Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thinline and Higher Standards discounts

Here are a couple more Black Friday discount codes I missed from my first list, happy shopping!

Thinline  %15 off your entire purchase on Thinline saddle pads using the code CYBERSHOP, I love my thinline and so do my horses!

Higher Standards  %15 off using the code SHOPSMALL!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Black Friday, horse style!

Although I'll be working ALL DAY today and friday (boo retail) I'll be shopping online for some horsey deals and steals.  Not that I actually need anything at this time, so I decided to share my research with my followers!  Let me know what you get!

Riding Warehouse  %20 your entire order, including clearance.  Free shipping over $50

Smartpak  %15 off your entire order with code GIFTME14  Free shipping over $75

VTO saddlery  %20 orders over $100

Tropical Rider  %40 Leather seat %50 clarino

Action Rider Tack  %20 off entire order with code BF2014

Jeffers  %15 off with code TURKEY14

Old Navy  %50 off most items in the store plus an extra %15 off using code GRAVY.  Not horsey?  Pffft, I live in Old Navy fleece for winter riding/lessons/clinics.

Horze  %25 off your entire order

Five Star Tack  %25 off your order plus free shipping.

Bit of Britain  %20 off now through December 1 plus free shipping on orders over $50.00 with code BLACKFRIDAY

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Every horse that I've worked with has learned to stand in the aisleway before and/or after I ride without being tied.  Mostly because I'm lazy, but occasionally because I consider it a good training tool.  Can your horse stay put where put if he knows he isn't attached to anything?

This would be the aisle, absent of Tiffany who promptly hit the road the second I unclipped her and moved 6 inches to my trunk.  Oooops.  Obviously you couldn't put a bridle on her after you slip her halter off while she's tied to the trailer.

Round two.  Reinforcing WHOA and moving back to reposition her feet every time she moved them. I make my disapproving noise if she moves. It's hard with Tiffany who is used to being ridden but doesn't have any sort of a bond with people so there's really no reason for her to stand somewhere and just risk getting worked more.

A few minutes later.  I'm working on a reward/punishment method.  If I have to come and catch her I scold her gently and put her back where she was.  If she hasn't moved I give her a cookie.  She's very treat motivated so this had good results.  Needs more work though.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Hard to believe that anyone would think this horse was fit to race huh?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Washed up and discarded

Malcolm has been enjoying the last several days at Horse and Hound vet clinic.  Today he had a detailed exam to determine the nature of his injuries and his future.

He was been diagnosed with a wing fracture in his pelvis, a not uncommon injury in race horses coming out of the starting gate, horses bolting out of stalls, and horses falling over backwards.  What is remarkable is his history

Think for a moment about all the things you do for your equine partner to keep him sound and happy.  Those little SmartPak wells.  Custom made and constantly flocked saddles.  Special shoes.  Ice boots.   Injections.  Chiropractic work and massage and realize that Malcolm was racing for his owners on a fractured pelvis for at least 6 months.

There is no question that he was lame, you can clearly notice the difference in the race videos.  Is this acceptable?  Is it then acceptable for a trainer to dump the horse at an auction instead of spending the money on euthanasia?

There are a few people who have suggested that if they were in the same position they would have left this horse at the auction and picked a better prospect instead of having a rescue waste their money on a lame duck.  I've made that choice many times, been to many auctions, and seen many horses meet their end on a truck to Canada or Mexico.  Horses who had owners like this horse had, more willing to spend the gas money to drop the horse off than to spend money on a vet bill for an animal that served them well.  Is it too much to ask that every now and then we save one horse?  Even if in the end he can't be saved at all?

Does this horse not deserve a proper diagnosis, a belly full of hay, and peppermints?

Someone else suggested that we do not know when this horse was injured, and it's possible nobody knew.  Race videos are a great historical record for your OTTB and these race videos are quite illuminating.  FOF volunteers have observed his race videos and believe they can pinpoint the time of his injury which corresponds with the rate of healing that has happened when he was examined.

From his race record, we suspect that his pelvis was broken at Gulfstream where he stumbled out of the gate 12/8/2013. He then was given some time off and raced again under the owner  / trainer  at Monmouth on 8/10/2014 and again on 8/29/2014, where he looks lame behind from the race videos. 
The trainer then became the owner and the horse was trained under another trainer where he was entered at Thistledown on 10-1-2014, also clearly lame behind in the video. 45 days later the horse was delivered to the IN auction in the morning and left a low body score, still wearing race plates. The rest... is history.

So what's in his future?  The vet is going to personally assist in his rehab at her own home and wants to give him 6 months of turnout (he is not a surgical candidate and surgery is not very effective at this type of injury) and then reevaluate him.  She believes he will at least have a future as a trail horse.  If he appears to be suffering, degrading, or anything besides being a happy pony she will make the right decision.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hip Tag 74

Yesterday a friend called me up and asked me if I wanted to go with her to the local auction, I had planned a lazy weekend but who can resist watching someone sell used halters one at a time?  We arrived at 4pm and expected to stay until 7ish.

I always like to look at the horses and tonight I noticed a special one.  He was big and bay and very obviously an OTTB.  He was hip tag 74.

 I decided to go ahead and post him on my Facebook page to see if anyone was interested. I didn't really expect anyone to jump at the chance to drive in the dark and snow to pick up a possibly lame TB with an unknown history and future.

When I took my friend back to look at him he was down in his stall.  He had slipped somehow and couldn't get up.  With aluminum shoes and a smooth concrete floor it wasn't a surprise.  He struggled for several minutes and I thought we were watching the end right there but eventually he righted himself.  I felt even more sorry for him.

I had a flury of people posting on my thread, networking to try to save him, and was quite surprised when someone from Friends of Ferdinand started posting.  First they were going to get him, then they couldn't afford it, finally they said damn it all and pull the horse, we'll figure it out later.  I got a little misty eyed.  

Then I had to drag a friend of mine out of bed to come with her trailer as we had obviously not planned on buying a horse.  She got out of her warm bed and into her cold truck and drove 45 minutes out of her way to pick up a horse she had never met before.  I think I owe her lots of chocolate.  At 10pm the horses ran through and hip tag 74 was first.  There was nobody to speak for him, he had been dropped off and left with no reserve.  The kill buyer bid first at $50.  Then we bid $75. Then the kill buyer bid $100.  We bid $110 and the gavel slammed down.  He was ours.  I got a little misty eyed again but maybe that was due to being at the salebarn for 6 hours.

He trailered well and as soon as he was home started to hoover his hay.

He was very thirsty, he probably hadn't had access to water in almost 24 hours

He got a blanket for the night

In the morning I came back out to access what we had done.  He stands 15.2 and 1/2 hands high.  He's a three year old and his registered name is Maybe My Way.  He's just 3 years old.  He's been to Florida, New York, Ohio, and Indiana

You can tell he has something going on with his right hip.  There is some muscle atrophy and an old injury or bedsore.

I took videos to record his current movement, soundness issues, etc.  You can tell he has an issue when he decides to canter and almost falls behind.

I decided to name him Malcolm, after one of my favorite TV shows Firefly.

So what's next for Malcolm?

In a few days he will be picked up and taken to a local vet clinic and they will conduct a full work up to determine his future.  Does he need rest and rehab?  Does he need a quick release instead of a slow truck to Canada?  We will know soon.  After that he will rehab and then eventually go into a foster program and go up for adoption.

Malcolm would love to have people donate to his name and help out a great organization.  If you feel like it, please donate money to Friends Of Ferdinand.  You can input his name so the funds go toward his care or just allow them to help out in general.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Stories from the Saddle Blog Hop

Here I go again, trying to do another Blog Hop!

First, I wanna know: what is the ONE piece of tack (or clothing) that you simply cannot live without? Put function aside for a moment and try to decide which piece of your tack ho collection is your favorite. It can be anything for you, or for your horse. Second, I'd like to know what you're currently saving up for or lusting after. Basically, what item do you have your eyes set on right now? If someone handed you enough money, what would be the first thing to buy on your list? 

Hmmm, I have to think about that.  Right now I'm going to say my Thinline half pad.  I got it for a great price on Ebay as a "second" from Thinline which apparently means perfect except maybe an uneven edge?  I noticed an immediate difference in Annie's way of going when I added under my already well fitting saddle and an immediate and grumpy difference when I left it off one day (she literally would not move).  I'm not a trend person, or a gimmick person but I really believe that it makes a difference in my horse's way of going.  It's a must have for me.  

What I'm lusting after right now is a Synergist endurance saddle.  I'd love a comfortable and lightweight trail saddle and these are NICE saddles, custom made to your exact measurements and custom fit to your horse.  Enough leather to keep you comfortable and in the saddle but not enough leather to add weight.  Lovely saddles.  It's a lust because it's way out of my price range and I don't really trail ride enough to warrant owning one, but one can dream. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Interviewing horses

Horse shopping, does anyone really love it?

I've been doing what I call "interviewing" horses after the loss of Annie.  I hadn't planned on owning a horse for at least another year until I pay off some bills by being a responsible adult and my friends have been helping by chucking horses in my direction.

I've been riding this mare at my barn.  She's well "broke" and has a successful show life as a 6yo (nothing after and before is a mystery) but can she come out of semi retirement and be my partner?  Will she take to jumping?  What about cross country?  Will she like trail riding?  Herding Cattle?

What do you do when you interview a potential new partner?  What do you expect?  I'm finding it hard to not compare to Annie, who really was the perfect horse for me.  I want a no muss, no fuss horse.  I don't need a super star in a specific discipline, I want an all rounder in EVERY discipline.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Western auction score!

I decided to go to a local bimonthly horse and tack auction.  They sell new and used items, hay, trailers, junk, and horses.  Everything was of varying quality, although I think the 8 million used halters really could have been gone through A BIT FASTER!

I scored a full set of DMS brand (imported from Germany) jumping boots, known mostly as "Hampas"  Popular in the 80s they apparently wear like iron as these are in great shape.  6 bucks!  I have no idea if they'll fit anything I ride or even if I'll use them, but they're mine mine mine!

Have you gotten a great deal on something in an unexpected place?


 Hello all,  Life has been busy and I have not felt I've had anything worth blogging about.  Or that my blog is particularly interestin...