#Herrlerr

This past weekend was my first one at home in over a month, and I made the most of it with lots of riding time. On Saturday Bobby and Halo came over to gallop!

I’ve already talked a lot on here about how amazing the giant field is at my barn, and I’m really not kidding. The footing is almost always perfect, the rolling hills are great for conditioning, and it’s huge (YUUUUGE). I also keep my coop out there to practice galloping fences (I still want to add brush to the top to give it more height, someday I’ll get to that). Bobby wanted to come over to give Halo a good gallop since my field dries faster than his (let’s be honest though, his real reason was to see me) which worked out fine because I needed to give him his birthday present anyway.

custom bonnet for #HERRLERR !!!!

Plus, I won’t lie, it’s nice to have someone to ride with on occasion. My favorite thing about my barn is that there’s never anyone else riding when I am. I never have to share my jumps or my fields or my riding space. The flipside to that situation is that sometimes when you just need a good hackout and chat with a barn friend, there isn’t one. Or, if you ride a particularly lazy Henry who has no real interest in participating in conditioning rides until we get to the gallop part, it’s nice for him to have someone in front providing motivation (bc seriously I’m so tired of kicking to keep trotting).

He’s only interested in this part, thanks

We had a fun ride in the field, doing our trot and gallop sets together. We each popped over the coop a few times too, although by that point Henry had decided he was VERY FAST RACEHORSE and kept wanting to drag me past the distance. Someone will be wearing his Dr Bristol for XC schooling this weekend.

HENNY WHEEEEEEE

We went for a nice long walk all the way around the property after we were done, then hosed the boys off and let them graze. It’s so funny how even though they don’t live together anymore, it’s like they haven’t missed a day. They still love each other, but not too much.

mild bromance

Halo neighed a little when he got back into the trailer, and Henry watched him as they pulled down the driveway before going back to his grass. I swear I’ve never seen a horse that was so content to be alone in turnout. Henny does Henny, he don’t need no man. He definitely has a lot more affection for Halo than he lets on, though… Halo is Henry’s favorite horse to pin his fuzzy little ears at.


On Sunday (my 5th day of riding in a row – yay for being back to a normal schedule) I had a happier, more forward horse for our dressage ride. There’s still much clucking in the beginning to get him in front of my leg, but he’s getting more and more consistent in the contact and more and more rideable. Maybe it’s the green hat?

 

Colts will be colts 

I agree, 5 days is entirely too long without a Presto update.

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First of all, everyone and their grandma has been asking about Uncle Skeeter. He did finally get picked up by his owners last week, so he is now safely and happily back home with his people. Yeah I know, it broke up our weird little family, but it’s great for Skeeter to get to go home. Meanwhile, Presto has been hard at work making friends with Liam. And by “making friends” I mean playing a whole lot of Bitey Face.

remember when it started?

I’m pretty sure Presto could play Bitey Face all day long. Liam sleeps a lot more than he does, and Presto spends a lot of time standing at the fence neighing at Liam to come play with him. Usually Liam acquiesces eventually, and the game begins. And unfortunately for Presto, Liam is much better at it. He’s faster, bigger, more aggressive, and he’s not the one sticking his head through to the other side of the fence.

what happens when you play Bitey Face with a shark

So, ya know… Presto is missing some chunks out of his face. It hasn’t dampened his desire to play with Liam at all, so apparently he isn’t very deterred by the fact that he keeps losing.

Presto’s other favorite activities include pestering the crap out of Sadie (particularly when she tries to sleep)

And pulling on basically anything that’s tied down, be it a lead rope or a bucket handle or a piece of baling twine on his stall grill. He still thinks it’s pretty fun to swing his Jolly Ball around too. Little dude is quite active and curious and into everything.

Yesterday Liam and Presto went out together for the first time. Presto kept walking around behind Liam, but Liam was still a little bit too shy to fully engage in playing. Plus whenever Liam’s mom came around, Presto very wisely booked it back to Sadie. Liam’s mom isn’t quite so lenient about letting him wander or play. But Presto did get to stretch his legs a bit more, and I think it won’t be long before he and Liam are playing together in turnout. Hopefully Presto doesn’t lose too much more hair in the process.

Speaking of hair – how freaking awesome is this custom Leistner brush set from Teddy’s Tack Trunk???

He’s already pretty spoiled for a one month old foal. Also he’s adorable and I love him, so it’s ok.

Review: Kentucky Bridleworks leather halter

Just like bourbon and thoroughbreds, it’s hard to compete with Kentucky when it comes to leather halters.

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This beautiful creature is from a relatively new company called Kentucky Bridleworks. As the name implies, they are made right here in the USA in Lexington, Kentucky from American steerhide. The construction is very classic, with wide sturdy leather, a rolled throat, double buckle crown, and English chin. What these particular halters have that’s a bit different is a trigger snap at the throat, which you can swivel to face in or out, and it’s probably my favorite feature. It’s much more sturdy, and IMO makes them a bit safer. I always get nervous about regular clips snagging on something.

kbhalter

Currently Kentucky Bridleworks offers two options: black with chrome hardware or brown with brass hardware, both of which come with an engraved plate. I was really tempted to go with the black and spice things up a bit, but in the end was persuaded that black looks a little too dressagey, and let’s be honest no eventer wants that (just kidding, DQ’s. Kind of.). It arrived quickly, was beautifully packaged (great for gifting!), and pre-oiled, so it was ready to go right out of the box. I opted for the horse size for Henry, since he’s normally between cob and horse. I probably could have gone either way, but since he doesn’t wear a halter in turnout I prefer a looser fit. They seem to run pretty true to size.

A+ for presentation!

The halter is absolutely gorgeous, broke in quickly, and is holding up great. The hardware is solid and the stitching is perfect. Kentucky Bridleworks makes all of their halters by hand, which takes one hour per halter. There’s no machine cranking these out in a matter a minutes… an actual human (in the US, no less) is putting these together piece by piece, which I definitely appreciate.

still a pretty halter, even when it’s on a grumpy face

Kentucky Bridleworks also offers a money-back guarantee for returns within the first 30 days, or free repair of any defects within the first year. Always a good thing to see a company willing to stand behind their product and their work!

At $84.95 including US shipping, I think these halters are a good value. They’re built to last, yet still beautiful enough to look right at home in a show barn. Check them out facebook and Instagram for more pics and videos!

On Pause

Well, uh, March didn’t quite go as I had planned. I knew better than to enter any shows in March, since Sadie’s due date was mid-month. But I only planned on being in Midland for 4 or 5 days, giving Henry a little mini-vacation and then being ready to come out swinging for a couple shows in April.

Ha.

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almost as funny as when I put blue hoof conditioner on Henry and he just loved it

Instead I spent 10 days in Midland, and 4 straight weekends. Henry’s mini-vacay turned into basically a month off. I was able to ride him on the weekdays when I was home, but mentally I was just not in the right place to be able to put in a serious ride. Mostly we just trotted and cantered through the fields, because every horsewoman knows that a canter really is the cure for every evil. Henry didn’t seem to mind the time off from real work, but he’s a little bit fat and in dire need of a spa day at the moment.

Because of all that (and, uh… the general state of emptiness in my wallet), we’re sitting out the shows in April too. We really haven’t jumped since that one little jumper show at the end of February (omg…) so it seems a bit unwise. Plus I need to get him a little more fit again. And that whole dressage thing I suppose. Ugh.

no derpssage!

Money is also in short supply, so I’m having to do some creative wrangling of my show schedule but I think we’ll be able to eke out some cheap ones. We’ll try a little show or two in May, to dip our toes back in, start back up with some lessons again, and as of yesterday Henry is back into his regular riding schedule. And after 6 days off, geez was he spooky. Spring Time Henry is weird. He’s sluggish but he’s wild and spooky at the same time.

While I didn’t really plan on skipping basically the best two months of the year for showing Henry (because it starts getting hot in May, and Henry does not do heat), I’m not as upset about it as I would have been a year ago. The pressure is off this year anyway, and the whole extremely scary and honestly kind of traumatizing ordeal with Presto put a lot of things into perspective.

So, the lack of horse show recaps and photos will continue here for at least a few more weeks. Hopefully filling the void with a bunch of Presto pictures is more than enough to make up for the lack of HorseShowHENNY? Plus there’s ROLEX (anyone doing the RK5K?)! We’ll eventually work our way back to where we were in February and then figure out all the show stuff from there. At this point I’m just really glad to have my boys… everything else isn’t nearly as important.

Running and Screaming

Normally I really hate Wordless Wednesday posts, but today I’m short on time and long on pictures. Let’s call it a Fewer-Words Wednesday? Whatever.

Either way, I got the pics from Michelle’s nice camera of Presto’s first little gallop in the big field the other day. There’s also video at the bottom for those who would like to hear the soundtrack. He pretty much just ran around neighing at everyone and everything, which is really cute when you’re a baby horse. Maybe not so much when you’re older, but ya know… a squealy little high pitched neigh is adorable when you’re bitty.

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Exhibit A
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gee, I wonder where he gets that trait from…

Sadie and Presto had lots of fun running around for a few minutes while Sadie blew off some steam from being cooped up. He had never galloped flat out like that before!

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four off the floor
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about the time he said “Help me, she’s crazy!”

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um, yes.

Eventually Sadie slowed down to a trot

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and then finally down to a walk (much to Presto’s relief) and made a few “look at my baby, isn’t he cute?” laps past all the other horses.

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HI I’M PRESTO!

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THE CUTEST

Sadie tried her best to find a good spot to roll, but Presto was having none of it.

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NOM NOM EARS NOM

And then finally we got to the supermodel stage, where Presto just kept making adorable pose after adorable pose. So photogenic, this one. Ok maybe I’m slightly biased, but neh no I’m not, he really is the cutest.

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PrestoPro1

These two. I just love them to bits. ❤

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3weeksSadie
best momma mare 

We came out the little side gate on the way in because it’s closest to their stall… the bottom “board” doesn’t move so he had to jump over it. Liam loved to leap over that thing his first few times in and out, but clearly Presto is not impressed by this. He kinda looks a little insulted, actually.

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dis “jump”, it be bullshit

And with that, his first real “day out” (which was all of 10 minutes, really) was over and he was pretty pooped. Stretching those long legs out for the first time was a lot of work. Or maybe all the screaming was a lot of work? You decide (sound on for the video, of course):

Presto’s Weekend Shenanigans

Yeah, I know. Henny is wondering where his blog went too, and WTF this kid thinks he’s doing hogging the spotlight. But a) it feels like such a privilege to still have Presto, I really can’t stop obsessing, and b) soon I won’t be seeing him as often and won’t have much to say except “yep, he’s a baby horse”, so I’m taking full advantage of Presto posts while I can. Henny will get his blog (and Instagram and facebook) back soon, I promise. But for right now it’s really hard to compete with Presto cuteness.

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I mean, come on, this isn’t even a fair contest

I got to play with Presto a lot on Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes I just sat there and watched him do normal baby horse things… it’s amazing how much more you appreciate that stuff when your foal very nearly didn’t make it. Everything he does is cute and it makes me so incredibly happy to see him bouncing around and neighing and having a good time. He’s earned it.

CRAZY BEHBEH

He still talks a lot. I mean… A LOT. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a foal that had this much to say. He neighs at people, he neighs at horses, he neighs just for the sake of neighing sometimes. On Saturday morning the neighbor let her horses out, and as they wandered over toward where Presto was, he immediately marched over and introduced himself.

Baby neighs! 😍

A post shared by The $900 Facebook Pony (@the900facebookpony) on

 

This kid. He’s so funny. So brave and bold and sure of himself. Although he did get really mad at us when we put his halter on for the first time. Poor guy, the only halter he’s worn so far was the one attached to his muzzle at the clinic, so I’m pretty sure he thought we were muzzling him. It took two of us to get the halter on, and then he just stood there with his head down and ears flopped out sideways. My heart broke a little bit. He eventually realized he wasn’t muzzled and got over it, but still glared at us for the next few hours as if we had betrayed him.

I tied a Jolly Ball up in his pen, which he alternates between scratching himself on and playing tetherball with. Sometimes he just stands there gleefully swinging it in circles (which initially scared the crap out of Liam next door) but he seems to like having something to play with while he’s still relegated to a smaller space.

Speaking of Liam… Presto has tried really hard to make friends. Initially Liam would not come anywhere near him. Presto kept sticking his head through the fence and nickering at him, but Liam just gave him the stink eye and kept his distance.

PrestoLiam

Then there was the time when Liam was sleeping and Presto snuck up behind him.

Oh, Liam. At least you’re beautiful.

By Sunday he did finally succeed in getting Liam to come over and make friends with him. First they just made baby face at each other.

Then started trying to grab each other’s halters (because of course).

and then finally Liam let his true personality shine through and Presto regretted trying to make friends with this maniac.

Poor Presto, he’s just a little outmatched in the coltish behavior department at this point. He’s doing his best to catch up though, already having gotten in trouble for biting and kicking me. Some of his sass is starting to come out now, so he might just end up being a good match for Liam whenever he catches up to him growth-wise. Nonetheless, he really isn’t deterred by Liam’s physical superiority and still constantly tries to get him to play, even if he tends to regret it afterward.

He also had his first leading and grooming lessons on Sunday. No surprise, he’s much better for the grooming. He is his mother’s child, no doubt, I see parts of her personality shining through more and more.

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which is a-ok with me, she’s my best girl

He also got to go out in the big pasture for the first time (well, the first time since he was born) on Sunday. It was only for a few minutes because he’s not quite ready for tons of movement yet, but Sadie really needed to blow off a little steam so they got a quick 10 minutes. It was the first time he’s ever galloped, which was really fun to watch as he figured out how to move his legs that fast. Michelle got lots of pics with her nice camera, so when she uploads them I’ll post them here. Until then, I leave you with this:

Sadieleap
Exactly why I didn’t name him Levitate. His mom already does.

Homecoming

Guess who got to come home a little early?

Presto getting one last hug from his vet before getting in the trailer

By Thursday Presto was doing well enough to where they really had no reason to keep him anymore. After one last check on Friday morning he got the all-clear, and Michelle went to pick him up that evening. I rented a car after work to drive up there (no more 600+ mile round trips on my truck) and got to the barn just a few minutes before they pulled in, pacing the barn aisle as I waited. How would he look? Would he still be sweet? Was Sadie smooshing him in the trailer? Would he be ok at home? Should I have just left him at the vet til he’s 4? You know… totally rational thoughts.

I will never get tired of that face ❤

He hopped out of the trailer with his usual HELLO EVERYONE greeting, and trotted into his stall. Meanwhile, Sadie and Lissa were being complete morons, screaming for each other, with Sadie spinning in circles in her stall and Lissa galloping around her pasture. Mares.

We brought Lissa in to try to calm them down, and she proceeded to try to attack Sadie through the wall. Again… mares. They don’t know what they want. Presto just kept watching them, wondering what in the world they were so worked up about. Finally they calmed down a bit, and I was rubbing on Sadie to see if that would help settle her more (it usually does, she has a one-track mind when it comes to a nice rubdown). Presto couldn’t understand why I was paying attention to her instead of him, and kept creeping up behind me, nudging at me.

spot the creeper baby

Once I paid appropriate attention to all of his itchy spots he was satisfied, and started exploring his stall and chowing down on hay. I have never seen a baby eat hay the way he does, but the vet seemed unconcerned with it as long as he’s drinking enough to keep everything moving. And he does drink a lot… he pretty much constantly goes: nurse, hay, water, sleep, repeat. He’s drinking milk as fast as Sadie can make it. Trying to make up for all that lost time, I guess!

He had all kinds of adventures over the weekend, which I’ll post more about tomorrow, but mainly just wanted to take today to let everyone know that he’s HOME, and that I greatly appreciate how kind everyone has been throughout all of this. It’s the toughest horse-related thing I’ve ever gone through for sure, and at a time when the world is a little crazy and I’d lost most of my faith in the human race, you guys really renewed it. I’m just blown away by the level of caring and by the generosity of so many people – many of which I don’t even know and have never met. It’s just been amazing and I really can’t thank you guys enough. And of course, Presto thanks you too. He’s still got a little ways to go before he’s totally 100% and back to normal for his age, so please continue to keep him in your thoughts. It’s worked really well so far.

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For everyone who was asking about a t-shirt fundraiser for him, it has arrived! Fellow blogger Britt made a super cute design for him, using his actual silhouette from a video and adding his now-trademark face markings with a very apropos phrase. There are shirts (unisex and women’s, different fits, and a few color options), stickers, and a mug available in the shop, and it’ll be open for orders until April 21st!