The Circle of Death

Last night’s (really really ridiculous cold, seriously WTF IS UP WITH THIS CRAP why is it freezing in November in Texas? I don’t have the right clothes for this!) jumping lesson featured the circle of death. Of course like pretty much everyone I’ve done this exercise a million times before but honestly very very little with Henry.

With just poles we nailed it very easily. As soon as the jumps came up our inconsistent pace issue was highlighted in bright yellow. It took me a couple tries to really get a feel for the pace I needed – I always want to whoa too much – but we got it and I think it’s really a great exercise for me with this horse. Then we cantered some single jumps, working on squaring the corner a bit and getting very straight while keeping a good pace and rhythm. He was great, we got the point of it, so we quit with that. I didn’t even bother asking Trainer to get video since I figured the Circle of Death with little jumps wasn’t very interesting. Or at least not interesting enough to remove hands from gloves and pockets. On Saturday we have another jumping lesson and my picture taking friend is feeling a lot better so hopefully she’ll be able to come out and get some visuals.

In the mean time – we’re only a week away from our first event! I’m feeling pretty calm and reasonable about it, except for that 5% of me that’s occasionally goes

I finally learned my dressage test (BN Test B, why you gotta be so awful?) and started making lists of what all I need to do over the next week to get ready. I may or may not have stalked the entries list to see who else is entered… I’ve got some serious competition. The good thing about feeling a little bit outclassed is that I tend to feel less pressure and take it less seriously, which ends up working out a lot better in the end. Hopefully I can stay that way.


1) Remember dressage test

2) Stay in the ring

3) Don’t fall off

3) Remember the stadium course

4) Don’t get eliminated

6) Remember the XC course



I want a number, not a letter.

Don’t worry mom, I got this!


Those awesome mail days

I’m really really annoyed by the fact that it’s colder in Texas right now than it is in Alaska, so instead of several paragraphs of me whining, let’s talk about something fun instead.

Monday was a banner mail day… sometimes the UPS man seems like an angel in brown. All the stars aligned so that some early Christmas presents, some random stuff I ordered for our event NEXT WEEKEND (we’ll freak out about that in another post), and the stuff we won at the eventing derby all came at once. I walked in the door to a huge pile of boxes and it was awesome.


So lets explore what was in those packages.

So big and blue and beautiful.

because apparently a padded leather halter isn’t soft enough for Mr Sensitive, he has a rub on his head


Frank needed a cover



Navy. Shocking, right?

Which I promptly tried out on myself, obviously.


… and hairnets and a navy lead rope which I figure y’all don’t really care to see pictures of.

So basically expect lots of product reviews sooner or later.

Thank goodness for the cool stuff to alleviate my otherwise super grumpasaurus mood. I can’t even tell you how much I hate cold weather but opening lots of packages of cool stuff totally helps. The only perk of the cold? I get to use my new PS of Sweden quarter sheet today! I’m holding on tight to that perk, because it’s really all I’ve got. So – tell me: what was your best mail day ever? Cheer me up vicariously!

Introducing Henry!

Welcome to my little slice of the blogosphere!

Most important thing first: the pony! Henry is a 2007 TB gelding that race trained but never made it to the track. In the words of his breeder/original owner “He always cared more about eating than running”. That about sums him up. I bought him in December 2013 for a grand total of $900, via facebook and Paypal (yup, I found him on facebook and paid for him via Paypal. Welcome to the internet age.) sight unseen from a barn in Arkansas. He had shown in the Baby Greens locally once in 2012 but then got shuffled to the back burner due to the owner’s lack of time and had spent the previous 10 months in the pasture. I just happened to show up right in the middle of a liquidation and snag myself a bargain. I bought him based on a 2min video of him w/t/c around the indoor. He looked a little footsore – he was barefoot – and very very fuzzy/fat/out of shape, but there was something about him that I really liked. So I sent her the money, she went and had a coggins pulled, and he got on a trailer to Texas the same day. This is never the way I would advise ANYONE to buy a horse, but ya know… do as I say, not as I do.


When I unloaded him I really had no idea what to expect. I was just hoping for a rideable horse that was about the same age and size as advertised. I peeled his blanket off to find this:


There’s no doubt that he was fat, fuzzy, needed his feet done and was well on his way to a ranch horse mane, but otherwise – he was adorable! Very accurately represented by the seller – size, disposition, age, etc were all spot on. Whew… major bullet dodged. Over the next couple months he got a makeover, new kicks, and worked a lot on fitness. Everything was like unwrapping a new surprise – oh wow, he jumps cute. Oh wow, he does lead changes. Oh wow, he’s really honest. Oh wow, he has the best personality. Seriously, he was the find of the century.

We started off showing in the jumpers…


and then switched to eventing in late 2014. He spent Spring 2015 at Beginner Novice, qualifying for the American Eventing Championships (and finishing 10th individually, 1st place team), moved up to Novice in Summer 2015, and is now preparing for his move-up to Training.




This horse is just the coolest guy. He wants nothing more in the world than to eat lots of cookies (which he does, trust me) and please his rider. He’s one of those fabulously good eggs that wants to do whatever it is that YOU want him to do, and his genuine love for cross country is absolutely amazing. After years of owning/riding warmbloods he’s really reminded me of why I fell in love with Thoroughbreds in the first place… they’re all heart.


I can’t wait to see what other great adventures we have in store for us in the future!