Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Sunday, August 22, 2010

At the barn #21 - Odds and Ends

Still waiting for the heat and humidity to subside here - it has been unbearable. Feeling so sorry for the horses, standing around sweating all day. Val has a shady stall, a fan and frequent cool rinses but when there is no wind it is stifling down at the barn.

Did get in a fun bareback ride in one evening this week. Happily, my horse is very comfortable without a saddle. It was liberating to just throw on the bridle and clamber up without a lengthy grooming session. I concentrated on feeling how his back moved under my seat without a bunch of leather in between. Amazing how the saddle gets in the way of riding. Of course the leather and pads do keep the dirt and sweat off of you - my legs were soaked and filthy by the time we finished the ride. (I haven't gotten a bareback pad yet... it's on my wish list)

I think Val would say that we're making great progress in our relationship. (me too!) For instance, I have finally figured out all of his scratching places - "arm"pits, belly, either side of the tail head, his poll and of course the withers. He hinted pretty hard until I picked up on what he was telling me lol. Several days this week he cantered up to the fence to greet me (!) and e-v-e-n rested his head on my shoulder while I gave him some good scratching. He genuinely seemed happy to see me, not just "Oh - here comes the lady to apply more fly spray" or "Finally - breakfast / dinner is here!". Very gratifying...

One more thing - a quasi (and unsolicited) product endorsement. Val has been on SeaBuck Complete - a supplement made from the common sea buckthorn plant - for nearly six weeks. The latin name for the sea buckthorn plant is Hippophae rhamnoides which literally means "shiny horse". It is a hardy plant that grows in inhospitable climates, one of which is by the sea, because it can withstand salt spray. Seems appropriate since we live in that sort of environment.

The manufacturers make these claims:
  • Supports a Healthy Digestive Function & Maintains a Proper Gut pH
  • Contains a Powerful Network of Antioxidants
  • Promotes Healthy Skin & Coat
  • Supports a Healthy Reproductive function
And some other pertinent info:
  • Seabuck Complete is made from the nutrient-rich sea buckthorn berry.
  • Seabuck Complete is a natural whole-food product.
  • Sea buckthorn is backed by over 200 Published Scientific Studies.
  • Seabuck Complete has received a Certificatation of Analysis Containing No Foreign Substances.

We give SeaBuck Complete the thumbs up. Val loves the taste of it... I put it into his beet pulp / bran mash every night. He is indeed shinier, which is hard to achieve on a grey horse. He has also put on the bit of weight I thought he was lacking... just a tad too much rib and kind of hollow in his haunches. It is a little pricey but seems to be a safe way to supplement the essential fatty acids + antioxidants, and to keep a calm, happy horse.

Will update after the trial period is over :)


  1. Sorry to hear you're still swamped with the heat/humidity. It's great that you got in a bareback ride, sounds like fun for both of you. I'll check out the SeaBuck Complete and see if we think we need it, thanks for the info.

    And Awwwwe, Val sounds like a sweetheart who loves his mommy. Makes you feel good when they do stuff like that doesn't it?

  2. Bareback is so good, if you can do it. I spent years until I was in my late teens riding only bareback, and it made a big difference in my seat and balance. My younger daughter only rides bareback, including to gallop on the trails - that's beyond me at this point.

  3. Arlene-

    I'm happy that he's loving on me now - it's taken a while :)

    What I like about the SeaBuck Complete is that it has really good nutrients without anything that will rile them up, and not a bunch of extra minerals to upset the balance.

    Have a great week :)

  4. Kate-

    A couple of summers ago when I had a borrowed horse to ride, I did my first bareback ride, on the beach. This horse was very forward and when he started trotting I said what the heck and asked for the canter. It was thrilling! My heart as beating a mile a minute :)

    You have a great week too!

  5. Love the image of cantering on the beach - I have never done that.

    Re: heat - my forecast thing on the bottom of my computer screen says that it's 72 out and the high today is 81 - I can deal with this! :)

  6. Hallelujah - It is finally cooler today :)

    Loved bareback on the beach - looking forward to getting there with Val!

    Off to see the farrier...

  7. Take it from someone who only rode bareback for years...invest in that bareback pad! :)

  8. Well hi there!
    I made it back finally. Thanks for your visit, it prompted me.
    Valentino is such a handsome fellow...I jsut sent my sister the link to your blog..she had a TB name St. Timothy(not so laid back)he lived to over TB mare lived with him for a time at the coast.

    That riding bareback is lovely! I would do it far more if my mare wasn't quite so boney backed. Her wither is like a fin! I did ride her on the beach barebacked...but I had a super duper MAXI pad(floatation device) on! That helped!

    I see that Arlene bestowed the I.R.F. award to you..Awesome!That is me and my mare, galloping down the beach last year. I love the beach...the only pkace I don't check her up to stop!

    I am very interested in that product...will look into it. I used Gamma Oil- from "Springtime Inc." for the coat and shine and muscle develpoment all last winter. My mare really responded.


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