Summarily Rejected

Finding time to ride two horses during the week right now just isn’t happening, so pretty much all of my Presto time is relegated to the weekend. Which is fine, he doesn’t need to do much anyway besides eat and fill out. And good news, so far his cheaper stop-gap corner feeder solution has been working just fine. It’s high enough to where he can’t get his feet in it (yet), and it’s bolted down really well so he hasn’t been able to tear it off the wall (yet). I mean, I don’t trust him long term, because… Presto. But it’s working for now and he’s actually getting all of his food, so we’ll call it a success.

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Claims he is never a bad boy. Test results show that this is a lie.

Since I spent a lot of time on Saturday setting up my new jump course, I saved Presto’s ride for Sunday. I did get him out very quickly to try my two new bits on him just on the lunge line to see what his reaction was. For those who don’t remember, he’s shown some classic signs of disliking tongue pressure (chomping, trying to get his tongue over the bit, etc) so I wanted to see if a tongue-relief bit made him happier. He didn’t seem to care for the Bomber right off the bat, but the Trust looked more promising, so I put that one on his bridle for the next day.

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always tries to eat my whip

On Sunday I got him out, tacked him up, and got on in the arena for his official ride #12. We walked around there for a few minutes and he seemed pretty settled in his mouth. I was feeling encouraged. We walked out to the grass arena and walked over some poles, and practiced steering, I let him look at the new jumps – he wasn’t impressed. During this time he chomped on the bit a little, and leaned on it it a little, but he seemed to want to go down to it, which I thought was an encouraging sign.

And then we trotted, and it kind of all went downhill from there. The more we did, the fussier he got about any kind of remote hint of contact, even steering. By the time we cantered he completely flipped me the bird and just about planted his poll into my nose. Message received. He made it abundantly clear that this was not the bit for him and it wasn’t going to get any better, so I went back to walk, ended on a good note with some wee baby leg yields, and aborted the mission. Although he was a little chompy and fussy in the Myler, he was nowhere near THAT. So, baby horse has spoken. Back to the Myler (the loose ring comfort snaffle) we go. That’s been his favorite so far.

WHY CAN’T YOU JUST LET ME MAKE YOU HAPPY

Even though the bit situation was relatively tragic, there was still some positive. He walked and trotted over the poles out in the field like they were no big deal. His trot rhythm continues to improve. He was brave among all the new stuff out there, which is more than I can say for Henry who had snorted and spooked his way around the field earlier. And to Presto’s credit, even as he got more wound up he never quit going forward or actively tried to plant me into the ground. I appreciate that, because he definitely could if he tried.

It’s almost time for their 6-month vaccinations so I will have the vet check his mouth again just to make sure nothing has changed since the last check. Given the variety of bits we’ve tried and how he has reacted to bitting for… well… his entire life… I think he’s a naturally sensitive, fussy-mouthed horse that just doesn’t quite get it yet. Still, I want to be totally sure there’s nothing in there that needs attention. At this age his mouth is still changing a lot, and changing fast. I want to be sure he is as comfortable as possible.

I’m going to try to make time on one weekday per week to lunge him for a few minutes in the balancing reins, just to let him continue to figure this out on his own a little bit. They’ve been really helpful to him so far, and now that I’ve answered the “is tongue pressure bothering him?” question (nope) I can go back to that with more confidence and consistency. We’ve got all the time in the world, so if he needs to figure it out on his own and at his own pace, we can totally do that. He’s good at telling me what he needs, so I just need to listen.

I’m still trying to figure out exactly when his first trail ride experience will be, haven’t firmed up the plan yet, but SOON. I’m itching to get out with him and see what he thinks of the big wide world. He’s still really fun, even when sometimes he isn’t.

The Concept of Privilege

God, what a time to be alive guys. 2020 has been a flurry of emotions to the point where I don’t really even know how to accurately identify what I’m feeling anymore. The past week especially has weighed heavily, and it can’t help but feel like things are coming to a head. I haven’t said much because, quite frankly, I simply don’t feel that I can do the topic any justice.

But I have been reading, and watching, and paying close attention. This is an important moment in history for all of us. What we do right now, every single one of us… it matters.

Please… I Can't Breathe - Woodland Hills Church

While I still don’t think that I can do the topic any justice whatsoever, I have enjoyed reading what everyone else has to say, both inside and outside of the equestrian realm. A few bloggers have tackled the issue well, and I particularly enjoyed Nadia’s perspective. The Chronicle published an column on white privilege, which I thought had some good thinking points. Eventing Nation made a light mention yesterday of the existing racial divide by linking to a piece published by Heels Down back in April. But what really got to me was reading the facebook comments to these articles, particularly the COTH one… it was enough to make me want to walk away from social media for a while, to be honest. It proved just how deep the problem really goes, and just how alive and well racism really is even in the horse world. It’s ugly when you peel back the curtain. What people were saying made me feel a strange (to me) combination of outrage, devastation, and extreme discomfort.

But that’s part of the point isn’t it? We SHOULD be feeling all those things. Our society is broken and what we’re seeing now is the result. It is upsetting, and it is uncomfortable. Many of us, like myself, are privileged enough to where we don’t have to sit with that discomfort 24/7. We have the option to put down our phones, log off of our computers, and ta-da it pretty much ceases to exist. If that’s not the very definition of privilege, I’m not sure what is. Large groups of people never get to turn those feelings off.

So what have I learned so far in these past few days?

I’ve learned that there are A LOT of people (particularly horse people, it seems) who don’t understand the difference between financial privilege and racial privilege. And to those who say “anyone could work hard and do what I did” – clearly you are not paying attention to the myriad ways that our society has been designed to suppress and exclude minorities.

I’ve learned that what I was taught in school about our history, particularly during the Civil Rights movement, was incomplete at best. Boy did they conveniently leave some things out of our curriculum. Boy did they sugarcoat and idealize a whole lot.

I’ve learned that 1) you should never haul anywhere without Waze on, particularly during a period of civil unrest, so you can avoid putting yourself or your horses in a bad situation, but 2) if you do happen to find yourself stuck with a trailer in the middle of a crowd of devastated, outraged people, perhaps brandishing a firearm and trying to force your way through should be your LAST resort. We really should be taught as a society how to deescalate situations… the American way seems to be brute force and a bigger gun, and clearly that ain’t working very well for any of us. (tends to be true with horses too, perhaps we are more like them than we think)

I’ve learned that a surprising number of people didn’t have a word to say about the murder of yet another black man, but have a lot to say about protesting.

whiteprivilege

I’ve learned that for as much as I want to unfriend or unfollow people who don’t see things my way, it’s important (to me anyway) to not just shut myself off from those who think differently than I do. I need to understand why they feel the way they do, because I think the only way forward is to understand how we got here in the first place. Where have we gone wrong? How do we fix this, once and for all? Granted, I admit that I have a limit. If you say “black people get killed by other black people more than they do by white people” or “if they weren’t so lazy they could have what I have” I just freaking cannot and yes I’ve unfollowed a few people because of those exact statements. Point of view is one thing, morality is another.

But at the end of the day most of my social media friends are equestrians, and I’ve learned just how damn out of touch many of us really are, myself included, likely because of our privilege. Most of us live in a different world, and it shows.

The real question is what do we do now? Truthfully I don’t know. I think this looks different for everyone. Some people may be out there on the front lines of the protests. Some people might be donating to worthy causes. Some people might be sharing their experiences. Some people are standing in virtual solidarity and anxiously awaiting election day. Some are doing all of the above. I don’t think there’s a wrong approach, as long as you’re doing something.

For as tempting as it was yesterday for me to just put all my devices away and hide from everything for a while, I’ve forced myself to stay with it. I’ve forced myself to keep scrolling and reading and watching. It’s important, to me, to bear witness. It’s important, to me, to understand as fully as I can. It’s important, to me, to acknowledge my privilege and figure out what I can do with it. It’s important, to me, to be uncomfortable and upset and outraged and to sit in all those feelings. I don’t have the answers, but I’m here to learn. I don’t know what to say, but I know that it feels wrong to say nothing at all.

If you have any good links or causes (or books or documentaries or podcasts – anything) that you’d like to share, please drop them in the comments, I would love to see them and have a collection of resources in one place.

Henry’s Dad Bod

Henry is enjoying a bit of a more “feral” life these days. Well, I mean, he still gets ridden 5 days a week and has a beautiful turnout space and luxury stall accommodations and human slaves to do his bidding (because ROTTEN ANIMAL), but he’s not in the prime event horse shape he’s been for most of the last 4 or so years. 

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“Round is a shape” – Henry, probably

Because of his heat intolerance, Henry’s real “show season” is November-April. But he had the foot bruise from hell that took him out of commission for November/December, and then right when we were starting to get back in the groove, covid happened. So, ya know… we lost his whole season, really. Which I waited to feel sad about but really didn’t, because truth be told we were dialed up to 110% for the past couple years to make it to Prelim, and we did it, so stepping back and taking a bit of a deep breath was welcome for me. 

Like I said, he’s still getting ridden but only about 5 days a week instead of 6 or 7 like before. And the conditioning rides are MUCH shorter/less structured. He’s also only been on a trailer twice so far this year, which is kind of unheard of for us. Usually we’re traveling at least 2-3 weekends a month during the cooler season. He’s fat and he’s sassy and he seems totally content with his current more relaxed lifestyle.

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he gets ridden in his sidepull 99% of the time and he’s loving it

This is the first winter/spring since I’ve owned him where he didn’t do his ulcery gas colic thing a few times. This is also the first winter/spring since I’ve owned him where he easily kept his weight. In fact, I actually CUT BACK on his food over the winter. He’s eating less grain now than he ever has, and he’s still a little chonky. Clearly I think the break has done us both some good. It’s nice to exist in a pressure-free state for once.

Aside from his incredibly rockin’ dad bod, you can also see that his clipped “eventer tail” is pretty much all grown out. It’s also really sunbleached. This is the true sign that he’s on a break, because his tail hasn’t looked that feral since I got him. He’s wearing it like a symbol, and I’m content to let it be for now. There will be no two-week getaway to Coconino this summer (which is I think the only thing I’m really mourning about this lost season) so he won’t be setting foot in a show ring for a while still. I’m keeping his mane short though, because a ranch horse mane would be a step too far. Can’t have him thinking he’s retired or something.

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He turned into a complete snorty moron because the jumps came back omg

The mowers came last week, so this past weekend I got back out in our jump field and set a course back up. We hadn’t jumped a course since… March? I thought the ground up there was still a teeny bit too soft on Saturday to jump, so after I set everything (which took me like 2 hours – setting jumps is stupid) I took Henry out back to let him gallop a bit instead. Which, I love Henry to bits but when he flips on his racehorse mode it’s SO funny. He legit gallops like a QH, kind of high-headed and belly low to the ground with really quick, relatively short strides. It’s a lot of flying legs. Bless him, he tries. He was absolutely delighted to gallop a little though, and I had to stop him before he was really mentally ready to stop (ok there, Dash for Cash, calm down). It’s been MONTHS since he’s really gotten to let out some speed and he greatly needed it. 

On Sunday the jump field was drier so we went out and strung a couple courses together. Me trying to remember the right pace was a little struggle bus (the things I so quickly forget…), but Henry was really good. It makes me happy that he still clearly enjoys the jumping days a lot. He’s always strutting like a peacock when he’s done, like he’s really impressed with himself.

I can’t decide if it should be called the grass arena or the jump field?

I’ve finally got a decent enough collection of jumps to make a real course. Well, I really need a couple more sets of standards so I can throw in some more oxers, and I’d like to make a couple flower boxes and brush rails and a skinny chevron, but it’s a good start. It’s a totally workable space where we can do everything we need. I do have to get a little creative with dodging the trees/branches but I love having them there. It’s nice to have a shady end and they look so pretty. Although I did fail at dodging one yesterday, just nipping the bottom edge of a branch, and suffered a shirt casualty.

Oops. Maybe I should learn to steer.

In a way it feels like there’s not really a lot to report with Henry here on the blog these days. Nothing newsworthy is happening. We’re just kind of doing what we do. We’re “old friends” by this point in our relationship, and aside from being sassy and pretending to spook at everything (which luckily I find entertaining), he’s a steady and reliable guy. Well.. unless you haven’t seen Henry eat an Oatmeal Cream Pie yet… that is definitely newsworthy.

It’s really nice to have one like this though when you’ve also got a 3yo where literally EVERYTHING is newsworthy. Henry might not get talked about as much here right now, but make no mistake, he is still the glue holding everything together and he’s still doing his Henry thing. A little fatter, a little shaggier, but super happy none-the-less.

Foal Friday: The Fantastic Four

Well, so close to four. Finally got 3 of the 4 babies all in one shot!

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small, medium, or large?

Ellie was with her dam at the vet that day – Sadie was a little colicky but don’t worry she was fine with some drugs and fluids. It did cause Ellie to miss out on their first official group photo, though. Maybe next time.

There are still a few new pics of Ellie though. And she did get to meet Ollie at least, they did a little bit of log-sniffing together. It’s a favorite activity with the babies.

3weeksollie

But mostly she hung out with mum.

3weekssadie

Or practiced her canter-halt-canter transitions.

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I love that she got Sadie’s wide-set semi-floppy ears, all of her babies have them

I also don’t have a ton of Remi pictures, sorry Team Remi. It’s just that when it comes to getting cute baby pictures he’s a little less rambunctious than some of the others (ahem OLLIE) so it makes for fewer paparazzi opportunities. He’s like the Brad Pitt of the group, always just standing there being beautiful.

8weeksstand

8weeksoakley
and in love with Oakley

Which… he must be rubbing off a little bit on Oakley because look who decided to pose for some glamour shots of her own this week.

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7weeksglamour2

Ok maybe her slightly utilitarian quarantine haircut isn’t the prettiest but she either doesn’t know or doesn’t care. Girl is rockin’ those legwarmers like they’re the latest fashion and she DGAF if anyone else doesn’t like them.

In between all the standing around looking beautiful, there were still plenty of shenanigans. Mostly from everyone’s favorite little spitfire grulla pony. His favorite hobbies include climbing the round bale and jumping over puddles. Bold as brass, this one.

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I thought he was part Welsh, not part mountain goat

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WHEEEE

Ollie also got to meet Oakley and Remi, and decided that maybe he likes Oakley best (she’s definitely Miss Popular, gotta give her that).

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hello baby brother

4weeksoakley

I think Ollie mostly likes her best because she’s more willing to engage in shenanigans with him. They also both really enjoy trotting, and are better at it than their Big Baby Horse friends who have so much leg that it’s still easier for them to either walk or canter.

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showoff #1

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showoff #2

They’re also both BIG fans of galloping in circles as fast as they can for no apparent reason at all.

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4weeksgallop

Although Oakley seems to have put herself in charge of critiquing Ollie’s form.

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I am determined that at some point we’ll get all 4 of them in one frame, but for now you’ll have to settle for all 4 of them in one post. Next week I’m thinking about doing a GIF-edition Foal Friday, full of GIF’s from videos of them running around and playing – thoughts on that? Also working on a “Where Are They Now?” post for all the past WTW foals, as has been requested! If you have any other ideas or stuff you want to see just let me know and we’ll work on it… these posts are as fun for us as they are for everyone else, I think.

4weekswalk

Happy Foal Friday, everyone!

The only problem with dogs…

… is that they don’t live forever.

We adopted Quinn (the corgi) in 2015. At the time he officially brought our menagerie up to 3 dogs, all 8 years old or older. The rescue we got him from wasn’t 100% sure on his age, their vet said around 7, but our vet thought closer to 9. So… we just went with 8.

We specifically sought out an older dog from the rescue, knowing that they are harder for them to place. Indeed the rescue hadn’t even bothered listing Quinn, because he was both older and deaf and came to them with a horrid skin condition (he had been surrendered by his owner to the local shelter, so no one really had any information about him. They didn’t even tell the shelter his freakin’ name, only that he was aggressive towards their kids.). When we applied and specifically asked for a senior dog, he was offered to us.

He’s definitely a total weirdo that was NOT socialized properly, but we love him all the same. He’s been a good dog overall, and he especially excelled in his very part time gig as a mobile tack shop greeter.

welcome to my shop

We’ve had him for 5 years now, so he’s somewhere between 12 and 14. We’ve never really had any problems with him (aside from nasty teeth and the fact that trying to bathe him or clip his nails is akin to wrestling a grizzly bear) until he started to show some loss of mobility and feeling in a hind foot last year. For corgis especially that’s a biiiiiiiiiiig warning bell. And unfortunately the warning bell turned out to be right – he has DM.

Being a pembroke corgi of likely questionable breeding/origin, this isn’t such a surprise. It’s pretty common within the breed, and something I knew could happen. It is a progressive eventually fatal disease, so in the past few months I’ve made it my job to find out as much as I can and connect with others who have experience dealing with it.

quinnbluebonnets

The good and bad thing about it being so common with corgis is that there is a lot of support out there to be had. Facebook groups, websites, books… you name it. I bought a book, joined a couple facebook groups, and started looking at what we could do to help him out. He’s lost most of the mobility of both hind limbs now, so he can’t really walk unassisted, he mostly just scoots. We started looking at wheelchairs, but $500+ is a lot to plunk down for something that will get relatively short-term use IF he will even adapt to it and use it at all. Through a facebook group I found CorgiAid, a 501c that helps fund rescues, but also runs a wheelchair rental program. We applied, sent his measurements, paid the deposit and shipping, and now have a cart coming for him. If it works and he uses it, we’ll look at buying one for him.

Through a facebook group I was also able to procure an EZ lift harness, which should help make the short outside bathroom trips easier. Right now we just have to hold his hind legs kinda wheelbarrow style and toodle around the yard with him. I’m excited to get the harness and see how it works.

He still has some motion and feeling in the hind limbs, just not enough to move them on his own in a coordinated effort. Most importantly, though, he’s still very happy and bright. As long as that’s the case we’ll continue exploring ways to help keep him that way. We’re trying to keep him as mobile as “usual” for as long as we can. The good news is that while DM is totally devastating, it isn’t painful. Still, we won’t let him get to the point where he’s completely paralyzed and unable to move on his own.

quinnfloat

Thanks to the book and online resources I think I have a pretty good idea of what to expect going forward and how to deal with it, which makes me feel slightly better. It makes me sad to know that the writing is on the wall, so to speak, for Quinn, and now it’s really just a matter of time. We lost Delia, one of the other seniors, a year ago yesterday, and neither of us is really quite ready for that again. Knowing there’s nothing we can do to change it, we’re just trying not to dwell on it.

For now Quinn is really enjoying getting to spend more time on the couch, having me sneak him extra treats, and sleeping in that california king that we really bought mostly so he would have ample bed space. ❤

I was yesterday years old when I learned

So I was scrolling mindlessly through facebook yesterday afternoon, as one does, when this article caught my eye:

mouthbump

Link to it here, in case you also need your mind blown today.

See, I have a bump on the roof of my mouth. And until yesterday I had NO IDEA that most people don’t. NO IDEA. NONE. I THOUGHT THIS WAS HOW ALL HUMAN MOUTHS WERE SHAPED. Being the natural skeptic that I am, I starting asking friends. Surely everyone has this mouth bump right?

WRONG. Out of the first 8 people I asked, no one else had a mouth bump. They just have these big ol’ empty bat cave mouths, apparently. Finally I asked my dad and he too has a mouth bump. He is the standard by which I judge all other humans, therefore I concluded that our mouth bumps are normal and all you smooth-mouthed people are weird. What do y’all do with all that extra space? You hiding something in there? A weapon? A snack for later? Pills to help you cope?

Gif Collection

Being a Weird Horse Girl, it only took a matter of minutes for me to make the leap over into wondering if horses have this or not (apparently not – the closest thing for them would be a low palate I suppose) and then thinking to myself “boy I would NOT like a ported tongue relief bit at all, would I?”.

Horse Chicks Are Weird – Phyllis Stein
my SO has this shirt, he wears it a lot

But… it really does make you think about just how differently mouths can be shaped and why finding a comfortable bit for your horse is so important. I fell soooo deep into a rabbit hole about horse mouth anatomy. I know that Henry doesn’t have a low palate (I’ve spent a lot of time staring at the inside of his mouth thanks to his weird teeth and the vet bills they bring) but he does have a fat tongue… we’ve already been down this road with all of his mouth weirdness and bit-searching in the past. But I’ve not gotten a super good look inside of Presto’s mouth yet. When we pulled his wolf teeth I was more preoccupied with what was coming OUT of his mouth. I feel like we’re pretty programmed to be focused on teeth but maybe not so much on the shape and characteristics of the mouth itself. Not gonna lie, I’m gonna be creepin’ on the dentist for every horse I come across from now on. I must see more horse mouths, it’s fascinating.

Low Palette? How can I tell? - Free Speech Horse Forum
a low palate

I’m still a little shook about finding out that there is a whole other species of Bat Cave Mouthed humans out there, though. Some intense googling did reveal a study that loosely linked the mouth bump to higher bone density, but otherwise all I learned is that mouths are inexplicably freakin’ weird in all animals.

Do you have a bump-mouth or a bat cave?

Double Digits

Presto had TWO rides over the long weekend! One was about 15 minutes and walk-only, so might not count, but whatever lets go with it.

one ear on mom, one ear on Ella

On Friday (ride #10) he had two landmark moments in his 15-minute walk-only ride. First, it was his first time being ridden in the ring with another horse. The barn owner and I wanted to take the babies (her 5yo and my 3yo) for a short little hack across the property, so we started in the arena first. I led Presto out with the mare, got right on him with no lunge, and proceeded to stand in the middle and play tripod while I videoed the mare doing a few w/t/c laps around the ring. He stood like a champ and didn’t mind at all when she passed close by him at speed. I’m not sure you could ask much more from a 3yo that hadn’t been ridden in a week.

Then we walked out through the pasture, down the path, to the back of the property. Presto has gone a little ways that direction before, one time, but never all the way to the spooky back. He was interested, but stayed calm and quiet, and seemed to enjoy having a companion. It was a quick hack but both babies were super.

THEN WHY DID YOU GIVE ME A BATH? SO MEAN.

On Sunday (ride #11) I wanted to do more of what has become his “normal” short w/t/c ride. Well, first I wanted to check on the canter. You might remember me saying last time that I didn’t even canter him, because he’s growthy right now and was falling out of his canter lead behind on the lunge line. Out of character for him, but that happens sometimes in growth spurts. So first I lunged him for a couple minutes each way, checked the canter (his balance is back to normal!) and then got on.

He’s at that stage right now where he retains things so much that you feel like you’re building something tangible out of Lego’s. There’s a real satisfaction to getting on and seeing that despite going a week or two between rides, it’s as if the last ride was just yesterday. On his last real ride we started doing figure 8’s, changes of direction across the diagonal, and even big 3 loop serpentines at the trot. He was a little confused by the changes of direction at first, thinking he needed to walk through them, but this time he never even tried, just kept trotting right on through like “ok, now we go dis way”. He’s also getting a little bit straighter on his trips down the long side. I wouldn’t say he’s anywhere near actually being straight, but… it’s less drunken. The trot rhythm is starting to get a bit more consistent, too. It’s far from perfect but there are little baby improvements with every ride and I’m quite pleased with his progress with only this many rides spread over 2 months time.

Since his canter looked better on the lunge we went ahead and cantered under saddle too. He was a bit quiet about it that day so I had to encourage him forward a little more. Granted, this was, what… the 4th time he’s cantered under saddle? Sometimes he wants me to sit on him a bit more and help him balance (usually in the turns) and sometimes I need to get up off him and just leave him alone/send him forward. It’s a fine line between not hindering him but also not wanting to help him too much. I try to just adjust what I’m doing to suit how he feels underneath me at the moment.

Honestly his canter is as balanced on ride 4 as Henry’s was on year 3 of dressage

I propped my phone up in the corner of the ring so I could get some stills and maybe a few flashes of video. I’m not editing all 13 minutes of the ride down to take out the “empty space” so I just nabbed the last minute that shows some canter and trot. Sorry, this is where my level of commitment is at right now.

The good news is that I finally caved and ordered a Pivo “robotic cameraman”, so hopefully I will have improved video capabilities soon. I was a little skeptical about the Pivo at first, but as they’ve done more updates it seems to be getting pretty good reviews from riders, and it’s very reasonably priced, so I figured why not try it. If you haven’t seen the Pivo, it’s this little device that you set your phone into and it tracks you/rotates as you ride around it, so you can get video on your phone while you’re alone that isn’t just a bunch of passes by the camera on a fixed tripod. Pivo seems to have recognized that it could potentially have a good market in equestrian sport so they’ve been doing a lot of updates, support, and marketing toward us. From the feedback in their facebook group it seems that the original Pivo (the red) works pretty well too, but the Silver has 2x faster tracking ability so I figured for $30 more I might as well go with that. There’s a good video review of it here.

Ride with Pivo : How to Film Your Equestrian Videos - YouTube

I’m not expecting it to be perfect but even if it only gets half of my ride, it would be worth it to have the phone video footage that doesn’t just consist of “trot past… wait a few seconds… trot past in the distance… wait a little more… oh there he went again… now enjoy the view of the arena for a while…”. Nobody likes that, me included. The Pivo seems easier and less fussy than the SoloShot or Pixio (you legit just pair the Pivo to your phone, plop it onto a tripod or a barrel or a mounting block, and start recording – that’s the level of work I’m into), albeit definitely far less fancy. Granted, it’s also only $110-$140 vs $700+. I’m hopeful that it’ll work well enough for what I need it for.

I’m also currently in the process of trying to plan Presto’s first off property trail ride. The plan all along was to get him broke enough in the spring to where we could spend the summer mostly hacking and trail riding, and I think he’s there, so I’m keen to see if I’m right. Maybe in the next couple weeks!

A little Catch-up

Good news – look what finally made it from Australia!

It’s a little hard to tell in the picture because my phone just could not get the color right, but it’s navy with dark green sheepskin, and gray and dark green piping. The sheepskin runs along the underside of the panels as well. I kind of wish I’d gone ahead and gotten the correction system built in, since this one is for Presto, but I didn’t since I already have a correction Mattes half pad for him. Right now he is in a real funky, weedy stage, so I’m definitely having to use the correction system. For now this one will be living in my trailer, waiting for Presto to a) fill out b) be a show horse. It’s a really pretty trailer decoration though.

My PSoS/Horselet import fees situation still isn’t resolved, although it seems to have been resolved for most other people. They remain responsive and helpful, so my fingers are still crossed that we can fix this by end of day tomorrow so the package doesn’t get booted back to Sweden. We’ll see. It’s out of my hands at this point.

My pre-ordered masks finally showed up as well!

I’d been looking for some nice lightweight masks so I have extras, and these from Dreamers and Schemers definitely fit the bill. They’re really lightweight and comfy, so much so that these have now become my primary masks and my other one has been delegated to the extra-one-I-keep-in-the-car. Somebody in Lowe’s on Saturday noticed the F-bomb mask and chuckled, saying “accurate”, so… the sentiment is shared right now I think.

While literally nothing exciting or noteworthy is going on, I’ve still been riding.

I ❤ my bareback pad

It’s getting hot for Henry, but I’m trying to keep him ridden at least 5 days a week while I can. Lately it’s mostly been hacking out, as I’ve been waiting for the mowers to come and hack down my jump field. That got done yesterday afternoon, so this week I’ll go set up a little course again. I still haven’t been able to get Henry out for the gallop he so desperately needs, and it’s currently rainy, so I’m not sure if/when that’ll happen. Jumping should make him happy though, and help take some of the YEEHAW out of him.

Last week’s snortfest brought to you by the fact that I moved the coop from where he’s standing over to the pile with the rest of the jumps

Presto has been on some adventures too, but we’ll talk more about that tomorrow. I gave up on finding him one of those big corner feeders I talked about last week, and opted for a simpler solution for now. I got him just a simple corner bowl type feeder that bolts in, so we’ll see if/how this one lasts. If he’ll keep his feet out of it, it might be ok. At least for now he’ll actually get more of his food into his mouth, rather than what he was doing before with flinging the bucket off the wall, tossing his food from one end of the stall to the other, and eating basically none of it. It just ends up mixed in with the shavings, and then he won’t eat it. Considering how much I spend on his high-fat low-NSC feed and fancy oil, I sure would like if he’d eat it instead of stand on it. 

You know who ALWAYS eats his food? Henry.

I bought the feeder from a place called Corro, which I’ve mentioned on here before. I first found them when I bought Henry’s sparkley boot last Black Friday, and now I’ve ordered from them 4 more times, mostly because they’re one of the few places that has Presto’s flaxseed oil, they have the best price on it, and they don’t charge an extra freight fee to ship it. Their product range is still a bit limited, but 1) their prices are great, 2) they ship FAST. This time I tossed several things into my order. All I really needed right this second was the corner feeder and another jar of the latest breathing supplement I’ve been trying for Henry, but I wanted to get to that $75 free shipping threshold so I figured I may as well stock up on stuff I would need eventually anyway. Well ok, I hit that $75 threshold once I added a gallon of fly spray (which I won’t need for a few more weeks, but their price was $2 cheaper than even the sale price at other places) but I decided to grab a couple other necessities as well. Like a new manure fork (I’ve been wanting a nice aluminum one but didn’t want to pay $40-50 for a shit fork. This one was $18. SIGN ME UP.) and more fungus spray (I’ve probably got about a month’s worth left but we’re entering that season where Henry’s face hair likes to fall off in mass quantities, so I don’t want to be caught without). 

Corroorder

So basically, I stocked up on essentials that I could have waited a few weeks to buy but figured I may as well toss them all into one order. I should be good til at least July. And despite all that big, heavy stuff, Corro still didn’t try to slap me with an oversize or overweight shipping fee. It all shipped for free! AND I ordered on Thursday night and everything arrived on Saturday. I remain super impressed and pleased with Corro, all of my orders from them have gone this way. That combined with their prices are making them really hard to beat for basic stable supplies/supplements like this, especially the stuff that I can’t get at my usual favorite places. If you’re interested in trying them I think using this link will get you $10 off your first order of $50 or more. If not let me know and I’ll email you the link directly. 

We’ll see how I feel about the AniHist after this next jar. With the first one I wasn’t convinced that it WAS helping, but I wasn’t convinced that it WASN’T helping either. Henry doesn’t really care for the taste of it but he does eat it begrudgingly, and there were a couple of humid days where I thought he should have been puffing a lot more than he was. But then there were other days when I was like “yep, this is how awful he always looks in the summer”. So I dunno. May is still a bit early yet to be a true litmus test, so I think I’ll find out for sure in the coming month. I would be delighted if it did help him, since nothing else has, but I remain skeptical since… nothing else has. But it’s only $20 so I figured it was worth giving it another month before reaching a verdict.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about what Presto has been up to (well, aside from tossing his food all over the place and making us all want to throttle him)!

Foal Friday: The full WTW Class of 2020

Since all the 2020 foals are finally here, the Foal Friday posts can now be all-inclusive! Right now they’re turned out in pairs – the two older ones Remi and Oakley, and the two younger ones Ollie and Ellie. As you can imagine, the latter pair is somewhat comical, with Ollie so little and Ellie so big. They’ve only been turned out together for a couple days and their dams are still being a bit overprotective, so they haven’t interacted much yet, but Ollie is a spitfire and Ellie is a gentle giant, so I think it’ll work out. So what have they all been up to this week?

When he’s not zooming around the pasture like he was born with a rocket booster implanted in his bum…

3weeksgallop

Ollie’s been spending some time climbing the round bale like it’s his own personal jungle gym.

3weeksjunglegym
I feel like Stormie’s face says “I’ve given up telling him to get down from there”

Right now he’s definitely the most boisterous and exuberant one. They all like to gallop and play of course, but Oakley and Remi have settled down a bit as they explore things like eating grass, and Ellie, while she’s unfolded a lot, still has a whole lot of leg to manage.

2weekslegs1
I mean look at these stilts

2weekslegs2
LOOK AT THEM

She manages them pretty well though, and remains super balanced, as she’s been from the very beginning.

2weekscanter

She’s been doing some running and bucking herself, but isn’t quite as zoomie as little pocket rocket Ollie.

2weekskick
showing that round bale who’s boss (this round bale takes a lot of abuse for some reason)

As I mentioned, Ellie and Ollie just recently got turned out together, so while they aren’t quite interacting yet, they’re getting pretty darn close. They’re definitely curious about each other, and with foals it usually never takes long for them to start playing once the curiosity wins out.

2weeksolliestalk

The mares just aren’t quite having it yet, both still a little overprotective and territorial. They’ll relax and give up on trying to keep the babies apart soon, and I bet by next week we’ll have some pics of Ellie and Ollie playing. I kind of can’t wait to see that.

2weekssasdie
Mare 1 – not having it yet

3weekstrot
Mare 2 – packing up her baby and exiting stage left

As for Remi and Oakley, they’ve had an exciting week too. Well, mostly Oakley. It’s been very hot here in Texas (triple digits) and Oakley had a super thick fuzzy coat, so she was sweating to death. Remi and Oakley are both starting their foal shed, but still mostly just on their faces/legs, so Michelle took pity on Oakley and clipped her a bit. Not only is she much happier, we can get a really good look at her color and the dun markings that were under all that fuzz!

clipped

I think she’s going to be one of those bay duns that remains pretty light, more buckskin looking, and her leg bars/dorsal stripe/black-tipped ears are quite a strong contrast. Her head and legs remain unclipped (this was a clip job for practicality, not for beauty) but they’re shedding out nice and dark. She’s going to be a pretty color.

Oakley has also caught up a bit closer to Remi in size, their butts are only about a hand different in height at the moment. If I was a gambling woman I’d say she’s going to end closer to the 15.2 end of the spectrum, but we’ll see.

Remifriends3

Remifriends2
wuv you, Oakwee

Remifriends

As you can see, she still very much owns Remi. He is 110% obsessed with her and she’s got more of the Regina George “why are you so obsessed with me?” response. Remi is still a complete super model, but Oakley doesn’t seem wooed by his good looks and charm.

supermodel

These two both lead really well and have good manners, and of course Oakley now bathes and body clips too. They’re well on their way to being solid baby citizens.

While the babies will remain in their paired groups for a while, they do share a fence line and have gotten themselves acquainted over the fence a little bit.

RemiOlliefence
The biggest with the littlest 

As their personalities and herd dynamics continue to evolve, there’s one thing for sure: they’re all still ridiculously cute.

2months

3weeksstormie

2monthsfencelook

2weeksface
tell me she doesn’t have the sweetest, kindest eyes

Happy Friday, everyone! Who’s your favorite foal from the 2020 class?

Chasing My Tail

Small update to the situation I posted about on Tuesday about theHORSElet/UPS shipping fee drama. UPS finally got back to me and just kind of threw up their hands and told me I was on my own. They said that clearly I had already paid the seller for shipping, they could see that from my receipts, but since no one had paid UPS for shipping yet, they couldn’t (read: wouldn’t) help me. They said I would need to get in contact with the seller and try to have them work it out on their end. That’s about the level of helpfulness I expected from UPS, and the fact that it took 3 days and 6 different people to end up being a completely useless waste of time in the end is also no surprise.

Ups delivery packages GIF - Find on GIFER
No. No you cannot.

I did finally get ahold of the seller though. Emailing PSoS directly seemed to do the trick – they answered me, and then a few hours later I finally got a response from theHORSElet (on my Instagram DM that I had sent the day before, not to the email I sent via their website 4 days before). They apologized and said they would fix it, and they had already been in contact with UPS to get everything straightened out. That was Tuesday.

In the meantime, my package arrived. Or tried to arrive, anyway. I did not accept delivery, because by signing for the package I could end up getting stuck with those charges. They tried again to deliver it yesterday, but the fees were still showing on my account, so again I didn’t accept delivery. It was then marked as “final attempt” so I had no choice but to have the package rerouted to the only store option it gave me (which is about 25 minutes away and I pass approximately 9,025 other UPS stores to get there). They will only hold it through next Tuesday before they return it to the sender.

Hot Mess GIF by memecandy - Find & Share on GIPHY

As of this morning the charges are still showing on my account, so now it’s a stand-off. Will the charges be cleared before the package gets booted back to Sweden? It’s anyone’s guess. I’ve kept in contact with a few other people that ordered around the same time I did and also had this happen, and their charges have yet to be removed either. I know from prior experience that UPS red tape tends to move at a freaking glacial pace. I did email the rep I’d been in contact with before to ask if he could at least confirm that there was a case ongoing about this, but surprise – crickets.

So that disaster is unfolding however it will, I suppose. I appreciate that PSoS/theHORSElet finally got back to me and says that they’re trying to make it right, and it does seem like a genuine mistake. I will remain wary until it’s actually fixed though, because we’re definitely nowhere near that point yet. If it ends up booted back to Sweden… lord only knows wtf will happen then.

Since apparently that wasn’t enough, I also decided to frustrate myself even further this week by scouring all of Texas for those big plastic corner feeders.

CF-40: Corner Feeder, 40" – High Country Plastics
like this

I think I’ve called at least two dozen stores and emailed/messaged another dozen. You can order the feeders online but the freight almost doubles the cost, so I was trying to find a store within a couple hours of me that carries them. I found places that USED to carry them. I found places that normally carry them but sold out and have no idea when they’ll have more and would not let me pre-order/get on a wait list. I found a bunch of farm supply store workers who didn’t understand wtf I was asking about and kept trying to suggest a metal cattle feeder. And I found a bunch of places that carry them according to the manufacturer but in actuality definitely DO NOT carry them. I just know there has to be some random little feed store in the middle of podunk nowhere that has these, but so far I just can’t find them. For now I’ve given up, though. I’ve had all the frustration I can take for one week. I spent a ton of time chasing my tail on all this stuff with nothing to show for it yet.

But the good news is that I have a 4 day weekend coming up, and tomorrow is Foal Friday, and Riding Warehouse is having a Memorial Day sale! Well ok I’m not really sure if that last one is good news or dangerous news, but seems like a good time to stock up on fly spray and such (this is always how it starts, me just “stocking up” on something…).

Hopefully this weekend I’ll be able to get Henry over to the giant property across the street so he can go for a gallop (please lord, let us be able to go gallop, I’m getting tired of finding myself at the rodeo every day even if I do keep winning the bronc riding) and get Presto out for another little hack. The forecast starts looking pretty crap on Sunday though, because clearly the 6″ of rain we got last week wasn’t enough. Sigh.