educational to follow along.

So if we break it down: highlighting US breeders and US purpose bred horses? Um heck ya we can do that in spades. You can bet that Presto is getting some new WTW gear (I might need y’alls help deciding which things), all of his vlogs will have a WTW opening and closing shot, and he is about as US purpose-bred event horse as you can get. And I come with a built-in platform from blogging for so long, so if it helps bring extra attention to the Futurity and other breeders in return, even better.

110% a US purpose-bred event horse

As for connecting breeders and riders, that’s already happening a bit too. Yes, Presto is mine. He’s meant to be mine to ride and show. I want to raise him and ride him and everything that entails. But I also am not an idiot and I realize that all young horses can benefit from pro rides. I’d call myself “sufficient”, but I’m not great, and I want him to have the benefit of that really high quality training too, especially early on. It’ll make him a better horse in the end. I also recognize that Texas is not an ideal place to try to get miles on a young horse. There are only two eventing facilities within a 2 hour drive from here…. it’s not like I can pop him on the trailer on any ol’ Wednesday afternoon, drive down the road for a school, and be back before dinner. It’s an all day affair, and it’s a lot of traveling for a horse, and it’s just not a lot of available variety. Before I even decided to enter him in the Futurity I really wanted to send him east for a couple months in the summer (when it’s too god awful nasty here to do anything anyway) to get some pro rides and be in an area where he can experience a lot more things a lot more easily.

I had two pros in mind for this (one of which actually made my list specifically because of watching her Futurity videos the past couple years), and I have a call set with choice #1 tomorrow to talk details. Michelle coincidentally knows him from back in the day, so it’s a good chance for them to reconnect as a breeder-rider relationship. A lot of pros are wanting to be involved in the Futurity to showcase their own skills, which was exactly the purpose, so it’s a great thing. This particular pro has an idea of the basic plan and is on board from what he’s seen/heard of Presto so far, so hopefully we can work something out. If we do I’ll talk more about it later and explain my thought process but I don’t want to say anything quite yet until it’s all hashed out.

So the idea at this point is that he’ll stay with me until the summer and keep plugging away at basic life experiences, head east for some serious education, and then either come home at the end of the summer (all of which was in my plan anyway, Futurity or not) OR stay there through Championships. So the only thing that’s changed is that if, by some small miracle, he seems ready (which again at this point I think is 90% unlikely) he would be staying a couple months longer. He would already be on the east coast anyway, where Championships are, so that would make sense. Either way, I think the experience would be really good for him no matter what, and there’s just so much more to see and do on the east coast that I think it would be the best bang for my buck I could possibly get in regards to his education in such a short period of time.

So he’s entered in the Futurity, yes. He may or may not go the YEH route. That’s up to him. I’ll make his vlogs while I have him and the person who takes him in the summer will make his vlogs then. After that, we’ll just see how it goes. Of course, if something unforeseen happens and he ends up not being ready for any of this, then these plans will be scrapped. They’re plans, they can always change, and it’s horses, so most of the time they do. The horse is, was, and always will be the #1 priority. The Futurity changes nothing about that. Really it just gives us a more public way to showcase the horses that WTW is producing, and gives Presto more opportunities. It’s a win-win.

And while I don’t think that he’s the one that’ll be gunning for the 2021 Futurity win, I can tell you this much: we ARE gunning for Fan Favorite. Every year the Futurity takes a public vote and names a Fan Favorite, and I’ll say it now – challenge issued, gauntlet thrown, intentions officially declared – that title is HIS, my friends. Hiiiiiiis. I mean, how could he not be? He’s trained his whole life for this particular title and you can bet we’ll be campaigning for it.

*cue Eye of the Tiger music*

Anyway, I’m sure none of this will go to plan, nothing ever DOES with horses, but it’ll be fun regardless, and we really can’t wait to rep WTW on a more public stage. Gotta brush up on my vlog-making skills! Anyone who watched the ones I made earlier this year and has any feedback, tips, or tricks, feel free to get at me. And if you’re not already following the Futurity’s facebook page, now is the time.

I hope that clears up any confusion about what the heck I’m doing, and as soon as I have things more ironed out I’ll give more updates!