Wednesday, January 10, 2018

First Ride of 2018! New Stirrups! A question about manes!

Due to the deep freeze and snow storms across the east coast, me actually getting home (a separate post in itself for my non-horse blog) took ALL YEAR.  😂😂😂😂😂

No but seriously, today was the first full day I was at home in 2018. AND it was getting progressively warmer throughout the day and night, which meant that my designated riding time (after 8pm) would be actually warmer than the daytime!  SCORE.

So what's a horse girl to do when she can ride in a rain jacket and no gloves and not freeze her cheeks off? Ride of course!

Fat!Pony is not impressed with the the fact that her stall is closed and her halter is on. (Please ignore the dirty stall, I cleaned it after)

Use the arena floodlights for the best lit selfies

Unless your Fat!Pony wants to rub her face on you and becomes a blur monster

But then she gives you kisses because it was 8 fucking days apart and that's practically torture and don't you know she was SO hungry and cold even though the nice neighbor lady came and fed her every day.

I love this view

The snow is turning to slush it's so warm

We practiced stepping under and using her back and also our geometry. 10 m circles are easy to evaluate in the snow

More circles!

Ugh that poor mane. Super thick and long near her head, wispy and thin toward the withers. HOW FIX, BLOG WORLD? HOW?!

 You may note that my stirrups are super reflective!  Woefully, I have been searching for a good winter boot to wear whilst riding.  Everyone suggests Mountain Horses, but the tall boots that would fit my ginormous calf are not being sold any more in my foot size. Joy.  Since I need a wide footbed in addition to a wide calf, I tried ordering a pair of mens Ariat paddock boots, Extreme H20. It was too tight across the top of my foot and I immediately started to lose feeling in my foot while wearing them. Definitely not gonna be good for riding.

I also ordered a pair of ovation winter paddock boots. These things are a two layer system that just sucked. Nope. Getting returned. If the ridiculous thinsulate booty was not a separate thing from the boot itself it might have worked, but I couldn't get my foot in the boot when the pieces were already together, and if I took the booty out and slid my foot in already in the booty, my toes got jammed up and cramped by the booty in the boot and it never loosened up.

I'm picky. And both of those are getting returned.

What I currently wear in the barn in the winter is my muck boots, super thick rubber and plastic, but my feet have never been cold in them. But they're super duper unsafe for traditional stirrup irons because of the lack of heel.

So, I figured since I do endurance, and they make stirrup irons for non-traditional riding shoes, why not embrace the muck boots and just get a safe stirrup iron? It would do double duty as a wide bed stirrup for endurance rides and a safety thing for winter if I wear my muck boots.

So merry christmas to me! I ordered from Distance Depot with my swell discount for being a new AERC member and they arrived while we were gone!

They are, obviously, in purple beta with reflective overlay.

My muck boot fits well in them, I'm not fighting to fit the ginormous boot into them, so it gives me confidence that they'll work well in the summer too. I'll have a bigger shoe option to wear for endurance.

But really, the big question I have for you all, what do you do with a mane that's super uneven in thickness? Gwyn is half friesian, so I tend to err on the 'let it grow' mentality and just braid it in the summer when it's hot. I would like the mane to be more uniform, so I might as well work on that now. How do I do that? I'm already supplementing with Biotin for her hooves (which has worked out wonderfully, btw)  What else should I be doing for care? I minimize brushing it, but will finger pick the worst. She doesn't rub it (to my knowledge), doesn't wear a blanket regularly, and really never gets it super tangled.


  1. idk about the mane, but i kinda love/hate riding in snow (or freshly drug arenas) bc it's so easy to see exactly how circular (or, uh, *not*) my circles are, or how straight my lines are. nothing tattles like fresh footing! haha

  2. You can pull/thin it so its even in thickness. You could also try roaching it and then feeding her a coat supplement (something by Horse Guard maybe) and cross your fingers and hope it comes in a bit more evenly.

  3. For horses with frustrating manes, I roach in the winter and let it start fresh.

    I do love snow riding for the way you can check your geometry :) Or freshly dragged arenas...

    I'm glad you had lights and weather that was warmer than during the day for your ride!!

    Of course, I love the muck boots and caged stirrups combo. I wish caged stirrups were more widely accepted in the horse world. They're such a great safety feature.

    1. With all my frustrations trying to find an insulated boot that fit my foot, this ended up being the best option (muck boot + caged stirrup) for both price and fit.

      Now I just need the weather to warm back up again.