Shopping – Toys and Tops

Today’s Tip: Be creative when choosing items to expose your horse to in order to teach him/her to accept new things. Read on for some specific item suggestions!

Today was not destined to be another riding day. Mostly because home is pretty swampy, but partly because I figured if my muscles were a little achy, Classy’s must have been too.

Instead, the preparations began for other types of training. Although Classy is now 15 and has “been there, done that,” he still isn’t always so sure about things that aren’t where they belong. So today’s mission? Off to the dollar store! Now, as a “social responsibility” decision, I don’t normally support buying random plastic junk or frequenting the dollar store, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Today’s success included foam noodles, fake flowers, pom pons, and pinwheels. Dollar Store Buys

I was especially excited about the foam noodles because they’re often overpriced but can be very handy. I’ve been looking for them as an accessory for use at RideAbility (they’re good for stretching exercises), but they can also make for unique ground poles or just generally “odd” things to flash around your horse. I also found out that they’re a trailer must-have. Apparently you should carry them because if you are ever in a wreck with your trailer and horses and they have to cut the horses out, you can pad the jagged edges of the trailer with the noodles. I may have to go back for more!

The other items are just interesting textures. The fake flowers have the added benefit of maybe, possibly representing the floral arrangements likely to show up in the dressage ring at the Three Phase Event. How something that could easily be food could just as easily be a horse eating monster I’ll never understand, but I can work with it! The pom pons make funny noises and will certainly elicit at least an ear flick with the help of a light breeze through their crinkly plastic streamers. The pinwheels are an experiment, but I’m hoping to affix them to the fence or stick them in a plastic cone and gain some attention with their weird motion.

And then there were clothes… Ok, so technically I ordered them last week, but I found some great deals on Kerrits clothing on eBay. The things I bought were new, but must be last season since they’re not on the website. My wardrobe now sports a new sleeveless summer top/base layer, ribbed sweater (also suitable for wearing outside of the barn!), and a stellar zip up hooded sweatshirt with fleece lining (but not on the outside since that just collects hay) and a wind resistant layer. I don’t normally buy barn-only clothes, typically relying on old jeans and t-shirts, but these items will probably earn their keep! (sorry for the promo, but I was just THAT pleasantly surprised)

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