Author Archives: dawndi

About dawndi

I've been a very happy film producer (commercial and long format) for over 20 years. But, the horses have always been foremost in my heart... Currently I live on a small ranch in California with my wonderful husband, 13 horses, 4 dogs, 3 cats and various woodland creatures. Life is good!

What Do You Do with All the Horsey Catalogs that You Get?

I don’t know about you, but I get oh, probably 3-4 horse themed catalogs a week.  Heaven help me at Christmastime!  Yeesh!  The poor mailman just mutters as he delivers yet another catalog with the millions of things I can purchase either for my horse, about my horse, with a horse on it or something slightly removed from horsedom but they got my address anyway…

So, what do you do with yours?  I tend to have a stack under my desk.  If I’m going to take a bath, I’ll grab one.  Or, if I’m sitting down to breakfast, I might bring one to the table.  But, mostly, when I want a break from my nightly two paragraphs of the book I’ve been reading (and re-reading) for the last several years, I take a few with me to bed.  For some reason, I can get through a whole catalog whereas a few sentences of my book puts me OUT like a light!  Anyway…

I don’t know about your catalog behavior, but mine goes something like this…  I dog-ear a few pages for my wish list.  Sometimes I circle items if I have a pen.  I poke hubby and show him the various ridiculous items and if I’m really excited, I’ll rip out a page which ends up on the floor or under the bed.  Most of the time, to be honest, I use them for packing material, as fire starters or as huge Santa style bags for recycling.  Still, I do on occasion find items that I really would like… but usually not for their intended use.  For some reason, I always find other ways to use horsey products — which is probably why they keep sending catalogs to me.

Because I figure that you get catalogs, too, I decided to share a catalog with you.  Truly, they aren’t as fun alone, wouldn’t you agree?  If you have someone there with you, you can say, “Hey, have you ever seen this?”  or “Gee, does this look like it could work?” and “Ohhhh, my horse would hate me if I made him wear that… Let’s order it!”

Since I’m alone this evening, I think I’ll share my newest catalog with you.

HORSELOVERZ.COM – Winter Sale Catalog ( Yay!  I love sales!)

First off, I usually hate it when writerz put a clever spin on something so they can purchase a domain name or whatever.  But, I’m going to excuse the cheezy Z application here because they obviously decided to not kick the kids club who owns to the curb.  I kinda commend them on that.  Or, the kids got tough and wouldn’t sell, who knowz…

Anyway, let’s start, shall we?  OK, well, I’d like to start but I need photos and the website for is incredibly, awesomely slooooooow.  In fact, I ended up just scanning the catalog pages because it took so long.  Not such a great start.  And, truth to tell, many of the items in this new catalog were not available or out of stock.  This baffles me.  Do people get their catalog and sprint up to their computers and order everything instantly?  Or, do they just have a warehouse full of onesies of all these items?  But why would a company put out a huge full color catalog when most of it is unavailable?  I’m wondering if the loss leader thing is in effect here.  Dunno.  I found it a bit frustrating. However, not so frustrating that I don’t want to continue shopping with you all!

OK, onto my favorite items for several reasons:

1)  First up is the Animal Print Nylon Horn Bag:  Oh My!   There was a whole section of animal print items.  I find the juxtaposition of African animal prints on a horse quite unsettling but also goofy in a Disney sort of way.  It was so unusual I had to mark it.  I picked the horn bag because I was so delighted to see this.  I mean, these prints are so contrary yet lovely for the purpose.  Do you expect a first aid kit to come outta that?  Not me, I picture ciggys and some JD in there, or at least a Snickers bar…  It made me smile so it was my first circle of the day!

2)  Colored Rubber Bands:  Yay!  How fun are these handy little items!  No more black, I say!  I was so thrilled to see these that I actually tried to order them.  Sold out.  How do you sell out of rubber bands?!   Was it too expensive to order enough?  Do they take up too much space?  C’Mon!  I was totally bummed.  And, this is when I learned that if is sold out, they don’t provide the item photo anymore.  So, this is why I had to scan this picture.  Please excuse my big circle mark but at least you know I’m not kidding when I say that first I circle all the items I want…

3)  Hay/Straw Bale Cutter:  Now, this item is not expensive so I’m not knocking it. It is just that you can go to the Dollar Store and get a packet of 3 utility knives (in assorted colors) for, well, a dollar.  I have one in a pocket of all of my barn coats.  I also have a few scattered about and one in the tack room drawer.  Cheap utility knives are so easy to find, I always wonder who might buy these custom jobbies.  On the other hand, maybe I’m just too cheap to be professional about my hay string cutting…  Sometimes I do end up using wire cutters or a hay hook and then I twist and twist… So, I guess real hay bale cutters are a good idea, especially if you don’t have a Dollar Store.

4)  Pocket Sweat Scraper:  Wouldn’t these make great luggage markers? Look at all the wonderful colors!  You could probably find a Sharpie to add your name and address.  Gawd, I’m starting to talk like my dearly departed father who never threw out anything.  “Heck, that old cottage cheese tub would make a great soup bowl!”  But still, they would make great luggage tags or markers… You could stand with confidence at the luggage roundabout.  No worries here, I KNOW my luggage.  It has the colorful sweat scraper tied to it!

5)  Youth Sweat Scraper:  I use these to clean out my water troughs. They really work and the smaller ones (Youth sized) are the best for trough de-mucking.  See, you can get the regular sized sweat scraper, or you can get the YOUTH sweat scraper since they needed to find another item to sell to us and what is better than something that makes your kids more comfortable.  Anyway, the curved corners of the scraper actually help you scrape away the gunk that sticks to the troughs.  I love these things.  And, you can pick from all these assorted colors!  Such a deal!

6)  Grabber Groomer Two Pack: This shape just killed me.  They all remind me of Lisa Simpson’s hair.  I just had to pick these because every time I looked at them I could hear her voice.  I’m sure if I bought them, every time I used them I’d hear her voice.  After a while it would probably drive me crazy.  But for now, I think the image is very amusing!

7)  Utility Bag:  Wouldn’t this bag be great for your ski boots, hat, gloves and goggles???  Your boots could go in the boot part and your hat, gloves and goggles, which you always drop anyway, could go in the front.  Perfect!!  Or, let’s say you have to change your shoes for work.  You could put your work shoes in here plus your lunch or makeup kit or overnight kit.  I like it!  I wish it came in all the colors of the sweat scrapers, though.

8)  Deluxe Helmet Carrying Bag:  This shape is so interesting to me.  What could I put in here?  A cake?  Yarn?  Marbles?  I just love the shape of this and the sides are soft!  Hmmmm, what could I put into the outside pocket?!  Ahhh, the possibilities are endless!  I guess I could actually get one for its intended use.  After all, I usually put my helmet on the flat, upper bunk part of my trailer tack room (what is the technical name for that space where you would sleep if you were shaped like a short triangle?) where it usually rolls around and falls.  But, that is what helmets are supposed to do — take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.  Bah Humbug to the bag.  I’ll use it for my marble collection!

9)  No Bounce Stirrup Strap:  If this works, I will bend down and kiss the catalog!  I HATE it when my stirrups either knock me in the head as I am adjusting the girth or bang me in my shins as I walk.  I know, I know, just throw them over the saddle, right?  Well, SHORT PEOPLE have very short leathers and they don’t stay over the saddle.  Or, they jab you in the stomach as you carry the saddle.  Since none of my saddles have horns, I have no where to put the darn things.  I’ve even resorted to adding ties to all of my saddles (or quick clips — good idea, actually) to grab my stirrups when I need them UP.  But, this handy device looks very… handy.  ;)   Y’know, now that I look at it, I think I could use it to keep the divider against the wall in my trailer when I’m not using it (instead of the bungie that is there now). I bet if I purchased this I’d say, “Hey, wait a minute, I coulda made this…”.  Whatever.  I think it is a good idea.

10)  Sport Boot Covers with Fringe and Embroidered Designs:  I love these! How Festive!  I think everyone should have a pair!  I don’t even use sport boots and I would buy these for my horses.  Well, I would purchase these but yet again, horseloverz is totally sold out.  How could that be??  There are a bunch of styles here.  They are ALL sold out?  I have never, ever seen these on the trail yet there are none to be found anywhere.  Hmmmmm.  I’m guessing they may be big on the barrel racing or rodeo circuit.  Dunno.  But, I think we should start a trend.  I think designers should come out with new designs.  I think Prada, Chanel, Max Mara, Armani, Dior, Guess and even the bejeweled David Yurman versions.  Yay!!  I’m in!

11)  Chain Action Boots: Uhhhh, don’t I see these on every neck, ankle or wrist of every teenager in the mall?  I cannot look at these and not think Emo.  I would not be able to get the mall image out of my mind if I saw these on my horses.  (Although my young mare Hayley would fit right into the mall, fer sure…)  I’m guessing my other horses would roll their eyes on this one.    Anyway, I think I would love the sound that they make, for a while anyway.  These could be the Goth version of rhythm beads!

12)  Spandex Helmet Cover-Ups:  Usually, anything with Spandex kinda makes me go the other way.  But, these look like they could be a very popular fashion statement for us helmet wearers.  Unfortunately, when I went to the horseloverz website to grab the picture, they only had the drab four colors left:  black, brown, grey and tan.  Ugh.  Bummer.

13)  Magic Pimple Grip Gloves: (Excuse me while I catch my breath, tee hee…)  I love the name!  Am I juvenile or what?!  I want to give these to my teenage daughter but I don’t think she would get the humor.  All kidding aside, any glove that is magic would have to be a best seller!  I would love for my fingers and hands to have the magic touch!  I guess that is why they are, again, sold out of every size and color.

14)  Last but not least, Elastic Pant Clips: Well, I don’t need these for my riding pants because they are already too tight around my ankles.  But, these are GREAT for keeping your sheet corners down.  Do you know what I mean?  They work as little sheet corner garters for your fitted sheets.  You see, we have a lovely memory foam mattress top that reshapes often.  And, for some reason, my corner of the fitted sheet always pops off.  It is so irritating.  I got these to clip the sheet corners down and they work perfectly!

So, thank you for skipping delightfully through the Winter sale catalog with me.  It was fun!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

Home Made Horse Toys! And a few other things…

Monday, April 19th, 2010 | Filed under Handy Tips

I stumbled upon a really cute photo yesterday and it got me thinking about homemade horse toys.

What do you do when you cannot play with your horse yourself?

I don’t know about you, but almost every store bought horse toy I’ve ever purchased has been killed in about a day.  Perhaps that is the point for manufacturers — get the horse/owner hooked and then it breaks!  YAY, buy another!  Hmmmmm.  And, of course, we have all probably bought one toy or another that your horse completely ignored.  I know we purchased one of those big balls for Bodhi.  We had gone to the Horse Expo and watched the video of all of these horses frolicking with the huge ball having a wonderful time.   Sold.  We brought it home, inflated it (that was fun) and put it in his paddock.  OMG.  You’d think we just threw 100 snakes in his pen!  He was so afraid of it we actually had to remove it.  We put it in with the ponies and they popped it.  Oh sure, they had fun for an hour or so, but then it became a plastic pancake.  Actually, they threw that around for a while as well so it wasn’t a total loss.  I’m not saying the balls are bad.  I know tons of horses play with them since photos are all over the internet.  However, they aren’t pony proof —  although most things aren’t.  If you want a ball, here is a link to get one.

I’ve also added a link to a video of horses playing with balls and a horse toy product site here.

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that many of us have our horses cooped up in some way and we often would like to try to entertain them on their off hours.  Instead of buying a toy, why not try to make one?  After all, just about anything you leave on a fence or that flies into their paddock becomes a toy, right?  (We’ve all seen our sweatshirts hung on a  rail become flying, gooey, dirt balls, haven’t we?)  So, I set out to find some clever inventions.


1)  CARROT CONTRAPTION:  The first category is the toy I used for Saturday’s Phoblog post.  Many of you wanted to know how this carrot contraption was constructed.  So I asked.  She said:

“Ok you take a plastic container, like a large cottage cheese container or ice cream bucket, but not too large, take a sharp knife, cut two holes at top for hay twine or small rope, turn container on side and make  ” x ” holes around as many as you want, I did about five or six x’s.   That’s basically it.   Fill it up with treats and hang.   Keeps them busy.   Jackie fills Gabe’s and Topper’s every night. ”

2) THE HONORABLE MILK JUG:  We’ve all done something with a milk jug.  You punch two holes at the sides of the top to hang it in the stall or from a tree (fence…. whatever) and then you fill it with whatever.  Many online toys creators say to fill it with rocks.  Hmmmm.  Sounds real fun.  But, I guess the noise is fun.  Or, fill it with colored water so it sloshes.  Others say to fill it with grain or carrot slices or something edible and then cut tiny holes so the horse works all day at removing the items.

I don’t know about you, but all of my milk jugs have gone unattended or gotten smashed in about an instant. Maybe I don’t tie them up well enough.  In any event, the milk jug toy is the most popular answer on the internet query, bar none.

3)  HIGHWAY CONE.  ’nuff said.  We’ve all seen these.  The problem is that these are hard to make at home.

4)  ROPE TOY:  I kinda like this idea.  If you have a stalled horse, or even just a mouthy horse in a paddock, one online person said to take hearty rope (one that a horse cannot chew through) and tie a few knots into it.  You can double knot it or put knots in a row.   Evidently, the horses will spend hours trying to unknot it.  I didn’t know that.  All you have to do is re-tie it.  And, he’s at it again.  Be sure to change the rope once it shows signs of wear.  You don’t want him ingesting it.

5)  FRUIT AND VEGGIE KABOB:  I love this one!  Get whatever fruit and veggies your horse loves or hasn’t tried yet, and string them up!  I guess this could be messy but cleaning up the mess will give your horse a whole other venue of fun!  (Or, put your goat into the stall afterwards.)  I really like this idea and thought this photo was very cute.  If you want a list of safe fruits and veggies, refer to one of my previous posts which is linked here.  That should help you get started.

6)  BASKETBALL OR BEACH BALL IN HAY NET:  OK, this one is technical.  You have to make SURE you hang it high enough and secure it so that no hooves get caught in the net, yet low enough to play with.  I guess I would watch them for a while to make sure it is all good.  From what I understand, horses really enjoy attacking, playing and headbutting the contraption.  I also understand that it helps a headshy horses get used to things waving around its head.  Sounds fun but you’d have to be careful about how you hang it.  Or, come up with a different kind of net or holding device that won’t trap hooves.  I say why not just use a regular old tether ball and hang it up from the rafters or on a tree limb.

7)  BRAID A ROPE AND ADD A SQUEAKY TOY:  I like this because it sounds like it would really irritate the other horses in a funny way.  You take large rope (someone said it works with twine but I would be afraid that they might eat it?…) and braid the rope.  At the end you can make a ball with several knots.   This should keep them very busy.  However, you can also add a squeaky toy minus all the hurtful parts like plastic eyes or anything sharp.  Make sure the toy has a safe squeaker, too.  Anyway, I hear they really have a hay day with that noisemaker!

8)  COWBELL:  Ugh.  I’m not sure I like this one but several people but bells or jangly things that cannot be eaten onto fences.  Knowing my ponies, they’d be ringing that bell every moment.  Maybe you could tape the ringer part so the sound would be less jarring.  Dunno.  They say noisy things are a real hit.  I bet the stable hands just love those…

9)  TRIPLE HAY NET: (sounds like a strong holding hair spray..) This one works if you already feed your horses with hay nets.  Hay nets scare me because mine always pull them down and get tangled.  I must be a lousy hay net hanger person… Anyway, they say to triple together three hay nets and then stuff it with hay.  Hang it high.  The horse will take all day to eat the hay.

10)  MY FEEBLE IDEAS:  Well, it seems to me that my horses play with anything that flies into their pastures.  It reminds me of that famous Xmas cartoon where you see the shiny red fire truck sitting outside its box and the kid playing inside the box…  My horses play with anything that ends up in their territory.  MINE!  So, I think:

  • grain bags or burlap sacks would be a great toy to toss into their area, or you can tape one in half or in quarters and add some type of treat inside and then throw it in  —  or an old shipping box sealed with tape but housing goodies inside
  • throw in any kind of sturdy barrel or hearty plastic keg (lid preferred so you can put rocks or something in it to make noise)
  • a few old stuffed animals tied together with rope (minus any plastic parts) so they throw well and can be dragged around (get these cheap on Ebay)
  • put a melon or a large grapefruit in there – they love melon and citrus
  • a larger, lightweight beach ball or cheap ball from Target inside a sweet smelling grain bag
  • a sprinkler snake wand thing or mister attachment to your hose (my horses loooove this in the summer)
  • any kind of Russian Nesting Doll type of treat container like a carrot inside a jug inside of a box inside of a feed bag
  • sacrifice your old sweatshirt (or ripped sleezy)  tied up in several sleeve knots — I know my ponies throw mine around all the time
  • bring your bored horse up to the arena and let him watch the other horses being schooled
  • and for those of you with pony minded horses (curious types) – put several upside-down buckets and empty containers with lids in the stall — they will have hours of fun turning them all over and trying to destroy and open them

If you have any suggestions, please let me know!


I thought I would let you know about a preggers mare who is on stall cam watch.  This was the young mare who was rescued from the aggressive stallion a week ago.  Anyway, she is on baby watch and I thought you might like the link to see her and maybe catch her delivery.  The rescue that has her is New Beginnings Animal Refuge, Inc., a 501 (c) 3.


OK, I know this is not related to horses at all except that you will be happier and therefore happier around the horses…  I’m passing this on because I was so thrilled to find it!  You see, my dishes in my dishwasher were not coming out very clean.  I knew I didn’t want to call a plumber so I searched the internet.  I found this solution and I tried it.  Don’t worry, it sounds kinda complex but it was really easy.  In fact, the drain of my dishwasher was right there and I didn’t have to unscrew anything.  Anyway, if your dishes are not cleaning the way they used to, please go to this link and follow the directions.  So Easy and now sparkly clean again!

S’all for today!  Happy Toy Making!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!