Monday, July 27, 2015

Grooming box essentials

There are some horse themed YouTube channels that do "grooming kit tours." I'm way too awkward to do one on camera but wanted to share my grooming box anyway :)

Grooming box: I have the Little Giant grooming box in hot pink, I got it from Jeffer's Equine, they have the widest selection of colors I have found and shipped my box for no extra freight cost 

Brush compartment: I keep all my brushes in here, I have the Oster hard brush, curry comb, and hoof pick, as well as a mane/tail brush and a pair of scissors which I use for Speck's bridle path since he is not a fan of the clippers. 

Detangler/goop compartment: The every day "goop" compartment. I have Cowboy Magic detangler, which is an absolute essential for Speck's long mane. I also have Hoof Heal which I sometimes use to add moisture to feet when the weather is dry (good feet really come from the inside out but I like this stuff anyway because it at least "feels" like I'm doing something). The white/purple bottle is Tail Tamer Mug Balm fly repellent/sun screen for faces, I usually don't go for natural type fly repellents but this stuff is the ONLY thing I have found that keeps deer flies away from ears on trail rides, and it has built-in sunscreen, sweet! 

Fly spray-The purple spray bottle has the Repel-X concentrate mixed at the higher recommended dilution. This is an effective fly spray at a good price for the concentrate. Under the fly spray bottle I have my Blocker tie ring for the trailer. 

Boots/polo wraps: Not sure why these are in here since I only use them for ring work and only ride in the ring maybe twice a year. I have the Equi-fit T boots with velcro closures for Frosty as well as a pair of camo polo wraps with pink velcro from Whinney Wear.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


"Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters."-Norman Maclean 

One week from a very brief trip to east Tennessee and a little over a year from moving I miss the state of TN like one would miss an old friend. Scenes from my life there are always present in some corner of my mind. Waterfalls and the mist that settled in the foothills in the early morning, the sounds of coyotes and chorus frogs on Spring evenings. I dream about it at night and daydream during the day, sometimes it feels so close. I'm so in love with that place.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hot weather, bathing horses, and picking your battles

It was pretty hot this weekend and I had some other things going on so I didn't ride but decided it would be great weather for bathing the horses and dogs. I don't have a wash stall or even a hitching post (not that my horses would stand in either of those anyway) so I have to hold the horse with one hand and bathe with the other...hilarity often ensues.
All 3 dogs and Frosty did great for the baths and Speck decided to have a mild meltdown over the hose during his. This was partially my fault as I have not been handling the horses as regularly as I should and they get a bit wild if all I do with them is chuck feed over the fence and clean their paddock (duh). After a bit of impromptu "groundwork" Speck got over himself and stood fine for the rest of his bath.

Hose...or horse eating demon viper?
This whole exchange got me thinking about one of the perks of having horses at home, I get to pick my battles regarding their behavior. I don't have anyone over my shoulder telling me which behaviors I should be correcting. 

Things my horses get away with: 
Not cross tying- I don't have a place for cross-ties anyway, I just use a rope and a blocker tie ring 
Hating the clippers- I hate clipping also, stay hairy my friends! 
Hating their manes pulled-Speck's breed standard is a long mane so I leave it alone!, I roached Frosty's so no need to pull hers either
Peeing where they want- I have seen people smack horses around for peeing in barn aiselways...why??? Throw some shavings or straw over the puddle and sweep it up, problem solved
Roaching mane=best idea ever
Things my horses don't get away with:
Pushiness or crowding on the ground-This is dangerous, I make sure they are aware of my "personal bubble" and reinforce this when I do groundwork
Obnoxious behavior for the vet or farrier-I don't want these people to hate working on my animals, they are professionals and I let them take the lead on getting the job done in a safe manner

And that is about it!, are there any areas where you pick your battles with your horse?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tack addiction: Top 5 things I can't stop buying

Not much has been going on lately as far as riding, I don't think I have ridden in maybe...2-3 weeks? Its times like this when I wonder if my horses are still going to be broke for my next ride. In light of having nothing riding related to blog about I thought I would write a little on my second favorite horse hobby...buying tack and horse accessories. My favorite things to shop for include:

1. Bridles
And strap goods in general...I love quality leather and unique touches that stand out!
Frosty wearing her Barville harness bridle with soft-grip rubber reins *drool*

2. Horse boots 
I don't know why I like buying these...I only use boots or polos when I ride in the ring, and I only ride in the ring about once every 6 months (maybe?), my latest pink velcro bell boots for John's horse that wears them for turnout. I also got a good deal on a pair of like new equifit T boots for Frosty a few months ago, but have yet to use them since I haven't been doing any ring work.

Yes these are for a gelding...

3. Grooming tools
This is a fairly recent addiction, as most of my old grooming stuff has been getting worn out. My grooming tool obsession is heavily skewed towards the Oster stuff, especially since it comes in pink! 
Favorite brush ever!

4. Western stuff 
Since I got a western saddle for Speck a few months ago I of course had to pick up a whole new set of accessories for it. Cinch, saddle pad (picking a western saddle pad=totally different ball game from english!). Next up may be a headstall in some obnoxious color and a set of split reins. 

Western saddle/cinch+aussie breastplate+english bridle
5. Shampoo/bath scrubbies/detangler/other goop 
I use plain Ivory dish soap for my everyday bathing because it is gentle and does not dry my horses' hair out. Since Speck is grey he is great for experimenting and testing out whatever stain removing product or bathing scrubber strikes my fancy. I also use detangler often on him since he has a long mane and thick tail.

Looking sharp! *he is usually some shade of brown/green depending on the season*

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

First review!: PS of Sweden Flat Out Revolution Bridle

**View updated review here**

I was searching for a new and unique bridle and saw my first PS of Sweden reviews on and PS of Sweden stocks a variety of anatomical bridles for dressage and jumping as well as other tack. My first purchase was their 3-point breastplate for Frosty which I LOVE (need to get some photos for a review on that later) but I couldn't bring myself to try a bridle at full price especially since they come less reins. When the flat out revolution bridle came up with reins in their outlet sale for a great price, I just had to try one for myself Click for bridle (link has full price).

Bridle on Speck
Fully removable flash attachment-My horses don't need a flash and I hate the look of the tab on the noseband when the flash is removed, this bridle gives the option of removing the flash strap AND the tab for a cleaner look 

Reins- I got this bridle in the outlet sale so it came with the PS softy/supergrip reins Click for reins. I am really enjoying these reins, they are super soft leather on the top and have a grippy rubber underside, they don't tear up my hands and are not stiff like some rubber reins but offer plenty of grip and are comfortable to hold, they also come with PS logo martingale stoppers. 

Color- The leather is a nice rich chocolate brown and matches my PS breastplate perfectly 

Sizing- Speck is a pretty typical cob size and the fit is spot-on for him

Wide noseband- I have always wanted a wide noseband bridle for this horse, I think it looks amazing on him! 

Crownpiece design- The bridles are designed with an "anatomical" crown piece, while I don't find that my horses had any issues with the regular crown piece I do like the curved and padded crown design on this bridle, and it gives plenty of room for horses with larger ears. 

Better view of crownpiece-notice allowance of optimum ear-swivel capabilities

No throatlatch- The claim on the website is these bridles don't require a throatlatch because the specially designed crownpiece holds the bridle in place. I foxhunt and ride my horses on trails. I need my bridle to stay ON. I require a throatlatch. period. 
Luckily the option is available to buy the throatlatch separately, which I did, however it arrived with no holes (??) I had to add my own with a leather punch which thankfully I had in the tack room. The throatlatch attaches to the browband with snaps, this may work great for riding in the ring but I found they came unsnapped on the trail (not good!) so I glued the snaps shut...problem solved for now. 

Clips for bit/reins- Not really a PS specific thing, this is my first bridle with the clips...I have this lingering paranoia that my horse is going to clip his face to something, they also rattle around a bit, this does not seem to bother Speck though.

Leather quality/durability- Let me preface this by saying I live in Amish country and am very lucky to have access to Amish made tack and leather products, this tack is hands down the nicest, most durable leather and highest quality stitching I have seen anywhere including high end tack stores. 
The PS bridle has decent leather and stitching but I am not sure if it will hold up to foxhunting and trail riding like my Amish made bridle, only time will tell! 

Bottom line: This is a cool looking and unique bridle that I got for a great price, my horse seems comfortable in it and it works well. I would give it 5 stars for looks and 4 stars for functionality (after the addition of throatlatch and gluing of snaps). I need to see how it holds up in the coming year to rate the durability. Overall I feel this would be a great bridle for someone who rides in the ring or lightly on the trails but I have some doubts about it as a foxhunting bridle and will stick with my Amish made tack for that.