Relatively Unscathed

We’ve officially made it through our first Florida hurricane!

Well ok we got very lucky last week with Ian… all those last minute bumps to the east made all the difference for us up here in Ocala. We went from being directly in the middle of the storm’s path to just barely getting the edge of it.

Naturally though, we had prepped for it just the same. The biggest concern was the wind, since high wind means downed trees, and downed trees mean downed power lines, and no power means the well isn’t pumping water. There have been times in the past where it’s taken a week or two to get power back after particularly strong storms, so I was crossing my fingers and hoping that wouldn’t be the case, but also preparing for the worst just in case it came to fruition.

I moved all the jumps, took everything out of the barn aisle, started hoarding water, moved vehicles and trailers away from trees, got extra feed, prepped the stalls with extra bedding, covered things that shouldn’t get wet in case it was raining sideways, etc. Some of the prep I had already done over the weekend, other stuff I did Tuesday after our regularly scheduled farrier appointment.

new nikes for Jammers

On Wednesday morning the first little edge of the rain reached us, so I brought everyone in. The horses really aren’t inside much unless the weather is bad, so usually they just come in and see it as a nice opportunity to stuff their faces with hay and take a good nap. And then there’s Presto.

Always a delight. I was not too enthusiastic about the idea of him being stuck inside for a long period of time, mostly because he is walking Damage. I did toss Presto and Henry out in a paddock in the afternoon while I cleaned their stalls, just to let them chill for a minute, and that did seem to decompress his brain a little bit. Everyone stuffed their faces with hay pretty much the entire time (although to literally no one’s surprise, Presto broke his hay net within the first 2 hours).

It rained pretty much all day Wednesday, but never particularly hard. The wind started to pick up in the afternoon as the meat of the storm approached, and it was forecasted to be at it’s worst overnight. Still though, with all those little shifts to the east, we went from projected gusts of 80mph to gusts of no more than 40mph. You could hear the wind howling all night, and every now and then something would ping off the house (little sticks blown out of trees, I discovered) but really… it was less violent than most of the summer afternoon thunderstorms we get here.

The rain had stopped by Thursday morning around breakfast time, but the wind was still gusty. I made a lap of the property to check on things and it was really just a lot of blown spanish moss and sticks all over the place, with a couple small branches down here and there. Definitely nothing major. I ended up turning the horses back out by noon, since all of us were tired of them being cooped up inside by that point.

Presto with his new branch toy

Of course, the temperature had also dropped about 25 degrees, so they were all super full of beans when they got turned back out.

The wind died down gradually throughout the day, and by bedtime on Thursday it was basically all past us. By the time all was said and done we got less than an inch of rain – far better than the original forecast of up to 12″! I feel really bad for the areas to the south that got hammered by the storm, but I will admit that at the same time I’m selfishly glad we were spared from it.

Well, mostly anyway. Friday morning we woke up to this.

That is what’s known as a problem

Can you believe that? We made it through that entire storm and then hours later a bigass tree fell in the front pasture, taking down the power line. I guess maybe the wind was holding it up lol. Luckily since the power companies had so many crews on hand in the area and there had been so little damage, they got it fixed within a few hours. We ALMOST made it through with no damage.

All total the horses were only inside for about 28 hours, and we only missed two days of riding. Granted, now I’m having to move everything back out that I had originally moved inside, empty all the hoarded water containers, etc. Still, I much prefer a wasted effort like that to some kind of massive cleanup! I’ll take that any day…. not everyone was so lucky.

Foal Friday: Yearling Colts sBs Inspection

Alright, continuing on our series sBs inspection coverage… last week Quinlee got her own post, and this week we’ve got the yearling colts, Patrick and Percy.

Patticakes
Lil Perce… please ignore whatever it is that my face is doing

Patrick is probably significantly whiter than the last time y’all saw him. You could tell he was going to gray quickly since he was already a steel color as a weanling, but boy he has wasted no time. He’s well on his way to white, just like his sire.

And Percy, last time you saw him, was still a very awkward looking dude. If you remember, he’s the one that had an extremely rough start – red bag delivery, dysmature, almost didn’t make it at birth, etc. He’s definitely been playing catch up for his entire life, but he’s looked better and better as the months go by. Still very awkward, especially compared to Patrick who I think might be the prettiest yearling in the world, but remarkably better.

He thicc

To absolutely no one’s surprise, Patrick earned the top score of the day, with great comments. Hard not to like a colt like this one.

After both boys had been inspected in hand, we turned them loose together so the judge could see their gaits. Since they live together we thought it would be easier and less stressful to present them together, and the boys seemed to agree.

he lost his ears in this pic but I still thought it was cute
Everyone’s favorite miscreant there in the background, ready to cause problems

I thought the judge did a good job too of seeing through Percy’s awkwards and giving him a good score. Some day he’s gonna grow into all his various body parts and be a good-looking horse.

Overall a good day for the colts! Next week, the fillies…

The Andy to my April

It’s Hurricane Initiation Day here in Ocala – horses and farm are battened down and ready to go. If you’re a Patron I’m posting vlog updates there periodically, so check your dashboard! Otherwise I figured I’d keep it light here, because… ya know. Balance.

Last week after we went XC schooling I was texting with Steph, and she sent a fairly perfect Presto GIF response.

Which made me chuckle because about 6 years ago there was a blog hop going around about “what character is your horse” and I picked April Ludgate for Henry. I have been compared to April for YEARS by several different people, and Henry and I have really similar personalities, so it fits. But when Steph sent that GIF I started thinking about it and I was like oh… Presto is totally the Andy to my April.

Originally, when Presto was still a wee lad, I compared him to Buddy the Elf. He’s older and more wizened to the world now, so he’s lost some of that completely naive exuberance. Now he’s a confident, but still extremely goofy dingaling. The more I went through Andy GIFs, the more it fit.

Every time he gets off a trailer

Last year after his MRI

His general outlook on chaos

When he tries to impress his friends

Basically any time he tries to do anything

In basically every lesson

Every single time he sees me coming with night check cookies

Last week at the sBs inspection with him being a supreme goober in the background

God I really wonder if he thinks this is the expression and thats why he uses his feet for everything..

In our jump lessons when I make him leave the shade to go do another course

And then of course, our relationship as a duo

Piss off, Ian.

Hello from sunny-and-beautiful-at-least-for-a-couple-more-days Florida. As you may or may not have heard, there’s currently a hurricane pointed…. directly at us.

We are the yellow star

I mean, the good news is that we’re far enough inland to not get the bad hurricane shit like storm surge or the super extreme wind speeds. The bad news is, right now we’re in the spot to get all the rain and storms in the north east quadrant, so it should still be a lot of wind and rain. Right now the forecast has wind speeds up to 50mph and rain up to 9″, but it’s still changing a lot day by day, so we’ll see.

For us the wind in the storms is the biggest threat. It takes out trees, which takes out power. After one particularly bad storm a few years back, the power was out at the farm for 2 weeks. We’ve got a well, so no power means no water. Obviously that’s problematic on a farm with 40+ horses. I’ve been stockpiling water as much as possible (no empty container is safe from me) and we’ve got enough feed and hay for at least a couple weeks. We also got groceries, water for the humans, and topped off our propane. I’m hoping that since we’re prepared, it’ll be unnecessary. Growing up in New Orleans means that this isn’t my first rodeo with hurricanes, and I’m also still carrying the trauma from when Texas froze over and we had no power and water, so. Yay?

Lex isn’t worried

Shame about that hurricane, because otherwise it’s been just gorgeous here. Highs in the mid-80’s, sunny, and not really all that humid. I’ve been trying to keep all the horses worked in anticipation of missing some days this week, and they’ve all been pretty darn good. Presto’s persona of the week (I swear he shuffles through them like a deck of cards) was “half-dead lesson horse”. Like he kept trying to go to the shade, stop dead, and put his head like a foot off the ground as if he could not possibly go one more step. Which is of course a complete and total lie, as evidenced by the yeehaws when the neighbors rolled up with a trailer full of cows. I dunno how it’s possible to be this lazy yet this chaotic all in one horse… he is a case study in contrasts.

I did a course at home yesterday that was 3′-3’3″, the first time I’ve done like complete full courses on him by myself with no adult (er, professional) supervision, and he was super. Like 10 cookies. He’s getting more rideable, and he’s completely not at all bothered when I make a mistake. Which I do plenty.

I also did at least pretend to do some due diligence and look at the Novice dressage test. Which, ok I will admit that it’s been like 6 years since I really looked at one of these (ok I did do a N test with Henry last summer but I couldn’t tell you a thing about it) but like… this is interesting.

I don’t hate it (aside from the first turn from centerline to then go directly across the diagonal, and that 10m half circle onto center line – bc hello I ride a limousine) but I feel like my brain remembers Novice tests being like 20m circle, cross the diagonal, 20m circle, canter, 20m circle, walk, cross the diagonal, trot, canter, 20m circle trot, halt, boom done. Like when in doubt you just made another circle or crossed the diagonal, extremely basic. This one is quite different. Legit had to pull up a video to make sure my brain was understanding a couple parts. I think I like it though?

Henry’s dad bod is still on point

Otherwise this week we’ll be doing more hurricane prep and battening down the hatches around here. Fingers crossed Ian turns away, or at least isn’t too angry by the time he gets here…

Foal Friday: Quinlee’s sBs Inspection

As I mentioned earlier this week, sBs was here on Monday to inspect mares and babies. We had 11 horses total to run through, but Quinlee was the only 2022 foal of the group so she got to go first of the WTW horses.

also I am the most important, duh.

She came up the barn with Inca, they got beautified, Quinlee got some braids put in, and ta-da, they were ready to go.

Glamour Shots

She did seem perhaps slightly offended by the man with the clipboard. He kept staring at her and just seemed a bit… judgy.

Dude, what are you looking at?
are y’all seeing this guy?
This seems rude

After he looked at her conformation, he watched her walk straight away and straight back, and then trot straight away and straight back. Then it was time for the fun part – letting her loose so they could see her free gaits. Presto, who is in the paddock across the driveway from the one we were using for the inspection, found this part to be very exciting.

photobomb
Hey Mister Guy, LOOK AT ME NOW

They trotted and cantered around for a few minutes so that the judge could see how Quinlee moves, and then that was it. All done.

Quinlee got great scores for her confirmation and gaits, earning the designation of Premium foal.

Like there was any other possibility?

Later she got branded (which she felt was also very rude of That Guy) and then the next day she was weaned! Inca loaded up and headed back to Texas with Michelle, and now Quinlee is out in the weanling herd here in Florida with all the race babies. They both handled weaning very well, it wasn’t a big deal at all.

Next week we’ll look at some of the other kiddos that got inspected. Quinlee just demanded her own post… for obvious reasons. #diva

Punk Rock Presto

Noodle went on another field trip yesterday!

He’s just recently reached the milestone of being trustworthy enough in the trailer to wear his tack on these short trips

Steph is gonna be gone to Stable View this weekend, so instead of pushing off our usual late week/weekend lesson to next week, I asked if she had any time before she left. She said she was planning on taking a couple horses over to Majestic to XC school, and I should bring Presto with. Zero arm twisting required for that. Sign me up.

So I put his saddle on, tossed his bridle and my helmet and my vest in the trailer, and off we went. This was the first time I’d taken him XC schooling by himself, and I was curious to see if he would be any different about the nappiness when being asked to leave the group. I got on and started warming up a couple minutes before the other two horses that met us there, so that he had to go off by himself with no hand holding or moral support. He was definitely in giraffe mode for the first few minutes (so many things to see, so little time to noodle) but he did listen when I asked him to pay attention to me, and we changed direction, played with opening and closing the trot and canter, and then popped over a couple warmup jumps. Once we got down to business, so did he.

his sheer delight at splashing as much as possible through the water

Once we were warmed up we started making our way around, picking some things to jump. Courses are always set at Majestic, so it’s easy to follow a level all the way around if you want, or pick and choose bits from different courses. We wanted to see how he would be leaving the group, so the first mission was to string together jumps 1 and 2 and then swing back around past the group to a Novice table. He was totally fine leaving the group, good over one and two, and though I felt him give an eyeball to the other horses as we passed, he kept going to the table. Completely biffed the distance to that, but ya know… it wasn’t because he was being nappy, his mother just makes bad choices sometimes.

After that we went over to the ditches. I think I’ve only ever really jumped like one ditch on him so I wasn’t sure if he’d be looky about it or not, but no. No he was not. Popped right over like he was bored with us. So then we left the group again, catching a ramp a little ways away

then swinging back toward the group and jumping through the coffin first the Novice way (ditch to smaller hanging log) and then part of the Training way (just their ditch, bending line to a bigger hanging log). He was super good about all that too.

From there we headed over to the banks, first walking up and down the smallest one (he was a little *yeehaw* about the bank when we schooled a couple weeks ago at Magnolia Sands, so doing it the boring way first seemed wise) then trotting up and down the middle one, then trotting down and adding the BN house. That was all easy peasy so then we jumped the middle one up, cantering away to a N coop, turned around and jumped the coop back, down the bigger drop with the log on top, and then jumping the N house. Aside from strongly considering spooking at a couple jumps on the fence line near the N coop (for funsies), he was super good about all that.

Then it was off down the hill to complete the holy trinity: the water. We took the N line through here first, cantering over a little house a few strides before the water, then through it, out up a little bank, straight ahead to a shark’s tooth (their N is legit, I love it). Completely biffed the distance to the upbank and he had to sort of climb out at trot, but I booted him forward again and he jumped out over the shark’s tooth happily. He’s fairly undeterred by things on XC (ok he’s fairly undeterred by what he’s doing on XC, but quite easily deterred by whatever else may or may not be happening around him). We turned around and cantered through the water again, out over the Training roll top.

Since the bank was not great we came back through and did that again, and this time he was staring off to the right at what another horse was doing and I’m not quite sure what all of his legs did at the bank, but somehow he made it up the thing with the strangest yet somehow entirely effective hop while not paying one iota of attention to it at all. It was the most graceful awkwardness I’ve felt in a while. Presto to a T. You can always count on him to entertain. Wish we had that one on video.

Made it all the way home to see that I’d left my whip on the running board of my trailer. Thank goodness it stayed.

We called it a day with that, and Steph said “I think it’s horse show time”. Alright then. She suggested a Florida Horse Park show in 2 weeks, but it’s a recognized and I’d rather save a bit of money and do schooling shows with him for a while. Plus I expect we’ll have plenty of kinks to work through in the beginning, so… better to do it in a lower pressure environment. Luckily this is Ocala, and a big part of why I wanted to move here is because there are so many show options. There are two schooling shows in October too, one at Majestic and one at FHP, so we’ll aim for both of those.

entry #1

Naturally instead of doing the wise thing and looking at the dressage test, I am focusing on the fact that the FHP show is a Halloween show, and people dress up. Punk Rock Presto totally needs an outfit.

My Eyeballs Hurt

Ok so I missed my Monday recap post but it was for a reason you hopefully find acceptable – yesterday was sBs inspection day!

Michelle drove in on Saturday with another load of mares, and yesterday morning the Belgian judge and his entourage came over to look at the mares and babies. Since there wasn’t an inspection last year we had 10 horses to do this time between mares, yearlings, and the foal from this year. Luckily a private inspection is a fairly relaxed affair, so we were able to get through them all by lunch time.

I did opt to go ahead and present Gemma to them, because they were here so why not. I hadn’t really planned on doing a mare inspection for her yet but it was just way too easy of an opportunity. I pulled her out, hosed off her legs, pulled her bell boots, and in she went. Some of the other mares were running around in the front pasture so she stood a bit like an Arabian, and didn’t show her walk to it’s full potential, but she was still approved, and with scores of 8.5 for her trot and 9 for her canter. Not bad for a Thoroughbred with a warmblood registry! Now that’s done, so if we do decide to breed her next year (I have no idea what the plan is at this point) at least we don’t have to worry about getting her to an inspection when she’s pregnant.

Ocala at sunrise is just ❤

Let’s see… working backwards, what else has been happening…

My weekend mornings were pretty full with Pratoni. XC day was bonkers but in a way that made for good sport (the Slide was iconic and the course was kind to the horses, so that’s a success in my book). I ended up tossing breeding info out for people most of the weekend but not writing anything else myself, although now that it’s over I need to go back through my data with the scores and see what kind of story there might be.

Admittedly my eyeballs are a bit broken from staring at spreadsheets all day every day last week, between the Pratoni data and the PFI data. Kind of a big weekend for Breed.Ride.Compete. … it was nice getting shoutouts on EN and on the PFI live stream. Now we get a bit of a break from that part of things before Maryland 5*, but we’ve got a lot of pedigree reports to complete in the meantime, so no rest for the weary around here. It’s ok, that’s the kind of busy I don’t mind.

BTW my standout “one to watch” from Pratoni was Duke of Champions, for the Italian team. My type of horse. He’s got the same sire (Duke of Hearts xx) as Cornelia Dorr’s newly minted Burghley horse, Daytona Beach 8, who is also a favorite of mine. I’ve liked DoH for years so it’s fun to see some of his offspring starting to show up at the top level.

I feel like I cursed both Team France and Vassily de Lassos by picking them publicly on the EN Staff Predictions article so I’ll just be over here keeping my bad juju to myself next time.

Noodle and I also had another jump lesson this past weekend. We’re putting together more courses, and working on his rideability and adjustability. He’s getting better and better, and he’s been jumping well too. He’s a bit cocky sometimes, but he does find this stuff to be pretty easy. I’m having to adjust my ride a lot (this is definitely not Henry and they aren’t even remotely the same ride) which is a learning curve, but I gotta hand it to the kid, he’s a total good dude about stuff like that.

He’s just so game and down for anything. And he does not give a shit about any kind of rider mistake, he can and will jump from anywhere you get him without so much as ruffling a feather. It’s still a lot of horse to try to package together, but he’s really fun. I’m glad that he keeps his Fuckery out of his work life.

I also really like how we’re focusing on these rideability and adjustability exercises now, early on, and while the jumps are still small. Taking the time to get all these basics more firmly cemented now, I feel like will pay dividends later on.

Mostly we’re still solidly in the partnership building phase… I’m learning how to trust and support him (he doesn’t really need my help the way Henry did, but he does need a lot of support) and he’s learning to be a more rideable noodle. It’s a fun time, although I do feel like my learning curve is steeper than his. He would probably agree.

It’s Pratoni Time

Anyone else up at 4am to watch the live action from Pratoni? No? Just me. That’s fair. Honestly I was awake anyway, and I spent so long (like… 3 days) making the breeding data spreadsheet for it that I now feel like I absolutely must watch. Not such a hardship though, I do love these big Championship events. If you want to follow along here’s the link to watch (it’s a paid subscription service but it does offer a free trial month, so you can sign up and then cancel after).

We’ve also got the breeding data spreadsheet up on the BRC webstore. This might be the best one yet, I feel like we learn a little bit more with each one, and this time I went down some seriously wild rabbit holes to get some missing data. Like… WhatsApping people in the Netherlands and Australia. It’s fine.

The end result is that we’ve got a ton of data that the results site doesn’t, and some that isn’t in any of the main databases either, so there’s that. I find it endlessly fun to sort and filter everything in different ways. Cheap thrills, y’all.

I should also have an article coming out sometime today on Eventing Nation on some of the familial connections of the horses at Pratoni – keep an eye out for that. If you missed my article from earlier this week about the incredible depth of the mare families of the Burghley top 10, you can read that one here. I hope I’m not boring anyone to death with the breeding stuff but for real there are some tidbits that are just so fascinating.

I’ve got a busy day today getting live stream data ready for PF, so I can’t linger, but what a great week/weekend to watch some good eventing!

Sharing is Caring

Oh, hey, hello there. Turns out I got totally buried under all the stuff I had to do for Pratoni and am just now finding my way out (temporarily anyway). Here I am, once again, later than promised.

This is what happens when you go on multiple quests to find missing data from various horses’ pedigrees. I was successful with most of them, at least. Just that one pesky Dutch horse… we’ll see if the current conversation I’m having on WhatsApp with a breeder in the Netherlands actually yields any results. At least I tried.

Anyway, as I was saying on Monday, we had some visitors here over the weekend! Our friends Julie and Kate were in Ocala to try some horses, and so naturally they were required to come over and play. Kate hasn’t been jumping much, so before she was set to go try horses on Saturday, they came over and she rode Henry. He is the ultimate confidence builder, this is his dream job, and Kate rode him great. He got about 9000 cookies (so ya know, basically a normal day for him).

It had been a long day of traveling for them, and they still had to get a hotel and all that stuff, so we quit with that and made plans for them to come back the next morning so we could ride more. Both Julie and Kate really wanted to ride Lex (I mean he’s adorable, who wouldn’t) and I wanted to see what they both thought of Presto. I have yet to successfully come up with a way to accurately describe what he feels like to ride (to me anyway) so I just keep shoving my friends on him and being like HERE, FEEL THE NOODLE.

Since Julie hasn’t really ridden in forever (like almost a friggin YEAR?) she chose Henry instead of Gemma (yep, that makes sense), Kate grabbed Lex, and I got Presto. We each got on and warmed up a bit, and then the horse trading began.

This is the ultimate blogger shot – nose kisses for Henry from Kate, with me and Presto in the background

I thought Kate was going to try to stuff Lex into the back of their SUV and take him home. He’s a really good little pony dude, I think everyone who rides him loves him. I mean he’s so cute, how could you not?

There was almost some good old fashioned pony theft

Then we started playing musical horses. Or, rather, I got on Henry and sat and watched both of them take turns with Presto and Lex. Julie is a very tiny human so she was particularly interested to see what Lex was like to ride, thinking he’s very much her type. She was right. Also, major props to her for getting on two young horses and riding them so well when she hasn’t ridden in so long. I don’t think I could have done that.

Yup, Lex is her type

Meanwhile Kate got on Presto and immediately you could see all of her good basics and riding skill coming back to the surface. He’s similar to the type of horse she was used to, and she had him figured out pretty quickly.

Then we made Julie get on Presto (ok there was like zero arm-twisting for that to happen), which I really wanted to see since she’s the most dressagey of us. She got along with him really well too and liked him a lot. I value her opinion so that was definitely nice to hear. Although now she’s yet another person asking me if I’m going to dabble in some actual USDF dressage now that I have one that’s so good on the flat. Y’all are killing me.

Also massive props to the noodle for being a good kiddo about our game of musical riders and just going along with it, and for being a good boy for all three of us. Signs of maturity?

kiddo and Julie ❤

Then Kate went to try the most stunning gentleman of a horse (related to Presto, actually, they both have Heraldik xx) and fell in love with him. Productive weekend in Ocala, I’d say.

On Sunday I hauled Presto over to Steph’s for another jump lesson. He’s continued to be super good for the last few weeks, very minimal Fuckery in general (aside from continuously pulling his shoes) which I still feel very suspicious about but also I’m not going to question this particular gift from the gods.

It’s kind of funny – Presto has very obviously figured out what Steph’s place is all about. We go there, we warm up, we talk to Steph, we do jompies, we go home. It’s not exciting anymore. He’s gotten to the point where after we warm up he parks himself in the shade while we talk, and falls asleep. Like, pony club kicking is not enough to wake him up to get him back out on the rail, I have to smack him to convince him that he does indeed have to come alive again. It’s a very school horse type of maneuver from a horse who is never actually hot or tired. He’s just learned what the deal is now and is not in any particular hurry to expend extra energy. I can respect that. Another sign of maturity?

first we go this way…

New exercises had been set since our last lesson and let’s just say it’s a course of a thousand canters. It’s got a circle of death, lines set on different striding, a million different options…. the ability to change and shape the canter are crucial to getting any of it right. Cool, cool. That’s fine. Just on a giant baby horse over here who’s still building strength and sometimes thinks my ideas are just suggestions. Really though, this kind of stuff is what he needs. Doing all of these gymnasticy-type exercises over the past couple months has made a huge difference in both his rideability and the way he’s using his body off the ground and in the air. It forces him to be a bit more responsible for himself, and he’s definitely figuring things out.

then we go that way

I’m learning how to create all the different canters, and he’s learning how to use himself better and how to think faster. The way he’s coming off the ground feels a lot different, a lot better, and he’s really starting to jump well from the close distance as well. I think he ultimately will be a really rideable horse, once he’s older and stronger and more seasoned. We just gotta keep doing the work now and laying down the groundwork for later. I’m really happy with his progress. I mean, his rider really needs to learn to keep her fucking hands down, but… baby steps.

Shoes n’ Squirts

It’s already Monday again. That keeps happening at rapid speed. It’s to the point where I always have to go back through my phone’s pictures to see what happened and when, because hell if I know.

Ponyboy Lex!

I feel like I’ve spent the last 900 years doing spreadsheets but really it’s been like 3 days. Last week I was researching the Burghley finishers to get a wrap-up article done for EN (I think it’s being published today maybe?), knocking out a couple pedigree reports (I got to do one for Hunky Hanoverian‘s Hugo, which was fun!) and now I’m deep deep deep into the rabbit hole getting the WEG spreadsheet ready. I’ve committed to several EN articles for WEG, plus we’re going to have the super detailed deep-dive spreadsheet available on the BRC webstore, so I’m doing that thing where I check every fact 500 times, fall into a rabbit hole looking up something adjacent or trying to confirm something, and before I know it I’m somehow spending 30 minutes on each horse. I have problems. But I will tell you that I find so many mistakes in the various pedigree databases, or missing information (I’ve filled in giant chunks of missing pedigree info on two 5* horses just yesterday alone), or really interesting little tidbits, so a lot of times the rabbit holes are worthwhile. Just, uh… perhaps not the most financially wise way to spend my time since I’m certainly not making money by the hour. I can’t help it.

I also spent a little time sprucing up the BRC website a bit, because we are providing live stream data for PF next week and they’re hopefully going to give us some little blurbs and pop our logo up sometimes. I didn’t want it to be quite as paltry looking just in case someone googles.

this girl ❤

At this point if I’m not behind a computer I’m on a horse. Or feeding horses. Or cleaning stalls. Or, ya know, meeting the farrier so he can put Presto’s shoes back on, since apparently that’s his new favorite pastime.

he has no regrets

He pulled a shoe on Friday, and the farrier came out at 7:30 on Saturday morning to put it back on. After he left I rode Presto out in the field and I shit you not:

He pulled the OTHER one. Seriously it had been like 30 minutes since the farrier left. Poor guy came back AGAIN the next morning and put a new shoe on. Presto is now living in bell boots, which would perhaps be more effective if he didn’t keep insisting on wearing them like this.

what?

All I’ve really done is put toys on his feet, he finds it quite fun.

Other than those particular shenanigans, he’s continued to be really good. Is he maturing? Is he lulling me into a false sense of security so he can stir up some epic Fuckery? I’m still not sure.

The other horses have been good too. I mean Henry is always good, because King. Gemma hasn’t been BAD per se, although we didn’t get her a new bottle of Regumate when the last one ran out because I wasn’t convinced it was really doing anything. Turns out I was massively fucking wrong, because about a week ago she came into a heat so incredibly raging that I swear you could smell her from 30 feet away. She was squirting so constantly that she got me in the mouth (IN THE MOUTH. IN. THE. MOUTH.) when I was picking her feet. I stood up and immediately texted Hillary to tell her we needed to get more Regumate.

Gemma discovered yesterday that she loves Spanish Moss

Lucky we seem to be done with that particular heat cycle, and the Regumate will be here soon, so… chalk that up to a lesson learned on my part. To her credit Gemma wasn’t all that different under saddle during that time, maybe just a tad spicier and less relaxed over her topline. The squirting though. Gods.

We also had some visitors over the weekend, and Presto had a lesson, but I have too many pics to put them all here so we’ll talk about that tomorrow!

Oh, btw, has anyone seen how freaking batshit and unprofessional Helite (the air vest company) is on their TikTok, especially in the comments? It’s popcorn-worthy but also super cringe, as if they gave the controls to a 15yo with an attitude problem. Not a good look. Entertaining, though.