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NickerNews Bestuvs 2012

Published: 12/3/2012
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By Maddy Butcher Gray

Our second annual Bestuvs survey was a great success!

Participants chimed in from California, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Alberta, British Columbia, and Florida with their votes and opinions. A strong contingent of Mainers held court on their preferences, too.
Best Moment: When my natural hoof care practitioner told me he wished his horses hooves looked like mine.
Some products and people lost ground from our Bestuvs 2011 survey. Others gained votes and followers. It’s great to see so much passion and enthusiasm.
This year, we’ve added a few categories and deleted others. You will see many 'Best Horse Moments' highlighted in yellow on the right side of this article.
Read all of 'Best Horse Moments' here.

Best Muckrake
Future Fork won by a 2 to 1 ratio over all others. Durafork was the best of the rest, with Tractor Supply’s rake holding onto third place.
Best Moment: When I walk to the gate to take my horse out, he always whinnies at me and either walks right over to me or gallops to me if he's far away. He's just like, "Hey, I missed you, even though I saw you yesterday." It makes my day that much more special every single time.

Best Book
I was thrilled with the variety of book selections – everything from veterinary manuals to children’s books. As often happens with these Bestuv categories, there was no clear winner. Read more about book selections by clicking here.

Best Clinician
Mainers Elijah Moore, Terry McClare, and Chris Lombard shared votes with Buck Brannaman, Clinton Anderson and Julie Goodnight. The diversity of selections tells me horse owners are open to discovering new clinicians. The range gives us food for thought as many live or will travel near us next year!
Others named:
Josh and John Lyons, Greg Eliel,
Stacy Westfall, Guy Mclean, Tom Curtin
Mark Rashid, Chris Cox, Dean Voigt, Samuel Potter Brown
Jennie Jackson, Jonathan Field, Marty Gardner
Best Moment: We were trail riding alone on an abandoned railroad bed. Came to a road crossing and as soon as we stepped out of the woods to the road, a HUGE moose was crossing the road just a short ways from us. My gelding snorted and did a big double-take but he didn't do anything stupid and we continued on with our ride without incident.
Best clinician on DVD
Not every clinician has a DVD. And not ever DVD is produced effectively. So, it’s understandable that this category narrowed the selections.
Buck Brannaman reined supreme here.
Others getting more than a few votes: Clinton Anderson, Chris Cox, Bryan Neubert, and Julie Goodnight

Best Fly Spray
Absorbine’s UltraShield edged out Repel X by a nose. Readers had fun with this category. No fly spray really does as well as we’d like and they’re all too expensive, they said. “They are all just a condiment!” wrote one.


Best Work Gloves
New winner! SSG reigned supreme. Others included Tractor Supply varieties and Carhartt.
Best Jeans
I used to like Cruel Girl jeans, but lately Wranglers work for me. They’ve finally accommodated our various figures, done it with quality and lots of options for cut and style. Others agree. Wranglers won this category easily. Others getting more than a few votes include Levis and Tuff Riders.
Best Moment: Watching a horse we rescued with a severe injury run at a full gallop, take all four hooves off the ground, spin and squeal! Yup, guess she's fixed!

Best Helmet
Troxel won again hands down.
Tipperary grabs the runner-up spot, followed by newcomer Charles Owen.
The non-helmet wearing crowd chimed in nonetheless with “Stetson” and “flattop” getting votes.

Best internet tack shop
For the second year in a row, Valley Vet accumulated the most votes. It’s clear we’re always sniffing around for deals. Dozens were listed. Among the most common: SmartPak, Horse.com, Adams, Rod’s and Amazon.

Best Local Tack Shop - One of my favorite categories. Tack shops and feed stores are where a lot of us come out of our shells, splurge for something special or just kibitz with fellow horse lovers. When I go to a tack shop, I usually spend more time and more money than I anticipated, but it’s never too painful since along with the stuff I got good conversation and networking along with it.
The winner this year is Double G Ranch in Lebanon, Maine. Lots of others to check out: in Maine – Ames, Hemphills, Freeport Tack, Adams, Gass, and Katahdin Saddlery . Horsemen’s Outlet in NJ, Top Hand Western Store in Alberta, Canada, Dover Saddlery, Northwoods Feed and Supply in Michigan, Montpelier Feed and Seed in Virginia.
Best Moment: Taking my granddaughter for a ride on her first pony!

Best Boots
Ariat claimed gold again this year.
Others mentioned:
Muck Boots, Justin, Tony Lama, Boggs, Double H, Twisted X, Mountain Horse, and Boulet.

Best Winter Accessory
Carhartt's offerings received a ton of votes for their jackets and insulated overalls. I couldn't agree more. My canvas jacket, insulated zip sweatshirt, and bib overalls make winter work comfortable and bearably warm.
There are many runners-up, all good suggestions for cold weather: hand and toe warmers, water heaters, chaps and fleece riding pants, helmet cozies (fleece liners),
waterproof, insulated Ariat boots, facemasks, and long johns.

Best place to trail ride
Looks like many of us have great trail rides out our back door. Where do we live and prefer to ride trails? There’s no consensus and I call that a good thing!

Best Moment: Realizing that any clinician that doesn't put the horse first doesn't warrant my time. Among trails mentioned:
Acadia National Park; Hopkins Creek in Lake City, Michigan; Popham State Beach; Massabesic Experimental Forest in Hollis, Maine; state forests of New Hampshire; Douthat State Park in Virginia; Fair Hill, Maryland; logging trails of western Maine; Douglas Taylor Park in British Columbia; western Montana; Palm City Farms Trails in Florida; the Oxley Ranch in Alberta.

Best Horse Vacation Destination:
Acadia National Park with its miles of carriage trails and affordable camping-with-horses accommodations wins this category. Some interpreted the question as asking where one could go to ride other horses. Some replied with places they go with their own horses. Both are mentioned below:
Memory Lane Vacations, South Africa, Montana, Wyoming, Big South Fork National Park in Tennessee, Colorado Cattle Company, Yellowstone National Park, Rocking Z Ranch in Montana, Mexico, France, the Oxley Ranch in Alberta.


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