The Bloodlines of Sharpie

warmblood horse breeders

So basically, Sharpie is all I have on my mind these days. Even as I’m scratching Pony, all I can think is, Wow, Pony, you sure are fatter than Sharpie. And he is. And he’s going to be getting the muzzle of shame because he’s gotten so fat. Seriously, that Pony needs to be on a diet. But that’s another story… one that was basically summed up in the previous two sentences. 

Moving on, now that Sharpie is mine, I want to share a little bit about the effort that brought him here. The breeders themselves have been breeding for over 20 years, and I think they have an excellent grasp of bloodlines, registries, breeding, and horses in general. I’m still going to be clinging on to them until I retrieve Sharpie in November, but I might cling again later. Like if I decide I want another foal. At this point, I don’t know why I would breed my horses when I can buy one of theirs at an extremely reasonable price. And they are just such nice people. Like super nice! I want to just gush and gush over how wonderful I think them and their breeding program is. If you want to stalk or admire from afar, follow them on Facebook to see all their adorable little foals pop out. I think this year’s season is done, but I’m already excited to see next years babies start popping… I do know someone who has 3 of their babies, and I admit, it’s easy to see why…

Dam Line 

The dam line was super important to me, as I think in the end the foal will be mostly mother. When I first saw Alala, I fell in love with her. She’s exactly what I was looking for in a big hunter horse. Later, I looked her up and discovered she had bloodlines to support this, and I gave myself a big pat on the back for knowing this just from looking at her in a pasture and wildly guessing at her potential.

Again, Sharpie was an embryo transplant, so he’s not going to know her like a mother… he thinks Jeff, the champagne Oldenburg, is his mother. Which is fine, Jeff is extremely calm, therefore, Sharpie is extremely calm. 

The Dam – Alala

warmblood dam

This mare was bred by Silver Creek Farm in Oklahoma, former owners of her sire.

Grand- Dam: Thoroughbred mare, looks like she competed in the 3’6″ hunters. I’m not clear of the exacts because not a lot of information exists on her and I can only base it on one picture of her jumping a big huntery oxer. It has a huge watermark on it so I don’t think they want it shared.  But here’s a conformation shot!

I think it’s easy to see Alala is a mash of her dam, and the sire below. 

Grand-Sire: Apiro

Marabet Farm

The amazing Apiro! Formerly owned by Silver Creek Farm, now owned by Marabet Farm. One of the top hunter stallions in 2010 and 2013. His page above tells more. If Sharpie ends up exactly like this horse, that would be ideal and amazing! He is such a beautiful animal! Also, I’m liking the music selection they picked for the videos of this stallion! 

I make no apologies, I love this song. Really thought that was Oasis, but turns out it’s The Bravery. I learned something new today.

Because it’s the final countdoooooown! Sharpie is totally going to be a fan of 80’s music, just like his grandsire and now adopted human father.

Rh, this music is okay I guess. Wouldn’t have been my choice, but mainly because it starts so slow and takes too long to pick up. 

Ugh, this video was muted! How am I going to know what music should be the theme song of his life?!

Overall, I would give Apiro’s music selection an 7/10. I gave him significant points because I liked the first song so much, but I did take off a point since the last video has no music at all. Maybe they can pick something else to put on that. 

Sire Line

Sire: Flint GSF

Flint is owned and was bred by the same breeder I bought Sharpie from. He’s gone through the stallion testing and is approved for Oldenburg and Westfalen NA for stud book 1. 

And one time I saw him and he carried around a weed in his mouth for several minutes. Unfortunately, this is the best photo I have of him. I guess it sums him up well.

bay stallion

But here he is actually moving!

I’ll approve of the music choice in an angsty teenager type way. Also, he looks so excited to jump! I love it. 

Sire’s Sire: Weltstern

I don’t know very much about Weltstern, but googling him brings up many results of people who like him. This is what the breeder says about him:

Weltstern was born in Cloppenburg Germany in 1982 and imported to the US after his approval as an Oldenburg stallion through the 100 Day Test in Muenster Germany in 1985 with a very respectable score of 111.35 points. Weltstern is an exceptional stallion with extraordinary bloodlines. Weltstern carries the blood of such influential stallions as Welt As, Ferdinanad, Don Carlos, Furioso II and Absatz. The dam lines in his pedigree are remarkable as well. At least seven of the mares in his pedigree are State Premium mares and many of these mares also carry the coveted title of DLG winner as well, a very prestigious honor. He is the half brother of Bonfire, ridden by Anky von Grunsven to numerous wins in dressage, including the Olympics and the World Cup .

Weltstern’s show career started at the age of 14 where he started at third level and competed to Intemediare I with scores in the 60s. Weltstern has sired three stallions approved for breeding through the 100 day test. All three stallions scored over one hundred at their testing. One more son of Weltstern’s is gaining his approval through performance records and has already been awarded a breeding license through Rheinland Pfalz Saar.

My thought… well, he looks pretty handsome! If I find out more in the future, I will update this.

That sums up Sharpie’s bloodlines! I’m hoping for the best out of him – and also that if he is super amazing, I actually manage to keep up with him. Fingers crossed!!

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Vet Inspection of Sharpie

Yesterday the vet checked out Sharpie, and he officially became mine. I basically already announced him before due to excitement, but now he’s truly and officially mine! Which means I can tell way more about his bloodlines without feeling like a weirdo stalker of breeders.

But first, his vet inspection!

This is the first time I’ve bought a youngster with a vet check – when I bought Pony, I just kind of winged it. I mean, he worked out great, but still… probably not going to do that again. 

So, we showed up, and the breeders went to retrieve our lovely babies from the field. 

playing foal
Olivet is super interested in the lead rope.
playing foals
They frolicked and played while walking, unfortunately, the camera missed the best parts!

The vet was running a little bit late, so we sat with the foals for a bit, waiting. It did result in some pretty cute photos!

westfalen na foal

I also found out that Sharpie is now super friendly, despite having no interaction with anyone since the last time I saw him. He has become a sweet little gentleman that loves getting itches. Naturally, he requested lots of itches from everyone. 

foal face
“GIVE ME ALL THE ITCHES!!”

He’s basically Pony, in chestnut horse form. Super friendly, and wants everyone to love him. Including Olivet, who has higher standards than that. 

“Hello, fellow foal! I would like to be friends, please!”

I’m sure eventually they will get along. 

The interesting things learned today:

  • Sharpie has a teeny hernia, which may fix itself, or it may require minor surgery. We will watch it, and see if it goes away. If not, he’ll get surgery for it when he’s castrated in the fall. 
  • Sharpie walks on the outside of his front hooves. This means his feet will wear unevenly, and if left alone, would eventually result in injury due to the unbalance. The vet emphasized that Sharpie is currently like molding clay, and if I stay on top of it, I can keep the hooves even, and potentially get them to wear evenly again. But, I should count on never missing a trim, running a file over it between trims, and likely having front shoes on him when he goes into work to preserve the levelness. 

Despite these terrible issues, I signed the papers and wrote the check. He’s 100% mine. 

foal scratches

foal canter

The next time I could possibly see him is at his inspection for Westfalen NA. I haven’t quite worked out the logistics as I’m working that day, but hopefully I’ll be able to attend. I’m not counting on a great score, though. His mother is extremely relaxed and does not like to move out. Sharpie likes to hang out directly next to his mother and do the tiniest of little trots to keep pace with her. He’s an expert at the teeny tiny little trot. But… maybe he’ll surprise me? Maybe someone will light off fireworks and they will finally react? 

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Sharpie

westfalen foal

Luckily the disappointment of last weekend has faded away, and I’m feeling much better about this last weekend. I picked out my baby!

This is F#, which is pronounced “F Sharp,” not “F Hastag.” Hopefully, I won’t have to repeat this over and over, but I anticipate a lifetime of telling people that. He shall be called the very dignified name of “Sharpie,” just like the marker. He may look familiar, and that is because I looked at him before. I felt like we had a super connection then, as we gazed into each others eyes, and planned out our futures together. I didn’t decide on him outright at the time because… well… I wanted a bay. And he’s chestnut! I’ve never owned a chestnut! This is so weird!

Even though he’s older now, I would say he’s even more suspicious of me. He found it very weird that I wanted to touch him. 

“Ack, weird human! Remove your hand from my side!”

But he did start to realize how good scratches felt – although he showed his appreciation to his mother and not me. 

warmblood foal
“Oh yes, that’s the spot!”

While checking him out, I checked out my other option – another colt out of the same mare. He was cute as a button, but it seemed riskier to pick him – his sire just started training whereas Sharpie’s sire is approved and confirmed as being a super talented jumper. But the other colt came in a package with Sharpie’s genetic mother, and damn she is fabulous!

Me and the big mare, “Alala.” We are anticipating Sharpie will look pretty similar to her.
Alala and Dave have a serious discussion. After seeing this picture, it makes me reconsider how big she is… With Dave, she looks small. 

After checking them out, we went to visit D’Arcy’s pick and the rest of the older foals. And being surrounded by tons of friendly foals gave me hope. They may be shy when they are younger, but they get friendly fast!

D’Arcy and her new foal, Olivet.
Dave and foal who is super into him.
Little filly getting her nose into everything!

There is hope! Sharpie will be friendlier next time I see him, and be super into me, that way our relationship isn’t one sided. 

Seeing all these foals…. omg I love them all! I wish I lived on a breeding farm so I could be surrounded by foals all day, every day. Note, I would not be able to have my own breeding farm, as I would never be able to sell the foals. I’d be way too attached. Maybe I’ll work out a deal one day where I just show up to random breeding farms and run free with the foals. I could be the official Foalertertainer. Call me, I’ll come entertain your foals. 

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Yucky Weekend

Yucky is a bit of an understatement. There’s no way to polish this up, so I’ll be blunt. The foal I wanted, the one that was just born this week, has died. My second choice foal was still born. Such is life I suppose. Nothing is ever a guarantee. 

Completely overshadowing this though, and putting things in perspective, I spent the weekend at the hospital with a loved one. It was devastating, traumatic, and horrible, and I’m not sure if I’ll bring it up again, or just leave it to this one reference. Part of me wants to talk about it, and part of me wants to never talk about it again. 

Life goes on… and while we can’t control the past, we can control the future. We will see what the future brings.

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New Arena Footing

Guys. GUYS! I am so excited because I got new arena footing! This is the best day ever! I didn’t even have to pay for it! D’Arcy traveled to an exotic beach, and since she didn’t ask me what she should bring me back, I offered to her that she should bring back some sand for me… and she DID! Two varieties! 

Variety 1 is so smooth!
Variety 2 is slightly coarser.

I put it in my arena so my horses could benefit from the wondrous beach sand. 

This sand is going to change our lives. It will be amazing to ride on!

Yup, this is definitely going to make a big difference in my riding.
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Foal #1

The first foal was born! It’s a dark bay colt, with a big star and three small socks. A few days ago, I was saying that I hoped it was a dark bay with white socks and a stripe, and this is pretty close, I’ll take it as fulfilling my exact wish. Not a filly though, which I was originally hoping for. But, I don’t think that bothers me too much. I’m okay with a colt. 

But it does add to the complication that I didn’t come up with any male names. I picked out “Oh La La” as the registered name for a filly, and I was planning to call her Lolly. But that’s just not going to work for a colt. Granted, I know I shouldn’t settle yet, and should wait for the next one to come out. It might be a dark bay filly with socks and a stripe, but the breeder thinks this one is going to be the bigger, and easier of the two. The other one might have some complications due to its recipient mare. 

The names that I like the best so far:

Odin

Obsidian

Orion

My favorite so far is Odin – but I’m not totally sure if that’s going to be my final pick. 

Does anyone have any name thoughts? Which of the three do you like? Or, suggest one! Name must start with the letter “O”

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The Great Pony Escape

horse lifestyle

Check it out, you guys! I made a YouTube video! This is the first time that I filmed footage specifically to create a YouTube video, and I’m not too unhappy with the results! 

It’s footage from when I went riding a few weeks ago, and my sly little Pony got out when I was putting Berry away. See it for yourself!

There will be more to come! Make sure you subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss any! 

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My First Jumper Show

A friend talked me into doing a jumper show last weekend. I initially thought, but, I do hunters, but then I decided it didn’t really matter and I’m going to do it anyway. It’d be fun!

puddle jumpers

It was a fun experience, but I do need to make some changes to make the next one much better, starting with tucking in my shirt…maybe wearing show pants. I was the only one in blue breeches. But, I do like those blue breeches…they are comfortable… and blue.

Here’s what I really and truly did wrong:

I didn’t make enough time to warm up.

I think this was my main problem. I got there an hour before the show started, and then spend a lot of time figuring out how to do my course. That was time well spent, though, I thoroughly understood my course, and that was a strength. But I should have hustled more to get an actual 20 minute warm up in. Since I did not allow for enough time, I went from figuring out the course, to tacking up, to holding up the ingate while they waited for me to warm up. Pretty nice of them to hold it up for me… but meant I got a 5-10 minute warm up. Berry did more time than that to chill out… and this led to the next problem.

fox chase farm
Wow, it was like two whole seconds of warmup!

I should have cantered the entire first course. 

Due to Berry’s lack of warmup, she was a bundle of energy, and nerves, and was jumping and staring at everything – the coop, the cars going by, a slight wind. I thought the best thing to do would be to just do a nice slow trot to settle her, but what I should have done was just cantered her forward, and channeled that energy. With a slow trot, she had way too much time to contemplate her existence on this planet, and how scary the jumps looked, and what the meaning of life is. She actually refused two jumps! (a bad trend this weekend…) Granted, one was from a rollback, which we have never done, and that was slightly confusing to her. I was actually ready to retire, but I got yelled at to finish the course. And if there’s one thing that motivates me, it’s people yelling at me to do things, especially when its in front of a watching audience.

There was also no question that I was incredibly slow at the trot, and the one line that I kept the canter I did a 7 stride in 9 strides, plus a long distance because she couldn’t fit in the 10th stride. Watching the video, I was shocked at the utter slowness of it all. It was like watching slugs racing.

If I had just cantered it would have used the nervous energy she had, and likely relaxed her. After we finished that course, she was super relaxed…which she always is, after burning off a little energy. 

puddle jumpers
Just a few…hundred…more… trot steps…. AND JUMP.

I took a random meandering tour of the arena before my course.

Apparently, 45 seconds is much shorter than I thought it was… I was lucky I wasn’t buzzed out.

I was also softening too much at the base, which is probably what caused the refusal. I spoke with my surrogate trainer about what to do for the next course, and I went in again. It was a nearly perfect round! I just went slightly over the allotted time of 80 seconds, so I did get a time fault. I cantered the whole thing, and I was still too dang slow! It also helped that it was essentially a hunter course, outside line, diagonal to outside line to diagonal, and that’s what we know. Although hilariously (to me anyway), when we started down the line where the roll back was in the first course, Berry remembered and made to turn off the line and do the rollback. She remembered! But she was also okay when she realized we were doing the line like normal hunters. 

The two courses were like night and day. Hopefully, next time will both be like day, as I know exactly what needs to change. But I have figured out, I love jumpers! Other than it being fun to do something different instead of a variation of the same course every time, it was also nice that I was first in the day, did my rounds, and I was out by 10:30. I like a show that leaves the rest of the day available to do other things. 

Despite being a bumbling idiot in the first course, and being massively slow in the second, I snagged a second and a third*. Hurrah! *only four people in the class, two of them children. But, it was nice to know that I was slightly acknowledged, and I had a great time. There will definitely be more jumpers in my future! 

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Choosing the Right Foal

We took another visit to the breeding farm to see the new foals that have been born, and see how the older foals have been developing. Brace yourself for FOAL PHOTOS! (which could be the best kind of photos!)

To start, it’s probably a good thing there is a legal limit to how many horses I can have on my farm, because I basically want every single foal. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. I’d get two or three, and I’m not even joking. By going through this process, I have realized that my greatest weakness is adorable foals because every single one I see, I want. I fall in love with their little faces, and their little personalities. Some are shy, and some are braver, but all are curious and they poke their little heads around their mothers to examine me, tentatively reaching out with a tiny muzzle, before thinking better of it and retreating. They are so stinkin’ cute.

The first foal I looked at, I was in love with. And he a tragic backstory, making me want to take it home and cuddle it all the more. The poor little colt is an orphan.

champagne warmblood foal
He was pretty bold though, likely due to the humans who care for him.

He was so handsome and cuddly. He had just gotten a bath (or fell in a bath, unclear) and was damp and adorable. His color is called golden champagne, which means he’s going to shed out to look similar to a golden palomino. I just luff him so much! He was so stinkin’ cute! 

They tried to get one of the other mares to adopt him as their own, and the mare was actually willing and was accepting him when the little guy got upset/scared and started kicking at the dam.  He’s still pastured with just her and her baby, so there could still be a chance that it will work out, but the breeder said the main issue is that he just wants to be with people. He has to learn to be a horse, and how to interact with horses, but at this point, he wants nothing to do with the mare and foal.

Keeping up the colt love, the next colt I saw, I fell in love with. 

warmblood colt chestnut
Three-day old strut.

Being both a colt, and a chestnut, he has two strikes against him. But he is out of the same dam that I already decided I loved, just a different sire. The sire is very impressive but definitely very frisky, and a bit of a clown. This could be hilariously great, or it could be overwhelming for me. I haven’t decided yet. 

bay stallion
Stallion picked up this weed and carried it around for several minutes. Unclear on why.

He’s looking a bit rough at the minute due to ulcers, breeding season, and spending far too much time pacing a fenceline looking for his ladies, so I’m not posting any other photos of him as I think it would be unfair to him. But he’s completed his 90 day stallion testing and is approved Oldenburg NA and RPSI (Westfalen now) in stud book 1. 

But back to the foal – I’m pretty sure we connected on a spiritual level. 

warmblood foal
We gazed deeply into each other’s eyes.

Just to throw it out there in case it’s unclear – The mare he is with is his mother because she is a recipient mare. They took a fertilized egg from his genetic mother and put it in this mare. (very sweet mare, too!)

He hasn’t been handled since he was born, and was suspicious, but I managed to get up to him while he was drinking milk. I started rubbing him, and he decided it liked it enough to stand there, suspiciously eyeing me the whole time. 

warmblood breeding
“I see you back there, hooman…”

We stared some more at each other.

chestnut colt
“Let us discuss the terms of your potential ownership of me. I demand four carrots a day (I hear they are good) on days of leisure and an additional two apples on days of exercise.”
“Hmm, yes, you also seem like an acceptable hooman.”
“Ahhh! I am cantering by and you appear out of nowhere!”

He was gorgeous and doing flying lead changes, and looking so super cute. He also liked to keep pace with his mother, and when she was doing a leisurely walk, he did the teeniest of little trots to keep pace. 

The next foal I saw, I fell in love with. Clearly there’s a pattern emerging. She is a black filly that looks exactly like Black Beauty.

I’ve always wanted a true black horse!

She was very dressage-y though so I’m not considering her as an option. I’ll just admire from afar as she goes on the horse equivalent of those child beauty pageants, and grows up to be a glamous star. 

And finally, a repeat of one we saw when we were here last time, the beautiful Olivet. D’Arcy had an extended bonding moment with her, and D’Arcy’s scratches incentivized her to groom her mother.

Could it be love!?

I haven’t spent much time with foals, but it was really shocking how much she’s grown in the three weeks since we last saw her. 

6 week old foal
Pictured with her mother. 6 weeks old, and HUGE! I think her legs are already the same length!

So many beautiful foals… I wish I could have all of them. Although I have the logic to realize I will only get one, and it will be out of the dam I love. I was planning to wait until the two from the other sire are born… but that chestnut colt is sooooo cute, and we definitely had a moment. Although having a “moment” probably isn’t a great way to pick a horse. I was told the next two foals definitely won’t be chestnuts due to the magic of genetics, so there’s that to look forward to. I will wait and see what comes out, despite being very eager to pick one already.

I asked Dave afterward what he thought of all the foals. His exact words were, “They all look exactly the same. Oh, except one had ridiculously long legs, I couldn’t even see her torso when she was on the other side of her mom.” I can only assume he’s talking about the giant Olivet. 

I just need the next few weeks to go faster! Or those babies to come out already, ugh, why do they need to be in there so long!? There’s only so much to do in there, aren’t they bored yet?!

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New Trainer, New Adventures

This last weekend was as action packed as any horse-obsessed person could want. It had all the excitement of a lesson, baby horses, moving hay, and a horse show! I need an extra day off to recover from this madness. 

Today’s topics – Lesson and hay

I was half-heartedly looking at new trainers. I say half-heartedly because I really like my trainer, both in personality, character, and overall horse knowledge. But, something just seemed off. I was looking for something next level. I was wondering if I was to throw my all into lessons and training, how fast could I improve? Having a good trainer is essential to improvement, and I want one that really pushes me and takes me to the next level.

I happened to see an ad for a trainer just outside of Middleburg, and I did some research. He had a student compete in the Upperville Internation Hunter Derby, and that is literally exactly the level I want to get to. I want to do hunter derbies, and handy hunter, and perhaps International Hunter Derby is a bit far-fetched and expensive to contemplate, but seriously, shoot for the maximum possible. TO THE EXTREME! Why just settle for, “eh, maybe something fun?” Why do I have a job, a farm, several horses, putting my blood sweat and tears into horses if I’m not shooting for the best I can be?

I jazzed myself up just writing that. Kind of makes me feel absurd for when I recap my TEENY TINY jumper show in a few days, but gotta start somewhere!

So, back to the trainer – He was offering a free day of lessons so people could try him out. That is one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard, and I was very interested. Risk free* trial!

*Did end up with physical ailment, but wouldn’t say that was anyone’s fault. 

horse field
I forgot to take pictures, so here I am leading Pony back to his field after he made an unsuccessful, half-hearted attempt for freedom. He made it down the street, and then was too cowardly to actually leave, and he came back.

It was for trailer-ins only, but luckily that’s all I do anyway, so that was fine. I also figured, I have a pony, D’Arcy is a person, she can take a free lesson, too. So we both met there early Saturday morning, full of anticipation for our free lesson.

The farm is gorgeous! It has all the charm of the style of Middleburg farms, and it’s a huge plot of land, perfect for conditioning. They have a big outdoor, and a graded grass Grand Prix field. Unfortunately no indoor, but they do have an agreement to use someone else’s indoor, so that’s almost the same thing to me (actually, literally the same thing, trailering to one place is as easy as trailering to another.)

I pulled up to a nice easy turnaround for trailers (the little things are important to me!) and noticed a pretty little appaloosa in the barn. Everyone who appreciates the wonders of appaloosas is good in my book, so that was a definitely plus. 

We met with the trainer, talked for a bit, and then headed up to the ring. He made us do lots of flatwork, and made me concentrate on getting Berry to use her hindquarters. Berry is built downhill so she doesn’t like to use herself naturally, it’s definitely a struggle. He used analogies that made sense to me (Your horse is like an accordion, and right now, she’s at full extension. You push the ends together more) and I found that this kind of visualization really works for me. 

We did flatwork for half the lesson, which I appreciate. Flat work is the basis of everything, after all. Then, we began the jumping. 

He emphasized pace and footfalls over counting strides. He told us not to count strides, and to instead feel the rhythm of the canter, and let the horse figure out the distance. No searching for distances for us! This suits me perfectly, because I have never counted strides, and just “ride out of hand” so to speak. And I don’t mean that in a classy, top end rider way, I mean that in a I’m too distacted and forget to count way. I have made half-hearted attempts to count my strides, but I guess in the end, I don’t really care enough. I guess I see a distance, and I know when to hold back and ask for another stride at this point, but I basically just go with the flow. So, this is quite interesting to me. 

We did a few simple verticals, and then he had me jump one of the verticals from the opposite direction. This of course greatly upset Berry because there was a coop laying in the grass outside the ring, and she could see it from that angle. She refused the jump! I can’t remember the last time she refused. I was pretty shocked, but I turned around and did it again. Another refusal! He ended up dropping the top rail, which was fine with me, because I want a trainer that’s not afraid to take a step back and make sure everything is great at a lower level before raising it. 

This photo has no relevance to this post, but is a great example of what we look like when I’m talking to someone.

He added in a 2’9″ panel oxer. This would have been the biggest jump Berry and I have jumped. We’ve done 2’9″ verticals, but never an oxer, and never a panel, and it looked HUGE. So yeah, would have been. She refused that. She did it in a new way too… when she usually refuses, I can feel it before the jump. She gets squirrelly, and I know she’s not feeling confident. With this one, she made it all the way to the base, solid distance, and then realized she didn’t feel confident and slammed on the breaks. I guess my legs must be getting stronger because I didn’t come off, I just slid forward and took the entire impact in my chin.

This has never happened to me, and immediately aftward, I wondered why riders don’t have helmets that protect their chins. It hurt so bad, I thought I broke my jaw, and I was sure I got a concussion. I was in a daze for a few moments while I felt my jaw line, but the pain faded pretty quickly, and I didn’t want to look like a baby in front of two people, so it was time to go at it again. (My jaw now has moments where it hurts, and other times when it feels fine. I think it might have dislocated, but I pushed it around a bit and my teeth mostly line up now. It’ll probably be fine!)

Trainer dropped the back rail of the oxer, and I went at it again. One small thing I am proud of is that I have finally learned to not hold a grudge against things like this. I think a year or two ago I would have been scared to do the jump again. But now I’m either numb to it, or I’m managing to control my mind enough not to let it be an issue. I went at the now just a panel, and it was great. No issues, no hesitation at all. It really felt like a lovely jump.

The trainer kept adding more pieces until it ended up as a tiny course of jumps. I focused on my pace, and he noticed that I softened way too much right before the jump, and I need to stop doing that. I think it was really productive, and it felt like such a good ride.

This is Berry right before she started pawing in this tiny puddle.

Pony was a good boy as well. It seemed like he and D’Arcy were having a good ride, and she jumped him as well. Towards the end, he started getting tired, and he reverted to “little kid pony mode.” He was literally acting like a stubborn little pony deciding he’d had enough of his small child rider, and he could just ignore her. Unfortunately for him, D’Arcy is a full sized adult, so she spanked his behind. This made him quite indignant, which is something I haven’t seen before. 

She was asking for him to go down the line one more time, and he was refusing to walk another step. She whapped him with the crop, and his little temper flared, and apparently decided the best thing to do was hand gallop down the line, flicking his tail in indignation the entire time. 

Since he is just a pony, the effect was comical instead of intimidating. It was essentially what D’Arcy wanted, so perfectly fine. He was allowed to end after that, being a perfect little pony. 

We cleaned up the horses, and with promises of another lesson once the two big shows in my area are over, we headed out. 

We went to visit baby horses after that, but when we returned, I had 6 round bales in my front yard that needed to be moved to the barn.

The delivered hay had been dropped in my front yard due to the uneven hill that goes down to my barn. It just wouldn’t be safe for a giant flatbed to make it’s way down there. That meant we had to push the hay down the hill manually. It sounded way easier than it was.

First, we used the tractor to push the bales. This resulted in the binding of the bales ripping, and we ended up with a lovely snail trail all the way down the hills.

The horses like it though. It’s perfect for eating and sleeping in!

This happened with two of the bales. One exploded near the top of the hill, and the other exploded right by the barn. But to stay positive, four bales did survive the entire journey! Hurray! 

It took an hour and a half to move these six bales, and all of us were sweaty and covered with hay, and scratches from hay. But at least… my horses have hay for the next six months…? Hurray….?….! 

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