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!