Monday, December 23, 2019

merry almost christmas!

Well the holidays are officially upon us around these parts, and idk about you but I'm 100% looking forward to a little time off!

time off to include: riding in the day time!! 
And as you may or may not have noticed, we're already full blown into the holiday spirit haha. Bolstered in large part by Hillary from Equestrian at Hart's secret santa gift! I'm a little late in posting this, but we've been fully enjoying the gifts (esp those treats, Charlie is pretty sure they're made of pure crack cocaine LOL).

thank you Hillary for your lovely gift!
Thanks so much, and thank you Tracy from Printable Pony for hosting and coordinating every year!!

my parents bake charlie special horse muffins for every special occasion now <3 
Charlie's actually been getting a few gifts already this season, including some homemade muffins from my parents.

these muffins are beyond belief, so sweet and made with love!
Before his (second) retirement, my stepfather spent his (second) career as a muffin maker extraordinaire and is an extremely talented baker. These days he's been plying his craft by developing a horse-specific muffin recipe. And honestly it's pretty amazing haha <3

charlie obvi approves
I'm sure Charlie would be equally pleased with something a bit simpler, but damn he does love these things! Such a nice treat, right?

our ground is alternating between mucky wet or frozen solid.... but hey, daylight helps!
Anyway, tho, we're finally getting into winter proper too. Winter officially began this past Saturday, with the days starting to lengthen again. Talk about a double-edged sword, tho, haha.

I'm already so sick of all the nighttime riding, but we're only just now starting to brace for actual winter temperatures. Combined with fully frozen ground, le sigh.

it really is a pretty time of year to be out there tho
Up to this point, we've been able to ride basically wherever there's light, which includes both outdoor arenas. Now tho, the rings are starting to freeze, esp the jump ring that's just plain pale sand. At least the dressage ring has darker footing and as such stays a bit warmer longer.

if this is all we get for now, it's good enough !
Even that has been freezing a lot lately. Meanwhile, the indoor footing just got redone and is a bit too deep for my tastes at present, so we've been avoiding it completely other than the occasional walk-only ride.

Meaning, our nighttime rides have been pretty boring with no good place to do any real work. And early weekday morning lessons are on hiatus bc.... there's no ground to do anything with, sigh.

these migratory birds that pass through our farm are amazing

At least in the daytime we can hack out -- which obvi we've been doing a lot of lately! Even that is just walking too, for the most part, with the ground either too sloppy or too hard for anything more.

But it's still so much nicer than endless circles inside four walls haha.

lots and lots and LOTS of wanderings for now haha
I'm taking the week between Christmas and New Years off from work tho, AND the weather is actually looking pretty good!! So maybe we'll be able to ride outside in the daylight AND maybe at speeds faster than a walk haha. Fingers crossed ;)

merry christmas, inside and out!
Which is obviously really exciting haha. I don't have too many family events left for the season, either, and they're all local anyway. So most of that time off can be used for literally whatever I want, yessss!

For now tho, I'm just looking forward to tying up loose ends at work and then settling into a nice long staycation !! :D  Anybody else taking time off for the holidays? Do you have to travel or can you stay home and relax a bit? Hoping you all get to have a wonderful season with friends, family, and ponies <3

Monday, December 16, 2019

Saddest TB Ever Goes Xmas Caroling

So..... We finally found something Charlie's, uh, not very good at, haha. It's a shame, too, bc I had such high hopes. Sigh.

sad but cute <3
Basically every year our farm puts together a big group of horses and kids to go ride out into the neighborhood singing christmas carols.

It's been a tradition for many years at this point, and all the neighborhood folks come out to listen -- and bring with them big bags of carrots and other horsey snacks.

getting charlie to stand for pictures is.... challenging haha
It's unbelievably cute, and obviously super fun. We didn't go last year bc something else was scheduled for the same day (can't even remember at this point, maybe we went schooling?? or to a lesson??). And the year before is even murkier in my memory, but Charlie was probably still recovering from Surgery so that was also a miss.

hard to tell but Royal over there is wearing a crown and a tie!
This year was finally our time to shine tho!! Literally, haha. Charlie was decked out from head to tail in shiny silver tinsel. And looked extremely dashing, if you asked me.

i had visions of handing out candy canes to neighborhood kids like some sort of benevolent elf
I also outfitted a breastplate with a bunch of bells so that with every step we made the most satisfying little jingles <3 <3 <3

things started off very calmly with everyone gathering in the dressage ring
And while I thought we looked pretty cute, we were massively under dressed compared to some of my barn mates haha. Everyone really went all out, and the horses looked ahmazing omg haha.

so cute tho, right??
We were also super lucky that while it's been raining and icky for basically the entire past week, on this day we had strong sun and temps hovering around the low 50s. Perfect!

charlie was all aboard the "trail ride with bells" idea!!
And honestly everything started out pretty well. Some horses were a bit skeeved out from the very beginning, but Charlie was fine. And I expected him to be fine - he's got a lot of experience riding in groups and being in the middle of swarming chaos at horse shows and hunter paces and paper chases etc.

pictured: happy and relaxed and able to take my hands off the reins...
I think the trigger that flipped his switch tho was having it all happen at home. Especially in this one front cross country field that we spend a lot of time in galloping around and jumping things.

Charlie was totally fine hacking out sorta kinda around the front of the group (homeboy has long legs and every now and again puts them to good use in striding out), but when we turned around to face back toward the barn and line up for pictures.... Well, reality really sunk in for this horse.

right about the moment that charlie starting feeling... very unsure about this whole thing. see the running shetlands??
He saw all these people and horses coming up behind us, making all that noise, looking oh so very unusual, and ..... basically became overwhelmed with despair. This must certainly be the end!

lining up for pictures! we were smack in the middle of a big long line
Lol.... Poor Charlie. His suffering knows no end, guys. He's a good boy tho and other than standing up VERY TALL and pricking his ears VERY HARD, he held it together for all the pictures and everything.

really tho, the longer you look the cuter it gets <3
Somehow, tho, he never really settled after that, which really kind of surprised me. Had I known that he'd continue to vibrate with nervous energy for the entire ride, I probably would have just skipped out after pictures were finished.

As it was, tho, I totally expected him to settle into the ride. And he totally did not.

it's hard to tell with a "between the ears" shot, but charlie is VERY TALL in this moment haha, basically standing on his tippy toes
Still tho, it was such a good group and so much fun!

Obviously I would have preferred if Charlie were a bit more relaxed about the whole thing, but he basically just danced and jigged and snorted and flung his head, but otherwise went where I put him and stayed out of the way and didn't trample anybody.

omg tho. it's kinda weird but i'm so intensely jealous of the childhoods some of these kids get!!
The format was: waiting for our stewards (on foot and in a kubota) to help us all cross the roads safely, then wandering down the neighborhood roads until we reached any families who came out to meet us.

Then we'd hang around that house long enough to sing through a couple christmas carols, and let the kids pet ponies and hand out carrots and stuff. Charlie, for his part, appreciated the carrots, altho I mostly kept him off to the edges of the activities.

charlie's ears could not be pricked any harder omg
At one point I felt so badly for the horse that I just opted to hop off and walk him for a while. This did help keep him a little more flat footed (vs jigging) and he stopped sweating. Tho he still kinda wanted to dance around me and wasn't being super respectful of my space.

Eventually tho he chilled enough where I figured I'd hop back on for the ride back. Good boy did in fact let me use a kubota to get back on (even tho all the other horses were walking away, oh no!), but went right back to jigging once I was in the irons. Sigh.

finally hacking back home, trying to avoid anyone bolting to the gate... sadly, some chaos did ensue, but luckily everyone involved was fine
I swear, I haven't jigged that much since the Isabel days lol. Honestly I'm kinda shocked that Charlie didn't wear himself out! He was still tho very good.

Despite being on his tippy toes and shod on all four in steel shoes walking up and down asphalt roads, spooking internally at every mail box and storm drain cover, he never took one bad or scary step. Never slipped or tripped or did anything that made me worry for our actual safety. He was just.... totally overcooked between his ears lol.

ok charlie, so you're not a great parade horse. that's fine, you're allowed to not be perfect at everything <3
Oh well, it was a nice idea for a fun day. I felt kinda bad that Charlie couldn't relax at all during the ride, but I was very proud of how he held it together anyway. I'm glad we did it tho!! We just... probably won't do it again haha.

Or at least, maybe not at home. I bet Charlie would have been different if we had started off in a totally unfamiliar location. Like, then he would have just accepted everything as it was instead of recognizing how "unusual" his normal haunts suddenly looked.

Still tho. It was mostly fun anyway. Esp for all the kids and their ponies!! And most of the horses seemed totally fine too. And hey, at least we got pictures, right?

Anyone else gonna give caroling or a parade riding with your horse a chance this season? Or maybe just a more low key trail ride with friends? Think your horse would like it or be totally sketched out like Charlie was??

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

MDHT Eventing Derby!

This past weekend, Loch Moy Farm hosted their annual Donation Derby! Starting in mid-November, the venue pulls all their cross country fences in from the fields to be placed on the roughly 8 acres of interconnected all weather surface arenas for the winter season.

These arenas then stay open for schooling through March, and the Donation Derby marks the first winter schooling event of the year.

this was literally the only green grass near the trailers. we spent a lot of time right here haha
You might remember that Charlie's first ever sorta-kinda-cross country outing was to this venue back in March 2017, actually.

And we've been going back again and again ever since, including the following spring where Charlie came out swinging at BN after recovering from surgery, and then again last winter when we finally got our first real taste of schooling T fences.

short 1,400m course, started with mini show jump course then moved onto the mostly xc portion
Somewhat amazingly, tho, I've never actually done one of the derbies. They are somewhat unique events. The courses contain a combination of show jumps and xc jumps, and are slightly shorter than a standard xc course with speeds faster than show jumping.

Loch Moy runs the levels such that there's typically about 45 min between divisions dedicated to that level's "schooling session." Meaning, the 45 before Novice starts, all Novice riders are invited out on course to school whatever they want.

this water complex is the friggin coolest. also look at charlie's antlers!!!!!
In the past, I've taken advantage of this schooling session but then skipped out on the derby itself. Figuring the real takeaway from the day was that schooling.

This time tho.... I wanted the run haha.

my favorite parts were the transitions between rings - like this bank up the hill
Charlie's in great form right now - he was amazing for our final two horse trials of the year, plus we had a really nice relaxing but excellent xc school at home with friends the day after Thanksgiving. So. Ya know. I just kinda wanted to keep that party train rollin, lol.

With that in mind, I actually kept our schooling session super low key. Initially I had thought about having trainer K come out and coach me through the schooling to maybe work on some harder stuff... But that ended up not quite working out, and actually I came to sorta feel like maybe that lesson would be more valuable on some other day when we weren't up against a clock or dealing with crowded rings and knowing that I still had a full course to run afterward.

the terrain did an interesting little 'roller coaster' thing here between these two rings too
Because on this day, yea, I wanted to focus on that course haha. So for schooling I mostly treated it as an extra lengthy warm up, and mostly focused on showing Charlie the transition points between rings.

We jumped a couple of the fences, but not all of them. Schooled the bank a little bit, since it would be our first ever time having a jump before a bank (instead of after, which we've seen a few times now). Got our toes wet in the water. Jumped the table going past the ivied wall I'd seen some other horses spook at (Charlie did not care, obvi). But.... honestly, that was kinda it.

this is the normal show jump ring that loch moy recently completely rebuilt - see the ivy covered wall of signage to the left??
We were finished schooling and ready to go with still something like 20min of waiting ahead of us haha, during which time I parked it at the rail to chat with friends and chug a beer lol.

Charlie was AMPED, but honestly felt really good. 

Eventually, tho, it was time. Actually, just in time for Austen to show up too, yay friends!!

ditch in the driveway!
I hadn't warmed up over many of the show jumps bc.... Honestly I basically figured we were just gonna knock them all down anyway and didn't want to make the volunteers have to keep resetting them for us. So I hadn't schooled any of the first part of the course - the mini show jump round.

It looked pretty basic, tho. Again, I totally expected to knock them all down (lol) bc it's really hard to transition from xc gear back to sj gear, and Charlie isn't exactly all that careful to begin with... But actually Charlie was really really lovely! He settled right in to a great rhythm and let me pilot him to each of the first three fences, which were was mostly sweeping turns and bending lines.

cell phone screen shot of the two stride combo, artfully blocked by tree
Next was a two stride combo that looked like it'd be an easy but not-too-tight distance for Charlie.

Plus they positioned it right up against some banks where spectators were sitting, making it jusssssst spooky enough that Charlie stood off ever so slightly, enough for me to keep supporting him through with leg. Yay for no smashies!!!

oooh hey i got actual pro photos too!
I kinda biffed my turn to the final show jump tho, so we ended up slicing that oxer and taking a fairly direct route to the first xc fence. The oxer on an angle was fine, but our distance to the next coop ended up being a little icky, esp considering it was a small jump that did nothing to back Charlie off... Oh well, it was ugly but basically fine.

It's kinda our way anyway to have at least one spectacularly ugly jump haha...

gosh this horse is the most handsomest <3
From there tho, Charlie was GOING haha. Actually, all the fences were kinda small which didn't really help, but Charlie mostly listened and came back to me when I needed him to.

He rocketed through the water, was obscenely bold through the bank combination, raced across the second arena and through the cut point up to the final arena, smashed through a show jump up there, launched over the table, careened back across the driveway and over the ditch, then swooped through the final tour of the middle arena before crossing the finish flags.

doin it for fun!!!
All in all, clocking in at 3:34 haha, 15 seconds under optimum time and the second fastest round of the day lol. And guys, it was so fun omg.

For as much as I love pushing myself, and trying out bigger and badder things... A day like this was honestly really really great. It was so nice to go into a jumping test feeling like all we had to worry about was having a good time.

The jumps themselves were easy, the course was uncomplicated yet exciting with rapid-fire jumps, and we didn't have to fuss around with any dressage tests or anything like that. Yessss. Sign. Me. Up.

charlie's stalkin some dogs!!
Honestly I just wish Loch Moy was closer to home haha, bc otherwise we'd probably be here every weekend doing this!

My only real regret is not planning out my outfit far enough in advance -- everyone always dresses up in Christmas themed outfits and costumes for the Donation Derby. Sadly we were extremely boring and grinchy in my basic schooling outfit. Tho at least Charlie wore his antlers haha <3

good boy, sir. that was fun!
So yea. Not really a day of learnings or takeaways or deep thoughts or foundation laying or anything like that. Just a good ol' fashioned romp around on my game thoroughbred.

And I definitely wanna do it again haha, hopefully soon!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

metronomes + a yellow submarine

I mentioned last week that we've been doing a lot (LOT) of riding lately. But with media hard to come by, my words well has sorta run dry too.

I'm trying to change that, tho, especially bc I'm expecting (hopefully, fingers crossed!!!) both a change in the media landscape AND an influx of stuff that'll want sharing haha. So I gotta clear the proverbial ledger now while I still have a chance.

Meaning. Brace yo'selves for some riding updates, lol.

this bite-sized shetland stallion quite possibly wanted a bite outta charlie.... 
Because yea. Again and again, I find that writing out the occasional nitty gritty or golden nugget of wisdom really helps reinforce that idea in my gray matter. Plus I routinely reference my own archives to help remind myself of key concepts or past experiences. So. Ya know. Documenting this stuff is worth it to me.

If, additionally, anything I share here happens to spark some sort of aha! moment or whatever for anyone of you? All the better, right?

So. Anyway. Recent riding.

oh hey. btw. we went to Fair Hill's 3* / 4* back in october. twas fun!! might post eventually!
1. My first big nugget relates to how I've been working (still) to internalize some of the feedback from our Martin Douzant clinic a while back. Mainly relating to my hand and arm position.

Basically, my hands are completely out of control, and when left to their own devices will stray wildly hither and yon. Ideally, I'd like to fix this via muscle memory. If I can "lock" my hands into place and keep them there, maybe the rest of my body will get used to that positioning such that even when my hands are "untethered" they still stay more or less where they belong.

latest hack for trying to be a less shitty rider: fabric ribbon tucks under neck strap and has knotted loops at each end to hold with the reins. this helps keep my hands "in the box"
To this end, I've taken a fairly long strand of sturdy fabric ribbon and tied a generously sized loop at either end. If I ride with a neck strap or breastplate (like my Illumiseen LED breastplate that we use for nighttime riding), this ribbon just tucks underneath and I hold each looped end in a hand with my rein.

It isn't the most elegant or perfect solution, but it forces my hands to stay within a certain zone in front of the saddle, and without straying too far away from either side of the neck. The biggest impact is on my rein length -- the ribbon forces me to keep my reins short enough for my contact to stay effective. Pretty sure baling twine would also work.

This is all for the good. Tho... sometimes the ribbon is distracting and I end up pocketing it. But sometimes I regret forgetting it all back in the barn. All in all, it's a 'solution' I'll likely continue to play with for the foreseeable future.

notes from a recent clinic. the biomechanics implications here are fascinating to me and have informed my schooling.
for real tho, in that black ink diagram (mine, vs the blue ink of the instructor) i really truly swear-to-god was going for "horse tail" and not "fountain of shit." fine artist i am not.
2. A few weeks back I participated in a clinic billed as "Solutions for Soundness." I'm not really going to write super in depth about that experience front to back, nose to tail, bc.... Eh. It didn't live up to my expectations.

BUT!! There were a few really important takeaways. Well, ok. There was ONE really interesting takeaway!

The clinic was led in part by an equine sports massage expert, whose purported role in the clinic was to provide feedback on way of going and riding exercises to promote long term soundness. Again I'm going to skip most of the details bc the bark was better than the bite, but she did have one key observation that I'm clinging to as being at least sorta kinda worth what it cost me lol.

fairly basic ground pole exercises in the (very expensive) clinic, but good stuff all the same
Specifically: upon first presenting Charlie, she observed that his hind end musculature is unevenly developed. His "hamstrings" (not the technical term, but basically the long vertical muscles that run up the back side of each leg on either side of the tail) are over-developed, and his glutes (the massive muscles spanning the space across the top of the hind quarter from tail to SI) are under-developed.

This is basically the muscular representation of "running hollow." Or, the representation of why I might spend the whole beginning of my ride legging Charlie on to go go go, but then the rest of the ride trying to whoa whoa whoa as he runs off flatly away.

She called it a "speed evasion," aka a failure at the most fundamental building block of the training pyramid: rhythm. Addressing our Rhythm woes will help build the glutes by getting Charlie to engage his "push" while simultaneously (hopefully) evening out his topline.

So yea. It's a good takeaway. Am I grumpy that it's all I feel I got for the cost? Mebbe. But whatever. Water under the bridge. Let's bleed this rhythm stone for all it's worth, yes?

all in favor of rhythm, say metronome. this app has been living in my pocket lately
Thus, 3. I downloaded a new app in my endless quest toward "better riding through technology."

This time, it's a metronome app. Specifically, Soundbrenner. I chose it bc it was the first search result for "metronome" that didn't say "in app purchases!" And actually it's pretty decent. Very intuitive, lots of sound options, variations that would easily work for walk / trot / canter / etc, whatever you want.

Mostly tho I just set it to "trot" and leave it there for the duration of my ride. Canter might be something I play with down the line (that 3 beat note subdivision in the bottom right of the image above), but for now trot is where it's at for us.

And... It's "where it's at" bc holy fuck, it's HARD. Like... First of all just deciding on a beats/min (bpm) range was challenging bc you don't realize how a-rhythmic you are until you put a beat to it.... The google told me a good working trot is about 75bpm, but I'm finding Charlie's sweet spot might be closer to 77-78. Maybe. Ish?

Anyway tho, leaving this thing running in my pocket is fascinating. Bc holy shite we cannot keep a rhythm. At all omg. But I actually really like having the beat going in my pocket. It gives me a baseline to focus on, rather than getting distracted by a popped shoulder or hard mouth.

Bc, go figure, that "training pyramid" thing might have a least a kernel of wisdom to it (even if you disagree with the overall structure). Rhythm it turns out is a fundamental building block to straightness and connection. And when I have a literal metronome in my pocket to help keep me honest, everything else magically gets better. Goooooooo figure lol.

recent lesson exercises
Whew, ok, that was a lot more than I meant to write about that. Lol... Moving on.

4. Our lessons have been excellent. Back in September I wrote a lesson post about working on short turns to big oxers that included two crashing refusals. At the time I attributed the issues to the extremely hard ground and Charlie's probably-sore feet. And now? I feel completely 100% confident in that initial assessment.

Charlie's been a beast. Y'all saw it in the video from our last lesson recap, and there have been so many more that didn't have any media but are still worthy of mentions.

Specifically, the left side of the diagram above shows our warm up from a lesson quite a few weeks ago. Most of the details are gone from my head now, but this warm up exercise has stuck with me. It actually took a minute for me to understand what Trainer K was asking here, I started out by making giiiiiiiant sweeping turns in between jumps.

But actually she wanted a pretty tight figure 8, with the fences (I think both verticals, at a low warm up height) taken at quite acute severe angles. It's a very effective exercise for turning and straightness, and would probably work at all heights including cavaletti and ground poles.

photograph of final wide oxer from diagram above. doesn't look like much in the pic, but compare the distance between the standard feet in this pic to the pic below
5. Our most recent lesson with Trainer K (last week) occurred after the biomechanics escapade mentioned as part of item #2 (I call it #2 bc in my head it's shitty.... but now in writing it out I'm extracting more value, so... le sigh.... maybe it wasn't so bad after all...).

Trainer K was a participating instructor in that clinic, and therefore apparently came away with additional exercise ideas revolving around the idea of improving Charlie's hind end development.

On this day, her prescription was: a low wide oxer taken off a short turn, complete with a placing pole (9' I think) and guard rails to keep us centered.

photograph for reference. this oxer is 3'3 in height, but not particularly wide. see how close the feet of these standards are in comparison to the standards above.
Charlie did really really well with this, tho coming off the left lead was substantially easier than the right. And, actually, he needed one step more of support from me than I was giving. As the lesson progressed, I got a better and better feel for managing our pace and rhythm through each portion of the approach - the long side, the turn through the end, then the turn to the jump, then to the jump itself.

But that last stride, when we met the placing pole before the oxer, Charlie needed a little more from me. The guard rails kept us very straight and the low wide nature of the oxer wanted a lot of push from Charlie - activating exactly that section of muscles where he's less developed. It was actually really really interesting to feel.

This horse is so extremely capable. He never doubted himself over the exercise (thank the lort, compared to how he felt at the end of this summer on hard ground....) But I could really feel the moments where I needed to be more there for him.

spoiler alert: all this edumacation at home has meant that we're ready for balls-to-the-walls fun at winter schooling events!!
So, that takes us to 6. Trainer K gave me yet another little golden nugget, almost accidentally - it was such an off-handed remark haha. As we were talking about rhythm and working on that approach, she said that she doesn't usually "count" for her young horses bc that's too structured for them. Rather, she "sings."

And.... What does she sing??? Yellow Submarine.


So. Obviously our very next go at the exercise, Trainer K immediately says, "Yes that canter right there!" and, go figure, I was singing that song in my head.

It's not perfect for me yet, bc any time I change one thing, something else breaks. Thinking about that song requires way more brain power for me than just counting, bc I've been counting for years and years and years -- it's second nature. But the song somehow fits right in, and I fully expect it to carve its own neural pathways too, probably sooner rather than later lol.

So. Yea. Lots of good nuggets lately haha, hopefully with more to come! (Spoilers if you haven't been following my youtube lol....). Anyone else had any great takeaways lately? Or even something kinda small that's made a big difference?

Sunday, December 8, 2019

gingerbread men

Happy Sunday, everyone! Hope you're all having good weekends! We spent some quality time this weekend getting into the holiday spirit, if ya know what I mean.

pictured: holiday spirit.
Obviously, to the tune of hitting up my local convenience store to buy every last bit of tinsel-y bling-y jingle-y goodness. Just in time for some family and friends to come out to the barn for a fun day of playing ponies and picnicking!

we blinged out his stall lol
Which obviously included decorating Charlie's stall. Obviously. We tried to be careful in only attaching stuff where we hoped it would be out of reach... Tho I suppose only time will tell on that. Charlie has a penchant for destruction every now and again, the grinch.

these gingerbread men cookie kits were.... kinda janky haha
I also picked up some gingerbread man decorating kits that were.... Somehow amazingly designed for human consumption despite being apparently made out of stale cardboard. And true story, the icing tubes were so gluey that we actually had to cut them open with scissors lol.

adapt evolve overcome!! y'all are destined for greatness haha
We're a resourceful group, tho, and eventually the cookies were decorated. And c'mon, they're kinda cute, right?

charlie would very much like to learn more about this gingerbread man situation
Charlie certainly thought so haha.

Lol those poor gingerbread men, they never saw it coming. While Charlie's first bite was more or less delicate (tho, quite fatal being that he chomped the thing's head off), the second bite was..... A bit more ambitious haha.

And actually, for your viewing pleasure I turned it into an inspirational music video. Bc dammit I wish someone would cheer like that when *I* stuff my entire face with food lolol... Charlie's not the only one who can knock off a giant cookie in one two bites!!

aww he's a good dog tho.... (and those antlers omg i die)
Ha. So. Yea. The holiday gluttony may or may not have come early to Charlieland. Something tells me he doesn't mind tho! And anyway, it was fun so who cares.

Anyone else planning any fun horsey holiday parties?? Perhaps also with homemade (or home decorated) treats? I highly recommend the gingerbread men, it's fun for the whole family (but mostly Charlie) lol...