I don’t know about you, but the weather here is pretty ugly. As we move into the end of winter, I know that a lot of us are sick of mud, rain, wind, snow, sleet and all the other stuff that makes having horses more difficult.
So, today I thought I’d talk about little things that make my day better. Now, you may find these insignificant. Or, you may already know about them all. But, I thought I would let you in on my favorite small things in case you were in need of a couple.
These gloves are advertised as the best glove you will ever own. Hmmmm. I bought a pair anyway. And you know what? They are the best gloves I have ever owned. No joke. Absolutely.
You can feel everything! You have total dexterity, they breathe in the summer but keep you warm in the winter. (I wear them year round.) You can wash them and they come out fine as long as you don’t let your kids put them in the dryer.
I took a photo of one on my hand. As you can see, there are may gussets so your fingers can move.
So, for me, who was totally tired of running errands after mucking or riding and suddenly noticing my dirty fingernails while accepting a Starbucks from the horrified barista… these gloves stay on my hands because I don’t feel the need to remove them to get anything done! If you need gloves, get these. They come in black and brown.
The gal that sells them is really sweet. You can visit her website or just call her.
2) EQUI-TECH LAB TROOPER TACKY TACK PAD
Oh my goodness! I have searched far and wide for a pad that will meet my needs. The pad for me had to provide comfort and protection for the horse, it had to breathe, it had to have a spine channel, it had to have a smaller footprint (although they make many sizes), it had to not smell, clean up easily and STAY ON THE HORSE.
I have tried a zillion saddle pads. This one does it all! And, you can get built-in booster pads in certain areas if your horse needs it. I have one that is basic, one that is more built up front for my downhill mare and another that has more in the middle for my gaited and mid-line bowed gelding. They also make one for an uphill horse. Anyway, they work. I have ridden for hours and hours in these pads. –Even sweat marks and happy horses.
You can get them here. The website isn’t easy to navigate so just call them and ask for whatever shape you want. I like the Trooper for under my endurance saddles.
3) DECKER 6 BAR FITCH STEEL CURRY COMB 66-R
OK, you will think I’m crazy for loving this nasty thing that I’ve had for years. As you can see, some teeth are missing and it is really rusty. But, I will tell you, this thing is the greatest shedding tool known to Groomerkind. I have two of these old things and they are the first to be grabbed during Spring Shed.
I love that you can break up mud with one side and then pull out hair with the other. And, it has just enough pressure that pretty much all horses are fine with it. Most love it. I have one mare that likes the mud teeth on her back and the smaller teeth on her sides. They let you know. Anyway, it is easy to shake out the hair as you go so you aren’t frustrated by having to get another tool to get all the hair out, or start banging it against a fence or whatever. You know what I mean…
Truth to tell, I was embarrassed to show this cruddy thing without telling you where you could get a new one. I found some on Ebay with an Ebay seller. They look nice. I might get a new one for myself, too.
4) UGG SUEDE CLEANER and VECTRA LEATHER PROTECTION
Do you have Uggs? I don’t. But, I saw this kit and wondered if it would work on all of my suede things… saddle seats, chaps, half chaps, boots…. It does! Oh my gosh, like a wonder! It can clean suede as well as seal it. I’ve used it on everything. I also cleaned up some suede bar stool seats while I had it out.
Vectra Spray: I guess we all have some type of leather sealant for our saddles. But, this one is really easy to use – just a light mist. It works and it is cheap. I have it on my saddles and all of my leather coats and shoes. You can get it at Home Depot. So if you don’t already have a sealer you love, try this.
5) BEET PULP
Well, this may be obvious for many of you. But, I still have friends who have never heard of it or used it.
Let me tell you, this is an incredible food. I use it to replace any grains. You can read about the merits of beet pulp here. I have linked a few articles. But, let me tell you what I think… I think it is rich in protein, low in carbs, low in sugar, inexpensive, easy to prepare and almost a perfect food for a horse that isn’t in need of huge weight gain. (However, many use it for re-feeding starved horses.) All 13 of my horses love it! I put any supplements on it and they gobble it up.
Preparing it is a bit different. It comes as a pellet (DO NOT get the shreds) in huge 50# bags. I pour mine into a garbage can. Then, I take a scoop, pour it into a bucket and then put water in to cover it by an inch. This stuff grows like those magic snakes on 4th of July so DON’T put too much water on top. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight. When you come back, you will have a full bucket of chewable pulp. Easy. I put it in my refer but you can just sit it out on the ground or counter as long as the temps don’t get too high before you serve it. (The photos are the scoop of beet pulp pellets with an inch of water — and then the amount of beet pulp you get once it plumps up.)
Anyway, I love this stuff. I don’t use anything else unless I have to.
So, there you have it. 5 simple but wonderful inventions to make these dreary days more palatable. Do you have any items that you feel make your day go better?