Who is P.J. O’Dwyer & Why Is She A Relentless Author?

June 29, 2012

I love spreading around awesome authors and am SO incredibly fortunate to get to communicate with so many of them! Enter P.J. O’Dwyer…

Born in Washington, D.C., and the oldest of five children, P.J. O’Dwyer was labeled the storyteller of the family and often accused of embellishing the truth. Her excuse? It made for a more interesting story. The proof was the laughter she received following her version of events.

After graduating high school in the suburbs of Maryland, the faint urgings of her imaginative voice that said “you should write” were ignored. She opted to travel the world instead. Landing a job in the affluent business district of Bethesda, Maryland, as a travel counselor, she traveled frequently to such places as Hawaii, Bahamas, Paris, New Orleans, the Alaskan Inland Passsage, and the Caribbean Islands.

Today, P.J. lives in western Howard County, Maryland, with her partner Mark, teenage daughter Katie, and their cat Scoot and German Shepherd FeFe in a farmhouse they built in 1998.

P.J.’s learning it takes a village to create a writer and relieved to know she’s not in this alone. She’s an active member of Romance Writers of America. Also participates in a critique group, which has been an invaluable experience with many friendships made and an abundance of helpful praise, and, yes, criticism. But it’s all good. Improving her craft is an ongoing process.

Writing is a passion that runs a close second to her family. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, fits in her daily run with her partner Mark, and tries heroically to keep up with her daughter Katie’s social life. Who knew how demanding the life of a teenager could be, especially for Mom?

When asked where she gets her ideas for her stories, she laughs ruefully and says, “It helps being married to a cop.” Actually, she admits, “Every day I find a wealth of possible stories and plots in the most unsuspecting place—my daily life.”

Why is she “Relentless” (yes it was an attempt at a pun, more like punishment I guess)? The real questions should be what is her book Relentless about?

Headstrong horse rescue director Bren Ryan has been a red-headed streak of trouble for more than one man in Clear Spring. She’s grown up needling local “kill buyer” Wes Connelly, and since the sheriff ruled her partner’s sudden death an accident, Bren’s been investigating things herself. She’s certain Tom was murdered, and she’s hell-bent on cornering his killer the only way she knows how—by tempting him to do it again. And she’s the bait.

Rafe Langston came to Maryland looking for land and a fresh start. Or so he says. The sexy cowboy isn’t generous with details, but Bren couldn’t care less—until he buys half her farm at auction and moves into her childhood home. Suddenly, the last man she should befriend becomes her only ally in solving her partner’s murder.

Soon their cozy stakeouts sizzle with unexpected desire neither one can ignore, threatening his mysterious plans and her promise to never fall in love again—especially with a handsome stranger whose secrets could shatter what family she has left.

What do the cool peeps (besides me of course) have to saw about this intriguing novel?
“O’Dwyer is a master at putting emotion to paper and making it convincing. Relentless is high intensity at its best.”
—All Books Review

“An absorbing tale of murder, romance, and horses…. O’Dwyer creatively expresses the redemptive powers of love and one woman’s devotion to saving ill fated horses. This gripping novel unfolds in surprising ways and its twists and turns will have readers on the edge of their seats until the very end. This entertaining story provides satisfaction for mystery devotees, romance readers and horse lovers all in one well written book.”
—Mimi Peabody
secretary, Alaska Equine Rescue State of Alaska

“RELENTLESS is a skillful mix of romance and suspense. O’Dwyer spins a believable tale where no one is what they seem.”
—Elizabeth Wood
president, South Carolina Awareness and Rescue for Equines State of South Carolina

“A sexy cowboy, murder and mayhem, and the power of love makes RELENTLESS a galloping good read. Bren Ryan’s near-manic devotion to saving horses is no exaggeration. Neither are the cloak and dagger mysteries that seem to follow her everywhere she goes. This entertaining and believable story of the underbelly of horse rescue will keep you breathless right to the end.”
—Jenny Edwards
founder and director, Hope For Horses State of Washington

“RELENTLESS will captivate you from beginning to end. The absolute plight of horse rescue -splendidly infused with romance and mystery will keep you in utter suspense. A truly amazing read!”
—Jenny Cramer
Reaching Hands Ranch Horse Rescue State of Wyoming

Why am I sharing on this right now?

She has a cool contest that’s just launching! You can read all about her giveaway via facebook.com/AuthorPJODwyer and likewise stick around the blog in the coming week or two for a HorseGirlTV® featured giveaway of a few autographed copies as well!

To learn more about PJ and Relentless, point your browser to her website at pjodwyer.com and tell her you heard she was a relentless author here first! Haha!

Cool Italian Slide Or Die Tees For Hot Summer Days!

June 29, 2012

Slide or die! How cute is that name? Being that I’m a huge fan of all things reining and a childhood western rider, I totally appreciate the western themes! I am wearing my pink 3 rules Slide or Die tee as I write this post. It goes without saying it’s kewl! Duh?! I’m wearing it! Tehe! No seriously, it’s cool in a literal and fashion sense, it’s quite comfy, it’s a nice fit without hugging and the logo is simply too fun!

What is slide or die? Slide or Die is a clothing brand dedicated to professionals of western riding and all those who have a passion for horses. For those who wish to wear their passion every day.

 Slide or Die is not just a logo, it is a philosophy for life. 
For those who dream about being in the arena 
from the time they wake-up in the morning to the time they go to bed at night and every other waking hour.

 But Slide or Die is not just that. It’s following a passion without taking it too seriously.

 It is dedicated to all those who work and compete in the industry and for those who simply love and are devoted to horses. Slide or Die is an invitation to open the doors to the wild side of your soul and to begin following it everywhere.

I have the super cute pink rules and the Slide or Die v-necks in black and red. You can check them out online for yourself at Slide or Die in Red, Slide or Die in Black, and, Judges Rules in Pink!

How To Clean Your Tack With Absorbine Horseman’s One-Step Spray, Antares Leather Oil, Soap & Cream, and Stübben Hamanol

June 29, 2012

I receive heaps of emails asking about tack care and specifically about saddle and bridle care. I’ve used a variety of products over the years and there are many super ones out there! My favorites are:

Now here’s the basics of leather tack care. The idea is to keep leather supple, clean, free of dirt to maintain its peak form for training but likewise increase its lifespan.

IN THE BEGINNING: When you first get a new saddle or bridle it’s ideal to oil them in preparation for the intense life of training and most likely living in a none climate controlled tack room as well. 🙂 You can apply the Antares oil with a brush to all leather surfaces. On contact with oil an important change to the color often occurs on natural leather indicating the leather is now treated. 
Let this dry for 24 hours in a sheltered and temperate place. Changes in the leather color may continue during this time. From there use your saddle and bridle with normal use.

MAINTENANCE: It’s best if you can clean all parts with the glycerin soap using a clean, damp sponge, paying particular attention to any parts coming in contact with the horse about once a week. This will eliminate dust and sweat and keep the leather supple. 

Approximately once per month, hydrate and protect with a leather conditioner with a clean sponge. For those of you looking for a perfect finish, you can buff your leather with a smooth rag. 

Once a year or as needed in dry or harsh climates treat both your saddle and bridle by applying oil as you did IN THE BEGINNING.

Real Horse Hair Jewelry By Ocala Country Ventures

June 21, 2012

I’m always on the look out for unique, streamline, equine-inspired items so when I came across Ocala Country Ventures I was impressed. When looking for jewelry, less is more to me and it seems Carol and Colleen at OCV design just that. They were kind enough to send me a few items to give away to fans so we’ll get started with that at some point soon too so check back here for details!


Ocala Country Ventures is owned by Carol Hagerty and her partner is Colleen Bruneau. They both grew up around horses, so it gives them a great amount of pleasure to be working with something they both love so much. Carol and Colleen, take whatever measures possible to ensure your satisfaction with their products and website and their website is beautiful by the way!Each piece of our jewelry is individually made with care from natural, donated horse hair. By personally braiding each piece by hand, instead of hitching all of our pieces, they have developed a line of products that are truly inspired and innovative among our industry. Their horse hair comes only from horses that have passed and has been donated by their owners. Carol and Colleen feel these horses give back to by allowing them to create artwork out of their hair and on some level, they honor these great animals by bringing their beauty to others.

Check out their website at http://www.ocalacountryventures.com

Top Quality Sheepskin with Top Performance Ultra ThinLine

June 21, 2012

A few months ago I was having some very minor saddle fitting challenges. The first thing both the physiotherapist and saddle fitter stated was simply to throw on a Mattes pad and call it a day. I’d grown partial to my ThinLine half pad these last 4 years so that threw a monkey wrench in my perfect tacking routine. Then it hit me. I bet ThinLine has something similar so I contacted them and point blank asked what’s the difference between their sheepskin half pad and the Mattes? The reply was simple. The Mattes doesn’t have the ThinLine technology. Well, that was good enough for me.

Come to find out the ThinLine Sheepskin also offers shims as an option which is super if you’re riding the same saddle with multiple horses or if you’re riding the same horse who’s body is ever developing. So I’ve retired my ThinLine half pad that’s served me oh so well. It traveled to Holland and back with me when I was training over there, down to Wellington as well as up north to Maryland and it still feels the same as the day I took it out of the box when it arrived!

Below is some more info about this half pad I’ve been using the last 3 or 4 months so far. It washes super easy, looks great and my saddle hasn’t fit better! Of course, Made in the USA is always a plus and this ThinLine is! They simply rock as a company!

Buy the Ultra ThinLine Sheepskin English Comfort Half Pad for $250 from the folks at Equestrian Collections. ThinLine also has some pretty amazing other products. I’ve been using their girth for years now and it’s awesome and they even have a western line as well. Go check them out at thinlineglobal.com.

Ultra ThinLine Sheepskin English Comfort Half Pad
The Sheepskin Comfort Half Pad is made of 100% medical grade merino sheepskin (full sheepskin underneath) offering the benefits of sheepskin and the performance aspects of Ultra ThinLine. Panels of Ultra ThinLine are sewn on either side of the spine, creating a higher wither profile and spine break for better fit and conformity to maximize protection and comfort for the horse and rider.
As an added benefit, this pad is also “shimmable” for

  • riding mulitple horses in the same saddle
  • horses changing shape
  • to modify saddle fit–without having to buy another saddle! Click here for inserts to this pad
  • This pad is available in three colors: black, white, and natural and two sizes:
  • Medium: measures 18″ between the rolls and 23″ including the rolls
  • Large: measures 19 1/4″ between the rolls and 24″ including the rolls.

If your saddle has large or wide panels, choose the large. As a general rule of thumb, most saddles up to 17.5″ fit on a medium, however due to brand variety, please measure your saddle panels to ensure you select the appropriate size for proper fit and comfort for your horse. Your saddle panels must not hang over the ThinLine panels on the pad.

Colbert Fires Back – Colbert On Dressage… In Case You’ve Been Living Under A Rock This Last Week

June 19, 2012

Here’s the latest from Stephen Colbert as he fires back to the USEF’s response.

And you can get your foam fingers here! Just contact HorseGirlTV® at http://contact.horsegirltv.com to place your order for 1, 5, 10 or more (prices start at $3.45 each plus shipping). I’d love it if you could send back pictures of you or your teams or clubs with the foam fingers for a special pre Olympic blog post here. I’ll be taking one OR TWO of my own red foam fingers with me to the Olympics in London this August! Go dressage!!!

Seriously though… You have missed this if you’re been living under a rock this past week. Stephen Colbert’s satire truly brought the horse world to the mainstream and all joking about dressage (or horse ballet) aside, this is what horse sports needs! Yes horse people are a different breed but to cross over and provide more transparency in our sports, reaching the mainstream can only broaden our audience and the industries subsequent growth as a whole. Those are big words but those works (more or less) have been the mantra for HorseGirlTV and the actual reason for it’s inception 6 years ago! Bring the love of horses to the mainstream.

Official HorseGirlTV Can Cooler AND Dressage #1 foam finger here!
Dressage IS the official sport of the summer AND HorseGirlTV is here to help the cause! Embrace the NASCAR and NFL fan in us all and help support horse sports! You can get your Official HorseGirlTV Can Cooler AND Dressage #1 foam finger here! USA! USA! USA!

Be the envy of your Olympic tailgate party with this insulated can holder, or simply keep your drink cooler longer when you’re at the BBQ or working in the stable. Just slide your can in and it stays cool while your hand avoids that icy cold aluminum (burrrrr)! Then cheer on your favorite horse and rider team by giving them the finger of support! Only $19.00 for the can cooler & foam finger set!

So we just got inundated with requests for 5 and 10 packs of the foam fingers and are in process of placing our 2nd order. If you’d like just a foam finger or several (sans can cooler they’ll be a few dollars + shipping) please send an email here http://contact.horsegirltv.com and we’ll update this with a Buy Now page link as soon as it’s live!

So whether you’re a Stephen Colbert fan or not, the video is worth a watch as it’s simply too cute! Thanks Stephen for making fun of dressage and reaching a national through your jest! I’m loving it!

Here’s the super cute sign off…

Ride For Life With PVDA

June 19, 2012

Both my grandmother’s, my great aunt and several cousins have died from breast cancer. There was even a scare with my mom that turned out to be Graves’ Disease. I’m sure many of you, sadly, know a friend or family member who has succumb to this disease as well. There’s tons of great research and opportunities out there and amazing venues, like the PVDA who raise money, raise awareness and support through the camaraderie of sport to beat this. It’s no secret I’m a massive fan of the freestyle and I was fortunate enough to get to chat with Barb Strawson about the PVDA’s Dancing Horse Challenge several years back. You can watch the interview below.

About PVDA Ride for Life
Throughout our history, horses have inspired us and been allies in battle and partners in progress. The PVDA Ride for Life exemplifies the belief that horses can inspire and aid us in the fight against breast cancer. Quoting the event founder and breast cancer survivor, Patricia Artimovich, “Help us make the ring of hoof beats become the music of hope!”

The PVDA Ride for Life is an annual weekend family event held in the Baltimore/Washington area to raise funds for breast cancer research and to improve the lives of those affected and their loved ones. Since its inception in 2004, the event has raised over $410,000 for the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center. The event coincides with a licensed dressage show sponsored by The Potomac Valley Dressage Association (a 501c 3 non-profit organization). This show features one of the premier equestrian nights on the East Coast.

Its Saturday evening Dancing Horse Challenge is a lyrical blend of dance, music, lights and equestrian prowess woven into a touching and theatrical performance. With performances by international and national riders and Olympians, the Dancing Horse Challenge becomes a call to all to heal, to give, and most importantly, to celebrate life!

Overall, the weekend will feature children’s activities, a two-day USDF licensed dressage show, a black-tie optional gala with dancing, boutique shopping and many other opportunities for family fun.

The PVDA Ride for Life is funded through generous sponsorships, rider donations raised through pledges, an extensive silent auction, vendor funds, tickets for the DHC ($25 per person donation), gala dinner/dance tickets ($100 per person, 50% of which is tax- deductible), and merchandise purchases.

Many of the weekend features are offered for free to encourage participation by families within and outside of the Maryland area. The event and each of these activities, which include breast health education efforts, are supported through volunteer efforts provided by the PVDA, the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center Survivor Volunteers and the community at large.

To learn more about the PVDA Ride for Life, check out there website at pvdarideforlife.org or go to their donation page and help support at http://www.pvdarideforlife.org/get-involved/online-donations/!

HorseGirlTV® Is Giving Away London 2012 Official Merchandise

June 11, 2012

How lucky am I? I realized recently that HorseGirlTV® gives away about $5,000 in prizes annually thanks to the amazing sponsors the series has and all the kewl fans that send in their innovative products to share! Wow! Likewise I have a few equally amazing friends some of which, when they are jet setting our globe, will SMS me at 4:30AM eastern (because in London it’s a normal hour) because they’ve thought of HorseGirlTV® and how kewl it would be to give away some Official Merchandise from THE London 2012 Official Merchandise store. Long story short, I SMS back and forth in a bit of a haze looking at MMSed pictures via my virtual shopping tour of the shop and pick out some items that are then sent to me. I am now fortunate enough to pass them along to you in a giveaway! This one is seriously über simple. Two ways to enter. No strings attached. Some actual postage charges may apply and you’ll have 2 weeks from date of announcement to claim your prizes! As always whatever state you reside in, please follow those rules first and foremost if any apply.

First way to enter… Subscribe to my weekly Equestrian Life & Style Guide

Second way to enter… Re-tweet this (removing the quotes of course) “@HorseGirlTV is giving away Official @USParalympics & @Olympics @London2012 Merchandise. Pls RT http://bitly.com/LugAR2

What awesomeness is HorseGirlTV® giving away?

London 2012 Official Merchandise Drawstring Bags:

London 2012 Official Merchandise Para-Equestrian & Abled-Bodied Dressage Pins (LIMITED EDITION OF 10,000):

London 2012 Official Merchandise Stella McCartney Drawstring Bag:

London 2012 Official Merchandise Card & Envelopes:

London 2012 Official Merchandise Backpack Gym bag:

Riders Are Traveling The Road To London 2012 At USEF Festival In Gladstone, NJ Right Now!

June 11, 2012

I had a blast watching the USEF Networks live streaming coverage from the comfort of my sofa this weekend then heading out to train on my future superstar, Hansel. What better inspiration than to watch the top 15 horses in the nation at Grand Prix right before training! Every horse and rider combo had some spectacularly inspiring moments!

Yes, yes… Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock you’ll know that horse and rider teams are vying for coveted positions on the short list for both Able-bodied and Para-equestrian USA Dressage Teams in Gladstone, NJ right now.

This past weekend the nation’s top 15 able-bodied dressage riders competed in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special. Leading both days was Steffen Peters and Legolas 92. Steffen had this to say to the USEF Network “This place has such wonderful history, a lot of champions have come out of this arena.” The complete USEF Press Release can be found online at http://news.horsegirltv.com/?p=2934. Wrapped up weekend cumulative scores put Steffen on top with Tina Konyot & Calecto V in 2nd, Todd Flettrich and Otto in 3rd and Ann Romney’s Rafalca with rider Jan Ebeling coming in 4th. See the complete cumulative scores below:

Day 1, Class 1, FEI Grand Prix 2009

  • 76.06% Peters, Steffen – Legolas
  • 72.79% Konyot, Tina – Calecto V
  • 71.53% Ebeling, Jan – Rafalca
  • 71.15% Flettrich, Todd – Otto
  • 70.55% Seidel, Guenter – Fandango
  • 70.47% Lyle, Adrienne – Wizard
  • 68.02% Harding, Shawna – Come On III
  • 67.94% Blitz, Heather – Paragon
  • 67.92% Blinks, Susan – Robin Hood
  • 67.79% St Jacques, Pierre – Lucky Tiger
  • 67.45% Koford, Jim – Rhett
  • 67.36% Bateson-Chandler, Katherine – Nartan
  • 66.81% Raine, Kathleen – Breanna
  • 66.66% Parra, Cesar – Van the Man
  • 66.38% Sammis, Lauren – Sagacious HF

Day 2, Class 5, FEI Grand Prix Special

  • Peters, Steffen – Legolas, 77.93%
  • Konyot, Tina – Calecto V, 76.67%
  • Flettrich, Todd – Otto, 73.07%
  • Ebeling, Jan – Rafalca, 72.04%
  • Lyle, Adrienne – Wizard, 71.58%
  • Seidel, Guenter – Fandango, 70.07%
  • Blitz, Heather – Paragon, 70.00%
  • St Jacques, Pierre – Lucky Tiger, 69.91%
  • Harding, Shawna – Come On III, 69.49%
  • Blinks, Susan – Robin Hood, 68.02%
  • Raine, Kathleen – Breanna, 67.89%
  • Sammis, Lauren – Sagacious HF, 66.76%
  • Koford, Jim – Rhett, 66.60%
  • Bateson-Chandler, Katherine – Nartan, 66.56%
  • Parra, Cesar – Van the Man, 63.33%

If you’d like to watch this week’s live coverage of able-bodied you can point your browser to http://usefnetwork.com/featured/2012USEFDressageFestivalofChampions/

The action doesn’t stop this week! Today kicks off the Para-Equestrian Selections. Unfortunately these are not being streamed on the USEF Network but you can follow the action via Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/USParalympics or https://twitter.com/#!/USPEA and keep up to the moment with scores at devonwoodscores.com/. If you’re lucky enough to be at Gladstone watching this week please use hashtag #ParaEqTrials when tweeting and please let USEF know (networksupport@usef.org) you’d love to see the live streaming of next years event and perhaps they even host Para and Able-bodied in the same arenas. One can never have the audience too full in dressage stateside and what a perfect way to expand the reach!

On a side note, HorseGirlTV has some schweet able-bodied and para-equestrian Official London 2012 Merchandise (Ev you rock!) to give away over the next month so check back for details. You can always subscribe to my Equestrian Life & Style Guide for free to ever be in the know!

It’s Father’s Day. Here’s A Gift Both You AND Your Dad Will Enjoy

June 6, 2012

Father’s Day is right around the corner and I’ve put my thinking cap on for you. Here’s a gift that he’ll love and you’ll both enjoy plus it’s a perfect way to keep good ole dad occupied at the horse shows! Whether it’s your sporting events at school or your extra curricular horse competition or even homecoming or prom or you heading off to university, both you AND your dad are sure to love this father’s day gift!

I have the Sony Handycam DCR-SX65 in Blue and it’s, out of the box, über simple to use. This is a super affordable camcorder for a little over $200. The zoom goes way wider than I think anyone would ever use but even at 70x it’s still pretty steady just as a handheld. I like the blue color because it’s a sweet departure from the professional cams we work with in production for HorseGirlTV. Black and silver just get so old but, if you’re not a fan of the blue you can get it in red, silver or black. My favorite thing about this and it’s HD bigger brother is the built-in USB cable. It’s easy to pop it out, plug it in to your laptop. This also means you can charge your camcorder from your laptop OR use your super awesome Zagg Sparq to charge it! The box said it was compatible with iMovie. I use Final Cut Pro but both FCP and iMovie do have challenges with MPG files. If you’re even remotely techie then you can just download a converter and change it into any of the oh so Mac-friendly files like MP4, MOV or even FLV if you’re not needing a super crisp compression. It fits comfy in my hand right alongside my iPhone so you know it’s compact and therefore cute factor takes over BUT it’s not so tiny that it’s not manly enough for dad. Here’s a snippet my awesome hubby (think big Marine hands using it) was kind enough to shoot for me this past weekend. Oh and the audio is SUPER! I could hear my awesome BFF and coach, Geoff, from the external mic via his normal voice! So perfect for Dad and the horse shows or videoing your lessons even! It’s called the… Sony DCR-SX65 Handycam Camcorder (Blue)

[jwplayer config=”Blog Player” mediaid=”3231″]

Now all those nice things said about the DCR-SX65 I’m thinking of going long term with the HDR-CX210. I mentioned it’s the SX65s big brother and that does about sum it up. This seems to be pretty much the same Sony with almost identical features yet packed in a slightly higher price point due to the HD shooting in 1080p! This one is also available in the lovely blue but likewise can be found in red, black and silver if you so choose. When many of the HD camcorders our there are still reaching into the $700s, this is a fresh change of pace weighing in at around $325! I actually found this package deal online that I’m probably going to go with. One can never have too many saddle pads, breeches OR tripods! Here’s the package deal I am talking about! Sony Handycam HDR-CX210 8GB 1080p HD Video Camera Camcorder (Blue) with 16GB Card + Battery + Tripods + Case + Accessory Kit