Traditional vs.New: A Review Series

Part one:

Grooming–

Since we all start our equestrian activities with a grooming session, I figured it would be the most accurate place to begin this review series.  I am constantly intrigued by all the new products coming to market.  Either I was too far out of the loop , or perhaps because now social media has changed the face of advertising so thoroughly, but I used to have a small set of go-to grooming items and never really thought of branching out.  Now that I am exposed to so many great new products, I want to see how they can stack up against the traditional grooming products I always used.

For this first part in the series, we are stacking the ever glamorous traditional curry comb against the new Grooming Hands.  Disclaimer: I did receive a pair of these gloves for free, in return for my honest opinion posted  below.

I started with a slightly sweaty, dirty bay mare.

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Exhibit A.

I introduced the traditional curry comb.  I scrubbed and brushed, and curried.  DeeDee stood quietly and let me do my thing.  In case you are wondering, I stayed on the right side of her body so I could remember to step back and observe any differences.

On a shed out summertime horse like Dee, my vigorous brushing only brought up a little dust to the surface; it wasn’t a huge change in appearance.  Honestly, if I hadn’t been doing this experiment, I might have just skipped right to a body brush.  It doesn’t exactly wow.

Next I whipped out the new contender, the Grooming Hands, tossed them both on and started on (the left side of) DeeDee.  While she wasn’t covered in mud, I could see that the ‘bristles’ of the hands do stand up higher off the gloves, I felt like I got in a little deeper on the sweat stains and dirt marks.  I also dug into her mane.  Note: I almost immediately tossed off my left hand glove.  I liked having one bare hand to hold her halter, or my phone, or to follow along her hair after the Grooming Hand to see what grime was coming up.

Using my Grooming Hand I loved being able to get all over the small nooks and spaces of her legs and face, as well as making DeeDee’s day by using them to rub and itch at her ears.  I was able to slide my fingers under the halter easily to scrub away any sweaty-ness there.

And look what it brought up after using Grooming Hands on her face.

A few other interesting points:

  • I was able to use my technology/iPhone while wearing these!  It wasn’t the easiest thing, but the glove is not thick and clunky like a heavy duty work glove would be.
  • They fit well!  Grooming Hands provides a simple sizing guide, and I was pleasantly pleased with how secure they fit around your fingers.
  • I don’t know necessarily if you need two gloves.  I actually preferred just the one glove.  But that might just be me!
  • Demelia really seemed to enjoy the gloves and I found it really fun to really dig my fingers in and get the dirt and itches for her.

Watch the short clip below to see how DeeDee demonstrates how much she likes the Grooming Hand effort on her face!  I just held my hand steady, and she found the spots I missed.  Her reaction alone, sold me on how fun these could be.  Even with a thinner skinned horse, it would allow you to pick and choose where you really dig in.  Very cool.

Overall after part one, the “new” grooming tool takes the point.

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A Gift Horse recommended!

Point Tally–

Traditional: 0

New: 1

Next Traditional vs. New coming soon!

From My Teenage Self

A few weeks ago I uncovered a external hard drive from my freshman year of college onto which I downloaded the majority of my files after my longtime computer had died.

What I found, made my heart so very, very happy.  So many pictures of me loving horses, working with horses, and even a few rare clips of me actually riding horses.  These memories made me tear up, and I cannot wait to share some of these stories with ya’ll as I take a trip down memory lane.

But the thing that stuck me the most was how much I was reminded of why I ride.  Why I am involved with horses.  It is not an easy sport.  It is not easy to be a mom, a career woman, a wife and still sneak out for rides.  The guilt can be suffocating.  Sometimes driving back from the barn I’m lost in frustration over the fact that I’ve been so stressed over time for everything that I forgot to actually enjoy the horses and the ride.  Then I feel stupid.   And what am I really doing anyway?  No immediate goals, and no fantastic prospects, I still battle the feeling of being lost in the mix.

And then I saw these pictures of 15, 16, 17 year old me.

 

 

Old/younger me would kick my ass for not loving every second.  Back then I was working my butt off, mucking stalls, chasing lesson ponies, watering rings, doing whatever was shouted at me–all for the chance to just be around these animals, let alone get to ride them.  I was grateful for every moment.

Seeing these pictures reminded me that while I may not be the best rider, I might not get to ride whenever I want, but horses are still in my heart.  Nothing is going to change that.  That feels good.

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Flying on Over

the famous Miles

One of the most unexpected joys within my job is being able to travel to really great places.  Even better, when I just happened to by flying into Tracy at Fly On Over’s hometown!  It worked out and we decided to combine food and ponies for a great afternoon.

After I got to her place, and passed Rocky the Havenese’s test, I had the chance to tour her home before we headed out.  They’ve done a fabulous job with the house and it is SO CUTE.  I threw on some riding clothes, and off we went to see Miles and Moiya.  First up-I was in awe-the place Tracy boards at is gorgeous!  It has this lovely pond, great barns, fabulous arenas, and really nice trails.


And as for the ponies themselves?  Ugh, so adorable.  Miles is this tall, shiny, handsome boy.  He dutifully accepted my love as I wallowed on him as she got him ready.  And Moiya is such a pretty, delicate little girl who left her lunch to come see what I was all about.  Tracy is a lucky lady!


Tracy hopped on Miles first, and took him for a spin.  While Tracy and I had bonded over rough times with Miles and O, now you would never know it looking at these two!  They are doing so great, and you can see it in the partnership they share.

gushing over the cute red ears


After handing over the reins, I totally fangirled out about riding him.  I hopped on and Tracy gave me the basic rundown of the Miles buttons.  He’s a smart guy, and I loved his canter!  Tracy as done a great job keeping him on his toes, and you can tell he’s both well loved and well trained.  We even went on a little walkabout to see more of the property, and he trucked me up and down the hills and trails like a pro.  What a good boy!

smiles for days


After stuffing them with carrots and loves, we left the barn to find something to eat for ourselves.  Over a nice long lunch we chatted about all things life, and generally had a great time!  Tracy was incredibly nice, and offered great insight to my horse debacles.  So much fun.

Thank you again Tracy for sharing your lovely Miles with me, and spending an afternoon hanging out with me!  I had a great time!

 

Skills Bank

Blatantly stolen from Tracy and taken as a topic from this article.

I’ve been going through a bit of a riding drought, but for once it’s not because I don’t have options.  It’s because I’ve been traveling like crazy for work.  I had been planning these trips for a few weeks, and somehow managed to book myself in 3 different regions of the US in three weeks.  While really fun, it does take a huge toll on my riding time.  And sleeping. And my laundry.

So when I originally read Tracy’s post, I had wanted to really think about my own skills before posting. Lots of airplane time has led to the following answers.

Identify and honor your strengths:

  • I will try anything once.
  • I have a good eye for distances.
  • My long legs aid in a confident, secure seat.
  • I like to ride different horses.
  • I’m comfortable using spurs.
  • I know when something is too much.  For me or the horse.
  • I am someone who can crash and burn, and keep right on going.  (i.e. hot mess at jump 1, I pull my sh*t together and nail jump 2)
  • I thrive in a show environment.
  • I land softly, and stay over my horse well over fences.
  • I give a generous and soft release over fences.

I encourage all the riders out there to take a minute and really think about what you consider your strength.  It was very easy for me to come up with things I want to change.  Not so easy to focus on all the strengths I have.  We call could use a mental tune up in this area!