Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Trail Ears - Photo Challenge Day 14

Between-the-ears shot, out on a trail ride

Well, had I not been such a slacker when we trail rode TWICE last week and didn't take any photos, I wouldn't have had to settle on this indoor shot because the weather is all rainy now. We don't ride inside unless we have to, so it's a different view for us and that counts, right?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Favorite Tack - Photo Challenge Day 13

Favorite piece of tack

This one was the hardest to picture to take. It wasn't an easy decision picking a favorite. But the more I thought about it over the last few weeks, the more I came to decide on the SmartPak Harwich Padded Fancy Stitch Bridle

It was cheap (I got mine for $125 new on ebay), it smells and feels like real leather - unlike some high end plastic-y coated brands (*cough*Vespucci*cough*) and it just takes a lickin' and stays wonderful. 

I school all year in this bridle, rain or shine, going on 2 years now. I'm not very nice to it as far as keeping it clean. I'm sure I keep it cleaner then a lot of people's tack, but not as much as my higher end tack.

The only thing I don't like about it is that padded noseband is IMO, too wide for Sam, but that's just because he has a wedge head with big cheeks and short nose. Which is why I show in a non-padded 1/2" wide noseband bridle, haha!

Anyway, it's my most used piece of tack, because I use it riding under saddle or bareback. :)

SmartPak Harwich FTW

Friday, January 24, 2014


Having a dark horse (pretty much black), one gets to have fun with bright colors. Something I didn't get to do with my previous very neutral colored mottled Appy. 

So I have halter for every season for Sam and then some - with matching leads of course. All are Weaver brand nylon, all with a breakaway feature (some I added myself). 

Burnt Rust



Lime Green



Royal Blue

And then it was hard to impossible to find Weaver halters with throat snap and silver/nickel/graphite hardware. They just stopped making them and/or the matching leads. Sometimes they would have the halter but only a matching lead with brass hardware instead. I don't do brass hardware. Ever. 

DoNotLikeBrass. MustHaveNylonLead. LeadMustMatch. StillNoBrass.

And over time, because the halters and leads are hung outside the paddocks in all weather, they fade. Especially the leads. And then they don't match. And it kinda ruins the fun and effect.

He has of course, all along, had a black with stainless, leather show halter by Quillin which has a rolled throat latch and classy black stitching and his show name (aka his registered name).

So I decided I had my fun with the rainbow of colors and it was time to go classical. 

Behold, Quillin's Turnout halter in special order black with stainless hardware with add-on double crown buckles, throat snap and english chin. All the add-on goodies pretty much negate getting the cheaper 'turnout' style, but it's a lighter version of his show halter, not so thick/heavy. 

Used with coordinating black nylon rope lead with stainless snap (by Weaver)

Now he's all stealth in black. Especially in shadows - my stupid phone's camera was quitting while he was in full sun, but he kept moving forward, eventually into the shadows by the time I got my camera to work ... grrr.

New halter, new clip.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Favorite Pad - Photo Challenge Day 12

Favorite saddle pad

This was a toughie because I have so many saddle pads. But this was one I designed myself with just the perfect monogram since I'm super picky about how my initials all look in cursive and/or in this particular combination. J L A

I found this rounded one online and I thought it would look pretty nice and I'm pleased with the result. I had it monogrammed locally and the pad is the SmartPak Lite with royal blue trim.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hoof - Photo Challenge Day 11

The bottom of your horse's hoof

Sam's left front hoof
Sam goes in pads (for his low soles that get sore) on the fronts with shoes, barefoot on the rears.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Saddle Love

Well, it's been over a month that I've had my new saddle, which is a Loxley Jump LX by Bliss.

I finally got some less then awesome, but good enough for now photos of me actually sitting in the saddle :) All the mirrors were dirty and this one was the cleanest. I promise that's horse smudge on the mirror, not weird dirt marks on my butt cheek.

Knee roll looks fab. No chair seat. And while it looks small in the butt, it's actually feels the perfect size.

Sexy clip job. Left the legs and head.
I actually have to hold myself in this saddle (or work really hard while moving).
I'm hoping it's diff muscles I'm not used to using - because visually I think it looks right-on. 

Just another 2-point in a slightly lower, 'get down in my tack' position. Again, had to balance on his neck. It was easier to 2-point in my last saddle, which is supposed to always be easy, again, I think this saddle puts my leg further under me, so I have to learn how to rebalance. I hope.
And the Sam-ster after a ride. Note that we're only using a saddle pad now, no 1/2 pads, etc. :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hay Barn - Photo Challenge Day 10

The haystack at your barn

We have a separate very large pole barn, just to store hay and grain in. We have Timothy, Orchard, Alfalfa, and Local to chose from. The stacks are color coded and match the color dots on our horses' stall fronts for each feeding. The BO buys a whole years worth of hay and most of it gets delivered at intervals during the summer as the cuts are made in the fields. And we never run out :)

There are three kitties in this photo.

The stacks go WAAAAY back.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Buddy - Photo Challenge Day 9

Your horse's best friend or significant other

Sam's a pretty independent guy who gets along with everyone. 

Otto and Sam, pasturemates

Flitzen, who Sam spends most of his riding and trailering time with

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pretty Barn - Photo Challenge Day 8

The cutest or most attractive part of your barn

The most attractive is easily the entrance driveway to the barn. This time of year the trees have no leaves, but it's still pretty cool to drive through.

See, little overhang of trees, just lovely and peaceful with horses up ahead.

This is an older picture of the drive with leaves, and the trees are a bit younger and not quite overhanging yet. But you get the idea. :)

circa 2009 with younger trees

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A new style

What's this, you ask?

Two-tone is the new look for 2014, of course.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Selfie - Photo Challenge Day 7

Selfie with your horse

Awww, we are so cute

Cheese! no, no, no ... that's not good lighting

Awww, super cute if only the sun wasn't so bright!
At least we blink in sync :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Commute - Photo Challenge Day 6

A snapshot from your commute to the barn

The barn is only 4 miles from my house

Friday, January 10, 2014

Random Ears - Photo Challenge Day 5

Between-the-ears shot, at a random location at your facility

A favorite riding destination on a sunny day
The back dressage arena with new footing (installed last spring) that is 100% usable through rain and freeze. And we get to jump in it all winter/spring long as we please :D

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Stall - Photo Challenge Day 4

Your horse's stall

14x14 with window view of jump arena and auto waterer in corner

 Jailbird view of C aisle, indoor arena, and A aisle with stalls.
Grain bucket, 2 water buckets and salt blocks installed by me.

A room with a view

The view looking left out the window