Thursday, February 14, 2019

Rub it in

Have you ever done something that you find enjoyment in, knowing full well or finding out later on, that somebody you know- has always wanted to try it or they admire it? Something they might be incredibly jealous of you for...

Way, way back in the day- the Lippizaner stallions were coming to town and there was a big article & photos of the horses in the local newspaper. Because yes, I'm getting old and we actually did read those things. Anyways my sister was pissed at me (one of the many times. HA!) because I cut out one of the photos and she wanted them to go with the whole article. See, she loved dressage. Always wanted to ride it and just admired it from afar. My parents weren't rich and certainly wasn't going to be shelling out the cash for dressage lessons when they weren't going to buy a horse.  At least her friend from high school had a horse and she got to ride.

Fast forward to me being in high school. I got a job at a local Arabin barn that I never even knew existed. I learned the art of grooming and went to a LOT of horse shows and improved on my riding. Her interest in horses kind of fizzled out over the years, while mine seemed to get stronger and stronger. She never has had a horse of her own. I have had several after buying my fist one within the month of turning 18. I have trained, shown, hauled and owned a number of horses over the years. My sister borrows a horse to go trail riding wih her friend now and then.

She had told me several times how she liked Dressage and has always admired the look of it all from the tophats, to the shadbelly coats, gloves, white breeches down to the dress boots. I have several of these things in my closet. The gloves, white, tan and navy colored breeches, 2 pair of dress boots, several long sleeved show shirts, 2 black coats and a Shadbelly I made several years ago because I bought the pattern and some gorgeous fabic.

And while she still borrows horses and toodles down trails, I have trained my pony to drive and competed him in the dressage ring many times over the years. Two summers ago I started a pony under saddle and within 6 months went from not broke at all to having her competitive in the show ring where we were always in the ribbons-> in Dressage. We competed in Western Dressage and again- brought home ribbons with respectable scores and impressive judges remarks. I have also been very fortunate (and quite blessed!) in learning from a friend of mine who has some seriously impressive credentials, having ridden with, cliniced with and sometimes shown against- some seriously impressive names in the industry.

I've grown to appreciate and enjoy showing in the sandbox. Doing reasonably well at it, even at the lower levels- fueled the fire. Hopefully one of these days I will be able to take my TB mare and she won't be such a diva and lose her shit. Time will tell with her... As for my sister?  Yeah, not my problem. She can keep borrowing horses to wander thru the dessert. 


Friday, February 8, 2019

Know your products

The other day one of the girls at the barn was using a hoof treatment on the hooves of her little sisters horse.  She was reading off some of the ingredients and mentioned it had Linsed Oil, Pine Tar and Venice Turpentine in it. Of course there were several other ingredients, but these three stood out for me.

I have a bottle of Pine Tar and the brush for it, but since my horses have always had good, soft to trim, yet sturdy otherwise hooves, I don't use it much and have had it for Yeeeeeaaarrrssss. I honestly don't even remember where I bought it.

Linseed Oil - I have a big can of this out in the shed for oiling the wood of my meadowbrook cart. I can also remember the Operations manager at one of the big name farms coating the deck of the flatbed trailer with a good coating of Linsed Oil to keep the wood moisturized and strong.

My wasbands mare Chica had also gotten really thin hoof walls and soles at one point so he was using Venice Turpentine to harden the soles of her feet to keep her from hurting when she walked. The soles were that thin. Shoes weren't so much an option since her hoof walls were seriously paper thin. She did get them the next time around, because I paid for them. I was more concerned with keeping the horse sound & comfortable and obviously he wasn't.

It has always been my experience that hoof ointment is applied liberally at the coronet band or hairline of the hoof since this is where it grows out of. The girl mentions it says on the can (in all caps mind you), DO NOT USE ON THE HAIRLINE OR CORONET BAND. I'm guessing this was because of the turpentine.

Now I'm not sure about you, but to me this mixture didn't make sense. There was the pine tar and linseed oil to soften the hooves and make them more flexible, but then the turpentine to harden them. It sounds a lot like a "fix all" in a can. It softens And hardens the hoof? How does that work?!?! How does an ointment or treatment know when to harden or soften things? What makes things even better is that this girl is one of those that knows all there is to know about the subject. At least she thinks she does.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Update please

Here we are almost thru the first month of the new year already and I'm still stuck on the Christmas post. Sheesh!

I will try and be a little better at posting in the coming months. Everyone knows that since I'm boarding the horses, there's plenty of drama and blog fodder at the barn. That's a given! LMAO  There are days that all the 'Barn Happenings' remind me of the days of Fugly. For those of you who feel the need to jump all over me for mentioning it, just save it.  I'm not going to post about all the drama negativity at the barn because I chose not to focus on that.

Instead there are things that while they could be discussed, focusing on the bad, they can also be discussed using them as a learning or teaching moment. Which one is the better outcome?

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas

Here's wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 10, 2018

Spider repellents

Recently I had a day off work since my new man was having a medical procedure and would not be able to drive afterward. I took a couple of my dressage magazines to read because there is rarely good reading material in waiting rooms. One of the articles mentioned making small repellent jars to help get rid of and keep spiders away. Since these sounded super simple to make, I figured why not give it a shot? 

The article suggested using glass jars, but 1) plastic just seems like a safer option around horses and 2) easier/ cheaper to get. So on my next trip to the $1 store, I got a small bag of Moth Balls and two of the 4 packs of small Betty Crocker containers. 


I opened one package of the containers and got to work. The article said to use a nail to make 3 or 4 holes in the top of the jar. I'm sure we can all get creative about where we place the holes, but I just went with simple, even, quartered spacing.


I had used a screw to make the holes and grabbed one of my S hooks to see if I could put it thru the holes to hang it up. Sure enough, it works!


Armed with my little containers, I opened the bag of moth balls. The article said to place 2 or 3 moth balls in each jar, screw on the cap and set them out in places where you have seen the most spiders. I wedged one in the bridle rack just because, one is hanging up by my girths and saddles, another one near all my bags of polo wraps and the 4th one is wedged in the pallet by the door to repel the barn cats. There were plenty of moth balls to complete the second set of containers which I haven't yet punched holes in the top of. For a total of $4 my tackroom should be free of spiders and all the other bugs they eat.

For anyone concerned about the smell- the few holes are supposed to keep it contained for the most part, but let enough thru to ward off the spiders. To me, they smell like the little things they hang in the toilet in a gas station restroom, similar to a urinal cake. Every now and then there's a light whiff of that smell, but even then it is mild enough not to be annoying, let alone strong enough to make anyone gag.  So far they seem to be working, so the occasional smell is worth not dealing with the webs or worse- getting bitten.  

Saturday, December 1, 2018

$1 store, barn edition

Oh the $1 store, how I love thee.
Let me count the ways......

Tote bags-> The $1 store has these in different sizes and in different colors and prints. You might have to wait to find the one you like or even dig thru the pile but they're worth it. They're great for polo wraps, pillows wraps, standing wraps, all the wraps. I had even found one years ago that is perfect for brushes. It holds 3 full size brushes, a grooming mitt, with pockets on the front for a hoof pick and mane and tail comb or brush.

The one woman at the barn has the hanging shoe bag in her tack room. It holds all of her spray bottles- fly spray, detangler, shampoo & conditioner, ointments, gels, etc. each in their own pocket. This could also work for splint boots. Hers has the clear pockets so tossing small stuff in one of them doesn't mean it is lost forever.

Wire S hooks-> great for hanging up a lot of things. These come in a 6 pack.

7 hook rack-> great for hanging up and organizing girths, bits, reins, snaps, extra leads, lunge lines and long lines... The hooks on these are rather small and close together, so it kind of limits what and how much you can put on it, but they still help kp things neat and organized. The S hooks above^^^ yeah, you need these for that.

4 or 6 hook rack-> great for hanging all of the tote bags on. This could also be used for halters and leads. I have one just for my lunge lines and long lines.

Small dry erase board with marker and eraser- for keeping track of feeds, supplements- who gets what and how much. This is handy if you're not doing something like SmartPak and have someone else feeding for you.These can also be used to note any number of things.

Over the door single and double hooks-> portable and easy to hang up everything in the barn aisle near the cross ties- tote bags with brushes, polo's, bridles, lunge lines, etc. I also have one for my car keys and jacket or sweatshirt while at the barn.

Small tote bin-> Since I don't yet have a shoe bag, mine holds the bottles of peroxide, alcohol, shampoo, conditioner, Epsom salt, baby powder, baby oil, petroleum jelly, shoe polish, spray bottles (fly spray, antiseptic and mane & tail conditioner) and a large sponge for bathing- all of which come from the $1 stores. There's also a  few bottles of other things from the tack or feed stores.

In the medical department of my drawer unit-> latex gloves- because, 100 count pack of plastic gloves, a pack of band aids for me, wound ointment, a 100 count pack of cotton squares- for wiping alcohol when giving shots, a small set of drawers for different size needles, a pencil box for syringes, a package of panty liners, maxi pads and children's diapers for wrapping an abscessed hoof or wounds with a few rolls of 'sport tape' similar to Vetwrap. Plastic wrap for sweating a leg, a few 'cold wraps' and a couple jars of Arctic Ice for icing a leg. A roll of paper towels and probably more that I can't think of off the top of my head.

In the tool drawer-> duct tape in fun colors, utility knife, a pair of pliers, a small set of screwdrivers, a tape measure, assorted clamps, a roll of electrical tape, zip ties, and a small flashlight. Again there is probably more that I can't think of at the moment.

For general grooming-> Hair brushes for manes and tails, shampoo and conditioner, large and small sponges, a 2 pack of wash cloths for wiping eyes and noses. A black dish towel for cleaning gender bits. Another towel for wiping fly spray on their face- a car wash mitt works for this too. A pack of the small bands for braiding or banding manes- they have these now too.   

Tack care-> dish towels for wiping down tack after use, wash cloths for wiping down bits- cheap enough each horse can have their own. Wash cloths for applying leather conditioner or neatsfoot oil, 3 pack of paint brushes for neatsfoot oil. The clear plastic gloves (see medical drawer above) keeps this all off your hands if needed. Small container with lid to keep cloths and brushes in between use. 

General cleaning-> A strainer works great for getting hay and feed sediment out of water tubs along with a small scrub brush when you just need to dump and scrub the water or feed tubs. Small bottle of dish soap for getting it all clean or washing my hands after applying meds, ointments or ??? Some $1 stores also have bleach if you really need to disinfect things. Disinfectant wipes-does this need further explanation? Broom and dustpan, small doormat for the tack room floor doorway. You can get trash bags, but I just use empty feed bags. Quart and gallon size zip top bags to line fly trap bottles- because I am NOT cleaning those things out to re-use it. Zip it closed and toss it in the trash. Done!

There's probably more stuff at the $1 store that would be useful around the barn or different uses for things I have listed here. Of course there are always going to be some things you just can't find or get at the $1 store. And even still, some things you just don' buy at the $1 store but spend the money and buy the brand name stuff. All of the things listed here, I bought at either Dollar Tree or 99 cent.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
May we all be surrounded with good friends and people we love.