Review: Basic Brushing Boots

Maybe I should start calling these Review Wednesdays or something because for some reason I seem to have posted a lot of reviews on Wednesdays. All except two of my reviews were posted on a Wednesday. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have a life on Tuesdays? Yeah, that’s probably it. Although I don’t have a social life pretty much all the other days either…. but on to the review.

I bought these basic brushing boots sometime in 2016. Probably around October or November. I’ve used them and used them hard, and so far, I really like them.

My favorite thing about these is the gel insert in the middle panel on the inside of the boot. This way if a horse knocks his leg with his foot, the gel absorbs the majority of the impact. This way, your horse’s ligaments and tendons and cannon bones stay safe. So far these have remained very breathable and they clean up well.

I also really enjoy their price point. At only $20 for a pair – and I got mine for $16 a pair on sale – they really feel like a steal. The picture above was taken after a ride, and since I do not close my boots tightly, they did slip down a little. Both pairs are size medium. The medium is a little big on her front legs, but I think the medium fits her hind legs very well. Unfortunately, I don’t think the boots come in small – just medium and large.

The four Velcro straps are a little tedious, but it doesn’t really bother me. I find that these are my go-to boots when I’m having a taxing ride or lunging the horses when they haven’t been out for a few days. Whisper is prone to knocking herself when she gets excited while lunging, so these are a staple for all 4 legs when I lunge her. Amber is pretty smart about her legs but when she’s in a playful mood when we lunge it’s either all four feet or the back ones.

Yep. Very playful

For most everyday things, I really like using these boots. You do need to be careful with how tight you fasten them because there isn’t any elastic in the Velcro straps. They’ve held up well to my abuse and the Vegas red dirt, and while the white will never stay truly white unless you probably wash them with bleach, I think they’re a great boot for the price.

There’s no real “magic” to them, but I like these better than the Pro Choice SMB boots as well as many other splint boots. I think that gel insert provides a lot better protection against cold splints and potential soft tissue injuries. For me, it’s a great deal!

The finer things in life

Yesterday was a long work day, but the best part about it was that I knew I could hop on Amber shortly after I got home. It’s what kept me going the whole day. It ended up being so gusty by the time I got home that we had to close the south and west doors, but I decided to saddle her up anyway.

I just wanted a short hack, something to get her muscles moving but nice and simple after such a good work the previous day. Plus at the other place she wouldn’t have been rideable at all, so I also wanted to give her a quick but confidence building ride. Before we used to ride in wind like this all the time, but those trees and being unable to see has really made her wary so it was a good way to see how she’d do (which she’s always fine in an open space so I dunno why I’m so determined to think she’ll lose her marbles). And riding gives me the happy feels so we rode.

When she decides to pose she really pulls it off….

It was a short, slow walk, trot and canter a little bit session. She was just a teensy bit jumpy in the beginning, and though she kept looking outside of the arena, she felt much more relaxed even when the big gusts came. We practiced a teensy bit of canter, some jogging and some loose rein trotting. We worked on a couple lateral steps, though those really weren’t very good it gave her something to think about. Plus I realized I didn’t have spurs. Those would have helped enormously for the few lateral steps but whatever. Good chill ride.

Then of course it was time to be photogenic.

That sweet sweet eye

So far she’s settling really well. She doesn’t care about the huge trains that come close by – it helps that there’s no cross streets so the trains never really blow their whistle. Plus we’re pretty sure we’re close to a depot, because trains coming in are pretty slow as are the trains going out. All in all you hardly notice them.

It is wonderful to be able to monitor her hay, to do her water myself and to fluff up her stall whenever I damn well please. I really missed being able to do that with her. Now that she sees me a lot she’s less inclined to maul me for scratches, but now she mauls me for treats. It’s really my fault. I just see her and she looks so cute and I just say “Oh here have a cookie” and give her a treat. Plus, while she loved the butterscotch treats I gave her, I bought the Purina apple flavored, bean shaped treats and I think she’s in love. And that weirdo bites them in half. Yep.

You’re the weird one mom; it’s all lies. I is sweet

But even with the small ride yesterday, it is awesome to just take her out, the arena is maybe 15-20 steps away from the barn, we ride, untack, and in the house I go. It is so nice to have her right there again. It really works for us because we don’t ever go anywhere, but we do have a few good friends who would be more than willing to help out if we needed.

Amber loves being able to see. Most of the time she is either inside in the shade and looking outside or outside and gazing at the warehouses across the tracks or whatever is to the south of her. Whisper took a long time to settle. We were quite worried about her for the weekend, but thankfully it looked like by yesterday evening she was finally starting to really settle. We think she got a little herdy so it’s just going to take time with her having her own side to accept being alone again.

Otherwise, I’m loving having them in the back. I go out there just to stare at her sometimes or stalk her through the windows. Poor Amber probably thinks I’m super weird.

I is tired; dis ride be bullshit ma

I actually found an acupuncture, chiropractic vet in town! I know her from our club, and I really trust her opinion so I’m very excited and pleased to find someone that I know is very knowledgeable and that I trust. She’s going to come Sunday to take a look at Amber and hopefully get in an acupuncture session. Amber’s not really off per say, but now that we’re on flatter surfaces again I wonder if her SI may just be really tight because I can’t seem to massage it out. Her right hind is still short sometimes, but especially now that her right knee feels better her shoulder muscles are developing better on that side as well. And relaxing those developing muscles never hurts. It’s more preventative and to help her feel better, but that’s always the best way, yeah?

Whoever said “how do you make a small fortune in horses? Start out with a large fortune” had it right. But I certainly didn’t start out with a large fund, so….yay for broke horse owners.

Seriously, I needed all of these yesterday. And Friday. And probably today.

Whirlwind weekend

They’re here!

Okay, had to get that out for you guys. They’ve been at home since Saturday morning. But more on that later. Also, be prepared for a photo dump because I was able to get tons of media this weekend.

As a weekend recap we’ll start by saying Thursday was a late night and it did not set me up for success on Friday. I even dreamed that I was crying trying to shut off my alarm, before waking up and realizing that was why I was dreaming about alarms. Unfortunately, I also work the front desk. I need to be polite and personable and people for some reason lose their shit when I have a day when I want to go be alone and not talk to or see anyone for the whole day. Which honestly is most days, but I am always pleasant on an early day because I can see and ride my pony after work. But whatever, I digress. I’m not a morning person, I’m not a “let’s hang with people all day” person and I’m not a “let’s always do stuff together in the evenings” type of person, but I’m a generally happy person. Which could be why they freak out, but seriously guys, it’s not the end of the world. It’s not that I don’t get angry and grumpy and upset and pissy about things, I just usually do that around good friends and I try not to bring that to work. However, I got pretty pissed Friday because freaking adults can’t act like responsible adults.

So enter retail therapy FTW.

Those of us bloggers and readers who follow Amanda Chance know she has told us about her sock collection numerous times, and as I reading an older post of hers, there they were popping up again. So “FINE I’LL GO LOOK AT THEM” and it promptly turned into one of the best parts of my day. I mean seriously, who doesn’t want socks like these?

Or these awesome ones?

 

Or what about this one that totally pertains to me?

You can buy them here for $10; a little pricey for socks probably but hell I love them already and I don’t even have them yet. Pretty sure I just spent about $100 on socks. I mean, I do actually need new socks, so this was totally justified. Because these had me in stitches. Absolutely made my day so much better. So really, I needed these.

The other best part was my mom texting me that she called our final inspector, and he answered that it was okay if we bring the horses early! Because of paperwork needing to go to 3 different departments, and the county is never fast with these things, I was completely resigned to have to wait until the 28th, maybe even the 1st of July before we could move them. It was so nice to be surprised! So it worked out that we’d already put mats down, smoothed out the sand, and I had a desire to grab some hay from our local shop Thursday evening. I mean, why not be prepared? Good thing I was, because usually I’m a procrastinate-till-the-last-second type of person.

So after work I met my mom at another local shop and grabbed shavings and a few other odds and ends we needed. Saturday we gave them a quick bath since we’ve got a bit of work to do before our wash area will be usable, said goodbye to our good friends and headed home.

We lunged them in the new arena and they absolutely loved it. It took a bit for Amber to settle in, and she was especially temperamental when we took Whisper away to lunge her. Even though she can see her it was horrible if they weren’t across from each other. Horse logic I suppose? Whisper was fine at first, then something kind of startled her and she didn’t settle for the rest of the day.

My mom agreed to go with me to photograph the clinic. I got the videos from my lesson, but the resolution is all messed up so it’s this blob of blur happening and you really can’t see anything. My phone takes awesome res photos, so I was happy to have her there to take plenty of pics so I could see all that needs work.

Like this one

It was a really good clinic. There was only one other person there since the others had to reschedule for various reasons, but 3 of Instructor’s students were there as well, so it was a really good time of feedback, encouragement and horsemanship. The grids were a lot more challenging this time, and it really had us working. Instructor also incorporated many different body positions to help improve balance and to give us even more of a challenge.

Sometimes we get it right. My hand tho….

Amber was a charm. Considering the move just a day prior, I was a little nervous that she’d be distracted since I hadn’t ridden her since Monday, but from the moment I hopped on she was extremely rideable and ready to work. She definitely remembered from last time, but still had to knock the poles a few times before she realized they had height difference and she had to be a little more focused and judge them better. Overall though she was fantastic. Although I haven’t gotten to ride her this past week, we felt more in sync than we did at the last clinic. It’s weird because while there weren’t as many ah-ha moments like the last time and though we felt more connected, we were a little more wobbly on some things but it felt good. You know what I mean?

She misjudged a few of the cavaletti a few times, especially the fan one. When she got a little tripped up she did this tiny canter and got herself out of it. While she wasn’t supposed to canter, she was smart with her footwork so I’m actually quite proud of her for it. After those two times she had a split second to canter and totally switched up her feet mid-poles and completely worked it out. I was super proud of her for that too. At the moment, it’s little things, and I’m honestly happy that she’s being smart with her footwork and really trying and committing to going for it instead of backing off and giving up. And she so wants to please and do it right.

Whee let’s canter
Another “whoops canter” moment
Started a half canter step in….
Fixed her footwork….
And came out nicely

I’m crouched a little low – all my old hunter habits coming back as well as I’m just not body strong yet at all – and my hands and elbows and feet and everything isn’t perfect, but it’ll all come with time, work and shorter stirrups. I’m slowly putting them up since I’m currently used to western stirrup length, so it’s all a work in progress. But it still felt really good today.

I think she’s secretly part Hackney pony….

It was really nice to see just how much this little girl wants to leave those poles alone. She was absolutely fantastic and I couldn’t be prouder of her with this outing. It also really showed that even with those strange days last week, we actually look a little better than last time, and for sure I feel like we did better. We had more misses, but it really drove home the good feelings when we got it right.

What also really impressed me was how honest she was even after she felt like she was nearing her limit. Twice she really tripped from not judging the height of the pole correctly, and due to my light hold on the reins she took them out of my hands, but there was no doubt she was finishing the grid. I just sat back and she got herself up then finished the grid with her ears pricked. It was a kind of “crap” moment for me, so I just sat back and didn’t do anything, but I was so proud of her for catching herself and still going. It was just really nice to know that she was so honest through it. It was a proud mom moment. Plus, she really felt like she was driving with her butt the whole ride. Most of the “pushing off of hind end and going through the back” things I’ve read have had the lower hind leg angle match the opposing forearm angle.

I mean, that hind leg reach….

We weren’t in frame most of the time, but I feel that that will come in time as long as I am diligent to keep her forward and working off her butt. Although her butt really doesn’t need any more muscle….

I know, I’m probably gushing way too much and making you guys roll your eyes but I was so damn pleased with her Sunday. We even absolutely nailed two canter to trot transitions to go directly into a grid and stop. I was so proud of my baby girl.

I really had plans for the rest of the day, but I really got nothing done. There was a Get Smart marathon on, so I just sat on the couch and watched that and went to bed at 9. I know, I’m old, but I think all of us get there at one point. Today is going to be another long work day and hopefully I can hack around tonight in the new arena.

Randomness and ramblings

Well, yeah cause there’s really nothing going on here. Since the barn is done, we’ve just been doing odds and ends around it. The grader finished the arena. It is gorgeous and I can’t wait to ride in it.

Our QAA inspector came by and checked us off as good to go. We put mats down and I think it looks pretty darn good, but we still need to wait for the county inspector.

We also had the grader put some of the arena sand in the runs since our ponies love sleeping outside and the pad was hard packed. So we worked on smoothing it out. Hello softness!

The garage door company worker popped by and installed a garage door for our feed room. It’s going to make unloading bales much easier for everyone and looks good.

Sunday is our third cavaletti clinic, and I’m pretty pumped for that. We haven’t been able to really do much prep work for it in the past two weeks, but I think it will be okay. If nothing else, maybe I can snag a ride at our new arena to prep for Sunday. We’ll see how that turns out.

Otherwise it’s all the legwork now that the barn is done – installing something like chicken wire to keep the bunnies out of the hay room, figuring out what hay supplier to use, putting in bridle and saddle stands/racks, putting up wood around the base of the stalls, figuring out dumpster sizes, figuring out fly control, that sort of stuff. We’ll see what we can get done this weekend.

Thanks for being my headrest….

And, since we’ll be organizing the tack room, I’ll be going through my things and you know what that means….. Tack Sale! So hopefully sometime soon I’ll have a tack sale post to get rid of everything I don’t need/want anymore so I can make room for new stuff. But I’m starting to do that for all of my riding clothes as well. Not only trying to get more matchy things, but also to slowly replace my summer wardrobe with really good sun shirts. I’m super excited to get my Presto It’s a Haggerty’s sun shirt. They have so many custom options that I just may need to fill my soon-to-be-depleted wardrobe with them….

So yeah, nothing very exciting. Although I have to admit that my inner OCD is squealing with glee over the fact that I get to pick my own bridle rack, choose its height, put my bridles up exactly how I want them, not have a hard time keeping my saddles covered, organize EVERYTHING. Yeah, it’s a curse. But all of us riders have some of that, am I right? Right now though, it’s cheers to the freakin weekend.

2017 Show Outfits

Amanda and Emma have done these posts and I love reading them because I love seeing what everyone uses and loves and it gives me reasons to spend money great ideas on stuff to use. Also, all of my posts so far have really featured english, which is where I’m going but I thought it would be a lot of fun to show you guys my western show clothes as well.

For all of you traditional hunter (maybe jumper) people, you might want to shield your eyes.

For the most part, I’m a traditionalist, too. I love the classic hunter look and the sometimes outside-the-box look for jumpers. But western introduced me to colors and fun and BLING. And I have to admit that I really love bling. Not over the top stuff (have you SEEN some of those show shirts that cost like $2,000?! Yes, that’s 3 zeros), but occasionally there will be this thing of crazy bling or color that I love. Western really let me have fun with the sparkles.

SPARKLE

I have a custom show hat by Shorty’s Custom Hattery in camel color. It really only “goes” with my brown outfit, but I think it works fine for the others. I usually wear Ariat boots either brown or black and some small roweled spurs and fun spur straps. No clue what the brand is for the spurs/spur straps.

My chaps are from Hobby Horse, and they’re the microsuede, super lightweight ones. I got my brown and black pairs on a super good Halloween sale, and I wear a brown/black pair of Irideon tights underneath them. Those pairs have belt loops so there’s no issue with me adding a belt.

I have 2 Hobby Horse show shirts (tigris and French blue) and one that I found on eBay for a steal (royal/black). I got the French blue shirt for a steal as well, and forked over some money for the tigris since it was my first love and remains my all time favorite show shirt.

To go with those show shirts I have 3 Mayatex show pads. All of them are the thin wool pads and I use an Impact gel contoured felt pad underneath all of them.

My saddle is a KO Trading Company elite cowhorse saddle, and while it doesn’t have any silver on it, I like it just fine with the nice tooling. I didn’t want silver on my saddle for daily use (ugh, all that polishing), so it’s plain. Her show headstall is from Rodeo Drive, along with the royal blue/champagne Swarovski crystal buckles and silver accents. Her bit is simple: a Tom Balding or Billy Allen bit (it goes under both names). It has a short shank and a “Myler” mouthpiece and she loves it, so she shows and schools in it. As for reins they’re just thin, generic split reins. I have no idea what brand they are.

We’ll be showing in these in the Sept-Nov shows because I still have a few reining goals I want to fulfill before we really jump into eventing, but yay for sparkles! (I know, I’m sorry, it’s a lot of bling).

Right now for English we’ll just be doing HUS in the Sept-Nov shows. I’d love to do some jumper classes but I don’t think we’ll be ready for those before September. I have my new Equine Athletics show coat and Roeckl navy gloves to wear that I am very excited about. I have 2 pairs of tan Devon-Aire breeches that I show in (although I’m hoping to replace those soon), and I actually show in paddock boots and half chaps. During the summer I have a white Ariat show sunstopper shirt. My current paddocks are old (like 5-10 years) so I’m planning to replace them with Ariat Heritage III or Ariat V sport zip paddock boots. I believe my half chaps are Ariat Concord half chaps with leather on the outside, a back zipper and suede on the inside. I use these only for showing. My helmet is an Ovation schooler with a black helmet cover over it. Yep. Classy. I’d love to get more of those jox socks but I use absolutely nothing special.

Most of the stuffs

With our new tack I will show her in our Prestige Sinead shoulder-free saddle with my mom’s generic silver stirrups. The all black stirrups will probably not fly in the hunter ring, and a monoflap is probably questionable, but it’s the last 3 local shows of the season and it’s the saddle that fits her so that’s what we’re doing. I’ll show her in the Flying Change bridle even though the hunter gods will probably not like that either. At least I’m not adding my bling browband…. I’ll change out my Thinline reins for my 64″ Ovation laced reins. When Amber has her head in QH HUS position I can barely get a loop in the reins even with Warmblood sized. I currently don’t have a leather girth that works for her. I’m looking at the Nunn Finer Passage but who the hell knows. She used to ride in a loose ring sweet iron jointed snaffle, and now she rides in a loose ring sweet iron snaffle with the Myler mouthpiece. Not too much change there.

I’m slowly acquiring things for future eventing, but I am actually looking towards brown tack for dressage. I have my eyes on the Bates saddles (for many reasons). For xc and show jumping I have a few things now, but ultimately our colors will be navy and light blue because it’s our barn colors, and Amber just looks fantastic in blue. Opposite ends of the color wheel and all, you know?

Anyway, that’s about it! Ah, sorry for the bombardment of sparkles…. JK. Totally not sorry.

Review: Roma Ecole circle/star quilt A/P pad

You’ve seen these pads in a few of my posts, and I’ve had them for around 9 months now, so I figure it’s a good time frame to give them a review.

Photo from Amazon

So far, I’ve really enjoyed these pads. What caught my eye first was the wick-easy feature. Amber sweats buckets all the time, so I was hunting for saddle pads that would help wick away moisture to keep her cool and bumped into these. You can see the brownish-gold tint on the underside that marks the moisture-wicking fabric. I like that that fabric is light, and is also not white on the underside of their white pad.

I currently have 3 colors: hunter green/navy and gold and white with light blue/royal piping. I of course love matching and love fun colors, so their huge variety of colors works for many people. Although I just got white, hunter and navy so not really crazy colors here… I really like the way the pads wear; they wash up well. Just look at this white one:

Absolutely disgusting
All clean!

The white one washed up well after Amber sweat like crazy in the previous pic. This was done in an HE washer tho with color-safe detergent, so I think in a regular washer it would’ve gotten a little cleaner. The black is from my half chaps, but over all the pads are doing very well.

I also really like the contour of the spine. Another A/P pad I have doesn’t have this contour, and it does not fit Amber well. Her back is too wide, but with the contour on these pads being front AND back, it allows the pad to sit much better under Amber’s saddle.

The only strange thing is that if you look up the navy and hunter green pads, the pictures (as seen above) show gold threads all throughout the pad. I bought the green one and the white one together, and my sister got me the navy one for Christmas. But the navy pad doesn’t have the stitching in gold all over the pad like the green one. Strange. I do wish the navy had the gold, but I never returned it because I didn’t want my sis to go through the hassle. Plus I didn’t have to pay for it it was a gift, and regardless I still like the pad. (Still love that top photo tho)

So far, I’ve noticed their wicking feature to work. It doesn’t leave them cool to the touch and no sweat, but I noticed on the edges of the pad where the air could get in it left her less sweaty and looking more comfortable than a few other pads. Plus, they dry in a snap. I can leave it out for 5 minutes after a pretty sweaty ride and it’s already almost dry. I do very much enjoy that because, you know, whatever’s easiest. They’re not very thick; perhaps a little lighter than many quilted pads, but definitely not as thin as a baby pad. By the way, in case you’re wondering, I took a seam ripper and removed the billet straps from mine. The pads do come with them, but since my saddle is a monoflap there is not reason for me to keep them. They just get in the way.

These pads are very easily obtained via Amazon for around $35. Most of the colors have Prime, so you can save on shipping and grab a few from there. They’re super fun to match, and I’m still loving using them. I give them 4 out of 5 stars.

Heat management….

Not so much. Especially with temps like this.

 

And yes, that is an excessive heat warning issued Monday morning until Friday. Granted, we don’t usually have humidity over 20%, so it’s not as muggy as Texas or the east coast, but it’s still an oven. So we were up and at the barn by 730 and ready to go. My mom kindly took a video for me – although it’s probably because she got to sit in the shade while doing so.

Stahhhhhp; this saddle already makes my butt look big!

I know we have the typical QH headset and we don’t have the most forward trot, but considering the past few days I’m happy with how responsive she was. I’m hoping that soon I’ll be able to grab some lessons to kickstart us further towards eventing. The dressage trainer I want to lesson with has also evented up to Prelim, so I’m hoping I can do some jumping with her as well. I might have found a place with a little cross country course. Otherwise, I’ll just try to place natural objects on the empty lots around us and see how that goes.

We actually had to go back to the barn around 3 to hose the horses off again because we didn’t have a lot of air flow yesterday to combat the heat:

Amber’s stall is enclosed with trees and belting so it keeps the light breezes out and poor girl was sweating badly Sunday evening even at 730 at night. The owner recently put in misters, but the misters don’t help if there’s no airflow. I have to say neither of them were amused to be wet again.

Amber has one hell of a side glare

She doesn’t like getting wet unless a bath with her magical-scratchy-mit is included. Then she is more than happy to be pampered if there’s scratches involved. But it helped cool them off. And now for 115 today…..