From Endurance to Dressage
I don't generally blanket my horses. Our winters are mild, and we get an average of about six inches of rain. Over the past two years though I have needed to blanket Speedy on the rainiest nights. Whether it's his age - 16, or the PPID (Cushing's Disease), he hasn't been able to keep himself warm enough in the rain. Last winter, all of Speedy's blankets fell apart, literally. While they all appeared to be in excellent shape, once they were exposed to the elements, they just disintegrated. Speedy got a new one, and it's ready for this winter.
Izzy's blanket was much newer and had only been used a handful of times. The problem was that I had purchased that blanket for another horse, and it was about an inch and a half too small for the big brown horse. It was wearable, but it didn't hang as nicely as I would have liked. It wasn't much of an issue as Izzy wears a blanket even fewer times a year than Speedy. On the days that Speedy stands shivering, steam pours off Izzy's back.
Izzy does occasionally get cold though, especially if we get a winter storm that's wet and windy, a rarity around here. His hand-me-down blanket did not survive last winter. It started with a small tear here, and ended with a ginormous rip there. After duct taping it and tying buckles back on, I finally tossed it in the dumpster. It had served its purpose.
I knew that if I waited and watched long enough this fall, blanket discounts would start to appear. I don't blanket Izzy often, but I want to have one on hand if I feel he needs it.Yesterday morning, Dover sent me a very enticing email. As they say, patience is a virtue. I am not sure how long the sale is going to last, but Dover is offering 20% off Dover brand horse clothing with code CMXBLANKETS, and shipping is free with a $35 purchase. I don't love or hate the Dover brands, so I decided to see if there might be a too good to pass up blanket deal.
Izzy doesn't need a fancy pants, super luxury blanket. He and I both know that whatever I buy is bound to show some hard wear by spring, no matter how few times he wears it. I was searching for something that was heavy weight, waterproof, had front snaps, a tail guard, leg straps, and crossed surcingles. Oh, and it needed to be cheap, like under $100. I found a deal that seemed too good to be true. And if it weren't from Dover, a company I trust to make it right, I would have doubted that I was getting what I ordered.
I ordered it, especially when they actually had a size 82 in stock. I only hope it's big enough since blanket sizes are a lot like ladies' pants sizes - an 8 in one brand doesn't fit like an 8 in another. This 82 might swallow Izzy, or leave him tugging at the collar. For the price though, it was worth the risk. Once I entered the 20% discount code, the cost of the blanket dropped to $55.99, nearly half of what I was hoping to pay. I feel like I should have a second one to keep as a back up.
With no rain predicted for the rest of this month, and probably not much in the months to come, the blanket may not even get used this year. For California's sake, I hope it does. Even if it means I need to buy a replacement because Izzy has mangled this one with so much use, it will be worth it.
Come on, rain, we're waiting!
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%