The Epic Weekend: Pony Sleepover and the WSS 1 Day Event

Again, super late, but whatevs it was a pretty freaking awesome weekend.

With the WSS 1 Day Event approaching, Andy and I got lassoed into helping with the XC timing and stadium timing. Andy has run the timing systems for Cyclocross races and MTB races so it that was perfect, but I had never timed for stadium for so I was a touch worried I might F-up everything and angry eventers would hunt me down. Thankfully, no Peony Lynching occurred.

Since Megan also volunteered to help at the event and L was suppose to be in the area, we had plans for an amazing sleepover ala Saddle Club style, but sadly L couldn’t make it up. ~sad panda~ Megan fell in love with our dog Rio and Rio decided she was pretty cool too.

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How can anyone resist that face?!

Megan and I ended up staying up wayyy too late talking about ponies, why dressage is so hard, jobs, and how to get more ponies. We would decide we were going to bed but then we would go off on another tangent and end up staying up another 20-30 minutes. Such good conversation!


So much awkward in this photo

We were up early the next day and off to WSS armed with snacks, coffee, and sunblock. I was in charge of setting up the whole stadium timing system which was a bit nerve wracking but I got that shit figured out and made it my bitch by the first couple of rounds. The head jump judge was pretty pleased with my skillz and told the organizers I needed to stay being the timer because she has never had a SJ timing go so well.  It went quite smoothly over in the SJ arena though I wish I could have caught some of the XC  and dressage, maybe next time!

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There were over 150 riders for the event so the last SJ round was the Intro Level which seems quite attainable for The Flying Potato and I. 2 ft max? Love it. Also, I heard that the XC portion was smaller than anything we had schooled at Camelot the month before, so totally doable! I planted a seed into Megan’s head that we should both do an Intro event. Dancing Hippo and Flying Potato at the same event?! Maybe one day soon!!!

Overall, it was a pretty epic and exciting weekend! It was so much fun hanging out with Megan and being able to help the even run smoothly while being able to watch some talented riders and horses jump sticks. I highly recommend volunteering if you get the chance!

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Blogger Photo!


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The Flying Potato goes to the show!

We went to a  schooling show a few weeks ago,  so I’m a bit late on our recap!

Getting Spot to a few dressage shows this year is a goal on my 2016 Goals list and we were able to make it to one a few weeks ago at UC Davis. I decided to just do Training 1 as it would be Spot and I’s first show together and didn’t want to explode both our brains.

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She’s really good at giving me the mare side eye

As a generally tense and hotter mare, my toughest challenge is getting Spot to relax and loosen up so she is able to come through her back and be the fancy pony she is. Seriously, the mare can be really fancy when she wants to be so she can’t lie to me anymore about not being able to be fancy. In the weeks prior to the show, during our rides and lessons we really worked on figuring out what was the best way to help Spot and I be more relaxed. I’ve realized that we need a pretty long warm up to get to a sweet “ok time to work” place as well as a 20 minute walk session before we start trotting. After a few laps of trot I bump up into 2- point canter,  let her cruise around for a bit, then start adding in my shallow counter canter loops to get her thinking about bending and being soft.

We also worked A LOT on our free and medium walks because Potato Homegirl thinks walking is dumb and for slow people horses. Spot thinks jigging is the way to go. -_-  I worked on this with her by shortening and lengthening my reins during our walk breaks at interments times while being more aware of the walk rhythm in my hips and legs. Our walk work has definitely improved and during our last test run throughs we actually had a decent free walk! Yay for potentially not getting a 3 or 4 on our walk? One could hope.


Why walk when you can run?!

Since our ride time was early (9:50) we loaded up without any problems (thank god) and got to UCD early so we could have some time to settle and have a decent warm up. She unloaded great, looked around, and then started on her hay net while I went and checked in. So far so good! Our warm up was uneventful even with the warm up ring being right next to the freeway, but in hindsight I should have cantered more so Spot could loosen her back up. Good notes for next time though!

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Wut u want? Give me carrots


Our test went relatively well! We had a nice straight centerline and halt, but when it came time to trot down towards C Spot spooked hay bale judges booth so I cut the corner short and proceeded on with the test. Our biggest mistakes were picking up the wrong lead on the 20m circle right and break in our canter going down the long side. BUT! We had a pretty honest medium walk and pseudo-free walk!!  Success! Spot was definitely tense and off the bit which was reflected in the judge’s comments, but honestly all I was looking for at this show was to get us some practice away from home. We ended up getting a 61%, which surprised me because I thought we did a lot worse, but I’ll take it. Spot and I were able to hold it together and I know we will just get better with more time and experience.


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Success! Didn’t die!


I’m looking forward to the next set of schooling shows I plan on going to! My hope is that we can show T1-T3 and maybe do a small rated show at Training? We’ll see!



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Wordless Wednesday: Spot’s Doppleganer

I follow a few polo pony breeders from Argentina on Instagram and there are always some Spot lookalikes that they post pictures of. Them Argentine ponies really do have a look about them! Makes me want to go to Argentina so bad.


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Doppelganger Spot:



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Doppleganger Spot:




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Eventing Camp: Day 2

Eventing Camp Day 2 dawned bright and early as sleeping in a tent means you’re up at the crack of dawn. We were so tired the night before that I passed out super fast, so fast that I said screw it to a shower. I felt bad for Andy, but we when you’re married being stinky together is part of the deal. 😛

The first group that went was schooling the BN/N questions and it was really fun to watch my buddies go and listen in on what Trainer A had to say. The more I watched the more I was thinking “this looks super fun”. Andy kept commenting about how fun it looked too and how the XC field would make a sweet mountain bike trail.


So green and pretty

The “baby” group from Day 1’s stadium jumping was the last group to go so we were able to watch a bunch of others play in the XC field before having to tack up. Spot was much better this time in the warm up ring, but once we headed out to the course she started to get amped again. Ironically, she decided she had to lead the group out and powered walked/jigged her way out. I think the wide open spaces and running around with several horses reminded her of polo again. I haven’t played polo in so long that I forgot what she was like to play and I honestly got a bit nervous which most likely fed into her.

We started off with a simple tiny log on the ground, which at first Spot totally balked and was like “NOPE!”, but once we got over it she decided it was fine. Mares. The only problem was The Flying Potato wanted to take off  after each little jump and thought it would be fun to throw her head and be a little hot potato. Not fun when you’re already nervous about your first time going XC.


Ready for take off. She looks so beefy in this photo


The whole time on the XC course I really was trying to keep Spot in check and not let her run off with me. She was getting pretty strong and my soft, gentle dressage french link wasn’t quite giving me enough breaks, so we decided next time we needed a flash and a running martingale. Spot is so strong now from so much dressage work that she can use her big neck and booty against me. Besides her wanting to gallop off and her small broncing fits, she was great otherwise. She jumped all of the things I pointed her to and didn’t refuse a thing! Color me impressed for The Flying Potato’s first time XC schooling and 2nd time jumping.


Spot looks so cute in this photo. Wish I could say as much for my position. -_-



Baby down bank…I’m glad I wore my brown breeches.


Fallon says “WHEE!!”

Then we all went over to the water complex. Oh, the water complex that I had been slightly dreading/nervous about all weekend. The last time I tried to get Spot into water she promptly bucked me off because she was having none of it. I really didn’t want to repeat that experience but Trainer A and B (and pretty much everyone else) was pretty confident we would be able to get Spot in. All the other horses went straight in and Spot and I hovered on the edge of the complex with the very tips of her front feet touching the water. We danced along the edge a few times when I encouraged her to take a step into the monster filled lagoon when Andy and Fallon came over to stand by us to see if we could coax Spot to follow Fallon. Surprisingly enough, it kinda worked! Step by step we got all four feet into the water and when she put her head down to sniff the “lava” she realized it was just water. Spot started to paw the water quite vigorously and when I asked her to walk on she moseyed her way across the lagoon like it was no big deal.


Suspicious Potato


Wait..this is just water? Not horsie lava?




Fallon is like “What are you doing?”


Water? No biggie

After a few times of walking through the water, we got brave and trotted and cantered through it! This next video is pretty funny…I thought I would steer Spot towards an opening we hadn’t gone through and she slammed on the breaks like there was a monster living in that part of the water.

We eventually made it over to the “scary” side of the pond and had a few more canters through the water without a hitch. I was so proud of Spot and proud that we were able to conquer all of the things that day. She did everything I asked her to and she trusted me enough to do it. Nicole  took most of these amazing photos, but this one is my favorite by far:


So proud

In fact, when she sent me this photo I pretty much burst into tears. My horsie mom heart couldn’t take it and it gave me all the feels.SO SO PROUD of my little potato.  I thought we would never be able to go through water, let alone canter through it, and we accomplished both. I thought Spot wouldn’t like jumping, but boy was I surprised.



I had such an amazing time at Eventing Camp and I’m so glad I was able to go. I learned a ton and had so much fun. Maybe this is the start of a new eventing career for Spot and I?! Maybe!!


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This one Eventing Camp…

We freaking jumped some baby sticks and conquered the water!!!

But, lets start at the beginning shall we?

Since about last November, Nicole has been telling me about how awesome Adult Eventing Camp was and that I totally needed to go with them. If not to do some baby eventing, but to just trail ride and have an awesome weekend with a ton of other fun, horse crazy people. Sounded pretty amazing to me so I was pumped that I got to go for 2 of the 3 days. Another awesome thing was that Andy got to go too with his now lease horse! But more on that in a different post. 😛

Eventing camp however, didn’t start off on such a good foot. Spot is normally a great loader, but that morning she decided that she wasn’t down to go on a trip so early in the morning.


6:30 am Spot is not amused



We ended up leaving over an hour and a half late, but we were off to Camelot!

Dressage was the first thing on the docket for that day so after Spot got to settle in a bit, we headed out for a bit of dressage…which turned into more of Disasterssage.

Spot was really amped up while warming up and  didn’t want to relax at all. Thinking back on it, we haven’t been away from home much and to Spot, going away from home meant going to a polo game. With all the other horses going about, she must have thought were were about to play polo, so of course she was amped. We had a pretty rough time with our test, especially with the horse eating flower boxes and the scary people down by the judges box, but we made it out alive. I remember telling Nicole, “I swear I know how to ride” and “she really is quite fancy at home”. This experience  made me realize that I need to get Spot out more so we’re comfortable working in new places.


Dressage is hard


Later that afternoon was the stadium session of camp and I was a bit apprehensive about asking Spot to do more that day since it felt like her brain was a bit fried. But, after watching the first few groups go I decided to get on and just see how Spot was feeling. If she was still feeling frazzled I would just do a low school hack and call it a day. We were in the “baby” group with Andy and his horse Fallon, and C with her baby horse Hazel. Trainer B had all of us start with some easy trot poles and then progressed Andy to cross rails/verticals while C and I took our ponies over pole piles. I wasn’t really sure how Spot was going to respond to everything and I was so surprised when she perked her ears and totally went for it. We went from cantering pole piles to small cross rails without Spot batting an eye! She flew over them like it was no big deal which lead to my new nickname and hashtag for her: The Flying Potato


Why The Flying Potato you ask? Well, mostly simply because she’s round and she’s brown. This might have to become our new show name, or perhaps blog name?

I was so proud of her! My horsie mother heart almost burst, but here is some video of my little potato popping over sticks. Oh, and a bonus video of Andy.

Our first day of Eventing Camp had started a bit rough but ended really well! We definitely had things we needed to work on for our dressage and we had a great time popping over sticks. The next day would be the true test and see if I could convince Spot to go through water!


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The Ultimate Sun Shirt Review: EIS vs Ovation vs Kastel vs Bette Court vs Irideon

All right, ya’ll! I’ve been sitting on this post for quite a bit and now that I’ve collected all my data, its time to report my findings. Also, I find this to be a fitting post as Cali has had like 12 days of amazeballz weather. High of 78? Yes. But El Nino please come back because we still need a TON of water and Spot need carrots. And of course….



I’ve always been a sleeveless polo/polo shirt wearer when I ride and I’ve always slathered on sunblock. However, I had a little bit of a scare with a mole appearing on the back of my arm a bit ago and sun shirts sounded like a solid investment.  I wanted to be able to get another layer of protection along with my normal sunblock routine.

As you all know, sun shirts have been/become one of the new must have items for equestrians, style-wise and also health-wise. Because honestly, nobody wants sunburns and skin cancer, but everyone wants to look fabulous.


With so many brands on the market, I wasn’t sure which ones I would like or which ones to start with, but over the last few months I’ve accumulated several different brands after finding them on sale or used.

The ones I have are:

1. Equi In Style (EIS): ~$85-90

2. Ovation Cool Rider: ~$35

3. Kastel Denmark: ~$75

4. Bette & Court Cool Elements: ~$75

5. Irideon CoolDown IceFil: ~$85

I thought reviewing these shirts side by side would help give people an idea of what shirt they might like to get if a sun shirt is in your shopping future. All of these sun shirts have the mesh inserts under the arms and a half zip high collar. I will say though, on really hot 98deg + days just about anything you wear is going to be hot when riding. Even though these sun shirts are suppose to cool you down 5 degrees, you’re not going to feel cool as a cucumber. On those sort of days, its a dry fit tank top + sunblock slather, not a long sleeve, but that being said, when its not hot as Hades I’ll be wearing a sun shirt fo sho.

Anyways, lets begin! 1st up:

Equi In Style (EIS) 

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My Jade EIS shirt in action

The material is a slightly textured tech fabric, thicker than say the Kastel fabric which makes it feel a bit more rugged,  but feels nice against the skin. The mesh under the arms is quite fine and doesn’t catch or feel scratchy. When riding, I don’t feel my arms frying and the shirt wicks the sweat away so when a breeze rolls by it feels great. The EIS shirt has UPF 50 so good sun protection. They’re easy to wash and really don’t hold any weird smells as some technical fabrics can. I haven’t noticed any snagging of the mesh or fabric from either washing or at the barn.

Fit-wise, I typically wear a size Medium in most tops, but I found these ones to run a little small so I sized up to a Large as I have broad shoulders and a stockier build. One annoying thing is that there is this bib like extra fabric underneath the half zipper. I feel like it makes the shirt lay a little off kilter sometimes and made me feel more warm. The EIS has a fitted cuff, which I prefer over an un-fitted, and helps keep the shirt from messing with your gloves. These shirts come in several different colors so you can be as matchy-matchy as you like . 🙂

Pros: Good selection of colors, wicks well, doesn’t hold gross smells, has UPF 50

Cons: Expensive at ~$90 a pop,  thicker fabric, extra zipper fabric

Ovation Cool Rider

The material for the Cool Rider is definitely thicker and not as silky feeling as the EIS, Kastel, and B&C sun shirts. The fabric is also a bit shinier than the other shirts and the mesh isn’t as fine but doesn’t feel scratchy or uncomfortable. Riding-wise, the shirt didn’t wick away sweat that well and I definitely felt a lot warmer and much sweatier since I was in long sleeves. Also, the Cool Rider isn’t listed with any UPF protection. It washed well, didn’t hold any strange smells after a long day at the barn and has held up pretty well.

For fit, this shirt runs quite short and it didn’t seem like I had enough to tuck into my breeches. Also, the fit of the Cool Rider is more on the boxy side so for more of a fitted look, I’d size down. I stayed with my normal medium sizing for this shirt. This shirt has a little less extra zipper fabric than the EIS, but didn’t have fitted cuffs so the sleeve opening gapes and gets in the way. I also collected a lot of hay in these wider sleeve cuffs and they got pretty dirty after a day at the barn. These shirts come in lots of different colors as well and at their price point of ~$30 you can get 3 for the price of 1 EIS.

Pros: Lots of colors, low price point, no excess zipper fabric, washes well

Cons: Thicker fabric,  doesn’t seem to wick super well, no UPF, no fitted cuffs, boxy fit

Kastel Denmark


“Just give me the damn carrot!!”

Kastel’s material is really light and silky feeling to the touch and has the thinnest material out of all of the sun shirts I have. The underarm mesh is fine and like the rest of the shirt doesn’t feel scratchy or rough. When riding, the fabric shines and really wicks my sweat away from body, making for a less steamy rider. I think the thinness of the fabric really helps the wicking properties. I wore this shirt on a super hot day (97 degree +) and though it was still hot, whenever a breeze rolled by it was marvelous.  The UPF 30 provides some good protection from the sun too. These also wash up well and the fabric doesn’t lock in any rank smells. I accidentally left my sweaty shirt in my bag for a night (or 3) and it washed with no problems and no leftover stinkiness. But, like the EIS this one has a weird bib of fabric on the inside underneath the zipper.

In terms of fit, I feel this shirt definitely runs small as well so I sized up to a Large since the Medium was tight…definitely highlighted some of my lumps and bumps which I don’t care to highlight. 😛 I feel that the Kastel is probably the most fitted of all the shirts so size up if you like a looser fit. This shirt has a fitted cuff so your shirt sleeves stay in place. These shirts come in lots and lots of colors with some having a rhinestone bling design on the back so you can be as flashy or subdued as you like. The Kastels are priced at $75 which isn’t cheap, but not outrageous.

Pros: Lots of colors, silky fabric, fitted cuff, wicks really well, washes well

Cons: A little pricey, runs small and tight, only has UPF 30

Bette & Court Cool Elements

I have heard that EIS is actually just an offshoot of B&C, and after comparing both shirts I would have to agree. The texture of the B&C fabric is very much like the EIS, abet, maybe a little thinner. The mesh underarms, like all the other shirts is fine, with no scratchy edges or seams and hasn’t caught on anything. The B&C wicks well, and I would say a little bit better than the EIS because of the seemingly thinner fabric. I wore this when I had my jump lesson and I felt quite comfortable in it even though it was warm and my arms didn’t feel like they were roasting. This sun shirt has UPF 30 which is pretty solid.

Washing wise, this shirt did ok and didn’t hold any gross sweaty smells. However, I think maybe because of the color I got (pastel yellow), the color got a little dingy and wasn’t as bright as it use to be. For fit, I got my normal medium and it fit well. The B&C are a little less form fitting in comparison to  EIS and Kastel, but not completely without shape, so this shirt would be a good pick for someone who wants something more relaxed without needing to size up. My one big pet peeve about this shirt though is that it does not have fitted cuffs. The sleeve cuff hangs down and gets stretched out since I’ve been rolling up the bottom of the sleeve to get it out of the way. Also, with unfitted cuffs I’ve noticed they get more dirty around that area. The B&C comes in a plethora of different colors and patterns that the other shirt brands don’t have.  The Bette & Court Cool Elements is priced around $75 but you can usually find them a little bit cheaper.


This one is called “Steel Grey”

Pros: Basically just like EIS, lots of color choices, wicks great, more true to size

Cons: No fitted sleeves, UPF is lower than EIS, potential color fading



Irideon CoolDown IceFill

Last but not least, we have the Irideon CoolDown long sleeve shirt.

This shirt is the same as the others in that it has mesh under the sleeves with a 1/4 zip in front and collar. The fabric to me feels like an in between of the EIS and the Kastel to be honest. Same kind of slightly waffled texture like the EIS, but a bit thinner like the Kastels. It has UPF 50, which is pretty awesome and a slightly rounded back hem which makes it easier to keep tucked into your breeches. The sleeves are also fitted like the EIS and Kastel shirts. Also, there is a size pocket where you can put your cell phone, but its pretty small so probably won’t fit a smart phone. I use it for keeping treats handy. I like the silhouette of this shirt as it lays nicely and is contoured without being super clingy.

I also sized up in this brand and the Large fits basically just like my EIS shirts; not too baggy, and not too tight. They come in a limited amount of colors, but the color combinations are well done. I’m really eyeballing the Coral and White combo from RW but keeping white white makes me shudder. The color I own is a very pretty vibrant blue with black mesh under the sleeves. Price wise at around ~$85 is a bit steep, but I seem to be able to find them on sale.


Pros: Nice in between Kastel and EIS fabric, fitted cuffs, UPF 50, treat/cell phone pocket

Cons: Expensive, not as many color combos, runs a touch small


In Conclusion…

If I were to rank these shirts from 1-10, with 1 being Hell No and 10 being Hell Yes and Take My Money it would go like this:

1. EIS: 7.5/10

Though quite a nice shirt, the heavier fabric and high price point are dings against it. At around $90 its pretty expensive and hard to justify buying several of them. That being said, it had good wicking though not as good as the Kastel,  performed well at the barn, and comes in lots of colors. Plus, these shirts are a  show circuit must-have so if you’re into being in the know fashion/style wise these are your shirt.

2. Ovation Cool Rider: 4.0/10

 The Cool Rider is the most budget friendly of the sun shirts and has the detailing of the other sun shirts, like the mesh underarm inserts and half zip collar. However, I feel that the fabric and construction doesn’t compare to the EIS, Kastel, or B&C shirts. I didn’t feel the wicking qualities with this shirt as I did with the other brands and I definitely felt hotter when I was riding. Also, this shirt doesn’t list any UPF in its fabric, so no go for me. 

3. Kastel Denmark: 8.0/10

I really like the Kastel shirts and I it is my top pick out of the sun shirts I’ve tried. It has lightweight material, wicks extremely well, large color choices, and has an acceptable price point. It does run a bit small and clings, which isn’t my favorite, but its not too bad. Dropping $75 is still a substantial amount to spend on a shirt, but if you had to buy one I would say invest your money in this one. The UPF 30 will help protect your skin and the wicking affects will make up for the fact that you’re wearing long sleeves in the summer. Pair this with a cooling vest and you’ll stay cool as a cucumber!

4. Bette & Court Cool Elements: 7.0/10 

The B&C Cool Elements was a hard one to rank…it has pretty much the same construction as the EIS with the B&C maybe having slightly thinner fabric, but at a much more affordable price point at ~$75. I think EIS and B&C are almost tied since EIS has a fitted cuff but is $$$ and the B&C has no fitted cuff but is cheaper. I also feel like the B&C has a slight edge on EIS as they have a ton more color choices along with different patterns and are easier to find as they are golf shirts. Also, B&C has a more relaxed fit without needing to size up so this sun shirt might be more friendly to those looking for something not as fitted.

5. Irideon CoolDown IceFil: 7.8 /10

 I definitely like this shirt and I think it is right on par with the EIS shirts. I honestly think I like this shirt a little better than the EIS.  The fabric is soft but feels substantial and does a great job of wicking away sweat. The fit is nice as it is contoured but not super tight or clingy and I feel the Irideon runs a bit smaller as well. However, going up a size still made for a well fitted, contoured shirt. The UPF 50 is awesome so that combined with the slightly thinner fabric makes for good sun protection and staying cool. I wish there were more color combinations in this shirt and that it wasn’t as expensive at $85, but I have seen these shirts on sale for around $50.  If you can get one of these shirts on sale I think its a great buy!

So final ranking would be:

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner: Kastel Denmark

Silver Medal:  Irideon CoolDown IceFil

Bronze Medal: Equi in Style

4th Place: Bette & Court Cool Elements

5th Place: Ovation Cool Rider


I hope that this review will be helpful and give some insight to anyone looking at buying a sun shirt or two!

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Nightmares from the Sandbox

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I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have equestrian nightmares that I wake up from that get me seriously agitated and panicked about. Of course, its just a dream but hot damn do they feel real!

This past weekend I had a crazy dressage show dream, which now thinking about it was pretty ridiculous, but at the time seemed like the world was coming to an end. Perhaps it was because I was talking to Nicole about dressage showing plans and it was on my mind before heading to bed.  Anyways, buckle up, my dear readers and I’ll tell you my story…




I was at dressage show and was running late getting there and subsequently running late getting tacked up and warmed up. The stewards at the show office at first couldn’t find my entry form and directed me all over the place before I found which ring I would be showing in. 

Flash forward and I’m tacked up and on my horse, which wasn’t Spot, but a big chestnut. Because of all the previous crap, I was entering the warm up ring about 10 minutes before my ride time. I proceeded to do the fastest warm up ever, but then I realized my girth was super loose and no one would help me tighten it so I had to jump down and tighten. Then I realized there was no mounting block around and this chestnut I was riding was suddenly 17.2. I finally managed to clamber back on when someone then pointed out that I couldn’t have red polos on for my test and that the red polo I was wearing clashed horrendously with my chestnut.  I looked down and was like “Why did I put on a red polo? and WHEN THE FUCK DID I PUT THESE HORRENDOUS RED POLOS ON?!?”


So again, I jumped down again and stripped giant chestnut of the red polos and somehow scrambled back on horse. At this point, I had like 2 minutes before they called me into the ring, and of course I then realize I hadn’t memorized my test. At this point, I’m literally about to dissolve into a pile of tears and mush when I see a local trainer I know (but absolutely detest) and ask him if he could read me my test. He says yes (surprisingly) and I troop off into the ring down the centerline. However, asshole trainer then just speed reads through the whole test while I’m halting at X and says “ok, I read your test for you , bye!”. I am completely mortified and embarrassed as I only remember the first 2-3 elements and spend the rest of the time aimlessly doing what I think is next on the test before I am laughed belled out. 

I woke up feeling completely mortified and kind of a nervous wreck. I woke up Andy and blubbered to him about my horrendous dream, which he then proceeded to sleepily assure me that my 1st show with Spot would be fine. Then he rolled over to go back to sleep and muttered “crazy horse lady”

So there’s my Nightmare from the Sandbox. What about you guys? Have you had any crazy horsie nightmares? 



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The last 2 weeks have been pretty eventful. Not only did I get my trailer, but I was also gearing up to move Spot to a new barn!  I liked my old barn and the people there, but I ended up finding a place where Spot could be out 24/7 and the footing in the arenas was better and more consistent. I think Spot will greatly appreciate the increased amount of turnout! Also, last but not least, I would be saving a good $125 on board. Saving $, more turnout, and awesome facilities? Score!




This past weekend (on my birthday actually) we got ready to move all of my stuff over to the new barn. While packing up I realized I have wayyy too much horse stuff. I think a spring cleaning will need to be done here soon. Eeek!


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How do I have so much crap?!

After all my junk was sorted at the new place, we went back to grab Spot for our maiden voyage in the new trailer! At first Spot was like , “Oh helllll no” which is strange for her because she normally just hops in. After some coaxing and lowering the trailer a bit she ended up hoping on and it was business as usual. I’m actually quite surprised how much room the trailer has because we trailered my friend’s big 16.2 TB as well and he had plenty of head room. Another win!

Spot got turned out in one of the all weather TOs when we got there and boy was she excited to be finally turned out after about 1.5 months of no play time.


The next day I hopped on her for a quick ride and she had definitely settled in. Acted like she had been there forever! The fancy footing they have in the arenas is quite nice and Spot felt really good during our ride. As a cool down we hacked out on the small xc/hunt course and took a spin around the GP sized jump arena as well. Of course, this would be nothing without pictures!

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Spot looking regal in the cross ties


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Part of the xc field


One of the obstacles. I can see us having some fun with this


Spot is just thrilled that there is grass


Big GP regulation size jump ring!!!


Eurosizer! Spot might get to go on this


I’m definitely excited to be at the new place and the other boarders seem nice as well. Once the weather isn’t as wet I’m excited to go play around on the XC course. Maybe we’ll even conquer Spot’s large dislike for water crossings too!

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New Ride

A lot has happened in the past 2 weeks! First things first, this beautiful trailer came into my life:

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Hello, beautiful! 


I have been wanting a trailer for forever  awhile and since we got a vehicle that is able to pull a trailer I’ve been keeping my eyes pealed for a trailer in our price range. Since our price range was pretty low, there were not a ton of options that didn’t either need a ton of work or just looked plain sketchy. The nice thing is that Spot is pretty small therefore we wouldn’t need a big warmblood trailer so I was hoping to get an older trailer that was still in decent shape.

I kept on cruising the myriad of trailer sale sites like craigslist and FB until this trailer popped up on my local craigslist! It was listed at a great price and I managed to haggle the guy down $100 bucks (score!). One day I was trailer-less, and the next day I had wheels!



It has a few minor cosmetic issues like some small rust spots and some of the padding is ripped, but other than that it hauls great and has plenty of room to haul a larger horse as well. Once its stops raining like mad I will go to town on it with a sander, primer, paint, and new padding to get it spiffy and neat.

I’m so excited to finally have the ability to trailer out without having to beg/borrow/steal a ride to wherever I needed to go. There are now a ton of opportunities and adventures open to us now!


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Sense and Sensitivity

“If I could but know his heart, everything would become easy.”
― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

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Mirror selfie while Spot inspects who that pretty mare is in the mirror.

I’ve known discovered that Spot is quite a sensitive mare over the past few years of having owned her, but in the last couple of months or so I’ve really become to realize how sensitive and in-tune she is with what my body is doing.  When she was a full fledged polo pony, she was quite particular with the type of rider,  ie: soft hands, good seat, and NOT A MOUTH YANKER. Sadly enough, many polo players do not have those things.


Had to make you had your seat or Spot would leave you behind on a turn

Anyways, since having embarked on our dressage journey, I have had frustrations with getting Spot to be relaxed and to move more fluidly over her back. She would get tight in her neck and jaw and be determined to fulfill her destiny as a giraffe. She was plenty forward (she always has the forward), but just wasn’t willing to relax her back and soften.

At first I thought it might be a muscle soreness problem, chiro issue, saddle fit, or teeth thing so I went through and got them checked out. Everything came back pretty good. Maybe a bit of stiffness, but that could probably be fixed with stretching down when riding to relax. Which of course is the thing I’m trying to achieve! Frustrating.

But then, we had a pretty amazing breakthrough. During one of our rides I was super tired and while walking around I decided to just close my eyes for a second or two and take a deep breath. Immediately I felt Spot’s walk become more “swingy” and when I opened my eyes she had dropped her head a bit more. O_O


I thought, “huhh….” So then, when we picked up the trot and Spot was bracey, I tried the same thing. Lo and Behold, I open my eyes and Spot has softened through her poll and is rounder.


Pretty much exactly my face

Then I realized this is what Trainer A has been trying to tell me for forever. She is always calling out during our lessons to “breathe” through my upper body but obviously I didn’t quite get what she meant. It took taking away one of my senses for a second or two for me to see how tight I was. Doh!

From there, I realized that maybe I had been too stiff or tense with all of my aids and applied the same idea of being relaxed in the upper body (without closing my eyes) to my seat and leg aids. BOOM! Softer and more willing Spot. The more relaxed and soft I was the more soft and relaxed Spot was. The whole rest of our ride was amazing and ended with me being on Cloud 9 and Spot being relaxed and happy.


On Friday, I had another lesson with Trainer A and when she asked me to see if I could get Spot softer through her poll I took a deep breath and thought about relaxing my upper body. I felt Spot lift more from her withers and she came more round than she ever has before. Trainer A said: “Omg…she looks fantastic! I’ve never seen her so fluid and through! Whatever you did just now don’t stop doing it!” I told A that I was doing what she had been telling me to do forever: Breathe Through My Upper Body.

From what I could see from the arena mirrors we looked pretty freaking amazing. I’m pretty sure A and I both looked like this:



I wasn’t able to get any video of this amazing miracle, but hopefully all of our rides will be much more soft and relaxed now. Video next time!

So, if next time you are riding and you’re getting frustrated because your horse is being tight,  try a quick deep breath and relax your shoulders. If you trust your horse, try a quick closing of the eyes with a deep breath for just a second. You might be surprised with the results!



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