Category Archives: Product review

I tried the EquineLux Saddle Pad… and I Liked it! This is an excellent pad.






THIS JUST IN!… After reading this blogpost, the EquineLux people said that anyone who orders using Discount Code ‘horseandman’ would get a 10% discount!  So, if you order, use this discount code and get 10% off!: Discount Code:  horseandman

Wahoo!

A while ago, I told you that a rep from EquineLux contacted me and asked if I would demo one of their saddle pads.

Sure!

So, he sent to me a mid-range Dressage model, the Sweat Wicking Dressage Pad.

It arrived very quickly from Canada – nice.

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This is pad shown is the Jumper version of the Dressage pad I was sent. Same idea, just shaped differently. You can see the high wither clearance and the insert of sticky in the seat area. Also, the keeper is leather!

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ARRIVAL

Upon arrival, I was pleased to note the packaging was not over done.  The pad was shipped in its wrapper in another wrapper.  Easy peasy.  Lightweight.

A good start.

And there, on my office floor, it sat for about 6 weeks…  First I was too busy, then I got really sick, then I had to make up work for being sick, then we went away… You know how it goes…

Finally, I had the time to try it on Gwen.

It arrived in a very simple plastic wrapper.  I liked that.  Simple.  No huge fuss or a mess to throw away.

It arrived in a very simple plastic wrapper. I liked that. Simple. No huge fuss or a mess to throw away.

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This is what my Dressage pad looked like in the wrapper. I could tell it was quality. It felt right…

WHAT I LIKE IN A PAD

First off, let me tell you what I like in a pad…

1)  lightweight

2)  sticky without being itchy or hot for the horse

3)  shaped correctly

4)  vented

5)  fits well

6)  wither clearance in a big way

7)  washable

8)  natural fibers

9)  able to be cushioned if needed (inserts)

I’ve dated a lot of saddle pads…

This is how the pad I received was described on the website.

This is how the pad I received was described on the website.  Click image to read more.

The tag

The tag

 

TRIAL

As I unwrapped the pad, my first impression was good.  It felt substantial but not heavy.  I could tell the workmanship was good.  It smelled fresh.  It felt soft.  I could see a honeycomb pattern, quilting on the underside and white leather as a girth keeper.   Nice.

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It fit her perfectly. I loved the pooch at the wither. There is a leather keeper under the green tag. Nice. The sticky seat is part of the pad – integrated. It isn’t on top of or in addition to… very nice. lightweight and structured.

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It fit Bodhi, too! I quickly put it on him to see if it would still pooch at the wither and it did!

But, what I really, really liked was the sticky seat that was sewn in and part of the pad – not on top of the pad or in addition to the pad… it was part of the pad at the top where you sit.So, it wasn’t thick or bulky.  I loved this part.  The sticky was integrated really well, it was only in the seat area so the horse didn’t have to suffer the heat all over and the underside was not sticky – only the top next to the saddle.

Yes!

–I threw it up on Gwen who is a fairly flat backed, small, Morgan mare.

It fit perfectly.  I swear.  And, my favorite part, it pooched up by her wither.  Total air channel.  Nice.

–Saddling was easy.  The leather girth keepers were in the correct spot (I hate it when they aren’t… or when they are too long or too wide).

–The saddle didn’t move.

–It looked really pretty.  I liked the pattern of the exterior quilting.

–Riding was easy.  The pad didn’t slip at all.  Gwen was very comfortable.  I could put my fingers on her wither easily and the pad stayed where it was – poochey.  I had an even sweat mark but it was really only under the saddle.  Nice!  She was cool on the sides.

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Close-up of the wither clearance.

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You can barely see the sticky part peeking out from under the saddle. Note the leather keeper.

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It stayed in this position throughout the ride.

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The back of the pad.

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AFTER THE RIDE

I was quite pleased with the pad but I had gotten it dirty.  And, without reading the instructions, I put it in the washer on delicate.

Out is came… perfectly fine.  I hung it over the bannister to dry.

The pad retained its shape, integrity and color.

This is a very well made and well thought out pad.

Gwen was happy.  The sweat mark was even and only under the seat!

Gwen was happy. The sweat mark was even and only under the seat!  It was not hot today but we did ride for a half hour.

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The underside… no tacky pad on the horse side.

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After going through the wash, it looked and felt the same. I hung it on the bannister to dry.

MY WISHLIST – IF I WAS GOING TO ORDER ONE

For me, I trail ride way more than I ride Dressage.

I need a pad that is more endurance shaped that is cool, wicking and cushioned.  I also would like cutouts so I could adjust the padding where needed.

When I looked on the website, I did see a few models that had the foam insert areas for corrective padding.  So, that’s good.

And, when on the website, I saw that they offered SPECIAL ORDERS.

So, for me, when I have a few extra dollars, I am going to special order a pad with inserts inside the small footprint sticky material.  I’d want a shorter and shaped pad to fit under my endurance saddle.

I’d also like one to fit under my Boz Bareback Saddle.  This is a perfect replacement pad for the Boz Bareback!  Just add the inserts where needed and sit on the sticky seat!  The all natural fibers would keep me and my horse very comfy.

Also… they will put your logo on the pad.  Hmmmmm.  I’m smiling here.  I’d love a H&M logo’d pad.  Hmmmmm.

Yup, I’d like two Special Order pads, please!  ;)

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They do have models with insert pads…

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Another… in black.

TECHNOLOGY

I could tell my holding the pad that it was quality.  I knew after riding, that it was cool, soft and sticky at the same time.

But, as far as technology, I’ll let the website tell you how it works.

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My STANDLEE HAY PRODUCTS review!






Last month, I told you about the Standlee Hay Company asking me if I would review their products.   (You can read about that here.)

Yay!

They offered to give me $125 of credit to go to Tractor Supply and pick out what I wanted in their lineup – and write a review.   They figured that $125 would supply one horse for a month.

No strings…

They said I could just try it for 30 days and tell you all what I thought…

…OK.  I could do that.  Happy to.

From the Standlee website.

From the Standlee website.

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Beautiful. From the Standlee website. Could you imagine having this field?!

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Yum!!

THE CHOSEN ONE

My Mustang, Rojo, is now living in his own paddock (as I prepare to reintroduce him to training and me…) so I thought he would be the best control subject here.

Rojo is only 5 and I knew I would be able to see the results easily – either way.  And, I knew he would recover easily, should the feed not be adequate.

Besides, I wanted him to feel special as I brought him this ‘special’ feed daily.  I wanted to bond with him over food.

WHAT I BOUGHT

I purchased 3 bales of compressed orchard/alfalfa hay, 1 bag of timothy pellets and 4 bags of orchard pellets.  This was the closest to what I was already feeding.

There were lots of pellet and cube options to choose.  They also had beet pulp, a good sign…  Standlee didn’t offer compressed hay without alfalfa (I asked…)  which made me sad.  I cannot feed alfalfa to all of my horses.  But, Rojo can tolerate alfalfa well so I was OK for this challenge.

And, I always like to keep clean alfalfa pellets on hand for any plumping that may be needed…

WHAT IS COMPRESSED HAY?!

— Have you ever seen compressed hay?  It is so odd looking – It looks like a huge hay BRICK or something one of the Three Pigs used to create his straw house…

I would never have used compressed hay unless it was given to me.  Truly.  Previously, I took one look and never looked again.  I’m sure some of you are the same way.

What is it?  Compressed hay is exactly that – compressed.  Think of a trash compactor or one of those big machines that crushes old cars into blocks of solid metal.

It is like that.

The hay is simply pushed in on all sides – kindof stomach punched – to get all the air out of it.

What I bought... clean and compact in my car!  Rojo's feed for a month - no mess!

What I bought… clean and compact in my car! Rojo’s feed for a month – no mess!

IT IS COMPACT, CLEAN, QUALITY AND ….

It is Compact.

So compact, I had the three 50lb bales in the back of my VW Beetle as well as the 5 bags of grain. (Tells you something about the carrying power of Bugs, eh? Not as small as you thought…)

Anyway, my point is that I had all of Rojo’s feed IN MY CAR and it didn’t mess up anything!  The hay is packaged really well in tight, sealed, heavy plastic wrap!  In fact, I kept the compressed bales in my car for storage during the entire month – so the feeders wouldn’t accidentally feed it to any of the other horses – and other than becoming blanched from the sun, the bales held up perfectly!  I drove like I usually do (like a maniac) all around town and they didn’t break open and – bonus – they made my car very fragrant!

When I would open a bale to let it uncompress in preparation to feed, there was no mess at all.  No hay loss.  It stayed together and flakeed P-E-R-F-E-C-T-L-Y.

Wow!

 

These are the Standlee hay stacks before they are compressed

These are the Standlee hay stacks before they are compressed

This is a compressed bale.

One bale of Alfalfa/Grass, neatly bundled and wrapped.

SO CONVENIENT!  (OMG…SO MUCH EASIER!)

Hmmmmmm, I thought, as I drop/scatter/carried my regular flakes of grass hay up to Bodhi and Norma – leaving my hay trail as I went (using any type of carrying device).

Grass hay just doesn’t hold its flaking ability like alfalfa.

However, these compressed grass/alfalfa hay bales were so much easier…

I could carry the entire bales myself – wrapped with a handle – , I could stack them myself, I could keep them packaged cleanly until I needed them and they flaked!

I was sold.

I went back to Tractor Supply and bought 4 more bales to keep up by Norma and Bodhi so that I could feed them more easily…

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Timothy/Alfalfa pellets.  Clean, uniform, fragrant and NO DUST!

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Orchard grass pellets.

ALL THE THINGS I LIKED ABOUT THESE PRODUCTS!!

1)  CLEAN TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE

I loved that the compressed bales came packaged so that I could store or transport them in my vehicle and there was no mess.

I could stack these hay blocks inside my tack room or anywhere in my trailer/tack room/shed – even on the roof of my trailer – and they would stay as I put them, without any mess!!

–Really easy for taking to shows, camping or any other time I need to bring hay along.

Loved that!

The compressed bales and feed bags in my Beetle!  I stored several bales in my car to make sure no one accidentally fed them to the other horses.

The compressed bales and feed bags in my Beetle! I stored several bales in my car to make sure no one accidentally fed them to the other horses.  The outsides became sunbleached but the insides were still perfect and fragrant with no dust!

2)  HIGH QUALITY HAY

When I broke open the first bale of compressed alfalfa/orchard grass, I was so impressed with the fragrance, quality, lack of dust and lack of weeds.

They advertise this as sun-cured (not dehydrated) and no noxious weeds.

I could tell.

Also, a compressed flakes is just as heavy as a regular flake.  When I put one compressed flake on my arm to carry, it was just as heavy as a non compressed flake.

Weird but true.

The actual compressed bale is around 50 lbs.

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I split open the bale and let it uncompress. The insides were very green. The Standlee flakes stay together and are just as heavy as regular flakes

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This flake of compressed hay that I have on my forearm is as heavy as a regular flake – seriously!  And it sticks together – no mess, no dropping it all over – no loss!  (That is the inside of my elbow… this flake is balancing between my elbow and wrist.)

3)  CLEAN AND HIGH QUALITY PELLETS – OMG!  SO NICE AND NO DUST

I have never opened a bag of pellets and had such a fine, clean fragrance.  It smelled like grass.  And, no dust.

No dust.

I always put water on my pellets to help with any kind of dust and choke.  But, I felt very confident to not wet the Standlee pellets.  (However, I did anyway.)

Also, were are no ‘what is that?’ by-products on the ingredients…

I liked that.

The company states they cut, bale, press and pellet during the optimum nutrition cycles and I believe them.  The nutrition charts are here.

Also, I noticed that these pellets held up longer.  They seemed to start out more fresh or something… I didn’t smell that vinegar fragrance that sometimes happens with bags of pellets.  All the pellets were uniform in shape and didn’t change shape or break up after I opened the bag.

Interesting.

4)  NO ADDITIVES

Having a clean slate to add supplements was nice.

I’m never sure with mineral feed pellets what ratios I’m actually giving to them – and how that mixes with my supplements.

I liked having exactly and only timothy or orchard grass in my pellets.

And, again, very high quality timothy and orchard grass pellets.

5)  VALUE FOR YOUR BUCK!  REALLY?

At first, I thought that these products would end up being more expensive than my regular local pelleted products and my local grass hay supplier.

I was wrong.

Shocked!

The hay and pellets were so packed with nutrients, I had to cut back on Rojo’s feed of equal proportion and weight.  Same with Norma and Bodhi.

I was very surprised!

They were gaining weight!

The fact that I was losing less hay because the compressed bales were so clean and tidy was great – but too add that the horses needed less feed due to the high quality was a huge bonus.

Wow.

I didn’t expect that.

HORSES DOVE IN

Rojo loved his pellets!

Rojo loved his hay.

No worries there.

Bodhi loved his hay and pellets.

Norma preferred the Standlee hay to my fresh orchard grass hay.  She ate the compressed baled hay before she ate her regular flake of orchard grass hay.

Norma didn’t prefer the pellets to her ‘all in’ grain previously fed.  But, her bowl was empty after her protest, she ate it.

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Bodhi with a mouthful. Happy – except for the awful flies… they are bad this season…

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Norma was voracious! She loooves the Standlee hay.

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Rojo with his face in his grain bucket… loved his pellets!

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE.

Yes, there was one thing I didn’t like… and one thing I wished for…

I didn’t like that the feed was so nutritious that I had to feed less – which sounds odd.  But, I like my horses to have more time eating during the day.

Luckily, my horses are all out in large pastures but if they weren’t, I would want to slow feed these products.

What I wished?  I wished they had compressed bales of grass hay without alfalfa.  I cannot feed alfalfa to most of my horses, so for me, I couldn’t use the compressed bales for all of mine.

That was too bad…

HOW DID HE LOOK?

Rojo looked great!

Shiny and happy!

I am eager to add the one supplement I love, Equion.  But, all in all, feeding only the Standlee products kept him in excellent weight and health.

In fact, I knew I was giving him the best in pure grass products.

I really felt confident that I was feeding him pure, good, honest and nutritious food.

Love that…

As Hubby has always said, I may not like to cook, but I loooooove to feed.

And this is good feed.

OK, I was losing light by the time I remembered to take his pic today... but you can see that he maintained his good weight and his coat is shiny.

 

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