Monday, December 13, 2010

In the Shopping Mood

I've been shopping around for western-ish boots for Izzy. (Yes Nicku, like those fabulous lime green ones!!) So far, everything I've been interested in is way more than what I want to spend, but I'm going to the feed store today. ;-)

But you know how shopping goes... first you're looking at boots, then at headstalls, and then... this. Wow, he's pretty. I so want him. For the record, there are a lot of ugly AQHAs out there. This fine specimen, on the other hand... Yeah. If I were seriously interested in pursuing the whole western thing, I'd totally go for him.

It's been interesting to western-horse-shop. I'm used to looking at warmblood prices and thinking, "Oh yeah. $25k for a started horse? Totally reasonable." Of course, the odds of me EVER being able to plunk down $25k for any type of horse are nil, but that's the price tag I'm used to seeing. It's pretty amazing to see a pretty boy like that for a mere 4k. That is something I could afford, if I were in the market (WHICH I AM NOT).

I'm learning lots of interesting things, though. For example: western peeps tend to put a chin strap on their snaffles "so they don't pull through the mouth". I always thought that was kind of a dumb idea. Apparently, it's not. Perhaps because of the lack of a cavesson, the headstalls are not super stable. I'll be putting a chinstrap on mine... This also makes it pretty hard to lunge off of the bridle if your horse is kinda up and the arena is busy. Thus, I am also in the market for a rope halter with a detachable lead. I'm thinking I'll get this in a fun color, unless I find one at the feed store I like better.

Speaking of color--I'm clueless. I sort of want to try reining with Izzy, and apparently reiners are a bit like dressage riders, in that they use black or white boots and not nutty colors. You know, "professionalism" and all that. So. It would make sense to get black (since white is a total pain to keep clean), but I'm still tempted towards colors because the odds of Izzy and I ever being competitive enough for anyone to care are pretty much nil.

We had a lovely ride yesterday. I'm still loving how much good this experiment is doing for our dressage. She's learning to balance herself and stay soft. I'm learning to let her be.

Adorable pretend western pony on the snow.


  1. I love that you are embracing has me very intrigued. There are a lot of western type things that I like, so I like to mix and match. I LOVE my rope halter but I think the stiffer, the better the communication. I got mine w/ lead via Clinton Anderson website but I think u can find on ebay too and many similar brands work just fine.

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  3. no lime green...oh well! I love this new adventure you guys are on, it's so fun to hear about. Western is on my list of things to try with Pongo in his lifetime. My goals prior to that are extensive though so it's gonna be a while (eventing at Training Level, dressage at 3rd level and I really want to get his jumping and my equitation to the point where I can go to some rated hunter shows and give the judges coronary attacks with all our spots just for giggles). much to do, so little time and money to do it with!!!!

  4. Interesting. I'm just wondering how the western is helping the dressage (I'm always looking for ways to improve). Good luck with all this - new shopping opportunities are always fun!

  5. I personally LOVE light/white boots on a dark horse. Yeah they're a pain to keep clean but I think they look awesome. Do you like fringe on your boots, lol?

    I agree, if you're going to do the rope halter thing, the stiffer the better. You can always put fleece or sheepskin padding over the nose if you don't want or need so much pressure. LOVE the pink!

    Yes, I LOVE that quarter horse! 14.3 is a bit small, but I understand they don't care about height so much in the reining world:) He's gorgeous!

  6. I LOVE white boots. However, I don't love cleaning them constantly. It's still up in the air.

    Carol--I'll probably do a whole post on how it's helping us. Stay tuned!

  7. I have white XC boots for McKinna because that was the color that was on They are a PITA to keep clean. But, they also go tromping through water and mud and grass, so your mileage may vary ;)

    Sounds like you are having fun with the Western thing! I'm sure Izzy enjoys it too.

  8. Actually, I know quite a few people who use bit guards on snaffles so they don't pull through the mouth.

  9. Yeah, loose ring snaffles can pull through a horse's mouth easier than you might think (ask me how I know).

  10. A lot of the western riding is done on a loose rein. The horse learns to rate off your seat, not your hands- no half halts in WP....

    It teaches them to carry themselves and you help them out with support/contact as needed, but otherwise leave them alone. The changes it will help you make in respect to the dressage training will show through in time if they haven't already. It will all come and it really isn't a whole lot different than riding english.

    The chinstrap goes under the reins, between the chin and the reins. So it doesn't get in the way of your cues. Offset D snaffles also help to prevent the bit going through the mouth, but if you are pulling enough that the horse has their mouth wide open to evade- there's something wrong.

    Stop the horse, stop pulling and give it a minute. Let go and try again. Simple tugs. Tug, tug, tug. If you tug and release, there's nothing for them to fight against like just a steady pull.

  11. Izzy looks so cute.

    No advice here on the shopping. I do agree that most of the reiners seem to be pretty conservative. Remember, it's all about the horse, not the rider, so I suspect they don't want to look too fancy.

  12. Shopping for horses and for things related to horses is a bit of a disease. A friend recently recommended that I come up with a 12-step program for it, and quickly revised her statement to say that I NEED a 12-step program. So glad the western adventure is still rolling along!


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