My apologies for the delay since my last post. As a student, my life is very much subject to school, and with the end of the year and final exams, not to mention rehabbing Palermo, it feels like I’ve had no time to myself lately. But now it’s officially summer, and I look forward to writing much more frequently!
A lot has changed for both Palermo and I since my last post. I’ve moved up to San Francisco where I’ll be working for the summer. It’s been a bit of an adjustment moving into the city and starting a ‘real’ job, but I’ve loved getting to know a new city and discovering lots of hidden treasures. Palermo has re-located for the summer as well, to a barn a little closer to the city. He’ll definitely miss all his friends at Stanford, but the new barn is absolutely beautiful, and the trainer there is wonderful! We met her at the North American Young Rider Championships in Kentucky last summer, as she was the Chef d’Equip for the team from California, and she has been nothing but gracious and beyond helpful! We’re so excited to start working with her as Palermo begins going back to work again.
As I was packing Palermo’s ‘luggage’ last weekend for his big move, it occurred to me that he has WAY too much stuff. I have a tendency to be a bit of a collector (some might even say hoarder) for myself, and this tendency is only amplified when it comes to Palermo. As far as I’m concerned, he always has to have the newest clothes or toys, and only the best will do! As a result, he has a true army of blankets, therapeutic sheets, wraps, polos, stall boots, ice boots, fly sheets, splint boots — you name it! Not to mention the toys that decorate his stall: Lickits, Jolly Balls, Himalayan Salt Licks, Uncle Jimmy’s Hanging Balls… You get the idea. I do realize that all of these things are largely to make myself feel better, but I like to think that he gets some enjoyment out of them as well!
But as I was packing up his many trunks of ‘stuff’ last weekend, I was forced to wonder, “How much of this stuff actually works?” I know he enjoys the edible things (can you say food oriented?!) but when it comes to the therapeutic blankets, the magnetic blankets, and all the different wraps and boots, which things are actually doing what they claim to?
I have to confess: I have developed quite a collection of Back on Track products. I swear by my Back on Track mesh sheet. I noticed a huge difference in Palermo’s body after just one use. He was much more supple and relaxed through the back, and seemed much happier in his work. With continued use, I saw reduced warm-up time and less soreness in his neck and shoulders. This, along with a recommendation from our vet, led me to purchase No Bow leg wraps and the Therapeutic Stall Boots after Palermo’s first injury last year. I’d been using traditional wraps before, and I truly believe the introduction of the Back on Track products were instrumental in the short (and full!) recovery time. His legs are tight, and the swelling over the location of his injury greatly reduced. I also have quite a few other products that I’ve won at various shows that I look forward to introducing into daily use. I’m a huge believer in all of their products, and have my eye on the new Contender II saddle pad as a celebratory purchase once we get back into full work! (Full disclosure: I’m not sponsored by them, unfortunately!)
I’ve also had great experiences with other products such as the Draper Therapy Stable Blanket. We were honored to be chosen as one of Draper Therapy’s ‘Best Foot Forward’ Award winners at Dressage at Devon, and were presented with one of these stable blankets. It has quickly become another staple in Palermo’s ‘wardrobe’. It has a super fit, and as a plus, is machine washable and dryer safe – a must with my horse! Palermo has been getting very tight in the back lately, a side-effect of the lost muscling from being out of work for so long, but I (and his massage therapist) have noticed a great deal of relief from using this blanket.
So I ask you all, what are your favorite products? I’m always looking for new things to try, and would love to hear any suggestions/recommendations!!