Friday, February 26, 2010

For Sale Friday

Let me start by saying, I am open to posting things here on Fridays for others. Send me a photo, a description- size, color, condition- asking price and how you would prefer to be contacted, I will put it up and the rest is up to you guys. All I ask is that things are clearly, truthfully represented and reasonably priced.

I would be glad to do monthly categories too- pads, sheets/blankets & coolers, grooming supplies, show tack, halters & leads, whatever comes in, I will put it up and basically out there. Let's clear all the stuff out of the tack room that isn't being used and make way for stuff that will or can be.

I have an assortment of things that need new homes. Topping the list would be bridles. I have three English bridles I am offering up, they are each pictured with bits. The bits are available separately, since I know we all prefer different things. I am selling these in hopes of funding a new one for the new mare Boo Boo. Sometimes the problem with getting a new horse is you also have to buy more tack to fit them. I have also found, that tack has a way of multiplying behind your back.

First up is a plain hunter bridle, raised caveson and noseband, brand new and only been on a horse once to adjust the fit. Cob/Arab size- we bought it to show Psyndi and ended up selling her. Things sure have a strange way of working out. The bridle has been kept inside, recently oiled and is ready to use. I checked at the show and they sold for $70 new, I am asking $55. Laced reins are included.

Pictured with the bridle is a Korsteel brand, loose ring, French link Snaffle. Mouthpiece is 4 3/4 inches in width. It has been used only once, with the above bridle to check fit. It has since been cleaned, disinfected and is ready to use. Make offer.

Next up is a dark oil, hunter bridle with braided accents on the caveson and browband. It too has been on a horse one time to check the fit and be adjusted. In the photo one of the keepers has come loose on one end. It has been repaired, the bridle has been oiled, kept inside and is ready to use. Laced reins included. $45 or best offer. This fit my OTTB mare.

The pelham bit pictured on the bridle above has also seen very little use. It was purchased for a show back in 2000. After the show, the rider quit, the horse was retired and the bit has been a decorative item since... It has been recently cleaned, checked over, disinfected and is ready for use. The mouthpiece is 4 3/4 inches with 4 inch shanks. Make offer.

Last up I have another hunter bridle, dark brown leather, laced reins included. Kept inside, recently oiled and ready to use.

Pictured on this bridle is a mullen mouth pelham bit. 5 inch mouth, 4 inch shanks, lightly used but recently cleaned, checked, disinfected and ready to use. Make offer.

I also have a Korsteel eggbutt snaffle, 4 3/4 inch mouthpeice. Checked, cleaned and disinfected, make offer. Pictured on the trailer fender.

I would be more than happy to ship a bridle complete with bit of your choosing. I ship USPS flat rate priority mail. Contact me through email and yes- Pay Pal is accepted.

I also have a pair of Oster A5 Turbo 2 speed clippers, a contoured leather hunter girth 44" (new! & still on plastic hanger tag),
two pony sized carts (Meadowbrook and a metal training cart), a nylon harness (pony), a leather harness (pony, nothing fancy), a Weathabeeta turnout sheet (size 63), a leather harness (horse, rough shape = low price) and several pairs of SMB splint boots. Let me know what you are interested in and I will gladly give you the details on it and pictures.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rain Delay!

Since there is a lot to cover in saddle fitting, and I really wanted to get a few photo's to put up and it has been raining so much lately... I'm going to have to improvise for a while. Honestly our horses are not quite looking presentable at the moment. There are a number of questions you may ask- Why? How could that be? You are so knowledgeable about grooming, why do they not look presentable? What happened?
You may also be thinking-> CNJ, you really droppped the ball. I thought your horses ALWAYS looked perfect! I mean, come on... what gives?

Well it has been raining. A LOT! And it's raining today. Right now as I type, matter of fact. Since we are set up for flood irrigation, the pastures are not designed to just run off and drain. No they hold the water to some degree so it will soak in and stuff will grow. Like grass! We may want grass, but at the moment we are more likely to get weeds. Believe me they are coming up everywhere. I have been pulling them up by the roots in hopes of them NOT coming back, which is quite the workout, but definately worth it.

We have had a few horses out over the past few days and since we haven't been showing, nobody is being blanketed this year, nobody has been clipped and I'm kind of liking the more natural or 'wild' look a few of them are acquiring. Bridle path? They are supposed to have a bridle path? Pass. Skip. Move on please... Besides, being at the show over the weekend, I have seen enough bridle paths, that extend halfway down the neck to just be... well let's just leave it at that, shall we?

Whiskers? Check.
'Beards'? Check.
Feathering? Check.
Yep! They all have pretty much everything listed. Add in a nice coating of mud and we have ourselves a herd of piggy looking ponies. The one palomino mare is half yellow, half green and brown. Does she look disgusting all coated and caked from rolling when she's out? You bet! Does she look for the soggiest, funkiest, nastiest spot in the turnout to roll in? Better believe it! She may be blonde, but she is definately NO Barbie.

But is she happy? Certainly. And with the weather being what it is, I could always go out and hose her off, (cold water of course) clean her up, throw a cooler on her, wait for her to dry, snap a few photo's, blanket her and try to make her stay clean, but would she conform? I doubt it... I really, Really, REALLY doubt it. Would she still be as happy, being all blanketed and clean? Probably not or she may not care either way as long as there is plenty of feed and water.

But she is happy at the moment being filthy. A few of the other mares are just as filthy. The mares I wanted to use for the pictures in fact. The only clean horses out back would be the boys- Mondo, Pal and Kat. Figures as much, doesn't it?

So maybe I have been looking at the wrong horses to take pictures of. Maybe the girls don't care for their few minutes of fame and I will have to just start pulling the boys in under the lights and get the camera out. And maybe, just maybe, Mondo will be seen wearing a close contact saddle long enough to get his picture taken. And a dressage saddle too. And I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, when that happens... I will be told, "Don't go getting ANY ideas!"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Saddle fitting 101

Cattypex was asking for a post on saddle fitting advice. While I have had some experience in this department, usually in the manner of a horse misbehaving out of pain or catching it before it causes serious issues, the downfall about blogging is you often skim the top of the subject, grazing over the important factors and leaving out the gory details. It's in the details where you find the true roots of the issues and begin to really solve the problems.

In catching up on some of the blogs I read I found a link to another one. And yes I will be adding this to the sidelines to keep the learning going for all of us! Saddle Fitting - The Inside Journey I would like to offer a huge Thank You! to the writer of this blog, Kitt Hazelton for offering her knowledge to the rest of us, so that we may learn and our horses not suffer...

We all have knowledge of different things in the horse world. We each have different interests and levels of expertise. Where I may know a thing or two about saddles and how they *should fit*, admittedly it is probably enough to get me by in life and there is plenty more to learn. I have no issue with turning to others who specialize in different areas.

So for now, to get things started, have a peek at the blog in the link and I will get busy snapping photo's of our own horses, likely not to happen until Sunday because of the horse show, but I will get it done and will try to post things in a way to keep it interesting and fun as well as educational.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Scottsdale Show & That Horse

I wanted to take a quick moment to offer a shout out to a few exhibitors at the 55th Annual Scottsdale All Arabian Horse Show. And even though it is called the All Arabian, they also feature Half Arabian classes....

On the home page in the link, there is a "click here", to watch the show online through iEquine. You must sign up for an account, but it is free to do so. There is also a "click here" link below it to check the results so far.

*If anyone is watching on Saturday night for the first class of the evening *Gamblers Choice*, be sure to look for JR and I on the jump crew! If I know where the cameras are, I will be sure to wave. lol! When the class is over, I am the one driving our truck around the ring. He is on the trailer loading and stacking standards and flower boxes.

We have the great pleasure of working with Jack Adams again. He is another one of the few true horseman with much to teach for those who are willing to learn. If there is any of the jumping classes on the live feed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, JR will be there, but I can't due to work and other restrictions. Stop by and say Hi! We would like to meet you. We also wish to thank the show organizers for having us back. It is always fun and we enjoy being able to help!*

Congratulations! goes out to Megan Manning and her horse Fortunes Fate on winning their class Dressage Training Level, Test 2! Sweet!!! This pair also placed 3rd in the Dressage Training Level, Test 2 JTR Stakes Class.

Good Luck goes out to Heather Martin and her horse Fortune First. They are showing today. And another Good Luck goes out to blogger Kellimare, their trainer, who has helped these two young ladies and their horses to get there.

Another Congratulations goes out to Michelle McQueen and Star of Nefereset for their 3rd place ride in Dressage Training Level, Test 1 JTR. Although I did not clip this mare for the show, I did work on her in the past for the McQueens for another show.

Way to Rock it everyone!

Congratulations also goes out to every horse and rider that has won their classes or even placed at the show. As it was said about a great woman I knew, who always sat in their farm's box seats ringside and cheered the horse that won, be it one of theirs or a horse belonging to someone else.

Lou Adams cheered equally as loud for the horse that won, because on that day, in that class, That Horse was the one that won. She was a true horsewoman and I am fortunate to have known her as well as having worked for her. She is one person I never minded being considered 2nd favorite to.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Daily humor

Not just the weekend stuff. We all need humor in our lives at some point. A few of you may have noticed I added two blogs in the sidelines under Funny Blogs. Sexy People and Sleep Talking Man. Both have come from other readers/posters.

Sexy People has been around since 2007 and is a very clean site. No worries about seeing anything provocative there, except for maybe a few of the Glamour Grandma's posts. Renzo posts pictures that people send to him from 1998 and older. The comments are often hilarious. Pictures of families, graduation photo's, glamour shots and pretty much everything from the past we look at and think we are glad the fashion trends have changed.

Sleep Talkin Man is posted by a couple Karen & Adam. Adam talks in his sleep and says some incredibly funny and comical things. He does tend to swear and today's post contains the F-bomb for those of you who may be offended. All sorts of stuff from trading his ponies in for a zebra (pronounced zebrah with the short e sound, like the name Deborah) because if it's stripey coat, to telling people to piss off because they aren't a superstar donkey jockey. Some of it is horse related- other stuff? Who knows where he comes up with it! But is sure is funny and is sure to make you laugh. Thank you Sherry for sending me the link! It cracks me up!

A few other blogs I follow have started posting things for sale on Fridays. For Sale Fridays. Is anyone interested in doing the same here? Post your thoughts and if anything else, I can start posting tack, grooming supplies or whatever else. Maybe bridles and bits one week, pads another week, polo's and splint boots another time... Maybe we can organize it by weekly category? Let me know. I have a few things listed elsewhere and would love to see it all GO!

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blue Mondays and Kopertox green

First off, let me start by saying I was hoping to get this finished and posted yesterday. Can you tell by the title? We all see how well that went!

New Horse Mommy was asking about thrush recently. Since we did get a bit of rain over the weekend and our one small arena is still a mess of squishy sludge from the last downpour, this is as good a time as any to talk about it. Cattypex, I am going to do a post on saddle fit and use pictures of our own horses. It may have to wait until this weekend though... I have Not forgotten about it. Another poster just had a clinic here locally last weekend about that very thing.

With things like thrush, the best way to deal with it is to prevent it if you can. While this is not always easy to do and Mother Nature doesn't always help, we all do what we can and hope for the best. Even still it does occur in a lot of barns, so don't feel like a loser or incompetent if your horse gets it. It's not a death sentence, just another thing to learn about and deal with on your journey down the path of learning...

The simplest of things to do is cleaning your horses hooves out daily and having them trimmed regularly as needed. Cleaning the hooves helps to get all the gunk (dirt, manure, small rocks) out of the cleft of the hoof and lets the air in to help dry it out. It gives you a chance to see if there are any rocks in there causing bruising, remove foreign objects such as nails or glass and check on the hoof to see how it is doing. Regular hoof care is a way for a farrier or hoof trimming specialist (whichever you use) to remove the excess, rebalance the hoof and help you find things such as thrush.

This can be a great time of learning for everyone involved. An owner interested in doing more for their horse can step up and ask questions and the farrier can offer advice and information. Or you may both learn things about the other person, like- the farrier doesn't want to be bothered to teach you or the owner may be a person who throws money at things and expects others to fix it all. All four kinds of people exist in the horse industry. Those who want to learn, those who are willing to teach, those who harbor their knowledge and those who can't be bothered.

Just like everything else horse related, there is a number of products on the market, home made remedies and everything in between. Things people hold to as tried and true, works every time on every horse and another list of home made concoctions that others swear by the light of day will ward off anything and everything evil.

The basic findings are that thrush is either a fungus or bacteria, it hasn't been determined yet which. It thrives in conditions of constant moisture and little air circulation. It can be found in the barns of the best bred horses as well as the back yards of low end breeders. Thrush does not care who owns the horse it affects, it just gets in there are whoOoa the smell! ICK!

While not all mud is considered bad, for some horses it can bring on a bout of thrush and get things rolling downhill. This is where Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate. A steady pounding of rain and stall flooding on top of the thrush being present, doesn't make for happy horse owners. Mud with a lot of manure in it as well as under ponds of urine will certainly be a breeding ground of sorts for a lot of issues. If possible trench everything to allow for drainage as best you can. Move the horse to a stall or pen where they are out of the mud or have a dry place to stand. This is why the planning stages way back when, were so important when deciding where to put the barn.

But horses can also develop thrush in a stall or smaller pen too. If the manure piles up, the horse has nowhere to go to get out of it. Some horses urinate a lot and soak the bedding in their stall. This again leaves them nowhere to go to get out of it. Daily hoof cleaning is important, giving those hooves a chance to breathe and getting the horse out to exercise also allows the hoof to breathe as well as moving over the dry (or at least drier) footing of an arena or work area.

Soaking a hoof in apple cider vinegar is recommended by a lot of people as a way of drawing out and sanitizing abscessed hooves, but it also works wonders on the thrush because it gets into those places you just can't. Other folks may recommend using a bleach solution, Listerine, hydrogen peroxide and a number of other disinfectants, antibacterials or anti fungal remedies. This is to reduce the presence of the fungus or bacteria causing the thrush. Keep the hairline and coronet band in mind when soaking the hoof as some horses have sensitive skin. The last thing you want to do is cause another issue while trying to resolve the first one.

A squirt of Kopertox, made by Fort Dodge can do wonders, but the stuff stains whatever it comes into contact with and in my opinion smells just about as bad as the thrush does. In reading the label it states not to get it on the horses leg as it can cause hair loss, avoid breathing the fumes, it is combustible and I found this part a bit unappealing-
"NOTE: KOPERTOX is easily removed from hands, clothing and surfaces with light grade fuel oil or any type of lighter fluid."

Both Kopertox and Thrush-XX from Farnam contain the same amount of Copper naphthenate - 37.5% as their main ingredient. Absorbine offers Hooflex Thrush Remedy which is stated not to stain, sting or dry out the hoof. I could not find a listing of the ingredients or I would gladly put them up.

There are a number of gels, ointments, salves, hoof packing materials, boots and ways of treating thrush as you can dare to think of or care to look up online. When it comes down to it though, the hoof has to be cleaned out and the fungus or bacteria removed. Soaking, packing, booting and moving the horse to a dry pen or higher ground are all things the average owner can do to ward it off. If you are having no luck and the thrush persists, then it is time to get the vet, farrier or both involved and let them do what needs to be done or try something else.

NHM, I hope this helped. Where every situation is different though, it is tough to address the issues and surrounding particulars for each specific horse.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Fun

I was talking to a friend of mine last night and during our conversation I had a rather strange and unusual thought. There is a large group of us bloggers and she has planned on us all getting together, may be happening around the spring of 2011 if we can all pull it off...

Anyways we were talking about a person who is continually playing a submissive and passive role in everything in life. This person had turned to the group for support of some kind, not sure exactly what yet myself, but support. And that's when it struck me.

For the most part this group is comprised of women. Strong willed, hard headed women. We don't take crap off our horses who out weigh and by far out muscle us, some are even taller than we are. (I know Tess was and now Boo Boo is in this category.) If we compared ourselves to the herd it would be a herd of alpha mares. Alpha mares don't often get along, let alone let anyone else slip by in life on anything that holds their interest.

So I was thinking, what other traits do we each have, as compared to our horses? I know I am not exactly conformationally correct or a halter prospect, being offset at the knees and having an undershot jaw... I am also not exactly speedy as far as running so I would NEVER make it at the track and my knees ached this morning so I may be in need of injections. Better call the vet!

But I am an easy keeper, low maintenance and like to work. My nails, or rather hooves are pretty strong, don't often chip too easily, don't require sanding or polishing and I lack feathering. lol! With the twins having red hair and our older daughter being a bit darker haired, if I were breeding for color- what are my odds? Would my 'owner' need Regumate to deal with mood swings? Am I mare-ish?

Let's hear it. This could be fun. If you were a horse for sale, how might the ad read?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Students of the Horse

I learned to clip from a halter trainer who's girlfriend was a groom at Lasma back in the high dollar days of the Arabian horse world. Back when Paradise Park was home to the Scottsdale show and Westworld was only a thought. Karho stood proudly next door with all of it's white pillars and magnificent beauty. Farms of all kinds lined both sides of Bell Road with pastures, fountains and long glorious driveways.

Jerry taught me to clip at the farm we worked out of, on a big grey gelding, because of the simple fact- Jerry hated clipping. He absolutely hated it. Thanks to him I not only learned a useful skill, but the horses didn't have to suffer through someone clipping on them while hating every minute of it. I have seen horses ruined by clip jobs like that. I have also seen lousy clip jobs coming from situations like those. Nobody wins there.

With everything in life, if you don't enjoy it, don't bother doing it. It's a waste of not only your time and money, but also a waste of time for your teacher or coach. They could be teaching someone else during the time you are wasting, while you are going through the motions. Just doing something to make someone else happy is not a way to do a good job or learn anything. On the contrary, your attitude may end up discouraging others while you are breaking things including tools and equipment, ruining it all for everyone else in the process. You get out of it what you put into it. Crappy attitudes bring half assed poor results.

When the interest is there, it makes teaching a little easier sometimes. Sometimes. Only because the talent does not always come with the interest. There are things I would like to learn how to do, but it doesn't come easy for me. I have to work a bit harder at perfecting it and it still doesn't happen as nicely as I would like or think it should. And just when I think I have it down pat, something else goes wrong, comes up, falls off, unwinds, unravels, hangs up or the wheels fall off. You get the picture. Then some days it all falls into place and works perfectly or smoothly. The next day its a completely frustrating and utter disaster! What gives???

We are our own worst critics. We want everything the way we want it and how we pictured it in our minds. While we may think we are clipping a horse to turn out flawless, there ends up being clipper lines galore. Everywhere. Making the horse look like they got into a fight with a lawnmower and lost. Aaaack!

Someone else comes along and wisks the hair away effortlessly, without any lines or mistakes to be seen. But ask them about the job they just did and their list of errors and mistakes are endless... They go back over areas you see nothing and more hair comes off. How did they see that? More importantly you ask yourself, how did I miss that?

It's the same thing with riding. The horse may be willing and giving me everything they can, but as the rider, I am still blocking their movement, restricting them in some way and not exactly helping them out. Everything may look good, but it can still look so much better.

Then someone else climbs on and Holy Smokes! Did anyone else know the horse could buck like that? Just kidding. They could get a whole new level of softness and movement from the horse making my jaw drop. Damn them! Why doesn't she move like that for me? What am I doing wrong? Or not doing at all? I couldn't see them doing anything different. What's the deal here?

And that's where the questions begin. That's where our choices come in. Do we teach them and help them or shut others down and shut them out? That's where the learning starts. That's where the horses show us when, where and how to improve. It's a process of developing an eye for these things and a way to correct them when they happen. The process never ends and sometimes you never know when or where you find the answers, let alone who's holding the keys.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The learning process

As many of you know I do offer my services for body clipping horses before shows. Back at the end of the year I clipped a horse for another local trainer and last week I did him again since they will be going to Scottsdale for the Arab show.

While I was working on him last time, as we finished him up and clipped his ears, his adult owner learned about two important rules. One being how you don't stand in front of a horse and two, everyone on the same side. She did not get hurt and quick explanation of why, kept her out of harms way and has hopefully left an impression that will continue on with her through her life with horses. These are simple safety measures everyone can keep in mind.

When dealing with a horse who may be difficult to handle in sticky situations, the rule of 'Everyone on the same side' gives the horse an escape route of sorts. If he blows up, he will try to get away. In trying to get away he has to go somewhere. If everyone is on the left, he will go right, everyone at their head, they will go backwards, if there is a wall or door behind them they will come forwards so be prepared...

We were working on his ears and were both on the left, she was standing on the right. Had he blown up, he would have plowed her down. At another time she moved around to directly in front of him. Again, not a good place to be so I quickly explained why. Nobody wants to be in the way of a horse trying to escape- whatever their 'demons' may be.

This horse is a bit apprehensive about his ears and even under sedation can be a bit touchy and responsive. Not many horses like having their ears clipped and when you consider it tickles, the clippers are often noisy (even the quiet ones) and their hearing is a bit better than ours, it's easy to see why.

This time around he was much, much better about the whole process. He was sedated, the barn doors were closed, the world was quiet and everything went incredibly smoothly. When a horse is behaving like this it all goes so easy, fast and a better job is attained. I am proud of him and proud of his owners and trainer for the progress he has made.

His young owner has also expressed the interest in learning to body clip horses. So what did I do? I offered to teach her how. We can either use her horse or one of ours and I will be glad to show her how to get the tough spots with little to no fuss. Am I putting myself out of a job? In a way, yes! If she ever needs help or has questions, I am there to help her through it.

The way I see it, if she has the interest, why not help her expand on her knowledge. Not all of us were born knowing everything we do about riding and even those of us with talent, still need to sharpen our skills, improve our timing and learn how to recognize the desired responses we ask for.

Besides, when I am no longer clipping horses I will know of at least one person to call, that can do the job and do it right. I will rest assured while she buzzes the hair away, that she knows what she is doing. After all, she will have learned it from me.