Thursday, April 21, 2016

April showers bring Horse Boxes

North Carolina is having its usual bipolar weather. In one week it went from nights with near-freezing temperatures to sunny days topping out in the upper 80's (Fahrenheit, that is). Today it decided to cloud up and taunt us with the possibility of rain.
Tut tut it looks like rain...
Price: Monthly subscription is $29.99, longer subscriptions are less
Shipping: Free and around the 15th of the month (I say "around" because once it shipped a day early!)
Contents: 4-6 horse and horse-related products with a value of $35+
Note: I'm aiming this review at both horse-people and non-horse subscription box fans, so some things may be overly explained or simplified. If you're confused about anything, feel free to ask! I've been around horses since I was a child, so sometimes I forget that certain things aren't common knowledge.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I won The Happy Rebel Box, so I'm reviewing it

The Happy Rebel Box is a new subscription box that is targeting women who are into style with a bit of an edgy twist. This pretty much describes me perfectly. I was a kinda-goth kid back in high school and now in my mid-twenties I still have a penchant for the darker vibe mixed in with a more mainstream chic love of fashion.

USPS kinda banged up the box a bit

 This box ships quarterly and costs $100. I didn't pay for this box, however, because I won it through their Instagram contest! Yay! That doesn't really have any influence on my opinion of the box's contents, as being detached and cynical is pretty high up on my list of talents. Anyway, on with the review!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Horse Box March review

So in my usual bad-budgeting self, I subscribed to A Horse Box. This is perfect for me as it merges my love of subscription boxes with my life-consuming hobby (and currently my job as well) of working with horses. I'm attempting to make this review a bit more user-friendly for the non-horsey subscription boxes lovers who just want to read about any sub box for curiosity's sake. So horse people, please forgive me if I simplify or over-explain some things.

Box: A Horse Box
Cost: $29.99/month (cheaper with longer prepaid plans), free shipping
Products: 4-6 horse and equestrian products with a total retail value of $35-$100

Address blurred because you really don't want to visit redneckville. Trust me on this.

It's here! It's here! In the subscription box world, the packaging would be a disappointment. No fancy box? No snazzy packing material? No problem for me! The prices in the equestrian world often make the notoriously overpriced makeup and skincare world look cheap by comparison. No frills needed in this barn, save the fancy-box money and put it into substance.

 March's box is A Horse Box's 3rd anniversary! I didn't really detect a "theme" in this, but that's neither here nor there. Themes for boxes are nice, but not really needed if the products are good.

Leather Therapy Saddle Pad & Blanket Wash (16oz for $13.00): If there is one thing you can count on with horses, it's dirt. Lots of dirt and fur. On everything. Saddle pads and blankets get especially grimey, and this washing detergent is designed specifically to get those items clean and leave no irritating residue. Plus it's lavender scented.

No Thrush Powder (Sample size, maybe 1oz or so based on full-sized images online. 2.5oz retail for around $15, so I'll guess the RV is $7.50): Thrush is a bacterial infection of the horse's hooves that is exacerbated by moist and damp conditions. Wetness is the enemy here! No Thrush Powder claims to help dry out the parts of the hoof that are infected and fight the bacteria. I've read some mixed reviews of it, but that's normal as hooves aren't the easiest thing to fix when something goes wrong. It's kinda like skincare, where even if you have a product with science backing it, it might work better for one person's acne than another's.

Pony Pizza Company horse treats (3 treats for approximately $6, as their website sells 4-packs in a fancy box for $8.99 and jars of 20 for $19.99): Horse treats that look like pizza! I love cutesy horse cookies, so these were nice to get. Big Mike wasn't quite sure about the flat shape at first and took a bit of coaxing to try it, but Ready and Redwing inhaled their treats in a heartbeat! These are supposed to be peppermint and apple flavored (I'll take their word for that, no interest in eating horse cookies myself). They also included a coupon in the box for $5 off your next purchase.

Showsheen Finishing Mist (15oz for $11): This is a non-aerosol spray that repels dirt and makes the horse's mane, tail, and coat shiny. It is a very quiet mist sprayer so even people with nervous horses can use it without upsetting them. I like that it contains silk proteins and pro-vitamins to nourish and strengthen the hair rather than just providing an aesthetic finish. I'm going to try this on my friend's horse Ready, who is the most dirt-loving horse I've ever met. His tail also needs a bit of help, whereas Big Mike's tail is already long and full.

Vetrolin Deep-Penetrating Liniment Gel (12oz for $11): Liniments are always popular in amongst the horse competition crowd. Do they do anything? Yes, no, and maybe. Many contain some ingredients that can be soothing to sore muscles and joints, but they aren't miracle workers. That being said, I adore liniments! Even if their effect on the horse is miniscule, the physical act of massaging your horse's legs and back with the liniments is cathartic for both horse and rider. This gel also contains hyaluronic acid to help condition the horse's coat as you massage them.

Overview: So this box contained 5 products (3 full sized) with an approximate retail value of $48.50. I say approximate because the prices for most products vary by a dollar or two depending on the store, and that's not even adjusting for potential shipping costs to order things online! Are these things that I "omg need to have"? Nope, but they're all interesting things that I'll definitely use.

I purchased this box with my own money, much to the chagrin of my cat who is a bit of a judgemental little pick about my purchases. I'd buy her a cat box, but she'd probably just ignore the toys and eat the packing tape (again). Questions, Comments, and Casual Insults welcome.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Many Expressions of Elvis

Elvis is a friend's horse that I care for sometimes when she's busy. He's a character, to say the least.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Horse [Box] of course!

Horses + subscription boxes? Be still my heart! But it's true, A Horse Box is a monthly subscription box that sends out fun goodies for horse and rider.

Cost: A six month subscription is $25.99/month, a three month is $27.99/month, and the monthly subscription costs $29.99/month.

Product: 4-6 products with a total value of $35-$100 from both small businesses and large companies.

*Note: I received this box for free. Not intentionally for review, but randomly selected because of a funny story I told on their social media about one of my horses. All opinions are my own*

The February Horse Box theme was well-loved favorites and included a good selection for pampering your horse and tack.

Horse Health Products Leather Cleaner & Conditioner (Large sample size, full 15oz size is around $8, so this is maybe valued at $2 or so? It is a generous size sample): I'm always game for new leather cleaning products, especially single-step ones that don't require an additional conditioner!

Banixx Wound Care (Two 2oz spray bottles, $3 value oops AHB corrected me, these bottles retail for $4 a piece, giving this pack an $8 value!): If you have pets and haven't heard of Banixx, go get some! I adore this stuff. It is an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal spray that is odorless, non-staining, and free of antibiotics and steroids. You can use it on dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, cattle, horses, etc etc...  I can vouch for it being non-irritating, as I have sprayed it on one of my own open cuts to make sure it didn't sting. AND it is made in the USA!

Farnam Slick 'n Easy Grooming Block ($3.95): This is perfect timing! Our horses have already started shedding out in NC and this simple fiberglass brick is a classic for helping that along. It catches loose hair and makes the spring shed a little less painful to deal with. I intend to attack Big Mike with this tomorrow.

Big Mike takes a little siesta
Farnam Laser Sheen Volume-Enhancing Detangler (12oz bottle, $12.95): Anyone who has worked with horses knows how tangled their tails can get. You can use this detangler straight up & applied with hands or dilute it in water & dunk their tail in the bucket. It also contains sunscreen, so it will help prevent dark colored manes and tails from fading in the summer!

HylaLUBE supplement (1 pint/16 day supply for a horse, approx $12.50 value): HylaLUBE is an apple flavored hyaluronic acid supplement designed to support healthy joints. My mother, who used to own a tack shop, has heard good things about it. I would say it is one of the more affordable hyaluronic acid supplements on the market with a high concentration of HA per oz. You can also give this to dogs (dosing directions for canines are on the bottle, too). Horse Box also included a coupon for a $10 mail-in rebate on a purchase of a gallon of HylaLUBE (Non-horsey people: mail-in rebates and buying by the gallon aren't uncommon in the horse world, so my reaction was more "oh cool!" than "eww tacky" like if I got something similar in a makeup subscription box).

Cowgirl's Kitchen Cassino's Kisses treats (2 cookies, $2 value): Aren't these horse treats just the cutest thing ever!? They're made from a molasses & flax base and topped with a sugar heart. Perfect for Valentine's day, and Big Make gives his firm approval on the taste.

Cutest horse treats ever.
Unless I math'd wrong (I majored in humanities and social science...), the products add up to a value of approximately $36.50 $41.50, not including the $10 mail-in rebate if I decide to buy a gallon of HylaLUBE. I'd definitely say that A Horse Box delivers a good box. They included some useful staple items alongside new things that I haven't tried yet. I can see the potential for some boxes falling flat with some horse owners, but that is the usual risk of a subscription box service!

Friday, January 15, 2016

I made a friend!

 This is Big Mike and he has come to stay with me for a little bit while his owner is too busy to ride him. He's a 16.3hh Irish Sport Horse and it is my job to get his lazy butt back in shape for eventing season (but he thinks that my job is feeding him carrots and giving ear scratches!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

BeautyDNA vs my ugly hands (a subscription review)

I love BeautyDNA because I still can't get a handle on what to expect. While everything meshes up with the seriously massive survey, I always find myself opening the box and saying "huh... I wouldn't have picked that...but I'm really intrigued by it!" Sometimes the products end up working out well and other times they're a solid "meh".
BeautyDNA has a pretty strict policy that forbids reselling/trading product that you get from them, so those products that fall in my "meh" category get gifted to friends and family along with a delightful spiel about how BeautyDNA works.
No, there isn't a referral program for BeautyDNA, nor do I get anything free or discounted from them.

You heard me right: I shill for free, yo.

Well, I'll sing their praises so long as they keep doing a good service.

But my December product is one of those products that, whilst good, isn't quite what I need and will be passed on to a good friend.

Product: 3LAB Perfect Hand Cream
Retail Price: $45

This is one expensive hand cream! It has lactic acid and green tea which are wonderful, absorbs quickly, doesn't leave a greasy residue, and has a nice soft fragrance that kinda reminds me of baby powder mixed with clean laundry dried outside on a nice summer day (I know, I'm such a poet). That being said, it isn't quite enough for the sorry state that my hands are in.
If you have normal-person dry hands and need an anti-aging moisturizer, you'll adore this. But I live on a horse farm and my hands take a beating. The current appearance of my hands is enough to make a manicurist cry out in fear.

They're rough, I'm working on it.

That being said, this elegant hand cream will not be enough to beat my skin into submission, so I'm not going to waste it's beauty on a beast. It will be handed on (haha...) to a close friend with hands that are more salvageable than mine.

Now if you excuse me, I must go prepare my spiel.

I purchased my BeautyDNA subscription through GiltCity with my own money and all opinions here belong to myself (and this six pack of porter). Questions, Comments, & Casual Insults are welcome as usual.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

December Original BuluBox (aka month of nom)

Receiving and reviewing my December Original Bulu Box was massively delayed due to the Holidays (on USPS side) and horse-sitting jobs (on my end). But here it is, the infamous $5 sample box of health and fitness stuff. Okay it's technically $10, but there are enough lifetime coupon codes out that that you should not be paying $10 for it (see previous review)