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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Looks sturdy to me!

Or not. These things look like they would fall the hell apart the first time you rode them. And how, pray tell, are you supposed to get ON them without a tall mounting block? They look like they would just spin round and round the horse. It's a glorified bareback pad. I don't like the look of them at all, they just seem so, fall apart, like they are held together with Velcro. Oh wait, they usually are.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Great Debate

The slaughter debate is raging over on Fugly, so I thought I would post my take on it here. This was actually the item I sent in as my "tryout" post for the blog.

The news that horse slaughter was again made legal has hit the news. Obama has signed a bill funding horse meat inspections and it is expected that slaughter plants will reopen and new ones will be built in the coming months.

News Articles -

This is, of course, a very controversial issue and has opponents and supporters alike. Most horse owners are vehemently against it, stating that horses are like cats and dogs and should be exempt from our diet. In reality, horses straddle a very “gray” area legally. They are technically livestock, but most horse owners view them as family members and pets. There are many cultures that consume horse meat, as well as cultures that will not eat things we consume daily, like cattle and swine. It is important to keep in mind that America is a melting pot, and that many people from many cultures live here. Who are we to say that they cannot follow their own dietary preferences?

As to the topic of slaughter and its impact on the horse industry; no, we don’t like to think of our beloved ponies going to the plant. In fact, horses that have a good home, are successful in their given sport, are well trained, quiet mounts, etc. will keep their places for the most part. There will always be those unscrupulous breeders/owners that will haul an animal to the auction when it is no longer useful, there is nothing that can be done about that, but really, would you rather see them shipped to Mexico or Canada, enduring countless hours of transport to the border to be loaded on double deckers to meet their grim fate at the hands of a knife wielding Mexican slaughterhouse worker or to be transported to a more local plant that can be regulated?

I am not “pro-slaughter”; I am pro-logical solution. You have to remove the emotion, step back and evaluate things in a logical manner. This is hard, I know. But do try.

If we allow the plants to open, require stricter monitoring of the transport, holding, and slaughter procedures; appoint state-approved veterinary supervision of each plant on a full-time basis. Make inspections a regular and closely scrutinized. Require retrofitting of old plants to handle the specific needs that horses present (keep in mind that most current plants were built to handle cattle) and make specific requirements that must be met to build and operate new plants. Put in place regulations regarding condition of the animals to be shipped, make it illegal to ship horses of inadequate body condition and of poor health.

Let’s face it; there are thousands of “surplus” horses in the country. Many are the products of indiscriminate breeding, the racing industry, and the collapse of the economy. The ideal situation in most horse owner’s minds is to have them living out their lives on a farm, running free for the rest of their time on the earth. The reality is, these places do not exist. Do you want a couple of dozen unwanted horses dropped off at your place to have to feed and care for for the next 20 or so years? No one does, that is the problem. Horse rescues can only do so much; there is not an unlimited number of homes willing or able to take a horse that may never be rideable or useable in any way. Horses are expensive pets, we all know that.

One solution suggested by many advocates is low cost euthanasia. Ok, so now you have 1000 lbs of poisoned carcass, now what? Rendering is not free, neither are most landfills (I have been involved in a situation involving euthanasia and a landfill, not pretty), many areas do not allow burial of large animals, many owners have nowhere to bury a horse, and you can’t just dump it in the woods or the back pasture as it can poison scavenging wildlife and local dogs. There is also a risk of groundwater contamination. One means of low cost/free euthanasia is often viewed as too violent and traumatic to the owners. Euthanasia by bullet is very effective and humane, if done correctly. However, finding someone willing to perform this task that can do so reliably is difficult, and once again you have 1000 lbs of carcass, albeit untainted by poison, to dispose of. Burial is an option, as is rendering, neither of which is inexpensive. Burying a horse usually involves the use of heavy earth moving equipment and a suitable location away from groundwater supplies. The carcass can be donated to schools if there are universities nearby that are interested, but this is usually not a viable option. While some big cat rescues will take the remains to feed to their animals, many horse owners find this repulsive.

The slaughter plants could provide a pressure release valve to the overpopulation of unwanted horses in this country. It is not a nice thing to consider, most horse owners are horrified at the very thought. However, there IS a place for them. I believe that if handled carefully and regulated closely they can again become a viable solution for the excess horses that are currently starving because the owners can no longer feed them, that are unsuitable as mounts or pets, that are abandoned to fend for themselves, and that are trucked thousands of miles to suffer a long trailer ride, a stay in an overcrowded feed lot and a cruel death in a foreign plant.

I love horses, I love my horses more than anything in the world. I would NEVER allow one of mine to suffer the indignity of a slaughterhouse. Most horse owners will say the same thing. These are not the horses we are discussing. Yes, there still will be horses that were once champions and beloved companions going to slaughter. These will not be the majority. Each plant should be required to check each horse for identification marks or microchips and confirm that the horse was legally sold by the current owner. Once a horse leaves your possession to live with a new owner, you have relinquished control of that animal unless there was a contract stating otherwise. If you are uncomfortable with that concept, don’t sell your horse. If you can no longer care for it or no longer want it, but are afraid of it going to slaughter eventually if you sell it, put on your big girl/boy underpants and take responsibility for its fate. Euthanize the animal and see to the disposal of the remains, and realize that you are going to have to pay for any expenses incurred.

It is a cold, harsh truth, but it is just that, truth. There are more horses in this country than can ever be absorbed. Think about what I have said, logically, for a while. Do you have a better solution?

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Treeless Wonder

Now in hair on leopard print cowhide! YAY!

Is anyone else frightened at the very idea of actually USING this to ride? I would be safer bareback, thanks.

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's that time of year again...

...Yep, it's huntin' season again! Time for the barrage of camo saddles to begin. Though this one looks like it was done with markers by a five year old Craptackistani child. At least the seat and swells are black, you know, so you don't lose it in the woods. Though I personally think it should have blaze orange accents myself. That would just make it the awesome, am I right?

Monday, December 5, 2011

It hurts the eyes...

...and kind of gives me a headache. If they had stuck with purple and black or purple and tan it might not be so painful. Maybe. It almost looks like the bottom skirt is synthetic, but I can't tell.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You know, it IS possible to...

...train your horse to do what you require without the use of bits like this. Really, it is. You could cut a tongue OFF with this sucker, look how thin that mouthpiece is. You should NEVER use something like this on a horse that is not finished, and even then, I would ask why. A finished horse shouldn't need this anyway. I shudder at the thought of how many speed horses out there have relatively inexperienced owners, little training, and less control have these shoved in their mouth, their heads tied down and the rider holding onto the reins for dear life.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Unsafe and Unridable Abomination

Click the pic to go to Lelia's sidesaddle blog where she has a truly Tacky side saddle (I use this term loosely) posted with commentary. It is a prime example of what NOT to buy. Craptackistani make, completely WRONG, unridable, uncomfortable, and unsafe. NEVER NEVER NEVER buy a side saddle from Craptackistan folks. EVER. With the exception of the Elan sold by Hundred Oaks, which is a good saddle, they are all CRAP.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Um, why?

Really Hilason? Why? I doubt seriously you can actually RIDE this creation without destroying it, it is white, and a Native American motif on a modern western saddle. It just looks funky. We all know it is not hand beaded or quilled, and we all know it came from Craptackistan. Heck, the jockey on this side is not even attached in the correct place.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

This Reminds Me...

Of some of the saddles that used to come with my My Little Ponies when I was a kid. I can't imagine anyone actually using this. Not only does it look cheaply made, it is positively hideous.

See the similarities?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm Back

Long time, no post. But fear not! I am still kicking. I have just been very preoccupied with stuff lately. I have spent a lot of time doing SCA activities with my horses, showing, and just generally riding. Here are some recent pics of the SRF and I last weekend at Gleann Abhann Fall Crown List. We did an Equestrian demo for the populace and explained some of the ins and outs of what we do.

And here is some TACKY for you!

Look, it even has their phone number so you can order one just like it!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


This saddle looks very confused, it is like the bastard child of a Buena Vista and a western. Very odd looking. That horn looks like it just can't wait to catch some unwary male in the "nads" when the horse makes a sudden stop.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It amazes me... one company can provide SO MUCH scary looking tack to this blog. How many times have we seen their products here? They must keep the factories in Craptackistan working night and day to produce this stuff. Also, HOW exactly do you get leather to be this color? I can just imagine the cracking and flaking of the finish, not to mention the high quality leather and padding. However, if you feel you just can't do without, they kindly post their toll free number on EVERYTHING.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Show report and side saddle...

My Mayhew Lissadell came in! It fits us PERFECTLY. It is night and day compared to the Elan. I don't feel in any way unbalanced or precariously perched. It needs some work, more than I expected from the photos/description. I used it Saturday for a show and was tightening the offside billets when the front one snapped off in my hand! Completely dry-rotted. Thankfully we were standing still. I patched it up and rode the class anyway. Rode it again yesterday, using the remaining two offside billets (and praying) and the rear billet on the nearside ripped! Emailed the seller and getting a partial refund for repairs. It will NOT be sent back, MINE.

As for the show, it was the GQ's first time out. He did very well, coming in third in Hunter Under Saddle, and though he participated in and tried his best to do Horsemanship, he was beaten by the more experienced horses. He did so well though! No spooking, he tried as hard as he could to do what he thought was being asked. He was just so ADD, looking around like a llama. But he maintained a calm attitude the whole time, just very interested in his surroundings.

The SRF had a poor showing in the Open Gaited class, deciding in the lineup that she would rather scream and holler and bounce around because the GQ was nearby than to stand quietly. Sigh. We came in fourth. The Slow Gaited class (think gaited WP) was better, we came in third. She also had an excellent round of speed events, running just over 10 seconds on speed, 32.something on poles (first time EVER), and a 23.something on barrels, for the third time in her life. Can't complain. We came in third in speed. Little gaited horse can run!

The show was very laid back and relaxed, and the prizes were HORSE FEED!! 2 sacks for first, one for second and third, and a prize out of the supply box (contained electrolytes, show sheen, fly spray, etc) or a feed bucket for fourth and fifth! We came home with 3 bags of $15 plus dollar a bag feed and a small container of electrolytes. Not too shabby. Sorry for the lack of pics, we both forgot our cameras!!

And now, some gratuitous tacky tack for you...

Yes, denim.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Finally found a use for this saddle...

I may possibly have found the only real use for this particular saddle...

maybe if you put it on this guy, he might feel almost level...

See, there is a practical side to everything! LOL

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Finally, it is within my grasp, or nearly so. My Mayhew Lissadell. It is on its way to me. I will finally have an "old name" side saddle. It has a couple of patches to the doeskin and a couple of dings here and there, but otherwise is fine, and it is MINE...ALL MINE...MWA HA HA HA!

Now must wait until Friday without going crazy!

Photos by the seller, Cherry Blossom Farm

Friday, August 5, 2011

Someone actually USED this...

...and I feel sorry for their poor horse. How embarrassing. Not only does it have the unnecessary addition of a horn (on an Aussie, really? You need a HORN on an Aussie?) but also the misfortune of being painted a hideous shade of Pepto pink. It was sold USED on ebay, yes, someone else bought it, again. I am sure it is of Craptackistani make, as the "tooling" seems to be of the kind, and along with the painted pink leather, just screams quality.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Been Awhile

Life has been hectic lately. Moved barns, away from the drunken owner and her lack of give - a - damn. Never have I seen a supposed horse owner/trainer/barn owner who knew so little about basic horse husbandry.

Currently in the process of buying a "real" sidesaddle, a Mayhew Lissadell and selling my Elan. I finally found a saddle that fits my looong legs and the SRF's back.

Have finally gotten my dad's QH gelding Sonny, up here to start putting him through boot camp to make a lower level hunter/jumper/event horse out of him. He is so cute, a little red dun with primitive markings and a big ol' white face. Unfortunately, he is very immature and requires a much more "forward" ride than the SRF. I believe I will call him GQ, for Goofy Quarter Horse. I rode the GQ last night and the night before, he seems very willing to please and not too spooky, though he LOOKS at everything and has the attention span of a gnat. But, he is only 5, and in gelding years that's like, 2.

Finally got around to checking my TackyTack emails and have some more stuff to share!

Enjoy! (I guess?)

You know, I think my grandma had a sofa made from this same fabric, circa the 1970's.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

21" Elan Side Saddle for Sale

FINALLY! I found an "Old Name" saddle that fits me and the SRF! It is a Mayhew Lissadell with the outside girthing system in a 23.5" seat! WOO HOO!

To help fund this purchase I am offering my Elan for sale, here is a description...

I have for sale a 21" seat Elan side saddle in Havana brown with a tan suede seat. It is on the TB Wide tree and has about a 6.5 inch gullet. It is in excellent condition and has no major marks or tears on it. There are some scuffs on the leather lining of the flocking, but they are not visible when the saddle is on the horse. I have shown in it a couple of times and done some trail riding and jumping. I removed the overgirth but still have it if the buyer wishes to have their saddler reattach it. It simply had the stitching removed and was not cut or damaged in any way. It comes less stirrup and balance strap but I will include a 46" trifold leather girth which I paid $85 for and has only been used about 3 times. I am asking $650 for the saddle and girth plus shipping to your address.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I am glad the horse's identity is hidden by the camera, how embarrassing. I like leopard print, don't get me wrong, I rather like the seat on this one done in this print, it reminds me of some ofthe medieval middle eastern saddles, good for the SCA, the whole thing done in leopard print, and perched on a Confederate flag saddle pad is just hideous. Thanks to Michelle for pointing this one out. Wonder if it too hails from Craptackistan?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Jungle Fever -

Apparently what these saddle makers suffer from.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Shockingly Pink

Another lovely *cough* piece from the intrepid saddle makers in Craptackistan. This one hurts to look at, the searing pink flowers just kind of burn the retinas.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


[krap-tak-uh-stahn] (noun) a subcontinent in South Asia well known for producing low quality, unattractive, ill fitting, and often structurally unsound horse equipment.

Examples -

Thank you cattypex for coining this term!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rainbow Brite

Endurance saddle, made in India (surprise!) and available in a nauseating array of colors. Some are tolerable, some are, well, painful to look at. Click to embiggen.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Return of the camo...

Been awhile since I have seen anything new on the camo front. This one is very, um, stylized in pattern. RealTree it ain't.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Well, I have succeeded in finding a horse show association that welcomes aside riders! The Association of Northwest Arkansas Riding Clubs have been very welcoming and nice. They already have one aside rider and are excited to have another! THANK YOU ANWARC! Also the MidState Horse Show Association, part of the same parent organization as the CAHSA group has welcomed my inquiry regarding riding in their Ladies Gaited class aside. I have written and submitted an article to a local horse magazine the Horseman's Roundup concerning riding aside and how to get started. Hopefully it will get published within the next couple of issues. So things are looking up!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Arkansas Gaited Horse Show Association

I would love for other aside (or heck even astride) riders to go speak their mind and to point out the fact that if they are using TWHBEA rules they should allow side saddle riders.

Per TWHBEA rules, side saddles ARE ALLOWED in all flat shod classes.

According to Sue at Side Saddle Heaven...

TWHBEA has included/accepted/publicized/appreciated sidesaddle in flat-shod classes since the Versatility Program was begun in the late 1970's/early 1980's.

Ah, and now we see the reason...

He could not have more strongly reenforced a stereotype if he had outright stated, "We don't want none uv yer edjicatin, we're all a bunch of ignert hicks and we like it that way!" (pronounce it phonetically)

Learn and listen,I don't care what you do or who you do it with,but your not gonna do it with us!you go argue somewhere else and cause trouble somewhere else,I don't want to deal with you period!!!!!!!!!! You want attention And someone somewhere has time to mess with you I don't!!!all you've done us try to get everyone to think like you and adapt to your thinking,it won't happen here!! We have rules for a reason,it's clear to me your special and think we' should change the format to accommodate just you,now you need to go bother someone who gives a shit about your cause,you don't have a fight here because you dont need to belittle yourself messing with a bunch of people that are not as smart or as educated as yourself!!! Now you get on down the road and quit stirring up shit!!! We can pick and choose who we deal with and your out! Don't send or call or mail or send a damn carrier pigeon, I don't want to hear from you!!!now since you have this where you can reference to , anytime you feel the need to contact us in the future read this!!!! Because we' dont want to hear from you period!!! Not Now not tomorrow next week next year!!!!! Any further contact to push your ideas or you self on this club will be considered harassment and will be dealt with as such!!!! Do you get it now!!!! Leave us the he'll alone!!!! Kenny

Wow, what a shining example to represent their organization.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Oh, the truth will tell...

I sent you an email last night,I just wanted to make sure we had answered your questions! The link you sent that was a woman that was unhappy at the charity show, I went back and checked the records and her story is more made up than Cinderella, there was no stake class she was in and she was the fool that was excused out of a padded stake championship class riding a flatsjod horse, you made comment about the rules, most are handed down from twhbea you might want to start there to change the rules, ours follow theirs, it seems. Strange to me I've had more trouble out of you and have never met you than all the people that I do deal with!! Some things you've said raise red flags, you want people to notice and say stuff about you are you wouldn't try to be so foreign in your tack ,your dress and your ideas, your gonna reap what you sow ,I'm just not interested in dealing with you,I learned enough from sat night and a few years ago at searcy at a Shetland show ,I don't think we need to have Christmas dinner together anymore!!! We are on different pages! - Kenny McGowan, President AGHSA

My reply...

Actually, sir. You very clearly have me confused with someone else. I have never been to a Shetland show, I have only lived in the state for a couple of years and only had my horse here for one year. I have never shown in Arkansas or at all anywhere in the past 10 years, or had any contact with local horse people before Saturday.

As to using TWHBEA rules, according to them, an English side saddle is approved tack. The only banned saddle is the Australian stock saddle.

As for the rest, yes I want people to look and ask questions. It is called education and public outreach. This lack of knowledge illustrates the need for education and exposure to new ideas. Reap what I sow? Education, new ideas, history? Ok, I will reap those things, gladly.

As for my "foreign" appearance, the only difference between my riding habit and appropriate TWHBEA dress is the apron/skirt. Normal TWH show attire in English classes is also pants or side saddle skirt/apron, shirt, vest, coat and bowler hat.

Ah, blissful ignorance.

Good 'Ol Boys Club

My recent conversations to the president of the Arkansas Gaited Horse Show Association after being told I can come show but being familiar with my "equipment" that I would not be allowed to use the side saddle to show in the English tack classes. There was a misunderstanding at the local show Saturday night and I had to ask the judge a question, and when I asked to see the rule book because I did not remember reading that, I was told there was not one available at the show (??). Apparently this qualifies as poor conduct and I am a bad, evil person now. I had spoken to Ms. McBride and been told it was not an issue, then that was rescinded and rules were suddenly different. Hmmm...

Please forward this to whomever you wish, especially the President as I seem to have lost the contact info and name and my phone is on the fritz at the moment, not to mention I hate talking on the phone...

"no one is going to get there panties in a wad because your horse doesnt have shoes on or because you ride an english side saddle. You can use the ausi stock saddle as well if you so choose. You wont be tied down at this show due to any tack restrictions or shoeing regulations. I am the show manager so anything else that you need to know feel free to ask." - Lisa McBride

Apparently they sure will...

This all just seems a bit too odd to me. It seems that certain rules can made and changed to suit.

I understand that some things are new and different, but NO WHERE in the CAHSA rules could I find anything prohibiting side saddles. It is still an English saddle, whether the legs are on one side or both. I can ride it, I am safe on it, and it is appropriate for the discipline, it was not a Western side saddle in an English class. When I found out that indeed the class was Western only, I withdrew and forfeited my entry fee. I suspect the only reason the judge even placed me in the Ladies Gaited class is that I was the only one there, he barely looked at me, nor did he speak or acknowledge my presence in any way. When I was asked to line up on the judge he simply turned his back on me and walked away, leaving me standing in the middle of the ring like an idiot.

I understand now, upon further research, that the Slow Gaited class is gaited western pleasure, I had misread that before hand or had it confused with something else, eh, it happens. If I had a western side saddle still, I would have changed it, my bridle, and my clothes and ridden in the class,as the rule states, in western tack and attire, a western side saddle is still a western saddle, just as an English side saddle is an English saddle.

Many people were very inquisitive about my saddle and how I rode in it. I was hoping to have sparked some interest in aside riding. I had hoped to be able to carry it through the season and really get some interest going. Alas, that seems impossible.

I had several good reactions to my choice of tack and several not so nice ones. I was astonished to have some random man tell me that one of the ladies would, and I quote, "take that pole (referring to my riding cane, which, as I tried to explain, replaces the right leg in signaling your horse) and beat me with it if I waved it around (which I wasn't)". Threats of physical violence, how lovely. I also heard two fellow competitors discussing how they thought "that we had changed the rules to keep THOSE kind of people and horses out" referring to me. What the heck? They had just arrived and had never even SEEN me before. It's not like I had her up on stacks with chains and such, she is barefoot and natural. You can understand my frustration and aggravation after these incidents. This was BEFORE anything happened with the questions to the judge.

This sadly very much backs up what I have read on the internet concerning the AGHSA.

I have no idea what was said or what was done by my friend Caryne when she went to ask about the class Saturday. I was embarrassed to learn a few of the comments she had made, but I cannot change them, and she apologized to someone with whom there had been in a misunderstanding.

I suspect this is a simple misunderstanding blown far out of proportion. I also suspect that something new and different is found to be threatening and all possible ways to prevent it from coming around are being made. There are many riders that compete aside in multiple disciplines around the world on national and international levels including saddle seat, western, hunter, eventing, dressage and more. Most Equestrian communities are very open to new things. I think the local horse folks would enjoy bit of exposure to something different, expand the knowledge base a bit, broaden the horizons if you will.

I truly would have hoped that the local horse community would be welcoming to newcomers, new ideas, and to new things. Apparently this is not the case.

Next email to the President after his reply with his phone number.

Sir, I will and have not phoned, because I wish to have written record of all correspondence and it is much easier to put thoughts into words and maintain a cool head when you can look at things before sending. That being said...

If you have read the email forwarded to you by Ms. McBride, you know that I have an issue with the fact that I am being discriminated against for using an ENGLISH side saddle to ride in classes that require English tack and attire. What I use is first and foremost, an English saddle, just like any English saddle (there are many varieties), regardless of the location of my right leg. My attire was entirely correct for an informal English class, a riding habit in subdued, dark colors, white button up shirt, vest, coat, and bowler hat. Had it been a formal show I would have been required to wear a bow tie and top hat.

There was absolutely nothing wrong or illegal with my equipment or attire for the Ladies Gaited class at the CAHSA show, and since no one seems to actually posses a copy of the AGHSA rule book that can be emailed or posted online (of which I am doubtful is the case in 2011) and the only way I can get a copy is to pay Ms. McBride $40 for one, I am somewhat skeptical that it even mentions side saddles as no one around here seems to know anything about them. My bits are legal, if a bit odd looking to folks, it is a Weymouth bridle, used on Saddlebred horses and affords a great deal more control than a single curb bit even though it takes more skill to handle correctly.

My horse was calm, controlled, and well behaved. She was not in pain, stressed, upset or dangerous. My seat was stable and I was in no danger of falling off or injury, I showed her to the best of my ability, even though we were the only one in the class, and was completely snubbed by the judge.

For future reference side saddles come in both English and Western styles, they are shown, excepting Equitation classes where the rider and not the horse is judged, the exact same as an astride saddle of the same type. The horse is the focus of the classes in most cases. If I were jumping I would use a jumping side saddle, as I am riding saddle seat, I am using a pleasure or park type cut-back side saddle, perfectly acceptable for a gaited horse. The "pole" as it was so crudely called, is a riding cane, it replaces the right leg aids when riding aside. It is necessary to communicate to the horse correctly.

Side saddle is making a huge comeback in the horse show world, many women prefer it for showing as it displays their skill and balance as well as emphasizing the elegance of the turnout. There may be a time when it is common in the area, it is part of Southern tradition as well. There was a time, not so long ago, where it was the only acceptable way for a woman to ride.

I again apologize for the terrible inconvenience and misunderstanding that asking questions caused, being new to the area and not having shown in 10 years, I have many questions and was terribly confused. I had been snubbed, physically threatened, and rudely treated that day and was understandably (at least to most people) frustrated. I was more than willing to let things go and enjoy the rest of the show. My friend and I had a blast doing barrel pick-up and I had loads of fun doing the exhibition barrels on my girl who had never seen a barrel pattern before, but who's dam was a champion barrel horse (yes, a gaited ASB was a champion barrel horse).

I had planned to continue to support your organizations by attending shows and promoting the overall fun atmosphere by encouraging fellow equestrians to get out and participate. However, it seems that neither organization is open to new people or ideas and all effort will be made to make them feel unwelcome, even before any misunderstanding arose. So all in all, it is really a moot point since it has been made absolutely clear that my English tack and attire is unacceptable for a class requiring English tack and attire, and that anyone new will be snubbed, threatened, and rudely talked about and generally made unwelcome.

My apologies for inconveniencing you or anyone else. Since I have been informed that I cannot ask questions of members or judges, I have not asked any more. Thank you for your time.

So, if anyone out there cares to weigh in, please email the president and speak your mind.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


The SRF and I at the local horse show. After this we ran barrels (astride), she had NEVER seen a barrel pattern in her life, knew exactly what to do. The Gift Horse's genes are strong in this one.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Show Canes for Sale

I have two hand made show canes available for purchase. They are $45 each plus packaging and shipping in a custom storage tube.

The first is a gorgeous black handled one with the pink floral design has a lovely soft, black leather handle which is hand sewn on. It measures 43" long and could be shortened upon request.

The second is a 40" long cane with a lovely brass and glass knob. The handle is wrapped and hand sewn with a beige leather that affords an excellent grip. This is an elegant and unique piece and the flash of red on the handle is very eye catching.

I accept PayPal or money order. Email me at for more information.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Another Floral Fiasco

What is up with all the floral tack!? Yuck, this one has a PURPLE stirrup that doesn't even MATCH. Yuck.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Sometimes I just want to bang my head against a wall.

Some of you may know of the massive outbreak of tornadoes in the southeast. Arkansas was hit two weeks in a row. The storms Monday night in Central Arkansas, specifically in the Vilonia area, caused widespread damage. The aftermath has left dozens, if not hundreds, of displaced and/or injured pets and livestock. I spent Tuesday night until 12:30am at the temporary shelter they had set up, triaging horses with a volunteer vet that arrived after spending the ongoing storms in her safe room that afternoon. We both got out, drove over a half hour each, into the teeth of another tornado and flash flood-producing storm to help and what do we arrive to? Chaos. Absolute, utter chaos. Mongolian clusterfuck of the highest order. No organization, no leadership, nothing. My friend was handed a clipboard at 6pm with random notes on it, told "you are in charge now", and abandoned by the other volunteers in the face of oncoming bad weather. Not only was there no one actually doing anything when we arrived (except my friend and she was on the edge of losing her shit) except standing around and causing trouble. One lady was so rude and nasty to volunteers, donators, and people asking for help, that many left unaided.

Why? Why be like that and run off your help? Are you trying to be the sole savior? The animals are the ones who suffer in the end. When the vet arrived, she, my friend and I began working up the horses. The rude person hung around for a bit with her cronies making loud, rude observations then they wandered off not to be seen again. None of the horses had hay left, none had been fed, several had not so much as had anyone look at their wounds. We did what we could, gave Tetanus shots, cleaned at and wrapped wounds, applied topical treatment, gave antibiotics where indicated, sedated and treated several that were too worked up to be touched, hayed, fed, watered and bedded them down for the night. Then we drove home, only to have to get up and go to work in the morning. My friend went back the next day, and rude chick was there, full force. None of the horses had been checked, all needed hay and feed. My friend took care of them, told the rude chick off, and hooked up her trailer and left, warning me not to go up there again because of the rude person who was apparently the self-appointed "in charge" person. Apparently nothing was getting done, people were leaving unaided, with donations un-donated, and volunteers un-volunteering.

Look folks, if you are asking, nay pleading, for help. Don't leave the operation in the hands of someone like this! If you do you will suddenly find it VERY difficult to get people willing to help out in the event of another disaster.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away

At least for a little while. My show got cancelled this past Saturday, no one wanted to play in the mud. There is another one this coming weekend, and unless it stops raining soon, it will likely be cancelled too. I plan to show the SRF aside in the local horse show association's Ladies Gaited class and I also plan to show her in the local gaited horse association's shows. We have been practicing diligently with the side saddle lately. I even took it on a trail ride Saturday in lieu of the cancelled show. I am sort of glad to have another week for more hair to shed off of her, she looks kind of moth-eaten at the moment. I am excited to do this, and I hope she behaves herself and doesn't have a nervous fit at all the new stuff. I have a riding habit pieced together, cost me all of about $65 and that includes a wool felt bowler hat (new) and a new vest and shirt. I got a blazer to use until I can get a day coat made and it cost me all of $5 at Goodwill. Yes we can do this on the cheap. I made a cute ribbon brow band for her with teal and purple ribbons and braided a set for her forelock and mane. The daycoat will be teal satin with the matte side out and will be lined in purple. How fun. Now if the weather will just cooperate!

Now, some Tacky Tack...

Sorry it's teeny, but I was unable to save a larger one. If I can find one I will update.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Today's rant brought to you by all the Parelli Kool-Aid drinking people and the problem horses they create.

Pat Parelli is a snake oil salesman.

There I said it. It is my constitutional right to have this opinion, so get your knickers all twisted if you want, but it is.

I can't STAND Parellied horses. The ones belonging to the Kool-Aid drinkers are rude, pushy and spoiled to the point of being somewhat dangerous. I have worked with a few horses that have been Parrelied, one horse after 6 months was finally a somewhat normal horse that behaves, surprisingly, like a HORSE. Not like an over sized dog. When I started with her, she would literally knock you the hell off the mounting block every time you went to get on. She would frisk you for cookies and always had her face all up in your business. I am NOT a scratching post and made that very clear to her. She would also turn and nuzzle and chew on your foot while you were mounted, I couldn't figure out why until I saw one of the other folks doing it and praising their horse. It is not a sign of affection, and it turns into biting. She got caught, groomed, saddled and ridden, and if she was a VERY good girl, she MIGHT get a treat, one, when she is minding her own business. Now she is back in a Parelli only training program. Sigh.

There are a couple of other horses I know that are products of the Parelli snake-oil sales. The first we will call the Fuzzy Little Jerk. I have had this horse come at me with his little ears back and his evil little eyes narrowed more times than I care to count. Thankfully, I moved my mare to a different pasture. I was told to shake my finger at him and shoo him away. Yeah, right. He just looked at me and flattened his ears MORE. Someone overheard the owner telling a girl that was riding him not to try to make him so a particular exercise, he didn't look like he felt like doing it that day. Excuse me? Last time I checked, the horse doesn't really get an opinion on that unless he is sick or in pain. Another one shall be known as the Big Pushy Moose. This horse has NO ground manners. He won't pick up a foot for his owner without a struggle. We have watched her tug and beg and he just stands there. Myself and the other non-Kool-Aid-Drinking boarder could walk over, grab his chestnut, twist slightly, and volia, hoof lifted. Hmm. He will run you the hell over, he will swing his big ol' head around and knock you down, he will walk all over you and push you around. He is ALWAYS looking for cookies or candy in your pockets. No sense of personal space or respect for the handler.

NONE of the Parelli-sites' horses I have ever run across is a balanced, well behaved animal. They all seem to have issues with space and respect. Most of the "training" techniques make no sense nor do they seem to have practical application toward actually RIDING your horse. How standing for an hour and draping a bit of string attached to a $60 orange stick while holding onto the magical $80 rope halter does something for a horse I will never know. (I have witnessed this.) I am all for using their language to communicate with them when applicable, but for actual RIDING, the snake oil just doesn't seem to work.

I don't get it. I just don't...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Creations

Look what I made! A rocking sidesaddle cane! Want one like it? I can make one for you with any of the four toppers pictured for $40. The cane itself is bamboo lacquered a lovely dark red, the topper is firmly set into the end and the handle is wrapped in soft black leather. I can make them any length you want. Email me with questions or to reserve one. I can ship internationally and domestically. Shipping will be based upon your location. Cost of a shipping tube will be added to the shipping cost. This is NOT to be used for day to day riding, this is a show cane, the knobs are fragile, made of ceramic, brass inlaid with glass, or studded polyresin. I can also get the topper in plain white with an initial inscribed in black on it. Email for letter availability.

Floral Fail

April showers bring...ugly flowers in this case. Check out the angle of that seat too. Ouch.