Thursday, March 28, 2019

organizing the little things

Whenever Charlie's laid up with the latest ding to spark chaos in my universe, it becomes very difficult to focus on anything else. Or to take for granted that we will actually ever make it to a horse show....

But, as is always the case, the horse does inevitably heal, and I can again start doing my favorite little inventories of all the various accouterments that go along with horse adventures.

charlie's favorite part of lessons is bein weird with his friends haha
Usually at some point each spring I like to do a full post inventorying our current complete gear set up for all three phases. Probably I will do that this year too, but it'll have to wait until we've finalized all the details. And, uh, ya know, until I've gotten updated pictures haha!

even those spicy little friends who aren't so sure they're interested haha
In the meantime, tho, I spent last weekend just as a spectator cheering on friends at Loch Moy's season opener. Like getting to finally meet KC from Mania in the Middle! Who had traveled all this way up north to basically catch ride a completely unknown horse in the BN class. And actually snagged some satin after moving up on their killer clean and clear jumping rounds!

Like a boss, amirite?

we r so gud at posing for pictures haha
One of my ulterior motives of hangin around at the show all day, tho, was to keep my eyes peeled for any fresh ideas when it comes to all the gear everyone is using on show day. With the idea being, maybe by immersing myself again in that atmosphere, I'd be able to visualize any gaps that currently exist in my kit.

a simple collapsible cooler for ice is on the list
One biggie on my list is a set of ice boots. In the past, I've always just gone straight to compression wraps on Charlie after running XC. But I'd like to integrate a period of icing into the process first. The obstacle tho (aside from not having any ice boots yet) is actually having the ice on hand haha. So a good cooler that can keep the ice frozen overnight before a show will be key.

added some stabby jabbies to the stud kit too!
I also ordered two new sets of studs for my kit. To be perfectly honest, I still feel like a complete and total newb about studding for cross country. I know my horse likes studs -- he feels super confident in them and is wayyyy more nimble on his feet, esp when it comes to dance moves like his auto changes.

But I still kinda feel a little mystified about the whole thing, and like I'm growing my kit through trial and error. Esp during the warmer summer months last year, I ended up feeling like all the studs in my box were too broad and blunt to be useful on the harder ground. So I'm hoping these two new additions will fill that gap. One is a longer more standard grass stud, and the other is a shorter but still pointy type.

aw look at the pony socks my mom gave me <3
Other than that, tho, honestly I kinda feel like I have everything I need. Sorta. My first pair of white breeches fit again, which is nice. They're kinda stained and dingy at this point, tho, so they'll probably get used for starter trials, and the newer white pants will maybe be reserved for recognized shows if I ever even make it to any.

And I might need new show coats, bc mine do not fit at all any more. It seems like some simple alterations could do the trick tho, I hope. So I'm going to try to talk it over with the seamstress at my local alterations place first. Fingers crossed lol.

and this weird zoom lens attachment kit for cell phone cameras from my grandfather
I also want to experiment with this crazy little cell phone camera zoom lens kit my grandfather gave us all as stocking stuffers last Christmas. It isn't the highest quality stuff in the world, but maybe could be useful for spectator filming on cross country?

the lens screws onto a clip that then fastens over the phone's lens
I'm a little skeptical overall bc the way the clip works means I have have to remove my cell phone's protective case first. Which like... I'm clumsy, yo. My phone already leads a hard enough life, is it really worth the risk?!

Plus the most extreme zoom is pretty shaky and difficult to focus. So idk. I'm kicking myself for leaving it at home last weekend bc the show would have been the perfect testing grounds for this kit. If it works tho, wouldn't that be awesome?? Like, how many of you have been kinda bummed by looking at a video of your awesome xc round where you're basically just a speck in distance??

i'm honestly a little skeptical about functionality but will hopefully test soon
So stay tuned for more on that, I suppose. Or, conversely, if any of you have used a similar type cell phone accessory, did it work at all? Or was it mostly just a waste?

at least i'm feeling pretty damn good about our gear going into the year! this saddle tho <3
Otherwise, tho, honestly I feel pretty good about where things stand gear-wise going into Charlie's 3rd season. Especially the new L'Apogee saddle still makes me so so so happy. I'm so freakin comfortable in it -- it gives me such a secure base and lower leg, and feels very balanced. Charlie likewise feels extremely comfortable in it.

I already mentioned that I switched out to a sheepskin half pad, which I also adore and feel does a nicer job of giving Charlie any necessary cushion vs the corrective shimming half pad. So far, so good on that front. Tho obviously it's nice to be in a position now where I have options.

and this fucking girth, wow but i love it!
The last bit for kitting out the new monoflap saddle was getting a girth to fit. Sure, I probably could have just used my dressage girth.... But eh, new stuff is fun, right? And I actually wanted something with a little more coverage around the buckles.

This fuzzy fleecy elastic girth doesn't have any branding on it, but I picked it up from consignment for literally $7. And it's so so perfect. So perfect. Charlie is happy in it, all the keepers are the perfect length for the saddle's billet straps, and the extra coverage means zero risk of Charlie getting pinched by the buckles. Boom. It's a 30" and we probably could have gone for a 28" instead, but it works perfectly.

So yea. Other than a few odds and ends lingering in my virtual shopping cart, like ice boots and an ice cooler, mostly everything is falling into place. Hopefully haha. There's always something else tho, right? Is anyone else going through their spring inventory too?

25 comments:

  1. I remember the moment I finally had everything dialed in for endurance with Gem. It was a great feeling and fun to move on to upgraded things as wanted, customizing colors and preferences but knowing I didn't have to change anything because it was all working perfectly. Sounds like you are pretty much there with Charlie.

    With H'Appy everything is still in the trial and error phase, which is my least favorite and the most expensive. I wish there were better consignment shops around here, but even my favorite tack shop in over an hour away. I have a whole host of item sin my virtual cat that I'd like to start slowly acquiring but my money tree has gone bare.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. definitely, it feels really good to have all the pieces coming together. it's taken years to collect everything, but now finally it feels like i have basically most of what i need haha (tho isn't there always room for more?! lol).

      that's a bummer about having to go so far for tack shops. ours are still a ways away (all about 40min+) but then again, so is my actual horse, so i'm used to making those types of trips.

      Delete
  2. Love that saddle! Looks sooo nice and comfy! Checking my inventory on key stuff is part of my spring cleaning/organizing routine. It is fun to get all organized for the upcoming season. Since I’ve been sitting around with my ankle up I’ve got more stuff that I don’t need in my shopping carts do less work done on organizing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that saddle is the most comfortable <3 and ugh yea, being laid up definitely sucks but retail therapy is for real!! i bought a ton of stuff when i broke my ankle haha. but i figured, at least at that time i was saving money on lessons anyway, so it maybe worked out? sorta?! lol...

      Delete
  3. That fleecey girth looks so comfortable!!

    And that saddle!! Soooo pretty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i fully admit to still seeing stars with that saddle lol.... and the girth is great. so simple, so comfortable for charlie (who will go full-on dinosaur-stuck-in-tar-pit if he feels pinched or constricted), plus easy to keep clean. i'm obsessed haha

      Delete
  4. We r soooo gud! Bahahaha!

    I'm intrigued by the cell phone zoomer thingie. XC rounds where you're just a speck are so sad (like the one I posted from LM haha). But like you, I'm a little wary of taking off my cell phone cover.


    That saddle is gorgeous, drool. And I'm pretty sure I have to figure out studs fairly soon, as C's owner said he goes best in them. I've never used them with P, since he's so sure-footed, so the options are a little mind-blowing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol the best at funny pictures apparently, who knew?!?

      and re: the studs, in some ways they are WAY easier than i expected. it really doesn't generally take me too long to get them in and out (tho i need to get a little stool or something bc it's killer on my old lady back), and are easier to take care of than a lot of people think. like, i've never once actually cleaned my studs - the ones i used most last year are still just sitting there in the magnetic tray right where i left them after our last run of the year. they are a little oxidized but i've heard that can actually improve grip to a degree.

      and i do notice a really positive difference in my horse. like, esp in turning, going down hill, and lead changes. i always kinda thought that the need for studs correlated to higher levels or how hard a horse had to work. but for charlie, it turns out he's just plain more comfortable in them. so i do it.

      for me, the hardest part is choosing which to use lol, so i almost always end up using my smallest. in wetter softer conditions, i have kinda a small blunt stud. and above, now i have another small option, but pointier for when the ground is harder. we'll see how it goes!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for that info! I know I've seen you talk about C in studs and, like you, I'll do what I can to help the horse be the most comfy.

      Delete
    3. that's basically the best we can do, right? tho with that said, i should point out i didn't stud him up (tho he is already drilled and tapped) for our last little school, and he was 100% fine. but then again i didn't point him at any downhill jumps or any tricky turns.... so it's all relative i guess!

      Delete
  5. This is going to sound kind of nutty, but the actual Absolute Best cooler I've ever encountered? The orange Home Depot branded water cooler. Like, it shouldn't work, right? It's probably just a crappy, overpriced water cooler... that keeps ice as ice overnight... outdoors... in Texas... and... keeps it cool during the day in summer, too. It's a magic orange barrel, I swear to god. (And hey, doubles as human water source too!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That’s good to know, I’ll check it out ! I had been thinking about something collapsible like above just for the purposes of saving space, but then again I do have the entire bed of my truck to work with ....

      Delete
  6. So as someone who A)wants/needs a cooler and B) is getting married - I did a lot of research on Coolers to put on our registry list. I had my eye on the Yeti for a while which are expensive but keep ice as ice for as long as humanly possible because IFIHAVETOGOBUYICEONEMORETIMEIAMDONE!

    I settled on the Orca - lifetime warranty, true sizing and ice retention for 4 days (at or just below 40 degrees) I'm sold... now for someone to buy it for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha that sounds awesome tho! Brita has the yeti and loves it, esp for tailgating etc. I don’t think I’ll need something quite as amazing bc I don’t really need it for food quality, rather I just need enough ice after roughly 12 hrs to fill up some ice boots. Ideally it’s not something I want to spend a ton of money on, considering I need to buy the boots too lol. We will see tho!!!

      Delete
  7. Everyone who has ice boots that I know recommends the suspender type. I guess the low tech versions are still the best, haha. Apparently it's the best version to make sure the ice gets where you want it? IDK.

    I think a cooler is a great idea. For ... reasons. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i actually have the suspender type of ice boots and have used them for various injuries, but i honestly don't really like them. maybe bc charlie is so tall with such long legs, but it takes a LOT of ice to get high up his leg, plus the boots sag heavily around his ankles. so he ends up with something like 20lbs of ice strapped to a leg, which is apparently just as uncomfortable as it sounds, and when he tries to move it's lurching around in a way that i don't think would be great while standing next to a trailer. so.... i'm gonna go with something a little smaller haha

      Delete
  8. Not sure if you've picked out ice boots, or how high you want to ice, but my favorite are the Tough-1 ice boots seen here:
    https://www.statelinetack.com/item/tough-1-cooling-ice-boot/E014891/
    They do need to stay in a cooler, with ice probably best, but you don't have to stuff ice in them, you just keep them frozen in the freezer. They stay quite cold for about two hours, which is pretty great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks for that link - that's exactly the style of boot i have in mind, and might actually be the type my friend uses and loves too.

      Delete
  9. I love when you can find a cheap buy that your horse loves! I usually go to BOT for recovery but it looks like you prefer ice boots. I have no reason for my preference other than that is all that I have done. Do you have a reason you prefer ice boots over BOT?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. great question haha - and yes, i do have a reason. i haven't actually used ice boots yet for standard recovery, so that's not exactly my preference. rather, my preference is: compression.

      charlie is fairly high mileage and his legs are FAR from clean. our enemy is fill/swelling, plain and simple, so generally speaking my priority is getting him poulticed and wrapped asap.

      the BoT quick wraps that i have are just not great for compression, and have in some instances actually increased the puffiness in my horse's legs (their purpose i believe is to increase circulation, so the puffiness in some ways makes sense). i like using them for some things (like leg protection while trailering) but not for immediate recovery.

      my plan going forward is to slap some ice boots on the horse's legs for maybe the first 20ish min following running xc, and then move forward with poultice + standing wraps, which he usually wears for the trailer ride home too.

      Delete
  10. Don't they have those ice boots that you can stick in a freezer to get cold? The ice-less ones? Never iced a horse in my life, but some friends went crazy over those a while back.

    Also, super interested to see how the phone lens works out. My camera has been a bit, um, opinionated about filming videos. Been looking for something to hold me over in the meantime before I get a real video camera.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those boots that go in the freezer also can work, if you have a freezer and a good cooler to keep them cold. They tend to be way more expensive than plain old ice tho, plus the freezer at my farm is iced over haha.

      Re: the zoom lens, I got to play with it a ton this weekend and will hopefully have a review up. The lens is jus an attachment to the phone tho so if your phone isn’t working anyway then the extra lens probably won’t help. But as a zoom it’s pretty good, with some degree of image distortion and quality reduction that comes with the territory of cheap lenses. More soon!

      Delete
  11. Cute socks. I might want them. LOL :) Hope the cell phone zoom works!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love your socks.... I can't even tell what was on mine at this point now. Time for upgrade lol

    Omigosh you must review that lens I have been debating buying one, want!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving a comment! If you have trouble with this form, please email: fraidycat.eventing at gmail.