Saturday, June 25, 2016

Suzie's Summer Vacation

Sexy mare don't care.
Suzie hasn't been featured much on the blog lately - she continues to eat, and wander, and is game for the occasional pony ride with my nephews. She seems to enjoy being "needed" and having a job, but I felt bad for her to be confined to a paddock and despite it being spacious, I longed to give her the opportunity to take advantage of the summer grass.

It's not at all uncommon for people in our area to "throw horses to pasture" during the summer when grass is fresh, green, and knee high. For most young horses, this gives them a good chance to gallop and play along acres and acres of softly rolling hills. For the seniors, it gives them the ability to stay in motion and explore their surroundings.

She was bathed because I couldn't handle
dropping off a dirty horse.
 So when a close friend asked if she could "borrow" Suzie for the summer, I couldn't really say no.

This friend has a young Andalusian and an older Morgan mare - the older mare paces the fenceline each time the Andalusian is removed to go to clinics, shows, or schooling sessions and it's to the point where the older mare is hollering and carrying on until the younger horse comes back. It's been frustrating for my friend and it's also been disturbing to the rural neighborhood.

At first I was reluctant - Suzie is my baby and if I can't physically see her every day, I might lose my marbles. But this friend is a well-versed horsewoman and has experience taking care of oldies to begin with.

After almost a month [she actually had asked me prior to me getting Finn, but I didn't want Spud to be alone] of "I don't know" and "Mayyyybe", I finally hauled Suzie out this morning and dropped her off at her Summer Vacation house.

Not even 2 minutes into being unloaded.

Fast friends.
Suzie, Nifty (Morgan), Navarro (Andalusian)
Suzie and Nifty
She is only about 50minutes away from me, so not too far if I wanted to run out and visit. And she has about 20 acres of grass to graze on. The extra mobility will be good for her arthritis and it helps that she is pastured with two well behaved mares.

Not only is this Summer Vacation beneficial to Suzie, but it also helps reduce the $$$ on board I am spending, and it also conserves hay since I also have Finn on a free-lease at the barn. It's kind of a win/win all around, especially since Sassy-mare seems quite content in her new digs.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Product Review: If The Bonnet Fits

 After seeing the900fbpony's review on the bonnets she had customized and ordered from If The Bonnet Fits, I tucked away the information and classified it as a "possible future purchase". I didn't bite the bullet initially since other than having ear bonnets to look fancy, none of my horses actually "needed" them. But then Spud  started his head shaking and I thought that trying out a bonnet to see if it would help wouldn't be such a bad idea.

In truth, I had started out looking on the various online stores that were designated for miniature horses. Honestly I didn't particularly love the minimal choices of color and style, or the poor quality the products mirrored in their photos. I knew instinctively I wasn't going to spend $$$ on a shoddy bonnet that probably wasn't going to fit Spud's very delicate head.

I headed back over to Facebook and immediately contacted Sierra at If The Bonnet Fits to discuss my possibilities.

I was literally floored by the amount of options I really had!!

So many shades.
One of the many color swatches. 

There were infinite color combinations of yarn, cord, and bling. The shape of the bonnet was also endless in possibilities - from long and narrow, to square and abrupt and everything in between. Within the ears, Sierra can even offer noise reduction!

Quite literally, I sent Sierra a price-point, measurements of Spuds little china-doll head, and gave her a color scheme since I was pretty undecided as to what kind of cord or bling I wanted. A few days later I opened my inbox to find not one... not two... but FIVE prepared bonnets (sans ears) in the color scheme we had discussed and in all different styles.

I loved the styles so much that I opted to purchase TWO bonnets for Spud - one to be a "fun everyday" bonnet and the other to be a show bonnet. And after a few adjustments (a lighter color for the cord), the entire process was finally over and the bonnets were ready for ears to be sewn in.

Now, the bonnets are very well made. The stitching is lovely and the bonnet actually holds it's shape along the horse's forehead - and it doesn't flip up during faster work. In fact, Sierra uses mercerized cotton which is more breathable, easier to wash, and more durable. With horses, that sort of thing just matters!

All in all, even with the crazy CAD - USD exchange rate, I spent less than $80 on two bonnets and shipping. Of course, with a horse-sized bonnet, you'd be looking at more $$$ strictly due to the amount of product being used.

Not only is the fit fabulous, but I was able to fully customize my bonnets and make the additions and changes I wanted without breaking the bank. Anyone who owns miniature horses or miniature equines, will know how painful it is to try and find tack and equipment that is actually worth it (since most is cheap, tacky crap).

I honestly have nothing that I would change or any complaints about either of these pieces of artwork. While I have not washed either bonnet yet, I feel as though they'll wash up just fine and be none worse for wear. Of course, with the crystals, I'll opt to hand-wash vs tossing it in the washer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Kathy Stanley Clinic: Spud

We're both just awko tacos.
The last three days have been chock full of learning new things, experimenting, and a crap-ton of hauling. With the onset of the Kathy Stanley clinic, I had a few things I wanted to work on and a few things to experiment with. 

This would be the second clinic I've ever taken with Spud, and it would be with the same clinician as last year, so I was a bit nervous and excited to see how well we had progressed considering the first clinic was spent mostly at the walk... especially after he reared under harness. But still, despite that mess, I was excited to learn something new since I felt Spud was more grown up and more schooled than the previous clinic.

Thankfully, I didn't have to travel as far for this clinic and opted to haul Finn out as well to make use of the Fairgrounds and ride him after my driving lessons on the Monday and Tuesday (today).

Day 3 media.
  Sunday was the first day of the clinic and I hauled out a bit early since the horse chiropractor was up in the area and offered to take a look at Spud re: the head shaking issue we've been having. Much like I had anticipated, Spud was out in his poll and was quite reactive to the treatment, which included many licks and chews afterwards. I would've preferred to have had him adjusted after my lesson, but with the time constraints the body worker had since she is not local, I had to make do with what I had. Other than some other mild body soreness in his left loin and another portion of his mid-neck, Spud was pretty solid all over.

After he had been worked on, the poor bugger tried to go to sleep and I rudely had to wake him whilst I tacked him up. I had a feeling that he was going to be a bit pissy during the lesson since most of the time, body workers prefer to work on a horse after their work-out or during their day off.

No media from day 1, but here is day 2.
 Unfortunately, Spud head-shook during this lesson, but I'm quite confident that it was due to the fact he had just gotten adjusted and then we worked on Dressage-type stuff in the lesson. Despite the head-shaking (which was mostly whenever we went from a trot - walk for the first few steps or so), he worked quite agreeably and we made some good progress. Mostly, we experimented with his extended trot, a bit of long and low walking, and establishing a more forward working trot.

The main take-aways from Sunday's lesson were:
  • The walk should be a FORWARD walk. A working walk does not = lollygagging walk. His head should swing slightly and he should be tracking up easily.
  • When you establish bend, keep it consistent. Do not drop him or tighten the bend and make it more difficult for him.
  • Realize that when going over bumps, it'll make your hands move and in turn, it moves the bit in his mouth. Be cautious of allowing your hands to juggle around with the bumps you feel in the cart.
  • When he gets too deep in his neck (ie. ducking behind the contact), push him forwards and lengthen your reins to let him poke his nose out a bit.
  • Work more on his right side - he doesn't track up as well on this side.
  • I have a lot of inconsistent contact with him - I need to be light, but consistent.

The clinician was quite happy with how much we had progressed as a pair and even commented how fit Spud was - at one point during the lesson, she told me to let Spud walk and catch his breath and when I did, the clinician stuttered and said, "Oh... he's not even breathing hard." I mentioned that I hadn't done much "dressage" stuff with Spud this year, and it had been more or less marathon-type work-outs.

I felt like Spud wasn't totally on his A-game, but at the same time, he was pretty cool with whatever I threw at him and gave me 110%, even when he had no real idea what I was trying to get across. And that felt pretty cool.

Which brought us to Monday, Day Two.

Surprisingly, there was absolutely NO head shaking at all. I felt more like the adjustments he had been given had "settled" in more. Most of this lesson was spent establishing bend to both sides evenly, riding true circles, and playing with a bit of a cones course. A few little "bad habits" popped up and were able to be corrected, which was nice.

Some of the key points from Day 2 were:

  • He likes to chomp at the bit when he gets a bit tense; utilize the inside rein and give a more firm and definitive half halt to soften his jaw. After 2-3 repetitions, he completely stopped this habit.
  • Use your voice to give him direction - don't be afraid to get after him if he does not obey within a reasonable time-frame.
  • Allow your reins to grow longer when he pulls into them - this is his way of asking for a longer rein. It will not be 3ft longer; it'll most likely only be 3mm or even cm longer which is what he needs to help himself stay balanced vs tense and "held" during his turns.
  • Be purposeful in your corrections. You do not have to be mean or tip-toe around him, but be fair.
  • He would make a wonderful CDE horse.
Most of the day was playing with rein length, the severity of half-halts, and roundness. It was fun to see Spud "argue" about bending left and once I gave him that little 2cm of rein length, he arched around the circle and was much more comfortable and agreeable. Not only this, but the clinician actually complimented me on Spud, saying that for being mostly self-taught and having only taken one clinic previously, we were quite advanced.

My heart sung a little bit, truthfully. It was nice to see our hard work pay off, even so much to have a clinician who barely knows us sing our praises.

Which brings us to Day 3, today.

The feel-good vibes continued and we spent more time working on circling, balance around corners, and ended the lesson with practicing the first portion of a Dressage test (ie. A enter working trot, X halt/salute, proceed working trot, track L/R).

Spud felt a bit more tired during this last lesson, mostly because I think the things we were working on were much more technical and used all kinds of different muscles he hadn't needed to use yet this year. Self-carriage is so different in driving dressage-land vs long-trotting down a forestry road. So with that being said, doing the dressage stuff is very demanding, very physical, and very mentally-involved work. I could feel him sizzling out, and I knew I would have to get after him a bit more.

And I wasn't wrong. We had some mild disagreements which stemmed from his lack of energy and one which came about because Spud suddenly decided he didn't know how to bend right. After I "won" that argument, we quickly moved on to something else.

He is so fucking fancy.
I almost wish he were a full-sized horse.
We really nailed the A enter working trot, X halt salute practice runs after a few botched attempts and the clinician was really, really impressed with how well Spud had done over the three days.

Some of the take-aways were:

  • Sometimes when he wants to argue, it's best to just stop and stand for a few minutes and then get back to it. Once he gives you what you are looking for, end it there and move on.
  • If your half-halts are not working, you may need to give a more firmer half-halt or a longer half-halt to help him balance himself. Applying half-halts that are being ignored is not beneficial for either of you.
  •  Accuracy is the key in Dressage - be accurate in the dimensions of your circles and be accurate in your straight lines.
  • Smile at the judge during the halt/salute - you want her to think "What a cute pony" and it'll probably get her on your side.
  • He is such an honest and cool guy.
  • You both pretty much have a lot of these exercises "down pat", it's just making them more consistent and polished.

So fucking happy with him.

In truth, I am pretty happy with my little mini right now. He's starting to become less and less green and more and more like a competition horse. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Down the Wormhole

Much like blogger Emma, who posted about the non-linear progression (and regression) that is horses, I too share a very uncertain future with horses. Not necessarily in the sense that I will sell what I own and vanish - but more along the lines of "where do I go from here"?

The future in showing and participating in active riding is perpetually non-existant once Finn returns home from my lease.

This isn't a shock. Finn's lease was meant to be temporary, with him returning home this Fall, after show season.

And when he returns home, that leaves me with one broken mare and an ever-tempermental mini. Not that it is a bad thing - I'd much rather a broken mare than no mare at all. But it still puts a large halt on my competitive riding career.

So that leaves me with the ability to day-dream about endless possibilities.

My thoughts have gone all the way from purchasing a fancy new show horse, to pulling a viable embryo out of Suzie and putting it in a recipient mare. I seriously put more thought into the latter than I am proud to admit. But I digress.

I love my red mare and if she weren't old and broken, I may have something to work with. But, by this point I'm sure her ovaries have dried up into nothing and even-moreso, I don't have an excessive amount of money to pour into old ovaries, recipient mares, petri dishes, and whatever else lab equipment I'd require. It'd be a mad science experiment for sure, and if I had thousands of dollars to play around, I would.

 But such is life.
And much like the game of Life, it likes to fuck you when you aren't looking.

And boy does it fuck you hard.

In truth, I've delved down into this pit of self-induced sadness with the cards I've recently been dealt. Suzie being diagnosed with navicular was just the tip of the metaphorical ice-berg. I haven't made it public knowledge on this blog, but I've been unemployed since late March due to lack of work. The construction industry is a fickle thing and quite literally, you will work yourself out of a job. It's the nature of the beast - things get made and once they are made, the project is over.

The unfortunate reality is that the bills keep coming, the pets seem to get injured during the worst of times, things break and need replacing, etc etc. Things that were frivolous desires (read: not a necessity) were no longer optional and having Suzie be diagnosed and retired to a life of leisure was just a kick in the teeth. I could take losing my income; losing the freedom of riding was just unbearable. And while I still have Finn to ride, it really isn't the same. And while I still have Spud to drive, it really isn't the same.

Nothing will ever be the same as riding my red mare.

Although I was still unemployed when I started to look for a lease horse, the essential staple to the conditions of the lease were that it'd be a free lease. No money was outgoing and it was do-able considering I had purchased a shit ton of hay prior to the job loss. I'm sure I could've gotten along just fine without riding this year, but it was more of my own selfish-fueled desires than anything.

So I've been doing some soul-searching and tossing around a multitude of ideas. The idea of a horse that is already made is seriously appealing, but it will come with a price-tag that I will not be able to afford for a while, especially due to the whole unemployment thing. Saving up for a new show pony was not in the plans for the last few years and even since Suzie's diagnosis, I haven't put a penny into my "New Horse Fund".

I've had friends tell me to just look for a cheap project horse. But in reality, I don't WANT a project. I want something made - I don't want an 8 year old Morgan that is green-broke or a 6 OTTB that just came off the track. My "want" list is very specific and I have only been able to find two horses that would have literally fit the bill - ironically enough, they came with a large "bill" (ha ha ha). The other horses I know of that would fit the bill are not even for sale.... And why? Because the kind of horse I want is the kind people keep for themselves.

It's the kind of horse that people dream about - the kind of horse that is some kind of mystical unicorn. They do exist, trust me on this.

She is one of these unicorns.

But am I willing to fork over a large amount of change?

Or, do I MAKE my own?

And then there is the property to consider - I don't want to board forever. Do I hold off on purchasing for the next two - three years just for the sake of saving and building a barn?

Or do I take on one of the largest projects there is in horse ownership and purchase a weanling?

Before you void my thoughts as being completely erratic and nonsensical, think about it for just one second.

Say I purchased a weanling and whilst it grew up and became a respectable equine citizen, I built my barn and spent that non-existant extra time I have on the property? In addition, the weanling will inevitably become a 5K+ investment but the difference is that it'll be over the period of quite a few years vs an initial purchase price. Plus, any showing and such would be beneficial in the sense of getting the foal out and about, but it wouldn't be the end of the world to miss a show here and there.

The irony in all of this is that one of my favorite breeders in the area JUST SO HAPPENS to have one mare due this year. And that mare JUST SO HAPPENS to be my very favorite of her entire broodie gang.

Stallion - 2007 Dunalino APHA.
I've personally met him and he is one of the sweetest
studs you'll ever meet.

Mare - far left liver chestnut. APHA

Resulting foal from the exact same cross last year - foal on
the far right. Solid dun filly.
 The foal is due in July and provided it is a solid (no paints, pls), it will be something I may have to strongly consider.

With me wanting an exact type of horse, it may be "cheaper" to start off with a weanling vs a made horse. Because to have a made horse sitting in a pasture isn't as appealing as it is to have a weanling sitting and growing up, experiencing life. And perhaps during the time I spend "making" this foal into what I want, Spud could be shown properly and more seriously during that time.

So am I crazy? The boyfriend is supportive of the idea so far, altho he is less enthused about the idea of me paying more board money for a horse I cannot ride (it would ironically bring the tally up to 3 horses I can't ride... boo).

So do I wait 2-3 years until I've built my barn and such to get the horse? Should I save up for that "made" horse? Do I "make" THAT horse I want with shelling out money throughout it's career vs the initial purchase price?

Heads - foal
Tails - foal
The thoughts keep swirling and they don't make much sense. Maybe I'll just flip a coin.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Pressing Onwards

I'll admit it - I've been MIA for the last week or so on this blog because of a few reasons:
  1.  My sister had her third baby (a little girl!) so my parents are up visiting from the island and I've been partaking in some well-needed family time. 
  2. It has been BEAUTIFUL out so I've been spending most of my time outside playing ponies, hiking the dogs, or having BBQs.
  3. I haven't had anything really exciting to write. 
He tries to love her, but she hates him.
Sidenote: his lower lip is perpetually droopy.
 Unfortunately, like #3 already alluded, I don't have anything particularly interesting or ground-breaking to report with any of the horses. Things with Finn have continued to progress and we are now up to 30min of consistent work in the arena, which is fabulous for a 21 year old horse who has had the last 2 years off. I plan on working up to 45min at least before I seek out any kind of lessons or coaching.

On Monday, I hacked Finn out over the gravely/rocky trail to the Fairgrounds. We had a pretty fabulous ride and I found he was quite malleable - he just really need support from his rider to continue to keep himself together. Our down transitions, namely canter to trot leaves much to be desired, but we've had a few good transitions in that department so I am holding out hope.

Post ride on Wednesday whilst I got Suzie ready.
 Since I didn't want to overdo Finn walking on gravel/rocks again like I had previously, I opted to haul him to the Grounds for our next schooling ride with Suzie tagging along. She seemed a bit sad the last time I haltered Finn up, so I wanted to take her for a little jaunt.

 Earlier in the week I had noted Finn's nose had been a bit runnier than normal, but hadn't really paid much attention until he unloaded from the trailer with thick mucus running from both nostrils. I immediately messaged his owner, thinking that perhaps us putting in a new roundbale caused some issues with him. Owner feels that he has a little cold and told me to keep riding him (within reason, of course, and nothing too streneous). He had no temp or any other issues to show he wasn't feeling good. Thankfully he doesn't really get a goopy/runny nose unless he's sneezed or been slightly anxious (ie. his nose started to run in the trailer because I unloaded Suzie first so he was snorting for her). Still, a bit of a bummer as it seems my horses just keep hurting themselves or getting sick!! Someone stop poking my voodoo dolls with pins!

Well, goddamn.
The ride on Wednesday was good - I didn't push him too hard since he was a bit sick but the owner and I felt it would be good to get him moving to help shake loose any mucus or phlegm. Unfortunately, there is no media from the rides, but they were productive. I've left Finn alone for the last two days to get himself better. He's improved quite drastically the last two days, so I'm itching to get him going again and also to finally bathe him (I was going to on Wednesday, but with him being a bit sick I didn't want to have him catch a chill despite the hot temps we've been having). In addition, I've been lathering his hooves with venice terpentine to help firm them up a bit as well; hopefully it helps.

Ready to ride.
After riding Finn on Wednesday, I putzed around on Suzie  since she looked like she wanted to get out and do something; and boy was she was just a little firecracker. We did some bridleless riding and a wee bit of cantering, as it seems like it is more comfortable of a gait for her than the trot. The entire ride lasted less than ten minutes, but her ears were pricked and she strutted herself across the arena at the end. I do have a bit of exciting news to share in Suzie-land, but for now it'll have to wait.

BFFs, only when Spud isn't around tho.
Spud is doing well - I hadn't taken him out in about a week but pulled him out for a 7k drive this afternoon. He still has the head-shaking, but it was actually less than it had previously been. I feel as though it is a seasonal thing, which is a bit of a relief. I have some ear bonnets coming in the mail and a nose net as well, so we'll experiment with those and see what he likes best.

Things will be getting a bit interesting soon enough - Spud has a clinic on the 19th - 21st, Finn has another Percentage (Ride A Test) day on the 25th, and there is some cool Suzie news coming soon.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Bad Things Come in Threes?

In truth, I haven't felt much like blogging... Nothing exciting has really happened and I'm battling a questionable issue Spud has acquired over the last little while which has battered me a bit emotionally... This is in addition to taking the hit of Suzie being retired... and then the hit of Finn becoming foot-sore.. I am sincerely hoping the old adage of "bad things come in threes" applies here and I am done with bad-luck for a while...

Semi-awkward photo of Finn in
the jumping tack.
Finn is doing great - I hacked him out a few days ago and he is still sensitive on the rocks but is willingly tracking up and moving forwards without any kind of issue. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find ANY used hoof boots in his size and I just don't want to bite the bullet and purchase brand new boots for a horse I'm going to have for four months... In addition, most of the sites that have these boots for sale are in USD $, and the conversion is just insane at the moment. $400 for a set of four boots? No thank you.

I think I'm going to just invest in some duct-tape for now and wrap his hooves when we hack over to the Grounds - it is literally a 20min hack and only about 5min of it is rocky.

If anyone has any of the following up for sale, or knows where I can find some good deals for a 5"x5" set of hooves, please let me know. I've done the following conversions and these are the sizes he "fits" into:

Easyboot Trail (New Version) - Size 5
Easyboot New Mac - Size 5
Easyboot Transitions - Size 3
Easyboot Epic - Size 2
Original Easyboot - Size 2
Easyboot Old Mac G2 - Size 5

Cavallo boots - Size 3 in any variation of the boot.

I plan on riding him at the Grounds tomorrow and getting some more real work in since I just puttered around in the back paddock the other day and lunged him. He was responsive, but the area in the back paddock isn't very large so it was a bit frustrating to him to not have much room.


Onto the topic of Spud - he has started head-shaking a bit in harness. I first noticed it several drives ago, but it wasn't anything more than what I would assume was ear irritation due to his hair or bugs. I've initiated getting some custom bonnets for him but they haven't gotten here yet so I had resorted to braiding his hair or banding it down to prevent it from tickling his ears. I had also peeked in his ears and I didn't see any indication of sores, pain, etc.

^Video from Sunday night.
Unfortunately, during a short walking-drive on Sunday, Spud's head-shaking was WAY worse. It was almost violent and nearly every few steps, so I got out of the cart to check his tack, remove his noseband, open his blinders wider, undo all of his elastics and braids to see if one was pulling tight... etc etc. Nothing helped and I went home feeling a bit frustrated, but determined to help him out.

 ^ Monday morning drive.
The following morning I headed out and drove him again, this time I re-fitted all of his tack which had just been freshly cleaned, removed his browband entirely(thinking it was digging into him), and widened his blinders even more. This drive wasn't as bad as the day previous, but he was still head-shaking and it was puzzling me.

I messaged Spud's old trainer and asked her thoughts and she pretty much echoed what I had already had been thinking. Perhaps the bridle was causing pressure points. So I decided to drive him in his little western bridle - I was admittedly a bit nervous, as I hadn't driven him open (no blinders) before, but he actually did really well. He was a bit more "uppity" than he is with the blinders but he wasn't unmanageable. Unfortunately, the head-shaking was still evident.

As we returned to the barn, I decided to check in his ears more thoroughly. I clipped them to begin with and then started to swab with cotton balls. (Spud HATES having his ears touched, so it was a super fun time for both of us). I found that he had clumps of hair and wax in his right ear, so I cleaned it out, massaged the ears with mineral oil and felt so hopeful that THAT was our issue. It had to be, right?

I found about 4 clumps like this in his right ear.

This is one very unhappy pon pon.

Feeling hopeful, I headed home and figured I'd give Spud the next day off to get used to his "new ears". I went out today with the intention to drive, but I just didn't feel like doing much since it was still raining on and off so I put him out on the lunge and I still have a head-shaking pony.

In truth, the shaking has become less and less, which is fantastic... but I still scheduled a body work date for Spud just to be on the safe side. He reacted slightly to having his poll squeezed  but I'm not totally sure if it's a "ow" reaction or a "omg she's going to touch my fucking ears again" reaction. I am feeling a bit discouraged and truthfully... a bit scared. I don't want him to become a pasture pet like Ms. Suzie - having to retire one horse was sad enough and Spud is just in his prime.

So while I think the retirement thing is a bit extreme, it is still a really bleak possibility (altho I'm sure it is just my anxiety talking at this point and time!). 

I'll exhaust whatever options I need to to get him well again. Fingers crossed the body work makes him right as rain, because I am sorely missing my little driving pon pon. Like a friend of mine had mentioned - Spud has been out A LOT more this year and he's been on some really challenging rides, so there is a huge possibility that he is body sore and wherever he is tensing himself because he's sore, is adversely causing the head-shaking. It's an interesting perspective, no doubt, and I hope she is right.

Not much right now in Suzie news, other than she may be going out to a green, savory pasture at a friend's house for the Summer - details to come!