Yes, it's trite. And overdone. But it's topical and I'm all about keeping up and in with the kidz these days, you know? So here are three things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving.

1. Zippers in tall boots.

It dawned on me that the teenagers that ride at my barn will not know a life without zippered tall boots. Even some people closer to my age never experienced this. They don't know that boot socks exist not to be adorable and colorful but to help grease your leg up a bit so you can stuff it in the sausage casing of a tall boot. Breaking in tall boots now is a cinch because with zippers, they don't drop nearly as much. Pre-drop, appropriately fitting tall boots were usually so tall the stiff leather was like a knife severing the tendons behind your knee.

They also won't experience the sheer ecstacy of finally taking said boots off at the end of a long day of competing. Although that didn't come without a price.

I had a pair of pull on tall boots that I got when I was fifteen and wore until I was eighteen. In that time I went through puberty, so fitting into the boots became more and more of a stretch (pun intended) until one show halfway through warm-up my right leg went completely numb. And back then that was sort of... normal. You had tall boots. If your leg swelled because it was hot and you were riding a 1200 pound animal you boot would cut the circulation off and that would kind of be that.

At the end of that show the boot jack couldn't dislodge my boot off my foot and I was contemplating cutting my own leg off it hurt so badly. At the end of the day I sat in the trunk of my dad's car, holding on to the handles in the back while my dad leaned his full body weight against the boot. It finally did come flying off, landing him in the grass.

2.  Eventing has ride times

If I had heard of this I may have switched over from hunter jumper land earlier. When I was a teenager and had a horseshow, I had cryptic ride times such as: 87th in the class. 10th after the break. You don't know when the class starts. You don't know when the break is. Any number of people could scratch and bump you up in the order. It's hard to know how long to give yourself to warm up. Ten rides? Five? Ten rides could be anywhere from ten minutes to forty five. If you have a horse that's picky about warmup it's hard to judge when you should even get on.

But eventing I know exactly when I'm riding. And not even the day of, the THURSDAY before I can have a tack up, mounting, and warm up plan. Which, for someone with anxiety, is amazing.

3.  The internet

I realize this is SUPER broad but I mean this with respect to horses. With the internet, you can stream clinics from your favorite big name riders. I also streamed Rolex from London this year. You can watch helmet cams of four star. Or you'll watch helmet cams of places and think holy shit I need to compete there. Like now I want to go to Rebecca Farm, and I would never think of going all the way to Montana on my own.

You can also sign up for events online. Because you know what's annoying? Using a fax machine. I used to use the one at work because I don't have a fax machine at home (WHO DOES). I always got funny looks as I struggled to dial out and get the 'fax successful' confirmation and then pray that someone picked it up out of the faxing tray. And then you had to put your check in the mail and pray it didn't get lost and watch your bank account like a hawk for the withdrawal that signified your entry was accepted.

Now I can have all my information preloaded onto Eventing Entries, including the Coggins, and pay easily with a credit card. Entry MAGIC. Plus you can watch live scores so even if you're not at the event you can see how your friends and big name riders are doing.

But for every light side, there is also a dark side. Because the internet has also exacerbated my horse spending habit. I can easily order gorgeous bridles from Britain, find the best deal or most unique bit that my local tack store doesn't stock, and don't forget about Tack of the Day. That's my favorite thing about lunch actually.

And let's not forget I found Runkle on the internet, so we would literally not be here (on this webpage) without the internet. Well, I mean we're using the internet to log onto it. Nevermind, you know what I mean.

But in all seriousness, I'm thankful for so much this year. My family for supporting me and my horse obsession hobby. My trainer for helping find the right horse. And Runkle for... being Runkle.


  1. HA i love this!!! (and was particularly grateful for zippers on tall boots when i recently broke my leg and did *not* have to endure getting my beautiful brown boots cut off by the docs). hope you had a great thanksgiving!


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