Candles, Pools, and Queso

I took the morning off work, we got a solid VP pick yesterday, and it’s my birthday – so, I’ve made the executive decision that today is just a bunch of rando positive or funny things and the “real content” (as real as it ever gets around here these days) can return tomorrow.

my week so far

The SO’s parents sent me an amazon gift card for my birthday, which I took as a sign from the gods to order Presto his pool. I’d been wavering on it because I’m super grumpy about knowingly overpaying for things, but these stupid pools are sold out everywhere at their regular price. Technically the gift card isn’t my money, right? And I feel like his parents would enjoy Presto having a pool, right? So I ordered it. We’ll see where this leads. It’s 120″ of inflatable fun, let’s just hope it lasts at least 30mins before he puts a hole in it.

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how mega-creepy is the guy on the box?

His rubber chicken hasn’t arrived yet though, judging by the tracking someone must be walking it across America on foot. Oh well, we’ll make due with just the pool for now.

The only thing I actually asked for this year was candles. Which… I’m not a candle girl at all, that’s way out of character for me and definitely the first time I’ve ever genuinely wanted one. But I found Gay Guy Candle Co and honestly it’s everything I didn’t know I was missing. I was going to order them for myself for the new house (because let’s be honest, these are decor level candles) but I figured the SO might relish the opportunity to not have to buy me horse stuff for once. I was correct.

A WISE WOMAN ONCE SAID FUCK THIS SHIT AND SHE LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER Product Photo.jpg

IF YOU'RE RACIST GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE Product Photo.jpg

Who knew I was a fan of candles?

My green dye also arrived yesterday, so I could attempt to fix that shirt that I made really bright blue and hated. I wanted to go more teal.

this hurt mah eyeballs

I didn’t need much of the green, only about half a tablespoon did the job.

Granted, I hated the bright blue so much that I added a pinch more green just to make sure it was well and truly dead. So my teal is perhaps a bit more on the green side, but I’m 100% okay with that. This is much improved. My eyeballs no longer bleed when I look at it.

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My dye collection is growing, I now have plenty of leftover Navy, Emerald, and Pink. Yet… nothing left to dye. Woe is me.

Last but not least, I dunno who @sagebrushsoul is on TikTok, but she is hi-larious. If you have it, you should follow her. I slightly personalized this one, because she’s got both of my horses nailed to a T. This (combined with the fact that Trump wants to ban it) is almost enough to sway me to sign up for TikTok.

 

Usually I buy myself something nice for my birthday, like… a saddle. Or a coat. Or a bridle. Or some boots. This year I really don’t need anything and I spent a good hunk of money on the tiny house down payment, so I suppose that will have to count as my birthday splurge.

I’m off to the barn this morning, and may or may not stop at my favorite Mexican restaurant on my way home and get chips and queso for lunch. You can’t judge me, it’s my birthday. Those are the rules.

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Wanker of the Week

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, the story about my most horrific riding injury won the Wanker of the Week title from my favorite equestrian podcast. The cool thing about it is that you don’t just win the title, you also win a ribbon. A really really sparkly AF ribbon, or as the Buckoff Banter ladies call it – a “frilly”. I’m assuming this is the British horse person slang for what they otherwise call a rosette, and honestly I’m not sure why we can’t steal that vernacular from them (along with my other favorite British word “numpty”) because frilly sounds way better than ribbon.

Anyway, I totally forgot about the frilly and it was quite the amazing surprise last week when I pulled that envelope out of my mailbox and opened it. Y’all, you could blind somebody with this thing. It fits in really well with my other special ribbons, though. I’m amassing a collection over here. And honestly I’m a wanker at least once a week every week, so this might be the most fitting frilly yet.

Case in point: the thing that happened to me a couple hours after I pulled said Wanker of the Week frilly out of my mailbox. Let me set the scene.

It was last Friday, and I was headed out to the barn in the morning to squeeze in a quick ride. I’d had a thousand Skype and Team meetings the day before (ok maybe a thousand is a slight exaggeration but I’m a wanker so lets just go with it), more coming that afternoon, I was tired, it was hot… my brain was just kind of done. I couldn’t muster the mental fortitude that a dressage ride requires with Henry, so I tossed my saddle and sidepull on him instead and headed out toward the hacking trail in the back for a nice easy decompressing canter.

As we set off I thought “ya know what would make this even better? Some tunes!” so I pulled my phone out of my pocket, pulled up Spotify, and scrolled through my playlists. I was kind of stuck deciding between a couple different ones, so I opened them up and was looking at the songs when I got a face full of tree. See, I wasn’t paying any attention to where Henry was walking, and naturally he walked right under a low branch. Luckily it was mostly just a lot of leaves, so no harm done I thought. He kept walking, I kept scrolling.

As we emerged onto the hacking path and turned right, I finally picked my playlist, clicked on it, and was putting my phone back in my pocket when WHAM. Right through another low-hanging branch. I’m starting to think Henry does this on purpose when I’m not paying attention because this one wasn’t even in our path, he had to step to the side to scrape me through it. But again, mostly just leaves, so whatever.

it’s about to get good, y’all

We keep walking, me finally taking a deep breath and settling in for a nice hack. I glance down and notice an ant on my leg. Huh, weird. I brush it off, and then notice another one. And then another one. And then realized they were on both legs, and my saddle, and my saddle pad. Then one dropped off the brim of my helmet right around the time I felt a sharp sting and burn in my shirt. And that’s when it finally clicked – one of the trees I went through must have had fire ants on it, and they were now deposited all over me.

So I did what any self-respecting, dignified person would do. I removed my helmet, pulled my shirt off, and swung it around my head ala Petey Pablo. It was full of fire ants, one does what one must do in such a situation. Luckily I was way out in the back where there were no witnesses (that I know of) but I’ll be honest I probably would have done the same thing even if there were people around. Anyway, I got them all out of my shirt and sports bra and helmet, made sure they were all brushed off of my saddle, put my shirt and helmet back on, and resumed my ride. Other than 5-6 fire ant bites, no harm no foul. I swear I could hear Henry cackling. Guess that’ll teach me to pay attention to where I’m going instead of messing with my phone. I’d say lesson learned but… did I really learn? Did I? Only time will tell.

I’m definitely a wanker all over again though. This numpty needs another frilly.

Routine

I’m starting to think that I’ve been doing the horse thing all wrong before now. I’m convinced that there’s no better combination than having a relatively “made”, mature (well… not always mentally) horse and a total neon-green bean at the same time. The experienced horse so that you can keep yourself tuned up as a rider, and the green horse because they’re just the most fun and rewarding thing in the world. This is definitely the way to do it.

I am totally tuned up. Very experience. Much correct. 

I’ve settled into a routine now with our modified summer schedule (it’s so hot, I literally had a salty ass print on my saddle yesterday from all the sweat). Tuesdays are bareback rides with Henry, sometimes we go for a canter on the hacking path in the back, sometimes we go do flatwork in the dressage arena, but it’s always bareback and bitless. It’s fun and “light” and it always works the heck out of my core and helps stretch out my hips, which are used to spending most of their time in a jump saddle with short stirrups. Bareback has been my jam since I got that Brockamp pad (totally worth the splurge, 0 regrets).

also these are the tights that used to be gray and are now purple

On Wednesdays I ride Presto. Originally when I switched over to twice a week with him (which was only a few weeks ago) I was hacking him during the week and then doing his “real ride” on the weekend. But since I ride Henry on both weekend days, and he always gets the earlier time slot because ya know he can’t really breathe very well in the summer, that was pushing Presto’s ride later and I’d inevitably end up feeling like I was gonna die of heat stroke after 10 minutes of trotting. It quickly became evident that it made more sense to do Presto’s real ride on Wednesday when he’s the only horse I’m riding, and earlier in the morning, and do his walk hack on the weekend instead.

The week before last he did his first course of poles, so this past week I decided to up the ante and try riding him out in the grass jump field again. I tried to ride him out there once a while back (maybe ride 12 or so?) but it very quickly became evident that Presto just wasn’t quite there yet. That field is a little bit difficult with a super green horse, because 1) it’s on a bit of a slope, which is tricky when it comes to balance. 2) there are trees and jumps to maneuver around, you have to be able to make some S-shapes and leg yield at times to make a path in there if you’re moving faster than a walk. 3) there are some low hanging branches that make accurate steering VERY important. There’s a particular spot along one fence line where there is no margin of error when it comes to steering – if you’re off, you’re whacking into a branch (I’ve caught my shoulder on that thing before, it doesn’t feel nice).

Last time he just couldn’t do any of that yet really. I wasn’t totally sure that he’d be able to do it now, honestly, but I figured it was worth a shot. And spoiler alert: he did great.

Yeah, the balance comes and goes a little bit, but I had no problems maneuvering him around everything. I think riding him out there is really good for him, since he’s having to learn how to deal with the terrain and we’re constantly steering or leg yielding or half-halting or something. It gives him plenty to think about and engages his body without being unreasonably difficult. Even just in the 15 minutes I rode him, he was already starting to figure out how to rebalance himself on the downhill slopes. At the end I trotted him over a pole on the ground a few times, making the approach a little more challenging each time. He seems to get the idea of going to the pole.

I think I’ll be riding him out in the jump field more regularly now that I know he can handle it. The whole goal of riding him at all right now is to slowly build up his strength and balance, so that space fits the bill perfectly for helping develop those things.

On Fridays I usually do a dressage ride with Henry, but I was so brain-fried from work meetings that I just Could Not last Friday, so we cheated and went for a canter in the field instead. Whatever, it’s 2020, I can skip dressage day if I want to. Saturday I woke up with a jacked up back (from… sleeping? I’m officially at that age, I guess) so I just did some canter pole work with Henry and lunged Presto over some trot poles in the arena.

Sunday my back felt better enough for JOMPIES, Henry’s favorite day of the week.

Happiest ears

We did a little warmup course with some square turns (someone has been a little bit arrogant lately and thinks that rebalancing and using his inside hind through the turns is totally optional. It is not.) and then did a course. Henry is still feeling super cocky right now, but he was more polite and adjustable even on the tight, slick downhill turn back to the barrels, so no complaints. Once the weather stops being ridiculously hot I’d like to get back to some jump lessons, but for now I’m glad to have the Pivo footage. I can make the next weekend’s jump plan by watching the previous week’s footage. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Plus I actually have plenty of media for the first time in my damn life.

After Henry’s jump school Presto went on his walk hack around the farm, accompanied by 5yo dressage horse Ella. Ella is not convinced that hacking is safe, especially when she’s alone. Presto led the way like a good boy (mostly) but he seemed dismayed when she just walked unceremoniously over the little runoff ditch that he always gleefully jumps. He’s pretty sure she was doing it wrong.

the face of a boy who thinks he knows how to do everything, including lunge himself

This week I have a bunch of work meetings that might mess with my newfound routine, but we’ll see how things unfold. Hope everyone had a good horsey weekend!

Foal Friday: A Day at the Lake

A few weeks ago, during the last triple digit heat wave, you guys may remember that the babies got their very own little splash pad in their pasture. Ollie loved it the most of course, and kept playing in it even as it slowly dried up and dwindled to nothing but a wee puddle of muck. But this week brought another major heat wave, so their splash pad got refilled, and this time with even more water. Now I think it’s officially graduated from a splash pad to their own private lake. And they are here for it.

Remitrotup

arrival

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Ollie is the first to dip his toes in of course, no matter how awkward
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Remi was a bit more elegant about it
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Oakley, ever the polite one, was on her way to greet the lake’s proprietor when she got SadieSmashed by Ellie. I swear there is a gene for having a tendency to sit on things or ram them with your butt, and Sadie and all of her babies have it. 
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but Oakley made it through and greeted the proprietor before they got down to business

Once everyone was settled in and re-introduced to the water, it wasn’t long before they were in it. At first Ollie was distracted by antagonizing Oakley…

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so it took him a few minutes to notice the toys. A couple balls and a couple pool noodles, clearly placed there JUST FOR HIM!

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deez for me

Oakley came to check them out too, and while her back was turned Ollie tried to prank her.

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Imma get this nood…
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Imma sneak up behind her…
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aaaaand BOO!

Yeah, that didn’t work. All these babies are noodle-proof by now. So Ollie abandoned the yellow one and figured he’d try the red one instead.

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she’ll never expect it!

And… yeah nope. That didn’t impress her either. In fact, she just slowly walked away and left him standing there alone holding his “scary” noodle.

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Womp Womp

Not one to be deterred for long, Ollie tried another tactic: a game of tag.

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Imma just sneak right up in here and BOOP YOU’RE IT!
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OH CRAP OH CRAP OH CRAP IT WORKED

Except he forgot that it’s never really a good idea to antagonize a filly enough to make her chase you, so he did the only logical thing he could: ran to the other filly for protection.

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Ollie: ELLIE WILL SAVE ME! Ellie: Um, what. 

Of course, Ellie had been in the middle of laying out by the lake, soaking up some vitamin D and having a bit of a snooze. She was not the most pleased about being interrupted.

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It’s okay, this happens a lot

Luckily Oakley had gotten distracted in her pursuit of Ollie anyway, and all was quickly forgotten.

OakleyRemi

Ollie eventually made his way back to the lake and continued to play by himself, running circles through it long after everyone else had gotten distracted or opted for a nap.

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Ollie is Ollie whether anyone plays with him or not

Not a bad way to ride out a heat wave, that’s for sure. I feel a little jealous of these babies sometimes.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Mayhem Strikes Again

So I get this text from the barn owner yesterday morning…

ONE GUESS at who’s involved

So the little boys had an epic night. I woke out of a dead sleep at 2:30 and got up trying to figure out what startled me. Looked out the back windows, nothing. So I got back in bed. But I woke J up who now needed to go to the bathroom. He goes down the hall to use the one in the hall, so as not to wake me if I fell back to sleep. And he’s back a few moments later saying, um there is a horse in the back yard. 

I throw on my PJ pants and run out the slider to find Quinnie and Presto happily munching grass in the yard. And there are like 6-7 poos out there, so they’ve been out for a while. I run around the side to find the pasture gate wide open. The latches and everything still intact. I grab two halters and by then I see JB rounding the corner of the house to come back to the pasture. Apparently he had been eating the grass in the raised garden and came to find me when he heard my voice. The others followed him and with no effort, they were all back in the pasture.

We can’t see anything to indicate how that gate got open. We don’t go through there to feed. And it swings open if unlatched…it doesn’t stay if it isn’t actually latched, so we know it was closed at night check. But they were out there for hours. Had a total rave. There are poos by the tractor. Foot prints around the whole yard. Toni’s [the stallion] electric gate tape was played with. Things moved. The end of the path torn up. 11 poos in total. But everyone was fine. 

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Hmmm… I WONDER WHO MIGHT HAVE HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH THIS? I dunno y’all. This type of crime certainly has Presto’s name written all over it. If the latch had been broken, I miiiiight be more likely to blame JB – he likes to push on the gate. But reaching over the gate and opening a clip seems more sophisticated than JB’s usual style.

I’m not sure if the court can completely absolve Quinnie though, the mare in charge of the two babydiots. She does have a history of letting herself out of her stall. BUT typically she does that because she’s ready to go out or wants food, and… she was already out, with a round bale (her most favorite possession)… not much more that Quinnie wants out of life than that. I also feel like she takes her job of raising these babies pretty seriously and would not sponsor such tomfoolery as gallivanting around the yard in the middle of the night.

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she rules with an iron hoof

But there IS another horse in this trio that has a history of opening things, and that would be the long-legged giraffe-like creature named PRESTO. There was the time he let himself out of his stall and absolutely destroyed the barn, also letting Henry out of his stall in the process. And we’re pretty sure he’s also the one that got into the feed room a couple months ago by somehow twisting the doorknob open (we’ve since caught him working at that doorknob on a couple other occasions, but it’s been Presto-proofed now from the inside).

To add to my suspicion, he tends to play with his ball a lot at night, but right now the current ball is pretty much dead (the new one should be here today) so it’s not really play-with-able in Presto’s eyes. So… in lieu of a good midnight romp with his ball, did he open the gate and go for a romp through the yard instead? The court can’t rule for sure, but it’s certainly plausible. Let’s hope that, whoever it was, they don’t repeat that performance and it was just a one-time fluke. Nothing quite like waking up at 2am to find loose horses and chaos.

I’ve been considering some additional toys/distractions for Presto lately. I was really wanting to find one of those 10′ long rectangular inflatable pools, I feel like he would have a total heyday with that, especially since it’s so hot. But apparently those pools are like THE hot item of the summer, because they’re totally sold out at most places, or the price has been jacked way up beyond what is reasonable (they used to be $26 at Walmart and now I’m seeing the exact same one online for $80+… considering it’s likely to be destroyed within days, I’m not into paying that much). But I did order Presto another toy though, one that I’ve been meaning to get for a long time and keep forgetting about.

Your eyes do not deceive you, that is a huge-ass rubber chicken. He loves things that he can pick up and toss around, especially if they make noise. Remember his love of plastic jugs with rocks in them? This particular giant rubber chicken is advertised as being able to scream for up to 45 seconds. We gon’ find out.

What does the jury say? How did the gate get opened? Who did it?

The Pivo Guide

Okay I swear this is (probably) my last Pivo info/how-to post, but I wanted to put together something a little more comprehensive where the information is all contained in one post. I’m still getting a lot of questions about it, so I’m gonna try my best to answer all the most common ones here and use this one post as reference. If there’s anything I’ve forgotten or didn’t address, let me know and I’ll add it in. As things change over time with the app and the software (as they most definitely will – they already have changed a lot in the last month!) I will come back to this post and make updates. I’ve used the Pivo enough by now to where I feel like I’ve got a good handle on it and how it works, especially now that the newer features have been more established. So some of this is a repeat of things I’ve said about it before, and some of this is newer information, but… bear with me, I’m trying to be thorough. I’ve become pretty obsessed with this little gadget!

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What you need to know before you order a Pivo:

  • Your success with the Pivo pod will likely depend on your phone. The Pivo app uses software to “see” and track the horse through your phone’s video camera, so if your phone is outdated technology (particularly if the video quality isn’t great or the CPU isn’t very powerful) you won’t have as much success. There is a list of supported smartphones on Pivo’s website here. Currently the app also does seem to work a bit more seamlessly on iphones, which is understandable since it is much easier and faster to develop apps for iPhones than it is for Android. Given time I have no doubt that Pivo will get it working just as seamlessly for Android phones too (they are constantly making improvements and releasing updates), but it could take a bit longer and new features may tend to be buggier at first. Be prepared to be patient.
  • Understand how the technology works. Your success with getting the Pivo to work for you also depends greatly on your understanding of what the Pivo is looking for and how it “sees”. There is no tag or tracker that the pod is syncing with in order to follow you, it’s tracking capability is completely software-based. The software uses your phone’s video camera as it’s eyes to see and track the horse. In order to do this, the software is looking for two main things in particular: shape and contrast. There are 3 shooting modes for the Pivo: face, body, and horse… obviously the horse mode was designed for horse tracking, and when it’s in this mode it’s looking for the rectangular shape of a horse to lock onto and follow.
  • Certain things that can make it difficult for the Pivo to “see” and track effectively. Just like with the human eye, certain environmental conditions can make it more difficult for the Pivo software to clearly see your horse and get a good lock for effective tracking. If your space has a lot of shadows where you’re going from light to dark, if the sun is behind you causing glare, if your horse is the same color as the background/footing, if you ride too far away from the Pivo to where it can’t discern the horse shape anymore… all of these things are challenging to the human eye, and they’ll be challenging to the Pivo as well. If it would make you squint, the Pivo will likely struggle as well. Think about your riding space and conditions and consider how easy it will be for the Pivo software to see you clearly. If you have a very dusty arena it can cause some issues as well because it “blurs” the video, and if you ride with multiple people in the ring, the Pivo will track whichever horse is easiest for it to “see” and follow at any given time. So, you might end up with video footage of the other people in the ring as well.
  • Be realistic with your expectations. Keep in mind, this is relatively new and very complex technology. While it’s constantly involving and improving, right now it does have limits to what it can do. If you expect it to be perfect no matter where you put it or what the lighting is, you will end up disappointed. If you expect it to perform as reliably as the other riding tracking tools on the market that are 8-10x the price, you will end up disappointed. It’s a GREAT tool, especially for the money, but it isn’t perfect and there is a small learning curve in the beginning.
  • Deciding on the Red vs Silver. So once you’ve decided you have a good enough phone, it should work for your needs, and you want to take the plunge, the next question is – which Pivo Pod to get? The only difference between the Pivo Red and the Pivo Silver is the speed: the Silver can spin twice as fast. If you will be riding at speed, like faster than a regular canter, or if your riding space is small (thus the Pivo will need to spin more quickly to keep up), or if you want to use it for jumping, definitely get the Silver. My recommendation would be Silver no matter what, just because having more speed capability isn’t going to be a bad thing, even if you don’t really need it, but if you’re only doing groundwork or regular flatwork, the Red would suffice.
  • What about accessories? Pivo also offers some accessories to go with your Pivo Pod, and people are often wondering what they really need. This depends on how you want to use your Pivo. First and foremost, I would recommend a tripod no matter what. The more stable and level you can make your Pivo, the better off you will be, and it needs to be horse-height to track well, so a tripod is just going to be necessary. Pivo has one on their website, or you can buy/use any tripod that has a 1/4″ threaded screw tread (a standard camera mount that most tripods come with). Some people like to buy the flexible tripods so they can hook it on a fence, some people have taller horses and might need a taller-than-standard tripod… go with whatever works best for you. As for the other accessories – the Smart Mount is really only necessary if you have a phone case that is thicker than standard and won’t fit in the Pivo’s built-in phone groove. This would be the Otterbox Defender or larger. Basically if your phone is encased in a tank, err on the side of caution and get the Smart Mount. The Action Mount is another attachment, meant for those who want to use an action camera (like a GoPro) in conjunction with Pivo. They also offer a soft pouch case or a hard shell travel case for storage. Keeping the Pivo safe and out of the barn dust/grime is important, so one of those two cases might not be a bad idea. If you’ll be transporting it a lot or are clumsy (ahem, me), maybe the hard shell case would be the better choice.
  • Join the Pivo facebook group. Last but not least, before you order definitely join the Pivo Horse Riding Community facebook group and spend some time reading. Pivo runs this group, and people post all kinds of experiences, questions, successes, failures, troubleshooting, you name it. If you take some time to sit back and read through this group and the comments, you will learn A LOT, and you’ll be that much more knowledgeable by the time your Pivo arrives.

 

Before you use your Pivo for the first time:

  • Play with it at home first. Alright, your Pivo has arrived! What now? I would strongly recommend that you take half an hour at home to download the app and play around with it and the Pivo. Get familiar with the app and how to work it, and find where the different settings are and how to change them. Familiarity helps tremendously, especially when you’re standing next to the arena in the sun holding your horse and trying to set it up. You’ll be much less frustrated if you’ve already poked around in the app in advance.
  • Learn the different settings. If you’re on this blog reading about the Pivo, I’m going to assume that you’re on a horse and using it to record yourself riding, so those are the settings I’m going to talk about. First and foremost the Smart Tracking needs to be set to AI. This is what will enable the different tracking modes, and from there you can select Horse mode or Beta Horse mode. If you don’t see any horse modes, you probably haven’t selected AI (common mistake). The difference between these two tracking modes is that Horse is the original tracking mode, which can detect a horse from its side profile. For this mode you need to be riding 360 degrees around the Pivo and stay fairly parallel to it so that it can see the horse’s side profile. Beta Horse is the new (still in beta testing, as the name implies, so some users may find some bugs) horse tracking mode that allows the Pivo the recognize the horse from any angle, thus allowing for more reliable tracking and placement outside of the arena. For me, with my iPhone, Beta mode works perfectly no matter where I put it. Your mileage may vary depending on your phone, since this mode is still in testing. Choose whichever tracking mode sounds more suitable for you, or play with both and figure out which one you prefer. To access all the other settings in the app you will drag the screen to the left (or down from the top if you’re in landscape). You can see an explanation of each setting and what they mean on Pivo’s website here, I won’t bother repeating what they’ve already written. My own personal preferred settings are Center, Frenzy, Predictive Follow Off, Tracking Exposure On, Auto Zoom On. I feel like these are a good starting point for most people, but you may have to tweak them a bit depending on your own environment and usage. If you know what they all do, you’ll be better able to judge what you might need to change. Predictive Follow seems to be the most confusing setting to most people: my recommendation would be that if you’re using the Pivo in the center of your arena and riding 360 degrees around it, having it on might help, particularly if you have a Red that sometimes struggles to keep up. Otherwise (or if you’re ever in doubt, because sometimes it seems to cause more problems than it solves) turn it off.
  • Figure out if you might need to add contrast to your outfit to help Pivo “see”. As I mentioned above, the Pivo really needs to be able to differentiate the horse from the background in order to track it successfully. So think about your riding area – is it a bit dark? Does your horse blend in with the footing or background? Is the sunlight weak? If so, you might need to add some “pop” either with white shirt/saddle pad/boots or a bright color (Pivo seems to love hi-viz pink, if you’re really struggling to get it to see you). Keep that in mind when choosing what to wear and dress your horse in.
  • Check your phone’s video settings. Before you get out there and start recording, check a few things with regards to your phone’s video capability. First, double check what type of video your phone is shooting. For iPhones, you would go to Settings>Camera>Record Video to see this. I would recommend setting this to at least 1080p, for better quality. If you have tons of storage space and want the best video possible, you could change it to 4k. I personally have mine in 1080p at 60fps and think that’s a happy medium to get good quality video/sreenshots without eating up too much storage space. And while we’re talking storage space – make sure your phone has PLENTY. Riding videos are going to be long, and if your phone doesn’t have the space to store it, it won’t save. Clean that thing out, empty your deleted folder, and be mindful of your video file size.
  • Decide where you want the videos stored. While you’re playing around in the Pivo app, you can also change the settings for where you want your videos stored. You can have them save to the app’s gallery (for export later), you can have them save to just your phone gallery, or you can save them to both places. If you’re particularly worried about storage space, you could just pick one or the other. If you’re more paranoid about losing videos, you could pick both.
  • Make sure your Pivo and phone are charged. Last but not least, before you take your Pivo out to the barn and get ready to use it, make sure everything is well-charged. Pivo recommends one hour of charging time for a completely depleted battery, so when I charge it I always just plan on leaving it on the charger for that long no matter what, just to be sure. I would also strongly suggest that you make sure your phone is as charged as possible. Because of how much the app uses your phone’s CPU, it can eat away pretty quickly at the battery life, particularly if your phone is a little bit older. Mine (with a pretty new iPhone SE 2020), uses about 1% battery for every 2 minutes of filming. Your mileage may vary, you’ll figure it out as you go. You definitely don’t want your phone to die in the middle of a ride though, and you also want to avoid putting your phone in low power mode, because low power mode slows down your phone’s CPU, which will effect the performance of the Pivo.
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screenshot courtesy of my Pivo

The maiden voyage:

  • Choosing the right spot for your Pivo. Alright, we’re finally getting to the fun part – actually using the Pivo! The first decision you have to make is where to place the Pivo (which is hopefully on your tripod) in your riding space. The absolute most foolproof and easiest place is smack dab in the center of the arena (at X in a dressage arena). For a first timer, I would always recommend starting there, at least until you get a good feel for it (this is also the best placement if you’re jumping). My own personal favorite placement for flatwork is outside of E or B, in the middle of the long side of the arena (if you’re not a dressage person, here’s a link to the arena so you can see the letter placement I’m referring to). If you’re going to place it on the side, the most ideal position is a few meters away from side of the arena. You may not be able to do that if you have a fence or a wall – if that’s the case you can place it AT the letter, but be aware that if you ride right next to the Pivo, it will probably lose you (because, remember, it’s looking for the shape of the horse, and when you get super close to it to where the horse more than fills the screen, it can’t find that shape anymore). You also need to pay attention to where the sun is – you don’t want the phone to be looking into the sun. The Pivo is capable of filming from C (works better with the newer, better video quality phones and iPhones right now) if you need it to. It doesn’t really seem to love being placed in a corner, so I would avoid that if you can.
  • Make sure it’s level. Now that you’ve picked your spot, set up your Pivo/tripod and make sure it’s level. The Pivo has a built in level, as do most tripods, so it’s pretty easy to see when you’ve got it adjusted correctly. The more level it is, the easier the Pivo will be able to track your horse.
  • If it’s windy, weigh down your tripod. Anything that causes your phone to shake will affect the video quality, so if it’s particularly windy it’s a good idea to add a little bit of weight to your tripod for stability. Many tripods have a little hook under the center part for just this reason. I usually just stuff a couple rocks into the tripod’s bag and hang it from that hook, but you can use whatever is easiest to give it some weight.
  • Prep your phone. Alright, let’s get this show on the road. If you’re someone that gets a lot of phone calls or notifications that may interrupt your filming, I would suggest turning your phone to airplane mode (but make sure the bluetooth is still on or you won’t be able to connect to the Pivo!). Make sure all of your background apps – anything that could be using your CPU – are completely closed. Also take a second to clean off your phone’s video camera lens (whichever one you’re using) – a stray fingerprint can ruin a whole video.
  • Turn on the Pivo. Power up your Pivo pod, open the Pivo app (which you will have already downloaded and played with at home), and connect the app to the Pivo. Once you’re connected you can choose what settings you want to use (again, you should have already familiarized yourself with them and how to change them) and decide whether you want to use the front (selfie) camera or the back camera. The back camera is better quality, but for a Pivo newbie the selfie camera makes it a little easier to check your progress throughout your ride. I started on Selfie and then switched to the back camera once I got more comfortable. Choose whichever you feel best about using. Make sure you are in video mode, not photo mode. Then set your phone into the Pivo in LANDSCAPE MODE. Not portrait. Landscape.
  • Get the Pivo locked on to your horse. I am always super obvious about this step by placing my horse directly in front of the Pivo (a few meters away, if the horse can be trusted unattended) to ensure that it locks on. Once the Pivo locks onto the horse you will see a red square on the screen, over the top of the horse.
  • How and when to start the video. The Pivo comes with a remote so that you can stop and start the video whenever you want. If you’d rather get on, warm up, and then use the remote to start videoing, you can do that. I personally don’t want to mess around with a remote, plus I like to see the warmup footage too, so I always start mine when I’m standing there behind it, after I’ve locked it on to the horse. When you’re mounted it’s hard to tell whether or not it’s filming, so to me it’s easiest and most foolproof to start it when I’m on the ground and can easily confirm that it is indeed filming (when you start filming, the hour/min/sec counter will appear and start incrementing, just like when you take regular videos on your phone). If you’ve played around with the remote at home and feel comfortable and confident with it, use the remote. If not, start it from the ground.
  • Enjoy your ride! Other than sneaking a glance every once in a while to make sure that the phone is still pointed at me, I largely ignore the Pivo while I’m riding. However, if you have it placed right up against the rail or in the middle of your arena, you may have to be more aware of it to avoid getting too close. Likewise, if you’re riding in a very large space, you may need to stay aware of how far away you are so that it doesn’t lose you (once the horse fills less than 10% of the screen when it’s zoomed, the Pivo will struggle to keep sight of you).
  • Finishing your ride/saving your video. When you’ve finished riding you will hit the stop button (either on the screen or on the remote) to stop recording. The Pivo will then save your file to wherever you specified – app gallery or phone or both. While it’s saving the file the screen will say “making magic” – do not close the app or turn off Pivo before this is finished. If you do, you risk losing the file. Usually this “making magic” step only lasts for a matter of seconds. Once it’s done, I always quickly pop into the gallery to verify that the video is there, and then I turn the Pivo off and close the app.

(Note: if you’re a more visual learner and would prefer a video to help you with these steps, check out Pivo’s youtube channel, or check out Riding with Rhi’s channel as well.)

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Troubleshooting:

  • There will be hiccups. Once you get comfortable using your Pivo and learn how it works, it’s pretty simple, but a bit of a learning curve and some rookie mistakes are to be expected. When in doubt, if you’re having issues with the performance, take the time to think about what the Pivo is seeing. Look at your environment and conditions. Check that your settings make sense for your usage and conditions. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different settings or placements to see what works best for you.
  • When in doubt, do a reboot. At the end of the day this is software (an app) integrating with hardware (the pod and your phone) so sometimes it just throws itself for a loop and needs a reset. If you’re seeing weird or atypical behavior, try rebooting the pod and your phone.
  • The Pivo facebook group is here to help. If you have an issue that you just can’t figure out, or want to learn more, I can’t stress enough how valuable the Pivo facebook group is. Not only is someone from Pivo available to help walk you through it, you have hundreds of experienced Pivo users that can help too. I would have had a much steeper learning curve if not for that group, it’s incredibly helpful.
  • Keep up with latest bugs/fixes/new releases. The great thing about the Pivo technology being software based is that it IS rapidly improving and evolving, and you will always have access to the latest and greatest features without having to buy a new Pivo pod. I have to give big props to Pivo for listening so intently to their equestrian customers and working so quickly to improve the app for us. At this point they are constantly releasing fixes and updates and new features, as often as once a week. If your phone isn’t set up to auto-update your apps, it would be a good idea to check in often and make sure there isn’t a new version waiting for you.
  • It’s easy to report bugs. If you do come across an issue that can’t be explained, it’s easy to report a bug directly to the Pivo developers via their website. You can include the video to show them exactly what happened, as well as what phone you have, so they can try to fix it. So far they’ve been super responsive about this and they really encourage users to report any bugs they may find.
another screenshot courtesy of my Pivo

There is also a relatively new Pivo function called Pivo Meet, which is intended to be used for remote lessons. This is a new release that is still in the beta stages, but something that I also expect to be rapidly improving. It’s definitely not perfect yet, but some people are having success with it (search the Pivo group to read about people’s experiences!). If being able to use the Pivo for remote lessons is important to you, keep an eye on the group for more updates. I haven’t used it yet, so I can’t lend my own personal opinion, but if/when I do I will come back to this space and expand my thoughts. The functionality DOES exist, though.

If you want to check out some of my own Pivo videos, here are a few for reference:

Jumping in the field

Shooting from E in the dressage arena

Shooting from X in the dressage arena

 

Hopefully this covers it enough to give you a good headstart on using your Pivo or figuring out if it could be a useful tool for you. If you want more details about particular things, you can also try searching Pivo’s help page. Like I said, I’ve been incredibly pleased with mine and impressed with the company and their customer service. If you have any other questions or topics you think I should cover, drop me a comment and I’ll add some updates!

What a Cluster

Boy oh boy was it insane to see how everything unfolded (or I guess… didn’t) with Pony Finals. That was a cluster of epic proportions.

Wince GIF | Gfycat

I do feel a bit sorry for everyone that already spent a lot of time and money getting there, only to arrive and have it be canceled before it really even got started. Mostly I feel sorry for the ponies that spent days in a trailer and went through all the stress of traveling, for no reason, and for the kids who now have to learn a tough life lesson about disappointment. All because people (adults) seem incapable of making good decisions right now. And I’m not talking about USEF (although their timing was impeccably bad and it sounds like the situation left a lot to be desired with how it was handled, by case #4 they had no choice but to shut it down). Pony Finals was a terrible idea in the first place, on USEF’s part and for everyone that went.

At what point are people going to say “hmmm… maybe hauling out of state to go spend a few weeks at a horse show with other people also coming from all over the country, in a middle of a pandemic that has spiraled completely out of control, to a place that is also struggling to control the spread locally, is not a good idea“. Shit, people. I’ll say it: it’s selfish. Tell yourself what you want, bury it under all the excuses that you need to, but it’s totally selfish. Yet it also seems like as long as big horse shows are offered to people, they will come, no matter what.

Veruca Salt GIFs | Tenor

Pony Finals in particular was only a victim of cancellation because of the two preceding weeks of horse shows with all the same people, which was just long enough to establish covid spread on site. If there hadn’t been those two weeks to establish undeniable spread, PF most likely would have happened and everyone would have gone on their merry way home again afterward, carrying said spread with them all along their route and back to their home areas, unknowingly (which, granted, is now happening as we speak anyway, but at least maybe without as many as infected children as there would have been otherwise). Or hell, maybe people are carrying it knowingly, since time and again people have had pending covid test results but insisted on going about their normal lives anyway until the test results come back, as several of these horse show cases have played out that way now.

What’s undeniable here in all of this mess is that you can, indeed, spread covid at horse shows, despite what a whole lot of people want to think. Despite the USEF protocols and guidelines, and despite some people following the rules to the letter. This is not the first big show to spawn more covid cases, and at this rate it’s unlikely to be the last. Yet what is the one major thing that all the top health officials are saying right now? Oh yeah – that we as a country must get a handle on this thing and get the numbers trending down now, or we’re in for a world of hurt. Continuing to hold big national level competitions helps do that… how, exactly?

Oprah You Get GIF - Oprah YouGet Coronavirus - Discover & Share GIFs

A lot of the local, smaller, and one or two days shows seem to be faring much better, which makes total sense. Less mingling, less interaction, fewer people, shorter shows, generally staying within their home community. That makes a lot more sense. You could sell me on that. So at what point do the powers that be realize that “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” with these bigger national shows and events? This seems like total insanity to me at this point, to still be looking at things like AEC, TIP Championships, the National, Equitana, etc. No. Just… no. It’s not just a risk to our own horse community, it’s a risk to every community that people travel through along the way, as well as the destination community they end up in. People don’t just go to long horse shows and never leave the shows grounds. If you’re staying for a week you end up in grocery stores, or restaurants, or liquor stores (I know you people), or Walmart, or feed stores, or even local tourist spots, etc. Now you’re a problem to the community you just put yourself into, and they’re a problem to you as well. Not to mention that Kentucky has now advised (not required, therefore no one cares because clearly none of this applies to horse show folk, right?) a 14 day quarantine for people coming in from hot spot states. Think anyone going to these shows is actually doing that?

yeah no/lol no | Allegiant book, Lol, Allegiant divergent

Anyone who’s entering these big shows right now should take a good hard look at how this Pony Finals situation unfolded. Are you prepared to get all the way to the show and have it be canceled last minute? It’s a very real possibility for any horse show right now. On one hand I’d like to say that I’m shocked that some of these big shows haven’t canceled yet of their own volition. On the other hand, knowing that PF likely would have gone on without those two weeks of shows preceding, and knowing that none of these other upcoming championships have that same situation at play… I can see why they’d still try. Even though the chance of someone having, spreading, or contracting covid at said events is undeniably real. By the time anyone found out for sure, the show would be over, so… no problem!

Everything Is Fine GIF by memecandy - Find & Share on GIPHY

And… surely I am not the only one that shrieked at the news that some of the big fall indoor shows (which cannot be held in their local communities due to covid restrictions) have simply found new venues in other states with fewer restrictions (ahem Florida, not like that’s a hot spot or anything…) so that they can hold the shows there instead. What. The. Actual. Fuck. People?

I get that everyone wants to go back to their normal lives. I get that trainers and braiders and organizers and vendors and horse show staff have to make money somehow. I get that sponsors still want things to happen. It’s just crazy to me that we’re pretty much the only sport that is going ahead with big, national events, despite the knowledge that it will inevitably be problematic somehow. Maybe by the time it infiltrates our community and kills/seriously harms someone big name, that’ll finally be enough? Beyond the comfortable walls of our little horse world, we have a greater responsibility to our community, and to our country, and I don’t think said horse world is fulfilling that responsibility right now. People keep saying “give us a choice about whether or not we want to stay and horse show and take the risk with covid, don’t cancel it!” but… newsflash people (and this may be hard for some people to hear) this isn’t about YOU. It’s about everyone else. The community at large. Your fellow American. The world. Choosing to knowingly put yourself in harms way has much greater repercussions beyond just you – that’s the entire problem.

Commercial steve buscemi snickers GIF - Find on GIFER

In the end, this is temporary. It will pass eventually. Things will slowly return to normal. But the longer it takes to get control over the situation, the longer it will take for those things to happen. It sucks. We’re all well aware. I just don’t quite understand what makes the horse community feel like they’re exempt. That they can keep doing all the things they really want to do, damn the consequences. All we’ve really proven is that yup, we are indeed contributing to the spread with these big nationwide shows. No one will die because they miss a horse show, but people very well could die if we continue as-is.

The other thing is, I think there ARE (or could be) alternatives. Do things more locally or regionally to keep the travel to a minimum. Restrict entries. Stagger schedules so that fewer people are onsite at one time, and for fewer days. We’re seeing shows do things like that with success. Would it mean that the national championships can’t happen? Yes it would. But lets be honest – if we’re being responsible citizens, that ship has long since sailed. We’re clinging to something totally unrealistic. If we were smart, if we really wanted to hold on to some shred of being able to keep doing what we love throughout the entirety of this pandemic, even if on a smaller scale, we would stop being part of the problem.

Good Boring

I feel like a lot of my Monday “weekend summary” posts end up sounding kind of the same. “Rode both horses. Presto did cute things. I worship at the altar of Pivo. Everything is steady”. And that probably makes for relatively boring and monotonous blog content, but I have to say that I am not complaining one bit. I like it low drama (pleeeeaaaaase horse gods, keep the drama away).

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the cutest face in Texas #notbiased

Plus it’s the middle of summer, and covid, so… nothing special is really going on. No horse shows or lessons on the schedule. None of that bright shiny stuff that makes for good social media content. The most exciting thing I’ve won lately (which I’m actually pretty pumped about if I’m being honest) is a Wanker of the Week sparkly ribbon from the last Buck Off Banter podcast (episode 27, near the 1:06 mark – btw this is by far my favorite equestrian podcast, if you aren’t listening you’re missing out).

Things might seem monotonous on the surface, I suppose, but I’m kind of grateful for it right now. The stress from the tiny house purchase and life in 2020 in general is enough, thank you. The horses being that “steady” thing is very welcome. Plus, maybe I’m like the easiest to please, most pathetic and boring person in the world, but every little thing Presto does these days is thrilling enough to seem like a banner moment to me. It doesn’t feel like I’m lacking in excitement.

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basically hacking champion of the world at this point

Plus I’m pretty thrilled that we’ve now edged our way into August and there’s still living grass, and the ground is still decent enough to jump. Usually by now it’s just crispy dead vegetation sticking up out of something akin to concrete. I know it’s coming, it’s an inevitability really, but it’s happening a lot later than usual so I will happily take it. It’s meant that the boys have nice grass to graze on, and it’s meant that I’ve been able to keep jumping Henry once a week.

Since I do get the feeling that our “good ground” days might be numbered, this past weekend I went ahead and jacked the jumps up a little bit and set up a grid. I’ve kept everything pretty much around 3′ all year, big enough to be of some substance but not so big that I’m pounding Henry’s feet or demanding much exertion on his part. And we never jump more than 2 courses anyway, or more than once a week. But still… actively trying not to use up the 13yo crooked-legged event horse over here. Not like we have any shows coming up (hahahahaha *crying*), just trying to keep the worst of the rust at bay.

But this weekend I put a couple of them up a bit higher, made a grid with a square oxer, and released the beast.

i love you Pivo

Been a while since either of us have jumped that height. Like… maybe almost a year. Time flies. He was quite proud of himself though. Except the first time through he did whack the oxer pretty good, and was Very Offended.

angry dolphin

He’s cute when he’s mad. At least he picked up his feet a bit more the next time.

On Sunday we went for a canter out in the back field, where Henry proceeded to squeal and leap and buck dolphin like a total idiot. Whatever. If he’s happy, I’m happy, and he does seem to be plenty happy right now. Summer is a struggle for him, so keeping him happy is the goal.

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did get a good chuckle out of this still though, he looks like a deranged carousel horse and I look like Billy Bob Thornton’s character in Sling Blade

Presto had a relatively easy weekend, since he did his ground pole ride last Wednesday. On Saturday we did a lunge in the field, and on Sunday I got on and hacked him all around the property. Henry’s field, the jump field, around the dressage arena, out into the hilly field behind the pond (and over the natural ditch, which he loves), then into the way back around the hacking path. He’s always got his ears on a swivel, taking everything in, but he really seems to enjoy getting out and exploring. Even when he can’t see any other horses and they’re all waaaaaaay up at the front of the property, he never worries about them or neighs or gets nappy. He does still want to trot down the hills though, so I’ve been asking him to halt or circle on them when I feel him start wanting to trot. At this point I’m pretty sure he knows he’s not actually supposed to, he just can’t help himself sometimes. Every time I bring him back to walk he’s like “UGHHHH DANGIIITTT FINE, but this is WAY less fun”.

my Presto socks finally came in from Australia!

This week it’s gonna be H-O-T so we’ll see what actually ends up happening riding wise. Might end up just being a lot more hacking. Such is life in Texas in August. I do have a plan for a fun little experiment with my Majyk Equipe ice boots though, and another Pivo tips post in the works since I’m still getting a lot of questions about that and I’ve learned a lot more myself. Plus Presto’s July training vlog, if I finish it. If there’s anything else you’d like to see around here to help spice up the otherwise semi-boring content a bit, drop me a note!

Foal Friday: The Ellie-phant in the Room

Guys, there’s no hiding it: Sadie birthed an actual giant this year. Ellie. Is. Hugenormous.

Elliegiant

For reference, Daisy (the grulla) is 15.3h.

heckinchonker
I have this photo saved as heckinchonker.jpg tell me I’m wrong

Despite being the youngest of the 2020 foal crop, at 2 1/2 months old now, she towers over the other foals. Which makes sense with Ollie (full pony) and Oakley (half pony), but she’s even got Remi beat, and Remi is a good size foal from good size parents, plus he’s the oldest. Theoretically he should be the biggest. He… is not. He’s normal sized. Ellie looks like she’s been mixing Miraclo Gro in her milk.

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it’s a monster

And naturally, her favorite method of play is to turn into a biped, which makes her look a little bit like Godzilla.

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I WILL SQUISH YOU
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Even Ollie knows to vacate the premises when this thing truly goes vertical

None of Sadie’s other foals have been as big as this filly. They all go through a chonky stage, like Ellie is currently in, but none have had her sheer size. She’s been a beast since she was in the womb (when Sadie was so big that Michelle and I were both a bit concerned that she was carrying twins that had been missed on ultrasound), and it looks like she has every intention of staying that way.

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when you try to measure Ollie…
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but Ellie be like “pffft why bother, measure ME!”

And, ya know, being that big is really exhausting. Which is why she’s taken to using round bales as her own personal bean bag chairs for naps.

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just sprawled out across the entire thing, no big deal
what?

Sadie is quite pleased with her creation though, which makes sense because 1) she’s a total mini-me, 2) Ellie is big enough to reach Sadie’s back so they can (and do) give each other fantastic back scratches. I suppose that’s Sadie’s reward for having to birth this thing.

Despite her size, Ellie is amazingly light on her feet and athletic. Girl can gallop, turn and burn, and contort herself into a pretzel when she feels like it. Her 68% TB might not be so evident when she’s standing around, but you can definitely see it when she’s in motion.

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Elliegallop
always with a side of sass, because filly

Thank goodness she’s sweet and well-behaved with humans.

It will be interesting to see how she grows over the next couple years… sometimes these giant foals end up being relatively normal size horses, and other times these giant foals end up being giant horses. Time will tell.

Happy Friday everyone!

 

Grand Prix Ready

Well guys, things are getting pret-ty serious around here. Presto trotted his first course of poles yesterday.

seriously though, how can he even see through these ridiculous bangs

I set up a very basic little course of four poles in the dressage arena (I have to be honest, I don’t always trust his steering well enough yet to be sure that I won’t be decapitated by a tree out in the jump field), two making an outside line and then two singles set diagonally. He also got the additional challenge of “skinnies” since one pole is 8′ long but the other poles were only 6′ long. It’s what I had as spares without taking poles off my jumps, so… it was fine. He may as well get used to that stuff from the beginning.

he’s filling out again!

He was in rare Presto form while tacking up, really antsy and non-stop putting stuff in his mouth. Some days he’s not just 3, he’s like… extra 3. But I got on and he went right to “work” with no dramatics. We started out by walking over the poles, making a little course. I want him to learn that the game is to go to and over the sticks, so right away we just starting going from pole to pole. After he’d been around them all a few times at the walk, we picked up the trot.

very serious big horse business

We did a couple of simple courses to start with, then I dialed it up a little bit by angling some of the poles and making (generously sized) rollbacks. He thought that was great fun, and definitely seemed to understand that the objective was to go to the pole. He didn’t miss a single one, and the “harder” I made it, the more engaged he seemed to get. At one point he was so proud of himself he just needed to canter after one of them, and I briefly considered having him keep going and try to canter the poles, but for his first time I wanted to keep it super uncomplicated and easy. That’s a small ring for him to try to be cantering poles in, at this point in his training. Big horse, small space. No need to get greedy.

feelin’ himself after angling the bending line

We only rode for about 15 minutes, but I think it was short and sweet and to the point. He understood, and he was willing, so… mission accomplished. It will be many months still before I actually start jumping him at all, but doing some work with poles like this is really good for him I think. Not only does it help his steering, but it’s also introducing the idea of skinnies and angles and lines and all that stuff that’ll be relevant once he starts jumping. Plus it’s something different and fun. I need to go pick up some flowers and brush and convert a few of my poles into flower/brush rails, to give them a little something more interesting. I’ve been meaning to do that for months.

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So ya know, Presto is basically ready for Grand Prix, as long as someone can find me a GP at ground pole height. He’s could totally dominate the heck out of those up-down pony kids.

When we were walking out afterward he still kept homing in on the poles and walking over them, even on the buckle.

I GOT IT!

Smart kid. I like it. That’s what I’m after. Many pats and good boys for finding them on his own. Once we were done in the ring I walked him a lap around the outside, where he showed off his giraffe skills for the Pivo.

omg stahp

I swear, no tree is safe if it comes within 6′ of his face. Growing boys need their snacks I guess.

That was ride number 21, if we’re still counting. Go ahead and add Pole Trotting Champion to his resume. He catches on to things so quickly that I’m gonna have to start getting creative to keep his brain occupied with fun stuff. I do want to try to get him out on another trail ride soon, hopefully in the next couple weeks.

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face hugs from crazy mom

So far he’s really just a lot of fun to ride and train. I can’t complain about this one.