Thursday, January 29, 2015


I'm a week early but I thought I would share a comparison of Luxxx when I looked at him at the breeder's February 9, 2014 compared to now.  In the top picture he is a coming 3yo and bottom a coming 4 yo.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Horse Showing On A Budget: Body Clipping

One way I choose to save money for horse shows is by doing my own body clipping.  Going rate for body clipping here is $150. Most horses that are in work need to be clipped 1-2 times per winter.

Of course doing it myself isn't free.  First there is the cost of the clippers.  I have 2 sets, the large for the body and smaller for the legs, face, ears, and whiskers.
I have the Oster Variable Speed Clipmaster clippers which run about $270.

The smaller one I use, the Oster A5 runs about $140.

Now these pictures are much newer models than the ones I own.  Total
purchase price of $410 seems like a lot for clippers but I have had my set since about 1998.  They have more than paid for themselves.  I keep mine clean and serviced regularly so I may even get a couple more years out of them. The A5s are a tad tired though.

As far as other costs a set of blades for the body clippers run $30.  If you keep them clean and only clip clean horses a set will last a few clip jobs.  I keep size 10 blades for legs and face for the A5 and size 40 blades for ears and muzzle.  Those run about $25-$30.  Oil runs $3, blade wash $7 and Kool Lube $8.  The cleaner you keep the blades the longer they last.  You can also get them sharpened for $5 a blade versus purchasing brand new.

Time has a cost too.  It takes me an hour to clip a well behaved horse.  If you have a not so good one add in the cost of Ace (sleepy med) and longer time.  Hobbs used to be really ticklish (I say used to because now in his old age he is much more tolerant) and he used to take me 2 hours.

If you have multiple horses, a lot of patience, or simply love clipping it is worth doing it yourself.  My clippers have long paid for themselves and with multiple horses to clip, it's a great way for me to save money to put towards horse shows.  To learn simply takes practice and learning some tips from others with experience.  Practice on some lesson horses or something not going to a show a few times and it's easy to get the hang of.

Mini ponies are good to practice on and are easy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Baby's Back!

I am happy to share with you that I rode baby Luxxx this past weekend and lived!!!  I have not been on him in 4 weeks.  4 weeks!!!  I was nervous, did lots of begging to baby pony not to kill me, ensured husband had paid my life insurance policy, etc.  Then I lunged him. After he looked good and tired I got on.  He only did one little spook/scoot but was otherwise pretty good.  I had to remind him what steering was and that he wasn't a giraffe.  We even cantered a little.  I still put the buck strap on him (it's essentially like the neck strap on a martingale) so if he does buck or act silly I can grab that versus his mouth.  No shenanigans from him though!

I got on again on Monday since I had off from work.  Again he was great.  He picked right back up turning, steering, bending, and leg yielding.  By the end of the ride he was actually stretching into the bridle.  His canter is A-mazing!

I'm awful at selfy taking and usually vow not to ever take one.  But I had to.  It was too exciting to be back on this babycakes!

I am hoping to keep him back in work as I have found when he is not working I want to kill him.  He becomes Luxifer.  Rears when coming in from his paddock, pulls up his stall mats, invades your personal space so bad it's almost dangerous to walk in his stall when he's in it.  So I have to do what I can to keep Luxifer at bay.

Poppy has also been a good girl.  I am 2 weeks away from going to HITS so I am stepping up my rides.  I haven't done a lot of jumping since it's so wet but fingers crossed it dries out this week.  I also didn't body clip her yet so that is on the must do list for Saturday.  I wouldn't be me if I didn't save everything for last minute.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Waterproof? Water Resistant?

Waterproof versus water resistant.  What does all that mean?  All of my horses' turnout sheets and blankets are water resistant.  If there is heavy rain they get soaked.  If they lay in a puddle, they get wet.  Poppy was due for a new turnout blanket.  I didn't want to spend a fortune but wanted something that is waterproof so if she should sleep on the wet ground in her paddock her blanket doesn't get damp (it's FL so everything is always wet, it rains ALOT here).

So here we have what I thought would be a nice blanket for a reasonable price that was waterproof.

Blanket came.  Fits Poppy perfectly, great quality, and I love it so much I was going to order one for Luxxx.  He doesn't need a new blanket but he always sleeps in puddle.  He likes to dig out a hole to sleep in and then whenever it rains it puddles in his sleeping hole.  So then his blanket gets wet.

I was even going to write a rave review.  Then after a bunch of rain this week Poppy's paddock was wet so she came in yesterday morning with a damp blanket.  I thought it was waterproof???

Educate me.  Is there such a thing as waterproof?  Is my definition of waterproof incorrect (you know, meaning that it won't get wet).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

10 Questions

1.  What size horse do you prefer to ride?

I am 5'7 so I prefer 16h and taller.  Poppy is barely 15.3 but is big bodied so you hardly notice she is small.  She's like driving a little sports car so I now have a soft spot for smaller horses.

2.  Do you school in tall boots or half chaps and paddock boots?

Half chaps and paddock boots.  When I needed new half chaps I really wavered on just using my tall boots all the time but I figured this would mean I would likely go through a pair of Parliantis once a year.  That's a big expense.  I also worried about keeping them looking nice for shows.  I really love my Huntley Equestrian half chaps and Dehner paddock boots so it's a good compromise from wearing my Parlanti's daily :)

3.  What do you do with your ribbons after shows?

Most of the time I don't pick them up.  If I do a ride for ribbons or my trainer gets them they go on the farm banner at the show and rarely make it home with me.  When my nieces and nephews found this out recently they were appalled.   now I try to remember to bring them home for them. I have a few special ones hanging in my kitchen though.  When the nieces and nephews come visit they snag one or two of those so they are dwindling.

4.  Do you ride/board at a large show barn or at a small private barn?

I have my own 5 stall barn.  I train with a large show barn who I've ridden with since 1998.  If they aren't going to a show that I want to attend I just find someone else to train me.  I'm pretty self sufficient but like to have someone go over the courses with me and keep me tuned since I don't take lessons.

5.  Have you ever seen a horse give birth?

No and I'm not sure I could stomach it.  Maybe I could peak between my fingers covering my face.

6.  What is your favorite breed?

The one with the most scope.

7.  Favorite tack brand?

I don't have just one.  I like my Antares saddle.  I like Walsh leather halters.  I like a custom bridle made by Tenney's Custom Saddlery.  There are others I'd like to try.  I would say just good quality higher end leather that has a price tag that doesn't make me have chest pains.

8.  Would you ever buy used tack?

Absolutely and I definitely have!

9.  Ever been on a carriage ride?

Nope.  And we have tons of them where I live.  I'm more interested in petting the ponies.

10.  How often do you go to the tack store?

Just when I need something.  I always go when I am at a show.  We don't have a good store here but I know someone who has a mobile tack store.  She is kind enough to open it up for me when I need something.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Show on the Schedule!

I've got one HITS on my show schedule! I will be taking Poppy February 5-8th.  I would like to do 2 more weeks but I will have to find a trainer.  M is going with a private client of hers for the week I signed up for so I got lucky.  The barn I train with is trying to rally people to go so there's a chance they will be at others and I can join or else I am on my own to find a trainer.  It's HITS.  There are tons are great trainers there but it's more fun to go with friends.  

The crappy weather is supposed to move out on Friday so I am hoping to get back in the saddle and start prepping for HITS.  I also plan to FINALLY body clip Poppy so we look presentable for the show.  Maybe Monday I will get this done.  I've been wavering on doing it myself or paying someone.  I simply hate clipping so that's the only reason I was going to hire someone.  It will be impossible to resist shopping at HITS while I am there so if I do it myself  saving money that I can spend on shopping right?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

We Are All Our Own Special Kind Of Crazy

Or call it equestrians.  We've all had those conversations with fellow equestrians where we admit we have a certain level of craziness.  If you ask my non-horsey significant other he will tell you all about how nutty us horse people are.

Sometimes though I take my level of horse craziness to a new level.  Like the the couple of times where I have owned 5 horses all at once.  Or buying a horse without telling my husband and trying to hide said horse from him until I could come up with a plan to break the news (found out grey horses are hard to hide at night).  Or driving several hours away to buy a mini horse from a breeder because....well I just wanted one...and I wanted it to have case I wanted to break into mini horse showing and...stuff.  Or waking up in the middle of the night because an unexpected storm rolled in and bringing all the horse in.  Or spending hours and hours of my day taking care of all of these equines.

Occasionally I do question my own level of horse craziness/obsession.  Let's take last night.  It rained all day which in FL means 6+ inches of rain all at once and thus creating small ponds all over the place.  I hated the thought of keeping the horses in all night (rain had stopped) so after the National Championship game I went out to the barn and turned everyone out.  At midnight.  Then cleaned stalls so they would be fresh when they came inside in the morning.  And replenished hay.  And water.  At one point I thought I thought I saw our bedroom light on and thought for sure husband will surely conclude I have lost my mind this time (whew false alarm).  Then of course I got up at 5:30 am the next morning to bring horses in and go to work (completely exhausted).

So what sort of crazy things have you done for your horses?  Out with it, I can't be the only person who does horse crazy things!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Product Follow Up: Huntley Equestrian Half Chaps

On 11/19/2014 I did a product review post on Huntley Equestrian Half Chaps.  Since it has been about 6 weeks or so I wanted to do a follow up and let you know my thoughts.  I LOVE them!  They are extremely comfortable, look nice, and not a lot of wrinkles so they retain that sleek elegant look.

I know, the pictures aren't the best but selfies are not my strong point.

Although they are a bit big at the knee you hardly notice (no gaping whatsoever).  For not being custom, these give you a great fit.  I still can't give an official rating on durability but so far, no issues at all.  

If you are in the market for half chaps give them a try.  Huntley Equestrian has other products so go check them out!  They are giving 10% off for using promo code Facebook at check out.  You can also purchase them on Amazon.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Baby Who?

                Hi!  Remember me?

I feel like I haven't posted much about Baby Luxxx lately.  There hasn't been much to tell.  He's on a bit of a hiatus through no fault of his own.  Rain, horse shows, more rain, holidays, flu, etc are the factors to his 3 week break.  This past weekend I opted to lunge him versus riding.  I want to work him a few times on the lunge before riding him.  Reasons being in case he is wild and I don't want to get bucked off and also to ease him back into working.

It's definitely evident he is out of work.  My barn lady said while I was out of town he was "feeling good."  I have also had a couple rearing incidents again leading him in from the paddock.  Yesterday when he reared he got his legs caught around the lead rope (it was an impressive high ho Silver impression) so I had no choice but to let him go.  He then ran around the property like a maniac.  Dogs and Hobbs frozen in fear as it was 6 am and pitch dark.  His reward was to stand in his stall without his breakfast and cool down.  When I checked on him before work he was quiet so he got his breakfast.  He then got a lunge session when I got home from work.  Yesterday was apparently quite tiring for him as he was still snoozing this morning when I went down to the barn.  I also noticed a stream of tape down on his paddock divider that I get the pleasure of repairing when I get home.  This baby is going to be the death of me.

This week I also had to drop his bridle another hole.  He has lost his big belly and appears bigger so I think he's had a growth spurt.  Time to measure him again!

So baby will get some time on the lunge with side reins this week then hopefully I can get back on him this weekend.  Come on Daylight Savings time!!

I ordered these at the show and they finally arrived Friday, yay!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Moving Forward

I left off with my horse show.  Then I got the flu.  After that I flew home to my parent's for Christmas, back to work, more days off, back to work... Although I'm not happy to be back at work, I am a little bit happy to get back to a routine.

In looking back at my goals for 2014, I met them all.  I wanted to get more consistent in the show ring and more mileage with Poppy at 1.10m & 1.15m.  Did that.  I wanted to sell Tank and get Ketel going more.  Got them both sold.

What about 2015?  I have been mulling this over.  I have talked about moving up to 1.20m in the show ring and that is a definite goal.  That's all I'm setting though.  I want to keep things in all aspects of my life fun and simple.  No pressure and no negativity.  The latter is the most important for me.  I feel like I have become more negative.  I only have myself to blame however when surrounding yourself with negative people the negativity is contagious.  I want to do some cleaning out of my "personal life closets" sort of speaking.  Getting rid of all negativity and those that contribute or are associated with it.  

What does this mean?  Changes.  I need changes.  I still have to figure that out though.  For now I shall ride, go to the shows, and figure things out as I go.

The barn I typically show with has not been going to any A shows since September.  I trained with M at the Ocala show as she was there riding and training for an outside client.  I will have to find someone to work with at HITS.  I am viewing change as good and I will figure this out.

For now, I'm just enjoying the ride...