BRC News and Ponderings

First and foremost, the question I get asked at least a few times a week: yes, we’ll be reopening for more custom pedigree reports in September. Email subscribers, keep an eye on your inbox over the next few days and we’ll let you know exactly when the listing will go live! I remain absolutely delighted at the response to these and really appreciate those of you who have left reviews – all of them 5 stars to boot. It takes us 4-6 hours on average to complete these (and I have now found myself on WhatsApp calls to both Hungary and Ireland tracking down information, in case you ever doubt our dedication!) so we’re very grateful for the support and the feedback from y’all.

I’m also working on getting the spreadsheet done for Burghley, which really snuck up on me here. It’s my favorite 5* so I’m excited, even if it’s being a bit overshadowed by the upcoming WEG. The Burghley data will be available for purchase on our webstore as well if you want all the details or want to follow along at home.

The big announcement this week is that I’ve finally rolled out the Sporthorse Breeding Consultations, a service that has been highly requested. It took me a while to get my PowerPoint just the way I wanted it, and to create all my supporting PDF documents, but I finally finished everything. All the info and details are in the listing if anyone is interested in that.

That’s all the news, now it’s time for the “pondering” part of the post.

I remain highly frustrated by a lot of the live stream commentary for US events. It’s… not good. We’re missing so many opportunities to mention US breeders (there were two horses from the same US breeder in the 4* at GMI but not a peep was said), information being given about horses is wrong a lot of the time (like… really wrong), and it all just seems very disorganized and not particularly educational. For comparisons sake, go watch some of the past live streams of events like Millstreet in Ireland. THAT is what we should all be aiming for. It’s so well done – a riding lesson and a breeding lecture all in one go, and they’ve got all their stats and pronunciations down pat.

What frustrates me the most is that I can help with this. It’s one of the BRC services – providing breeding data and facts to live streams and events. What I’m struggling with is 1) getting it to the right people 2) getting some commentators (a couple popular ones in particular) to use it. Or even look at it.

Live streams are just so incredibly expensive to put on (like, can be mid-5 figures) it baffles me that very little effort seems to go into a majority of the commentary. Hire people that genuinely want to do a good job with your event (I know a few!), not people that want to get on air and talk about themselves and/or talk over their co-commentators the entire time. And if you’re hired as a commentator, show up prepared. Know how to pronounce things so you don’t spend 2 minutes arguing over a name on the live stream. Have talking points. Try your best to be accurate with what you’re saying. Live streams are such a massive opportunity to educate the masses and get people excited about what they’re seeing, and I can’t help but feel frustrated every time the commentary is subpar. We can do better!

The only way I can think of to really help prioritize this with organizers is to give them feedback. Like… any of us who have something relevant to say about it (positive or negative), or suggestions, or requests, I think we should be giving it. Every time. So many of the people I talk to agree with me in thinking that a lot of commentary really leaves plenty to be desired, but I don’t think any of that ever reaches the organizer’s ears. The audience for these live streams is so huge though, I can’t help but feel like we’re really missing the boat here as a sport. I’d love to find a way to change that.

Monsoon season

Okay, I’m willing to concede that when people say summer is monsoon season in Florida, they are not joking. In the past week we’ve gotten about 10″ of rain. The evening deluges are impressive… it just pours like hell for hours, with rivers of water running across the top of the ground.

These storms have a lot of lightning too, so my horses have been spending their evenings and overnight in their stalls. Which has made them a bit more… fresh… than usual. Gemma’s sass level has been dialed up, and Presto seems to be stuck in SupremeDingDong mode. He’s been alright to ride (I say that before we head off for our jump lesson this morning… hopefully I don’t get murdered), but sometimes he’ll just start galloping circles in his turnout, screaming his fool head off for absolutely no reason. Just funsies. And every morning when I go get them from the barn to turn them out, he plays shark attack with the halter, and it turns into a battle of wills to get the halter out of his mouth and onto his head. He’s a fast mofo with that mouth, man.

Lies, these are all lies.

Even the field, which had yet to be too wet to ride in even a single time since we got here in early May, has leaped right over “squishy” and into “there is literally a lake in the middle”. Thank goodness for the arena or I wouldn’t have anywhere dry enough to ride. And I have to say, compared to a lot of farms around here this place does drain pretty well, and all the vital infrastructure is on higher ground, so thank goodness we’re not having problems that others around here are having, with flooded barns and water up to the top board of their pasture fence in places. There’s standing water in a few spots, mostly down by the pond, but we aren’t flooded and the turnout footing is still fine since it’s so sandy, so considering how much rain we’ve had it’s not bad. If the rain could pump the brakes for a few days that would be great, but according to the forecast it’s just going to rain every day forever. I’d been thinking about getting a kayak, maybe I should…

the grass is LOVELY though, so there’s that!

In other news, the SO decided that since he moved to a super horsey area, he should learn how to ride a little bit. He’s ridden Henry 4 times now, and this past time was his first time trotting. It’s always very satisfying to me how people think riding can’t be that hard and then they do it and they’re like Jesus Christ. He’s a cyclist so he’s at least starting from a good place athletically, but it sure is a lot different from riding a bike.

it’s very hard to lunge and video and give instructions at the same time

To all of Henry’s eternal credit, he’s been an absolute fucking trooper for this. He’s kind but he is not what I would call a total beginner lesson horse type by any means, so his patience and tolerance for this is earning him yet another golden crown (how many is he up to now, like 300?). Don’t get me wrong, Henry absolutely 100% takes advantage of the SO… yanking his head down to graze whenever he feels like it, pretending he doesn’t know how to walk faster than a crawl, whipping him in the eye with his tail the entire time he’s being groomed, etc. We wouldn’t expect any less of Henry would we? But the fact that he will tolerate a floppy bouncy beginner all over his back is pretty damn stellar. Just when you thought the best horse on the planet couldn’t get any better.

SO already decided that he needs some proper riding clothes because riding in jeans sucks (you are correct sir), so we went around to some tack shops last week to let him try on breeches. It will surprise precisely NONE OF YOU that he didn’t like any of the ones in the sub-$150 range, and indeed the only ones he liked out of the 10 pairs he tried on were the $300 Ego7’s. To be fair, they really did fit him the best. So now we’re on the hunt for a good deal on some of those (they have to be black, naturally, which the store didn’t have in his size). Next we’ll get him a proper riding helmet, but he was so irritated with trying on breeches that he Could Not Even with the helmets. Now he knows how we all feel when trying riding clothes…

Foal Friday: Wipeout

Ok this time I am actually aware that it’s Saturday. I tried to post this yesterday and WordPress barfed all over itself and deleted the post, and I didn’t have time then to redo it, so here we are. Just do me a favor and pretend it’s Friday.

I’m not the only one on the strugglebus, because Baby Quinlee also had a bit of an oops this week. Y’all don’t even know how hard it is to be a baby horse. One minute you’re yeehawing around the pasture, as one does.

And then the next minute… uh oh. Oh no. Too much hay. Too fast. Too many legs.

Next thing you know you’re riding the Lawn Dart Express down to get a Dirt Sandwich.

Gotta get up quick, hopefully no one noticed
shit, it’s the lady with the camera
Hey lady, you’re ruining my image!

The real question is, though… did she learn her lesson?

Of course not.

Happy weekend!

The King and the Princess go XC

Guess what we did on Monday?

This should be a big clue, when you see the Majyk Equipe XC boots drying in the washrack.

I mentioned last week that I wanted to take Henry out for a little XC action, just for funsies. It makes him happy, it makes me happy… why not. That’s the beauty of living here in Ocala where I can drive 10 minutes to any number of places for a quick pop-around, and it’s not an all day thing or a big expense or a big deal. Still blows my mind. I schooled two horses and was home by 10. Badabingbadaboom. Have I maybe mentioned a time or two that I love Ocala? No? I do.

I figured if I was taking Henry I may as well take one of the kiddos too, and since Presto had had a jump lesson the day before, he’d earned the day off and Gemma was the winner. I opted to take them to Majestic Oaks mostly because they’d just had a show there and I wanted to ride the whole Starter course on Gemma to see what she thought. She’s been the Majestic to school once already with Hillary, so I figured it would be a relatively easy outing for her and a nice repeat.

Since it was getting hot fast, I started with Henry. I soon as we walked out to the XC he was in absolute Game On mode and warmup up like he thought he was at the Olympics. It really isn’t hard to make this horse happy… food and XC. Done. I didn’t do a whole lot with him, just warmed him up and popped him around a handful of the Training level jumps. Ok well perhaps I did encourage him a bit because I went to the startbox and gave him a countdown and let him come out of there and gallop over the first few before we went and did some combos. I love both of the babies but it sure is fun to get back on my long-time friend and just go enjoy ourselves. Henry was very pleased with all of his efforts, as I’m sure you can imagine. I was on him for all of 25-30 minutes but that was all he needed for an ego boost, and all I needed to put a smile on my face. He’s still the king.


After that we went back to the trailer and I switched over to Gemma. She was a little bit ants-in-the-pants, as she tends to be a lot of the time anyway, but overall pretty calm. She’s not upset or frantic, she just needs to move her feet sometimes. Not a big deal. At that point we were also quite literally the only trailer there, so we had the place to ourselves.

We did a quick warmup, mostly making sure she was listening and relaxed, and then I started trotting some little logs. She always, without fail, jumps the first handful of fences like they’re 4′ high. I’ve just come to expect it by this point. So we trotted and cantered some little stuff until she was being less dramatic, made sure we were adjustable and straight, then I took her over to the startbox. My goal was to just ride her around the whole Starter course, a chunk at a time.

By the time we got like 3 jumps in she was already bored and just loping over everything, but that’s exactly what I wanted. I know she’s brave, I know she’s careful, but I need her to also be relaxed and confident and rideable and using her body correctly. I have no doubt that I could point her at bigger things and she’d jump them no question, but I care more about the how right now than the what. If we take the time in the beginning to establish the how, the what will be a lot easier later.

Gemma really is a fun little horse to ride, she’s quick and catty and athletic, and super adjustable. A different type than my other two for sure, but she’s so game and tries so hard, it’s really adorable.

She was definitely more unsure of herself when she got farther away and was by herself, so that’s good information to have for whenever it comes time to actually horse show. Really the only “bad” thing Gemma did the whole time though was spook at a flock of birds that were directly beside a log and decided that the perfect time for all 9000 of them to fly away was when she was like 3 strides out. She teleported sideways at that, and I don’t really blame her.

Honestly though, not a bad way to spend a Monday morning.

Feast or Famine

Well dang y’all, I didn’t have a jump lesson for almost a year and now I had TWO in the past week. Both of the the baby horses went over to Steph’s for some jompies last week (on different days, because I might be stupid but I’m not a masochist).

First up was Gemma. It was only her second-ever lesson, and her second time going over there, and would be her first time jumping there, so we opted to keep it very very simple and easy and positive. The great thing about having no real timeline for a horse is that there’s no pressure to try to do more, we can just take it day by day and do whatever feels best. We decided to take this first time to just let her pop over some very small things, see all the fillers (I really don’t have fillers here aside from a couple flower boxes – definitely no fake rocks or liverpools or unicorns or any of that fun stuff), and just keep it very low key and relaxed.

Since the goal was to introduce her to fillers, after we warmed up, we decided to tackle just the liverpool tray by itself first. Steph led her back and forth past it a few times, and Gemma didn’t even seem inclined enough to actually look at it. So Steph stepped on it, making it crinkle, and Gemma still didn’t even seem to notice. So Steph made her next pass very close to the edge and Gemma was like “Omg y’all, ya know what, I feel like you’re just wasting my damn time at this point.” pushed past Steph, and just traipsed right over the liverpool on her own. Her face was like “Jesus, are y’all stupid or something? It’s not hard.”.

I swear there is an actual legit liverpool there

Well alright then. So then we trotted back and forth over that, then Steph built a crossrail over it. No big deal. She overjumped it the first several times, as Gemma does with any jump at the beginning of a jump school. Then we started adding more jumps on the course, all crossrails and all at a trot, so it was simple and slow and had time for her brain to connect to her feet. Naturally she didn’t give a crap about any of those fillers whatsoever. Steph was like “wow she really is brave huh?”. Indeed I was not exaggerating when I said that about this one, she really is.

We put a few courses together, circling in between fences or in the corners to get her balance and rhythm back. We want her to be making a little big better shape in the air – sometimes Gemma’s Simplest Solution is to just rocket launch up in the air. Appreciate the effort girlfriend, but we gotta jump AROUND things and use our back in the air. She got better and better with that as we went, and ended up cantering out over the fake rock jump on an angled line like a little star. Good girl Gems. Next time we’ll start doing some grid work, which I think will be really great for her. Just wanted to get her comfortable and confident over there first before we made it hard.

when they finally let you canter something so you have to make it count

A few days later I went back with Presto, and finally it was my turn to jump him. Finally! If you recall I’ve only ever actually had one jump lesson on him before, last September before he got hurt. Steph’s put some training rides on him now and gotten a good feel for him, and played around to see what works well for him and what doesn’t. We’ve been working on that very annoying little all-body-parts-going-different-directions and head toss thing he liked to do so much in the last few strides before the jump. He’s been getting better and better with that. He’s straight now, and the head toss is greatly diminished. Thus, she said it was my turn.

Tell you what, if I thought Henry was the horse that taught me how to ride, Presto is gonna be the one that teaches me how to ride More Better. He is so interesting. He’s massive so he feels like he’s covering a ton of ground, but it’s actually a little challenging to keep him in front of your leg. He needs A LOT of support from the leg in general (Henry or Gemma would be in the next county). He’s also very long, so keeping him put together down the lines and putting him back together in the corners takes me a few strides too long right now. I gotta get quicker and more finessed.

Presto is much more physical effort to ride than my Thoroughbreds. Partly because he’s so big, partly because he’s still weak, and partly because that’s just kind of him as a horse. He’s a lot of effort on all counts. He’s really FUN though, and I said I was ready for a new challenge, so here he is delivering. What I love about him is that he’s super honest, wants to jump the jumps, and doesn’t get upset if/when things go wrong. He has plenty of ability and boldness. And when you actually get him to a jump well and he rocks back… boy has got some power in that weenie little gangly hind end. Or he will someday at least.

We did a lot of footwork exercises/grids, which were good for both of us, and ended with a one stride to four stride line that he was really super about. I know it will be a learning process to figure him out, but that makes it exciting. Ya know what was hella fun though? Flying over that unicorn oxer (I love that jump, I’m going to steal it) on my derpy little unicorn baby horse. It’s been a long damn time coming, and to even just feel this level of semi-competent on him now… not gonna lie, it is fucking fantastic. We have a very long way to go, but at least we’re sorta kinda doing the thing?

excuse me sir, why are you so cute

Now that I feel like we’re settling into a program that works for all of us, I’m pumped to get back over there with both of them on a regular basis and keep chipping away!

There is something wrong with me

How many of you read that title and were like “there’s more than ONE something wrong with you” or “let’s see which thing it is this time”? Uh huh, I thought so. Rude.

ANYWAY, in this particular scenario I’m referring to the fact that I have once again fallen down a slippery slope of internet browsing for pretty things. This time it was show shirts. In my defense I really haven’t shown much in the past few years and haven’t had a reason to accumulate any show shirts. Not that that’s really stopped me from uh, picking up one or two here and there (I may or may not have a sparkly navy one and a black Samshield one with glitter and an ivory lace one). Now that we aren’t too far away (hopefully) from getting the kiddos out to some horse shows, I had a look through all my show clothes to assess the situation. It’s… interesting.

I’ve got a couple pairs of white breeches that sort of fit. I’m good on show coats. The boot situation is fire. Helmets are also solid. Do I have some show shirts? Yes. Are they all a bit off-beat? Yes. I have no white shirts, nothing subtle, definitely nothing even remotely classic or conservative. I like my off-beat options, for sure, but also if there’s a chance that I might go careening across the dressage court on a wild baby horse, maaaaaybe I should dial back the outfit a bit? I should probably have at least one white shirt in my closet.

So off I scampered over to Riding Warehouse to see what they’ve got. And then, ya know, one thing led to another and I ended up with an obscene amount of shirts on my Wish List.

Thus now I’m making it Everyone’s Problem and y’all get to help me pick. Or weigh in if you have any of these. Or buy a few for yourself and we can compare notes. YOLO.

Naturally I was immediately drawn to all the navy ones, because we all know that I have a navy problem.

Hi, you’re my type.

Hey girl, so you are you.

Wait NO! No no no… the task at hand is a white shirt. A WHITE SHIRT. A SEMI-NORMAL, BUDGET-FRIENDLY, REGULAR WHITE SHIRT. Come on self, let’s focus.

Pikeur Kennya

This is probably the definition of basic for me – plain white. It does have the mesh top and arms though, which I really like, and Pikeur usually has nice fabrics. Is it too boring for me though?

Shockemohle Clea

This one is a little less boring, with it’s little metal beads around the collar. Still nothing wild but a little more interesting at least.

Horze Kaitlin

I really like the silver flowers on the shoulders, it makes it less boring. Plus the fabric looks meshy, which I like. Does the zipper make it too casual though? It also comes in navy and a light purpley-pink color that got me very distracted and wanting those for just regular everyday riding shirts. I mean, the price is right… (send help).

Ovation Elegance

This one would look very classic with a coat over it, but I always like anything with a lace sleeve.

LeMieux Amelie

Ok I like that this one has rhinestone buttons and the little polka-dotted mesh part at the top. It’s still interesting but classic enough since it’s white… right?

LeMieux Olivia

Moving on to long sleeve options, I loooove the laser-cut details on this one. It’s my jam for sure. Of course, with a coat on you wouldn’t see any of that. Gah I love it though.

Horze Sianna

Ok the ONLY thing that’s appealing to me personally about a ruffle is that it gives a little bit of a stock tie look. I like the lace on this one too, and the pearly snaps. I just feel like I might look ridiculous (George Washington, anyone?) in a ruffle, even if I like how it looks on other people.

Thoughts? Assistance?

Birthday week extravaganza

My birthday was last Friday, and per usual, I managed to stretch it out into several days worth of fun things. Sometimes all you need is a good excuse.

I kicked it off on Friday in the best way possible – behind my favorite set of ears. I flatted Henry a bit, popped him through some cavaletti, and then took him out for a gallop down the side of our road. His fans will be happy to hear that he is a cheeky little shit, dolphined aaaaaallll the way down the front fence line, and was extremely pleased with his efforts when he was done. I keep thinking I need to take him out one of these mornings for a fun little XC school somewhere to REALLY inflate his ego, but can the farm even handle Henry when he’s that full of himself? Guess we need to find out. For science.

Poor Presto, he tries so hard to make Henry love him and Henry is just zero percent interested

After that I loaded Presto up and took him down to Steph’s for another jump school training ride. He’s been getting better and better these last few times, and he was really good this time too. Except for his first time down to the line of bounces to the oxer where he was too busy looking off at her mom pulling weeds in the dressage arena/the pony hacking and didn’t even bother to actually look at the oxer, which was a good foot taller than it had been the last time he jumped it. He jumped it as if it was the same little oxer as last time, thus ended up swimming through that thing pretty spectacularly and sent poles flying. Luckily he somehow managed to stay on his feet. He seemed extremely embarrassed about his gaff for the entire rest of the ride because he majorly dialed back on his Presto-ness, listened, and paid much more attention to what he was doing. So ya know, I guess all you have to do to improve his rideability and attention span is go through a jump. Dingo.

Much improved baby horse after his whoopsy

My birthday present from the SO was the light blue Laguso coat I’ve been lusting after for months. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve even tried it on by this point, I just love it so much. And I can’t even really tell you WHY – its not like light blue is one of my colors or anything, but it just looks so good with white breeches and I think it’ll look especially pretty on Gemma. Gold star to the SO for this one, although I was about as obvious with this birthday present suggestion as humanly possible. The first time I took him to WEC I went directly into that store and tried it on and showed it to him and made sure he knew the name of the store and exactly what coat it was and what size I wore. Subtlety… it’s an art form.

Hey, it worked didn’t it?

On Saturday morning we took Gemma and Henry for a road hack – the SO’s first foray outside of the farm. He passed his basic proficiency “test” of tack up, mount/dismount, go, stop, steer, and make it the entire ride without grabbing the saddle or saddle pad – those were my requirements before he could road hack. Gemma got selected to go with him because Presto is a Troublemaker on hacks and ain’t none of us need to die. I’ll only take him out with other people who are experienced, because he tends to uh… manufacture problems. Gemma though, she’s a super good girl out there. No issues with traffic or cows or any of that, and she’d rather die than cause problems for no reason. She gets nervous about lots of barking dogs or galloping horses, but at least with her I know she isn’t going to try to murder me purely because she thrives on chaos (like, uh, someone else we know).

She would never, she’s too cute for murder.

This was only her second time going out on my “northern” route, up toward the rehab facility down the road. She was super good though, and led for a good bit of the way there. Once we turned around to come back, Henry’s pace magically tripled (amazing how that works) and she really had to powerwalk to keep up.

On Saturday night we headed to WEC for dinner and the Grand Prix, since it was the last one of the summer circuit. It was pretty well attended, all the best seats were full, and there were like 55 entries in the class. I dunno about y’all but my attention span does not last for leadline, a drag, then 55 rounds, 2 more drag breaks, and a jump off. I made it about halfway through the class by the time I was ready to go home and go to bed. Old lady problems. It was fun though… sitting at WEC on a nice summer evening eating tacos and watching horses jump is never a hardship in any way shape or form.

To round it all off, yesterday we went to Universal Studios in Orlando so I could finally see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I’ve always wanted to go, and now that I live 1.5 hours away there’s literally no excuse not to. Well ok, it’s not exactly a cheap day, there’s that. Worth it though, at least once. It was really neat to see everything and go in the shops and have a butterbeer (tried both the cold and the frozen) and ride the Hogwart’s Express and just basically be a complete nerd for a day. My favorite part of the whole thing was for sure Knockturn Alley and Borgin & Burkes. LOVED IT.

One big bummer though – I was kind of excited to get a wand, but they were totally out of Snape’s. Like, every single store in the park was sold out of Snape AND Sirius Black, both my first and second choice. So alas, no wand for me. I settled for a sweatshirt and journal from Borgin & Burke’s instead, and some candy from Honeyduke’s. Plus we had fish and chips for lunch, then some ice cream in the afternoon (had to try a scoop of the Sticky Toffee Pudding and a scoop of the Strawberry Peanut Butter, of course). By then it was all getting a little bit too “peopley” for me and I was ready to go, but still… really fun to see it all. I would go back (when they have Snape wands, anyway).

Now it’s back to the grind, working on pedigree reports and socal media packages! Hope everyone else is having a good week.

Gemma’s First Lesson

While I’ve definitely been putting a bit more time and focus into Presto (because he is A Lot), Gemma’s still been here in the background doing her thing too.

Not gonna lie – as a “horse in training” she’s easier than Presto. I don’t have to be quite as diligent about how often I ride her or keep her schedule quite as regimented. She can skip a few days or have a light week or whatever and still be pretty much the same horse every time. She’s got a bit of Hermoine Granger in her, this one. She’s smart and she gives it her all, both of which make her a good student.

Now that we’ve gotten more of a handle on Presto and he’s coasting along well, I decided it was time to start taking Gemma for some lessons too. Steph has ridden her once, so she has a good idea of what Gemma is like, and I felt like we were already starting off a bit ahead of the game.

I decided for this first lesson on Gemma that I should go ahead and haul her over to Steph’s. Mainly because Gemma has yet to go off property by herself, and it’s only a 5 minute trailer ride down the road. Perfect little first solo voyage. I also opted to keep it to just a flat lesson, so that if Gemma was worried or tense she’d be doing something “easy”. Trying to set her up for success and all that.

cutest little red mare alert

To Gemma’s immense credit, she loaded right up in the trailer by herself with just me, no problem. I put up the ramp, clipped her in, shut the escape door, and off we went. She was a little sweaty when we got there (it was like 2pm and pretty warm out, so that’s fair) and a little wide-eyed coming off the trailer, but she didn’t do anything stupid. I got her tacked up, swung a leg over, and walked out to the arena.

She definitely grew a hand or two on the walk over, but she kept a lid on it. We walked around for a while, letting her take in the sights and getting her bending and moving off my leg while we waited for the lesson before us to be done. We went in the dressage arena as that horse was leaving, and I guessed that she might get a little upset at “being left to die alone” (as Presto calls it). She did, but she expressed her opinion with just a couple neighs and some jigging, so not a big deal. I put her to work trotting and doing some serpentines and leg yields to get her brain engaged.

She was definitely a little ball of tension to start and it took a few minutes for me to get her to bend around my leg and go to the rail. The letters with the flowers on top were a bit sketchy, she said. She never spooked though, and the more I asked of her the more she started to settle in. We started the lesson and got to work on suppling her body, moving her shoulders, and getting her to reach down into the contact a bit more. Overall she was really quite good. There’s so much desire to please in that mare, if you make it easy for her to understand I’m pretty sure she’d turn herself inside out for you, no questions asked. It’s a nice quality, but one I also try to be mindful of and careful with.

ok baby mare, I see you

We worked for about 35 minutes at the walk, trot, and canter, before I could feel her quarter starting to run out. The tension in the beginning sapped some of her strength and stamina I think, and about midway through all the canter work she was ready to be done. We finished on a good note, let her stretch a bit, and called it a day with that. Other than the undercurrent of tension, she wasn’t that much different than the horse I have at home.

She got nice little hose down back at the barn then I loaded her back up (again very easily) and back home we went. I think it was the perfect first little Big Girl trip for her. This week I’m going to take her back over and we’ll play around with some jumps. Gemma’s been stringing together a few little courses at home but it’s hard to build on things with the green ones when you don’t have a ground person. She’s ready to start doing more though, I think!

Foal Friday: The Waterpark

It should come as no surprise that it’s still hot hot hot out in Texas at WTW West (for the sake of protecting the sanity of all my Texan friends, I’ll refrain from saying that the high here today in Florida is 89). Luckily, though, every WTW animal is nothing if not extremely spoiled rotten, therefore Michelle has been making sure that they get some relief from the heat.

“what do you mean, get out of the horse’s puddle?”
About to be removed by Pippa

They get sprinklers, and sometimes Michelle fills a few little puddles for them to splash and roll in. You’ll never guess who likes the sprinklers.

Baby Q, how shocking.

Quinlee and her BFF Teddy love to buzz back and forth through the sprinklers, chasing each other or chasing the spray of the sprinkler itself. They also seem to really enjoy a game of chicken, seeing how close they can circle by the sprinkler before it “gets” them and then acting offended when it inevitably does. Look, I don’t make the filly rules.

When they aren’t splashing in the puddles or running through the sprinklers, they make a game out of jumping back and forth over the drainage ditch. Teddy thinks this is very legit and impressive.


Q is… somewhat less impressed.


No matter what they’re up to though – have no fear, they’re managing the summer just fine. Not exactly a tough life for these horses, it’s fair to say.

“Huh, I could have sworn she was taller than me a minute ago…”

Next I think they need a horse size kiddie pool…

Happy Foal Friday!

Career Ch-ch-ch-changes

Continuing with my apparent 2022 theme of Major Life Changes, on Monday I quit my job.

pro: more time to do fun stuff like this!

It wasn’t something I had planned. I’d worked there for almost 18 years, but recently they’d made some changes that I just couldn’t stomach, and treated me in ways that I just will not accept. Obviously I’m not gonna go into the very lengthy and boring nitty gritty details publicly (the Patreon facebook group knows the whole story but I don’t want to put it on blast to the entire world) but short version: managerial changes over the past few years made it unrecognizable compared to the company that existed when I started. The way I was treated the past couple months would never have happened 5 years ago, and the direction they’re headed just… isn’t for me. It was quickly getting toxic.

Alas, while quitting wasn’t something I wanted to do, at some point I realized that no one else was going to look out for me except for me, and I had to put myself first. Life is too short to feel like your soul is dying a little bit more every day, and I care about myself too much to put up with being constantly disrespected. Having to walk away from a career you’ve dedicated your entire adult life to, though… it’s a big step, and it’s scary, no matter the circumstances.

Once I actually ripped the band-aid off, I’ve mostly just felt a sense of relief. First the first time in months, I feel like I can breathe. I slept better last night than I have in a long time. I feel lighter and in a better mood already. Between that and literally all of my former co-workers (including my manager) saying “you did the right thing, I’m proud of you”, I feel like I definitely DID make the right choice, even if it was a hard one. I will miss the friends I made there, but I know we’ll keep in touch. I hated leaving some of them behind, especially knowing that my absence would make their jobs harder, but ultimately I had to do what was best for me. Everyone I care about was very supportive and understanding of that.

I have nothing else lined up yet. I’m going to take some time to focus on Breed.Ride.Compete. and I’ll be taking on a few more social media clients as well. Mostly I’m going to see what kind of opportunities present themselves. When I took that job in my early 20’s I sure never intended to dedicate my life to the corporate 9-5, so in a way this feels a lot like freedom, and a chance to find something that I find more fulfilling. I do live in Ocala now, after all… we’ll see what happens! If you hear of anything that you think might suit me, feel free to send it my way.