Lovin’ The New Alexus Range By SmartPak

October 11, 2012

I’ve been privy to enough new product launches, tried and tried again new-to-market fashions and understand the great importance of not only riding top but looking top in the process (this means if you have a brown saddle you better be darn sure you’re sporting a brown girth and bridle!) thus I feel compelled to share a happening new range from the folks at SmartPak dubbed Alexus complete with the hip byline aesthetic, athletic, alexus! Schweet!

The Alexus Hybrid Jacket is a nice tailored fit without being too tight and the contrasting black sides are slimming too. The zipper is über quality easy flow up the front as well as zips on each pocket. The pocket zips are great for people like me who are fortunate enough to ride a massive moving horse, hence, without the zips items tend to bounce out.

The Alexus Full Seat Breeches are shopping market and out-in-town ready with nice wide belt loops, a super smooth comfy fit and a full seat that doesn’t need adjusting once you’re in the saddle. Just get on an go, no hiking up of breeches required here! I have the tan with espresso full seat and the contrast is fabulous. My favorite bit is oh so small but oh so cute – the accented stitching on the back belt loop.

A big factor for me when choosing apparel for training is the smartphone-ability. Can my mobile fit in the pocket? The answer is yes. It slides in sideways with ease and anything smaller than an iPhone won’t have an issue either. Most often I need the extra grip provided from the full seats but SmartPak does make a rocking Alexus Knee Patch Breeches as well.

I give a big two hooves up and props to SmartPak for stepping out with their own apparel range! Check them out when you have a chance and please feel free to send me your feedback or post comments here if you’ve tried this range yourself! I’d love to hear your thoughts too!

Remembering Jonathan Wentz

October 1, 2012

The equestrian world mourned the loss of talented para-equestrian competitor and ambassador to the sport yesterday with the passing of Jonathan Wentz.

Jonathan had recently returned home from London where he was a member of the US Paralymic Team. Jonathan finished fourth overall aboard Kai Handt’s NTEC Richter Scale and helped guide the US Team to their seventh place overall. Jonathan was the highest placing American equestrian for the Paralymics but likewise the highest placing overall for Olympic and Para combined!

Jonathan was no stranger to international competitions having competed at World Championships, Paralymic Games, National Championships, and World Equestrian Games. Not only a talent in the saddle, Jonathan was tirelessly dedicated to the sport having served on the Youth Council with USEF representing para-equestrians as well as on their Technical Committee.

Jonathan was studying at SMU in Texas who’s mascot was, of course, a horse!

Please take a moment to reflect on the life of this talented and ambitious and tireless young man who helped bring about such keen awareness of para-sports helping to popularize them stateside. I was fortunate enough, thanks to Evin R, to have Jonathan on HorseGirlTV.

I send my condolences to his family, trainer, team mates, NTEC Richter Scale and the many more people who’s lives he’s touched. I was looking at his website earlier today and it clearly states ‘One boy. One horse. One dream.’ It’s with that I’m so thankful for him that he was able to live his dream and represent his country before passing on. May you rest in peace Jonathan.

Remember Jonathan Wentz, 1990-2012.

The equibarre Fitness DVD Is Almost Here!

September 28, 2012

Yes! Yes! Yes! I’m so excited to announce the equibarre fitness DVD has almost arrived and just in time to add to your holiday shopping list!

We shot equibarre at a lovely facility in Ashland, Oregon and had a blast doing so. Yes it was shot IN the indoor and my workout partners were a horse and rider!

I’m really excited about the DVD going on sale next week. I’m even more excited about the price and packaging! I’ve always tried to think forward with HorseGirlTV and often that’s put me on the bleeding edge yet always near the leading edge! The old school, plastic Amaray cases ARE cheaper BUT we chose to go with a greener packaging using less post consumer product. It’s a bit more expensive but the eco-friendly aspect was worth more to me. I bet you’re saying “Ut-oh!” to yourself right now and thinking ‘so how much is the equibarre fitness DVD going to cost me?’ and the answer is a nice one… So go ahead and guess how much it’s going to be?
$69.95? you ask NO!
$39.95? you reply NO!
Yes, yes, us horsey types are used to buying things overpriced but I made a point to keep the equibarre fitness DVD priced according to mainstream exercise material at $24.95! Just because it has a horse on it doesn’t mean it should be marked up double!! Right?!

Here’s another kicker! I’m taking pre-orders for the next week ONLY (28 September to 5 October 2012) for $15.95!

The equibarre fitness DVD pre-sale special ended October 5th. You can also order from Amazon HERE.

Calling All Aspiring Writers! Be A Guest Blogger!

September 28, 2012

How would YOU like to be a guest blogger for me – Angelea Kelly of HorseGirlTV? My blog is seen by tens of thousands of fans per month and I’d like to give some of you the chance to write a guest post and be heard too!

Interested? Here’s what to do… In the Comments section tell me what you’d like to write about. It can be anything you’d like such as; your favorite books, a horse short story, training, competition, your general love of horses, or really just about anything equine, fashion and forward thinking horse peeps projects — it’s totally up to you! Your comment should be about a paragraph long. If the comments are closed then so is this contest.

Deadline is October 31st. If you’re chosen, I’ll contact you after October 31 to organize the submission. Do keep in mind, there will be a deadline (something like, two weeks) after I contact you that I’ll need your post. Once I get it and decide on a date, your guest post will go live! We’re happy to publish your full name, first name only whichever you prefer with your piece! 🙂 Good luck!

The selected guest blogger wins a Barnby Notes journal.

Winterize Your Horse, Trailer, & Stable Series

September 6, 2012

It’s that time of year again. YES! It’s happening already! The leaves will soon begin to change, the windows will get more and more moisture in the morning and the mornings will seem less and less bright the earlier we wake. That means it’s already high time to start thinking about winterizing not only your autos but your horse, your trailer and your stable.

Here’s a few tips (they are specific to aluminium but many also apply to us steel or fiberglass folks!) courtesy to my inbox from the awesome peeps at AHP and Horse Cent$ Magazine!..

The Top 5 Things To Do To Your Horse Trailer Before Winter

Doing some fall maintenance on your horse trailer can be one of the most cost-effective things a horse owner can do. “Many people have the misconception that with aluminum horse trailers there is no maintenance,” says Laurie Cerny, publisher of Horse Cent$ Magazine. “This couldn’t be farther from the truth.”

Cerny offers these five things to do to your horse trailer before winter:

1. Clean out your trailer: This means stripping out all of the bedding from the horse stalls and pulling up the mats and washing the floor. You also want to remove any hay and feed and clean out cracks and crevices (using an air compressor) where grain and hay may have fallen. Remove food items and other perishables (like fly sprays and grooming products) from your living quarters and tack room. Tack and show clothing should also be removed and stored indoors for the winter.

2. Stop any leaks: Leaks can affect the life of a horse trailer – more so with a steel trailer as water + metal equals rust. But, aluminum trailers will corrode where water leaks in and is allowed to pool for long periods of time.

3. Address rust: Rust should be removed by either sanding the area or wirebrushing. It then needs to be cleaned and painted with a rust-inhibitor paint. On steel trailers you want to pay particular attention to the frame – including where the sidewall meets the floor. Aluminum trailers also have steel parts – including the axles and the framework on the tongue (on a bumper pull), and the undercarriage on a gooseneck trailer.

4. Protect tires: Tires will go bad just from sitting and being exposed to the sun. If nothing else, at least put a coat of rubber protectant on your tires. Even better is to cover your tires. Dealers will even recommend moving your trailer at least once a month, or putting it up on blocks, to help prevent tires from flattening on the ground side.

5. Store trailer properly: The best place for a horse trailer isn’t always in your barn. Unless you are storing your trailer in a structure without animals and that has a cement floor, it will rust and corrode faster than if you leave it outside. Trailers can be effectively stored outside with the use of a trailer cover or tarp. It helps if you have a place that provides some protection – like alongside a building. Also, make sure you are not parking your trailer under trees, as ice storms and other winter weather can cause limbs to break off and damage your trailer. Living quarters should also be winterized if the trailer is not being used over the winter.

Adventures In France: The Road To Belleau Wood Memorial

August 23, 2012

As always there is a horse related tie in with this and it does go way beyond that I went over to the Netherlands to visit my dear friend Geoff and to watch the Grand Prix Special in Greenwich for the London 2012 Olympics (more on this to follow).

First was our adventurous day trip to France to see the location of the Battle of Belleau Wood near Chateau Thierry a bit north of Paris, France. Geoff was kind enough to offer to drive down and back for the day. From what I understand, it’s a special place for US Marines because it was the turning point in the war when the US helped the French push the Germans back in a relentless battle. I believe it was the location where the Germans coined the term “Devil Dog” when talking about US Marines (or Teufelhund in German) because of their tenacity.

I did research the night before until about 1 in the morning having a hard time trying to find any details about the memorial and, as there’s NOT an official address, we just pointed the Tom Tom to Chateau Thierry as the website I’d found said from Chateau Thierry we’d see the signs to the “American Monument” but having lived in Spain for a year and a half, I knew all to well how directions go in countries of romantic languages. Let the adventure begin…

The drive for the most part was relaxing and uneventful. We stopped in Belgium to fill with diesel and grab some sandwiches for the road. I was surprised that I quickly recalled my makeshift French! I knew enough to order food, ask for the toilet and say thanks and when in doubt in a foreign country for some reason I always default to speaking Spanish. Don’t ask me why? Hah!

The northern French countryside was beautiful with gentle rolling fields. I’d never been north of Paris in France nor had I spent any significant time in the countryside.

With just under an hour to go showing on the Tom Tom, Geoff’s car began loosing power and stalling out. Oy vey! I pretended to remain calm but inside was freaking out. I was panicked internally one because Geoff was kind enough to drive us there and his car was having problems 2 countries away from the Netherlands.

The long and short of the next 15 minutes or so was we decided to push on after stopping for Geoff to call the VW service and find out if it could be a bad tank of gas we got in the French part of Belgium. It showed the same signs I had experienced when driving cross country after getting a bad tank in Laramie, Wyoming back in 2007. We quickly downed enough espresso to kill a small animal at the petrol station, took Balou (Geoff’s awesome boxer) for a potty walk and I bought her a French bonnet then got back on the road. Isn’t she lovely!!

With a few stops and start and engine cut outs we make it to Chateau Thierry and follow the signs to the “American Monument” and I’m SOOOOO happy. My Ex, who was the reason we were taking this trip, was getting to see it. He gets out of the car and walks around while Geoff thinks to phone VW again and see if they can find a mechanic as he’s rightfully stressed about his auto.

I step out to take photos of Ex to find out “This is not the place.” Oy vey to the 10th power. 🙁 We tell Geoff and decide to drive back in town. I should add here… Ex did ZERO research about this event leaving it to Geoff and I to sort it all. At this point, there’s about a half hour before the memorial that we’re looking for closes. I see a mechanic shop on the side of the road, we turn around and pull in. I say embarrassed to the guy inside the shop, “I’m sorry I don’t speak French but our car is broken down.” He let’s us know he didn’t speak English so I tried Spanish and found out he’s the cleaner but the mechanic would be back shortly.

Now… the mechanic arrived. I told the janitor in Spanish what was going on with the car, he translated to the mechanic in French and it came back through me to Geoff that just sounds like a bad tank of diesel and they suggested a tank cleaner for 60€ to fix it. In the interim I told the janitor what we were trying to do explaining that Ex is a US Marine and wanted to see Belleau Wood Memorial and it closed in a half hour, and asked if he knew a taxi service that could take him there.

Long story, longer, the taxi showed up, Geoff put the tank cleaner in his car and stayed with Balou at the mechanic while the taxi driver in a private vehicle took us to Belleau Wood Memorial (he didn’t speak English or Spanish BTW so we just made due on pointing since we’d found out from the cleaner where it actually was) and Ex got there with 10 minutes to spare. The bells struck up a song as we walked up and it was quite an emotional experience actually.

There’s a side story of asking directions to a group of French boys and Ex ending up chatting with their dad and him inviting us all in but Ex telling him we were kinda afraid to switch the auto off at this point. Turns out the guy had been to Portland, Oregon and was a musician.

After a while, we gave up on finding the building that had the key to let you in to the location that had the fountain and started the drive back to Holland. The fields were so beautiful mixed with extreme greens and the stark contrast to the farmed straw fields.

Both Ex and Geoff seem to live in a state of hunger yet I was likewise famished at this point so we stop at the Buffalo Grill. Hahaha! It was a Texas themed steakhouse in the French countryside!

And here’s where the horse comes in and the token photo of me… I love coin op horses and this one was at Buffalo Grill!

We made it back home to Holland late that night with the next days adventure of sorting the Will Call tickets for the GP Special on the 7th!

There’s heaps of wacky details I’ve left out but it was a definite adventure, I’m quite happy Ex got to see this memorial special to him and also quite happy the Geoff’s car was perfectly fine. Note to self tho… beware where you fill up with diesel in the French part of Belgium and also… do your own research for sites you want to see!

Oh and please forgive me if my Marine or military facts are not correct. I don’t make any claim to being a brilliant historian. It was definitely a beautiful memorial to the many, many lives lost and a great tribute from the French to the Americans who helped them retain the right to speak French! 🙂

Cheers and thanks for reading!

London 2012 Olympics, Holland & Dressage #1 But I’m Writing About Bell Boots & Pessoa

August 20, 2012

I have heaps of things to blog about right now and at the top of my list are blogging about my trip to Holland to visit a very dear friend and go to the London Olympics to watch the Grand Prix Special in dressage as well as how dressage is #1 in general BUT I’m writing about two things that have been on my mind this past week; bell boots & Pessoa Training System.

I’d borrowed a Pessoa Lunging System for a few weeks and incorporated it into a weekly schedule with Hansel and saw some great results. I think the change up in his schedule was refreshing and the variety of settings the Pessoa has made for some fun transitions. We didn’t work too hard, long or fast with it ever but just sort of played around with a nice steady trot and it really improved his performance in maintaining the tempo when mounted! Now I’ve returned it to its rightful owner (thanks for letting me borrow it SO VERY much Rebecca!!) it’s on the top of my list to buy. You can buy yours at >> Pessoa Lunging System

Number 2 I was thinking about how amazingly well my Pro Choice Quick Wrap Bell Boots have held up. I have a single pair in black that I’ve used almost daily for TWO years and they still work great. That’s almost daily for training as well as turn out mind you! I wash them about 1x a week or at least 2x monthly and the velcro holds like new and they look great and not a day over a few months old! I’m thinking about buying Hansel 2 pairs in white so he has a front and hind pair! Pro Choice Quick Wrap Bell Boot They come in heaps of colors but I’m just going with white because we’re doing a shoot for equibarre coming up and I need to be in shad dress with polos so the white will be a perfect compliment.

Now that I’ve got that out of my system, I can get on with preparing my blogs on my trip to The Netherlands and to London for the Olympics!

Red, White & BOO To You Ralph Lauren! USA Olympic Gear Made In China?

July 13, 2012

ralph-494x392While others were scoffing at the, albeit a bit out of this century, designs that Ralph Lauren spun for this years 2012 Summer Olympics in London. I was saying, HEY guys… it looks kinda kewl actually. Very 70s boarding school chique if you ask me. Then I heard about where these outfits were produced and how much they cost each. Seriously US Olympic Committee?! SERIOUSLY?!

It seems these poshly dated duds were sew by some wonderful folks in China. Now, I’m internationally minded and love to travel but to outsource an Olympic garment to another country when our own is flailing miserably simply seems like a colossal fail.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference on taxes, “I am so upset. I think the Olympic committee should be ashamed of themselves. I think they should be embarrassed. I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again.”

Okey Harry. Settled down. Perhaps burning them is not the most cost effective solution BUT there should be more than a simple slap on the wrists to the USOC. Perhaps some checks and balances put in place so this doesn’t happen in the future? Maybe just a sign next to the old water cooler that reads “Do Not Outsource Our Olympic Team.” Oh the irony when 75% of our dressage team is naturalized but nonetheless they are now Americans so their garments should be 100% American as well.

As if it’s not bad enough that the London 2012 hosts have made it clear that athletes will not be seen drinking or wearing anything other than officially sponsored items and could even be fined if caught, now our athletes will be supporting China in their Ralph Lauren fashion back-forward apparel.

Yes, it’s quite a event to organize so we should give the hosts some slack and it’s quite a few outfits to prepare so again some slack but wait… quite a few outfits to prepare? I just wonder how much money the USOC stole from the pockets of a prospective merchant stateside and instead wired it across the ocean to China.

Too bad. So sad. Maybe they’ll get it right next time. Just maybe!

On a positive note, have you entered to win some Official London 2012 Merchandise? No? Go Enter Now!

Keep Cool With Hot Summer Animo Fashion

July 9, 2012

Here’s the long and the short of it! Animo apparel is totally functional riding apparel. In fact, their full seat paired with my Antares saddle is a seriously comfy ride and that’s saying a GREAT deal considering how massive a mover Hansel is! Animo apparel is sexy. Animo apparel is comfy AND I seriously wear my breeches with pumps and rocking top out on the town for dinner. I even donned my jeans and open-toed Kenneth Coles for a Wilmington brunch a month ago! No joke! I get second and third looks and comments on how wonderful my trousers are so yeah… I think the Animo breech is the best way to be cool and on top of the hot summer fashion. I’m really looking forward to an our upcoming photo shoot where Hansel and I will rock our Antares gear, Animo shadbelly, trousers and top!

This brand is not for the faint hearted nor for the über classically minded people but for those of us that want to wear top functional riding apparel that’s oh too sexy and so very progressively styled then Animo is for you! Stay tuned in for more!

Shawn Flarida Tribute From Italians & Slide Or Die

July 9, 2012

Before the final of the NRHA Derby 2012 in Oklahoma City, Slide or Die wanted to create a tribute to the greatest reining champion… Shawn Flarida.

In order to do so we asked some of the top Italian and international elites to participate in the creation of a comic video as a homage to his career.

Shawn Flarida watched this video before his final go at the 2012 NRHA derby and the same night with Spooks Gotta Whiz he marked 226.5 becoming 2012 NRHA Derby Champion.