“Sibling” Stalking

I have been doing some internet stalking trying to find other Big Star offspring. Relatively speaking Big Star doesn’t have that many offspring on the ground so most of them are fairly young. Feast your eyes on some of Luna’s “siblings”.

Big Star x Darco

Big Star x Goldfever I

Big Star x Cento

Big Star x Numero Uno

Big Star x Heartbreaker

Big Star x Polydor

Big Star x Lazio

I wish I could have found something with a similar damline but at least I found something. The magical interwebs. With thoroughbreds it is kind of cool to see what else is out there. Annie is out of a no name Pulpit son so there aren’t many siblings out there that I could find. I have found it interesting to look at the other Pulpits out there though! Have any of you all stalked or searched for your horses relatives?

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This week has been pretty uneventful but has provided lots quality time with the creatures.

Getting to know baby Luna has been a lot of fun. She is a quirky little thing. She definitely isn’t quite as openly sweet as Annie is. She is a bit more sparing with her affection and actually kind of makes an ugly face when you walk up to her. I just ignore it and then she is all about you. I guess she likes to play hard to get. Once I learn more about her personality I will have to pick her TV/ Movie personality. I am leaning towards a standoffish triceratops from Land Before Time!


Cute baby derp #dutchwarmblood #bigstarfilly #jumperprospect #equestrianblogger #equestrianblog

A video posted by Hillary M. (@equestrianathart) on

On the Annie front we have been taking it easy. We were both a bit burnt out from all of the traveling so it has been nice to just hang out and relax. Last night I rode with my BO’s daughter and got some video! My barn is awesome for so many reasons. Now we can add to that list drone videos! The video is kind of boring because I haven’t been riding much and we were mostly just trying to get the horses used to it but I foresee a lot of cool videos in the future!

Riding under the lights… can't wait for more drone videos #equestrianblogger #equestrianblog #thoroughbred #drone

A video posted by Hillary M. (@equestrianathart) on

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October 10 Q’s

Thank you L for sharing 10 questions! 🙂

What do you consider “jumping high” for yourself? Over 1M. I haven’t jumped over 3ft in a pretty substantial amount of time but now that Annie is growing up I hope that we can pass 1M in no time 🙂

What are your short term goals for riding? Do you think you’ll reach them? How is short term defined…  In the next year I would really like to be successful at Novice and hopefully aiming for the 1.1M by the end of next year? We will see how that actually pans out as we get closer to starting 2017.

Long term goals for riding? Do you think you’ll reach them? Long term I really want to do the AO jumpers. Low AO’s are about 1.3M I believe so hopefully at some point in the next before I die timeframe I will be able to get there.

How many barns have you been at in your riding career? Probably 2 in FL and then in KY maybe 4 barns. 1 of the barns was my family’s. I have been at my current barn for about a year and I hope we never have to leave.

How many different trainers have you been with in your riding career? Probably 6

Ever worked at a barn? What did you do? Not really. I have helped here and there but I have never been formally employed or even really compensated. I was always a barn rat as a kid but I always just did what I was told and usually was rewarded with extra rides. I don’t consider that working though.

Scariest thing that has happened at your barn? Honestly have no idea how to answer this. At our personal barn we never had anything too traumatic. At one point we had a horse get loose and try to take a cruise down the road but our property was fenced in. At my current barn I don’t think anything scary has ever happened. It’s gated so there are no weirdos coming onto the property.

Have you ever given a lesson? What level was the rider? Technically no. I have never been paid to teach. I have lead kids around or lunged a pony with a tiny aboard though.

What is your opinion on the accuracy of critiquing riders online? If this person is a well known rider doing something dangerous or potentially harmful to their horse I have no problem asking questions or raising awareness. There are always going to be extremes on both ends of every spectrum though.

IMG_0126What is the ideal height of a horse for you? Over 15.3hh and under 17.1h

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Blanketing The Young Horse

While Annie has been the main baby horse of the show now Luna is taking over that role. Four years old may still be a baby but eight months takes the cake! Because Annie was already three when I got her she was already in horse sized clothes. Luna however is very solidly in the youth section of attire. I think with horses most of us end up developing an eye for what fits various horses. I can usually get to within a size with my guestimates. You can throw all of that out the window when you add a baby horse into the picture. I feel like a new mom that knows their kid isn’t in newborn sizes but probably isn’t wearing age appropriate sizes either.

yearling_turnout_grandeGiven that Luna was born in February she is a very large weanling. Actually more of a yearling in terms of size so I decided to purchase a Kensington Yearling Turnout. It is adjustable from 48″ to 60″. I have a feeling that before spring Luna will have this thing busting at the seams! It is already a bit of a mini skirt.
I guess this is kinda dependent on your climate because I would imagine if you live somewhere toasty you might not bother with blanketing a young horse. For those of you with experience with baby horse clothes how do you decide what you need? Based on my friends recommendation I bought something with a bit of fill but I kind of wish I had something with no fill too. But if won’t fit after this year so is it even worth it?

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Rider Review: Lund Saddlery 5 Point Breastplate


lundlogoA couple months ago I was given a breastplate and some other items to review by Lund Saddlery. When I was contacted and told the goal was to provide quality tack at affordable prices I thought whats not to like!

Up first is the 5 point breastplate.

Price: $160 USD (this will fluctuate with exchange rates) or $210 CAD – I personally find this to be a steal of a price for what it is

Review: As a full disclosure I was not expecting to love this tack so much. I am spoiled and have to admit that I am normally a french leather kind of gal. I have agonized over not purchasing tack from other well known brands that provide Sedgwick solely because for the money it just didn’t seem like a good investment. 5 Star I am looking at you and your Rolex booth.img_2902

Finally with Lund I have found a brand that carries nice Sedgwick that doesn’t have a shiny film over it at a reasonable price to boot!

dscf7556That said this breastplate is made of leather that is much nicer than I have encountered at anywhere near the price- the use of Italian leather for the padding is a really nice touch and who doesn’t love navy (don’t answer that because I might judge you). As Amanda mentioned it isn’t as buttery as french leather but I bet this stuff would survive an apocalypse.

img_2354 It is oh so fluffy and might make you want to pet it. Lund thinks of everything and even provides matching dee savers.dscf7541 Every point of this breastplate that can has a swiveling snap for convenience and despite all the abuse I could muster (including hosing it down, not cleaning it for a disgusting period of time, and other offenses) I have seen no signs of rust or chipping to the coating. img_2347The detail of the stitching, perfect thickness of padding, and the quality of the materials if very evident. I tried to find a flaw in the craftsmanship and drew a blank. I have never owned a 5 point before now because I just didn’t like what was available for the money. They were all either bulky, the wrong color, or ridiculously over priced. If you want a 5 point, like navy, and appreciate good quality then this is the breastplate for you.

Lucky for you the Lund October Monthly Draw is for this lovely hunk of leather. You know you want it! Click here to enter the free drawing.

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Sponsored Image

In light of recent events I have been giving a lot of thought to the sponsored rider relationship. In my eyes sponsors provide products to upper level riders or insta-famous teens it seems because they feel that these individuals have an impact on the spending decisions of other riders.oe_logo

By nature people do seem drawn to things that other people like or what is perceived to be popular. Most of us seem to like a brand because it is widely used or the latest and greatest. Maybe it is the most affordable? For this conversation I am focused on brands that are widely used by sponsored riders. How does negative media affect your decision to purchase brands that a specific rider wears (sponsored or otherwise)? When I see brands continuing to support riders that appear to have questionable integrity it makes me question the integrity of the brand itself.

There are definitely specific tack/apparel brands that I love and have brand loyalty towards – CWD, Ogilvy, Parlanti, Samshield, RJ Classic, ROMFH, Lund… The list goes on. I am loyal to these brands because the products are well made, serve their purpose, and meet my requirements for performance/ safety. That said I would be lying if I said that seeing Samshield congratulate their sponsored rider ML for her performance at fair hill this weekend didn’t put a bad taste in my mouth. (The FB post was later removed from their page – I assume due to multiple customers commenting – myself included)

My question is where do you stand on the issue? Do you consider sponsored riders irrelevant? Do you lean towards my thought process? Please do share  your thoughts as I am very curious about how other people feel about this.

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Insuring Ponehs

Now that I am the proud owner of a 2nd awesome sauce baby horse I have begun to think about insurance again. I never insured Houston but I had been strongly considering insuring Annie as I can’t really replace her. She is worth way more than I paid for her at this point and while my vet has a really cool program for colic surgery I would like to have additional major medical coverage on both creatures.

If I am lucky I will never have to use it but I don’t want to be in the position of not being able to pay for a life saving procedure or even diagnostics. At Karen’s recommendation I decided to contact THIS for some quotes. I liked the options they had to offer and ended up getting a binder on Luna. Once I recover from the purchase of a new pony Annie will also get a policy.

thisTo get major medical  you have to have mortality. For me this meant 3.25% of Luna’s purchase price plus the major medical premium. I opted to get $15,000 of coverage which might be over kill but the premium wasn’t drastically different and it reduced the co-pay % down from 20% to 15%. In the grand scheme of things the monthly cost isn’t very high and could be worth its weight in gold!

I have to say that my experience getting insurance for Luna was way more pleasant than any other process I have gone through for cars, house, or even myself. THIS has great reps and I think it took all of 3 emails (I couldn’t call due to work) and then one phone call and I had a binder letter. Do yourself a favor and make sure that you find a good broker if you are thinking about getting coverage for your horse(s).

Do you all have your horses insured? What are your thoughts on opting to get it? If so what coverage is most important to you?

P.S. I have created a petition that will go to FEI regarding a proposed rule change that would take out the grey area or personal discretion pertaining to the Eventing blood rule. If you also think that a change needs to happen you should think about signing and sharing the petition.

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Introducing Luna

It is no secret that I have had a bit of baby fever lately. Of the equine variety. An ankle chip, a horse sold out form under me, a fractured sesamoid, and a stifle ocd lesion later (read lots of failed PPE’s) I finally found the well bred jumper filly prospect I have been looking for.

Enter Luna (Laguna Star) a 2016 filly by Big Star and out of a Douglas VDL x Zeus mare. I got to name her which was incredibly frustrating but also awesome. I wanted to incorporate something to do with Big Star but it needed to start with an L for this years KWPN foal class. Laguna Star seemed suitable as Kyle and I were married in Laguna Niguel!

I have to say that I am pretty excited to own a Big Star filly for obvious reasons but also because as of now he isn’t widely available in the US so Luna is one of the few fillies here. Definitely a gamble though as overall there aren’t many Big Star offspring on the ground yet it seems.


Luna’s dam is actually for sale if anyone is looking. She is a 2009 VDL mare and is green broke and sound but has been used exclusively for breeding the past few years.

Luna has the cutest nose freckles, four white socks, and should be quite the little jumper. She wasTime will tell though.

So far I am just getting to know her. The next 2-3 years she will get to do a lot of hanging out and growing up. I hope to take some pages from Alanna‘s book and get her exposed to all sorts of stuff before she is ready to be saddle broke. I will definitely plan to take her to a KWPN-NA keuring next year to be inspected. Her breeder did not do that this year due to proximity. I also hope to participate in the Young Horse Show Series down the road.

What are things that you all like to do with baby horses while you wait for them to grow up?

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Blood Rules

By this point most people have seen the pictures of Marilyn Little’s horse’s bloody mouth. Which picture you might ask? Since there are pictures from multiple occurrences… Well this past weekend at Fair Hill multiple people saw and photographed evidence of ML’s horse RF Scandalous bleeding (not insignificantly) at the mouth. I contemplated my approach to this post for quite some time. There is the plain WTF aspect, the rules, and event the negative association I feel for the brands that sponsor riders that show a blatant disregard for their horses welfare. Additionally as an amateur I do not pretend to have the competency or skill to ride at the upper levels and normally do not feel appropriate casting stones but if amateurs like us can manage to event without having blood dripping from our horses mouths why can’t the supposed best of the best do it… Oh wait… most of them can.fei-eventing-blood-rule

Obviously I am disgusted with the fact that ML’s horses turn up with bloody mouths but what adds insult to injury (literally) is that ML appears to be not only being rewarded for this behavior but it is going un-investigated. Amanda posted about this almost exactly a year ago and was accused of leading a “witch hunt”. Now that this has happened on numerous occasions with multiple horses will more attention be deemed appropriate? This is clearly not an isolated incident at this point.

Many people seem to feel that the Ground Jury was just following the protocol outlined. Which fine, for whatever reason you didn’t stop the rider reported to have a horse streaming blood from its mouth. I am not trying to place blame on anyone besides ML really but what is absolutely mind blowing to me is how people are totally ignoring this incident. Just because you weren’t “caught” officially doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Also when the groom of said rider carries a black towel around it should raise suspicion. If this is what her horses look like at shows what happens outside of the public eye?

I think that the FEI Eventing rule book needs to be modified as such to remove the grey area or loop hole that makes it okay for this to happen. Yes, things do happen but at some point we need to consider the factors at hand. The constant is ML. Not the same horse, not the same bit, just her. There has to be a flaw in the system that this is going unpunished.

FEI Jumper Rule pg 28: Mandatory Disqualification – Horses bleeding on the flank(s), in the mouth or nose or marks indicating excessive use of spurs or of the whip anywhere on the Horse (in minor cases of blood in the mouth, such as where a Horse appears to have bitten its tongue or lip, Officials may authorize the rinsing or wiping of the mouth and allow the Athlete to continue; any further evidence of blood in the mouth will result in Disqualification.);

I think it is very interesting to note that when we look at the blood rules set by FEI for Jumpers (above) it is pretty clear that the horse showing signs of blood are to be pulled up. Even more interesting is how this rule is stated for dressage. There is a zero tolerance policy. Blood is final elimination. Do not pass GO do not collect $200.

FEI Dressage Rule pg 51: Bleeding: If the Judge at C suspects fresh blood anywhere on the Horse during the test, he will stop the Horse to check for blood. If the Horse shows fresh blood, it will be eliminated. The elimination is final. If the Judge through examination clarifies that the Horse has no fresh blood, the Horse may resume and finish its test. If the FEI Steward discovers fresh blood in the Horse’s mouth or in the area of the spurs during the equipment check at the end of the test (Article 430.10), he informs the Judge at C, who will eliminate the Horse and the/Athlete. If there is blood on the Horse, an FEI Veterinarian is to be called to decide if the Horse is fit to continue in following competition(s) in the Event. If the Horse is eliminated pursuant to the above, or if the Horse is injured during the test and starts bleeding after finishing the test, it should be examined by an FEI Veterinarian prior to the next Competition to determine if it is fit to continue in the Event the following day(s). The decision of the FEI Veterinarian is not subject to appeal.

I have to say that it makes me proud that other upper level riders are posting publicly their opinions on the matter. Maybe they will finally get someone to pay attention since mere amateurs apparently just lead witch hunts.angry-mobThat all said if any of us want a change made we need to do something about it. I am currently still trying to create a petition online that supporters can respond to that will be sent directly to FEI. Maybe if we raise a big enough stink with enough people something will finally be done?

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Moving Up

img_3190This past weekend Annie and I made the move from BN to N. Having never done an event in Area 5 I have nothing to compare it to but overall I really liked Feather Creek as a venue. Minus the previously mentioned burrs. Those things… Like any horse show I had to get rations… Wine on wine on wine. img_3222Unfortunately I was not as prepared as I usually am for the cold weather for myself or the horse! Somehow I moved my blankets out of the tack room of my trailer. Bobby to the rescue though!  Riding on Friday didn’t go the best. Annie was tense and really uninterested in playing. I did my best to ignore her antics and say a little prayer that she would be more game for our actual test.img_3240Going into Saturday I was more nervous that usual. Annie was surprisingly good in dressage warm up and I unfortunately got so excited about the right lead canter circle that I just kept on going – the tornado sirens being tested did not inspire soothing feelings either. We finished our test with an error but it was all on me.  img_3232

I have to say that the move really didn’t concern me until we were actually about to go into the ring for Stadium and then I freaked out. Incase you were wondering not breathing, dropping your horse at the base of the jump, and throwing yourself onto said horses neck makes for a hideous round. We still moved up after stadium by some miracle but I was not proud of the ride.img_3248

If only I rode stadium like I rode cross country… On Friday night Bobby and I did our first course walk… Having never had a trakehner on course I stupidly walked up to it. Cue panic. Bobby found me in a nervous sweat staring at the death pit. Lesson learned. Give the trakehner a wide berth on all course walks. img_3216I need not have worried though because Annie is a perfect rock star and attacked all of the cross country jumps like a pro! She is an absolute machine. We finished at the bottom of the pack but it was a learning experience that ended with a number and not a letter.

img_3214To summarize I need to ride better and Annie is a super star even if she can be a little belligerent about dressage. We have allll winter to focus on improving our flatwork.


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