Labor Day! Let’s go cruising the Marine for Horsey stuff!

Monday, September 6th, 2010 | Filed under Handy Tips

Happy Labor Day!

It is Labor Day and many of you are enjoying yourselves out on the boat.  Or, at least I have seen many, many boats being trailered up past my house on the way to Lake Tahoe…

Anyway, for some reason, I am the lucky recipient of the WEST MARINE catalog, even though Hubby and I don’t own a boat…  The catalog is huge (bigger than Sears) and it specializes in anything for your boat or boating in general.

Now, a few months ago, I happened to be in a boating store and discovered a three-step

The very inexpensive 3-step from the Marine Store.

for a lot less than what they cost in any equestrian catalog.  In fact, I found several things that crossed over very nicely.  When I received the West Marine catalog in the mail, I decided to walk through it and see whatever other aquatic/horsey jewels I could find.

So, on Labor Day when many of you are boating, the rest of us will peruse the catalog and find interesting cross-over horsey gear!


1)  Oregon 550 and 550t Handheld GPS Navigators/ Dakota 10 Handheld GPS

Now, what trail rider, endurance rider or cross country fan wouldn’t want a personal GPS?  The great thing about these is that they have a camera as well as a tilt compensated compass built-in!  It also has TopoMaps that help you pick the right terrain and determine rider suitability.  They say this works in canyons and also deep cover.  Wow!

The Dakota 10 is waterproof, palm-sized and sunlight readable. Wahoo!  I like this one.

Both models have lots of extras and are perfect for the rider.  And, the SCORE here is that both of these models from West Marine were less expensive than the same models at REI!

2)  RITCHIESPORT X-10 Compass

This is very cool because it will mount on your saddle.   Or it is small enough to put into your pack and bring out when you need it.

I think a compass would be a great item if you don’t have a GPS and you like to ride in different places often.  I mean, usually, you’ll get a compass that comes with your caribiner clip or maybe you get a flimsy one on your keychain.  But, you rarely get a real compass that would survive a day of riding.  So, I think the massive assortment of compasses in this catalog should give you many options for a tremendously capable compass in a variety of shapes and sizes!

3)  Mega Braid Nylon Line

This nylon line can take 55,000 lbs of pressure!  I’m guessing most horses couldn’t break this or nibble through it!  So, if you are looking for strong lead lines, halter ropes, lounge lines, cross ties or any other type of rope, this would really hold up!

Of course, I know that many of you would rather use cotton for lead ropes and halters.  But, if you are not against nylon, they have every color imaginable in just about every weight you could want.  So, why not?

I see huge spools of this rope at almost every large Horse Expo.  So, I think we are onto something here.  And, it is less expensive in this catalog marine catalog…

4)  Folding Solar Chargers

These are too cool!  You can charge your phone, GPS, laptop, lights, fence wire… or a multitude of other applications yet they fold up for easy traveling.  And, they have larger versions as well so you can take a hot shower on the trail or power large lights.  So, if you are missing out on something on the trail or in the barn because you don’t have power, check these out.  There is a huge selection with multiple aquatic uses that could transfer onto land easily!

5)  Horse Toys!  (Or, boat fenders…)

OMG!   Here is a huge assortment of all shapes and sizes of horse toys boat fenders.  They come in many shapes, sizes and weights!  You can pick one for your brute’s stall as well as one for your dainty little lass…  And, the round kind would be great in a pasture hanging from a tree!   I’m sure you could think of many uses for these things (even as bumpers in your trailer…).

If you consider that these fenders are meant to withstand a huge boat crashing against a stationary dock, I think they could withstand the jaws or feet of your mount.  Also, they come with a guarantee.   It says they are guaranteed for the life of your boat against splitting or bursting!  Ah ha!  I’d like to see a comparable horse product!

6)  Sport/Dive Ladder (or Hay Barn Ladder…)

I see this item wall mounted in my hay barn.  It would be so much easier than climbing the rickety barn bales to kick the top bale off!  I swear, there is nothing more finger slicing than trying to open a regular ladder in the hay barn.  Oy.  It always slams shut on something you didn’t see … or it is all wonky on the uneven ground and you hurt yourself more by using it than not.

So, why not mount this handy little item on your hay barn wall?!  It takes less space than a regular ladder and is much more safe.

I think you could mount a few of them on top of each other to make a taller version.  The treads are non-slip and you can easily detach these if you need to put them anywhere else (like on the side of your trailer to climb up to the roof).

7)  Admiral Series Telescoping Handles  (Cobweb getter!)

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of using my broom to reach the webs and then getting mouthfuls of yuk as I do my work…

With this handydandy little item, you can attach any kind of end (there are many available) and telescope the useful part waaaaaay up there.  Then you, and your closed mouth,  can stand very clear as you clean up the far reaches of your barn.

And, it is “aircraft” grade so it isn’t wimpy.  If someone left it where a horse could step on it, I think the telescoping handle would be A-OK!

8)  Surge Multi-Tool!

OK, there are a zillion multi-tools in this catalog that can do just about everything except shoe your horse!  I could have picked any number of them for this report but I decided on the Surge Multi-Tool because it has wire cutters, eyeglasses screwdrivers and an awl with threader (for leather mishaps), among other things.  I think the boating people are so much more inventive with their Leathermans than equestrians!  I mean, these are far superior to the Leatherman’s of my glove compartment!  These are the Leatherman’s of the future!  And, the future of my daypack, for sure!  Here is a list of what this particular model can do!

  • Large and small bit drivers include double-ended bits
  • 4 outside-opening blades
  • Leatherman’s strongest scissors yet
  • Stainless Steel
  • All-Locking Blades
  • Needlenose Pliers
  • Regular Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • Hard-Wire Cutters
  • Stranded-Wire Cutters
  • Electrical Crimper
  • Clip-Point Knife
  • Serrated Knife
  • Scissors. Blade Exchanger
  • Diamond File Blade
  • Wood File Blade
  • Saw Blade
  • Large Bit Driver
  • Small Bit Driver
  • 5/16″ Screwdriver
  • Awl w/Thread Loop
  • Ruler (9 inches/22 cm)
  • Bottle/Can Opener
  • Wire Stripper
  • Lanyard Ring
  • Two Double-Ended Bit

9)  REMIX Headlamp

Now who of us doesn’t have to affix a headlamp to your head at least once a day during the winter months?!  I sure do!  I use them so much during winter that sometimes I forget to take the off!  My horses probably think I grew a very bright, third eye or something.

Anyway, I love these things and am always looking for the perfect fit, the lightest weight and the easiest to add batteries.

This one seems to do all of those things, however, if you prefer others, there are many in this catalog (along with any other kind of light you could imagine…).  I love that this headlamp has an easy opening battery compartment.  I also LOVE the over-sized on/off button.  I cannot tell you how often I fumble to find the dang button or I accidentally switch it to the evil strobe!


Can’t you just see this in your truck bed?  OK, maybe it is kinda whitetrashy but I think it is a great idea for horse camping or tailgating or maybe just when you are having lunch on a long ride…   The best part is that it fits a regular sized cooler inside of it.  So, you can fill your cooler at home and just set it inside this cooler!  Or, use it as dry storage.

I would put this in the bed of my truck with the back part against the cab window.  I’d fill the chest with a faboo picnic lunch and then sit on the lovely cushioned (with backrest) chair in the shade under a tree.  Ahhhhh.

And, if this one wasn’t up to your fancy, there are many, many more styles and sizes!


OK, that concludes our initial trip through the West Marine catalog!  I tore out so many different items, I’ll have to have a Phase 2 on this topic later.

I sure hope you are all having a wonderful and safe LABOR DAY!

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