The Post-Junior Years: Part 1

I think that all juniors that are reaching the end of their junior careers begin to worry about the future at some point, and not necessarily the educational one. What happens when you age out of the juniors? Leave for college? When your equestrian life is basically over for the foreseeable future, how do you deal?

 

I often see young riders asking for advice on how to stay involved with horses during the post-junior years, and how to afford such an expensive hobby when you are struggling just to afford food that is better then Ramen. I remember that when I was at that age (barely though, it was so long ago), that I had the exact same worries and questions.

 

Best pony and junior rider I ever got the chance to work with. You can barely see Tinkerbell underneath all of her ribbons!
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Equine Bodywork Update

Rio has his first bodywork session at the beginning of January, and he just had his first follow-up session yesterday. Going forward we plan to stay on a consistent once a month schedule to keep a pulse on how he is feeling, and monitor the development of any problem areas that could indicate the need for a change in his program.

 

He had a few ‘problem’ areas last time, where he was particularly tight, but I am happy to report he was overall MUCH better this time. I think a lot of that has to do with him getting his hocks injected 2 weeks after his initial bodywork session. He was probably compensating for his hocks in other areas, which was causing tightness that usually isn’t there. Now that he is freshly injected and feeling better, his musculature is telling a much better story. The amazing Christy had lots of good things to report. His hamstrings are nice and soft, his back (particularly the lumbar region) is much more relaxed with less heat. His stifles feel better, and he feels good in his shoulder/thoracic outlet area.

 

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Julie Winkel Clinic- More Media

I didn’t want to overwhelm y’all on the initial clinic recap post with tons of media, so instead you are getting an entire post dedicated to it. Make sense right? Maybe not. Whatevs.

 

Enjoy!

 

Totally LOVE this one but wish I hadn’t ruined it by not having my boots snapped up yet (I had just gotten on). Still may need to hang it in my house somewhere though.
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My Adventures with EquiFit

Those that follow me on instagram (@hunky_hanoverian) may remember a post from the beginning of January concerning Equifit. With over 60 comments, it drew a bit of attention to the customer service provided by Equifit (or in some cases, the lack there of). One similar theme seemed to emerge among all the comments: We, as equestrians, expect a certain level of quality and customer service which seems to closely correlate with, if not directly related, to the price of the item. Higher priced products should equal better quality, or at least a high level of customer service to back up what is viewed by the consumer as a below standard product. If you are paying $280 for a pair of boots, you expect a certain level of durability in the product.

 

 

Here’s the story:

 

EquiFit Extended Full Coverage horse boots were purchased (from Centerline Style) to cover Rio’s prior surgical site on his left hind. It is healed now, but he does interfere occasionally, and I wanted to protect the area as much as possible. If you don’t know about Rio’s left hind issues, feel free to peruse this post with tons of pics of the area in question.

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Julie Winkel Clinic

 

Rio and I spent the weekend at The Paddocks Stables for a Julie Winkel clinic. This was our first clinic together and I was so so excited. Our host, Katja (owner and trainer at The Paddocks) did an incredible job of making sure everything ran smoothly and that all of the guests there for the clinic (horses and people!) had everything they needed at all times and felt welcome and comfortable. Seriously, she is SO nice. The barns were immaculate at all times as well; I was just so impressed with the whole operation there.

 

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Post Joint Injection Routine

MM was at a horse show in Waco the last 2 weeks, so Rio and I got to spend some quality time together. I also realized it was the perfect time to get injections one. The Monday she left (1/15), he got his hocks injected. Based off of his xrays from his pre-purchase, and my desire to be as economical as possible, Amazing Vet injected the lower hock joints bilaterally.

 

Our barn switched shavings and Rio loves them

 

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Equine Photo Shoot Inspo

After chatting a bit with Karinda K (a crazy talented photographer, see my cover photo of Rio if you don’t believe me, or click the link to her page), we realized there is a definite need for some outfit inspiration for high fashion equine themed photo shoots. Whether shot by a pro or your best barnmate, it is easier then you think to get a Vogue style shoot, it only takes a bit of creativity. In an effort to help inspire those thinking of doing spring shoots, I decided to put together an little outfit inspo for y’all. This look is essentially inspired by spring colors and my Anne of Green Gables-esque romantic yearnings. (Side note: I read all the Anne of Green Gables when I was 8ish and then ran around trying to talk like her. Everyone thought I was weird, but I thought everything was delightfully marvelous and oh so romantic). If I was a wood nymph who got to frolic with unicorns in a white blossom covered field, this is what I would wear.

 

 

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The Tailored Sportsman Debacle

The Tailored Sportsman Debacle is brought to us by our guest blogger, Joanne. If you spend time on social media and have lots of equestrian friends, you have likely already heard something about it. We will start by going over the “story”, followed by Joanne’s personal thoughts, and finishing with my 2 cents.

 

 

BY: Joanne Scott

 

Last week, this post circulated to my Facebook feed by fellow equestrian Brianna Janson.

 

PSA to my fellow equestrians: This is how the owner of Tailored Sportsman treats their customers for selling a pair of breeches I personally own and paid for(for slightly less than retail). Please keep in mind I have no relation with the company as a retailer. If anyone wasn’t already irritated by their pricing and policies, here’s one for the books. I won’t be buying the brand first hand from the company or any tack stores EVER again personally. Feel free to share! #equestrianawareness #tailoredsportsman

 

 

The included screen shots included comments from Brianna’s sales post in a Tailored Sportsman resale group.  The owner of Tailored Sportsman, Susan Isaacs, was a member of the resale group and commented on Brianna’s ad.  Susan accused Brianna of “bootlegging” brand new breeches, and the situation quickly escalated.

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DIY: Salvaging the Bell Boots

By: Joanne Scott

 

It seems like the expression “the struggle is real” was written for horse people in general, and
for me in particular. The struggle between my Hunter Princess roots with my wanna-be
Dressage Queen present, the struggle between wanting to ride constantly but being a weather
wimp, the struggle between good and evil (I have mares!)… But mostly, the struggle between
being a total cheapskate and a total tack hoarder.
It’s true. The struggle is real.

This most recently came into play when my newly-acquired PURPLE GLITTER (caps required,
because hello! PURPLE GLITTER!) Davis bell boots rubbed nasty holes on my mare. Now,
Miss Precious has been super special needs this past year and lives in bell boots religiously.
Her paranoid momma won’t let her step foot outside of the barn aisle without them.
The Davis boots were a step out of our comfort zone. The stiff rubber spells rubs to me. But
my dressage trainer and barn mate both sung their praises, and I switched over, screaming into
the Davis brand with the PURPLE GLITTER set.

 

Sadly, our love was not meant to last and I trudged back to our local tack shop to pick up my old
friends, the Professional’s Choice Quick Wrap bell boot. These are NOT the Ballistic version,
but instead a nice floppy neoprene-esque wrap. These are extremely customizable in size, with
an overlap, and tall enough that they nicely cover mare’s tootsies. And most importantly, they
never have rubbed.

Once again, my tack hoarder heart was shattered when they were out of all sizes except ones
that looked suitable only for my 80 lb. dog…

Long story longer, I had my old pair of these locked away in the DIY-refurbished tack trunk.
Because hoarding means never having to say goodbye! Plus, with their $45 price tag, they
aren’t anything I’d chalk up to a fun, breezy purchase. Cheapskate vs. hoarder… Order online?
Repair?

Before I go any further, I should mention that this particular pair of Pro Choice boots have been
beaten to hell and back. They are, like our favorite school horses, serviceably sound. Mare is
NOT EASY on her gear. My barn manager and I have tried any number of remedies to keep
these bad boys on, including and not limited to, supplemental Velcro recycled from saddle pads’
billet straps (hoarder alert!) and Elasticon, which failed miserably and put a sad dent in this
cheapskate’s wallet.

Bound and determine to avoid the $45 replacement purchase, I headed to Home Depot to see
what they offered by way of replacement Velcro. Oh – Professional’s Choice, if you happen to
stumble on this blog, PLEASE for the love of George Morris, make your Velcro LONGER and
STRONGER. This is my only peeve about this product.

Home Depot, aka my second home, offered a variety of solutions by way of sticky-backed
Velcro, meant for securing things around your home or office. Having sewn with sticky-backed
items before, I know this is a deal-breaker. The “sticky” gunks up your needle and makes the
project nearly impossible.

I then headed to Joann Fabric (holla, namesake!) and was pleased to find a variety of Velcro
options, including an intriguing iron-on version. Unsure of how that would work with the
neoprene-type material, I grabbed a yard of thick sew-on Velcro. (Dare I mention that my
cheapskate heart went pitter-patter with a 40% off purchase coupon?)

I settled into my recliner and set to work destroying all of the prior attempts at prolonging the life
of these beauties. Ever the lady, I discarded soiled Elasticon and torn up Velcro into a cereal
bowl I had sitting on the side table.

(Pictured below: Elasticon, billet strap Velcro, and sticky-backed Velcro sewn to sad excuse for
Pro Choice Velcro.)

 

 

I cut the wide Velcro into four long strips approximately 6” long, and lengthwise so the stripes

were 2 ” wide. I wanted to be sure there was a long enough strip to make a good anchor on one

side while still leaving a significant piece for wrap around, and two straps per boot since that was

the existing design.

Using a needle I had in my sewing kit, I went to work with dental floss and a thimble. Say what?
Dental floss? Yes, my friends, this is the ideal item for your barn toolkit. It’s perfect to fixing
everything from a torn blanket to a treasured pair of bell boots. The thimble – well, that’s a new
addition. Usually, my barn repairs are made huddled on a trunk, using a quarter with vet wrap
wrapped around it as a thimble.

 

 

 

Sadly, the thimble was not the solution to all my world’s problems. I bent needle after needle
pushing through the Velcro and neoprene. My fingers grew sore from trying to pull the needle
through the other side.

The $45 purchase wasn’t seeming so bad after all. I like online shopping. I like new horse stuff!
I love surprise packages in the mail, because I always forget I’ve ordered something. But…
$45 is a good chunk of a lesson fee. Or, like, 6 Starbucks coffees!

Eureka struck – and I grabbed a pair of needle-nose pliers. I was then able to grab the small
piece of needle that would come through the “off” side and I was soon making stitches faster
than Meredith Grey can say “head lac.”

 

 

TL DR: keep a needle, a thimble, dental floss, and my new BFF needle-nosed pliers in
your repair kit at the barn!

The bell boots are now sporting their way through our winter pastures, while I sit at home and
contemplate my next online purchase… What say you, loyal readers? Are you more of the
“DIY Repair” type, or the kind of person who jumps with glee at a new tack purchase?

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Last Hurrah

Rio and I had our last jump lesson for a bit on Sunday. MM is headed to a 2 week show, so we will be taking it easy in her absence. I know 2 weeks may not sound long for some, just feels like forever to me since I am used to 2-3 lessons a week these days.

 

 

We rode in the “big” jump ring for the first time in ages. It has a full course, and jumps with more filler. I don’t really prefer the ride in it though because the footing isn’t usually worked as well, since not very many people use it. It was passable on Sunday though so we went ahead and took advantage.

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