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We Are Flying Solo

April 11, 2013

Please Raise Your Hand...

...if you have ever been able to steadily train your horse, then go to an event, without spending the time preceeding it frantically trying to get horse in proper working order and spending sleepless nights wondering if you'll have to scratch...again.

I'm curious if this ever actually happens to people.

Encore did get his back injected and is easing back into work, but is still having some issues, so Dr. Bob shall be stalked once more in search of Now What, Part 893.

Field season has started at work, so my own sleep and time deprivation begins, rendering me nonexistent from now till, oh, November.

It's not all bad -- since Solo had annointed himself Devourer of Equine Apparel, I had purchased SmartPak's Ballistic Turnout Sheet, complete with 10-year guarantee of structural integrity, about mid-winter.  Then I sat back and watched.

It held up surprisingly well to varied attacks, no doubt leaving the biter quite frustrated at his failure.  However, he did prevail and Encore greeted me one morning with a custom air vent added to his attire.

True to SmartPak awesomeness though, I called them up and sent the victim back, at which point they promptly sent me Sheet 2.  The weather has warmed quickly, so it hasn't seen much action, BUT the fact remains that the agreement was honoured and awesomeness maintained.

Solo, of course, is completely content in his immaculate McAllister 600D sheet I purchased at a ridiculously low price on Tack of the Day (and quite like!).  It's easy when you are not the bitee.


  1. Oooo good to know! I bought that blanket as well because my horse is a perpetual nudist, disrober and destroyer of clothes!

  2. ROFL, nudist! Yes, my poverty self cringed a little at the price but it has been totally worth and much better than buying four sheets per winter and sewing all the time.

    I wish I could just muzzle Solo, but not only would his eyes shame me, everything rubs his face skin off. :-(

  3. Wow, does he have metal dagger teeth? :) Good thing you chose the one with a 10 year guarantee!

  4. TX, I am suspicious that he may be hiding a gangsta grill somewhere in the shed. His capacity for destruction is amazing. You should see how many hair patches Encore is missing right now...

  5. And why does Junior continue to take the abuse? Silly boy... I wonder what Solo would do if he ever came 'round with bared teeth or a zippity back foot. Or maybe Encore does, and He Who Must Destroy just doesn't care? :-) LOL'ing over the gangsta grill thought. Wouldn't that be something on a horse...

    Glad SmartPak backed up their warranty without an argument. I've personally always been happy with Dover's service, but people seem a lot more impressed with SP lately.

  6. RW, that is what I've always wondered -- why does the young fit TB not just (a) move or (b) whip around and snap back. But he literally just stands there and takes it with not a care; he has more of a reaction to actual gnats.

  7. HA! My horse is not even sound enough for me to ride, let alone compete. And I just got a $425 vet bill for our latest Adventures in Pouring Money Down A Bottomless Pit game, lol. But, hey, he's awfully cute, so I guess that makes up for it!

    I would totally buy that blanket, but it does not come in blue. And I buy only Things That Are Blue! Let me know if it ever comes in anything other than black.

    Fingers crossed that Encore magically heals and you guys get to compete next weekend! :-D

  8. Solo! That tricky blanket just gave him a chance to problem-solve and become an even more effective blanket slasher. Oh well. At least SmartPak is awesome. They reimbursed me for supplements that my horse started refusing to eat last year. No questions asked. I love that company.

    Since I stopped taking regular lessons with a dressage coach (back in college), I have never entered a horse show with more than two weeks preparation. Granted, these were schooling dressage shows and no where near as involved as an event, but I still always found myself saying things like, "We did pretty well considering *insert excuse*". (for example: we only practiced the test once, my horse had nervous poops on the trailer bc we rarely travel, i do not have a dressage court at home, my last lesson was six months ago, take your pick!)

  9. eventer79 and Frizzle, I feel you on the game we are all playing with our local vets called "Name that Lameness." I just found out on Wednesday that the 300$ gamble I made on a stifle injection is not infact the source of my mare's lameness *face palm* So now its back to seeing if I can pay off my vet's fancy new truck. Yea!

  10. Frizz, I am so sorry -- I would totally have blue if they offered it! But I got damn tired of buying sheets every three weeks, geez! And Salem is such a lucky pony, I hope he gathers his senses and deigns to carry you around!

    Val, that is great on the refund! I knew I had lost it when I longed for the "simplicity" of a schooling dressage or jumper show, LOL. But I'm sure they would still find a way to stress me out -- they are horses, omg!

    EAM -- I so know that feeling. Thanks to the in-depth veterinary education my horses have so gracious provided me (insert deadpan face here), I now never trust joint soreness to be JUST joint soreness. Even though Solo has legit hock arthritis and injections help him, I can't help but wonder if it was really his back that caused it in the first place.

    Next horse: NO BACK.

  11. I feel your pain. For us its the first event of the year. There is ALWAYS something that gives me ulcers. A heal grab, repeatedly loosing shoes, or this year an unexplainable mysterious lameness. My fingers are crossed that after Longview Horse Trials have come and gone, everything will return to bliss.

  12. Crossed for you, MM! We tried to have a first HT of the year -- nope, had to scratch. Tried to make second -- nope, not ready, still sore. Third time's the charm?