Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Stop the Squeak

Like a steadily dripping faucet, there can be little as annoying as squeaking your way down the trail in your new saddle. At first the sound of new leather is rather gratifying; eventually it gets on your nerves. Those light colored show saddles are major culprits of saddle squeak, as the lack of natural oil that makes them light also lends to squeaky leather. Saddles usually squeak between the fender and the saddle tree.

But there's an easy, inexpensive solution that won't take up much of your time. All you need is some baby powder. This will reduce friction between layers.


  • Lay an old blanket or tarp over the ground
  • Turn your saddle upside down on the blanket. Lay out the fenders and stirrups and expose the area under the jockey
  • Sprinkle all the areas that are layered against each other mainly the fenders, jockeys and between the skirts
  • Shake the saddle vigorously to make sure the powder gets in deep and coats all the areas where you placed it
  • Saddle your horse. Wipe up any excess powder. Ride on smelling baby fresh and enjoying the silence.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Ima Jazzy Zippo

I often hear people telling me how their horse is just an animal and they don’t understand how someone can get so attached to a horse. I never knew how attached I could get to an animal until I got my horses! The bond I share with my horse is like no bond I’ve ever experienced before! Nothing can replace that bond.

I have had a few horses over the course of my life. I had bonds with each of them. However, the strongest of those bonds didn’t come until December 17th of 2015. This was the day that I purchased my current horse Jazz. I had purchased horses before and have been just fine with them. But after buying Jazz, everything changed! I not only got a new horse but I gained a best friend! The relationship that he and I share is indescribable! I now know what everyone was telling me about the bonds they share with their horses.

On December 17th I had looked at many horses and he was the last one on the list for the day’s road trip! As I pulled up, and walked into the barn I saw a girl brushing a tall, bay horse with two white socks and a white blaze! As he stood there patiently bobbing his head to the music playing overhead, I hoped and prayed that he and I would click! I mean after all who doesn’t want a horse with that much personality? I then saddled him and rode him around their indoor arena and fell in love with this big bay! It was at that moment that I knew I had to have him! This is the day that has given way to the great relationship I share with him today!

The one thing that stands out the most about Jazz is his personality. He always keeps you laughing. When I have a bad day, all I have to do is walk by the pasture gate and he comes running to see me and shower me in horse kisses! (Whether that is because he likes to see me or wants a butterscotch treat I’m not sure). With him, there is never a fun shortage! For example, it was Halloween and I was out cleaning stalls and went to my truck to grab a pair of gloves and came across a bag of candy corn. I thought to myself as I watched Jazz stand patiently by the barn door, “hmm I wonder if he would like candy corn.” I grabbed one out of the bag and took it over to him. He took it from my hand gently… then looked at me, raised his lip and spit it straight out on the ground! It’s moments like these that I wouldn’t trade my time spent with my horse for anything!

I’m so lucky to have the relationship that I do with him! I can only hope all you other horse lovers out there have the same relationship with your horses as I do mine, there really is nothing else like it!! No one understands the type of bond until they have themselves experienced it!


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ulcer Warning Signs

Studies show that a high percentage of horses that travel frequently, are stalled frequently, or consume high levels of grains. High performance horses are at a higher risk of having ulcers. In mild cases of ulcers, the symptoms can be so minor you don’t even notice. More severe cases are much easier to identify.

Signs of ulcers:
  • weight loss
  • acting up under saddle
  • cinchy, biting
  • not able to touch the stomach
  • teeth grinding
  • bad attitude
  • cribbing
  • high anxiety
  • loose stools
  • poor hair coat

Some signs of ulcers can be easily confused with saddle fitting issues. The only sure way to know if your horses has ulcers is to have their stomach scoped by a veterinarian. Your horses stomach needs acid to digest food. They can produce up to 9 gallons of acid per day even when not eating. It is recommended to decrease the high levels of grains your horse is consuming and increase the amount of roughage per day. Using a slow feeder to feed you horse hay helps prevent waste, along with keeping your horses eating all day long and maintain a low acid level in the stomach.

There are many great supplements on the market to help prevent ulcers or help your horses that have ulcers. Ask your trusted veterinarian what they recommend.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Are You A Fashion Guru?

    Every little girl's dream somehow involves fashion, right? Well maybe not quite all girls; I on the other hand had a different dream in which was being a horse trainer that had the passion to show both barrel and pleasure horses. However, at the age of 21 the only thing I have seemed to accomplish that is even remotely close to my dream was showing pleasure horses competitively. Since I was 17 months old, I have been in the show arena. Even though I do not remember what the show outfits looked like back in those days. Fashion doesn't just exist out on the runway, but does exist in the show arena.

I do know that over the years, the show fashions have changed tremendously throughout my show career. I have had numerous outfits for each of my horses. The new norm seems to be that the nineties are coming back into the show pen: in wearing vests with a long sleeve button down shirt underneath which is a much cleaner look for women. Anymore you see the same outfit used in showmanship, horsemanship, and in western pleasure. By creating these outfits in multiple pieces not only does it save you money down the line, but it can be quite costly at the start. 

When I was showing my horse Libby in small fry classes at that time, the outfits that were very popular were the fitted rhinestone jackets with dress type pants, along with the cheap sprayed painted cowboy boots to match your outfit color. There were a couple of years that I remember most exhibitors wore customized monogram starched shirts with cowboy boots, cowboy hats, and chaps to complete their outfit. Lucky for today's exhibitor, you can still be tried and true when picking your outfit(s) of choice. The most common outfit that is worn for western pleasure, trail, and western riding is a fitted jacket with a color that looks good on your horse. For showmanship and horsemanship, your safest choice is to keep it classy and traditional with a good fit.  

All in all, just remember to create and or find outfit(s) that fit you the best and the color that is best fit for your horse. My mom and I find show saddle pads that have color variety, then we customize my outfits based on the saddle pad design to ensure that my horse and I are always riding in style. 


Monday, January 23, 2017

Just Horsin’ Around: Trailer Packing Checklist 101

Packing my bags is easy, but when it comes to packing the horse trailer, that is another story! Over the year of my family and I hitting up the local and state campgrounds or hauling to weekend show grounds to compete, we’ve tried numerous ways to organize our trailer. This might seem easy to most, however you will soon realize having horses can be a real chore. Below you will find the trailer checklist my family and I use on a daily basis when show and camping season is in full swing.

The Essentials
  • Coggins & health certificate
  • Wheel chocks
  • First Aid Kits (Equine & Human)
  • Camp / Show Information & directions
  • Vehicle equipment

Horse Equipment
  • Hay (Number of Hay Bales ____)
  • Feed & scoop w/ large FILLED water jugs
  • Salt blocks/ extra tack
  • Hay bags / Lead ropes / Leather hole punch
  • Manure fork / Bucket
  • Shavings & foam squares
  • Picket line / Grooming Tote which includes (brushes, combs, hoof picks, etc.)
  • Saddles / Saddle Pads / Saddles Racks / Saddle Bags / Blankets
  • Girths / Shipping Boots & Leg Wraps
  • Fly Protection (Mask, Spray, Sheet)

Vehicle Equipment
Give thought to what you carry such as:
Jumper cables, reflective wear, oil, towels, tool box, tire tool, tire jack, trailer ramp, etc.

Camping Equipment
  • Sleeping Bags / Blankets / Sheets / Pillows
  • Outdoor Extension Cords
  • Flashlights / Lantern / Lamp Oil
  • Grill / Firewood / Fuel / Stove
  • Matches / Lighter / Gas
  • Fan / Heaters
  • Chairs / Table / Tablecloth
  • Cooler (w/ Food & Drinks)
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Plates / Cups / Silverware
  • Dish Soap / Garbage Bags
  • Paper Towels / Toilet Paper
  • Hammer / Screw Driver / Shovel
  • Level boards to level trailer
  • Extra rope & ties

  • Boots (Riding/Rubber)
  • Jeans
  • T-Shirts / Flannels / Vest
  • Underwear / Socks
  • Sweatshirts / Lightweight Jackets / Heavy Jackets
  • Rain Gear (Ponchos)
  • Gloves
  • Chaps / Hat / Hunt Cap
  • Shower Shoes
  • Swim Suit

Odds & Ends
  • Reflective Gloves & Wear
  • Toiletries / Personal Care Items
  • Soap / Shampoo / Razor / Make-up
  • Deodorant / Toothpaste / Toothbrush
  • Medication / Towels & Wash Cloths
  • Aspirin / Pocket Knife / Mirror
  • Extra Batteries
  • Video Camera / Cell Phone / Charger
  • Insect Repellent / Bee Sting Medication
  • Sunscreen / Sunglasses / Reading Glasses
  • Duct Tape / Gorilla Glue
  • Safety Pins / Sharpie Markers
  • Clock / Watch / Compass / Map
  • Zip-lock Bags
  • Dog Food / Water Bowl / Leash & Cable
  • Hands-wipes
  • Riding Helmet

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Breaking Out Lacy

One of my favorite and most memorable experiences in the equine world would have taken place in July of 2016. I had been searching for another horse online and had found a 2-year-old Bay Roan Quarter Horse that I loved. I decided to contact the seller and see if she was available and two days later I headed down to Tennessee.

It was 11 hours one way to drive there and look at a horse I had never seen before, but as soon as I saw "Lacy" I knew she was coming home with me. In the first 5 minutes her quirky personality drew me to her. Purchasing this 2-year-old filly has been the greatest learning experience for me. After a few weeks of ground manners and desensitizing with a tarp, I decided that she was ready for a saddle.

Breaking out Lacy has been so rewarding. In the first few months of training she has already been trail riding and camping. In the next year or two my plan is to start training Lacy for barrel racing. This was my very first time breaking out a horse on my own, but I am very pleased with the results, and I would do it all over again. The bond we have is unbreakable, Lacy doesn’t act like a horse she acts more like my pet dog.

- Rachael

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Circle Y Flex2 Tree

Many people ask about the Circle Y Flex2 Tree.  We decided to go inside the saddle and show you some of it's great features!  It's one of the best trees on the market; great for trail riders and running barrels.

Circle Y Flex2 Tree

The tree has a two part system that provides flexibility and stability.  The edges of the saddle (black bar) will flex to eliminate pressure points and allow better movement.  This flexibility makes your horse feel more comfortable and confident.  The center area underneath the rider has a thicker bar (white bar) that does not flex.  It helps distribute the rider's weight and gives strength to the tree.

The Flex2 Tree also has a wood swell, which helps keep a consistent fit that doesn't widen over time.
The ground seat on the saddle will prevent it from over-flexing and gives support for the rider's weight.

The black coating on the swell is DuraHide which adds strength and seals the tree from the elements.  It can even withstand temperatures from -50 to 350 degrees!

We get asked time and again, are flex trees bad for my horse?  Can a heavy rider use a flex tree?
Circle Y has been making these trees for years with great results, just ask Kelly Kaminski, Julie Goodnight, Martha Josey, and many more that use the Flex2 Tree!  They even make many models in 17inch and 18inch seat sizes specifically for larger riders to use.

The Flex2 comes in Regular size for the average build, higher withered horse and Wide size for the broader, mutton withered horse.  They even make a few models with an Extra Wide, Gaited, Arabian, and Mule fit.

Don't be afraid of a comfortable saddle!  Your horse will thank you for it!  Check them out right now at Horse Saddle Shop, #1 Circle Y Dealer!