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Ellis River Riders Versatility Trail Challenge - July 25, 2020

So you need a little background before I talk about this trail challenge thing! Throughout 2020, I put some time and effort into riding Ellie's dam, Rejoice. She never had consistent training when she was younger and then she spent several years just being a broodmare, so while I did not (and still do not) have any lofty goals for this mare, I did want to enjoy her as a pleasure horse. Mostly because she is safe and sweet and seems to enjoy getting out and about.  she is the BEST trail horse and will go anywhere I ask! being all majestic, I guess But when I first started riding her the fall of 2019, I realized I had my work cut out for me LOL! She didn't understand my seat, she was used to being completely ridden off her face/bit (owner just before me rode her in a tie-down/draw rein combo), and had zero half halt. Like we called it a 1/16th halt haha. early April 2020 I took my time, reminded her about how inside leg to outside rein works, and never used any devices on her. I

How to Protect Your Horse During Hunting Season

Here in Maine, we are in the beginning of deer season, which means at any given time (besides Sundays and especially on Saturdays) there will be the distant and not-so-distant sound of gunfire.  I have nothing against hunting, in fact I have my hunting license and have gone deer hunting, but it definitely makes me a bit nervous with the horses.

You might think being a dark bay and black horse would mean there would never be any confusion with a brown while tailed deer, but you'd be surprised.  While most hunters are responsible and vigilant, there are certainly plenty of yahoos in the woods right now who should not be carrying a gun.  And despite the fact the horses are fairly close to our house, I still protect them with blaze orange.

Because it does not naturally occur in nature, blaze orange is the standard safety color.  I know folks who use orange halters or blankets, but I do not turn my horses out in halters (and if I did, I would use their leather halters) and they do not need blankets.  Instead, I have been using a super cool product for over fifteen years now called Protectavest.  I first bought this product when I moved my horses home in 2001, and the woman who makes them is (fairly) local to me, just an hour away.  I picked up the vests in person, but it looks as though she does ship.  While the store owner offers a variety of blaze orange products for all manner of livestock and animals, I personally prefer the vests.  

The vests are made of a tough mesh that has withstood fifteen years of use from a variety of horses.  This is the sixteenth year and they look great, if not a slight bit faded.  I tend to only brush them off (or hose them) if they get muddy during hunting season and have only washed them once a year before I store them away for a year.

I don't remember paying $50 each (but realistically I have no idea HOW much I paid back in 2001, so there's that...), but even at that price, it is a great deal.  The peace of mind I having knowing my horses are covered in blaze orange is priceless.  Could someone still be a complete idiot and shoot my horse?  Yes, of course, but at least this way I would have a much easier time suing their ass off if I had proof that my horses were clearly identified as NOT A DEER.


Super flattering photo of Snappy with her vest this afternoon



Comments

  1. That is a great idea. Making a mental note for when my horses are on my own property!

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