Tag Archives: Equispa

A Coupla old Mares on a Spa Day…

*This story was originally posted on 2/13/2011.  I had just injured myself in a freak accident with a bullsnap on the end of a lead rope.

Also, what I find really, very interesting are the photos of Mama Tess.  Clearly, now, I can see that she was Cushings.  But then, since I saw her daily, it never occurred to me.  If I had only realized then… perhaps she and I wouldn’t be in the position we are today.

And, honestly, MT looks in much better health (except for her feet) today than she did over 4 years ago – so that makes me feel better.  But, gulp, I wish I would have noticed…

Anyway, here we go!  Enjoy!

A Coupla old Mares on a Spa Day…

Nothing makes me feel more like an old gray mare than a head wound…

All I wanted to do today was curl up on the couch and watch the Love Hurts Movie Marathon on FX.   But, alas, I have responsibilities (or, more truthfully – I would be embarrassed to sit in a lump on the couch in front of my family) so, I had to come up with something a bit more productive.

And then a great idea hit me!  (Yikes, I really shouldn’t use that expression anymore…)  A Spa day with Tess, the other old mare around here.

Me Day 5 of the injury… Yikes.


The idea came to me when I was rolling around the house trying to look like I was straightening up.  Amid my shuffling, I happened upon a box of wonderful goodies I have from Equi-Spa that I needed to test.  (You’ve heard me rave about their The Balm and Peppermint Summer Protection – fly spray.) Anyway, I had this entire box of fun stuff that was all brand new – just waiting for the right Spring Day!

And today was that day!  What could be better than Spa products on a day where all I want to do was lull myself with “ahhhhhhh”.  So, I decided to spoil myself with the box of Spa products.  Except, there was one problem… most of the products in my box were for equines, not humans.  Hmmmmm.  I guess I’d better invite one of my horse friends to my ‘head wound pity party’…  I decided to invite Tess, my 21 year-old ex-show mare who is arthritic, has a constantly weepy eye and could use some love and fawning over.

My box of goodies!


So, I gathered my miserable self with my box of special products and headed to the barn.

Once in the barn, I put down the yummy stuff and set about figuring out how to capture just Tess.

Do you have that issue?  The horse you want is in a herd.  But, unfortunately, something keeps you from going out there and nabbing just her – mud, weather, distance… or in my cases, a head wound.

I decided to lock Norma into her stall and then open the barn gate for Tess to enter.  But, I neglected to fend off Gwen who was barreling behind Tess, making sure I didn’t lock her out – which was exactly my intention.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough in my one-eyed slumber so I ended up with both mares running around me in the barn and Norma braying in her stall.  Great.  Another accident waiting to happen.

I let Gwen out into the front yard so she could eat all the newly flowered daffodils while I wrestled with Tess and tried to explain to her why she wasn’t also outside eating daffodils…

Tess waiting at the gate with Gwen right behind her…

Me:  We’re going to have a Spa Day!  Just you and me!

Tess:  I want to be OUTSIDE eating green grass and daffodils.

Me:  But we’ll have fun!

Tess:   I want to be OUTSIDE easting green grass and daffodils!  I don’t want any stoopid Spa party.  What is the matter with you?!

Me:  Awww, C’mon.  Humor me.  Let me Spa with you.

Tess:  (stamping her feet) WHY?  I  don’t care about how I look!  I only want to eat daffodils and whatever SHE’S eating!

Me:  NO.  I demand that you sit here and Spa with me, dammit!

Tess:  (ears pinned) I hate you.  HATE YOU.  Let me out or I’ll throw a fit!

Me:  (realizing that letting Gwen out into the yard was a horrible idea and perhaps I shouldn’t even have horses anymore since I’ve made so many bad decisions lately…).

Y’know Tess, You are right.  I shouldn’t have let Gwen outside.  (I sit down on a bag of shavings and begin to cry…)

Tess:  Oh now don’t go blubbering… OKOK, I’ll make a deal with you.  If you give me a bucket of grain while I’m in here with you, I’ll let you Spa me.

Me:  (snorfulling a bit)  You … will?!

Tess:  Yea, OK.  Just hurry up about it.  And, get me the good grain, not the organic stuff.  I want the yummy grain and lots of it.  Oh, and make sure you don’t pull my hair – use only the good stuff on my mane and tail and DON’T touch my udder unless you have warm hands.

Me: (Jumping off of the shavings and heading for the feed room with glee!…)

OK!  Let’s do this!

Tess:  (giving me her best ‘Lurch from the Addams Family’ look)


Miss Pinny Ears making sure I was getting the right grain for her


First, I started to brush her and then realized my little Spring hairball is here…  I pulled off enough winter coat to weave an Eskimo village.  Ugh.  I ended up using my steel brush (very small teeth – like a dog brush) to remove all the loose hair.  Rabbits and birds were lining up to haul away all the nesting materials.

Tess is the mare who suffered from Canker (the disease that inspired this blog) so I needed to check her feet.  No worries.  All good.  Then we moved onto the goopy eyes.  This old gal is so familiar with eye ointment, she actually lifted her head out of the grain bucket and sighed, “Oh fine, just do it anyway and get it over with…”.  Which I did.  I think it makes her feel better so she lets me apply it without fussing.

At this point, I realized that I hadn’t even used any of the Spa products.  So, I went to my box and pulled out the Udder cleaner.   Mmmmm, smelled so good she wanted to eat it.  But, I put it on a warm cloth and reached downunder.  I never know if she is going to raise her leg in warning or give me that “oooohhhhhh ya” face.  She gave the face!

Then we decided that since the Udder Cleaner was so fragrant, we would look inside the box and see what else we could try today.  Tess pointed to the Lavender Cleansing Spray and the Grapefruit Coat Refresh.  Hmmmm.  OK.  So, I figured after an entire winter, the coat refresh would make sense…  I ended up using it in her mane as well.  It was really, really nice, fragrant and easy to use.  She looked purty!  It smelled so much better than all the other dry coat cleaners that I have used… natural.  I wanted to get her outside to see how her coat looked in the sunshine.

Now for the Lavender Cleansing Spray…   I decided I would use that on her face after I had cleaned up her goopy eyes.  I know Lavender is supposed to be very soothing so I wanted it to be on her face and forehead.  I sprayed it on my hands first and then rubbed it into her cheeks and forehead.

She actually stopped eating for a few seconds.  I think she kinda got lost in the fragrance for a tiny moment because he eyes rolled slightly back…  Then, back to the grain.

Voila!  She was done.  My grand dam was Spa’d up at exactly the time she ran out of grain.  So, I held up my end of the bargain and let her outside to eat daffodils and green grass.

Tess’ “before” photo… She’s resigned to Spa day.


I noticed the new tub of THE BALM in my box of goodies.  Hmmmmm.  I’ve been a little upset by the lack of beauty in my eye stitching.  In fact, I’m kinda bummed that the eyebrow seems to be sewed back together a bit askew – alright, more than a bit askew.  It actually looks like there’s a jog in the river, if you know what I mean…

I slathered The Balm all over my eyebrow

I thought that maybe if I softened it up with healthy balm, I might be able to help the wound heal less angrily.

I opened The Balm and slathered it all over my eyebrow.  It felt really cooling.  Since the jar was new, I brought it into the house and it is now in my bathroom.  I’m going to use it everyday and see if it does for me what it did for BG this past summer.  (She had huge bug bites and this stuff kept the bugs away and helped her heal without any marks.)  We’ll see.  I’m crossing my fingers.

It worked wonders for BG so I’m trying it on myself!


I took this photo of Tess after her Spa treatment…

Tess… She probably looks like an old mare to you but I still see her as she was…

You know what is interesting to me?  I never look at her and see a 21 year old mare – like you do when you look at her photo.

I see her as she was.  I mean, I know that she is an older horse and that she needs more attention.  But, she still feels like the young Tess.  She still glows and has that inner fire that is only Tess.    I realized that I will probably never see her as anything other than who she is down deep.  A regal, hot and fussy Champion in an older mare’s body.

This is what I see when I look at her…


To be honest, I’ve felt a bit saddened by my probable new scars.  I’m a bit bothered that Hubby will have to look at me and wonder if I have a question or if my eyebrow is just stuck like that…  I’m upset with myself that I ruined what little I had left in the ‘pretty’ department.

And then I thought about it.  I figured that Hubby probably sees me like I see Tess.  Sure, she’s older and a bit beat up.  But there is no part of me that doesn’t feel how she truly is.  She is the exact same girl she has always been.

So, for me… if I don’t cave into the depression of having messed up my face, I doubt Hubby will see me any differently.  When you love and admire a person (or a horse), they will always be that soul to admire and love – unless they themselves forget who they are.

Thanks, my mare, for sharing my Spa day.  You and your incredible confidence and self identity have been an eye-opener for me- even if that eye is a bit puffy and yellow…

Our wedding day… .

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Ralph Neighder Equine Consumer Report #2 and other stuff…


Today is another Ralph Neighder Day!  I am going tell you about products that I like and other things…


First of all, calling it THE BALM is so great because it really is THE BOMB!  Love it, love it, love it.  I’m using it for everything!  If it could do my laundry, I’d give it the spare bedroom.

OK, here is the deal.  It is a cream that you are supposed to use to heal wounds and keep flies away.  It is all natural and it smells clean and fresh.  The horses like it.  On the website, it is described like this:

Formulated in a base of Bees wax and soy wax with no petrochemical.  I use this balm to protect fresh wounds and abrasions from external irritants.  I is a good barrier against flies.  It helps facilitate healing of the wounds from the inside out, due to the properties of the essential oils, Lavender, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus,  and Geranium. 8 oz tub  is $12.00

Here is the Equi-spa website.

I was given this as a sample.  And, sample it I did!  First, I put it on my mare’s belly where those nasty nighttime biting flies just eat her alive.  (I’ve been spreading SWAT on her belly which was fine, until I tried this…)  I liked that this cream was smooth enough to stay where I put it and not drop on the ground shortly after I removed my hand…  And, she didn’t dance away from me.  She liked it.

Well, I have to tell you, five days later, not only does she have NO new bites, but the whole area is clearing up and healing.  Wow!  Her skin is smooth, the scabs are gone and the hair is growing back. Yowsa!

Then, I put the cream all over her face.

BG with THE BALM on her face at dusk with NO FLYING INSECTS!

I took a photo of her with the cream on her face at the worst time of dusk.  As you can see, not one biting fly or gnat or anything.  In fact, I was getting eaten alive so I rubbed it all over my arms.  It felt slightly warm, then cool and then just soothing.  No flies.  No mosquitoes.  Ahhhhhhh.

I also schmeared it all over her tail where she rubs.  I swear, I heard her sigh as I put the soothing cream on her itchy tail area.  So then I went around and rubbed it into every tail dock on my ranch (yes, they have all been wormed).

I'm using it on everything!

I think their eyes rolled back into their heads.  It must have felt so good to them because I could see the relief.  It gets so hot here and the flies/sweat/dust are merciless on the poor babies… As I rubbed THE BALM in, not a peep outta them.  They all stood rock still and let me have at it!

I WANT A 10 GALLON INDUSTRIAL VAT OF THIS STUFF.  Seriously.  I can see myself using it for everything.  It is the equine elixir of all things topical.  I highly recommend it. (I have no affiliation although I wish I did!  ;)  )


These items I’ve mentioned before and they are also from Equi-spa.

My new best friends...

The fly spray (Peppermint Summer Protection) is wonderful.  It is all natural and the horses like it!  I think it makes their coats shine beautifully.  It doesn’t have any petroleum products, yay, so you have to apply it every day.  But, I really, really like not spraying them down with nasty stuff that sticks to my hands and makes my lungs seize.

And, the Not-so-Sweet-Itch gel formula is really nice for those itchy spots.  I use it religiously (most of the time, anyway) for the horses that rub manes and tails.  It is lighter than THE BALM.  I keep it in my grooming box and use it daily.  It is like an instant itch stopper.  Equi-spa website link.


OK, this may not be table talk but all of us have always wondered how to test the manure for worms.  I mean, the vets say not to worm your horses unless they need it, but how do you know if they need it?  I guess if the infestation gets really bad, the horses look bad.  Or, you can assume there are worms if they are rubbing their butts… but that could just be flies or udder/sheath issues.  So, how do you know?

Tiny photo of the test kit

Alas, the faboo HORSEMAN’S LAB has come up with a really easy fecal test kit that they send to you.  It is really easy.  My reader who turned me onto it said the experience was like Netflix.  You go online and pay for how ever many kits you want.  They send them to you.  You scoop a tiny Baskin and Robbins size mini-spoonful into the little plastic sample cosmetic container and ship it back in the SASE that they provide.  After the lab receives it and tests it, they email you the results.  Easy!   Here is their website.  (Sorry their photo was so small… I couldn’t make it any bigger.)


Well, if you are like me, they sit in storage, stuffed into one of those zippered plastic pouches you get when you purchase a bedspread.  I just cannot bring myself to throw them away but yet again, I don’t want them hanging in my foyer, if you know what I mean…  The barn is too dusty to hang anything (because I’m a lousy barnkeeper).  So, what do you do with the ribbons?

This photo came into my inbox.  I thought, “Hey, that’s a novel idea…, I wonder if she has other novel ideas for ribbons?”  Actually, I would love a throw blanket of my ribbons.  I don’t know how comfy that would be.  And, I kinda wonder if they would hold up under all of my rigid TV watching and chair sitting… but I might see my ribbons more often if I had them made into something else.  Actually, making them into checkbook covers would be the best idea.  Then you’d remember WHY ON EARTH you are spending so much money to go to horse shows!  (Her phone number is below the photo.)


I’ve shown the EASY CATCH HALTER before but I’m showing it again because it is just so easy!  If you are like me, most of my horses can move about with a piece of twine on their necks ( and believe me, I use it often…).  However, when it is medicine time or doctoring time or if you just need a gentle catching device, this is it!  Easy on and Easy off.  No buckles and no throwing the long side over the horsehead that is moving higher and higher…

Of course, you cannot use this in your trailer, but for everyday stuff, it is really fast.  I love it.  Much better than twine.  ;)


I was told to put Listerine in a squirt bottle and to spray it around any area that I didn’t want mosquitoes.  OK.  I had some Listerine.  I got it at Costco.  It was a two pack and lawd knows how long those gigantic bottles have been sitting in my pantry.  I was eager to find a way to use them up!  So, I put some in a used and clean fly spray bottle.

First, I sprayed it all over the patio where I sit in the evenings reading while getting feasted upon my mosquitoes.  Usually, I spray on toxic stuff and light a citronella candle that totally spoils the mood.  But, last night, I sprayed the Listerine instead.  Wow.  It worked.  I sprayed it on my arm and it stung.  So, don’t do that.

Then, I went to the barn and sprayed it on the stall doors and the wood around the barn entrance.  My mare didn’t like the smell but she didn’t hate it.  And, the fragrance dissipated quickly.  Truth to tell, I found it much more enjoyable at 7pm on a summer night than usual.  So, tomorrow, I might spray it all over the barn and see what happens.  If it works, I could get a lot more done in the evenings.

Those are my products for this day… I hope this brings you some new knowledge.  Stop by tomorrow for PhoBlog day!  Have a great weekend!

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