Sterling Essentials Leather Conditioner
I first saw this brand in an Instagram advertisement. So, advertising works... though I hate to admit it. After looking them up and seeing a few independent reviews, I thought I'd give them a try. After all, I do have somewhat of an obsession with cleaning and shining my boots.
I ended up ordering the Floral Citrus scent and it smells incredible! Not as good as the Effax Lederbalsam which smells like wax and honey, sooo good, but I still appreciate being able to make my boots smell like something other than dirt and shavings.
I start by letting my boots dry completely, especially if they are sweaty from riding in the heat. Our apartment gets so humid that we actually have a dehumidifier so I'll sometimes plop the boots in front of that. Once they're dry, I'll take a damp microfiber cloth to them, and a shoe shining brush to the cracks and crevices where dirt tends to hide. Let dry again. Add generous amounts of the leather conditioner with separate microfiber cloth. Let stand for a few minutes. Use the same cloth to rub in, and/or take excess conditioner off, and then polish with my favorite Effax speedy shine sponge. Works well!
I would absolutely buy Sterling Essentials again, it definitely works better than any black boot polish I've used and I don't feel like I'm making a mess or ruining all my microfiber cloths using it either. 10/10. Might need to get the lavender leather cleaner next.
Wine Down Hoof Pick
As my favorite @adultammystrong saying goes, Whinnies and Wine make me feel fine! I've been attempting to incorporate more equine-themed décor in our home lately, and this bottle opener seemed like the perfect fit while also being useful. I had just lost our best wine opener ever, a hand-me-down from my grandparents I’m sure they picked up in Maui sometime about 2000. My replacement hoof pick/corkscrew combo is a great value for the price and looks quite nice hung in our kitchen. Plus, the hoof pick end is great for getting bottle caps off as well. I have Big Plans for future wine picnics at the barn and/or shows.
8/10 because I could live without it, but it's damn cute. I feel like these would be amazing gifts with a little nameplate or engraving??
Honestly? These stirrups were life-changing. If I had to nail down a single thing that most improved my riding in the last six months, it would be these. Not to hate on MDC, but I just can't do the flexible foot bed, IMHO, I think it makes it easier for your heel to be down, but even easier for it to come back up. There's no putting your heels down and having your leg 'lock' in the correct position.
The combination of the wide foot bed, cheese grater pads, and the slight incline really just make them so supportive and my feet are never sore! The Lorenzini have helped my heel come down so much that it stays down (more the most part) over the jump *gasp* and my boots even started rubbing in new places because of the changed position.
9/10. Might need a pink pair.
Professional Choice Girth
I didn't really need to buy a girth. But I don't really ever need to buy anything.
My barn provides girths. There are multiple sizes, types, etc. and there was a favorite super nice shaped leather Antares that Leo and I both loved for a while… buuuut it would go missing when everyone traveled to shows, and eventually I couldn't find it altogether and just decided to treat myself and grab a synthetic girth.
Everyone has a PC girth. There is a reason. They are awesome, and the price is right. It's easy to get on, plenty stretchy. It's easy to tighten on the ground and in the saddle. The color works. It’s very easy to clean. I think it helps with saddle slippage too.
10/10 would absolutely buy again!