Blog Hop: Equestrian Book Collection

Books are, without a doubt, one of my favorite things on the planet. E-books or real books, I’m not a snob either way, as long as it’s a book. I’ve talked about my intense love affair with Thriftbooks on this blog before, and it’s the biggest reason why I have so many equestrian books. Hard to resist loading up the cart when they’re like $3. I’ve seen enough bloggers posting book reviews to know that I’m definitely not the only one with a equestrian book collection, so let’s play I’ll-show-you-mine-if-you-show-me-yours!

Take One: Dammit Grem, get off the Wofford book!

For mine I’m gonna stick to all the non-fiction, because ain’t nobody got time for that otherwise. This isn’t everything (where the f did my Holsteiner Stamms, Sporthorse Conformation, 101 Gymnastics Exercises, Blessed are the Broodmares, GM, Geoff Teall on Riding Hunters, Jumpers and Equitation, and Frank Chapot’s conformation books go? Obviously I have another stash somewhere in the house…) but it’s a good chunk of the collection.

Take Two, much better

First are the miscellaneous group. Bloodlines, foals, young horse training, gymnastic exercises, and a grooming book. I love all of these books, but I would call World Class Grooming an essential for everyone who shows (so many pictures and instructions!), and Basic Training of the Young Horse an essential for anyone who rides babies. I mean, it’s a friggin’ KLIMKE book, essentially a bible for starting sporthorses under saddle… need I say more?

Then there’s the “I will have my own place someday” collection. It’s sad how long I’ve had most of those books, but never give up on the dream, right?

The dressage book collection is small, but it’s mostly de Kunffy. Pretty sure I’m missing one or two from this picture, even. I feel like he’s kinda the Gandhi of dressage, and I love his books almost as much as I love listening to him speak. There’s a lot of theory, and overall good horsemanship is the central theme. But of all the books in this picture, The Ethics and Passions of Dressage is the one I’d say is an absolute must have for any rider – dressage or not.

And last but not least, the largest chunk of my collection: eventing books. Several of these are old, published in the 80’s or 90’s, which makes the pictures really interesting. Eventing sure don’t look like it used to. They’re all interesting in their own way though, and I’ve gotten at least a little tidbit of knowledge from every one of them. Granted, I haven’t read much of Life in the Galloping Lane yet, because I have a little bit of a hard time with KOC. That aside, it still seems interesting… some day I’ll actually read the whole thing. My favorite of all these is probably the P Dutty book, there are lots of exercises and how-to’s with good pictures.

Let’s see your collections! Or you can just tell me your favorites… that works too…

**It’s possible that the writing of this post spurred another Thriftbooks hunt, which resulted in adding The de Nemethy Method and Breaking and Training Young Horses to the collection. Sorrynotsorry.

Blog Hop: Top 5 Horse Show Essentials

As I was standing in my trailer the other day, caulk in hand, examining the roof for leaks, I glanced down at my trusty little manure bucket cart and thought “You might be the single best purchase I’ve ever made”. Yes, I’m in love with a poop bucket cart. But since I’m ADD I continued to stand there holding my caulk, thinking about all of those essential horse show items that I can’t live without, and wondered what other little gems everyone else might have. Thus why we now find ourselves with a blog hop. So – what are your 5 essential horse show items?


1) The muck bucket cart is obviously a huge essential for me. When I was in h/j land and traveled with a trainer there was always a communal wheelbarrow and muck fork. You don’t really appreciate that until you travel solo or in very small trainer-less groups. There’s no room in a 2h BP for a wheelbarrow, so for the first couple shows of the season I just had my muck bucket and fork. I decided to “splurge” and invest in the cart that I’d seen a few people pulling around and man, it’s a life changer. I can plop bales of hay on it and cart them around, too. No more carrying heavy muck buckets all the way to the manure pile, or carrying bales of hay from the truck, and much easier to fit in the truck or trailer than a wheelbarrow. The cart is worth every penny.

2) Granted, I seem extraordinarily incapable of turning the damn thing on correctly at least half the time, yet I still love my helmet cam. It looks kinda goofy strapped to the front of my helmet, for sure, but I love being able to “re-live” cross country whenever I want. My helmet cam videos are my absolute favorite so I really don’t care how stupid it looks.

3) This one was hard for me as a h/j convert because there are few things I love more in the world than a beautiful show trunk, but good ol’ Stanley with his wheels and retractable handle has proven himself indispensable. He’s the perfect size, he’s rugged, he’s light, he’s easy for one person to move around, and he has all the features I need. I no longer own any of my old beloved wooden trunks (that took two people and a lot of cussing to move). Stanley isn’t beautiful by any means, but he is practical beyond measure.

Stanley 37 in. Mobile Job Box

4) When Uncle Jimmy’s graciously offered to sponsor Team Always be a Unicorn for the Adult Team Championship, one of the things they sent us was a Licky Thing value pack. I’ve never offered any kind of hanging stall treat/toy to any of my horses, and when I put it up in Henry’s stall at AEC I really didn’t expect him to care much about it. I was wrong. He went to town on that thing and really seemed to love it. Now I hang one in his stall at every show (and at home when they’re stuck inside) to help alleviate the boredom, and he goes through about one Licky Thing insert per show. A $7 Licky Thing is a small price to pay for a weekend full of Henry entertainment.

5) You might say lucky socks aren’t an essential item, but I beg to differ. I’ve worn these socks on cross country day at every event this year and have yet to have any jumping penalties. Coincidence? I think not. How could you NOT feel motivated wearing these bad boys? They’re always the very first thing I put into my suitcase when I’m packing.


TOA Blog Hop: Worth 1k words




Worth 1k Words.
Let’s share our favorite photos of our stud muffins.  No limit.


I’m gonna have to limit it to 10 per horse, otherwise we’ll be here all day. Ain’t nobody got time for my pony worship. Henry first!




The winner of the “best Henry face of 2014” poll!









And Sadiebug:













TOABH: Sugar Momma

Yup, this one is definitely up my alley.

Let’s continue pretending that horse poop magically transforms into money instead of the other way.  So money doesn’t matter.  If you could buy anything for your horse, what would you buy? 

1) A truck and trailer. Specifically a 2 horse gooseneck straightload, extra-large, with a ramp and a dressing room that I could throw a mattress and an AC unit into. Although really at this point I’d take anything he’d fit into that was safe. My life would be infinitely easier if I had my own truck and trailer. Independence is a priceless thing and not having your own wheels really sucks.

Hawk Trailers

2) a custom french dressage saddle. Because once you’re used to custom and french, it’s really hard to love anything else, and Henry seems to agree. So I’ll take one Devoucoux Milady, please and thank you.

3) More PS of Sweden. Duh. The hackamore bridle needs to join my fleet because the hack I have now just does not fit well and drives me (and thus Henry) bonkers.

Hackamore Sport Revolution

4) His own personal masseuse and chiropractor to come out at least twice a month.

5) A lifetime supply of Stud Muffins. Really these would be #1 on his list.

Otherwise, I feel like he’s got pretty much everything he needs and wants, because he’s kind of spoiled rotten.

Blog Hop: Let’s Make a Baby!

This weeks blog hop from Viva Carlos is another interesting one for me. She asks: If you could/were so inclined to breed your horse WHO would you breed your horse to and Why?


My mare Sadie is away on breeding lease right now with my friend Michelle and sometime in the next couple weeks she will be bred to the stallion Mezcalero. Sadie is by Westporte out of TB mare, and Mezcalero is by Voltaire out of a Ramiro Z mare. Mez himself jumped to the Nations Cup and World Cup Qualifier level and he’s proven to be a good cross on mares with TB blood, producing World Cup qualifier winner Apache who is out of a TB mare. Michelle should get a big brown horse that will be able and happy to jump. This is also Mezcalero’s last year standing at stud and his book is full. Fingers crossed all goes well!





Video of Apache, by Mezcalero out of a TB mare. Hopefully Michelle gets one of these!


“My” other mare is one Michelle and I have partnered on, my old eventing mount Jezebel (a TB mare with an interesting pedigree for sport ). She’s had a couple foals by Valentino Z (Darco x Iveday) that have been outstanding so she is being bred back to him this week. Jezebel is all heart and has a lot of jump, as she proved to Michelle on Day 1 by jumping out of her turnout (17yo and she’s still got it). Valentino is a big puppy dog with a lot of personality and a TON of ammy-ability (we’ll pretend that’s a word). I’ve had the pleasure of riding him a few times and handling him plenty… he is kind, smart, and loves to do his job. Without a doubt he’s my favorite stallion that I have personally ever come across – it’s not just his talent, he also has such a fantastic character. Every day with Valentino is a fun day. He started his career in Europe as a Grand Prix horse, then was imported and did the Jr and A/O jumpers.



Valentino Z


Me riding Valentino!


A previous Jez x Valentino cross, 2yo Fleur. A carbon copy would be nice!


And last but not least – the actual fantasy cross… if Henry was a mare! Since we’re in total lalaland here already I’ll pick one that isn’t even available to the US: Cassini I (Capitol I x Caletto II) . He is definitely my favorite producer of all time, throwing a very consistent type of horse. Plus Henry is round and short coupled where Cassini is rangier, more rectangular. He makes scopey horses that are easy to ride and they all look so much like him. There are a ton of Jr and A/O horses out there (not to mention GP ones) by Cassini. What’s not to like?


But if I was picking one that was actually feasible, it’d probably be another Rising Star Farm stallion, Valentino’s stablemate Diabolo D’Esquelmes (Chin Chin x Carthago). DD is a big horse, good jumper type, and absolutely has springs for legs. He’s young and just getting started in his career but looks very promising. He would no doubt add some scope.

DD with his real rider


DD when I hopped on him as a 3yo. He was a super chill and well behaved baby stallion!


Poor Henry is probably really glad he’s not a mare right about now! 😉 What are some of your favorite stallions?