A few of my favorite things

It’s spring shopping season and I’ve picked up a few things for myself and my horses recently that I’m really loving. Here are a few of my favorite items so far.

2014-04-12 08.22.45Higher Standards Leather Care – I kept seeing a topic on the Chronicle Forums pop up about a user who started her own business making saddle soap. Someone in the office tried it when we wrote a story about her, and with plenty of rave reviews on the Forums, I decided to try some.

The soap is made of natural ingredients and you can choose your scent from rosemary mint, lavender vanilla, citrus ginger or unscented. I picked lavender vanilla, which is pleasant, but not over-powering. The 8oz jar, which will last me a really long time, comes with a nice sponge. I’ve barely made a dent so far, but it does clean my tack and leaves it moisturized. It’s not too sudsy, which is a pet peeve of mine. I hate when suds get in the holes of my bridles and stirrup leathers, so this is perfect!

2014-04-12 08.13.35Shedding block – I didn’t clip Oh So for the first time ever this spring and this is a miracle worker for getting all of his hair out. Just scrape off the hair, brush on the concrete aisle to rough up the edges, and repeat.

 

 

2014-04-12 09.17.45Back On Track Polo Wraps

As Oh So has come back into work, I decided to start using polo wraps for our trot work and decided to invest in a pair of Back On Track ones. Similar to the BOT blanket and hock boots I have, I’ve never really seen a night and day difference with the ceramic-infused fabric, but I figure, why not?

I tried the 12ft and they were way to long, so I went with 9ft, which are plenty for Oh So’s average leg. They claim to be stretchier than traditional wraps, but I’ve found they’re not because the edges are stitched. They need to be put on perfectly even and straight or you’ll get some looser spots. They stay on through our workout though and his legs are warm when we finish, which is a result of the ceramic fabric reflecting the heat back into the leg.

Pile Lined Boots-500x500Horze Pile-Lined Boots

Ever since Oh So had a bad skin reaction from wearing neoprene boots last summer, I’ve been on the lookout for a different kind of turn out boot. I found these at Horze.com for a reasonable price and decided to try them for Bear first.

They’re lined with fleece and extremely lightweight. They have two velco straps, which are much easier than trying to do three hook and loop straps every morning. His legs were pretty dry after a few warm days outside, but I haven’t tested them in wet weather yet. They don’t have a big shock absorber on the inside like some splint boots have, but they’re thick enough that I think the trade-off for no neoprene is worth it. They run a little large, so I bought mediums for Oh So and Bear’s front legs. The large’s were very large.

advancedbellbootdove_1Horze Advanced Bell Boots

Bear was in need of some durable bell boots for jumping so I tried these affordable no-turn boots from Horze.com. They’re made of a thick neoprene and also run a bit large. The double-lock velcro is very strong and they stay in place. They also feature ventilation holes to keep air flowing. So far, so good for riding and I think they would be a good choice for turn out too.

Product Review: Premier Equine Magnetx Boot Wraps

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With Oh So’s recent injury, I decided to look into a new set of magnetic boots. Although I know there’s not a lot of scientific proof that they work, magnets are thought to reduce inflammation and increase circulation. I figure, it couldn’t hurt right? Because I liked Premier Equine’s cross-country boots, I decided I’d give their Magnetx Boot Wraps a try.

I bought a size large for him and they seem to fit well. The boots have a blue pillowy cotton interior and an SMB boot-type exterior made of micro-holed neoprene with stretchy straps to keep them on. The bottom strap cups the fetlock while the three other straps wrap around the front of the leg. It’s important to note that the neoprene doesn’t actually touch the horse’s leg, so if you have a horse with a neoprene allergy or sensitive skin, you should be safe.

The inside of the boots have four magnetic patches and you can shift the boot if you want to target a certain area.

Since the boots are bulky, I wouldn’t want to use them during turnout. Oh So wore them for several hours at a time in his stall and they stayed up nicely and while his leg was warm when I took them off, it wasn’t hot or sweating.

As far as design, the Premier Magnetx Boot Wraps are similar to Back On Track’s Quick Wraps, but are about $10 cheaper.

Premier Equine recommends having your horse wear them for an hour a day and gradually build up the amount of time he wears them.

It’s tough to say whether these boots are helping heal Oh So’s injury faster. I’ve heard people say Back On Track standing wraps have made their horse’s stocked up legs go down in a day, but I don’t think I’m going to see any obvious signs with these boots, or any magnetic boots for that matter.

Despite that, they’re a well-made, reasonably priced set of boots that can be used as another therapeutic tool in your tack box!

Product Review: Prolite Relief Pad

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I recently had a new saddle fitter out to check Oh So’s Albion jump saddle. When she saw the set-up I had (which included a ThinLine half pad with double shims in all pockets and three yoga-mat type squares that the last saddle fitter had cut to raise the seat up a bit), she recommended the Prolite Relief Pad. I’d never even heard of the brand, so I checked it out online and saw that the company was based in the UK.

I’ve grown unhappy with my Thinline sheepskin half pad because it’s starting to come apart in places, less than two years after buying it. I’ve been washing it with Thinline’s special sheepskin soap and taking care of it the best I can, but it’s starting to flatten out a bit too. Whenever I use it with my jump saddle, I have to attach the keepers to the D-rings on the saddle so it won’t slip out the back (which has almost happened).

The saddle fitter let me try to Prolite pad this past week and I’m hooked. I got the wide relief version to use under both of my saddles because it seems to fill in the slight hollow that Oh So has behind his shoulders and withers. She also reflocked the saddle, which was originally custom fit for Sam, but I’ve been trying to make it work without having to buy a new saddle.

With the combination of the Prolite pad and a little readjustment, my saddle doesn’t slip anymore when we jump big fences and the pad stayed in place without having to use the keepers.

Another feature of the Prolite pad that appeals to me is the three pockets for the shim pads. My Thinline one only had two pockets, so being able to have more options is nice. For now, I’m using one shim in the front and middle pockets, and two in the back, which eliminates the need for the yoga mats that I used to use. The channel for his spine is wider, so I think that help the whole pad fit better under his saddle, and since it’s a bit wider, it seems to distribute the pressure over a larger surface.

The shims themselves are a bit thicker than the Thinline ones. Time will tell if they flatten out, but so far, this pad has been a great investment.