Friday 29 December 2017

Christmas Treats

I called US Rider for the first time on Wednesday to get someone to come and boost my dead car. Within 40 minutes he arrived and we got my car started. I drove it straight over to a local shop and had the battery replaced.

Which meant that I was finally able to head out to the barn in the afternoon. I bundled myself up extra warm - it was about -22 Celsius with a windchill of -29 (-7 and -20 F). I was just planning on bringing them in to make sure everything was good and stuffing them full of the treats I had bought them for Christmas.
I was actually quite toasty in my winter attire.

Phantom volunteered to come in first. She was nice and toasty in her Rambo, mainly because she's turned into a polar bear. She's so fluffy!

So much fluff around her ears!

I couldn't tell if she was being itchy or crabby about her shoulder when I took off her blanket.  She'll make a face when my back is turned, so I don't quite see it, and when I turn to look at her she looks completely innocent. I'm leaning towards itchy today, as she wasn't complaining when I gave her shoulder a good scratch with my fingers.

Each of the kids was getting 2 apples, 2 bananas, a pear, and banana and gingerbread cookies. The apples and cookies were safe bets, but the bananas and pears were new territory.

Polar bear cookies for a polar bear pony.

Phantom ate the first banana, a bit slowly, but ate the whole thing. Then she had her pear - that was gone in about 3 bites. After the pear, the second banana was deemed not acceptable. The barn pig ended up with it.

Apples are of course awesome, so they disappeared in about 4 bites. Phantom turns into a juicer when eating apples - you want to stay well clear of her lips.

Cisco isn't as spoiled accustomed to getting apples as Phantom is. So he eats it in a bunch of smaller bites. The banana was a flat out no-go. He took a small bite and immediately spit it out, and wouldn't touch it again. There was a very happy pig in the barn.

He was kind of funny about the pear. I think he was surprised by the taste of the first bite. I didn't think he would eat the rest of it. But he kept coming back and nibbling off a little piece at a time. Like, the tiniest bite a horse could take. But he ate it all!

The cookies were inhaled by both horses. As I expected them to be. Two chomps and down the throat.

Cisco also got some scratches on his withers, which he loves. He's going to love the grooming gloves I ordered.

That was it for my visit. I spoiled them and put them back out into the cold. The weather is supposed to change and get warmer after this weekend, but first we have to make it through Friday (the day this is being posted) - the temperature is supposed to reach a high of -27 celsius, and a low of -35. That's frikkin' freezing, and I'm not going to leave the house once I get home from work.

Thursday 28 December 2017

Boxing Day Sales

Through most of the world, December 26th is known as, well, December 26th. But in some countries, primarily Commonwealth countries, December 26th is known as Boxing Day.

It became known as Boxing Day because it was the day that people who were in service were given a Christmas box by their employers with gifts, Christmas bonuses and sometimes leftover food to take home on their day off - the 26th, since they would have to serve their employers on the 25th.

These days though, it's just an excuse to shop.

Boxing Day in Canada used to be the biggest shopping event of the year. For about the last 4 or 5 years, it has been replaced by Black Friday at the end of November. That has become the biggest shopping day of the year, and thus, the day with the better deals.

But we Canadians still expect to find sales December 26th (or starting online on the evening of December 24th).

I wasn't planning on buying anything. Honestly. I spent too much enough on Black Friday.

But then I decided that I needed to replace my inkjet printer. My current one is so old that they didn't update the drivers to support Windows 10, so it's hit or miss as to if it decides to play nicely with my laptop. I ordered one online on the 24th, and got it for more than the posted half off because of a promo they had if I used Visa Checkout. (Which was supposed to a $10 savings, but went through as a $20 savings. Yay!)
It's a box shaped multi-function printer.

Then, in the early morning of the 25th, I bought some bras online. I love Wacoal bras, but I won't pay the full retail of $60 - $90 for them. One of the few places in Canada that sell this brand is The Bay, and they often have discontinued colours on clearance for pretty good prices. Add an additional 20% off clearance, and that puts them in my price range. Four bras came to $125, which included 2 high impact sports bras that normally would retail for $90 each. I recently discovered that there are supportive sports bras that don't mash the girls to your your chest, but actually give them a fantastic perky shape. They're quite expensive, so I'm slowly replacing my monoboob bras as I find good deals.
Not my chest!

I already have this in navy/lime, and it makes the girls look great!

I had absolutely no intention of even looking at tack store websites. There is nothing that the kids need.

In a moment of pre-dawn sleep-deprived stupidity on December 26th, I remembered that Apple Saddlery always has a 20% off almost everything sale during Boxing week. I've picked up some good deals during this week (clearance is an additional 20% off, so things like fly masks and fly sheets are good deals).

I've been looking for a deal on the Hands On grooming gloves, so that was the first thing to go into my cart. I usually order Chaste Tree Berry powder for Phantom, but it really went up in price this year. So I might try her without it for this spring (I'll fill you in one day soon as to why I use it). I was going to have to pay $10 shipping, so what else did I need to justify the glove purchase?
One pony will definitely appreciate these, not sure about the other one.

Oh right - Phantom needs a new girth to go with my hopefully arriving soon new short flapped saddle! And I really wanted to try the Total Saddle Fit Stretchtec girth for Princess Picky. Which Apple sells.

I decided on the neoprene lined one mostly because it was cheaper (reg $260, sale $207) than the leather lined one (reg $290, sale $231).

That was it! No more looking allowed!

I went to work, and just as I entered the building my phone rang. It was Apple Saddlery, and my heart dropped a little as I figured they were going to tell me that the girth was unavailable. Which they did - the neoprene version was unavailable. But they had the leather one, which they would honour the neoprene price for if I wanted it. Hell yes!

So I have a few more parcels coming my way. And I am on a spending cut for the next 3 or 4 months. I'm allowed to buy food and gas, and that's it! Hopefully the weather cooperates so that I don't have time to aimlessly shop the internet. And I'd better not get sick - that's a guaranteed online shopping day.

Wednesday 27 December 2017

Weather Woes

I'll get out to visit the kids soon. I promise.

I worked the night shift for 6 weeks, so my body is totally accustomed to that schedule. Nights end at Christmas, and I have to be back at work for 9am on the 26th. The changeover is not easy. I got very little sleep on the 24th and  spent a large part of the 25th in a semi-comatose state. It's currently 3 in the morning on the 26th. I got about 4 hours of sleep and woke up wide awake at 1am. My goal is to be back in bed for 4, so that I can hopefully get another 3 or 4 hours of sleep before hauling my butt out of bed and heading to work. We'll see how that goes.

And this is the current temperature.

Yeah, that's cold. That's -22F, and with the windchill, -34F.

There's are a few reasons why I'm happy to pay my board bill every month. And not having to be out in this weather is a big one.

Ponies are happy stuffing their face in a round bale. They haven't been clipped yet, and have 300g worth of blankets on. They should be nice and cozy. And fat. Very fat.

This weather is supposed to be with us through the weekend. That will give me some time to do some adulting things that I totally neglected while I was working nights. Like cleaning the house, laundry, and reading library books that I've already renewed twice and haven't cracked open.

And getting a new car battery. Since my car is currently sitting in front of my parent's house because it won't start. I knew I needed a new battery, but was hoping I wouldn't get bitten in the ass by waiting until I became a day dweller again. Almost made it, but not quite. Thankfully my dad doesn't have to work today so I have his truck to get me to work. And I'm really hoping he'll have called AMA and someone will have come and started it by the time I get home this evening.

So, I hope to see the ponies someday soon. But I don't know when.

Tuesday 26 December 2017

Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange

Although I started writing my blog just this summer, I have been a lurker on many other horsey blogs for a few years. One of the things I always thought was cool was the Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange at Christmas. Random horsey presents showing up in the mail? That I didn't have to pay for? Yes please! So when I started writing my blog, I bookmarked Tracy's blog The Printable Pony so that I could make sure I didn't miss out.

And just as I hoped - a couple weeks before Christmas, I had a parcel to pick up at the post office!

I waited until Christmas Day to open it, as I knew there wouldn't be many things under the tree with my name on them.

What did I find?

My secret Santa was Erika, from An Optimist, a Pony, and a Pug. I'm pretty sure I've read her blog before, but it wasn't one of my regular ones. It will be now!
Card with a horse on it. Where do people find these? I always look but can't seem to find one.

I opened the package up and discovered the most awesome pair of socks, and a cozy, ear-warming headband! I giggled for at least 5 minutes when I pulled out the socks. I love the print! And that headband will get lots of use for at least 6 months of the year!

Thank you Erika, aka An Optimist, a Pony, and a Pug!

And also many thanks to Tracy, for putting in what I'm sure is a ton of work to make the Gift Exchange happen. Can't wait until next year!

Monday 25 December 2017

Merry Christmas!

I hope that everyone is able to spend time with family and friends over the holidays. And, of course, your four-legged critters.

It will be mid-week before I can get out to the barn to give the ponies their stockings. I tried to head out on Saturday night - and drove straight into a snowstorm. The wind was blowing the snowflakes directly at me, giving me the warp speed effect, and when a vehicle passed me the visibility became non-existent. I turned around and came back home.
This will be me going out to catch a horse this week.

Now we are into a cold spell for about the next 10 days. -20 celsius or colder for most of that time (that's -4 or colder for you non-metric people). I'm hoping to get out during the day on Wednesday. Just hoping that the fruit I bought for the stockings holds out that long!

Have a safe, happy Christmas everyone!🎅🎄

Friday 22 December 2017

It's Getting Chilly

First of all - to my Secret Santa for the Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange - I received my gift! But I'm not going to open it until Christmas Day. I know there won't be very many presents under the tree with my name on it so I like to wait to open anything I receive. (I'll post about it after I open it.)

I have two more night of work left before switching back over to days and being able to do stuff. Well, I would like to do stuff. But this is the forecast starting at that time (in Celsius):
If you don't know the conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit, these temperatures are really cold. Just take my word for it. 

I am so not as committed to riding as I was when I was younger. Now, when it's this cold, I'm at home on the couch. Under a heated blanket. With a cat laying on my chest. Watching Netflix.

The ponies are perfectly happy outside gorging on a round bale. (You want me to eat more because it's cold? If I must!) 

I'm guessing I won't get a ride in until the new year. Hopefully it will be in my new saddle. The original estimated shipping date was December 15, but since they emailed me yesterday about my custom cantle detail it's obviously not ready quite yet. Hopefully soon!

Wednesday 20 December 2017

Fancy Strips of Rubber

Another of my Black Friday purchases finally arrived - some C4 belts! And they are fantabulous!

The printed belts are harder to find up here in the Great White North. And there were 10 or 20 a few that I really like. I kept an eye on their Facebook page over the Black Friday weekend and managed to see it when they offered a 50% off code. Score!

I capped myself at 5 belts. I already have 3 (or 4?) solid coloured ones. So now I can wear a different one every day of the week!

What did I choose?

Fox Hunt

I had to have a Thelwell. It was a hard decision as to which one, but I chose Pony Chaos.

Pony Macaroni. Because I like saying pony macaroni.

Vintage Horses. I think this is my favourite. It's going to look great with breeches.

And Space Cats. Just for fun. (My cat could be the model for the fat orange cat on it's back.)

I also ordered a couple of buckles, including the metal flip top buckle. Not sure how I feel about this one - the teeth that secure your belt will dig into the top of the belt, and I would imagine leave a mark. It might have to live on one specific belt. It does feel really secure though.

The only downside to ordering 5 belts is that I will have a hard time justifying getting more on Black Friday next year, as I am sure that there will be some new prints I need want. It will be difficult to justify, not impossible. 😉

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Monday Morning

I went out to the barn early on Monday morning. When I arrived I was the only person there, but that didn't last for too long.

The weather has gone from being unseasonably cold through most of November, to being unseasonably warm through the first part of December. So the snow that we had the day after Halloween has mostly melted. Where it hasn't melted due to being packed down or lack of sun, it is super icy and slippery. Not helped by the rain we had on Friday night, which turned some icy areas into skating rinks.

So icy footing means horses that haven't had much exercise during turnout. Which means that they are extra silly when they get onto the good footing in the arena.
Cisco was having a snooze with the sunrise over his shoulder when I arrived.

I brought Phantom in first and let her loose in the arena to play.  Thankfully this was before everyone showed up. I know when she has energy because she will immediately start off in a trot, instead of slowly warming herself up. She looked stiff behind, not wanting to shift her weight onto her hind end, but did get better as she got moving. I didn't want her to do too much as I didn't want to deal with a sweaty horse, so she got a couple of gallops in and left her at that.

By the time I returned to the arena with Cisco, someone else was riding, so I wasn't able to let him loose. We did a bit of the clicker work in the scary end in-hand. He was also full of himself, so he would walk with his head down, halt, drop his head, get a click and a treat, then stick his head up in the air, spook, and try to run past me. We had to have a few conversations about that.

At some point a couple of people who had trailered in for lessons came into the arena. Through one of the doors in the scary end, without notice. The coming through the door part was no problem, but then he was super distracted with the new potential friends that he might make.
Sleeping in his hay nest.

I threw him on the lunge line, not sure how it would go. He started off quite well, and before long he was going into the scariest corner of the arena, with no issues. I'm not sure if it's because the clicker training has paid off, or if it was because he was so distracted by the other horses that he forgot he was supposed to spook.

Cisco had a short mental breakdown when we changed direction and the first horse in the arena that he had become bonded with after being in there together for like 10 minutes left. He tried to changed direction a few times without being asked, has some sassy moments picking up a canter, and kept squealing these long, quiet squeals. Thankfully it didn't last long.

The weather is changing again. It's going to be pretty cold by Christmas, just in time for me to start riding again. Or maybe not, depending on how cold it gets. My limit is -15 celsius. The heat in the arena isn't working, so my limit might not be that low this year. I don't ride well with a frozen face.

Monday 18 December 2017

Uh Oh. I've Discovered Amazon

I recently discovered something.

And it's not good. has some smokin' deals on horse items.

Now they don't carry very much for Equestrian stuff. And there is definitely a lot of stuff on there that is way overpriced.
$106 for Pro Choice bell boots? Hopefully nobody is stupid enough to buy them at this price!

But it seems that when they get down in quantity of some items, they slash the price. You can't be picky about the colour, and it might only be one size. But maybe you will get lucky, and it will be the size you need.

I picked up a Kensington Platinum Protective Fly Sheet for Cisco back in the summer for $126. Regular retail is closer to $200. It was the size I needed, and thankfully a colour that I liked. Score!

In the last couple of weeks, in the spirit of the Christmas season, I placed a few orders for myself from Amazon. I have Amazon Prime, so generally don't have to pay shipping or meet a minimum amount for free shipping. But since I scored that deal on the fly sheet, I keep looking for other items I can't turn down.

And this week, I found a few.

The first thing that I found when I did a search for Kensington was fly masks. Phantom goes through one a year but only likes the Cashel ones. Cisco isn't so picky, and he just needs the kind that covers his eyes when the little flies get bad at the end of the summer. At $8 a piece, I ordered two. (Fly masks make great grab handles when playing bitey face with other horses. They don't last.)
Regular $22

And with two grey horses, I can never have enough whitening shampoo. This is shampoo for livestock, but they make horse shampoo with the same ingredients in it. Just more expensive since it has prettier packaging with a horse on it. $6.
Regular $14.99

How about an Oster A5 clipper blade for $7? Only the 15 was this price, but that blade could easily be used for trimming bridle paths and faces. 
Regular about $40

And while shopping for a last minute Christmas present for my dad (why is he so hard to buy for?) I found some lead shanks. They are 3/4" cotton, which are the only type I like. Brass plated instead of solid brass snaps, but at $7 I couldn't turn them down. Only a couple of colours were this price, but blue and black are okay for me. 
I plan to torture my family with the Beanboozled game on Christmas day. 
And then there was the Flip Belt. It's a running belt that is made of spandex that is basically pockets you can keep stuff in around your waist when you don't have real pockets. I've been looking for something I can wear to keep my phone in while I ride that will be secure and not be floppy. These are normally $40, which is more than I want to spend. But $19? I'll take that deal! It was only in aqua, but thankfully the size I needed. My phone fits nicely inside.
To help you find these great deals, on the left side of the Amazon page you can filter to show certain discounts. 
Their filtering system kind of sucks, as there are a lot of items that still show up that have nothing to do with horses or equestrian sports. So be prepared to filter out a whole lot of leggings and cell phone cases.

I also use a price alert site that alerts me when items on my Wish List go down in price. I use a site called CamelCamelCamel, I am sure there are others out there that do the same thing. 

One thing to keep in mind - if you find a deal, you need to jump on it! Don't delay to mull it over, because when you go back to buy it there's a good chance it will either be back up in price or sold out. The shampoo that I ordered at $6 went back up to $14 when I went back after placing my order to look at the description again, which was like 5 minutes later. 

Wednesday 13 December 2017

More Clicker Calming

Sunday was my night off for this week. The good thing about Sunday nights is that it is pretty guaranteed that there is no one else at the barn and I can have the arena to myself. Which means more clicker work with Cisco!

We started much the same way as the previous session - asking him to drop his head as we were walking. Then I added in that when we stopped he had to keep his head down. Again, he figured this out pretty quickly. He would wait for the click, then turn into a giraffe. We'll work on that.

I left through the gate to grab one of the bending poles, and just like last time, he left the scary end and went back down to the safe end. And just like last time, he saw me come back into the arena, and trotted all the way back to me. Click, treat, and warm fuzzies in my heart.

Today's goal was to have him touch the pole, which I was going to move across the short end into the really scary corner. He figured out very quickly that touching the pole gave him a reward. So after he touched it a couple of times, I moved it a few feet closer to that corner. He happily stayed with it all the way. Well, with me standing right next to it.

What would happen if I stood a few feet away from the pole?

I love that he is making the decision to head into the scary corner to touch the pole! He's not being forced to go in there, he's making a conscious decision. Yes, he gets a food treat, but this is a big step from omg it's scary must leave right now ok bye.

I sort of tried to free lunge Cisco a bit afterwards. He doesn't want to go too far from me because he doesn't want to lose his chance of getting treats! So he kind of did a couple of circles around me. I am intentionally standing down at that scary end because of this. Then he circles closer to that end. Still not as far down as the track, but much closer than usual.

Clicking definitely seems to be helping him realize that he isn't going to die down in the scary end. He still doesn't stay focused completely on me, and every time he stopped he was looking down to the good end. But this seems to slow his brain down and keep the hamster off that wheel in his skull.

Next I will have to figure out how to send him away from me to touch the pole. I ordered Alexandra Kurland's book Clicker Training for Your Horse for some more ideas. It will hopefully arrive before my next barn visit so I can try something new!

Tuesday 12 December 2017

All Ears? Maybe Not

Phantom is generally pretty chill about most things in life. Which means taking pictures of her with a perky look on her face is rather difficult. Most of the time my pics of her show disinterest. Like this:

Enter the All Ears Selfie app (on iTunes or Google Play Store). It makes sounds using your phone that should make horses perk their ears towards you. The sound buttons are overlaid on your camera screen, so you can get your horse shot lined up, press the sound button, wait for their ears to whip forward, and snap a great picture.

Sounds include various horse whinnies, a donkey hee-hawing, candy wrappers, dog squeaky toys, dogs barking, a plastic bag crinkling,and grain being poured into a bucket. I counted 44 differents sounds.

Did it work? Did I get perky eared pics of Phantom?


I tried almost every sound. I think her left ear twitched twice. And not forward.

While I was going through all the sounds, I could hear the horses outside snorting loudly and running back and forth on icy footing. It sounded like they were seeing something that was quite spooky (land sharks maybe?). All that commotion was still not enough to perk her ears forward. Or to the side where the noises were for that matter.

What did work?
I put my hands in my coat pocket.

'Cause maybe cookies might come out of that pocket.

Monday 11 December 2017

Clicker Calming

Tuesday night was my night off. My one night off in the week. The only thing that I wanted to do was hang out with my ponies.Well, also do laundry, dishes, clean the house, make Christmas presents, and catch up on Netflix. However, ponies were at the top of the list however, so that was where I went once I woke up.

But what to do with them?

Phantom would just get loved and spoiled. I don't want to put her in the arena because I don't want her legs to get gunked up with sand sticking to her leg goop. So she was easy.

I wanted to do something fun with Cisco. Fun for me, at least. I've been inspired by Megan's success with clicker training her horse TC on her blog A Enter Spooking, and since I'm pretty sure Cisco is TC's mini-me, I thought that I would see what I could achieve with some positive reinforcement.

I popped my lunge cavesson and lunge line on him, and grabbed my lunge whip and treat container, which contains a clicker. I had no idea what kind of horse I would have when we arrived in the arena.

When we arrived in the arena there was a new horse who was just finishing some groundwork. Cisco had a few moments of excitement, but chilled pretty quickly. And surprisingly didn't get worried when the other horse left. That boded well for the day.

The goal was definitely to have him be more relaxed in the scary end of the arena. Hopefully stuffing his mouth full of treats down there would help to alleviate his fear. I've done a bit of clicker work with him, but haven't used it a lot for training purposes.

So I started off by asking him to drop his head as we walked by giving a downwards tug on the lead. Drop his head, walk a couple of steps, get a click and a treat. We started out in the good end, where he figured this out after the second click. So we went right down to the scary end to see if it would continue.

And it did! Well, mostly. There were a bunch of bending poles in the corner that the 4-H group had brought in, that were on the outside of the fenceline. And they were a wee bit scary. More so turn a horse into a giraffe type scary. But I asked him to drop his head. And he did. For a moment. So I asked him again. And he went "okay". And kept it down as we walked past them. I mean, as soon as we stopped, he turned into a giraffe again. But when moving his head was down. And he was super chill. I was super happy.
No media, just a cute face to break up the text.

Next up - trying to get him to touch the scary bending poles.

They were on the other side of the fenceline. At first I hoped that if I just stood in front of them he would reach over the fence to sniff them, and that's when I would click. But that didn't work. He wouldn't reach over the fence. So I thought I would try to stand on the other side of the fence, and see if he would reach across to me.

I unclipped the lead and went through the gate next to the bending poles. Cisco apparently thought I was leaving, so he hoofed it down to the other end. I called out to him, he turned around and saw me, and trotted across the full diagonal right back to me. Click and a cookie for that!

I did a bit of work with him to have him touch one of the poles. He did okay and sort of got the idea. What was more important to me was that he was happy to stay there, wasn't panicking, and wasn't trying to leave.

So far, the positive reinforcement had been successful! My goal was to have him more relaxed in the scary end, and clicking and treats definitely made a difference.

No media from this, as I couldn't manage to hold a clicker, a horse, a phone, and stuff a treat in his mouth at the same time. I need a video assistant next time!

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Orange You Glad to See Me?

I finally made it out on Monday night to visit the kids. Again, I only had an hour to spend out there, so didn't do much with either of them.

For the first time in a long time, Phantom and Cisco were eating from different round bales! They finally have new friends!

Thankfully, they haven't forgotten that they like each other, as I brought them in together to save time. Speedy Gonzales was all over the Turtle, and she puts up with him bumping into her.

They were tied in the barn to check blankets and goop Phantom's scratches. They are still crusty, but kind of a different kind of crusty. Don't know if it's better or the same. It doesn't seem to be as sore though.
Cisco insisted that the blankets self-exploded onto the floor. Yeah, right.

I remembered that I had some oranges in the car. Phantom loves oranges. So I had brought a couple in with me.

She got to eat the first half of the first orange. She took each slice I offered her and very thoughtfully ate it.

Then I tried it out on Cisco, who has never had an orange before. He took it in his mouth. And spat it out. I tried a couple of pieces, but they were a no-go. Oh well, more for Phantom!

So I finished stuffing the rest of the orange into Phantom, then took the kids together back outside. I returned to the barn to clean up, and found some orange slices on the ground where Phantom was standing.
The spit out orange pieces. I think she spit them out when my back was turned.

Maybe she doesn't like oranges as much as I thought she did!

Friday 1 December 2017

Solo Equine Bridle - Initial Review

One of my wants needs that I picked up on Black Friday was a new black bridle for Cisco. I have many brown bridles from my years of hunter/jumpers, and actually prefer brown leather. But I seem to be going more the dressage route these days, and have a black saddle coming for Cisco. So he obviously needs a black bridle to match.

The Solo Equine bridles have popped up many times in my Facebook feed over the last few months. Their products are flashy, and have been getting good reviews. Plus they are local to me - gotta support horse people in my area! So, when they announced a Black Friday sale of 30% off, I decided to throw some money their way.

I didn't have a hard time selecting a bridle - because they only had one model in Cob size. The Solo Sigma. Thankfully it was a model I quite liked so I was okay with ordering it. (When they started up last spring they only offered everything in full and oversized, but I'm pretty sure I saw a post that going forward all new models would be also offered in cob size.) The regular price was $175, sale price $125.

I ordered it in the wee hours of Friday morning, and it was sold out by mid-morning. Good thing I jumped on it early!

Since it's local to me, I received it the next business day.

Initial thoughts - it felt good. Not stiff. Thick leather. And I loved the blingy browband. Not overly bling, but a nice subtle pattern.
It's also skinny, which I don't mind.
It has a monocrown. The ears are cut back, but the padding is not.
The strap for the noseband is the bottom layer of the monocrown. It comes out from the padded part.

One concern I had before trying it on was that it looked small. The cheekpieces are shorter than other cob sized bridles I have.
Old, no-name cheekpiece at the top, from a bridle that fits perfectly.
Many years ago, I had read that a way to judge quality of leather was to flex it backwards (towards the finished side) and see how it wrinkles. The better the quality, the less it should wrinkle.
There are some wrinkles there.
The bridle came with plain, flat reins with stitched on running martingale tabs. Not my favourite reins, but I seldom use the reins that came with the bridle. Maybe I'll take them in one day and have hand tabs stitched on them.

Most importantly - how does it work on the horse? (Excuse the horse pics - they were all taken in a rush on a fuzzy, ungroomed pony.)
It looks good. I love the thick, patent noseband. The browband kind of disappears behind Cisco's thick forelock (and fuzzy forehead).

I am undecided on the fit.
The buckles all line up near his eye, as they should. The noseband strap kind of disappears behind the cheekpiece. But there are only a couple of holes left on the cheekpiece. Cisco is currently wearing a Myler D-ring with a massive D. When he (hopefully) goes in something with a smaller ring I will have to drop it down another hole. 
I can only get the patent noseband done up on the very first hole. This noseband wouldn't fit Phantom, who is thicker through her nose. It might relax over the next bit and be able to get to the second hole, as it is not cranked.
No issues with the crownpiece.

I like the shine!

Despite my concern over the fit, I am going to keep it. It doesn't fit him badly, it just doesn't have much room for adjustment based on the way it is currently fit. Since their next size up is full/warmblood, I would think that it would be huge on Cisco.

The quality seems okay.  I didn't pay $400 for it, so I can't expect the quality of a $400 bridle. I paid more than twice as much for my PS of Sweden bridle, and I think this one might be on par with it (except for the PS of Sweden reins - which I love!).

I will give an update once I can actually use it for riding in a couple of months and it has had some use. In the meantime, I will just look at my reflection in the patent noseband and smile.