In Which Tristan Is The Best Babysitter, And Also Maybe A Bad Influence

Still in Maine (have to talk the florist out of $5k of exotic flowers today, gulp) but the barn manager sent me some awesome videos.

Tristan is the barn’s default babysitter, and is currently teaching a yearling by UB-40 manners. It’s below zero and the turnouts are a solid sheet of ice, so they’re getting short turnouts in the indoor. The barn manager is letting them run around a little as long as Tristan doesn’t go overboard, and as you can see, he’s feeling much better!

blanketing · smartpak · video

OMG: Smartpak mentioned my blog!

So there I am, on my fourth piece of banana bread and third cup of tea of the day (don’t judge) and I’m taking a short mental break. I click on this video, because I love the Stuff Riders Say series. This should be good, right?
Then I got to 1:13 on the video: they mentioned my blog! I can only guess it’s because my review of their new SmartBlanket App came across their desk somehow. The power of the internet?
I laughed and laughed and laughed. Yes, that is how you say that. 🙂
2014 goals · canter · training board · video

Final Training Ride

First: I’m aliiiiiiiiiiiiive!

So I know it’s almost July, but let’s review my June goal:


Unfortunately I already know that most of June will be a wasteland due to a massive work event at the end of the month. The goal for this month is to keep my head above water: stick to a schedule and keep him fit. 

Possible events for riding or volunteering: East Hill Farm Schooling Dressage (no dates yet), Vermont Morgan Heritage Days (June 14-15)

I was right. June was a total timesuck, wasteland, minefield – pick your metaphor. I got maybe a half dozen rides in the entire month.

The good news? Putting him into training for that month was one of the best horse-related decisions I’ve ever made. Hurrah and huzzah for that! He kept in work and fitness, and not only that, he made huge, HUGE improvements.

In fact, I have proof. I was able to get out last night to watch the last of his training rides and I have two short videos: the first of his first canter stretch during warmup, the second of a canter further along in the ride that shows some of what his next step is: more sit, more lift through the shoulders.

Finally, I saw this note and had to laugh. Only in Vermont would we still be worried about it being below 50 overnight. (I camped for most of last week for my work event, and on Friday night it was 38 degrees. Yep. You read that right. SO COLD.)

Here’s to more horse riding and blogging for the rest of 2014!

humor · video

Evention Tv

This may not be new news to anyone who reads Eventing Nation, but I finally got around to watching a few of the Evention Tv shows and I laughed until I cried. (Thanks to Saiph’s post at Wait for the Jump about finding the humor, which helped kick me out of my grumpiness about the weather and sent me to watch these.)

Here are just a few of my favorites.

They also have a variety of educational videos that are really quite well done and informative. Check them out when you’re looking for something to do on these cold nights!
horse racing · secretariat · video

Secretariat and the 1973 Belmont

As far as I’m concerned, this is the best video on the internet. Yes, the entire internet. In fact, I have been known to say that this video, this specific video, is the reason the internet exists.

I can’t watch it without breaking into big, ugly, gulping sobs at about the halfway mark.


They’re on the turn, and Secretariat is blazing along! The first three-quarters of a mile in 1:09 and four fifths. Secretariat is widening now! He is moving like a tremendous machine! Secretariat by twelve, Secretariat by fourteen lengths on the turn! Sham is dropping back. It looks like they’ll catch him today, as My Gallant and Twice a Prince are both coming up to him now. But Secretariat is all alone! He’s out there almost a sixteenth of a mile away from the rest of the horses! Secretariat is in a position that seems impossible to catch. He’s into the stretch. Secretariat leads this field by 18 lengths, and now Twice a Prince has taken second and My Gallant has moved back to third. They’re in the stretch. Secretariat has opened a 22 length lead! He is going to be the Triple Crown winner! Here comes Secretariat to the wire. An unbelievable, an amazing performance!

reining · video

Stacy Westfall – Reining Without Saddle or Bridle

Here is something for More Joy Day for you to watch. It never fails to make me tear up. (In a good way! Happy tears!)

I had the great privilege of seeing this same freestyle in person at the Equine Affaire Fantasia in 2006 at the Big E in Springfield, MA. That was the first I had seen or heard of her, and she completely stole the show.

If you haven’t seen this video, turn the sound way up and grab some tissues.