Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Saddle Pad Spun From Golden Thread........

Yep here it is. And I thought gold was supposed to be shiny (apparently it can take on the appearance of finely woven wool as well!) The Professionals Choice SMx Air Ride Saddle pad. The Cadillac of Saddle Pads? For $170+ dollars my horse's back had better feel like I'm sitting on a cloud! It was given to me by a friend (yes, I will love her for eternity) and I'm excited to try it, it's very important to me that Lily be as comfortable as possible when I ask her to cart me around, but I've never used one and is a saddle pad really worth that kind of money (especially when it isn't spun out of gold)!?! It's nice quality I must say and I love the color and pattern. Ultimately I guess I should just shut up and test my freebie (oh yeah I need to break my horse first hah!), but I would love to hear from anyone who has one of these pads or has ever used one. Is it worth the money or are you just paying for the Professionals Choice name?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday Covergirl!

Today I managed an amazing feat, I was able to photograph a wily beast in one of her native habitats! How did I accomplish this you ask? Did I sneakily hide behind things then jump out and quickly snap said photos while she bolted for the hills? No no, it was more difficult than that as this beast is know as the Treat Snuffling Lily monster *gasp*. I took her into the arena with the intent of a photo session, but she follows me around as if she's on an invisible lead rope. I imagine I'm probably the most interesting thing in a dirt arena ( there a treat around here somewhere? snuff) so I finally grabbed a lunge whip and sent her off to see if I could capture an action shot. I actually really like this one (except there was dust on the lens!)
This next pic shows my savvy (hehheh) use of the lunge whip to keep her far enough away to get a decent shot. Lily's just thinking *snuff snuff* can I eat this??

And finally we have the inevitable "Could that possibly be a horse eating monster in the corner?!" shot. Oh wait........ is that a sparrow?? Whew!! You can never be too careful you know.

All in all I think I've finally progressed just a little in the digital photography department. I have a long long way to go, but the fact that I got the above action shot and it wasn't a blurry mess makes me very happy! Of course having such a lovely subject doesn't hurt either! Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Top 5 : Horse Supply Websites

I love a good Tack/horse supply store, the smell of leather, the isles of horse related treasures. My longest running Tack and Supply love affair was Clayton Saddlery ( Clayton, CA, sadly gone forever)I was a constant customer for 5 years and I could spend hours, they had great stuff........ tack, brushes, books, breeches, cowboy boots, Mrs.Pastures cookies, Excaliber Sheath cleaner, you name it! Sadly, where I live now there are no fabulous horse emporiums to wile away the time, so I had to come up with a substitute. While I might have to conjure the scents from memory these Equine supply websites more than make up for it with a mind boggling selection of horse supplies, tack, gifts, DVD's and books! You can also sign up to receive catalogs on these sites and while that may seem unnecessary to some, I love catalogs and getting mail of the equine variety!

1. SmartPak Equine - Pre-measured and packaged supplements. Choose from 300 available supplements and have them individually pre-measured and sealed for your convenience. They can be automatically delivered every 28 days or hold the order to be shipped when you decide! Tons of other supplies, tack is for the English rider.

2. Dover Saddlery- Huge selection of items, tack is for the English rider.

3. Stateline Tack- Great selection and good prices for both the English and Western rider.

4. Horse Health USA- Great prices, huge selection of horse supplies including vaccines, but other than a headstall or two and a few girths, they do not sell tack.

5. Vally Vet Supply- Celebrating their 25th year. Huge selection (including vaccines) English and Western tack, great customer service.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I want more than a pasture pony!

Slower than molassas in January.....that's what our progress has been like in getting Lily started under saddle, due to me for the most part. I think horses are started too young in general so when I bought her as a two year old I never intended to start her under saddle until she was 3 years minimum. Well, her 4Th birthday has come and gone (April 11) and we still haven't quite gotten there. I've tacked her up, lunged etc. but I don't feel as unbreakable as I did when I started my QH gelding when I was 22. (plus I didn't really know what I was doing and got help later anyway). So I was planning on getting a trainer to come out and start her for me.
My first problem with this plan was finding a trainer nearby. I've lived in the area for over 2 years now but I have Lily in a very quiet, private non-show barn which has proven not to be a big help in finding a good trainer in the area. And then problem #2 reared it's ugly head...............the getting laid off/financial type ~insert scream of horror here~ I'm able to keep my horse in boarding and full of hay and carrots and the other necessities (although I give my own vaccinations now) but I can't really afford to send her off to a trainer for 6 months.
My horse is a groundwork champ compliments of my Stacy Westfall basic groundwork DVD, but I'm feeling a little stress because she's 4 and not under saddle, like I'm doing something wrong! I think I've read too much Fugly blog and I'm feeling like the bad horse owner who doesn't train her horse and then the horse ends up 12 years old, unbroken and going to the kill buyer (*reining in overactive imagination now*) I'll never let that scenario happen, but I have that guilty voice in my head saying got to get going, got to get going! Plus I really do want to ride my horse! I live in a beautiful area and the beach is 10 minutes away, I'm itching to get out on those trails. I'm feeling a bit frustrated right now and I'm not sure of an immediate solution. I guess I'll just have to chill out, not beat myself up over it and put money in the training jar until I either find a trainer that I can have come to us a couple of times a week or until I've saved enough to send her to someone ( yikes that should only take another 3 years or so) Has anyone been in a similar situation? What did you do?