Adventures in Horse Shopping: The Horse Formally Known as BDH

Well folks, I’m off to the bank to write an awfully big (for me) check. Goodbye money, hello new horse!

Our XC schooling yesterday, which was the do-or-die decision day, went amazingly well. Video to come, I promise!

So the Barbie Dream Horse is mine, and we can officially start calling him by his actual name, Jack.

Jack’s quick stats are thus:

  • 9 yo branded German Warmblood gelding
  • 16.3h (going on 17h it seems!)
  • Former foxhunting prospect, started eventing career last fall.

When I first saw Jack’s video online some months ago, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Foster in some way, despite them being very different horses. But since Foster is still my heart horse, I was super interested in this potentially palomino version. I set up an appointment to see him just a couple weeks after selling Smitty, only to discover that the horse had moved from VA to Aiken and the agent didn’t know where he went. Cue major disappointment.

Then after some stalking of warmbloods on a site I was frequently, I found him again in some of the archives. A phone call, some video stalking, and as you all know, I got to see him on my whirlwind visit to VA. He was the only horse I sat on and immediately felt at home, and the only one that I actually bothered to try my saddle on, despite only having sat on him for 15 minutes. My trainer and vet loved the look of him, and I even had a local GP dressage rider go evaluate him as a possible 3rd level prospect. I went up again, this time with a trailer, sat on him once more, and brought him back for the trial.

Since then, it’s been fairly rosy. Rosy enough, in fact, that I have been chatting with friends about possible registered names. Going with my penchant for alcoholic names (which are lucky, you know. Hey just look at Foster) we were talking about Goldschlager, when a friend suggested why not Gentleman Jack. I loved that idea- not only is it another whiskey (like Kentucky Gentleman, Foster’s show name), but it also pays tribute to Foster in that way. I loved the idea.

And then I got the papers, and what would you guess his name is?

That’s right- Gentleman Jack. I got chills.

So Gentleman Jack, welcome to the family of the House on a Hill.


An Update on Life, Loss, and the BDH

Last week, my father-in-law passed away. I won’t be elaborating on this, as it’s going to take some time for our broken hearts to heal. That’s just the way it goes.

In our thoughts and prayers

Life has been a whirlwind recently, but as time marches on a few things have progressed:

  • We are now 3 days from my first (what?!) recognized dressage show with TC
  • The BDH passed his PPE with my personal vet, who gave him two thumbs up
  • Our showjumping lesson was postponed to tomorrow, with a XC lesson the following Monday
  • Now that I am jumping things again, I found motivation to create things to torture horses with (see below)

I hope to have an update tomorrow on how the showjumping lesson goes, which we are trailering out to for a 7:30am (ick) lesson. Media to follow!



Sorry for the radio silence. I’m spending a second day in a hospital (not for me), and so blogging has been low on the current list of priorities.

Go ahead and assume this may be a quiet week on HOAH, and until the dust settles, enjoy the following clip of the BDH:

Adventures in Horse Shopping: Jumping Through Hoops

By now I feel like I have a fairly defined process for getting approval on a horse (besides of course the first and foremost requirement – thatĀ I actually like/enjoy/feel good about the horse).

So far this process typically starts once I have seen the ad, gotten video, asked pertinent questions, and am planning on going to see/ride said beastie in person.

1 . Vet and trainer have watched sales video and agree that none of its 4 legs are going to fall off in the near future and that it looks like it would be suited for life as a dressage pony

2. Trainer watches video of me riding the horse and approves it as potentially good match

3. My vet speaks with PPE vet about horse and discusses with me any potential pitfalls and sets my general expectation for the horse

Assuming we get through these 3 steps (which plenty of candidates have failed to do, by the way), we then get to the place I am now. So from here, which is essentially the trial/getting-to-know you phase, further hoops arise:

4. Barn manager must agree that the creature is not from the sixth circle of hell and is safe to work with on a daily basis.

5. The dressage trainer comes to meet him in person, typically riding the horse as well as giving me a short lesson, which helps evaluate his real potential for my goals

6. The pony travels to a local cross country schooling venue and is made to jump over solid obstacles and assessed forĀ the probability of its landing me in a casket prematurely.7. I can jump him on my own (with safety net of other folks around) without feeling like I am taking my own life in my hands.

And that’s essentially it! Bonus points for friends approving of said animal being worthy of being stuffed with cookies and posing for endless selfies.

The BDH is going to cross country school next Tuesday… only a couple more hoops to jump through! All fingers crossed šŸ™‚

An Interview with my Dam

I’m a couple days late on this, I realize, but while I was home this weekend I took the opportunity to interview my mother regarding her lifetime spent with horses. This included learning what a rig is, discussing semen extender, and more. Voila.

Adventures in Horse Shopping: The BDH Update

Going with Genny’s brilliant abbreviation, current trial horse will currently be referred to as the BDH [Barbie Dream Horse] until the time that he is either returned to his owner or becomes formally mine.

I had my first real ride on him yesterday, and honestly it couldn’t have gone better. The biggest thing for me to get used to is his size, going from 14.2h TC to a 16.3h banana boat is a little alarming at first. But I’m sure it will come back to me- I just have to remind myself that both Smitty and Foster were 16.2h, and that felt totally fine at the time.

I started out in the indoor arena, favoring an enclosed area as a good place to start, but BDH wasn’t convinced that there was enough room in there to canter, so with a bit of friendly peer pressure from my buddies got me outside where that was space to roam.

Anyways, don’t take my word for how well it went, watch the video!


Adventures in Horse Shopping: Trial Horse II

The saga continues, and hopefully,Ā hopefully, this will be a concluding chapter. Yesterday I made the long drive again up to Virginia and picked up a certain palomino pony that made his debutĀ on the blog a couple weeks ago.

‘J’ as we’ll call him for now is a 9 yo warmblood gelding who has recently started a career as an eventer. He’s a big guy at 16.3-17ish hands (to be confirmed) with a pretty cool demeanor.

That tail flip though

I have 3.5 weeks with J to decide if it’s the perfect fit, but after getting in a couple rides and him being so forgiving of my amateur moments [and obvious lack of equitation skills], plus carting me around over the biggest fences I’ve jumped since Foster’s retirement, I have really high hopes for this guy.

Jumping ahead and clutching the neck strapĀ for dear life

I feel like a child who just brought home her own Barbie Dream Horse. Please keep your fingers crossed that this is the one!