Friday, March 16, 2012

Equine Essentials

We all have favorite things that we use at home, while traveling, in the barn. As I have gotten older, I have become very opinionated about the products I used for the horses and when I ride.  There are just certain brands that I use, period.  Maybe I should be more open-minded but hey, if it works, why mess around with it?

For example, at home I only use Baker sheets for the horses.  These are classic, wear well, are a good weight and they look good on the horses. Sega, Alfie and April each have one. 

For linament, I use only two things:  just plain old alcohol and Sore No More. I am a firm believer in using simple products that are cheap but work (alcohol, witch hazel) but I also use Sore No More for the tough workouts, after a show, and just to mix things up a bit.

For wraps, I only use two brands, Back on Track and Wilkers. I have one set of Back on Track wraps so when I take two horses to shows, I have to switch off using them.  They are expensive but this tends to work.  The Back on Track brand uses magnetic therapy to increase blood flow and circulation.  So I use these mostly when I show.  I use Wilkers wraps with leg bandages for shipping and for use after workouts or any jumping at shows. 

I use only leather Walsh halters. I like the thinner ones.  They last forever. I just picked April's up from being repaired, again.

Rambo blankets are the only ones I buy. Yes, I stray every now and then but I always come back. Buy them on Ebay. 

Most of the year I ride in string gloves.  I just have learned to love using these. It is getting harder to find good ones, as I most be the only one outside the hunt field that rides in them.  I always wear gloves when I ride, no matter what.

At home and at shows where there is mud, I ride in Professional Choice girths.  These last forever, are relatively inexpensive and they look good on the horse. Use the brown ones.  At the A and AA shows, unless it is muddy, I use a leather fleece lined girth.

I ride in a light quilted saddle pad at home (mostly pads won at shows) with a fleece pad under my saddle, from Fleeceworks. I have two of them, Alfie won them both at shows, and one is thicker than the other but I like them and want extra support directly under the saddle.

I have one Jimmy's 20th Century Bridle for Sega, one with a thick stitched noseband.  The newer ones are not of the same quality as the older ones (at least that is what I am told) and they are very expensive.  It looks wonderful on Sega and it fits April so I am hoping that she will inherit it.  Other companies are now making ones that look just like these but at one time this was the gold standard.
I won't go into riding clothes too much as that is personal and depends so much on what fits. But I show in Ariat breeches, Grand Prix coats, and Vogel boots.  But I did buy a pair of Ariat boots this winter (and I love them) and I am thinking about venturing out beyond Grand Prix this year for coats.  The new microfibre fitted coats are all the rage now!  I feel like I am getting dated, like a house that has not been redecorated in a while (you must have granite!)
Enjoy your Friday. Lovely warm weather here in Virginia.  Now if I could just catch Sega so I could ride her!

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