I decided some time ago that Quincy has the most sensitive skin of any horse on earth so I dread the time of year when all of his hair has to be clipped off. Add to that heading to Florida and dealing with the sand and I become very paranoid. Which is why it came as quite a surprise to me this year when I realized that he doesn't have any bald spots being created on his back and we have yet to have any boot rubs to deal with. Then it dawned on me that he has literally worn nothing but his Shires Fleece-lined saddle pad and his Shires Fleece-lined boots to work in every day throughout the winter. The Fleece-lined saddle pads fit great, don't shift around, are even cut to fit my forward flap jumping saddle. And at only $29.99 why would you use anything else! The Fleece-lined brushing boots have been a favorite of mine since I started using them last year. They are soft and breathable yet durable and offer great protection. And with the security of double-velcro closures I've gone to using them for cross-country boots at competitions. All of this for only $39.99... How can you not look to Shires for all of your tack and equipment?
Let the training begin...
This year I'm trying a new plan to start the season. I decided to compete at the Poplar Place Horse Trials in January as a way to get a good sense of where each horses' performance stands so early in the year. That way I can make the most of the 2 1/2 weeks I have planned in Ocala which will be dedicated to training and conditioning. The goal is to put a good base on the horses so that I can travel back to Virginia via the Pine Top Horse Trials and work from home for the majority of the winter/spring season. This training time will be especially important to get to know my newest partner, "Shame on the Moon" (aka Delta), as she has only been in the barn since the beginning of December.
First up for her is a get-to-know-you lesson with DOC. While the majority of the feedback during our show jumping lesson was positive there was one very clear area that needed my attention. It came as no surprise
The best dressed ponies...
You too can have a best dressed pony without breaking the bank... All thanks to Shires! My newest favorite in their line-up is the Tempest 100 Combo Stable Blanket. I really don't know how it could get much better than this blanket...An absolute must for winter layering with just enough fill to keep the chill away but so light weight that it is truly a 3 season gem. I was very thankful for the full body coverage to keep the gray girl spotless and the bright bay dustless during our first event of the year. Plus they just look sharp! Now if I can only convince Shires that the trim would be even better in purple :)
As we prepare to travel to Poplar Place for our first event of the year I'm very happy to have Triple Crown coming with us... Quincy has always been the type that gets a bit picky about his eating at competitions so this year we are adding Triple Crown's newest forage, Alfa-Lox, to his meals. While I've used other forages in the past, nothing else truly focuses on providing the nutrients needed for proper digestive support so I'm excited to see what Quincy thinks... We'll keep you posted!
Winter has officially arrived so it's time for the first of several "How to survive the winter without going South" tips...
First you have to decide if your goal is to ride your horse through the cold, raw weather or simply be a passenger. On the days that actual riding is the goal you have to have the right breeches. Otherwise you're too cold and numb to feel what is happening or you have on so many layers that your horse feels like some generic blob that you're simply trying not to bounce off of... To find the right balance I rely on Kerrits Apparel. All of the fleece lined breeches are amazing! And the Pro Fleece Cross-Over comes in tan so it's my secret for staying comfortable on those cold and rainy competition days.