Things To Spook At

I have gotten very lucky with my horses in that for the most part they are rather sensible – key word rather. Sure… Houston was a wild man for 2 years. Annie thinks the D word (dressage) is for summoning the devil himself… And Luna well I can’t even with her right now. Smart fillies are NOT always very fun. When it comes to the daily stuff or going to new places though both of my under saddle horses are pretty much rock stars. Annie is even younger than Houston was when she started wearing her thinking cap on the daily and I have to say that exposing her to anything and everything has definitely made a difference. catcucumber2

That said on Friday I was out for a hack by myself and Annie thought it would be fun to be a little bit of a kite. No rhyme or reason just up and levitated on me. The wind blew don’t you know? Mind also TOTALLY blown by the new skinny pallet jumps out in the field. Rock that is always in the same place (I am not even kidding) on the walk around the farm – clearly its horse eating. catcucumber1Thinking about her silly spook – if it can even be called that – got me to thinking about Houston in his younger days. Baby Huey (5-6y0) thought that it was a blast and a half to see ghosts in all corners of the arena, spook at a water trough, and one day spooked over his own blanket… that he had been wearing all winter. Luckily he wasn’t the most graceful creature around and his spooks were never that dramatic in the saddle or on the ground. Hairy eyeball, planted feet, and hyperventilation all in under 30 seconds before carrying on. catcucumber3

Annie had a similar moment on Monday when we were walking back in from our cool down hack. She noticed freshly washed blankets hanging on the fence to dry. WHO WOULD DO THIS TO HER?!?! Thankfully the most athletic horse I have ever ridden does not use that power for evil in these situations. Blankets of death got the hairy eyeball and she side stepped then went about her business.

It is easy to forget the silly stuff that horses might be concerned about (young and old) when your horses are usually so quiet. I am lucky I guess that my creatures usually don’t get to excited about new things or constantly seeing horse eating monsters around every corner. What are some ordinary things that your horses spook at?

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I have been a little bit MIA this past week or so. For good reasons too! Kyle and I have been on the hunt for a house! I think we finally found one so fingers crossed for a smooth closing and then move! The potential house is under 10 minutes from the barn which would be awesome. We have been renting since we moved to Nashville over a year and a half ago and I can’t wait to have a place we can call our own.

For all of my friends that have been to Nashville this year… now we will be able to easily accommodate visitors. I cannot wait to have not only a real kitchen again but also a fenced yard that is attached to our house for the dogs. Owning a house can be a big burden when it comes to repairs and maintenance but we can’t wait to be our own land lords again.I try to keep this blog mostly focused on the horses but this is big news and has been keeping me pretty pre occupied as of late. There has also been a lot of stuff going on at work. The horses are all doing well though and I dare say that I have made a break through of sorts with Annie. She has jumped like a freak the past few times I have jumped her and has even been tolerant of the bit when I have ridden with one. Hopefully things will settle down a bit once we get into the new house.

Stay tuned for a fun project my BO helped me with this past weekend! What did you guys get into this past weekend?

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Winner Winner: McLovin

First off – to all those who entered the Baby M naming contest. Thank you so much for the time and thought you put into your suggestions. I wasn’t expecting the responses we got and there were a lot to think hard about. In the end baby M’s owners decided to combine a couple of name suggestions to make the name they liked best. This means that there is an extra winner of the contest who will be receiving a $10 Riding Warehouse Giftcard.

Of all of the entries the name given to baby M is: Minuet du Cornet – barn name McLovin… Kind of kidding, mostly not. mclove

  • The entries that were used to compile this name were:
    • Madrigal du Cornet – Erin
    • Minuet in C (there were 2 people with names including Minuet but for the sake of this contest I used the person whos comment came in first – Kate – Rhiannon thank you!)

Our random drawing winner is Alanna!

Erin, Kate, and Alanna – Please reach out to me in order to get access to your Riding Warehouse Gift Card! As always have to give a shout out to RW for their support of the blogging community! Hopefully there will be more fun contests to come! chickachicka


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One Step Forward Two Steps Back

img_4374.jpgComing off of Spring Bay it was clear that if we can’t get our dressage in line Annie and I will not be competitive at Novice. I decided that if Annie and I were going to go to any more recognized events I needed to tackle our dressage problem head on. I was feeling really frustrated. Knowing that if we could just get more consistent in the sandbox we would be placing consistently in the ribbons was hard to swallow.

I spent a lot of time beating myself up and comparing Houston and Annie on the flat. News flash – they are totally different horses… and also Houston was a tough cookie at Annie’s age as well. Frustration has no place in the saddle though so first I took a couple weeks of light riding and avoided the dressage saddle (read: bit) like the plague. Then came Rolex and all of the fun that goes along with it. I talked to my vet (her teeth are fine), I talked to my friends, and I talked to a couple of trainers. Short of xraying her head (which is not off the table) there is nothing easily seen wrong with Annie. She is fine on the ground. She is fine in a (sna)hackamore… And you know what… with an attitude and equipment change on my part she is getting more consistent in the bridle.

It is of course not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I regularly joke that it makes your eyes bleed. BUT there are moments of progress. Those moments are what makes the blood/sweat/tears worth it. I am happy to say that we seem to be back on track for more regular lessons and I hope that the consistent help will continue this trend of progress.

Riding green horses isn’t for the faint of heart but when it all comes together there isn’t much that is more rewarding. I don’t know what is up next for us but whatever it is I know we will have fun when we get there! Anyone else taking a break from the ring lately to do some more homework?

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Naming Contest: Baby M

One month ago one of my favorite mares foaled out a huge handsome bay colt by Cornet Obolensky. Ava herself is by Balou Du Rouet and out of the full sister to Beezie Madden’s Judgement. She is a great mover and a super freak of a jumper. We knew whatever she had (colt or filly) would end up being top. When the little spit fire was born with 4 symmetrical white socks and a star/snip to boot it was the icing on the cake – no one was disappointed. Baby M has been home for a little over a month now but my BO’s are still all having a hard time settling on a good name for the spunkster. I thought that maybe some of you lovely people might have some good suggestions and so I am holding a little contest to win a couple of Riding Warehouse gift cards. See below for rules.cornet1 Because he will be registered KWPN the name needs to start with an M as this is the year of the M class. Otherwise the criteria aren’t too crazy… Minus the fact that we want it to be related to or somehow hint that he is by Cornet Obolensky. Please comment below on this post for a chance to win the first $10 GC.

  • Rules:
    • Related to or associated with Cornet or Obolensky
    • Starts with M

One random winner will also be selected to receive at $10 Riding Warehouse gift card – to enter the random drawing please follow the prompts below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck – I am excited to see what you all will come up with.

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Blinging It Up

With a background in the hunters and an overall fondness for neutral colors it probably isn’t surprising that I don’t have much bling in my equestrian life. My cross country “colors” if you can call them that are Navy, Grey, and White. Sometimes just Grey and White if were being completely honest. My saddle pads are all usually very neutral colors as well with the occasional light blue or burgundy dispersed.

I even got all crazy and ordered an ombre bonnet a few months back. I am probably the most boring client that If The Bonnet Fits has and I appreciate Sierra working with me to help me find combinations that meet in the middle. They are still super neutral generally but we add a little flash here and there! Lately though I have been having some grabby hands over some more blingtastic items. Specifically all the grabby hands over a fun new browband. Quite a few other bloggers have blingy browbands but I started to think about it more when Emma posted last week about all of the matchy matchy berryness she had prepared for her upcoming events. I have been on the fence about blingbands for the better part of 5 years. Rather than just buy one I revisit every 6 months – put one in the cart – and then chicken out. I torment myself over purchases at times and the browband dilemma has been no different.

When TopLine Leather exploded on the interwebs maybe 5 years ago? I thought oohh those are pretty. Aimee actually has quite the horde of them! But still never took the plunge. When you aren’t sold on the idea of bling you probably shouldn’t try to go buy one of the most expensive ones out there. Unless you hate money – which with 3 horses I clearly already do enough of that.

BoyOBoy Bridleworks also recently came out with a cool ribbon browband. You can see the ever wonderful Henny sporting his over at The $900 FB Pony. Considering I had to be pushed to even include navy in my own Boy O Boy belt though I don’t think I am quite ready for a ribbon browband (they are super lovely though!) so the contemplation continued.

In March at the annual KWPN meeting I got to put my hands on a lovely brow band from Black Jak Refinery. With prices starting as low as $50 these browbands are a bit more palatable. I found the quality of the leather to be really nice too. A lot of the bling browbands I have seen are on pretty atrocious leather and as a tack snob I am not about to put some POS leather on my bridles – kills my soul a bit. I am going to torture myself awhile longer and cross all my parts that maybe Annie and I will be the random winners of her current contest! Check out @blackjakrefinery on instagram to enter!

Those of you that have blingy browbands where do you get them? Do you compete in them or just use them at home?

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Reflecting On Eventing

I am not an upper level rider. The reality is that I will likely never be an upper level rider – I plain and simple don’t have the guts. Maybe in another life. Training seems attainable. Prelim seems like a stretch but maybe something I could be interested in down the road. Anything over that and I start to have heart palpitations thinking about it. The cross country questions at the upper levels are no joke. It’s not a lets see what happens kind of game. It is literally ride or die.

Paul-Tapner-Bonza-king-of-rouges-fall-1430a mike bain
PC: Mike Bain

Watching the recaps of Badminton this weekend left me feeling pretty damn defeated. There is no feeling quite like the one you get leaving the start box and then crossing the finish line with your partner in crime – at all the levels. I have a lot of respect for all of the upper level competitors out there. Watching the videos I was legitimately concerned for a lot of the pairs on course though. The number of horse and rider falls was not insignificant. I understand that the thrill of it is a big part of the sport but when you see so many horses struggling with the questions you have to think about if the questions being asked are the right ones. There were more hung legs than I could count.

I hope that I never have to watch an event where so many horses nearly flip over (or do) and crush their riders. It was a big “win” in my eyes that no one was more seriously injured. It makes me sick that not dying (literally) is now a win for the sport though. I am not saying that I am the person that should be asking these questions but I really hope that the powers that be do. I feel like there is a disservice being done to our horses and our sport in some regards. There have to be less dangerous ways to weed out the top competitors. Horses shouldn’t be flipping left and right and horses shouldn’t be run until collapsing either… That is in the same taste as a ground jury that doesn’t stop a horse that is visibly bloody in the mouth to me but I won’t touch that again.

All in all there were a number of solid runs for some horses but that doesn’t overshadow the number of falls for both horse and riders in my eyes.

For those of you that event – am I alone in the feeling that something seems off here that Badminton (and other upper level tracks) is known for being a bloodbath? Do you think its the questions themselves or rather related to maybe specific pairs? For those of you that are outsiders to this discipline what are your thoughts?

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RK3DE: Stadium

Coming off of not only Derby but also Badminton weekend it seemed high time to share my remaining rolex media. You can read Amanda’s recap here (hint: yes we stalked Maxime some more…).

We got up with time to spare so we could make the trek up to watch the final jog. I have never participated in or watched a jog before. It was pretty cool to get to see who would be in the final phase instead of just reading about it right before the first rider went in. I was sad to see that Vandiver was not accepted when re presented. I have to say that I was honestly a bit perplexed since he looked pretty great compared to Ellen’s mount Sir Oberon. After the jog it was back to the RV to pack and prepare for departure right after stadium! Amanda touched on this but this year was my first time getting GA seats in the bleachers and minus the fact that our butts took about 3 days to recover it was the place to be! We were so close to the arena. If you have patience and would rather spend your dollars in the trade fair the GA seating is the way to go. Just make sure you get there plenty early to reserve your seat for the main show.

In addition to getting great seats for the main show we were also able to watch the riders walk multiple times – it was interesting to see how different each person walked! Best of all we got to see the retirement ceremony for Buck Davidson’s Reggie. Not a dry eye from the eventing fans in the stadium. While I of course wanted US riders to do well I won’t lie and say I was upset that MJ took the win. First rider ever to win 3 consecutive years! Seeing MJ arms length away while he was clearly busting with pride over how good his mare was was worth the PITA. Literally. Last week was just enough time to recover before heading back to Kentucky for the derby!

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‘Ville Bound

Kyle and I are headed back up to Kentucky last minute for Derby. We both lived in Louisville for the better part of 10 years and are no strangers to the experience. I haven’t been in several years though and Kyle and I have never been together. 

There are wide ranges in the fun you can get into. Some people prefer the more laid back infield and others will dress to the nines regardless. Sure it’s a horse race but half of the fun is the people watching and seeing all of the crazy fashion that pops up.

When my parents ended up having tickets that they couldn’t use it was a no brainer for us to make the trek up. Not only do we get awesome tickets to watch the biggest race that takes place at Churchill but we also get to spend time with Kyle’s parents as well. 

Admittedly I haven’t followed the contenders at all this year except the one eyed horse Patch. Aside from TB bloodlines and their place in sport horse breeding I have limited knowledge. Now that we are going though I have I need to spend a little bit of time looking. In addition to scurrying to find a dress and fascinator!

Do any of you guys follow racing? Do you have a favorite for the derby? 

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