Saturday, September 17, 2016

Helmet Awareness

Today is National Helmet Awareness Day

It began a few years ago in response to Courtney King-Dye's fall and subsequent TBI.

But that is not the point of my post today.

Rather my point is the discussion on why hunt caps are so prevalent in the hunter pleasure ring.  Why is this?

For anyone new to the blog, I have Arabians and primarily show in the Arabian breed circuit, as well as dabbling in open shows, dressage shows, and other random things that catch my attention.  But I am quite familiar with Arabian rules.

One thing that I cannot wrap my head around is the prevalent use and acceptance of hunt caps like above in the breed rings, whether it is Arabian, Paint, or Morgan. 

If someone is going through the effort of putting a cap on their head, why not just add the chin strap? 

I have talked to friends who said that despite knowing it is ridiculous, they feel they can't fall out of line and wear an actual ASTM certified helmet.

Does it really look so different? 

I am scarred for life after seeing a person fall at a show.  She went over the shoulder from a well broke horse that was slowly heading back towards the barn.  I am not sure if she had prior health issues that precipitated the fall, but after seeing her hit the gravel parking lot, the TBI, the Flight for Life, and being involved in way more family drama that I care to imagine, I'll order up one ASTM helmet to go please. 

I don't want to dig through anyone's personal belongings again to find ID, so it can go with emergency medical personnel. 

So if you wear a hunt cap without the chin strap, why?  It takes a group of people to buck the trend and to change.

Dressage has changed favorably. 

There are plenty of cute helmets.

But this also leads me to my next point.  In the land of hunter pleasure where conservative attire isn't even remotely close, where we can wear grey breeches and kelly green coats, why is it that we cannot wear a sparkly helmet?

My current helmet is quite boring and still within rules, but I think that if we encourage more cute helmets, perhaps we can continue a positive trend.

I am not the helmet police, but if you are on the fence about whether to start your own trend of not, come and join me on the dark side!
It's OK to judge me on my turnout.  I really don't need a pink shirt with a red horse.  But I just got a purple shirt, so life should be better.  And maybe I will figure out that the stock pin should probably go in the middle of the collar.  But the emphasize is on the helmet.  And the fact that I look like a dork most of the time.  But my brain is in the bucket, so that's what counts, right?  ;) :)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Saving Cents

Who doesn't like to save money?

I have compiled a list of current companies with coupons I have found.

Please feel free to share more in the comments if you like.

$5 Calf Manna Coupon

Absorbine coupons including
  • $2 off Ultrashield fly masks
  • $3 off Absorbine supplements such as Bute-Less or Hoof Builder
  • $1 off any Absorbine product
  • $10 Rebate on Hooflex Concentrated Hoof Builder
  • $5 off Bigeloil quilted poultice leg wraps
  • $1 off Veterinary liniment gel
  • $3 off Magic Cushion

    Farnam Coupons include:
  • $1 off Leather New
  • $2 off all wound care products
  • $7 off SandClear
  • $8 off DigestAid powder
  • $2 off Quietex Paste
  • $5 off LaserSheen Skin & Coat Supplement
    $2 off Fly Control products including fly masks and fly sprays
  • More, please view above link

    Standlee Forage has a coupon for $1.75 off any bagged or baled forage product

    Merial Equine Rebates include popular names as
  • Zimecterin Gold 
  • Equioxx 
  • Marquis
  • Ulcergard/Gastrogard
  • Legend
  • Merial brand vaccines

    Triple Crown Feeds has a $5 coupon that will be mailed once a quick survey is done with the Feed Selector Tool

    Please feel free to contribute any others that you find.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Accepting the Truth

I have been ruminating on this post for a few days now.

And basically it can be distilled down to this.

The Truth Hurts
Criticism hurts.  Feedback is difficult. 

But as equestrians, we need this feedback.  We need to improve every time we swing a leg over.

Why did we miss that distance? 


 Usually it's us. 
This is why we have coaches and trainers.  More leg.  More leg.  More leg after that.  Keep the outside rein.  Possibly some more leg after that.

I dabble in dressage and sport horse in hand.  I like feedback.  Usually.  Sometimes it hurts. 

I submitted a video to a virtual show online, which is an interesting concept.  What I didn't expect was criticism that came along the lines of "Don't canter.  You can't even ride your horse."

Well I certainly have days where I feel that, but the feedback was a little brutal. 

Were there elements of truth?  Sure.  I do need help in fixing some more basic things like that pesky outside rein.

But where does this tie into the rest of life?

An acquaintance posted this video on Facebook.  This is Nyle DiMarco.  He is a Deaf activist, model, and obviously a man of many talents. 

I think it's great when people share videos and information.  Sometimes we just need feedback on the information we share.

Said acquaintance shared the video along with the caption that it's great for a deaf mute man to achieve dreams.  If he can, why can't anyone else?  OK, this is a basic distillation, but let's examine this caption.

Deaf mute is an archaic term, just as plenty of other words that used to be common vernacular a hundred years ago.  Over the years, it became seen as an offensive term as it implied the loss of language and the inability to speak, as well as limited cognitive ability, which of course is not true.

I just briefly shared my thoughts on the person's page that the term is no longer appropriate to use and that Nyle would refer to himself as Deaf (with the capitol D).  It is easy to google the differences in terms in the deaf and hard of hearing community or just click this link.

 Instead of confronting and accepting the truth, the post was deleted.  I was removed from the conversation.

I was disappointed.  I expect more from an equestrian professional, who spends her life pointing out the truth to others.

So fellow equestrians, keep on the journey.  Try and realize the truths, no matter how uncomfortable.  Let's keep up a conversation.

After all, when we put that leg on the horse, we don't want him just rushing forward, ignoring it, or pinning his ears.  We want a conversation.  We want a polite banter between horse and rider and as humans, we should strive to do as we ask of our horses.

So let's accept the truth when it is presented to us.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Trailer Travesty

I briefly mentioned before that I have managed to hock my entire life to get the brand, sparkling new trailer.

Well, like most people with shiny, new, expensive objects, they want to take them out and play with them.

So, a couple months ago, I set a date and time for the other pony wrangler who rides Donni to meet me at the barn & we would haul to a local park to ride.  It would be a good adventure to take the girls off property, while getting my feet wet actually hauling said new, expensive object.

I hooked up the trailer to pull it out as it is parked up next to the barn.  I put my foot on the brake and it went to the floor.

Oh dear.

Long story short there is that I blew both front and rear brake lines and my emergency brake didn't work.

I managed to stop the truck by putting it in park and fortunately, there were no horses involved and I had only coasted a couple feet down the barn driveway.

I had recently decided to get a US Rider Membership. I tend to end up in unfortunate situations and thought that towing would be a good idea.  Thus, I decided to call US Rider.  The gal answered the phone politely and notified me that a local towing company would come out to pick up the truck.

I went into the barn to wait around until the tow driver appeared.  Well, the tow driver appeared a half hour later, looking straight out of Duck Dynasty.  This normally isn't an issue, as my own father could fit in quite well on that show. 

Mr Duck seemed to yes ma'am things appropriately as I said that the brake lines blew and that I had zero control over the truck brakes.  I had disconnected the trailer and he said he was comfortable taking the truck to my home about five miles away. 

So I went back into the barn and then started the Trailer Travesty.

The Barn Guy was sitting on his porch drinking coffee and watched the Series of Unfortunate Events that began to unfold while I was happily tacking up my horse.

Mr. Duck decided that I had no idea what I was talking about and decided to drive my disabled truck up the bed of his tow truck.  Well, as someone might guess, there were no brakes.  The truck hit the top of the tow vehicle and rolled backwards.

Guess what was sitting right behind the truck?

My trailer.


My truck hit the hitch on the trailer and displaced it backwards several feet, burying the jack deep into the grass and mud.  It broke part of the hitching mechanism.

My favorite part is that Mr. Duck proceeded to winch my truck up and then took off without mentioning The Accident.

Long story short is that it involved law enforcement, Barn Guy, lots of phone calls, photos, and documentation.  The Deputy proceeded to call Mr Duck an idiot since it was easy to see where the truck hit my hitch and the truck was actually stuck on my hitch at one point. 

The owner of the towing company finally stepped up and decided to do the right thing after the deputy was involved, despite Mr Duck's insistent that I had no idea what I was talking about, Barn Guy was lying, and that clearly my brand new trailer had the hitch broken in some other fashion. 

Too bad my photos were time stamped less than ten minutes after he left.

So in the end, at least my trailer was repaired and thus ended the Trailer Travesty of 2016. 

My poor trailer, never yet used, and already has been in the shop. 

I would suggest, women, that as I have found out more than once, there is a heavy assumption that women are not capable, have no idea what they are talking about, and must be ignored.  I am still frustrated that clearly Mr. Duck thought there was some braking system left, despite me saying so. 

So, please consider this and if you end up in a situation where there is towing involved, I would suggest staying to make sure everything is handled properly.  Take photos before, during, and after.  Take names.

I almost allowed myself to end up on the hook for a repair, simply because I trusted someone to do the right thing. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Horse Show Hangover

There's something about a horse show.

We pay money to be sleep deprived, exhausted, spending just about every waking moment watching our horses, our friends, being too hot, being too cold, being hungry, or some combination of the above list.

Chili and I had a successful horse show.  I always think it's successful when we remain upright on the horse.  ;)

We won the dressage suitability class (9 on our trot!) and a novice hunt class.  My friend also showed her in the groom's class for blue ribbon.  Also surprising were 2nd places in Arabian halter both days, since while Chili has some good Arabian characteristics, she really doesn't fit the typical Arabian halter horse mold.

Chili as a two year doing the halter horse thing

RH Triana, a very successful Arabian halter mare

So regardless, I was pretty pleased with the ribbons.  The judge on Sunday came up to me after the Arabian halter class and made sure that I knew that he really liked my horse's topline and that I should be proud of that.  I've never had that remark before, so I thought that was interesting.  :)

Overall, we ended up with ribbons in a variety of classes, including halter, showmanship, ground driving obstacles, in-hand trail, hunt seat, open sport horse under saddle, and costume.

When she won the couple of large classes on Saturday, she had enough points to qualify for reserve champion high point Arabian.  Ta dah, fancy (ok, not so fancy) trophy.  :)

I'm going to need to find something to do with these ribbons soon.  I have them hanging on racks where my Breyer horses are, but I am beyond running out of room.  Last year, I began taking down anything that wasn't 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, but not sure if should keep up some more of the sentimental ribbons.

Also unfortunately, I didn't mark which classes were which.  However, I do volunteer and work with this show, so I know that I will be typing up the results for official posting online in the coming weeks, so hopefully I can come back later to record which classes were which.

This morning was definitely a case of major horse show hangover.  I slept until almost 10 am and then couldn't really decide to move until almost 3 pm.  Went to the barn to clean out my trailer, since it looked like a small supernova imploded in there.  I had friends quickly load my tack last night since I was trying to leave, so I didn't have to haul in the dark (because I am still a giant chicken), so that meant my hunt coat was hiding in my tack trunk, horse cookies were kind of gooey in my truck cab, and I am not quite sure where everything else ended up.

But, in the end, it's all worth it to spend time demonstrating the hours of hard work and sweat.  I truly enjoy most of my horse show family and it is a great reunion to see the same people year after year.  We cheered each other on, fixed chaps, corrected wrong numbers, held horses, lint rolled each other, and everything in-between.

I love showing rated breed shows, but sometimes, I think I enjoy this easy going attitude of a well run, well judged open shows too.