How Much Do You DIY

With the acquisition of my precious I have been hunting down different trailer service shops. Being basically brand new the trailer doesn’t need work so much as upgrades. You might remember that I got a Trailer Eyes system for Christmas. I finally had it installed shortly before trading in my trailer. Add that to the list of things that I want to eventually pimp my trailer out with and it would be quite the laundry list (read: $$$).

There are some things that I know I am not capable of accomplishing myself. Installing a RV Hook up to eventually power a window ac unit and awning for camping fall into that category. Things that I am just crazy enough to try though include the installation of fans. Since I know literally nothing about wiring things I turned to the trusty internet as my guide.

Luckily there are quite a few facebook members that happen to be atleast half as crazy as I am. There is even a group about Horse Trailer Conversions (aka DIY living quarters). While I don’t want to build living quarters there are a lot of useful tips in this group. One person even posted a how to on installing fans in the horse area of your trailer. Whether or not this is a good idea remains to be determined. In an ideal world I will be able to see the wiring for my lights easily, determine which line is hot and which is the ground and then just splice the wiring. I am most concerned about the drilling of holes into my trailer to mount the fans honestly! Hopefully I will have a good update for you guys in the next week!

Have any of you tried to do any of the above to your trailers? Tips or tricks for the not so handy rider?

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Summer 2017 Must Haves

This summer has been a bit brutal on my horses. Between pulled shoes/ chipped feet, skin funk, flies, and other issues I have a few staples that I like to keep on hand at all times. Some things like fly spray are a no brainer but others are worth trying if you haven’t yet.img_6956.jpg

First off is Shoofly Leggins. Kristen from Stampy And The Brain recommended these to me and I am glad I gave them a try. At around $50 for a set  of four I was able to get a pair for each horses front legs for about $75. What I like best about these boots is that they can be left on 24/7. The only time that they are pulled off is when I am going to ride. Highly recommended. None of my horses have gotten sores or skin funk from wearing them and they stomp at flies considerably less.

pc: herbal horse

 

Because Annie is the most delicate of flowers I have to be careful what products I use on her coat. Recently she developed a horrible case of scabbies (not official terminology). As in bad enough that I freaked out and called the vet. Prior to that though I had been applying The Herbal Horse Heal Quick salve. My vet immediately asked me what it was when he saw her and I was worried he didn’t like it but in fact he said that I should keep liberally applying it because of how well it softened her scabs. Add in some KineticVet CK shampoo and  hopefully the scabbies will be eradicated.

Next up is fly spray. I go back and forth between Deo Lotion and Pyranha. As my favorite retailer Riding Warehouse sells Pyranha that is what I purchased most recently. It smells a bit potent but it doesn’t make the horses oily and seems to do the job. I have yet to find a fly spray that defeats horse flies though so if anyone has suggestions let me know! Last but not least is the Strip Hair Grooming Tool. Admittedly I was really skeptical about this at first. I still don’t think it is the best tool for shedding however it is AWESOME for bathing. Not as rough as a curry and still does a great job scrubbing. My favorite is using it to groom legs though. It is a lot easier to get in the nooks and crannies. On top of that it makes a great sweat scraper. My only complaint is that I wish they sold them alone and not just in sets.

What are some of your summer staples?

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All The Sass

My horses sure do keep things interesting. This past week I got to somewhat successfully lead the baby dragon around. Houston and I had our last attempt at cross country schooling. Best of all, Annie got her shoe back on.

Of course now that her shoe is back on Annie is battling some kind of skin funk. I was planning to take a half day today to check out a Cavalia media event but now it looks like I will be spending some QT with the vet instead.

I speak for everyone when I say we are grateful Annie can go back outside again. She and Houston were about to lose their marbles from separation anxiety. Both of them were very happy about the reunion. Annie naturally had to be a little sassmaster to Houston first though.

I am excited to get back in the saddle this week and even more excited about the coming weekend adventures between visiting K in AL and going to the keuring for Luna in GA. Anything fun on the horizon for you guys?

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Wrong Horse For The Job

When I purchased Houston I didn’t have intentions of eventing. I thought I would buy a jack of all trades that I could dabble around in the Hunters with. Circumstances pushed me to eventing and with some blood sweat and tears I even managed to complete a couple events. Would I go back and do it again? No, probably not.img_0437.jpg

Buying Annie was a shot in the dark hoping for a horse that would be suitable for the jumpers. I got very lucky all things considered! She can be a bit difficult but she has more athleticism than I will likely ever need. It is very reassuring to know she can get us out of a bind.  Annie’s diagnosis created a lot of uncertainty though and only time will tell if she will be good to continue her job as super eventing dragon.LCP_4420

In the meantime I have been putting more rides on Huey. The thought even briefly crossed my mind that maybe I could try to do an event again. When the opportunity to go for some no pressure schooling with a barn bud came up I jumped all over it. Much to my disappointment this adventure just further cemented why I stopped eventing Houston.

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not the norm

Once you have run cross country on a horse like Annie  it’s harder to stomach the idea of jumping solid obstacles on a horse like Houston. He has many good qualities but his carefulness or even athleticism over fences is not one of them. I love him dearly but he doesn’t instill confidence and I know that I am perpetually just one bad experience away from losing the nerve to event.

I am writing this as a reminder to myself. There is no reason to try to force a square into a circle. I want to be able to look back and remember how I felt Saturday. Jumping XC on Houston leaves a pit in my stomach that Annie never does. I might be afraid sometimes because I am a chicken but never in a “I hope we don’t flip” kind of way. That is something Houston’s inconsistency over fences inspires.

img_4364.jpgAs eventers we partake in an already dangerous sport. There is no reason to stack the odds against myself by riding a horse that isn’t willing and at least somewhat inclined to jump solid obstacles with his legs up. Grid’s might help him and I might even try that again but eventing will not come back on the table. I am not saying that everyone needs to have a freak of a jumper. I am however saying that life is way too short for me to try to make Houston into something he is not. Especially when it’s really not that hard to find a safe jumper.

There are right horses for a job and wrong horses for a job. Sometimes it is easy to determine and other times there is more of a gray area. It takes a self aware rider to acknowledge and accept that.

Where do you stand on this topic? Are you of the camp that most horses can do all things at a low level? Interested to hear other peoples thoughts.

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Adventures In Dragon Training: Flying Around With Luna

Raising a baby horse is not for the faint of heart. They will spend the 3-4 years before you can even ride them perpetually trying to kill themselves. When you purchase a weanling and raise it yourself you get what you give. I have found that each horse is an individual and they don’t all . That said, if you don’t put in the time it becomes obvious with the horses manners – or lack thereof.

Luna currently lives outside 24/7. This is, in my opinion, the best place for her as she grows and matures. She has a herd of bossy mares showing her the ropes. Ultimately how she behaves with humans is on me though. She is a quirky little big filly and definitely seems to be a bit of a one person horse. This is not as cute as you might think. Especially when you have to pay your BO in jugs of captain to convince him to forgive you for her sins.

Thankfully in the past couple of months she has been coming into her own. She actually comes up to the gate when I call for her now. Maybe she thinks there will be food… I will take what I can get though! It is a serious improvement on having to chase her around and making her wear a collar. On the list of basic things a horse needs to be able to do she is now pretty agreeable about the usual tasks. She allows me to catch her, I can groom and pick all of her feet, and now she even stands to be bathed. Something I have been slacking on though is taking her on longer walks to practice her manners on the lead line.petdragon

With the keuring just around the corner I need to be diligent about getting her out and about more. On Wednesday I decided there was no time like the present. I might have gotten a little bit ambitious and took her down to the river. This was all fine until we came out of the tall grass to go back onto the driveway. She unfortunately saw my BO on golf cart before I did and just like that I was flying.gotdragonflychainStill very much attached to the leadline but I took for granted how good she was being and forgot that she’s still a baby. Apparently golf carts that you see every day are terrifying when you are on the same side of the fence with them! Wish me luck because I foresee more driveway skiing adventures with the sassmaster in my future. Anyone else want to join? 😂

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Cavalia Comes To Nashville

A couple weeks ago I found out that Cavalia – Odysseo was coming to town. I have never been to a Cavalia show. I have heard really good things though and this seems like the perfect opportunity since it’s right in my “backyard”.

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If you aren’t familiar with Cavalia here is an excerpt from the website and a few clips from shows.

Cavalia presents its new production Odysseo. Double the size of the company’s eponymous show Cavalia, Odysseo is a true revolution in live entertainment and an immersive theatrical experience. Odysseo – the largest touring production on earth – features 65 magnificent horses and 48 talented riders, acrobats, dancers, and musicians under a White Big Top the size of an NFL football field! Odysseo takes the audience on an epic journey to some of nature’s greatest wonders. This awe-inspiring ode to horse and man is an absolute feast for the eyes that succeeds in delivering soulful and stunning performances. Prepare to be wowed!
Read more here.

A few bloggers have been in the past in various parts of the country. If you have been what did you think?

Anyone in the Nashville area that is interested in going to see Odysseo should use the promo code GALLOP for 15% off all evening shows!

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Trading Plus One

When I got my first trailer a few years ago it was a 2H bumper pull. I was desperate for the freedom a trailer would give me. As we only had a half ton truck my options were a bit limited though. Fast forward to January last year when I upgraded to F250 and a 2H ST 4Star GN. The logic being that I had limited experience hauling anything larger than a 2H. A 2+1 model adds roughly 7′ to your standard 2H straight load in most brands. I didn’t (and still don’t) care for slant loads and at the time only had one horse. HAHAHA.
Joke was on me… Last spring Houston came back into the picture briefly. In the fall Luna joined the zoo and of course this spring Houston rejoined the mix. Now we are a nice odd numbered 3 horse family. Generally speaking I will rarely ever need to haul all 3 of my horses at one time. But what if I did? Cue obsessively stalking the internet to find a 2+1.

Initially I found a good deal on a Sundowner 2+1 (PSA the price on this one just dropped quite a bit) very similar to what fellow blogger The Jumping Percheron recently upgraded to. The trailer had a lot of add-ons that I would likely end up adding myself down the road like an electric jack, awning, and hay rack. Stacey is awesome and talked through the specs with me – bloggers FTW.

Ultimately I decided to keep looking for other options before making the trade. Most of this was dependent on finding a dealer that wouldn’t take advantage of the fact that my trailer while only 2 years old has been used. After a few weeks I had narrowed down my options to include a couple of brands and configurations.

To start I was pretty sure I was going to have to trade my trailer on something quite a bit older to get what I wanted. As luck would have it Peony tagged me on a FB listing from The Hitch and Tow for the 2+1 version of my current trailer. Never doubt an equestrians internet sleuthing abilities! After a bit of messaging back and forth last weekend I made a quick trip down to SC. The drive wasn’t too bad and I was even able to invite myself for a layover in GA with Lauren and her husband. I also got to take a spin on Gus. He might argue that that wasn’t necessarily a good thing but it was fun nonetheless.

Often as equestrians what we need and want changes over time. I’ve found this to be true with tack, apparel, and now even trailers :O . If you are contemplating getting a trailer I would suggest thinking long and hard about what your needs and wants are. Between new and used with a reasonable budget and some patience you can usually find what you are looking for!

Any fellow bloggers know what it costs to add an AC unit, awning, or fans? Or better yet has any one DIY’d those projects???

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Project Kill The Fatty

Things aren’t exactly riveting over here. When staying on is goal number 1 you go into survival mode. It has gotten me to thinking about the things that I need to work on and improve myself as well though. I got the clear to start lunging in the Fauxssoa rig though and that should help!

As riders we spend countless hours contemplating and obsessing over the care and programs of these incredible animals. I notice if any of my guys weight fluctuates in a small window. When it comes to myself though it has taken some time for me to fully comprehend just how much my choices were impacting my body. I find myself getting winded more quickly, ending up sore after what should be irrelevant, and worst of all frustrated with the body control I have in the saddle… and you know the fact that my breeches don’t fit that well.mgpdf

I am finally committing to change my lifestyle hopefully for the better. Kyle and I have started cooking some and we even invested in a stationary bike at home. I am determined to do more meal planning as well to improve what I consume during the work day.

Unfortunately work has been insane which has limited if I can do both the bike and go to the barn. Fingers crossed when things settle down I will be able to ride the bike 3 days a week and resume riding 5+ days a week. I want to hold myself accountable and a good step towards that is to put my goals in writing.

Personal Health Goals:

  • Cook at home 4x week – trying to find easy dinners to make after the barn if anyone has ideas
  • Meal prep to bring healthy breakfast and lunches to work
  • Ride 5-6 days a week between Houston and Annie
  • Cycle 3x week – maybe I wont want to die for the RK5K next year!

lovefoodIf anyone has tips or tricks that help you stay motivated please share. I’ll get going and then I slip once and it’s downhill from there. I’ve been un happy with my weight for the better part of a year and a half and I’m done. Here’s to at least making steps in the right direction.

 

 

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Riding A Kite

img_7398-1.jpgAfter a much needed getaway I am back at it. On Monday I rushed out to the barn after work for my first ride on the ginger since her injections/stall rest/time off. Previously I asked my vet if he wanted me to lunge her – specifically with the fauxssoa rig to encourage her to use her back and he advised no lunging… I know that there is a time and place but I was happy that wasn’t a requirement. Until I remembered that Annie would probably be a kite.

img_0186.jpgI climbed on my fire breathing dragon after 3 weeks off with no prep and my fingers crossed. I have to say that for the most part she kept it together. There were only a few moments where I thought I might get launched. Not too bad for a baby(ish) TB.

Unfortunately the next couple weeks will be lightly building her back up and I am supposed to avoid contact… Not so awesome when you feel like you are riding a runaway train. Tuesdays ride was not really an improvement but we hacked out for 20 min and got in a few stretches of trotting. Slowly but surely we will get back to the norm. I know that quite a few of  you have brought horses back from injuries of some kind or another. Do you have any tips or specific exercises you like to do when you are a bit more limited in the scope of work you can ask for?

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Weekend Wrap Up: Freedom

This weekend was pretty low key. After last weeks roller coaster I mostly wanted to crawl into a hole and stay there indefinitely. I was asked to do some farm sitting for a friend that was going on a horse shopping excursion though which ended up working out. It kept me busy and honestly it was so hot I didn’t want to ride anyways so nothing to miss.

Adventures in farm sitting included taking care of some chickens, hogs, pups, and friends horses. I didn’t even ride Huey due to the heat. It was one of those weekends where you don’t want to leave the house at all for fear of melting. Sunday was equally as brutal but in the afternoon it rained. I took care of my charges in the morning and then Kyle and I braved the heat to run some errands. After we got home I was able to take a nap… Boy oh boy did I need it. I would say that it was actually more like a hibernation. I finished up the weekend with some pizza and wine with my barn buds. Best of all is that Annie was finally able to get turned out again. She was very excited to be reunited with Huelet. Thankfully she wasn’t too rambunctious. One more week off and then we will start testing the waters.

Until then I am headed to Cali for a long weekend with my parents. I haven’t gotten to see them since Christmas so I am really excited for a short escape from reality. When I get back Nanners will be ready for some light work under saddle and Houston should have some shoes so that I can get back into the swing of things.

What did you guys get into this weekend?

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