Weird Quarantine Thoughts

I just spent…well, let’s characterize it as an unreasonable amount of time…staring at this image and trying to figure out the bridle & reins.



What is he trying to do with those reins?

Stop the dragon? With one arm sort of weirdly back like that? Plus they’re still slack. So…not really.

You could argue that sweeping with the arm like that could work to give a hard yank on a curb bit, something with those super-long Western shanks.

But then that brings us to the bit/bridle setup itself. It’s…basically tied down to the poor thing’s mouth. Not hanging from bit keepers. And the chin strap is WAY too tight.

And there’s no bit groove, where is it supposed to rest? It just slides back into its mouth until it gags the poor thing? Plus that translucent film at the corner of its mouth looks delicate. How does it even slide, when it’s tied down that tightly?

It’s a pretty gentle bit for that hard of a yank and that nasty of a bridle setup, just a mullen mouth loose ring or maybe eggbutt.

On an unrelated note, why is there a buckle in the reins so close to the bit? Isn’t that just asking for a break?

And why are the reins so darn long?

Does this really bother anyone else or have I finally cracked?


Spend Your Stimulus Money on Horse Stuff

Obvious caveat: no, I was more responsible with our stimulus check, it went towards some heating bills and into a savings account on the chance that my job disappears this summer. But wouldn’t it be fun to spend it entirely like this?

The challenge: spend your $1,200 stimulus check entirely on horse stuff.

What do you buy?

Here’s my list.

First up, a pair of brown tall boots. I love the Mountain Horse Sovereign boots. I’d try to find them in that lovely two-tone brown they used to have. If not, this dark chocolate is also nice.

Cost: $395

Next, I’d probably go for a new helmet. It’s only been a few years since I bought a new helmet but the market has already changed dramatically. Among other things, it seems that IRH (my go-to helmet brand for many years now) no longer offers a long oval option, which is the best fit for my head. And no one makes gray helmets. I am going to have a really long ugly cry when I have to retire my current, best-beloved, gray IRH helmet. Some internet research suggests that the One K Defender Air will be a good fit.

Cost: $285

If I have money to burn I might as well get some fun stuff too, so let’s say I find some Kastel sunshirts on a good sale and get four of them. (In the old solid colors because holy shit what happened to this year?) If I could find the ones they made for a little while in merino wool, then bonus for that.

Cost: $200

The Hylofit System

Despite the general impression I give on this blog, I am not entirely immune to trends, and I want one of these REAL BAD.

Cost: $250

Barn Equine First Aid Medical Kit - Medium – EquiMedic USA, Inc.

That leaves me with $70, because taxes and shipping don’t exist in my fantasy world, so I’d take the rest of it and sink it into a thorough update of ALL of his first aid and miscellaneous grooming supplies.

What about you?



Wednesday Things

First: your petty complaints are giving me life. If you want to get something super tiny and first world off your chest, head to the comments on my last post and read everyone else’s. I laughed so hard and felt way less alone. Thanks, everyone.

I also wanted to give people a heads up that Andrea Waldo, event rider & trainer and author of Brain Training for Ridersa really excellent book about sports psychology for riding, is doing a series of workshops on that same premise. Andrea is a great human being and a great teacher and I can’t recommend these enough.

I reviewed her book and did an interview with her when it came out, so if you want to get a sense of the content and her personality, you can read those posts.

Book Review: Brain Training for Riders by Andrea Waldo

Brain Training for Riders: Interview with Andrea Monsarrat Waldo

Brain Training for Riders: Your Questions, Andrea’s Answers

If you want to sign up for the series, they start on April 20 and the Facebook event, for purchasing tickets, is here. The final workshop will be in Zoom.


Share your absolute most petty complaints

There are obviously tons and tons of huge things to be angry, sad, depressed, or confused about right now. I think we’re all intimately familiar with those. Stuff is awful right now, and most of us still have at least another month ahead of this.

Today, I want to hear about your absolute tiniest complaints. The kind of things you would hashtag as #firstworldproblems. Horse-related or not. Get it off your chest. Nothing is too small or too petty. Bring it on.

Here are just a few of mine.

  • The new season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is just a little too secondhand cringe for me. I keep trying to watch it and then I keep shriveling all up inside but also wanting to watch it but also ACK.
  • My grocery order two weeks ago came with only one tub of the wrong kind of ice cream. I have no ice cream in my freezer at all right now.
  • One of my computer speakers glitches in and out. They’re 20 years old, I get it, but still: I keep swinging wildly between nice, full, good-volume sound and then it vanishes and I can’t figure out where the connection is faulty.
  • The new monitor cable I bought only displays my laptop screen in 800×600 WHY.
  • My dog chewed up one of the handles of my brand-new jump rope.
  • Every time I go out into my back yard I think that I should trim back the forsythia bush that has taken over an entire corner and then every time I go back in the house I forget about it so I can never manage to put it on my to do list to get the clippers to hack away at it and so I am trapped in an endless loop of being grumpy at the stupid thing.
  • I have a space heater in my home office to keep it a little warmer but it never feels quite warm enough and then when I leave my office it feels way too cold.

I could go on, but you get the idea. I know it’s dumb, but I feel a little better.


The Saga of the Polo Wraps

I figured it was about time for something light-hearted, so here we go.

In the spring of 2006, as Tristan was starting to go under saddle for the first time, I attended a local tack sale/swap. It was half used tack sale and half some kind of weird clearance sale from a random company billed as a fundraiser for the local 4-H group. I bought a few things; a really, really crappy bridle that I still use for testing bits, and two sets of polo wraps: a black set and a white set. I tucked them carefully away into my tack trunk.

The black polo wraps are still there, in their original packaging. On April 17, 2017, I took the white polo wraps out and put them on Tristan to use in a lesson because fuck it, why not?


I can tell you the exact date because a friend took a photo. Please note, this was the first time I had even taken them out of their packaging, much less used them.

I brought the polo wraps home and tossed them into the laundry pile.

Then I proceeded to move that pile of wraps from surface to surface in my basement for the next two years. At some point, I washed them. It was several months, at the very least, after I had used them.

They still sat in a pile. Then, I figured since they had sat around in my basement for so long, I should wash them again. Then, I hung them to dry on the clothesline in the basement. There they stayed for a few weeks.

On April 2, 2020, I rolled them back up.


Thus ends the parable that illustrates to you my style of horsekeeping. The black polos are still in their packaging, in my tack trunk.

Will I use them again when we all emerge back into the sunlight and start riding horses again? Stay tuned.

(probably not.)



March Goals

My bad mood continues unabated, but I’ll do a goals review.

  1. Ride a First Level test at one of the two barn schooling shows – will there ever be horse shows again? STAY TUNED.
  2. Take notes (however brief) on every ride – I have actually done this! right up until I had to stop.
  3. Clean tack at least 1x a month – my tack has been home with me for three weeks now. Have I cleaned it? NOPE.
  4. Volunteer at 3 events – SEE ABOVE RE HORSE SHOWS
  5. Take 25 lessons – 12/25, I have taken a lot of lessons!
  6. *Reach goal: Go to Crossfit 100 times (or roughly 2x a week) for additional fitness – Ummmmmmm I was hitting 3-4 times a week so on track for this…and have done maybe 3x a week WODs since then…so I’m sort of on track for this but I have no idea of the exact number.



  1. Keep up with monthly expense/revenue tracking – not managing to stay on top of this, which is frustrating
  2. Maintain 100 listings in the Etsy store – this is proving harder than I expected; I can stay pretty stable around 85 but adding new listings is tough and I can often only keep pace to replace listings that get sold out
  3. Mustang gear goes live – ah, the best-laid plans, they are there, but…not done yet
  4. Sponsor 5 riders – I’ve sent out a bunch of emails
  5. Table at a horse show – HAHAHAHA OH YEAH HORSE SHOWS RIGHT THOSE.
  6. *Reach goal: Get to 1000 sales on Etsy – 652/1000, which is on track for this, and up from this time last year.



  1. Try 25 new recipes – dunno what my actual number is but I have made many, many new recipes during quarantine, let’s say this is 18 just for the heck of it.
  2. Try making: croissants, eclairs, cinnamon rolls – Sunday is reserved entirely for croissants, wish me luck.
  3. Declutter in February – uh I got halfway through and just…ran out of gas…so maybe I should focus on this a bit now that I am stuck home all day.
  4. Finish 5 craft projects – heyyyyyyy I finished one! I made my dog another bed for another room because she is spoiled rotten!
  5. Finish upstairs bathroom, front guest bedroom, and nook room – Upstairs bathroom is slowly crawling along, baby steps!
  6. *Reach goal: submit Morgan article for publication – yeah no.