Technology is Magical

Heh, “magical”. Because it’s about Presto. Get it? Yeah I know, I’m a laugh a minute. Give me a break, it’s been a hard week and it’s not even halfway over yet.

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While I’m super thrilled that Presto is back at Willow Tree, the only downside of this is that he’s really far away from me now. When he was at the breeding farm it was possible for me take a weekend day and go see him. Two hours there and two hours back isn’t bad, as far as Texas goes. But Willow Tree is more like 5 hours there and 5 hours back, which becomes a little more complicated. I haven’t seen him for a few weeks, and because my and Michelle’s July schedules don’t sync up very well, I won’t be able to make the drive out there to see him until the end of the month. That’s where technology really comes in handy.

I already raved about the amazing invention that is stall cameras… they are the only thing that kept me even remotely sane during the end of Sadie’s pregnancy and when Presto first came home from his long stay at the vet. Being able to pop those things open and check on the him is a lifesaver for someone like me (aka kind of crazy) and it keeps me bugging Michelle 24/7.

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look who can kinda reach the grass now without doing the weird bendy leg thing!

When Presto first came back from the vet I was watching him on those things A LOT, even waking up in the middle of the night to peek in on him. Nowadays I usually just go in once a day and see what he’s up to (usually nothing) and go back through some of the saved clips to admire how goshdarn cute he is or see if I can get a good glimpse at how his legs are looking. They’re out in the field all night, or sometimes during the day if it’s cool enough, so there’s not much excitement to be had on the cams.

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Except when he’s inside and Liam is outside, so he screams for Liam to come in even though they’re both free to go in and out as they please.

Every once in a while when she has some time, Michelle will FaceTime me and show me what’s he up to out in the pasture. Usually it’s this:

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priorities
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GET UP, FRAAAND
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5 more minutes

Because all he really does is eat, sleep, and play with Liam.

Can we just take a minute to appreciate all the cool things we can do now, in 2017? I can literally video chat with my horse, even if most of the time he simply cannot be bothered to even get up and say hi. It definitely helps get me through these long stretches where I’m not able to see him in person.

 

Giveaway winner + more for sale + baby!

First things first – congrats to Bethany S for winning the Barn Dog Apparel shirt giveaway. Check your email for details on how to proceed. To everyone else, thanks for entering! We had 114 total, which is awesome. For those who didn’t win, Barn Dog Apparel is still offering a 10% off code (click this link to redeem) if you want to order! They’ve even added a couple new designs since I posted on Friday.

You Had Me At Ottb Military Green Women's T-Shirt Front

P E R F E C T O U R  C O M P A N I O N S Never Have Fewer Than F E E T F O U R Black T-Shirt Front

How Much Do Horses Cost? Everything They. Let Everything All Of It. And Your Soul Team Purple  T-Shirt Front

Along the same vein, I went through my closet this past weekend and pulled out a bunch of random riding clothes that I no longer wear. It’s not worth my sanity to try to sell all of this stuff and then ship it all separately (that’s what nightmares are made of) so I decided to just lump it all together and offer it all as a lot for $150 plus shipping. It’s 10 things, so that breaks down to $15 per item… pretty good deal. If you’re interested let me know! It includes:


– White 30 TS breeches (style 1955 – older Professionals) no stains
-Aztec diamond blue flight breeches size U.K. 12 teeny tiny hole on front of thigh
-Asmar short sleeve polo Sunshine size Small
-Ariat long sleeve button up shirt yellow with navy horses size M
-Ariat Aptos navy polka dot short sleeve shirt size S
-Tredstep long sleeve light blue with white collar/cuffs show shirt size Large
-Noble Outfitters white quarter zip short sleeve zip show shirt size M
-Noble outfitters quarter zip winter top blue/gray size S
-Aztec Diamond long sleeve quarter zip white show shirt size U.K. 10
-Riding Sport purple sunshirt size M

 

And last but not least for your Tuesday, Trainer had her baby yesterday!!! Welcome to the world, Eli! Michael Jung, watch your back. He’s coming for you, with all of his crazy aunties that keep asking how soon we can put him on a pony (ok maybe I’m the only one). Kid is cute though, and it looks like he’s gonna be chunky, which is the only kind of baby I like. Let’s get to work putting some fat rolls on those arms, Merritt.

This also means that Trainer isn’t pregnant anymore, which means she can ride again soon, which means she gets to fix Henry’s Irish bank problem. That’s the price she has to pay if she wants to run him Prelim in the winter.

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Slowing it Down

Not gonna lie, I’m envious of everyone that’s in the middle of show season. It kinda felt like we had just started an upswing when summer hit, and now September seems really far away. But the weather last week was a good reminder about why I don’t show this horse in the summer.

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because it is mother effing HOT

The morning rides have been going really well though. I quite enjoy watching the sunrise from the saddle, even though it means that I’m constantly sleep deprived right now. Luckily a cold front blew through on Saturday morning – literally right as I swung up onto my horse, cue the wind and rain – which means it’s only been the 80’s the past few days.

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Someone was really pissed about doing dressage as a cold front blew in. He hates rain.

Since I’m currently without a jump saddle, we’ve been doing a lot of dressage, and Henry has been really good. Like I took his temperature one day because I legit thought maybe he was dying. I’ve been able to carry a dressage whip and he’s had a grand total of zero meltdowns… a vast improvement from Henny of yesteryear who would last about 5-10 minutes into a ride with a dressage whip before he got so tense I had to drop it. So far all it’s done is given me a pretty perfectly forward horse. Of course, I would never dream of actually touching him with it, lest Henny spontaneously combust. Carrying it is working out well though!

So after a week of all dressage, on Sunday I thought we both deserved a break. We did about 15 minutes of hill work and then headed out to explore some areas of the property that we generally don’t wander into. It was quite the adventure.

There was lots of wildlife:

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listening to the coyotes in the distance
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chasing a bunny
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CUTEST BABY MOO
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until he licked Henry, then it was a MooDemon

We wandered up through the front field, which normally has crops of some kind in it but is currently vacant. I didn’t realize there was no fence on one side of this field, so once you pass the water tower:

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which seems sexist

You can get right out onto the road. We stopped here because the church next door was seriously rocking out (for real, the whole building was vibrating), but next time I think we’ll wander across through some of the backroads and see what other fun stuff we can find.

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listening to the church band

It’s not as exciting as show recaps and cross country videos, but I think the mental break does us both good. I definitely have the tendency to get caught up in the schedule and in the constant pursuit of goals, so I have to make a conscious effort to actually chill out once in a while. We’ll keep plugging away with dressage and hacks, then July is his big vetwork month, then it’ll be time to start gearing up for shows again. In the meantime we’ll keep chasing after some fun, low key adventures.

Anybody else have a hard time slowing things down (at least mentally) in the off season?

 

Barn Dog Apparel Giveaway!

I love t-shirts. Like, a lot. Especially if they’re horse related and witty. Make a shirt that causes me to smile and I’ll buy it, guaranteed (as evidenced by the abundance of them in my closet). There’s no such thing as too many t-shirts, right?

So when I got a text message like this:

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Well… I had to have it.

And yes that text is from my Trainer. She’s a smartass. I mean… she’s 100% correct in her assessment, but still: smartass. Either way, I’ll be wearing this shirt for basically every jump lesson forever. It’s like a built in pre-warning.

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Turns out it’s made by a new company called Barn Dog Apparel, and they have more than one cute design. While I was perusing their shop I also had to grab the 24/365 shirt, because nothing is more true than that.

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Barn Dog is set up through Teespring, which I have a little bit of experience with from the Presto shirt campaign. The shirts are basically printed in batches and shipped as they’re printed, so I got one of mine a day before the other, about a week after I ordered. The “Distance” one is the women’s V neck, which I like the fit of. I got the medium and I would say it’s pretty true to women’s sizing – not super tight like the shirts that seem to come in more of a juniors sizing, but still fitted.

The 24/365 is the “premium tee” which is a fitted crew neck. Again I’d say it’s pretty true to women’s sizing (also got a M in this one and it fits about the same… and through some googling I did find a handy sizing guide with pictures!), and the material is a bit thicker than the V neck. I wore this one to work one day and a couple people got a good chuckle over it. The SO mostly just went “isn’t THAT the truth” and gave me the patented Crazy Horse Girl eyeroll that I’ve seen a few thousand times by now.

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I’m about to go back and order a few more things in sticker form, because I’m always open to more stickers on my tack trunk, and there are a few in particular that are applicable to me.

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BDAsticker2

Or applicable to Henry. Ahem.

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Honestly I wish this one said mimosas. Or cupcakes. I’m just not a coffee drinker, but it’s cute.

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I am told that they have more breed-specific horse and dog shirts on the way too!

BDA agreed to do a giveaway hosted here on the blog, so someone out there will win a free shirt in the design, color, and style of their choice! There are four different ways to enter (leave a comment here saying what your favorite design is, visit BDA on facebook, follow them on Insta, or repost about this giveaway on your own blog/social media – MAKE SURE YOU SUBMIT YOUR ENTRIES THROUGH THE BELOW RAFFLECOPTER LINK OR THEY WILL NOT BE COUNTED) and you can do as many or as few as you like, so feel free to stack the odds in your favor. Sorry, you have to actually click the link below to enter because WordPress hates Javascript and I’m tired of fighting it, so that’s just the way it is.

Barn Dog Apparel giveaway entry form

For those who don’t want to chance it with a giveaway, they’ve also offered a 10% coupon code, which is automatically applied to your cart if you follow this link! Happy shopping (and good luck)!

The Reluctant Upgrade

Yeah I know, it’s like freakin’ tack week around here. But trust me, they all weave together and come to one final conclusion, so stay with me.

 

Remember at the show when I forgot my saddles and had to (oh man, poor me…) ride in Trainer’s Devoucoux monoflap instead? Remember how I said that thing literally saved my ass on XC? Not just that, but really it was quite magical in general. Drops were easier, galloping was easier, staying balanced over terrain was easier. A couple bad habits that I typically struggle with on XC just went *poof* (unfortunately not the ducking to the right thing, I’m a long-time devotee to that particular maneuver) and it was really easy to stay in all the right places. It was a little eye-opening, but… maybe just a fluke, right?


Then this past Sunday I jumped Henry again, trying to emulate more of an XC school vibe with a few of the fences/terrain, and the normal struggles all came back. Cue a major uh-oh moment.

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I’m really bummed about this, because I’ve loved my CWD from the moment my butt first settled into it’s delightfully french seat. It fits me great, it has fit my horses REALLY well, and it’s held up admirably to my abuse. It’s enjoyed 5 1/2 delightful years as the crowning jewel of my tack collection. If I was still doing h/j, or eventing at a lower level, I would never even dream of selling that thing. I’m fairly certain it’s like the saddle version of those weird traveling pants that they made a terrible movie about. But it’s also been made really clear to me, after a couple rides in Trainer’s saddle that was actually designed for cross country, that it’s not the best choice for what we’re doing now.

Yep, you guessed it, this is why I sold off a bunch of my extra stuff, and the CWD will have to be sold too. It’s time for a real XC saddle.


Trainer’s saddle is a fancy newer Devoucoux Chiberta with D3D panels. I know from a history of fitting dressage saddles to Henry that the D3D panels are probably the only option for him when it comes to Devoucoux. That’s what’s on my Loreak and he finds them to be delightful. Of course, they just started doing the D3D panels a few years ago so they’re kind of hard to find. Especially on a saddle that fits all of MY required specs (18-18.5 seat 2AA flap). And aren’t ridiculously painfully expensive. I also really wanted to try a CWD monoflap to compare to the Devoucoux, since I’ve had so much luck with the current CWD over the years.


So, yesterday the lovely CWD rep came out with a saddle for me to try. It was kind of a weird panel, super built up for some reason, so at first I felt very tipped forward. When she stuck some shims under the front to level it out, it definitely felt better. Devoucoux-comparable better? Meh. I dunno.

Time to do some thinking and some perusing..

2017 Show Gear

Emma does a post like this every year and I think it’s pretty fun to read through. I like seeing what everyone else is using at shows, especially the little things that might not normally command that much attention. Plus sometimes seeing other people’s stuff can really inspire some legit #tackgoals. I love those. Fair warning, not a single picture in this post actually shows the current state of everything, since I tweaked a couple things at the last show, yet didn’t get pictures, yet forgot half of my own tack anyway. Winning. But all the pics have at least most of the things.

PHderbyPro1

For dressage my world revolves around the Devoucoux Loreak. She is my baby and I love her and she was worth every damn penny. When I had my previous saddle I was using a regular thickness Ogilvy half pad under it, but the D3D panels on the Loreak fit him pretty well, so I got the thinner gummy Ogilvy pad (from Peony!) instead. At shows it sits atop a white Back on Track dressage pad. I’m not convinced the BOT has any magical powers but at the very least Henry has no strong hatred towards it, which is as close as he gets to actually liking something.

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Our dressage girth is a Nunn Finer Piaffe… I specifically wanted a girth with humane ends and no elastic, and this one has fit the bill perfectly and has held up great over the years. I was worried it might not work with the widely spaced Devoucoux billets but it’s been fine. I have old Bates webbers that I bought from Trainer that are perhaps not in the best of shape but they work, and then my old Royal Rider stirrups that I’ve had forever. I kinda like the all blacked out look.

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I just sold my beloved PS of Sweden Flying Change to a good friend and ordered the Eponia Outlaw. I’ve been eyeing that bridle forever, so… I finally just did it. We’ll see how it looks when it gets here. Henry’s dressage bit is a KK loose ring french link, and he wears a plain navy bonnet with his name on the ear from If the Bonnet Fits.

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can’t wait to see how it looks on Henry!

For jumping I currently have a CWD SE02 close contact saddle. I use Lund strapgoods – their anatomic girth, flash bridle (with a Boy O Boy Bridleworks browband), and 4 point breastplate. All their stuff has held up really well for both daily use and show use, which is nice. I did sub their reins out for my Nunn Finer soft grips though, which have been a long time favorite. I personally like really thin rubber reins. I also have a PS of Sweden bridge breastplate that I use sometimes too, because I dunno I just love breastplates ok? The stirrups on my jump saddle are the navy Lorenzinis. I don’t feel the need to explain that one. The Schleese stirrup leathers that they’re on have seen better days though. Lots of better days.

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brown boots have since been retired

For saddle pads we almost always use an Ogilvy half pad, although I tend to switch up the square pad itself. Usually for stadium I use my Ogilvy baby pad or my Ogilvy eventing pad. I have commitment issues. Henry almost always jumps in his full cheek Dr Bristol at shows these days. The last time I gave him the benefit of the doubt and did showjumping in his loose ring, I had no whoa. So Dr B it is. For SJ he wears his Majyk Equipe leather open front and ankle boots. I have a few different bonnet options, although usually I go with the navy and yellow one that has GO on one ear and HENNY on the other.

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I ❤ things that match

Not much is different tack-wise for XC… just a change of pad (either the Ogilvy eventing pad, an ECP XC grip pad, or the ECP correction XC pad), and switching to the Majyk Equipe XC boots. I usually show him in his white ones, unless it’s muddy and gross, then he wears the blue Color Elite’s. When I remember (which is like 20% of the time) I toss on the Nunn Finer leather neck strap. Can’t wait for my Seaver girth cover to come so I can start getting some metrics from our XC runs!

As for MY gear… if it’s recognized I’m in white breeches for every phase – either my Winston’s or my La Valencia with the bling on the pockets. Both knee patch, because I really hate full seats. I have bad enough swass issues without covering my entire hind end in a big blanket of leather. If it’s a small schooling show odds are 50/50 that I’m in navy breeches, because it’s just easier.

You guys already know about the recent addition of the Tucci boots, of course, which I love. Usually I’m sporting a pair of Blue Q socks (either “Carpe the fuck out of this Diem” or “Thou hath balls”, because wtf other socks would any self-respecting eventer possibly wear?) or one of my many pairs of unicorn-themed Sock it to Me’s. I’m really particular about my show socks, man. Those things are the juju of the outfit.

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For belts it’s either my custom navy and yellow one from Boy O Boy Bridleworks, or my favorite navy anchor one from Mango Bay. For show shirts I have a SHL Hudson with navy elbow patches, a Winston Vienna with some navy stripe trim, or a Mrs. Tutton’s with some faux leather on the collar. I’m really into fun show shirts. Generally I only wear a stock tie for dressage at recognized events, in which case I have a white on white pinstriped Style Stock. For XC I usually wear either my navy Kastel or one of my two Anchor Equestrian tech shirts. Gotta represent, yo.

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My XC vest is an Airowear Outlyne, which I’ve had for a couple years and been really happy with. My whip is a navy/yellow custom jockey whip from Bit of Britain (pretty sure this is basically an eventing requirement?) and I wear little baby roller ball spurs. I have my navy and yellow I-Quip gloves, or a couple pairs of Roeckl’s to choose from, depending on the weather.

The only coat I have (and the only one I need) is my navy Winston with yellow piping. It is perfect and I love it, even though I haven’t gotten to wear it a ton yet. Helmet wise, I always do dressage and stadium in my navy and yellow Samshield. I love that helmet. I have a CO skull cap for XC but admittedly sometimes I choose to wear the Samshield anyway. It just fits better and is a lot cooler. Plus it’s easier to use the helmet camera on that one.

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Winston coat, shirt, and breeches

Speaking of which, the Cambox counts as a vital accessory, along with my Road ID (although I keep an armband in my trunk too, because some places prefer those), and my Roma changeable bridle numbers. Some schooling shows don’t have bridle numbers and I refuse to wear a pinny in dressage. I have approximate 4000 hairnets stashed in pretty much every conceivable place from truck to trailer to grooming kit and back again, because there’s only one type of hairnet on the face of the earth that I like (old school Aerborne heavyweights) and I basically bought them in bulk a few years ago. I also have my navy heavy duty pinny holder and my big yellow optimum time watch.

Overall I’m really happy with the current state of the gear. I do need some new stirrup leathers for my jump saddle,  and I want a figure 8. Really there’s just one big thing that I want to change/upgrade in the very near future, which we’re gonna see about this afternoon actually. Stay tuned…

So much stuff for sale

I kind of hate posting this list because I love most of these things, but I have so much stuff that I’m not using right now, it’s borderline obscene. Plus I need money for another thing I apparently “need”. So just… buy it now while I’m weak and then we’ll never speak of it again.

-PS of Sweden Olympic Revolution flash bridle, brown cob with rubber lined reins. I HAVE SO MANY BRIDLES, I’M PRACTICALLY AIMEE. – SOLD


-Ogilvy dressage half pad size Regular, white with black binding and light blue piping. Excellent condition. Had to buy a gummy for the new saddle, so this beautiful creature doesn’t get used anymore. (has anyone else ever noticed how one purchase often dominoes into several other side purchases? just saying.) – SOLD


-Total Saddle Fit black calfskin dressage leathers. Only used for about a month. I punched one half hole, otherwise like new. I like my webber style ones better because I, like my horse, am a delicate flower. – $50


-Finn Tack ice boots, pair – SOLD

-Ice Horse tendon boots, pair, NO ice packs (they hold regular ice packs, easy to toss new ones in). Don’t even get me started on Henry’s complete and utter disdain for all the NICE ICE BOOTS I’ve bought for him over the years. – $40 sold pending payment


-Cheltenham gag with rope cheeks. I’m not sure wtf was possessing me when I bought this, because I would probably die if I ever used it on Henry. – $30


-Smartpak fleece dressage girth, 28″. What kind of horse can’t go in a nice soft fleece girth? HENRY. – SOLD


-navy lycra shoulder guard, horse size. It was a bit tight on Henry’s Incredible Hulk shoulders, so I’d say it’s better for either a narrower horse or a horse in the 15-16h range. – SOLD


-3 navy pads: 2 roma square monoflap style pads SOLD, 1 PRI XC shaped pad SOLD

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pic was before it went in the wash, it’s actually clean now

-TTouch Liberty neck ring (this is kind of a PITA to ship because of it’s shape, so either local sale only or buy other stuff to make it worth my while to wrangle it into a box) – $10

-navy Weatherbeeta 1200D sheet 81″ used 2x (Princess Henny can only wear HUG blankets, sooooo…) $50

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The last one. The color is uniform, just looks weird here in the shade of the tree.

-Animo long sleeve polo light blue size I-42 (34ish bust). I love this shirt but I am too fat for it. Forgot to get a pic of this, but can get one if you’re interested. SOLD

-PS of Sweden wool quarter sheet cob size, navy. Much like my Animo polo, this hasn’t fit Henry’s fat ass for 2 years. It’s time to admit to ourselves that it will never fit again. *sob* SOLD

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remember when he was really skinny?
-54″ leather girth with elastic on each side. In great shape except for some wear at each end where my terrible leg has rubbed off a bit of the color. It’s the one in the pic above, but I can get a better pic if you’re interested. SOLD

 

Paypal only, please. Shipping not included. Not negotiable, I already put the prices at what I would take. Whoever pays first is who gets it, sorry but I can’t hold things.

I have a pair of old, seen-better-days Ariat Monaco field boots that I’d give away to a good home if you pay (These are SPOKEN FOR!). They would need a good cleaning and some repairs (mainly zipper). 8.5 regular tall (and they are quite tall).

We’ve also got furniture, if anyone is local. Nightstand, coffee table, end table, dining room table and chairs, fancy accent chair, lamps, etc. Like literally a whole room full of random stuff.

And I’m selling one of my road bikes, a Specialized Allez.

Apparently I’m a hoarder?