Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Joy's birthday giveaway has ended, late, as usual.

The randomly* selected winner is: Mona Sterling

Congrats! I sent you an email. Joy says thanks for playing everyone!


* Full disclosure, I was going to use a widget thingy to select a winner but because I am so super technologically challenged I couldn't get it to work. So I though what is more random than a toddler? Nothing! So Smooshy drew it out of a hat.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Boring update

We are still deep in the throes of winter, big high of ten degrees today!

I haven't been riding much, we have loads of ice and it hasn't been safe. How I long for an indoor arena!

Monday, February 10, 2014

tack confessions and Higher Standards *Review and giveaway!*

I'll confess, I love cleaning tack but I wasn't always this way...

As a kid I used to lie about liking to clean tack so my riding instructor wouldn't make me clean all her filthy tack, the tack that got used daily but only cleaned twice a year by whiny and resentful 8 year olds wielding sponges, when all they wanted to do was pet ponies, ah pony camp, good times....

Anyway a couple months ago I came across this soap on the Chronicle of the Horse forum, the reviews were really favorable and I was almost out of soap and I thought it was neat to buy a handmade product.

The soap truly is excellent and has replaced all my other tack cleaning products. After Joe saw how great my saddle looked he begged me to clean his nasty work boots, that'll learn me, I shouldn't have shown off my fabulously clean tack. It smells really nice, like the way you would want bath soap to smell, not at all overpowering or chemically. Not only does it smell good but it cleans and conditions better than any other product I have tried. The balm is also fantastic, great for dry and abused leather.

So in honor of Joy's tenth(!) birthday I am doing a giveaway this month,  Simply leave a comment on this post about which soap you would like to try. On 3/10/2014 one randomly selected lucky person will win a thingy of soap (or conditioning Balm if you prefer, I'm cool like that)

http://www.etsy.com/shop/HigherStandardsFarm

http://www.higherstandardsleathercare.com/

I'm sure a "like" wouldn't go amiss here https://www.facebook.com/HIgherStandardsFarm

The review section

My usual tack is actually pretty clean right now (having effective and easy to use products does that) so for pictures I dug out a nasty old girth and some boots I forgot to clean at the end of Autumn.These products are simple and quick to use, the soap even dissolves those little dirt "jockeys" without a ton of scrubbing, which is remarkable and way cuts down on the time you have to spend cleaning tack. It's perfect for lazy people such as myself.

I used the Fox's Vanilla Lavender soap and just lightly moistened the sponge, wipe on soap, rub the leather a bit and wipe off with a clean slightly damp sponge. That is it! You can clean all the things! I like to melt the conditioning Balm in my hands and rub it in, it smells like cookies, makes my leather stuff look and feel gorgeous and I don't instantly want to wash my hands after.

Before



cleaning water, not coffee!

one boot cleaned, one to go

after cleaning
much nicer

 The only drawback to these products is my toddler likes the smell and tries to eat them, so tack cleaning has to be done after he goes to bed.


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

psssssst...

If you wanna go to the farm blog (http://dangerbunnyfarm.blogspot.com/) there are some super cute baby bunny pictures.
Like this.
I know, not horse related.

Stay tuned

It's Joy's birth month (and mine, hah) so I'm going to be a giveaway, as soon as I finish the review. So stay tuned.

Also I am completely sick of winter, snow and cold.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Frozen

Hi world!

It's been a cold couple of days what with the "Polar Vortex" and all. I'm used to snow and cold but -45 with windchill seems excessive to me. Of course that was the night the horses ran away from their cozy shelter (complete with roundbale) and went marauding the neighborhood at midnight.

Anywho I finally got Joy a better saddle, after months (literally) of stalking ebay.co.uk, I found a wide Lovatt and Ricketts, within my tiny budget, with a seller who would ship to the US. It's an APD (All Purpose Dressage) saddle so I can use it for jumping for now. Happy Yule to me!


The fit is pretty good, still a little forward slippage but not bad.



 I'm still looking at anatomical girths like this one from Cotswoldsport. Of course if money was no object I would get a pad like this one from EcoGold and a cool girth like the Fairfax ones. Of course if money was no object I could have gotten a custom saddle, lol. Of course when you get one horsey thing that is awesome you want to get all the other cool things to go with it, why are we horsey girls never satisfied?

She looks so impressed to be riding in a snowstorm!
Hope everyone is staying warm!

Monday, November 25, 2013

dressage musings and frozen toes

Winter is here, this morning I bundled up Smooshy like a burrito and braved the cold to feed the angry hordes. I had to jump up and down in the horse trough to break the ice and get the heater in, good times.

My wonderful friend Melissa has been coming over in the week to chase my kid so I can ride. It has been a fabulous thing, I am a much better person when I get more saddle time.

Joy has been feeling great, no crankiness or excessive spookiness. She is looky but that is just in her nature. Generally during season changes she gets footy (slight hoof sore on gravel) crabby and touchy but this year she has been great. I don't want to be all OMG BALANCED MINERALS FIX ALL THE THINGS   But I (not so) secretly am.

The one measurable thing I can be excited about is her hoof growth, her feet always grow okay but I am amazed how good they are getting, she had a small abscess in late September and it is really grown out now.

Joy says feed meeeee
I love her little troll doll mane. She looks like a Fjord. I miss the mane to grab onto though!

When I trail rode last I was thinking about dressage, in the past I've had a hard time explaining why it is a good thing for every horse regardless of discipline.
You say "dressage means training, training is good!"
and they say "whatever, you silly horse prancer"

I may be paraphrasing

Anyway, When we were trotting blasting up hills and got to the open field, Joy was all excited and doing her sewing machine trot with her extra special Giraffe neck, we did a couple big circles and she rebalanced and calmed. I thought to myself about what dressage does
It helps make every horse more comfortable, balanced and responsive to ride, it improves every riders seat and balance. Even if you never set hoof in a little white fenced arena, it is such a useful tool.
Dressage is for all the things!

Smooshy got his first haircut it was quite traumatic (for me) he though it was great fun and now looks like a little man instead of a poofy headed baby.

Anyone have any suggestions on cold weather breeches, something that will stand up to trail riding and Michigan winters?

Monday, October 28, 2013

on feed and whatnot

My posting has been sporadic lately, mainly because my toddler is a terror and I only have computer time is when he naps, which is a rare occurrence.

so what is new, I roached both horse's manes because of the mighty Burrhawk and lack of time to mess with it, manes grow and we are absolutely getting on the Burdock removal, early early next spring.


Joy has been doing really well, we've just been trail riding but she is forward and happy. I recently took her out for ride after 3 weeks off (I know, I'm lame) and she was so good and fun.

I am super excited by their diet, I had my hay analyzed by Equi Analytical (here) and figured out a mineral program to complement my hay (using FeedXl) I found out my hay was high in iron and relatively low in copper, zinc and manganese. The high iron inhibits absorption of these minerals and ideally you want to see them in a ratio of Iron:Copper -- 4:1; Copper:Zinc:Manganese -- 1:4:4. 
Calcium, Phosphorous and Magnesium are another important ratio and our area is low in Selenium.  

I ordered my minerals and vitamins through Horsetech and have been been giving copper, zinc, manganese, b vitamins, E and selenium, magnesium, kelp and salt. It sounds like a lot but you feed such a tiny amount of the minerals, I'm adding this to about 2 cups of rice bran and a little flax, I also add a teensy bit of oil to keep it from being dusty. The girls are getting alfalfa/grass hay and don't need the calories from grain, the rice bran is palatable enough that they eat it and mixing the supplements myself is so much cheaper and they are getting what they actually need.

Pretty cool.

Both ponies are hairy and muddy, "tis the season right?

Might be looking at another horse, I know, because I need another one right? supposedly solid citizen and all around good guy and I would love to have a second horse to take friends out on. Did a mention he is free? It's going to be another year before Baby is old enough to be really ridden, she is getting big though, or maybe Joy is teensy.


So that is us :)