From Endurance to Dressage
When I get an idea that I like, I am a dog with a bone. I keep reworking the idea until it turns out the way I've envisioned. My Equestrian Lounge was like that. I had wanted a comfortable place to hang out in the summer, so when the ranch owner thought it was a good idea, I ran with it. We now have a beautiful spot to sit and cool off in the summer. We've even had several lunches there, one with a pretty large group of ladies.
The "pampering station" is a new idea I had thanks to Cassandra Rabini, owner and trainer at First Gem Dressage. Cassandra recently shared some tips with me on how to get Izzy looking super polished. I wrote about that here. A week or so ago I gathered some things that I thought I would need in Izzy's pampering station. Things like hoof conditioner, shampoo, and so on. I tried two different storage containers - first, a not-so-safe wire basket, and then a flat-back bucket that wouldn't drain.
Before spending any money, I wanted to be sure that a pampering station was something I would actually use. To my surprise, now that it's set up, I am using it every day. We don't have a wash rack, but there are two grassy places I use to give my boys their showers. The one I use for show baths is in the sun close to the horses, but for every day showers, I use the one that is a bit more shaded. That is where I hung my pampering station materials. Each day this past week, I've either scrubbed and conditioned Izzy's hooves, given his tail and dock a shampoo, or washed out his mane. No matter which horse I hose off, I usually let them graze on the lawn after a shower, so the whole thing has become quite convenient.
Once I realized that a pampering station was something I've needed all along, I set out to find a more suitable container for hanging the stuff I wanted to leave out there. The first basket I hung didn't work (you can read why here), and I didn't like the idea of using a bucket because wet stuff wouldn't be able to drain and dry out. I took some time to browse through Amazon and a variety of online tack shops. I landed on a pretty inexpensive basket. It's slightly smaller than I was hoping for, but it's safe, and small things won't fall through. You can see it in the photo above.
I also ordered a few things that I want to keep stored outside - a small bottle of Mane 'n Tail Detangler, witch hazel, and a sweat scraper. My favorite sweat scraper had a gel handle which just last week finally burst. I have another one somewhere, but I can't find it, so I ordered two - one for the pampering station, and a second for my shampoo show bucket. They should be here in the next few days. I also tossed in all of my mini sample shampoo bottles. If I am going to shampoo Izzy's tail more regularly, I might as well use them up.
As I continue using the pampering station, I'll figure out what I truly need to use every day. The witch hazel, while a good thing to have on hand, might not get enough daily use to warrant the real estate it's currently occupying; it might get replaced with something that gets more frequent use, like fly spray. I so want to keep some fly spray out there, but when those bottles get hot, they tend to leak. I am thinking of buying a small squirt bottle and pouring some fly spray in it. That way, I can keep it half full so it might not leak as much. I've also since thrown in a hairbrush.
Once the jumbo bottle of Mane 'n Tail shampoo is empty, I'll replace it with a smaller bottle of Dove Moisturizing shampoo. As the mini bottles of shampoo get used up, I'll have a bit more room to add new or seasonal things. And of course, if I find that I need a lot more stuff out there, I can always buy a second basket. I am not sure how pampered Izzy feels, but I am loving the convenience of the pampering station.
Now I just need a sign to match the one we have hanging in our Equestrian Lounge. Wouldn't that be cute?
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
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: