Use code EQUINECOUTURE20S for 20% off EC products!!!
If there is one brand of breeches that I own more than any other it is Equine Couture, for a few reasons. First, the first time I saw a rider wear them, I thought they were super-expensive with the intricate detail, a European-style fit, and the big belt loops. I just thought they were a trendy pair of breeches I couldn’t afford. So, to my surprise most fits of these breeches are actually under $100! They come in great colors, have a conservative detail and piping, and also come in a great fit.
Did I also mention they are super easy to clean? These are one of my few white breeches that will come clean in the wash. The blend detracts dirt!
BLAKELY BREECHES // Sale Price $89.95// Original Price $99.95// I own the Blakely breech in Charcoal as show. The color is perfect to hide some horse nuzzles and dirt!
NATASHA KNEE PATCH BREECHES// Sale Price $89.95// Original Price $99.95// I also own the color pictured left. At one point I think I owned exclusively grey breeches! The pocket is actually a subtle velveteen . Again, the piping is so subtle.
LILLIE BREECHES // Sale Price $80.95 // Original Price $89.95 // So, I thought I would list a pair that weren’t grey! I actually do not own any of the silicone knee patch breeches, but if you are into this trend this is the best pick! (Last I checked, all sizes were available!)
As a nine-to-fiver, even with a few years of good coaching under my belt, there are some imperfect days. On those really awful, tear-inspiring moments, when you are aghast that your lovely animal is suddenly not comprehending the task you are requesting I want to share my own reaction-habits that minimize further dramatic endings. Here are my most effective strategies at handling the sudden miscommunication. Continue reading “Assessing your less-than stellar ride of the day.”→
One of my favorite things to do when growing up in different barns and programs is to pick up little tips of the trade. Grooms each have their own little way they like things done, and with the internet and forums you can pick up so many new tools.
This week, I want to chat about “feet.” Frye received new shoes today. There was a tinge of bitterness as I realized my bank account would be taking the hit, but also a relief to know my mare’s feet look fantastic. I’ve had horses that could go barefoot through training level to horses that needed special pads and suffered several stone bruises. I’ve accumulated quite the tool box to promote a good hoof. Like they say: “No Hoof, No Horse.”
First: You better hire the best farrier you can find.
I think most farriers here charge what they’re worth, and I am happy to pay for the long-term soundness of my horses. Going the cheap route can lead to heartache very very quickly. Not only are you going to be happier your horse is staying in work, but in the long-term you’re going to save quite the penny when you’re not calling out the vet and packing hooves for weeks from bruises.
Second: Post Workout Care
This doesn’t look the same for every horse. In the past, I’ve had horses with extremely thin soles. God Bless the American Thoroughbred. When you’re conditioning on hard-ground or at least when your horse is having more concussion on their soles you want to limit inflammation. We immediately think of icing their legs, but you also want to limit inflammation in the hoof so I ice my horse’s feet as well. I do this after almost every xc school with my current Preliminary OTTB mare.
My mare has pads in her front feet, but if the horse is not wearing pads, I will pack the foot as well. I make a mix of epson salt, betadine, and sometimes DMSO. (Watch out using DMSO during competition season, and use sparingly.) I like Magic Cushionas well. The key here is to think of pulling out any heat and inflammation that may be caused by concussion during a workout.
Third: Moisture Retention and Tough Feet
I get so much satisfaction painting my horse’s feet with hoof oil. I have a few concoctions I’ll share. Does anyone else get so annoyed when your horse has mud caked on the hoof, and you don’t want to get the hoof oil brush dirty? Just me. Ok.
My go-to of hoof hardener has to be: Keratex Hoof Hardener. (This should be in your trunk if your horse has poor feet.) Frye’s feet look fantastic six months in. This will retain the moisture within the foot while strengthening the molecular structure of the outside of the foot. I like this better than other hoof hardeners because the foot can still breathe, it’s not a thick resin. Don’t get it on yourself or the horse’s skin. I keep it in the box, so it’s not likely to spill out.
My DIY hoof mix: Sugardine. I just learned about this through the internet last summer after my mare stepped on a nail and had some bruising on her soles. (Pre-intense hoof research.) This is just a mix of sugar and iodine. It’s been used for ages, and is folklore as one of those household remedies. I like it in a pretty thick paste. Its used again to lesson any possible inflammation as well as infection. You can also use this for wounds, but I keep a little container of a peanut butter consistency and slap it on maybe once a week now for good measure, just all over the foot and sole.
My favorite every day hoof oil, Farrier’s Fix. It’s not super expensive, I believe it provides the right amount of moisture for the hoof, and it also is a great oil to place on before you go in the ring. The hooves will have a nice shine. I benefits the entire hoof and the coronary band. This stays in my grooming bag for a few times a week, while the two above I use more once a week, or when I have specific issues
One thing I did not learn until much later in my riding career is how to pack for the horse show. As a working student with the lovely Blue Clover Eventing team, one valuable golden nugget I took away was how to pack a trunk efficiently so your things stay organized and post-show when you are exhausted you aren’t left with a huge mess.
First: PACK BACKWARDS!
This is key. I have a large trunk that I purchased from Home Depot that I live out of day-to-day. I also use it at shows. So before shows I go through and take out odds and ends that I don’t use like broken spray bottles, or extra vet supplies that I can put on my shelf so only the show necessities will be in my trunk. Then if XC is last I’ll place my xc boots, breastplate, saddle pads, and gear in first, with show-jumping above, then my dressage pad. It is so helpful not to have to dig to the bottom of the trunk at the very beginning of the show. My brushes and things I use each phase will be all on one side.
Second: LAUNDRY BAG
Why did I never bring a laundry bag to shows until I was 25? You know what is gross? Muddy, wet, cross-country boots stuffed in your trunk. Ew. No. You should be washing all of your gear so just throw it in a bag. Honestly, sometime this is an empty feed bag. But have a laundry bag ready. Don’t set your wet tack back in the trailer, or truck, to be misplaced. Then you can heave it all to the laundramat -cough my own laundry machine- to wash together at home.
Third: Lay your saddle pads inside-out.
I can keep all of my tack less saddles neatly in my trunk without fear of anything getting dirty because A. I’m not moving it until that phase because I packed backwards, and B. My saddle pads have their inners out. So if something were to spill it would hit the side that goes on the horse not that the judge would see.
Third: A Drawer of Essentials
In my trunk I have a little sliding drawer at the top. During the day-to-day it gets filled with random odds and ends, but for the show I clean it out and put all my ‘goods’ in there. My good pens and sharpies, hair ties, snaps, safety-pins. The little extras that we all need but are little and get misplaced.
Fourth: Put your number on your halter
I put a round of tape around the haler with my horse’s number. Because do you know what is almost as bad as wet saddle pads? Trotting down centerline with a faded number because your mare didn’t want her head rinsed at the wash rack and you soaked your number. Secondly, this only means moving the number one time from dressage tack to jump tack, unless you cool kids use a different bridle/saddle pad between show-jumping and cross-country. I guess this isn’t necessarily packing related, but it definitely helps keep your life organized.
Fifth & Last Tip to Keep Your Packing Easy to and from Show: A 10 Minute Tidy-Up
At the end of each day, even though I know you’ve put your dirty things in the laundry bag, wipe down and figure-eight your bit and bridle, go ahead and put your dressage saddle and bridle back in the trailer if its a two-day. You know if you have a wash-bucket, put it up so you don’t trip over it. Meeting the girls for Cheap Aiken Mexican can wait the extra 15 minutes to do a once over.