Friday, April 9, 2021

Friday Funnies

It's that time of year when the horses are absolute GOOBERS as they start getting out on the grass. Enjoy some silly videos of their shenanigans this week! It's been raining for the last two days but today is supposed to be nice again, so hopefully they'll be back at it this weekend 😆










Thursday, April 8, 2021

Product Review: Thinline Flexible Filly Grazing Muzzle

*Disclaimer: This review is for a product I purchased with my own money after doing my own research. There are links in this post to products I have purchased, but none are affiliate links. I get absolutely nothing in exchange for my unbiased review of this product. I just really like this muzzle and a lot of people have asked me about it, and since I'm going on year three using it on two horses, I figured it was time*

Last summer I had every intention of reviewing the Thinline Flexible Filly muzzle, since I liked it so much after Cinna's first year in one (2019) that I bought Ruby one for 2020. Alas, like so many other great posts I start crafting in my brain, it never made it to the page. Story of my life, amiright?
I know the ship is free now but I'm still laughing at the memes okay. 

Anyway. As the owner of a long string of easy keeper air fern Iberian horses, muzzles are life. Particularly as I try to balance the dietary needs of my Spanish blimps as opposed to my perpetually-ribby-no-matter-how-much-$$$$$-feed-I-pour-into-him geriatric OTTB (although actually he is looking shockingly great right now after the whole EOTRH thing last summer and then as much hiiiiiigh quality 3rd cutting alf I could get him to eat all winter). I don't have great pasture, which is actually fine, since they would legit founder and die on rich grass, but even with careful management, they can get hella fat in the summer without muzzles. I briefly tried one of the typical black webbed muzzles, and IMMEDIATELY got rubs. A friend recommended the Greenguard, but holy $$$. Enter the Flexible Filly. 
Stock photo from the Thinline website

Directly copied from their website:

More like wearing a glove than a muzzle!

Flexible Filly slow feed grazing muzzles are a must for many horses but discomfort is not.

Try a natural grazing muzzle.  Our research determined horses dislike muzzles because they cannot behave naturally in them.  With the historical cage-like or bucket-like muzzles, horses are unable to engage in social activities like wither scratching or other playful interactions resulting in social and emotional health in horse herds.

This Flexible Filly slow feed grazing horse muzzle is unlike the typical cage-like apparatus of the past. We designed this to be softer, lighter, and less behaviorally restrictive. Constructed of a durable and pliable material that radically improves the horses’ feel. It is effective while also being soft on equine teeth and lips. The Flexible Filly Muzzle is well-ventilated and safe, rated to break just before your turnout halter.  Additionally, the grazing hole size is adjustable, allowing you to offer the perfect grazing options.

-So light they won’t even know they are wearing it.

-UV Protection for sensitive noses.

-Adjustable Grazing Hole Size.

-Each muzzle comes with 12 zip ties.

-Use with any halter or add our specially designed halter for an easy and perfect fit.

-Durability Guarantee (6-month full replacement warranty).



When I first decided to try it, I figured it was a nice price point compromise between the cheap bulky black nylon ones (which I already knew didn't work for my horses) and the expensive Greenguard (which would quite possibly work but Jesus the price point). I liked the fact that it looked airy and flexible, because the rigidity of some of the other ones concerned me in terms of causing wear on their teeth. In 2019, I was able to find the Flexible Filly at Adams for a few bucks cheaper than any other retailer at the time -- spoiler alert, the price seems to be back in line with other retailers now. I did look up some old receipts and I paid $57 and now it's $62-68 pretty across the board, so YMMV there. After becoming a convert, now I just watch the Thinline sales. Last November I was able to snag FOUR muzzles for about under $140, so I am hopefully set for a few years! :)

Cinna wearing it in 2019

A few weeks later, still going well

Ruby being introduced to it in 2020 and being decidedly NOT IMPRESSED

UGH FINE


I also had to buy a breakaway halter for it -- Thinline makes one specifically for it, but I'm a cheapskate so I went with sourcing my own. I really hate the ones with the full leather strap for a crownpiece, so I picked up a Centaur one with a little breakaway tab. Don't even get me started on those because now I am FOUR FOR FOUR on ordering them based on a stock photo with a normal chin snap and then the MFers show up WITH A SCISSOR SNAP which is literally the dumbest possible snap for a TURNOUT HALTER because when the horse rolls, they can easily unsnap it and then take the halter off. ASK ME HOW I KNOW. I got two new halters this year and thankfully was able to work the scissor snap off and cannibalize some snaps off old nylon halters that don't get used anyway (since I'm now team THT buckle nose biothane halters for daily use) so hopefully I don't have any further issues with them. 
DECEIVING STOCK PHOTO UGH. 

I cannot express how much I love these muzzles though! They definitely slow down consumption, but without making their face hot and sweaty (another problem I had with the black webbed ones). Ruby definitely came into fall in much better shape weight-wise last year wearing one, and same with Cinna. Aside from one small rub on her nose last year from a zip tie on Ruby's, I haven't had any other issues with rubbing (and I bought a new style of halter this year to try setting it up differently). They've both popped a zip tie here or there rubbing their face, but it was easy to just grab a new one and replace it. My biggest issue was actually them ditching the entire halter (THANKS SCISSOR SNAPS) but putting the fly mask on over the top seemed to nip that in the bud, and this year the halters have normal snaps so fingers crossed! I noticed both girls managed to enlarge the hole a little over time, but not to a point where I was concerned about their consumption. When they get dirty, you can just dunk the whole thing in a bucket and they dry really quickly! Cinna did finally rip her entire muzzle in half at the end of last summer, but the grass was pretty dead by then so I wasn't too fussed -- if I can get two years out of each one, it's definitely worth the investment! Even if I can only get a single year out of it, as long as I can keep restocking in Thinline's 40% off sale :) I have shared a few sales on this style on my personal FB page, and continue to recommend them to anyone who asks me about muzzles. I love them!

Fitting her new one this year. 

"Thanks, I hate it"

I got Ruby one of those halters with the fleece sections to hopefully prevent any rubs. 

"UGH WHY"
(I mostly just wanted a photo of it all clean and new before she covered it with dirt and grass lol)


Round two of "Thanks, I hate it" from the bay mare lol. I cut the old zip ties and moved last year's muzzle to a new halter, since it still has some life in it. And that also gives me a spare breakaway halter, if I need it (I also need to find my leather straps, I know I have a pile). 


Price: 5/5 stars (They're pricier than the generic black webbed ones, but so worth it!)
Quality/Durability: 5/5 stars (considering how lightweight and flexible they are, getting a full two summers out of the first one was great)
Color Options: N/A (although wouldn't it be fun if they came in crazy colors that were easy to find in the field? haha)

Again, I was in no way compensated for this review. I received no free products. I bought these with my own money, and will continue to do so. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

WW: Spring Things (Plant Edition)

Oh good, we're back to inserting photos out of order again. Godammit blogger, we were on a roll! Anyway, enjoy some photos of the landscaping projects we worked on over the weekend!

Horses are starting their annual time out on the grass, beginning with an hour and working their way up to full overnight turnout. 

The gate for the backyard finally came in so we got that installed. 

If the fence wasn't blocking them I feel like this could be their noodle album cover, lol. 

DH got to take his fancy new mower for a spin! He is literally obsessed. It's hysterical. I'm equally as excited because now I don't have to mow grass, so win-win. 

He built me a little brick raised bed in front of the barn. I planted stargazer and calla lily bulbs, and I am going to get a trellis for some climbing flowering vines I grew from seeds this year (cardinal vine and hyacinth bean vine). 

Got all three of my hanging baskets up on the porch (inchplants on the outside one, calibrachoa in the center) and then my plant stand has bleeding heart, snapdragons, pansies, and more calibrachoa). 

The brick beds along the walkway have hostas and day lilies in them. 

My orchids are blooming like crazy too!

Four of them are in full bloom, and one that I bought in bloom last summer has a new spike with buds developing!

This cherry tree is the only one of.... 6? 7? trees that we planted last year that survived..... soo.... that sucks. Also, DH is VERY INVESTED in keeping it alive and hung deer off on it like a christmas tree, haha. 


but its blooming!

Salvia in the pot by the garage, because the hummingbirds LOVED it last year. 

And I dug another tub out of one of our sheds for these columbines. 

DH and the neighbor collaborated to rip out the barbed wire fence on the property line and replace it with 13 arborvitae. Fingers crossed they grow big and strong for a nice privacy barrier :) 

I didn't take an updated photo, but we ended up having to cover the edges of that mulch with old pavers from the driveway to the trailer so the MFing chickens would stop throwing the mulch everywhere. I hate chickens. 

One of my inchplants from inside. It was V V HAPPY indoors, I hope it is equally happy outside, because it was taking up too much space lol. 


Another one from inside -- not quite as prolific as the other one but hopefully it catches up. 

This planter got more calibrachoa and lobelia again, since that did so well last year. But I learned my lesson and planted far less of them, since they spread and spill haha. 

Added some hyacinth to my tulips down in the flag flower bed. They smell so good!

We had a bee friend too, haha. 

It's so funny to me because the first 10 years we were here I didn't really care about planting anything, and now it consumes a not-insignificant part of my spring! But that's okay, the difference is really night and day and I LOVE how our place is looking <3 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

#shorthairdontcare

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I roached manes Sunday afternoon. I don't think they've been done since last May, when I roached the girls at the beginning of the month to prep for that photoshoot. If it were a "normal" year where we were out and about more or god forbid, showing (HAHAHA), I would have done a lot more trimming throughout the year to keep them at an optimum length, but I sort of opted for benign neglect last year and it was fine. But I was finally tired of not having bridle paths and having to look at them, so off the hair went!

Started with Cinna. 


She was upset about Jack calling to her so she had balled up and gotten as tall as possible, so DH was helping, ha. 

Ruby is old hat at this by now.


First DH tried to just cut out the dreadlocks and leave his mane short. 

He ended up looking like a kid with the worst bowl cut imaginable, so off the rest came. 

DH isn't thrilled with the look but I reminded him by next spring it will probably be grown out to the length he was aiming for anyway. It's hair. It grows. Don't sweat it. 


The birds were REALLY HAPPY with the hair scraps I tossed outside for them to build their nests!

You got to see better photos of Ruby and Trigger's new 'dos in yesterday's post, so here is a screenshot of Cinna rocking her roach :) 

Always nice to welcome in a new season with a fresh new look! 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Back to Back Adventures on the Katy Trail

Whew, so much horse time over the last week! I am loving it. Spring is finally here to stay (I hope!), and with that comes a lot of time spent outdoors cleaning up around the proprety and planting and all that jazz -- I'll probably catch you up on that later this week (cause we did A LOT OF PLANTING this weekend), but since this is first and foremost a horse blog, let's talk about the horse time!

Thursday night, I looked at the weather forecast and it was BEAAAAAAAUTIFUL and I got a bad case of spring fever. So I texted my friend and asked if I could borrow her kid for a trail ride Friday afternoon if I could get a few hours off work -- schools were out for Good Friday, and we kept talking about hauling out together but hadn't manage to match schedules yet. Her mom works with DH in a no service/no cell phone sort of job so I wanted to secure permission beforehand, just in case ;) I had to wait until Friday morning to confirm with my boss and then text kiddo, and as expected, she was game!

Oh hey, blogger randomly cooperated and inserted photos in the right order?

Favorite kiddo snap-chatting her friends from the parking lot lol. 

Since I wanted to return the tiny human (ha, she's as tall as I am and going to leave me in the dust very soon lol) at a reasonable hour, and also her horse doesn't have a TON of trail experience, I opted to haul to the Katy. It's close, easy, and convenient (if a little boring). 

Both the horses were rock stars -- I was interested to see how Ruby was since she's been relatively shitty on our "home trails" the last few times I've taken her out, but she was foot perfect today. Minus the three minutes she spent snorting at a rock that fell off the bluffs onto the trail that the other horse didn't even bat an eyelash at, haha. 

It's literally just miles of this. Flat. Boring. Quiet. It's a good starter trail though.  

Oh hey, my favorite bridge!

We did about 6 miles in 2 hours, with some nice bouts of trotting and cantering! 

"Frandz?" 
"Okay fine I guess"
lol

She was getting a little sore so she wanted to sit on something softer for a minute, haha. 

LONGBOI out and about doing longboi things.

Need to have the trailer acid washed again, it's getting dingy. Sigh. It's always something!

It was a whirlwind trip but such a fun excursion with some much-needed sunshine and laughter and slow miles. Saturday was equally as lovely, but devoted to farm chores and spring maintenance, as was Sunday morning, but I did convince DH to sneak away for another short ride Sunday afternoon. 

Spoiler alert, I roached manes before we went. It was 80 degrees and I did not feel like dealing with the hair. I also need to get a better photo of my new stirrups -- I picked them up in January and haven't been able to ride with them much (I've done a lot of bareback riding this spring lol). They're MDCs with the click top so you can adjust the angle, and they have engraved sides with a pretty pink stone! I'm sort of obsessed. 

A little different view than the photos from Friday's ride, haha #shorthairdontcare

I wanted a lowkey excursion to see how Trigger was feeling, since this was his first ride out since #hoofgate. Even though he usually tolerates the very fine gravel on the Katy without issue, we went ahead and used his hoof boots just to be extra safe. He practically knocked me down trying to climb on the trailer at the house and then was raring to go once we arrived (which for him means offering up his western jog instead of plodding along like a half dead packer). 

Me: excited to be out!
DH: tolerating my enthusiasm, haha

Yes I know it's weird he rides in shorts, but he is a grown up who dresses himself so I remind myself it's not my problem. 


Stopping for snackies. 

We roached Trigger too (mostly because DH slacked on the mane care all winter and he had DISGUSTING dreadlocks) and it does not really do his neck any favors lol. But he also had a shocking amount of hair and would get really sweaty on trail rides in the summer, so I think this will be much cooler for him!

These signs make me giggle. 

We only did about 1.5 hours/4 miles, pretty much exclusively at the walk, because I didn't want to overtax Trigger. But he was just as peppy when we returned to the trailer, and he didn't take an off step. I'll probably continue to baby that hoof a bit and keep him in boots any time we go out, but it's nice to know that he's feeling good and mostly recovered from his gaping hoof hole :) I'll feel better when the resected area grows all the way out and the hoof looks "normal" again, but clearly he feels great regardless of my feelings on the matter, haha.