Favorite Things 2021
Favorite Things 2021 Version
This bit is my new go-to for starting a green horse. The 45-degree Victory mouthpiece is arched forward and up to give the horse plenty of tongue room, and the Boucher cheeks keep the bit appropriately upright in the horse’s mouth. Without a shank, the horse learns to hold the bit instead of screwing around with the shank. And of course, Bowman Bits are excellently constructed. We are almost ready to hook our young Welsh gelding for the first time in his Victory Boucher.
Yup, I was skeptical when the sales consultant told me about Effol Horse Balm (Pferde Salbe in German). She said her husband actually asks her for “that green stuff” for aches and pains. I have used BioFreeze which makes you smell like a pharmacy and Icy Hot which burns. Horse Balm works quickly to take away the pain, the scent fades quickly, and it doesn’t burn! Ok, so Effol Horse Balm is made for horses, right? Well, yes, but they use human grade ingredients which makes it fine to use ourselves. However, I used it on a gelding’s neck injection site when he couldn’t put his head down the day after getting his annual shots, and within 30 seconds he was eating normally. Yup, it’s that good!
Ironically, it’s the Horse Balm that prompted me to write this article. I had a sore hip and just put some Horse Balm on it. As I am in the middle of the article, pain is gone! 😊
We have Welsh ponies, some of which unfortunately have a congenital, non-contagious condition called Sweet Itch. It is basically allergies to gnat bites. We go through A LOT of practices to control bugs and keep the ponies comfortable, but if anyone has ever dealt with Sweet Itch, you know it is virtually impossible to keep the horses from scratching their own skin bloody. This is where the Skin Lotion comes in. I actually apply it with a Nunn Finer Scrub Rub. They love it and you can see them take a sigh of relief when you put it on.
This is my new go-to for skin wounds and cracks. I liken it to the Desitin I used under my [now 19-year-old] son’s diaper, but Effol Skin Balm (Haut Repair in German) smells A LOT better. Recently, one of my horses had rubbed the hair away under his tail from his itching the encrusted stool after a loose episode. He was continuing to rub in his stall, so I grabbed the Skin Balm. A few minutes later, no rubbing and he is on his way to healing.
The regular Effax Leather Balm conditioner is something to write home about on its own, but when you add the “Grip Technology” it is a game changer on carriage reins. I used the Effax Leather Balm + Grip on my Bowman Ultimate Leather Reins for the Villa Louis Carriage Classic this year, and the result was fantastic! I can imagine that it would be the same result on leather saddles and buggy seats as well. You want to give it plenty of time to “soak in”. While the reins felt slippery right after I got done conditioning them, the next morning the grip was amazing! And oh, that awesome Effax scent!
You can’t go wrong with any Haas brush, but the Military is my absolute favorite. I use it after the Curry on a Stik’ to remove the normal dirt from the horse’s coat. I have never used better brushes than Haas. Yes, they really are as good as the hype makes them out to be.
I have to admit, every time I use the Grundy’s Finest brush I find myself singing The Grundy County Auction Incident by John Michael Montgomery. I don’t know who Grundy is that had something to do with this brush, but it is a fine brush that removes fine dust amazingly well. I truly believe that if you used 4-5 certain Haas brushes in the correct order, you could feasibly compete a horse than wasn’t bathed!
For years, many people have asked for a “well-balanced whip that didn’t cost a lot”. And I would laugh…because there wasn’t such a thing. You could either get a well-balanced, lightweight whip, or you could get an inexpensive whip, but not in the same product. Then, Jacob Arnold approached us and asked if we could get Ledo whips. He had one for us to look at because he had brought them back from Europe. Fast forward a couple of months, and we have a full stock of Ledo whips that suit the bill for a fairly well-balanced whip at a good price point. Are they the absolute best? I would say that there are other more expensive whips that are balanced just a bit better, but the Ledo Whips rank right up there with “whips you can actually stand to hold”, especially in the longer lengths.
We carry a lot of gloves. At one point, my husband asked why we need to carry so many different styles of gloves in stock. It’s because gloves are definitely a personal preference thing. I have used a number of gloves over the years. Just this year, I tried the uvex Sportstyle gloves. I was pleasantly surprised considering that they aren’t the “top of the price range” gloves! I use these for practice and obstacle driving. I still use the Heritage Carriage Driving gloves for judged classes because they are so classy and appropriate, but the grip with synthetic gloves is superior. They also come in a winter version.
Ok, these are a splurge, but they look so fantastic in our tack room! And without them, I would put my barn hands full of fly spray, Effol Skin Balm, or who knows whatever else all over my new cabinet wood doors! Can you imagine the sticky dark fingerprints all over the wood? Blech! These pulls are just so cool and elegant for any horse person!
Other Honorable Mentions
Effol FriendsBag – the ultimate Horse Show Mom bag to carry all the essentials.
Nunn Finer Pill Crusher – very unique item so you don’t have to use your coffee grinder!
Effax Leather Care Case – all the Effax products you wanted to try in one handy case!
SSG Pure Fit gloves – nope, they aren’t brown, but they ARE super comfortable with good grip!
- Myrna Rhinehart