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We Are Flying Solo

Showing posts with label clothes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label clothes. Show all posts

July 21, 2015

How Not To Get Hot


Famous last words:  “I was going to wait & ride at 8:00 pm since it’s 907% humidity, but heck with it, it’s already 6:30 pm, that’s close enough!

Nausea, dizziness, stomach cramping, fatigue, shortness of breath, & nausea are all signs of…what was that, kids?  Dumbassery?  Well, yes.  That actually might be a better answer than my old friend, heat perishing (it sounds better than the completely non-dramatic label ‘exhaustion’).

I did ride, though!  It just took me three times longer to hose Encore between gasping on the floor in front of the fan, sipping water, & thinking, “Don’t throw up, don’t throw up, don’t throw up…”

Wow.  That Sounds, Um, Fun?  What The Why?

You’d think I’d be immune to working in the stickiest of the Carolina versions of air.  I mean, at least I was on a horse while the sun set instead of on the bow of an aluminum electrofishing boat wearing black rubber gloves at mid-day!

Alas, just as we must condition our horses to work in heat every year, we must prepare our own physiology for the demands of melting from the inside out.

Yes, totally what I look like sweating
Pre-Ride Tips For You
(aka all the things I didn’t do last night, but learned from a very smart pro athlete)

  • Drink a bottle of water beforehand.  
    • Even before you fetch Dobbin from the pasture or, if trailering, before you exit the truck on arrival.  I sweat a LOT.  Like, a greased pig in a sauna on the surface of the sun a lot.  All my water bottles are 1 L (~32 oz.) or larger.  After I made this a hard rule, it was literally night & day after XC – I could breathe!
  • Dress smart.  
    • Light, wicking materials are your very best friend & I’ll happily share my secrets for budget-friendly options from sports bras to shirts & breeches.  If I see a cotton shirt in July, I’ll run screaming.  And I don’t run (technically am not allowed to run, at least I got something good out of that mess).
  • Fuel your muscles.  
    • You’re saddled up & hydrated, but just before you get on, snarf a small protein bar or one of those electrolyte yogurt pack thingies that sort of tastes like you’re swallowing a salty booger (yeah, you’re running to buy those now, aren’t you?).  I choke down the latter & then chase it with 8-12 oz. of water as I’m readying my bridle. 
  • If possible, take swigs during walk breaks.  
  • Closer to reality...
    • Obviously, not an option at a gallop, although wouldn’t it be nice if jump judges could toss you a sip every 1/3 of the course, like bikers & runners do???  I could go for misting jumps, too.  That water jump’s really too shallow to stay cool; even if you can’t resist the swim, well, then it’s your last jump anyway, oops. 
  • On sports drinks:  never drink them straight (I mean, undiluted, I mean...you know what I mean, LOL).  
    • You’ll note that so far, I’ve only mentioned water alone.  Human metabolism flips a switch when exertion begins.  Before the switch, you can’t process any of the electrolytes anyway, you’ll just have more expensive pee, & even lighter versions, such as G2, have too much sugar (not knocking sugar, it’s one of my diet staples), which will just give you a quicker burnout.  After you start working, though, a bottle cut in half with water knocks the concentration down to a useful level & staves off fatigue. 
I don’t love the flavour, but after I felt the dramatic relief, I found one I could live with.  I just stock up when they are on sale at 10 for $10 at the grocery store!

Or that...
In case you forget, I find bribing a friend or sympathetic-looking passers-by to walk your horse as you drag off as many layers as possible while collapsing prone in the nearest patch of shade, trying to bring your pulse rate back below 100, to be a perfectly acceptable backup strategy.

How About That Ride?

Overwhelming desire to retch aside, Encore felt pretty decent.  It’s been a rough while for me, health & energy-wise, so he has been carefully managed using the “Slowest Rehab Ever” approach since he sprained his stifles during his X-Games.  In other words, I’ve been able to do about one short ride a week.  :/

In the spirit of keeping a positive context, though, I can’t afford to travel anyways & I’m a firm believer that 15 minutes of quality work with hills, energy, & correct transitions, is better than 45-60 minutes of mediocre riding when I tire or we both get cranky & sloppy.

We’d be much further along if, you know, someone else paid the mortgage so I could focus on the planned, excruciatingly consistent daily work that blistering would have required.  Or even just the lower-key muscle-building without the chemical intervention.  Oh yeah, & my own body would return to its super-human state circa 2010 or so.

Pls shade.
But I’m mostly ok with where we are for now.  Encore started out with a strong, balanced trot & was able to maintain his shape much more easily through turns & slopes.  I’ve continued to practice my YES I CAN goal & am getting ever closer to unlocking that stubborn left arm.

Encore tired quickly, so our canter work was quite lean-y as he got sore behind.  But that didn’t worry me too much, given noted humidity levels (I actually hosed him before riding as both horses were caked in dirty sweat, even standing in the shady run-in all day) paired with to-date infrequent rides.

Now What?

I’m currently taking some extended leave from work over the next two weeks.  I suppose the best category is “recovery leave,” so I can hopefully step off the vicious cycle of utter exhaustion combined with high stress before it eats up any more of me.  More realistically, I need a sabbatical, but PhD (Practicality Has Disappeared, hee) was not the route for me!!
 
I can has back?
Just being able to move at my own speed for a little is an enormous relief already, so I’m glad I was finally able to beat my guilt into submission & commit to doing it:  I’ve given plenty of sweat & blood for that time & the last break I can remember that actually involved rest was in 2010.  Both orange boys are actually ready to work at present (which I just jinxed, sigh), maybe we can get our routine back.

Speaking of practice, fill me in!  You shared your CAN DO goals, how did you do?

Even if you didn’t catch that post on the first round, I’d love to hear about a detail you’ve been working on!  Leave a comment, better yet, tell us how you’ve practiced; I’m always excited to see everyone’s ideas & have a chance to try new approaches!! 

September 5, 2014

Who Knew Horze Sold The Holy Grail Of Bell Boots?

The Unicorn Boots
No-turn bell boots…that DON’T TURN?!!!  You heard me right.

Boots of riding past had me convinced that I might as well hope for a unicorn.  Or even more improbable, a horse that never goes lame!  While I will probably die without seeing the latter, I didn’t have to clap my hands or chant, “I do believe, I do believe…” to realize this dream (I don’t ask much, honestly!).

The Magic Bell Boots

I was delighted when Horze.com inquired as to my interest in testing a few products; I may or may not have perused their site with covetous eyes before.  Delight turned into ecstasy (ok, I’ll admit it, horse owners are weird) when I looked down after a three-hour workout, nearby in VA's Occoneechee State Park.  Not only had these sturdy Horze No Turn Bell Boots STAYED PUT for the entirety of Encore’s tripping trotting carefully through the woods playing “dodge-the-stump-hole” & “I didn’t see those large rocks, *stumble fumble* I was looking at the lake,” but there was not even a hint of a rub on his wussy skin.

Horze No Turn Bell Boots
More Loves: 
The only shortfall I can see is if your horse has jumbo feet; Encore wears a size 2 shoe (for comparison, Solo is a completely average size 0) up front & a Large in pull-on bell boots.  Thankfully, helpful reviews on the Horze website suggested ordering a size up, so these are the largest option, the XF (eXtra-Full).  While they fall in just the right spot for my boy, an equine Sasquatch would need to look elsewhere unless larger models are offered.

Bridle matchy thrills Encore
AND Gloves!

Horze didn’t stop at the grail, though.  My grin of matchy delight got even bigger when I put on the Horze Lyon Synthetic Leather Gloves.  In the dripping environs of NC, I am constantly on the lookout for affordable, lightweight, breathable, lightweight, technical, lightweight (see a trend?) fabrics.  Wow, do we have a win! 

I love the sporty design with the nearly-transparent contrast fabric across the backs & the soft glove material slides easily on, erm, skin that sweats like a pig.  They’re also thin enough that I retain actual manual dexterity while wearing them, a rare & wonderful find. 

And the grip!  I use web reins interwoven with strands of rubber (solid rubber reins are too big & heavy for me) and these babies had one of the best grips I have ever felt; something I value highly on a horse who shakes his head hard…because his bangs tickle his ears.  :/ 

Camera flash bleach-out, boo
Only one concern haunts me.  I have a history of glove massacre due to my enormous hands (seriously, they measure ~8" from fingertip to wrist) and long fingers; I wish I could do without, but I also have baby skin that falls off with the least provocation.  As a result, I usually buy gloves in men’s M or L.  The single on-site review at Horze gave me some hope, as it was written by another person with giant man-hands.  Alas, despite ordering the XL (only women’s sizes were available), they are still too short from fingertip to wrist.  They feel amazing, though, so I will baby them with hope that the seams will hold out against my mutant extremities (I have the same problem with socks, sigh). 

For those of you lucky (all other) people who have normal-sized lady hands, however, these are a super prospect for hot days and sweaty reins!  *gets on knees & begs Horze for mega-sizes*

Both get a “very well done” from me thus far!  Thank you, Horze, because I can’t wait to sport our colour-coordinated awesomeness in our lesson next weekend!  I usually do something stupid, but at least this time, I’ll look good doing it.  

The matched set in dark blue
Career as model: unlikely

June 29, 2014

The One Minute Update Post

Thank you, Emily B., I'll try not to kill it!!
So many...so little...things time places ahhhh!  Therefore, you get what you get, but owe you updates, I do!!

  • The Bump(s) turned out to be bruised veins.  No, I had no idea horses could do that either.  Told you he was creative.  But Encore is cleared for work (we're not telling him!) with application of magical Dr. Bob creme to bruises, oh except for the obligatory sole bruise.  However, if he is sound enough to do a big, powerful floating trot across rocky dirt for his dinner...he is sound enough to ride on footing, dammit!  

  • I will be updating our "For Sale" tab with new items and more information!  Don't miss your chance for some great deals on clothes, tack, & more -- and yes, TFS desperately needs to raise some monehs.  The horses are eating well, but textured feed is a bit crunchy for me, even in milk!

  • Just a thank you.  I am so lucky to know a really neat group of people who made the effort to come out and share some food and relax yesterday evening (FARMWARMING PARTY!).  In the shade next to the pasture, on a beautiful, low-key afternoon, it was wonderful to introduce some of my horsey people to my fish (work) people, while actually getting to sit still!  

A bottomless thank you to BFF for organizing the details & telling me to stop freaking out and take a shower, and to her husband for making the most amazing vinegar BBQ chicken and green beans.  I love you all and am so very grateful for your friendship, generosity, and willingness to put up with me (although, I should think that last is fairly entertaining at times).

June 11, 2014

17 TFS Tips For Thriving In Southern Summer

B and Solo Trail Ride Dec 2013 crop
This past December...
Ah, Carolina summer, you have returned.  I noticed your chortling embrace when I took two steps out the back door & then needed to change my shirt because all of my sweat came out at once.

OH, BUT IT'S BEAUTIFUL IN MAINE TODAY! 

I can hear the gloating from you Yankees (hee), but I can take it:  I'll be enjoying my t-shirt XC school in February while your tears freeze onto your snow shovel.  I did my time.

For my compatriots who spent their younger years chipping vehicles out of solid ice blocks & kicking giant ice cubes in the shape of five-gallon buckets & dragging full muck buckets in sleds across snow...and bolted when they got the chance--

I wanted to share our tips for living and working (oh yes, I sweat & carry heavy things all day long and then come home and -- sweat & carry heavy things; it is possible that I am stupid.  Oh wait, I own a horse; scratch that: definitely stupid) in our "included free with purchase!" sweat box.

WHAT HAVE I DONE?  HELP ME!!!

If you (and/or your horse) are new to this dance with 100% saturated air that does not produce rain, you are probably staring with dismay at your car, a mere 100 feet away from your front door, perplexed as to how to get to it & still arrive at work without looking like you LITERALLY just stepped out of the shower -- a really smelly shower with no towel.

I promise, the first summer is the worst, but that is why I am here for you, & why you obviously make smart choices by reading this ridiculous awesome blog.  We can all learn by experience, but you aren't required to.

ALL YOUR PROBLEMS, SOLVED

Humans:

(1)  Take your time:  there is a reason we do everything slowly, including speech.  Moving quickly = more sweat.  Sitting in the shade drinking iced tea beer = less sweat.

(2)  Read this postCotton is NOT your friend.  Ever.  Unless you enjoy slowly suffocating in a blanket of your own perspiration.  Stalk those amazing technical fabric running shirts (bite me, equine brands who want me to pay $50 for a t-shirt, er, bless your hearts, I’m a “normal” person, not made of disposable cash), you can find them on sale at a myriad of sporting goods/outdoor retailers for $12 or less.

(3)  Read this post.  Oh, CoolMedics, bless your heart (practice this phrase, it allows you to say anything without actually insulting someone).  Evaporative cooling is indeed a sound scientific principle – WHEN EVAPORATION ACTUALLY OCCURS.  5000% humidity, not so much.  Thick layer of soggy textiles = misery.

(4)  I wear a handkerchief under my helmet.  (1) Stops profuse sweat from running into my eyes when riding (it burns us, precioussss!) and (2) when I pull off my helmet, I immediately put my head under the hose and soak hair & fabric.  I’m aliiiive!

FivePointsHT_1561 (Medium)
Jacket-free in the arena at Five Points HT
(5)  Speaking of helmet, you better still be wearing it!!  >:(  It also keeps the ticks/spiders/branches/bird poo out of your hair, as well as said sweaty, nasty hair out of your face.  Same goes for the XC vest.  At a certain point, it’s just bloody hot no matter what.  Never compromise your safety.

(6)  Speaking of attire, seriously, skip the butler jacket unless absolutely required.  I dehydrate FAST because I sweat a lot.  Even in my awesome wicky outfit, if I don’t follow my strict hydration rules & keep eating protein, I will throw up/pass out/prefer to die.

All of our competitions at CHP will waive jackets as soon as it gets steamy out.  In addition, at ANY USEA event where all three phases occur in one day, you NEVER have to wear a jacket.  A technical, tidy polo or show shirt of your choice is fine (it doesn’t even have to be white, *gasp*).  Read the rules 

If you stubbornly refuse to part from your black coat and come down centerline red-faced & drenched in sweat and then fall off after your test due to heat exhaustion, you do not look “respectful,” you just look (well, floppy & damp) not-very-smart and I dislike having to worry about the safety of fellow competitors (yes, I’m that person).

(7)  Never forget your SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN SUNSCREEN.  And a wide-brimmed hat with a mesh top is a wonderful thing in the sun when you are not mounted.

(8)  Permanently attach a water bottle to your body or the nearest fence post/jump standard/truck hood.  When I am doing field work & riding in the evenings, I can drink 3 L of water in one day & never have to pee.  It all comes out my pores (yes, I sweat like a pig, I don’t glow, I’m not a “lady”).

If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.  I don’t even buy bottles smaller than 1 L – I keep about six in my refrigerator and refill & rotate (REUSE YOUR BOTTLES!).  I will also never again live without an icemaker in the freezer. 

(9)  Elaboration on hydration:  I have made a rule that when traveling to a competition or lesson, I must drink 1 L of water on the way there.  NO EMPTY BOTTLE, NO EXIT TRUCK.  It’s hard, but trust me, it makes a huuuuge difference.  The next bottle is half Gatorade (G2, less sugar), half water.   

Tip from an ex-semi-pro mountain bike racer & over-educated gym rat (ha, not me):  Sports drinks by themselves are too concentrated for your body to absorb unless you are performing at like a super-marathoner level.  Or riding David O’s circles of death.  Your metabolism changes modes depending on activity level & if you don’t cut it with water, you’ll just pee it right out.

(10)  Once you go outside, stay out there.  I find it much harder to go in & out of air conditioning, having to re-adjust every time.  I put on my super-wicking outfit, grab my armful of fluids, & I don’t come back in until I am done.  Naturally, frequent drink breaks in the run-in are highly encouraged!

Solo Yadkin 08 edit
2008!  Solo had a mane...in the upper Yadkin River.
Horses:

(1)  The hottest hours of our days are from 2-5 pm, NOT noon-1 pm (we like to be different).  I try to ride after 6 pm whenever I can.  That said, you DO need to spend some time riding in the heat to heat-condition your horse.  His metabolism can adjust, but to do so, he needs to do some work in the mugginess.

But I’m wayyy past the age where I feel driven to make myself miserable just because…why?  I’m not competing at any level at the moment, my TB does not need to work every. single. day. to stay strong and fit.
 
(2)  I hose my horse before AND after I ride.  There’s nothing wrong with tacking up a wet horse, he’s going to be sweaty soon anyway.  It is CRITICAL while hosing to constantly scrape water off.

Water is a thermal insulator & you can bake your horse in an aquatic oven if you just cover him with water & let it sit there.  The heat is then trapped in his body, which can cause metabolic distress in a big fat hurry.  As you scrape, you will notice the water you are scraping off gets hot almost instantly.

Keep hosing & scraping until that water is cool, especially big muscle groups, like his haunches & neck, & large blood vessels between his hind legs and on his chest.  You can hold running cold water on his jugular vein from his throat to his chest for a few minutes for systemic cooling.

(3)  Fans for everyone.  Small, medium, large, big-ass, plug-in, battery, solar, who cares.  We have physical battles over the space in front of/under the fan.  When in doubt, BUY MOAR FANS!



(4)  Not all shade is your friend.  I prefer open-sided (or 1-2 shade walls) shelters on top of a hill for the horses (breeze, if there is one).  Don’t let the woods lure you in; angry hordes of swarming, maddening vampires await (some call them deer flies).

Lawn Mowers June 14
I didn't want to mow, so I delegated...
(5)  Fly sheets are great…until it’s 102.  The fly boots stay on, but masks & sheets come off over about 85-90.  It’s just. too. hot.  Unless you jump in the pond.  ;P

(6)   Equine electrolytes, but not for the reason you think.  Just like humans, most of the time, the equine metabolism will just pee out the salts in any electrolyte you give him, whether it be paste, or loose salt, or licky blocks.  The important thing is, it makes him thirsty.

For heavy work such as competition, or long trail rides, I’ll give 1/2 a tube before the ride and 1/2 a tube after to encourage drinking drinking drinking.  The boys have access to their favourite pink salt at all times.  Lots of sweat is good – as you probably know, if you don’t see sweat, call a vet (it’s a poem!).

(7)  Horse not drinking as much as you’d like?  Make his water trough more fun – dump in ice, throw in some apples or carrots.  Moisture-rich snacks are welcome, like watermelon, cool beet pulp or alfalfa slurry, or freezer pops (hey, Pete likes them, except for peach).   

And keep it clean:  watch for algae build-up, food dribblers, unwelcome addition of poo (horse, bird, fish) or corpses (beetles, mice, raccoons…hey, it can happen).  If he’s in a stall, multiple buckets are always a good idea.

Now I need to go eat an ice-cream sandwich before I drag some pastures while profusely worshiping the tractor’s sunshadeLet me know how you beat the heat and still have pony fun!
Bonus if you know the movie

December 6, 2013

Want The Most Amazing T-Shirt Of All Time?

Well then, as always, my dear friends, I am here for you.

But like everything here at TFS, we can never do it alone.

This project probably started several years ago, floating around in my very strange head associated with good intentions, but it never bumped into the two necessary reagents to complete its synthesis (wow, bad organic chemistry flashback):  time and motivation.

I wandered deeper into the magical forests of Bloggerland and met new people with new ideas and as our ideas began to co-mingle, opportunity came knocking.

Is your heart pounding in your chest with suspense?  Have you caught your breath waiting for the curtain to open?  (If not, well, you need to go look up some LOLcats or something, you are taking life far too seriously.)

Without further ado, then, I bring you....

Yeah.  If you steal it, I find you in your sleep.  Just sayin'.
Yes, it IS an Official Logo, designed cooperatively with the most amazing, patient, creative, thoughtful, and professional Kate at PolarSquareDesigns.com.  You may know her better from her musings on her adorable mare and her gorgeous, hand-painted saddle pads featured on The Adventures of Lucy blog (yes, apparently she does sculpture as well, there appears to be no end to her talent).

Now I fully admit to being an OCD art snob, and as previously mentioned, I had a very definite vision.  This is most likely the definition of the designer's worst nightmare.   I had watched Kate's artwork for a while and there was an undercurrent of true talent that caught my eye (if you have not checked out her sketchbook, GO THERE).  I saw a distinct identity, but I also saw the ability to explore different media and stylistic modes and do it well, which is rare, so I decided to entrust her with my brainchild (probably much to her later chagrin). 

It gets better.  Since I was recently contacted by Beck Jordan from Allied Shirts (a sister brand to Build-A-Sign, who printed my license plate and bumper stickers, and Printcopia, who...well, now's their chance!) with an offer to print a shirt with the graphics of my choice for online review.  So, with a frantic email to Kate (who had already been working with me on the logo) after finding out I had eight days to pull together my dilly-dally-ing and order, we channeled our collective energies and out came this!

TA-DAAA!
Ummm, yeah, in my own totally valid humble opinion, it turned out amazing.  Allied had offered us a shirt from their basic line, which is printed on Gildan shirts (there are endless options, including Hanes Beefy-T's and girly little things by American Apparel).  To be honest, I expected one of those super-thin, square, shapeless things you get from cheap printing companies, you know the ones I mean! 

Supposed to be one-sided; they let me add a back tribute for Kate!
I did not realize I knew the brand until I got the shirt and saw the tag -- we have used the same brand for our field t-shirts for the state agency I work for.  Well, I can tell you, I have hiked, snorkeled (which includes dragging myself across rocks and sand on the river bottom), sweated, and rolled in those shirts; they can take some abuse.  I usually end up (a) getting outboard grease all over it, (b) staining it a remarkable shade of blotchy brown from ground in mud and rock slime, or (c) sweating in it so much it assumes its own form (hey, NC summers are even hot underwater), all well before the shirt has any structural failures!  Ours are usually grey with a black logo, but they don't fade or shrink when washed either.  Point:  this ain't a wussy shirt.    

An even awesomer surprise (and I mean this in a nice way, you never know what you are going to get online) was the quality of the printing.  The colours were perfect and saturated and the Solo-orange even has a tiny bit of a metallic bronze or something to it, really making it pop.  I don't even want to wear it because I don't want it to get dirty...

As of today, I have not had a chance to wash it.  I did try it on, I had ordered a small since the sizes were listed as "unisex," which us ladies know usually means "square man-sized" and I have plenty of experience with that due to work uniform orders!  It fit perfectly. 

So while I can't tell you yet how it will fare with use, I can tell you -- that plate and sticker mentioned above? -- one is on the front of my truck, the other on the back of my trailer.  They sit outside all year around and travel to multiple states.  I wash the truck maybe 4-5 times per year (not counting rain) and the trailer...never.  Both, I just observed last week, are pretty much perfect after two years of neglectWe won't discuss the bumper it's mounted under...  The black graphics on the plate have faded just a little, but in Carolina UV/heat, I'm not sure that's avoidable!  My hope is that this printing will live up to that precedent! 

Yes, yes, I will be riding around with my horse's name plastered on everything I own.  Your point?

I have to give HUGE props to Kate for putting up with my 10 million tweaks, my nit-picky questions, and my completely unpredictable schedule followed by 'OMG WE HAVE EIGHT DAYS, GO!'  She made it happen, even when we had file-type conflicts and, errr, operator error.

And THANK YOU to Allied Shirts, for doing such a great job printing our design (fast, it was in my hands in days) and letting me say thanks to a designer who went wayyyy above and beyond!  Go try it out for yourself!  I am now pondering going forward with a related project which would create goodies for you, lucky readers... 

Most of all, thank you Kate, for capturing and bringing to life my vision of a unique way to honour my very special buddy and also, to represent our future adventures at...

July 20, 2013

Lusting After Your Own Absorbine TryPak???

That title ought to get me some Google hits, ha!  But you know you are.

Well, now you can win one.  And I'm going to tell you how.

Get ugly.

That's right.  And now I'm going to explain (apparently, I'm in the mood for announcing intent).

Snif.
We all know us working class horse people are broke.  Some of us more than others.  As a result, I do not buy a replacement item until its predecessor has well and truly collapsed into a panting corpse at my feet and gasped its final effort.

Example.  My VERY favourite gloves, a pair of mesh-backed Moxie gloves, never too slippery, never too sticky, always comfortable, inexpensive, and with a lifespan of TWO YEARS, as opposed to 6-10 months for my traditional SSG All-Weathers.

As an aside, I do now own a pair of SSG Digitals and another of SSG 10 Belows (sale on both) and they are worlds above the All-Weathers and so far excellent after their first year. 

When I finally had to give up on my dear Moxies, my skin was getting peeled off because they looked like...well, just look left.

It was a real shame -- had it been any other finger but my rein finger, they would have lived on, because the top still looked like...yep, look down.

2 yrs, perfectly fine!
I happened to be in a tack shop and replaced them with a pair of leather and mesh Heritage pull-ons...which got the first hole in the finger (I apparently have devil monkey claw fingers and toes, you should see my socks!) in ONE WEEK.  BooHiss.  This is what I longed in today (below).  The rest of the summer fall will be spent in a pair of sale SSG crochet-backs.

What they look like today.  I just cut off the fingers when they fell apart.
OMG, woman, this is the longest contest description ever!  Yes, you're right.  But here's what you do:

-Click the email link in my sidebar and send me an email titled "My Awesomest Gear." 
-Attach a photo to that email of your most persistent piece of equipment (dang, I should have taken a picture of my half chaps that are legally old enough to drive!). 
-If I don't get some photos of duct tape and hay string, I'm going to cry.
-Make sure all photos are submitted by Thursday, August 1st.

I want to see ugly, I want to see determined, I want to see creative!  However, said piece of equipment must still be in regular use.  I'm going to count on your honour for that!  I will post the top ten photos and the FIVE most talented salvagers (that's right, say thank you to Absorbine generosity) will be chosen by my mere whimsy careful scientific rankings to receive your very own Limited Edition TryPak Of Shiny Goodness to rock out in travel-size convenience at your next show or just to wave around the barn to the envy of everyone else.

Get out there and start collecting photos!!  May the most desperate poverty-warrior win!!

April 11, 2012

Heal Faster!

Encore's leg laceration is healing nicely -- filling in from the inside out with healthy flesh.  Most of the swelling in the leg and hock has gone down cosiderably.  Compare his hocks tonight with Saturday, the day of injury!

Late Saturday morning turkey hock.
The right one only looks bigger because it is closer to lens.
I am holding my breath every day.  It's getting tiring.  I do have a funny Solo story, but it shall have to wait until next time.

For those of you still shopping for your spring show needs, don't forget we have lots of goodies.  I'll post them here so they tempt you more.  Hey, I don't lie about it, ha!

The gory details:  Shipping and handling for all items is a flat $8.00 (sorry, I had to go up, boxes cost more to send than I thought!) in the US.  If you are in Canada or elsewhere, I'll have to figure that out.  All items will ship as soon as I can upon receipt of payment.  Payment is accepted via check or Paypal, email me for information.  I will also take reasonable offers or do package deals.  I have done my best to accurately represent, photograph, and measure all items.  Everything is kept clean, nonsmoking, I have cleaned and conditioned all the leather, blah blah.  Please inquire if you need any more details.  Sorry some of the pictures are from crappy cell phone camera, you have to use what you have on you.   

Ready.....set.....GO!

APPAREL

Caldene english show coat -- Black.  100% wool.  Made in England.  I had the seams let out when I bought it because I have big shoulders, so it could fit a 6 or a narrow thin 8 without giant shoulders.  Single vent in back with two black accent buttons behind.  Three button front with seal grey lining.  Lovely and I am sorry to part with it, but I found one that fit me perfectly in blue, and well, you know my weakness for blue....  This will have you set for dressage, hunters, eventing, schooling shows, whatever you want.  I had it drycleaned last year and have not taken it out of the bag since for fear of getting cat hair all over it (so I'm not unwrapping it now, black wool will be an instant hair magnet!), so it's clean.  Last time I wore it, it was in excellent condition.  Retail ~$200.  $75.



LEATHERWORK

Collegiate reins -- never used.  Brown laced leather reins.  I just don't like laced reins, so they are new!  Total length is 116" so half is 58".  Retail $75.  $30.  Sale pending.


Collegiate Raised Breastplate with standing attachment -- raised havana leather.  A lovely piece of tack, very nice leather, this will look great on your hunter.  Can use with or without attachement.  Horse size.  Very lightly used, like new, plus I had my leatherworker reinforce the D-ring snaps so they won't pull the stitching out, as they are narrow.  Retail $100.  $50.  Sale pending.


Flat Breastplate -- havana leather.  This is one sturdy piece of tack; it has seen many trail miles and competitions with Solo, yet it is in perfect condition and not a stitch out of place.  No brand, but apparently is indestructible.  I have used for schooling and shows.  Horse size.  $30.  Sale pending.


Hunting breastplate -- dark brown, plain raised leather.  Lovely condition, nice leather.  Horse size.  Retail $100.  $40.  



Running martingale attachment  --  Dark brown leather.  Attach to your breastcollar or breastplate with easy buckle.  $10 but if you buy it with a breastplate, it's only $5.


Dover jumper girth -- dark brown with lighter brown inset.  42", measures 46" from tip of buckle to tip of buckle.  Stainless steel roller buckles.  I was schooling a very small QH, LOL!  Retail $50.  $25. 



Zilco crupper -- ok, technically not leather, I believe it's made of beta biothane, but it's very nice and like new.  For your mountain getaways!  Brown with black padding and brass toned hardware.  Horse size, very adjustable.  Retail $40.  $30.



Leather draw reins --  Dark brown leather.  I use these only when I want to remind or teach a horse how to use his body correctly (back off, draw rein nazis!).  They have done the job excellently, I usually only use them for two or three rides, then take them off once the horse gets what I am asking.  Horse size.  $5.  Sale pending. 




BLANKETS

Big D dress sheets -- THERE ARE TWO OF THESE.  Blue/hunter/burgandy plaid with burgandy trim, very nice, hardly used.  One is a 74", one is a 78".  Leather-reinforced fittings with nice hardware.  Closed front.  Surcingle and leg straps on both.  The 78" does have a 1" tear near the butt dart, pretty easy to stitch up, pictured.  Retail $70.  $40 for the 74" and $30 for the 78"


This tear is ONLY on the 78".

MISC


Loose ring snaffle -- looks like a KK with copper-y (but not in an illegal way) type mouth.  5.5 inches.  $10

 

Solo says thank you for looking!  We hope you have a fantastic spring!  Remember, I take offers and will make package deals!!