Tuesday, July 12, 2022

in this week's episode

It was a pretty schweet weekend around these parts, so let's try to do a quick 'n dirty photographic catch-up, yes? 

For starters, longtime blog friend, custom browband designer, and eventer extraordinaire Amelia reached out a few weeks ago to let me know she'd be making her semi-annual pilgrimage to the Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy. 

Matt is inspirational on a few different levels. also.... this incredible horse is #forsale
So. Obviously I'd plan on being there too!! It worked out almost perfectly (almost), since I was able to sign up as the volunteer dressage steward during the FEI classes that Friday, then could come down to spectate on Saturday for the FEI cross country. 

Only bummer is not being able to make it on Sunday for Amelia's turn in the tack, tho word on the street is that they slayed. Who knows --- maybe we can convince her to do another guest post for us???  

Anyways, I don't need to tell y'all how much I love horse shows. Whether as a volunteer, spectator, or cheerleader, whatever. 

And honestly I kinda don't write as much about it here on ye olde blogge any more bc it doesn't always seem to be the kind of content that moves many of you. Which is fine, obvi, but ya know... At the end of the day, I write about the things I care about, so, in other words, my blog = my rules!
I hope you'll watch the videos anyway, tho. Esp those prelim show jumping rounds. Who remembers back in 2018 when Matt Brown wrote a series of incredibly candid and moving essays on his experiences dealing with pressure and disappointment? His writing reshaped my approach to setting goals and expectations for myself, which... honestly... is kind of like a gift. 

Maybe that sounds crazy, but that's how it feels. So it's awesome watching Matt out there slaying with all his various horses (see my FEI playlist for clips of him and his big horses Big Berry {10:00}, whose run in the 3* this weekend I sadly missed, and Super Socks BCF!!)

i spy with my little eye..... Amelia!!!!
Anyway, tho, all fangirling aside --- it's always so cool hangin out at horse shows when I personally have nothing on the line lol. I kinda love poking around the whole spread necessary for stabling at away shows, too, considering my group of friends and I only ever really show out of our trailers. It really is a whole different ballgame.

creepin on Amelia's barn family doin epic things in the rain
Which.... Ahem. Considering we got poured on at Plantation last week, and I neglected to clean my abused and long suffering leather goods up until like... yesterday.... Well. Maybe I can see an advantage to stabling after all, LOL!

speaking of rain, remember when i told y'all to remind me to condition my poor saddle?!? finally got around to that about 5 days later, whoops
Seriously, tho, please pray for my saddle.... And, uh, cross your fingers that my bridle gets the attention it deserves sometime in the next century too???? :(

ya know what ain't suffering these days with the rain, tho? chuck's tootsies --- seen here at 5wks in july
Anywho, tho, shifting gears again. Bc it can't be all epic horse shows and big jumps all day erry day (tho, we wish, right?) --- there's been a fair amount of more mundane goings on lately too.

literally the worst of the chip out, which... is unreal compared to past years
Or actually, maybe more accurately, not a lot of goings on. Charlie is doing... well. I looked at him the other day and was like, "Ya know what? You look good, son!" Sure, he still rocks the Dad Bod, obvi. But... I'm actually pretty pleased with his exact condition during this exact week lol. Bc we all know with TBs it really can change that fast haha... hahaha. 

the actual card i sent my farrier for #FarrierAppreciationWeek (while also #KnockingOnWood)
His feet are also doing incredibly well this year, too. There were a couple big observations from last year that served us very well -- namely, getting the horse into pads early (think: March instead of May); and aligning our jump schools with ground conditions. Recent rain? Prime time for jompies! Hard AF out there? Keep it light, yo.

whatever it takes to keep this dedicated good samaritan going!
That attitude and approach served me really well last year, and it feels like we've been rewarded this year by more frequent rain showers. Sure, it's still far too dry and we're technically behind in rain fall.... But there's enough precipitation often enough that we've been able to jump pretty consistently on soft ground. I like it! 

seen here doing his #CivicDuty clearing out all those overgrown vines at the gate lol
And I've been actually ok at jumping 2x (more or less) a week, too! Usually one of those days is like... cruise up to the jump ring and bop around literally whatever the fresh fuck is set up. Which is... generally x-rails lol. But I'm getting better at riding it purposefully anyway, like treating the bumps like cavaletti exercises or whatever. 

Usually there's at least one or two gymnastic-y things set up too, like that 2-to-2 that's been a feature for the last few weeks. Even at x-rail height, it's still a valuable exercise IMO. And last night, there was another quite proper grid set up too -- an x-rail bounce to a vertical, one stride to another vertical, one stride to an oxer. Aka, bounce-one-one, with the final oxer set somewhere mildly south of 2'6.

all in a day's work!
I hadn't planned on jumping Charlie, but we'd already been out for a nice warm up hack and had trotted and cantered our little conditioning sets. And the ground was soft. And the horse was in front of my leg... So we popped a couple x-rails then nosed into that grid kinda cold. And wouldn't ya know it, this big ol' star of mine nailed it like the seasoned veteran he actually is <3

Sure sure, next time we jump will have to be course work at height (maybe lol). But it feels good, like we've got something going right right now, that my notoriously sluggish and occasionally obstinate gelding is basically pretty fucking sharp at the moment. 

Anybody else feeling reservedly optimistic going into high summer? Or are you mostly laying low to beat the heat?


  1. The heat index here is around 150 every single day... so we're all laying low and keeping things as quiet and calm as possible. Ugh jealous that y'all got rain too!

    1. ugh i don't blame you for a second... once it gets that hot out consistently, bleh, no thanks. for some reason we've been really lucky this season so far (knocking on wood). there have been a couple days that really got nasty, but then it's eased up a bit. maybe that just means we're in for a super gross august / september... or maybe we'll get lucky? idk haha, in any case -- here's hoping you get some rain soon!

  2. I love spectating/volunteering too. Lucky like you are too to be able to a decent number of amazing riders out there doing their thing! Joining you on reservedly optimistic too because Ben is staying sound and getting shoes back on tomorrow!

    1. oooooh yay for shoes!!!! my fingers are seriously crossed that after everything these past few months (year?) you can finally enjoy some uneventful horsing for a while--- let's let 'reservedly optimistic' be the name of the game LOL

  3. Omg that gif is epic! I love it! It was so fabulous to see you this past weekend and again thank you so much for all your help - you saved my sanity! I am so glad we got to spend a bit more time together as well. Our visits always seem so short. And I meant to tell you that when I wasn’t there, the mirror did it’s job. He liked having a friend LOL

    1. oh man, what a cool weekend tho, congratulations again!! so glad i could be there for at least parts of it! you'll just have to come back more often (or maybe i'll make my way north....). awesome to hear that the mirror did the trick too, gotta love it when creative low tech solutions actually pay off haha.

  4. I have a whole list of things I'm excited to work on and finesse this summer! With some more fun things on the schedule for August to keep me motivated to make those changes happen. So yes, feeling very optimistic going in to summer.

    1. sounds pretty good to me! i love having little things to work on, stuff to look forward to. even if it's just.... maintaining and keeping the trains running on time lol

  5. Oh fun! Horse show AND a blogger meet up? That's a win right there.
    Chuck's feet are looking good for mid summer!

    1. i'm so pleased with how his feet are doing. last year was the first year where i finally felt like we got out in front of some stuff, and it almost feels like we're reaping those rewards now

  6. The farrier card is hilarious! But dang those feet look nice. Can't even tell he's a Thoroughbred lol

  7. Love the card you sent to your farrier! Two year without a lost shoe is definitely worth a shout out.

  8. I love watching at horse shows too - so much can be learned by standing at the arena fence, or casually walking by a conversation about horse maintenance or how someone is seeing and plotting out their course. As far as being a horse show voyeur relating to comments on the blog - I found it the same as you. People don't get the same experience reading about the writer being there. I also think that I as a HJ rider don't get the same experience of reading a Dressage show watching experience as the Dressage rider, or the Dressage rider getting the experience I get from my past writing. But it shouldn't stop us from doing what we love right!?

    Hilarious card - Yay Charlie! Good boy on keeping your shoes and for your farrier (and Emma) doing such a great job in supporting you keeping your shoes!


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