Viva Carlos Blog Hop: Let’s make a baby!

Yea, verily, and the Unicorn and L. Williams did ask us:  If you could/were so inclined to breed your horse WHO would you breed your horse to and why?

I’ll only address Gina, as she is a mare and the thought of crossing a female Moe with anything else makes me shudder. He’s so weirdly put together that I wouldn’t want to pass any of those traits on, and I think a lot of his personality comes from a lifetime of good handling and training. 
So, Gina.
Gina is a basically well conformed mare who moves nicely. Her personality definitely leaves something to be desired, but some of that is mare-ishness and some of it might be due to time spent as a lesson horse. 
If I was going for something super flashy, I’d breed her to Blue Eyed Streaker at Echo Hill Farm in Louisville, KY. 
Most of his offspring have color and he’s produced some sporthorses that are competing successfully. He’s a Thoroughbred, so with this stallion, Gina’s offspring would be registered with both the Jockey Club and the Pinto Horse Association. The PtHA World Championship is right here in Tulsa, so Baby Horse and I would be, of course, doing the dressage and jumper classes there. 
If I wanted to get a big, fancy warmblood I could eventually resell, I’d breed Gina to Wradar. He’s a terrific Oldenburg stallion who lives just down the road from me. 
Wradar is fancy as fuck, and so are his offspring. Colter was a Wradar son (out of a Thoroughbred mare); while he was really goofy and kind of a pain, I think that had more to do with sitting in a field for the better part of 11 years. Gina is an ISR/Oldenburg approved mare, so this baby would be a registered Oldenburg. Gina’s already had at least two foals by Wradar in her previous life, and I feel confident their breeding would produce another good-looking, good-moving baby. My only problem with Wradar’s offspring is that they are massive. Colt was out of a mare about the same size as Gina, and he was 17.2 hands. The two or three other horses by Wradar I’ve met are equally large. I feel comfortable with smaller horses (around 16 hands or so), but since this baby would be for sale to some dressage enthusiast somewhere, I guess that’s not a big deal.
Just for giggles, I asked my friend and Thoroughbred bloodline expert Holly what stallion I should breed Gina to for a successful racehorse. After all, Gina’s an approved Oklahoma-bred mare, which means her foals are eligible to compete in special races for Oklahoma horses. And once her foal is done on the track, I will turn it into an eventer. Duh. Holly recommends a stud with Northern Dancer lines, like Toccet:
Other options include Tactical Cat and Service Stripe.
I’d most likely breed to one of the last three, as their stud fees are the cheapest, they’re local (for live cover!) and I like the way Tactical Cat is put together! 

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Three fence course

Still from the video; we are possible a little far to the right!

Yesterday, I dragged all three of my jumps out and set up a course for Gina. There was one 18″ crossrail and two 2’6 verticals. (I like to be able to jump fences in either direction, which is why I stick with verticals. And I also only have 3 sets of standards.)

Blue arrows/lines are the first half; green are the second.

Gina warmed up beautifully, walking, trotting, and cantering quietly on a long rein. This is a far cry from a year or two ago when she’d freak out at the sight of ground poles! We trotted over the crossrail a couple of times with no refusals! Is this thing on? Gina jumped without hesitation or refusal! I almost called it quits right there, but I’d spent a solid 15 minutes lugging jumps around, so we continued on.

The verticals were a breeze; we had mostly good distances and I managed not to duck as hideously as I do with Moe. There was one very long spot to a vertical that made me grateful I remembered how to slip my reins and not catch my horse in the mouth! (Thanks, Moe!)

Since we were totally in the zone, I perched my phone on a barrel that was doing double-duty as a support for a standard that’s missing a foot. I managed to get some video proof of The G jumping stuff like it isn’t even a big deal. I’ll spare y’all the whole video, as it’s 4+ minutes of me fiddling with the camera, walking Gina, and swearing when we hit a nasty spot and I almost went off to the side.

I knew you could do it, Gina! That’s why I bought you in the first place, you wretched creature!

Now, here’s the question: Take Gina to the event derby at The Woodlands on June 15, or take her to the Sport of Kings Challenge for dressage and jumper classes at Remington Park June 22? Both are about 2 hours away; they’ll also cost about the same. I feel like Gina is equally reliable (or unreliable) for either show. I’m kind of leaning toward the event derby, as I know Gina enjoys cross-country and it won’t require me to braid. (And who am I kidding? I like cross-country better, too!)

Sale roundup

I don’t know about y’all, but it seems like my inbox has been flooded with sale offers from all my favorite tack places. I thought I’d round them up and post them, just in case someone has missed one!

  • Equus Now is having a serious sale on breeches. Like 65% off serious. Almost every pair is under $50, and there are a variety of styles, sizes, and colors to choose from. I can attest to the quality of the customer service at Equus Now; I bought a pair of tall boots from there, and they were absolutely great to deal with.
  • Dover Saddlery has some good deals in their closeout section right now. On Tuesday, I found a show shirt for the low, low price of $0 and totally ordered it. Sadly, Dover caught their mistake and informed me the shirt was actually $30 and they would not be sending it to me for free. Oh well. At least I tried. 
  • Chick’s Saddlery is having a huge spring sale, with items up to 80% off. They have a weird selection of stuff, but you can get a package of 8 party hats for $2! You can also get a lunge line for $15, a fly mask for $13, and nylon halter for $10. Bargains for sure.
  • State Line Tack is currently offering 15% off everything as well as $2.99 shipping on orders over $69. They have a good selection of affordable gear and the shipping is fast.
  • Tack of the Day isn’t really having a sale, per se, but if you’re not acquainted with this website, I would encourage you to get cozy. Every weekday at 12 EST, Tack of the Day posts two new deals. They also have a Tack of the Day Too section, which is full of discounted goodies that often stay on the site longer than the daily deals. I’ve gotten all sorts of stuff from TotD, including a Courbette bridle with reins for $60 and a pair of white On Course breeches for $30. The shipping takes forever, but the deals are often worth it.
That’s about all I’ve got- do you have any awesome deals to share? Yours truly is taking advantage of the breeches sale and buying new pairs to replace some very worn schoolers.

Dressage with a dog

After ignoring me for a week and a half, Gina was sure happy to see me this afternoon. I loaded my pockets down with granola bars, shouted “MOE! GINA!” into the pasture, and was rewarded with the sight of my two ponies (and their elderly Arabian friend) galloping toward me. While Moe’s always come ambling up at the sound of his name, this is new for Gina. Whatever, I like it!

I settled Princess Pony in the cross ties and proceeded to talk for what felt like an hour with the barn manager; we were mostly talking feed regimes and adjusting my horses’ to better reflect their workload and age. Gina stood quietly, for the most part, until I ducked in the tack room to grab her bridle. I heard an awful racket and heard the barn manager saying “Easy, easy!”

Apparently, Gina had taken it upon herself to rear up in the cross ties totally unprompted. She miraculously managed to not smash into a light bulb or otherwise electrocute/injure herself. She stood totally still after that, as if she’d frightened herself. What a freak.

We were having the loveliest, softest, best dressage school when a dog appeared out of nowhere. It ran up to Gina, weaving between her legs and under her belly, dropping behind to nip at her heels, and at one point, jumped up her side to try and sniff my foot. Gina took it like a champ, albeit an irritated one. She shimmied away from the dog, gave a half-hearted kick at it, and otherwise ignored it as best she could. We tried to continue on, but the dog was too disruptive. (I mean, have you ever tried to trot with a dog leaping up your horse’s side? Yikes.) I dismounted, walked Gina and the dog back to the barn, and locked it in a stall with a full water bucket on the ground. The dog was not thrilled and spent the next half-hour whining pitifully.

HERRO, Y U LOCK ME IN STALL??

Gina continued to be a freaking dressage boss, and when we were finished, we headed back to the barn to see our new dog friend. Gina was not putting up with the dog’s shenanigans; as soon as I’d unbridled her, she promptly escorted herself into an empty stall and waited for me to finish untacking her. She laid her ears back and bared her teeth at the dog, who totally did not get the message and ran around underneath her anyway.

“Are you going to do something about this?”

The dog had a collar on, but no ID tags anywhere. She was super friendly, totally ignorant of how to behave around horses, and was obviously well fed and cared for. Except, you know, for the whole no ID thing. 

I checked with the barn manager, who said he’d run the dog off the property yesterday. Our best guess is that she escaped from the apartment complex across the street- barn manager was planning to check with the office manager of the complex to see if anyone had reported a dog missing. I hope she finds her people! 
Gina had a well-deserved roll after I rinsed her off, totally undoing all the hard work I’d put into removing the clods of mud she’d coated herself in.
Ungrateful creature.

Weekend in numbers

10: Number of hours involved with Saturday’s concession stand adventure at the Green Country Dressage schooling show. Johnny and I bought items, made posters, hauled SO. MUCH. STUFF., and operated a concession stand for what felt like forever on Saturday. Let me tell you, it was not a profitable endeavor.

9: Number of Diet Cokes I drank this weekend. (Hey, we had a lot of leftovers from the concession stand.)
8: Number of cheeseburgers one guy bought from us over the course of the day. I guess we should be proud of our cooking skills?
7: Number of times Johnny told me to stop muttering critiques of riders in the warm-up ring. (He just doesn’t understand.)
6: Number of hot dogs I ate this weekend. (Remember that time I lost 8 pounds? LOLZ.)
5: Number of hours I spent hanging out with the Irish Setter people at the Mid-Continent Kennel Club dog show on Sunday. I guess I’m bad luck or something, because no one did very well! (But I got to pet all the silly dogs.) 
This must be what it looks like at the Irish Setter factory.

4: Number of hours Johnny and I spent playing Rock Band 2 on Sunday night. (Apparently, Rock Band skills gained in college do not disappear with disuse over the years. I am still amazing.)

3: Number of times I asked Johnny if we could move the horses to the facility where the show was. (So nice- dressage arena, covered arena, two outdoor jumping rings, tons of jumps, a little XC course, beautiful paddocks, and a bathroom in the barn. What more could you want?)
2: Number of miles I managed to run on Monday, despite Saturday’s hot dog indiscretions and Sunday’s inappropriate Taco Bell feast. 
1: Number of times someone asked for coffee at the horse show. (Surprising!)
0: Number of times I saw my horses this weekend. Oops. 
Here’s to a week full of better food decisions and actually getting out to ride Moe and Gina!