October 17, 2018

Special Delivery

Connor's Aunt Mary and her husband are expecting their first baby next month.  I've never found myself to be a baby person, but I am ridiculously excited to meet this little one for some reason. 

Yes, this Mary, who continues to post this hilarious image on my Facebook wall every October!

As the best horse friend, I feel obligated to give this baby girl every opportunity to be just as into horses as her momma is (sorry, Mary's husband!)  Which is why I raced to get her first horsey gift to her way back in July, when she was negative four months old:



And of course, not only did it have to be a horsey gift, I had to find something to do with jumpers.  It's Mary, after all.  Etsy to the rescue! 

I've half jokingly threatened her husband that he'd better be in front of Mary holding that blanket up in the delivery room so the first thing Annie sees when she opens her eyes is jumping horses.



Fingers crossed for a safe delivery!  Connor has already been volunteered for first pony ride duty 😀

October 15, 2018

Product Review: One Year With the Shadow One Horse Slant Trailer

Do you know what today is?


Well, yes, it's also my eighth anniversary.  Remember when I left my anniversary brunch to go buy a horse trailer last year?  My husband is the best.


But it's also the one year anniversary of owning the Shadow, so I thought I'd take a look at how it's actually worked out for us.  A one horse trailer is not the configuration for everyone, and I wasn't 100% sure when I got it that it was for me, but after a year of owning it, I still love it!

Love: Shipping Connor loose


I think we both like this.  There's no practical reason to tie Connor in this configuration, since it's basically an oddly shaped box stall back there, and he can turn around to walk forward off of it.  He rides forward facing most of the time because that's where his hay bag is, but he chooses to ride rear facing sometimes too.


Don't love: platform height


It's hard to tell in this picture, but this is a genuine jump up rather than a step up for Connor.  He does it, but it makes him a little nervous, and I know as he ages it will get harder and harder.  I will be adding a ramp at some point.


Love: weight




I have ZERO regrets getting the one horse.  It makes far more sense for me to get the excess weight off my elderly tow vehicle than to constantly haul around a second stall I never use.  My gas mileage is slightly better, and it's just so dang easy to tow.


Don't love: tie ring placement



Specifically, there is one, and it's on the opposite side of the trailer from the tack room.  With a trailer this small there aren't a ton of options for ring locations, but I'm going to see if they'll add one, or possibly two, to the tack room side (so I can hang my backpack from one and tie Connor to the other)


Love: insulated roof and ventilation



Ya'll, if you have an all-aluminum trailer and the roof is not insulated and you live in a hot climate, drop what you're doing and head over to the Horse Trailer Conversions II Facebook group and learn how to DIY it, it's so worth it.

Aluminum is a great conductor of heat (unfortunately), and insulating the roof significantly lowers the temperature in the horse area.  Between the factory insulated roof and all the big windows, it stays nice and cool back there for Connor.


Don't love: The door situation



The back of this trailer is one big swinging door which latches open on the passenger side of the trailer.  And there's no butt bar.  So if you're by yourself to load, you have to either leave it unlatched and pray the wind doesn't blow the door into the horse as he gets on (risky), or you have to latch it, tie the horse, and pray the horse doesn't shoot out the wide open back of the trailer while you run all the way around the door, unlatch it, and swing it closed (also risky).

Right now, I am double-tying Connor just for the amount of time it takes me to run around, unlatch it and close it, but I'm considering having the trailer place weld a butt strap or bar across the back to solve this one.  Open to other suggestions if anyone has any though.


Love: The Organized Barn and Trailer tack room



This tack room is bigger than you'd think a one horse trailer would have, but it's not huge, and because our new barn has so little storage, it serves as my extended tack locker too.  As a result, I needed GOOD organization in there.  I've tweaked it a lot, and finally have it organized for maximum efficiency in every situation (although this is an old photo).

One quick shoutout, that chair rack in the upper left of this photo broke along a weld in multiple places 10 months after I got it. I emailed The Organized Barn and Trailer just to let them know and to see if they had a warranty, and they had a new one (with that weld in a different/better place) rush shipped to me immediately and without question.  They have been nothing but amazing to work with, I can't recommend them enough! #notsponsored

Bad place for a weld.  The new one they sent has this weld further up the bar in a location that makes a lot more sense.

Overall, I could not love this trailer more.  The one horse configuration is not for everyone, but it's turned out to be as perfect for us as I thought it would.  With good care and a few minor tweaks to resolve my minor gripes about it, I hope it lasts me for a really, really long time.


October 11, 2018

New Layout

After having the same header and layout since roughly 2013, I finally have new ones!


This actually started because I thought my very, very, VERY old layout might be causing my photos to show up somewhat blurry in my RSS reader, but I've since ruled that out.  It appears to be a Blogger thing that I haven't quite figured out yet.  Oh well, it was time for a new layout anyway.  You'll just have to click through to see non-blurry pictures I guess.

Thank you Karen for taking my new header photo!

 Take a look around and let me know what you think, and most importantly, if you find anything that's not working correctly for you, please shoot me an email at my spam address, jalean one one at gmail dot com.

October 10, 2018

Getting Connor's Number (Because he sure has mine!)

On Monday, one of my friends shared a Dressage Today article about horses that have trouble coming back after a lengthening in the canter.  The author said horses like this often tend to travel with their outside shoulder to the outside of the hindquarters which gives them the ability to roll along unimpeded (my paraphrasing, I can't find the article now).

I don't know anyone who travels like that WHY DO YOU ASK????

That's something NK has said about us as far back as early 2012 - "This horse likes to travel diagonally!"  And while it's better now, it's still not great, and I've noticed he tends to go really well when I focus on containing the outside shoulder.

Connor's preferred method of travel

So I thought I'd play around with that a bit on my own on Monday night.  I greatly oversimplified it by thinking "I should be able to get 1-2 steps of turn on the forehand feel anytime I want them."  Sometimes I made it a little more dramatic, sometimes it was subtle, but it was non-negotiable. 

Perhaps taking it too far in the opposite direction here, but I needed to get my point across


I have a tendency to ask for something and accept a half-assed response from him, which now that we have things like SI and HI in our tests, is a real, visible problem.  In everything, I can't accept him tuning me out anymore (and really shouldn't have from the beginning).  If you want to see this in action:

This movement is travers (haunches in) from B to M

Okay...

Passable for our first time ever doing this in a test...

Wait what's happening here...
(Please note we are halfway through this travers, which by the way is a double coefficient)

It was a schooling show so we got a generous score and "needs more angle" on this movement, which like...we're not even doing it here so...thanks?  

Back with his shoulder plastered to the rail, because he totally has my number.

Thanks Karen for taking these!

I am not qualified to say whether the ToF idea is the right way to go about things, but we did get our first c-w transition Monday night!  We got it once, and then we weren't able to get it again.  I did 1-2 steps of thinking ToF, then picked up the canter, then asked for it within 5 strides of takeoff.

It's much more difficult for me to get the ToF steps to the left than to the right.  It's partially because my right leg has a tendency to not be on him so he just escapes out that side rather than stepping under, but it's also just his harder direction to get the inside hind (yes, those two things are definitely related, and I am fixing the problems I created!).

Having a "discussion" up the long side

So in conclusion, this is yet another thrilling chapter in the dramatic saga of learning that inside leg to outside rein is important.  You're welcome!

October 8, 2018

2018 Clip #1

When I started full clipping Connor years ago, I usually did the first clip around October 15.  That seemed to be about when we had one final nice warm day before the forecast turned sharply colder, and it was the longest I could hold out before cooling him out after rides started taking forevvvvver.

But the past couple years...

#thanksglobalwarming

We just came off of our hottest and most humid October weekend in history, and that's becoming more the norm than the exception.  Connor's genetics did not prepare him for that, and I felt so bad for the little guy sweating just standing around that I went ahead and clipped last weekend.


I mean...at least he dries fast when it's pushing 90 and windy right?


I tossed around the idea of doing a blanket clip this year, but decided against it.  There's a chance we'll be doing some indoor schooling shows this winter, and we know we can keep him comfortable with a full clip even in the most brutal of winters, so there's really no reason to change it.

He genuinely already had a lot of coat going.

Connor's got a good sense of humor about just about everything, but after a bath, clipping and standing for brushing MTG into his tail, he was d-o-n-e with my reindeer games:

"...can I be done now?"

And since he'll be wearing at least a sheet by the end of the week...


...I went ahead and started his winter MTG routine.  Every winter he rubs the top of his tail on his blankets, but last winter I applied MTG to his tailbone and brushed it through his tail every 2-4 weeks.  It was the first winter he didn't rub his tail, so we're continuing that successful experiment this year.

And it doesn't look long in person but after seeing this picture I will probably be trimming it shorter this week too!

Anyone else clipping already?  Planning on a different clip this year?  What's some of your other winter horse grooming prep?

Special Delivery

Connor's Aunt Mary and her husband are expecting their first baby next month.  I've never found myself to be a baby person, but I am ridiculously excited to meet this little one for some reason. 

Yes, this Mary, who continues to post this hilarious image on my Facebook wall every October!

As the best horse friend, I feel obligated to give this baby girl every opportunity to be just as into horses as her momma is (sorry, Mary's husband!)  Which is why I raced to get her first horsey gift to her way back in July, when she was negative four months old:



And of course, not only did it have to be a horsey gift, I had to find something to do with jumpers.  It's Mary, after all.  Etsy to the rescue! 

I've half jokingly threatened her husband that he'd better be in front of Mary holding that blanket up in the delivery room so the first thing Annie sees when she opens her eyes is jumping horses.



Fingers crossed for a safe delivery!  Connor has already been volunteered for first pony ride duty 😀

Read more...

Product Review: One Year With the Shadow One Horse Slant Trailer

Do you know what today is?


Well, yes, it's also my eighth anniversary.  Remember when I left my anniversary brunch to go buy a horse trailer last year?  My husband is the best.


But it's also the one year anniversary of owning the Shadow, so I thought I'd take a look at how it's actually worked out for us.  A one horse trailer is not the configuration for everyone, and I wasn't 100% sure when I got it that it was for me, but after a year of owning it, I still love it!

Love: Shipping Connor loose


I think we both like this.  There's no practical reason to tie Connor in this configuration, since it's basically an oddly shaped box stall back there, and he can turn around to walk forward off of it.  He rides forward facing most of the time because that's where his hay bag is, but he chooses to ride rear facing sometimes too.


Don't love: platform height


It's hard to tell in this picture, but this is a genuine jump up rather than a step up for Connor.  He does it, but it makes him a little nervous, and I know as he ages it will get harder and harder.  I will be adding a ramp at some point.


Love: weight




I have ZERO regrets getting the one horse.  It makes far more sense for me to get the excess weight off my elderly tow vehicle than to constantly haul around a second stall I never use.  My gas mileage is slightly better, and it's just so dang easy to tow.


Don't love: tie ring placement



Specifically, there is one, and it's on the opposite side of the trailer from the tack room.  With a trailer this small there aren't a ton of options for ring locations, but I'm going to see if they'll add one, or possibly two, to the tack room side (so I can hang my backpack from one and tie Connor to the other)


Love: insulated roof and ventilation



Ya'll, if you have an all-aluminum trailer and the roof is not insulated and you live in a hot climate, drop what you're doing and head over to the Horse Trailer Conversions II Facebook group and learn how to DIY it, it's so worth it.

Aluminum is a great conductor of heat (unfortunately), and insulating the roof significantly lowers the temperature in the horse area.  Between the factory insulated roof and all the big windows, it stays nice and cool back there for Connor.


Don't love: The door situation



The back of this trailer is one big swinging door which latches open on the passenger side of the trailer.  And there's no butt bar.  So if you're by yourself to load, you have to either leave it unlatched and pray the wind doesn't blow the door into the horse as he gets on (risky), or you have to latch it, tie the horse, and pray the horse doesn't shoot out the wide open back of the trailer while you run all the way around the door, unlatch it, and swing it closed (also risky).

Right now, I am double-tying Connor just for the amount of time it takes me to run around, unlatch it and close it, but I'm considering having the trailer place weld a butt strap or bar across the back to solve this one.  Open to other suggestions if anyone has any though.


Love: The Organized Barn and Trailer tack room



This tack room is bigger than you'd think a one horse trailer would have, but it's not huge, and because our new barn has so little storage, it serves as my extended tack locker too.  As a result, I needed GOOD organization in there.  I've tweaked it a lot, and finally have it organized for maximum efficiency in every situation (although this is an old photo).

One quick shoutout, that chair rack in the upper left of this photo broke along a weld in multiple places 10 months after I got it. I emailed The Organized Barn and Trailer just to let them know and to see if they had a warranty, and they had a new one (with that weld in a different/better place) rush shipped to me immediately and without question.  They have been nothing but amazing to work with, I can't recommend them enough! #notsponsored

Bad place for a weld.  The new one they sent has this weld further up the bar in a location that makes a lot more sense.

Overall, I could not love this trailer more.  The one horse configuration is not for everyone, but it's turned out to be as perfect for us as I thought it would.  With good care and a few minor tweaks to resolve my minor gripes about it, I hope it lasts me for a really, really long time.


Read more...

New Layout

After having the same header and layout since roughly 2013, I finally have new ones!


This actually started because I thought my very, very, VERY old layout might be causing my photos to show up somewhat blurry in my RSS reader, but I've since ruled that out.  It appears to be a Blogger thing that I haven't quite figured out yet.  Oh well, it was time for a new layout anyway.  You'll just have to click through to see non-blurry pictures I guess.

Thank you Karen for taking my new header photo!

 Take a look around and let me know what you think, and most importantly, if you find anything that's not working correctly for you, please shoot me an email at my spam address, jalean one one at gmail dot com.

Read more...

Getting Connor's Number (Because he sure has mine!)

On Monday, one of my friends shared a Dressage Today article about horses that have trouble coming back after a lengthening in the canter.  The author said horses like this often tend to travel with their outside shoulder to the outside of the hindquarters which gives them the ability to roll along unimpeded (my paraphrasing, I can't find the article now).

I don't know anyone who travels like that WHY DO YOU ASK????

That's something NK has said about us as far back as early 2012 - "This horse likes to travel diagonally!"  And while it's better now, it's still not great, and I've noticed he tends to go really well when I focus on containing the outside shoulder.

Connor's preferred method of travel

So I thought I'd play around with that a bit on my own on Monday night.  I greatly oversimplified it by thinking "I should be able to get 1-2 steps of turn on the forehand feel anytime I want them."  Sometimes I made it a little more dramatic, sometimes it was subtle, but it was non-negotiable. 

Perhaps taking it too far in the opposite direction here, but I needed to get my point across


I have a tendency to ask for something and accept a half-assed response from him, which now that we have things like SI and HI in our tests, is a real, visible problem.  In everything, I can't accept him tuning me out anymore (and really shouldn't have from the beginning).  If you want to see this in action:

This movement is travers (haunches in) from B to M

Okay...

Passable for our first time ever doing this in a test...

Wait what's happening here...
(Please note we are halfway through this travers, which by the way is a double coefficient)

It was a schooling show so we got a generous score and "needs more angle" on this movement, which like...we're not even doing it here so...thanks?  

Back with his shoulder plastered to the rail, because he totally has my number.

Thanks Karen for taking these!

I am not qualified to say whether the ToF idea is the right way to go about things, but we did get our first c-w transition Monday night!  We got it once, and then we weren't able to get it again.  I did 1-2 steps of thinking ToF, then picked up the canter, then asked for it within 5 strides of takeoff.

It's much more difficult for me to get the ToF steps to the left than to the right.  It's partially because my right leg has a tendency to not be on him so he just escapes out that side rather than stepping under, but it's also just his harder direction to get the inside hind (yes, those two things are definitely related, and I am fixing the problems I created!).

Having a "discussion" up the long side

So in conclusion, this is yet another thrilling chapter in the dramatic saga of learning that inside leg to outside rein is important.  You're welcome!

Read more...

2018 Clip #1

When I started full clipping Connor years ago, I usually did the first clip around October 15.  That seemed to be about when we had one final nice warm day before the forecast turned sharply colder, and it was the longest I could hold out before cooling him out after rides started taking forevvvvver.

But the past couple years...

#thanksglobalwarming

We just came off of our hottest and most humid October weekend in history, and that's becoming more the norm than the exception.  Connor's genetics did not prepare him for that, and I felt so bad for the little guy sweating just standing around that I went ahead and clipped last weekend.


I mean...at least he dries fast when it's pushing 90 and windy right?


I tossed around the idea of doing a blanket clip this year, but decided against it.  There's a chance we'll be doing some indoor schooling shows this winter, and we know we can keep him comfortable with a full clip even in the most brutal of winters, so there's really no reason to change it.

He genuinely already had a lot of coat going.

Connor's got a good sense of humor about just about everything, but after a bath, clipping and standing for brushing MTG into his tail, he was d-o-n-e with my reindeer games:

"...can I be done now?"

And since he'll be wearing at least a sheet by the end of the week...


...I went ahead and started his winter MTG routine.  Every winter he rubs the top of his tail on his blankets, but last winter I applied MTG to his tailbone and brushed it through his tail every 2-4 weeks.  It was the first winter he didn't rub his tail, so we're continuing that successful experiment this year.

And it doesn't look long in person but after seeing this picture I will probably be trimming it shorter this week too!

Anyone else clipping already?  Planning on a different clip this year?  What's some of your other winter horse grooming prep?

Read more...