Product Review: Nootie Daily Spritz for Dogs

So, I was in the pet store yesterday getting Jack’s favorite rawhide chews, and I came along this thing called a daily pet deodorizer by a company called Nootie. I was intrigued, so I checked it out and decided to buy it. Basically, you can use it in between pet baths to keep your pet smelling fresh and clean. It also conditions your dog’s coat with no parabens or sulfates, which is always a good thing to hear. It’s also safe to use with topical flea and tick products!

I didn’t use it last night when I got it, but unknowingly today, my mother used it. She came into my room asking if Jack could sleep in my bed a little bit while she ran some errands, and I immediately smelled a warm vanilla cookie and knew she used it on him. I love the smell, but my migraine wasn’t too happy. I would say the smell is about medium. It isn’t too strong, but it definitely isn’t subtle. I also noticed his coat was super soft and smooth. It was almost like he had his puppy coat back again!

I noticed absolutely no “dog smell,” and if “dog smell” bothers you or someone you live with, I highly recommend this product. They also come in other scents like:

Honestly, I felt like I had a Yankee candle sleeping in my bed (insert crying & laughing emoji here).

Jack & his cone of shame. He got neutered a little over a week ago.

Jack & his cone of shame. He got neutered a little over a week ago.

I’ve included links above if you want to purchase the daily spritz online. If you have a Pet Valu in your area, you can also purchase it there. Nootie also has shampoos, conditionersdaily spritz moisturizing and conditioning spray, anti-itch spray, anti-fungal/anti-microbial/anti-bacterial shampoo, and treats.

The Anxious Equestrian Diaries

Written by Erin Post.

Sometimes I cry in my lessons for no reason, sometimes I freak out about getting on or off a horse for no reason and sometimes I just freak out over nothing. Anxiety sucks. Why am I upset over something I’ve done a million times and shouldn’t be afraid of?

Hi my name is Erin, and I’m an anxious rider.

My mind likes to play games on me, like when I’m cantering. I literally can’t think about cantering in order to canter. For me, I get nervous about going “too fast.” How many times have I cantered? A LOT. How many times have I freaked out about it? Every. Single. Time. It makes zero sense, but yet, there I am freaking out about it. 

I’ve been trying lease horses, and all of them are taller than horses I’m used to riding. For me, this is a huge anxiety trigger. For others, they might like getting on 16h+ horses. It terrifies me. The other day I literally worked myself up so much about trying a horse that was 16.1hh, so by the time I finally got on I was literally a bundle of nerves. I only trotted for 5 minutes. If you touched me, I might have exploded into tears. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love riding. It’s one of my passions. When I’m in the zone, I’m great. The weeks where I get to ride 3 or 4 days in a row make me a better rider. Lately, I’ve been in a “waiting area” type of situation because I left my barn, I’m trying to find a lease horse and I haven’t been consistently riding. Therefore, I’m starting to second-guess myself and my confidence, and my anxiety is slowly building. Every day I don’t get to ride, I feel like a chunk of my confidence goes away.

Long story short; I’m trying to figure out how to not wreck my self-confidence by the time I get a lease horse. I want to know what you guys do to prevent psyching yourselves out when riding.

So, what helps you? Comment below or tweet me your suggestions. 

Confessions of An Aspiring Amateur: Taking a break is okay

As some of you know, I’ve gone through a period where I lost my passion for riding. I’m not sure why, but I think that what I did was put too much pressure on myself to be perfect, especially at shows – which was a recipe for disaster.

I decided that I am going to take a break from showing, which unfortunately means taking a break from one of my favorite shows, Garden State.

But, I realized, it’s okay to take a break because you know what? Showing will always be there. I’m not taking a break forever – just until I improve my riding to where I am completely comfortable showing at 2’6″, what I’m currently schooling. Due to health issues, I’ve been unable to ride consistently anyway, though I jumped last week and didn’t seem to miss a beat. However, I want to be schooling at least 3″ to 6″ higher than what I will be showing at. That way, the 2’6″ won’t look so big when I return. So my new goal is to do some schooling or local shows, sparingly, during the summer, and to return to A rated in August when the next big A rated show in New Jersey happens.

If you are feeling pressured or feel that passion fading, don’t be afraid to take a break. One of two things will happen – you will either miss riding or you won’t. And if you don’t, then maybe that break will be permanent. Either way, it’s okay to take a break. It took me a little to comprehend and become okay with that, but I am okay with it. I know I will get to where I want to be, and I’ve adjusted my goals to short-term ones that are more realistic. My long-term ones, which are lofty, can wait.

Product Review: Le Fash City Breeches

Me in Le Fash City Breeches, Le Fash Show Shirt, and Charles Ancona jacket after winning the hack with Monte. Also feature are Der Dau boots and a Samshield Helmet.

Me in Le Fash City Breeches, Le Fash Show Shirt, and Charles Ancona jacket after winning the hack with Monte. Also feature are Der Dau boots and a Samshield Helmet.

I know I’ve done a review of all the Le Fash products I own, but in honor of my new giveaway, I figured I would review just the City Breech. For the short version: they’re durable; come in a ton of colors; tan and white are show quality; match perfectly with any top; comfortable; stain resistant; don’t bunch up; come in full seat or regular knee patch; flattering.

Those are the positives. Here are the few negatives: expensive; a hair big; certain colors are discontinued after a few seasons.

So what can I talk about? Durability, stain resistance, show quality, matchy-matchy, sizing; price point; comfort; no bunching; flattering fit. In full disclosure. I’ve never used full seat.

Durability

These breeches really live up to their price, which can be a bit off-putting and expensive for some. However, I believe that there are certain items one should splurge on – show clothes being one of them. You don’t have to buy a million pairs; just one will do. Why? Because these breeches are insanely durable. I wore, rode, and showed in them three days in a row. Not only did they not stain, but I didn’t need to wash them, and there were zero signs of wear.

I was lazy and wore my Le Fash breeches three days in a row at this show. It didn't show at all.

I was lazy and wore my Le Fash breeches three days in a row at this show. It didn’t show at all.

Stain resistance

These breeches will very rarely stain. Like I said, I wore, rode, and showed in them without them staining. I’ve cared for my horses without them staining. They truly are stain resistant, and I think this is very important. Like jeans, we shouldn’t have to wash a pair of breeches every time we ride.

Show quality

These breeches are high quality, for all the qualities I listed. They are also super flattering and professional. I only show in Le Fash breeches.

13010713_10206202268839091_6462315042307511329_n

Matching ability

There is a color to match with anything. See my photos if you don’t believe me. Arianna truly has plucked the best colors for both Le Fash’s shirts and breeches to ensure you can find something that works for any color combination.

Sizing

Arianna believes in fitting Le Fash clothing to “real bodies.” What does this mean? Her sizing isn’t geared towards stick thing individuals. She has sizes that work for everyone. She even made a size for very petite riders like myself, which I greatly appreciated.

Comfort

These breeches are insanely comfortable. They’re super soft, form-fitting, and flattering. I’ve gone whole days in these breeches and never had a complaint. In fact, I’ve seen multiple people wear them to work and then change out of their “work clothes” to go ride (if they didn’t already pair it with a Le Fash shirt). They don’t bunch anywhere, and they’re super flattering. I have yet to find a breech to make me look as good as the City Breech does.

One of my favorite colors: The Central Park City Breech

One of my favorite colors: The Central Park City Breech

Versatile

These breeches come in full seat (on sale for $225.00) and knee patch. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. They truly are a versatile breech. Whatever you’re looking for, Le Fash has it. They even come with different color knee patches.

One of my other favorites: The NoHo City Breech.

One of my other favorites: The NoHo City Breech.

Now for the negatives (the few that exist)

Price point

I recognize not every can spend over $300 on breeches; they range from $318.00 to $328.00 (there are also some on sale). While I do maintain they are worth it, if you are on a budget, you may not be able to afford them. And even if you can, some might not want to spend that much on a pair of breeches, which is totally fine and reasonable!

Sizing

Arianna did come out with a smaller size to fit more petite riders; however, this size doesn’t come in every breech. I’ve found that my normal size is a hair big on me, so if you are looking into purchase the breeches, I would size down.

Certain colors discontinued

Like every great fashion company, certain styles don’t stick around forever. If you’re fiending over a color, and can afford it, snatch it up while you can. Arianna regularly switches out colors, and your favorite color might not be in stock next season!

Overall, I highly recommend these breeches, especially for showing – though I have a few colors so I also wear them for schooling. Again, they are expensive and way above the budget of some, but it doesn’t hurt to splurge when you can every once in a while or ask for them as a present (birthday, anyone?)

Tan Le Fash Breeches paired with a Le Fash show shirt for a schooling ride.

Tan Le Fash Breeches paired with a Le Fash show shirt for a schooling ride.

And, as a special announcement, I will be doing a giveaway to be used towards a pair of City Breeches. All you have to do is get me to 4.1k likes on Twitter. Promote my Twitter page or this review, and as soon as I hit 4.1k likes, the giveaway begins. What’s better than getting free money towards a pair of equestrian fashion’s most coveted breeches?

Note: The gift certificate will not be for the full price of City Breeches, but it will take a substantial amount off your cost.

Book Review: Unrelenting: The Real Story: Horses, Bright Lights and My Pursuit of Excellence by George Morris

I recently read George Morris’ new book Unrelenting: The Real Story: Horses, Bright Lights and My Pursuit of Excellence. Mr. Morris warned it would be raw, uncensored, and the real story. He was right. In addition, it was peppered with quotes from those who have worked with him in the past and who know him. It truly shows the real story behind the hunt seat legend, and he leaves no detail uncovered.

It took me a while to finish the book. I am actually a quick reader, but I soaked in every detail, wanting to know more about the man most hunt seat equestrians look up to. I found the book engaging, interesting, and like he said, raw and real.

He goes through his story decade by decade, which I appreciated. There were a few things that surprised me most about him:

  • He was a timid rider;
  • He was a party boy;
  • He rode mostly Thoroughbreds, popular back then;
  • He is noted as kind and generous by many individuals quoted (not that I think he is mean, but he is known for being tough);
  • He used his perfectionism to his advantage;
  • He sometimes let a student wallow in their mistakes rather than disciplining or yelling at them

I found the book to be inspiring. As I said, one of the most surprising things was that Mr. Morris was a timid rider. I am a timid rider. However, he worked through that and got to where he is today. I also find inspiration in his perfectionism and how he uses it to his advantage, not letting it get to him in a negative way. That is something on which I need to work.

Another big thing is the popularity of Thoroughbreds back when he was honing his craft. I never knew this; after all, warmbloods are mostly, if not all, of what I’ve ridden and know.

He speaks candidly about the horse world; its weaknesses; America’s weaknesses; Europe’s strengths; and being gay, which I think is hugely important to recognize in the equestrian community. Male riders don’t see a stigma, as far as I know, for being gay, but you don’t see as many female riders coming out. As an avid LGBTQIA+ rights individual, I really appreciated his emphasis, though small, on this aspect of the community.

He is truly an inspiration, and I found his book to be motivating. I’ve even given it away twice, and I think anyone serious about riding would benefit from reading this text. It covers a lot of detail, and I learned a lot from it. I also found a lot of quotes that resonated with me, which I will be covering on the blog decade by decade.

For those of you that have read Hunter Seat Equitationthis book is a lot less technical. There are teachable excerpts and a general focus on technique and riding, but if you are looking to truly learn the correct, recommended way to ride hunt seat, I would encourage you to read the aforementioned book. I encourage you to read both books, in fact.

The book is long, but it is well worth it. It tells you all about Mr. Morris’ experiences – horse-related and non-horse-related – and it gives an idea of how things were prior to 2016. My biggest recognitions, as I said, are highlighted above.

Overall, the book is well-written, thoughtful, and very thorough – something I greatly appreciated. I also appreciated the quotes from those who have worked with him over the years, though I do think some equestrians were missing (Lillie Keenan, for example).

So what are you waiting for? Pick up a copy of this book and crack it open to learn even more than you did before. You won’t regret it.

Have you read the book? What do you think? Leave a comment below.