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As a horse person, I spend the majority of my time ensuring that my horses are properly fed, groomed, and exercised. At the barn, I seldom wash my hands and am constantly pushing my hair from my face. My skin is exposed to the elements throughout all four seasons from blistering, humid summer heat to the deep freeze winter cold. Yes, my skin takes a beating. You can imagine what I look like when I get home after a day at the barn!
Every person is born with beautiful skin and as we go through life, external forces damage or obscure the gifts we were born with. Riding during the hot, humid weather plays havoc with skin as does riding during the cold winter months. Seldom does the horse person take care of themselves. Personally, I was at odds with my complexion as my skin was showing the challenges of being a horse person.
I was introduced to METRIN.
METRIN is a scientifically formulated skin care program designed to balance your skin’s natural functions to bring it into perfect harmony. When your skins is cleansed, nourished and protected, you see a visible improvement in the tone, texture and overall appearance of your skin. Whatever symptoms you have, METRIN is guaranteed to improve your skin’s health, bringing out the youthful, beautiful and glowing skin that you desire. METRIN offers an unconditional, 180-day money-back guarantee on your initial purchase of the complete skin care program. So, should you decide to try the product, you have up to 6 months to decide how you feel about it and if it’s not working for you, they will fully refund the purchase price of the product – even if you use every last drop.
For the time I have using the product, my face is now soft, moisturized and acne free. I am really satisfied with the products. As my complexion changed so dramatically, my Mom started using the system and my Dad uses Step #2 as his shaving cream followed by #3 Moisturizer. Mom’s fine wrinkle’s are gone and she has a much younger looking complexion.
Even my horses are getting in on the Metrin act. For years, I have struggled trying to protect my horses against the harmful rays of the sun. Phantom (pictured above), my youngest, has very sensitive skin and is showing signs of sun damage to his face, especially his nose and eyes. As the ingredients in Metrin are natural, I thought I would try Metrin #4 (Protective Lotion) and #5 (Vita Conditioner) on his face. The results were great. His nose looks so much better, now looking moisturized and soft. Gone are the dry scaly skin patches that I had grown to accept. Also, Metrin #4 acts as a deodorizer, so I was able to spray that on my body before going to the restaurant to meet friends eliminating that “horsey” smell.
For more information on this skin care system, visit www.metrin.com or call them toll-free at 1 888 2-METRIN (North American) or 1 604 683-6819 (International). The representatives personally answer the phone and are really knowledgeable.
I am very excited to announce that after collaboration with Chris Duggan, President of Equestrian Collections, I am able to assemble great products to help YOU, the rider with all your equestrian needs. I love Equestrian Collections! It truly is a one stop shop for everything equine from top manufacturers around the world. Thanks Chris for making such a wonderful online store! Available only to Tack and Talk, Equestrian Collections is offering up to $15 off your purchase. To get your coupon, log onto my Product Watch Page and just click on your coupon. It’s as easy as that. Equestrian Collections has “Keep Cool” riding apparel as well as Fly Masks and Fly Sheets for your horses and ponies.
By: Larissa Cox
The season is rapidly changing and many people consider dry skin unavoidable during the winter season, there are several easy ways and techniques to protect your skin, prevent it from becoming itchy and ashy, and keep it moisturized.
I have had so many positive comments on my Tack and Talk article Freshen Up At The Barn: Tips To Go From Horse-mom To Dinner-party Ready While at the Stable, and many questions on what to do about cold weather barn skin, I’ll share what I do to protect my skin from harsh winter riding.
Dry skin is the result of low moisture. I’m sure you have listened to the weatherman talk about low humidity, the scientific term for a shortage of water in the air, while preparing for your venture out to the barn. That dry climate translates into dry skin. In order to avoid having dry skin, you need to take measures to control the humidity in your environment and keep it locked into your skin, something barn people find difficult to do as they always subject themselves to nasty environments to take care of their horses.
I don’t know about you, but my hands suffer terribly from the winter weather. It is very difficult to always wear gloves, and as a result, I come home often with dry, chapped hands. BeautiControl makes an amazing product named BC Spa Manicure Instant Manicure. As soon as I walk in the door, I wash my hands with Instant Manicure which softens and moisturizes my hands and cuticles while removing all that barn grunge. The Dead Sea salts in this product gently exfoliate all the dead skin cells leaving my hands very soft. Now, for the upcoming holiday season, they are offering this product in a chocolate flavor, called Chocolate Indulgence! I don’t know about you, but anything chocolate is okay in my books!
A vital part of your skin care regimen, throughout the year and especially in the dry winter months, should be moisturizer. Lotions and body creams provide a protective layer on the skin, helping to hold in the water that keeps it supple. If you normally use a light body lotion, switch to a richer formula when the temperature drops. Doing so will feed thirsty skin and keep out the drying effects of the cold with a thin oily layer. Incorporate moisturizing into your daily routine, applying it directly after you have toweled off after bathing. I use baby oil on my legs to help control itchy winter legs. Choose an appropriate lotion for your face as well, both to keep it moisturized and to fight the signs of aging that come with thirsty skin. Wear chap stick, especially when going outdoors, to keep your lips from cracking in low humidity. Again, BeautiControl offers kits for different age groups and I typically switch to a richer product during the winter months, for example during the summer months, I use the 20s product switching to the 40s kit for winter.
Consider purchasing a travel kit to keep at the barn. I use BeautiControl’s 30s travel kit as the cleanser is a foam product that doesn’t require water to clean the face. I use the toner applied cotton ball to rinse and then the moisturizer throughout the day at the barn. Then my face doesn’t get that red, chapped look after winter riding. I find that I use the barn travel kit on a regular basis at the barn and keep one in my tack box at all times.
By following a good winter moisturizing skin care program, you can almost guarantee that your skin will never again suffer from extreme dryness through those cold, windy winter months at the barn. Replenishing vital moisture will keep skin supple even in the bitterest cold.
Happy cold weather riding, Larissa
Article written by Botanical Animal
To start, let’s correct a common misperception: Flower essences are not the same as aromatherapy. Unlike the fragrant oils used in aromatherapy, flower essences have no scent, and can be safely taken internally.
Nicknamed by Botanical Animal, ‘behavior modification in a bottle,’ flower essences are used to balance and harmonize issue-specific emotional or psychological states. Or as a training aid, by removing barriers that can distract an animal’s focus on its handler.
Each essence contains the sun-infused, liquid energy of healthy flowers picked at the peak of bloom and captured in pure water. This ‘potentized’ liquid is called a mother essence. It only takes a few drops of mother essence, added to water and a preservative, like brandy or vinegar, to create a blend addressing a behavioral, emotional, or training issue.
Essences are most effective when applied on the tongue, in drinking water, or on a hard treat. Drops can be placed orally in the animal’s mouth via an eye dropper (thoroughly rinse the dropper after use as this will reduce contamination should it come into contact with the mouth), added to a water bowl/bucket (change fresh water daily for best results and replenish with the essence), or put in a spray bottle, filled with purified or spring water, and misted directly into the air around the nose, muzzle and/or paws, or over a favorite toy, bedding, or blanket. Cats do well if you rub the essences into the upper part of their ears.
If food is the quickest way to your animal’s heart, then flower essences can be put on their favorite treat. It’s best to use on yummies that will not quickly absorb the value of the essence (like carrots or apples). The least-preferable way to use essences is mixed into food since you do not want them being absorbed by their stomach as opposed to the mucus membranes of the mouth
When is it appropriate to use flower essences? Essentially, when your animal is under stress or out of focus. Behavior modification is about finding balance between your animal and its world.
“I have experienced great outcomes with flower essences,” says one Virginia three-day eventing rider. “These essences have allowed me to take the edge off certain horses’ personality traits, to assist in helping them understand what I’m asking for.”
Another eventing rider, from Massachusetts, found it hard to adapt her “hot” mare to new surroundings. Flower essences made all the difference in getting her horse to relax quickly and pay attention, and it showed in their performance scores.
Botanical Animal Flower Essences are easy to administer, safe to use during competition, and will put the bloom back in your horse or pet’s behavior. The essences are issue-specific, not animal or species-specific, and can be used on animals of all ages.
Horse and pet owners don’t need Aladdin and his genie to find a solution to bad or upsetting behavior. Thanks to flower essences, finding the better nature of your horse or pet is as close as nature itself. Bottled essences require very little shelf space, making it easy for homes and barns to stock an array of these training tools, tailored to each animal and/or situation.
To learn more about flower essence visit http://www.equilite.com/product-flower-essences.asp.
Sponsored by: Pippa Equine Company makers of Deco’s Monster Mash
Do you feed bran mashes to your horses? If so, this contest is for you! Sponsored by Pippa Equine Co., makers of Deco’s Monster Mash, we want to know how you feed mash to your horses! Send us your favorite bran mash recipe in the comment section below and you will be entered to win one of Deco’s Monster Mash flavors.
Larissa reviewed this product earlier this year:
Not only is this mash yummy, all-natural and nutritious, it also aids in hydration which is so critical to maintain in our competitive companions!
To read the full article, go to Deco’s Monster Mash Product Review!
Contest closes on July 31st, and the winner will be selected at random, so send in your favorite recipe now!
Look forward to receiving all your comments!! – Larissa and Libby
By: Larissa Cox
Recently, I have had the opportunity to sample a new product, Deco’s Monster Mash a specality, USA manufactured gourmet bran mash for horses. “Carrot Calamity” was the mash tried and let me tell you… this is a great name for this mash! Just look at the layer of carrots in this mash.
Firstly, each attractively packaged mash is 16 oz. This mash has no artificial ingredients, no added sugars and nothing but the highest quality, organic, naturally dehydrated fruits & vegetables. Upon first glance at the package, you’ll notice that there’s a smaller amount of bran, but much more of the “good stuff” such as Wheat mash, Alfalfa, Rolled Oats, Un-sweetened Beet Pulp, Cracked Corn and Ground Flax Seed and in Carrot Calamity a large layer of dehydrated carrots!
Once the 5 cups of hot water was added, a pleasant aroma filled my senses. After 15 minutes, the dehydrated vegetables plumped up and the mash looked good enough for me to eat! For those of you concerned about feeding this product on a weekly basis, there’s no need to worry as this formula was created to allow for weekly feeding without the risk of the dreaded “big head” from too much calcium intake. In addition, not only is this mash yummy, all-natural and nutritious, it also aids in hydration which is so critical to maintain in our competitive companions.
Bruq, my Arabian gelding, was the first to receive his portion of Carrot Calamity. Each year, I have serious problems with Bruq during show season as he refuses to drink water or eat no matter how long at the show grounds. Bruq is not your typical horse as he does not like any type of conventional mash products, so feeding him this gourmet bran mash was a test and very interesting. Not only did he immediately approach my mixing bowl, he couldn’t wait until I put his mash into his feed bucket. His head didn’t leave his feed bucket until everything was gone!
Phantom was next in line, and again, ate this mash with great enthusiasm and enjoyment occasionally lifting his head to savour his bites.
Pippa Equine, manufacturers of Deco’s Monster Mash offers this mash in several great named flavors: Applepaloosa, Buckin’Bananaberry, Carrot Calamity, Florida Orange, Frolickin’ Fruit Cocktail, Kickin’ Kiwi, Lip Smackin’ Strawberry Banana, Peachy, Pear Passage, Peppermint Piaffe (peppermints not included), Tropical Trot and Very Berry. These mashes are now available at Dover Saddlery on-line and at all of their 12 retails outlet stores, or can be purchased directly through Pippa Equine at www.pippaequineco.com. The suggested retail price for these Monster Mashes range from $7.50 – 8.50 each depending upon flavor.
Personally, I can’t wait for Bruq to try out the other flavors as his taste test for Carrot Calamity was 4-hooves up!
Story by Larissa Cox
We here at Tack n’ Talk had the opportunity to interview equestrian jewellery designer, Cathy Whitley, about her craft. A mature starter to both jewellery design and the equestrian sport, Cathy advises anyone who has an adventurous spirit to try something new, and give it your all, as it may lead to a very fulfilling passion.
Cathy, you have recently dove into equestrian sports and the art of jewellery making. What inspired you to take up these endeavours? Would you say the beginnings of these activities had a similar catalyst?
You could say that wanting to try something new was a catalyst for both-I love starting new projects, and learning to ride and learning to make jewelry were certainly both projects!
When I was forty-something I decided that if I was ever going to learn to ride it was time to start, so I drove around looking for a stable and stopped at the first one that didn’t advertise pony parties. I asked the trainer (who turned out to be a wonderful hunter-jumper trainer and competitor) if she taught adults to ride. She asked if I wanted ride English or Western and when I said I didn’t know the difference, she said “learn to ride English and you’ll be able to ride anything”, and she gave me my first lesson on a 17hand, 26-year-old thoroughbred who had been an Olympic jumper.
A friend who makes jewelry and beautiful quilts taught me the basics of jewelry making. I have always liked making things and putting colors together, but have NO drawing or painting ability. My friend was going to help me restring a broken necklace, and when she brought a huge rolling case full of all kinds of beads and “findings” (earwires, clasps etc) over, I was hooked.
Most of your jewellery seem to be with precious stones. What inspired you to work with these stones?
I started out using glass beads because they tend to be less expensive than – stones (although you can spend a fortune for some gorgeous/fancy glass beads like lampwork). As I became more confident making jewelry I started using more expensive materials like sterling silver, and gemstones just seemed a good match.
What inspired you to incorporate equestrian themes in your jewellery?
My horse, Silhouette. She’s a beautiful Friesian-thoroughbred cross, and I happened across a horse charm that really reminded me of her. Riding friends liked it too, and encouraged me to make more “horse jewelry”.
Each piece of jewellery seems to be very distinctive and one of a kind in both the blend of colours of the stones and the design. How do you go about the design of each piece?
Different ways. I only buy stones and beads that appeal to me in some way – because of their color, shape, the way they were cut etc. I usually have a general idea what colors and shapes would look good together, and I’ll get a pile of stuff out and lay out a basic pattern, then start altering it. It’s surprising how something that looks good in your head sometimes just doesn’t look good in real life, and alternately sometimes just adding a small accent bead can turn an OK piece into a really interesting piece. Fairly often I’ll lay out a couple of choices and ask my husband which one he likes better, and why.
The hardest way to design is to have an end product in mind – for example, a friend asked me to make a necklace with a particular shark’s tooth, and it took awhile to find stone colors that would work, and figure out a good way to attach the tooth to the necklace.
Your Etsy shop focuses on the theme of horses, nature and the beach…what is the connection between these?
The essence of things? I love animals, especially dogs and horses. I love the outdoors, especially mountains and beaches. I love flowers and plants, and spend lots of time gardening. To me these all have amazing natural beauty and value, and just seem to go together. I think the natural world is incredible, including the amazing variety of gemstones that are just sitting in rocks all over the world.
Do you have a shop as well or is Etsy your main marketing tool?
I don’t have a “B&M” (brick and mortar) shop. I almost gave up on the idea of selling jewelry because the first several shops I approached turned me down for one reason or another. I was lucky to find a funky gallery where the experienced artist owners encouraged me (I still sell jewelry there, Simple Gestures in St Augustine, FL). Since then I have sold at shows and in several shops and galleries. Etsy is great, but it’s hard to generate web business without spending a lot of time marketing.
What suggestions would you have for someone wanting to begin an Etsy or similar business.
GO FOR IT! …but don’t quit your day job…😛
For great jewellery, with both equestrian, and non-equestrian themes, check out Cathy’s Etsy shop, CJW Designs! Tack n’ Talk readers will receive 15% off these fantastic pieces!