What’s In a Name Part 2 – The Primaries

There were A LOT of suggestions rolling in last week for a new blog title – lots more than I expected, so many thanks to y’all for putting on your thinking caps and helping me out.

Thinking Cap GIFs | Tenor

I’ve narrowed it down to 5, an official “short list” if you will, and from here I’d like to whittle it down to 2 before we do a final vote. I’m in that place where I like all 5, don’t really LOVE one in particular more than the others, so I’d like input and opinions that might help sway me. They all have some pros and cons. Anyway, top 5, in no particular order:

BreederRiderEventer

Unbridled Eventer

Bloodlines, Bascules, and Bridles

Bloodlines and Bascules (or Bloodlines and Bridles?)

Chance Events

Please feel free to let me know which one like most, and/or if there’s one in particular that you really hate (and why! There might be a problem you see that I haven’t though of yet). I’ve tried to consider them from every possible angle but maybe I’m missing something. I’m probably overanalyzing this to the nth degree, but I want to make sure I really think about it before I just pick something and then end up hating it later.

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Skip No Contact - Relationship Hero

And of course, thanks again for your continued assistance. I am bad at decisions.

Happy… New Year? Maybe?

Some of y’all are out here with some BOLD New Year’s posts. Like…. y’all are making goals and plans and resolutions. I wish I had that level of bravado, but truth be told I’m still worried that 2021 is just going to be 2020: The Sequel. I’ll be skipping all that goal-setting and plan-making stuff this year, lest I anger the beast that is 2021. I mean, my 2020 Plans post was mostly about all the traveling I planned to do. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Ha. ha. *sobbing*

So, yeah… I’m just gonna welcome 2021 with caution and try not to do anything to spook it. I did take some pics of the boys in some festive headwear though, because why not. Let’s just say, though, I hope ’21 behaves better than the horse who was wearing the 21 headband…

So… Happy New Year I guess? Maybe Cautiously Optimisic New Year?

Favorite Tool/Gadget of 2020

I usually pick one item every year to win my own personal “MVP” award, whether it be as simple as an awesome hoofpick (look, anyone who’s kept horses on black clay soil knows how important those are) or as complicated as a helmet camera. 2020 was a challenging year to say the least, the ripple effect of the pandemic making for a pretty quiet and solitary year on the horse front. For an active blogger the lack of horse shows, lessons, xc schoolings, and general “fun” outings made it difficult to come up with content sometimes. And when you’re like me and ride alone 99.9% of the time, the lack of outings or social events also meant that it would be super challenging to get any of kind of pictures or video. No one wants to read blog posts with no pictures or video, right? Enter: Pivo.

img_5984

I’ve talked enough about the ins and outs of this thing by now that I won’t bore you with any of that. There are a lot of old posts you can go read if you missed them the first time through.

Look, is Pivo perfect? Hell no. New software releases can be buggy sometimes. It has a lot of limitations. There is a learning curve. It needs a relatively new phone and works better with iPhones than Androids. Pivo is very much still a work in progress, something to be expected from relatively new technology. For me, though, it’s been magical. Without that little pod I would have had very few photos or videos this year at all, and next to no footage of Presto period. Not only has it been a great learning tool, but it’s also captured some really big “firsts” that I’m delighted to have on film. I can watch my rides and see how the horses are looking and pick out things for us to work on. The education value has been super helpful for me. Plus, ya know… the fails. Those are priceless too.

I mean, it really paid for itself with this one alone, didn’t it?

For as cheap as it is ($140 for the Silver) it’s made such a big impact. Not everyone can justify dropping $800+ on a Pixem or a Soloshot, myself included, but a Pivo can be worked into just about any budget and it’s a lot easier to set up for those of us who are lazy or perpetually short on time (or holding a baby horse that has the attention span of a gnat). I still have absolutely no guilt and zero regrets about that particular quarantine splurge, and it’s definitely gotta be my 2020 MVP. It’s provided entertainment, insight, and memories… hard to beat that.

What was your favorite purchase in 2020? Any must-have items that would make your MVP list?

What’s in a Name

Well guys, apparently Facebook (as so many others that have come before) has decided that my presence is intolerable. Or, more specifically, my blog’s domain name and title. They sent myself and WordPress a trademark violation notice, with that super professional-sounding corporate way of threatening to destroy your life that really just makes your eyes roll around in your head. Sure Facebook, ok. I feel like y’all have bigger fish to fry but whatever.

Facebook To Test GIFs In Comments For The First Time

So I have two options: change the name of the blog and get a new domain name, or ride it out and hope facebook forgets about me and that WordPress doesn’t shut me down.

As tempted as I am to flip them the bird and go with the latter option, truth be told I’ve been considering a re-branding for a while anyway. The only reason I haven’t done it is because 1) I’m lazy. It’s a lot of work to redo all this stuff and buy a new domain name and change all my social media blah blah blah. Ugggggggggh. 2) I have yet to come up with a name I really like.

When I started this blog, almost 6 years ago now, I never actually thought it would go anywhere. It was a very tiny for-fun thing that I did for my own entertainment. I still do it for my own entertainment, but it certainly grew to something much bigger and has lasted a lot longer than I ever expected. If I’d known it then, I probably would have chosen a different name right out of the box. I mean… at that point the story WAS mostly about how and where I got Henry. I’d only had him for about 6 months, it was still very new, we were still in h/j land, and things were very very very different than they are now. IMO I think we outgrew the name a long time ago… the story is so much more than that now. Plus the use of the word “pony” has been very confusing for a lot of people, understandably.

Poni GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
people have expectations of this and I cannot deliver

That said, I still have no idea what I want to name it. I know that I don’t want something wildly specific that won’t have any relevance in 5 years (been there done that). I know that I don’t want it to be just my own name, and I don’t really want it to be the current horse’s names. And I really don’t want any part of the current name in the new name at all, to be honest. If I’m going to all the effort of re-branding, I might as well use the opportunity to totally revamp. A lot of my pages and my layout have been long overdue for an update for quite a while anyway (is that weanling Presto on my header photo? maybe….). I don’t mind if I lose followers so it doesn’t have to tie in. I’m coming up totally blank though.

A few suggestions that I haven’t hated: BreederOwnerRiderEventer (or drop the owner part and just BreederRiderEventer), Chance the Eventer (a lot of people know me by my last name), Hennything is Possible… but nothing has really grabbed me yet. I’m struggling to find that balance between generic enough but not too boring. Something that encompasses everything. This is hard. The name is important.

This Is Addicting To Watch GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

So here I am once again asking the hive mind for some assistance. I know there are people out there much more clever and creative than I am, so if you have any suggestions please please let me know. I’ll even sweeten the deal and say that if I pick a name you suggest, I’ll send you a $20 e-gift card from RW or Corro (your choice)!

Installing the basics

Despite what Presto may think, there’s more to life than ruthlessly destroying every ball I buy him.

If ball-murdering was a sport, he’d be an Olympic hopeful

Especially now, with his 4yo year looming very close on the horizon. I’ve made an effort over his 3yo year to build him up very slowly, mentally and physically. He’s got about 40 rides now by my guesstimation (I stopped counting at a point), which is what a lot of horses would have after 60 days at the breaker. So while he’s been under saddle since March, we’ve gone at an absolutely glacial pace, punctuated with periods of time off. This was totally by design, I think it takes time and (slow) miles for horses to build up the strength to carry a rider easily, and I wanted him to come into his 4yo year with some foundation in place rather than just throwing him into work (insert usual disclaimer of this is my opinion, you don’t have to subscribe to it). I wanted his mind and his body in a place where he was prepared to start “real” training when he’s 4. Think of the 3yo year like an equine Pre-K, I suppose.

The goal was to arrive at his 4yo year with him understanding that he has a job, have him forward-thinking and enjoying said job, and that his body has some strength and balance, at least enough to start to build on. This of course has meant that we’ve done a lot of hacking. He’s been ridden outside of the ring just as much if not more so than he’s been ridden in it, and we started that way back somewhere around ride #6. That was the first baby step toward the larger goal of getting him used to riding on varied terrain and different types of footing, which is the next baby step towards cross country.

Baby’s first road hack

Last week he went on his first little road hack. I ponied him out there a couple times last winter, but this was his first time venturing out on his own. The vet wanted me to do long walks to help the swelling go down in his knee (good news – knee is now back to normal, the cut is pretty much healed, and he finished his antibiotics yesterday) and my front gate happened to be open for once, so I added a little road loop to the middle of our hack. He’s seen enough by now to where it was interesting but not worth getting particularly excited about.

On Saturday I took him out to ride in what I’ve come to think of as “the cross country field”. It’s not a super big pasture but it’s got a couple little log jumps in it and some good natural terrain, including a runoff dip running across the middle that makes for some nice short hills and a natural ditch off to one side. I can do flatwork at the top where it’s flatter, ride him around the perimeter with a gentle roll to the hills, or cut in a little bit for steeper hills and to pass over the ditch. As he’s gotten more balanced and stronger I’ve been riding him out there more, and each time he seems to improve.

starting to get a little muscle on that booty

I rarely lunge before I ride him… haven’t in a while. Mostly because I’m not a huge fan of a lot of lunging, and also because I think that part of learning to be a riding horse is learning that when the saddle goes on, they’re in work mode. If he wants to get his sillies out he’s got 23 other hours in the day to do so. Plus the whole perk of having a young one is trying to mold him into the horse I want to have later on, so I try to treat him like that horse as much as possible. Every once in a while he’ll have the devil in his eyes and I might trot him around on the line for a few minutes and do lots of transitions to get his brain plugged in, but that’s about it, and those instances have gotten more and more rare as he’s settled into his job.

That’s not to say that I get on and he’s just calm and focused right out of the gate though. I mean… he’s a baby horse and I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but he’s kind of A LOT. Sometimes when we get out to the field and start trotting he’s a little pumped, a little quick, or wants to break to canter. That’s fine. I’ve got no problem with that as long as he isn’t rude or malicious (no bucking or bolting allowed, which luckily he has never shown any predisposition toward). I will never get upset at him for wanting to go forward. I just keep my posting rhythm steady, give him some circles of varying sizes and figure 8’s to occupy his brain, and wait it out. If he breaks to canter I let him go for a circle, then ask him to trot again. I think it’s important, especially for event horses, that they always feel like forward is a viable option. I like that he’s sharp off the leg and I like that he wants to go – those are good qualities, so I try to nurture them. Supreme Goal: just don’t mess up the horse.

also if his version of breaking to canter looks like this, I can’t be mad about it

Within a few minutes he always settles, at which point I start playing with the terrain. For now I try to mostly leave him alone and let him figure it out. I’m responsible for my balance, and not hindering him, but he’s responsible for his balance and his feet. If he struggles I’ll help him with a half halt here or a “more forward” there, but at this particular juncture I really want him to learn how to think and manage it himself. And so far, he really has. In the beginning I felt like we might go ass over tea kettle at any moment (ever trotted downhill on a drunk fence post?), but now you can feel him thinking about the terrain and adjusting himself appropriately. He can trot or canter up and down the little hills and pick his way through fallen branches (usually…).

Another thing I’ve started to introduce is just the very baby beginnings of a gallop. I’ve yet to really ask him to GO for real, but we’ve started to open it up a bit and get him moving a little quicker. I think it’s super important that they understand how to gallop (it’s THE biggest selling point of an OTTB as event prospect, for me) so we’re working our way towards that next.

The field has too many trees/bushes/hills for my Pivo to work very well (granted I could have at least turned it on during the flatwork part but I wasn’t really thinking), so I’ve not been videoing any of his work out there up to now, but I did at least prop my phone up on Saturday to try to get something. Much love to the baby horse that is totally ok with me carrying and setting up my tripod from his back. Henry loses his shit when I try to telescope the legs. The only problem with Presto is that he wants to play with the tripod. It’s crappy footage, but you can see a bit of what he’s working on anyway.

I like having this “free time” to work on these kinds of things. He hasn’t started jump training yet, he’s not being rideen more than 2-3 days a week, he’s not doing any real dressage yet, he has no shows looming on the horizon… it’s a nice low pressure time to be able to install these kinds of super basic things that hopefully set him up for what’s to come, and get his body prepped to more easily handle his career. I’m hoping that the real work will come a little easier to him by the time we get there.

Christmas on the Farm

Admittedly Christmas isn’t really my holiday. I’m not religious, there’s none of that “fun in the snow” thing happening in Texas, and aside from Elf and It’s a Wonderful Life, I’m not really into Christmas movies or any of that stuff either. Halloween is my holiday. But I do like parts of Christmas, especially out here on the farm. Like making the horses a special Christmas breakfast.

Quinnie doesn’t like my cream pies or my peppermints, so she just had a few cookies in hers

Which they inhaled, of course. They both went for the cream pie first. Henry is an experienced mint eater but Presto is still trying to figure out if he likes them or not, and how to eat them. He dug them all out and ate them though, albeit very slowly.

Food was kind of my unofficial Christmas theme this year I guess. I always get the dogs a special cookie, which they’re big fans of. I used to get them from a local small pet store that made them in house, but sadly they closed up shop in 2019. When I had the boys at the groomers a couple weeks ago they happened to have a good selection of cookies from another local vendor, so that worked out perfectly. They each got a gingerbread man. Quinn especially was pumped.

if you look at this picture long enough you can hear the gingerbread man screaming

The SO and I have one single solitary Christmas tradition too, and naturally it’s food-related: we always go out for either Chinese food or Indian food for Christmas lunch. Originally it was Indian food because we had an AMAZING buffet by our house, but when that one closed we unofficially switched to Chinese. This year we managed to find a place that had very socially distanced tables (like no joke the next closest table was a good 20′ away) and super quick service, plus we got there early enough to where there were only two other tables seated in the whole place, so I got my holiday Sesame Chicken and they got a nice holiday tip.

When it comes to gift-giving I defaulted to food on a lot of them too. Admittedly, when it comes to soothing the 2020 burn, I can’t think of anything better. Plus it’s nice to be able to support small and/or local businesses that I know have been struggling this year. My dad got an box of cajun food shipped from New Orleans, and my brother who moved away to Georgia got a box of tamales and chili from Texas.

Not everyone got food though – I found an artisan on Etsy who does cool metalwork (largely using horseshoes) that had THE BEST horseshoe flamingo. The barnowners have a bit of a flamingo theme, and I figured what better for their Florida farm than a horseshoe flamingo?

it looks AWESOME

Even better, the shop also uses the proceeds from their Etsy store to give back to horse and dog rescues. I was pretty excited to find that store and will definitely be buying from them again. How cute would these wreaths be on a barn?

The SO got a Masterclass subscription as his main gift, plus a couple of books and some spicy snacks from Buc-ees (here we go back to the food). From him I asked for a breaker bar for my trailer (he can get good prices on nice tools through his work) as my practical gift and a pair of sequin vans for my fun gift. They did not disappoint. Inside they just look like regular black sequins, but outside in the sun they’ve got a real rainbow sparkle vibe.

The barnowner played off of our horse doorknocker theme with the tiny house and got us these super cute horsehead hooks. They’ll be perfect to put inside by the door, and they totally look like they were meant to go with the doorknocker. Excellent addition to the tiny home decor.

I also got some cash, which will probably go towards an automatic gate opener. We got news that our expected couch delivery has now been pushed back to MARCH (it was supposed to be January) so I’ve basically totally given up on even thinking about a coffee table or rugs at this point. It’s all dead to me.

Overall it was a super chill, relaxed holiday. It was nice to have a little break from work since this is our busiest time of year, and the weather was super cooperative. It was a gorgeous weekend.

Hope you guys also had a great holiday and received/gave some fun gifts too!

Happy Holidays!

I take holiday pics of the boys every year, and this year of course was no exception! I did drag Quinnie into the ordeal, much to her chagrin, but it was totally worth it, because LOOK HOW CUTE.

This could be their album cover. Henry’s clearly the drummer.

They all had hats – Quinnie was “Nice”, Presto was “Naughty”, and Henry was “Bah Humbug”. Naturally.

Quinnie: Did y’all agree do this? I did not agree to this…
Henry: Just humor her, it’ll be over faster…
Presto: DIS FUN! CAN I BITES YOU?
Quinnie: No, don’t bite him.
Presto: OK, maybe I bite you instead?
Quinnie: I SAID NO BITING! Presto: ABORT ABORT ABORT

I did manage to get a couple cute shots after that, so at that point I thought poor Quinnie had suffered enough and let her go, retaining just the boys to get some photos of them together. They were thrilled.

Henry: I’d like to point out that you’re making us late for dinner…
Presto: I know how to make this exciting again. HENRY – LOOK OVER THERE!!!! Henry: huh, what?
Presto: PSYCH! GOT YOU!!!
Presto: AND NOW I ATTACK
Henry: Wait, what if there really is a monster?
JUST KIDDING

And since y’all are getting the Director’s Cut edition of this particular holiday show, here’s a little behind the scenes of the actors getting ready. Or, rather, trying to get ready, but someone kept pulling the others’ hats off…

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from the crew!

Blog Hop: 2020 Summary

I was gonna save this one for next week with the year end wrap-up stuff, but everything else that’s sitting in my draft folder is kinda heavy and/or complicated and I legit do not have the brainpower like that right before a holiday. So easy fluff post it is, this one brought to you by Alberta Equest.

What’s the best thing that happened to you in 2020?

Personal: Being able to work from home. The circumstances surrounding it were total shit, obviously, no one wants a pandemic, but my job finally allowing me to work from home has been a total game changer. I get back the 1.5hr each day that I used to spend in my car, and I can tailor my work day a lot more easily. It may not last forever, but I hope that since we’ve now proven it can be done, it’ll give me more leeway in the future.

Horsey: Living out at the farm as of November. It’s a big deal. And I absolutely LOVE seeing my horses morning noon and night, every day of the week. I can peek out the window at them right this second.

What’s the worst thing that happened to you in 2020?

Personal: My grandma (mom’s mom) died from covid on my late mother’s birthday, so that was pretty shit. Wrecking my truck wasn’t high up on my list of favorites either.

Horsey: Probably at the very beginning of the year, rolling over from the end of 2019, where Henry had that terrible stone bruise and was on and off lame AF forever. That gave me a bit of a heart attack trying to make that one right again and then bringing him veerrrrrry slowly back into work.

The glue-on shoes. UGH. Don’t miss these.

What was your biggest purchase in 2020?

Personal: The tiny house, for sure!

Horsey: Hmmm I don’t think any one thing was super expensive unless I’m blocking something from memory, so I think it would be Presto’s saddle (which was cheap as far as saddles go). It was crucial to get him something that fits him well, though, so definitely no regrets!

What was your biggest accomplishment in 2020?

Personal: Um. Surviving 2020 with my mental health mostly intact?

Horsey: Starting Presto under saddle! I’m so pleased with that kid. Pleased with how he’s maturing, pleased with what he’s like to ride… he’s slowly turning into everything I ever dared hope he would be and I’m having a lot of fun with him.

What do you feel COVID robbed you of in 2020?

Personal: honestly, considering that the rest of my family and friends are still healthy makes it hard to feel “robbed”. SO and I both still have jobs. We were able to get our big plans done despite the world descending into turmoil. I could still see my horses every day and ride as usual. I’m sure there were things, but it’s hard to feel robbed too much when I know so many other people had it way worse.

Horsey: Ok one quick moment of silence for the epic Ireland trip I was planning that did not come to pass.

Millstreet to host 2018 Nations Cup Eventing | An Eventful Life
see you someday, Millstreet

Were you subject to any COVID Impulse Buys in 2020?

Personal: we would be here all day

Horsey: WE WOULD LITERALLY BE HERE ALL FREAKIN DAY

ABX for Xmas

I guess naughty horses get antibiotics for Christmas from Santa instead of coal? At least, such is the case for everyone’s favorite BabyIdiot. I have no idea what he did, but when I went to bring them in for dinner on Saturday Presto’s left front looked like a scene out of a horror film (wrong holiday, Presto).

#&$(#*!

When I found him he also had blood smeared all over his face, so it was quite the scene. Given the amount of blood I figured for sure I’d find an obvious laceration or two, although it was hard to tell exactly where given how much he’d smeared it. I washed off his face and his leg and had to do some serious digging through his long leg hair to find the source.

They didn’t look particularly deep, so I was suspicious. It was a lot of blood for a wound like that, but I searched everywhere and that’s all I could find. I went and got a flashlight and some betadine to flush it to see if I could tell whether or not there was any kind of puncture, but in case you’re wondering who ISN’T a very good patient, especially not at dinner time, especially not when you’re alone and only have one set of hands, it’s this kid. I didn’t think there was a puncture, at least not an obvious one, but I wasn’t totally confident in that. He was sound though, and the bleeding had stopped, so I finished cleaning it, gave him some bute, and figured we’d see how it looked in the morning.

And it looked 100% fine. You couldn’t even tell he’d done anything. No swelling, a little scab forming already… sweet. I cleaned it all again just to be sure, put some AluShield on it, and out he went. Sunday evening, same thing – still looked normal. And then Monday morning I was greeted with this big ol’ fat knee.

SON OF A

There were many expletives. Especially once I started trying cold hose this frickin horse, who has ants in his pants 24/7 and is like trying to waterboard an ADHD otter. A slightly angry one. He was still sound but the swelling was obviously alarming, and I got concerned that maybe there had indeed been a puncture that I hadn’t been able to find. I texted pics to the vet and gave him the whole backstory, and he said he’d stop by late in the afternoon since he was going to be up the street at another barn anyway.

It was dinnertime by the time he showed up, which does not make for a great Presto patient, but with me holding and distracting him the vet was able to get the area clipped and examine it more closely. There was a teeny puncture at the very top of the wound, not very deep, and he didn’t seem super concerned. He gave Presto a penicillin shot, left me with a new jar of tucoprim and a tube of bute since I needed more anyway, and said to keep cold-hosing, ride him lightly, and let him know if it doesn’t improve. Thank you for the vet bill, Presto.

All of the expensive things I’ve bought for him in the past week and he appreciates ZERO of them

I haven’t seen my vet in a while (I mean in 2019 I had a vet bill like EVERY MONTH basically and this year, comparatively, we’ve only seen him twice) so while he was there he also peeked in on Henry. They really like each other for some reason, always have, and Henry came right up to snuffle him and the vet petted him, commenting on how good and happy he looks. He thought Presto looked really good too, definitely growthy but he said you could tell he was going to be a really good-looking horse once he fills out. He’s not wrong on any of those counts. Always nice to hear someone else say what you’re thinking though.

So while I’m telling Presto that the antibiotics are his Christmas present since he’s CLEARLY on the Naughty List, what he really got was an Uncle Jimmy’s ball that I snagged during Black Friday. I thought it might be right up his alley, being that he loves food, balls, biting things, and whacking himself in the face with stuff, and I wasn’t wrong.

There is zero elegance in the fervor with which he attacks that thing. It’s kind of hilarious. I put it up on Saturday and to be honest I’m SHOCKED it’s still there. I mean, he’s managed to eat about 1/3 of it now, but I really thought for sure he’d yank it down pretty quickly and that would be the end of that. It’s a Christmas miracle.

Henry got one too, although it took him a little while to warm up to it and he’s not quite as… enthusiastic. While Presto is balls-to-the-wall attacking his, swinging it around like he’s playing tether ball, Henry mostly just stands there licking and nibbling at his. Kinda sums up their two personalities.

The surprising part is that somehow Presto is the one that stays the cleanest and Henry is the one that’s covered in it. Inevitably every morning Henry has a sticky face and ears, which then means he has shavings glued to him because dude takes some seriously deep naps in his stall.

Presto, on the other hand, remains spotless. It defies all logic, considering how many times I see that ball make contact with various parts of his head and neck (usually with a nice satisfying WHOMP).

Fingers crossed this knee de-fats itself without any further drama or somebody might also be getting a Christmas strangling. Especially if I have to coldhose this thing too many more times. Pray for me y’all.

The One(s) That Got Away

As I mentioned last week, I had a little bit of post-Black Friday regret. For the most part I feel like I did a good job of stocking up on the things I needed and getting good deals on the few things that maybe weren’t quite so needed. But there was one big item that I lusted after, added to cart about a dozen times, then didn’t follow through on – those Kentucky show rugs. Mostly because I couldn’t find one shop that managed to both a) have a good price on sale (10% was not enough) b) have both the navy and the green on sale (a few places didn’t include the green, a special seasonal color, in the sale). But also because honestly they are ungodly expensive, even if they ARE on sale. Like, did my horses really need $400 stable rugs?

How Do Indecisive People Make Decisions? | Medium

I mean, I am expert YOLO-er/Treat-Yo-Self-er but even I have my limits. Partly because in the back of my mind I know that those rugs are probably a little too heavy to get much use down here in the south, no matter how beautiful they are. Stupid practicality, always ruining everything.

Top 30 Sorry For The Gifs GIFs | Find the best GIF on Gfycat

I am sort of in love with those fleecy neck collar rugs though. They look so cozy. Plus I think they’d look extra cute with the WTW logo embroidered on them. Sharp. Classy. Fancy. And fluffy. So fluffy.

Fluffy GIF on GIFER - by Murad

So since then I’ve been on the prowl for something similar, but less expensive. I’m not too good for a knockoff. Originally I really was hunting for green, but all the ones I found were either the wrong shade (too teal, too bright, etc) or had huge branding already on them. Ugh why these brands gotta plaster their logo all huge on it? Don’t they know that’s what I’m trying to do? I also needed something that was relatively lightweight, definitely under 200g and preferably more like 100g. Oh, and a good enough price to where I wouldn’t feel like I was just setting money on fire. Eventually I gave up on finding that at all in green and continued the search in navy. And it took me a few weeks, but I did finally stumble across one.

It was in a tack shop in the Nederlands of course, because why wouldn’t it be. The price was very right though, and shipping wasn’t bad. They also had a cooler version of it, in fleece, for even cheaper, AND it was on sale.

Originally I was gonna buy two of the same thing, one for each boy so they matched, but the more I thought about it the more I was like… maybe I should just get one of each. I could get them both embroidered with the WTW logo, and when Presto goes out in “public” he’d have both a cooler and a stable rug to use. At home I could use them on whichever boy needed whichever thing. Practicality winning out again.

Of course, the cooler is fleece. Generally I am very anti-fleece. I hate static, and I hate things sticking to it. I tend to be a wool-or-die kinda gal. But having had a fleece cooler that I picked up on a whim for $5 (it was an awards cooler from a freejumping competition in Europe and it made me sad that someone was selling it, how could I refuse? I gave it to a great home.), even I can grudgingly admit that sometimes there is a good time and place for fleece. Sometimes. And it’s easy to embroider. And the price was really really really right. So I caved. One stable rug and one cooler, added to cart.

And naturally, before I went to checkout, I did what any self-respecting shopper would do and perused the website thoroughly to make sure there was nothing else I, er, needed. Rule #1 of buying from overseas: if you’re going to pay shipping from Europe, you might as well make it worth your while. And omg did I ever find something.

Indeed those are the prettiest navy glitter fleecey boots I’ve ever seen. They’re a super dark, rich navy, and since only the straps are glittery they aren’t too much. Also on sale, also really cheap. I added a pair of Medium and a pair of Large to my cart and completed my purchase with a smug sense of satisfaction, since everything I ordered was still cheaper than ONE Kentucky rug.

Alas, the boots weren’t meant to be, as the company contacted me the next day to say that they were sold out and didn’t know exactly when they’d be back in stock. Womp womp. My options were to cancel the boots from the order, switch to another color, or they’d wait and ship the whole order when the boots were available. The black ones were really pretty too and I briefly considered those, but… no. They also had green, but it was more of an army/olive green, not quite MY green, so again… no. Neither of those put stars in my eyes like the navy ones. And since they had no idea when those would be back in stock, I had to let the boots go. Many sads. Much tragedy. I will totally order them once they’re back though, because I’m in love.

So at the end of this I got a cooler and a rug in the fleecey neck style I wanted for a little over half the price of one Kentucky rug, even with the Europe shipping. They don’t make my heart sing quite as much as the Kentucky rug does, but they don’t make my wallet cry so much either. I found the middle ground. When they get here I’ll have the WTW logo added and I think they’ll look really sharp. And, hey, now I have yet another European tack shop to obsess over. Just what I needed. I already told Michelle that next time we’re in NED (if they ever let Americans into Europe again hahaha SOBBING) we’ve gotta find one of these stores.

Is there anything you passed up on Black Friday that you’re regretting now? Do you need a bad influence to talk you into it? My services are always available.