There’s a Redhead in the Building

Astute observers of the black friday sale list updates may have noticed that after Thursday night there were way fewer updates than I normally do. That’s because I was busy getting other things.

The acquisition of Grace worked out pretty fortuitously. Hillary was already planning to take Lex up to Megan’s after Thanksgiving to drop him off for a few months training. Michelle needed to take Nalah (Lissa’s Catoki filly, if anyone remembers her… she’ll be 3 soon!) over to Megan’s husband Reed to get her started under saddle. We were able to coordinate things to where Michelle took Nalah and Grace over to Megan’s earlier in the week, and then Hillary and I came up on Friday, dropped off Lex at “camp”, stayed overnight and socialized, and then took Grace home in Hillary’s trailer on Saturday. It’s only 3.5 hours from here to Megan’s, vs 6 hours from here to Michelle’s, plus I got an excuse to see Presto while I was there. Worked out great, and I much appreciate both Michelle and Hillary’s efforts in helping me get Grace here, and Megan for letting her squat in her barn for a few days. Horse friends are the best friends.

We left Megan’s shortly after dawn on Saturday with Grace, and while she was snorty about it all she loaded right up with no funny business and rode home like an absolute champ. I don’t think her head left her hay net the entire ride, and she was quiet as a mouse back there even when we stopped at a strip mall in BackassNowhere for donuts.

It was cold and rainy by the time we got home and kept raining all afternoon, so she had to spend her first day in her stall, which is situated right between Henry and Quinnie (Presto’s stall!). She mostly ignored them and ate her hay. The good part about the horses having to spend that first day inside is that they all got to meet and settle in together with the stall walls between them, so by the next morning we were able to just go ahead and turn them all out together with little drama. Well… Grace has been living in the desert of West Texas for a while, so she seemed to be having some real Ireland flashbacks out here at first.

She woohoo’d for a while before settling in to eat grass, and largely avoided any kind of direct contact or confrontation with Henry or Quinnie. She seems to want to opt out of drama in general. She’s not super submissive, but she also would rather remove herself from a situation rather than escalate it. She’s smart and has a good sense of self-preservation. Henry kept trying to pester her into drama but she just wouldn’t take the bait.

Later that day it had dried up enough to hack, so Hillary came out to ride Henry and I hopped on Grace. My saddle fits her pretty decently, and her head is the same size as Henry’s so that works out bridle-wise. The only thing that didn’t fit her was my girths, I had to squish her into Henry’s, but luckily the next day my Black Friday girth showed up and that one fits better.

We walked them all over the property – front field, both rings, and then all the way to the back to and around the hacking path. Grace was definitely alert and a little snorty but she’s the kind of horse that still wants to keep going forward even when she’s unsure, which I REALLY like. We trotted a bit once we got out in the back… she’s also quite sensitive and light, definitely rides more like a TB. Which again, I like. That’s my type. She’s VERY wide in the heartgirth though, boy… she’s not very tall but she’s stout through the shoulder and chest and there’s a lot of neck up in front of you, so she rides a lot bigger than she is.

On Monday she got her feet done. She’s been barefoot out there in the West Texas sand, and her feet are pretty good, but my farrier and I both had some concerns about trying to keep her barefoot and in work here where it’s rockier and the soil is more coarse. She’d already started to chip off a little piece of toe so ultimately we opted to put shoes on her fronts. Once again she was perfectly behaved for the farrier and never put a foot out of place the entire time. She gets a lot of gold stars for how easy she is to do things with and how she conducts herself in the barn and on the ground.

she stands like a flamingo when she wants a cookie

I hacked her again yesterday as her first ride with her shoes and she felt great, so now we’ll start moving into a more normal schedule. Michelle was riding her some, but not consistently, so I want to give her body time to acclimate to being a riding horse again before just throwing her into full work. Friday she’s getting her teeth done and that’ll be the last thing she needs before we’re “all systems go”.

Henry definitely has some jealousy issues to work through. I’ve been giving him lots of cookies and attention but he still stood at the gate and shot daggers at me with his eyeballs the entire time I was tacking Grace up yesterday. He’s got issues. He was being a little bit mean to Grace the first couple days too (he can be a MASSIVE asshole in the pasture sometimes until he decides he really likes the horse) but that behavior seems to have settled down. Henry is just extremely territorial about Quinnie and doesn’t want anyone else near her, even though Quinnie is damn well capable of taking care of herself. It’s more of a “she’s my friend, you can’t talk to her” dynamic. He’s a stage 5 clinger. I’ve actually caught him and Grace hanging out a couple times with Quinnie further away though, so I think in a couple more weeks they’ll be the three muskateers. Henry just has to get over his drama.

I was taking pics of Grace and he slowly crept into the frame. Seemed very intentional.

We’re only a few days in but so far, so good, knock on wood. She seems to have transitioned just fine, she’s eating and drinking well, and she’s behaving herself impeccably. And even having just sat on her a couple times and seeing her more in person, its changed my opinion on stallions for her slightly, or at least re-ordered my top 3 favorites. This is exactly why having rideable broodmares is such a nice bonus, it really gives you a better picture of what they’re like.

At some point next week I’ll do a post all about her pedigree and family, since she’s a pretty interesting one having been imported from Ireland. For now it’s kind of fun having a redhead in the barn for a change!

Peak Black Friday Energy

I mean, if your bank doesn’t contact you at some point to verify that all these charges are valid, have you even Black Fridayed?

Get In Loser Were Going Shopping GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Since I’m the one that makes the big stupid giant sale list, there’s really no way for me to avoid them. Especially because whenever possible I make sure to click into the site, make sure the link works, and verify the sale/details before I post it, in an effort to be as accurate as possible. That means I see A LOT of sales, which is both a great thing and a terrible thing. I’ve learned to just embrace it at this point. I know it’s inevitable. And honestly, it is a great time to stock up on things, or splurge less severely on something you’ve been wanting.

I tend to prepare for Black Friday weekend with a three pronged approach 1) I use it to load up on essential items that I use all the time anyway, like fly spray or shampoo or supplements or whatever… may as well save a few bucks and make sure I’m well-stocked. I just finished last Black Friday’s fly spray a couple months ago. 2) I always go into it with a few “wish list” items of things I don’t really NEED but would like to have, and if I find items that fit the criteria and are on a good enough sale to excite me, I’ll get them. 3) I’m always on the lookout for gifts, or wicked good one-off sale items. They’re usually rare, but sometimes you’re in the right place at the right time and who am I to deny fate?

Grabby hands GIFs - Get the best gif on GIFER

Approach #2 failed miserably this year. I nabbed a lot of great things, this was one of my best years ever as far as deals I think (absolutely aced #3), but only one of them was (sort of) on my pre-game list. Again though, some of the deals were SMOKIN and I will actually use everything I got. I had to do some major digging for some of it, but I was rewarded. Here’s the damage:

– leather Pro Choice monoflap girth for $40 (normally $180). I mean… COME ON. They only had size 26, which Henry and Presto both have a 24 but I have a feeling that Presto is edging pretty close to 26 now or will be solidly 26 soon. Turns out to have been an extra fortuitous purchase though because Grace actually fits better in the 26, so I’m glad I have one to use on her!
– Jack’s nebulizer kit for $160 (normally $290) … I’ve waffled back and forth for YEARS on trying a nebulizer with Henry in an attempt to help him with some of his breathing issues, and this was the push I needed. If it doesn’t help I wasn’t out much and I can def sell it and recoup my cost, so it seemed worth a shot.

Jacks Complete Nebulizer Unit 110V - Riding Warehouse


– those big ass stall front blanket storage bags for $12 (normally $28). Planning to logo this up with my Cricut and use it as a saddle pad/scrim sheet bag for shows.
– a set of 4 black pillow wraps for $10 (normally $25) Presto is a serial pillow wrap murderer and they were $10, done.
– nylon rain quarter sheet for $20 (normally $40) I sold my last quarter sheet because it was just too heavy for Texas, this one is much lighter weight so I think I can/will actually use it.
– a ROM breastplate for $85 (it’s very similar to the Fairfax which is like $350, the ROM is normally $110ish depend on the exchange rate). I got a custom breastplate in this style made for Presto this summer that I love, but 1) it was a lot more expensive than this, 2) it lives with him at the training barn. I really wanted a second one for home/Henry/Grace and the price is hard to beat.
– a couple sunshirts from Urban Strides, two for the normal price of one since they were already on sale and the Black Friday code stacked. My sunshirts are looking a bit sad, I’ve got ones in there that are 8 years old and definitely need to be retired. But I’m also cheap. So. Perfect sale.

I’ve been wanting this shirt since it came out

– a clipper blade sharpener kit for $27 (normally $60). Will this thing even work? Maybe, maybe not. Worth a try considering the massive pile of used blades that I either need to chunk or drive the 40 mins up to the sharpening place (and then wait the week turnaround time and drive back, and then pay $7 a blade, blah blah blah). We’ll call this an experiment. I’ve certainly wasted more money on worse things.
– 6lb bag of German Horse Muffins for $15 (normally $30) Henry and Grace are gonna get the beetus for Christmas!
– one of those rapid-dry towel material coolers for $26 (normally $55) I REALLY wanted one of these a few times last year when I was having to try so hard to get Henry and Presto dry in dreary drizzly winter weather, so for $26 boom in my cart.
– some barn chore winter gloves for $10 (normally $20), I actually needed some bad, this was on my pre-game list
– a pair of Pomme breeches that I’ve reaaaally been lusting after for $90 (normally $140). This was maybe my one thing I couldn’t totally justify but like, look. Leave me alone. It was a pretty good discount at least. Black breeches were also on my pre-game list, although I’d been eyeballing the Quur (which never did go on sale at all, boo) instead of the Pomme.

I love Pomme’s whole line

Plus I got a free $50 gift card back with one of the purchases from a bigger store, which I will definitely use even if just for dewormer or ointment or whatever else. It’ll come in handy at some point. I did at least do a decent job of fulfilling the first item on my list of objectives in that I obtained some less-fun essential things like double ended snaps, blanket replacement straps, fly spray, salt licks, shampoo, and a few months worth of Redmond Rock all at great discounts. I failed pretty hard at finding gifts but did get a couple non-horsey things.

I’m pretty freaking excited about some of these deals though. I spent a little more than I’d planned but I also got a lot for the money. And I feel like it was a fairly reasonable mix of practical essentials and more fun items. The real peak Black Friday energy moment was on my very last purchase of all this, the Pomme breeches, when my bank was finally like “what the actual f are you doing?” and I had to assure them that it was indeed a legitimate charge to Sweden 5 minutes after I bought a donut in the middle of nowhere Texas lol. Have you even Black Fridayed correctly if your bank hasn’t been like

Are You Okay GIFs | Tenor

But, ya know… I don’t feel that bad about it. There’s a new consignment store that just opened not that far away so the objective this week is to go through my bins and pull out everything that got “leveled up” in this sale (like a couple old girths and breastplates and maybe some clothes and stuff) and take over there. That’s, uh…. sort of a wash?

The mail is gonna be super fun this week, anyway. Merry Christmas to me (and Henry. and Presto. and Grace.)! And of course now today it’s Giving Tuesday, so I hopped over to Strides for Equality this morning and made a donation. I’ve done the Frangible Fund for the past few years so I thought it was time to branch out!

Did you guys find any good deals? How did you fare this Black Friday?

2021 Equestrian Black Friday Sales

Well well well, if it isn’t the monster of my own making, back again. I still have a love/hate relationship with this list, but I’m in too deep now to turn back.

Best Black Friday Deals 2021: TVs, Laptops, Apple, Sonos, And More

Here we go with the usual spiel: some of these sales are already active, others won’t be live until tomorrow or Friday. I’ve included date info where I can, but if you’re not seeing the sale yet, just try their page again later. I’m tracking many more that haven’t announced specific info yet, so I will keep adding to this list as more details are available. Keep checking back here, new ones will be posted AT THE BOTTOM BY DATE ADDED so they don’t get lost in the mix. Happy Shopping! Buy me something pretty.

Riding Warehouse – up to 25% off (some exclusions) from 11/26-11/29, discount applied at checkout – build your cart now so it’s ready to go on Friday!

HB Equine Designs – automatic15% off sitewide 11/25-11/27, and through 12/3 get an additional 10% off with code HENRYNPRESTO

Higher Standards Leather Care – 20% off with code PRESTO! from 11/25-11/29

Pivo – up to 50% off sitewide

Cambox – up to $100 off helmet cameras, or $50 off your V3 trade-in with code BF2021V3. Use code BRE5 for an additional 5% off!

Trafalgar Square Books – 20% off print and e-books 11/26-29

Dark Jewel Designs – 15% off the entire Etsy shop including custom items 11/26-11/29

Pinsnickety – 20% off storewide with code FRIDAY from 11/26-11/29, with free shipping on orders of 3 or more pin sets, and an additionally discounted pin pack for customers who buy all 12 designs at once.

Halter Ego – up to 40% off sitewide

Pony-O Horsewear – up to 45% off starting 11/26

Free Ride Equestrian – 20% off with code BLACK20

The Horse Bit Bank – 15% off sitewide through 11/28 with code BLACK21

La Mundial Boots – 20% off custom boots

Hufglocken – 21% off with code BLACK2021 through 11/28

Fenwick Equestrian – 20% off all LT products with code BF21 starting 11/26

2nd Round Equestrian – 15% sitewide with code BARGAIN15 through 11/27

The Urban Strides – through 11/27 get 25% off with code blackfriday25

Central Texas Horse Treats – 20% sitewide through 11/28

Clovis Equestrian – 22% off everything 11/26 through 11/28

Equizone Online – 30% of sitewide (some exclusions) starting 11/26 with additional deals up to 75% off

One Horse Threads – 40% off sale items (discount applied in cart)

Haybales and Barbells – through 11/29 use code BLACKFRIDAY6 to get 50% all 6 Week Programs, use code BLACKFRIDAY12 to get 50% off all 12 Week Programs, or use code BLACKFRIDAYBOOTCAMP to get 50% off 11/29 Bootcamp Registration

BOTORI – discounts on various items through 11/26

Equestroom – 50% off sitewide for three hours on 11/26, hours not posted yet as of this publishing, follow their Insta. Additional sales through 11/28.

Decopony – different items on sale each day during black week, check their Instagram for daily deals

Maya Delorez – up to 30% off sitewide

Nunn Finer – 20% off sitewide through 11/28, discount in cart

The Tack Hack – 25% off through 11/29 with code BLACKFRIDAY

Auven Equestrian – 20% off sitewide with code BLACKFRIDAY

Leveza Boutique – sitewide discounts, plus free shipping in US and Canada for orders over $100

Shop USEF – 30% off all orders through 11/28

Mane Jane/Dreamers and Schemers – 25% off sitewide (some exclusions)

Myst Equine Products – up to 30% off 11/26-11/28

Black Knight Accessories – buy one get one 50% off through 12/3

Henry James Saddlery – starting 11/26 up to 70% off select products

Haygain – 10% off hay steamers and the Haygain Forager starting 11/24

Vision Saddlery – Buy one /get one 1/2 off Vision Apparel breeches and show shirts, and Vision Saddlery girths, saddle pads, and stirrup leathers through 11/25.

Epplejeck – various items up to 75% off, or 25% off your item of choice with code EJBLACKFRIDAY

Equestrian Stockholm – up to 50% off sitewide

Sporthorse Lifestyle – 30% off sitewide through 11/26 (discount applied in cart)

Pixio – 10% off Pixio and Pixem with code BLACKFRIDAY through 11/26

Joules – up to 60% off various items

Discount Equestrian – various discounts and deals, plus up to 80% off clearance section

The Drillshed – various deals up to 40% off

EQUO Equestrian – 50% off entire order ($100 minimum) with code TEAMEQUO

It’s a Haggerty’s – 11/26 buy 2 get 1 free, 11/27-11/28 get 20% off sitewide and 50% off clearance with code SAVEBIG, 11/29 buy one get one 20% off ready to ship and embroidery gear

Foxy Equestrian – 10% off (some exclusions) 11/25-11/29

Pomme – 30% off during black week

Maximilian Equestrian – up to 60% off through 11/28

Equinavia – 20-70% off sitewide

Equus Now – deals all week plus 20% off sale items with code BLACKFRIDAY

Equisense – up to 90% off select items

Ice Horse – 25% off through 11/29 with code HOLIDAY20

Redmond Equine – buy 2 get 1 free through 12/1 (some exclusions)

Anatomeq – up to 40% off the 2021 collection plus outlet deals

The Foxy Rider – 20% off with code BLACKFOX (some exclusions)

Equestic Saddle Clip – 25% off

Criniere – 15% off sitewide through 11/25 with code BLACK15

Fager – 20% off bits, clothes, halters, and saddle pads, 30% off sale items

Bascule Bonnets – 20% off through 12/2 with code 2021HOLIDAYS

The Herbal Horse – 15% off through 11/30 with code GIVEJOY

Horse Gloss – up to 25% off

Tack of the Day – extra 10% off all orders

The Collected Pony – 15% off select items 11/26-11/29

Noelle Floyd Masterclass – Martin Fuchs, Dr Bess Darrows, and Carolyn Cohen Masterclasses on sale for $7

Total Saddle Fit – 20% off sitewide on 11/26

Riviera Equisports – starting 11/25, 20% off athleisure tops with code BLACKFRIDAY20, 15% off all bridles with code BLACKFRIDAYBRIDLES, 10% off halters with code BLACKFRIDAYHALTERS, buy 5 pairs of gel grip reins for $100 (discount automatically applied)

Horse Pilot – up to 70% off various items starting 11/26

Punk Ponies – Buy one get one 40% off on their Limited Edition collection (discount in cart)

Parlanti – 20% off through 11/29

Bridles and Reins – buy 2 products get 35% off with code BLACKFRIDAY35, buy 3 products get 45% off with code BLACKFRIDAY45

Spur of the Moment – 30% off sitewide

Macrider Saddlery – 20% off bridles through 12/1 with code BFSALE20

Dancing Equestrian – up to 40% off plus free shipping

Bit of Britain – extra 10% off all orders

Saratoga Horseworks – 15% off sitewide through 11/30

Le Fash – through 11/29 get15% off 2021 shirts with code BLACK15, 10% off accessories, sweaters, tees, and home decor with code SHOPSMALLSALE, extra 20% off clearance with code EXTRA20SALE

Calverro Eq – 25% off sitewide (discount in cart)

Pur Vida Healthy Horse – Buy one get one 50% off plus free shipping through 11/29 (discount automatically applied at checkout)

Adam’s Horse Supply – up to 25% off select brands

Goode Rider – 25% off sitewide with code BF25

EQU Lifestyle Boutique – 20% off sitewide starting 11/24

LA Saddlery – 30% off sitewide through 11/30

C4 belts – 30% off sitewide with code BF30

Asmar Equestrian – up to 75% off select items

Hunt Club – 25% off your order with code BF2021

Mane-ly Long Hair – 10% off sitewide with code Xmas21-10 starting 11/25

Enviro Equine and Pet – spin the wheel for a discount up to 50% off from 11/26 through 11/29

SS Tack – various deals up to 65% off

Dover Saddlery – various BOGO deals and discounts

Prima Equine – various items marked down up to 40%

Topline Leather – 50% off unicorn bits (discount in cart)

the Horselet – 40-80% off sitewide during black week

Animo – up to 70% off select items

Stablewear – 50% off everything on 11/26 with code BLACK

Urban Equestrian – 30% off handbags and pillows with code BLACK30

Zen Horse Saddlery – 15% off sitewide (some exclusions) through 11/2 with code BLACKFRIDAY15

Redpost – various early deals then more discounts starting 11/25

Kingsley Riding – 25% off sitewide (some exlusions), 10% helmets 11/26-11/28

Equisafety – up to 75% off

Horse Health UK – select Le Mieux collections up to 50% off

Buckwild Breeches – all breeches $99, tights $79

Equiport – up to 30% off select items

Equestrian Collective – 15% off with code BMCM15

Callidae – up to 50% off

Centerline Candles – spend $50, get two free holiday tins

Sync Equestrian – 20% off sitewide with code BLACKFRIDAY

Whacky Tack Equestrian – 20% off sitewide through 11/27 with code BLACKFRIDAY

Penny Forever – up to 50% off sitewide

Kerrits – various deals and discounts

Weatherbeeta – various deals up to 75% off

Horseloverz – various deals and discounts

EQUUS – various deals up to 50% off

Barnes Tack Room – 15% off saddles, 25% off all other tack through 11/29 with code BFBTR

Big Dee’s – various deals and discounts

EQUIS Boutique – up to 60% off through 11/30

Derby House – up to 30% off

Chick’s Saddlery – various deals up to 85% off

FarmVet – 15% off various items with code BLACKFRIDAY15

Everyday Equestrian Apparel – 20% off sitewide through 11/28

Sport Horse Essentials – 15% off sitewide

The Connected Rider – various deals up to 70% off

11/24 AFTERNOON UPDATE (you people are insatiable)

Corro – 20% off select brands and free shipping on all orders through 11/29

Spot on Braiding Wax – starting 11/26 get 20% off the new formula wax using code NEWFORMULA and 15% off all other products using code BLACKFRIDAY21

Boy o Boy Bridleworks – free shipping on all orders with code FREESHIP21 through 11/28

Kong Equine – $50 off Kong Equine through 11/28 with code BLACKFRIDAY

Retired Racehorse Project – 20% off storewide 11/26-11/29, free boot socks on orders $75+, free domestic shipping on orders $75+. Buy one, get any additional 20% off on subscriptions to OTTB Magazine.

Muirneen Equestrian – 30% off ethically-made apparel with code NOSTIRRUPNOV through 11/30

Remarkable Leather Goods – starting 11/26 15% off all training tops with code rlg15bkf and free nameplate with halter or lead purchase with code rlgholiday

FITS Riding – 20% off with code buynow20 through 11/27

Romitelli Boots – 15% off existing inventory (stock boots) through 11/28

Black Horse Clothing – 25% off everything through 11/29

HLH Equestrian – 20% off sitewide (discount at checkout)

Penelope Store – discounts on select items through 11/29

The Pony Jet – up to 50% off with code BLACKFRIDAY

The Infused Equestrian – mystery gift with purchase plus free hipping with code INFUSEDDAY

Reins for Rescues – 20% off sitewide with code 2021CHRISTMAS

Emily’s Equine Creations – 20% off vinyl and premade stickers

Horseplay Apparel – 25% off sitewide with code INSIDESCOOP

Ethos Equestrian – 20% off starting 11/26

Equestriess Atelier – buy a sunshirt and get a pair of Breeks for 30% off with code SUNSHIRTBREEKS, buy a sunshirt get a belt for 20% off with code SUNSHIRTBELT

11/25 MORNING UPDATE (gobble gobble)

breeches.com – 50% off 11/25 (they usually do codes the other days of BF weekend too so keep an eye out for those, but typically this one is the most % off so hit it ASAP if you can) with code TG50

Kastel Denmark – 25% off sitewide through 11/29

Dapper Horse – up to 40% off select items through 11/30, no code is needed

Flexible Fit – 30% off all orders over $75 (excluding sale items) through 11/29 with code BLACKFRIDAY21

Farm House Tack – through 11/29 get 20% OFF sitewide with code JOLLYPONY20

Lumiere Equestrian – 20% off with code BLACK

American Equus – 10% off sitewide (discount at checkout) through 11/29

MK Custom Equine Creations – 30% off sitewide through 11/30 with code BLACKFRIDAY30

Teddy’s Tack Trunk – 10% off sitewide with code TEDDY2021 through 11/29

Snaks 5th Avenchew – 5 days of deals starting 11/25, different offers each day no code needed

Joobi Riding – 50% off through 11/27, discount at checkout

Ride EquiSafe – 10% off all apparel with code ThankfullySafe

Kathryn Lily Equestrian – 25% off sitewide through 11/28

Boudica Equestrian – 30% off sitewide with code SALE through 11/30

AYR Equestrian – up to 50% off various items

EquiCrown Canada – 10% off plus free shipping with code BLACKFRIDAY

Equiline America – $150 or more get 10% off, $300 or more get 15% off, over $400 get 20% off plus free shipping at any amount, through 11/27

Royal Equine – 10% off orders over $100, plus all orders over $50 get free e-gift cards through 11/29

Red Roan Design Co – 15% off all purchases with code BLACKFRIDAY and free custom sticker on orders over $25

Equisani – through 11/28 Buy 1 Hoof-X or 1 Cutix and get 2nd for free, either two of the same or one of each, with code turkey

Cheshire Horse – 15% off sitewide plus free shipping over $75 with code HOLIDAY2021

Jeffers Equine – 10% off sitewide through 11/26 with code GOBBLE21

Smartpak – 15% off with code BF2021

Duchess Bridle and Saddle – 15% off and free shipping (some exclusions)

Incrediwear – buy two, get 3rd free

BARE Equestrian – 20% off sitewide through 11/28 with code BLACK20

Dubarry – up to 70% off select items

Bridle Bling – 15% off with code BRIDLEBLING plus orders over $50 receive a free gift

Hay Chix – 20% off single products and 2fer haynets plus free shipping from 11/26-11/29

The Distance Depot – $20 off biothane tack sets (no code required) or 10% off individual beta/biothane items with code THANKFUL through 11/29

Sporthorse Data – Pro Gold 12 months plan for £40 (normally £70), plus get a Free Gift Subscription Pro Gold 12 months plan for a friend (Value £70) through 11/29

11/26 MORNING UPDATE (is your wallet on fire yet?)

Majyk Equipe – 10% off sitewide with code BLACK10 plus get a free tack organizer with orders over $100

Ride iQ – 30% off with code HAPPY at sign up for new members (discount applied to fist payment after 7 day free trial. Applicable for monthly, quarterly, or annual memberships)

PS of Sweden – 30% off riderwear with code BWRIDER30 and 20% off horsewear with code BWHORSE20 through 11/26 (does not include leather products)

Hypostore – Early Bird 30% off with code BLACK through 11/25, then other sales to follow

Bad Horse Los Angeles – 30% off sitewide, discount applied in cart

Herd of Zebras – 25% off with code MERRY2021 through 12/2

Fundis Equestrian – various deals up to 70% off

EquesPante – 30% off all Pantes through 11/30, discount at checkout

Alberto Fasciani Boots – 30% off with code VIP30

Aztec Diamond Equestrian – up to 70% off past season items, 10% off off any order over £200

Royal Equestrian – extra 25% off Sale items with code black25 through 11/30

Equishop – up to 70% off select items

Celeris Boots UK – on 11/26 at 8pm (UK time) the first 40 clients through checkout will get 20% custom riding boots or free short boots with purchase of custom riding boots. At 8pm they will open a special Black Friday checkout – pay the deposit and they will email instructions on how to order. Checkout will close after 40 deposits have been paid.

Equi-Prism – 15% off sitewide through 11/29

Ecovet – 35% off sitewide with code BLACKFRIDAY35

Anique – buy a sunshirt get a free pair of leggings, plus free shipping

Devoucoux – 10% off one item, 20% off two items, or 30% off three items through 11/28

MyBreeches – 50% off select Pikeur and minimum of 10% off sitewide

My Barn Child – 25% off sitewide with code HOLIDAYS

Levade Equestrian – 20% off sitewide through 11/29

Esprit Equestrian – 20% off accessories, $10 off Pro tights, $5 off Classic tights, and free shipping on orders over $150 (discount at checkout)

Arnall’s Naturals – 30% off all equine products with code THANKFUL plus free shipping

Maelort – 20% off with code ML20

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11/27 EVENING UPDATE (send help)

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Equilab – new users can try out Premium for free for 60 days through 11/29

New (temporary) Herd Member

If you read my update posts after Galway you may remember me talking about how Presto is going to be staying with Megan through the spring now, and how at the disappointment of not bringing him home as planned, I spiraled pretty hard and found myself looking at OTTB’s (my classic go-to spiral maneuver, don’t judge me). Hillary will be riding Henry this winter, and I was mega bummed to not have Presto coming home for me to ride. I was really looking forward to starting a new challenge, something different to work on and do stuff with. I was deep in the OTTB facebook spiral when I told Michelle what was happening and she was like “why don’t you just come get one the mares to ride over the winter instead”, because she’s less insane than I am. I happily took her up on that offer.

The two best candidates were Vee or Grace, who are very different. Vee of course is a TB, has been ridden a little bit since her racing career concluded but is basically not much further along than just off the track, although from the riding Michelle has done with her she’s been quiet and simple.

Grace is an Irish Sporthorse (although mostly Selle Francais and Holsteiner with just a wee bit of actual Irish via Clover Hill) who had evented pretty extensively with an amateur before joining the broodmare herd.

Grace showing as a young horse in Ireland

I was kind of on the fence… I love OTTB’s, I’ve always found them really rewarding and fun to work with. Pretty much my entire riding career has been built on them, after all. But there was also a lot of appeal to Grace, who could slip into my routine quickly and easily and be able/ready to go do things without a lot of prep or foundation-building. Admittedly there are some activities coming up over the winter that I would love to do and not have to worry about having to prepare a super green horse for or coax a super green horse through. Like foxhunting and xc schooling.

Both mares are pretty good in a herd, and the care for each was about the same (ok Grace is an easier keeper food wise – no surprise there) so one didn’t really win out over the other as far as how they would fit into the farm. I mentioned it to Megan and she immediately said “Grace! Go get Grace. She would be PERFECT for you.”. Megan has taught Michelle some lessons on Grace before so she’s fairly familiar with her and likes her. I knew Grace when she was competing (Henry and I showed against her some) so from what I knew of her, I had to agree. Plus Michelle has been riding her some already, so she’s more legged-up than Vee is at the moment.

All that to say, Grace is coming to me this weekend on loan for the winter! She’ll have a little time to settle in, I’ll have some front shoes put on her, and then I’ll start playing with her and see how it goes. Hillary will be able to come ride Henry while her horse is away for training, and I’ll have Grace so we can still ride and go on adventures together. We won’t be doing anything strenuous or ambitious but it’ll give us both something fun and different to do over the winter. And then in March when breeding season starts I’ll just take Grace straight over to the specialist vet that does Michelle’s ET work, since she’s not that far from me anyway.

Michelle as usual is the real MVP and has really saved the day on this one. She da bess. More updates next week once Grace is here!

Full of Beans

Things are a bit quiet around here at the moment. I’m enjoying it because I know that it’s the calm before the storm, with a lot of things happening in the next few weeks.

why is he the derpiest?

Henry was back to 100% within a day of having his shoe pulled so his abscess could drain. He’s having to wear a boot on that foot because he’s not getting re-shod until next Monday and he’ll chip it up otherwise, but luckily we’re used to working with hoof boots since he has a history of pulling shoes (although way less with this current farrier than any others before). I don’t really like jumping in them, although we have before… it just feels a little clumsy, but he can flat just fine so back to “work” he goes.

spot the deer

Naturally he is FULL OF BEANS having had over 2 weeks off total, between my Cali trip and his abscess. There’s been a lot of dolphining around the hacking trail. It’s like a Sea World audition, although with the current state of his dad bod the sounds that come from him are more like grunts than squeals these days. It’s entertaining either way, and he feels great. LOOKS a mess… needs a bath and a mane trim and another body clip, but…. he FEELS great.

This weekend we also took Mina down to the river refuge for some hiking.

She continues to not like car rides and she definitely has anxiety about unfamiliar places. Plus no one ever taught her how to walk properly on a leash, omg. Her shelter notes said “strong puller” and they were not playing. At home she’s really never on a leash, because farm dog, but we’ve been working a lot on her verbal recall, and thankfully it’s translating over to the leash walking. She’s learned “wait” now, which helps tremendously when she wants to start shooting ahead and pulling. It’s light years better than when we started.

Luckily the place we went was largely deserted, so we only came across a few other people and dogs. I had her step off the side of the trail and sit while the others passed us, so she wouldn’t spiral. She just gets overexcited and overwhelmed easily, trying to prevent that from happening seems to be the key when she’s out and about in public.

At home she’s a fabulous farm dog. A bit overly enthusiastic sometimes, but she’s really settled into farm life well. It’s a good outlet for all of her energy, and she likes the routine of it. On days when I hack Henry she comes with us and runs around the pasture… it’s the only way to actually get all her energy out. I have no idea how the hell she was ever an apartment dog, she’s off the charts energy-wise. Methinks that has a lot to do with why she ended up back at the shelter. Her nickname Beans really suits her because she’s permanently full of them.

Toni being handsome as usual

The weather here is cooling off and the leaves are starting to fall… I can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving week. What the heck. Where did the whole year go?

I go today to get my covid booster, fingers crossed that it’ll go as easily for me as the first two shots went. I’ll have my first draft of the Black Friday sales post up on Wednesday, so be looking out for that! And more fun horsey news tomorrow…

The Time is Upon Us

Well guys, next week is it – Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday. It has caught me completely off guard this year (how the f did it get to be the middle of November already?) and I realized yesterday that I’m already way behind the eight ball on starting to prepare my equestrian Black Friday Sales post. I both love and abhor that list, if I’m being honest. It’s gotten me some great deals but it’s also a mega huge pain in my ass to put together and maintain. Normally I run several updates, adding sales a few times a day each day in that time period. This year I’m going to be away from my computer on Friday and Saturday, so I’m trying to start gathering sale information early to get as many in that initial post as possible. Thus, if you’re a company with plans for a BF/SBS/CM sale, please send me the info (via my contact page) as soon as possible to make sure I can get you included early on.

12 Things to Do on Black Friday Instead of Shopping | Shape

In other news, Henry would like everyone to know that despite his near death experience (his words) he seems to have recovered use of his broken limb (his words). It was touch and go there for a while (his words) but he thinks he may just pull through after all.

Naturally I’m talking about his abscess. He was fairly convinced that this was the end for him, because his drama level is always 11, but we got it sorted out.

cookies is medicine, halp me

I had a feeling that the abscess was trying to come out under his shoe, because that’s what they do EVERY TIME with him despite my best efforts to pull it elsewhere. On Monday I texted the farrier and asked if he might be in the area anytime in the next few days and would have time to stop by and pull that shoe off. Luckily he doesn’t live super far from me and has other clients around, so he said he would stop by on his way home that afternoon. As soon as we pulled it I knew I was right, you could smell it immediately. Vomit. I got some on my hand the other day when I was changing out his animalintex wrap and I thought the smell was never gonna come off my skin. I’m not normally sensitive to smells but I legit gagged.

um, yep

It was gross, and oozing some seriously nasty black goo. The farrier dug out a tiny bit just to make a better track for it to drain, and I opted to just leave the shoe off for now since Henry is on the schedule to be re-shod after Thanksgiving anyway. It’s a hind foot and I’ve got hoof boots, so he should be fine until then and I can keep it cleaner. The hole itself is actually quite small.

Henry hates wearing his glitter-boot-of-shame on a hind foot but he’s already like 98% better and it seems to be almost done draining now. I’m glad we pulled his shoe off for sure, it’ll drain and heal a lot faster. Funnily enough this is the exact same foot and almost the same spot as where he blew his last abscess, almost exactly 6 months ago. Against all odds (his words) he’s survived two near death experiences (his words) in one year. What a trooper.

Airrosti update, 6 weeks later

I finished up the last of my four Airrosti appointments before all of my October travel started, and I was really interested to see if/how the program worked out for me throughout all that was to come. All of my trips (Ocala, Maryland, Cali) entailed a lot of standing, walking, carrying… all the things that are oh so great for someone with back problems.

very good at sitting in airports

One thing that I had already known to be true before I even finished my Airrosti treatments was that it wasn’t like all my back issues just magically disappeared. It helped resolve the acute pain and swelling, sure, but what was most beneficial to me about the whole program was finding the cause of my reoccurring issues and then figuring out what to do to help prevent them from happening, or how to go about working some of them out on my own. That included stretching, foam rolling, and targeted strength exercises to make up for all of the muscle imbalances that I’ve spent basically my entire life creating.

I travelled with my lacrosse balls and resistance bands, since they’re small and easily packable. I also screenshotted all my exercises so I wouldn’t have to keep logging into the Airrosti portal to remind myself of what all was on my docket. Granted, by then I had pretty much memorized them all anyway, and expanded on some of them to ratchet them up a notch in difficulty.

While I didn’t run through every single one of the exercises every day (which isn’t the point anyway) I started to figure out which ones help me the most before or after which activities. On days where we sat a lot, I’d do more of the strength exercises and stretching. On days where we spent a lot of time standing, I spent a lot of time using the lacrosse balls on my lower back and glutes to help with the tightness. It helped a lot, and any problems I did have (there were a couple days where my back was legit killing me at the end of the day) were able to be helped a lot by the targeted exercises so that I didn’t carry the pain and/or stiffness into the next day.

For me I think the program as a whole was extremely helpful. My lower back isn’t constantly swollen and angry like it was before, and I’m a lot more comfortable in my day to day life. I think what was most valuable though was how much it’s helped me figure things out about my own body and how I move. Like the fact that when I think about standing or sitting up straight, my go-to maneuver is to hollow and hyper-arch my lower back. Which… causes a lot of my problems. I have scoliosis, so it’s even more important for me to always support my body with my core than it is for a normal person. My back can’t take it when I try to do that to my spine. So now I constantly find myself being much more aware of using and supporting with my core in literally everything I’m doing… even (or especially) when I’m just standing around. The second I hollow out my back, trouble starts. I’ve kind of had to re-learn the biomechanics behind doing even the most basic things.

Mina likes to help with my morning exercises

And that’s also not to say that I’ve been 100% successful in my execution of all this. I haven’t. I still have a lot of strength to build up and imbalances to correct, which will take a lot of time. But I do feel now like I have a way better understanding and awareness of my own body and what’s happening to cause all these issues I’ve always had. It translates a lot to my riding too, where I tend to always want to “protect” my back a bit with my posture, which *shockingly* doesn’t work.

I will say that I think a large part of the success that someone has with Airrosti depends a lot on their particular issue as well as the provider they end up seeing. I was very lucky that the woman most local to me actually knew a lot about riding and how it affects your body (and vice versa) so I wasn’t having to explain a lot of things to her – she got it. But for me personally I feel like it’s helped me tremendously and changed the way I think about and approach a lot of things, and I’m definitely glad I did it.

Budget Baselayers

For about half the year I live in sunshirts or tank tops, since Texas is balls-hot (scientific temperature reading) most of the time. However, once it stops being so aggressively Texas and things dip below 70, I feel like I’m always struggling to figure out how to dress myself. Layers tend to be key, since even when it gets “cold” here, it doesn’t tend to stay that way for long. Right now we’re doing the thing where it’s in the 40’s or 50’s at night and swings up to the 60’s or 70’s during the day. Which… it’ll do from basically now until April, with about a month’s worth of colder temps somewhere in there. I feel like every fall I’m caught off guard and find myself scrambling for long sleeves that aren’t sunshirts. Last year I found myself eyeballing the Anique shirts a lot, or the similar Lulu style long sleeve workout tops. I struggled with the idea of paying $70-$120+ for what was essentially just a baselayer though.

Lululemon Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve 2.0 - Slate / White - lulu fanatics
you know the ones I’m talking about

I ended up spending most of last winter in the Sporttek tech shirts, which worked out fine. They aren’t as fitted and don’t tuck in or layer as nicely, but the weight was suitable and they were only like $20. But over the past year a lot of equestrian brands have been popping up with Lulu knockoff type shirts like the one above for closer to the $40-50 mark, which was more enticing to me. One company put them on sale at one point over the summer and I snatched up two, just to see how I liked them, and well… I’m fairly obsessed. They’re fitted, they’re soft, they’re super stretchy, they’re comfortable, they’re the perfect length, they’re warmer than a sunshirt but not hot, and they have thumbholes (which I love when it’s chilly). I’ve been wearing them basically every single day that the weather is cool enough to allow it.

the blue one

When I got them though I noticed that the packaging was VERY generic. Not branded in any way, and looked like something you’d buy off Amazon. I went to Amazon and scoured the listings of shirts like these but couldn’t find any that looked exactly the same. I ordered a light blue in a similar-looking one, and yeah… not the same. The cut was a little boxier and the fabric was slightly different. Then Holly had the idea to look on AliExpress and bam – found them. The exact ones I had ordered from the equestrian brand, like the same exact packaging and tags and little quote on the inside hem. They even come in the exact colors that a couple of the equestrian brands sell, so I’m pretty confident that this is where they’re sourcing them from. Except straight from AliExpress they’re $15 vs the $40 or $50 that they’re charging at resale. Granted, I think other people have figured this out too, or some brands have done a big order recently, because right now their online stock is pretty low. I’ve ordered 5 more myself now – 3 long sleeve and 2 short sleeve.

waiting on the last two to get here – black and white

They ship from overseas so it does take a while to get them – mine took 3 or 4 weeks. I’ve spent a grand total of $74 though on 5 shirts, which would have cost me $200 even buying from the cheapest equestrian brand, so… to me it was worth the wait. I really love these shirts a lot and think they’re super versatile for the cooler months. Great to layer, and perfect to ride in. Since they’re fitted and aren’t too long (if you’re familiar with the Lulu Swiftly shirts, these are shorter like their race version), they tuck perfectly into breeches and stay put. I wear them a lot with jeans too though, especially if I’m doing anything active. They would make great cross country shirts too since they do sit so nicely under a vest.

wore them pretty much every day at Maryland

I have a 35″ bust and bought the small, since I did want them pretty fitted for layering. They’re very stretchy but if you prefer a looser fit you should go up a size or two from your regular size. I was pleased with them at $40 a pop but I’m even more delighted at $15… can’t beat that!

Proud

Ok, first and foremost big shoutout and massive congratulations to the most spectacular pain in my ass, Bobby. He went to US Dressage Finals this past weekend in Kentucky with his boy Carlson and placed in ALL THREE of his classes, which were all championships… sixth in his 1st level freestyle AA, 5th in his 1st level AA, and 6th in his second level AA. He’s only had this horse since April but their partnership has come along so quickly and it’s been super fun to watch. They’ve still got so much more room for growth too, it’s pretty freaking exciting. Bobby absolutely loves Carlson, it’s freakin adorable, and I’m so proud of my friend and what he’s done (and even more importantly, how he’s done it). Even if he does keep trying to drag me over into DQ land with him, which, like… no. Hard pass. Why are you so obsessed with me.

Anyway, ew, that’s enough nice things about Bobby.

There’s not a whole lot to report on the horse front this weekend for me personally. Henry is trying to blow an abscess out under his shoe which has been a lot of fun, and his drama factor is very high. If you ask him, things are touch and go as to whether or not he’s gonna make it from one day to the next. Really I just need to get the shoe pulled off so it can drain and I can clean it. Working on that.

I also need to clip him again (already, ugh) since it was warm enough yesterday where he came in sweaty from turnout. The shortage of T-10 blades from all my favorite retailers is really cramping my style though. I had to cave and order a 10W since that’s all that was available, and I even went into Dover the other night to see what they had in stock. If you want a T-84 you’re in business but if you prefer a T-10 like I do… good luck. I found a place about half an hour away that can sharpen blades so I think I might try to take a bunch of my old ones up there this week and see if they can help me out. There’s a lot more clipping left to do in the next 4 months, I need blades. I did buy this doormat when I was at Dover though. Couldn’t resist.

For most of the weekend I was pretty glued to the Tryon live feed. It was the first time that any commentator ever actually took me up on my offer to provide breeding and pedigree data and I wanted to hear how it all came across and worked out in the live feed. I really wasn’t sure how much Cyndi would use the data, or if anyone would even care besides me. So like… knock me over with a tiny feather when she read basically everything I gave her, and the response was incredible.

I had people messaging me all weekend saying how much they enjoyed having some extra info and stats. I am DELIGHTED. People say that riders, especially eventers, don’t care about breeding but just don’t believe that’s true. The feedback from even just the little bit of data I was able to provide (only having 24 hours to prepare didn’t allow me to wander down as many rabbit trails as I would have liked) makes me think that a lot of people do indeed care. I think riders and fans in general would be a lot more interested in all this breeding stuff if we had more information readily available all the time and talked about it more often. People just don’t realize how interconnected it all is and how there are definite trends in their horses and where they come from (Sinead even remarked that she was surprised at how many were US-bred, I could have died happy at that comment). Breeding is not as embedded in our horse culture the way it is in other countries, particularly Europe, thus I think it has kind of become a blind spot for us. I’d love to try to help change that.

Also big shoutout to Cyndi Kurth, the main commentator for the weekend… that was her first time doing a live stream and I thought she did a fantastic job, especially on such short notice. More Cyndi, please! It was refreshing to have someone different directing the commentary that didn’t talk over people or interrupt their cohost, and kept focused on what was on the screen rather than rambling tangents.

Also thank you to Libby for connecting Cyndi and I in the first place, none of this would have happened without her facilitating it. Oh, and Hillary came in clutch helping me put the stats together, saving me many hours of work and helping me get all the data in Cyndi’s hands before the start of XC. Team work.

Here’s a few of my favorite blurbs and side-conversations that stemmed from the breeding data, in case you missed the live stream.

It was well-received enough that I’ve already had two other event organizers reach out to ask about getting breeding data for their live streams, and a media outlet has reached out about a future project as well. I was really just hoping someone, anyone would give a shit, so this kind of response has blown me away. Y’all know that this stuff is something I feel really passionate about but also feel deeply discouraged about on the regular, so I’m just ecstatic. This gives me a lot of hope that all indeed is not lost, and that people do really care, and that it really is something worth putting the effort into. You’re giving me hope, America.

I think we’re on to something here. I did come away with some things I’d like to do differently next time, and some stuff I’d like to add in, but… hopefully it’s a start.

Foal Friday: Pferdinand

If you’re wondering where Percy’s glamour shots are, he sorta missed out on those a bit. His poor surrogate dam had been massacred by a certain pony mare that rules the pasture with an iron hoof, so she was unable to be allowed to run around loose with him that day. Not wanting to have him miss out entirely, he did still get braided up and brought out to walk around the ring and have a look at everything, and he absolutely loved it.

handsome boy with his little braids

Percy is always brave in a cool, calm, and curious kind of way, he’s more of a thinking kind of guy, and he was particularly mesmerized by all the fake flowers marking the inner borders of the ring.

The joke became that his name really should have been Pferdinand (as in Ferdinand the Bull, but it’s a “P” naming year, so…) rather than Perseverence, since he spent the entire time just standing there sniffing the flowers. The other foals had come in the ring all prancy-pants and were like YEEHAW FLOWERS, but Percy just ambled up to them, stuck his nose in them, and stood there happily.

No one tell him the flowers are fake and don’t actually smell like anything but plastic. Clearly he thought otherwise.

mmmmm smells gooood

As you can see he’s continued to grow and fill out a lot. He’s still a little bit more awkward than the other foals but his proportions are looking more and more normal every day as he slowly but surely catches up from his rough start. His ears though… I hope he never grows into those.

He’s also still a very big fan of snuggles, especially from his friend MK. It’s always great when the ones who have a rough start are still very people-oriented… he’s a sweet and happy go lucky kind of dude.

That’s the official wrap to all of the fancy, dressed up pics of all the 2021 foals. Most of them are well on their way to being weanlings now, so we’re nearing the end of our Foal Friday material for the year. I think we can still eke out a few more weeks worth though, even though the foals are all super fuzzy and gawky now. I don’t know about y’all but I’m not quite ready to give up Foal Friday yet!