The good news is, I’ve sold most of my breeches that don’t fit me anymore (the brown Horze are the only ones left) and was able to pick up a smaller size in the same model. The bad news is, the smaller size still doesn’t really fit like I’d want it too, the waistband is pretty gappy. I think that in addition to my size changing, my shape has also changed a bit since I started doing a lot of core work and weights. Sadly I think it’s time to admit that my favorite go-to Horze Grand Prix breeches are no longer the best fit for me. Cue lots of crying and possibly a toddler-style temper tantrum.
You know what I hate? Trying to find breeches that I actually like and that also fit. I like so few things, when I do find something I like I tend to latch onto it. Hence me having had 6 pairs of those Horze breeches. Now I feel back at square one with no idea of where to go really (well ok, I went to Dover and looked at what they had but found a grand total of two models I even liked the fabric enough to try on). So, I’ve found myself perusing different websites a lot, seeing what all is out there now that might at least look promising. I’m very grumpy about it, as you can imagine, because I was also really spoiled by the ~$100 price tag of those Horze breeches and trying to come to terms with the fact that I’m probably not super likely to find ones that I like as much that actually fit and are that cheap.
But I did find myself falling down the rabbit hole that is Riding Warehouse. I’m so indecisive on breeches I’m having a hard time even figuring out what I want to try. The ones that caught my eye the most in their shop are probably the:
and the Ariat Prelude or Tri-Factor. I like the price of the Prelude but I can’t decide how I feel about the fabric from the pictures. Granted, I don’t love the back design of the Tri-Factors. I also have a slight distrust of Ariat in general. Bleh.
Anyone worn any of those and have some feedback? Or suggestions for any other breeches that have the same super stretchy fabric of the Horze GP but fit smaller in the waist? I really need to try on the RJ Classics and the Romfh Sarafina again. The RJ’s used to fit me ok, they were just a little lower rise than I preferred. The Sarafina didn’t fit me that well then, but now… who knows. I am on the struggle bus in a big way.
It didn’t take long for me to become frustrated and lose interest in the breeches section of the website, and soon I found myself wandering around the rest of RW, updating my wishlist. Such a dangerous feature. It’s been a while since I really looked at what new stuff they’ve added though, and there were a few things that definitely caught my eye. Like this Micklem girth.
That’s pretty. I also don’t love either of my current girths so I’m always on the lookout for a potential replacement. This one is at the top of the list. It’s like they made it just for me, putting all that navy on there.
There were also a couple shirts I liked, the new Lucy shirt from Romfh
which yes is kinda see-through in general, not just in the meshy spots, but it also seems very breezy. With a sports bra underneath it’s fine. No one ever really sees me riding at home anyway and the thought of getting a nice breeze is extremely appealing.
I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I like this Horseware top.
On one hand, I love tie-dye. I also love navy and green. I’m not totally sure if I love the execution here (I like it better from the back), but I’d still 100% wear it.
The other things that made the wishlist were more basic – Megan is sponsored by Pro Choice and has these pads for XC so I’ve gotten to see them in action and up close.
Henry has sheepskin ones of course but I really like these pads for Presto. I’ve been impressed by all the Pro Choice pads I’ve seen lately, they’re really nice and have a lot of well-thought-out features. It pulls up into the spine really well, the lining is really wicking, and I like the reinforced area at the leg. Plus the white with navy trim option is pretty, and it’s a proper navy, not too bright. I’ve been going back and forth between this one and an Ecogold pad for him but I think this one is gonna win in the end since it’s considerably cheaper.
The last thing to make my list is the new Deluxe version of the Quick Knot braiding clips.
Y’all know I love my original Quick Knots, so I’m keen to see what the 2.0 version is like. Granted, I still have like half a pack left from the ones I bought a few years ago, so I don’t have a need for more anytime soon. Someone else try them out and tell me how they compare.
What’s making your wishlist lately? Any other new stuff I “need” to see?
I haven’t done too many updates on the house since I first moved in, mostly because there hasn’t been much to say. We ordered a sofa in November that JUST CAME a couple weeks ago, and I had kind of held off on putting together everything else in the living room or decorating the rest of the house. I wanted to see how the sofa looked first, since I’m terrible at envisioning how things will look in my head.
But now we have a sofa, AND a table, AND a rug, AND a TV, so like… things are getting pretty serious. We also finally put something up on the wall – two little shelves above the couch. We still have plenty left to do and more stuff to put on the walls, but I haven’t gotten that far yet. Still though, I haven’t done a walkthrough video tour since it was first delivered, so I figured I’d show y’all how it’s looking now that it’s got stuff in it and has been lived in for a while.
Honestly, I love it. Definitely a lifestyle change but having less space to keep clean or heat or cool or accumulate junk has been really nice.
I think we can all agree that I owed Henry some jompies, yes? It’s been a long time since he did any jumper classes, and I think I royally pissed him off a couple weeks ago when I took him to an event, made him do dressage, and then scratched the actual fun parts. I swear he’s been a little peeved at me ever since.
I typically don’t do much with him in the summer since he doesn’t handle the heat very well, but so far we’ve had a fairly mild summer (for us – it’s only been in the 90’s) so I thought we could get away with doing a couple jumper classes at a show nearby. I entered the 3’3″ but said that if there weren’t any other 3’3″ entries to just throw us in the 3′ instead. I always feel bad when I’m the only one in the division and people are having to stay longer and set jumps for me. And since we were really only doing this for fun, it didn’t matter what the height was. Also, uh… I literally can’t remember the last time we were able to jump a full course. It’s been months.
I had a cold last week, and Saturday of course dawned hot and humid, so I admit that I waivered a bit all morning and didn’t really want to go. But 1) I also knew that this was probably my last chance to do any shows with Henry for the summer, 2) Hillary was bringing Lex the Wonder Hony and I didn’t want to abandon her. I got dressed, chugged some water, and tossed the horse in the trailer.
We rolled into the show just before noon, and they were running a little behind schedule. Hillary got there, we went and got our numbers, and then she brought Lex over to my trailer to wait. I had brought a Yeti full of ice water to sponge Henry with, and he spent his waiting time munching his hay, sloshing his bucket, and falling in love with Lex in between his cold sponge baths. Tough life. Also at this point I think Lex gathers new members of his fan club every time he goes anywhere, and both horses and humans are equally susceptible to his charms. Henry decided they’re BFF’s (whether Lex wanted to be BFF’s with him or not is irrelevant).
Our classes finally rolled around, so we got on, did the briefest warmup in the history of warmups, and retreated to the shade of a tree to wait.
I have to admit that I went in the ring for the first class thinking “these look really big for 3’…”. But the fun thing about having had Henry for so long and knowing him so well is that it doesn’t really matter. As soon as he walked in the ring he knew what was up and started jigging while he waited for the whistle. He’s no fool, he knows what we go to this place for and he was HERE FOR IT. Finally, something fun. He basically told me to buckle up, because he was doing the jompies with or without my help.
I definitely felt a bit rusty but Henry perked his little ears and was game on and pretty rideable really. We did the timed 1st jumpoff first, having one rail (which I didn’t really mind because who wants to do the jumpoff anyway, that’s 6 more jumps to deal with) and then power and speed, where we also had one rail. He is nothing if not consistent, and his time away from the colored sticks certainly hasn’t made him any more careful, bless him. That’s fine by me though, we put in two decent-ish courses, had a good time, and Henry came away feeling very proud of himself. For instant happiness, just give Henry some jumps. What he lacks in athleticism he makes up for with enthusiasm.
He’s been strutting around the farm since Saturday like he is the second coming of Gem Twist or something, and who I am to burst his bubble?
Have you ever seen a grulla foal go through it’s foal shed? It’s not cute. It’s a very mangey-looking molting process because they’re so much darker underneath in that first shed.
It’s also H-O-T out in west Texas already, with days getting at or near triple digits. These thick dense foal coats are not exactly the best thing to be wearing in that kind of weather, and while they will eventually shed out all the way, it’ll be another month or so at least. Teddy and Patrick both had particularly thick and wiry coats and were getting pretty darn hot during the day.
So given all that, this week was baby horse haircut week at WTW! Now, these aren’t the most polished, show-ready haircuts. I mean… they’re baby horses getting body-clipped in a limited amount of time, there’s a point where you just declare it “good enough”. The main goal is to get all that thick hair off so they can stay cooler.
The first one to go under the clippers was Teddy, and she is now a completely different color than she started from.
Her most ticklish and hard to reach spots remain unclipped, but they’ll shed out eventually and she’ll be all one color again. She’s definitely not getting nearly as hot as she was, so mission accomplished.
The next one on the docket was Patrick, who had a coat so dense that he killed the clipper blades and more had to be ordered. But hey, look how GRAY he already is underneath. It’s another magical color-changing foal, this one from dark to light.
All of his ticklish spots will get finished eventually but he deserved a break. Patticakes seems appreciative of the haircut too, he says it’s way better for all the fun activities he has planned throughout his days.
Pippa got a little bit of a haircut too – her coat wasn’t quite so dense and she doesn’t seem to get as hot, so she just got her neck done for now (or as I like to call it, a mullet). Her color is exactly the same underneath, being a regular dark bay. She seems pleased with her style though.
Obi will be the next one up… he’s the most sensitive of the bunch so he kind of got saved for the end. He’s a pudgy little chonker though so I think a haircut would greatly benefit him in this heat as well. It’s definitely not gonna get any cooler for quite a while!
We’ll have to see if he looks any darker underneath too, or if he stays that super reddish bay. It’s kinda fun, stripping all that hair off.
Hope you guys are staying cool out there too. Happy Friday!
Today we find ourselves about a week away from Presto’s first Young Event Horse class (knock on wood, because horses) so I figured now was as good a time as any to talk about the things I actually like about the program and the classes. I’ve rarely been hesitant to share criticisms or complaints about either the FEH (Future Event Horse) or YEH programs and my experiences with them, but I’m willing to admit that I’ve probably been a bit slower with praise. There are definitely things that I don’t like still, for sure, mostly centered around the extremely subjective nature of it or the schedule/availability. But, ya know, let’s maybe go a little deeper into it than that and look at the real meat of the classes and what they’re offering.
First and foremost, I was lucky enough to learn a ton about YEH and how it’s judged long before I ever had a horse of the age to participate. I’ve participated in two YEH judging seminars (they’re not just for judges!) and two FEH judging seminars and spent multiple days looking at horses, sitting with judges, and having detailed discussions about what they’re looking for and how they should score. Is there anything more satisfying than doing a mock-judging exercise at YEH Championships and having most of your scores come within .2 of Marilyn Payne’s? I think not. Highly recommend those seminars to anyone, even just for the benefit of honing your eye.
So, what are the benefits of YEH really? The most obvious one is experience. It’s cheaper than a full blown recognized horse trial, and in a more condensed format (the jumping phase is 5 showjumping fences followed immediately by 10 cross country fences, more like a derby format), so it’s a quicker and easier day. Often these classes are a lot smaller and held either on their own day or the day before a horse trial, so the atmosphere is considerably smaller and less busy, and more laid-back. It’s a great way to get some easy miles on a young one without all the to-do of a full blown event.
The particular rules of the classes are really geared toward fairness to young horses too – like for instance the fact that you’re allowed and even encouraged to school the water before your horse’s round, or let the horse look at/sniff the fences. The classes are meant to be confidence-building, so they allow the horses to take a little bit of a peek at things beforehand. You can also see the attempt at building confidence in the basic YEH specs:
The obstacles should be straight forward, inviting, and age-appropriate for the youngsters. If possible, the last fence should encourage a horse to gallop and jump out of stride (an ascending fence with a round profile, a good ground line, and preferably with brush).
The jump specs and speeds are smaller/slower earlier in the year, and then go up a bit in the later part of the year, building up to Championships.
Also something that a lot of people don’t realize is that the dressage test isn’t REALLY a dressage test. Not as we know it anyway – the scoring is completely different. Take a look at the scoresheet.
Notice something missing? Like… all the movements, for instance? Yes, they do perform an actual dressage test, it’s not just a rail class, but the test isn’t scored per movement. They aren’t looking for picture perfect geometry, on-the-letter transitions, etc. They’re looking for brilliance. Quite literally they are looking for the best moments of walk, trot, and canter that the horse shows them during the test, and scoring that. Sure, you want the horse to be obedient and consistent in the bridle and responsive to the aids, but those things show up down there as part of the rideability score. Remember after all that the YEH classes are looking for talent, so they’re judging the quality of the horse based on what was shown to them during the dressage test, they aren’t judging the test itself. I think it’s a little bit easier for young horses to shine in this format, where little green mistakes are forgiven, or at least weighed less heavily, and the rider can really RIDE and show off the horse without worrying so much about blowing a movement.
The jumping phases are judged more like a typical dressage test really, in that they get a score per jumping effort and then some overall collectives:
In some ways I like this and in other ways I don’t, there are pros and cons, but I do think it’s the most fair and consistent way that they’ve come up with so far (it’s changed in the past few years). Granted, it is still judged by a human being, and even the best judges have their biases and preferences, so one person’s 3 could be another person’s 5 and vice versa. They do, overall, like to see a really confident, bold horse that is quick and clever and careful with it’s feet, jumping out of stride and always forward-thinking.
What it really comes down to is whether the individual horse is ready for classes like this. Some are, some aren’t, and that’s okay. What I like is that there are plenty of options among all the different USEA programs. Keep in mind, the YEH classes are geared more towards pros being that the entire goal of the program is to find potential future upper level horses – there is another program, the New Event Horse or NEH, that is geared more toward the “every man”, for horses that are new to eventing. Those classes are looking for genuine, rideable, safe horses that are suitable for an amateur or junior at Prelim and below. But for a fairly talented young horse with a good rider that has been in a semi-consistent program, the specs of YEH are well within reach.
Four-year-olds should be competent at the Novice level. Early in the season, we encourage organizers to provide very inviting courses that are closer to Beginner Novice. By the end of the year, courses should be comparable to a strong Novice event, and include a few Training level obstacles. The YEH Championship will have up to four Training level fences for the 4-year-olds, and the 5-year-olds will have up to four Preliminary level fences.
If you have a 4yo that just isn’t physically or mentally ready for that, aside from the NEH program there’s also the option of doing the 4yo FEH class instead. The FEH only does w/t/c under saddle (which is run as a rail class, not a dressage test) and then conformation, and at championships they freejump in the chute. So really, there are a lot of options for green horses between the 3 programs if you care to utilize them, depending on what type of horse you’ve got and where they’re at in their development.
The most common thing I see is people criticizing the fence heights of the YEH program, but I think we also have to understand the aim of the program and that YEH is really for the potential upper level youngsters that are with pros… ones who find Training and below to be a complete breeze, are being ridden well, and certainly aren’t challenged by those heights. If the horse isn’t that, or just isn’t there yet in it’s training, one of the other options is probably more suitable, but there are also plenty of horses for whom YEH is perfectly suitable as well… something that’s already been proven a bit by YEH horses that have gone on to future upper level careers.
If I was riding Presto and he’d been at home rather than away at training for 4 months with a pro in the irons, there’s a 0% chance he’d be trying his hoof at any YEH this year. I’m not that rider. A NEH class, sure, a 4yo FEH, maybe, but I know my limits and they stop before YEH. I wouldn’t have been able to produce him in a way that meant he was ready for that yet. Of course, I’m not the one riding Presto at the moment and he has been away at training with a pro, plus he’s got a BN horse trial and a Novice horse trial under his girth already. I’ve seen him, with my own eyeballs, pop over his first couple Training XC fences so nonchalantly that it looked like he was out for his usual afternoon stroll. So, do I think he can tackle a YEH class? You bet. Do I think he could score well? Meh, it depends entirely on the day and what the judge in question sees.
The tricky part about Presto is that he is nonchalant about everything and rarely impressed by anything, which I think will make it hard to give him great scores. Plus he’s just now learning how to gallop properly, it’s not quite there yet. Really I think it’s hard to tell exactly how much ability is in there, at this point, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a judge feels the same. Plus, like… uh… I didn’t breed him to be an top level professional’s horse, so… no skin off my back if they don’t think he’s up to that standard lol. He deserves a shot at it though, I think, and I certainly feel like the class is easily within his ability and training at the moment. Most importantly though, even if he scores abysmally he’ll get to go back to the barn with one more experience under his girth and he will have had a chance to see the dressage rings and the water before the full horse trial on the weekend (which he’s also doing). It’s a win-win to me, no matter what, and that’s where I think the YEH classes have a lot of value.
I managed to sell a lot of stuff last week just listing things on my Instagram stories (because it’s easy and I’m lazy) but I still have more leftover that I really need to sell. Both to get it out of my t!ny h0use and because I need to replace the breeches with new ones. I can take PayPal or Venmo and shipping is about $7-10 depending on the item(s)… although obviously more for the saddle.
Kastel long sleeve sunshirt, medium, teal. This is one of the ones I dyed and it’s really pretty but I just legit never wear this bright teal, it’s not really my thing. SOLD
Dover sunshirt, very pale pink and white, size Medium. Has a very handy pocket on the lower back that’s convenient for trail riding. $20
My most favorite pair of breeches EVER, green Horze Grand Prix knee patch size 30. I haven’t had these for very long so they’re in great shape, and this color is pretty much sold out everywhere (so, um, if anyone finds them at a US shop in a size 28 please send them to me, I can’t find any and I’m extremely sad about it). – $70
Horze Grand Prix knee patch, chocolate brown size 30. A little more wear than the green pair but still in really good shape. $65
Cavallino Marino Venezia Eva white knee patch breeches with some silver piping around the pockets. German size 42 which is a US 30. Nice stretchy tech fabric. New with tags. $70
Hy Equestrian Roka Rose show jacket purchased from the UK, navy with rose gold and navy gems on the collar and pockets, size Large (measures 20” across the bust), New with tags. Material is pretty stretchy. Has a zipper and 4 buttons. $150
Black Doda hind ankle boots. Someone traded me something for these forever ago and I never actually used them myself. Used but good condition. $70
And last but not least… my dressage saddle needs to find a new home. It won’t fit Presto and let’s face it Henry is done doing any kind of “real” dressage, so I’d rather use the money from it’s sale to go toward finding one for Presto. It’s a Devoucoux Loreak size 18, on their normal tree (so fits like MW) with D3D pro panels. It’s in really good shape and is a gorgeous saddle. Comes with the Devoucoux cover. I’m happy to do local trials (near central TX, or I’ll be in the Atlanta GA area in a week), but I’m not really set up to be shipping it back and forth for people to try. Happy to send whatever pics or videos you may need. $2000
It was a very small field at Luhmuhlen this year, with only 24 starters and 15 finishers. At first I was like meh why even bother doing anything pedigree-related for this field, but then I thought… maybe this actually gives us a unique opportunity. With only 15 finishers we can do a bit of a deep dive into each one, plus I feel like we got a pretty good variety within those 15. A small group, for sure, but still very representative of what is typical at 5* these days. Plus, ya know, the winner is by the same sire as Bobby’s new dressage horse so I would be remiss not to mention that, right? Family connections and all.
Instead of the usual format of averages and worthwhile mentions, lets just do a quick summary of each of the finishers, shall we? This is the kind of information I normally compile anyway, I just toss it into a spreadsheet and summarize it all for these posts, and this time I won’t have to.
Charly van ter Heiden – his sire Contendro’s Bube was shown in dressage and used largely as a dressage sire, but obviously he’s by the jumper stallion Contendro, also one of the most successful eventing sires of all time. Seeing Contendro in a 5* field is pretty much a given by now and Luhmuhlen was no different. What is a bit different about this particular Luhmuhlen winner is that he has a very low blood percentage for an eventer – 24% – which you could see a bit by the end of the cross country course. Clearly not lacking heart though, and still an excellent jumper on the final day. His dam, by Escudo II, also produced a couple showjumpers (one went through 1.45m) and a dressage horse, so clearly there’s some versatility in this family. Charly also competed in young horse classes earlier in his career.
Carjatan S – another horse who’s breeding is very typical of what we see a lot at the upper levels, by a Holsteiner showjumping sire on a high blood mare. His sire Clearway jumped through 1.55m level and has been an extremely successful breeding stallion. Carjatan’s dam is by the thoroughbred stallion Galant Vert xx, which contributes greatly to his overall blood percentage of 60%.
Leamore Master Plan – who says you can’t breed event horses? This one was born for the sport, through and through. His sire is the legendary Irish thoroughbred stallion Master Imp xx, and his dam is by the equally legendary Holsteiner stallion Cavalier Royale – both of whom have produced an absolute legion of successful top level eventers. Leamore Master Plan has even more TB blood on the bottom of his pedigree thanks to Golden Bash xx, making up his 80% blood.
Troubadour Camphoux – there are two generalizations about the horses ridden by Frenchmen that are almost always true in eventing: 1) the horse they’re sat on was most likely also born and bred in France, 2) it’s probably got some blood close up in the pedigree, usually French Anglo Arab. This horse ticks both boxes. His sire Idem de B’Neville is a Selle Francais who showjumped through the 1.60m level. His dam is a French Anglo Arab (by Veganum X) who also produced a 1.40m showjumper. The model of SF stallion crossed on a high blood mare is pretty classic of the French event horses, probably because it works. All of the blood in his pedigree – 62% – combined with the jumping ability serves him in good stead for eventing.
fischerWild Wave – from a typical French model we move straight to a typical German model, with a horse by a thoroughbred stallion out of a jumper-bred Holsteiner mare (spoiler alert, you will probably be very tired of the TB + Holsteiner thing by the end of this post). Wild Wave’s sire is Water Dance xx, who actually competed through 1.45m level showjumping in addition to dabbling in eventing and dressage. He’s from the Sadler’s Wells and Blushing Groom lines, which are probably quite familiar to any TB fans. Wild Wave’s dam Uquina (by Acrobat II) showjumped through the 1.40m level herself before becoming a broodmare. fischerWild Wave comes in at 64% blood. He also competed in young horse classes earlier in his career (and went to the world championships for young event horses at Mondial du Lion).
Gortfadda Diamond – this one is an Irish horse, which is far from rare in eventing, but he’s a bit atypical in that he’s actually a real IRISH horse, with zero continental warmblood breeding to be found. He’s mostly TB (78%) with a traditional Irish Sport Horse sire line of successful showjumpers. His sire Watervalley Cool Diamond showjumped to 1.30m level, and his sire Coolcorron Cool Diamond showjumped to 1.60m level. Gortfadda Diamond’s dam was a full TB from familiar sport lines such as Arctic Tern xx and Strong Gale xx. He also competed in young horse classes earlier in his career.
Ricker Ridge Rui – You guys are never gonna guess how this one is bred. Add another one to the list of horses with a Holsteiner sire out of a high TB blood mare, although this one is a New Zealand-bred. Ricker Ridge Rui’s sire is the Holsteiner stallion Littorio sire of successful showjumpers and eventers who spent much of his breeding career based in New Zealand (where Rui was bred). The dam is by another NZ based jumper-bred stallion Corlando, out of a full TB mare, giving Ricker Ridge Rui a blood percentage of 66%.
Vegas des Boursons – Another shocker here: it’s a French-bred horse that’s by a Selle Francais stallion out of a high blood mare. Vegas is by the showjumping stallion Allegreto, who competed through the 1.60m level. His dam, Clio des Boursons, is by the thoroughbred stallion Tin Soldier xx out of a Selle Francais mare. Vegas has 67% blood. Vegas des Boursons also did compete in young horse classes earlier in his career (and went to the world championships for young event horses at Mondial du Lion).
LEB Lias Jewel – Am I the only one who loved seeing Cathal Daniels on another quick-footed little mare? He clearly has a type. This horse is an Irish-bred by the Holsteiner stallion Limmerick, who should be pretty familiar to anyone who follows sport breeding, as he’s sired a ridiculous number of top level showjumpers and eventers in Ireland. Lias Jewel’s dam is an Irish Sport Horse from traditional Irish lines on top, with the TB stallion Imperius xx (sire of aforementioned Master Imp xx) appearing on the bottom. The very bottom of this horse’s pedigree isn’t recorded, so best guess is that she’s got at least 43% TB blood, likely more. Lias Jewel’s dam has also produced one other FEI level event horse, a 7 year old that’s currently competed through 2*L. LEB Lias Jewel also did compete in young horses classes earlier in her career.
Carneyhaugh Rua – Yet another Irish-bred horse, this one by a Selle Francais stallion out of high blood Holsteiner x TB mare, giving him a blood percentage of at least 57%. His sire Harlequin du Carel has been a fantastic and popular sire of showjumpers and event horses in Ireland through the highest level. His dam is by Cavalier Royale, who we’ve already talked about, out of a mare who is at least 3/4 TB (the very bottom of her pedigree is unrecorded). The dam has also produced another FEI level event horse who is currently competing at the 3* level. Carneyhaugh Rua also did compete in young horse classes earlier in his career.
Commander VG – This one’s a little bit more unusual in that he’s Danish-bred… don’t see too many of those. Really though he has a lot of (surprise) Holsteiner blood. His sire Come Back II is another stallion that was bred to showjump but ended up in the dressage ring, showing through Grand Prix level. His dam is by Abantos out of a Flemmingh mare, giving him a lot of jumper-bred-but-good-at-dressage horses in his pedigree, and he still manages to have 58% blood. Commander VG also did compete in young horse classes earlier in his career (and went to the world championships for young event horses at Mondial du Lion).
Shannondale Quest – hope y’all aren’t tired of Irish-bred horses with a lot of Holsteiner yet. This one is by 1.60m showjumper Cascaletto (Cassini x Caletto) out of a Clover Hill mare with good bit of Thoroughbred, giving Shannondale Quest 52% blood. His dam has also produced a 1.60m showjumper and another FEI level eventer (2*).
Barnahown Corn Hill – This one has one of those extremely incomplete Irish pedigrees that makes me totally twitchy. We know that Barnahown Corn Hill is by a TB stallion, Chinook Eclipse xx (who has a decidedly American pedigree), and out of a mare named Mats Lady, but unfortunately her breeding is completely unrecorded. So the horse has at least 50% blood, likely more but who knows, and your guess is as good as mine on the mare. Barnahown Corn Hill did compete in young horse classes earlier in his career (and went to the world championships for young event horses at Mondial du Lion).
Shanaclough Contadora – I’m out of unique ways to say this… look, it’s another Irish-bred horse with a lot of Holsteiner. This one is by 1.35m showjumper Contador (another Cassini son) out of an Irish Sporthorse mare by Coevers Diamond Boy, but still clocks in at 54% blood. Shanaclough Contadora did compete in young horse classes earlier in her career (and went to the world championships for young event horses at Mondial du Lion).
Burry Spirit – Last but not least, the lone Dutch-bred entry, but guess what that pedigree really contains? If you didn’t say Holsteiner I’m not sure you’ve been paying any attention at all. Indeed this horse is by the Holsteiner showjumper stallion Casco, who competed to 1.60m level, and out of 1.30m showjumper mare by the Holsteiner stallion Indoctro. His dam has also produced 5 other horses with showjumping results in the database, with two at 1.40m and one at 1.50m. Burry Spirit has only 39% thoroughbred blood.
All in all it was a pretty typical field for a 5*, as far as breeding goes, with a lot of the same lines and same trends that we’re used to seeing at that level. Hopefully you guys liked the slightly deeper dive/more detail on all the horses so you can kind of see why I say or point out the things that I do on these posts. Let me know what you think!
With all the horse show recap stuff last week it’s been a while since I updated on any of the general goings-on around here. There’s no particularly big news but there are a few fun things in the works, like…
I got my Maryland 5* tickets! Whether Presto ends up there for YEH Championships or not, I still really do not want to miss the inaugural 5* at Fair Hill. It’s so exciting to have another American 5* on offer, and I get the feeling that it might draw a pretty good field this year. All the updates they’ve been posting on facebook look pretty good, and naturally I’m really looking forward to all the vendors. After all the cancelled plans and not getting to go to Kentucky for the past two years, I’m itching to get back to a big horsey event. From the way tickets were selling (I got mine 30 minutes after they opened sales and most of the cheap seats were already gone!) I think everyone else feels the same way. Plus a friend of mine already secured a rental house that’s just a few miles away from the show grounds, so that works out extra perfectly. It feels great to have another horse trip booked again, even if it’s not quite the Ireland funfest we were originally working on pre-covid.
Speaking of horse trips, Presto’s Chatt entries are officially in. He’ll be trying his hoof at his first YEH classes there, which I had to send pics of his papers to prove his age (although he has his age recorded with USEF and USEA already? whatever.).
It’s shaping up to be a pretty good sized YEH4 class at Chatt though, which is exciting. It’s always good to see these programs thrive and gain some popularity, and now that we’re getting a little later in the year more 4yo’s are starting to show up. Which is good, because as of right now only 18 horses are qualified for East Coast 4yo YEH Champs. Of course, the bummer about waiting until the second half of the year to do a qualifiers is that the heights and technicality increase a bit, but I don’t foresee Presto having any real problem with it (knock on wood of course, because baby horse). Megan has been preparing him for that and he’s shown zero issue with anything that’s been tossed at him. Chatt does have a lot of atmosphere though and things there always ride/look big, so I think it’ll be a good test. The YEH classes happen on Friday before the horse trials start, and he’s doing both, so if nothing else the YEH class will at least serve to let him see a few things in advance, like the dressage rings and the water jump. More bang for your buck as far as miles go with a baby horse!
Originally I was going to fly into Atlanta and stay with my brother (who conveniently lives about 20-30mins away) for Chatt, but now Hillary decided to take the WonderHony so I’m going to drive there and back with her so she’s not hauling alone. I cancelled my flight and will just use the credit toward getting to Fair Hill in the fall. I can still stay at my brother’s house and use his WiFi for work and his truck to get around, so again that all fell into place really well. I’m looking forward to a bit of a groom-cation and a change of scenery, plus it’s been a couple years since I’ve seen my brother.
Other than all the trip planning I did have some fun new stuff arrive too. First and foremost, our couch for the tiny house, which we ordered EIGHT MONTHS AGO, was finally delivered last week.
I do really like it, the color is exactly what I wanted (its a little darker than the pic shows) and I think it looks really good. I’m already kind of regretting the black pillows though, they’re a velvety fabric so legit everything sticks to them. I’m looking at dog hair and hay on them as we speak. I have a feeling the pillows might end up elsewhere, or with new covers. But now that we’ve FINALLY got the last real piece of furniture, I feel like I can actually start putting up some decor and shit now too. I literally haven’t put a single thing up on the walls yet to this point, but I did order some shelves yesterday so I can get rolling on putting those up above the couch. Then I probably need to put something on the wall in the bedroom. After that though I think she’ll pretty much be complete! Slowest move-in ever.
I also got my summer reading books that I talked about a couple weeks ago, all primed and ready to go. I already skimmed through Ride Big a little bit and it looks promising. I think the Jimmy Wofford book will make the trip with me to Chatt, seems apropos.
I also caved and got the giant Kong Equine that’s been advertised all over the place the past few months.
I’ve really wanted it from the first time I saw it, but I was also like “ain’t no way in hell I’m paying that much money for a horse toy”. And then I had to kind of laugh at myself because between the giant Jolly Balls, hanging treat balls, lik-its, and various other things, I don’t really even want to know what I’ve spent on horse toys in the past year alone. I think I’ve bought at least 10 balls and another 10 hanging treats, if I was guessing, so… don’t do the math. Either way, I’m the last person that should be scoffing at what is at least an indestructible toy/treat thingy that you reuse over and over over. In the end I caved and found a coupon code and ponied up, trying not to feel too ridiculous. I’ll do a full review of it after Presto has it for a couple weeks at Chatt, but I did give it to Henry one day to test it out and indeed it kept him occupied for quite a while. So far I’m kind of obsessed with it, and I think I’ll get my money’s worth out of it so… I really have no regrets. Make fun of me if you must.
Otherwise life around here has been pretty much business as usual. We did switch the horses over to nighttime turnout finally, because the days are just getting way too hot. We also rotated them to a different pasture which has been resting since the fall, so they’ve got lots of good grass at the moment, plus that pasture borders my house. I’ve got ponies out every window again.
This schedule works out really nicely. The horses get a little more time outside, and since they’re inside all day we clean stalls in the evening, freeing up my mornings for riding. I can do my spin class, feed, ride Henry, and still be back inside in time for my first meeting of the day. I have zero complaints.
I do have Henry signed up for a couple jumper classes at a local show this weekend, so we’ll see how that goes/if it actually comes to fruition (since nothing really has with him lately). Then next week we leave for Chatt already, and Henry will get a couple weeks vacation while I’m gone. Time is passing quickly, even when it feels like not much is happening.
I think we’re well past due for a Percy update! And instead of just showing you pictures and telling you how he is, I figured we’d let him show you for himself in his own little video.
As you can see he’s doing great, looking loads better, and is super super sweet. It looks like he’ll be just fine.
This week has been super busy at WTW with mares getting bred (it’s pretty much the end of the season for us) and foals getting body clipped (100 degrees is no fun when you’re covered in a thick foal coat) so hopefully next week we’ll have lots more updates and some sleek looking, magical color-changing foals!
I’ve always had pretty good luck with ordering things from overseas, at least when it comes to fit. Saddles, breeches, bridles, coats, shirts, boots… you name it, I’ve probably taken a blind leap of faith. My success rate is probably because I’m really annoying, and if I don’t trust a size chart I’ll email and ask, and/or do some deep dive googling. I did the same thing for this last batch of stuff too, especially the pretty blingy coat that I’m so obsessed with.
The size chart seemed a little wonky so I messaged the shop that had them and asked how the sizing ran. I gave them my measurements and asked which size they’d recommend, since the size chart put me in between sizes. She said that they run small and I should size up, but I was still kind of waffling on it so ultimately I decided to order both sizes and just sell whichever one didn’t fit.
Well, joke’s on me because neither of them fit. I’m not sure why one would recommend sizing up, because IMO they run big. Like bigger than the Motionlites, which are very “American” sizing in a world where most stuff is smaller European sizing. Even the medium coat was super baggy. I laid it out and measured it across the bust and it was 19″… REALLY big for a medium in any kind of equestrian clothing. My bust measurement is 35.5″, so… yeah, 38″ is a no. In the shirts (which had a different size chart?) I had ordered a small and a medium. The medium was definitely big, but the small sort of fit. The body was about right, but the arms were quite tight (maybe I should stop lifting weights lol). Honestly I struck out with all 4 pieces, despite thinking I was so smart for ordering two size options of each. Total fail.
I had also ordered a shirt and a pair of breeches from Germany, and the shirt fits great (and I LOVE IT) but the breeches are too big in the waist. Being in between sizes is getting really annoying. I was hoping a true European brand might fit a bit smaller but no.
One other thing did fit, and that’s the set of boots that I ordered for Henry. I tossed them in the cart on a whim because I really wanted some navy everyday brushing boots, and these Weatherbeeta ones were only $25 a pair.
Their size chart was also a little weird, and the internet said the straps run long, so I ordered a pair of cob size for the front and full size for the rear. The straps are a little long but they fit well otherwise, and so far so good. They’re actually pretty nice little lightweight brushing boots and I love the color. We’ll see how long they last.
The downside of buying things from overseas is that returns aren’t really feasible, so now I find myself with yet more clothes to sell. The medium coat got scooped up fast but I still have the large (it’s 20″ across the bust) that I’d sell for $160 USD and the medium shirt (18.5″ across the bust) for $45 USD.
Plus the breeches (white with silver piping, knee patch, size 30) which I’ll sell for $75.
I also have some other show shirts to sell, all around a 37″ish bust size, but I still need to go through and make a list. If you might be interested let me know. Oh and a couple pairs of Kerrit’s Icefil tights in size Large, navy and black.
In the meantime, if y’all see any good deals (new or secondhand) on Horze Grand Prix or RJ Classics Gulf breeches in size 28, send them my way please! I also like Montar, size 40. I’ve been strongly considering trying the Struck, since they have in-between sizes (I wish more breech manufacturers would do this, like jeans sizing), but they’re really expensive. Like… really expensive.
Oh yeah, also I have my dressage saddle for sale too – an 18″ Devoucoux Loreak. I have not yet summoned the energy to list it anywhere but my personal facebook page, but… I really do need to get on that.
I really hate selling shit, buying it is more fun. Well… usually, anyway.