Conrad ACTUALLY got to wear a sweatshirt on one of our recent walks.
Also I am just going to leave a few other things here…
Thank you Green Paws Photography!
Eli did not do a whole lot last week. He’s doing well in the different shoes but on Tuesday he seemed a bit reluctant to go forward. Not too bad, just not his normal more-go-than-whoa self. He had a booster shot on Monday, so maybe that was it? His vet was scheduled to come out again to work on his teeth on Wednesday, so I asked if we could just go ahead with the Osphos that same day. Having had his teeth done, I was not going to to ride Thursday & then it rained Friday so Eli had a few days to do not much at all.
But on Sunday I finally got back on him (after he rolled–ugh he was so gross). He felt fantastic! I only rode for 10 minutes because now there’s another snag: He is furry AF and it’s not exactly cold here. I didn’t want him to get too hot, especially since our reconditioning schedule has been a bit sporadic. He got a shampoo bath, which made him look even fuzzier.
It’s supposed to rain Tuesday, so I think I’ll body clip him after work that day. Humid days are actually the best days to body clip, at least for me. Not so much static and flying hair — when it’s damp outside, the hair just falls to the ground.
Maybe by this weekend we can get back to a more consistent reconditioning schedule? I mean … I could use some reconditioning, too.
I have had a bit of insomnia this week (I’m blaming the stupid grass fire) and didn’t fall asleep last night until much later than usual. I slept through my alarm. Luckily, I have a dachshund alarm clock as back up, and it meant I only overslept for about 10 minutes.
He sleeps basically all day, just so he can wake me up early in the morning …
Show shirts have come a long way in a few decades. Even day-to-day riding tops have stepped up, too. And one of the features of some of these shirts is mesh. Anyone wearing a “sunshirt” is wearing mesh, even if only the underside of the sleeves. And then high-end equestrian brands (looking at Cavalleria Toscana and Designs by Dalia especially) have taken mesh to whole new sheer heights. Their shirts are gorgeous and even some are almost awkwardly over-the-top, which is my favorite kind of shirt. But … I ain’t got $200 to spend on one shirt.
I found a $10-$15 option, though. I rode in the black one last night. The top is actually super lightweight and kind of a sporty material. I kind of wish I had a few of these earlier in the summer. And if the mesh snags on something it’s not like I just ruined a $200 shirt. As far as the sizing goes, the shirt is very stretchy. I’m like a 6-ish right now and I ordered a medium. And the mesh means a little extra vitamin D for me before the time change turns all rides into night rides.
Yesterday got weird real fast as I was driving from one barn to the next. From over 20 miles away, I could see smoke on the horizon as I drove down one of the main roads I take to get to the barn where I board Eli. It was enough smoke that I thought it was much closer than it was. As I crossed the highway and took up another road heading east, I started to wonder how close the smoke was to the barn. I got closer to the barn and at this point I started genuinely to wonder if the barn was on fire. Fortunately the fire was on the other side of the county road where the barn’s road ends in a T intersection. But still … within walking distance.
We haven’t really had much rain for a few months now. The wind was blowing south to north so I couldn’t even smell the smoke but it was very visible and very close — close enough that Star Flight was pulling water from a stock tank across the street to dump on the fire. If that’s not a reality-check …
Luckily, emergency responders had the fire contained by 7pm. This could have been a nightmare scenario but it wasn’t, at least not for me or Eli or anyone connected to the barn. It was probably someone’s nightmare, though, and is sickening to think about.
Initially, I thought I wouldn’t be riding under the circumstances. But once the fire was contained, I thought I better carpe the f out of this diem and get on. Riding consistently and reliably clears my head of any real or imagined nonsense and I knew I’d regret it all night through insomnia if I didn’t ride.
So I rode, and Eli is definitely feeling good! He seems to think he’s 100%. His new shoes make a big difference for him.
If I ever meet the nice Star Flight people in person, I will probably give them an awkwardly long hug of gratitude. Same for all the people with their emergency vehicles, stationed along the county road, saving humans and animals and property and keeping an eye on hot spots overnight.
Also, PLEASE no one cook out around here until we get rain!
Conrad makes a lot of faces. All of which are cute.
I have always balked at subscription boxes of any kind — canine, equestrian, make-up, jewelry, clothing … you name it, there’s a subscription box for it that I don’t actually want, mainly because of reasons such as I have sensitive skin so don’t like trying new things on my skin, or because my dog has a sensitive stomach and can only have extremely low fat treats. So when given the opportunity to review SaddleBox, a subscription box for equestrians, I thought it was maybe a message from the universe to keep an open mind. And Eli will eat almost any treat ever … (just not the barn grain right now). The SaddleBox website actually has a lot of information on it, including what all goes into their subscription boxes and how the company has relationships with equine charities, so that every subscription benefits a rescue horse.
So when I got the box, first I was surprised by how heavy it was. And then I opened it … and here is an awkward unboxing video with no narration because I hate the sound of my voice recorded:
Um. The video just keeps going … that was a ton of stuff in one box! Plus how perfect is that sticker at the end. I thought the picture and description of a rescue horse was a very nice touch that makes it seem more personal to me.
Honestly, I noticed something about this box that kind of differentiates it from subscription boxes filled with sample size make-up, dog treats from China made of mystery meat, or accessories that fall apart. This box had stuff that I actually use! From well-known brands! AND A BOOK.
I genuinely like the treat selection. They are peppermint flavored and have no sugar added, so they would be a good treat for many horses. I am always interested to try new grooming tools, too, so getting a shedding blade (hi, winter, do you plan to come to Texas at all, though?), a hoof pick, a grooming mitt, and a face brush all in one box makes me pretty happy. But it doesn’t stop there — vet wrap and saddle soap were also in the box. And the saddle soap is Fiebing’s, a brand I am very familiar with and have used for years. The grooming mitt from Epona was the one thing I wasn’t too sure about Eli would take it. But more on that later.
I brought the box to the barn to show to Eli. He immediately found the treats. And loves the treats! Not that there was really a question. He also LOVES the face brush. Even more than his super fancy Leistner face brush! Of course he does. I haven’t dove into the book yet, but it looks like it has a lot of good tips for making this wacky horsey lifestyle more manageable.
And y’all. This box is not that expensive, especially for the amount of stuff you get in it. Plus there is a discount code on the SaddleBox website right now, too. Even better? SaddleBox offers gift subscription plans for any budget. And since it’s basically October it’s time to start holiday shopping. If I got a SaddleBox subscription as a holiday present, I’d be pretty stoked. But think about it … think about kid you, just starting to ride, maybe talking your parents in to half-leasing a pony … how cool would it be to get boxes like this in the mail? With stuff you need! Stuff you can use at the barn on a regular basis. 12-year-old me would have loved this as much as now-year-old me does.
Back to the Epona grooming mitt. Once Eli got over his initial WHAT-BLUE-THING-IS-EATING-YOUR-HAND-MOTHER phase, I think he likes it?
He’s not a fan of scratchy things, so a soft rubber curry is about as abrasive as I can get with him.
The grooming mitt is a bit scratchy in texture, but also really flexible and more like scratchy sweater material, not like steel wool soap sponges or anything that bad. The elastic wrist also keep dust from getting up in the mitt, which is nice. I think this will come in pretty handy this winter when it’s too cold to bathe.
It’s no secret that I love DeNiro boots. I wasn’t even boot shopping, I swear, but I stumbled upon a vendor on eBay that had a number of new-in-box stock DeNiros for WAY under retail. I paid $300 for these, and they go for around $850. How do I pass that up? These are *mostly* my size …. taller than usual, and a wider calf than I normally take, but in the process of breaking them in I haven’t had one blister. The leather is supple without the near-sock-like feel of Parlantis. I have no concerns about whether I’ll wear holes in the calves of these boots after one season–that ain’t happening.
Yes, they do hit in the middle of my knee cap. Ask me if that bothers me: it doesn’t. They have actually dropped enough already that I can zip them up all the way and snap the closure tabs. Since the calf is a regular calf instead of a slim calf, I may be wearing these a lot this winter because there will be room to layer a bit under them.
There is also an elastic gusset the whole length of the boot so there is some wiggle room on calf sizing if you may be thinking of ordering. I have loved every pair of DeNiros that I have owned, and these are no exception! I will definitely be riding in these a lot, and maybe by next year showing in them a bit? We’ll see how Eli is doing, of course. He’s the one determining our show schedule or lack of one. He is doing well for now, at least, and that’s the most important thing to me.
I know a lot of times on Weenie Wednesday, you see Conrad in a Ruffwear harness. It’s a great harness! But it’s also a $40 dog harness, so not the most economical option. I had been looking around for a good blue harness for Conrad and ran across the Voyager Dog Harness on Amazon. At first I failed to measure Conrad’s girth, thinking it was 17″ and I ordered a medium in this gorgeous blue color. It was too small! I actually measured Conrad and his girth is now 20″. Chonk. I exchanged it for a large, which is super easy to do on Amazon and I got the large basically the next day.
As you can see, the large fits. It’s really a great harness for the price. It’s a step-in harness, which might be a more appropriate choice for nervous dogs that don’t like thinks going over their heads the way the Ruffwear ones do. A step-in harness is easy for everyone involved. It has a velcro closure but on top of that, it has a snap closure with two loops, one on each side of the snap, to hook the leash up to.
So it is a very secure step-in harness. It seems pretty soft, too, and it doesn’t impair Conrad’s movement in any way. For $12.99, this Voyager harness is a great value, and comes in a ton of other colors! I really like the gray or the black with orange binding for Conrad.
You can see the harness has reflective strips, too, for visibility at night. I don’t walk Conrad at night, so no problem there, but it’s a nice feature for those who do walk their furry creatures at night.
AND I just discovered Voyager makes a plush step-in harness. There is a black corduroy one that Conrad obviously needs!
Fall is not here, regardless of the equinox. The highs all week are around 100. It has made reconditioning Eli interesting. I am trying to balance getting him in shape against the heat and humidity and guess what’s winning.
Once the equinox hits, the days start losing light, albeit slowly down here in Texas. This means some horses are already growing winter coats. Including Eli. He will most definitely need body clipping again this year. He was pretty normal about it last year, so I am less anxious about the process but not really looking forward to it.
Shorter days also mean more sunset rides until the time changes, then riding under the lights. Eli gets a bit edgy under the lights but usually gets over it after a few night rides. I do hope this winter is a bit drier than last winter. Last winter was brutal with the rain, and Eli had many difficult days under saddle.
Now that I am back to riding more regularly and have worn the DeNiro Salentos quite a bit … review forthcoming. I like how much more substantial they feel than Parlantis. I need all the foot and ankle support I can get, and these make both feel very stable. I never did well with the squishy Parlanti soles and prefer hard-soled shoes and boots. These have that for sure.
September looks to finish out in the 100s. At least that means I get a little bit more time with Summer Eli who is a much nicer horse to ride than Winter Eli!