Weenie Wednesday: Decorations are Up

There is a certain practicality to putting Christmas decor up right after Thanksgiving … when else is anybody going to have the time to do it?  So Conrad got his walks…

And he got snuggly blanket time ..

And then I tried to make him sit in front of the tree. And these were the best results:

He only knows “sit” but not “stay” so I couldn’t get far enough away from him to get a good shot of him and the whole tree.

The Necessity Clip

the fluffiness

Body clipping is not my most favorite thing to do, so I had been putting off body clipping Eli for quite a long while now. And then I got to thinking, eh, he seems fine, maybe I’ll just clip him in the spring. And then Texas did what Texas does and gave us and 87F day on the last day of November, after a cool and damp, rainy day. So Eli played outside, in slightly wet conditions, in the heat. With his winter coat in all it’s fluffy, smelly glory. So yeah. He looked gross on Saturday afternoon. I decided to skip riding and go straight for shampoo bathing.

this gross
can still see dapps through all the fluff

I (mostly) body clipped him the following morning. He gets a lot of treats for standing in one place for so long, and during the actual clipping, he stood still and sort of just napped and yawned and stuff. Except when I was working on his right shoulder and right side of his neck — then he kept trying to groom me back by licking me and trying to eat my pony tail. But … interestingly … if I stopped clipping to brush the excess clipped off hair from his back or haunches, he would try to kick me. Which is what he does during regular grooming. He doesn’t put much effort into it because we have had many discussions about how I kick/bite/smack back, but he was genuinely offended by a brush. Clippers? Nope, no problem. I did not get to his head/face or legs before lunch was fed, and Eli gets turned out after lunch. So I still have face and legs to do. Other than his ears, he’s fine about his face. Doesn’t care about his front legs. Easy about his back legs from the hocks down … it’s the gaskin and stifle area that gets a bit tricky, but I don’t expect we will go anywhere until March at the earliest so I may skip trying to get his back legs done. Or my OCD may kick in and I’ll risk getting beheaded by hoof.

I left a patch for the saddle this year. I didn’t last year and I really regretted that almost immediately.

What pleasantly surprised me was how ridiculously shiny his coat is under all that winter fluff. With his winter coat, Eli was just dusty and flaky and smelly and gross. I was slightly concerned he might have some underlying skin funk, but no. I am thinking the alfalfa is agreeing with him. And now I feel like a good curry will actually do something, as opposed to just move dust around. And oh yeah, he likes being curried, too. Just … not brushed.

That Holiday Weekend Hangover

So I had FIVE days to ride and rode ONE day over Thanksgiving weekend. This is totally on the weather – rain, then heat of all things – and Eli is now mostly clipped. But at least I got to ride on Wednesday, and I made my older brother bring his camera out to the farm. He’s never photographed a horse before, but I really liked a lot of the pictures he took.

As you can see, Eli was SO FLUFFY. He’s not now, but I’ll save that for tomorrow’s post.

Annnnnnd … it’s Cyber Monday. So if you missed the Breeches.com 60% off EVERYTHING sale on Black Friday, here’s your chance to make up for it now! Just use the code CMSALE60 at check out.

Black Friday Sale – 50% OFF at Breeches.com

So EVERYTHING at Breeches.com is 50% off today … just sayin’. This site has some of my favorite breeches: The Beatta breeches and the Calabasas denim breeches, which I reviewed. But you can get more than just breeches — they have Belvoir, dog beds, halters, horse clothes, and show clothes, too. Breeches.com also carries Tack Butter, which I haven’t tried yet but I might have to pick some up in this sale!

Stocking Stuffers

Not every equestrian-themed stocking stuffer has to be strictly for equestrians, right? If you’re ready to do some shopping (even if only to avoid interacting with family), either pre- or post-turkey, these tiny little treasures fit in equestrian stockings of all sizes:


Do I need to explain why the Lip Smacker Lippy Pal is on this list?

So for a slightly more luxurious lip option (and my favorite lip treatment ever) the Fresh Sugar Honey Tinted Lip Treatment has SPF, which makes it a requirement for an equestrian, considering all the time we are out in the sun.

One of my favorite things of 2019 (other than Baby Yoda, obviously) is the Coola Rosilliance goop. Another SPF necessity! This stuff is so smooth and leaves a bit of a dewy look, but doesn’t melt off or dry out. I have the weirdest, most sensitive skin that reacts to seemingly benign things, and I was so glad to figure out that this stuff is compatible with my skin and worth every penny!

Tall boot socks are basically all I wear. They work for the barn and for work, and for barn work. And you can get a 3-pack of Sox Trot boot socks for under $30. And you can never have too many.

Sometimes an equestrian does expect an exclusively horse-related gift in their stocking, so let me suggest the Ultimate Hoof Pick Jr. If you don’t have one yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. This is one of the sturdiest tools in my groom box.

Another tiny treasure is for the horse girls that insist on “hunter hair.” Rider’s Hair Nets, especially the heavyweight ones, keep all of my hair up in my helmet. No flyaways, and no hair sticking to the back of my neck and creeping me out. I can’t live without these things. Well, maybe I could but I don’t want to.

So you know my little Polaroid Cube? And you’ve seen the videos I get with it, night or day? I paid considerably more than the current price Amazon lists right now. You can’t pass this up! It has come in so handy for me. It’s super easy to use and takes pretty good HD video.

So while back, I discovered simple boot trees in the form of plastic sheets that you and roll up and stuff in your boots, and they conform to the shape of the boots. These are less expensive than actual boot trees and don’t deflate like the popular inflatable boot trees. Amazon has a pack of Household Essentials Boot Shaper Form Inserts for a good value. I kind of need these for all of my boots, not just my tall riding boots.

Last, can you exist in the horse world without coffee? I just tried some hazelnut flavor. It’s delicious.

Anything you are asking for that you hope to see in your holiday stocking?



Eli has been going very, very well under saddle. Keeping shoes, seeming to be serviceably sound … I am truly grateful to all of the people who have kept Eli’s best interests in mind, through everything his vet and farrier have done for him to everything the entire Hilltop barn crew has done for him. Eli is surrounded by good people and good horses. It’s a very lucky feeling I have when I think about it for long.

I have also rearranged my Sunday work schedule a bit so I still get to ride in daylight on Sunday, even with the time change. I’ll just leave a few videos here of Eli from the most recent Sunday ride … I am feeling happy about where he’s at right now. And I replenished his supply of German Horse Muffins, as apparently all other treats are now mildly off-putting and only marginally acceptable. #spoilt

It’s funny, for a lot of this ride, some neighbors were playing with their guns, as happens in rural Texas. Eli was not bothered by the gunshots at all while we were up in the arena. But once we got back down to the barn and he was in the cross-ties? He got super concerned with them. Maybe it was the way the sound was echoing in the barn? It did sound closer when we were in the barn than it did while we were up in the arena. Or maybe Eli was actually just annoyed with it and trying to stare down the offending pops.

Carelessness Stings a Little

So, you know how you’re not supposed to reach across the front of a horse? Wanna guess who did that last night after taking off Eli’s bridle? Fortunately, all I came out of it with was a busted lip. No need for stitches, no broken or knocked out teeth, no one got concussed. After I took off Eli’s bridle, I reached across his head to grab his halter and as I was leaning across his face, he turned his head toward me and knocked me in the mouth. Which is why we teach lesson kids not to do this! Eli and I were both startled but I kept on doing what I was doing and pulled off his tack, gave him all the cookies, and went to go switch off the arena lights. As I was walking back in the barn, I could taste blood and feel it running down my chin. Ew. Why do face injuries bleed so much? My lower lip is a bit swollen but I think I’ll live.

Non sequitur: I stand by my assertion that burgundy and lime green go together

More importantly, Eli was perfect last night! We are both out of shape, so the crookedness is in full effect, and there’s not much power from his hind end in the canter, but we’ll get back there.

Debbie is dedicated! She’s out at the barn every night. So of course I have to wave to her as she’s driving out.

Whoa. An actual jump.

I went ahead and switched Eli’s bit from the custom Myler to his WH Ultra, which is a fatter bit but still has a roller. He had been a bit testy (read: head-flipping) in the Myler the past few nights, but he seemed very relaxed in the WH Ultra. It’s my sorcery bit that you will have to pry from my cold, dead hand. I also put a standing martingale back on him, but his comfort in the different bit meant he didn’t really need it. He is now also wearing both fetlock boots and the pastern wraps behind. Look, it’s fine. It’s not like it’s bubble wrap. Yet.