Essential Items to Keeping Your Horse Crystal Clean (especially greys!)

Horses naturally love to roll and get themselves stained whether it be from grass, mud, sand, rubber etc,. Keeping a horse clean is not only for appearance benefits, but also makes a horse coat, main and tail easier to maintain, identify any new scruffs or skin problems, and also helps with blood circulation when it comes to brushing.

Having a grey horse, it is very difficult to maintain Tofino’s appearance, but nevertheless, these items below have helped me substantially:

  • Veredus Shampoo Sheen
  • Ecolicious Waterless Shampoo
  • Magic Brush
  • Oster Grooming Kit (any good quality grooming kit will do).

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Veredus Shampoo Sheen: from eQuestri

“SHAMPOO SHEEN degreases, cleans and nourishes coats of all colours.
The special formula with “sheen effect” makes the coat and horsehair soft, bright and shiny.”

Veredus-Bio-Groom-Shampoo

This alone is enough to have your horse sparkling 😍. I am obsessed with the smell and how amazingly it works! My all time favorite horse shampoo, especially for greys! For the full review and before/after pictures HERE.


Ecolicious Waterless Shampoo:

“When the weather doesn’t permit or you don’t have time for the deluxe bath treatment. It’s made with gentle Coconut-derived cleansers and Witch Hazel that are tough on dirt, but gentle on the skin. Plus we’ve added yummy skin and hair conditioning ingredients like Honey (bees swear by this one), Aloe Vera and Shea Butter to leave behind a soft, smooth and silky coat.

Tea Tree Essential Oil, known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, calms and protects even the most sensitive skin while the delightful scent of Sweet Orange Essential Oil keeps it smelling oh-so-nice.”

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It works super quick and doesn’t dry out the coat whatsoever! I use it when Tofino has a stain or two. I also carry it with me to shows as he gets trailer stains also which clear up in seconds with this waterless shampoo 😀


Magic Brush:

“MagicBrush gets your horse perfectly clean! Thanks to its special bristles, dried sweat, mud and dirt can be removed easily. It reaches even narrow dents and can be used for grooming hooves; the sensitive heel bulbs and the coronary band are protected. Thanks to its special bristles, MagicBrush is easy on the joints and bones. MagicBrush is the perfect support during the change of coat and is the ideal tool for shampooing and can be used on any type of horse hair.”

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Another must have for grooming! So easy to use (no pressure needed) and still gets the job done very well. For review and before/after pictures HERE.


Oster Grooming Kit:

“Complete 7-piece grooming kit contains all the tools needed for fast and easy grooming. Convenient and durable storage case keeps everything neat and organized.
  • Ergonomic grooming tools for grooming comfort
  • Contains: Stiff Grooming Brush Soft Finishing Brush Coarse Curry Comb Mane & Tail Brush Mane & Tail Comb Hoof Pick Storage Case”

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Any good quality grooming kit will do to be honest. All you need are the brushes mentioned above that can last long.  I have tried other brands but the Oster seems to be tougher and durable so far.


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Note: In order for your horse to have a natural shine, they have to have a well balanced healthy diet. Tofino is on Reverdy Feed from Cavalos Equine Care & Supplies and his coat has a natural soft shine from it.

Veredus Magnetik Stable Boot [FOR SALE]

edit: SOLD❗️

Brand new Magnetik Stable Boot Front & Back from Veredus 
Size: Medium
Price: 1,500 AED
Contact: TofinoTack@gmail.com / 050-2345629

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Stable boot in breathable HCL foam (AEROX).

A practical and effective alternative to traditional bindings.
Fastening with suspensor support and restrainment action for tendon-system, to reduce typical after-work out swelling.
Internal padding in DFD® (Dry Fast Dry®), interchangeable fixed with Velcro.

•    Reduces pain and  swelling.
•    Stimulates the flow of blood.
•    Speeds up the elimination of toxins.
•    Speeds up the regenerative processes.
•    Prepares muscles and tendons to the effort.
•    NO DOPING – NOT INVASIVE

DATASHEET

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Unfortunately, they turned out to be big on Tofino. He has very short and skinny legs so I will be ordering a size Small instead. These should fit a Horse / Full.

Contact: TofinoTack@gmail.com / 050-2345629

Veredus Jumping Saddle Cloth [REVIEW]

I came across the Veredus saddle pad about a year ago and could not resist the urge to purchase; good buy that’s for sure 😉 !

They come in 5 different colours in the jumping style, and only white in the dressage style:

 

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Veredus Jumping saddle cloth made from cotton and polyester with moisture wicking padding. Natural coloured Microfiber lining that is durable with a reinforced trim around the edge. The breathable padding guarantees better comfort, offers a shock-absorbing  effect and provides protective cushioning against the weight of the saddle.

I got the Navy colour with silver piping.  At first, because this pad has a velvety feel, I thought it may be too hot to use in our humid weather. However, it did prove me wrong as the breathability and moisture wicking factors mentioned by Veredus do truly work!

The pad has billet strap holders, preventing the saddle cloth from slipping. It is white on the inside, so dirt will show easily for dark coloured horses, but for my grey Tofino it’s a perfect disguise 😛 .

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On the outside however, since it is a dark navy, any dust particles or white grey hairs show when the saddle pad is wet as they get attached. I noticed after I washed it the first time, whilst it was drying, it collected lint. I do use one of those pet rollers which does the trick pretty quick. That being said, whilst dry and in use I don’t have that issue. Only when wet/drying.

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There is high wither and back clearance making it more comfortable for the horse (the saddle in the photo is actually pretty big in size and still fits well within the pad).  It does feel more cushiony too compared to regular cotton pads, therefore, I have been using it for schooling and it is surprisingly still holding up extremely well with no sign of wear, however, the inner side of the logo does have some loose strings hanging about, but nothing that a pair of scissors can’t fix 🙂

  


It has a logo on BOTH sides of the saddle pad, making it difficult to custom embroider it but the veredus logo looks really neat! I have used it for our training shows but the logo on both sides honestly disturbs the look for me personally. I did purchase a Cavalleria Toscana Saddle pad which i will probably be using for shows from now on, and keep this one specifically for schooling.

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Franco Tucci Boots // FreeJump Stirrups // Thinline Half Pad ]


Pros: Cons:
  Multiple colour options

•  Moisture wicking + breathable

• Cushiony  / well padded

• Wither clearance

• Durable + Sturdy

• Velvet feel

• Billet strap

•   Logo on both sides

•  Attracts dust/ lint when wet

•  Loose strings

 

Verdict: I would definitely recommend the veredus pad as it not only feels soft, comfortable and luxurious, but also holds up really well. The moisture wicking and breathability is crucial for this part of the world. I never thought a saddle pad can make a difference, but it actually really did in the sense that Tofino doesn’t overheat on his back. I am really happy with this purchase and  would recommend it for sure.

Working With a Lazy Horse

Tofino is generally a chilled horse when it comes to day to day work. Put a ground pole and he gets all energetic which I personally love.

He does get lazy days which not only strains my body to push him forward, but ends up not being a satisfying ride. So I thought perhaps writing a post dealing with those lazy horses on how to get them to move forward.

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Nothing like a good roll and lay in the sand after a workout  :p

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons why your horse may be lazy, other than personality & lack of proper training:

  1. Energy level
  2. Bored
  3. Sore / ill
  4. Numb to aids
  5. Weather

Once you make sure it is none of the above, and simply either their personality, or lack of training then go ahead with the following:

Start by giving a light aid (squeezing your leg), not constantly, only when they slow down. IF there is no response, or a delayed response, correct them by trying again whilst clicking with your mouth. If they respond to you praise them by rubbing/patting/giving treats.

If that doesn’t work, use an aid, such as a dressage whip but slightly TAPPING their sides, the same time that you squeeze your leg. using soft spurs may be easier if you have steady legs, rather than holding the whip and reins. Again, squeeze and relax, squeeze again when they start slowing down. Again, if they respond to you praise them by rubbing/patting/giving treats.

IMG_1124[Cavalleria Toscana Saddle Pad // FreeJump Stirrups // Veredus Boots & Chaps]

Keep a contact with the bit, but don’t restrict the reins. don’t try to collect them, the aim is to keep them moving forward and asking them to slow down when you ask them to slow down.

Give momentary breaks in between and let them stretch down. All you need is the forward reaction and the enthusiasm to answer back to your aid, which in turn shows that your horse is paying attention.

Retesting by closing both calves lightly is the most important step in the entire process. If you don’t retest, your horse only becomes duller since you’ve only taught him to go forward when he feels the whip or spurs. You haven’t taught him anything about reacting to a light leg aid unless you retest.

Accept nothing less than a 100% response. It’s okay if they break into a canter, ANY forward reaction needs to be rewarded in this situation. Don’t forget to praise them generously.

Hope this helps!

Happy riding 🙂

HELP! ADOPT / FOSTER Desert Dog

Hi guys, I normally wouldn’t do this  on the blog page, but if you follow me on Instagram you would know that I found a desert dog that was shot at. He is currently at the vet and will undergo surgery/or has undergone surgery, depending on when you read this.

He is so very friendly, and very scared at the same time. He urgently needs a home so I urge you to kindly spread the word, or open your home up to this wonderful boy ❤

Donations are always welcome, to pay for his expenses (DONATE HERE). You can contact me at TofinoTack@gmail.com or message/call me at +971-50-2345629. 

  

Passier: Marcus Ehning Breastplate [REVIEW]

As I was searching for a new breastplate with detachable martingale, I thankfully came across the Passier by Marcus Ehning Breastplate and fell in love! Not only because it was designed by the renowned Marcus Ehning, but also because it is the “hunter style” which has a bridge on top, super padded, comes in contrast stitching, customized hardware, and has detachable options. What more could you ask for?

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This meticulously-sewn Marcus Ehning Breastplate with a removable running martingale attachment was developed in cooperation with the professional jumping rider Marcus Ehning. The breastplate has particularly soft padding to make sure the horse hardly feels it. Thus the Marcus Ehning Breastplate combines top quality with maximum horse-friendliness.

Balve Schloß Wocklum 09.06.2013 Balve Optimum Deutsche Meisterschaften Springen: Marcus Ehning und Cornado NRW Foto: ©Julia Rau Am Schinnergraben 57 55129 Mainz Tel.: 06131-507751 Mobil: 0171-9517199 Rüsselsheimer Volksbank BLZ 500 930 00 Kto.: 6514006 Es gelten ausschliesslich meine Allgemeinen Geschäftsbedingungen

Balve Schloß Wocklum 09.06.2013 Balve Optimum Deutsche Meisterschaften Springen: Marcus Ehning und Cornado NRW Foto: ©Julia Rau Am Schinnergraben 

Features:
Removable running martingale attachment, available with stainless steel or brass fittings.

Sizes:
Pony size, Horse size

Colours:
Black, Havana, Teak

I purchased mine from Calevo.com who do deliver internationally at great prices 🙂 It did come in a storage dust bag too which was pretty cool.


I love the overall look and quality. It does have elastics too for extra flexibility and comfort for the horse. I do wish it came in a cob size; as I did have to punch more holes in to make it smaller for Tofino, who generally always wear cob size items; but it fits my friends horse really well.

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As mentioned above, the shape is not like your typical jumper breastplate, but more like a hunter/eventer one (which I prefer) where you have the connecting bridge on top of the neck. Secondly, the contrast stitching gives it such a nice delicate look. You do get to choose what colour hardware you want, and i chose the stainless steel as it matched better with the white contrast stitching.

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When I first received it, I honestly didn’t even need to condition it. It is very subtle, and nicely padded throughout which prevents the breastplate from being flimsy and thin. I do use the Passier Cleaner Spray to maintain it.

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The martinagle is detachable with easy clips if not needed. I like how big the center is, making it that much more attractive in my opinion 😛 Again, it is padded from behind and cleans very easily.

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I actually didn’t take a picture of the girth attachment part but it basically has a removable end clip to attach to your girth. However, I did remove the clip so as it make it fit Tofino as the size is pretty big.

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Finally, the most annoying part in this breastplate is that the leather nubs/tabs to keep the loops in place do get loose. I don’t really know how to explain it but the two pictures below show what I am talking about. Technically speaking, the issue shouldn’t interfere with performance etc., but it just annoys me hah.

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Pros: Cons:
  Great quality

•  Appealing look

•  Multiple detachable’s

• Multiple colours + hardware options 

• Padded

• Worth the price

•   Only comes in 2 sizes: pony & horse, no cob 😦

•  Leather tabs/nubs loosen & move

Verdict: I would definitely recommend this breastplate as it really is a great purchase for the price! I do wish they do make cob sizes in the future, but in the mean time, if your horse is cob size like Tofino, you can easily punch holes and remove the girth clasp if need be. 

Ask, Receive, Give: Horse Appreciation Post

I thought I would take the time and share the appreciation towards horses. Show season starts this month and sometimes we forget to truly take the time to admire and give back to our horses. Whether you own, lease, or simply ride a school horse, these creatures are not only majestic but also allow us to ride them when they can easily injure us in an instant!

“What these horses do for us is incredible. They become part of our family. They really change our lives. It is a sport we choose because we love it and it is sport we choose because we also love the animal. It is not like breaking a hockey stick or breaking a tennis racket. We become very close to these animals and we have great respect for what they do for us. We are in the limelight with them.”
                                                                                                     —  Eric Lamaze

Having a chronic injury, I truly learnt to appreciate every single second spent at the barn with Tofino. Even if we are not riding off in the desert, or swimming in the ocean, simply sitting in the paddock or stable and admiring his ways is enough for me to say that I am blessed to have him (9 tips on horse bonding).

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When I am able to hop on and ride, honestly nothing can compare to the feeling you get when you put both feet in the stirrups and get ready to ride. Sure, it’s something you know you’ve done countless times, but the start of the ride is like an open book. Anything can happen. And as soon as you sit in the saddle, it’s you and the horse, and nothing else. Every other sound is silenced. No other thoughts can clutter your mind, and your head feels clear and indescribable.

“Remember, the conversation between you and your horse must never be dull or inert. It should be, “Ask, receive, give. Ask, receive, give.” Ask with your body and legs; receive through your body into your hands; give primarily with the hands, but also with your body and legs, so that you can ask all over again, receive again and give again. The give is your thanks. If you don’t give, you must ask harder the next time, and even harder after that, until you end up with a dead or resistant horse.”
—  Sally Swift

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Being in the equestrian world is not easy whatsoever. There is actually a quote I found on tumblr that explains it pretty well in a funny way 😀 :

Ten ways to get in shape to own a horse: this is only a joke, do not do this!

  1. Drop a heavy steel object on your foot. Don’t pick it up right away. Shout “Get off, stupid! Get off!”
  2. Leap out of a moving vehicle and practice “Relaxing into the fall”. Roll into a ball, and spring to your feet!
  3. Learn to grab your checkbook out of your purse/pocket and write out a $200 check without even looking down.
  4. Jog long distances carrying a halter and holding out a carrot. Go ahead and tell the neighbors what you’re doing. They might as well know now.
  5. Affix a pair of reins to a moving freight train and practice pulling it to a halt. And smile as if you are really having fun.
  6. Hone your fibbing skills. “See hon, moving hay bales is fun!” and “I’m glad your lucky performance and multi-million dollar horse won you first place – I’m just thankful that my hard work and actual ability won me second place”.
  7. Practice dialing your chiropractor’s number with both arms paralyzed to the shoulder, and one foot anchoring the lead rope of a frisky horse.
  8. Borrow the US Army slogan; “Be all that you can be’…(add) bitten, thrown, kicked, slimed, trampled.”
  9. Lie face down in the mud in your most expensive riding clothes and repeat to yourself: “This is a learning experience, this is a learning experience,…”
  10. Marry Money!

With all that and more, we still choose to stay in the sport where you speak to your team mate – your partner –  in silence ❤

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Sure, commitment is everything, but taking days off with your horse is needed not only for your mental state but for theirs too. I often hack out a lot and Tofino wasn’t always easy out, but with time I could even go bareback out with him (necessity & safety of hacking)

“The best thing I try to do for myself is to try to listen to the horse. I don’t mean let him take over. I listen to how he’s operating: what he’s understanding or what he doesn’t understand: what’s bothering him and what isn’t bothering him. I try to feel what the horse is feeling and operate from where the horse is.”
—  Tom Dorrance

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“Riding is a partnership. The horse lends you his strength, speed and grace, which are greater than yours. For your part you give him your guidance, intelligence and understanding, which are greater than his. Together you can achieve a richness that alone neither can.”

—  Lucy Rees, The Horse’s Mind

So, on an end note:

  • Always make sure to do and get what’s best for your horse. Do your research beforehand; whether it’s giving some treats, fruits & veggies, buying new items, building a nutritional diet, planning a proper schedule, getting them checked by a vet, physio, osteo, etc.
  • Never penalize your horse for something they didn’t know yet, but train yourself to know better, to ask better. Always take one step at a time with your horse; never push them beyond their limits, when they are ready, they will let you know.
  • Learn to warm them upcool them down, and build muscles the right way.
  • And most importantly, appreciate and enjoy

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