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Abraxas Supra Shampoo Review

Product Review: Abraxas Supra Daily Shampoo

So a really long time ago Kate at The Adventures of Lucy held a contest and I won a bottle of Abraxas Supra Daily Shampoo! This weekend I realized that I had yet to try it out, sorry Kate! So I made plans for Sam to accompany to the barn on Saturday for my hack to take photos of bath time with my new shampoo!

After a wonderful ride in which the red mare behaved beautifully and let me adjust my new stirrups (next month’s product review!) a bajillion times, I hopped off and proceeded to the wash stall. Diamond has been having some skin issues lately, including being generally itchy, extra dandruff, as well as some fungus on her legs and face. She’s much improved over the last few weeks, but I was still interested to see how the Abraxas Shampoo worked on her.

Product Details

Abraxas Supra Daily Shampoo
Retail Price: $8.95
What I Paid: $0 (Thanks Kate!)

Bathing Diamond

The Review

I liked the consistency of the shampoo the moment I poured it out of the bottle: not too thick, yet not too thin. It foamed up nicely, and I actually used my bare hands on Diamond’s legs with no adverse reactions — it’s a very mild shampoo which is perfect for this thin-skinned OTTB. Unfortunately, the smell wasn’t anything to write home about. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good, which for a shampoo is a bit disappointing; personally, I enjoy the “smell” of bath time almost as much as I enjoy the bath itself. (more…)

3'6" hunter

Blog Hop – My Dream Division

She Moved To Texas has started a Hunter Princess Blog Hop, and naturally, I couldn’t resist. She asked “what is your dream division?”

It shouldn’t shock you that since this is a relatively straightforward question, it’s really hard for me. (Insert blonde joke here). Right now, I dream of showing in the 2’6″ Intermediate Adult Hunters. I’ve talked about wanting to move up to this division a few times before, but that’s really where I want to be. It’s a very realistic goal for me, and I’m hoping that the stars will align and this time next year, I will be singing Kevin Rudolf’s “I Made It”:

But the 2’6″ Intermediate Adult Hunters seem more like a goal, when I think long-term. I’m only in my mid-20’s and I plan to ride until I’m at least 90. I think I might get bored showing 2’6″ for 60 years. I’d love to say I dream of showing in the 3’6″ Amateur Owner Division… but honestly, I’ve never even jumped 3′ and just looking at jumps that high kind of scare me now that I’m past my invincible teen years. Those jumps are just so BIG! So while I definitely would like to jump 3’6″ one day, I don’t know if it’s truly a division I dream about showing in… because it’s really hard to imagine myself actually in the saddle over those jumps.

3'6" hunter

So what is my dream division? Well, I’m going to throw a wrench into things, and say I don’t dream about a division itself, but really a class: 3′-3’3″ Hunter Derby. 3′ is a height I haven’t done, but I can see myself moving up to one day… you know… after 20 or so years at 2’6″. I think Derbies look super fun, with a little bit of a different way of going: more forward, more technical. With more natural obstacles, trot jumps and options, the courses look hard. But I think it would be a fun challenge for me, and it would provide lots of things to practice!

fruits and veggies

Weighing In

In recent years, I’ve developed a bit of a “food problem.” It started in college, like it does for many, when I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and it was all mere steps from my dorm. At the time, I never thought: 1) that’s NOT how I ate in high school plus 2) with my horse at home I was no longer riding every day would equal 3) I gained weight.

And to this day not a pound has come off. To be honest, I’ve gained a few more. While I subscribe to the good old “eat less, exercise more” weight-loss theory, actually putting that into practice has been pretty difficult. I lack motivation and self-discipline to get the job done.
I recently had a long conversation with Sam about some of this, and really didn’t some to any conclusions. Then today this article pops up on the Chronicle of the Horse: “Your Horse Deserves A Healthy Rider” by Megan Kepferle. While I’ve thought to myself if I were more in shape riding would be easier, I never thought about how my weight might affect my horse’s health or my riding goals.

This gives me a new perspective, and hopefully some much-needed motivation. Sam and I put together a workout plan that we’ve been doing for about three weeks now, which is going fairly well. Unlike Megan, I am not a gym rat and never have been. I hate the gym and I’ve honestly never worked-out with any consistency… ever. Like, never ever in my entire life. Maybe this is part of the problem!

Megan also mentions how horse owners are obsessive about what their horse(s) eat — which for me is totally true. It might not be to the extent she mentions, but I would cut my horse’s grain if he gained too much weight. And I always checked labels when we moved to a new barn to ensure the ingredients were in acceptable ranges. Why don’t I feel this same way about the food I put into my own body? I feed my horse like the athlete he is… why do I not feed myself (also an athlete!) the same way?

In addition, I’ve struggled for with fitness in the equestrian context for a while: the first day of a horse show is usually the day I ride better, because by the second I’m tired. I always assumed this was because I don’t ride very much — hardly ever back-to-back days. But maybe that’s not really true: maybe it’s because I’m so out of shape in general.

kettleball

I’ve also been struggling with folding and flowing over fences… is part of that because I’m over-weight and not as aware of my body being this size? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that a certain size rider is going to be better. But I am saying that personally, I wonder if my body awareness hasn’t caught up with the size that I am now.

When I ask myself these questions, I obviously have no answer. I do know that in some aspects I have worked hard since Visa passed to accomplish my goal of showing at 2’6″, and I’m still not there yet. I have budgeted until my eyes crossed, skipped out on shopping and eaten in. I have worked through lunch and stayed at the office late to make more money and earn time off for shows. I have religiously taken lessons with an excellent trainer and practiced every arena exercise she has suggested. But the end result is I am still at 2′.

Have I overlooked a key component: my health and fitness? How can I look myself in the mirror and say I’ve tried everything and worked as hard as I could to make my dream come true … when there is something I haven’t tried?

2 Favorite Under $50

The Polka Dot Periodical, brought to you by Nicku and Pongo, is holding a contest! Tell her your favorite equine-inspired products under $50, and YOU could receive her favorite product in the same price point. I love Nicku’s blog about her adventures with Pongo, her drop-dead gorgeous leopard appaloosa as they navigate dressage and eventing.

Anyways, now that you’ve enjoyed our friendly public service announcement, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. My favorite products under $50!

Lettia Embroidered Baby Pads (All-Purpose) – $24.99

I am extremely picky about saddle pads. I don’t like them too thick or too thin; too big or too small. I never use those Velcro straps at the front either and often just ending up cutting them off. Plus for schooling, I don’t like boring, plain-old white or even really solid colors. I like a little something extra.

Enter the Lettia Collection. They are just the right size and thickness, plus they don’t come with those Velcro straps — just the girth strap! And of course, they come with adorable symbols that give them that little touch of unique I love.

At $25, I’m definitely in love.

Ovation Zocks – $9

I blame the fact that I show hunters, which in the ring offer no options for color, patterns or pizzazz in general. So I am forced to keep my flamboyant style tendencies under wraps and it just so happens that Zocks are the perfect solution! Hidden under my tall boots, I can pick any color and pattern under the sun and enjoy them without giving my trainer a heart attack. I’m currently coveting the Yellow Oriental Garden pattern!

cat by cat poster

Nashville

Growing up, my family went on a summer vacation every year. Looking back, those are some of my fondest childhood memories. Now that all of us kids are “grown-up,” it’s harder to get together, and even more difficult to find time to all take a vacation.

This past weekend we loaded up the van (just like old times!) and headed to Nashville. Unfortunately, my brother had to cancel last minute, but it was great to take a few days off work, get out of town and spend some time with (most of) my family.

I’d never been to Nashville before, and I’m not quite sure what I expected the downtown area to be like, but I loved it. The old restored brick buildings mesh and flow with the new steel skyscrapers and everything, including the best bars, are all clustered together on a few blocks. Everyone was friendly, and the dress code was everything from dresses and stilettos to jeans and boots (my kind of style!)

We took one whole day and explored Broadway, the main drag. We stopped at Hatch Show Print, one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America, the customary Hard Rock Cafe and just soaked in the atmosphere in general. It was cool to see signs for BB Kings and Coyote Ugly and hear live music float across the street from 9 am til 4 am.

We spent one night in Robert’s Western World, one of the bars on the main drag, and listened to the Don Kelley Band live. They have a young guitarist (18 years old!) who is crazy amazing: you have to hear it to believe it. They play lots of old country, including a few that they speed up and play at warp speed. They really had the crowd engaged and it was a good energy, but still laid back. Very my speed!

Robert's Western World in Nashville

We also visited the Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Art Museum, which featured several displays called “Light by Bruce Munro” (installation artist and creator of made-to-order luminaire). It featured about five displays of fiber-optic lights throughout the garden and mansion. Very cool and absolutely gorgeous at night.

Our tour of Nashville finished up with dinner at Demos Steak and Spaghetti, and I have to say, if you are ever in the area, you have to try it! Expect a wait as they don’t take reservations, but I promise it’s worth it. Get the signature steak and spaghetti combo – there’s a reason the whole place is named after it!

After dinner we saw a show at the Grand Ole Opry, headlined by Carrie Underwood. While she’s not my favorite country artist, she has an incredibly powerful voice, and after seeing her in concert earlier this year, it was amazing that she sounded exactly the same in both live events as she does on the radio. She certainly doesn’t lack any talent in the voice department!

Hope everyone else had a fabulous weekend; I’m going to try to catch up on blogs throughout the week!

the grand ole opry