Wednesday, May 18, 2016

SmartPak favorite products blog hop

What is your favorite equestrian-specific product that you use when you’re at the barn?
The barn is at my I guess this would be favorite products to use at home lol! I love my Stubben saddles. I also like synthetic girths because they are super easy to clean and don't irritate my horses' skin.

What is your favorite non equestrian-specific product to use when you’re at the barn?
My Polaris 4-wheeler! Great for hauling hay bales, muck buckets, fuel cans etc. etc.

What is your horse’s favorite equestrian-specific product to wear or use?
Alfalfa hay

What was the best equestrian-related gift you were ever given, and why does it mean so much to you?
My horses were both gifts from my husband, so definitely the best equestrian (or otherwise!) gift I have received! My Stubben Siegfried was a gift from an extremely important person in my life, I think of her every time I use it.

If you had the ability to create any product or anything to make your time at the barn better, what would that be?
Robot weed-whacker and mower, so I would have more time to ride! Also a weather control device!

Friday, May 13, 2016

PS of Sweden tack: Updated review

Flat out revolution bridle: 
Not recommended if you prefer your bridle to stay on your horse
One of my most popular posts (popular is relative) was my review on the PS of Sweden flat out revolution bridle, you can find that post here. It basically contained my first impressions of the bridle (good) and how it performed the first few times I used it (ok).
I ended up selling this bridle because it DID NOT work for trail riding or foxhunting. The main reason is that the browband/throatlatch assembly is held on with snaps which like to pop open at random times (hard stop, horse tosses head, walk past a branch, sneeze, etc). I don't think this was an isolated problem with the one bridle, as I bought one for my husband's horse which did the same thing (sold bridle also).
Since I bought my bridle the prices have gone WAY up, I also heard the quality has improved but it is not really worth it to me to try one again. I ended up going back to my Amish made bridle which is great on the trail but cleans up nice enough to show in...if I ever decide to go to another show. I know many people who have reviewed the PS bridle like it for sensitive horses and appreciate the anatomical features, if you have this type of horse and do a lot of ring riding I'd say go for it! However, if you are a trail rider or foxhunter, maybe look at other options.

3 point breastplate:
Photo from PS of Sweden website

I bought this shortly after I got my bridle and before I decided to sell it. Again, the price has gone up somewhat since I bought mine but I think it is a reasonable price for a bridge/3 point style breastplate (connects to billet straps) with a running attachment. The running attachment on this thing is really neat, it uses aluminum clips instead of rings so no need to unbuckle your reins (super handy for a fidgety horse or while wearing gloves). The leather is decent quality and the dark brown matches my other tack really well. I have had this for about a year and have only used it lightly, so I was kind of disappointed to see that the hardware has rusted a little. Overall, I am happy with it and LOVE the martingale clips.
Frosty wearing the PS breastplate and running martingale

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Burning daylight-Spring updates

Maryland Hunt Cup 4/30-One of the nice things about living where I do is access to several Steeplechases and horse events reasonably close. This was my first time going to Maryland Hunt cup and I will definitely continue to go back (although will probably pay for the nicer parking next time!). The weather was ok and the race was great! The finish came down to last year's winner (Guts for Garters) and the horse which held a big lead for most of the race (Senior Senator), Senior Senator won!
 Dubarry boots and my awesome seat for the race on top of the big hill! 
Chester trail work-Chester has been going trail riding at Spring Valley Park about once a week as the weather allows, he has been crossing water and other obstacles very well and has been working on his balance/self carriage up and down hills. We have also had him out in a group of 4. I should probably be doing more with him...but I don't think he cares either way. 

Frosty Gettysburg trip 5/8-I finally made it to Gettysburg after wanting to go for 2 years! The park was great, it was a super windy day, I am glad I did not forget my running martingale. We probably would have been better off getting an earlier start as traffic was getting crazy by the time we headed out and the trailer parking area was really tight! I also ride Frosty at home on the farm.

Running martingale FTW
Farm stuff-Even though we have had approximately zero warm weather there has been plenty to do, I am back to weed whacking and spraying weekly and the mowing has kept John busy as well. One of the barn doors has broken hinges from a wind storm over the winter so we have a builder coming to estimate the cost of putting sliding doors on ($$). I got a 24 ton load of screenings (happy bday to me!) and re-surfaced the stall floors, I still need to re-surface my run in shed as well. Figuring out the best rotational grazing schedule for my small-ish pasture/paddock has also been an ongoing project as well as finding time to take the dogs for a nightly run (the dogs run, I don't). Thank goodness for more daylight!