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Peek in My Tack Trunk: Ellen B.

Posted on: January 29, 2019 by Ellen Brunelle

I’ve been lucky enough to have a horse in my life for more years than I haven’t. I got my first horse at 13 and my second horse, and current best friend at 23. Over these many years, I’ve collected a lot of tack and horse care supplies, and I love organizing it so that my horse’s supplies are always ready to use. Today, I’m going to give you a peek into my tack trunk.

Photo by Isabel Andrea Photography

To start, I’d like to describe my horse. Nemo is a 14-year-old Morgan gelding who I’ve had since he was 7. He’s a friendly black lab, or a spooky, playful dragon depending on the day, and I love him to pieces. We currently enjoy jumpers, trail riding, hunter paces, dressage, and our next big adventure is learning eventing this year. He also has some skin allergies and mysterious itchiness at times, as well as a tendency to bleach out in the sun, as his coat is jet black. Finally, he tends to be a bit of an over-thinker. He’s always truly trying to listen to what I’m asking him, but sometimes he gets a little too excited and nervous when he’s out of his element. I’m so happy to have him, and we have so much fun together.

1. Vetrolin Shine
This is the first thing that I make sure my trunk is well stocked with because I use it daily while grooming. Nemo has a long, thick mane and tail, and his mane is double. He has a full mane on each side. As a result, I spend a lot of time grooming him and gently detangling his mane and tail. I try to fingerpick rather than using a brush to prevent breakage, and this product does a great job loosening up the tangles and bringing a shine to his hair and coat.

2. EquiFit Clean Balm
Nemo tends to come in with mysterious bumps, scrapes, and cuts, and I keep this on hand to apply to any superficial wounds he ends up with. It’s easy to apply, and is designed to kill fungi, viruses, and bacteria. I’ve also found that it really helps with tick bites as well.

3. Zephyr’s Garden Leave It Be Spray (Formerly Zephyr’s Garden Stop the Itch Spray)
I love this product. Nemo has “mysterious itchy pony syndrome” and this has been such a relief for him. He tends to itch his tail, and we’ve ruled out all normal reasons for it. To be honest, I feel like his allergies kick in, and it’s partially a habit. I spray this on his tail each time I see him, and I’ve found it provides him relief and keeps his long Morgan tail looking healthy and full.

4. Sunflower Suncoat SPF
Nemo is solid black, and spends most of his day outside. As a result, especially during the summer, he tends to bleach out to a crispy orange color. (I like to joke that he’s channeling his inner “Nemo fish” I nicknamed him after!) I spray this on him daily, and I’ve found that it really helps reduce his bleaching. It smells amazing too!

5. Sore No-More Classic Liniment
Nemo and I ride at least 5 days a week when the weather allows, and he tends to occasionally experience some SI and stifle soreness. Paired with our exercise program designed to strengthen these areas, I’ve found that applying this liniment after our rides, particularly when they’re more strenuous, helps his muscles and soft tissue to relax and recover. I love knowing that this helps him feel his best after he gave his best in our ride.

6. SmartCalm Ultra Paste
Nemo is a bit of a worrier, so I always like to keep a tube or two of SmartCalm Ultra Paste on hand. Its herb-free formula, with magnesium, taurine, inositol, L-tryptophan, & thiamine helps provide him that extra support when he’s faced with something new or stressful.

7. SmartPak Soft Padded Leather Halter
This is a great halter, and I’ve used it for years. It is durable, adjustable, and there are so many fun color options to customize it. Nemo has the Havana and pink halter, and I have a nameplate on it for him as well.

8. SmartPak Small Circles AP Saddle Pad
This is a tack-trunk staple. It’s durable, light-weight and breathable, and easy to wash. I love that it also has wither relief and is available in so many fun colors! True to our color theme, I have a fuchsia one for by buddy Nemo.

9. Woof Wear Sport Brushing Boots
These are my daily go-to for leg protection for Nemo. I use them for everything from flatwork, to jumping, to trail riding. They’re well made, durable, and they don’t absorb water! There are also many fun colors to choose from. I’m excited to use these in eventing lessons this spring!

10. SmartCookies
If you ask Nemo, he would say these are the most important thing in his tack trunk! He’s definitely a bit of a cookie monster, and paired with his big, soft, puppy-like eyes, he is amazing at begging for cookies. I personally think he’s amazing in general, so I always want to give him fun treats. What I love about these is they don’t have any added sugars. As he’s a very easy-keeper Morgan, I try to avoid treats with lots of sugar to keep him at his healthiest, and these are the perfect option for him. He’s tried all the flavors, and his favorite are the Peppermint Pattie cookies.

I hope your tack trunk is filled to the brim with goodies for you and your horse, too!
-SmartPaker Ellen