Herban Essentials are a big hit!

Looking for a great all around product to add to your daily routine?

Try Herban Essentials

Look for Herban Essentials:


Started in 1997, Herban Essentials is a small family run company located in Santa Barbara, California.  Our mission has always been simple: to provide our customers with the very best essential oil towelettes in the world as a way to experience essential oils without all of the fuss that goes into buying and mixing oils. 

Herban Essentials uses the highest quality, 100% pure, therapeutic grade, steam distilled or cold pressed essential oils. We make a constant effort to obtain organic, wild-grown oils from American farmers whenever possible. Our products are made in the USA, are cruelty free and are never tested on animals.



Give it a Go- Herban Essentials

Click here to find out where to purchase

I was recommended to try Herban Essentials by an Equestrianista who’s very savvy.  I wrote to Herban Essentials and they sent me a little sample pack to give them a try.

My first observations:

The packaging is clean, simple and clever.  Very eye catching and something that you’re happy to throw in your bag, keep in the barn, in your car and nearby to use when needed.

I always like to support good companies that use pure good quality product, are animal testing free, and manufacture within their own country.

I received a multi pack- I couldn’t decide which wipe to open first!  After trying all scents, I don’t have a favorite, they are all great.  Personally, I love mint- so the mint wipes were great and refreshing.  The lemon and orange were deliciously clean. The lavender was delightfully calming and lovely.

They make a clever pet wipe with the scent of lavender.  What a great idea!  Those stinky barn dogs could use a wipe down once in a while.  Plus, the lavender scent has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties and has been used as a repellent for insects which is a nice added benefit.

Smelly Pet
Click above to purchase Pet Wipes
Many of the essential oils not only smell good, but have other properties such as anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and aroma therapy.
I thought a lot about how you can use these wipes with the Equestrian in mind:


– Wipe off your face and refresh sunscreen.  Clean away dirt, sweat and grime that clog pores and can create uneven skin.  Lavender and Eucalyptus have great antibacterial properties which will help with any chin blemishes that you might get in the summer from your chin strap on your helmet.

– When you are done with wiping your face, stuff the wipe inside your riding helmet to keep that smelling fresh for your next ride!
– Wipe down your tack with the lavender wipes for a cleaning, moisturizing and anti-bacterial application.
– Wipe down your chin strap with the lavender or eucalyptus to get rid of the grime that’s collected there.  Not only do you need to keep your face clean, but also what touches your face to minimize blemishes.
– Use the lavender wipes on your horse’s face at a show to put the finishing touches before going into the show ring. If lavender has calming properties for humans, maybe it will benefit your horse as well?
– Use the lavender for yourself while warming up for the show ring.  Tend to feel a little bit nervous?  Wipe your face down, neck and wrists.  You will smell refreshed as well as benefit from that calming property lavender offers.  The essentials oils on the wipe will warm up with your skin.  Compete clean, calm cool and collected!
– Wipe down your show boots before going into the ring or after.
– Wipe down that dirty dog or smelly barn cat.
– Don’t throw away your wipes!  Well, unless after wiping down the dirty barn dog.  Use first on your face and body to refresh yourself and then leave the wipe in your car as an air freshener!   In the fall or winter, leave the already used wipe in your pocket to make your barn jacket smell good.
– After riding, always have one on hand for going from the barn to somewhere else.
– Mint has been said to help with spider control, so after using the mint wipe, wipe down somewhere in the tack room to keep the spiders down.
– The lemon and orange scents are great to wipe down the kitchen- they smell fantastic! Just like a freshly cut lemon or orange.  Wipe down your car or truck’s dashboard- It tends to collect more dust and dirt going to the barn and will leave a fresh smell in your vehicle.
What else can you think of?

Want to find where to purchase Herban Essentials?  Click Here:

Click above to place your zip code in and find a retailer 

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The Art of the Chase of the Hunt-a young photographer finds his niche in rich horse country

When you live in one of the most beautiful historic horsey areas in the USA, it’s hard not to be involved with horses and pick up a camera!




It all started two years ago for Alec Thayer, a typical teenager who resides in Unionville, PA.   In my opinion, Unionville, PA and the surrounding area ranks right up there as far as a more amazing famous horsemen/women found per square mile than any other place in the United States.  Eventing, Dressage and Racetrack Superstars such as Phillip Dutton, Martin Boyd, Silva Boyd, Michael W Dickinson, Lana DuPont, Bruce Davidson, Jennie Brannigan- Just to name a few off the top of my head(sorry if I missed you). I’d have to do a whole blog post as to who lives around there!

You may recall seeing some of Alec’s pictures in my interview with Equestrianista Jennie Brannigan a while ago. 

Click here to read about her style. 


 If you ever get a chance to drive down the stone wall lined country roads in that area you will understand why.


What started it all for Alec, of AP3 Photography, was taking a national outdoor leadership school program. He was assigned to take 10 pictures a day.   He enjoyed that so much that when he returned home that he took his camera and headed down the road to the Plantation Horse Trials to take some more!

After Plantation, he received many encouraging comments about his pictures that he has taken photography up as a main hobby.  With a good natural eye and a camera in hand, Alec set off for more competitions and horsey events to attend to.


What do you love so much about what you do?


Being a recreational horseback rider and a self proclaimed adrenaline junky- skiing, sailing, etc.. Alec comments that he understands the timing of the horse & rider jumping.  He really enjoys the challenge of taking pictures of a moving object and getting that perfect shot!   That is his adrenaline rush when taking pictures of horsey subjects.

When fall came, Alec started to chase Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds.  Started in the early 1900’s, the Cheshire Hunt has a rich heritage and is still a very active hunt.   This is where the real love for photography started for Alec.  For him, and many other foxhunting photographers, it’s the Chase of the Hunt that makes them come back for more!

Pictured above, it’s not just some crazy fit guy who runs 10 miles or more with the Cheshire Hounds on foot, but a very famous steeplechase jockey/  5 Guiness Book of World Record title holder /  turned race horse trainer from UK who also trained in Maryland, USA- Michael W Dickinson!



What do you love the most about taking pictures of foxhunting?

 All of it, he replied.  It’s the whole thing: capturing parts of the hunt, getting up close and achieving the ultimate goal of getting a picture of the hunted- Mr. Fox!  It’s the challenge of figuring out where to be and how to get there ahead of the hunt so you can actually get a picture of it happening!  It’s a game of getting the whole thing on camera.


Alex explains, that there are about 30-40 in car followers of the hunt.  They follow the hunt in vehicles and all end up following the guy in the hound truck!  The hound truck guy has “specialized skills, fox radar, built-in intuition, along with excellent driving skills” to know the back roads inside & out and where the hunt is probably going.  First Alec would follow in his own vehicle, but has befriended the hound truck guy and now he rides with him!

This has enabled Alec to capture the real prize- the fox!



 I asked Alec what he does in the off season.  He replied, ” There really is no off season.  There is a nice balance between Eventing and Foxhunting.”  At the moment, finishing High School and getting accepted into College is the main priority for this young photographer.  Alec hopes to get back into full swing once summer arrives.  In the meantime, when he can, he gets out to continue to shoot photos.


His photography goals are to take some lighting classes and learn about indoor studio lighting.  His ultimate dream location to shoot would be The World Equestrian Festival- CHIO Aachen this summer!



Best of luck with all your goals this year Alec!


 I just love this picture, it reminds me of an old English hunt painting!

To see more of Alec Thayer- Check out his website and follow him on Facebook!

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Follow Alec at Ab3 Photography on Facebook-

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Throwback Thursday

Most Equestrianista’s have a sidekick- Meet Dixie!

Photo Credit: Jim Dratfield

Dixie is Brandy’s 7year old, “Croatian Squirrel Terrier.” I’m only kidding…She’s a mutt of some sorts, Yorkie & Jack Russell???    Regardless, she’s tan and wirey and fearless, like most terriers.

Dixie enjoys going out to the barn and roaming around checking her special spots for creatures to torture.  She’s actually famous and has appeared on a Hallmark Card!  Be on the look out for Dixie in the Hallmark Stores!

Brandy has had some great dogs in the past. Many of them have happily entered into their 20’s!  Brandy’s secret to longevity is horse poo and letting a dog be a dog!  She also recommends that they are horse conscious!  She doesn’t follow anything special with diet, just having a good life with lots of outside fun times.

Dixie’s doggy accessories consist of a dog blanket for the cold winter and a Christmas dress that she puts up with.


Photo Credit: Jim Dratfield

Fox Hunting Influences: The Jack Russell!

From Foxhunting, there was a need for a specific dog that could go along on the hunts to be used when the fox went to ground.  Meet the popular Jack Russell Terror Terrier!

Named after the most famous of British huntsmen, Reverend John Russell, 1795-1983, otherwise known as the Sporting Parson, the Parson Russell Terrier is a worthy testament to the hunting legacy he left behind. Reverend John Russell’s passion for fox hunting and working with bloodhounds and terriers is notable and the stuff of legend.


A special breed of Terrier bred in the south of England for the sport of fox hunting during the mid 1800’s has a pure bred bloodline that nearly runs parallel with the royal masters it once served in the hunt. The Parson Russell Terrier was known for its energy and endurance as it kept stride with horse and hound while pursuing the European red fox across Devon’s wooded countryside. While the hounds could sniff out their quarry from deep within its den or drive them underground, the Parson Russell Terrier could follow after and chase the fox out of the hole so the pursuit could continue.

 Arthur Wardle 1886- Jack Russell Terriers at Rabbit Hole

The behavioral traits that are characteristic of the breed, namely: character, intelligence, attitude, and the ability to adapt to its environment make the Parson Russell Terrier perfectly suited for the sport it was bred for, foxhunting. Being of a unique build that is balanced, yet flexible, the Parson Russell Terrier has straight legs that are ideal for the run and a narrow chest that’s perfect for fitting in the most confined of spaces.

Nowadays, the Jack Rusell can be found all over the World.  They are a beloved pet and companion at almost every horsey event.  The Jack Russell just made its debut at the National Dog Show in 2012!


Words to describe the Jack Russell:

Happy, Digger, Little Big Dog, Mischief, Fearless, Independent, Sturdy, Tenacious, Companion, Scrappy



Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

Here’s some basics that we can take away from the Equestrianista of the week.  All the Royals will wear a coat with matching hat and the Queen always has a pretty scarf nearby.

Rider on the Go Tips: Queen Elizabeth


Her favorite color seems to be blue

The Royals, in public tend to wear a monochromatic outfit- try it sometime.

Her dog of choice is the Corgi.  Corgis are very affectionate, love to be involved in the family, and tend to follow wherever their owners go. They have a great desire to please their owners, thus making them eager to learn and train (they can be stubborn, however).  The Queen has owned more than 30 Corgis during her reign.


Rider on the Go Tips:


– Be frugal

– Be aware of costs of items and services

– Do the “squeeze” test on fabric to see if it will wrinkle or not before purchasing

– Weigh down hemlines on dresses and coats to avoid embarrassment.

To read more: Vogue November: Dressing the Queen- an interview with Angela Kelly, the Queen’s Personal Assistant and Senior Dresser.

The other thing she insists on doing, which I don’t agree with- she doesn’t ride with a helmet. You will always see her in a pretty scarf around her head. Pretty scarves are a must for a Rider on the Go.


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