Friday, August 18, 2017

Tack Review: Le Mieux Pro Sport Dressage Pad

I got this pad with free shipping and a 20% off coupon - so it was about $50 (gulp, which is a lot for a plain pad). Tesla has outgrown one of her pads and the orangey one is borderline at this point...

First off, this pad was made for withers and curvy backs:

Huggin curves in all the right places!

The grey was the perfect shade (not too blue/purple) and matches the footing in the dressage arena exactly (coincidence? I think not LOL)

The suede-y fabric had a nice weight to it (but probably not ideal for full summer heat). I love the cordura reinforcement at the girth, that's always the first place to look ratty..

Thumbs up for the fairly innocuous branding.

And it stayed PUT - even after our round-pen session (and even tho' the stirrups didn't ;)

No unsigtly lumps, bumps, or wrinkles....

Initial impression, 5 out of 5 stars.

Will definitely be saving up for another.... oh the colour choices!

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Tesla is still a bit wonky from her vaccinations, but was willing to show up to play a bit/roll in the round pen. We worked on the command "switch" to change directions - she picked it up pretty fast (having never-ending sugar cubes in your pocketses for the win!)

We took a stroll around the property in slo-mo, said hello to all her friends, and called it a day!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Vaccinations got us like....


So someone got a low key evening full of all her favourite things, including this:

Monday, August 14, 2017

Backing over poles

When I read about Nicole's adventures in teaching Murray to back up over a pole, I definitely wanted to try it with Tesla. She doesn't have great body awareness - and I thought that this exercise might help her think about where her feet are.....

or not...LOL

Elegance is hard.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Tack Review: Levi's Commuter Jeans

I picked these jeans up for 15 bucks on super clearance. I figured that jeans for riding bicycles would also be good for riding horses - and I personally like jean material in the saddle (the grip is juuuust right...hard to shake those old polo habits ;) 

love the reflective ...even tho' you can't see it under my half-chaps

All the features that work well for cycling: stretchy (but more substance than tights), articulated knees, anti-microbial material, and reflective details all translate well to equine sports!)

They got some scathing reviews online, mostly about shrinkage (even with cold water washing/line drying) - I haven't noticed that so much with mine (they are a big snug after washing, but loosen out like most jeans)

If you are more of a boy-cut kind of gal you will like these jeans, which are cut straight through the waist and hip. 

4.5 stars - would definitely buy again (maybe even full price ;)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Red Light, Green Light

I've been feeling more secure in the saddle, so I dropped my stirrups 2 half holes (so an inch) and I could feel that I was sitting deeper in the saddle....
Didn't know you could get bling on your leathers too....

So did Tess, apparently. She is super great about responding to seat weight = stop, so my deeper seat meant "We just stand here Ok thx".  But then, the next time I brought her out, we were coasting with no brakes, cause I had taught her that seat weight does not = Stop.

So, we spent a whole session playing red light, green light with this new balance, first I explained it to her with words ("whoa" and "walk on") and eventually just with aids - by the end she was a champ. (we'll see how well it sticks ;)

Amazing what a difference an inch of stirrup leather can make!!!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I am my horses' manicurist

It has been a few weeks now since I took over Tesla's hoof trims. And I have started to see her feet change right before my eyes: I suspect her heels were a bit contracted, which is why the thrush had such a foothold there (pun totally intended) and probably why the various treatments I tried just weren't 100% effective in the long run. I've been using mastitis cream as well as Coppertox in rotation with iodine (I put these in a $1 plastic ketchup dispenser & you can control it as good as a paintbrush :) I'm not strong enough to do all 4 feet at once - and sometimes I have to soak 'em to get them soft enough that I can be effective - but Tesla is lovely about her feet (and boy, does it help to have a willing participant!)

The goal

I trimmed down all the overgrowth, and am rounding away at the proper mustang roll. I make sure she is comfortable and even between sessions - and am alternating between fronts and hinds: so far, so good! From all my online reading, less is more, and the feet will really heal themselves if given the chance (and barring any conformational corrections)

More Mustang Roll needed ;) everything should be rolled to facilitate break-over

I'm informing myself with several online sources as well as Pete Ramey's book (I'll do a formal review of it as well).

Here's to a new adventure!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Born to be Wild

only one crazy eye = mostly sane

I refreshed Tesla's mustang rolls (she was an angel about it) and then we headed up to the round pen. I could tell she was full of it, so after some work on the line, I turned her loose with just her halter to get some of the willies out.

There was bucking and rearing and toe-flicking trot, and that girl can tuck her butt so far under her she is practically on two legs. I supervised to keep things from getting too outta control, but let her have some apparently much needed playtime. 

A fellow barn-mate walked over, "Ah, she just needed to be wild, eh?" he asked, and we both laughed and Tess followed me over for a bit of a chat and some free cuddles. "I think she got it out of her system" I said, and Tesla proceeded to follow me around the ring like the giant puppy she actually is. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

A few Odds and Ends: KL Select/Red Barn 28 Smart Girth

As Tess and I are zeroing in on our tack needs, I have a few odds and ends that need a home:

A KL Select/Red Barn Smart Girth (link here)

the Leather on this is buttery - no cracks underneath - I love this girth, but Tess is going well in the anatomical one (and also went up a size, lol!) so that ship has sailed.

Broken in to perfection.

Marked 28in. 

The double elastic on both sides is still tight - and roller buckles for the win!

There is one scratch blemish on the underside (barely noticeable!)

Cleaned after every ride.

New these go for $172 + shipping. I got it for a steal, so I'll let it go for a steal: $50 + shipping - you can leave a comment or use the contact me box in the sidebar if you want to make this beauty yours!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tack Review: County Logic Anatomical Girth

Review: County Logic anatomical girth

One of the things the saddle fitter mentioned is that Tesla would benefit from an anatomical girth since she has a forward girth groove. 


I snooped around a ton online, but apparently 30in. is either really popular or really not popular, cause it was slim pickings.

I wanted something used (just in case Tess hated it/got rubbed/needed a different size). And although there were strong opinions about leather, padding, quality of various and sundry anatomical girths (when is there not strong opinions in horsemanship, LOL) I really wanted something leather that would last...I prefer the feel of leather rather than plastic any day, and like that leather breaks (rather than the horse)and also biodegradable for the win!

So I emailed my fav online gold-mine shop: to see if Pat just might have something I was looking for....

BINGO. In my hot little hands 2 days later.

The leather has a nice feel to it - a little stiff from to back (but that what helps it stay anatomical rather than squashing up), but the edges were all nicely padded, the elastic was stretchy and the buckles were roller. A word of caution with Logic girths - there is a lot of leather past the buckle, a good 3-4 inches, if I went any size larger it would interfere with the bottom edge of my saddle... Also the Logic is the middle-of-the-road in terms of buckle offset - Delfina's are less curvy, while Stretchtec's are more offset.

Straight off - I could see a huge difference in how the Sommer sat on her back. The saddle felt more secure and I dropped my stirrups down two holes (win win!)

Under saddle, I could feel a difference, especially at the walk - more swinging and more power. 

I feel like our tack is finally all coming together: bigger browband, saddle adjustment, bit seats (I'll do a whole post on those ;), and now the new anatomical girth, we are ready to do some dressaging.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Social butterfly

Tesla is garnering quite a fan club...

Hi new friend!

She has been cuddling with all the evening crew...

Free hugs

and her polite sweet interest in all the goings-on of folks is making her quite the popular gal in the cross-ties (er,... more like ground-tie for us, LOL) these days...

She has settled so much (even in just this past month!) that she is a joy to be around - and I'm glad that joy is spilling onto all those around us too!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Product Review: My Pet Sunblock

A little too pink...

When you are sporting a lot of chrome, the sun is not always your friend. 
Especially when that bling is in delicate places.

I tried a long-nose flymask, the coverage was great...but someone made their opinions very clear - she HATED it - and her paddock doesn't make night-turnout only an option...

Don't get that torture device anywhere near me

so when a trainer recommended My Pet Sunblock, I gave it a try!
It's a mix of Titanium and Zinc Dioxide powder that you pat onto the exposed areas with a sponge applicator.

I powder her nose at night, and it lasts thru the day to keep her nose from getting too pink. A little goes a long way, so I expect it will last all summer (for about the same price as a long-nose mask...)

So....yes, yes my horse wears Makeup
Happy nose

What will she want next?!?

Sunday, July 23, 2017


An unofficial blogshop from Jan via Olivia, I thought I'd chime in :)

Tesla gets high quality hay + a bit of alfalfa (doesn't make her hot, but does help her keep weight on), and enough that it is almost "free-choice".  Porsche lives in pasture, so she gets fresh pasture grass 24-7 during the cooler months, and gets supplemented with hay + alfalfa when the grass dies out in the summer. Both girls have the typical TB metabolisms: Moar is better for bottom-less pits.

I gotta be careful with grains - they can be rocket fuel, so I use a scoop of Stable-Mix if I want to give powder supplements - I mix in 1/2 rice bran if weight starts to drop. Both girls really like the Stable-Mix, and have a nice coat bloom on it:

Porsche made the calendar: Miss Honorable Mention July 2014

Porsche needs a hoof supplement (those TB genes again, lol) and I tried a few, but Horseshoer's Secret works better hands down for her and is very palatable (she is a supplement snob).

For Tesla, I wanted probiotic gastric support, and picked up some AniMed EquiTum 
(it was on-sale at the Feed Store)

A word of warning - this stuff must taste horrendous (prolly why it was on sale), cause the first time I gave it to her Tesla mixed in the stable-mix she spit it out (and she is not a picky eater), but she is OK with it down now.  I wouldn't recommend it if you have a horse with a discerning palate.

Tesla also gets electrolytes in the summer to make sure she is drinking enough:

This one just tastes like salt :) - which is great cause I think she kinda doesn't "get" the salt block on a rope in her paddock. (More likely she touched it once and it swung and she decided never to touch it

And lastly, dark horses can be copper deficient, and the cheapest way to add copper is Paprika! 

Hello Giant Costco Tub!

Also a word of warning: Paprika contains capsaicin, a banned substance at shows - so stop feeding ~2+ weeks before any rated show.

Pretty basic overall, but is working well for us :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Drunk Tess

A mini dose of sedative, and a few power tools later, Tess doesn't need dental work for another year (yippee!) I had my vet come out and do it (as the gal I normally use lives by the folks and the scheduling just wasn't working out)

Dr. K mentioned that Tess didn't have any "bit seats" so she went ahead and put some very non-aggressive ones in. 

A "bit seat" is a rounding of the edges on the first set of back molars: 

The points can catch the inner cheek between the bit and the teeth - pinching it and causing pain. 

Dr. K said I will feel a total difference in how Tesla feels in the contact.... I'll keep you posted :)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Maybe I should always ride ....

As I was tacking Tesla up for our evening ride, my crazy work week finally caught up with me and I almost called it a day, but instead I decided to head up to the ring and just toddle. Tess was super soft and listening - so we did a quick 5min. longe and then I hopped on to do some walk laps. 

And because I was so relaxed, she was totes relaxed (rocket science, right? lol) She kept eying one corner of the ring, and I spied a doe - so every time she looked that direction I kept her busy with back-ups and turn on the haunches (she loves those, haha) and square halts. After we were done I walked her over and there was not only a doe, but two late fawns as well (still with spots!)

I spy.....

So we hung out in that corner, so she could see and smell them and get snacks and NBD.

Maybe I should always ride exhausted....

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Adventures on the hoof

Can I eat it?

With the horrible re-occurring thrush and some scheduling/philosophical differences with my current barefoot farrier, I decided to take things into my own hands, literally.

Tesla is super good about her feet being handled: she picks them up readily, is respectful of your space, doesn't lean her entire body weight on you ... I've had previous farriers tell me they LOVE her :)

Trail Boss and I already do Porsche's feet as she has farrier trauma from being hot-nailed (her typical TB feet mean 1mm wrong and you've done it) and she throws a total tantrum for everyone except us - I've had same said previous farriers tell me they don't want to die....O_o 

The trail boss had welded me a hoof stand - but I kinda wanted one I could adjust the height on and that was more portable, so I bit the bullet and ordered a Hoof Jack from Riding Warehouse (one of the few things that I couldn't use a coupon on...) but figuring it would pay for itself after 2-3 uses.

I went for RED, cause there is already a green one at the barn :)

Here's to new hoof adventures!

Sunday, July 9, 2017


Whenever I'm putting a little pressure on Tesla, asking her to put on her big girl pants - this chorus runs through my head ;)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The gift that keeps on giving...

I finally wrung the last bit of soapy goodness from the  gifted Mrs. Conn's Bath sponge (Thanks again PiccoloPony! it lasted about 4-5x..and as I looked at it I thought:

This would make an awesome tack sponge - and it is!! The large size means I get more surface area per swipe, and the flowered edges get in all the nooks and crannies - plus the little bit of residual suds  make getting the grimy bits a breeze - who doesn't love a gift that keeps on giving? :D

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Blog Hop: Guinness on Tap Frankenbridle

Austen from Guinness on Tap had a post about Frankenbridles....well I have one that is getting more and more Franken ...

I started out with this bridle:

The leather is super nice, horse-sized stamped "Made in England" - If you want it, it's looking for a new home...

but then I spied this used one (which was a better look for dressage lol)

and used my work-a-day reins..

Then, with some muscle gain across the poll....I noticed Tesla's 15in. crown piece was getting snugish around the,  I went looking for a 16in. plain padded, black-on-black browband...(those actually aren't super easy to find!)

and I found an Anky one online for $10 shipped - the ad said wear on the back...but I've never seen browbands wear like that and looking closely at the pics - I was ready to bet it was just in need of a good cleaning...

and I was right! 

The Anky browband cleaned up like new - and Tesla can flop her ginormous ears in comfort once more!

The next addition to the frankenbridle?

Some glow-in-the-dark for winter....

Friday, June 30, 2017

What we do

After rides if the arena is quiet, we do some at liberty work, just in case we want to run away and join the circus someday...

(Didn't give her any verbal cues this time ;)