Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ode to Halloween

Well, kids, it's that time of year again, where children and adults alike take to dressing up their beloved horse in some kind of ridiculous costume, to win a ribbon!

Can we all agree that nothing looks more excited than a horse dressed up in a full-blown costume on Halloween?

Here are some of my favorites!

You just can never go wrong dressing up like food.

This is actually the only thing on here that I saw, that I'd actually do...if I wasn't lazy!


Ok, this is only cute because you KNOW this was this little boy's DREAM.

Ok, I have a few problems with this one. First of all, such a SAD Raggedy Andy!!
Second of all...Is it just me, or is he happy to see me?

Oh dear...

Is that a second, fake person??  Don't even get me started on the beak.


Check out the fin-tail!

April Fools!

Look into those big bulging much pain!!!

Oh this a pink panther, or a Playboy Bunny?

Something tells me that this wouldn't end well if there was a massive horse spook.

No comment.

Easily my favorite. LOL.

All Images Credit:

Good gravy, I love Halloween! HEHE

Send me any other glorious costumes you see, and I'll add them to the post! Otherwise....


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mid-Fall Tips & Tricks!

Well, now that it's mid-Fall, I wanted to touch base and share with you the steps I take to prepare my horses for the colder (I say colder because, come on, it's California) months.

As we work our way though Fall, I take the following steps to ensure my horses' health and happiness:

1. When the temperature dips below 55 degrees F at night, I begin to blanket!
Be the envy of your barn...NO WINTER COAT!
Photo Credit:

Since I do not have a threat of snow where I'm at, I just use a simple nylon cooler during Fall & Winter. It's easier for me to handle as far as taking it off, and putting it back on. Also, it's lightweight enough that I can usually leave it on them all day long, until I'm ready to get them out.

Cooler sheets are also great for us SoCal people, because they are on the cheaper end of the blanket range, and they warm horses just enough that their bodies are tricked not to grow a winter coat! HA! Take that Mother Nature.  That being said, though, make sure you are appropriately blanketing for whatever your climate is...Check around your barn to see how other people are blanketing, or ask your local tack store, barn manager, whoever has been around in your climate.

2. Just like us girls, hibernating in the Fall & Winter and all, it's OK to let your horse put on an extra few pounds during this time.

FYI, this is too much weight.
Photo Credit:

This overall keeps your horse happier and warmer. Think about it - the term "Fat & Happy" didn't just fall from the sky!  I tend to ride a bit less when it's cold out (read: I'm a wuss), therefore my horse is exercising a bit less day-to-day.  This added weight gain will help keep their body temperature up when they are simply sitting out in pasture, or in their stall, inactive.

OK - Disclaimer - This DOESN'T mean add an extra flake to their only means to be conscious of what they're eating, and add a BIT here and there. I don't need a bunch of angry people with fat cows on my hands saying "But you said!!!".  You're NOT doing your horse any favors by making them tote around you + a big belly full of food.

3. Make sure that your horse has adequate shelter from the elements.  

Perfect. This is exactly what I mean.
Photo Credit:
This one's pretty simple. If you pasture your horse, at least make sure they have a lean-to, or some other form of shelter, so that if they CHOOSE to, they can run and hide from any rain, winds, etc.  Easy, right?  If they're stalled, make sure that there are no leaks in their roof...blah blah blah.

4. Preserve their fan for next year!

My horses all live in indoor stalls.  It gets HOT in Spring & Summer, so each of them have their own hanging fan in the corner of their stalls...Each time it gets cold, I take those down, clean them, and store them until I need them again.  For SOME reason, if I leave them up all Fall & Winter, when I go to turn them on come Spring, I have about a 50/50 chance that it will turn on and function...WHYYY that is, I have no idea, but it's just a thing, so don't get lazy and just do it.  (Note to self, practice what you preach and do your fan, Brianne)

5. Check with your vet about supplementing your horse.

I am NOT a vet, so I don't want to advise anything here, other than to double check with your vet to make sure that you are properly feeding your horse for the colder months.  Every once in a while, I had a vet tell me to feed this grain or that supplement, especially when my horses were in Kentucky, where it's COOOOLLLDDD.

Also important, is to have them double-checked for worms if you don't rotate on a worming schedule already (They need their extra feed, it doesn't need to feed an internal worm right now...).  Blood work, fecal work, etc.

6. While you're at it...Make sure they have access to "working" water.

If you're gonna give your horse frozen anything, at least make it a margarita. Rule of thumb.
Photo Credit:
Now, I don't have to worry about this here in SoCal, but when I lived in Kentucky, I had to put a water heater contraption in the bottom of my water trough for the horses. If you live in a FREEZING place, make sure that your horses have access to melted water. Duh.

There are several ways to do this, whether you really feel like going out and stirring it, or replacing it every few hours, purchase an automated system (can be pricey!!), or pay someone else to do it, it's your responsibility. I don't think I even have to say that...

Grand Finale:  The most important thing to remember as we transition into the cooler seasons, is that no matter where you live, horses are naturally designed to survive through these months. With or without human interference.  "But my horse has never lived in the wild!!!" Well, obviously, but that doesn't take the NATURE out of a horse.  YOU know your horse better than I do, though, and some DO need that special attention. Typically it's older horses, or other horses who are generally known as NON easy keepers...You know if you have one of just do.  For example, my two Quarter Horses are definitely easy keepers, and I didn't even OWN a blanket for either of them when they lived in the snow in Kentucky. They didn't even blink an eye.

Bottom line is, don't stress yourself, or your wallet, out when it comes to preparing for these new seasons, but be conscious of what your horse MAY need, as the new season arises!

Happy Fall, and get out there and enjoy the most beautiful trail scenery you will see all year!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Product Review - Calm Coat Products

I told you this blog would be random.

Not too often do I feel crazy passionately about a product, so much that I want to sit down and write a whole essay about it. Especially for no reason at all...but THIS product has quickly become a staple in my daily horse beauty regimen.

I was introduced to it through a barn friend of mine, who made the entire barn aisle smell sooo good with it. The product? MannaPro's Calm Coat Detangler & Shine.

My hero.
Photo credit:
1. Right off the bat, it smells like a tropical paradise. The kind where you're sitting on the beach with a strong Pina Colada, and your horse is being groomed in the background by a striking young man with an accent, dressed in a banana hammock...THAT kind of paradise.

2. Everything they promise on the label, they deliver. It keeps your horse, well...umm...detangled and shiny.  Literally. Even if you DON'T use it daily, let's face it, sometimes we just wanna brush really quick and get on with life, the results LAST.

Sometimes I'll pull Hatchet out of his stall, and OMG this horse is a dirt & dust (and pigeon poop) magnet, and with one swipe of a brush, this guy is shiny!  I still get compliments on him even if he hasn't had a decent bath in 3-4 weeks! Miracles, I tell you.

I've used an array of detangler & shine products, like Cowboy Magic & ShowSheen, and I promise you, this product surpasses both.  Both Cowboy Magic & ShowSheen worked that day, but over time, I found my horses hair overall to get more and more dry & brittle. Different chemicals, I suppose.

3. A little bit goes a long way.  I spray this everywhere. EVERYWHERE.  I soak their manes and tails in it, then spray it across their bodies and legs.  I only finger comb their manes, and it helps a LOT.  It also keeps their manes and tails conditioned so they will GROW longer & faster! (I'll fill you in on the supplements I use to help this also, in a later post)

1. This product doesn't grow on trees. :(

Their entire magical line.
Photo credit:
They offer several smell-good products in their line, and also offer bulk sizes, since we all know horse people are tack and grooming product hoarders (The first step is admitting it)...

A friend of mine has tried their "Calm Eyes" Eye Cleanser, and loves it as well.  Cleared up any boogers and runny fluid ASAP - actually just as well or even better than the expensive solution her vet had her purchase (There's a bummer).

OK there's always a catch, right? Too good to be true, and things like that.

WELL, my barn friends and I came to find out that they only offer their "Natural Fly Repellant" seasonally, so make sure to grab extras when summer rolls around, in case your Summer is a bit longer, like us lucky SoCal people.  That's it. Can't find anything else wrong with this line!

Now, where to purchase this miracle product?  I'm sure you've seen it, or maybe overlooked it at your local tack store. It's pretty mainstream. BUT I always throw mine in with my auto-shipment on so it ships for FREE (remember that I buy in bulk...that problem I have). Ta da! Problems somewhat solved.  It's also available on other horse-themed websites, but this is my niche.

What is your all-time favorite grooming product?? Spill!

Oh, and maybe some legal jargon? I was not paid for this, nor is this a sponsored post. Just a crazy girl wanting to share her secrets!

My Day to Day - LAEC

My day to day with the horses, on weekdays, starts at about 6pm.  During the week, I work 40 hours in an office to support my habit, and then drive the 6 blocks down the road to my boarding stables.  Usually when I arrive, the sun is just about setting, or will set within a few hours - depending on what time of the year.  To any diehard horse lover like me, the sun setting is NOT a reason to leave the barn! :)

I park, change my clothes, and walk down the aisles to the babies....On a good day, I'm greeted with deep, low whinnies and stares, as they watch my every move, and scan me for a bag of carrots or some treats.  On a bad day, I'm blown off, and sometimes not even acknowledged until I pull one of them out of their stalls. I swear they talk.

I greet all three, Hatchet, Rio, & Regina, and then visit with my barn friends and their horses.  Our barn has a small arena, but really, I seldom ride in it. It's juuuust barely big enough for 2-3 people to ride in, but really perfect for a quick turnout (so you get the idea...tragic).  Besides that, I grew up ONLY riding in arenas, NEVER out on trail, so the rebel in me wants to constantly be out!!  I usually tack up whoever I'm riding, and go out on the trails!

Los Angeles Equestrian Center (LAEC) has a really nice perimeter trail. Yep, you guessed it, it goes around the perimeter of the center. See it down below?  Bridle Trail...

Photo credit:
To ride the entire trail takes about a half hour, or 20 minutes if you're galloping (shhh).  BUT you'll notice that on the top right and left of the map, there are little legs of the trail that go off into the distance...THAT'S where the fun is. Access to ALL trails of Griffith Park...HOURS of trails, and you'll never see the same area twice.  SOLD.

So, as you can see, depending on the amount of time I have each night, it's really easy to find places to ride.  The Center is always a buzz, so it's never a dull moment!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Expectations for this blog...

…for myself! I want this to be a free space where I can share whatever photos, quotes, thoughts, videos, happy times, struggles…blah blah. I want whoever follows to be a part of my journey, and my life with these horses!

Expect a lot. I have a lot of history I want to post on here, so it can be recorded, and I also have a lot of new stuff that happens daily that I want to post up, sometimes while it’s happening!

I’m excited!! Bottom line…

So I suppose I started a blog... what?? ;)