Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blanket Swapping and Sweet Maisie

Yesterday it started pouring in the afternoon and I brought the horses in (with substantial help from my sweet husband) and dealt with removing the nasty wet blankets.  The horses were able to go back out this morning - into "dry" lots with pastern-deep boot-sucking mud - and we're supposed to get more rain this afternoon with temperatures falling into the 30sF, so I expect they'll be coming in again.

Drifter continues to calm down - he even ate some hay at breakfast time, and now tends to nicker rather than scream when he sees me or another horse.  I was even able to open his stall door wide without him trying to charge out - we've been working on that and the giving-to-pressure and taking a step back work is making a difference with the stall behavior too.  His eyes are showing less white and are softer as well.  I think he's beginning to figure out that things aren't so bad around here.

I've been doing some blanket switching.  Pie has almost outgrown his 75" rain sheet - he's filled out a bit - and Dawn's 72" rain sheet is old and not completely waterproof and is too small when she's at a normal weight - she's a bit underweight right now (we've got her on some Ultimate Finish to help with that until we're on grass).  I was thinking that I needed to buy Dawn a new 75" rain sheet - but wait! - a better idea occurred to me this morning.  I took Pie's 75" rain sheet and gave it to Dawn, and put Pie in a spare 78" that I had - I have several 78"s, some of which are in better shape than others (oddly enough Lily, Maisie and Noble were all 78"s) - Drifter's already wearing one of them.  Problem solved, at least for now.  I took Drifter's 81" winter blanket in to be cleaned and rewaterproofed - I can't imagine that it fits him as the 78" I've got him in now seems almost too big, but blanket sizing can be variable - his blanket is a Saxon, a brand I have no experience with although it seemed well-made.  Problem solved for the moment - at least until I need to replace one or more of the 78" sheets.

Yesterday, I went to the tack store to buy Drifter a new halter and lead - it's forest green and chestnuts/sorrels look great in green - that way we'll be able to tell it apart from Pie's sky blue halter.  I also bought a short crop to use when riding Pie in the arena when we need a secondary cue for forward - I got one with a nice big end so it will make a good pop when I hit my saddle or chaps with it.  I also bought a 78" fleece cooler/blanket liner for Pie to wear as needed - this morning all my horses are out with fleeces under their rain sheets as it's very windy with dropping temperatures.  Drifter's wearing Pie's old 78" cooler and Dawn is in a (somewhat too small) 72" fleece - I probably still need to get her a 75" fleece but didn't think of that yesterday - too many horses and sizes to keep track of, I guess.

It was weird to be at the tack store.  I used to go there all the time when my daughters and I were showing - it was a very bad sign that the owner and all the people who worked there recognized me and knew my name.  I rarely go there now and do most of my shopping on line - the store is really geared towards people who show seriously - lots of expensive brands that I don't buy and lots of equipment and gear I don't need, and they often don't have the brands I do want - for example, they've stopped carrying most Ariat boots and also the Weatherbeeta line of horse clothing - I don't understand why.  But they do have nice halters and horse care products and a great selection of bits - I always browse even when I don't need one - I used to be a bit junky but now have all the bits I need and got rid of lots I'd never use again.

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And here's a photo of sweet Maisie (on the right) grazing with a friend down at Paradigm Farms in Tennessee (thanks, Melissa!) - the weather down there sure looks nicer than where we are.

11 comments:

  1. Maisie looks like she's enjoying her retirement with a good friend. Nice picture of her looking happy and contented.

    I love tack shops too but try not to go unless necessary. I'd rather shop on line and not impulse buy.

    Seems like spring will never arrive for us doesn't it. We're currently getting a spring snowstorm lasting until tomorrow sometime. I'd say we deserve some nice days by now. Hope your rain stops and temps go up.

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  2. Oh ! that description had me imahining you as a Juggler with blankets and halters in the air! Good that you have lots of supplies

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  3. yesterday my man and i went to the feed/tack shop to get new mud boots - we share a pair between the two of us. i couldn't help but browse the horse section and yet again i was frustrated because i don't need anything! i have every possible thing i need for years to come (i imagine) - i even have a brand new leadline hanging by my back door for when the current one retires. and of course i would never buy the craptastic halters they sell in germany. i also have a year's supply of fly spray and betadine and wormers thanks to our guests last summer.

    i bet your fleece coolers are gonna have some hair on them when you take them off. i made the mistake of using a polarfleece cooler recently and it's appalling - but only on the inside: )

    if i remember correctly saxon is the "generic" weatherbeeta - i like them too but i never could find one with nylon lining.

    ~lytha

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  4. I am so not allowed in the tack store. Nuff said.

    Maisie looks wonderful.

    I didn't realize drifter was so ... Worried. Is this his first owner change?

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  5. I do most of my shopping on line as well. I use Weathebeeta blankets on both Flash and Jackson. They seem to fit Paints really well. And you can't beat Ariat for boots. They have some really strange, but cool, looking new tall boots out. Saw them at the tack store while Brett was ordering hay and I was cruising around...

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  6. Fortunately for me, my Boys can all wear a 78". Perfect on Toby, a little big on Chance, and a little snug on Tucker...but the size fits--in most brands. I think the Saxon runs a bit smaller or shorter on the sides.

    Hard to know what to put on the horses this year. I woke up to snow this morning. Now, it's cold and wet out. They are in waterproof sheets and probably just fine, but I'll figure that out when I go out to feed dinner. *sigh*

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  7. Breathe - there's only one owner listed on his papers before me other than his breeder, but I think there was one more in there. The lady I got him from had only had him for 2 years, and I don't think he's ever been more than one or two places in his life, all within about 30 miles of where he was born. He's not a been there done that horse like Pie. I also think the hay they were feeding him was too rich for his level of work. I think he'll settle down with time - every day he's a little bit calmer. I also suspect he needs some leadership - Pie's happy to have leadership too but is basically a very self-confident horse - Drifter not so much so I suspect.

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  8. Now see, that's where having a ton of blankets comes in handy!

    Good thought getting a crop that makes a loud pop, I think that might be just what I need too.

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  9. Hey there Kate .....was just reading your blanket switch and swap session. I usually use weatherbeeta and for the last few winters have used Saxon. They are made by the same outfit as weatherbeeta and yes are much smaller. I have just bought one for Diego and bought a size larger than his weatherbeeta summer sheet. They are a good rug and at the price I find I can replace them each year if I need to . We get so much rain here in Taranaki NZ that I need good winter rugs and Pebbles happily lasted a whole wet cold winter in a saxon that I think will even go another winter.Glad Drifter is getting the hang of things. I takes a while to settle. I know Diego is a different animal now that I know him and he know me and his new surroundings.Happy days!

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  10. My favorite tack store knows me too... way too well. I used to be in there ever week browsing and "trying before you buy" consignment saddles. Finally ended up buying a brand new one.

    Now it's show clothing.... that I can afford.

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  11. The Saxons are made by Weatherbeeta. I find the sizing mostly the same (sometimes the Saxons seem a little smallter but not always) but they do have a lot less drop on them than the regular Weatherbeetas. (For others wo don't use this term "Drop" means the length of the sides of the blanket, not the same measurement as the usual chest to tail measurement for sizing a blanket.)

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