Friday, July 29, 2016


First don't forget about the Olympic Contest!  There are still more prizes than entries, so enter away!

Secondly, I have been struggling to find breeches that I like.  I have several fit problems.  One I am super tall, but I also have hips and a butt.  Apparently most companies assume if you are tall you are also super skinny (ok maybe not super skinny but they stop making longs before they hit my size).  I have a few that I like and a few that failed, so if you have any suggestions fire away.

I have some Kerrits tights that I love and wear all the time, but they only come in black and tan.  I am ok with wearing them in the black, but a girl can only have so many pairs of black tights.  I tried a pair of their full seats and while I liked them they didn't last.

Stinker thinks that I shouldn't be allowed to dress anyone.

I tried the Aztech Diamond breeches, but they aren't wide enough in the hips for me.  I also tried Smartpak Pipers and those were terrible.  I had to size up to a 36 to even get them on and then the waist was so large I can easily fit a fist in them.  I also tried some Goode Rider and they were big fat nopes.

The FITS Free Flex Full Seats are good, but they are a little snugger and leave things more visible than I would prefer.  They are typically the ones that I wear for the video lessons and clinics because they are my only light grey pair.

FITS.  Look fine in the saddle, but a touch snug for my taste.

I recently tried ROMF St. Tropez Full Seats and they are nice, but a little heavy for summer season.  They are also a little snugger in the hips that I like.  I have to do some squats when I first put them on so they stretch and aren't weird when I get in the saddle.  They are also too short for me, but I mostly ignore that.

ROMF St. Tropez.  A bit to heavy for the humidity.

If you are hippier, what are your favorite breeches (full seats or knee patch)?  If you aren't what breeches didn't you like because they were too big in the hips?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I Like Big Butts

Unfortunately Stinker does not have one, but I have been working really hard to give Stinker a big butt.  I feel like something is missing from my routine.  As a review, he has poor hind end conformation, EPM basically removed all muscle from his hind (that might be a smidge dramatic but that is what it felt like), and I am still figuring out how to ride him correctly.

This year is on top and last year is on the bottom

As you can see from the picture, I have made progress not only with his weight, but also with his muscling.  He looked like shit last year after he lost weight and muscle from the EPM.  I am concerned about how he has a dip in his butt.  I have read that this goes along with a weak stifle (which also goes along with what my vet has said).

I don't have an old butt shot to compare it too, but you can see how flat his bum is on the sides.  The right is worse than the left, which correlates with his right hind being weaker than his left hind.  I have been doing all the things I know to strengthen them, but I am not making the progress that I want.  I could just be being impatient (no surprise there...I want muscle NOW!)

Who doesn't want a horse that stands like a ballerina?

Right now, we walk on hills, play with poles, some backing exercises, leg yields on a circle, turns on the forehand.  That basically covers the majority of exercises that I have found.  I really wish that I could do trot on the hill, but he made that very apparent he isn't ready for it yet.  I am questioning if I could just do one or two and then stop, because he was ok with that.  But I am also terrified I will push too hard and have a huge set back.  The backing is slowly improving, but we have two problems with it.  One, he doesn't back straight (I can't use a whip to keep him straight because he loses his mind at sight of a whip), so I have to use a fence or something to keep him straight.  Also, he doesn't take the clear step necessary to really engage things.  He does more of the only if I have to shuffle.  I am really not sure how to get this crisp.

So are there any other exercises I am missing?  General thoughts?

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Wheels On The Bus...

Go spinning off... Not really I am being a bit dramatic, but I have gotten greedy with the fantastic rides that Stinker has been giving me.  Apparently, we forgot how to walk again this weekend.  And it wasn't the tense anxiousness that freaked me out the last time.  It was I am being an asshole and don't feel like playing ball today.

Not an asshole face...but can be an asshole

After fighting about walking for the majority of the way back to the barn, I got to a hill and had the thought "If you want to trot you can trot up the hill on the bit."  He did quite lovely and was sulky when I turned and walked him back down the hill.  He decided to trot up it again (I was asking for the walk and not being neutral/encouraging the trot) and this was repeated a couple more times.  Right as I was starting to think that maybe he is strong enough to add in some hill trot work his right hind went from fine to super gimpy.  Like feels very lame gimpy.

I got my tack locker organized

Luckily, he is smart and finally decided that walking was good, so I was able to get him to stretch a bit and get off without feeling like I ended on a bad note.  I gave him a bath (much to his dismay) and hosed his legs for longer than I usually do.  He didn't seem any worse for the wear and was quite happy to kick his stall with that leg, so I decided I wasn't allowed to worry (until after I rode on Sunday).

I love this picture, post rain and the sun setting.

Sunday I gave him an extra long warm up and I had a really hard time getting him to slow his walk and soften.  I could feel that he was a little quick with his right hind which was part of the struggle with asking for the slow walk.  He was really tight in his poll (which D had previously said relates to his hind leg) and it took a solid 20 min or more of walk to get him feeling supple.  I did some trot work and while it was pretty mediocre, he did give me some good moments.

It has been super hot.  This is from 35 min of calm walking (aka not this weekend).

Overall, I am calling things a win.  I kept my crazy in check for once (if I keep this up I might be mistaken for a sane horse owner).  Stinker isn't any worse for the wear.  And I know that he isn't ready for that much push yet.  I am trying to figure out the best way to keep getting him stronger, but that is a post in itself.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

May Video Lesson

I almost didn't post this considering it is nearly two months over due.  But I really like these posts to keep track of our progress, so enjoy (or skip over it).  It is also funny writing this up when we have progressed so much since then, but it is a good reminder.

05.09.16 Video Lesson

My Thoughts:
The trot work felt better than it looks.  He felt like he was actually reaching for the contact instead of tucking into the false contact.  At the end I did some turns on the forehand/haunches and leg yields.  This is the first video where I really felt like I was struggling with my balance at the trot.

D's Thoughts:
I need to relax and ride my horse.  I am locking in my lower back and regressing back to when I was first figuring out how to ride him and was super defensive.  I need to remember to breathe and let go (true on so many levels).

The walk is looking really good and I am doing a good job of managing him in the walk, which is funny because D thought the walk is what we would struggle the most with.  Now I just need to transfer that mindset to the trot because the walk is our happy place right now. 
I am doing a better job with the trot (above).  D thinks that the majority of our problems are because I am too tense and he is now in the neutral, so I need to meet him there.  I need to get out of my head and stop worrying so much.

Our lateral work is improving, but I need to stop once I get the correct response and not push for more.  I need to go for baby steps instead of trying to go for everything (29:07).

05.15.16 Video Lesson

My Thoughts:
I was fairly happy with this video.  I felt like most of the issues were due to me.  I was waiting for some new stirrup leathers to come in, so I could shorten them a hole.  We had done a fair amount of walk before the video starts and I really think that helps him to loosen up and relax.

D's Thoughts:
Our first trot transition is one of the best we have done and the trot work is the best it has been since we removed the side reins.  I was looking much more relaxed in the trot.  We had a nice diagonal until I flubbed the corner (I remembered that there is a dip in that corner at the last minute and turned him abruptly).  In general, I need to use my aids better in the corners.
I need to get him a touch lower in the trot work for now.  He was working well and it was excellent work for us, but in general I need to work him a little lower.  Overall, D thought this was one of our best rides since losing the draw reins.

05.24.16 Video Lesson

My Thoughts:
I was pretty happy with this video.  It was after I had a couple lessons with my favorite dressage judge, so I was a bit disappointed that the leg yields weren't as good as they had been.  I was having some trouble to the right, and I think it was because he was locking up in the poll and I couldn't quite get him to give and I think that is why he was twisting his nose.

D's Thoughts:
Right from the beginning, I took his neck away.  I did have a bobble and ask for too much when I did the turn on the forehand.  I shouldn't be afraid to let him trot when he starts to get worked up (I don't totally agree with this, because I have a system that is working for us, but it is good to keep in mind).
In the second trot set, he is rushing a bit and I need to slow him down and rebalance, but I am catching him when he comes above the bit.  On the plus side, the leg yields were good.  At one point I even got him to drop his right hip and led with his hind end.

One interesting thing that D said was when I feel that tightness in the poll is it is actually his hind that is the problem.  I need to really push the hind leg up under him and really emphasize the bend to get the release I want.  She also feels that he tends to jam himself up in his shoulder, because he has really figured out how to bring the energy up from his hind.

Overall, D was really happy with how things are progressing.

05.29.16 Video Lesson

My Thoughts:
I kept this one short, because it was hot (little did I know that it was just getting started).  I wasn't super happy with the trot work, because it felt like he was pulling with his front instead of pushing from behind.  Also, he was blowing through my half halt attempts.  I also played with the shoulder in (baby ones) and leg yields (they made him anxious, so I didn't do much).  Overall, I was happy with the ride and he felt balanced and didn't take as long of a walk warm up to start stretching.

D's Thoughts:
D was happy with the shoulder in.  The one to the right wasn't as good, but it was a good starting place.  The trot work at 7:00 looked really good.  When I am doing the turn on the forehand, I was trying to hold him in it too long and now I need to make sure his feet are planted.  He is wiggling too much and I need to get him planted and then ask.  I also figured out that I was cueing for the turn on the haunches incorrectly.
Overall, she thought this was one of the best rides we have had.  Our trot work was inconsistent, but he would respond promptly when I asked him to stretch down again.  The lateral work was some of our best.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Olympic Winners Contest

Because I am obsessed with the olympics and can't wait for them to start I thought it would be fun to do a contest where people pick the winners (there will be prizes involved).  In order to make things easier, I am limiting it to the team competitions.  But to make it more difficult (and other discipline friendly) you have to pick for dressage, eventing, and show jumping.  Let the games begin.

The official judge, but don't worry I will still do the math.

How it works
You pick what country you think will win the gold, silver, and bronze medal for each discipline.  As a potential tie breaker, you have to guess what the score will be for the eventing individual gold medalist.  Entries are due Friday August 5th by midnight pacific time (email them to (at) gmail or comment on this post).

  • Dressage
    • Gold=Cuba
    • Silver=Mexico
    • Bronze=Peru
  • Eventing
    • Gold=South Africa
    • Silver=Swaziland
    • Bronze=Botswana
  • Show Jumping
    • Gold=Nepal
    • Silver=Thailand
    • Bronze=Cambodia
  • Tiebreaker=19.3 (remember lower is better in eventing)
  • For every medal you get correct, you get 20 points.
  • If you get all three correct in the same category you get 30 bonus points.
  • If you get two correct (ex. gold and bronze are correct) in the same category you get 20 bonus points.
  • If you pick a team in the incorrect medal spot (ex. your gold team wins bronze) you get 5 points.
  • In the event that there is a tie, the score that is closest for the eventing gold medalist will win the tie.
Prizes (the fun part)
  • 1st place will get their choice of a gift card 
    • Dark Jewel Design
    • If the Bonnet Fits
    • Riding Warehouse
  • 2nd place will get their choice of a gift card after (1st place)
  • 3rd place will get the remaining card
In addition to the winning prizes, I am putting together some small ones (these will be humorous and not set in stone yet) for the non-winners.
  • Lowest total score (aka please enter my contest because even if you are terrible you can still win something)
  • If you share the contest on your blog, your name will be entered into a random drawing.
  • Most eliminations (aka if you have terrible luck and your riders are falling off left and right you can still win something).
Team Options

Dressage (Link to Teams)
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • USA
Eventing (Link to Teams)
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Russia
  • Sweden
  • USA
Show Jumping (Link to Teams)
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • Qatar
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • USA

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Adulting Fails

This past weekend I told myself I would be a responsible adult and take care of the adult things I needed to do.  The following was my to do list:

Sums up my feelings about adulting.

1)  Laundry.  I am running very low of work appropriate clothes that are clean.
2)  Pick up my house.
3)  Yard work.
4)  Go to the grocery store.
5)  Prep some food for this week.

The following is what I did.

1)  Horse laundry.  I am struggling to keep up with clean(ish) saddle pads in the heat we have been having.  I managed to resist my obvious solution of buying more saddle pads.
2)  Give Stinker a bath.  He was dirtier than my horse was anyway.
3)  Help out a bit at the barn.  Who needs a yard that looks nice anyway.
4)  Did make it to the grocery store.  Then promptly ate all food in sight...
5)  Did not get anything that I could prep and make last for the week.

I find clean white socks so satisfying.

Yep I suck as an adult.  I am pretty sure I will regret my decisions by the time this is published, but I had fun doing it.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Monday Fun Day

Since I had such a depressing post on Friday, I thought some Monday cheer was in order.  Kaitlyn sent me this video and I do believe we have found Stinker's spirit animal.

Friday, July 15, 2016


Typically, I wouldn't write a post like this, but this one stuck with me.  Yesterday, there was an article published on Eventing Nation that struck a cord with me.  I understand why the author did what she did, but I want to share the other side of the story.  The one where the person doesn't make it across.

I had a brother Glade and he died when I was five years old.  He was twenty three years old and one of the few memories I have of him was hiding from the strange man.  It haunts me that my only memory that is truly mine is one where I was afraid of my own brother.  His memory lives on in stories, but if you goggle his name one small article about a tree being planted in his memory is the result.  A vibrant young man was reduced to a blip, all because of a split second decision to save some horses.

I don't remember a lot from the day that he died, but I do remember it was the first time I ever saw my dad cry.  The way Glade died was eerily similar to the way the article unfolded.  There was a big rain storm and a flash flood.  There were horses that were stranded on an island in the middle of a stream that was rapidly riding.  He and his girlfriend were trying to use a fence to cross the stream and the fence started coming apart.  She turned back and he grabbed one of the horses and that was the last time anyone saw him alive.  He and the horse went under (probably due to a fence) and he was found nine miles down stream and his horse was another four miles beyond him.

Obviously the author of the article had additional assistance that my brother did not have, but things could have just as easily have ended the same way.  I beg of you to please think twice before risking your life for your horse.  I love my horse more than anything, but he is not worth putting my family through the pain of losing me.  Somebody loves you, think of them and not yourself before you risk your life.

PS I do not know who took these photos and I apologize for not giving photo credits.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mr. Sensitivity

When Teddy's Tack Trunk ran a sale over the 4th of July weekend, I was really excited.  I had been dying to get their brushes after SprinkerBandits and $900 Facebook Pony (2nd and 3rd review) both said they were fantastic for their super sensitive horses.  Plus these ladies have never steered me wrong with purchases (and yes there have been many), so I went all out and got the Leistner "Trophy" Brush Set (I did do the substitution for the Prinz brush).

All the pretty brushes

I was so excited when they shipped within hours of placing the order and when they arrived I skipped out on my adulating duties to go make my pony pretty.  Who doesn't love to try new things?  Stinker was not nearly as excited to be drug out of his pasture as I was to drag him.  I figured I could bribe him with some food and he would forgive me.

Not the face I was getting.

He was less than thrilled.  In fact he was grumpier than usual when it came to grooming.  I was a little bummed but chalked it up to him being grouchy.  I continued to use the brushes, but he doesn't seem to approve of them.  In fact the softest face brush causes the most objection.  WTF horse!  I don't know if it is a smell thing, because he is weird about his face.  Everything has to be sniffed and typically chewed before it can touch his face.  I am trying to decide if I will keep torturing him with these brushes or go ahead and sell them.  He doesn't appreciate them any more than the cheap brushes and objects more to some of them.

Really not sure about this.

That being said, I adore these brushes.  They are everything that SprinkerBandits and $900 Facebook Pony said (minus the fact the my sensitive asshat doesn't appreciate them).  Especially the Hoof Brush.  That thing is staying no matter what.  It is freaking amazing.  We have super sandy soil and Stinker wears pull on bell boots and the sand is a pain to clean out.  The hoof brush cuts that cleaning process in half at the very least.

So do I ignore my horse's objections and keep the brushes because I want them?  Or do my best to recoup my money and go back to the cheapies because my horse has zero taste?

Monday, July 11, 2016


Guess who has started tattling on me?

Yep.  The little Stinker is a tattletale.  First, I will back up a bit.  I started playing sports when I was in middle school.  I was terrible.  That happens when you grow a lot and lose all coordination.  I stopped growing in 8th grade, and once I started high school the coaches started being more interested in me as a player.  That is what happens when you are a 6'0" tall girl.  Anyway, I started focusing on basketball and had a coach that wanted to win at all costs.  I was expected to play at all costs (I actually got yelled at for not playing with a sprained ankle).  This basically taught me to ignore pain and push through it.  This carried on through college (basketball again).  I was basically a year round athlete plus working on my parents ranch, sometimes doing as many as three practices a day.

He was snorting at small children...

At the time I didn't realize I was destroying my hips and ankles.  I knew my ankles were weak because I kept spraining them, but I wore braces (basically the air cast ones) and was careful outside of practice.  They got taped a lot, but I never went to the doctor or did any rehab when I did injure them.  It was ice and advil to numb the pain to play.  I got really good at hiding limping.  In college, I started having hip problems and this was more serious, but I was just taught to wrap them and mask the symptoms so I could play.  Once I hit grad school my activity level dropped drastically and I started having back problems.  I finally went to the doctor when I was having spasms that rendered me immobile and was having problems walking (super smart to wait that long I know).

Even still I am screwing up my ankles and getting booted (pic from last year).

A set of X-rays later, I was told, "wow you have a lot of wear on your hips even for an athlete." Super helpful dude, but they did send me to PT for a bit.  There I learned that I am quad dominate and have weak hamstrings.  This leads to my hip flexors being tight and when they get too tight they pull on my lower back causing the back issues.  For the most part I am doing better about keeping things in balance, but I still have days where I sit too much and my hips start to tighten up.

He does not look like this when I have tight hips...

This is were Stinker comes into play.  He does not appreciate it when I have tight hips.  And now apparently he can tell my hips are tight before I can.  I had an excellent ride on Saturday and Sunday was supposed to be a light day.  He kept getting more and more anxious, so I decided to give him a timeout.  I got off him and just let him chill for ten minutes.  Typically this helps to reset his brain.

More yoga for you and cookies for me please.

When I got back on things were a bit better, but it took about 40 minutes to get him to where he was reaching and supple.  I worked him a bit longer just to solidify that it was what I wanted and got off.  I promptly started thinking back to last month when I had a tense anxious monster on my hands.  Then did a few other errands and what not and a few hours later I noticed my hips were tight.  I am willing to put money on Stinker's tenseness was due to my hips being tight.

Friday, July 8, 2016

July Conformation

I was actually a little bummed this month.  Don't get me wrong, he is looking fantastic, but I really want his neck fixed already.  It is slowly improving, but when I see that darn dip I get sad and think I am not doing something right.  Basically, I have too much time to stare at the picture and fixate.  I am very happy with his weight and how shiny he is.

When I compare back to January (bottom in the sets) he has a lot of improvement.  I am just getting greedy and wanting more.

I want him to look like this when he is just standing, but I will just have to be patient.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

My Favorite Things

Sorry for the plethora of tack posts.  Work is crazy and I wrote these ahead of time, and I can't predict how the riding goes.  Therefore you get tack posts instead.  The majority of these items have been bought at the recommendation of other bloggers, so this will be short and sweet.

1)  Wow saddle.  That had its own post, so enough said.

2)  PS of Sweden Chameleon Revolution and Rubber Reins.  I still love this bridle and the reins.  It is always a bonus that Stinker looks adorable in it.  I also emailed the USEF about the elastic pieces and as of right now they are legal.

Love these so much.

3)  Dark Jewel Designs Browband.  Still obsessed.  Want to buy more and already have several planned out.

4)  Higher Standards Leather Care.  Love it.  Cleans well (I let things get grimy which I am sure will make people twitch, but riding >>>than cleaning).

5)  Tredstep Donatello Field Boots.  They are my first pair of tall boots, so I don't have a lot to compare them too.  They fit me extremely well, but I do have a couple of complaints.  One the damn things did not drop, so I still can't zip them all the way up.  Also the zipper is coming loose at the bottom (it happened within the first month and hasn't gotten worse in the last ten).

6)  One K Helmet.  The removable liner is the best thing ever during the summer.  It also fits me really well (no pressure points that give me headaches).

7)  Kastel Denmark Shirts.  Sun protection and don't make me die from heat stroke.

8)  Equifuse gleam.  Keeps Stinker's tail manageable and in all of its glory.

9)  Wahl KM2 Clippers.  I have been sitting on these for awhile now.  I haven't used them for anything besides cleaning up feathers and the bridle path, but I think I will be able to body clip him with them this fall without too much trouble.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Best Day

I took Friday off and turned it into a pony day.  I was suppose to adult and I did minimally, but it was a pretty awesome day.

First up I had a lesson and I got to ride S's mare.  I adore this horse.  She is a big (16.3) leggy OTTB. Last year they did a one star, but this year has been plagued with minor health issues that has kept them from being in top form.  Not to mention she has anhidrosis so the summer is rough.  Anyway, the point of the lesson was for me to loosen her up and for S to see her go.  It was a really good ride and I got to ride a well trained horse for a change and fine tune my aids a bit.  I also got a reminder of the go button.  Stinker doesn't typically need that button so it gets a little rusty for me.

We took this quality video.

After my lesson, I did some ground work with Stinker.  I wanted to lunge him to see how he was going (the vet was out today and I wanted to either increase or decrease my paranoia before he came).  I also wanted to play with backing.  D wants me to start working that under saddle but it tends to frazzle Stinker.  My plan is to get him to back totally off voice commands then have him start to back under saddle when I have a ground person and progress from there.

This picture makes me giggle.  Rosie is the evil mini and Paddy is an Irish Sport Horse.

The most amusing part of lunging was when he got sassy and tried to buck.  I say tried, because he really doesn't know how to buck.  After a few jumps, he trotted off and was so proud of himself, which made me laugh even harder.  I really wish I had a video of it, because then I would shame on the internet.  I did actually get some trot video (I lack skills to lunge and video very well but it exists).

I hung out at the barn most of the morning, but decided to leave before the vet arrived.  My logic was that every time I see him my wallet empties itself, so I figured I would spare myself that pain.  I then went home to "clean and work on job applications" and ended up sitting on my couch and playing on the internet.  Oops...oh well.  It was just what I needed.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Making A Solid Citizen Blog Hop

Yesterday, Sprinkler Bandit posted about the mythological forever home and I started thinking about things (dangerous territory).  I know that in addition to my own goals for Sinker I want to make him a solid citizen.  He will always be quirky, but I think I can increase his odds in case something happens.

Gotta make this face the best he can be

First off, I have a plan in place in case I die suddenly.  Morbid I know, but it is also necessary.  He will go back to D and she has the means to find him a good home or the possibility to keep him if she so chooses.  Either way, he has a soft landing regardless of where his training stands.

This leads me into my actual question.  What skills would you want a horse to have to be a solid citizen?

He stands quietly now.

My criteria may or may not be the best one, because I like the weirdos and I have spent my whole life around horses, so there may be behaviors that don't bother me that are terrifying to others.  So help me identify the holes in my grand plan.

  • Ground manners
    • Leads next to you.  No dragging behind or in front (guess which one is Stinker's problem).
    • Picks up feet easily
    • No biting (Stinker is super mouthy so this is a constant battle.  He doesn't bite, but the licking proceeds to nibbles)
    • Stands for grooming and washing
    • No pawing in the cross ties (This is also a work in progress)
  • Under Saddle
    • Stands for mounting (this has improved greatly)
    • Willing to stand and wait (this needs work)
    • Prompt and forward (we have this down pat)
    • Can be ridden alone or in groups (the alone part is good groups are hit or miss)
    • Trail rides (still improving)
    • I would love for him to be solid in dressage and maybe some little jumping but that is dreaming at the moment
  • Personality (These aren't really trainable, but they are pluses that Stinker has)
    • Lovable (Stinker is a favorite around the barn because he is so interactive)
    • Smart (He picks up things so quickly.  I have been too lazy to do tricks with him, but with his stretches he basically does them himself)
He hasn't gotten tired of my shenanigans yet,
so he is basically tween girl proofed.

I really want him to become a solid citizen, so if the odds aren't in our favor he can find a soft landing.  He already has several strikes against him.  One he is a saddlebred which carries a lot of negative connotation for people.  Two he now has had health issues which may or may not continue to cause him problems.  Also, his conformation isn't the best.  Three, he had a rough start and has baggage from it.  Lucky for him I am not the three strikes you are out kind of girl.

I think I did things right to update this to a blog hop if you are interested.  If it isn't working please let me know and I will attempt to fix it.