Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Tips - Beware!

I have been doing bad things shopping for myself! I am too afraid to actually go out on Black Friday...but I will shop on the Internet, especially for horsey things!
I've been needing a new helmet, since my GPA is circa 2004 and that's what I ride in at Redbud. So...I didn't know which one to get, so I ordered a Charles Owen Pro Skull II and a J3 to try on...they were 20% off!

I also bought myself some Tropical Rider Toasties in charcoal (I love grey/black breeches). I have problems!

Some of you are going to hurt me...I am going to do some enabling here and give you some horsey websites that are having sales. Don't hit me! You know you love me for it.

Bit of Britain:
Enter coupon code: BLKFRI11 at checkout and get 20% off your entire order.

HorseFroogle: Enter coupon code: BLKFRI11 at checkout (owned by same people as Bit of Britain)

123Tack: (only through Friday)
Tack15 for $15 off $100 of tack
Tack40 for $40 off $200 of tack
Apparel30 for $30 off $150 of apparel

VTO Saddlery:
20% over $100 on most things. Use coupon code SALE

Legacy Tack:
20% off of nearly everything with the coupon code THANKS

Tropical Rider has 30-60% off and free shipping until Monday.
Charcoal Toasties 40% off
Summer colors 50% off
Inventory Clearance 60% off
Five Star Tack - 10% to 30% off bridles, breastplates and reins. Plus 10% of sales are being donated to CanterUSA, MidAtlantic Horse Rescue and New Vocations. Sale ends Monday!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

This is a wild turkey...we don't eat those.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Normally, I would wake up, watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade, and then go to the barn to give everyone a seemingly endless supply of carrots! Then we go to our family's farm and have a delicious dinner.

This year, I'm in Florida. 
Seaside, FL to be exact

I know, I shouldn't be complaining. It is lovely, but I do miss our usual tradition. I miss my ponies. 

Here is a Thanksgiving picture from 2010 (I think):

Don't worry, I was only on him momentarily, and he was a gentleman the entire time. Isn't he a looker? I am a little biased though...

Anyways, I hope everyone has a lovely day and you all get to spend it with your horses at some point during the day. I am thankful for so many things, including all of my new friends here!


Reagan, Johnny, and Romeo

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Awesome Product of the Day: #2

 Bell Boots

If your horse is anything like mine, he has no control over his feet. I just don't understand it. When riding, Johnny knows where every hoof is, every step, and is so careful. When I hop off...not so much. Being turned out is even worse. He oversteps so much that he has literally trotted into an over fences class with me, stepped on himself, and preceded to be three-legged lame for the next few steps. Super classy thing to do right in front of the judge. There are times when I think he is being suicidal when he is turned out. He enjoys slicing his legs open in turnout. The inside of his legs look rather gruesome (although all healed now - he is turned out in at least ankle boots at all times).

Legs, legs everywhere!
This also means that I run through bell boots like crazy. I have enough bell boots for probably 5 horses. Johnny has to live in his...which means rubbing is NOT acceptable. So for the first couple years I had him, he wore the fancy Italian rubber bell boots. Well those suckers are about $30 a pop, and for a while he was going through pairs weekly. Still less than new shoes, but after 4 pairs in 4 weeks, not so much!

I stumbled upon these a couple years ago:

They are even thicker at the bottom than Italian bell boots, stretch just as much, are just as soft at the top, and are 1/3 the price at around $10!

I would highly suggest buying the gum colored ones (aka natural, or brown, or whatever) because they stretch the best and don't crack as easily as the dyed ones.

Here is a place you can buy them:

Now for sizing:
Johnny wears an XL, but only because he has a clubbed foot and it is taller than the other, and it needs to be long enough. If you know Italian bell boot sizing here you go:
II - M

I usually buy about 2-4 pair at a time, because you never know when they will come in handy. They last Johnny a whole lot longer than the Italians, and I don't cry a little inside every time he looses one or one gets stepped on and breaks.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Awesome Product of the Day: #1

Okay- I think I am going to do a short series on the things that I love and are inexpensive.

You are all going to think I'm nuts. Do you know what deep sulcus thrush is?

I certainly didn't. Johnny has a bit of a clubbed foot, and as you can imagine, since it is odd shaped, it gets thrush pretty easily. Well no big deal, I can treat that. Unfortunately, for a long time, I didn't know that he had thrush growing in his frog.

The frog looked something like this:


See that? That is NOT normal. I never thought anything about it until I was at a show, and Johnny pulled a shoe. The farrier stuck a thing in that hole, and Johnny literally dropped to the ground before he regained composure and stood up. I didn't know it hurt...I didn't know there was anything wrong!

If your horse has that, you needs cow mastitis treatment. I wish I was kidding. However, not only does it heal it extremely quickly, and doesn't test under USEF, but it is so inexpensive! That farrier showed me this stuff and literally stuck the tube all the way down to the end of the applicator in his hoof and squeezed the goo until some came out of the frog. Repeat every time you go to the barn until the frog grows in.

It runs about $2 a tube. Or $25 for a box of 12...which will about last you forever.

Very useful to keep a tube in your trunk :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Freedom Feeders

Well, I finally did it. I have been working on making this happen for a couple of months now, and I am so happy to say that I am now able to carry and sell Freedom Feeders!

I changed up the Freedom Feeder page a little so that there was a buy now option, and I will hopefully make the page look better in the future when I am able to really think about how I want the "store front" to look. Any suggestions would be thoroughly welcomed.

Mississippi sure does make owning a business rather difficult. However, I am looking forward to helping those who are wanting to make their horses happier and healthier. If you had told me a year ago that I would be doing this, I would think you were crazy. Our barn never uses hay nets, and if you told me that there was a hay net that helped to prevent ulcers, I would have told you no way, no how. Thank you Smartpak for introducing me to these with your Gastric Health Webinar this spring! It is still perplexing to me to watch a horse actually prefer to pull the same exact hay out of small holes on the net than eat it off of the ground.

Net > ground? Johnny's first day with a Freedom Feeder.

Will have some more updates soon, and hopefully a new page of some sort to buy the products, but I think for now that page will suffice :) I am just so happy this is actually happening. I have never been so happy to talk about a product in my life. I am actually thinking about doing a little series on products that I love, half of them I never knew even existed. Maybe next week.

I apologize for not posting very much lately! But between finals coming up at school, and getting all of this set up, I have had very little time! Both of my boys are doing well right now, and I do think it is about time to do a couple of updates.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Did Something Bad...

Very bad.

I took Johnny to harvest time horse show last weekend.
And I didn't particularly feel like hunters would go over very well from our...interesting...history this year.


It was fun!!! I'm not sure if I want to do it forever, but I certainly had fun and he ended up Reserve Champion :)

He is such a cool horse. He just tries to go with the flow.

Here are some pictures :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Adventure of the Day

Well, I walked up to Romeo this afternoon and I could tell something was wrong from about 30 feet away. His eye was huge and he had a ton of discharge. The night before he had a tiny, TINY bit of drainage, but nothing at all like this. I figured it was just allergies like Johnny gets.

We went to the vet school this afternoon just to make sure he didn't have a scratched cornea, as that is a major issue. Also the fact that his eye got that large that quickly was a little concerning.

Fortunately for him, nothing major. Antibiotic eye ointment 3x a day for 7 days and Equioxx 4-5 days just to bring down all of the swelling. They aren't sure why his lid is so darn big, but he is already a little perkier since it's been washed out, medicated, and had the duct cleared.


He got weighed today...he weighs 1089 lbs! Holy moly!!!! He is only 14'3 AND he has lost some weight since about 2 months ago.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Well, on a positive note

He still feels fantastic! Did a little dressage school today and he was just wonderful. I don't think our canter to trot transitions have ever been better. No bracing, no heaviness in my hands. Lovely!!!

Jumping lesson tomorrow. Going to start jumping more frequently and larger at home so that he becomes more confident.

I have found a couple of schooling shows in the near future. One at a local place about an hour from here where we will get to do a little dressage schooling and school BN and N fences in Tupelo, MS.

Also, Poplar Place is having a little schooling show in December. I don't know if we will get to go, but I think going again would be very helpful! That way we will be ready for events in February :)

In other news, Romeo has become a professional acorn inhaler.

Note: he is on LOTS of land...yet he chooses acorns. I hope this phase doesn't last long.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Breakdown

Well, Sunday was rough.

First of all, Romeo's had basically no jumping since Poplar which was over a month ago, because he was so stiff. What I was thinking in hindsight to take him to an event when he's so green at this, I'm not sure. For anyone who hasn't read, he got his last loading dose shot of Polyglycan the day before the show, and felt WONDERFUL under saddle since about 1.5 weeks ago. If he hadn't felt good, I wouldn't have taken him.

Dressage was actually decent this weekend. Show jumping was TERRIBLE, well for me. I couldn't find a rhythm to save my life and I was short just about everywhere. We were within time and no faults, but that just doesn't cut it for me. I probably didn't help out with his confidence the next day, considering I couldn't get him to more than 1 decent spot the day before.

I trotted down to XC warm up, and he felt fantastic. He's been feeling absolutely fantastic the past week and a half, and I guess that made me think he would be just fine.

I cantered around a little, and I had WAY too much horse. Red flag #1. I was essentially riding a 4 year old 17.2 hand stallion that hadn't been ridden in a month. Well, that's what it felt like. I was on a fire breathing dragon. I did the first rolled coop and he jumped it well in warm up, and I turned left to a log thing (I am limited in terms you see) and I did the nice hunter lean and he slammed on the brakes at it.

That was red flag number 2. He LIED to me. He ran at it, and then slammed on the big ones in front of it. Crap. Crap crap crap. He was fine the rest of schooling, minus being very, very hot.

I started out of the start box at a nice trot, because Betsy didn't want him to shoot out like his butt was on fire. Jumps 1, 2, 3, and 4 rode pretty nicely, and I guess I started getting confident. Jump 5 was almost an identical rolled coop like in warm up, and a log ditch thing about 5 strides after. I assume that I leaned at him and he saw the log on the other side and that's why he stopped. But that was the beginning of the end.

Circled back to it and it was fine. Hesitated at the log ditch but then went over. As far as I was concerned, I thought was the end of it.

I didn't expect the stop at the stone box. He's jumped it before and it was on flat terrain. I gave up, he slammed, I could've sent him over, but I didn't. Circled back, he did it.

The third time, I was expecting it. Galloping up to the rolled log, he felt okay. Got about 3 or 4 strides out, gave him 2 hard smacks on the shoulder, and he did a dirty stop again. I was ticked off! I could only blame myself at this point for not making a point for him to jump it. I was slowly draining his confidence. Circled, and he jumped it.

I was very upset by this point as we galloped down the hill and to the jump before the water. This one, if it has been his first stop, would not have bothered me. There was a huge glare in the water and he probably couldn't differentiate the water from the jump. Unfortunately, I got eliminated by this point, and I never even got to go through the water.

All in all, I can only blame myself. I came in with a horse lacking confidence from lack of jumping, and by allowing him to stop, I kept lowering his already low confidence. I was extremely upset with myself (and a little bit him) and we are going to go school a couple times over winter break before the show season starts back up again. I will be schooling larger SJ jumps at home and BN/N where we can find them. It initially made me nervous that it was his joints. But I haven't felt him feel this good in several years. We might get his hocks flexed over winter break and get him injected too, we will just see how he goes at home after his little vacation from the event.