February 28, 2012

Tack Trunk is Complete!

I am so excited! Yesterday the gas shock for my tack trunk FINALLY arrived. Hubs got down to business right away and installed the shock and my monogram name plate, thus completing the tack trunk project. He's very excited to have a few more cubic feet of spare room in our garage, so taking the trunk to the barn was his next priority. Now all I have to do is figure out how exactly I want to organize everything inside it. A very good problem to have at long last!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

February 24, 2012

BDH (Bruno de Heusch) Saddle For Sale

Rose has been doing a funny thing with her head lately when ridden. This prompted me to check her back/withers after their ride last week. A few noticeable twitches confirmed my suspicions. My close contact saddle no longer fits her and is causing soreness in her back. I had bought the saddle about a year before I bought Rose when I was working with a different horse, and was just hoping that it would end up fitting whatever horse I bought (in all likelihood I thought I'd end up with an OTTB not a warmblood). Not to be of course. I had hoped by removing some padding that we'd be able to get by, but no longer. Now I have to do something I really don't want to do. Sell a saddle that I absolutely love and find one that fits her.

About my saddle:
Purchased new in 2008, this BDH (Bruno de Heusch) saddle still practically brand new, although lightly broken in. It has always been stored inside and cleaned frequently. The saddle is a regular tree, 17" seat, with a narrow twist and nice wide parallel gullet. The pommel is cut back so it will easily accommodate high-withered horses, like TB's. It has knee rolls and front and back knee blocks. Billets and billet covers are in perfect working order. From day one the french leather has been like butter, it is very comfortable to ride in, and is very secure over jumps. It feels just like riding in a Devocoux, PJ or Delgrange. It has been conditioned with Antares saddle conditioner, but never oiled, so the saddle has kept it's original color, so the leather could still be darkened with oil if you prefer. It's never had a nameplate on it, and there are no cuts/tears/marks. My asking price is $1000, the original sales/listing price was $2,300.

I'd also consider trading it for a like quality close-contact saddle with knee blocks and knee rolls, med-wide or wide tree, 3-4 finger wide parallel gullet, and 17" or a 17.5" seat. Brands I would consider are along the lines of a Pessoa A/O, Antares, Devocoux, CWD, or Tad Coffin.

Update 4/26/2012: The saddle is sold. Happy saddle shopping if you are still looking for a BDH.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

February 19, 2012

How to Repair a Polo Wrap

Rose decided to kill one of my polo wraps last week. As I was mid-wrap on her hind right leg she decided to get all frigidity in the cross ties. Given my current physical state, it's hard for me to jump up and out of the way, so I have to be a bit more mindful of my proximity to Miss Thing when squatting on the ground. I dropped the wrap, got out of the way and waited for her to stand still again. In the process she stepped on the un-wrapped portion of the wrap with her right hind foot, moved her left hind in the opposite direction, and tore the wrap in half.

My first reaction was to toss the wrap in the trash and bemoan needing to buy another set. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of these ancient green ones, but at the same time with baby coming in less than nine weeks I have to be buying cloth diapers these days not polo wraps. After longeing her, it occurred to me that I could sew the wrap back together. So I grabbed the wrap from the trash bin and inspected the tear. It was nearly a clean tear straight across and indeed repairable. Yea, $20 to the diaper fund!

DIY Polo Wrap Repair
Torn Polo Wrap
After taking the wrap home and digging out my sewing machine, I inspected the wraps to evaluate the tear. My goal was to take off as little material as possible, so as to not shorten the wrap too much. Since I was repairing these myself, I didn't bother putting them in the wash first. This made deciphering the "right" and "wrong" sides of the wrap easy.
Line up wraps, wrong sides together.
The next step was to match the two right sides (the side that the Velcro is on) of the wrap together, so the wrong sides are facing out. I made sure that the two pieces were parallel and lined the torn edges up in preparation for cutting.
Quilting square and rotary cutter
Since I'm in the midst of making a baby quilt, I happen to have my quilting stuff handy at the moment. If you don't have quilting supplies laying about, using a ruler, pen, and a set of sharp scissors would work well. I wanted my cut edge to be nice and square, so I used my square template to line up the edges of the wraps and my rotary cutter to cut the edge. Very easy!
Clean, cut edge.
Sewing the edges.
Next I went to my sewing machine and straight stitched a 1/4" seam.
1/4" seam.
All done. The seam is on the wrong side, so that it will be against the leg once wrapped and not visible. With a little luck I'll get some more life out of these wraps!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

February 15, 2012

Tack Trunk Monogram Nameplate

My nameplate came this past week. After searching the Internet and coming up with endless boring nickle plated nameplates, or really expensive nice ones I decided to give Etsy.com a try. I found a shop called smallpackages that makes names cut out of steel, which they were advertising for a nursery. After contacting the seller, they were able to make me a monogram in the same method.

The nameplate for my tack trunk
The center letter in the monogram is 3.5 inches in height, and the smaller letters are 2 inches in height. I threw the dollar bill in for perspective, and the whole thing is sitting on my mahogany dining table. The contrast will be a bit more subdued on my tack trunk with it's lighter stain finish. I can't wait to see it go on. All we are waiting for now are the gas shocks to arrive. I can't wait to see it all finished.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

February 13, 2012

Tack Trunk Hardware Goes On

After spending the entire weekend at birthing classes (which were actually quite fun and invigorating...bring on baby, yeah!), we headed to the hardware store after class and picked up what screws and tacks we needed to put the majority of the hardware on my trunk.

Bottom view of tack trunk feet.
Tack trunk with corners, handles, and clasp installed.
The only items left to put on are the nameplate and the gas shocks that will support the lid. I can't wait to take my trunk out to the barn. Waiting is seriously torture!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

February 11, 2012

Bridling Flashback

I find it eternally interesting how young horses have training flashbacks and/or are constantly trying to come up with some new "game/trick" to foil their people. Rose, who has generally always been easy to bridle, has been a pill about it again lately. She had issues briefly last spring when she was losing her last incisor caps. At the time the sharp edges had caused canker sores in her lip, which understandably hurt when her bridle was removed. After giving her a few weeks off for them to fall off we were back to normal with the bridling.

Recently she's decided to play games again and start throwing her head up mid-bridle and unbridle. This time around it is all baby attitude, there is nothing causing her pain what-so-ever. However, once the bridle is dangling from the bit clenched in her teeth she freaks herself out a bit. Luckily she just stands there with her head in the air waiting for me to remove it (knock on wood, no broken reins yet). My guess is now that she's being good about using the people door again, this is her new baby "game". Normally this wouldn't really get my panties in a bunch, but it is increasingly hard to stretch my ever so pregnant body and extra two feet in order to capture her giraffe like head. Regardless, we've made progress and she's being less resistant about it during bridling and unbridling. It's just a matter of time before we are back to normal. Still, it's annoying.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

February 9, 2012

Product Review: Camelot Saddlery Girth Extender

Following Rose's two month vacation this winter it was a struggle to get my barely used 50 inch girth on the bottom billet holes of my hunt saddle. She doesn't look fat, just right, so I think what is happening is that she's starting to fill out at long last. That prompted me to head down to our local tack shop and see what they had for a girth extender. The thought of buying yet another brand new girth, which she may still grow out of didn't sit too well with me.

What I ended up with was a Camelot Saddlery girth extender for $21.95. Looking about online, it appears that you can find it for about half the price, but then there is the shipping fee which brings the price right back up to about what I paid for it. So if you have an online order already going out, that would be the time to buy it...unless of course you need it ASAP as I did.

The extender has elastic and roller buckles. It seems like it is made of decent quality leather and stitching, worked great, and did it's job, so I'm pretty happy with it. The 3 inches that I needed were easily added to my girth, and then some. For a girth extender I'd recommend it. It's always handy to have one laying about anyway, especially if you have growing or multiple horses to deal with. I wish I had thought about it prior to buying Rose the 50 inch girth, as I think she's just going to keep getting wider over the next couple years. In the past two years I've accumulated a ridiculous number of girths ranging from 46 inches to 50 inches. Lesson learned. Note to self: buy a girth extender instead of multiple girths for a growing horse!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

February 4, 2012

Product Review: Centaur OV Climate Control Polo Wraps

Some time ago I bought Rose two sets of Centaur OV Climate Control Polo Wraps, but hadn't gotten around to using them until this week. I had heard about this type of wrap when they originally came on the market and was intrigued by the idea that they would keep her legs cooler than traditional wraps, but still support them. Being a skeptic though, I was not willing to try them out at full price and knew no one with a set for me to try out. At some point they went on a ridiculous sale and I decided to give them a go, plus I needed a set of white wraps anyway. My ancient hunter green ones (from my old OTTB chestnut mare Zorra) don't look that flash on Rose, and my other pair of cobalt blue ones are falling apart. Now that Rose is back in work with HR one or two days a week, that means she's in longeline training two days a week with me and I decided to pull out the new polo wraps and put them to work.

*I had to take these photos with my phone, so sorry for the poor quality!
Rose modeling the Centaur OV Climate
Control Polo Wraps

After a good hard 30-minute longe session in side reins with lots of trot and transitions it was time to see what we had brewing under those wraps. The rest of her winter coat covered body was quite sweaty. I like what I saw when I took them off her, nice dry body temp legs. No heat and no sweat. I think the fact that they use a terry cloth material instead of polar fleece has something to do with why they stay so dry.
Post wrap & workout - dry as a bone!
My only criticism of the wraps is that they have a weird double hook & loop closure thing in place of the traditional polo wrap Velcro attachment. They also only go on one way.
Double hook & loop Velcro closure.
It took me a couple tries to figure out which side was "up" on the wrap and then how to attach the Velcro. I would suggest that the manufacturer include some sort of brief diagram or instruction to that end in the packaging. Otherwise, the product does what it says and I am pretty please with these wraps.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

February 2, 2012

28 Weeks Pregnant and Back in the Saddle

Don't tell my OB I did this. However, after my 28-week check up Wednesday, and taking that yummy glucose test and getting blood drawn I decided that I deserved a little treat, and not the edible kind. I've been going stir crazy not being able to get on Rose's back. Yeah, yeah, the ground work has been good for her, but it's just not the same. I can tell she misses the work too. She's been a different horse the last week and a half since HR started riding her and I started really working her on the longe again. So, after I gave Miss Thing a good 30-minute longe in side reins, I decided to hop on her for her cool down at the walk.

Sorry for the bad phone pic.

I'm probably over exaggerating that a bit, but it did actually feel really nice on my lower back and it was the best 15-minutes of walk I've had in a long time (trotting was tempting, but I resisted). Granted my 7-month pregnant belly sticks out quite a bit now and I certainly can't do my two point anymore without hitting the pommel, but I had no problems mounting or dismounting. In terms of riding attire, my lovely yellow fleece is the only outerwear that still fits me, and putting on britches is a joke! So, I decided to ride in my one pair of jeans that fit and throw on my old stretched out sued half-chaps. I was definitely feeling a revival of my old polo days in this get-up.

For anyone out there concerned about my safety, I did promise my husband that I would ONLY walk and only if other people were at the barn. So, you can imagine that I made sure to go when I knew someone had a lesson scheduled! Given that that someone was LB who happens to be a vet, I figured she'd be a good person to have around if something went wrong. After all, she does deal with horse babies all the time. That's pretty much the same thing right? Yes I have a horse riding addiction problem, I admit it wholeheartedly. :)

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

February 1, 2012

Prevent Static Shock During Grooming

If you live in a dry cold winter climate like we do, static is a fact of life. I have always been diligent, even in other climates, to avoid causing static shock when handling my horses. Grooming is one of those times that static is ever present.

Over the years, I've tried different methods to prevent shock including rubbing dryer sheets over the horse to discharge the static before grooming. Dryer sheet's work just fine, but my current method is just more convenient. What I do these days is to simply spray any brand of a Show Sheen like product on my grooming brush before touching my horses coat. Currently I'm using Mane 'n Tail Detangler. I'm also a big fan of Laser Sheen. It's a simple enough trick and seems to get rid of the static for the rest of my session at the barn, and I don't have to remember to stock dryer sheets in my tack trunk. It also helps keeps your horse cleaner during the no-bath winter time. However, you might want to avoid the saddle area if you are going to ride, it could get a bit slippery.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!


Related Posts with Thumbnails