Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Big Birthday Gift Decision

Monday was my birthday, and one of my presents was a generous gift certificate to a huge feed store in the next city north of us. I've got some decisions to make regarding how to use that gift certificate. I know I want to buy my neighbor a gift as a thank you for allowing me to ride on her property this summer. My horses wouldn't be as far along in their training if I didn't have a safe place to ride that wasn't on my own property. I know that she needs a new lunge whip, because the one in her round pen has a handle that has been chewed up by some critter, probably a horse or her dog. I'm going to ask my equitation instructor if he has noticed any tack that she might need.

Several people, including my equitation instructor, have pointed out that my expensive western saddle rides up on the withers and sits too close to the horse's neck. I always set the saddle back when I attach it, but once I start lunging and riding that saddle creeps up like bad underwear. I received some birthday money from relatives and have used that to order an orthopedic pad that might hold the saddle at bay, and will be good for both my back and the horse's back. It was the saddle pad recommended by James Warson, M.D. in his book The Rider's Pain-Free Back. I'll do a review on it once it arrives and I get some use out of it.

One thought regarding the gift certificate is that I might use it toward a used saddle that might fit my horses' backs better. This feed store has a good selection of used saddles and they come with guarantees on the trees. Of course, the ideal thing to do is to hire a professional saddle maker to take my horses' measurements and design something that will fit all of them comfortably, but that's not in the cards for me right now.

I know I want a horn bag, because my husband bought me a pair of little binoculars to use when I go on trail rides. Hopefully, they will help me spot potential problems before my horse does.

I have also been interested in purchasing some hoof boots for my horses, such as Boa Boots or some other brand. I don't ride on hard ground often enough to require horseshoes. Does anyone have any recommendations on which brand of boots to buy? I'll have to hurry up and measure my horses' hooves since they got trimmed a couple of weeks ago. I know they tell you to measure them right after a trim.

Thank you, hubby, for the great gift!


IamRockinHorse said...

Oh, that certificate sounds like lots of fun! Decisions! Decisions!
Please buy whatever would please you most~remember it's your birthday money! Happy Belated Birthday!!

Andrea said...

Well, Happy Birthday!! Sounds like you had a great one!! I have never used a boot for my horses before, so, sorry I am no help there.

I hope you find a used saddle that fits your horses better! Again Happy Birthday and happy shopping!

Jenn said...

Happy belated birthday! Gift certificates are such a great gift, and I think picking up a little "thank you" for the neighbor is a really wonderful idea.

I have no idea about Boa boots...I've never had to use them.

My mom has the cutest horn bag EVER. It's the top part of a western boot (the foot part cut off). A round piece of wood was fitted into the "hole" where the foot was and a nice leather strap threaded through the boot pull loops at the top. Perfect for a camera, cell phone, snacks, water bottle, whatever.

Have fun shopping!

My husband and I are both terrible about gifts for each other. He buys me what he would like to have and I admit, I tend to buy what I would like to have. Last Christmas he got me a new computer monitor and I got him a big, fancy-schmancy tool box with new tools. Guess who ended up with what in the long run?! ROFL!

Angela said...

Hi there. I've never commented before, but I've been reading for awhile, and love your blog. But I thought I'd tell you that I use Easyboot Epics on my big PaintXBelgian gelding, and absolutely love them. I have only paved and gravelled roads to ride on, but I figure, what's the point of putting holes in your horse's hooves for the sake of a couple of hours a week? Anyway, I find them to be fantastic, and have never lost one during a ride. The pair I have, I've been using for almost a year, and the tread isn't even showing wear. They're pretty affordable, too, under $60 a boot.

Happy birthday, and best of luck!

Train Wreck said...

Happy Birthday!! A little notice! What if I had won the lotery, and wanted to buy you a car!! He He!

Twinville said...

My farrier recomended BOA boots for Baby Doll. And my friends who work, and own horses, at the local tack store couldn't speak more highly about BOA either.

My friend over at the 7MSN raves about the Old MAC GS2 boots that she uses on one of her horses.

I want to buy some for Baby Doll, but still can't make up my mind. The BOAS do look a little bit easier to put on and have great traction. I suppose it's time to do more research. hehe

Congrats on your birthday again, NM.
Look at you, always thinking of other people. My suggestion is to spend your birthday money on what makes you happy (like Rocking Horse said). A birthday only comes once a year and it's the one day that we women are encouraged to be a little selfish.

I do think it's a great idea to buy your neighbor a little thank you gift, but only after you have bought a birthday gift for yourself.

Gift yourself first, ok??

I can say this because for years and years, I was given gift cards for my birthday or Mothers Day and I would go out and buy stuff for my kids, husband or friends and family instead.

After the gift money was spent, I felt a little hollow and I realized that I didn't spend the money in the way that was intended....on a gift for me.

Ask yourself how'd you feel if you bought a special gift for someone, and you discovered that they ended up giving it to someone else. Gift cards make us feel like we have more leeway, but I believe it's important to remember that the person giving it meant for it to be a gift bought just for you, not for anyone else.

Ok, I'm off on a tangent here, so please forgive me. You're such a sweet gal and I just don't want to see you short-change yourself.

You deserve to be treated well, and you deserve to have the special gift that you desire.

Now go shopping!

Laughing Orca Ranch
New Mexico

coymackerel said...

Is that a Thin Line brand pad? I recently bought one and like it and so does my horse's back :)

Happy Birthday and Happy Shopping!

AnnL said...

Happy Birthday! What a great gift! As for the saddle creeping up, I believe there's a strap (is it a crupper??) that you can get that will go around the horse's butt and keeps the saddle from creeping forward. Also, if your horses have really low withers, a foregirth might help keep it from riding up. I'm not sure a pad will really help.

I don't know much about Western saddles, but with English saddles, we get a saddler to come out once/year to restuff the saddle, check for any trouble spots, etc. Check with the tack store and see if they know of a saddler in the area that offers that service.

Enjoy spending your birthday gift!


equineobsessed said...

Thanks for visiting my blog (yaya riders). I used Easy Boots once and wasn't impressed. My method since then is to ride barefoot and let my guy pick his way through the rough stuff. But, my trail rides are not more than a couple hours, and not in mountains. Happy Birthday and happy trails. c

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

iamrockinhorse - It's good to have such decisions to make.

Andrea - Thanks and thanks.

Jenn - My husband and I call those kind of gifts that you and your husband buy for each other "bowling balls". It is taken from The Simpson's episode when Homer bought Marge a bowling ball with his name on it for a gift.

Angela - Welcome and thank you for the recommendation.

TrainWreck - Really? You would consider buying me a car? I think you might be my very, very best friend now...

Lisa - I am so seriously spoiled as is, I don't think buying a little gift for my neighbor would hurt. But if it makes you feel better, I'll spend my own money on her gift and use all of the gift certificate for myself.

Coymackerel - Yes, it is the ThinLine pad. I'm glad you like yours.

AnnL - That is all new information to me. I'll look into it.

EquineObsessed - Why weren't you impressed? Did they fall off or were they just a pain in the butt to put on?

Victoria Cummings said...

NM - What a great gift- lucky you! If you want to make a quick saddle fitting guide to take with you when you look at the used saddles, take a wire coat hanger and straighten it. Then bend it over your horse's back at the place where you put the saddle so it is shaped to indicate the horse's withers. Holding the bent wire in that position, place it on a big sheet of cardboard and trace the shape. Then, cut the cardboard and use it as a guide to see if it fits when you hold it up inside the saddle. Also, use a tape measure and measure front to back on your horse's back so you know how long the saddle should be and measure the cardboard cut out to see how many inches wide the gullet of the saddle needs to be. Hope this helps- have fun shopping!

the7msn said...

Belated birthday greetings. Lisa mentioned how I rave about Lyle's Old Mac G2s - here's a link to a post I wrote about them if you're interested:

Nor’dzin said...

Catching up after being away - Happy Birthday. I liked the look of the Old Mac boots, but my boy's feet were too big, so I bought Boa boots. I'm really pleased with them and Red seems very comfortable. I abandoned trying to use the pastern wraps however - they just rode up and slipped when the boot went on. Enjoy your spending spree.