I'm As Steadfast As a Butterfly In a Hurricane

I would love to have tidy horse stuff, I really would. But the moment I get to the ranch my best laid plans turn into "Ooooooh!!! PONY!!!" and I'm lost in fuzz and whiskers and dirt for the next six hours.

If there is one thing I love more than horses, it’s containers. I think I can get lost in a container type store and just imagine all the ways I might better organize my precious junk into tiny, decorative boxes. Impractical? Oh yes. Do I still dream of it? Oh, oh, oh yes.

Ah, if this could be my tack room. I would use a coffee grinder to grind up fresh flax and have Red Cell dispensers with pumps that would never drip. My electrolytes would be in sealed containers and everything would have beautiful, stainless steel measuring devices from Williams Sonoma.

In fact, it’s probably my lack of organizational skills that made companies like SmartPack come into existence.

Aside from our many boots here at EasyCare, I did want to give you a heads up on the STORAGE devices we have.

First up, the DELUXE HAY GEAR BAG

Some might think this bag is only for Endurance riders and only for vet checks. I hate to break it to you, but it’s a bag with zippers and pockets. Last I checked, they aren’t reserved only for people who trail ride cross country. Oh, the places you will go!

This bag has two large compartments. One would fit a thick, downy horse blanket and the other would fit 2 flakes of hay. You don’t HAVE to put hay in the other side, but it’s what it’s designed for.

So on the “front side” you have hay and an easy access portal. Much like the easy access portal on a onesie:

In the “middle” would be the compartment large enough for a blanket, leg wraps, shipping boots or what have you.

On the flip side is a series of zipper compartments (did I mention I LOVE compartments?!) with 3 square ones running across the top and a long rectangle running across the bottom. The three top ones would fit many things: sunscreen, stethoscope, gauze, extra socks/gloves/undies, windbreaker, Desitin, Vet Wrap and more. The bottom pocket is nicely sewn to be "3D", not flat, and fits 4 boots perfectly. It will also fit a set of fleece polo wraps or your clippers and an extension cord and the charging dock.

This bag would come in handy if you were:

  • a  groom who traveled to barns to attend to clients
  • a trail rider who hitches rides in others’ trailers and needs to bring their gear in a tidy way
  • a competitive trail rider who needs gear at an out of camp check point
  • a rider with a small car who can’t lug a huge tack trunk to shows
  • someone sending a mare to a stud, who wanted all her “stuff” to go with her
  • a farrier who doesn’t bring their rig for pasture trim clients and needs a bag for just an apron, rasps, knife, hoof topicals, a sharpener and the like
  • an on-location horse trainer who brings their halters, leads, lunge lines, desensitizing materials and treats with them in a professional kit

It would also be handy as a First Aid Kit for an owner or barn manager, a poultice bag (to store all your leg wraps, mud and baggies in.

 

Here are two “deluxe grooming bags” I found online. Without unpacking the whole shebang, there is no way I could find what I wanted. Additionally, a lot of these are “open” and after a month or so, get full of barn dust and hair. Not exactly what I like tossing in and out of my car either, when they can topple over.  Additionally, there is no way could I fit all my detanglers, conditioners, shiners, hoof dressings, clippers, hair wraps, bands, needles, brushes and whatnot into there.

The bottom pocket of the Deluxe Hay Gear Bag would fit anything from Hoof dressing and Bag Balm to bottles of detangler and conditioner. The bottom compartment also is the perfect size for clippers and your extension cord or charging dock. The center compartment would be ample for putting brushes into while still being able to sort through them easily and not have them “stuffed” in there. Again, I like having the compartments able to close and be separate. You don’t need your clippers getting hoof sealant spilled on them and then being gummed up with barn dirt and sitting in the bottom of a bag, unnoticed until you need to use them.

And I hate to add: some grooming and trimming client horses DO like you bringing a nice grass hay snack so that your gear bag doubles as a happy distraction. Easier to body clip a snacking horse than a fidget. Easier to attend to yearling hooves when you've taken them out of their buddy environment. Not all of them need that, but it’s handy to have it when you do. When you don’t have an owner there to help you handle their horse, having a backup plan is nice.

Having a horse trailer with a dressing room can be a blessing and a curse. Again, you usually have shelves to put stuff on, but like anyone with a curio cabinet will tell you: stuff on a shelf gets dusty, stuff IN a glass cabinet needs almost no dusting. Not that I expect a dressing room to stay immaculate, but it IS frustrating that it looks like a tornado hit it, every time I use it.

My average boarding experience has given me the option of a single space “shed”, a group shed or NO shed.

In the single shed, whatever spilled from the top, trickled down to the bottom. I would have to clean my brush bucket once a month to get rice bran and horse hair out of it. Every time you would hang up a spent saddle pad, the sweat and gunk from today’s ride would come drifting down at some point.

In a group setting, my stuff got lost or “grew legs” too many times. Again, either it drifted off, got broken or got dirty and thrashed, but didn’t remain where I wanted it and in the condition that I wanted it.

And so I come full circle on the bags. What I needed was the Stowaway Bale Bags. They come in full bale and half bale sizes, but they are essentially waterproof rucksacks to bring whatever you want, wherever you want it.

If you’ve ever set stuff down at a crewing spot and had another riding team accidentally soak your gear while they were enthusiastically sponging their horse, then maybe you’d love a waterproof bag. If you’ve ever been at a camp that was dumping rain, then maybe you’d love a waterproof bag. If you’ve ever been camping with your friends and family and had to store every item IN your tent with you, then maybe you’d like this bag outside of the tent, to get stuff out of the way. I would have loved to store my sleeping bags and wool blankets (and inflatable bed rolls) in a half bale bag that would keep out spiders and water and then just grab my “cube” when I wanted to go camping.

Growing up, my family camping looked like this:

My sister and I were packed somewhere in the middle.

And if you’ve brought everything but the kitchen sink, along with a bunch of your friends, you know that you can’t find any of your stuff until it’s FULLY unpacked and that all of your gear (whether you used it or not) will be dirty by the time the trip is done. It’s anarchy. Blankets, pillows, hiking boots and fish pails all seem to merge together so your hiking boots are wrapped in your blankets and your pillow is folded into a fish pail. AWE.SOME. Segregate your stuff from the masses! Be the tidy packer who cares about their stuff!

If you start riding at 11, you become resigned to the fact that you will hitch rides with everyone else. Alas, I couldn't drive, much less see over a steering wheel or reach the pedals. This meant I needed my gear to be as tidy and clean as possible so I didn’t freak out my ride. It’s all fine if you can throw your gear in the bed of someone’s truck, but I would be running back and forth to get my brush bucket, grain pan, Ziplocks of feed, bridle, saddle, pad, girth, breast collar, interference boots, blankets, rain sheets and all the “just in case” items. I would bring rain sheets in July and fly masks in the Winter, because what 11 year olds seem to lack is an abundance of life experience and the resultant judgment.

You can fit a saddle, several pads, a cooler, bridle bags and gear into a Half Bale Bag. None of it is getting lost or separated and you can unload from your friend’s rig in one step and get out of their hair. Even if it’s humid, raining, snowing or someone accidentally washes their horse right next to you, you won’t get your gear soaked.

As I grew up, I also got my own car. This car was not big enough for a rigid tack trunk and having a floppy tote to contain all my stuff was still just as vital. Additionally, I was like any superhero: my alter-ego could remain hidden from the casual friend riding shotgun so long as my car remained clean.

“Um, You must have dogs or…something.”

Maybe my tote campaign should be ‘Spend more hours riding and less hours cleaning!’ but who am I fooling? I don’t clean anything.

So I'll just say, if you need to get tidy, get Stowaways.

 

Holly Jonsson

easycare-sales-director-holly-jonsson

Director of Sales

Through a lifetime of "horse crazy" and the fortunate experience of riding nearly every shape and size of horse, I got to see a wide array of hoof shapes and sizes. No Hoof, No Horse is very true to me. I want to ensure that horses on every continent have a variety of footwear to pick from, to ensure the best match is found. I want your partner to be happy from the ground up!


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