The Ultimate White Breeches Guide

Welp, I think its safe to say that when I originally had the idea for this post, I didn’t quite realize what I was getting myself into. Originally this was just gonna be me trying on and reviewing maybe 5 different pairs of white breeches. It morphed into 9 pairs of breeches and 3 people that are the same size but wildly different body types. I think this is way more helpful than the original idea would have been, but whew… coordinating this and gathering and creating all the media was a lot more effort than I anticipated. It was very educational and enlightening for me though, so hopefully y’all will get something out of our efforts too.

So, before we launch into it, here’s my standard preamble. First and foremost, we really wanted to be as “real” about this as possible, so we shot all the footage outside in natural light at mid-day. The least flattering but most realistic lighting. Hillary and I were able to do ours on a nice sunny day, but trying to coordinate schedules with our friend and 3rd “model” Stacey was tougher, so we had no choice but to do hers on an overcast yucky day. The benefit of this is that you get to see them in different light, I suppose?

Also, full disclosure – I made full try-on and review videos for each of these, which is what the pics are from, but those videos are only available on my Patreon. I put the same amount of written detail here, as well as the photos so that you can still get all the info and a visual, but the best media is over there. It took me many many hours and a lot of effort to put all that footage together, so… hopefully you understand why I made that choice.

me somewhere around hour 6 of editing

To start with, our models for this particular endeavor. Since all the breeches we had to use were around the same size, we obviously had to get 3 people that all wear about the same size. This ended up being:

  • me (Amanda) – 5’6″, extremely average build and proportions. Usually size 28R.
  • Hillary – 5’4″, hourglass shape with a small waist, bigger booty, and shorter legs. Usually 28S or R.
  • Stacey – 5’10” with a straight shape and long legs. Usually 28L.

To add some extra challenge I wore black lace underwear and Hillary wore hot pink – had to very thoroughly test out just how see-through they were! I personally thought it was VERY interesting seeing how the different breeches fit such wildly different people. We also all have different preferences and priorities in pants, of course. Never realized how much we all seem to care about pockets on whites, though. We were unified in that cause. It’s the ONE TIME girls don’t want bigger pockets.

can we do this ONLY to white breeches?

Next order of business – the breeches themselves. Some of these are our own personal breeches, others were sent to us on loan to use for this guide by my friend Megan at Luxe EQ and Susan at Somerset Equestrian Trading. I warned them that we would be honest, and we were. Sometimes brutally. The list of brands and models is:

  • Dada Sport Kit breeches
  • Vestrum Syracuse breeches
  • Struck 50 Series White 2.0 breeches
  • For Horses Remie breeches
  • B Vertigo Lauren breeches
  • Espoir Inspire breeches
  • Romfh Sarafina breeches
  • Tredstep Nero II breeches
  • Esprit Equestrian breech tights 

It’s a pretty wide range of styles, features, and price points ($79 through $370), and we tried to do a mix of common favorites as well as lesser-known brands, so hopefully we’ve got something here that will interest everyone. Let’s get started!

Dada Sport Kit breeches french size 40 – $299

These are a high rise breech with fairly simple styling. There are some fun details that make them super chic, like gold buttons at the waist and a white braided detail at the pockets. The fabric is a mid-weight, not super thick but not thin, and VERY stretchy. The interior pockets are beige so that they don’t show through, and the fabric is pretty opaque – no real issues seeing underwear through them. 

Amanda’s thoughts: I typically don’t prefer high rise styles, I’m usually just a bit too short in the torso to pull them off and I feel the same about these. If I had more height or length of torso it would be very different, but they hit me in kind of an odd place and are a little long everywhere. The fabric is absolutely glorious though, very comfortable, pretty opaque white, and seems like it would wash well. I would rate these a 5 just because the fit doesn’t work for me, but they’re obviously very high quality breeches. Definitely a good one to check out if you’re tall and/or have a long torso.

Hillary’s thoughts: I’m even shorter in the torso, so yeah… same problem. The fit isn’t right for my body type but totally agree on the fabric being really high end. I would give these a 5 as well, just for the fit.

Stacey’s thoughts: Extremely nice fabric, very comfortable. A bit higher rise than I usually prefer, but otherwise these fit me pretty well. I would rank them at an 8.

Vestrum Syracuse breeches Italian size 42 – $370

The Vestrum Syracuse is a mid rise breech, also with simple styling. The bi-elastic fabric on these is also super stretchy but feels a bit lighter/thinner than the Dada. They also have a euro seat and two front pockets. There is a small brand logo on the left leg but otherwise no obvious branding or detailing.

Amanda’s thoughts: If we were going purely based on how they feel, these might have been the winner for me. They feel great on and I like the rise and the length. You can see my black lace underwear through these a little bit, but not too bad. The fabric is about average as far as how flattering it is on my large dimply ass. For me personally I’d prefer a wider waistband and maybe some more fun detailing, but that’s my preference. Still really nice pants – I’d give these a 7.

Hillary’s thoughts: I expected these to be too long on me but surprisingly they were ok. I still think they would be better on someone taller, but I didn’t have too much excess. They were a bit harder to get over my hips but still very comfortable on. The fabric is really nice albeit a little thin and I could see my hot pink underwear through them a bit. I like the more subtle detailing and branding, and the sock bottom feels very luxe. 6.5

Stacey’s thoughts: To me these are perfection. Love the rise, love the fabric, love the fit. They’re super comfortable and look like they would wear and wash well. I gave these a 10 and will be buying them!

Struck 50 Series white 2.0 breeches size 28 – $299

The Struck 2.0 white breeches are a hot seller and definitely a crowd favorite, so I had to try these for sure. They were obviously very well thought out as far as the design goes – the inner layer of the breech is beige to make them totally opaque, there’s silicone inside the waist to help keep your shirt tucked in, the waistband is wide to be more stable and flattering, and the fabric is stain resistant to help it stay clean and wash well.

Amanda’s thoughts: I definitely think these run on the generous side, I had a ton of extra room in the waist of the 28. The good thing about Struck though is that they come in every size, and I was able to later try on a 27 which was definitely better although maybe still a little big in the waist compared to the thigh for me. If you’re a fan of Tailored Sportsman I can see you really liking these – the fit is similar but every detail is just a whole level up. Better fabric, fit, details, etc. You definitely could not see even a hint of my underwear through them. I expected them to be a little more flattering on cellulite since they’re a bit thicker material, but I’d say they’re average in that regard. The pockets are too big/thick IMO and don’t create the smoothest line. I admit I expected to love them a little more than I did for the price. Full disclosure though, I’m one of those minority people that is not much of a TS fan either. These are definitely nice breeches, just not my personal favorite. I’d give them a 7.

Hillary’s thoughts: Same fit here, I had a lot of extra room in the waist of the 28. I agree that these are similar to TS but much nicer in every regard, and I like that the sock bottom is black, it gives it a nice contrasting look. The branding is very subtle and I like the wide waistband. I think they would work on a wide variety of body types. I don’t know that these are my favorite either given the price but they’re well-designed for sure. 7

Stacey’s thoughts: Yep, they’re big in the waist on me too. A 27 was much better, and I really like them. I think these are the pants I would want to buy in colors for everyday use – they seem like they would hold up really well to abuse. I don’t love how big the pockets are on the whites, the front isn’t as smooth-looking on your leg so there’s a lump. They’re a little bit short on me but still workable. I would rank these at a 7.

For Horses Remie breeches size Italian size 44 – $298

This is another Italian brand, For Horses, and these are their Remie opaque white model. They’re a mid-rise with euroseat made from stain-resistant, moisture-wicking fabric that is made to help conceal imperfections and be more opaque. These are a lighter weight, without too much detailing – just a little metal tab on a belt loop, a tone-on-tone white logo on the back, and a very tiny Italian flag button on the thigh.

Amanda’s thoughts: I think these might be the ones that surprised me the most, in a good way. While putting them on I thought they were way too lightweight for whites, expected them to be totally see through and not at all flattering. Are they the most opaque pair of the group? No, definitely not. But they’re WAY more flattering than I expected, for sure. I dunno what kind of magic they wove into this fabric, but they were one of the best at smoothing out my butt and thigh lumpiness. I think that’s because it’s a little more structured than some of the others. IMO these were one of the best pairs when it came to fitting a variety of body types, they looked good on all 3 of us. These would be a solid choice for showing in warmer climates, and I’d really like to try them in colors as well. I’d give these an 8.

Hillary’s thoughts: The fabric on these had more of a Spanx type vibe, which isn’t a bad thing. I think the wide waistband is really flattering and the slanted belt loops are a cool visual touch. The pocket is big enough to be able to put at least something small in, but not so big that there’s excess material down the thigh. I’d love them more if they were cheaper, of course, but they’re very nice pants: 8. 

Stacey’s thoughts: The material on these is really nice feeling. I did have a little trouble getting them over my calves – it wasn’t uncomfortable, but something to keep in mind if you have proportionately larger calves. They fit me nicely and were definitely flattering. I would score these at a 7.

B Vertigo Lauren breeches size 28 – $160

These B Vertigo breeches have a mid rise, 4-way stretch moisture wicking fabric, a euro-seat, and a very simple no-frills design. They don’t even have any front pockets, just a small interior one that could hold a credit card, money, or maybe a key. These come in silicone knee patch or full seat.

Amanda’s thoughts: Full disclosure, these are some of my own breeches and I paid $50 for them last year on clearance. There’s nothing about them that I hate, but there’s also nothing about them that I really love either. For whites I kind of like not having the pocket lumps in the front, and it made them quick and easy to get on and get situated. The belt loops are very very small, I’m not sure I have a belt that would even fit in them, and the narrow waistband kind of gives them baseball-pant vibes to me (once you see it you can’t unsee it). They were probably one of the more opaque pairs (you could see my black underwear a little bit but you couldn’t really see Hillary’s hot pink at all) and are moderately flattering on imperfections. The fabric was comfortable and stretchy, although there was maybe a bit of extra length/ankle/calf material for me. I wouldn’t pay full price but I’m not mad about them at all for what I did spend. I’d give these a 6.

Hillary’s thoughts: I still can’t decide how I feel about the lack of pockets. The breeches are comfortable and I like the material, although I really don’t like how narrow the waistband is. None of my belts would fit. The lower leg was a little roomy on me. These don’t really have the features that I personally prefer, but they’re not bad. 5

Stacey’s thoughts: These were stretchy and comfortable and I like the smooth look. The knee patch was maybe a little grippier than I prefer (I like very little to no grip). A good pair of breeches, but not a stand-out. I’ll give them a 6.

Espoir Inspire breeches Italian size 40 – $250

Many of you may not have come across this South African brand yet – they’re pretty new to me as well. I first saw some of their stuff last fall at Maryland 5*, where I bought one of their coats. This brand likes glitter detailing, so clearly we’re on the same page. These breeches are definitely one of the most visually interesting of the bunch, with some ribbon detailing and gold logo at one belt loop, zipper pockets, glitter piping, and unique seaming on the sides and back. They’re made from a bamboo blend material, have a lower-mid rise, and a discreet side pocket on the hip. The back has a euroseat as well as little sliced quarter panels to follow the shape of the body. These come in silicone knee patch or full seat.

Amanda’s thoughts: I had no idea what to expect from these, and when I pulled them out of their bag I thought, like the For Horses, that these would be way too thin to be flattering. Yet again though, I was wrong, and these are definitely one of my favorites of the bunch. I would probably prefer them in an I-42 – I got them on but they were definitely very tight. The seaming on the back is SO interesting and I think very flattering on all body types, and it’s something I’ve never seen before. Naturally, I love the white glitter detailing at the pockets. I’m a sucker for details and unique touches and these definitely have those in spades. The fabric has more structure to it so it isn’t quite as smooth to the touch as some others, but it definitely wasn’t uncomfortable to me and still has plenty of stretch. They’re not super opaque, but not particularly see-through either. I wish the waistband was wider, but I still really like these and would definitely wear them. They’re fun. If you’re boring (ahem Hillary) then they might not be for you, but I give them a 9. I like their spirit.

Hillary’s thoughts: I tend to prefer my breeches more on the plainer side, so all the “spirit” wasn’t quite as appealing to me. I’m not sure if any of the seams might trigger some of my sensory issues on a long show day… I would have to wear them for a while to see. That said, they’re really comfortable and well-designed, and I really love the shape of the seaming in the back. They’re definitely one of the most flattering pairs on all body types, and seem like they would suit a wide range of sizes and shapes. 7.5 

Stacey’s thoughts: I love all the details and especially the back seams and side pocket. These are fun breeches and will look nice in the saddle, they definitely look higher end. The fabric has more structure than some of the others so I think they would hold up well to a long show day without sagging or stretching. Really flattering and lovely, I like these a lot. I’ll rate them a 9. 

Romfh Sarafina Classic breeches size 26 – $195

These are a staple favorite for a lot of people across disciplines and always seem to be really popular. The Sarafina feature a mid-rise, soft fabric, very subtle branding/details, wide waistband, and come in a variety of patch options (suede knee patch, silicone knee patch, suede full seat or silicone full seat). The ones we had for this try-on were the classic model with the suede knee patch, Hillary’s personal show breeches.

Amanda’s thoughts: So I had a pair of Sarafina’s in the past (not in white) and didn’t really love the fit on me, but that was about 30 pounds ago. Now they do seem to fit me a lot better, the fabric is comfortable, they’re pretty flattering, and not very see-through. The 26 fit well so I would definitely say they run a little big. I like the rise and the wide waistband, although I admittedly hate the suede patch and would much prefer silicone. I can see why these are a staple for a lot of people – while they’re nothing fancy or particularly outstanding, they’re nice breeches and tick all the important boxes. To me I think they run a little shorter than others, and I think the sock bottom could be better and cut slimmer to the leg. I don’t have any major complaints but they didn’t rank up there with my top favorites either. I might rate them a little higher if they were a tad cheaper or had some extra pizazz (look, I am who I am) but I still give them a 7.5… I’d buy some if I found them on sale. 

Hillary’s thoughts: Sarafina’s are generally my favorite breeches, both in white and in colors. For me the fit is great, I like the material, and they wash well. I think they look nice on a lot of different body types as well, but especially if you’re more curvy. In my experience they run on the generous side, I always size down. 8.5

Stacey’s thoughts: These seem like a solid basic pair of whites. They’re comfortable, the fit is good, although the fabric is a little bit on the thicker side. I think they compare pretty well to the high end brands – maybe not as fancy with details and features but still quite nice. I give these a 7. 

Tredstep Nero II breeches size 26 – $99

Now we’re talking bargain priced. The Tredstep Nero II breeches are a mid-rise, lightweight breech with quick dry, water resistant fabric. They’re cut slightly higher in the back, have a wide waistband, and basically zero branding or detailing. 

Amanda’s thoughts: Ok there Tredstep, I see what you did here. I am… shockingly impressed with these considering the price. The fabric is on the thinner side and you could def see my black underwear more than the Romfh, but honestly the fit is pretty darn similar if not even a bit better on me – I think the waist is slightly smaller. The 26 fit me really well, so I’d say these run a little big too. I thought they looked equally flattering on all 3 of us. The sock bottom is really well done, and although yes they’re extremely boring, it’s hard to complain too much at this price point. They do have a seemingly excessive amount of pocket that makes for a less than smooth look on the front, but that could easily be modified and cut shorter, which is what I would do. I will probably buy a pair of these to add to my collection, the price makes them hard for me to pass up considering I am always such a dumpster fire and can destroy a pair of whites in 0.5 seconds. They’re not high end but they’re a good value. If they were more expensive I’d rate them maybe a 7, for for $99… I give them an 8.  

Hillary’s thoughts: These are another pair of my personal show pants and I’ve been really pleased with them, especially for the price. I don’t think the fabric is quite as nice as the Romfh but the fit is very similar and I do like the sock bottom on these. They also wash well and stay comfortable on long show days. The pockets are definitely large, but those are one of my few complaints and it hasn’t bothered me much. 8 

Stacey’s thoughts: These seem very similar to the Romfh Sarafina to me too, just a bit thinner fabric. Otherwise they’re quite comparable as far as fit and feel and comfort level. I don’t think they’re as nice as some of the higher end brands, and I don’t like how much excess material is in the pockets, but the price on these is great. I would rate them a 7. 

Esprit PRO breech tights size medium – $79

These are the only pair of tights in our line-up, and only made the cut because they have such a “breech” look to them. They’re also the lowest price of the bunch. These are really interesting in a lot of ways. The exterior fabric is silky smooth, almost like the whole breech is a sock bottom material, and then they have an interior mesh lining that works kinda like a built in Spanx – it gives you some support and helps smooth imperfections. These are a full silicone seat, more grip than any of the others here, and a lower-mid rise. The gray part of the seat is the same material as the white, so it’s just a contrasting color, not a different material. If you like fun details these have plenty to offer, with glitter piping at the pockets and at each belt loop, plus rhinestone buttons on the back faux pockets. 

Amanda’s thoughts: These are also my own pants, although I just bought them and haven’t done much besides try them on one previous time. I love how silky smooth the material is, it’s so comfy, and the inner liner really does help smooth things out. It also gives a slight compression feel to the tights, which I like. Honestly they don’t really feel like tights to me, they feel like comfy breeches, and with a belt on they’ll look just like breeches too. I really only have two complaints about these. 1) I think the rise could be just a wee bit higher in the back.  2) the pockets. They are HUGE and go halfway down my leg, making a big unflattering outline. Granted, I really hate pocket outlines on white breeches so a more normal person might not be as bothered by this as I am. After we did all these try-ons I did end up cutting the pockets out of these (I’ll put a pic below) and I think it makes a world of difference. I might not pull these out for AEC or big time things like that, but for one day shows where I want something comfy and flattering that I won’t care if I destroy or cover in mud? Definitely. (FWIW I also have a pair in green and the pockets don’t bother me at all on those… it’s just whites) Taking the pockets out elevated them from a 6 to an 8 in my book.

this pleases me SO much more

Hillary’s thoughts: Totally agree on the pockets, they were killing it for me but they’re way better with the pockets out. They look and feel a lot more expensive than they are, for sure, and are a really great budget option. For me I wish the rise was a little higher in the back on me, but I’m not sure if a larger size might help that. I like how the inner liner feels and I like the contrasting gray material on the seat, it seems like it might be easier to keep clean. 7  

Stacey’s thoughts: $80?!?!? For that price these are a great buy. I definitely don’t like the pockets either (much better with them out) and they’re a bit grippier than I tend to prefer, but they are REALLY comfortable and fit really well. They feel more expensive than they are, and I really like all the details and styling. These wouldn’t be my first choice without the price taken into account, but considering that it brings them up significantly, I’ll give them a 7.


In conclusion I asked everyone to pick a few favorites for different categories “Classiest”, “Best Design”, and “Best Value”.


– Classiest would probably be the For Horses. They’re a little pricier than others, but they look expensive. They’re subtle, elegant, and flattering. 


– Classiest are the For Horses, for the same reasons Amanda mentioned. They’re flattering and well-fitting and have a very “clean” look.


– Classiest for me are the Vestrum, they fit me really well and I just love the fabric, it feels so luxurious.


– Best Design, for sure the Espoir. They’re just so unique and different, but in all the best ways. I’ve never seen seaming like that before but it works so well.


– Best Design, agreed on the Espoir. I feel like they were made with the female body in mind, and I appreciate that.


– Best Design, I will third the Espoir although with an honorable mention to Struck.

– Best Value… this is a little hard for me between the Tredstep and the Esprit. Both are great buys for the under $100 price point, but I give the nod to the Esprit (once I cut the pockets out) because they have a lot more cool features and fun details. They look and feel more expensive than they are, for sure.  

– Best Value, for me it’s the Tredstep because they’ve been such a good solid breech for me and you can’t beat the price.

– Best Value I would say the Esprit. They are really comfortable and good-looking for only $79 bucks… you could load up your closet with them and not feel bad about it.

We also plan on doing a version of this for schooling/everyday breeches in the future, just as soon as I forget exactly how much work this one was. If y’all have any special requests for that one (specific criteria you want us to mention, brands, etc) let me know I’ll do my best to make it happen!

Expeditious expedition

Surprise – I’m heading out to Ocala for the weekend! Well, hopefully. If Michelle and I can get out of here amidst this winter thing Texas is trying to do. It’s a bit of a last minute trip, but Megan is getting there with her winter season crew next week and Michelle wanted me to look things over to make sure it’s all ready to go for their arrival. The crew out there has been working hard and fast to get everything done so I’m excited to see how things are coming along! The pics look great.

New tack room who dis

As I mentioned, naturally winter has stormed back in for one last little unwanted opinion, which is annoying AS USUAL. At least the worst of it isn’t supposed to make it quite this far south… it’s cold and windy, but nothing too crazy and not too far below freezing. It’s just also not anywhere near the lovely sunny 85 degrees that we had to start the week. I’m getting very tired of 50+ degree temperature swings. We went from 85 to 28 in a little more than 12 hours… what the actual shit?.

Was literally wearing a T-shirt with summer weight tights and still sweating my ass off on Tuesday. It was glorious.

I’m flying back on Monday so I’ll be MIA for a couple days, although I did set up the White Breeches Guide to publish tomorrow. That’s a novel, so hopefully it’ll hold you over in the meantime. I’ll have lots of updates next week – Ocala, Presto, the saddle makeover, Futurity stuff, Gemma things, etc etc. For now, I’m gonna (attempt to) go enjoy some mid to upper 80’s delicious delicious Florida humidity, sweat directly into my eyeballs, and enjoy every minute of it.

If you’re stuck in the path of the real winter storm, my condolences. We’re so close to spring…

A Full Plate

It’s possible, just a liiiitttttle teeny bit possible, that I may have put a little too much on my own plate this week. I made Mari’s breeding vlog for the Futurity, got the Ultimate White Breeches Guide ready to post on the Patreon (its up now!), started a saddle dyeing project, had to fix the busted water connection on my house, started outlining my next article for Eventing Nation, ordered and started organizing things for the Patreon VIP welcome packages (somehow I only have one VIP spot left for a Q1 welcome package… that was unexpected to say the least… edit: that spot is filled now), planned a last minute trip to Ocala, and then plus all the regular horse and work stuff. It’s been a busy few days, but I will fully admit that I do this to myself so I can’t complain. It’s also kinda fun stuff, even if the quantity is perhaps a bit overboard.

Some of the more keen-eyed among you may have noticed me riding in a dressage saddle in an Instagram post last week. Some of you may also remember that I sold my dressage saddle last year. So what exactly is under my butt, you may ask?

When I took that lunge line lesson last fall, the horse’s saddle was a Custom Wolfgang Solo. I really liked everything about it except the long block was too long for my leg. I guessed that I would probably really like the saddle with a short block, a piece of information that I tucked into my brain for later on when I was actually saddle shopping again. Fast forward 5 months and a friend of a friend posted a saddle for sale on her facebook page for a VERY reasonable price that just so happened to be exactly the specs I would have been looking for. I’d been planning on waiting a little longer before I bought anything, but the price made it too good to pass up. I made an offer for a quick easy sale and that was that.

It’s got a bit of age on it, and its faded in some really interesting ways (some parts are green, some are brown, some are gray), but it’s a solid saddle in good condition if you set aside the cosmetic aspect. Riding in it I definitely like it a lot, it’s light years better for me than my old saddle was. It will need to be re-flocked at some point to fit Presto or Gemma, and it needs a makeover real bad, but for what I paid I’m super pleased with it. I was steeling myself to have to spend 2-3x what I did. Y’all know how I feel about a bargain.

As for the makeover part, I can certainly help with that. I love me a good saddle re-dye. I ordered the supplies I needed ($25 all in) and started deglazing it yesterday. Because I am the queen of “but what if I…” and never doing the same thing twice in any project, I’m taking a slightly different approach to this one. Instead of sealing it with a top coat I’m going to use several layers of a heavy beeswax conditioner, and I’m going to try to glitterize the trim around the back. It will either be a brilliant idea or a catastrophic failure, but there’s only one way to find out. Worst case scenario I just strip it off and do something else.

tell me you’re crazy without telling me you’re crazy

The weekend was made slightly more exciting when the hose going from the water hookup into my hot water heater popped off. I was inside editing videos and heard a pop, but honestly I hear a lot of pops out here. It’s usually rednecks shooting things. Didn’t think much of it. Then I went outside about an hour later to take the horse’s sheets off and could hear water spraying, and there was a massive deluge running down the side of my house. I pulled all the skirting away to see that the attachment had completely corroded. I’m not an expert but I’m pretty sure these things are supposed to be attached.

Fixing that was every bit as fun as fixing house shit always is. I’ll spare you the details. Seems to be fine now though, it was just an epic waste of time.

I did jump out of bed at 5am the next morning with a great (I think) idea for my next breeding-related EN piece though. You know when things just come flooding into you in the most glorious way, like the subject matter, the title, the first paragraph… I’m not sure why it chose to present itself to me when I was barely conscious, but I won’t argue. I got the whole thing outlined in 10 minutes, now I just have to actually… ya know… write it. Details.

In Presto news, he’s resting about as well as you would expect.

Yeah I mean, are you surprised? We all know that “rest” has never been this kid’s strong suit. He is going to give Michelle a stroke, I think. Welcome to the past 5 years of my life. On the plus side he’s, um… athletic? Just what I always wanted, a horse capable of bucking right over the top of the barn. He’s definitely continuing to make the argument for sending him right back to Megan after he’s healed up.

Basically an Event Horse

We’re still a couple weeks away from Gemma’s follow-up appointment to get the all clear to return to full work, but that doesn’t mean that her life has to be boring. She’s got her small paddock turnout and is allowed to do plenty of handwalking/controlled movement. So, ya know… why not go ahead get her some adventure miles?

We made plans for Hillary and Henry to go XC schooling on Saturday morning, so of course I said we should take Gemma along too. Once she’s back to full work I want to spend some time schooling her over XC stuff in-hand, but for now I could just lead her around the venue with us, and I figured maybe Henry could pony her through the water. As we all know, learning to be a happy and relaxed show horse has very little to do with the horse show itself and a lot more to do with how well they handle the travel, how well they adapt to the new place, how confident they are in their surroundings, etc. We can certainly start working on all that now, before I ever actually swing a leg over her.

Luckily she has been (knock on wood) a very good traveler so far. Her first outing to the jumper rounds a few weeks ago was her maiden voyage, and I was quite pleased with how she handled herself then. This time she was even better. Gemma loads easily, seems content in the trailer, eats her hay, and unloads well. She’s always very curious and alert in her surroundings, but not frantic or worried. More like “WOW THERE’S SO MUCH COOL STUFF TO SEE”… reminds me of Presto. This time I felt like she was settled enough to immediately tie her to the trailer with Henry, and she just stood there checking things out while he got tacked up.

look at Hennary go!

First we just walked around the course with Hillary and Henry while they warmed up and started jumping some things. When he first cantered away Gemma was a little bit nervous, wondering where he was going, so I just had her walk around me in circles. The hamsters always stay on the wheel better when the feet are moving. After a few minutes she was more interested in finding grass than anything else. We walked the whole cross country field, up and down the bits of terrain, across footing changes, and sniffed some of the jumps. Sometimes Gemma forgets about personal space, but is always very receptive to corrections. She’s also very willing to try what you ask, even if something is a bit scary. I love that feature.

After Henry had jumped around a bit, we headed back up to the front so they could school the banks and water. Henry needed a little bit of a breather, so I handed Gemma off to Hillary so she could pony her to the water.

standing next to it like a good girl

I was fully prepared for her to need several minutes before she actually went into the water. I knew she would eventually, but she can be a little careful about where she puts her feet, and ones like that sometimes need more processing time when they’re first faced with a water jump. Once she had walked back and forth along the edge a couple times Hillary aimed at the shallowest part, went up to the edge, and halted, letting her take a good long look. Then they took a step and halted again. Then another. Then another. Not taking the next step until Gemma had gotten to look at it and assess. Each time they moved forward again, she readily did. And so that’s how, inch by inch, Gemma confidently entered her first water jump.

Once they got to the middle we let her stand and look around, sniff the water, and take a drink. Then Hillary walked her out, turned around, and made a few passes straight through each direction. Each time Gemma just waltzed right in like it was no biggie, and after a few times seemed more interested in going over and investigating the banks. I really thought it might take a good 10-15 minutes for her to get comfortable going in, but nope. It took maybe two minutes total. This is why I really strongly believe that if we approach things the right way with her and give her the time she needs to understand and build her confidence, she will end up being a pretty bold horse. It’s all in the “how” with her.

Once that was done, Henry and Hillary did some of the regular downbanks, and then finished with the banks into water, topping it off with the biggest one and hanging a right to canter out over a rolltop. Pretty proud of this girl right here, she used to HATE any kind of drop and here she is just casually dropping off a decent-sized one – into water no less.


We called it a day with that, and loaded the kids up to head home. Once again Gemma traveled great. Having an older “been there done that” pro like Henry to show her the way is definitely a really nice bonus, too.

So that’s a second really positive outing in the books for Gemma! And her first water complex no less. She’s basically an event horse now right?

The Same Old Excuses Need Not Apply

I’m sure anyone who has access to the internet/social media has seen the Mark Todd thing by now. Short version – there’s a video from a clinic a couple years ago where a horse didn’t want to just down a small bank into the water, Mark got a thin branch from a tree, pulled some twigs and leaves off, and proceeded to use it like a switch on said horse. This is the full video, but the most problematic part starts around 1:25… there’s a string of quite solid whacks to the horse with the switch.

I think (HOPE?) we can all agree that this was an inappropriate incident. Mark himself admitted as much in his statement, saying “I wholeheartedly apologise to the horse and all involved for my actions in this video clip. One of the main things I preach is about establishing a mutual respect between horse and rider and that patience and kindness is the best way to get results. I am very disappointed in myself that I did not adhere to that in this case.”. It was made even more complicated by the fact that he was a patron for World Horse Welfare, a position he has since stepped down from.

The fact that there was a wrong-doing here is, to me, indisputable. The more interesting thing about all of this (and geez, I feel like every time something like this happens it’s always enlightening in the worst ways) has been the social media response. You get a lot of people lambasting Mark Todd, for sure. But what I have seen a great deal more of, BY FAR, are people jumping to his defense and defending these actions and this behavior. That’s the part that seems almost more problematic than the incident itself, to be honest, or at least indicative of some serious underlying issues in our industry (Matt Brown and Kate Samuels said it way better than I can, I think). These are the main points I’ve been seeing:

  • “But he’s Mark Todd. He’s a legend. He wouldn’t be successful if he abused horses.” – I think we all know this is a garbage argument and can name plenty of very successful yet repeatedly abusive riders. What you’ve achieved says nothing about how you got there. Trying to choose a rider for your 5* horse or a chef d’equip for your team – absolutely his resume is valid in those scenarios. But in this particular instance of determining abusive behavior? His resume is completely moot. This is a ridiculous defense.
  • “The rider waited this long to come forward? Must not have been that upsetting to her.” – Ok look, this one just has major shades of the George Morris argument to me. It doesn’t matter when or how long or who or why. Again, those are moot points because none of them change what happened on that video.
  • “The horse seemed fine” – Horses (and people for that matter) seem fine through a lot of instances of abuse… doesn’t make it any less wrong.
  • “He barely tapped him” – I’d hate to see your idea of a wallop, then. If there’s a backswing involved, it’s not a tap. Also, all of us former barn kids that used to hit each other with those long thin whips know EXACTLY how much they hurt, whether you put a lot of force behind them or not, so… let’s just put this argument away eh? There’s a difference between a few encouraging taps and 10 good wallops (which is why the FEI has a black and white definition for how many times you can use a whip and where).
  • “I met Mark Todd a few times and he seemed like a nice guy” – This one also has shades of GM. How many times can we say over and over again that behavior and personality do not go hand in hand. Nice people do bad things all the time, the same as bad people do nice things all the time. Just because someone seems otherwise exemplary of character doesn’t mean they are immune from doing bad things, nor does it automatically excuse their bad deeds when they do happen.
  • “It was just a moment in time.” – I mean… sure, but… kind of a big moment.
  • “I’ve seen way worse” – awesome, isn’t that a great testament to horse sports. And while sadly this is true – there is much worse – it’s still not an exemption. You don’t get to do a bad thing and not be held accountable for it just because someone else does something worse.
  • “You can’t even train a horse these days without worrying about someone videoing.” That is a heck of a statement to dissect. I mean, I do get what this person was trying to say (I, uh, think). Sometimes training horses can be ugly. Sometimes horses react in unpredictable ways, and at times things can get a little bit, uh, western, or you have to make a quick and obvious point, or do something drastic to prevent a potentially dangerous situation for horse or human. I think anyone who has spent time training horses knows this to be true. And yes, if you took a clip of something like that out of context then it could certainly look like something it wasn’t. However, I think we also know that getting a tree branch and walloping it repeatedly across the butt of a horse at a clinic when it clearly doesn’t seem to understand the question in the first place is not one of the aforementioned emergency scenarios nor is it particularly helpful or compassionate to the horse. That’s the difference.
  • “I’ve done that before and I’d do it again.” This one came from a pro, no less. Isn’t that lovely. Excellent horse training techniques at work in his barn, obviously.
  • “Everyone makes mistakes” – now this is finally something I can absolutely agree with, although only as a statement, not as an excuse.

Here’s the thing: I think we’ve all lost our temper with a horse at some point. Probably reacted in a way we aren’t proud of, and would be ashamed to have anyone witness much less record and post online. I’ve done it in the past, and unless you’re a totally perfect person with zero emotions, you’ve probably done it too. To be clear: the fact that we’ve all done it is still not a defense of ANY behavior like that. This is still abusive and it’s still wrong. I’m only saying this because we all probably know what it feels like to realize you’ve fucked up and done the wrong thing by the horse. It feels totally shit. Or at least, it should.

To me the difference is what happens AFTER that moment. Do you fess up to it, admit you were wrong, apologize, feel ashamed, and vow to do better next time? Or do you double down and say that the horse deserved it, you did nothing wrong, and go out and do it again the next day?

It also matters what else happens in ADDITION to that moment. What else is going on behind the scenes? Is this standard behavior and you just finally got caught, or was it a very rare fuck up? How many provable instances of this behavior exist? Is it a pattern or is it an anomaly? In the cases of people like Marilyn Little or Andy Kocher, the absolute biggest part of my issue with them was the fact that the abuses were repeated over and over and over ad nauseum with absolutely no remorse, regret, acknowledgement of wrong-doing, or attempt to prevent a repeat scenario. Their only regret was getting caught. I’m very willing to recognize the fact that people make mistakes – bad ones, indefensible ones – and be able to move on from it. I’m very unwilling to forgive and forget the ones that seem pleased with themselves for their abhorrent behavior, and the people who enable/encourage/defend it.

As it stands now, I have yet to see any other evidence of instances like this from Mark Todd. Do they exist? Possibly. I don’t know the man, and I think there are probably only a handful of people on this earth that have spent enough time with him behind closed doors to know for sure. Is this incident enough to give me pause and make me wary? Absolutely. But I also think that if a genuine lesson has been learned and there is genuine shame and remorse and a genuine effort to do and be better, forgiveness is fair. People definitely have to be allowed to make mistakes… lord knows we all have. Whether or not he earns that grace is up to him IMO, from this point forward, and only time will tell.

What I really hate most is all those excuses I see people making, especially the pros. Let’s call a spade a spade here guys, this was an abusive and ugly and unnecessary incident. The industry is evolving (and MUST evolve if it wants to survive) from “training techniques” like this, and no one should defend this kind of crap, period. Also ridiculous to veer off course and attack the credibility or intentions of the girl who posted the video, or shrug and say that successful riders get a free pass to do what they want, etc. This is the EXACT SAME mindset that allows abuse of both horses and humans to perpetuate in our sport. Hold people accountable. Stop making excuses for bad behavior. If people fuck up, let them know they fucked up, let them deal with their own consequences, and let their own subsequent actions decide whether or not they’re worthy of redemption. Why do we seem to think that a certain subset of people are beyond reproach?

For as bad as it makes equestrians look as a whole, I do think that having stuff like this come to light and have all this drama about it on social media can be a good thing – IF we (collectively) learn from it. How not to behave. How not to handle a training issue. How to handle mistakes with grace. Maybe think twice before we do something similar in a fit of anger and frustration. And maybe, just maybe, it’ll make people less hesitant to speak up in defense of their horses if they ever find themselves in a similar situation, even if it means standing up to a big name rider.

How do I personally feel about Mark Todd after this? He’s on a bit of a “probation” period in my mind. I’m definitely not ready to sharpen up my pitchfork and add him to the list of the repeat or most egregious offenders, but there’s no doubt that he’s done a bad thing. I do appreciate that he was horseman enough to admit it and apologize, and I think that’s a positive step. From this point on, my opinion of him rests entirely in his hands. Will he come back from this and prove that he’s worthy of being called a legend? We’ll see. Right now he’s simply a successful rider that has also made a bad mistake, and I would love to see people stop making excuses for it.

Michelle needs a drink (or six)

Presto has been at Michelle’s for all of a week now, and I’m guessing that if you asked her she’d say it felt like a year. Perhaps I undersold his general level of day to day mayhem. Perhaps she’s just forgotten since we haven’t heard as much about it while he’s been at Megan’s. Or perhaps Michelle is just too nice and didn’t fully realize what she was signing up for when she offered to let him come stay at her place. Either way… she’s stuck with him now, no takesie-backsies. (just kidding. maybe. not really.)

10 points for snoot boopability tho

When we left off with last week’s update he was in the pen next to the 2021 foals. They were obsessed with him, and he had already recruited their Chief Chaos Officer (Teddy) to his cause. It was very suspicious how Presto and Teddy would stand there in the corner just looking at each other, probably plotting all manner of terrible things. And then that next night Michelle came out to feed and found that SOMEONE – I’m not naming Teddy names or anything – had chewed a chunk out of Presto’s tail.


These LITTLE SHITS. I mean luckily it was off the top and I think we can just…. blend that for a while until it grows in, but seriously guys. WTF. Thank goodness Michelle noticed it before they ate the whole thing. But they did immediately lose neighbor privileges, and Presto got switched with Daisy. Now he’s got the end pen with Daisy as his only neighbor, and the babies are another pen away where they can no longer victimize his tail.

Naturally he wasn’t particularly pleased about having his minion army taken away, and did some really fancy arabian impressions while expressing his feelings. Michelle had to spent the rest of the evening dealing with THAT (her trying to make him walk places instead of trot is futile but cute… on the plus side he sure has looked awfully darn sound in all the videos). I’m pretty sure she’s rubbed like half a gallon of lavender oil on him by now in an attempt to just… take all the PRESTO down a notch. Good luck. You’d have to dip that dinosaur in a vat of it to root out all the chaos demons, I think.

that time he tried to casually climb over his round bale and almost went crashing head-first into the shed

And let’s face it, even when he’s chill (which he is most of the time, to his credit) he’s still a wrecking ball in horse form. Maybe I should have warned her that he’s a feed bucket/feed pan serial killer, but, uh… she knows now. He just simply cannot resist the excuse to paw at and put his feet in something that was clearly designed for just that purpose.


Every single place I’ve kept this horse we’ve gone through the gamut of how to feed him without him tossing it all over the place, tearing the feeder off the wall, or putting his feet in it. I’m not sure there’s a bucket/feeder/pan in existence that he hasn’t met by now. Usually things end up bolted to the wall, high enough to where he can’t put a foot in it and designed so that he can’t easily fling the food out. That’s just an accessory of Presto. So he started out at Michelle’s with a regular rubber feeder, which… LOL… and then Michelle went and dragged out her big guns: the red no-turn feeder.

It took him all of one day to master that one, but ya know… A for effort, Michelle? He finds the no-turn feeder to be a very delightful toy. Finally, someone gave him something FUN! He’s smart in all the worst ways but at least he’s never boring?

At this point I think I owe her a few bottles (or maybe just skip straight to a barrel) of Pinot Noir. And some chocolate. Maybe a fancy dinner. Definitely a value-size bottle of tums and some omeprazole, because he’s definitely giving her an ulcer. Welcome to the club, my ulcer is Presto-size and has been there for almost 5 years now.

perhaps also this shirt but cross out mares and write Presto

One week down, Michelle, just… 2-3 more months to go. Hang in there…

Chestnuttiest Marey-est

Alright I absolutely hate foosball but can we talk about that halftime show for a second? I’ve been a fan of Eminem since he first hit the scene when I was in high school, and my love has not faded over time. I’ve said for years that he’s the greatest lyricist of our time and I stand by that. Also Dr. Dre is still absolutely baller. If they could have just cancelled all the football and let the halftime show go for a couple more hours, I would have been delighted.

In more horsey news, Gemma continues to have very minor and easy “lessons”. Hillary ponied her out on the trails in the back

which Gemma thought was really fun. She does love to get out and see things and explore, and she was super interested in looking around at everything but she wasn’t spooky about it. Not even when two giant helicopters came thundering right overhead. Ears pricked, happy girl. You can tell she’s itching to stretch her legs and let off some steam, but seriously she gets two big gold stars at how well she’s keeping herself under wraps during her rest period. I’ve been bringing her into the barn every other day in the afternoon so she can stand in the crossties, get groomed, and get some Durasole and Keratex on her feet.

She’s understanding the crossties well now, and she stands pretty well. No fuss about leaving the other horses or being alone in the barn (unlike a certain hangry hangry hippo we all know and love) Her feet are still a bit sore, mostly the hinds since they’re barefoot now, but it’s definitely gotten better since those first couple days. The timing worked out pretty well for her shoeing transition since the ground is has mercifully softened up a bit but it isn’t muddy. One thing about Gemma for sure though – she is a FOODIE. You wouldn’t know it by looking at her since she still has a lot of weight to gain, but that girl really likes her food, especially treats. She absolutely SCREAMS at me when I’m coming with food. And not in the way that makes you feel loved… the way where you’re pretty sure she’s saying “Walk faster, peon!”. I live to serve. After all, I was trained by the Chestnuttiest Marey-est horse alive.

yours truly

Gemma still doesn’t even hold a candle to Henry when it comes to the stereotypical chestnut mare behaviors.

I’ve been riding Henry some though, on the days where Hillary can’t come out. He’s really thriving I think, doing a little bit of “harder” work again with her. He’s a bit stronger than he was, but everything is still easy and infrequent enough to where he’s not being taxed by it. Although she has figured out more and more how to flat him better, which he’s not quite so pleased about. He would appreciate if everyone just believed all his “oh I don’t know what that means” or “oh I don’t do that” LIES when it comes to proper flatwork.

Presto is settling into Michelle’s too… I think she might need a bulk delivery of wine on like a weekly basis while he’s there, but more on all his tomfoolery tomorrow.

a friend of mine made this and it’s so friggin hilarious I cannot stop laughing

One more little newsworthy item – I’ve been officially brought onto the Eventing Nation team to provide some regular breeding articles, as well as extensive breeding guides for all of the major events. We officially kicked it off yesterday with a “fun” Valentines Day themed piece to get the ball rolling. I’m pretty excited to have the opportunity to get all my nerdy info out to a bigger audience, and hopefully see what we can do about getting this info more mainstream. I’m especially interested in doing articles that might appeal to people who aren’t already involved in the breeding business or have experience with breeding, so if you guys have any ideas for what you might like to read about or learn more about, please let me know!


Omg y’all, where the hell is the time going? Henry officially turned 15 yesterday. WTF? I remember when turned 10 and I was like oh man double digits. How did we already get halfway through his second decade?

the ONE cute photo from his entire shoot

Henry was not much of a fan of any of his birthday shit aside from all the cookies. The hat? Stupid. The banner? Annoying. The balloons? DEATH MONSTERS FROM OUTER SPACE. And once we finally convinced him to stand close to them without snorting, he then refused to put his ears up at all. Total mad donkey mode. I tried every single sound on the AllEars app but NOPE he wasn’t falling for my bullshittery.

Honestly this is a much more accurate representation of him anyway

We were busy shooting Patreon content this weekend (patrons check your dashboard – first podcast episode is up!) but Hillary did do a quick bareback flat ride on him yesterday. I’d say that he got 15 cookies, but that would be a lie because he probably got more like 30. I did give him 16 smooches last night at night check though (15 plus one to grow on) which he definitely almost tolerated without looking murderous. Almost.

Hard life. Much suffering.

I rode him a couple times last week, during one of which I propped my phone in my Pivo and got a few shots of him galloping. He was WILD AF that day but we had fun, as always. He’s the best dude.

Well ok there was one pass in particular where I’m not quite sure what he was trying to do… I think he wanted to both run away and dolphin at the same time but somehow it came out looking like a deranged llama. He is beauty, he is grace. Some things never change.

what… the…

He also got to do some jumping with Hillary (I’m pretty sure she’s rapidly becoming his new favorite person, with her BEMER and her handfuls of cookies and her lack of wanting to smooch his face all the time) which he thought was super fun. Aside from the part where she’s asking him to be more round before and after the fence – he thinks that part is mega stupid.

All in all though, not a bad lead up to his birthday week, and a pretty fine birthday itself. I really need to know how to freeze frame time though… 15 already. Man.

The Chaos Factory

Everyone’s favorite chaos factory (aka Presto) made the trip to Michelle’s yesterday to start his R&R time. I went up there to meet her so I could see her off, grab all his stuff, and give him a proper nose boop.


Megan says he’s been quite well-behaved with all of his down time (something I found highly suspicious, because, ya know… Presto) but indeed he did seem pretty chill about things. Immediately patted me down for cookies in a very thorough and perhaps overly personal full body search, put the sleeve of my hoodie in his mouth, and tried to make me wear his head like a hat, but that’s all very normal. He seems a little bored maybe, but he’s certainly holding himself together a lot better than I anticipated considering how long he’s been out of work.

We got all his stuff loaded up, talked for a bit, and then put Presto into Michelle’s trailer. Not gonna lie, I spent the first hour drive home regretting sending him away instead of bringing him home. I really miss having him around on a daily basis, he’s absolute mayhem YES but he’s my brand of mayhem. Once I got past the emotional side of things though and remembered why I made this decision in the first place I was like oh yeah, that’s right, it was 100% the better choice for him. He won’t be lonely, he’s got a perfect living space, and all of the extra services he needs to aid in his healing are readily available. I do miss him tremendously though, not gonna lie, and every time I see him I’m reminded of that.


Michelle got him home to her place in west Texas yesterday evening and stuck him in a pen next to the 2021 weanlings. The kiddos will be leaving for Ocala soon but for now they think he is THE COOLEST HORSE THEY’VE EVER SEEN and I’m just over here like oh my god what kinds of terrible things is he going to teach the children.

Think Of The Children GIFs | Tenor

I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. Poor Michelle, I’m not sure she quite realizes exactly what she signed up for. (too late now, muahahahaha)

peep the babies

Hopefully he decides to behave himself there too though, so he can get healed up and back to work. I know he’s prefers having something to do and would much rather have a job. Just gotta keep your legs out of trouble, kid, and stop pawing shit so aggressively.

As for a little Patreon update – tremendous thanks to everyone that’s signed up as we launch, I’m really excited about what we’ve got planned and upcoming and it’s giving me so much life to see that you guys are excited for it too. Things are coming together! We’re filming and recording all the first real content this weekend and I’m looking forward to branching out into these new formats. If you’re a Patron you should have already gotten a message with the link to the private fb group (there’s already lots of discussion and updates and some exclusive video there) so please make sure to check that out, and for the Supporter and VIP tiers I also posted a fun thing for y’all this morning – check your Patreon dashboard. 😉

Happy Friday everyone!

Sporthorse Mode

Tuesday was farrier day, and conveniently enough Gemma was already synced up with Henry’s shoeing cycle. That meant it was time for her first appointment with my farrier, and also time for her racing plates to come off.

I asked to keep them and my farrier cleaned them up for me

Of course we’re still learning each other, and while I think I have a pretty good gauge on her personality now and how she will react, sometimes you just never quite know until you do things. The perk of racehorses is that they’ve been there and done that and seen a lot, so it wasn’t a matter of whether or not she was well-handled and used to the farrier. We knew that would be true. But, ya know, some of them can still be difficult about it or require sedation or multiple handlers or a chain shank or whatever. Knowing her, I doubted any of that would be the case. She’s definitely sensitive, yes, but she’s clever and a thinker and generally wants to please.

She hasn’t quite figured out the crossties 100% yet though, so I figured I’d hold her for this first time at least. We opted to do Henry first, and I held her nearby the whole time he was getting done. She was a little interested in all the smoke when he was getting his hot shoes fitted, but she never so much as flinched at any of the noise or commotion. Mostly she was just curious (always curious, this one) and was dying to put her nose all over the farrier’s tools.

or his head

Once Henry was done we got to work, first pulling off those aluminum plates. She was a little bit rude about holding her own weight up (“you want to pick it up? Fine, you hold it then.” Mares.), but didn’t do anything naughty. We opted to leave the hind feet barefoot for now but put steel shoes on the fronts. It’s not easy for horses to transition from shod to barefoot on our hard and rocky ground, especially one that’s been wearing shoes for most of their life. I also don’t like making drastic changes like that when one is just coming off the track and we’re trying to get their body to relax and unwind. Adding foot ouchiness can just create more tension and stiffness, and we’re trying to do the opposite. So, front shoes it was.

I also kind of get the impression that Gemma might not be the most stoic of horses. She banged her leg on the water trough the other day, not even very hard, but she took off a teeny lit bit of hair. Y’all, she stood there waving her leg around in the air like it was BROKEN FOR SURE, and when she finally decided she could put it back down she was mega lame and very sad about it. This went on for about 15 minutes before she declared that she might indeed survive this harrowing experience. The drama was high. I suspected that the shoeing change might go similarly and I was right… she’s pretty convinced that her hind feet are broken and there’s something very wrong with the fronts to make them weigh so much more. She’s walking a little bit like a goat now. I think she’ll forget in a few days but lord. I can’t even imagine what she would have done if we’d tried to put her barefoot. Laid down and died, probably.

Dramatic GIFs | Tenor

But with the removal of the plates and transition to normal shoes, she’s officially gone from racehorse mode to sporthorse mode, which is an exciting step. Now I just have to figure out what the heck I want to do with her old shoes. I knew I wanted to keep them but I didn’t actually have anything in mind to do with them… ideas?

I also sent off some of Gemma’s hair to Etalon for a full genetic profile. It’s our standard practice to do that on any of the breeding mares anyway (which Gemma hopefully will be one day) and I was very curious to see what her color genetics are. I mean, we know she’s ee (chestnut) but I’m curious about her agouti and especially if she might have any of the W’s. Her white markings have jagged edges, the front one comes up over the knee, and she has a lot of ermine spots in the socks. She doesn’t have as much face white as is typical for a lot of those expressions though, nor does she have any belly spots or roaning. Color, especially for white markings, can be wily sometimes and what you see isn’t always indicative of what’s truly there genetics-wise.

We shall see what the DNA says, it should take a few weeks to get the report back. Aside from all the color stuff they also check to see if she has or is a carrier of a bunch of health-related genetic stuff (some of the testing is more proven than others, but it’s interesting info to have anyway) including PSSM, Equine Metabolic Syndrome, WFFS, uveitis, etc. Cool info to have, for sure!

Gemma’s got about another month left to go in her rest period, but until then I’ve really liked having this low key no pressure time to get to know her… I think she’s gonna be pretty fun.