Updated: Aug 16

SO MUCH PROGRESS FOR #hopteamscottie!!!

Our sponsored trainer Justin Haefner is participating in the Appalachian Trainer Face Off 2021 hosted by Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue. It is a 100-day challenge in which feral horses taken in by Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, INC are paired up with trainers to prepare them for adoption. Justin is using The Equestrian Journal to record his sessions and accelerate progress with his assigned horse Scottie - and we love being able to share his journey with you.

The past few weeks Justin is really zeroing in on the areas he wants to progress & using his entries to stay on track.

Less than a month ago, Justin was journaling that his equine partner Scottie was "A little more on edge than usual...worked towards ride but didn't get on. Very tight and distracted..." Their next session focus was "Field trip tomorrow. Prep to ride. Ride in round pen if settled. Stand tied."

And the following week he writes "Softening more in bend and diaphragm - increasing understanding

in bridle. Quickly understood garrocha and not worried about it behind. Worked in round pen and arena..." And in his next session he will focus on "Continuing garrocha, balanced circles. More canter work."

It is amazing to see the progression of each daily entry and to also read back on their entries and how far they have come in such a short period of time! As Justin wrote in one his own social media posts,

Life is always moving at an incredible clip and it’s so easy to let the importance a moment slip away. There’s potential for learning from every moment, but in my experience I can miss this entirely if I don’t take a moment to stop and record it in some way.

I use several methods of reflection, including journaling, audio recording, conversation with those I hold close. In these ways I am able to think about important moments and cultivate a perspective that helps me grow and move forward. Recently I’ve been using The Equestrian Journal to document my sessions with Scottie, and it’s been incredibly powerful. The timeline of this competition has been very short with a lot happening day to day. It’s generally hard for me to have perspective on something like this until I am done and it’s in the past. This journal has helped me keep perspective while remaining in the midst of the process.

How do you reflect upon the occurrences of day to day life? If you’re a horse person, do you keep track of your sessions each day in a way that allows you to see your progress clearly?

I would absolutely recommend anyone with a horse check out the equestrian journal as an option for you. I hope it is as profound for you as it is for me!

Follow Justin and Scottie to see how #hopteamscottie do at the Appalachian Trainer Face Off competition August 10-21, 2021 https://appalachiantrainerfaceoff.com/. Go #hopteamscottie!

Happy reflecting,

The Equestrian Journal team

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Updated: Aug 16

Skip expensive store bought tack sponges and thrush treatments, and make your own from scratch or by repurposing home care items! Here are a few of our favorites:

🧲Spray apple cider or white vinegar on your horse's hooves to keep thrush away.

🧤Inexpensive microfiber car cleaning gloves will remove the last bit of dust from your horse and your tack.

🐎Sprinkle cornstarch or baby powder on clean white legs to keep their chrome.

🧼Lather on the same glycerine soap you use for your tack to get rid of stains on white coats.

🧴 If you don’t want to spend the money on expensive horse shampoos, mild dishwashing liquid works just as well. At college horse shows, Dove was the standard!

👞 To polish hooves, use a wax-based shoe polish and it will also protects from the drying affect of hoof lacquer.

🔨At shows, you can fill nail holes in your horse’s hooves with a matching spackling compound.

⚡ Reduce static electricity in your horse's mane or tail with cling-free dryer sheets.

🦟 Make your own fly spray with the US Forest Service Bug Spray Recipe

1 cup Water

1 cup Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil

2 cups white vinegar

1 tbs. Eucalyptus oil and/or citronella oil

🧽Use a cheap cloth-covered car waxing sponge for cleaning tack.

Happy riding,

The Equestrian Journal team

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Updated: Aug 16

It has been a long winter and now it is spring cleaning time. So air out those trunks, make some space and get them organized with our list of the best equestrian essentials. And we are giving some of them away!

Horse and rider gear has come a long way in the last few years. With so many products on the market, knowing which ones are worth adding to your repertoire can be hit or miss . But there is some great stuff out there to make your horse's coat shine, your saddle fit better, your stalls smell better and even make you a BETTER RIDER. We have taken some of the guesswork out for you as we let you in on our team's favorite products. We are not affiliates with any of these companies - these are just what we buy for our own horses!

Coat Defense Daily Preventative Powder

Our Account Director, Cerice Berndsen, swears this product is amazing. It is an all natural powder that your sprinkle on your horse's coat. It treats rain rot and other skin fungus issues within minutes of application, and it also dries up sweat within minutes and leaves your horse's coat shiny and clean. If your horse has summer allergies, like my sensitive mare does, it also helps with itchy skin https://coatdefense.com/collections/for-horses/products/daily-preventative-powder-8-oz

Bye Bye Odor

Bye Bye Odor is a natural non-toxic microbial solution that Nancy Matolak, our "Air Traffic Controller," uses to remove the ammonia and manure smells in her horses' stalls. Bye Bye Odor actually uses microbes to consume the organics creating ammonia and causing the smell. I am thinking it might be also useful in a house full of teenage boys!


Mattes Saddle Pads

As Kimberly Dunlap, one of our Account Manager,s put it, "I love the Mattes sheepskin Dressage saddle pads. I think they are superior for reducing friction and heat and as a result, keeping the horse more comfortable." You can order them for different disciplines and they are customizable in different colors and trim. So pretty for the upcoming show season.


E-Cloth Grooming Mitt

As an owner of a very sensitive red-headed mare, a curry comb is not the best option. So Catherine Nihem, Account Manager, discovered this grooming mitt. It is dual sided with a rough side for massaging the dirt out and a soft side for brushing the dust away. Plus it is machine washable and her mare now enjoys grooming sessions. The E-Cloth company has trouble keeping it in stock, so if it is sold out on their website you can try resellers on Amazon.


Healthy HairCare Shampoo Plus

There are a million horse shampoos out there. I recall in college using Dawn liquid dish soap - the horror! It is always good to find one that is all natural and gets the job done while still leaving the horse's coat shiny and healthy. Raye Wysocki, Account Manager and Videographer, says this is the ONLY shampoo she uses on her horses.


EQyss Micro-Tek Equine Spray

All of the EQyss grooming products are winners and smell really good too. Yarden Cohen, who helps with Team Tate Academy and is also our resident TikTok guru, uses this spray to soothe and moisturize horse skin on contact. It helps with scratching, itching, biting, and/or rubbing. Provides a healthy environment for healing and is easy to use – just lightly mist on affected areas. https://eqyss.com/products/equine/shampoos/micro-tek-shampoo/

The Equestrian Journal Spiral Version

Our Founder, Catherine Respess, developed The Equestrian Journal to help herself become a better rider, and when her horse friends demanded copies, she knew she had a product every rider needs. We highly recommend this journal to anyone who rides with a goal in mind; no matter how many days a week, or how small or big the goal. There are 3 sections - monthly for a snapshot of upcoming events and horse appointments, weekly for tracking your progress and daily for jotting down notes after your rides. One journal covers 3 months + 1 extra month in case you start your journal mid-month. EVERYONE on our team LOVES this product!


Slow Twist Saddle Soap

One of our Certified Partners, Meredith Duggar, founded the Slow Twist brand and this wonderful all-natural tack soap. Great for use on your boots, your car, or even your hands. Cleans incredibly well without being abrasive. You should definitely check out what she can do with your old saddle pads and show mementos too - turning them into tote bags, purses, laptop bags, coin purses and even phone cases. We love it all! https://www.slowtwist.com/products

Equispangles Browbands

Our Design Director, Merideth Hebert, sources these beautiful, handmade browbands for her own horses. They are all custom designed pieces of art and can be made in the colors of your choosing from standard beads to birthstones, gemstones or even name beads


Horse Hair Creations Custom Bracelet

We speak a lot about heart horses at The Equestrian Journal, and we love having a beautiful remembrance of these magical animals who touched our hearts. Celia takes pieces of your equine friend's hair and creates a custom piece just for you. We love the sterling silver horse hair bracelets ourselves. https://www.facebook.com/HorseHairCreationsCH/

We are so certain you will love these products too, we have partnered with a few for an exclusive giveaway! See our Facebook posts or below for more details.

Happy Shopping,


P.S. Are you still wondering… "DO I NEED THE EQUESTRIAN JOURNAL?"

Let me make it very simple. If one or more of these describe you then YES YOU DO!

➡️ Feel like you aren’t making progress

➡️ Repeat the same lesson over and over

➡️ Feel like you are letting your horse and trainer down

➡️ Aren't sure about your equipment

➡️ Wonder if your horse is happy

➡️ Goals are made and forgotten

➡️ Can’t keep track of your horse’s history

➡️ Feel like you are missing something but not sure what

➡️ Pay for lesson after lesson but stuck at the same level

Remembering your breakthroughs and your fails FUELS YOUR PROGRESS. Your tack, boots, trainer, amazing horse, etc doesn't matter unless you are actively remembering what works and what doesn't - no matter how many lessons you take - if you want to the REMEMBER THE BREAKTHROUGHS from “everyday” rides and have CLEAR ACTION STEPS to get better,

YOU NEED THIS JOURNAL SO STOP GOING IN CIRCLES AND TRY IT OUT TODAY! If you have read this far, then you deserve one of our favorite products in your own trunk! In case you missed the details on our social media here is a recap: Dirty Horse Photo Contest

Win a prize package from our friends at favorite product company COAT DEFENSE with a 10 oz. Trouble Spot Drying Paste, 8 oz. Daily Preventative Powder, and a super cute Coat Defense Equine baseball hat! To enter:

📸 Post a picture of your dirty ho