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Showing posts from November, 2010

Saddle Box review

I was contacted last week by Saddle Box's owner, Phil, who asked if I would review the product on my blog.  I am happy to do so!  All my opinions are my own and I am in no way sponsored by or affiliated with Saddle Box.   
Saddle Box is a monthly subscription box full of equine related goodies for both rider and horse!  It can contain items such as treats, grooming tools, books, and small tack.  It seems there are a lot of these surprise monthly subscription boxes in a variety of styles these days, and it was only a matter of time until one was made especially for horse folks!

The first box has a 15% off coupon, so it costs $29.71 the first month and $34.95 each month thereafter which includes shipping.  They do ship to Canada for an extra $10 shipping. You can buy a Saddle Box for yourself or give it as a gift.  Once you sign up, it will automatically renew (and charge your credit card) every month unless you indicate for no box that month. There are no returns unless you receive a…

Escape!

There is nothing like walking outdoors at 6:15 AM and finding a horse loose in the barnyard. Yikes!  How in the world the filly escaped her stall last week escapes me!  LOL!  Thankfully Reva was easy to catch, following me into the barn when I went to get her halter.  She had no scrapes or cuts, and while she did eat a bit of hay stacked in the barn and leave her hoof prints in the driveway, it did not appear that she did any damage.  It also did not appear that she had been loose for very long.

I fully expected to see her stall door off its hinges, or something to that effect.   Oddly enough, not only was the door fine, but the chain hook was not damaged at all!  Huh???  The only thing I can figure is that she played with the doubled ended snap long enough to unhook it from the eye hook???  (Side note: I don't really like her stall door set-up, but it is safe and works.....most of the time!!!  It is a wire mesh stall gate and the latch is a short piece of chain, with a double ende…

Thankful

I hope all my readers had as wonderful a Thanksgiving Day as I did!  :)

Refugees

Listen, it don't really matter to me, baby. 
You believe what you want to believe, you see. 
You don't have to live like a refugee..

Yeah, my horses sort of look like refugees lately, a la the Tom Petty's song.  :D  Between the awful fall rain causing tons of mud and the 39497345795 things in my plate lately, they are lucky to be fed.  LOL!  Today I finally got the chance to groom everyone, as I am on school vacation for Thanksgiving!  Wooo!  Best part of being a teacher!

It was super windy today, with gusts up to 30 mph.  At least the sun was out, but with the temps hovering around 35, it was brisk out there!  LOL!  I forgot how rejuvenating the wind chill can be!  :-p  I broke out the winter riding pants and boots for the first time.  Sigh.  I knew Dreamy might be a bit fresh, and she was.  Ha ha ha.  She is not bad and is really easy to control when she scoots and leaps in her excitement.  It is more like she scoots and I am right there to steady her, so she sighs....awww, …

Maine Horse Association 2010 Banquet

One down, three to go!  "Tis the season for horsey banquets!  We have four to attend...my Dream Girl had quite the year!  :D


Last night, November 20, we attended the MHA banquet.  We earned three year end awards....this is always exciting because (except for the junior categories) they only award the grand champion and reserve champions at the banquet.

Lots of pretty ribbons and trophies....



We won Champion Training level dressage, Champion 3-gait Standardbred, and reserve Standardbred in-hand!  Yay Dreamy!



Yay for fun banquets with friends!  :D

The Sorority House

A horse friend was teasing me about having a sorority house at the barn.  LOL!  I suppose owning three opinionated mares does equate to having a sorority house in the back yard.  I got thinking the other night and I suppose it would have to be called Σ ΛPor Sigma Delta Rho......the first letters, of course, for Sparky, Dreamy, and Reva.  (In that order OF COURSE!)

HA HA HA HA!  ;-D



Book Review: The Blessing of the Animals by Katrina Kittle

I randomly picked up this book at Target the other day.  As an English teacher, I normally do not have time during the school year to read anything other than the books I am teaching.  I grabbed this (mostly because it had a horse on the cover) and figured it would have to wait until Christmas break or next summer.  My mistake was thinking I would just read a little bit of it last weekend....thankfully both my boys were gone so I was able to have a marathon reading session and finished it in in a day and half!  LOL!  The Blessing of the Animals was a neat book.  I really liked the characters and the storyline.  There are moments that made me laugh and others that really made me sad.  The protagonist Camden Anderson is a veterinarian, which of course I liked immediately because I enjoy any story about animals and horses.  :)  From the first page, it hooked me and I was unable to put it down.  I liked Cam immediately...while she can save and fix animals, she is unable to fix her marriag…

My Equine Idiosyncrasies

I got thinking today while filling outside water tubs that I sure do have a lot of weird horse related idiosyncrasies.  None of them really matter to anyone but me, but I got laughing to myself when I realized just how many I have.  I am certainly OCD in my own way, but not so much that I need to be medicated!  LOL!  There is no real reason for any of them, except maybe that I am crazy (YES) and I am superstitious (why? no idea).  The good thing is that it is not like I freak out or anything if I cannot perform these things.  But 99.9% of the time, I can and it makes me happy.  LOL!!!!

Here they are in no particular order:
I always put shipping boots on and off in a specific order.  I like to put the near hind on, then the off hind, then the off front, and then the near front.  Why?  Because I can.  And I have this irrational thought that if I don't always do that, then perhaps something bad will happen on the trailer ride.  I fill the inside water buckets in a particular order.  I …

Dreamy's former owners

Back in 2008, I wrote to all of Dreamy's previous owners, just for fun.  Out of the 7-8 of them, only one responded.  Dr. Hank Schlesinger and his wife are from NY and they owned Dreamy at the end of her racing career.  He was happy to hear from me, it seemed.  He wrote:


I am very sorry that we have not written back sooner concerning "Dreamy Starlet".  When we had her she was a spunky filly with a big heart and a lot of promise!  When she developed her chips I determined her racing time was over.  I was an equine veterinarian then and I could have done the surgery so ending her racing career was the alternative.  She was like a big puppy ready for everything.  She had quite a disposition and a lot of spunk.  We were sorry to let her go.  We are very glad a wonderful person like you has her now.  Maybe someday if it is OK we might come to visit.  Give her a hug for us.  ~Dr. Hank and Cathy Schlesinger 

I thought was so nice of them to write back!  :)

Dreamy's race history

I have been meaning to type up a post about Dreamy's race history for a while.  I just keeping forgetting.  Her race record is really not good at all, but I think it is neat nonetheless.  Going from a mediocre racehorse to a very good dressage and jumping horse makes me proud.  Dressage and racing have absolutely nothing in common!  Except maybe for the whole "you-use-a-horse" part.  ;-)  I will start with her first race and go from there...it's not like there are that many to list!  There is an obvious trend....she began in the NY Sire Stakes (NYSS) and ended up in pretty low classes at NY county fairs.  Poor filly!


June 25, 1993 
Yonkers - Qualifier (she was two)
4th - 2:04.1


July 5, 1993
Goshen - 2YR F NYSS
4th - 2:05.2


July 16, 1993
Saratoga - 2YR F NYSS
5th - 2:01.1
She was driven by Jeff Gregory, my friend Helene's husband!  Too bad this wasn't a win!  LOL!


August 2, 1993
Yonkers - 2YR F CD
7th - 2:07.4


Sept. 3, 1993
Yonkers - Qualifier
FIRST! - 2:05.1  
Her only win!  …

Chilly Winter Riding!

Today is a typical November day in Maine....cold, overcast, and raw.  :)  The sun did not come out, so the 40 degree temps felt colder than had the sun been out in full force. 

I cleaned the barn and headed to a riding lesson at 9AM this morning.  I took fairly regular lessons until school began, and then it becomes tough.  This is the first lesson since August, I think!  LOL!  It was cold and I almost thought of canceling, because my warm house seemed like a much better place to be.  But I am really glad I didn't.  Dreamy is a bit out of shape, since my rides are limited now that school is in session.  But we had some nice canter work today.  :)  We tried a canter figure eight, with a simple change at the walk at X.  We tried this last August at our last few lessons and, well, the changes did not go so well.  We can do them pretty well from the trot, but a true simple change at the walk was hard. 

I was surprised but happy when the changes went well!  Going to the left was just abo…

PRODUCT REVIEW: Protectavest

I have not done a product review in a while!  :)  This is one of my most favorite horse inventions.  It is called a Protectavest!  And in honor of the recent start of hunting season here in Maine, I figured it was a timely review!

My mares are all turned out with their Protectavests on during hunting season.  Dreamy and Sparky have had theirs for eight years now and they look great.  I wash them at the end of the season and pack them away until the following year.  They have not torn, faded, or stretched.   What I especially like is how they are made right here in Maine!   I actually went to the woman's house to purchase the first two, as I was working at the high school in her town at the time.  This last one I bought for Reva I just emailed her and bought it with my Paypal account.

Here are the mares sporting their Protectavests back on November 30, 2008!



Side note: I am NOT READY FOR SNOW LIKE THAT!  Ahhhhh!  LOL!

The Big Scary Tarp.....is not that scary!

This past Sunday I had only enough time to groom everyone...though I desperately wanted to ride, it just wasn't going to happen.  I groomed all three mares and decided to play for a few minutes with the Big Scary Tarp with Reva.  It is not really that "exciting" to introduce new things to her, because quite honestly nothing bothers her.

I thought I would find something to "work on" with the tarp.  

I spread it out on the ground with big rocks on each corner.  I brought her out and took her for a quick walk around, briefly allowing her to walk past the tarp.  She didn't look at it.  I asked her to halt, back, pivot, all the normal in-hand stuff we practice. 

Then I led her up to the tarp.  I'm all ready to let her sniff it, maybe put a foot on it, and I am even ready to pick it up and allow her to "chase it" in case she is really worried about it.  I have a six year old son who would be MORE than happy to be asked to run around with a tarp!

Yeah we…

Miss Sparky is Aging.... :(

My little Morgan mare, Sparky, is starting to show her age.  She is 28 years old this year...I have had her for 18 years.  She was my first horse when I was 13 years old.  She was the BEST first horse and I am thankful for what she taught me.  


Here we are in 1993, the first summer I owned her. 



This was my senior pic from 1997.


She has Cushing's and DJD/bone spavin in her hocks.  She has been retired from competition since 2006, after doing a little bit of everything with me.  She is looking GREAT this year, with most of her coat shedding out normally and lots and lots of pretty dapples on her chestnut coat.  She inhales the third crop hay I bought for her and seems content in her quiet life.

But lately she just looks tired.  :(  I know that fall is a bad time for Cushing's horses, with their ACTH levels on the rise.  She is on chastetree berries and I know she is fine, but it just stinks to see her age.  I remember what she looked like when she was 10 years old, when I used to e…