May 12, 2017

Easyboot Minis: The Cutest Boots Around

As most of you know, Jethro is in-training to become a therapeutic donkey. Therapy equines are required to wear hoof coverings at all times during visits, and it can be difficult finding hoof boots in small sizes. Luckily, EasyCare came up with a solution that they kindly sent me a few months ago: Easyboot Minis

And let me tell you: they are absolutely adorable!

The Easyboot Minis come in four sizes originally intended for horses, but, according to the EasyCare FAQ, they can be worn by your typical miniature donkeys and mules. True to their amazing customer service, EasyCare actually sent Jethro sets in two different sizes in case one size did not work for his donkey hooves. 

Unfortunately, neither pair fit Jethro. Donkeys in general have hooves that are more upright than horses, and Jethro's are quite upright even for a donkey. The shape of the boot's sole is fine, but the front of the boot is too angled for his upright hooves. Obviously, these would be excellent for a miniature horse, and I could see them working out great for mules as well. Whether or not they work for donkeys seems to depend on hoof angle. 

The quality of these boots is excellent. The sole is thick and sturdy, though also flexible enough for comfort. They are almost like a hiking boot — the sole is grippy and appears to offer good traction. Due to the plentiful amount of squishy padding, I do not see chaffing being an issue with these boots.

The stitching is even and strong, the velcro is not flimsy, and the materials feel high quality and durable. The design is sleek and lightweight — they are not blocky or heavy. 

I am super disappointed that they do not fit Jethro. If it weren't for the angled front, they would be perfect for him. The materials are high quality, the sole is sturdy, the appearance is very clean, and they seem comfortable due to their flexibility and padding. Quality-wise, I do not have a single complaint. I am going to see if I can make some alterations to make them work for him — they are adorable and great quality, so I definitely want them to work out. 

January 24, 2017

Joanne the Saddle Scammer

In 2013, I discovered the world of tack selling and trading groups on Facebook. If you are not familiar with these groups, here's the rundown: tens of thousands of horse people post their used tack and apparel for sale. It is a great way to find amazing deals on gently used items.

But anyways...
I was using these groups non-stop without issues for several months. But all good things must come to an end.

When I first purchased Ypke, I also purchased a brand new Wintec. It was a trusty saddle that I rode in a handful of times, but I ultimately decided I preferred non-synthetic leather tack. Since it was in mint condition and collecting dust in the tack room, I decided to post it on a particularly well known tack selling group a couple years ago. 

Thus, I wrote up a detailed ad — seat size, gullet width, serial number, etc. — with pictures of the saddle from various angles.

Enter someone who we will call Joanne.

Joanne when she saw the Wintec.

Joanne inquired about the saddle, and we negotiated the price. It was ultimately decided that she would pay for shipping, and I sent her an estimate. She was immediately miffed (red flag #1?) at my $40 estimate, claiming it should cost $20 max. Joanne had to verify the cost, and soon found that $35 was the cheapest rate she could find.

After some slightly passive aggressive messages from her, she confirmed she would indeed pay shipping. Joanne then told me that she could not purchase the saddle until a different seller gave her a refund for a previous saddle she had purchased (red flag #2?).

She asked me a couple of questions about the gullet of the saddle and proceeded to gush about how she had been *dying* to ride in a Wintec and was jealous of her friend who owned a Wintec. After she had already paid the invoice, she asked if it came with another item (red flag #3?) and inquired about the other Wintecs I had for sale (I didn't have any). I shipped the saddle, nearly 20 days passed, and I forgot about it.

But wait...

Joanne was not finished with me. I woke up to a nasty email about how I had lied about the color of the saddle. She sent multiple paragraphs, here is an excerpt:
"I am sorry but maybe you are confused the saddle you posted is brown and i specially assured you to confirm that it was brown and you did. There is no way in hell i am stupid enough till buy a black saddle when i specially starred i want a brown one."
Joanne kept telling me that if I read through our messages I would see that she was correct. However, she neglected four key parts: 1.) She never told me she wanted a brown saddle 2.) She never asked me if the saddle was brown 3.) I never told her the saddle was brown. 4.) The pictures and serial number clearly show a black saddle (unless her monitor was super, super bad).

Long story short: She filed a PayPal claim against me, and I won. Joanne then proceeded to bash me on the tack selling group and threatened to sign my home address up to receive spam magazine subscriptions. Luckily, those were empty threats as I have yet to receive any spam, and she deleted everything off her Facebook profile shortly thereafter.

She disappeared.

 And that was my run-in with Joanne the Saddle Scammer. It confuses me to this day. Did she genuinely believe I told her the saddle was brown? Was she talking to someone with a brown saddle for sale, but somehow got us confused and purchased mine instead? Did her horse damage it, so she was hoping to return it? A case of buyers remorse? Was she just a scammer? The world may never know.
Ever since then I have been quite wary of using the Facebook groups to sell tack and apparel. I've heard of other people having similar strange experiences, so I try to avoid selling on there (so... if you are not like Joanne the Saddle Scammer, please buy all of my 28L breeches that way I don't have to post them on FB!).

Do you use Facebook groups to buy and sell tack? Any strange experiences?