A Horse Box: May 2016 Box Review

I got my first ever box from A Horse Box last month. I signed up for a 3 month subscription. Do I need it? No, but it is fun to receive surprises in the mail every month. Boxes start at $25.99 per month for a 6 month subscription. A 3 month subscription is slightly more at $27.99 per month and you can get a box for a single month for $29.99. They also have a Barn Box and a Tack Box, which is a one time box that changes seasonally.

A Horse Box, of the monthly variety, contains 4 to 6 hand picked items. Some are full size and some are samples. They have items from well known brands, as well as items from up and coming brands.

I was really excited to receive my box. Upon first glance, it’s just a plain, little brown box. The packaging was not great. The tape was torn on one side of the box and instead of being sealed with tape, it was sealed with a plastic mailing sleeve, which I thought was interesting.

This is what was in the box:
-Absorbine Santa Fe Coat Conditioner& Sunscreen (full size bottle – retail $10.64 to $14.95)
-Farnam Endure Roll on Fly Repellent (retail $7.69 to $8.50)
-First Companion Equi-Dex Electrolyte in Apple (12 oz sample package)
-Leather Therapy Wash (8 oz) (retail $8.02 to $9.14)
-A Sample Package of Omega Nibblers Horse Treats (4 treats)

There was also a magazine on the bottom, as well as some information about the electrolytes that were included.

Everything arrived in good condition, but the package of electrolytes had a tiny tear on the back of it that caused some powder to spread around the box.
After seeing another blogger’s review, I did not received the Slick and Easy Grooming Block, or A Horse Box SPF chapstick, or the May 2016 A Horse Box Information card. I’m now a little disappointed, as I thought all boxes were supposed to be the same.

Flashback Friday: Introducting Joker

I posted about my first horse as an adult here: Rest in Peace and Run free my red man shortly after he passed away, but I’m going to post the story of how Joker, my first horse owned as an adult, entered my life.

I have been pretty fortunate to always have horses to ride. I’ve known a lot of really generous people and have been able to ride several horses in Kansas for little to no cost. There have been 3 barns I’ve ridden with and I met Joker in 2010 at the second barn I rode with.

I only remember seeing him a couple times. His owner at the time, like me, was riding some of the sale horses at the barn. In October of 2010, she posted something on Facebook saying that she was looking to re-home her two horses. One, a paint gelding that was later purchased by my friend and the other one, a red TB gelding who at the time was named Nashville. She didn’t have his papers and wasn’t 100% sure how old he was. She let me take him for a month long trial and I fell in love.

Now to clarify, Joker was not perfect. I was told when I tried him that he had a rearing problem. The kind of rearing problem where he reared and his owner got off. It took about a month and half for the rearing problem to appear for me. It never was all out rearing though. He was built extremely uphill and would hop up when he didn’t want to do something. He also would pull the same crap while lunging and it took some help from a friend to actually get him to lunge decently. He also pulled the same crap while jumping. He’d hop up and down on the way to the jump. He was a challenge to say the least. He wasn’t the most personable, but I could hop on him and do anything. Trail riding? Definitely. Jumping bareback? so much fun. XC schooling: he loved it.

We didn’t do a lot of showing. We did one local H/J show, a CT at a recognized event (just BN), one more local H/J show and finally a full event at BN.

Joker steadily improved while I owned him. After about a year and a half, he decided he’d quit his rearing crap all together and never did it again.

When I made the very difficult decision to sell him, I knew that selling him to a jumping home would be hard. A local trainer took him on trial and from what I remember about the ordeal, he ended up pretty overwhelmed. Gymnastics were a bit over his head. I continued riding him and taking lessons at a local barn. Out of the blue, my friend called me and asked if a friend of hers could come see Joker. It had been raining, it was muddy and I hadn’t touched him in 4 days. He was a champ.

The rider who had come to see him was an older adult looking for a horse to last her the rest of her riding lifetime. She came back a second time with another trainer and decided she wanted to go ahead and do a vet check. In the mean time, I got my DNA Results back from the Jockey Club and discovered that Joker was a 2003 Thoroughbred Gelding named No Carbs.

The Vet check was coincidentally scheduled on my birthday and I was a blubbering mess. He passed with satisfactory results, so he was off to his new home.

I stayed in touch with his new owner, who is one of the nicest people I’ve ever known. I visited him two or three times while she had him and even got to ride him once. He was a special boy and he came a long way.

Unfortunately Joker had some chronic lameness issues. After many diagnostics and several months of being uncomfortable, it was discovered that he had degenerative arthritis in his neck and his shoulder. He was not going to get better. Joker crossed the rainbow bridge on February 27th of 2015. I could not have asked for him to have a better owner. I still miss him and think of him often.

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Joker being his awkward self

 

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Joker and I, Christmas 2010

 

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Sometime early 2011

 

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Summer 2011…who needs their eyes open? Not Joker.

 

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Pretty trot, Joker

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BN Combined Test, August 2011

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January 2012

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September 2012

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One final ride

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The day Joker left for his new home: September 26, 2012

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Joker the Dressage Horse

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Rest in Peace, Big Guy

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Happy 8th Birthday, Dexter and Bath Day

Dexter turned 8 on Saturday. I spent all day in bed not feeling very well, so my plans of doing more with Dexter went out the window. He did get lots of treats, he got groomed and he got a sloppy brand mash that he shared with Sassy. I don’t think he knows what a birthday is, but he looked content anyway.

It was a bit warmer yesterday than on Saturday, do Dexter and Sassy both got their first baths of the year. I had washed their tails once this year so far, but they hadn’t gotten a full bath yet.

Thankfully both of them are pretty cooperative, even though we don’t have the luxury of hot water. Dexter was up first. I washed him with a combination of tea tree shampoo and vetrolin bath. He was very dirty. I rinsed him, applied Eqyss Premier conditioner to his tail, then washed him again with a Mrs. Conn’s Bath Day sponge. We got the Desert Quencher. A little goes a long way with these sponges. The shampoo smells really good and it foams well. It will definitely last for more than one bath, even though I used it on Dex and Sassy.

Sassy got her bath next. She was slightly less cooperative about having her face washed, but was still pretty good about it. She has a long, thick mane, so her mane got conditioner as well as her tail.

Also a little plug for Teddy’s Tack Trunk who is currently having a sale on bath products. With code BATH, you get 10% off all bath time supplies through May 31st. They also have $2.99 shipping on all US orders, which you can’t beat. My order arrived in only two days and it was shipped the same day I ordered it. I also got a bottle of Pyranha Zero-Bite Natural Insect Repellent, which so far seems to be working better than the Absorbine Ultrashield Sport Continuous Fly Sprayx than I have been using. It’s made with essential oils, not chemicals. It gets kind of foamy when you spray it which is different, but I find the smell to be different, yet fairly pleasant. I’m not hopeful the bottle will last an extremely long time, but thankfully it’s priced very reasonably, especially at TTT.

What I love about horses when it comes to not riding them

So I haven’t ridden my horse since April 3rd. Yes you read that right, I haven’t been on my horse for 6 1/2 weeks. I didn’t even realize it had been quite that long until I looked at my calendar. Originally the break was supposed for be two weeks, but then I got sick, the heavy rains came in and then my horse decided to cut up his right hind leg. Then it rained some more, I lacked time and motivation and here we are.

While I do love to ride, because it does always put a smile on my face, I honestly have gotten to the point where I really enjoy being around horses more than I actually enjoy riding them.

Dexter, while not the most broke or best trained horse is just a very easy horse to be around. He comes when I call him, he lets me kiss he nose (though I don’t think he actually likes it) and he seems to enjoy just being messed with.

He is pretty good at ground tying though I’m not sure he was actually taught. He just does it. So most of the time when I go out to mess with him, I don’t tie him up. He’s used to me messing with him and 9.5 times out of 10 does not move. Picking out his feet? No problem. Fly spraying? No problem. Putting ointment on his cut up back leg? Ground tying champion. I often groom with him ground tied as well.

Dexter is a very good minded, willing horse. He is very willing to try new things and figure out what you’re asking. Excellent qualities for a horse who had never been anywhere in his life and was started so late.

Most days it’s just the quiet of spending time with my buddy. The hugs, the grooming, just watching him play with his pony friend Sassy. He trotted right up to me the other night and followed me around while I was filling hay nets. Honestly, even though I don’t ride him much, I can’t imagine my life without him.

Dexter turns 8 on May 21st. I plan to make him a horsey birthday cake and give him some pampering. I sure love my black horse.

Kastel Denmark Krystal short sleeve polo: first impressions

Kastel Denmark is pretty awesome. I love everything I own that is Kastel. So when I entered a contest on Facebook last week to win one of their new short sleeve polos, I was certainly crossing my fingers that I would win. Somehow the stars aligned and I did. Once I was contacted by Kastel, I sent an email, discussed options and my purple with light purple short sleeve krystal polo was on its way!

I got the polo today and as soon as I pulled it out of the package, I realized it looked really small. I decided to try it on anyway, and though the exact same thing once I put it on. All of my long sleeve Kastel shirts are size large. I am between 5’6″ and 5’7″ and approximately a size 8. Because I don’t like things tight on my mid section, I usually size up. In most things I buy a large, but I can wear a medium. In some things a medium is perfect.

Well, the size large in this is a different cut entirely. It’s short, really clingy on my mid section and the sleeves are way tighter than I’d like them to be. Needless to say that when I put this on, it looked nothing like the shirt did on the website.

So I sent a couple pictures of the shirt to Jody at Kastel and said I liked it, but was not crazy about the fit. She graciously agreed to exchange it, so a new one should be on its way soon. There’s just something about ordering an XL that makes me feel like I’ve gained a ton of weight (no offense to anyone who does wear an XL, that’s just never been my size). Here’s to hoping the new one fits better.

So in short, definitely size up on this one.

In the left is me in the shirt, on the right is definitely not me in the shirt.

lame horses, mud, wounds and winning!

We have been doing a whole lot of nothing lately. Dexter was looking reasonably sound on his left hind after 3 weeks off, but then he decided to scrape the crap out of his right hind leg. Just to keep things even you know. We got over 5″ of rain last week, so things are still kind of swampy. The leg is looking better and he appears to be more sound. Now for things to dry up and me to not have anymore injuries. Then maybe we’ll ride again.

My first aid kit was really sucky prior to last week. So I ordered some items from Riding Warehouse and paid $5 for two day air shipping, since my order was over $50. I got some Banixx to try, as well as some Zephyr’s Garden Healing Salve I. Both seem to be working really well. I also got a roll of cotton and some medicated gauze. The Banixx and the Zephyr’s Garden healing salve have made a big difference.

 

Left is last week Monday, right is last Saturday (we started the Banixx/Zephyr’s routine on Wednesday evening)

The scraped leg is looking better, but I’m still not sure how sound he is on the left hind. Maybe unsound isn’t the right word, but hitchy more like it. Once I get my ring dragged, I’ll stick him on the lunge and see how he looks. Fingers crossed it won’t be a bunch of money spent on diagnostics.

I’ve also injured myself several times lately. I’m pretty accident prone and always have been, but I went a while without hurting myself. Until last week. I’m covered in bruises from running into things. Then Dexter spooked when I was in his shed the other day, spun right, ran into me and knocked me backwards. Then he took off. I hit the dirt pretty hard. I haven’t found any bruises, but I am sore. My right hip was the main point of impact, but my back, my arms and my neck really hurt. My neck is probably the most sore. It’s always something.

One tiny piece of good news! Kastel Denmark had a Facebook/Instagram drawing for one of their new short sleeved polos. Somehow the stars aligned and I won on Facebook! So this pretty shirt is on its way to me.

My brain never stops

So, I’ve mentioned my horse has been off. His left hock seems to be the main issue, but his left hind in general has been sore. He’s been on bute for 5 days (out of a total of 7). He moves okay, but is not looking markedly better.

Vet said to try and go back to work a bit more slowly this time. So he’ll get ridden at the end of the course of bute and we’ll see if he’s looking better. I’m not extremely hopeful though. I guess at least he’s not dead lame, but he is visibly uncomfortable.

So here’s how my thought process goes:
What if he needs xrays?
What if he needs a joint injection?
How much does all of this cost?
Is he going to be lame forever?
What about adequan or legend?
Will acupuncture help? What about chiropractic?

None of it at all helpful. I just stress myself out. So I’ll try a light ride this weekend, then contact the vet. The perils of being an over-thinker.

….Radio Silence….

Sorry for the lack of updates. I rode my horse multiple times in a week and a half period, which is fairly unusual for me. In the process, it was evident that he wasn’t feeling his best, particularly with the saddle I was borrowing. He looked better in my saddle, but still not great.

I took him over to my old trainer’s barn on Sunday and my friend and I both rode him. He felt okay, but still didn’t look great. He looked worse further into the ride and when we put the borrowed saddle on him.

Here are my thoughts:
1) He’ll go in the borrowed saddle (a Luc Childeric Model M), but it doesn’t feel great. It must be somehow pinching him or sitting funny.
2) I also think this may be exercise induced, since he has been working more lately.

The vet was already coming this upcoming Saturday for annual stuff, but she’s going to look at him. I think it’s a stifle issue that’s always been pretty evident. Not even that it hurts him, but the left hind does not move and fluid as the right. I’m hoping consistent work and maybe the addition of chiropractic or acupuncture may help, but the fact is I’m not an expert. So I’ll leave the diagnostics and the treatment ideas to the vet.

I don’t think he’s lame, like dead lame, more like it’s obvious he’s not moving the best and hopefully there’s a solution. Preferably one that isn’t going to cost a lot of money in diagnostics or treatment. Not that he’s not worth it, but unfortunately by horse budget doesn’t have a lot of room for diagnostics or treatment.

So he’s had this week off. Partly to let him rest and partly because it has been miserably windy every single day. I don’t like doing anything in 50 mph wind gusts, let alone try to ride.

Hopefully next week I’ll have a better update.

What’s in My Tack Trunk?

As posted about previously by: Breeches and Boat ShoesEquestrian at HartThe $900 Facebook Pony and possibly others that I’ve not read about yet, I’m finally posting my version. As always, I’m late to the party.

I have stuff in several different places, but this post just includes my tack room/garage. I have things in the hay shed, the shed at my house, my horse trailer and my garage at home. We’ll worry about those later.

My main trunk is a Horseman’s Pride Tack Trunk. It’s not pretty, but it holds a lot. It could hold more than what I have in it, but I don’t like stacking stuff on top of each other unless I absolutely have to. #OCDprobs

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Before I start listing off all that is in here, let me preface things by saying: I have an obsession with totes, boxes and containers. Always have, always will. So there are a lot of individual containers in my tack trunk.I also hate clutter, so this helps contain the clutter.

In addition to the tack trunk, I have: a saddle rack, a blanket rack, a small box with leg wraps/boots, food containers and a recliner that holds Dexter’s blankets. I know, it’s really classy. Eventually my husband will build me an area I can keep my stuff, but until then, this is what I have. It’s not ideal, it’s not fancy, but it works. And that’s what counts.

When you open up my trunk, you’ll see a tray on the right, a white basket, three totes with lids and some other things stashed down below.

Starting with the tray on top, this is what’s in my trunk:
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Outside of the trunk:
-Saddle Rack with my western saddle and saddle pad

-Purple Horze Grooming box on the lower part of the rack containing:
-SMB splint boots (on top in the picture)
-White Saratoga Wraps
-Blue Saratoga Wraps
-Pair of Coolmax No Bows
-Pair of black standing bandages
-Set for 4 black Smartpak polos with initals monogrammed on them

Dexter’s Blankets:
-Saxon Stable Blanket
-Pessoa Turnout Sheet
-Rhino Medium Weight Wug
-Rambo Protector Fly Sheet

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Blanket Rack:
-Eskadron Dralon Cooler
-SS Tack Fleece Blanket Liner for Sassy
-Sassy’s Amigo Bravo Turnout Sheet

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Bridle Rack:
-Balancing Side Reins (made by a local saddle maker)
-PS of Sweden Flat Out Revolution Bridle with Myler french link eggbutt
-PS of Sweden Reins
-Split reins
-Pair of continuous reins from the same local saddle maker as the side reins
-Leather Halter (Dexter size)
-Leather Halter (Sassy size)
-Rope Halter
-Royal blue cotton lead rope
-Light blue and white Eskadron Lead
-Cowboy Decor Headstall with Myler Bit
-Cowboy Decor Headstall with no bit

Throwback Thursday – Christmas Eve

I generally love Christmas, but last year (2014) was a bit rough. I took my horse for a ride down the road, to my husband’s grandparents’ house, through the woods, across the road and to my brother in law’s. My husband was leading Sassy the pony the entire ride.

After we stopped at my brother in law’s, we went back down the driveway and were going to take a shortcut across the alfalfa field to put the horses back in their pen at my father in law’s.

There was a funky, very old stock trailer parked on the corner of the alfalfa. And an electric fence. We walked between the trailer and the fence and then Dexter began to snort and back towards the fence. He didn’t like the trailer.

Anyhow, the fence was on. He backed into the fence kicked up his hind end, spun to the left and took off towards the gravel driveway. The spin got me sitting on the very back of the saddle. I eventually slid off his right side. landed on the driveway on my side and skidded. Worst road rash of my life.

Dexter took off, but didn’t go very far. Poor little horse.

These first two pictures weren’t taken that same day, but were taken within a couple week prior to the fall.

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Then my poor skinned, swollen and bruised knees and my scraped up helmet. The helmet went in the trash after the fall.

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Wearing pants was pretty rough for a while and I have a couple of scars. That was my second concussion, so the few days following the fall were pretty rough that way too.

Yes, I did replace my helmet and the old one went in the trash.

I’m not sure why this was saved in drafts and not ever posted, but since it is Thursday, I’ll go ahead and post it now.