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Fall Hiking with Dogs

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 by

Happy First Week of Fall, Baker Fans!

Baker Dog "Wilco" ready for the rain this weekend!

Baker Dog “Wilco” ready for the rain and cool weather this weekend!

Here at Baker Blanket we’re excited for the cooler weather.  One of our favorite fall activites is hiking – and we love to bring our dogs with us.  When you take your dog out on the trail with you, there are a few things to keep in mind to help make your trip safe and fun for everyone.  Here are our top five tips for hiking with dogs, and a bonus look at what Baker dog Wilco carries in his backpack when we go on longer hikes.

  1. Proper ID saves lives!  Be sure that your dog has a sturdy collar (like the Baker Dog Collar – made with that tough-as-nails classic Baker webbing) with ID tags on at all times when you’re traveling or hiking.  The tag should be securely attached to the collar, and should have a few emergency contact numbers.  In most cases, owners put their cell phone numbers on the tags, but keep in mind that many parks and forests do not have any cell service.  It’s always a good idea to have a backup number on your dog’s tag.
  2. Bring plenty of water.  Our dogs need to stay hydrated when they’re out walking.  A collapsible water bowl makes it easy to share your supply with your four legged friends, and it’s easier to carry than a full size bowl.  Be sure to introduce the bowl to your dog before you go hiking, so that you know they’re comfortable drinking out of it.  We’ve known dogs who wouldn’t drink from the popular foldable fabric bowls, or the pop-up silicone bowls.  Be sure you have a bowl your dog will drink from.
  3. Make sure your leash is both durable and comfortable to hold.  I love the Baker leather dog leash for hikes.  The Baker material is sturdy, and the leather rolled handle is lightweight and soft, so I forget that I’m even holding it!  If you’re not used to long walks with your every day leash, you might be surprised at how uncomfortable thick nylon leashes can be by the second hour of your hike.  For hiking, a 6′ leash is the perfect length to let your dog explore while retaining control should you run into another dog or unfriendly wildlife. As always, be sure to obey local leash laws!
  4. Walk your dog on a harness, rather than his collar.  Even he’s got excellent loosh leash walking skills, walking on a harness and leaving the collar for ID only is safer and more comfortable for your pooch.  Plus, even the most well behaved dog can unexpectedly take off after a rabbit, deer, or other wildlife, and a harness will help to protect him from injury in those situations.
  5. Be prepared for any weather, particularly in the mountains.  Already, lots of Rocky mountains and the Cascades are snow peaked, and we aren’t far off from the Adirondaks, White Mountains, and Catskills getting some snow and ice.  Even if you aren’t heading up a major mountain range, fall weather can turn quickly.  50-60 degree days of early fall are comfortable in most cases, but if it rains unexpectedly, you and your dog can both be caught unprepared.  As the weeks pass, temperatures can drop even further.  Be sure to bring layers and extra clothes for yourself, and pack a dog coat for your dog, too.  The Baker dog blanket features the same great protection against the elements as our turnouts, so you know your dog will be comfortable and warm. They’re a lightweight item to add to your backpack (or theirs) and you’ll never regret having it with you should you run into a rainshower, unexpected high winds, or even if your dog decides to jump in a trailside pond and ends up shivering several miles away from your car or campsite.

Baker Dog “Wilco” loves to hike all year, but he’s happiest in the early fall.  The weather is cool enough for the long hikes and State Park trails tend to be a little less crowded than in the peak of summer, which makes it easier to enjoy the great views and beautiful fall foliage.  When we go hiking, Wilco carries his own doggie backpack filled with everything he needs on the trail, without making my pack any heavier.

What’s in Wilco’s bag?

Wilco's Hiking Bag

Wilco’s Hiking Bag

Clockwise, from top left

  1. A well-fitted, durable dog backpack. We love how this one is bright orange, for increased visibility on the trails.
  2. Poop bags!  What’s a dog walk without them?  At least Wilco can carry his own thanks to the gear hooks on his bag.
  3. A collapsible water bowl.  As we mentioned above, it is so important to make sure your dog is comfortable drinking from your trail bowl.
  4. Collapsible water bottles.  We prefer these over standard water bottles just because they’re much lighter, even when full.  Since Wilco carries his own water, we want to make sure that we don’t put too much weight in his saddlebags.  Plus, they weigh almost nothing once they’re empty.
  5. First aid.  For longer hikes, I have a hiking first aid kit in my backpack.  If we’re just doing a shorter hike and I don’t have my own pack, Wilco carries some basics.  Pictured above are some bandaids, antiseptic wipes, alcohol wipes, gauze, vetwrap, gloves and medical tape.
  6. Treats.  Of course!  Not only do they make it more fun for Wilco, but they serve as a nice distraction if I don’t want him to notice the rabbits, coyotes, or other wildlife.  I also bring a tennis ball in case we find a clearing to play in.
  7. A dog mop.  I bought this at the dollar store, and it’s extremely helpful for those unplanned lake excusrions, or the puddle that just HAD to be jumped in.  Again, this is usually in my pack if it’s going to be a messy trail, but occasionally Wilco brings it with him, instead.

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Now that you’ve read through our tips and our packing list, let us know what you think!  Where do you plan on hiking this fall?  Are there any trail tips you’d like to share with us?  Tell us on our Facebook page.

Happy Hiking!

Fall Fashion with Baker Blanket

Tuesday, 25 August 2015 by
Baker tartan sheet

The Baker Stable Sheet looks amazing in Tartan Plaid!

With the beginning of many Hunter, Equitation and Jumper show series for the Fall, everybody is talking Fall Fashion.  Softshell jackets are all the rage now, helmets are more customizable than ever now, offering paisley patterns, leather, glitter and crystal accents, and even Dressage riders are getting in on the fun with piped and bedazzled stock ties!  At Baker Blanket, we are excited to begin talking Fall Fashion for the most stylish horses in your life.

As we roll into late summer and early fall, some owners are already scheduling their body clipping appointments and dusting off their quarter sheets.  It’s still too early to head south to Aiken, Ocala or Wellington, and as the cooler weather rolls in, so does the need to add a few things to your every day riding routine or your show trunk.

Baker Irish Anti-Sweat Sheet

Baker Irish Anti-Sweat Sheet is perfect for early fall

We all know how important it is to keep your horse from catching a chill after a hard ride, after a bath or while they’re standing ringside on a blustery day.  While we’re still in the warm days of late summer, the best bet is to use an Irish Anti-Sweat Sheet.  The woven cotton will block cooler air and wind while still allowing your horse to dry off quickly – it’s perfect for horses that run a little warm.

However, many clipped or thin-skinned horses catch a chill whenever there’s the slightest breeze or they’re sweaty. Thankfully, the Baker Fleece Dress Sheet is the perfect solution!  The high tech fleece fabric helps wick moisture away from your horse and is great to use when it’s just a little too cold for a Baker Irish-Knit Anti-Sweat Sheet. On really cold days, you can layer the Dress Sheet over the Anti-Sweat sheet to help keep your horse warm with breathable fabrics as he dries off.

Baker Fleece Dress Sheet

Baker Fleece Dress Sheet keeps your horse warm on blustery days!

Fleece coolers and anti-sweat sheets should be removed once they’re damp, and that’s where the classic Baker Stable Sheet comes in.  If you wander through the stables at any major horse show this fall, you’re sure to see these in nearly every stall.  There’s just no beating that original Baker plaid, particularly at a show, where your horse needs to look his best!  Stable sheets are perfect for keeping your horse warm in his draft horse show stall, or while you’re trailering to the showgrounds.

You can find the full Baker Blanket line on our website, which is offering FREE SHIPPING for the rest of the year to help get your horse’s fall wardrobe up to date. Don’t be left in the cold this fall: order your dress sheets, irish knits, and stable blankets directly from Baker for fast service and free shipping!

Baker Luggage

Friday, 10 July 2015 by

We’re in the middle of “summer vacation” season and everything seems to be moving at one hundred miles per hour! Getting ready for your weekend trips or weeklong getaways shouldn’t be as stressful as it often is. If you take the time to plan out your packing lists, you can streamline the whole process and focus more on last minute details, rather than double checking your suitcase whenever you remember something you want to bring with you!

The best way to go about setting yourself up for stress-free packing is to organize your list into categories.  If you have your list sectioned off into categories such as “Clothes” (shirts, dresses, jeans, shorts, etc), “Electronics” (phone chargers, cameras, extra batteries, etc) “Shoes” (flip flops, heels, sneakers and flats) “Toiletries”  “Accessories” and “Outerwear”, you’ll be more likely to remember everything that you need from that category, rather than trying to remember everything you’d like to pack, all at once.

One thing that can really help your packing experience is a nice set of luggage.  Finding a bag you can take on weekend trips but that’s tough enough for longer vacations can be difficult, especially if you want something more unqiue than normal, everyday luggage. Let’s face it – most luggage is boring.  Every bag on the airport carousel has ribbon or string attached to make it stand out amongst the sea of black, red, and navy suitcases circling around.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way.  Baker, known for their sturdy and reliable materials, make some of the nicest luggage around! In that classic durable Baker plaid you won’t have to worry about mixing your bags up, nor having your weekend bag fall apart after a two-week trek.  The Baker Duffle bag is the best of all worlds – tough, sturdy, and stylish!

Baker Duffle Bag

Baker Duffle Bag – stand out!

Baker also makes a great large purse, or carry on, bag.  Their Baker Taylor Tote is perfect for short trips, as a carry on, or even as an every day purse.  It’s gorgeous – the leather handles, brand stamp and curved leather bottom really stand out and add to the durability as well as the style.

Baker Luggage Taylor Tote

The Gorgeous Taylor Tote

If you travel for business, or if you just want to make sure your clothes stay neat, the Baker Garment Carrier is a must-have, too.  Ditch the dry-cleaner bags and put your valuable clothes in something that’s way sturdier and stands out from the crowd.  The leather accents make this a really stylish piece, as well as showing that it had the durability to wear that famous Baker name.

Baker Garment Carrier

The Nicest Garment Carrier I’ve Seen

Getting ready for your trip doesn’t have to be a chore. Get yourself organized ahead of time with a list of everything you need, and make sure all of your luggage is clean and ready to be used!  It’s also a good idea to double check your travel arrangements a week ahead of time, to make sure you didn’t book a hotel for Dover, VT when you intended on traveling to Dover, DE (true story!). Take some time to think before you pack, and then pack smarter. If you set yourself up for success with a well organized list and Baker luggage that you can be proud of, packing for your next trip can be exciting – a reminder of what’s to come!

Horses in History

Tuesday, 07 July 2015 by

While we’re all settling into July after a patriotic weekend, we thought it would be nice to share a little bit about some of the horses that have helped shape America’s history.

Sgt. Reckless in battle with fellow Marine, Sgt. Latham

Sgt. Reckless in battle with fellow Marine, Sgt. Latham

Sgt. Reckless is perhaps the most famous American war horse. She was a Mongolian mixed-breed mare, sold to the United States Marine Corps in Korea for $250.  Reckless served faithfully alongside her fellow Marines in battle, learning her supply route quickly and frequently traveling with no handler. She helped wounded soldiers evacuate battlefields, and in March of 1953 at the Battle for Outpost Vegas, she made 51 trips, alone, to resupply front line units. Following the war, she was awarded two Purple Hearts for wounds received while in battle.  She was given rank of Corporal and a promotion to Sergeant after the war. Life Magazine recognized Reckless as one of America’s top 100 heroes, and her brave deeds earned her fame throughout the country. A statue in her honor stands at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, in Quantico, Virginia.

Cincinnati, immortalized in bronze along with Ulysses S. Grant

Cincinnati, immortalized in bronze along with Ulysses S. Grant

 

Cincinnati, a son of the famous thoroughbred racehorse Lexington, was General Ulysses S.Grant’s most well-known horse during the American Civil War. Grant was a talented horseman, and had proven his skills from the time he was at West Point. He acquired Cincinnati as a gift from a friend, and though the horse was very large, he was well suited to battle and became one of Grant’s favorite horses. Cincinnati was the horse chosen by Grant to ride to Appomattox Court House to meet with Robert E. Lee and negoitate his surrender. Nearly every painting and statue of Ulysses S. Grant include Cincinnati, and his memorial at the base of Capitol Hill shows the famous general astride his famous Thoroughbred mount.

George Washington and Nelson, Valley Forge

George Washington and Nelson, Valley Forge

Old Nelson was one of many horses owned by George Washington.  He was a flashy chestnut with a white blaze and socks. While Washington had many horses in Revolutionary War battles — and is more often depicted with his gray horse, Blueskin — he favored Nelson because the horse was not spooked by gunfire. Nelson was the horse chosen for the battles at Valley Forge and Trenton, both key victories in the Revolutionary War. Both Blueskin and Nelson were retired after the war, and lived out their lives at Washington’s estate at Mount Vernon. Nelson lived to be 27, which is quite impressive considering the era!

All of these war horses bravely went forward into gunfire and cannon blasts, and they stand to represent the other equine members of the United States Military that so bravely followed their riders’ orders into battle.  They’ve left behind legacies that the United States chooses to memorialize in statues, stories, paintings and photographs.  So, while we reflect on the sacrifices made by military heroes for our freedom and independence, let’s take a moment and remember their horses, too.

Fly Prevention Tips from Baker Blanket

Monday, 08 June 2015 by

It seems that, throughout the country, we went from a cold, frozen winter to a hot, muggy summer without much of a Spring, at all. To many, heat was welcome after such frigid and icy winter months, but to us riders, barn owners, stable manangers, and trainers, jumping right into summer is no fun!

Spring is great, you see. We get trail rides with breezes, frisky horses coming back into work, the ability to start riding later and later… and a few, precious weeks of hardly any flies.

Summer’s great, too – riding at 6 AM or 8 PM to beat the heat, sweltering in the sand arena teaching lessons, wondering if you’d be better off in a real desert… okay, maybe it’s not that bad. One thing is for certain, though – when summer comes around, the fly spray comes out, the fly traps come out, and the fly sheets come out. Our arsenal against the mighty Insect Army is our only hope at preserving what good riding time we can get from May through October.

Fly Spray is the both the best enemy and worst friend that we have in our barns. Here at Baker Blanket, we’ve done our research, and want to share our best tips for picking out a fly spray that will make a difference in your horses’ comfort – and yours!

  • Look for a long lasting, waterproof or sweatproof fly spray.  They may be more expensive initially, but they tend to last way longer than traditional fly sprays.  We tend reapply after heavy rains, sweaty workouts, and baths, but for days when our horses are resting, it’s nice to not have to worry about spraying your horses multiple times a day.
  • Figure out what type of bug prevention is most important to you, and select your fly spray based on that. For example, some fly sprays are affective against ticks, and some are better against mosquitos.  Read the label to find out.
  • Know your horse – many can be sensitive to harsh chemicals, and would prefer an all-natural fly spray.  These tend to work, but for shorter periods of time, so make sure you reapply according to the directions on the label

Fly traps are great to have around the barn, but be sure to empty them regularly to keep your barn sanitary. Many barns use feed-through fly control to varying degrees of success – we’ve found the brand we use to be effective against ticks moreso than flies, but others work well against flies. Generally, this is an option that works best if the entire barn is on a feed-through supplement, as it cuts down on fly population overall. Some of us here are big believers in fly predators. As long as you’re not next to a dairy farm or big livestock operation who’s not also on fly predators – those suckers really work! And always, be sure to do good manure management practices, as flies lay their eggs in damp manure and rotting vegetation.

However, no matter how well you control your fly population and keep your horse sprayed, there are going to be resilient flies who have a hard time saying “no” when they see your big, beautiful horse. That’s where we step in to help.

Baker Tartan Fly Sheet

Baker Tartan Fly Sheet

The Baker Fly Sheet is unlike any other on the market – it is sturdy – it will hold up to your horses’s best game of ‘blanket tag’ and stay on through rolls, gallops and bucks in the field. It is designed for your horses’ comfort – soft enough to be gentle on the coat, but with enough strength, body, and darting to hold position and reduce unpleasant tail-area developments. It won’t shift around, and we’ve found it stays significantly cleaner than the other white, paper-thin fly sheets on the market.

baker fly sheet

Baker Original Plaid Fly Sheet

The best part, though, is that it comes in two colors – Baker Original Plaid and Tartan Plaid.  Nearly every other fly sheet on the market comes in a very light white or pale blue – which can actually ATTRACT flies to your horse!  Flies look for differences in color – light on dark – to find livestock.  By placing your dark bay horse in a white fly sheet, you’ve just made the fly’s job easy!  However, put a Tartan Plaid fly sheet on the same horse, and he blends in and is more likely to be passed over by a searching fly.  If you’ve got a lighter horse, then deck them out in Original Baker Plaid and be the talk of the barn.

So, with fly season suddenly among us, it’s time to gear up!  Pick out your fly spray, pick out your fly traps, decide if a feed-through is right for you, and grab yourself a snazzy new Baker fly sheet.

Packing for a Horse Show

Thursday, 26 March 2015 by

With Spring finally rolling in, two words are on every rider’s mind: Show Season!

I, for one, am SO excited to be leaving this icy winter behind and getting my horses and students ready for an exciting show season. Every spring, before the first show of the year, I make a list of EVERYTHING I need for our upcoming schooling and recognized shows. I have a show tack trunk that lives in my basement all winter, and when I take it out and dust it off, I know that our first centerline salutes are just days ahead of myself and my horse.

In my time in the horse industry, I’ve groomed and managed stables for top level riders in every English discipline.   My show prep routine is constantly evolving, but two things remain the same – my horse and my equipment must be spotless! In my world, there is no excuse for sloppy turnout. I expect the same out of my students and stablemates.

So, below, here is my (appended) list of everything I pack in the trailer for a one-day dressage show.

 

Rider’s Attire

  • Dressage Coat
  • Stock Tie/Pin
  • Show Shirt (I prefer the ones made for hot weather)
  • Belt
  • White full seat breeches
  • White gloves
  • Helmet
  • Hair nets, bobby pins and hairspray!
  • Boots and boot polish

 

I keep all of my attire in a classy garment carrier, and my show helmet, hair net and gloves live in my matching helmet bag. My boots and polish are stored in a boot bag that matches the rest of my stuff, also. I love how the Baker boot bag has a side pocket for storing those boot accessories like polish, and a rag. My must-have for show season, if you couldn’t tell already, is that my stuff as to match! NOTHING bothers me more than having to shuffle through a dozen coats in the trailer to find mine, and keeping all of gear in matching bags is the best way I’ve found to keep it all straight and easy to access.

My saddle and bridle are loaded up the day before the show in their own matching Baker saddle carrier and bridle bag, along with an extra set of reins and my girths, saddle pads, and half pads.

Shop All Baker

Who doesn’t LOVE Baker Plaid?!

 

Tack I Pack

  • Saddle
  • Bridle(s)
  • Extra Reins
  • Girth(s)
  • White Dressage Pad (one for each horse, plus a spare)
  • White, clean half pad

 

 

I thoroughly groom my horses before loading for a one day show and throw on a (matching, of course!) Baker Dress Sheet to keep the dust off, but I do always keep a small grooming tote in my trailer with my ‘finishing’ items.

 

Baker Fleece Dress Sheet

Nothing Beats a Baker for that Classy Ringside Look!!

Grooming Box

  • Curry Comb
  • Stiff Brush
  • Finishing Brush
  • Hoof pick
  • Hoof polish
  • Touch up spray
  • Grooming towels

 

Years of running into every show situation imaginable has led to me also bringing a small bag with all of my miscellaneous stuff that I use to make my show day easier.  I’ve found that Baker’s Taylor Tote has the right amount of space and looks so classy while matching all of my stuff! Plus, after the show ends, I can use it as my daily bag until the next show!

Purse Taylor Tote

This bag is my FAVORITE for around town, too!

 

Misc. Stuff:

  • EZ Towels
  • Hand Wipes (great for getting fresh stains out of breeches!)
  • Small mirror
  • Extra rags, tack sponges, and tack cleaner
  • Water
  • Bailing twine
  • Double end snaps

 

I’m a bit of an organization freak, so I absolutely LOVE getting ready for the first show of the year. Stepping back to see a trailer filled with matching tack carriers, tote bags, and garment bags makes me SO happy.

 

What’s your MUST HAVE for show season? Is there anything I forgot on my list? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Share the Love!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015 by

Baker Blanket has had such an exciting month! In February, we launched our Baker Blanket Facebook account and our Baker Blanket Pinterest account, as well as our BRAND NEW WEBSITE! Now, one month later, we’re launching our Baker Blog. Here you’ll be able to find out all of the happenings with your favorite blanket and accessory company, as well as read up on handy and timely tips and tricks to keep your stable running smoothly.

To celebrate our Valentine’s Day social launch, we hosted our first Facebook contest, where we “Shared the Love” with our new fans! FIVE lucky winners received a Baker halter and matching lead – the perfect pair! We’ve asked our winners to submit photos of their horses, and we’re excited to share them with you!

Baker Halters are PERFECT for shows!

Lynn Whitley and her horse Max say THANK YOU for the Baker Halter and lead – “Now we can match our Baker blanket and sheet at horse shows!”

Shannon Ryan's OTTB, Oliver, looks especially handsome sporting his new Baker halter.

Shannon Ryan’s OTTB, Oliver, looks especially handsome sporting his new Baker halter.

Olivia McElwain’s horse, Riley, looks SO CUTE in his new Baker halter!

Olivia McElwain’s horse, Riley, looks SO CUTE in his new Baker halter!

Stephanie Hayes shared this photo of Soxy looking stunning in her new Baker gear.

Stephanie Hayes shared this photo of Soxy looking stunning in her new Baker gear.

 

We’re looking forward to receiving a picture from Cyndi Camejo and will certainly share it when we get it! Don’t forget, Baker fans, you can share your horses’ photos in our community Pinterest board – just follow the board and you’ll be able to share pictures of your horses sporting your authentic Baker gear.

Thank you to ALLL of our participants! We really loved seeing the whole Equestrian community celebrate the new Baker social and website launch, and we’re thrilled to be selling direct for the first time ever!

Stay tuned for some great news and blogs coming up this week!

Welcome to the brand new Baker Blog!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015 by

Hey there!  Welcome to our brand new Baker Blog!

We’ll be using this platform along with our redesigned website to keep you updated on the happenings here at Curvon Horse Clothing, America’s oldest and most trusted manufacturer of high quality horse clothing and accessories!

Be sure to LIKE our Facebook page and FOLLOW our boards over on Pinterest to stay in the loop!  We’ve got some exciting things going on and can’t wait to share it with you!

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