review: farm house tack

wanted to share a great buying experience with y’all! i highly recommend farm house tack, a brick-and-mortar and online retailer.

in my hunt for a pair of ice-vibe boots to help auto through his rehab, i came across a listing on english tack trader for a new pair at about $10 under the lowest retail i’ve seen. not the best savings, but enough for me to inquire about their availability.

horseware ice-vibe boot. photo from farm house tack website.

so i reached out to the poster (jessica), and in our chatting discovered that she was representing FHT. since i was going to take advantage of the small savings and purchase the ice-vibes, i figured why not browse the store’s online listings and see if there was anything else i might want to grab.

well, then i came across these magnetic stable boots at a significant discount.

veredus magnetik stable boots

what’s that i hear, a loud collective groan from y’all? i get it. i know all the evidence of “successful healing” from magnets is anecdotal. but, i scoured the reviews (while chatting with jessica) and coth (oy!)), and decided why the hell not try them. at such a significant discount, it was worth it to me to take the chance that they may or may not help. (and yes, my horse gets acupressure/body work and chiro, and i am a FIRM believer in acupuncture.)

so back to my great experience at FHT. jessica had pulled the ice-vibes for me and was patiently waiting for me to finish my shopping when i inquired about the veredus boots. i couldn’t find info on sizing anywhere! so she pulled the boots for me and gave me the sizing info from the packaging. (that’s excellent service!) then, i had the dollar sign crisis: “I can’t afford both, but i want both!”

so she waited for me to decide. while browsing COTH for feedback on ice-vibe and magnetic boots, i came across many accolades for the ice horse brand (used by none other than Rich Fellers and Flexi!), and specifically their tendon wraps. at a much more affordable price point, i found my solution. I could get both!

ice horse tendon wraps

so i called jessica to give her my credit card info for the purchase. she was lovely to chat with, commiserated with me about the cost of horse ownership, and wrapped up my purchase quickly. within a few hours, i had my shipping label!

i couldn’t be happier with my experience with farm house tack. i will absolutely return to them for future purchases!

now, let’s all good vibes that auto gets the go-ahead for rehab, and that the combo of voodoo magnets and ice help him recover quickly!

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Update and Q1 goals report

Amanda asked me this weekend if I was done blogging. I answered that I’ve just been feeling at a loss for blogging materials because Auto is currently halfway through an 8-week rest for a suspensory strain. I’ve ridden maybe twice (school horses at the dressage instructor’s barn) since he was diagnosed, and the few rides leading up to his lameness exam were pretty awful.

Auto has been NQR since late last year, but with the VERY wet winter our rides have been so inconsistent and scattered that I couldn’t put my finger on what was going on. He never looked lame, or even “off,” when I watched him from the ground (I was lunging consistently to work on topline and acceptance of contact). Any red flag showed up under saddle at the trot or canter. His pain manifested in violent reactiveness, especially tracking right. He’d be very unwilling to move forward (totally inverting and pinning his ears), he’d kick out, and at his worst he would bronc.

I was initially convinced it was chiro related (maybe a rib out on the right side), or pain in his SI joints (which he’s had injected once before). I had Dr. Jack work his chiro magic on him a couple of times. The last time was really intense and Auto was clearly suffering from pain and/or anxiety/expectation of pain, but there was no clear issue. So I came up with a plan: work him on the lunge in side reins and his equiband system until the next lesson to allow me to watch him move, try to identify any issues, and generally getting him using his body consistently. I lunged him 4-5 times and he was a dream. He moved beautifully, was happy and willing to work, and demonstrated no pain. I could see absolutely nothing wrong with him.

And then we had a lesson. And he was miserable and in pain. I hopped off and made an appointment for a lameness exam.

I was fortunate to get an appointment for just a day later, and thanks to my great BO we hauled him to the lameness vet at our local equine hospital where he got a work-over.

I wish I had taken vids of the exam, but I was too anxious and focused on watching. The vet flexed him and immediately found a significant issue on the right front. He was practically three-legged after fetlock flexion. With further flexing and gait analysis (that was so painful to watch), the vet suspected proximal suspensory desmitis and suggested we nerve block and ultrasound. Nerve blocks confirmed PSD but ultrasound showed no tear (thank goodness). The vet was really thorough, and followed up ultrasounds with fetlock X-rays to ensure there was no joint issue. He even threw in hock X-rays on the house, because he wanted to rule out any hock pain (he flexed a little sore on the left hock, but nothing worrisome). Auto’s X-rays were surprisingly clean! I was relieved.

I left my boy overnight so he could have shock wave therapy the following morning. When I picked him up, he was wrapped from knee to fetlock. Under his wrap was Elgin Vet’s magic “Runner’s Relief” salve, which is a Fura-Zone base with other magic stuff mixed in. I kept that on him for a week+, and now he’s just being lazy. The vet did not mandate stall rest and, as much as I’m sure turn out is good for his mental health, I’m not sure it’s helping him heal. Oh well.

Back for follow-up on 4/22. Cross your fingers for us. This time, I’ll drive him myself!

In other news, this happened.

ISO

Any of you tack hos out there have a Micklem Multi Bridle you’d like to part with?

In my days and days of research into lungeing cavessons, I’ve decided that the Micklem is probably closest to what I’m after. Would love to buy used, especially if someone has one gathering dust.

Thanks!

happy happy happy

saturday was such a happy day at NSCS! the rain held off while me and auto had our inaugural dressage lesson there. i have been riding at Concordia Dressage, in the neighborhood of NSCS, for about six months–really learning from Martin Arnold’s methodology and benefitting from riding his schoolmasters. with auto at NSCS, where he teaches once or twice a week, auto will now benefit from Martin’s instruction!

not sure if auto was sound for the lesson, i warmed him up on the longe. he looked fine. so we decided to go ahead with the lesson. as he had in the last two rides, he got really crabby with me tracking right. but instructor encouraged me to work through it. we got some really nice work, and he felt that auto is just being crabby to the right leg. he got on for a few minutes, they looked so good and i feel really great about our next steps.

after the lesson, auto had a bit of time to kill in his stall. so he munched some hay and supervised BO decorating his stall. i think he was chuffed.

then it was time for his visit with Dr. Jack, animal chiropractor. not surprisingly, auto really need an adjustment.  in the picture below, you can see that auto was a bit worried. but Dr. Jack was so compassionate, and really homed in on his issues and shared his knowledge with me and BO.
meeting Dr. Jack.after a general look-see, dr. jack started in on auto’s right hamstring which was very tight. his sacrum was out of alignment, and a more than a few vertebra were misaligned. his right scapula was locked, too. all of this could contribute to his crabbiness to the right leg.

two interesting tidbits: issues on one side in the hind equate to issues in the vertebra on the opposite side, which impact front end issues back on the other side, and poll tightness again on the opposite. this all played out in auto with right hind and front misalignment, and vertebral issues on the left back and neck, and poll tightness. in the video below, you can see good range of motion in the left hind. he had half that in the right hind.

dr. jack asked me “has his mane always been split?” i said “no, it started last year.” he nodded and explained that the appearance of a new split in the mane can indicate an issue in the vertebrae causing the muscles to contract in that area and pull the mane over. the split in auto’s mane absolutely lines up with significant tightness in the C6.

after about an hour, auto was all adjusted. i tucked him away in his sheet, to keep his joints and muscles warm while he adjusted to his adjustment. i think he was feeling pretty good.

today he was a total love bug. i gave hime some rich green grass and gorgeous vitamin d. tomorrow he gets body work and then we’ll get back to work.
he was resting his weight on me and leaning in for snuggles. it was such a sweet moment. too bad i panic when there’s a camera. i swear i was really feeling the love in this moment. #hesmysqueeze

a hitch in his giddy-up

handsome man in his new digs.

auto has had a hitch in his giddy-up for a little more than a week. it started wednesday, 1/21, at our old barn when i pulled him out for an early morning lesson. as he’d been cooped up for a few days, i threw him on the line and worked him for about 15 minutes to get the joints lubed up and the muscles loose. he was lovely. we’ve been lunging consistently for about a month (when the weather permitted us to use the arenas), and he’s become really responsive and showing signs of stretchy work. so i was pleased and feeling good about hopping on and having a nice dressage lesson.

about ten minutes into the ride, tracking right, he began pinning his ears and crow-hopping with every application of leg pressure. he’s usually pretty stiff to the right, but this was evidence of real pain. so we walked a bit and he seemed fine. back to the trot, and it was clear that he was not having it.

cue exactly one week later, we rode for the first time at the new barn, NSCS. he was demonstrating the same behavior. not quite as seriously and not constantly, but enough that i was worried and cut short our work. he was fine at the walk, again, so we went out with AC and hens. while walking i did feel a serious reluctance to soften his right side. AC suggested a rib out, so after our walk, we palpated him. i didn’t find anything of note, but AC found tenderness in his hip. (she is a pro-palpator.)
so, we’re having dr. jack the chiro out tomorrow and christina magic hands out on monday evening for body work. auto’s not had chiro in almost two years–he hasn’t needed it. i’m really hoping it’s what he needs now and we’ll get him all sorted out. i’m ready to start riding again.

looking forward to picking the chiro’s brain and learning all i can. i love visits from equine pros–i want to learn all the things from them. will report back. in the meantime, please cross your fingers that we get this sorted.

in da club

guys, i did it. i joined the club. what club, you ask? well, the cool kids ogilvy club, of course! have i been hanging out with amanda too much? well yes, i have but she doesn’t deserve the blame for my purchase!

but . . . i did borrow her ogilvy for our walkabout and sent me the link to the customization page (have you seen it!?!?!?), so i guess she bears a little of the responsibility!

i haven’t been super happy with the supracor half pad i found on ebay, so i’ve been thinking about something more plush for my tender guy. but, with the veeerrrryyy long wait to get an ogilvy, i had put it out of mind as an option. UNTIL I SAW ONE ON EBAY!
ogilvy
i jumped on it, and now it’s mine! mine mine mine! there’s no special customization, but that’s alright. it’s exactly what i need, and maybe i’ll have it monogramed or something.

can’t wait to try it out and see how my picky mister likes it with his saddle!

i was moved

first thing’s first, if imma do this blogging thing, i really need to get in the habit of snapping pics. i promise to add that to my list of goals and do better in the future.

now, back to the main event, which you have probably already heard about from the facebook pony. (amanda, can you just blog for me, too?) she and i moved our horses this weekend, and it was a quiet and wonderful beginning to our new adventure at new sweden church stables (NSCS). i am so excited for auto’s new digs, and i think he’s pretty chuffed, too. like henry, he walked in to his new stall to find teal buckets, cookies in one of said buckets, and copious hay. the sun was also gloriously warming his little crash pad. (i’m envisioning many sun drenched naps in his future!) his accommodations are really top notch, and i felt no qualms about leaving him in the BO’s care. auto and hens will be turned out together, fulfilling their magical best bros dreams.

after getting the boys settled, four of us took a walkabout in the neighborhood, up to the beautiful historic new sweden church and back again.
auto was a champ, especially considering: he was not in any of his own tack, it was his first time in a hackamore, he’s never really been on a road hack with cars and motorcycles, and he was not pleased to see water, water everywhere. (didja know that auto HATES water? yeah, that’s a fun fact.) really, though, he was such a good boy. i threw him almost every curve ball, and he handled himself better than i could have hoped.

NSCS is still pretty soggy with all of the rain we’ve had lately, even after their efforts to pump out the arenas. (yes, they pump the standing water out of the arenas to facilitate more rapid drying! brilliant!) it’ll probably be a few days before we get back to work, but that’s alright–it’ll give him some time to get acclimated.

in keeping with the start fresh theme, i spent most of yesterday afternoon cleaning and conditioning my tack. i LOVE my higher standards kit. it’s really as good as y’all have said. pro tip: microwaving the conditioner to soften it and applying it with your hands is the way to go. saddles and bridles are clean and supple, and ready to report for duty.

more pics next time, i promise.