Monday, December 31, 2012

Wishful thinking: 13 pieces for 2013

I compiled a list of wish items for 2013. Most of these are impractical and far out of my price range. Maybe I could aquire them all over the next 13 years.  A girl can wish, though, right?

1. A Horse! Of course.
Actually, this is probably one of the few things on this list that I will acquire this year. After we settle in Austin, I am going to seriously start the search for a horse with whom I can really grow. My husband thinks I should get a Morgan. Other thoughts are a Fresian. Ultimately, I want someone to event with and fox hunt with So, your overall athlete. I am thinking of checking out Madison Morgans when we get to Texas.
Charlie, from Madison Morgans
Crystal, from Madison Morgans
Blanket Palomino, my favorite coloring
 2. Le Fash hunter/jumper show shirt
These shirts are so classy and original. They run from $195-215. You think that's expensive? Just wait. It gets crazier.

3. Equiline Lissome dressage show shirt
Oh, this is so Victorian and beautiful. I don't know how practical eyelet technical fabric is, but for ~$210, I probably won't have to make any decisions about this shirt. Just imagine me in in it on my blanket palomino Morgan horse doing piaffes...that's right, totally an impossible occurrence.
Equiline Lissome

  4. Hennig Sofa dressage saddle
I have Stacey over at Behind the Bit to thank for this one. Specifically, I want the saddle in this odd combination of brown and black. Then, you can really show off that you are a lover of both dressage and jumping! I would pair this with black stirrups, ideally a pair from Five Star Tack.
Hennig Sofa

   5. Voltaire Palm Beach jumping saddle

I love the lines on this saddle. A bunch of people at my barn ended up in Voltaire saddles this year. I am such a lemming. But its gorgeous! And the leather is just so fantastic, soft as can be.

6. Asmar Equestrian coat
Originally, I was obsessed with the All Weather Rider. I even paid for one at a horse show, but the vendor failed to put my order in after 6 weeks. So I cancelled the order because I was so disappointed with the customer service. However, I also really love the Hunter coat. Most likely, I will in the end go with the All Weather rider. What the hell, this is a wish list right? I want them both!

Both photos from the Asmar website
  7. An Ultimate Hoof Pick
Woohoo! Something I can afford! The Ultimate Hoof Pick is $16. If you don't lose it, it will last forever.
8. Stretchies Tail Wrap 
 My friend Amigo, who you may remember from his recent Equine Outfit of the Day post, wears one of these fancy pants Tail Wraps. If they're good enough for his Arabian tail than that is a stamp of approval in my book.

9. Rambo Quarter Sheet
I am not sure if I will need this in Texas or not. So, I have held off on purchasing it. 

10. Uniqcorn Montrose Breeches
I thought that Animo was pricey at $350-$450 for breeches.  Here though, we have an example of the possibility of always being able to find an even more expensive brand in the horse world.  This company's breeches have been described as the "Astin Martin of breeches." The Montrose breeches from Uniqcorn retail for $720! I feel like you would get laughed out of the jumper ring with these. I surely would wear them hunting though!  The button detail is fantastic.
Here is what I fantasize Mr. 14 Carrots wearing after a long days hunt! Totally sexy.

11. Ambleside Designs saddle pad 

 These Ambleside hand mad saddle pads run $120-150.  Each one is so unique. I cannot wait to have a horse that I can match to a saddle pad. Supposedly, they will last you for a decade though; so worth the investment. They do both dressage and all purose pads, as well as multiple other types like Iberian, Jousting and Rennaissance.
12. Uniqcorn dress boot
Interestingly, the Uniqcorn boots are not quite as crazily priced as their breeches. The boots run in the $600 range. Here is a pair that I would love to show dressage in. You can pick from like 6 different leathers and no, I would not pick this mustard yellow. Thanks again to Behind the Bit blog for the heads up on Uniqcorn. I like these so much because of the detail at the ankle section.
 13. Already checked off the list!
I ended up getting two items off of the list just before the end of the year. So, I am including them here. First off, I got a work out DVD Rider Pilates. I plan to do a full review of the DVD in a few weeks. 
And, I got a Porta Grazer!
This is a slow feeding travel system. You fill up the barrell with hay or pellets. Then, the horse eats through the holes in the insert. The piece to the left is both a top for the system and a watering dish.
They have a great video on their website about the system. $309 is the reasonable price on this size.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Super Slick Body Clip

If you haven't checked out Jimmie and Dom Schramm's video series "Evention" on YouTube, jump on it. The husband/wife duo are an awesome eventing pair. Their video series is highly entertaining, pragmatic, useful, and well produced. Just saw Jimmie's video on body clipping and wanted to share with you and your horse! I think this is a great clip because your taking off some of the hair but still leaving a significant amount as well.

A NonApocalyptic Review of 2012 Equine Photography

Personally, I did not find that any of the horses I ride were too concerned about the gnashing of hay or whores of Babylon riding them naked through the burning streets this December. Apparently, Ida, Oliver and Lamia were not aware that they made it through yet another apocalypse.

That said, I wanted to bring you a wrap up of my favorite horse photos that I came across in 2012.  None, obviously, came from my own terribly terrible dark room.

Vogue is my favorite couture magazine, so let's start there, shall we. Here is the December 2012 Vogue Australia cover.

From Vogue AU website
 Black Caviar is the 6 1/2 year old, 16.2 hand TB mare who is undefeated in 22 races. The dress is an Alexander McQueen. Black Caviar is the first horse to be on a Vogue Australia cover. Not sure about Vogue US, will have to look into that!
From Vogue AU website

Vanity Fair did two different spreads that caught my eye this year. They really shoot some beautiful equine inspired pieces.

Being a fox hunting enthusiast, I naturally adored this September 2012 edition of Vanity Fair.  July 2012 also featured some stunning photographs in France of Kristen Stewart with some gorgeous studs. See the white one second from left? He makes me drool. I think maybe these are Lippizaners?

I also this past year discovered the gorgeous photography of Monica Stevenson. All photos following are from her website.
This is polo on snow.
Far Hills Steeplechase

Lastly, I want to share a few comical photographs. I recently became just enamored with Grumpy Cat. Here is my favorite Grumpy Cat remarking on horse related material.
From Horse Junkies United

Finally, Horse Junkies United did a fabulous series on "bad equine photography." Here is the photo that won. The girl in the photo had no idea the horse was doing this behind her.
From Horse Junkies United

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

DIY Saddlepad

In my opinion, there aren't enough skull and crossbones in dressage. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and remedy the situation. Following is a step by step tutorial for jazzing up a plain old saddle pad. As with most DIY projects, the goal here isn't so much saving money as it is creating something you envision but cannot find.

low/medium quality saddlepad
iron on applique
ironing board
flat cloth
horse (to look badass wearing the saddlepad, of course!)

Step 1. 
First you need to select a saddle pad and appliques. I chose a low grade quality saddle pad because I wasn't sure how well the rhinestone applique that I was going to use would stick. Therefore, I didn't want to ruin a good saddle pad for no reason. This one is a pretty unimpressive pad I got for like $11 or something in the Dover Saddlery 12 Days of Christmas. The appliques were from Micheal's and I think were $3 a piece. These are rhinestone skull and crossbones.
Boring dressage saddlepad

Rhinestone skull and crossbone appliques
Step 2.
Next, you want to figure out where you want these bad boys to be placed on the saddle pad. Because these are individual rhinestones, I placed them as far out of the way as possible so that my boots would be less likely to rub against them and knock off the stones.

I also used the grid design of the saddle pad to help me place the applique. I lined the edges of the plastic up with the stitching. See?
Step 3.
I have a pretty powerful Rowenta iron because I used to be hardcore into sewing. Now I ride horses. I set this on the highest heat level but turned off the steam. I lay a flat cloth over the applique to help distribute the heat evenly and not melt the plastic that holds the applique.
Iron over the cloth that is over the applique for like 2 minutes.

Step 4. The most important step!
After you have ironed, you must let the applique adhesive set. I let the applique alone until it is completely cooled off. Do not remove the plastic over the applique or the adhesive on the actual applique will not harden and do its job of sticking.

 Step 5.
After you have let the applique completely cool. Then remove the plastic topping. Voila!
Step 6.
Repeat on the other side of the saddle pad so that you have symmetrical designs.

 Here is the finished product after its first ride. It is holding up ok. We will see after a few more rides if it still looks this intact. I got two compliments on its maiden voyage!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

EOOTD - Embroidered Flowers

Since I just brought you The Punisher in the last Equine Outfit of the Day, I thought it appropriate to sort of tone things down and get a bit girly and flowery. If only I could have put red lipstick on Oliver for the photo-shoot and spritzed him down with Chanel No5. I guess that wouldn't be so much girly as much as horse-drag.

Here is Oliver wearing his Dura-Tech Embroidered Flower Pad in Hunter. I think he looks just smashing in this color green.

Saddle: Bates
Saddle pad: Dura-Tech
Half Pad: Dura-Tech Anti-Slip Gel Half Pad

This saddle pad is currently on closeout at Schneider Saddlery. Check it out here.
As you may have seen in Oliver's introduction, he has massively tall withers. The cut at the withers on this pad actually fits him quite nicely even though this isn't specifically a wither designed pad. That sharp take off upwards really works well for Oliver. I have to say, I have four Dura-Tech products now and I think that the value for money is just fantastic. Dura-Tech is Schneider Saddlery's house brand. The Dura-Tech are the best quality saddle pads that I have come across for a house label brand. The stitching is quality and the materials are nice and thick.

If you haven't entered the Holiday Giveaway, please do so here!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Helloooooo Olllliver

Just a quick post to introduce you to this great 20 year old Anglo-Arab that I have been riding. He is called Oliver.
Oliver the Horse
Please do not confuse the eye candy above with the other new Oliver in my life.
The Oliver from Arrow

Anyway, I've happily entered the dressage world and am training with Colleen Reid at Equine Sports Complex. Oliver is a wonderful first dressage mount for me, and he is a retired eventer. Now, I do not fancy myself a gelding lover. I far prefer a mare. But Oliver and I are getting along spectacularly and he entertains me with very comical facial expressions. I think his new career is stand up comedian.

My husband and I have nicknamed Oliver "Mr. Withers." His withers are so high I had to get him a special wither saddle pad.

Mr. Withers' high withers
 Please don't confuse Mr. Withers with Mr. Whiskers.
Mr. Whiskers, beloved psychic kitty from Frankenweenie

I highly recommend this high wither pad from Dura-Tech. This is the nicest quality saddle pad I own by far.  That's what you get when you spend 50 bucks for a saddle pad instead of 15 bucks, I guess. The pad needs to be a bit more spectacular looking though. I am thinking of adding some olive badges to it. Get it? Olives. Oliver.
Mr. Withers' new V Free Dressage Saddle Pad

So far, Oliver and I are working on lots of trot-walk transitions. I am trying to learn to sit on my bum better and not be so on the forehand. We are doing lots of circles too. Today, Oliver and I cantered together for the first time! It went unbelievably well.

Oliver aka Mr. Withers
If you haven't yet entered my Holiday Giveaway for an Ultimate Hoof Pick and Eqyss Premier Marigold Spray, click here.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Holiday Horse Giving - Part 2: The Giveaway!

Giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Casey and Tate who now have a hoof pick to last a lifetime and the best coat spray!

Okay now! I am excitedly rubbing my hands together because I have a holiday gift for you! Fourteen Carrots is giving away two very useful and enjoyable products. There will be one winner who will receive both of these products. First up, we have the Eqyss Premier Marigold Spray. I have raved about this here and here. To top it off, we have the most spectacular hoof pick I have ever used, the Ultimate Hoofpick, self described as the "jack hammer". I really hate dirty hooves, which is just silly because they will immediately get dirty as soon as you are done cleaning them. In my opinion, this is the end all be all of hoof picks. It is the super star of hoof picks - like the Mick Jagger of hoof picks. I think you will only need one for the rest of your life.

The Jack Hammer
So here are the rules/parameters of the game:
1) You have to donate money - any money, I don't care how much - to one of the three charities listed in Part 1.
3) You have to leave a comment below sharing a horse product that you love too and would give away if this was your blog.
4) It would be just lovely if you also liked Fourteen Carrots on Facebook, but this isn't a requirement.

The giveaway is only open to people who are in the United States. Contest ends 12/25 and will be shipped out after the New Year.