Mini Reviews

A few new things have joined the rotation recently, and I wanted to give you the benefit of my very expert and very important opinion on them. HAH.

RJ Classics Gulf Breeches, tan, on sale for $75 from Luxe Eq

rj gulf.jpg

Remember the Great Pants Debate? This is one of the pairs I brought home. And I really really wanted to like them, guys. But I just don’t. It’s not a burning hatred, but I’m very “meh” on the fit. I’m a pretty true 26/26L, but these just fit…funky on me. The knee is SUPER tight and feels very constricting and the Euro-seat seaming digs into me and gives me LBS (Lumpy Butt Syndrome)- but the waist fits well, so I wouldn’t want to size up because then I would get GWS (Gappy Waist Syndrome). The fabric is nice, the fit just doesn’t work for me. I’m keeping them around due to my paranoia of running out of clean tan breeches at shows, but I don’t reach for these very often.

Iago Giulia Breeches, gray, on sale for $150 from Luxe Eq

This is the other pair that made the cut, and I absolutely LOVE them. The sock bottoms are super comfy, the material is sturdy but comfortable with good stretch, the leather accents on the pockets are lovely, and they make my butt look great. They’re my first pair of silicon patch breeches and I don’t notice a huge difference in the feel, but they sure do look cool. If I’m griping, these may be a little lower rise than I usually like since I have a long torso (and long everything else) and like to tuck my shirts in, but they stay put and don’t sag so it hasn’t caused any problems. Big big fan, will likely buy more of these in different colors, and a bunch of my barnmates want a pair too.

HandsOn Glove

handson.jpg

OK so I didn’t buy this, but it showed up in the wash stall and I used it and YES LOVE. Frankie bears the dubious distinction of being the smelliest horse in the barn due to his proclivity for napping in his own urine (homeboy likes to make a huge mess in his stall, which makes it a million times worse), and he gets grimy quickly. This helped lift all the crud and gunk all the way down to his skin, and he absolutely loved the sensation as we attacked all the itchies.

BackOnTrack Saddle Pad

41954179591_f886db1b39_o.jpg
PC- Liz

I figured as long as we were doing injections/chiro/fixing saddle fit/etc., I may as well throw this in the mix. It’s hard to isolate what effect this has had (due to the aforementioned injections/chiro/saddle fit/etc.), but his back has definitely been less “flinchy” overall and I certainly don’t think it hurts. I like that it’s long enough to still look nice under my monstrously long saddle flaps, the profile gives great wither clearance, and I love the navy blue on Francis. I’m planning on getting the barn logo embroidered on it so it can be our show pad!

Smartpak Wellfleet Figure-8

IMG_6649.jpg

This is another one that I didn’t technically buy- one of my awesome barn buds had this lying around and is letting us use it. Have I mentioned lately that I have the best barnmates? Took oil beautifully (and is still taking oil, that leather is THIRSTY), fits Francis beautifully, and looks really really nice on him. I think it can still darken a bit, so the oiling shall continue!

The bills for Lake Placid, Upperville, and Blue Rock are all coming due at around the same time, so I’m on a spending freeze until after I can recover a bit from show season. Next on the must-have list once I’m ready to start spending again: a new helmet! I have some ideas about what I want, but will be sure to keep you posted about my noggin protection.

Advertisements

Lovin’ Through the Cold Months

I realized something recently. It was something I already knew, but recent events made it SO much more obvious. Here’s the scenario:

The weather is much colder, and Frankie is clipped. I worry about him getting cold while grooming, so I try to work around a cooler and move as quickly as possible so I can hop on and get his muscles warmed up. After riding, I brush him and get him snugged back in his blankets as quickly as possible.

Frankie becomes less affectionate and snuggly. He doesn’t do anything bad, but he isn’t his usual sweet self on the crossties and ignores me when I go into his stall.

So after a few days of this I pop a second cooler on, switch on the heat lamps, and groom him for a much longer time. After riding, I put his blankets back on but then take the time to brush his mane and tail, rub his ears, and polish his hooves.

Frankie tries to get in my pockets and has his ears up watching me the whole time. The next day I walk into his stall and he leaves his hay to come say hello and get scratches.

Um. WOW.

I hear you loud and clear, Francis. Message received. More quality grooming time moved up the priority ladder to “Crucial.” I’ve always known that Frankie loves himself some lovin’, but this really drove the point home that his mood and attitude towards work is SO so so tied to that time together.

I’ve made an effort to spend more time on the ground with Frankie over the past couple of weeks and it’s been noticeable how much happier he is to see me. Which totally makes my heart so happy! Even without giving him any treats, he mooches on me for scratches and ear rubs. He even returns the favor for me sometimes by using his nose to “groom” my shoulder or hip.

So this is my reminder to myself: no matter how caught up in training and competing I get, I need to make Frankie’s comfort and happiness a priority by making sure we spend plenty of time bonding together. Even when it’s cold out and all I want to do is go to my heated car. Frankie is worth braving the weather.

winter_bundled
Even when I’m wearing literally 5 layers and can barely move my body

How do you build in bonding time when the temperature gets low?

Wordless Wednesday- Face Rubs

scratchy_face
Addy LOVES getting her face brushed. When she sees me coming with a brush, she sticks her nose out and puts her head down and snuffles into my face while she gets her face scratches.

How to Groom Your Gray Horse

Friends, we’ve all heard George Morris explain how to groom your horse properly: curry, hard brush, soft brush, damp rag. As our High King, we must listen to his wisdom.

I humbly submit this slightly altered version- with few differences!- that has been optimized for you and the gray horse in your life.

addy_muddy

A 22 STEP GUIDE ON PROPER GRAY-HORSE GROOMING:

  1. Assess the damage. There are stains, you just have to identify them. If your gray horse doesn’t have stains, then go away. But first tell us all how you did it.
  2. Marvel at the extent of said damage. How did she manage to get a poop stain INSIDE her ear?!
  3. Decide to pick hooves first. At least there’s a pretty solid guarantee that if nothing else, her hooves will be clean by the end of this.
  4. Curry all over until your arms are sore. Focus on the butt. Congratulate yourself on taking such good care of your pet unicorn.
  5. Grab the hard brush. Swish and flick motion, people. Levi-O-sa, not Levio-SA.
  6. Breathe in all the hair and dust you’ve just stirred up into a delicious dander-tornado and hack up a lung.
  7. Re-inspect for stains. They’re all still there. Seriously all of them. How did all that currying do absolutely nothing?
  8. Re-attack with gusto, fueled by rage. Arm starts to hurt as the anger fades. Start to loathe the curry comb. Ow my arm.
  9. Take a break to comb her mane. Did she actually manage to pee on her own neck???
  10. Maybe we could at least get her face clean?
  11. No dice, she rubbed her face into the clay mud and now she’s a Navajo war pony.
  12. Frantically search for options and catch sight of a sponge.
  13. Sponge and scrub at all the gross spots.
  14. Realize that somehow this is turning the dirt on her coat into mud that’s sticking just as tenaciously. Why is this mud so sticky? Is there secretly glue in the soil here?
  15. Give up entirely and hose your horse off. Use copious amounts of purple shampoo so your pet unicorn can be a beautiful glowing white. Find out that your horse has a sock on their hind leg that you never knew about.
  16. Wipe the tear from your-awestruck eye as you watch your stunningly gorgeous snow-white pony canter gracefully up a hill, framed by the setting sun.
  17. Wipe more tears as your stunningly gorgeous snow-white pony rolls around in a poop-mud slurry, taking special care to rub it deep into her mane.
  18. Get into staring contest with your horse, the smug bastard.
  19. Your horse wins the staring contest.
  20. Sigh and go home covered in white hair, dirt, mud, and Mystery Substance F.
  21. Try not to cry. Cry a lot.
  22. Repeat as needed.

addy_outside

There you have it, folks! A simple, easy to follow guide on how to keep your pet unicorn shining brightly in the warmer weather!

Sorry George, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.