Friday, December 27, 2013

The Horse Junkie's New Years Resolutions (That I WILL keep!)

So, is it more "traditional" to keep New Years resolutions, or to break them? I'm thinking the latter. Well, for me anyways.

Every year, for myself, I try and come up with a few random New Years resolutions that I will TRYYYY to stick to, as the New Year comes around.  I will NOT get lazy, I will NOT eat second helpings of everything, I WILL workout more, or at least go for a walk every now and know how it goes. Or doesn't.
If THAT graphic doesn't get you
pumped, then there's NO hope for you.

Image source: Pinterest
So here's the thing. Now I have this blog, and if I write it up here on the internet, it MUST be true, and it MUST be happening! You guys will hold me accountable, right? That being said, here are some horse/barn/whatever resolutions for myself for New Years! Feel free to chime in and do them with me!

1. I will TRY to write & share more on this blog.

Let's see. I started this website and a Facebook for a reason, right? Oh yeah, because I wanted to do this. I wanted to be a part of the online Equestrian community...tapping into this rich culture of riders around the world, to share and learn things about these amazing creatures, laughing at each other's stories, sharing neat ideas & products, etc.  So, I should actually do it. ACTIVELY. Starting with this blog post :).

2. I will TRY to take better care of my tack.

I can't be the only person reading this that loathes cleaning and oiling tack. There are SO many other fun things to do with horses than taking care of tack.  BUT it's also sort of embarrassing to be the only one on trail squeaking down the road because your tack is sooo dry. (Is THAT why I ride bareback most of the time??) Don't worry, I'll make it easy on myself right off the bat. I can just use wipes or sprays or whatever to start off with...We don't need to jump right off into the deep end immediately. Big ol' baby.

3. I will TRY to get my guys on a better, more consistent de-worming plan.
I don't know about you, but my horses are a
little more dramatic when I deworm them.

Image source:
OK, here's the thing.  My horses get dewormed quarterly, so 4 times a year. BUT I usually just grab whatever wormer is closest or most handy or cheapest.  That's all fine and dandy, but it's not.  The parasites in horses' bodies can get immune to certain wormers if they're used consecutively (Anthelmintic resistance), or too often. Also, different parasites live in different seasons, so in order to be covered for parasites in Summer, for example, you'd need a specific medication to kill the little buggers.  Or, if I'm feeling extra-on top of things, I can consult with my veterinarian, and have their feces tested...that could also end up in some savings, as I might find I need to deworm them less.  I know this. Why don't I apply that to my care in order to make the most of my guys health? I think this has to do with that laziness I mentioned earlier. 

4. I will TRY to make sure that my horses get ample turn-out time, and enough time to be HORSES.

I hope my turnout time goes a little better than this.

Image source:
Let me just say something to defend myself right off the bat. My horses BOTH get ridden just about every day, or every other day. This is despite my 40+ hour workweek.  Bravo! Bravo!  BUT, my horses are best friends, and they do love a good, solid turnout together, and time to frolic and play and be horses.  I don't think there's any denying that this is good for a horse, inside and out. They will undoubtedly get some exercise, but also ample social time that is so important to these animals. They're HERD animals, for crying out loud! They LOVE friends!  This doesn't mean that they necessarily need aloooone time, without you! I love to just hang out and spend time with my boys as they run or roll around.  This is a great way to strengthen your bond and trust with your horse, whether you've just received them for Christmas (congrats!), or had them with you for years...

5. I will TRY to clean out my tack locker, and donate or sell tack I'm NOT using!!

This is a big one for me. I'm so good at buying things on sale or "because they're cheap", and then letting them tragically collect dust in the back or bottom of my tack locker. Anyone else guilty?  That being said, I will make plans to go through everything and seriously pull things I can get rid of, one way or another.  You only need as much tack as you use, I PROMISE!  Getting rid of excess stuff just makes everybody feel good...seriously! There are so many organizations that need this stuff so badly, OR there are so many ways to make some extra cash off of used tack. (Maybe enough to pay for that deworming regimen I mentioned earlier...hmm!)

So, there you have it! My 5 biggest horse-related New Years resolutions!! Hopefully I'll be better at these than my personal resolutions...LOL no promises!! What are your New Years resolutions??

Happy Trails...
The Horse Junkie

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Top 10 Most Awkward Places I've found SHAVINGS!

I follow a LOT of horse companies/groups/whatevers on Facebook...It's almost impossible not to.

One of these pages that I follow is simply called, "The Horse." Creative! Today, they posted a link to their own blog, to an entry entitled The Top 10 Goofy Places I've Found Bits Of Hay. LOL! I could relate to ALL of them, seriously, except my issue is not with hay...but with those DARN shavings! Who's with me??

Just looking at this is giving me anxiety.

Image Source: 
Our barn, for some reason, tends to switch shaving companies, or qualities, or something just about every time they order new shavings. Why? Who knows, but we are constantly noticing differences in the stalls.  Some shavings are dustier than others (like, a nice coating on everything on the premises), sometimes the manager must want to save money, because we end up with small wood CHUNKS in our shavings, and sometimes they appear pretty normal. Go figure.

That being said, I figured I should contribute a little bit today, and share with you.....

The Top 10 Most Awkward Places I've Found SHAVINGS

1. My Bra - I have to start out with this one, because it is for SURE the most awkward. Nothing says "I'm a crazy horse lady!!" quite like a bra full of shavings. Bonus points if they stick to your boob when you take your bra off.

2. My Hair - On a day that I either haven't been to the barn yet, or don't plan on going to the barn. To take it a step further, when someone else points it out to you.

3. Clean Laundry - The keyword here is CLEAN. And of course, by this point, the shavings are practically woven into the fabric of whatever just came out of the dryer. Nice.

4. My Car - Of course, this was expected. Doesn't make it any less super embarrassing to pull up to the car wash and have the guys gasp at the amount of sheer crap is in your car.  Time to bust out the ShopVac!

5. My Helmet, Gloves, & Breeches - I don't always wear a helmet, but when I do, it's inevitably covered in shavings. No, no, just the inside...the outside would be too easy to clean.

For winters here in California, I just go every year and buy a cheap pair of your typical Target gloves. I'll tell you WHAT. That material is like a magnet for shavings...It eventually gets to the point where you just surrender, and live with the fact that you will ride in shaving-covered gloves for a few months. Then throw those suckers away. Chances are, they're unraveling anyways.

No matter how skin-tight your breeches are (I ride in Kerrits tights), you WILL go to take them off and find at least one shaving in them. One little...bitty...jerk.

6. My Face - Rio eats his food (EVERY TIME) by pulling it all out of his hanging food bin, and throwing it around his stall. Then he goes back and hunts for each piece, and eats them one by one off the floor.  This is fantastic, until he pops his head out of his stall and wipes his mouth all over my face when I lean in for a kiss. Go Rio! You just don't ever feel clean again after that happens during your visit to the barn.

7. Various Barn Animals - We have a resident cat - who I'm told is there to hunt mice, but I have YET to see him work a day in his life.  He tends to stay fairly clean, even in the muddy months, except for random shavings caught in his tail and belly. Those bastards.  Also included - visiting dogs!

We don't have sheep or goats at our barn...this might be why.
8. Sink Drain - What's the first thing you do when you come home and get settled after a visit to the barn? You wash your hands (at least, I hope) if you aren't jumping in the shower. Well. Eventually I have to clean out that drain of the hair and whatever else...ANNNND shavings.

9. My Frappuccino - We have a Starbucks nearby, and sometimes we'll run over there before we ride. You know, to make sure we're good and fat for our only exercise.  I ALWAYS put my cup either on top of my tack box, or supplement container...or somewhere. Just never on the floor in my horse's stall, lol.  Somehow, the condensation on my cup always screws me. Always.

10. Your Horse's Wiener - I'm gonna say it - it had to be said. I saved it for last to be as tactful as possible (and so that would be the one to stick in your mind! HA!).  Nothing more bonding for you and your horse than for you to respectfully clean his peepee of the shavings. Teamwork!

What are some hilariously strange places you've found shavings?

Happy Trails!

The Horse Junkie

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall Pumpkin Cinnamon Horse Cookies

The weather is getting cooler, and blanketing season is upon us. Soooo is major furbaby season (YAY.) That also means that it's getting lighter, later, with the time change and all...therefore less riding time.  What are you going to do with all that free time, you ask? Why not bake some cookies for your horses! See how that came full circle, there?

So, let's take this blog way into left field, and I'll show you one of my favorite and most SIMPLE!!!!! horse cookie recipes for fall.

Here's the rundown...

Pumpkin Cinnamon Horse Cookie Recipe


1/2 can of pumpkin
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 1/4 cups of oats
1/4 cup of molasses
1/2 cup of brown sugar

Look at that arrangement!

Not too bad, right?


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and grease a cookie sheet or two, if you need to. Most of them these days are nonstick. (I sound like I've been alive forever)

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, molasses, and pumpkin. Mix until blended.


Yummy brown sugar!

Gooey molasses...and an awkward sandcastle of brown sugar!

I should have bought stock in this company this year...

This looks GREEEAAAAT.

Betcha can't wait to touch THIS with your hands.
3. Roll into small balls with your hands.  I recommend about 1" in diameter balls for some normal-sized treats.  As you go, place these balls on the cookie sheets. They do not rise or spread or anything, so you can place them as close to each other as 1 1/2 inches or so...

I should have been a hand model.

Just in case you didn't know how to put them on the cookie sheet.
** If you're making your treat balls, and they seem to be falling apart a bit, you can always add more molasses to thicken the 'batter'.

Ta da!
4. Place into the oven, and let bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven.

Yes, I have the cutest oven in the world.
5. Pull them out of the oven. They should be a bit dried out, but still a teeny bit squishy when you poke them a bit. They will not be crunchy. If they are, you have poorly misjudged the settings on your oven.

Before they cool and before you remove them from the cookie sheet, sprinkle the tops of them evenly with the cinnamon.

Cinnamony goodness!
THAT'S IT!  Easy right? Stick with me and soon enough you'll be the next barnyard Martha Stewart. So desirable.

This recipe as it is above, makes about 36-38 horse treats at this size. Good enough for plenty for your horses, and to share with the barn girls! Helping you earn brownie points, here.

Beauty shots of these beauties!
Pass this recipe around, and share it with your friends!  For the record, these are edible, and slightly delicious. I...uhhh...had a friend that told me that. ;)

Happy Baking, and have a WONDERFUL Halloween!


Monday, October 21, 2013

REVIEW: Complete EquiFUSE Body Package

Recently on Horse Junkie's Facebook Page, I asked you guys what products you wanted me to review next on here.  One of you said EquiFUSE products...and since I'm such a nice gal...TA DA!

Professional Photography.
I contacted Amber Dunmire over at EquiFuse, and she generously sent me a sample of their Complete Body Package, with instructions on how to use each component.  As I was looking through everything, I loved to see that the ingredients include a ton of natural stuff, some of which I use on my own hair!   Very cool.  Lucky for me, it's still 85 degrees mid-October here in Southern California (don't be jealous), so I was still able to test these products to their full capacity!

Here are the full instructions, and each component of the care kit as I received it:

FOOL-PROOF. Love it.
Step 1: Shampoo

Awww...what a cute grey!
Step 2: Conditioner

Wait a minute...leave in? Brianne, tell me MORE!
Step 3: Shine Serum

The secret weapon, for sure.
OK, already I'm going to tell you, this is going to be a photo heavy review. I guess I figured you'd need to see me bathing my horse, yes? I knew it. Before we jump into that exciting stuff, I figured I'd post a "Before" picture of Hatchet, our handsome model for today - also known as the Breyer Horse. :)


MORE BEFORE: Look back at it.
So, he's already pretty shiny, due to an awesome supplement I give him regularly, so this stuff has it's work cut out for it to impress me!  BUT, I guarantee you he is unwashed for a couple weeks at this point (LAAAZYYY), and I let him roll around in the arena before we started. Something that makes him happy, right before I torture him (Read: he has bath time).  I do notice though, that he is a duller color than usual for this time of year, and he is duuuusty. Remember that I said it's still 85 degrees here? Well yeah, it's also super dry right now, which means EVERYTHING has a nice healthy coat of dirt on it, even Hatchet's butt.

OK let's dive in, because this will already be the longest shampoo review known to man.

First instructions say to open the (SMALL) packet of shampoo, and dilute it in a gallon or two of water.  I have to say, I was a little worried here because the packet didn't look like much. It was about how much shampoo I usually use out of a bottle for MY hair.  I'm used to using a TON more of the Mane & Tail Shampoo that I use now, just for one horse wash. There was no way that I could get a whole horse washed with what I had been given as sample!

BUT, low and behold, I squeezed the packet into the bottom of a small bucket, filled it with water, and went to work! Now, you'd think with all these pictures, I'd have ONE of a soapy bucket, but I don't. Imagine it in your head.

As you can see, the shampoo lathered nicely - much nicer than what I was expecting. Hatchet is a 15.2HH Quarter Horse, and I was able to do his whole body with a little over half of the bucket. Then I felt like I did something wrong, so I went over him twice.  You can never be too sure.


Action Shot.

Bargaining with Hatchet. Also: Our wash racks look like the ghetto.
Yeah, this is how I wash tails. Judge me.
Then I rinsed him off, and went to work with the conditioner. Similar instructions on that, to dilute it in a bucket of water...BUT WAIT, YOU LEAVE IT IN. I'm usually not a fan of conditioners on horses. I think that just stems from my innate laziness, though. But it's one extra step, and they'll get dirty anyways, right?? Baths are just a formality. I have to say, though, I was attracted to this conditioner because of the mere fact that I didn't have to do another rinse cycle.

So, I filled my bucket and went to work. One standout thing that you'll notice is that the conditioner was not lathery. Not to say that conditioner is USUALLY lathery, but you can usually feel it when you're putting it on them, or in your own hair, right?  Well, this just looked like water - but smelled lovely!
I know how to work a sponge!
Again, 1 one-gallon bucket was PLENTY to do his whole body, mane, and tail. I even sponged some onto his face - go me!  It was hard to fight my natural instincts to rinse him off, but somehow I was able to avoid it.

Sorry for the unwarranted boob shot - I'm not responsible!
After you apply the conditioner, you straight-up sweat scrape. COOL, almost done. For some reason, he was already looking shinier than usual, and smelled fresh-to-death. I don't really have anything else to say about this step.

The final step - the shine serum - can be applied either wet or dry. I figured, what the heck, he's already wet, let's do it NOW! :D Again, no pictures. Just imagine me putting the clear goo in my hands, and applying it evenly to both his mane and tail.

This shine serum, I gotta say, might just be the pretty little bow on top of this awesome package.  It smelled GREAT, is made of all-natural ingredients like macadamia nut oil and vitamin E (So it will make your horse's hair grow, LADIESSS!!) and a little bit goes a long way. I got excited and used the whole sample, but I bet I could have used that amount for a couple applications.  Hindsight is 20/20, isn't it?

So now we wait, and wait, and wait.

Hatchet doesn't mind waiting...

Still doesn't mind waiting.
And here's how it looks when he finally dried!


Shiny face

Even his crack was shiny!!
End result: LOVE this stuff! His coat was so soft, you could barely even feel it! (Is that weird?)

WAIT - let me do one of those cool before and after things...It's a blog, after all!

A few notes: Of course, the sun was at a romantical setting phase when we took the "After" photos, so I'm pretty sure it would have made even his dirty butt look decent, BUT I will tell you, the Body Package did bring out his coloration and his shine much more than before.  It made his colors brighter, and his whites whiter!  He smelled SO GOOD, and Amber let me know that his shine will last 4-5 days from now!

Now, where can you purchase this magical stuff, you say?

Well, you can always go to your nearest tack shop and see if they have it in stock (a lot of them DO!), or you can contact Amber here and purchase it from her! They've also got a very user-friendly website you can shop right off of. They also sell the sampler package that I was sent, so you can try it out for yourself before you take the dive! Perfecto.

She was definitely kind enough to send me some of this great product, so I'm sure she'd LOVE to help you discover this great brand too! Of course, you can always follow them on Facebook, or message her through there!  Tell her I sent you, for sure.

Special thanks to Amber Dunmire, for introducing me to this brand - we'll be in touch! ;-)

Also to my photographer and BFF, Erin. Thanks for all the ATTRACTIVE photos of me!

Happy Bathing!
The Horse Junkie

**Disclaimer - All products shown here were sent to me for review purposes. All opinions are my OWN!** 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Riding as Exercise - It's POSSIBLE!

Hi, Hi. I'm here and alive and well.

So it's time for my bi-annual update! I kid, I'm just horrible at updating regularly.  We know this by now because I think I introduce each entry the same way.

Recently, my riding buddies and I have been on the subject of riding as exercise.  I know most all of us have come across some non-horse person that says, "What?? You just sit up there...You can't tell me that riding is a sport/exercise!"  Once I'm over my feelings of 'I-wanna-reach-over-and-choke-you', I usually defend myself by saying something unintelligible about "posting the trot, or hanging on for dear life, or you try it! You try it!" Pishaaw.

Lately on our rides, we've been tracking our distance, MPH (So fun), riding time etc. through an app called Runtastic.  There's either a free version, or you can pay for the full "Pro" app for $4.99. (Read: I am a sucker) Although mostly difficult for us to remember to turn on at the beginning of our ride (#FAIL), this app is super handy for tracking ALL sorts of data as you ride, but more importantly, is set up for HORSE RIDING. Yes. How cool. Go download it! (Sponsor me?)  At the end of your ride, it also tells you how many calories you burned during your ride.  Calories...wait - me, or the horse???

A recent ride of mine. Yes, 26mph, my horse is fast! :)

After a major brain fart, we deduced that this must be OUR calories, because a horse is much larger and therefore would burn MUCH more than 400 or so calories during a strenuous mountain trail ride (that would surely kill me if I attempted to do it sans horse).  Does that make sense, anyone with an education?  Of course, because we're big blabbers, us girls, we got on the topic of how many calories do we burn each day we come to the barn?  This of course, the question, because it determines how crappy we'll be able to eat & drink - guilt free - following a trip to the barn. Hey, I didn't say I was training for the Olympics, here.

So this app tells us one thing, but how about the interwebs? ...Since everything on the internet is true.

Google and The Ultimate Horse Site tells me the following:

Calories Burned in Horse Activities
Whoever thinks horse riding and care isn't excercise never owned a horse! Between the shoveling and the grooming and the training, you're burning up a lot of calories-- for example, riding at a trot burns more calories than a brisk walk!

Horse Activities - Calories burned per hour:
ACTIVITY:For 130 lb person:For 155 lb person:For 190 lb person:
Shoveling354 cal/hr422 cal/hr518 cal/hr
General Horse Riding:236 cal/hr281 cal/hr345 cal/hr

Riding horse at the walk:
148 cal/hr176 cal/hr216 cal/hr
Riding horse at the trot:384 cal/hr457 cal/hr561 cal/hr
Riding horse at a gallop:472 cal/hr563 cal/hr690 cal/hr
Horse Grooming354 cal/hr422 cal/hr518 cal/hr
Baling hay/cleaning barn:472 cal/hr563 cal/hr690 cal/hr
Shoveling Grain325 cal/hr387 cal/hr474 cal/hr
Fencing354 cal/hr422 cal/hr518 cal/hr
Polo472 cal/hr563 cal/hr690 cal/hr
Hiking, cross country (if your horse is hard to catch...)354 cal/hr422 cal/hr518 cal/hr
Brisk walking 4 MPH236 cal/hr281 cal/hr345 cal/hr
Walking, carrying 15 lb load:207 cal/hr246 cal/hr302 cal/hr

Burns more calories than a brisk walk??? NOW we're talking - says the girl who hates exercising, and loves her ponies.  Now, granted, you have to use your noggin, because you WON'T be trotting or galloping for an entire hour straight, but this IS a good ballpark for gauging your ride overall. Which is handy, because it's about how I calculate my calorie intake.  You know, "Well, I didn't LICK the bag after I ate all the chips, so that saved me 100 calories or so." It works, try it! Best diet ever - take that, Dr. OZ!

So I guess, if you have a dinosaur flip phone still, or don't usually bring your phone along on rides (UMM, you should), you can always go home and use your stone tablet and chisel to calculate your approximate calories burned on your ride. How COOL, Brianne! Thanks for sharing. AND, as an added bonus, next time someone tries to talk smack about riding not being a "SPORT," pull this up on your phone, hand it to them, say BOOYAH!, and walk away. But don't forget to come back and get your phone. You'll need it for Runtastic, afterall.  Am I bitter?

Let me know if you end up downloading and using the app (two very different things, I've found). I think it's worth a try!

Happy Trails!
The Horse Junkie

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

REVIEW: Custom Stall Signs

Picture me, BORED one day (I know, difficult to imagine), and I'm cruisin' Facebook...

Then I see this one tiny photo on my feed that someone random "liked"'s this ridiculously cute sign with a horse's name on it, and a cartoon horse off to the side.

*Click*...*Scroll*...and BAM! That's all it took - I had to order one! How convenient that my BFF's birthday is right around the corner - perfect excuse to make her the guinea pig! (Sorry, Erin). **Evil Laugh**

Anywho, creepiness aside, the Facebook page that I quite literally stumbled upon is simply called "Custom Stall Signs"

What, you didn't believe me??
FIRST OF ALL...Look how insanely adorable that caricature is. Do I even have to say that?? If you think the computerized/Photoshop version is cute, check out the HAND PAINTED versions!

Just a few examples, you know.
I think there's such a charm and uniqueness to all of her designs - TRUST ME, this is just a super small sample of what she's done, and what she's capable of!

So, this amazing "One-Man-Show" girl, Bryn, can either do a super cute cartoon version of your horse...fairly exactly down to the markings, or she can do crazy-realistic painted versions of your horse's face...or BOTH! As you can see, really easy to go nuts, here.  She works with you directly through email, (and might I add, is GREAT with customer service) to make sure the sign is everything you want, including the background, border, whether you want to add glitter, and overall design of the sign! Guys, let's be real. I know we have all these specific images of our horses in our minds, etc. etc. AND on top of that, we're already crazy horse ladies, so believe me when I say, this woman has the patience of an angel, and take criticism super well!

Beyond that, it looks like she is trying to expand her business some (which, she should!!) to include car & refrigerator magnets, exhibit A:

...and some keychains, which appear to still be in the works.

Either way - WELL DONE, BRYN!

The sign I worked with Bryn to create came about like this...

STAGE 1: Nailing down the main design, and colors.

STAGE 2: Borderrrrr

Stage 3: Fine-tuning the details. Asked her to add more feathers, and perfect the border! 
(Which, by the way, matches the brads on her custom bridle!)

AND...(Drumroll, please)....


I think it's safe to say, Bea likes it :)

So, you say...Cost? Lead time? How to order? Of course you do! I don't just write shining reviews for nothin'!

Cost: Varies some, dependent on what you want on the sign (As far as if you want a realistic painting vs. a caricature, or both)

Lead time: If I'm not mistaken, she's out about a month or two, or maybe three, but she does offer RUSH processing for an additional fee, if that's something that you're interested in.

How to order: Very simple, contact Bryn at to place an order or to ask a question!  If you're looking to place an order right away, and why wouldn't you, be sure to include reference photos! The more, the better!

Of course, you can always check out her website - here it is again:

Believe it or not, this blog post/review was NOT sponsored, and I paid full price for my sign. Will be ordering two more soon!

Apples & Carrots,