Review – Mountain Horse Baily Hand Warmer

November 12, 2014

It has not gotten that cold out yet, but there have been a few chilly days.  They were chilly enough for me to try out the new Mountain Horse Baily Hand Warmers.  I picked up a pair in black back in early October from Smartpak.

They are fairly simple, made of thin polyester, about 7 inches long, and tube shaped.  They have the Mountain Horse logo in silver reflective on the top of the hand, and a thumb hole.  That is about it.  They are not lined, and are not bulky.

I am not a fan of gloves.  I will wear them when its really cold out, but they tend to annoy me because of the loss of dexterity.  When I saw these I thought that they might be a good meet in the middle.  They work as a gator, sealing in the warmth that escapes at the end of a sleeve, and cover the top of the hand and the palm.  And they do not restrict the fingers.

I have found them to be extremely comfortable, and as expected, add warmth without adding bulk.  I have been wearing them to do barn work, riding and to work on fencing.  So far they show very little wear.  The photos of them on this post are from today, after a good dozen uses. Although I could see the palms and thumb grooves wearing out eventually.  They are well made and about as durable as fabric this light weight and still warm can get.

All in all, a good purchase for $14.

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Cat Crap – Review

June 29, 2014

I finally found sunglasses that fit properly with my riding helmet and do not give me a headache! WOO! The next step was to figure out to keep them from fogging up. My sister mentioned her friend uses something called Cat Crap for cycling, which led me to reading reviews and comparing products online. After my extensive, lunch break length, research, I settled on Cat Crap. Lovely name right? I don’t care what its called, as long as it works! So I ordered it from Amazon for about $6, free shipping, and it showed up a in my mailbox a few days later.

 

It comes in a little red container, similar to a Burt’s Bees chap stick tin, but made of plastic. It is semi chap stick textured, and is a greenish in color. It does liquefy in a hot car, but so far, it has not leaked out of the container. The instructions tell you to apply it using a small amount on your finger, rubbing it onto your glass’s lens, then to wipe it back off with a lint free cloth. This was pretty simple, and very quick to do.

 

I have been using Cat Crap for about 2 months now, and I have been quite pleased with it. I find it needs to be reapplied before every excursion, and it helps if I have a bandana on my head to hold back my excessive head and face sweat. When it has been particularly humid and my face and head sweat is allowed to flow as it pleases, generally directly to my sunglass lens, they don’t fog up, but actually bead up with sweat, like my sunglasses are crying. I think it’s just too much for the Cat Crap to handle.

 

I have also tried it on my normal eye glasses and have also had a lot of success there. This stuff is a great product. I wish it would last longer, but applying it only takes a moment, and I just keep it in my sunglasses case in my backpack for easy access. Until this year I just could not get away with riding in sunglasses at all. Not only could I not find ones that fit without giving me a headache, but I could not keep them clear enough to ride with. I have a very hot face apparently. Fair eyes and bright sun do not go well together. And with a sport like mounted games, keeping the sun, as well as flying dirt out of my eyes, can make all the difference.

 

Cat Crap has made wearing sunglasses while I ride much easier. I give it a thumbs up and recommend it for anyone with similar fogging issues.

 

*I’ll do a review on my awesome sunglasses in the near future

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I love color

February 11, 2014

It is probably apparent from my blog that I love color. Poe is fully decked out in yellow and Simon is dressed in blue. This is very common with mounted games riders.

I am a dressage riders nightmare.

I saw this photo advertising composite stirrups with colored pads on Adam’s Supply the other day. I love the photo. I already have a yellow pair of them
on Poe’s saddle. I wonder how the pink would go with Simon and all
His blue? Clearly this photo is an excellent ad!

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Saddle Repairs

January 31, 2014

I have two saddles with some damage to their seats.

One is a 17 1/2 medium Crobsy Mark VI.  Its an older saddle, that I only use on rare occasion, but it fits just about anything and its not really worth selling because of the damage to the seat.  Other than the damage its in rather good condition.  But the seat is really messed up.  It had ripped along the seam on each side of the seat, which has continued to grow, and then to spider web across the seat.

The other one is Poe’s saddle. Its an 18 inch medium Ainsley Chester Cross Country Saddle. It is in fantastic condition  and is incredibly comfortable.  I love it.  But it has a small rip in the seat along the seam.

I did a little internet research, talked to a few leather workers and some people who specialize in saddle repairs.  With my mind set, I called a leather supply company and explained what I had in mind, and they selected and mailed me some butter soft leather and a specific cement glue.

Last night, I jumped in with both feet and got busy.  I cut a piece of the leather to patch the Ainsley.  I cut is quite a bit wider and longer, so it would more than fully cover the rip.  I cleaned the area, applied a little of the glue into the rip, and allowed it to harden, and then pressed it closed.  Then I applied glue to the saddle’s ripped area, and the back of the leather patch.  I allowed them to harden some, and then delicately applied the patch and then pressed it tightly.

Then I moved onto the Crosby.  I was originally going to patch the rips on both sides, but since it had spider webbed through the center I decided to cover the whole area.  I cut the leather to the right size, applied the glue, allowed it to harden, and the placed the patch.  I then spent a few minutes pressing down on the patch.

Now they just need to sit over night and I’ll give the Ainsley a try tomorrow.  yea!

They actually came out a lot better than I expected, and look much better in person than in the photos.

A little tid-bit I learned in this experience is that these rips are caused by riding in jeans.  The inner seam of the jeans rubs and puts pressure on this delicate part of the seat which eventually breaks down the leather and leads to a split.  I personally can’t stand riding in jeans.  That same seam rubs the delicate skin on my leg, just like the saddle.  But all of my saddles have come to me used, so apparently some of their previous owners did ride in jeans.

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Custom Saddle Pads

January 27, 2014

This weekend I spent most I my time in my sewing room. It is by far the warmest room in our house, and it’s easy to lock myself away for an entire day, letting my artistic side thrive.

I started this new project a week ago, and I had my revisions in mind. I cranked up the space heater and selected Dexter on Netflix and got my sew on.

I emerged later covered in thread bits and with some brand new saddle pads in hand.

They are quilted in my desired thickness, which is equivalent to a standard square pad. They are cut extra long to accommodate an adult saddle with a fleece half pad, and to still show pad all the way around. I also shaped them to contour to the back and prevent bunching and gaping. The undersides are lined with 100% cotton flannel for a drying medium, the middle is 100% cotton quilt batting and the top is a printed 100% cotton. Of course the pads are also equipped with girth and billet straps to make for a completed professional pad.

To add a little extra fun I designed these pads in a swallow tail fashion. This is not going to be the only design I do. In fact, I started another pad last night in a different shape, that I hope to finish later this week.

For Poe I wanted to go with a black and yellow color coordination and a pirate theme. Ironically I had found some yellow fabric printed with smiling black skulls for this project. It fits me and Poe perfectly. I also appliquéd a smiling skull and cross bones to match the yellow fabric onto one side of the pad, and “Poe” on the other side. I have not appliquéd in a while and my technique could have used a little bushing up and the Poe is a little larger than I would have liked in retrospect. I made a second matching pad (minus the “Poe”) so it can be used as a pairs competition pad too.

Simon’s pad is blue with a super hero theme. It’s very Simon. I appliquéd a “POW” on one side, which really makes the pad. I started to put a “Zoom” on the other side, but was unhappy with the layout of it so choose to leave that side plain.

I did larger quilting on Poe’s pad, an tried smaller on Simon’s. I like show Simon’s came out better than Poe’s so that will become more of the standard. And I still need to practice up my appliqué work a little more to have a more professional finish in future pads. That’s said, I can’t wait to make some more. I am eager to get to a fabric store and stock up on more supplies and let my creativity flow!

Sunday afternoon I fitted both pads to the ponies and was thrilled with the completed projects. Although both ponies were totally uncooperative models, I managed a few ok shots. I would like to try again with their full color coordinated tack, and brushed out coats.

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