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First Annual BESTUVS Results!

Published: 7/7/2011
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By Maddy Butcher Gray

The First Annual NickerNews Bestuvs survey received a great response from readers not just in Maine but from as far as Florida, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.
Thanks for telling us what’s best!

We learned there are A LOT of opinions out there. Some categories featured just a few easy winners (like muck rakes and helmets) others delivered no clear consensus.
Best Fly Spray:

Repel X narrowly beat out Ultrashield.
Also rans include: TriTech, Flysect, Bronco, Pyranha, and several homemade solutions.
Best Muck Rake:
Future Fork and Durafork win in a virtual tie!
Also rans include: Tractor Supply and generic rakes.

Best active horse supplement:
No clear winner.
Among the dozens mentioned: Vitamin E & Selenium, ground flaxseed, carrots & apples, and Select 2 were tops.

Best older horse supplement:
No clear winner.
Among dozens mentioned: Smart Flex, Cosequin, Joint & Hoof, Vitamin E & Selenium, and Source.

Best work gloves:

Carhartt.
Also rans include: Ariat, SSG gloves, Mountain Horse, generic deerskin, goatskin, and lambskin. Many readers said they work without gloves.

Best riding jeans:
Wrangler.
Also rans include: Levis, Schmidt (Tractor Supply brand), Goode Rider, and LL Bean.

Best riding boots:
Ariat, by almost a 10 to 1 margin!
Also rans include: Mountain Horse, Justin, Muck Boots, and Tony Lama.
Best helmet:

Troxelwon by more than a 2 to 1 margin. Also rans include Tipperary and Ovation.

Best internet horse site:
Valley Vet Supply won this competitive category. Also rans include Horse.com, Stateline, Dover Saddlery, Smartpak, and Big D’s.

Best local horse shop:
Lots of folks have their favorites in this lively category.
No clear winner. Shops mentioned include Ames (Wiscasset, ME), Hemphills (Vassalboro, ME), Double G (Lebanon, Maine), Freeport Tack (Freeport, Maine), Anderson Feed (Portland, CT), Whinnies & Knickers (Newburgh, NY), Katahdin Trail Saddlery (Newport, ME, Newcomb’s Gun & Saddle (Perry, ME), R T Farms Enterprise (Litchfield, ME), Cheshire Horse (Swanzey, NH), and various Tractor Supply stores.

Best Destination:
Again, there were scores of votes for places near and far. Most voted for ‘out the back woods,’ ‘down the powerlines,’ or similar immediate getaway.
After those options, folks named Acadia National Park as the top favorite, followed by Memory Lane in Andover, Maine. Click here for Acadia article and video! Click for Memory Lane article and video
Also rans: Bradbury Mountain State Park, Allegheny National Forest, Bearbrook, Canada, the moors of England, Springfield Dam in Vermont, the Virginia Highlands, and the Moosehorn Range.
Have you started your Bucket List yet??

Best Horse Vacation
Led again by the fabulous trail opportunities at Acadia and Andover.
Also rans: upstate New York, Vermont, Ireland, Yellowstone National Park, Montana, and Canada.
Our readers have been around!

Best indoor facility:
Again, scores of loyal, local answers with no clear winner. Among those mentioned (home state in parentheses):
Gray’s Equestrian Center (ME), Evergreen Farm (ME), Riding To The Top (ME), Sable Oaks Equestrian (ME), Schunnemunk Shadow Stables (NY), Whitney Ridge Stables (CT), Sprintpoint Farm (ME), Avalon Meadows (MI), Silver Fox Stables (WA), Royal Silk Equestrian Center (ME), White Pines (TN), Langwood Farm (NH), Puckerbrush Farm (ME), Spring Creek Farm (ME).

Best clinician
Mainers Chris Lombard, Terry McClare, and Elijah Moore scored competitively with national acts in a wide-ranging selection. Among dozens mentioned include Pat Parelli, Buck Brannaman, Stacy Westfall, Clinton Anderson, Chris Cox, Greg Eliel, Aaron Ralston, Julie Goodnight, Craig Cameron, Ken McNabb, and Monty Roberts

Best DVD clinician:
Clinton Anderson led another diverse field. Also there was some indication that his looks might have something to do with devoting a few hours to TV viewing (comments left like “He’s cute!”).
Also rans include Chris Cox, Pat Parelli, Buck Brannaman, Julie Goodnight, Jean Luc Cornille, and Mainer Chris Lombard

Reader’s Choice:
By far the most entertaining answers of the entire survey were left here.
Some tidbits of NickerNews Reader free-for-all:

-- Spotted drafts are my favorite horse!!
-- Trail riding with my gray-haired friends.
-- Overnight camping. Have you checked out our Bucket Lists?
-- I love all horses no matter the breed. My favorite horse was a racehorse named Dan Patch. He was a great race horse. To me he was the great horse.
-- Favorite Breed, American Quarter Horse
- - One favorite ride was with my 26 year old mare Soleil. I have known her for over 15 years and have owned her for four. A first time for both of us was to walk across a shallow pond, splash around and walk many more times. I had to unexpectedly retire her this spring so it is a ride I won’t forget.
-- I would have to say the Ellis River Rider's club events, shows, trail rides, BBQs & camping! Good times with good friends for over 25 years now.
-- Favorite Marking: Dorsal Stripe
-- Favorite Barn Job: Cleaning water buckets
-- Favorite Horse Gender: Gelding
-- Favorite Discipline to Watch: Cross Country
-- I love the trails! So quite and peaceful after a hard day or week.
-- I enjoy taking care of my red dun gelding and an ancient donkey I rescued 15 years ago.
-- I cannot name a favorite event or even a favorite breed, etc... It just seems if there are horses or horse people around I will enjoy it.
-- Horses have been a passion and a true blessing in my life. I love this quote not sure of the author or if I have it down quite right but it says it all! "Bread may feed my body but my horse feeds my soul"
-- My very favorite thing is to be in the barn with them early in the morning and late in the evening. BEST THERAPY EVER!!
-- Spring and fall are my favorite seasons to ride.
-- One of my favorite breeds is the Standardbred. I have found them to be gentle, willing and versatile. My mare has the most gorgeous coat in the summer, too.
-- Jumping, jumping, and oh yeah, jumping. I love having the chance to fly!

-- Good horse is a good horse regardless of breed or color!

-- National Barrel Horse Association World's in Georgia!
- - Love my five am early morning trail rides before work. Temps are cooler and bugs aren't as bad. The perfect way to start my day!
-- The other day I raked hay with my team of drafts. I can't think of anything more enjoyable than productive and enjoyable. What a high. Who needs drugs?
-- Thoroughbred (OTTBs) - the most intelligent, sensitive, beautiful breed in the world!
-- Summer is my favorite season....I run on solar. Too many gray days and my energy is sapped!
-- When I walk up to the barn on summer mornings, I am greeted by four whinnies as the horses see my approach. I'm just sure that they are glad to see me and not the promise of breakfast!
-- Morgans are my favorite breed, trail riding with a goal of Competitive Trail or Endurance is the best!
-- Love the Nicker News! And trail riding and camping with friends and our donkeys and mules. Love Equine Affaire and love running a donkey and mule rescue for many reasons, one of them because I get to meet so many wonderful people, donkeys and mules.
-- I love to massage my horse and see and feel her relax.
- - My favorite "eye candy" horse is a Fresian.
-- Finding new ways to pinch pennies...LOVE reading about nifty little tips that help me keep my horse hobby going in these hard times.
- - Love watching kids learn and grow with horses. 4-H, Trail Riders...any group that fosters youth riding...all their events are terrific and leave a smiles.
-- My favorite horse is my soul-mate Ringo aka Bear Paw. He's been gone for almost three years now, but was in my life for eight. I was asked to take in a half-dead horse. It was supposed to be temporary, but he stole my heart and stayed. Was told he was 18, but was in fact in his 30's. He was a barrel champ in mid 90's with his original name Bear Paw. Miss you. Check out our Memorial Pages


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"Dog lovers hate to clean out kennels. Horse lovers like cleaning stables." - Monica Dickens