Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Product Review: Huntley Equestrian Half Chaps

A lady who I have shown with for many years has started a company called Huntley Equestrian.  They are in the beginning stages, but she is putting out some very nice products.  I decided to try their leather half chaps.  I currently have a pair of tredsteps that I can't stand.  They don't fit my chicken legs well and are baggy in the ankles.  I like a tight fit in my half chaps and tall boots.  Before going for custom half chaps I thought I would try on the ones by Huntley Equestrian.
Here is their description of them.

"Ultra soft, imported Brazilian full grain leather provides an immediate custom fit along with flexibility and stability. Huntley's half chap design focuses on delivering a custom tall boot look with the convenience of easy on and off access of half chaps. The top line was carefully designed to reflect a "Tall" look near the knee by using a high-cut profile. The outer stretch panel is made of genuine nylon elastic to provide a closely contoured, snug fit. Reinforced inner leg is double layered with genuine suede leather lining for maximum grip and durability. Features include Outside YKK heavy duty black zipper that zips from bottom to top, Snap tabs at the top to reinforce the snug fit, Upper swagger tab and metal pendant, Imported Brazilian full grain leather contoured skirt over the instep, 3 ply thread used for all stitching."

Price: $129

They come in this nice bag.

When I tried them on they appeared a little drape like at the bottom as I put them on.  I think due to the thinner leather and being stiff and new.  However they really did have a lovely, comfortable fit for being off the shelf.  I liked how soft the leather was and the thinner leather allowed a snugger fit.  I ended up needing a size small, extra tall.  I am 5'7 so I would say these run maybe a tad big.  

I rode in them last night and was very happy.  They are already dropping so they no longer have that drape look.

- Comfort
- Tall, sleek look
- Reasonably priced
- Soft leather
- Spanish style top

- The zipper starting at the bottom.  I have to get used to that.
- A bit big on me at the knee, but again I have chicken legs.  

Overall I am happy with them and would recommend them to others.  I am anxious to see their longevity, but have no reason to doubt that they won't last.  They are as close as you are going to get to custom half chaps and at a much cheaper cost than customs.

I got mine from a local shop that's carrying them.  Huntley is building their website so for now you can purchase them and some other items of theirs on Amazon.  Just search Huntley Equestrian.  They also have a Facebook page.  Go check them out and support a small business!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Adventures of a Wild Mare

I haven't uploaded the videos of M's pinto mare from the show November 8th yet.  I will share with you that she got around all of her courses despite some spectators climbing on and leaning against the railings of the stands.  That was scary stuff for a 4yo.  I will spare you from my rant on how unacceptable this was for the gate steward to allow.  I will save that for my post on differences between rated and non rated shows around here.

Back to pinto mare...I don't feel inclined to upload her videos since I don't have to continue to post sale videos of her for M.  She is sold!!!  This has me so excited because a friend bought her so I will continue to get to see her.  And Luxxx will be happy as he has claimed her as his.  I can't wait for her to have a name!

(I needed a pic to break up all the text)

You may be tired of me griping about riding in the dark, I know I am.  Husband crunched some numbers to install stadium lights for me and that shit costs $8K plus!!!  Heck no, I want my all weather arena first.  So he found a less expensive solution and I now have some mega spot lights.  Just one up so far is enough to ride.  With the second one up (hopefully this weekend) I should have enough light to even jump!!

This can't come fast enough.  We had cooler temps on Saturday, combine that with minimal riding and it was the perfect scenario for Poppy to test my stickability.  Or maybe she was showing me that she could double as a rodeo bronc.  Whatever her motivation, she was hardly rideable.  After I was exhausted and she was a sweaty mess I called it a day.  I cancelled my planned trail ride on Sunday and planned to work her again.

I was then hesitant to get on baby Luxxx.  If my extremely broke horse was wild how was the 3 yo going to be???  I lunged him and he offered nothing silly, no bucks, nothing.  You know that means he is saving it all for when I get on right??  But no, he was perfect.  We worked without draw or side reins and he was relaxed, soft, and moving up into my hands.  He is already learning to rock back onto his hind while moving forward.  He is doing well with legs yields at the walk.  He's not ready to try at the trot yet.  His downward transitions are still abrupt but I'm not complaining.  Good brakes on a baby isn't so bad!

I rode Poppy again on Sunday.  We did a lot of flat work, counter canter, bending, circles, etc.  She was perfect.  Then I started jumping and she was... let's just say full of herself.  I love that she loves to jump but I really have to get her back on her program and leveled out.  I also think she is bored at our current division so there's that decision to make.

It's the end of the show year, don't forget to renew your USEF and UHJA memberships!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Local Show with the Babies

I headed off to the local show with Baby L and pinto mare (please someone buy her, this mare deserves a name!!).

I rode pinto mare first and she was nervous and a bit overwhelmed, but she is 4 years old.  She went to work and I just kept flatting her until she relaxed.  I have mixed feelings about these unrated shows.  They are a great way to get mileage inexpensively but I have little patience for the people who have no ring etiquette.  Pass left shoulder to left shoulder, people jumping take the inside track, don't jump oxer a backwards, doing the jumpers does not mean flying around like a maniac, no trainer supervision, etc.  I had not jumped the mare in awhile so I planned to take it easy.  She jumped everything 2' and 2'3 that I pointed her at.  I did a few 2'6 and she was great.  Could care less.  

Next I got on Luxxx.  I worked him in an outside arena then trainer N got on him in the big indoor where the jumpers go.  At first he was a bit upset by the chaos, but eventually settled.  I set up a little cross rail for him which he thought was boring. She also took him in the indoor with the ponies and he was good there too.

I am soooo proud of him!!  It made me happy to get to see him from the ground and I am pleased with his progress.  Proud momma moment.

He is wearing Hobbs' old show blanket.  This is why I love Baker, this has to be at least 12 years old and looks perfect!  Maybe one day I will switch my monograms over to my married name...

I will try to get the mare's videos uploaded and update you on her debut in the 2'3 jumpers next.  Luxxx didn't show and just hung out on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Grooming a Grey Horse

Sometimes I hear or read people's comments about how they would never own a grey because of the trouble keeping them clean.  Poppy is my first grey and I really don't use too many additional tricks to grooming that I don't use with my other horses.  

Get used to dirt and Poopy stains.  Period.  I do not believe in over bathing so my horses do not get a full on soapy bath at home often.  Instead I curry (and curry, and curry) and brush daily.  This gives them a lovely shine.  Manes get brushed but never the tail.  

I use Ivory soap to bathe.  Not the knock off store brand, but actual Ivory.  When I do the legs I squirt some in my hand and hand scrub them.  I also dip her tail in the bucket and scrub her tail between my hands.  Her mane is pretty grey but her tail has some golden coloring so I will take some Quicksilver and scrub to get out any yellowing.  Leave it on for a few minutes.  You can also do this for the legs if they are REALLY dirty but 90% of the time, the Ivory does the trick.  Only after the bath do I spray Show Sheen (or whatever tail conditioner you choose) on the tail. When dry THEN you brush.  Dry legs and body with a towel.

Grey horses love to sleep in their poop.  It is inevitable that when you arrive at the show they will greet you from their stall with giant poop stains.  Here are poop stain removing tricks I use:

* dab rubbing alcohol on a cloth and rub onto stain.  You can also put rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and spray stain if it is large.  Then scrub with cloth.
*  wet cloth (or sponge), put a drop of ivory on it and a rub stain.

To remove dust particles (especially after gorging oneself with hay) or to give a shine I like to use Alpha Keri.

I fill about a 1/4 of a spray bottle with Alpha Keri then the rest with water.  Shake well and either spray body or spray onto a cloth. It will bring dirt to the surface and you can wipe the coat clean.

It also helps at the shows to keep the stall regularly picked clean to keep staining arsenal to a minimum.

So clean she is pink

Ok enough Poppy spamming 😁

Monday, November 3, 2014


I'm feeling a bit grumpy cat on this Monday.

Sunday at 3am embarked the start of 4 months of grumpiness for me.  The start of getting home when it's dark which means riding in the dark and hoping Poppy doesn't kill me.  I don't know what this will mean for Baby L.  Obviously it is not wise to be riding a 3 year old in the dark.  It's just not worth the risk.  I hate to have baby get a 4 month vacation but my options are limited.  I am working on husband regarding lights.  Otherwise I can find somewhere to just turn baby out for 4 months or find a new job with flexibility.  The last one sounds dramatic but I am feeling really bitter right now that other people in the company who have children can adjust their schedules to accommodate said children and I cannot.

Also waking up to find Baby L pulled down part of his fence last night didn't help the start to my Monday morning. Knowing I will have to fix it in the dark when I get home has me really excited.

On a less grumpy note, at the half way point to Daylight Savings I should be getting my new custom Ogilvy jumper half pad.  Woohoo!!  I can't wait!!  This is the color combination I finally decided on:

Trainer N told me that choosing anything but white was tacky in the show ring.  This matched with a white saddle pad I don't find tacky.  What do you think?