Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vendor reviews

Here's a tale of two vendors for you. One I already loved and will definitely order from again, and one I used out of convenience and probably won't use again.

My pretty princess pony has a very white nose, and it gets fiercely sunburned in the summer if she's not stalled. The first summer I had Dixie, she was in horse heaven - a 40 acre pasture - and it just burned. Last year, in Ohio, she was in a stall and the BO would (sometimes) smear sunblock on her nose when she turned her out. This year, I am trying a long nose fly mask. I'd looked around for a while but just hadn't gotten around to ordering one when I bought that damn trailer and joined USRider, and USRider gave me a $10 gift cert to Dover as part of my membership package. See? Procrastination pays off!

So the Sunday before last, May 9th, I ordered a long nose Cashel fly mask from Dover. The cheap $10 shipping and the $10 GC cancelled each other out, so I ended up paying $27.85 for a fly mask. The package didn't even ship til Wednesday, May 12, and it shipped FedEx SmartPost. IME, SmartPost is a horrible way to ship and takes way longer than USPS mail.

One week later, on Sunday May 16th, I ordered the crupper and a pommel pack from Griffin's Tack. I had to call to read Henry my CCV number from the back of the card, and he mumbled something about "Tuesday." I thought he said "You should get it by Tuesday" but that couldn't possibly be right - I mean, he's only 50 miles from me, but still! Nothing orders, packs, ships, and arrives that fast. Anyway, I paid $12 for that shipping.

Tuesday the package from Henry Griffin arrived. Via US mail. Less than 48 hours after I ordered it. Today, Wednesday, the package from Dover arrived, via FedEx, all of ten frakkin days after I ordered.

I'm not sure whether I'm more disgusted with Dover/Fedex or happy with Griffin's/USPS, but I know where I prefer to spend my money now.

I'll review all the stuff properly once it gets applied to the model horse, but for now I think I'm happy with everything I bought. The fly mask looks comfortable? I guess? I don't know much about these things, and smart money says Dixie destroys it. The crupper has stiff wire in the tail loop, for flexibility, and it's ~C's shade of blue. (Sorry C!) And the pommel bag looks like it should attach ok, the zippers look indestructible, the workmanship is fantastic, and it's a fantastic royal purple.


  1. Henry Griffin is the best , bar none.

    If you ever have a ton of time, ask him about "the olden days." He has a million stories about endurance riding back when folks like Julie Suhr was just a sprout.

  2. I also have a pony with a nose that sunburns, and I have the long nose Cashel mask, and I LOVE IT! I have to buy a new one every year, but that's a small price to pay versus my horse having cancer on his nose. The Cashel masks fit very well on every horse I've put one on, they don't rub, and the new ones have double velcro so they can't be pulled off.

  3. I used to mask Peanut, but as he matured his eyes ended up so wide that his eyelashes would sometimes tend to come through them, but a bigger size would be enormous on his head. I tried a bunch of different brands, but they never fit right once he reached about 6. I have a freak of a horse.

    After a few times of seeing him endlessly rubbing his masked eyes against the insides of his front legs and my taking off the mask to see black smears inside at the eyes, I gave up masking him completely. :( Now he has a couple of weeks of burned nose each year. I sunscreen when I can, but it's never enough.

    Good luck! Hope it works!

    I've never had anything but good experiences with Dover, but one of their retail stores is all of 20 minutes from me so I just deal with them in person.

  4. I'm eager to hear how the long nose mask works for you. My guy has a white nose too. He's at home, so I put sunscreen on him when he goes out in the morning, and cortisone on him at night. He wears a super mask now. I tried a long nose mask years ago, but it rubbed his nose. I don't think it was Cashel.

  5. Griffin is definately ine of my recommended vendors. Especially for hoof boys- I only use griffin hoof boots!

  6. Hehehehe - silly ipod! That should have been leg protection boots! I love Griffin's branded leg protection.

  7. Hmm... I've never had an issue with Dover before, but I know how frustrating it is to wait so long for something you'd like to have in a reasonable amount of time.

    I'm in the market for a new fly mask too, but more for the fit than the nose protection. I'm curious to see how you think the Cashel fits the face in general.

    WV for today was potopork. LOL I like pork...

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  9. Don't know that this is helpful, lols, but a white nose for me is a deal-breaker for JUST this reason . . .
    My sister-in-law's horse used to be un-ride-able in the summer for this same reason--you couldn't even catch her to mask her!

  10. I'll keep yall updated on how the mask works
    out. It sure looked painful in '08, but she wasn't hard to catch or bridle in '09. I suspect she has a high pain tolerance though.

    Serena, I always swore I'd never own a paint. Sunburn, eye problems, spooky, harder to keep clean... You see how that worked out!

    At least she has black "eyeliner" on the white side. Hopefully she wont have eye problems!

  11. I have that very mask, with ears too, for the Wa mare...she snorts snot on the bottom part of the mask and I just rinse it out in water, and put er back on.
    Dover has been okay to me...never heard of the other before.
    Hope that works for the Dixie mare!

  12. Henry's the best. he comes to a lot of our rides in the west/NW/SW etc. makes a lot of his own stuff too, whatever color you want.
    - The Equestrian Vagabond


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