December 18, 2018

And the Winner Is...


Take that thing off your Christmas list, you win!  Or leave it on your Christmas list and hold your own contest, you know, whatever floats your goats.

LEAH.  New idea!  You're gonna need a pool...

Thanks to everyone for entering!  If you didn't win, remember you can get it on Amazon, AND Amazon has a promo code running through December 21st that I verified does work for this book:

Navigate to the book's page on Amazon and click the "1 Applicable Promotion" link to add the promo code (GIFTBOOK18) to your cart.

December 17, 2018

Fat Leg

I got out to the barn Saturday morning to find that Connor had a fat leg.  No definition on the medial side of the left fore from the bottom of the knee to the bottom of the fetlock.

I wouldn't say a fat leg is ever normal, but it's especially unusual for Connor, who just does not get hurt.  The same quality that caused him to fail as an XC horse (off the charts levels of self-preservation) also causes him to avoid injury situations, or at least that's my theory.  In 7 years, this is his first fat leg.

(Connor's entire injury list: August 2015 (minor scrape), July 2017 (random swelling at girth - bugs?), September 2017 (minor scrape), March 2018 (splint, no lameness)).

There's a small superficial abrasion, just hair taken off, which you can see (sort of) in the above photo.  It probably would've been something minor, but they've been in for two days due to rain, so I'm sure injury + standing around a lot more than usual = fat leg.

Still got them racehorse wrapping skills

He's not at all lame, but I could tell he was uncomfortable on the lunge line on Sunday morning, when it hadn't really changed from the day before.  It was subtle, he's so stoic, but I could tell from his facial expression and just a subtle change in the way he moved that he wasn't feeling his best. 

Side note, the Equisense's horse management features are awesome.  Usually I just use it to record his trims, but it will be good for historical injury reference too.

Fingers crossed that it goes down quickly and we can get back to riding, since I don't have any travel at all scheduled for the next two weeks!

December 15, 2018

Contest Reminder!

Just a reminder that the Dressage Rider's Journal contest ends at 12am Eastern time Monday!  So you have a day and a half left to enter.

Also for those of you who have already entered, double check that you have both left a comment and entered via the Rafflecopter widget.  There are 14 entries and 11 comments so at least three of you are technically not entered!

Hank being festive

December 13, 2018

Product Review Update: Ariat Bromont Insulated H2O Tall Boot

Longtime readers will remember that winter boots are one item that I was just straight up cheap with a few years ago, and I lived to regret it.  After I got two years out of a pair of less fancy TuffRiders and then a pair of TuffRider Tundras lasted me essentially three weeks, I finally shelled out the cash for a pair of Ariat Bromont H2Os, in brown, which is a UK-only color for Ariat.

Now that they've survived two complete winters and are starting their third, how have they held up?


First of all, understand that I take great care of most of my boots but I haven't taken care of these AT ALL.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's because I lose all motivation and willpower when it's cold outside.  Winter is a season of survival for me and I guess my boots too.  These have seen some abuse and not a lot of love.

The picture above is what they looked like after one cleaning and conditioning.  Probably their first cleaning and conditioning in a year.  The picture below is more like what they usually look like:

They are still waterproof.  There's no signs of cracking.  Scratches come out easily. The only signs of wear are on the suede on the inside of the boots, which is to be expected:

My only complaint, and something you should consider if you're buying these, is that at 2+ years in they really haven't dropped at all.  And since I bought them a size bigger in the foot and calf than I normally do (to accommodate my 9,763 layers of winter clothing), that means I'm still wearing heel lifts with them and still leave them unzipped at the top most of the time.

So yes, they were over 3x the cost of the TuffRiders, but the cost-per-wear is going to end up being much cheaper because these things are clearly going to last.  So this is not the cheaper option, but it's definitely the more frugal option.

In terms of warmth, they're not going to blow your mind when it's -10 outside, but they get the job done.  More than anything, I need winter boots to give me more room inside for layers + socks than any of my other boots, so I'm not looking for them to be super warm.  That said, they're definitely going to keep you warmer than a non-insulated boot (and note - there IS a non-insulated Bromont tall boot available).

Bottom Line: Expensive, but worth it.  Still practically look new after 2 abusive winters, but be careful on sizing the height, they don't seem to drop as much as regular field boots do.

What: Ariat Bromont H2O
Price: $349.95 at SmartPak (I paid $198 + $105 international shipping on eBay)
Sizes: 5.5-11, full and regular calf options
Colors: Black only in US, brown available in UK (Flip between Ireland and US locations to see color options on Ariat website here)