How cute is this little App? While I'm admittedly OTTB-obsessed, I do have a huge soft spot for Appaloosas. The first horse I ever jumped was a very loudly-spotted saint of a leopard App named Susan; she taught me so much and is largely responsible for my love of the speckled ponies. And while Certs has just one tiny little wisp of a white splotch, he has the Appaloosa character through and through!
Unfortunately, I have barely ridden Certs the last few weeks due to holiday chaos, but things have thankfully quieted down and I managed to trek out to the barn this Saturday for a long-overdue ride. We got to try out my new Ecogold eventing boots (thank you, Santa!), which have unfortunately sparked a desire to purchase the matching hind boots. Damn you, Inner Shopping-Obsessed Troll!
We may not be eventers, but we can at least play dress-up
and pretend we are
I love these boots! They have a strike plate strong enough to withstand an axe (seriously, visit their website and watch the video), mold to the horse's leg, and are breathable to keep the legs cool and prevent fried (yes, that's the technical term) tendons. And Ecogold even allows you to try the boots for several weeks and return them if you're not satisfied. Love that!
Also on our test-drive list was the Korsteel Flexi-Bit that I've been dying to try since I purchased it during VTO's sale. Certs wasn't quite sure about it; I don't think he's ever gone in a plastic bit, and when I first put it on he kept opening his mouth and making indignant faces at me (ahhh, that Appy spirit!). During the ride, he was less responsive than he is with his double-jointed full-cheek. Our halts were slow and sloppy and Certs just seemed a bit confused. However, he was more willing to stretch down into the contact and was progressively more responsive. Not a total disaster, but I think we'll stick with the full-cheek for now.
Unfortunately, Certs is so hairy that he resembles a puffy little Easter chick. Despite a low-key ride and a long cool-down, he was soaked with sweat!
Of course, it was too cool to hose him off, and his owner wanted his sheet on him during the night since the low was supposed to be 49. I decided to hand-graze him for half an hour in the hopes that the breeze would help dry his coat. No such luck, but Certs certainly didn't seem to mind:
Two hours of currying, toweling, currying, brushing, currying, and toweling later...and he was almost dry. Certs got so impatient that he started shaking his lips at me, which of course was just cute and hilarious. Fortunately, all of my rubbing and scrubbing eventually got Certs not only dry but also sparkly/shiny and soft as the little baby chick that he resembles. He was just glad to be tucked away in his stall with several flakes of hay and some well-deserved carrots.