Your Girth Might Not Be The Only One to Blame

Even though spring is just a month a way, does your horse still sport the shaved look and some racing stripes? Fortunately, our unofficial mascot, Big Rabs, didn’t need to get body clipped this year. The sweet guy was able to preserve his dignity ever so slightly since he didn’t look like a naked mole rat the past few months.

Was your partner in crime not so lucky? And does your horse seem to get a little more sensitive and irritated at the girth now, too? It may not necessarily be a coincidence. Sometimes irritation, dry skin, and sensitivity around the girth area are the result of a chafing or poorly fitting girth. However, for horses with a close body clip, the culprit for discomfort might actually be the leather care products used to care for your girth.

Got racing stripes? Irritated girth area, too? Your girth might not be the only one to blame.

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Your horse’s coat and delicate skin are very susceptible to product irritation during this time of year if their coat is clipped. Without the usually thicker buffer of hair, the tack cleaners and conditioners you use on your girth can more easily get onto your horse’s skin. If any of these products contain harsh or potentially irritating ingredients, this may very well be the reason for your horse’s lumps and bumps, dry skin, and sensitivity at the girth. Coupled with winter’s cold dry air, it is easy to see how your horse’s skin could quickly become chapped, flaky, and uncomfortable. Think about your poor hands this time of year.

If you are dealing with girth area issues, we suggest you consider not only the fit of your girth but also if the leather care products you are using are contributing to the problem. When shopping for superior leather care, look for products that are gentle, and steer clear of harsh and counterproductive ingredients such as alcohol, lanolin, glycerin, petroleum based products, mink oil, and other similar materials.

We totally sympathize with you, too. One of our horses a number of years ago, Pierre, was very sensitive to products and would break out along his girth and under his bridle leather. This is just one of the reasons we developed our own line of gentle animal friendly leather care products. You can definitely take comfort in the fact that there is a solution out there for you. With a little research and possibly trial and error, you’ll be on your way in no time to happy horses and no more lumps and bumps!

Posted on February 20, 2019 .

Announcing Collegiate Sponsorship Program

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Brand new for 2019, we are very excited to announce the launch of our Collegiate Sponsorship Program. The Program is open to college equestrian teams of all disciplines and already has several inaugural members, including the Stanford University Equestrian Team, University of Oregon Equestrian Team, University of Kentucky Dressage Team, and University of Arizona Equestrian Team.

College equestrian teams face many challenges, so we are glad to lend a hand to help keep teams thriving and to support these up-and-coming athletes, the future of horse sports, with their dreams and goals. We look forward to working with many teams this year! Teams interested in learning more about the Program are encouraged to contact Teal Shoop, our CEO, at customerservice@sterling-essentials.com.  

Posted on January 25, 2019 .

A Little Goes A Long Way

We are delighted that our products continue to get such wonderful buzz. Happy New Year and a happy new review, thanks to Tessa and Equestrian Evaluations! Known for her straight talk on all things equestrian, Canadian blogger, Tessa Gregory, took the pulse of our products and found us to be a hit.

I started off with the Eucalyptus conditioner. I really love it. It is so creamy and it just melts right into the leather effortlessly. You hardly need any, which is important and a little goes a long way! I applied it to my Dublin boots and it absorbed immediately into the leather.
— Tess, Equestrian Evaluations, Janary 2, 2019

Visit Equestrian Evaluations for the full review and for more raves about our fragrances: http://equestrianevaluations.com/sterling-essentials-leather-cleaner-and-conditioner/

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Posted on January 14, 2019 .

The Game Changer - Anti-Aging for Your Leather

Have you ever noticed how your leather boots or half-chaps wrinkle and pucker with time? These wrinkles and sags are inevitable as the leather breaks in and conforms to the contours of our feet and legs. This is a natural part of leather aging and use. However, this sagging, dragging, and saddle-bagging of our lovely leather goods becomes even more pronounced when our leather loses it’s fiber strength (aka not nourished routinely) and when the wrinkles turn into rigid mountain ranges due to residual sweat, dirt, and grime. And yes, this does even happen to me, queen of the leather care routine! Ugh. What do do?

Cleaning and conditioning is always key, and as Jackie Guezille illustrates so fantastically in her review of our products in the latest Wally the Pony blog, the results can be stunning. Botox for leather anyone? According to Jackie, our products are an absolute game changer in her routine, and we hope they will be in yours, as well!

Why does blogger Jackie recommends a two step leather care process? How do our products stack up against some pretty nasty looking gear? Do our products strip out the dyes in your leather? See for yourself and more by checking out Jackie’s full review at https://wallythepony.wordpress.com/.

Before on the Left, After on the Right

Before on the Left, After on the Right

You can see that the dark rich color of my leather is restored, WITHOUT stripping any of the dye off. Any dirt or horse sweat is gone (minus the mud I left on my boot heel–sorry!), but the leather is much more supple and moisturized. It was honestly like looking at before and after pictures of people getting Botox. All the wrinkles and lines disappeared, and my half-chaps looked better than they have in months.
— Wally the Pony, Jackie Guezille

Thank you, Jackie for this detailed tell-it-like-it-is on our products!

Photo Credits: Jackie Guezille, Wally the Pony Blog

Now Available at Big Dee's Tack

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Just in time for the holiday shopping season to kick-off in full swing, you can now include our products on your shopping list for your next trip to Big Dee’s Tack & Vet. We are so excited to be working with this Streetsboro, Ohio fixture, a great testament to the community with over 40 years in business!

Big Dee’s has so many exciting holiday events planned, including giveaways galore, so be sure to pop in soon!

Posted on November 16, 2018 .

Love Your Tack - So Commands Bits and Bays

It is always exciting and fun to become connected with other Pacific Northwest horse loving entrepreneurs! Early this fall we had the pleasure of being featured by fellow PNW horse junkie, Betsy, in her beautiful equestrian lifestyle blog, Bits and Bays.

An amazing review, we were blown away by Betsy’s products-in-action photography and warm praise for our products. Visit Betsy’s blog to read the full review: http://www.bitsandbays.com/2018/09/28/sterling-essentials-love-your-tack/

Okay, so enough babbling about how good it smells, you’re not shopping for perfume, the important part about Sterling Essentials is that it works. Not only will your tack smell amazing, it will be polished, conditioned, and ready to last a lifetime. Time to queue up a Netflix series to binge while you engulf yourself in amazing smells and deep clean your gear.
— Bits and Bays, September 28, 2018
Posted on November 2, 2018 .

We're Ready for You Snowbirds

If you are a local Floridian or a snowbird headed that way soon for the winter circuit (or just to ditch the icicles), you know with the utmost certainty that you have some of the best tack, feed, and equipment shopping in the country at your finger tips in Florida. So many choices, lucky, lucky you!

No doubt Berrettini Feed Specialists, Farmcreek Tack Supply, and Seminole Feed are some of your fave destinations, and we are happy to share with you that these stores are now stocking our products! Hmmm, what fragrance do you think goes best with Florida weather? Maybe the Floral Citrus for a little bit of exotic, tropical zing? :)

Posted on October 31, 2018 .

Front and Center in the Equine Journal!

Have you cracked open your September issue of Equine Journal yet? If you haven’t, you’ll be in for a fun surprise when you see us front and center! And no worries if you haven’t gotten a chance to put your feet up yet and catch up on your reading - - I usually run 6-9 months behind on my magazine pile, too!

The conditioner was our tester’s favorite, as it did not leave her tack or her hands oily after use; plus she loved the natural scent of both products…
— Terise Cole, Equine Journal, October 9, 2018

We are so excited to be featured in this fabulous publication!

Follow the link to read the full review!

Link: https://www.equinejournal.com/2018/10/09/leather-care-essentials/

Posted on October 22, 2018 .

Find Us At Spectrum Saddle Shop

If palm trees are on your daily horizon, then you know that Spectrum Saddle Shop is one of the THE places to shop for tack and apparel in Florida. We are delighted to share the news that our products are now fully stocked at this fabulous shopping destination, as well as in Spectrum’s premier mobile store!

There is something so exotic sounding about doing your equestrian shopping from a mobile shop set up under blue skies and swaying fronds…..or perhaps we are just already mourning the approach of rainy, dreary days ahead in western Oregon. :) Regardless, be sure to stop in and visit Ellie and her crew for all of your needs!

Meet Dessage Phenom Niki Clarke

We are pleased to introduce Niki Clarke, one of our sponsored professional riders, and welcome her to our family. A talented athlete on the Grand Prix dressage stage, Niki is absolutely one to watch! If you haven’t followed her on FaceBook or Instagram, we highly recommend it. You will be blown away by the videos she posts of her and her mounts performing deceivingly difficult exercises with the greatest of ease.

Photo Credit Sheryl Ross

Photo Credit Sheryl Ross

Niki Clarke originally began her riding career as a Three-day Eventer. Early on, Niki trained with Three-Day Eventing greats Amy Barrington and David and Karen O’Connor. Her passion for horses and hard work ethic lead Niki to numerous Eventing accolades at a young age, including being long listed for the Sydney Olympics.

In 2004 Niki decided to make a career change and began her path up the ranks of the Dressage world. She moved to Holland to concentrate on her main love of Dressage, under the instruction of Bert Rutten. In 2005, Niki moved back across the pond to continue her dressage training in the U.S.

In 2006, Niki started Dressage Unlimited a full training barn with an emphasis on developing talented young horses for competition and sales.

Today, Niki is not only a highly respected FEI rider, her career accolades to date include USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals, and a Centerline Scores 5* rated rider. She was Reserve Champion at the Brentina Cup in 2007, third place at the 2010 Brentina Cup, and multiple wins at multiple levels with a variety of horses throughout the FEI levels. In 2018, Niki was named to the USEF Dressage Development Program with Coral Reef Ranch’s Coral Reef Scoobidooh.

In addition to her accomplishments as an FEI rider, Niki is equally passionate about her client’s success. Students enjoy her positive approach and love of the equestrian sport, complimenting Niki’s teaching and training abilities in producing success for numerous horses and riders.

We can’t wait to follow Niki’s career and know there will be great things coming her way!

Posted on October 16, 2018 .