Tuesday, March 22, 2016

When in Rein...

When in Rein....ing, you get sliders!

Since I have a reiner, someone suggested I actually DO the reining thing and put sliders on my horse.

So I did.

It's a whole neeeeeeeewwwww wooooooooooorld!!!!!

We just got the shoes on March 8th and we've had limited rides since then because 6 days were spent on a work trip.

Our trainer/farrier spent a few hours with us after the shoeing to make sure we felt comfortable.  He helped us with some exercises for stopping and lead changes.  Mostly that day we were lead changing in the corner out of a counter-lope, but today I was able to do a few straight along the long-side, and even a REAL flying change from one circle to the next without him charging or cross-firing (or BOTH!). Still loads of work to do, but there's a glimmer!

I am LOUSY at stopping but we are getting better.  I know Huck knows how and he's much more in shape than August, so it's truly a matter of me learning how to ask him and how to SIT it.  Each of these two photos is of the last slide during a ride after many failed attempts each.  When he actually sticks both feet evenly it feels pretty darn cool. When one slides and the other bounces it feels like I'm going to be launched across the arena.  I have to remember to keep him straight, look ahead and SIT DEEP.  When he truly sticks it, he gets to be done for the day.

So, maybe there's hope for us yet!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Spring Cleaning! Blog Hop! Product Review!

Who loves spring cleaning?!?!

I do!

Allie over at Rocking E Cowgirl invited me to do a blog hop about spring cleaning.  When I first got the request I simply wasn't inspired. It didn't feel like spring yet.

Luckily, Tuesday was 100% SPRING in central Ohio!!!

There's something so satisfying about shaking off the dark damp dust of winter and preparing for the "summer."  Summer in this context means those glorious months in which you can ride without worrying about driving in the dark on snowy country roads to get to the barn, or your horse spooking because it has a week's worth of pent up energy, or whether or not it's possible for your fingers to actually fall off.

My favorite thing to do for Spring Cleaning is the first bath of the season.  I'm spoiled rotten that we have a Insta-Hot in the barn and we had a perfect day for a good long ride (more on that later) and a real bath. It was 70 degrees, sunny, and a warm breeze was blowing.  It was a PERFECT day for a Spring Cleaning Bath!  Huck is the sweatiest horse I've ever known. For weeks we've been going through towel after towel and our cooler has gotten a ton of use.  I gave him an amateur kindofa "bib clip" a few weeks ago which helped a little, but not a ton.  Other than the small area I clipped, he's got a full fluffy winter coat.

Sweaty boy!
In addition to loving baths, I love grooming tools. This winter I splurged on a pair of Hands On grooming gloves from Schneiders.  I couldn't believe someone convinced me to buy a $25 grooming tool, but they were worth it.  I used them for the bath today and I LOVED how I could work the lather into his coat. I discovered I could use the side of my hand as a squeegee and relocate suds to where they were needed. Just as promised, I was able to open bottles and use the hose with ease while wearing the gloves.

Only two things make them not-quite-perfect.  First, that the smallest size is still pretty big on my puny hands and I'd like to have a closer fit so they wouldn't slide around as I worked.  Secondly, that I wouldn't dare use them on his mane or tail.  They have just enough gription that they would most certainly stretch or break the long hairs.  Easily enough problem to avoid, so no big deal. I discovered I like them better for bathing than for normal daily grooming, though they did take a good amount of hair off of one of the resident Basenji's and she seemed to enjoy it.

Overall, the gloves are a winner, and I'm really glad to have them in my grooming arsenal!

I could not believe how milky-white the first spray water was as it began to loosen months of salty sweat from his blanketed coat! I hated all those days that he got sweaty and I couldn't hose him off, only towel and brush, towel and brush.  Crusty.

Huck seemed to enjoy the bath and was standing quietly (he is known to paw and disturb all the mats in the wash stall), licking his lips the whole time.  He even let me spray his face, like his WHOLE FACE just like you see the racehorses do.   He lowered his head and closed his eyes.

After the bath and a good spritzing with coat moisturizer, he got to spend his drying time out eating new spring grass.

Snackin' in a Bathrobe like a Boss

What is your favorite part of spring cleaning?