Bits… argh.

So I don’t currently own any bits. And only one bridle. And it’s purple. And ugly. (And a decent little off brand S-hack with sheepskin cover, which doesn’t seem like a bad idea but is probably not what I want to start off with.)

Pony-that-is-not-staying-named-Dunny is going to have to cope with the purple headstall, at least for now, unless it just doesn’t fit him, which it probably will. And I’m going to have to do some bit shopping. Ugh.

With backyard western ponies, I grew up with everything-in-a-basic-curb bit. (Kids on the kid-friendly horses got a halter with reins clipped on it and no bit. I didn’t realize until I was about 7 (and took some lessons) that a halter and a bridle weren’t the same thing….). In all likelihood, Dunny has probably gone in that previously- it’s just kind of the default backyard ranch horse bit.

Basically exactly this. Probably exactly this cheap thing as it existed in 1984, because Pawpaw was kind of a cheapskate.

My inclination is to pick up a basic low/medium port plain curb, and a basic snaffle, and see where we are. But ugh, so many choices.

I have four bits in my cart on Riding Warehouse (admittedly, 3 of them are just different basic snaffles with different shaped rings) and like, twice that on a couple other sites with more low end options- once I have a basic idea of what fits and what he is comfortable in, I’ll upgrade in the same basic concept. Right now I’m suffering Too Many Choices paralysis.

What’s in your basic bit toolbox, guys?


3 things make a post, right?

  1. So Dunny’s original ride was supposed to be last week 😦 but the transporter handed us off to a friend who WAS going our way, but not till the end of this week. 😦 So the current plan is that he’ll be getting picked up on Friday and arriving in New Mexico Saturday. It’ll be fine. *grump*

rainbow dash from mlp sulking in a box

I’m really ready for him to be here, if you couldn’t tell πŸ™‚

2. My giant and amazon orders got here today (and my mail lady was like “What the hell did you order?”- the order came in a box that was like a 3′ cube, plus a basically flat 4×4′ rectangle box that I am pretty sure is the saddle stand broken down flat. I was going to take a photo of these but I honestly don’t have a big enough space in my house that isn’t like, revealing of background clutter in a manner that horrifies me. The flat box is bigger than my breakfast room table.

The Amazon box was only SLIGHTLY ridiculous sized for a bottle of vetricyn and some office supplies, but she’s used to my crazy Amazon orders because like everyone else in this town, we do a lot of our shopping online.

3. I picked up a plastic footlocker to use as a tack trunk for now. It looks like this, and no, it will not fit a saddle, but let’s be fair, nothing that fits in a car and can be easily lifted out and has hard sides fits western saddles.

a teal plastic footlocker

I’m a little torn on whether ot use this one or the exact same one that I already own in tiffany blue (which currently houses photo props.) But this one matches other stuff and will show dirt less, so it’s going to be this one. πŸ˜€ (And I think I’m gonna decorate it. Because I’m secretly 12, and also probably shouldn’t have access to a vinyl cutter…)

Retail Therapy (part 3)- ie, something that actually matters…

So, dude’s feet need some TLC. They’re not bad,but they’ve definitely been let go in the past, and moving from soft, wet east Texas grass to our sandy, rocky, DRY New Mexico caliche is going to be kind of a learning curve.

I’m not making any decisions about shoes or boots or barefoot or whatever until he’s settled in and farrier’s taken a look at him. I really don’t have any idealogical attachment to any particular hoofcare philosophy, I just want him to be comfortable and sound, with whatever footwear makes that the most possible.

So in the short term,I want to make sure he’s got the best nutrition possible to support good growth. I’ve never really supplemented much before (my previous horses that were just mine got BOSS on top of their ration balancer but that was it) but I know I can do better.

My super helpful FB community unanimously suggested adding an omega oils supplement and slightly less unanimously suggested biotin. So that was where I started my research.

SmartPak’s SmartHoof supplement was highly recommended, and I may give it a try in the future. It’s pelleted and contains biotin and also flaxseed oil, which is a source of omega oils. This is on my list to try in the future, but I was’t making a Smartpak order this week. (We’re also unfortunately in the slowest possible shipping area for SmatPak- I absolutely trust them to be timely on stuff like subscription shipping, but I didn’t plan ahead well enough to use them this time- and I’m not really sold on the idea of pre-measured and pre-packaged supplements as cost effective.)

SeaPet, a cold-processed fish oil supplement that my dogs get also comes in an equine formula, which is just fish oil plus peppermint oil. I really like the results in my dogs on this, but I *hate* how gross it is to give- the bottle always seems to get coated in fish oil and be greasy when you pick it up, and it smells horrific if you don’t like the smell of fish. (Jack once stole and chewed open one of the bottles ON MY BED and I had to burn that comforter. It smelled like fishy death.) And I suspect a vegetable-based source is probably more digestable for horses.

I ended up going with Uckele’s CoMega supplement- it’s flaxseed and coconut oil based (with some fish oil).

I also picked up a straight biotin supplement- AniMed Biotin 100. It’s fairly inexpensive but seemed like a reasonable place to start. Biotin is good for hoof growth (and hair growth too, but that’s a bonus) and is pretty straightfoward as far as supplements go. The AniMed got good reviews, had a simple ingredient list,and was fairly inexpensive as a place to get started.

So – a starting place. And we’ll go from there. πŸ™‚

Retail Therapy (part 2) – The Matchy Matchening

I will cut to the chase and tell you that overall, I haven’t decided what color all Dunny’s stuff should be.

See, part of the problem is that he’s dang pretty in turquoise.

profile picture of an adorable buckskin horse in a teal halter

And turquoise IS basically my favorite color.

I even had turquoise (and rose gold) hair for my wedding

And I have a teal-and-brown pommel bag from Jaime Reid Ruff’s Production Room (link goes to her FB page), which is super well made and will be very useful.

Holds two 20oz water bottles and has a nice little pocket for a map or keys or other little stuff in the middle. Fleece-lined and awesome! She’s discontinued her patterned ones, which makes me even gladder I grabbed this, as the solid turquoise isn’t as nice a color as the turquoise on this!

So it’s like a no-brainer. Just go with turquoise.

My saddle came with a decent wool felt pad but I wanted to get a blanket to protect it (mostly because felt will catch on stuff and get gross). But the only turquoise Mayatex one was really not vey turquoise:

Seriously, Mayatex, this is like, regular blue. 😦

I want matchy biothane tack (because I am a lazy peson who also likes color) and this really doesn’t match Turquoise, Teal, or Sky Blue biothane. 😦

Product Image
This other Mayatex blanket does, but I hate to spend $50 on a blanket that may not be what I need. At all.

And that’s all assuming that the felt pad is a good fit for him under the Big Horn saddle. Of which there is zero guarantee. So I bought a super cheap acrylic one and will use that till I determine if the felt pad is going to work or I should buy a fleece one.Β  Argh!

And then there’s the whole “But I’m not sure I WANT turquoise thing.” Because my other favorite color ALSO would look awesome on him:

Yes, this is a very cheap saddle blanket. I am willing to spend $9 for color testing purposes. (Also, my dogs have 32″ crates so anything that isn’t going on Dunny will become a dog bed.)

My SCA device (for non-heraldry geeks, this means ‘coat of arms’- the SCA is the Society for Creative Anachronism, a group dedicated to recreating the middle ages ‘as they should have been’, including armored combat, art stuff, brewing, and of course, equestrian activities!) is green, black, and white.

But my saddle is brown, and this blanket DEFINITELY would need black bridle and strap goods…..

So like… argh, choices. We’ll see how things look when he gets here. πŸ™‚

I also picked up a grooming tool set, just the basics (I’ll fill out and replace as I need better or different items); some trail reins that I like better than flat reins, and a rope halter- in black and turquoise.

Retail Therapy (part 1)

So Pone is headed this way to arrive late this week and I’ve had this post in my drafts forever. But, like the procrastinator we all know I am, I didn’t finish it till today. And I’ve already hit the ‘place order’ button so like, if I’ve forgotten anything major, well, oops. Amazon Prime to the rescue or something.

daleks saying "procrastinate"
it meeeeee

I ordered from this time (mostly)- their 30% off coupon was working and while a lot of their inexpensive stuff is meh in quality, when you’re ordering a bunch of things to get you started, it definitely helps.

So, to start with the boring stuff:

  • First aid kit refills (I’ve got a fairly extensive pet first aid kit that lives in the car already because doggos) of Vetricyn (that was from Amazon) and some extra vet wrap.
  • Fly spray (hopefully buying it means I won’t need it; there were zero flies out at the barn the other day.) Pyranha brand seemed well-reviewed by other bloggers, so I went with that, and I can’t find it locally.

    I got the green flavor. πŸ˜‰
  • Saddle stand (so the saddle can be removed from the back of the sofa where it currently lives. I’m going to build a PVC rack to slide into the back of the Durango until there’s storage space for me at the barn.
  • Treats (okay, maybe not boring)- I went with the Manna Pro “Apple Nuggets” on the basis of small and pocket-able without it disentigrating. It’s a treat, it doesn’t have to be particularly healthy. I seem to remember from other horse bloggers that the German Horse Muffins are particularly beloved but I set myself a $8 limit because frankly, I don’t think I’m so lucky as to pick something that he’ll love the first time πŸ˜›
  • Lunge line- 24′, flat cotton with a snap.
  • Lead rope x2 (because things go walkabout)
  • A couple of extra hoofpicks to stash in the Durango and in my purse.
  • ONe of these guys- fancy pink Himalayan rock salt
    This is the first time I’ve ever been responsible for a horse in a situation where they are in a stall with a run rather than primarily in a pasture. So entertainment for him seems in order.

Wormer is going to wait until I find out what my vet recommends.

Part II, and the All Important Color Decision, both coming soon-ish.

25 Questions – Blog Hop

Stealing from Viva Carlos – hope no one minds if I play along πŸ™‚

1. What is the first thing you do when you get to the barn?
I’m not totally sure what my new routine will be- this is the first time I’ve ever boarded a horse of my own. All my previous boarding barns have been schooling horses so the #1 thing was so who I was riding on a given day. Family horses kept at the family farm, the first thing was to go say hello to my grandparents- and then go catch my horse! πŸ™‚ With Dunny- I don’t know until I get him here and can figure out what works for him.

2. Is their a breed that you would never own?
I’m a lot more interested in the right horse for me than any particular breed. But my interests lean more towards stock horses or gaited horses than jumpers or serious dressage, so I probably wouldn’t shop for a warmblood and TBs are lower on my list.Β  I do love drafts, though.

3. Describe your last ride?
I think it was tooling around the pasture with a halter on my haflinger mare the day before her new owner picked her up, a week before I moved back to Texas.

4. Have any irrational riding fears?
They’re all perfectly rational fears, thank you very much. πŸ™‚ Falling is #1, followed by getting run off with. (And I’m less afraid of the speed than I am of the falling off at speed.)

5. Describe your favorite lesson horse?
Probably the horse I rode in HS- who is the reason I wouldn’t TOTALLY rule out a TB. πŸ™‚ He was a big chesnut gelding named Copper and he not particularly fast or scopy but he was reliable, had a ton of personality, and was very honest. πŸ™‚

6. Would you ever lease out your horse?
I mean, I’m a trail rider. Not much market for it. I might free lease an older horse to someone as a retirement home/occasional kid horse but I don’t much see it as being practical.

7. Mares: Yay or neigh?
Dunny is my first ever gelding, if that answers the question.

8. How many time per week do you get to see your horse?
The plan is for 3-4 days a week. We’ll see how it turns out in boarding. Once he’s home, of course- every day. πŸ™‚

9. Favorite thing to do on an β€œeasy day” with your pony?
We’ll have to see once he gets here. πŸ™‚

10. Conformational flaw that bothers you the most?
Gotta have good feet and legs, and not too narrow-bodied.

11. Thing about your riding that you’re most self conscious about?
My weight and core strength. I’m working on it.

12. Will you be participating in no stirrup November?
Maybe, but probably not with any amount of seriousness unless I’m a lot further along with core strength work than I think I will be.

13. What is your grooming routine?
We’re going to have to figure this out, but Dunny is getting a bath on Monday after he’s had a few days to settle in.

14. Describe a day in the life of your horse?
Pending πŸ˜€

15. Favorite season for riding?
In Texas, it was the winter- you could always add layers and it got to comfortable, but the summers were just miserable. Here… I don’t know, I love being outdoors pretty much year round!

16. If you could only have 1 ring: indoor or outdoor?
If covered but open isn’t a choice, outdoor. I don’t live in a place where we get enough rain to need an indoor, and I’d rather have the space and fresh air.

17. What impresses you most about the opposite discipline (english vs. western)?
Jumping is terrifying. I’ve done it and I’m not real interested in doing it again. At least right now. πŸ˜›

18. You have unlimited funds to buy one entire tack set for your horse, what is he/she wearing?
Um. I liked the answer over at Bel Joeor – can I apply this to a truck and trailer? πŸ™‚ I have a basic Big Horn western saddle right now, cheapie western headstall and whatnot, and I just don’t know what I’ll need right now.

I don’t know that I honestly want a western saddle long-term for trail riding. I think I’ll want something lighter once I get more comfortable again.

19. How many blankets do you have? When do you blanket?
ZERO. My past horses never needed them (pasture horses happy to grow LOTS of hair, no clipping and a reasonably mild climate). Dunny may or may not need something- I want to ask my barn owner’s recommendation, and I guess it also depends on how fuzzy he gets.Β  (It’s quite a bit colder here than south Texas, though, and I’d rather buy something this summer if there’s a good sale.)

20. What is your horse’s favorite treat? Favorite place to be scratched?Another thing we’ll have to find out!

21. Something about your barn that drives you crazy?
I wish there was trail access ride-able from it, but there’s not right now. I’ll explore other boarding options once I’ve got the bugs worked out with Dunny- having good arena and roundpen access was more important. Bringing him home is the long-term plan, but until I have a trailer (or permission to ride out across the neighbor’s lease), won’t work for a long term solution. I’m 1/2 mile from one trail head and 4 miles from the other, but it’s along a park service road with basically no shoulder and a lot of blind curves.

22. Roached manes, pulled manes, or long flowing manes?
I don’t honestly care what other people do but I hate fussing with a pulled mane, so it’s roached or left natural for me. (Roached looks awfully nice on anything drafty, and I love Haffies and Fjords.)

23. Can you handle a buck or a rear better?
I hate either, but probably a buck. A horse who is too lazy to bother with either is more my speed.

24. I would never buy a horse who ___________________?
had bad feet, or a bad attitude. Life’s too short to deal with either.

25. Favorite facial marking?
Soft eyes, which aren’t a marking, but it’s a thing that matters to me. (And admittedly, it’s hard to get a soft expression on a blue-eyed horse, but softness and interest in people is really important to me.

If you’re gonna make me say actual markings? Probably either a star or a blaze. πŸ™‚