Sorry about the conspicuous absence of a Foal Friday post last week. Believe it or not sometimes Michelle has “other things to do” and “personal life commitments” that don’t always allow her to spend time taking and uploading foal photos every week. I know, I know, sounds like fake news to me too but I can only repeat what I’m told. We’ll have a good one for you this week to make up for it though, so… hopefully it’s forgiven?
It’s been hot AF down here for the most part anyway, we’re officially in summer’s armpit. We did get a little bit of rain one day last week, and that broke the heat cycle even if only briefly, so it’s not as bad as it could have been. There’ve been a couple of real Texas Summer days though, which mostly just reminded me of how much it really sucks when the air is so hot and humid it punches you in the face when you walk outside. Not a fan. It’s also the worst for Henry, who, on days like that, needs to be hosed off several times throughout the day. He’s pretty pro about it by now though, you don’t even need a halter and leadrope, he takes himself over the hose.
The only saving grace is that the mornings, while 100% humidity every friggin day, have been fairly cool. The humidity is workable when it’s only mid-70’s, I just have to be on Henry as early as I can. I’m a big fan of morning rides anyway, it’s my favorite time of day. The world is a little quieter and calmer and the sun feels benevolent instead of ruthless. Once it’s fully up, it’s just brutal. Plus like, there’s really no better way to kick off the day than on a good horse, am I right?
My weekend afternoons were completely consumed with Millstreet coverage. Once again another year has passed without us being able to attend (it was our planned trip for 2020 – ha. ha. hahaha. boooo.) but I’m really hoping that next year it’ll be possible. They’ve got FEI divisions up to 4*L, including ponies, plus young horse stuff. It’s like, all of our favorite things rolled into one. Plus the whole Ireland part… we’ve yet to peruse the stallions and young stock of Ireland in person, and it’s a definitely must-do thing on the list (along with finding me a dun Fusion filly).
One big thing I noticed though while watching the Millstreet coverage – and maybe this is because I spent last weekend watching Great Meadow thus it was still fresh on my mind – is just how different the commentary is between the live streams. These Irish guys knew the bloodlines of almost every single horse, mentioned the breeder, siblings of the horse, other horses the breeder had produced, the sires, the dams, etc. Like – extensively. They even went off a couple times on tangents about underused stallions, the impact that ICSI has had on genetic diversity, etc. Compared to the Great Meadow livestream where they only mentioned the sire of a few of the horses, had some blatantly wrong observations, and otherwise discussed things like colors or size or personal stories about the rider/owner…. the difference was stark. The Irish are horsemen, they know their stock, they know where and who they come from and how they’re made. It’s no wonder they’re so much better at it than we are. It once again left me with the distinct impression that we really have to step it up in a lot of regards.
BTW they had the livestream of Millstreet on their facebook page so you can still go back and watch the various divisions if you want. Highly recommend, it’s good stuff.
Speaking of livestreams, this week is going to be a busy one. We’ve got AECs starting tomorrow, streaming on the USEA website, and then Bicton 5* starting Friday, streaming on H&C. I’m pretty excited to see how Bicton goes, the course looks legit and there are a lot of good horses entered. And naturally I’m excited about AEC to be able to watch some of my friends go, as well as the Mighty Magic in the Advanced (Miks Master C) and Megan’s two horses in the Intermediate and Prelim.
Otherwise I was pretty busy around the farm last week, since the BO’s were off at Festival of Champions watching their super young horse show under Michelle Gibson. She ended up 2nd in the 6yo final, pretty exciting! They picked her out as a foal so I know how proud and rewarding that has to feel.
When they’re gone all the barn work falls to me, which I don’t mind at all. Taking care of the horses has never felt like much of a chore (okay, except for Blizzard Week where I hated everything. We try not to speak of that week). Plus, like, I averaged 12-14k steps every day last week… not bad. I wish there was a good way to tell how many gallons of sweat that amounted to.
Hope you guys had a good weekend and anyone in the path of Hurricane Ida is doing ok. And if you’re headed to AEC’s – best of luck!