Foal Friday: Patrick WTW

Yay, another new baby! I gave y’all a couple sneak peek pictures this week because he’s just too cute to keep under wraps for 5 whole days, but now he finally gets his official introductory post. Say hello to Patrick WTW!

oh hi there
I SAID HI THERE

If you didn’t squee at him already then you need to check yourself. This is high quality, top end squee material, this colt. Obviously he will go gray, and his little gray eyeliner and gray nose are just too much.

As a reminder in case it’s hard to keep track (because it is hard to keep track) this cutie is by Faustino de Tili (1.60m showjumper) out of Chanel Z (1.40m showjumper), and born to surrogate mare Lark. She’s settling into the mom life and doing a good job, and it’s exciting to have the first WTW embryo transfer foal on the ground. Patrick is definitely a stunning colt and looks like he’s going to grow into a really nice horse – he’s got a gorgeous face and now that he’s starting to unfold a bit you can tell that he’s nicely put together.

he’s got a lot of presence already

Patrick (who has already picked up the nickname Pattycakes) hasn’t been out in the big pasture yet (hopefully next week once the rain clears up!) but Michelle was at least able to snap some pics of him hanging out in his paddock before the rain hit so we could get a good look at him. He’s definitely not as next-level spunky as Pippa (few are), but as he’s gotten more comfortable with his legs and steadier on his feet he’s looking really athletic for sure. He’s got super quick reflexes and can already ping off the ground pretty well, even in this smaller space.

airborne already

What he’s particularly good at so far, though, is posing. I think he’s going to be this foal crop’s supermodel – he really knows where the camera is and knows how to work it. It’s pretty clear that he’s fully aware of how cute he is and isn’t shy about making sure it’s well captured on film. He’s gotta make sure we get every angle, since they’re all adorable. I mean, he is REALLY cute, he’s not wrong.

He’s also already starting to show some of his personality. The foals really do hit the ground with their own distinct personalities, and they become even more apparent over the first few days. Where Pippa is fiery, confident, and independent, Patrick is a little more sweet and cuddly, although still pretty darn confident. He’s definitely more of a “dude”, pretty typical for the colts, with a little more goofiness showing.

nom nom delicious

Of course, since he’s a colt he will be available for sale. I think Michelle is really crossing her fingers that the full sibling (that Chanel is carrying) will be a filly. We’ll see in a couple weeks! They’ll be fun to compare, either way.

For those wondering what Pippa is up to, we’ll have more pics of her next week, but of course she did have to make her presence known while Patrick was having his first glamour shots taken. Michelle looked over her shoulder and saw this.

HEY WHAT ABOUT ME

She’s hilarious. Never a dull moment with that little firecracker, that’s for sure. Can’t wait to see how the dynamic unfolds once Pippa and Patrick meet! I have a feeling he’ll have his little hooves full with that one…

Plan Tweaks

I don’t even think I can express how excited I am to go to Ocala. Partly because I want to see Presto and partly because my ass just hasn’t been anywhere since August 2019 and I am legit dying for a change of scenery. The wanderlust is intense. It’s just Florida, but… I will 100% take what I can get.

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Of course the big reason for Bobby coming along with me was so that he could try horses. He’s been shopping for a while, and after some vetting issues and just plain old mismatches, he wasn’t having a ton of luck locally. We found some promising looking horses in Ocala so we booked the trip accordingly, started making plans, and lining up horses to try. Then… a twist. He looked at a horse a few weeks ago locally, absolutely loved it, vetted it, and made an appropriate offer according to the results and how the vet felt about it. The owners declined the offer, which was a bummer but okay totally fair. Then last week they came back and accepted Bobby’s offer, to his great delight, and a few days later – tada new horse! And it does seem like the perfect horse for him, he loves him, they’re off to a promising start.

But now of course there’s no need to look at horses in Ocala, since he just got one (and for some reason refuses to buy me one with all the leftover budget he had? Rude AF.). Okay, let’s pivot. What he doesn’t have is a lot of equipment for the new horse, and while Ocala isn’t dripping with tack shops they certainly have more than we do (we’ve got… Dover. Period.) AND there’s a dressage show going on at WEC this weekend, which should draw some vendors too. We can get all the stuff he needs in one fell swoop and have more variety than we do here, so it works. Plus, like, if I have one single talent in the entire world, it’s spending other people’s money. I was born for this job.

And I needed to hit some tack shops too, because I’d really like to find a new girth for my jump saddle for Henry but I’m so picky that buying them online hasn’t worked well for me. I settled on a synthetic memory foam girth for him last year and felt really meh about it, and it’s already looking worn and frayed at the edges.

let’s not talk about the fact that it’s, um, a bit small at the moment…

I’d really like to find him a good soft, well-padded leather one if I can. I’m also starting to think about things like show pads for Presto, so if I found any good deals I could go for those too. We shall see. I also really wanted to get my eyeballs and hands on the Ikonic saddles that Tack Shack is carrying now, since I’ve never seen one in person yet. They might be an option for Presto’s next saddle (probably next year) if I like them. So, now we have a big priority to hit any and all tack shops, which is not exactly a hardship for me.

The original reason for the Ocala trip was to see Presto of course, and get a bit more video for his May futurity vlog. Right now all we’ve got is the video from early March, before he left for Ocala, and the video from his XC school last week. Plus I obviously really want to see him, especially in a big boy environment like Ocala. We’ve got lots of Presto plans for Sunday, and I’m pumped. We’ve also got to sit down and iron out the plan for him as far as YEH and the Futurity and figure out some events he can do. The schedule is kind of shit (there is only one recognized event in Texas after he gets home, and then no more until September, and no more YEH classes within a 12 hour drive either. Don’t get me started on the YEH schedule, it’s a rant you really don’t want.) so it’s gonna depend on how we can work out the traveling and coordinate with her schedule for her other horses.

In a slight change of plan for him though – he’s going to Kentucky next wee!. Megan is showing her 4* horse at Kentucky, and rather than drive 12 hours up to Kentucky with him, be gone for a week, and then drive back to Ocala, load all the horses up, and drive 17 hours back to Texas, it makes more sense to just take them all (there’s only 3-4, not that many) to Kentucky and then make the drive back to Texas from there. He’ll be staying at a farm near the horse park for the week, and I’m happy for him to continue his world tour. It’s extremely good for him to learn how to travel well and unload in new places and be able to settle and work, so I think it’s good experience. Plus, like… who wouldn’t want to go to Kentucky at the end of April? I’m jealous.

We have a couple more exciting things in our plan for Ocala, and I think I’m weaseling in a trip to see a stallion and some babies (because I always try to squeeze that in wherever we go) so I don’t think we’ll be short on things to do even though we’re no longer horse shopping. I’m ready… someone let me on the plane.

Midweek News

Y’all, I have some very important breaking midweek news that I think you need to see ASAP.

Patrick (the newest foal) has a serious ear situation. (or maybe a sEARious situation? ba dum tss I’m here all week)

Look at those things. He could take flight. They need their own zip code. And better yet, they’re pretty darn floppy and set wide to the sides. Absolute masterpiece ears, if you ask me. You’ll see them in their full glory on Friday but man… I didn’t think the world could go another day without seeing these things. Big floppy ears are my favorite accessory.

decidedly not big or floppy ears, but familiar and well-loved ones

In other news, I’ve ridden Henry twice now this week and he’s felt great both times. Like… really great. Like… too great. If you’re into dolphins, boy do I have the theme park experience for you. It’s hot and humid enough to take a tiny bit of the wind out of his sails so he hasn’t been super spooky, but as soon as we start cantering he plants his nose between his knees and away we go to the dolphin rodeo. I find it endlessly hilarious, although yesterday he came awfully close to an actual buck before he changed his mind and tried to run off with me instead. Bless his heart, none of it is particularly athletic but he gets an A for effort and bonus points for making me laugh so hard I can’t breathe.

I’m definitely glad that his owwie foot seems to be resolved, I missed riding this ridiculous animal every day. Two weeks was too long, although I was really worried that we’d have another 2 month situation like last time and that would have sucked a whole lot more. The rest of the horses will be back from their winter in Florida next week, which means I’ll be able to start taking Henry places again (with only 2 horses on the property right now, leaving one behind alone isn’t really feasible), although we’ve only got another month or so before it gets so hot that he’ll start struggling. Maybe we can fit a few fun things in before it gets too bad.

I did leave the Magic Cushion packed in there for a little extra protection, and the farrier comes tomorrow.

I will say that don’t think having two weeks off has done any favors for his fitness or his fatness. Once I handed Presto off to Megan I had more time to ride Henry, so he’d finally been getting back up to a more normal routine and a little more strength and conditioning before this happened. Two weeks seems to have definitely taken a few steps back on his progress. It also might be time to slightly cut his food back again. It’s funny because every single winter I had this horse at a boarding barn, no matter which barn it was, he got ulcery and lost a lot of weight every winter. Both of the winters he’s been out here, he’s gained weight and had zero ulcer issues. It’s kind of hammered into me from all those years of boarding to be a little leery of backing off his feed too much, lest he suddenly drop weight again, but… after all the time he’s spent here I think it’s safe to say that isn’t going to happen. Even when the pasture is dried up and crispy, he’s stayed round. When he moved here I cut his grain in half, and now I think we can back down a bit more. At least until some of his food baby is gone. You have to admit it does kind of complete his overall mare look though…

Let’s Play a Game

This is the time of year where Michelle and I are constantly researching stallions and offspring, watching videos, and debating which stallions would go best with which mare. After a while your brain starts to melt and your eyes start to cross, and you’re pretty sure no more information will actually fit in your brain. Granted, these are also some of my favorite discussions, bouncing ideas around together and digging into the nitty gritty of each stallion and mare.

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This year seems more frustrating than most, with a lot of semen shipments held up, or behind schedule, or just not coming at all. A lot of the frozen semen brokers are out of stock with most of the stallions we want, so we’re having to dig deeper and think more creatively. We’ve finally got a tentative plan ironed out for most of them, although granted there’s always The Plan vs What Actually Happens. Shippers and mares and frozen semen inevitably never all actually read the playbook. But ya know… Plan A is in place finally so the gods of fate steer the ship from here.

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My brain melts over this every year, because there are a lot of options and my opinion on what crosses best with the mare can morph a little after every foal, not to mention what the actual end goal is (top level performance horse? amateur horse? it makes a difference). Still though, looking at stallions and matching them with mares and having these conversations and doing this research… it’s super fun for me. It’s just basically playing matchmaker with horses.

While my own choices and opinions are very much influenced by the type of horse that I tend to like most, I’m always interested to see what other people would choose and why. So: Tuesday fun time. Pick any WTW mare and any stallion – what would you breed for yourself? If you’re feeling frisky, give me a more conventional choice and then an unconventional one.

Like for instance, if I was making something for myself personally to keep, I would pick Tullabeg Fusion for Grace as my conventional choice (granted he’s not actually available in the US so if that doesn’t count then I’d pick Mighty Magic or Connect to Grace), or Innenminister xx to Lissa. No I cannot narrow it down to one, please don’t make me, y’all know how hard it was just to get it down that far? For my unconventional off-the-wall pick I’d do morgan stallion Spring Hollow Statesman to Peyton. Y’all know I like morgans, we’ve talked about this before, and I really like how sporty that one looks. I was gonna pick a connemara or french AA but that didn’t seem “out there” enough. Be bold.

So here are the mares to choose from:

Lissa – competed to 1.50m grand prix. Bold, quick, long-lined and tall, very rectangular shape. Definitely a German type of horse.

Chanel – competed to 1.40m GP. Shorter, more compact, very careful, sensitive. Extremely well bred from Dutch and Holsteiner lines and the most proven of the bunch as far as offspring go – she had two in Europe and one is competing 1.45m with the other at 1.40m.

Sadie (Presto’s dam) – big trot, very tall, easy to ride and good work ethic. By a hunter stallion (from dressage lines) out of a TB mare.

Grace – Irish mare, cute mover, sweet temperament, genuine, good jump technique, was an amateur event horse. I kinda think this one could have moonlighted in the hunter derbies. A little on the smaller side of average.

Inca – little black horse with a big jump. She’s got some get up and go and is definitely careful but also very sweet and kind. Huge canter.

Vee – good mid-size TB mare with lots of bone and substance, more compact. Turf pedigree.

Peyton – tall TB mare, more refined and leggy with great natural balance. Turf pedigree.

Stormie – pocket rocket sportpony deluxe. Big mover with a big jump, quick and catty and athletic and brave. A little spicy but also kind with a super work ethic and tons of personality.

Daisy – breeding stock paint (so basically QH), homozygous dun. Extremely good hunter mover with a lot of elasticity and a huge step, believe it or not. A little smaller than average.

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I think there’s literally something for just about anyone here, regardless of discipline or personal preference. Get your thinking caps on, pick a mare or two, and tell me who your fantasy baby daddy (or daddies) would be!

One Horse Rodeo

Someone is getting more and more wild as his time off for his owwie footie has been extended. This same someone may have come spinning and squealing out of his stall this morning like he was putting on a one-horse rodeo.

COOKIE PLEASE

The good news is that Henry looks pretty much sound again as he goes streaking and prancing around the pasture, so today his 2 week vacation is coming to an end. Of course the tractor tire is dead so I haven’t been able to drag the ring, thus it’s concrete, and the ground elsewhere is getting really hard right now too (I’m getting concerned at how dry this winter and spring have been overall), so I’ll ease him back into things out on the hacking path in the back, where there’s plenty of cushion. I might get murdered, because he also loves to spook at literally everything back there, so ya know… pray for me y’all. He really needs to get back to work though before the hamster in his brain flies completely off it’s wheel.

also because he is FAT omg when’s he due?

While there was no riding this weekend, I did get one major thing accomplished – my second covid shot! I’m officially fully vaccinated, and it feels great. After the first shot my arm was pretty sore for a couple days afterward, and I fully expected to have some flu-like symptoms after the second shot since pretty much everyone I know has gotten some degree of sick after one of their shots. I was fully prepared to feel like crap on Sunday, I had some soup and some OJ and some Tylenol on stand-by, my schedule was clear… and I felt literally nothing. My arm was lightly sore for about 12 hours, otherwise nada. I actually felt weirdly good yesterday morning, like my body was saying GIMME MORE OF THAT SWEET SWEET RONA. So… ok then. I’m not complaining at all and ended up using yesterday to run some errands instead. I’m tired today but I have a feeling that’s got more to do with the fact that the dogs woke me up twice in the middle of the night to go outside and then I got an early morning wakeup call (okay I was pretty much already awake, but I was definitely awake after that).

Why did I get an early morning wakeup call? THE BEST POSSIBLE REASON OF COURSE. Lark had her baby this morning around 4:50.

It’s a handsome bay colt with a star and two socks who will definitely turn gray and he’s got some big ol’ knees and hocks on him – looks like he’s gonna be a thicc boi like his daddy. He seems very sweet and affable so far, which mostly just prompted us to be like “Pippa is gonna eat him alive…”. HA. He’s a stout little dude though and Lark had to push pretty hard, even with assistance, but they both seem okay so far, knock on wood.

And just like that, we’ve got two foals on the ground! It’ll probably be two or three weeks until we get to see the next one, which will be fun since that’s the full sibling to this guy.

Foal Friday: Pippa WTW

I was so excited about this that originally I wrote the title in all caps and really struggled to force myself to go change it so I don’t appear 100% insane. But we FINALLY have our first Foal Friday of 2021, which I’m ecstatic about, and boy are we ever starting the year out with a bang with Pippa.

she’s GORGEOUS

I’m used to a lot of the newborn foal pics being cute in that awkward baby horse way where they’re discombobulated and wobbly and 95% legs, therefore mostly just fuzzy and adorable. And while Pippa does have her moments of being discombobulated or silly…

WEARIN MOMS TAIL LIKE A HERMES SCARF
you try maneuvering on these stilts

for the most part she’s actually quite balanced, really light on her feet, and has a general air about her where she clearly thinks she’s special. I feel like she’s judging me and finding me unworthy in a lot of her pics.

she’s probably right

Pippa also trots A LOT already, which… normally we don’t have our first decent trot pic of these jumping bred foals for a good month or so while they figure out how to work their legs. Usually it’s cantering or nothing. But she’s out here trotting around like a machine, and managing to look fancy in the process.

four off the floor
um, ok
you know you’re an event horse right?

I’m… pretty impressed with her, to be honest. I mean of course I like Peyton, and of course I like her sire Leprince des Bois, but I’m not sure I was expecting the full Pippa experience. Leprince is a 5* event horse, his sire Yarlands Summer Song was a 5* event horse, and of course Peyton is a full TB. Pippa’s got a lot of blood, 81% for crying out loud, and a pedigree that screams eventing from it’s very core. I’d have expected her to be a straight up galloper for the first few months for sure. Definitely didn’t expect her to be performing her best baby Valegro impressions just a few days old.

To be fair, she does plenty of galloping too, and it’s nice. Like I said, she’s quite light on her feet and quite balanced, even when she’s flat out. Like a little sports car. She already seems to have a lot of quality.

I think the most interesting thing is how different she is from Remi. This is only Peyton’s second foal, so we only have the sample size of two. They also have very different sires, Remi’s being Ramiro B. He has less blood and is a much more typical heavier warmblood type compared to Leprince. And indeed Pippa is quite pretty and more refined… maybe partly to do with the fact that she’s a filly.

her front right hoof is perfectly half black and half white, straight down the middle

The differences aren’t just physical though. Remi was a little more meek, a little more inclined to just be a good straight-laced kid and do exactly what his mother told him to do. He wasn’t ever the first one to show up to play or investigate new things, because Peyton (the helicopter mom) told him not to. She might have her hands full with Pippa though, who has yet to look twice at anything, already trots happily through puddles, was jumping the hay pile in her stall over and over at 14 hours old, and has started directing Peyton and telling her where they’re going rather than vice versa. I think Pippa is a born bossmare, brimming with confidence and a little bit of spicy sass. She’s still sweet to and very curious about humans though, like Remi.

marching right up to say hi to the neighbors

Granted, she’s only 5 days old, so these are the only observations we’ve been able to make thus far. I think foals do tend to start to show their personalities pretty early though, and she’s been no exception. Maybe I’m wrong but I get the feeling this one will be a little more sophisticated and little less goofy.

mom what are you doing
omg mom hurry up, i’ve got more zoomies to do
ZOOMIIIEEEEES (much to Peyton’s chagrin)

Pippa has already been sold to an upper level event rider, the same one who has Remi and Ellie, so she’s staying “in the family” and going to what I think will be the perfect home for her. I suspect that this one will be pretty talented and she certainly looks like an event horse.

Pretty darn strong start to the 2021 foal crop, I’d say! Healthy, beautiful, and already matched up with the perfect owner… you can’t ask for much more than that. Lark (Chanel’s recipient) is at 330 days as of today, and Chanel herself isn’t far behind at 315. We shouldn’t have too much longer to wait for more babies!

Happiest first Foal Friday of 2021, and here’s to the next 6-7 months of weekly foal cuteness. Yesssssssss I’m so glad it’s back!

The Weird Shit You Have to Defend on Social Media

I’ve been blogging for… almost 7 years now (JFC time flies). I like it, it’s fun for me, writing is cathartic, and I’ve met a lot of great people and had a lot of opportunities because of it. The only real downside, to me, (okay aside from the fact that it’s time consuming) is that making yourself “public” opens you up to a lot of criticism. Unfortunately the reality is that you have to have a bit of a thick skin to blog and/or have an active social media presence – when you choose to put yourself out there, people are guaranteed to have opinions.

All things considered, I feel like I’ve probably taken less heat than a lot of other bloggers, but I haven’t avoided it completely. Every now and then people just can’t help but to criticize the way you ride, or the choices you make, or, ya know… there was that whole ML debacle that I may or may not have started (my bad). For the most part I really don’t have a problem taking the heat. There will always be the ones who are just haters in general, and whatever, ain’t nobody got time for that. Of all the things I’ve taken criticism for over the years, none of it has really bothered me all that much, except for one thing: when I hand the reins of one of my horses over to someone who is a better and more experienced rider than I am and people want to judge me for it. God that really grinds my gears.

Someone is going to have to explain it to me because I legit don’t understand. When I had my trainer ride Henry at his first couple Training events because I had a little bit of trepidation about the move-up, the criticism was… confounding. I wrote about it then, and about the importance of the trainer ride for me personally when it came to helping me and my horse feel more confident. And hey guess what, it worked out pretty well because when I did my first T on him it was a seamless move-up, my horse was super confident and so was I, and we went on to have good success at the level. And now that I’ve handed Presto’s reins over to a pro for a little while, here we go again: I’m getting some of the same kind of comments. “Glad he’s doing well but sad that you aren’t riding him!” or “I would have a hard time putting so much time and effort into a horse and then handing the ride to someone else.”. Ya know… various passing comments (mainly in Instagram DM’s, why is that everyone’s dickplace of choice?) where basically people are saying that I bred the horse and raised the horse and put the first year of work into him, why in the world would I hand him over to someone else now?

It’s weird to me that I even have to explain this to anyone, but I guess there may have been a time in my younger years when I would have thought the same way. Back before I knew better, back when I was ruled more by pride and ego than by what was overall best for the horse. And for sure, I spent a lot of time not really being able to afford the luxury of pro training, so I get that as well. But the benefit of hindsight also allows me to look back on various horses and think “someone else really could have helped that horse understand xyz thing better than I did” or “we may not have had that big problem with x if I’d gotten help with it earlier”, especially the really green ones (which were almost all of them). There’s nothing quite like getting a few years down the road and realizing that your horse is full of gaping holes that you yourself helped install. I have never in my life regretted getting some pro rides put on some of my horses, but I can sure as hell think of many many many occasions where asking for help (or asking for help sooner) would have benefitted both myself and the horse in the long run.

I’m a big proponent of high quality early education for young horses especially. The things they learn in the beginning are the things they spend their whole life referring back to, and it’s SO MUCH EASIER to have it done well from the start than to go back and try to undo and redo things over and over again. Like, um… Henry for example. I don’t know exactly what the heck happened to him before age 7, only that he was “fried”, but I do know that he will forever be a tense tight horse that’s mistrustful of contact.

And when it comes to Presto, the entire reason I wanted to invest in a pro ride at this stage in his career is exactly BECAUSE of all the reasons these people are mentioning in their comments. They’re right, I DO have a lot of time, energy, work, blood, sweat, tears (so many tears), and money (so much money) invested in this horse already. And he’s a nice horse – so far he’s everything that I had in mind when I picked the stallion and the mare. You know what I want more than anything in the world? To do the absolute best I can by him and set him up as best I can for our future. Right now for me that means handing the reins to someone else, someone better than me, and letting him learn from her. Could I keep him here and ride him myself? Sure. But I have the luxury of being able to afford to do him one better, so why not take advantage of that?

Of course I’d be lying if I said that a part of me wasn’t a little wistful, watching his videos, mostly because I can’t wait to be the one in the pilot seat doing this stuff with him too. Granted, I’m a grown ass woman with a brain in my head, and I’ve had a shitton of green horses, so I also know that this is the right thing to be doing and it’ll pay off in the end. Our time together will come, but for now the priority is the horse I’m trying to give myself in the future.

What it comes down to for me is this: what good is it to be able to say “I did it all myself” or “No one has ridden him but me” if the end product is subpar, or has big holes in his education? I just don’t understand the appeal of that. He’ll be a more confident, more educated horse in the long run, which will make things easier for both of us. Win-win. So please don’t get at me with the thinly-veiled judgy comments about my choice to hand over the ride to a professional… if you don’t understand the choice now, I think you probably will someday.

Presto Update: Cannonball!

I’m not sure there is any better group of people on the internet than Presto supporters. A lot of y’all have been with him since he was just an idea in a blog post, so in a way it feels a bit like he belongs to all of us and not just to me. The support he gets and the sheer number of people that are standing in his corner is really amazing. And extra shout out to Kathleen for today’s post – when I asked on Monday if anyone could get out to Majestic Oaks in Ocala early on Tuesday morning to video him, she volunteered. And she wasn’t even the only one! But Kathleen got a ton of great video, and I’m eternally grateful for her because it was a really important occasion – Presto’s first big boy cross country school. He’s been a couple times with me last year of course, just puttering through the water and trotting over very teeny logs and banks (like… very very teeny), but this was his first legit official school as a Real Boy, the first one with Megan, and the first one since he’s been in pro training.

the only appropriate way to enter water, according to Presto

He’s been busy learning to jump courses and getting a grip on his general enthusiasm about life. He thinks things in Ocala are VERY EXCITING (shocker, right?) which is really the whole reason why I sent him. Life experience like he’s getting there is exactly what he needed to help him grow up a bit. He needed to be a little wide-eyed and figure out how to handle it. But Megan finally deemed him ready to get out and try his hand (hoof?) at some of the fun stuff, and well… I think he proved what phase he was really bred for.

They started small, trotting some of the smaller stuff.

Game on

As he started to get more comfortable (and rideable), she pointed him at a fewslightly bigger jumps. These are the first over-2’6″ fences I’ve ever seen him jump and I’m pretty delighted with what he’s got in the tank. There’s definitely some scope in there, and he’s pretty quick and clever with his feet. Megan said she thought he had really good instincts, and I think you can see that. I thought he jumped well and safely no matter how he got to the fence, which is super important to me, and his balance is quite nice for a just turned 4yo.

um, ok, that’ll do

a better view of the Novice table from that GIF, which is a little spooky with it’s cutout:

brave kiddo!

They strung a few of them together to make little courses. I think she did an exceptional job of waiting and supporting him without overriding or pushing him – if he wanted to come back to trot that was fine, as long as he stayed straight and kept going. She let him figure out his feet and his body even if it meant slowing down to do so, and as a result he really got better and better as he went, and never really looked unbalanced or concerned in any way.

Next was ditches. Presto has seen a couple of little ones in his life, in hand, but these are the first ones he’s met under saddle. No problem though, he popped over it each way, did the BN ditch bending line to box, then came around and did the N half coffin. Check that off the list.

Then it was on to the water, trotting through and jumping the BN table on the other side, which he did wiggle and peek at the first time. Figures that the only jumps of the day he really looked at were the smaller ones, he’s taking a page out of Henry’s book there. The table was white and blue and airy underneath, though, so that’s fair. He popped back over it the other way with no issue. Then he came back through doing a jump, water, jump a couple of times to string some things together. And then they capped off the holy trinity of cross country (ditches, water, banks) with popping up and down the smaller bank out of the water (which was on the N course), and finished by hopping down the T bank into water and cantering out over the little blue and white table again. He seemed quite pleased with himself at the water, and no hesitation to any of it. I think he had fun!

CANNONBALL!!

Here’s the full video if anyone wants to watch it. I left all the jumps in, just edited out some of the long canter stretches so it wasn’t quite as lengthy.

You can see a couple that he peeked and wiggled at, and the progression from the smaller questions to the bigger ones and how Megan strung things together. I left a few seconds of warmup in there too so you can see how he’s looking. Kiddo is growing up!

He has been deemed ready for his first event, so we’ll just have to see what fits into the schedule. She’s got a lot going on with her upper level horses in the next few weeks, understandably. I definitely have no regrets about spending all my money to send him to Ocala, I think it’s done him a world of good and I’m delighted with his progress. We’re finally starting to get a real true glimpse of what he’s really made of, and it’s hard not to be excited by what I see. He’s still got a lot of maturing to do, obviously, but from what he’s showing us so far I think he’s got all the qualities I wanted. It’s always a little iffy when you breed your own – you never quite know what you’ve got until you start asking the questions and seeing how they answer them. So far so good though, he’s really stepping up. Can’t wait to get to Ocala in a couple weeks and see him with my own two eyeballs!

Onomatopoeia

First of all – very exciting development this morning. Presto went XC schooling at Majestic Oaks in Ocala and an Insta friend (who is now my new favorite person, my love is easily bought) was able to go over there and get some media! Everything will be uploaded later but I do have a sneak peek.

Whee (our first onomatopoeia of the post)

NBD, just my 4yo popping down the Training drop into water like the cutest animal in the world (no, there’s no bias here, why do you ask?). I can’t wait to see the videos!

On to our topic of the day. Good news, the filly’s owner did indeed approve my name suggestion, so Pippa WTW is official! I can’t wait for Foal Friday, y’all are gonna die at this filly. She’s too freakin cute. Ok ok one pic where you can see her tippy ears and her little nostril dot, because I’m feeling particularly generous this morning.

Anyway, I was talking to Michelle, and, riding the high of my name selection, I joked that we really should have named all the sportpony foals with onomatopoeias. Like… Vroom WTW. Pitter Patter WTW. Ping WTW. Sizzle WTW. Swish WTW. I mean come on, you’re with me right? Ponies are supposed to have cheeky names. I’m amused.

Not to mention that I’ve basically been practicing naming ponies for over 20 years. I haven’t thought about this in a long ass time, but I remembered that back in high school my friend Stacy and I had this dream of one day having a pony breeding farm. Back then the dream was hunter ponies, but ya know, dreams morph. I also had to take a second to laugh at that, because a lot of riders tell stories about how when they were teenagers they were sure they’d be at the olympics one day, or be trainers, or normal people wanted to get married or whatever. Me… I wanted to breed ponies with my friend. There’s weird horse girl and then there’s peak weird horse girl.

That one girl at school who loves horses - YouTube
i pretty much look like this right now anyway

I even kept a list of all the “great” names I came up with. Back in those days Rosmel ponies were The Big Thing around here, all the cutest ponies had the Rosmel’s prefix. Stacy and I decided our farm would be Special T (oh man, weren’t we just hilariously clever…) so they were all Special T’s _______. My favorite name, which was going to be preserved for a horse (preferably a roan or a palomino, if I remember correctly. Man my knowledge of color genetics back then must have been hilarious) with a white snip or blaze that extended over the upper lip but not the lower lip. Because, ya know… color and markings were obviously very important to High School me. That one would be our PEAK PONY and be named Special T’s Got Milk.

That should be a dead giveaway as to what the big ad campaign was in popular culture at that time.

Gallery: The best 'Got Milk?' moustache ads from the last 20 years
Your 'totally' top guide to the all-time best '90s marketing campaigns |  Brafton

Remember those? Omg HAHAHAHAHAHA. Searching for these photos took me down a rabbit trail, but I learned that this was actually a 20 year long ad campaign that went all the way through 2014. Who knew? It was definitely really popular in the late 90’s, I can vouch for that much.

Too bad I don’t still have that list, I bet they’re all hilariously awful now. Maybe I shouldn’t be naming ponies after all, but I’ve definitely been practicing for a long time at least. I haven’t thought about any of that stuff in such a long time, it was kind of a hoot to think back on it now. Good to know I’ve always been extra weird.

The Baby and The Bebe

Guess who’s still lame?

But I still has cookie please

I was hoping it was an abscess but now I suspect it’s a bad bruise – it’s following almost the exact same pattern of the one from last winter (sorta bad, omg my leg is broken, sorta bad, a tiny bit better, a tiny bit better, pretty much the same…). Hopefully this one doesn’t take two freakin months to resolve because I honestly might kill him. He’s such a massive baby too, zero stoicism in this horse whatsoever, so sometimes its hard to get a gauge on reality when he’s always living at peak drama. I’ve got it packed with Magic Cushion, wrapped, and booted. Why can’t he do this crap in the summer when it’s hot and miserable and I don’t really want to ride that much anyway? Why do it at literally the only time of year when Texas is tolerable? Of course, it’s supposed to be hot AF this week so maybe that’s when he’ll magically decide he’s better.

Ew, pass.

Now I find myself having gone from not being able to fit both horses in to not having anything to ride. Feast or famine, man, feast or famine.

Naturally I’ve had to find some ways to cheer myself up. But, ya know, cheap ways, because all of my money is in Ocala. So first, I knocked something off my list that I’ve been wanting to do for a while anyway.

navy hair!

For the past couple years I’ve been alternating back and forth between putting burgundy or purple color over my natural dark brown hair. It mostly just showed up as a tint in the sun, but those were the only 2 colors that would really show up on my hair at all (blue just turned it black and green sent it even more mucky brown) and I liked them fine, so it worked. But I was getting kind of tired of those two colors, and really wanted to go for something in the blue or green spectrum. That would require lightening my hair first though, which is like… a commitment, so I’ve delayed it. But then I finally ordered the stuff I needed, and my horse is lame anyway so what else is there to do, so first I bleached it (I did like a balayage/highlighting technique, didn’t want to go all the way up to the roots or do my entire head because that requires more constant maintenance which CLEARLY isn’t happening with the hair that I generally only manage to get cut like once a year) then did a couple dye test strips to decide on color. One was just aquamarine, which is like a teal, and for the other I mixed aquamarine with purple, which managed to come out navy on my hair. Not intentional, but I’ll 110% take it. Navy wins every time, so on it went and now I have navy hair. Which is freakin rad. It’s brightening up my otherwise boring life, fo sho.

gonna match all my clothes now since I have so much navy

The other fun thing to cheer me up is this rainbow lead rope that I saw at Tractor Supply. I just stopped in for treats and dog food and they had rainbow lead ropes in the little bins in the front. Real rainbow, pastel rainbow, and a very Eastery looking one. And they were $6. And they’re the heavier cotton ones, which are the only kind I like and can be hard to find in colors. And like… you never really have enough lead ropes right?

it’s on Henry’s halter now

It made me feel a little better at least.

But you know what made me feel even BETTER? Like A LOT better?

eeeeeeeeeeeee

Peyton had her BEBE last night! And it was at a very reasonable time, so I got to watch on the cameras. She is a gorgeous, leggy bay filly by 5* eventing stallion Leprince des Bois with a couple socks and a star (and I think a little white dot on one nostril). It’s a P year for sBs so I suggested Pippa, because we saw her sire at the Burghley stallion show when we went in 2019, and Pippa Funnel won that year. Seems fitting! She is already sold so we’ll have to see if her new owner likes that or not, or if she’d rather pick something else. So she’s MaybePippa for now.

She’s still got some unsquishing and unfolding to do (she was cramped in there with those legs!) so we’ll give her a few days before we take her first baby glamour shots. I am very exciting to FINALLY have foaling season underway now though! FOAL FRIDAY SHALL RECOMMENCE! Lark has been acting pretty uncomfortable too so her baby might make an appearance sooner rather than later – she’s 326 days today. From here on out the babies are spaced pretty regularly through the end of May/beginning of June. Bring on the bebes!