Spring Picks

Eli hates cold weather

We have experienced a spate of good weather here in central Texas, although we have a cold front coming through that will put us back in the middle of winter. So before that happens, while I am enjoying the warmer weather, I thought I’d share things on my radar for this spring.

Horze Tara Breeches

The first thing is these Horze Tara breeches. They are high-waisted and they are back in stock — even in some punchy, Easter egg colors. I am torn between the light blue and the black! They’d be my first experience with Horze breeches, so we’ll see what happens!

Stable Snax

The next thing is absolutely all for Eli. I mostly feed him apples and softer treats like the German Horse Muffins, since he seems to have teeth issues. But he loves these flax seed Stable Snax! He never got too greedy about the minty flavor, but he vacuums these out of my hand almost as quickly as the German Horse Muffins. They seem to be picky-eater approved.

Majesty’s Kalm+ Wafers

This next thing — while it is in cookie form, it is a supplement. I switched Eli from the Finish Line stuff over to these, as they offer a higher dose of magnesium. Do I think these calm Eli down? No, not at all. But, they do seem to make him less jittery, if that makes any kind of sense. He’ll be feeling good in this good weather instead of crabby. He still has all his energy, he’s just a little less tightly-wound on magnesium (which I think might be true for quite a few horses). Majesty’s other cookie supplements are definitely worth looking at, and they have stuff for dogs, too!

Wahl KM10 Clippers

The last key ingredient to spring survival in Texas (that’s isn’t Benadryl) is a good set of clippers. I have clipped Eli a few times with the Wahl KM10 clippers and I can’t recommend them enough. Amazon seems to have a $30-off coupon right now on these, too (if you wanna click through the link). We all know how sensitive and quirky Eli is, but he doesn’t mind these clippers at all. When I was clipping his neck and chest especially, he’s start licking his chops and falling halfway asleep. This was not the case for his flanks, but we can’t have everything, can we? These clippers are lightweight, quiet, and with the right blades they are excellent for a full body clip or just show touch ups and everything in between.

How do you get you and your horses ready for spring where you are?

Elbow Dandruff

He is kind of itchy everywhere right now.

If something is wrong with Eli, chances are it’s wrong on the right side of his body. Face, hoof, suspensory … elbow dandruff. (And his big ugly frankenscar on his neck is on the right.) Yes, he even has elbow dandruff *just* on his right elbow. Oh … k.

Treating elbow dandruff in the winter is a bit of a challenge because I am reluctant to use a medicated shampoo on it when it’s 40F outside.

However, when I can, I use the Banixx Medicated Shampoo and follow up with Zephyr’s Garden Skin Rescue Salve. In the warmer months, this seems to work out great, and I can keep Eli’s right elbow from getting too flaky.

I think this is called something else now.

But perhaps there are more winter-friendly solutions … does anyone know of any? How do I keep away this gross elbow dandruff without shampooing it all the time?

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Stuff. Maybe.

No, really, he *is* 16, not 2.

It’s not that I am deliberately not blogging. But I’m not trying to write much, either. It’s winter in Texas, which means wet, which means a lot less riding. Pretty much all last week was too wet and gross to ride. There was one day where it rained all day, which is very unusual for Texas. The arenas suffered accordingly. So I didn’t have much to say.

But if nothing else, I have learned something about Eli. He can go a week without work, but as long as it’s a warm and at least partly sunny day, he’s perfectly fine under saddle. I’m not going to say a gentleman, because he’s a little to free with his opinions, but it’s a big change from, say, Eli of 2013 (before I owned him but was riding him a lot). Instead of trying to explain what I get to work with, I’ll just post the entire ride here … (it’s only like 17 minutes … check out 12:14-ish for Eli’s signature embellishment, which I think is adorable)

We’re hardly presentable, but with a few days of good weather and rides like this, I think we’d look a lot better. It’s so interesting to me to compare this horse of today with the one of a few years ago. I also think he looks pretty sound, which is always a relief at this point. Although I didn’t canter him much or ride for quite as long as usual because the footing needed a drag after baking in the sun all day. But I will take any and every ride I can get on him, even the short ones.

looking tiny in turnout time

Hopefully we have some jumps in our future, too!

Keep a Metaphorical Eye On It

I have an update for Eli’s tooth situation. Remember how a small chunk of tooth fell out of his mouth in front of my very eyes, as he was eating an apple slice?

The vet examined him. It looks like the tooth chunk came off the side on the inside of a top tooth. And also he is missing a small chunk of another tooth, but that looked older. I could see where the vet was pointing to, while Eli was actually a mildly sedated superstar about the whole thing. He was even a very good boy prior to sedation and let his vet hold his tongue to look in his mouth without the dental speculum.

very good boys get pets


So for now, we wait. If no signs of infection show up (via smell, as I am not much good at tongue grabbing) we will check on the tooth in 3 months, when Eli will next be due for a float. He did not have his teeth floated today, as I thought he might, because he was actually last attended to along those lines in October and not so far back as February. Since Eli’s vet could pretty much see what was going on and Eli didn’t have stinky breath or nasal drainage, Dr. Whitaker did not recommend xrays for right now. Sounds great to me! The chipped tooth has not interfered with his eating at all, so I am hopeful it will stay that way!

In the meantime, we have had very nice weather here in Central Texas, minus the fact that the air is yellow and brown all filled up with cedar pollen. Eli has felt great under saddle. Of course, I don’t ride him when it’s really cold because he hates the cold and when it’s not cold, he’s really good. So why give him an opportunity to be a dumb ass? I don’t like the cold either, so this fair-weather rider accommodates her fair-weather horse.

Fluffy Stuff

I like the Premier Equine saddle pad so much (and Eli seems to, too) …

The saddle pad is really plush. But. Um. How do I wash it? It’s “fully machine washable” but I can’t imagine fitting this thing in a washing machine.

… that I picked up some fluffy open front boots that were also on sale.

His legs have been getting a bit more beat up than usual in turnout (I presume he is not doing this in his stall). I got concerned about his regular open front boots, that they would cause rubs on areas with tiny scrapes. Polo wraps worked in a pinch, but that’s not quite the level of protection I like for Eli since I know he interferes periodically, sometimes badly.

Can you see the scuffs already? From a grand total of two rides?

Fluffy open fronts to the rescue!

I think he likes them?

Eli is trying to figure out if they taste good.

They run a tad large, but Eli has long legs so they still fit well enough. The “Techno Wool,” as it it called on the Premier Equine website, really is luxuriously soft. I don’t think it’s actual wool, though, as the boots are described as machine washable. The boots have also shed a few small tufts of Techno Wool, but I am hoping that over time this stops, and that it’s just incidental to the boots being new. Otherwise eventually the lining will lose it’s fluffiness, negating its purpose.

No less than four kinds of fluff: synthetic fleece girth, Merino wool saddle pad, “Techno Wool” open front boots, and real sheepskin hind fetlock boots.

For the price, these boots seems to be worth it so far.

Pony Gifties

Christmas may have been yesterday, but my holidays are not over. I started celebrating on the 23rd, honestly …

I just have a lull today and tomorrow, then more holiday stuff on Saturday & Sunday. I did actually ride my horse yesterday and the day before! I might even ride him today! I felt like the berry Beatta breeches I got on sale from breeches.com would be Christmas-y enough…

Maybe I should have worn a green top?

Eli did not miss out on Christmas. Premier Equine has been having an extremely tempting holiday sale and the saddle pads were included in the sale. I picked one up for Eli and it was at my front door within two days! From the UK!

So far I really like this saddle pad. I am not sure how to clean it, but the one-and-done combo nature of it makes tacking up a little easier. Eli seems okay with it, too. He typically does well with an Ogilvy or the Thinline half pad that is full sheepskin underneath and this Premier Equine one has a full fluffy merino half pad built in. I’m not parting ways with my other half pads just yet, but this is a very convenient addition to Eli’s wardrobe.

He also got some fetlock boots from Premier Equine but you can see he is very, very skeptical. There was some serious rooster-walking. I am not sure how well these are actually going to work for him, but there are very nice boots for the price.

He got over the rooster-walking eventually … he’s been a bit fresh lately, due to wet chilly weather and not a lot of riding but the next couple days should be nice, as have been the last few.

I really like him in the black & white color scheme we have going on right now. But, as it tends to go with Eli, we have not been without incident. On Christmas Eve, as he was chewing up a chewy cookie, he started making crazy faces, rolling his eyes and wiggling his jaw around. I had a look of horror on my face, as my first though was, Eli you are NOT allowed to get choke on Christmas Eve! And the look of horror on my face did not change when the faces stopped and out fell a chunk of tooth. At least it’s not choke.

suspect it is a chunk of the bottom cheek tooth that doesn’t have a top one to grind it down. Or it’s not. I am (trying) to get something scheduled with his vet. Luckily, Eli is showing no signs of bleeding or infection, and he seems to be able to eat okay. We’ll see if he seems bothered by the bit … is it mean to ride a horse with a broken tooth? He really does seem okay, and he needs the exercise! He needs his teeth floated regardless. Not sure if we have dental xrays on the immediate horizon or not. This horse can’t go much longer than a month without seeing Dr. Whitaker. I think he actually secretly likes him a whole, whole lot. Or maybe he just enjoys being heavily sedated …

So one last thing … if you haven’t shopped enough yet, breeches.com still has things on clearance, and this coupon code is working! It may say 30% off on the site, but try this 60% off coupon code on stuff listed in the clearance section of the shop.

Light Work

I rode Eli TWO DAYS IN A ROW over the weekend. It has just been really tough to get back into a regular weekday riding schedule, mainly because although it may be 57 when I leave work at 6, by the time I get to the barn coupled with chillier rural areas in general, the temperatures have dropped to the high 30s. Um. No. I am just not going to torture myself in that, and Eli seems happy about his light work schedule.


fuzzy face

He really retains stuff well at this point, so it’s not like I am getting on a feral horse when only riding on the weekends. We are in an out-of-shape-together phase, I guess?

And honestly, I haven’t thought about showing at all. I HAVE thought about jumping, because I miss it, but I have been waiting for one more setting of shoes without bars to see if Eli’s feet are actually doing okay for jumping. He feels very sound on the flat, at least! Perhaps I am being overly cautious? I have no competition ambitions, so frankly I am not that concerned.

So I ride when it’s not too cold. And that’s Eli’s work schedule right now. Slightly warmer weather is about to coincide with my holiday time off, so maybe next week I’ll ride Eli four days in a row? Wouldn’t that be exciting?

And of course, if you are doing any last minute shopping, Breeches.com is having 50% off sitewide with coupon XMAS50 and 60% off clearance with CLEARANCE60.

I also thought of a question I should have asked yesterday … does anyone have a Furbo dog camera? Do you like it?

I am so tempted to get this for Conrad, although I am not sure he needs it, since he sleeps all day … But it might be kind of fun to give him a surprise treat while I’m at work. Or he might freak out, I don’t know. Obviously it’s steeply discounted on Amazon right now because Black Friday/Cyber Monday lasts until Christmas Day. Amazon has realized how many people with companion animals appreciate the convenience of ordering stuff online and getting it fast. I am pretty impressed with how much their selection of products for pets has expanded recently. I just picked up some Merrick Power Bites that are RABBIT flavored, so hopefully Conrad likes those! It can be hard to find low fat treats that Conrad wants to eat, but these are just 4% crude fat.

Rain > Cedar

The cooler, wet weather today is offering both me and Eli some relief. He’s a hot weather horse for sure, but the dry air and winds must have got to him yesterday, because after trotting around for a little while, I noticed he had a nosebleed. Cue panic? Not quite. Don’t get me wrong, I felt completely awful that I had ridden him around at all, although I didn’t notice the nosebleed while tacking up. But I mopped up the blood with baby wipes and eventually his nose seemed to stop bleeding. He gets these nosebleeds, once or twice a year. Usually in dry, colder weather. I get antsy about it, considering his sinus history. The trainers are going to keep an eye on him today in case he gets another nosebleed, in which case I might like to have his vet take a look at him. He didn’t even seem aware that he had a nosebleed, so for right now nothing is too amiss.

This is after I wiped off his nose …

The rain helps me, too — it’s cedar fever season, and I had been battling sinus pressure that constantly threatened to turn into a migraine for like four days. I’m not exactly running out of pills, but I am also not exactly interested in taking quite so many every. single. day. So this rain has washed the cedar pollen out of the air, at least for now, and I no longer have a strong desire to drill holes in my face. It doesn’t surprise me that trephination was a go-to treatment for migraines centuries ago — I’m thinking the sufferers may have even requested it.

I may have made my brother give Eli cookies prior to this … so of course Eli is like, “hey, new cookie man …”


As long as Eli doesn’t have another nosebleed, I am FINALLY going to clip his face this evening.

Almost All Clipped!

So I got Eli’s front legs done on Tuesday evening. Haven’t got to the hinds because reasons and I haven’t done his face because the lighting.

Eli face is going to stay fluffy until I can get to it in daylight. The barn has plenty of electric lighting, but the way it throws shadows around the cross-ties makes me hesitate about trying to do it at night.

He gets to keep the whiskers, of course. And I probably won’t be able to do the insides of his ears, either. Mainly because he hates it and tries really hard to not let me and I don’t have any Dormosedan gel on hand to make his reactions slow enough for me to feel safe trying.

And if you thought the sales were over …