Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Am The Queen of Deal Finding

I don't like paying full-price for things...it's really that simple. More often then not I will search multiple online retailers in search of the best price and I usually check ebay too (sometimes I even look for the item used,'depending on what it is). I am awesome at finding ways to get free-shipping too (often as simple as typing into google "name-of-online-retailer + free shipping coupon").

I've been on the look-out for a Horseware Rhino blanket for Missy for a few months now. Originally I thought I would find the best deal during summer but that actually wasn't the case. I've learned that you don't find a lot of deals on the Horseware Ireland blankets. But I just wasn't wanting to spend $220 for the blanket plus the astronomical shipping charges that all the tack companies seems to be in favor of now (cough, cough Dover).

Well then I discovered that last season's Rhino Original and Rhino Wug colors were being phased out. Dover had (and still does have some sizes if you're interested) the Rhino wug heavyweight for $179. I jumped on that...until I saw that the $23 shipping charge was going to bring the blanket to $202. Yeah, there had to be a way to stay under $200.

I remembered that a friend told me that Horseloverz does a price match so I looked into that and was able to get the blanket for the same price as Dover through them...except they wanted $25 for shipping *bangs head against door*

Eventually I just gave up for awhile.

Well Today I just happened to see that Horse.com was also clearly out last season's Rhino inventory and had a size 75 Rhino Plus for $179 plus free shipping. Umm SOLD! While I *really* wanted the Rhino Wug, the Rhino Plus blankets have the removable hood, so that seemed worth it too me.

Right before I went for the check-out, I looked over at Horseloverz *one* more time...turns out they had a free shipping promotion going on! 

This meant that the Rhino Plus and the Rhino Wug were exactly the same price, both with free shipping. Even though I hate Horseloverz, I went with the Wug. 

Had I paid the regular retail price this blanket would cost me around $250 once all was said and done...saving $70? Not bad if I do say so myself!






Saturday, August 23, 2014

Leasing & College Horsey-ness

M and I offically have the lease set up so she rides 3 days from M-Th, so that when I *do* come home from school, I have the ability to ride. However, I'm not going to get to come home all weekends so I told her she can ride when I'm not around. In my mind it's better then The Mare sitting around and doing nothing...and M is so enthusiastic about my little mare so I'm more than happy to give her more riding time.

Got this text this morning:

                                          

Bittersweet is prob the best word. 

Several of you commented on one of my college-related posts that I should take advantage of electives since I have a little more freedom in my schedule...well I *definitely* am. I'm actually currently in the most *me* class ever: AVS 281, Intro to Equine Care and Use. It's totally a blast. Right now we have a presentation do on a discipline of our choosing (guess what group I'm heading;)!) and our labs include confirmation studies and dental observation. And get this...our final project: "pretend to purchase a horse and develop a total plan for care, including a detailed budget. 4 double-spaced pages plus l page detailed budget." 

I seriously laughed out-loud when I saw that...can I just give her the link to my blog?!

On the first day of class we had to fill out cards with information about ourselves and our horse experience. I must have said something about loving dressage because yesterday she called me out and said something like "you and I are going to get along great." Bonus points for this horse girl lol

Have I mentioned I love college lol

Oh and I'm not giving away any details but I'm am soooooo pumped for the epic meet-up that me and a fellow blogger have planned in the weeks coming. It's been a long time coming!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Break-Down Moment

I was having a pretty awesome day (especially considering I got an A on my first math quiz...my first college quiz everrrr...and only missed one question)...and then Missy's leaser posted a picture of the two of them on Facebook...sigh that hurt my heart.

Not because I'm not happy that it's working out for them (she apparently had a very good lesson today...as per her and J') and not because I'm having second thoughts about leasing Missy to her...no...it's just...well...as much as I like M (and I *really* do like her, she's truly as close to a perfect match as can happen, so don't get me wrong)...it's just that...she's riding MY product. She can never possibly understand the blood, sweat, and years that went into the horse that she now has the benefit of learning from. It's just so hard to give up control. It's just so hard to see someone else enjoying riding my horse...

So why I love college and I love learning and there's pretty much nothing more exciting than the fact that I have the ability to make my own dreams come true, I just can't help but sometimes dwell on what I'm giving up. I miss my mare sooooooooo much ;(

-------------------------

In another subject completely. The Mare needs a new heavy weight blanket...and I can't decide what to get. She has a couple schneider's blankets, so I might just get another one. But I've always liked the idea of Horsewear's wug blanket...thoughts? Suggestions?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Because College Is Seriously THAT Amazing

Over and over and over and over again people repeatedly told me that their college years were "the best days of their lives." I heard what they were saying but I sure didn't grasp what they were saying...until now.

I'm seriously having the best time ever. I love my classes, my dorm, my friends, the personal coffee maker sitting on my desk...yeah EVERYTHING. I had absolutely no clue until now how awesome my life could be...and how terribly bored I was in high school. My math class is at 8:30 every single morning but I don't even care because I LOVE going to it. In theory, I actually have a pretty HARD schedule, but I don't even care because I'm interested and I learning from professors who care about the topics they are teaching. It's refreshing and fun!

Yes, I am working my a$$ off already, but I'm going out with friends and enjoying a social life too. I just had no idea how much I would love WVU. I seriously think about to high school and can't help but think what a joke...lol

Though I do have to mention to anyone and everyone in the younger-than-me age group, to TAKE ADVANTAGE  of your school's Advanced Placement (AP) program if they have one. After this semester, I will *technically* be considered a 2nd-semester sophomore in terms of credits (I came to WVU just *one* credit shy of sophomore credit status). It's pretty freakin' fantastic especially since those AP credits covered all but one of my GEC (general education curriculum) requirements, therefore all the classes I have to take are, for the most part, ones within my major (AKA things I care about). Just my little bit of wisdom.

I miss Missy-mare a ton. I have my favorite picture of her and me and her nice halter hanging above my bed and I think about her constantly. But I owe all of this to her and I know I'm right where I'm supposed to be. Her leaser starts tomorrow, so crossing my fingers that all goes well...

As for the future of this blog (as many of you seemed to be concerned about), I'lll write about college when I have something interesting to say/share and I'll write about riding/Missy/horses whenever I go home. Posts probably won't be as often as in the past, but this blog isn't actually going anywhere. I love ya'll too much:D


^^My own little section of the universe...the dorms I'm living in are only a few years old and soooooo nice. #honorscollegeforthewin

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Oh, The Places You'll Go

I leave for college today.

It's amazing to me how fast time flies. Most days it feels like it was only yesterday that little 12 year old me first saw Missy's head peaking over the stall door. But that was nearly 7 years ago now...just as crazy is the fact that I started this blog when I wasn't even in high school yet! It's been a journey, that's for sure!

And here we are. I'm heading off for a new chapter and I'm leaving the MareFace behind. To be honest, as dramatic as it sounds, I feel like I'm ripping my own heart out of my chest. I'm going to miss her soooooooo much.

Last night I went back up (after already being there in the morning) and just cried the entire drive. I'm do pathetic but I don't even care. As exciting as I am for this new thing...not seeing Missy every single day is just rough.

I signed papers with her leaser yesterday. I guess I never even went into all the lease drama...having someone and then not having someone and then maybe having someone and then not and then finally finding M. She's nice and not a child (she's actually like 28) and she has ridden before thought is obviously been awhile. But she's safe and she's taking lessons with J, so I think it'll work out pretty nicely. She's not starting until the 21st but she's starting with a lesson, so that makes me feel good.

I know that I'm giving up something to gain a lot but it's hard. My life has revolved around horses for the last decade and having to put that part of myself on hold is not going to be easy. But there's a lot to be excited about and I am...here's to future days I guess...

                                   

Monday, August 11, 2014

It's A Small World Afterall...

What a surprise..l disappeared from the face of the earth...again! This time I went to Florida...er...Disney World. We had a really good time. We tend to go pretty often and I've been going since I was really young but I enjoy that place a lot...especially with my little siblings and cousins.

Super small world moment though...on out last day (Last Friday) I told my youngest sister, Anna, that I would take her to rope drop (park opening) so that we could hurry up and get in line so she could see her beloved Anna and Elsa (who very quickly become a 2 hour wait to see). Magic Kingdom opens at 9, but we left our resort by 7:20 to get in line. 

So Anna and I were waiting and I brief chatted with the people around me. You know, small talk. Then I hear this man, his wife, and his daughter (prob my age) mention that they are from Pittsburgh, PA. I live relatively close to Pittsburgh (the closest major city to wear I live) and I tell him where I'm from and they go on to say that their daughter goes to college in my town and rides on the colleges team at the barn I used to work at and Missy used to live at.

A little while lasted they are talking to another very nice family from North Carolina and front of me and they mention their horses. Of course I could resist bringing that up. So we chat about their two thoroughbreds and my dear Missy. Then they happen to mention that one of their horses is really sick and lives on their vets farm. Well that rings som familiarity bells and I ask who their vet is. Turns out to be Dr. L who has been so much help with Miss and who I adore.

Moral of the story is you might be at Magic Kingdom standing in line next to people who live in your area, have horses, and use the same vet you do. You just never know;)

(BTW my little sister DID get to meet Anna and Elsa and was absolutely in heaven)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fun With Hoof Abscesses

     


Before this past spring, the only advice I could have given anyone about dealing with hoof abscesses would have been soaking in Epsom salt. Not because I had actually ever done it, but because anyone and everyone had heard that remedy. 

However, I have now had the title of "Abscess Veteran" been bestowed upon me by my farrier, so I thought I would share with you some "Absces Do's and Don'ts" that I learned by trial and error (lots and lots of errors). Keep in mind to take everything I say with a grain of salt. I'm not in any way, shape, or form a veterinarian, and I only can speak from personal experience:)

DO:

--PLEASE for the love of all that is good and wonderful, BE PREPARED. At the very least, buy a pair of hoof testers and know how to use them. Have a bag of Epsom salt in your possession. Two very easy things.

--Invest in two products: Animalintex Hoof Poultice Pads (used to help draw out an abscess, think Epsom salt hoof soak on steroids) and Magic Cushion Hoof Packing  (used post-rupture to keep dirt/debris out of abscess hole)

--Soak offending foot in warm water (hottest you can comfortably put your own hand in) and Epsom salt to help draw out the abscess.

--Pick up a a tube of ToDay from Tractor Supply. Yes, wet cow mastitis meds. It really is great for shoving in a ruptured abscess to keep the area from getting re-infected (FYI also awesome as a thrush treatment).

--Don't be scared to get your vet and farrier on board, at the very least theyll do wonders for your anxiety

--Expect to go broke on Epsom Salt and Duct tape #horseownerprobs

DO NOT:

--I BEG YOU not to let anyone dig a hole in your horse's foot. Not a vet, not a farrier. PLEASE. Learn from my mistake and let the abscess work its way out on its own. Chances are, when you dig into the foot, even if you hit pus,  you aren't draining the whole thing. Therefore, the pressure that the abscess needs to burst is gone, but the infection remains...Missy had two abscesses. The foot that we dug into took a month and a half to heal. The foot that ruptured on its own took a week.

--After the abscess ruptures, don't soak the foot anymore. While Epsom salt does wonder to get an abscess to the point of rupturing, soaking a foot with an open abscess can introduce bacteria into the wound and cause another infection to form

--Dont try to keep the horse on any form of stall rest or try to limit his mobility. Movement is GOOD for abscesses and is needed for them to rupture (however, I don't condone riding lame horses)

--Don't get caught up in any sort of time frame. The lucky people deal with an abscess for a week or two. The unlucky people dealing with them for 3.5 months (raises hands and grudgingly yells "Me!"). Depending on the location/cause/other external factors, the time frame will vary. Don't be in a hurry because you'll only end up disappointed.

To Bute or Not to Bute?!

Phenylbutazone is an NSAID--a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, so there are big arguments about whether or not it is contraindicated with hoof abscesses. Many people feel that it prolongs an abscess and will inhibit it from rupturing as fast (because it is an anti-inflammatory), but as my vet explained it, if a horse is in a lot of pain they aren't going to want to move around and use the foot because it hurts. The horse needs to be active for the sake of healing, so making them more comfortable with a little a gram or two of bute is probably worth it.

*** Note: You NEED to be sure that what your dealing with is a hoof abscess before buting. Pain keeps horses from hurting themselves further and you don't want to take away that safeguard without knowing what you are dealing with (I.E. the best option is always consulting a vet)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Two Horse Tack

A few weeks ago, I got an email asking if I would like to review a product of my choice from Two Horse Tack. I knew nothing about the company, but there was no chance that I would turn down a chance to try any horse-related product, so I readily agreed. After scanning their website, I learned that Two Horse Tack is a company in Kentucky that specializes in custome beta biothane products (halter, bridles, harnesses, breastplates! If you can name it, they probably make it!). While I am both a soft-leather junkie and a bit of a dressage princess, I thought it would be fun to give one of their bridles a try!

In the past, when I've thought of of biothane, I've always associated it with endurance riders and perhaps a sect of the trail rider scene. And it makes sense. Biothane has a leather-like consistency, but holy crap is it easy to clean. All I needed was a wet towel and a little soapy water to make the bridle look like it had never been near a barn. Considering all the money I've spent on expensive leather cleaners and conditioners, I can certainly see the appeal!

Originally, was was going to go with a regular all black biothane bridle (I've become so boring), but at the last minute I said hell with it and got something a little more fun to try: yes the bridle is still black but with a very fun red overlay!  Two Horse Tack offers many different colors of biothane and many different overlay colors as well, the options really are so very endless!

Moral of the story, if you are looking for a custom, high quality bridle that's also insanely low-maintenance, Two Horse Tack would definitely have you covered:)