Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christmas Ideas for Horse People

There are my ideas for some good Christmas gifts for horse people.  Aside of not having a pair of Carlos Macias (Buckaroo Gear) Armitas, everything else I have and put to good use. 

Air Compressor for Truck and Trailer Tires. ARB 4x4 Accessories offers several different on-board (mounted to a vehicle) and portable air compressor kits. These are not your cheap K-Mart type units that don't have the guts to inflate larger tires such as load range E tires or even the tires commonly found on most horse trailers. I don't remember how many times I have people pulling trailers with under inflated tires or tires that were damaged, dry rotted or about to blow out.

I have a portable unit since I use three different trucks to pull four different trailers - I can store the ARB portable High Performance 12 volt air compressor in any truck I am using that day. If you think the same then you have two basic options considering what you are willing to spend - the ARB Twin High Performance 12 volt portable air compressor (MSRP $875.00) r the smaller ARB Portable High Performance 12 volt air compressor (MSRP $352.00).

ARB also makes a tire repair kit. This is not your cheap truck stop kit, but a well made kit and includes pencil type tire gauge with dual pressure range and dual chuck, insertion and reamer tools, needle nose pliers, lubricant, additional valve accessories and 30 self vulcanizing repair cords for complete air sealing. MSRP at $42.00

Buy Knowledge Not Gear. That's what John Lyon's told me earlier this year. I cannot more highly recommend a subscription to Eclectic Horseman magazine and their DVD series The Horseman's Gazette. The eclectic Horseman magazine, which is published six times a year, presents information from well-known clinicians and trainers including Buck Brannaman, Martin Black, Joe Wolter, Wendy Murdoch, Bryan Neubert, Paul Dietz, Deb Bennett, Jim and Donnette Hicks, Mindy Bower, Scott Grosskopf and a host of lesser-known clinicians, trainers and cowboys who get up and work with horses and students every day.

You can watch short previews from the Horseman's Gazette DVD series at this link.

But if you need Gear, then here are a few of my favorites makers and providers:

Martin Black. Martin is a highly regarded clinician but also offers quality gear including Rawhide and Kangaroo Hackamores. He offers DVD's ranging from ranch roping to starting colts. He also offers the famous Ed Connell horsemanship texts - "Hackamore Reinsman", "Reinsman of the West" and "Vaquero Style Horsemanship", as well as many others. I have a 1/2 inch Kangaroo Hackamore, which is very soft. All his hackamores come with leather hangers and you will not find any higher quality gear.

Buckaroo Gear. Formerly known as Lost Buckaroo, Carlos Macias is well known for his custom chinks and armitas. He makes chaps and other leather gear as well. It's his armitas you hear being referred to when Trinity Seely sings her song "Low Maintenance". For everything from bosals, to saddles, ropes, bits and spurs to many other items, go to Carlos website - Buckaroo Gear.

Craig Cameron. A famous clinician and founder of the Extreme Cowboy Association (EXCA), Craig offers a great selection of gear. Some of my favorite items are his hobbles. Offering soft cotton training hobbles, sideline hobbles, to adjustable and no buckle leather hobbles you will be able to find the hobble(s) you need. Craig's No-Buckle hobble is a constant companion on my saddle.

Consider Your Horse. Right now as I write this it's snowing just west of El Paso, Texas. Temperatures in the mid 30's and forecasted to be in the low 20's. Time to put blankets on the horses and they need to be water resistant. We're pretty happy with the Weatherbeeta line of blankets. Weatherbeeta has a page on their website that helps you select blankets if your horse is a,....Blanket Wrecker, Blanket Houdini or is just plain blanket friendly. I've got some of each actually. Weatherbeeta offers all sorts of turnout blankets and cooling sheets, but I have several of the medium and heavy weight blankets made from 1200D ripstop nylon with 220grams of insulation and 1680D Ballistic Nylon with 360 grams of insulation respectively, with MSRP's of $114.99 to $349.99 - although I've never had to pay that much even buying retail. Those two blankets covers my horses' needs in West Texas.

Don't Ride Naked. That means wearing suitable clothing. Some of what I wear is from Schaefer Ranchwear and since it's cold weather time, I'm normally wearing a wool vest over a shirt and under a coat. The 805 Cattle Baron vest at an MSRP $130.00 is something that will last you a long time and provide some comfort when riding on those cold days. I like the vest not only because of it's thick wool (24 oz. Legacy Melton Wool) but it has actual pockets - four outside and two inside.

Schaefer's RangeWax version of outer wear is also premium items. The Schaefer 230 RangeWax Drifter Coat at an MSRP $240.00 is a great coat to break the wind and keep you dry. The Schaefer RangeWax is a non-sticky version of the old Australian waxed outback clothing. The RangeWax Drifter coat has a heavy duty front zipper, two 2 way pockets, and two slant pockets, and snap out side vents for riding. My only complaint about this coat is the velcro cuffs rather than brass snaps, but I can live with that.


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