Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blankets and Ribbons

Well we're going through another Arctic Blast this weekend- wind chills around 30 below today, so no work for Louie- not sure whether he likes his "snow days" or not. Anyhow, yesterday I went out to put a different blanket on him in preparation for this cold spell as well as a timely replacement of a nearing disaster of his blue/green Big D. He personally has been treating his blankets quite nicely, but he is allowing his pasture buddies to shred the hind-quarters for him. He started out with a cheap, already near-death sheet and liner that my old horse ripped up last year. I didn't want to invest in anything nice for him as a trial to see how he did. He destroyed that in a couple weeks. Then he wore a heavy canvas duck sheet over that beat up liner. Killed that one in a couple more weeks. (that canvas sheet only cost about $20, so no big loss there).

Then, since he didn't have a great winter coat, I put hubby's horse's old Big D that doesn't fit him anymore on Louie- it's a 74, and a bit tight, already scratched up a fair bit, but that thing has lasted quite a while- probably 2 months- and it fits him great. Well it just about met its demise this week, a huge flap hanging out of the back, lots of tears- I'm thinking about trying duct tape on them as I saw another horse at the stable with duct tape on his blanket. I wonder if it works? It would be a heck of a lot easier than trying to sew patches on. . . I think I'll give it a try.

Well, so now Louie has Social's old Taka on- got it half price, which was still expensive, but it doesn't fit my saddlebreds for crap- way too wide in the shoulders, meant for an old style wide QH build. But it isn't awful and will do the trick for now. I have a couple more blankets and liners that I got at Horseloverz (one of my fav's- 1200 Denier with fill winter blankets for $30- I got two) ready to jump in there as replacements as needed- I've been collecting inexpensive blankets that he can destroy that I won't feel too bad about losing. I'd rather have him wear the cheap ones than the Taka, but that's the warmest one I've got, and if it doesn't fit, it's not worth that much to me anyhow!

So, since I couldn't get out to the barn to work Louie today, I thought I'd catch up on a project that I left sit from about 2 months ago (I'm terrible like that- still have a drawing to finish). I like to make pre-fabricated saddle seat ribbons (braids) that I can just clip on before we go in the ring. They work quite nicely, I save a ton of ribbon as I can re-use them many many times, they save time, and you don't have to worry about straightening out the mane afterwards if you're going to try to show western later in the day. What a great deal- they look nice, save time and money- why not?! I love them, so I made a bunch. I just use nice cloth ribbon and tie them onto teeny tiny alligator clips. Then, the part that I neglected to do two months ago when I started this project, I use a needle and thread to tie the ends together (otherwise one end of the knot sticks off by itself and looks funny) and hold the clip in place. So, I have several choices now. I made a couple of plain red (so I can use a forelock one in addition if I want to), one red and black, one red, white, and black, and one maroon and white. I got this maroon ribbon from World Champion that I don't care for- and unfortunately I got a huge roll that I won't be using. Well I made a few ribbons with the maroon and just wasn't happy with them, then I made this one maroon and white. Well, I just gave up on it because the red is such better ribbon for this job- you can see it didn't braid as nicely as the red. Unfortunately I couldn't find any nice maroon cloth ribbon in the width that I need at the craft store. I'll check back later, I'm sure somebody must have some- as I think Louie will probably look nicest in maroon rather than dark red. Well who knows, he might decide to do hunt seat by the time this is all said and done, but I know I can show him in my open shows in saddle seat any way he wants to look, as pretty much anything goes there (okay, the Arab who carries her poll level with her withers wins all the time- blah!)! ;) As for the colors- I don't see a lot of mixed color braiding done in ASB shows, but it's really common in my open shows, so I thought it would be fun to spice it up a little! I like the red and black one a lot- I think it would look great if Louie decides he wants to be a park horse. ;)

Edited to add photos of the ribbons in action: These are my old braids, made with slightly different ribbon that was actually wired. Shown here on two different horses in the same day! Oh how easy was that?! Top is my old ASB Social Cut, bottom is hubby's TWH "Cash."


  1. Wow, great idea!! Sometime can you post a pic of one of them clipped to the mane, so I can see how that works? I very much doubt Quattro will ever be a saddle seat horse, but I like learning new things just in case.

    I'm kind of dreading the blanket-shredding experiment myself. Q was living out in the deep snow in upstate NY and it's been in the 40-60 degree range here, so I haven't seen the need to do the blanket thang yet, but I'm sure I will before we get thru February. But I did what you did - I got cheap stuff he can wreck. :-)

  2. I LOVE the alligator clip method. I know it's not the traditionally "correct" way, but it's just SO much easier and more economical than braiding it into the mane -- especially for those of us doing the show work on our own!

    Let me know if you want to sell the the maroon ribbon! I'm thinking of going that way for Santana's set-up, so I might be able to take it off your hands.

  3. Kalin, I emailed you at your blog email addy about the ribbon if you want it.