Is this Love…. that I’m Feeling…

I don’t even like 80’s music at all, so why the hell is a friggin Whitesnake song what came to mind for me when I was writing this title? *shudder* And now it’s stuck in my head. Great. Wonderful.

ANYWAY. This post is about Gemma. Because I think I love her (great, that tossed a Partridge Family song into my head instead and now I just feel old AF. Better than Whitesnake though…). I mean, I already knew that I liked her a lot, just from the day to day handling and learning her personality over the first couple months she was here. But now that I’m riding her and learning more about that side of her, I just continuously keep liking her more and more. She has yet to disappoint, aside from the fact that she’s gross and always smells like pee. Minor details.

red ears

I took her out back on the hacking path by herself last week for the first time and of course she was super. No screaming, no spooking, no funny business. Her head is on a swivel and she wants to look around a lot, but in a curious way, not a spooky way. She’s like that about everything and it’s a quality I greatly appreciate. She’s interested and engaged, but not fearful or stupid. I never feel like she’s gonna do anything particularly naughty or go belligerent on me.

I’ve also been riding her out in the jump field for the past few rides. It’s not level like the dressage arena, there’s a good bit of slope to it, but it’s bigger. There are pros and cons to both spaces. She’s a little more naturally forward out in the jump field, which helps, and my poles are out there for her to trot and canter over. I was hesitant about how she would handle the slope… the first couple times I hacked her outside of the ring you could tell she wasn’t used to unmanicured surfaces or having to pay attention to her feet. I think she tripped over every rock, stick, divot, and bump. She’s figured it out pretty quickly though, and now she’s only tripping over things when she loses focus, looks at something else, and forgets to watch her feet.

she’s naturally pretty well-balanced

The slope in the jump field can be challenging though, especially for young and green ones that aren’t that strong yet and are still learning how to balance themselves. The first ride out there she was definitely struggling a little with the steepest downhill parts, but every ride she’s shown great improvement, and now she seems to have figured it out pretty well for herself. You can feel her adjusting her own balance to compensate for the slope… she’s smart and naturally wants to stay up off her forehand, which makes her feel very nice to ride (especially if you’re used to a Henry, where you spend 99.9% of every single ride trying to get him in a more uphill balance). Of all the straight off the track horses I’ve had and ridden, she’s probably got the most natural aptitude for the flatwork as any I’ve sat on. She’s not hesitant about the contact (even if it’s still very inconsistent), she doesn’t try to escape by ducking behind, and she actually wants you to ride her with your seat. Mostly we’re working on getting her more supple through her body and bending around the leg right now. There are 5-10 steps of brilliance every few minutes, and those steps hold a lot of promise. The feeling she gives you in those moments is really nice.

Which… Hillary hasn’t sat on her yet (today maybe!) but Bea got to take her for a spin yesterday. Figures that the kiddo is the second one on her and beat Hillary to the punch. Ever since we brought Gemma home Bea has been saying this is her horse, but I think we all thought it might be a long time until Bea actually got to sit on her. Jokes on us because Gemma is a lot quieter and more chill than we anticipated.

Bea waving to her imaginary crowd of fans

After I rode her yesterday, Gemma gave pony rides to Bea for a few minutes, because what better mount for a 4yo kid than a 5yo ottb chestnut mare? She was super though. Don’t believe stereotypes. It’ll be a long time before they do anything but pony rides of course, but that seems to have appeased Bea for now.

I’ve been making an effort to upload videos of her to my Instagram regularly so you can follow along with her progress… it’s easier than posting them on Vimeo and then embedding them.

Gemma is making me wish I had the budget to do an embryo transfer on her this year so I could “have my cake and eat it too” by getting a baby out of her but still continuing to ride her. That’s not in the cards though, so the baby-making will just have to take a backseat… I’m having too much fun riding her.

“Reasonably Prepared”

We’re now officially about a month out from the big move and it’s totally fine. No one is panicking. Definitely not me. Things are about to start ramping up hot and heavy in preparation for All The Things that have to be done (it is a lot. A. Lot. I have anxiety dreams on a nightly basis and constantly think of more things I need to do – the list of Notes in my phone is getting fairly grotesque) and I’m in this weird stage where I’m trying to mass purge unnecessary shit because I don’t want to move it, but also I need to gather things I’ll need when I get there. Which, some things I can get after I get there yes, but other stuff I’d like to already have on hand so I’m not trying to go hunt things down for the horses while also ironing out my own living and work situation at the same time. Reasonably prepared is what I’m aiming for. Remains to be seen if that will be attained.

This has involved getting (among other things) fly sheets, although I still need one more. I nabbed a couple zebra ones on super sale from Epplejeck, and I think they’ll be fine for Gemma and Presto, but if Henry stands any chance of wearing a fly sheet without absolutely roasting to death, he needs the lightest weight, finest mesh fly sheet ever created. Which I have not quite found yet. Fly sheets are a bit of a new concept to me, the extreme heat and sun here means they aren’t really a thing, but they are definitely a thing and a desired item in Florida. Suggestions on one that might work for our favorite pal, Mr. MightDieofHeatStrokeAnytimeItsOver75Degrees?

I also went ahead and replaced my barn boots, because hell if I was going to drag holey, destroyed boots 1000 miles with me to the land of frequent rain. Girl no. I snagged some new ones on sale last week and the old ones are currently residing in the trash can. One less thing to deal with and I won’t be mad about moving them. Granted I’m not really sure how I feel about these new boots, they’re a different brand, but… they’ll do for now. Mostly I needed something that didn’t have giant holes in it so my feet wouldn’t be wet all the time, and they do meet that criteria at least.

I have a whole bin of stuff packed up and ready to go to consignment, and have already started some mental Tetris in my head to figure out how and where to pack everything else. I’ve never in my life been so glad to own fairly little stuff. Or I’m glad I got rid of most of it when I moved into the t!ny h0use anyway. Stuff = stress. Moving all the horses’ stuff will be bigger objective in all this and I’m way ok with that.

Other than moving stuff, I’ve also started thinking about prep for LRK3DE. We are going this year and I have some commitments with EN, particularly with creating a breeding guide. I’ll also provide detailed breeding data to the event, although whether or not it gets used on the live stream commentary depends a lot on who’s commentating. There’s one big name person in particular who has already expressed zero interest in having or using that data, which is frustrating, but… they’ll get copies of it nonetheless. In prep for that I made a few pieces of BRC swag for Kentucky for Hillary and me.

Getting that whole “business” off the ground will really be more of a summer project, but I wanted to start getting the branding in place before Kentucky so we had it for our paperwork and for ourselves to rep, so we can look perhaps a little more legit for some meetings. Bless the Cricut for it’s services to this endeavor. I actually think the stuff came out looking pretty good, considering the logo was something I just threw together on my own. It’ll work.

Hopefully I’ll have some Presto news for you soon. For now he’s still just living his normal day to day life out in Midland, although he did have a complete meltdown about the new baby last week and had to be moved further away from them. I’m pretty sure he thought it was his own personal toy and it certainly is not. He still, knock on wood, has yet to take a lame step since he’s been out there. Sure is luxuriating in all his MagnaWave and bodywork and knee deep piles of hay though. Rotten little $hit.

Speaking of little shits, Henry’s food baby is due any day now.

colt or filly?

He really exploded when the spring grass came in, but honestly with all the upheaval and changes that are about to be happening I’m fine with him carrying a little bit more weight right now. He always loses some when he travels, and he is not particularly good at handling big life changes. And when I say not particularly good I mean atrocious. He’s atrocious at it. So I have a feeling some of that weight will come off on it’s own anyway soon… he can keep the food baby for now.

Which reminds me… I need to start stocking up on Ulcergard…

Foal Friday: Baby Q

HAPPY FIRST FOAL FRIDAY OF 2022!!!! I am perhaps maybe a little excited about it, because baby horse season is my favorite time of year. And while there is only one WTW foal this time year, Inca really made it count, because man…. this one is cute.

prepare your squees, people, things are about to get intense

Please say hello to… ok we’re still calling her baby Q because she doesn’t have an official name yet (it’s a Q naming year) but whatever. Look at her. LOOK. AT. HER.

I know I say this every year but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a cute bebe animal in all my life. Her little nose. Her little eyelashes. Her little stripe. I have died of cuteness overload and if this is how I go, then I’m ok with that.

all the other mares agree, especially creepy wannabe baby thief Sadie

Michelle is of course delighted because she really wanted a filly out of Inca, who she loves almost more like a dog than a horse. This is Inca’s first foal and she’s been a great mama so far (although sometimes she does have this very distinct “someone come get your child!” look on her face when Baby Q starts winding up). Inca is the sweet one of the mare group who actually likes cuddles and attention, and so far Baby Q seems to have much the same inclination.

Also bonus points to her sire Frosty (Faustino de Tili, the same sire as Patrick and Obi from last year) for not passing on his gray gene.

This kiddo definitely seems to be made of sugar and spice, because while she is very sweet and likes human attention, she’s also got some pretty good zoomies already. Or really, leapies. She is airborne a lot considering she’s only a couple days old. Reminds me a lot of a certain someone from last year.

the alien abductions have already begun
also has some sweet dance moves

Just in case there was any doubt that she’s a filly though, she does have a little bit of sass and judgement residing in those eyes.

She’ll get to move out to the bigger field in a few days once she’s mastered her legs a bit more, but right now she’s mostly focused on eating, sleeping, and yeehawing. Mostly eating and sleeping, with a heavy emphasis on eating. This girl is big boned (those hocks are massive) and I have a feeling she’s gonna chunk right up pretty quickly at the rate she’s eating.

“you’re one to judge”- baby Q, probably

Happy Friday everyone? Baby horse season is back!