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We Are Flying Solo

July 9, 2010

The Lines Are Open

While you're pondering what helmet you like so you are ready to snap one up tomorrow, I will let you know of a new addition to the Flying Solo blog:  Solo now has his very own email address at!  You can always click the envelope icon at the top right of the page to send us any questions you are too shy to post, comments you want to send straight to the source, or just greetings for Mr. Shiny Pants.

Solo has promised that he will respond promptly, although I warned him that summer is a very busy time for me and unless he plans to learn how to type with hooves, he'd better be patient if he wants me to transpose his special brand of wisdom.

Send us a line any time the urge hits you!

Small print: if you are snotty, obnoxious, or write to me in Chinese, be prepared to be ignored.  Sorry.  Well, not sorry really, but I still feel obligated to say it...

Time To Strap One On!

My helmet advocacy is not exactly a secret. So it should come as no surprise when I post for you this little reminder:


This event has been sponsored by and is much more than just a shout out in the name of safety!

Perhaps the most impressive part is the nationwide helmet sale; a list of participating retailers (over 125 of them!) can be found here (organized by state and a VERY impressive list). You can also follow on Facebook. I just got an email today from Dover Saddlery stating that they will be offering 15% off on all helmet brands listed below for the entire day tomorrow, so no excuses!

Participating manufacturers include Troxel, Charles Owen, Aegis, GPA, Ovation, Tipperary, IRH, and Antares Sellier France.

There will also be an on-the-ground event at the Kentucky Horse Park tomorrow, you can read more about it on the website.

A helmet campaign t-shirt autographed by leading equestrians will also be placed up for auction in the Courtney King-Dye Medical Fund/Equestrian Aid Foundation eBay store tomorrow.

So if you need to replace an older helmet or you are currently riding bareheaded, do everyone who cares about you a favour and wander over to your equestrian retailer of choice and snag a great deal!

July 5, 2010

2 Out Of 3 Horses Were Delighted By De-Lyte!

Our lovely reader, Heather, was beyond brave when she kindly sent us a sample of her De-Lyte Bites for Solo to try and review. These treats are "designed to replenish lost electrolytes" in the equine athlete while providing a tasty treat all rolled into one neat package. Each one is about the size of those Mrs. Pastures things and a serving size is four treats.


It was a hot and humid day when the taste test commenced. The stakes were high -- Solo is notorious for his ability to dismiss the tastiest item proferred if it does not meet his standards of "horse food." Even peppermints are usually rejected in a fit of snobbery. Then he begs for the next one as if it will taste any different.

The players:

Solaris. 14 year old Appendix QH. Food critic renowned for his cruel rejections.

Jeff. 9 year old Hanoverian/TB. Eager to please younger chap, always interested in new things.

Moxie. 11 year old Oldenburg. Lineage possibly traces back to a hippopotamus. Has never been known to reject something that fits in her cavernous mouth.

And of course, S.O., the professional treat-giver and bringer of scratches, who generously agreed to participate in this very scientific endeavor.

So it begins.

Solo: Mmmm, treat proximity possible??




This tastes weird.


BLECH! No likey! Now give me the next one.


Oh no! The critic has struck again with his derisive spitting-out-on-the-floor! But as we all know, no experiment with a sample size of one is very meaningful. So, from across the aisle...



Yessss! I takey reject treats, please can I help you dispose of them?


Hmmmmm, this is intereshting, not quite what I expected...


Wow, that was weird, but I think I would eat another.


So now it's a tie at one to one! What will Moxie's verdict be?

Moxie: HEY! YOU! With the food! Bring it here!


I eat it and it is mine. MINE!


It was fine. Now want MORE!


So, the verdict is in. Horses with normal eating habits find that De-Lyte Bites are a tasty treat worthy of snarfing. Solo the giant food snob maintains his aloofness and refuses to lower himself the base levels of the masses. He will stick to his cheapie nasty smelling TSC apple licorice treats. Ew.

July 2, 2010

Vacation Time!

I am off to be spoiled rotten for the long weekend, tucked away in a little bed and breakfast in the North Carolina mountains, so I must take my leave of you for the time being.  But never fear, posts await on the other side. 

A preview of coming attractions:

So long, side reins: your step by step guide to the loveliness that is vienna reins

New purchase reviews that have made me happy, including FINALLY bell boots that survive turnout and summer saddle pads.

Electrolyte treat taste test results! Hint: 2 out of 3 horses agreed that they were edible.

Enjoy your holiday and the perfect riding weather that always happens when I can't ride!

June 27, 2010

Back To Work

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, IT'S HOTTTTTTT.  Weather Underground tells me the heat index is a sticky 93 degrees, but I think they lie.  It's at least 304.   Haha, you can tell that picture is old, Solo has a mane!

Solo has had three luxurious weeks off to let any stress injuries or sore spots heal and to just chill out. He feels good, despite losing a little condition. I got back on him this morning to just trot a few hills and such. We nearly melted into little puddles of humidity-stricken goo, but he moved out n-i-c-e. Breaks are good.  But it's time to go back in training.  As best we can without cooking ourselves.

Just a few summer reminders: keep an eye on respiration, a hot horse can start puffing and descend into heat stress faster than you think. Don't be shy about throwing cool water onto and into your horse immediately; horses coming off Rolex cross country get ice water thrown on them before they even stop moving. The important thing is to SCRAPE SCRAPE SCRAPE. Water just sitting on a horse's skin traps heat and raises the body temperature. And don't forget to hydrate YOU.

Remember to check those little spots you don't normally brush for ticks or fungus: under the jaw, between the front and hind legs, up under the flanks. I found some itchy funk under Solo's jaw the other day, he nearly moaned with pleasure when I scratched all the bits off.

We're trying out some new gear that we'll have reviews for, including a sample of one of our lovely readers' new product, an electrolyte treat. Will it pass the Solo-Food-Snob taste test???