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Winter for me is always the horse show off season.  It’s the time to set new riding goals for the upcoming show season, evaluate areas you need to work on and improve, and reflect on the previous season.  This past show season I was able to achieve a dream of mine by obtaining the USDF bronze medal.  That was the result of countless hours of hard work, riding, reading, studying, and watching videos.  I was constantly looking for ways to glean nuggets of info that might help me in my journey.  One of my favorites was watching videos with Janet Foy.  If you would be interested in me writing a post about my journey to bronze, please drop me a comment below or on social media!

I would also love to know what you do in the show off season and what are your riding goals for the year?  There are no small goals and no too big goals.  Anything can be achieved with hard work and dedication.  Comment below and let me know what you’re working on.  I am working to improve our half passes, flying changes, self-carriage, and collection while working to add in pirouettes.  It’s definitely not easy!  Always remember to enjoy the journey (even the frustrating moments!) because it makes the successful part that much sweeter.

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Who else loves a good deal?  Now is the time to stock up on your favorites and grab some as gifts.  Here is our list of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday sales!  Just click the company name to be taken to their website.

Equestrianista – They have kicked off the 8 Weeks of Gift-Giving Specials with a new awesome deal each week leading up to Christmas!

Bridle Bling – 40% off storewide (some exclusions apply) starting on Friday!

Mango Bay – Enjoy 20% off with promo code velvetrider and free shipping on orders over $50.00!  Be sure to check out the new Sale section for deals on belts and tshirts.

Equus Couture – 20% off Vintage Ladies Competition Shirt PLUS free gift card with purchase of $100 or more!  Good Friday through Monday.

The Burlap Pony – Get 15% off your order from now through December 1, 2017 with code THANKYOU.

Annie’s Equestrienne Apparel – Enter code 54321shop at checkout for an additional 40% off all ladies and children’s breeches starting at 6pm EST Thursday!

Higher Standards Leather Care – Enjoy 15% off with code 15OFF.

Counter Canter Designs – Get 25-30% off everything on www.countercanterdesigns.com & www.countercanterdesigns.etsy.com, no coupon needed!

Life Between the Ears – Enjoy 15% off with code VELVET15.

The Simple Equine – Special holiday bundles starting at $50.00!

SmartPak – 25 Deals of Christmas with a new deal each day!

Heartland Vet Supply – 12% off storewide with code BLACK17.

Nicker Bait – Enjoy 20% off plus 2 gift with purchases with code Shop.  You’ll receive a 4oz gourmet cookie gift bag and a 3 pack gourmet cookie gift bag with each bag purchased.  Sale ends 11/28.

C4 Belts – Be sure to head over to C4 Belts to check out their Black Friday deals!

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I have been a fan of the Cair Cushion System for a while now and is often found in Wintec and Bates products.  If you are unfamiliar with Cair, here is a short description: Fluidly working with your horse’s muscles, the revolutionary CAIR® Cushion System replaces traditional fillings in your saddle with air. The cushioning nature of air encourages your horse to soften, relax and engage. Seated closer to your horse, you become simply an extension of one another. Transcend into a new world of opportunities through the power of true connection. Empower your horse with the ultimate in comfort, and explore your true potential together with the CAIR® Cushion System.  The biggest selling point for me is the comfort aspect for my horse. Happy horse…happy rider!  I am always striving to provide the utmost in comfort for my horses as we train in dressage.  I was very excited to try out the Wintec Elastic Girth with Cair.

I have been using this girth for the last few months, and I have been so happy with it!  I love the ergornomic shape of the girth itself and actually do prefer this style as it evenly distributes pressure across the horse.  It has stainless steel roller buckles for easy tightening as well as a D ring in the center of the girth.  The Cair system is located in the center of the girth aiding in comfort for my horse.  The keepers also keep the stirrup leathers stowed away.  It is very well made and easy to clean.  I always wipe it down after a ride, but on the grooved underside, if you want a thorough cleaning, I have found a toothbrush works very well.  The girth is synthetic and is really nice looking.  I also thought the arrows was a nice touch to ensure you put on the girth correctly.

Petey has worked amazingly in this girth.  He seems quite comfortable as we school, and it hugs him so I don’t have to worry about the girth loosening or slipping backwards during our ride.  I think this girth really aids in freedom of movement which is so helpful in dressage.

I highly recommend this girth and encourage you to give it a try.  It quickly became one of my favorites and is perfect for daily use as well as for shows.  Be sure to visit Wintec for a list of worldwide retailers or check out Dover Saddlery!

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As equestrians, we have a lot of leather lying around. From saddles to bridles to boots to bags, we are surrounded by leather and we take better care of some than others.  Lord Leather Conditioner takes care of ALL of our leather preserving needs.  I’m sure you have seen the photo on Facebook of an old saddle restored to its former life (it’s below).  I was a little skeptical…it couldn’t work that well right?  Well….it does!

I do have a slightly older model of a Custom Saddlery Revolution saddle so I have been secretly wishing I could make it look a little better.  I generally take care of my tack and am conscious on cleaning, and I always wipe it down after use.  Our horse gear is too expensive to not take care of it.  Below are the before Lord Leather Conditioner photos.

The first thing you will want to do is clean your saddle and get it free of dirt and debris.  Be sure to shake the Lord Leather Conditioner well and test spot it before applying all over.  You can find the how-to instructions on the Lord website here.  I applied it all over my saddle with a tack sponge and a little goes a long way.  It was super easy to wipe on and you could begin seeing the results quickly!

Here are the after photos after applying Lord Leather Conditioner liberally all over my saddle!

Doesn’t it look awesome??  I was so happy with how it turned out!  This was after just one coat applied and it looked even better the next morning.  I plan on applying another round this weekend.  It definitely lives up to what it says it will do – revives old leather and softens it.  I also applied it to my leather girth and before photos are below.

And look what an improvement now!

I absolutely recommend Lord Leather Conditioner and truly believe that it is something we need in our equestrian tool box!  It’s absolutely amazing!  Lord Leather Conditioner has set up a special promo just for VR followers!  Get 15% off with code “Velvet” at checkout!  Don’t miss out on this great deal!

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