Managing your horses

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spread

For me, keeping track of all of my horse’s management can be a messy affair, switching between phone and diaries and whatever else is inconvenient at best. So I developed a simple planning spreadsheet that helps me keep track of anything and everything, and that can be easily transferred to owners after purchase.

Check it out via the link; feel free to copy, modify, whatever. Let me know what you think and if you have any improvements. I’d love to know other methods of organisation, related or not.

—>  Horse Management Spreadsheet

Did some comps, sold some horses, bought some horses

So, of course, I decide to get back into this when I have exams and assignments rapidly approaching. Procrastination what?

I have had the craziest couple of years, like… I don’t even know where to begin! I may have mentioned my rescue pony who was going to be a quick turnaround? He’s a keeper. I sold my FEI horse to my great friend of many years as I had plans to travel (which didn’t eventuate) and they are now kicking some serious goals. I started a new course and bred some more beautiful foals, who I will talk about in another post, the oldest is rising 3 this year!

Rascus the wonder pony has gone from strength to strength, his major achievements, so far, have been champion preliminary pony at the Victorian Dressage Festival, 3rd in the 6yo YP class at DWTS, champion preliminary/novice pony at the REA Wagga Wagga dressage champs for the last two years, champion elementary/medium pony at the Albury dressage champs and champion elementary pony at the Young dressage champs. He has also recently stepped up to medium level with good scores. Just to mix it up, I took him eventing at the REA Wagga horse trials where he placed a very reasonable 5th in the 80cm class. On a side note, I am so impressed with the events that are held in Wagga these days. The facilities are FABULOUS, the atmosphere is great, as are the prizes and the competitions are always so friendly and fun. #notsponsored. But we have big plans for young Rascus, who has really only been in work for a little over two years, our sights are set on the Victorian dressage festival and possibly the NSW champs.

I have also recently purchased my next horse for the future – she is a 3yo Furst Love filly with a gorgeous temperament and movement to boot. I’m in the process of breaking her in, and so far it’s going swimmingly! Very excited for this journey

Hopefully, if I follow through with my big plans for this little blog, you will hear from me again soon.

xx

The passion

Unfortunately, I am writing this on a day when yet another young life has been lost at the behest of horses. This year seems to be shrouded in the tragedy of lives ended far too soon whilst carrying out a passion that is understood fiercely but by few people. These are freak accidents, happening to experienced people and I’m sure it is not a frequency that will continue; though this is no consolation to the families of the girl’s whose lives have been taken already. I hope there is some solace in the notion that if any one of these young ladies were me, I would have crossed with more happiness and love than anything else in this world could have granted. May the fallen ride freely forever more ❤

Product Review: Woof Wear Smart Overreach Boots

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add_iconThese are great! I have a kind of obsession with bell boots. I got these online from a store that shall not be named as I had a very bad experience with them, I actually thought I was buying a sheepskin lined set as that’s what was shown in the picture and there was nothing to say otherwise. They offered a return but the entire process of even purchasing the boots was a bit poor and I couldn’t be bothered dealing with them any further, customer service really goes a long way. So I won’t name and shame ’cause that’s mean but I certainly won’t be promoting this business.

These are a bit pricey ($90-$100), I bought mine on sale for $80. Even so, I love them and think they are worth it, I’ve only ever read good reviews and the quality is very, very good. The top is lined with soft material so it doesn’t rub and the shell is really tough but is surprisingly flexible, I’ve found they also don’t get arena sand and mud trapped in them. There is a little knob in them that sits between the heel bulbs, so they really don’t move at all despite my pony doing a good job of knocking himself. One of the features that I found is a little tag on the middle velcro attachment (see picture), bell boots are disgusting, especially in winter, and I am a bit of a princess about getting my hands dirty and removing them (it’s bad, I know). This tag is the bomb, because when you lift it, the dirty velcro peels away and the boot can be removed without covering my hands in mud. The velcro itself is excellent quality and seems to be very durable. Aesthetically I think they look great too.

Some pictures of my used boots

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The ‘anti-spin mechanism’

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The Nifty Tag

Here’s a description:

WOOF WEAR SMART OVERREACH BOOT – NEOPRENE  COLLAR

Woof Wears Smart Overreach Boot provides exceptional protection to the delicate heel and pastern area against overreach injuries.

The inclusion of Poron Xrd foam in the key strike area means that the PU shell can be more flexible and therefore more comfortable than other products on the market because on impact the Poron Xrd foam stiffens to give added protection. We call this ‘Protection on Demand’.

An anti-spin device ensures secure fit whilst the thick, padded neoprene collar at the top makes the boot comfortable to wear.

The Smart Overreach Boot is suitable for day-to-day schooling right up to top-level competition.


•    PU Shell – slightly softer compound for added flexibility
•    Poron Xrd in strike area
•    PU shell wraps around front of hoof to give added protection to Coronet band
•    Padded neoprene collar for comfort
•    Anti Spin device
•    Neoprene with lycra binding


SIZES: S, M, L, XL Please note these sizes are larger than most brands click here to view the size guide
Includes 2 boots

WASHING: All components can be washed at 30°C.

Where can you get them?

I have seen them at Ashbree Saddlery and in store at Horseland

New Season Eskadron Platinum Collection 2014

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I adore the Eskadron platinum ranges, I really love how Eskadron manages to create interesting pieces without being too garish. This collection is no different, here’s a few of my favourites:

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PLATINUM FLEECE BANDAGEN €29.95 PLATINUM SAMT CRYSTAL (Saddleblanket) €69.95

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PLATINUM JERSEY DECKE €89.95

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PLATINUM FLEECE DECKE €79.95

What do you guys think of the collection? If you want to buy it you can do so from Eskadron, however they don’t ship to Australia, Fur Feather Meds are also selling the collection and will ship worldwide if you ask them for a quote.

CxX 

Helmet Review – One K Defender and why I bought it

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It was time for a new helmet, my old Horze halo rider has seen better days, the lining is filthy and worn, and the sweat never quite dries out before the next day’s riding, so gross!

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One K Defender

So began the process of helmet shopping (yay!). Admittedly what I ended up with, the One K, wasn’t high up on my list at all initially. I hadn’t heard a lot about it and I thought there were some nicer looking helmets out there. These are the ones which were on my list, scroll down if you just want to know my thoughts on the One K:

KEP Italia

Equal first was the KEP, which are supposed to be super safe and are so fashionable at the moment. My budget for a training helmet, however, really limited my choices and I was seriously hunting to get anything under $400, let alone a colour that I liked. I don’t know about the ventilation of these, if anyone has one, let me know your thoughts.

Samshield Premium

The Samshield was the other one that I loved, I have one for competition already that is SERIOUSLY nice. I will do a post on it soon perhaps, but I will tell you now that it’s stunning and worth every cent. Too bad my cents are limited and again, I couldn’t find the colours that I liked for the right price.

Antares

Antares

I had a bit of a ‘she’s dreaming’ moment when I maybe, for a split second, considered the Antares helmets. The fact that the base price starts at around $900 quickly put an end to that nonsense, I think that these are a similar price to the premium KEPs and Samshields, so if you’re shopping for them I would definitely consider! I’m not too sure about the shape of them, I think it would be best to try before you commit but the decor and colours of the helmet are very original and eyecatching.

I began to get a bit more realistic and started looking at cheaper options like the classic Harrys Horse and I really liked the BR Zenith helmets which are both on Divoza for $100-$140.

Harrys Horse Legend Range & BR ZenithBR Zenith

There were some that I really didn’t like as well, I find the Cascos hideous, totally unflattering. But they seem to really appeal to many top riders such as Carl Hester, Matthias Rath and Hayley Beresford to name just a few. Uvex were are straddling the line that Casco has crossed although I do like the Suxxeed Active, and they look like they breathe nicely.

GPA is an obvious choice, they are so popular and I do like the style of most of them, if anyone is looking for GPA at low prices check out Horse Gear Outlet, they often have them heavily discounted. I didn’t go with a GPA because I wanted to try something else and I also had my heart set on brown which is a bit harder to come across.

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So I ended up with the One K, I’d actually never heard of this brand before I saw them for sale on Horse Gear Outlet, I liked the look of them although I didn’t love them at first. So I ‘ummed’ and ‘ahhed’ and kept them in mind while I ogled others. My competition Samshield arrived and I just loved the feel of the fit, like strapping a beautiful pillow to your head. I found out that the One K’s are produced by the same factory and suddenly, they were forerunners in my quest for a new crash hat. I bought this bad boy from Horse Gear Outlet, I didn’t really consider anywhere else to buy as they were $150 (rrp $300) and couldn’t imagine they’d be cheaper anywhere else. I can’t recommend HGO more highly, the checkout process was easy, it arrived in two days, postage was free and I got some unexpected free goodies with the purchase. Winning!

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So my thoughts now that I have used it:

  • It fits true to size, my pinhead fits a small, I would definitely say don’t be tempted to go bigger. The liner contributes to the size and it is also interchangeable, so if you find it isn’t the right size for you it’s easy and cheap to buy an alternative size.
  • It’s a round shape, people with more oval type head might find some gaps.
  • I mentioned the liner, I’ll mention it some more because it’s so good. the fact that it can be taken out and washed is the best thing ever, especially for a training helmet – I’m sure 99.99% of training helmets are bacterial cesspits.
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Dat liner thoughIMG_20140725_103757

  • The ventilation is great, you can see in the pictures all of the possibilities for aeration. I had a lesson today and, not only did I find that I didn’t sweat at all, I found that I didn’t get nearly as tired as I normally do whenever I ride. It was fascinating actually.IMG_20140725_104113
  • I need to get used to the harness, it feels like it sits quite forward underneath the chin, it doesn’t, I think maybe it’s width makes it feel that way, the Samshield gives me the same feeling. It’s not distracting at all and I never feel like it’s going to come forward over my chin.
  • The strap is a little bit plasticky, I would prefer a softer synthetic suede. I haven’t had any issues with it cutting into me, hopefully this isn’t an issue in the future!

I am thrilled with my buy especially at the price that HGO have it at, there is also a pro version of this and a swarovski encrusted one so you have some other options too.

So there’s my thoughts, I considered other helmets as well as those already mentioned. If anyone is after anymore info leave a comment and I will try and help 🙂

CxX

Video

Farouche wins again!

Check out Woodlander Farouche and Michael Eilberg’s winning Advanced freestyle at Windsor.
This is my favourite mare and while she looks a little insecure still at this level, it’s easy to see the potential in her temperament and paces. I’m beyond excited to see her ET foal from my favourite stallion, Sezuan, here’s a picture so you may all bask in his magnificence:

sezuanShout out to Aspire Equestrians blog for introducing the video to me! (http://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/51519280/)

 

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Pony’s Debut

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I had a fantastic weekend at the Wagga Horse Trials on the weekend with a pony who is my absolute pride and joy.

Rascus is a welsh cob who has quite good breeding but was neglected along with the rest of the horses at his stud during the drought years. Many horses, including mares and foals, perished from hunger and dehydration but apparently Rascus and a couple of other houdini ponies climbed through fences to get to food and water, which placed them in the paths of large logging trucks that travelled the roads around the property. Eventually Rascus and his friends were rescued and taken to another property with a supply of food and water, whilst not having been mistreated by human hand as far as I know, Rascus was initially completely scared and unsure of people. When we picked him up he had roamed a dairy farm for a few years and had little to no contact with people. He had previously been halter broken and had apparently had things thrown over his back and this had obviously been expertly done as his response to pressure is great and he didn’t mind rugs too much, I think that the process of initially capturing him must have been fairly traumatic and until you make contact with him, even today, he is a bit unsure and ‘jumpy’.

Aside from this, this pony is an absolute cracker! I broke him in last year around May, I say breaking in but it felt like getting on a horse that had been out for a long spell. He rushed forward a couple of times in response to the leg initially but came back quickly, he remembered our driving sessions and was most obliging to respond to brakes. By day two we were off the lunge and trotting around the arena and within the week we had conquered giving to the bit and was starting to work towards a contact, we’d ridden bareback in a halter, we’d ridden up fairly busy roads and in indoors. I rode him for another week before he was put on the back burner because I had too many other horses and I was running out of things to do without ruining his temperament and legs!

Well Rascus came back into work three weeks ago, not surprisingly he started his work very nicely albeit extremely weak and unfit. I was peer pressured into entering in the newcomers class (60cm) in the horse trials which is held at the uni facilities where I agist, I honestly thought I was spending $100 on a dodgy dressage test and not even making it to the jumping phases (I don’t even jump anyway!). The weeks leading up went well and Rascus got stronger and more understanding with each ride, but this was a decent competition and this pony had such little education. I did not have high hopes. On the Thursday before the event we had our first proper jumping session (we just went through a two stride double a couple of times) and at this stage we were still getting wrong leads in the canter strike offs. ‘YOLO!’

Saturday was dressage and showjumping, the warm up arena for dressage was packed, the atmosphere was big and Rascus was completely calm, just another ride. Thank god! He warmed up well but was pretty tired from the previous days massive ride (oops!), he was struggling to hold himself and was coming behind the bit. Our test was really good, he was tense in the first half which was my fault; I’d tried to razz him up a little to get him off the bit but had made him a bit unsure as well (oops again!). After the long rein trot and walk he relaxed and produced some fantastic work. We got marked down a lot for being behind the bit which is understandable but we got our canter leads and in the end he was very comfortable in there. We ended up placing 5th in a decent field.1017767_10152180625569482_1648438556557742073_n

I had low hopes for the show jumping, he’d never seen more than two jumps so a course was going to be a stretch. My brave little man trotted into the big indoor with a good crowd and jumped all of the jumps! We got 1 rail and only gained enough courage to canter over the last jump but yet again I finished with a huge smile and big pats for pony. That rail dropped us to 7th and after walking the cross country course I was certain that we would drop much lower than that!10257080_10152180625199482_2150571614446961638_n

The course was a decent height (for us) and there were a couple of scary jumps, considering pony had only jumped poles this was going to be a wipeout! Once again though he warmed up calmly with horses everywhere galloping and jumping, he jumped all the warmup fences and I was content that we weren’t going to get any better than that at this point. Next thing I knew we were out of the start box and confidently over the first jump, one thing lead to another and we were jumping down the bank, over the freaking awful apex, through the water and the finish flags. No refusals, no nasty surprises and we walked away with a second place rosette! That course tripped up over half the field and young Rascus the brave conquered it gallantly! My hero.

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Channeling Paul Tapner (winning after the xc phase at Badminton this weekend) with my red Lorna Jane long sleeve top

Rascus is the type of pony that if you treat him well he will put all his trust into you, he’s the most rewarding horse I’ve ever ridden. I’m very lucky to be able to take the credit for his training thus far although I think most of it is purely his excellent temperament. He is the ideal horse for me, he is ultra sensitive but completely reasonable and rational in his approach to life. He makes my job so easy! Plus he’s got movement to boot and a wicked jump!
So that’s his story, I guess if you take anything from this, it’s rescue some ponies! Give them a better life, you have no idea the pure joy they can give you 🙂Pony's Debut

If you’ve read all that then wow, you must be bored or procrastinating as I am.

CxX

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My Flexible Fit Bridle

How spunky does he look trying to put on his most intelligent face!
This bridle is my absolute pride and joy, it fits so well and all the gel in it looks so comfy. Around summer time this horse gets horrible rub marks in anything other than this bridle. Plus it’s soo pretty!

Check out all the others at Flexible Fit (http://www.ffequestrian.com.au/bridles/double-bridles.html)

Moonlight Park Foxtrot

Moonlight Park Foxtrot

(sneaky photo bomb by my grooming box!)