Back with Dapplebay

Dapplebay has updated their lifestyle collection with new Fall inspired pieces. I was lucky enough to get my hands on some of the everyday horse girl pieces and wanted to share them with you. Use code HORSEGLAM10 to get 10% off your purchase for a limited time this holiday season. 

When the cropped trend began, I thought it was cute but I really didn’t anticipate wearing the look as much as I have been. It is pretty hard to ignore how comfortable these hoodies are though. They are lined with fleece and the dropped shoulder with longer sleeves feels like you are snuggled in a blanket. The raw hemline makes it seem like you aren’t trying, a facade that I dig.  The flowy, cropped t-shirt material is just as comfy – it feels like satin against your skin. I loved the color of this one pictured!

The “Dream Chaser” t-shirt is one of my fall favorites as I cannot have too many long sleeves this time of year. The fit is tailored so it is easy to wear alone or underneath something else, like the cropped sweatshirt. I am a firm believer in layering when the temperatures drop! I also appreciate that the design is on the back. It’s more subtle. Sometimes I feel like big designs on the front of a shirt can be obnoxious.

The bomber jacket was really popular on my Instagram feed. The fit is more of a boyfriend style, which is perfect for equestrian needs as it fits easily over your clothes to keep you warm while at the barn. Ribbed sleeves, waistband and crewneck areas finish the look.

Visit DappleBay to see more of these looks Don’t forget the HORSEGLAM10 code!

All pictures by Shannen Smyth. 🙂

2019 Horse Glam + Friends Holiday Gift Guide

Oops, we did it again! I teamed up with a new set of influencer friends for the 2019 Horse Glam + Friends Holiday Gift Guide. Together we came up with ideas for your own personal wishlist, as well as some great gift giving ideas for those special peeps in your life. Scroll through the pages below and if you see something that interests you, click anywhere on the page and you will be re-directed to the brand’s website. If there are multiple brands listed on one page, click the links at the bottom of that page to jump to the respective websites. As always, thank you for following me on my Horse Glam journey! Happiest of holidays! xo Andrea and Chloe (and Ham)

Harbor Sweets Link
TKEQ Link
Botori Link
Dreamers Link
DappleBay Link
DB Artist Link
Marco Link
Soap Link
Giddy Up Link
Pony Suds Link
Pony Glam link
Manhattan Link
Equestriess Link
R&R Link
Tucker Link

IBKUL (I-B-COOL)

Before I became familiar with the brand IBKUL, it never dawned on me to wear sun shirts in any other facet of my life other than horse back riding. Spending time at the barn generally always means time in the sun, so I try to keep my neck and arms covered as much as possible by wearing sun shirts. When I step outside my equestrian bubble, it is pretty clear how versatile the IBKUL sun shirts really are. Golf, tennis, running and even relaxing pool-side are all activities that could benefit from IBKUL. The shirts are made with Icefill fabric technology that converts your sweat into cooling energy to help keep you cool, even when the temperatures outside are anything but. The long sleeve shirts have mesh underneath for optimum ventilation, something I always appreciate in the middle of the summer. Also important is that the fabric is UPF50+, which offers superior sun protection for your skin.

The first thing I noticed about IBKUL was the vast amount of colors and patterns to choose from. If you like color and patterns then this is your place! IBKUL is not foremost an equestrian brand, but they definitely had us equestrians on their mind with the introduction of the Promenade “Bitty” Top. This same pattern comes in a short sleeve option, as well as 2 other colors (navy/pink and orange). I am wearing the black/red color option, which features interwoven gold bits and curb chains. When zipped, the half zip mock neck gives it a polished look, perfect for a riding lesson. Unzipped makes for a more casual feel. I paired this long sleeve sun shirt with black breeches and vintage tan knee patches.

Also pictured is the Short Sleeve Zip Mock Neck in solid Navy. This style comes in numerous other colors, from Black to Seafoam. Like the long sleeve sun shirt, the shirt sleeve has built in moisture-wicking and anti-microbial properties, making it an ideal choice for any outdoor athleisure activity. One of the reviews mentioned they wore theirs frequently for gardening! I paired mine with rust colored breeches.

Be sure to visit the IBKUL website to see all of the many color choices and detailed patterns they offer. I often times get questions from Instagram followers asking for help with matching their breeches and “what color would I wear with this”. IBKUL would be a great place to start when looking for pattern ideas!

The Height of the Storm

When I was asked to do a blog review on The Height of the Storm, the third book in The Triple Crown Trilogy by Kimberly Campbell, I thought I would be able to read the book and write a review. I read the book summary and found myself interested, despite the book being classified as “YA” or Young Adult. It had all the elements I look for in a good book: a tragedy, relatable family drama and well, horses. To better educate myself on the whole picture, I read the summaries of the first two books, The Calm Before the Storm and The Eye of the Storm. I suddenly found that I was invested in the storyline. I wanted to read more about how the universe first aligned Genuine Storm, a horse that needed a second chance at life, with Charlie, a widowed mom of two young kids who found herself starting over whether she was ready to or not. The Height of the Storm begins right after long-shot Genuine Storm has two back-to-back wins at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Weeks before the last leg of the Triple Crown, the stable suffers a devastating fire where much is lost, secrets are unraveled and relationships are broken. The third book centers around whether the group can rally together to clench the first Triple Crown win in thirty-seven years.

Like I said, after reading the official summaries of each book, I felt I was invested in the storyline and I wanted to know more about all the characters and read about their path to the Kentucky Derby. I knew I had to start at the beginning with The Calm Before the Storm. Luckily all the books are available on Amazon so it won’t be too difficult to catch up. In the meantime, I thought it would be a great opportunity to interview Kimberly Campbell about the Series and her own personal connection with Thoroughbreds.

HG: Thanks so much Kimberly for chatting with me. I loved the Thoroughbred Series as a kid and I feel like The Triple Crown Trilogy is an adult version of those, so I am really looking forward to reading the books! I learned that you have always had a soft spot for Off The Track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs) and have given a forever home to many retired OTTBs. Can you tell me about your first OTTB?

KC: My love for the Thoroughbred started when I was a teenager, when I got my first Thoroughbred off the track.  Smokey was grey, hence my love for a grey horse, and was quite the character.  He would stand in the middle of the field gazing around at the horses pleasantly eating around him and decide it was time to rile the rest of the herd up and start chasing them around.   He wasn’t the easiest to ride and was quite uncomfortable, but he would do whatever I asked, including jump as high as I could stomach.  And as a young kid, I thought I could jump the moon!    The thoroughbred has a heart and mind that I don’t think you find in other breeds, they will try to do the best they can and they certainly know how to exhibit enthusiasm when they are successful!   

HG: Many rescued OTTB stories have left scars in my mind and I am sure you know firsthand how people in the industry can cast the “old” racehorses or the “losers” aside. Is it sometimes hard to still love the sport knowing the things you know or do you think the industry unfairly gets a bad reputation?

KC: I try and look at things from an outside perspective.   The racing industry is at a cross-roads and at times is losing public interest due to mis-communication and mis-understanding.  I think it would be best served by talking in layman terms to the general public so they can understand why certain things are the way they are.  There are extremes in all sports and I think with social media and everyone being able to put their opinion out for all to read, things can get misconstrued.   The industry needs to be more relatable to the average person – sometimes all people see on TV or read about is the wealth owners and trainers that are involved in the Triple Crown races.    What about following a one-racehorse owner like me and focus on all the tidbits I am learning about as I try to understand the industry better?

HG: Have you ever owned an active racehorse? Can you describe the amount of, and intensity of, training that it takes to be competitive?

KC: My first and only racehorse is Height of the Storm, named after my third book.  I purchased her as a yearling in early 2017 with dreams of her racing career coinciding with my books and dreams of reaching the Kentucky Derby.   It was not to be, but it has been a whirlwind of fun.  Storm is definitely a competitor, but she got really sick and almost died right before she was going to run in her first race as a two-year old.  A team of great doctors at the equine hospital nursed her back to health, but they weren’t sure she would get back to the track.  After six months of rehab and weight gain, she returned to the track and continued her path to her first race.  To date, her best finish was a second at Pimlico, a few weeks after the Preakness.  It was exciting to watch her come down the homestretch where so many great racehorses have run with the tents in the infield as the backdrop.  

My trainer does a great job with Storm, but he is also educating me on what level races she could be successful at.  Since her second place finish, Storm usually finishes mid-herd.  She is a consistent runner, but doesn’t exhibit that “kick” to finish strong.  There is so much that goes into getting a horse to the race, both physically and mentally.  You also need to figure out what surface they like to run on, dirt or turf, as well as what would be the best distance.

Given that I don’t want to risk Storm getting claimed, our race options for her are limited.  The majority of the races at the track are different levels of claiming races, where horses have the potential to change hands, and you can’t prevent it.  Although I have been told the risk is small, I couldn’t stomach putting Storm in a claiming race and having someone claim her away from me.  Although the competing argument is that these races would be a better match for her potential and get her in a winning mindset – hence the mental side of preparing a horse to race.  They do know when they win.  Right now she is quite comfortable with finishing with her friends around her.  

I will give her another race this year and then give her a few months off at a farm to continue to mature and develop physically.  Then, if as a four-year-old she doesn’t succeed, then I will find a new job for her such as being a show horse.  Storm will always have a home with me. 

HG: What do you think it would be like to sit in the owner’s box of the Kentucky Derby? Would you be able to enjoy it or be wrecked with nerves? I think I would be bouncing back between those two emotions!

KC: Oh boy, that would be the best!  I was fortunate to be invited into the Paddock of this past Kentucky Derby for a race earlier in the day and it was such a treat.  No matter what, my mind would be on having a safe trip – which I say to Storm’s jockey every time they get up on her for a race.  Believe me, watching your horse run down the homestretch at Laurel Park is just as exciting as watching the horses come down the stretch at Churchill Downs.  The one emotion I look forward to experiencing is coming in first – it wouldn’t matter what track I was at. 

HG: Did you ever anticipate that you would be an author of an equestrian novel? What was the most challenging part of writing the last book, The Height of the Storm?

KC: Never in my life did I envision being a writer.  I am an accountant by trade and have written the books in my “spare time” while managing several businesses and a houseful of kids and all their activities.  But I was passionate about the topic and have thoroughly enjoyed learning more about each of the races, as well as meeting so many great people who provided me details that I have weaved into the story.  There are so many people to thank for taking the time to answer my questions. Early on before the first book was written, there were the ones who helped me frame my ideas and storyline – from the receptionist at a breeding farm in Casanova, Virginia after the owner passed away to the owner breeder who introduced me to the details of Keeneland and its historic auction to the historian at Sagamore Farm outside of Baltimore.   And then subsequently, the tours of Pimlico and Belmont by individuals willing to hear what I was trying to write about, introductions to vets that specialized in various aspects that I incorporated into the books, along with inspirational chats with industry insiders at various conferences I attended.    

The challenge of writing book three was that I wasn’t sure where the story should go.  When I started out writing the trilogy, I knew what the main topics and stories were going to be in Calm Before the Storm and Eye of the Storm.  I didn’t have a strong sense of where I wanted the last book to go.   My editor Lauren Kanne was instrumental in asking questions and helping with the research as we worked together to develop the last book and wrap up the storyline of each character. 

HG: What’s next? Can we look forward to a new equestrian series from you or a potential spinoff series?

KC: I have been asked about more books and for now, my goal is to take a breather while my kids are still at home.  I have one in college, one ready to head to college and my daughter is a freshman in high school.  I have ideas on where I could go with follow on stories as I love educating myself as well as the reader in different areas of the horse industry.  And maybe it just isn’t within horse racing, but maybe some of Storm’s offspring venture into other disciplines, like eventing or showjumping.  I will have to see where my heart (and Storm, both fictional and real-life) takes me. 

Thank you so much for answering my questions, Kimberly! Excited to see what is in store for you next!! Chloe votes that Storm’s offspring enter the showjumping stadium!

Kimberly and her horse, Lilly.

New Color Drop from myMareCo

You might recall my post a few months ago about a company called myMareCo. myMareCo sells sweat wicking headbands that fit over your hairnet and under your helmet, designed to keep the sweat out of your eyes. They quickly became a barn favorite! For a quick refresh on this new company and to read my review of their headbands, follow the link HERE.

The initial launch of myMareCo came with 6 colors of headbands in varying solid and patterned colors. Since it was during the spring/summer, some of the colors were bright and cheery, like hot pink and a marbled purple. After a successful product launch, myMareCo is back with new color designs to choose from. Colors in this grouping range from warm solids to conservative patterns. I am more of a solid color kind of girl, but I do love the neutral undertones in the patterns. The hunter green solid is also one of my all time favorites. I think it really compliments both Chloe and Hamster!

It’s important to note that nothing about the size or fit has changed and the headbands can still be used for any athletic activity. You can also still purchase the original colors as well.

All headbands available now at myMareCo. Shop NOW!

Saddlebox: A review by Chloe.

Saddlebox promises to be a box of happiness for your horse. Therefore, it was only natural that they asked me, Chloe, the world’s premiere horse blogger, to review their subscription box. After my minion, Andrea, opened the box for me (I’m all hooves), I got to work and quickly accessed the goods.

Noms. There were two bags of quality horse treats. TWO! And they were both full size bags – not the little sample bags that typically come in other boxes. Thanks to Saddlebox, Andrea’s tack trunk now has 1lb of bite-sized Apple Nuggets and her grooming tote is well stocked with Claeys peppermint candies. These treats are so delicious that I don’t mind doing 100 neck stretches for them.

Grooming. There were a few items in the box related to horse grooming. I am pretty clean most of the time, but have you seen some of those gross geldings? Yikes! I was happy to see the Epona grooming mitt in the box. Andrea misplaced my old one and these mitts are great for removing sweat marks. Not that I sweat of course. The mitts also help stimulate my natural sheen and can be used wet or dry. The box also came with a very soft palm-sized face brush made by Decker. I really appreciated this because I detest when Andrea uses a stiff brush on my face! Would she like me to use a stiff brush on her face? I don’t think so! A fancy (as far as hoof picks can be fancy) wooden hoof pick by Epona was also included. It has a leather tag that makes it easy to hang up in the grooming stall so that everyone has a hoof pick handy. Lastly, the Tough-1 Shedding Blade is sure to give Andrea delight this time of year, as my winter coat is in and the dull dander on my romp gives her heart palpitations.

Owner Gifts. Andrea is never going to purchase a subscription box that doesn’t benefit her in some way (hmph) so Saddlebox correctly assumed they have to include a few owner gifts in there. Heaven forbid that the majestic animal that carts you around weekly is pampered! Anyway, this box came with a horse patterned light weight scarf, which Andrea loved, and a decorative Western boot that would apparently (according to Andrea) look cute in a book case.

Details. For a one-time box the price is $45 total. Sign-up for 3 consecutive monthly boxes and the price drops to $40 total per box. For a year membership, the boxes decrease by 33%. I am not a mathematician but it sounds like a pretty good deal to me, if you like getting monthly surprises in the mail and you like giving back to your horse, the one that works tirelessly to carry you around and make it look effortless… 🙂

Sign up for your box here and it will ship for FREE, TODAY!!!! You heard that right. It ships today, and then each subsequent box will ship on the 15th of every month. And there are no shipping fees, ever! You’re welcome!

xo Chloe the horse.

BE YOU. BE RIATA.

Original Sun Hats for An Original You.

Custom RIATA

I had the most fun working with Jill Slater, the creative genius behind RIATA. Somehow I spent the last 5 years without a RIATA, but luckily, through Instagram referrals, Jill came to my rescue. For those that do not yet know, a RIATA is a custom straw hat, made of vintage and designer fabrics, and hand-crafted by Jill. I am fancy, so I adorned both my RIATAS with embellished brooches. I call RIATAS custom because you work personally with Jill throughout the entire creative design process.

Starting is simple. You simply go to the Order page here and fill out the Contact Me form at the bottom of the page. Jill will email you with a list of questions in an effort to get a better understanding of your personality and personal style. I encourage you to browse some of the pictures on her website, or even Instagram, to get some inspiration. Once your answers are received, Jill will then email or text you with different fabric selections based on your answers. This is the fun part! There are so many unique designs and colors to select from. You continue to communicate back and forth with Jill until your personal fabric choice has been made and then Jill will send you a picture of your pinned RIATA for your approval.

Custom RIATA Visor

RIATAS are perfect for protecting your face from the harsh sun and keeping yourself cool around the barn and at horse shows. I have taken my RIATA visor to the beach too. The fabric and optional embellishments allow you to remain your stylish self wherever you are, while simultaneously protecting your pretty face and neck.

I would be shirking my blogger duties if I didn’t also add that Jill is the nicest and most humble person, which honestly adds to the entire process. I quickly selected my visor design…the skull and bones design and sparkly brooch really spoke to me. I must have been going through something at the time! For my larger RIATA, however, I was stumped. Jill gave me so many perfect options that I just could not decide. So I presented the fabrics to my Instagram followers and they made the final fabric decision for me. The fabric has a vintage feel, with a soft baby blue color, and Jill finished it off with some vintage bling, based on my ” ALWAYS YES TO BLING” questionnaire answer. The final result was pretty much perfection and I quietly packed away all my other sun hats :).

For your own RIATA, use my code HORSEGLAM to get 10% off. BE YOU and have so much fun in the process! Shop HERE.

Be The Hostess With The Mostess

PC: Vagabond House

Have you ever been to a social gathering and wondered where the host or hostess found such fabulous serving pieces and home decor? Well, the secret is out. Vagabond House specializes in fine tableware, serveware and giftware. The pieces are stylish without sacrificing an ounce of tradition, and they seamlessly transition from casual to formal settings. Handcrafted from natural materials, with many touches of the highest quality pewter, almost every piece looks like a family heirloom… but one you are happy to inherit!

Be sure to take some time to explore Vagabond House in its entirety, but definitely don’t miss out on the new Equestrian Collection. Among other goodies, you will find pewter and wood serving trays, a stone and pewter sugar/creamer set, lots of pewter flatware, and a porcelain/pewter stirrup dessert stand. Seriously, if you can browse this Equestrian Collection and not feel like you want to host an afternoon tea (after a foxhunt in the English countryside) I will be impressed!

I like to host simple birthday parties or small get togethers, so for me, the cheese/dessert stand was perfect. This stand is made from hand-blown, sturdy glass with a horse bit attached to the glass top. A hand-crafted leather knob handle sits on top so you can easily move the glass dome without creating fingerprint smudges on the glass. In this particular set, there are three different heights to choose from. One stand is fun, but having two or more at staggered heights would also be eye catching.

Horse Bit Glass Dome
PC: Shannen Smyth Photography

The holidays are coming up which makes it a great time to update your dinerware and home decor. I know I am going to be ordering some special pieces for Thanksgiving from Vagabond House. The addition of the Equestrian Collection will make it hard to stop at just one item in my shopping cart!

Hello, Corro…We’ve Been Waiting For You.

Introducing Corro, a fresh new equestrian retailer and one-stop shop for all your horsey and stable needs. With fantastic customer service and goods promised “at the best prices guaranteed,” you might just have a new favorite online tack store. And honestly, it just feels good to shop somewhere different from the “big” guys, if you know what I mean!

The next show I am going to is in October and I plan to do a division on Hamster, as well as help groom for Charlottetowne Stable. At a big show, it is super easy to misplace things and feel disorganized by the 4th day, especially if everyone is sharing supplies! This time, I wanted to create my own Hamster-friendly show supplies in an effort to feel more organized and help calm my show nerves. Luckily, Corro was there to help me get started. The website was very easy to use and simple to search for specific items. I also saw new brands that I hadn’t heard of before and I really appreciated that. I sent a few questions to one of the shop consultants and she was quick to answer and offer suggestions. It really was a great first experience.

Hamster unboxing his show goodies from Corro!

Look inside my order and you can see that it is pretty diverse!

  1. Jolly Stall Snack. Hamster is 5 and wants constant attention at his stall, especially at shows when there is extra aisle foot traffic. This Jolly Snack will hopefully make him more content having alone time!
  2. To help brighten his light coat and enhance his dapples, I got the Vetrolin White ‘N Brite Shampoo. Don’t let the word “white” scare you, it works just as well on darker coats too, without bleaching them out.
  3. My favorite tail detangler recently switched manufacturers, so I was up for trying a common barn favorite: Cowboy Magic Detangler & Shine. Poor Hamster’s tail needs all the help it can get!
  4. Knotty Horse Apricot Oil Highlighting Coat Shine. Knotty Horse is a brand I am not familiar with but Corro had great things to say about them. I was looking for a finishing spray, something I could use as a groom minutes before show prep. I really look forward to giving this product a try on both Ham and Chloe. It will be interesting to see how it does on two different colored coats.
  5. Sole Pack Medicated Hoof Packing. I probably should have gotten the individual use “paddies” for easier show use, but this large quantity is great to have on the trailer in case you need it. We have definitely been to a few show venues here in the South where the footing hasn’t been the best, so sometimes we have to stay ahead of potential sore feet.
  6. Poor little Hamster was getting a rub from one of his older bell boots, so I thought these Centaur Fleece Cuff Bell Boots would do the trick and help prevent two things we definitely do not want to see at the horse show: an ugly rub and a missing shoe!
  7. To keep tack and my tall boots looking show ready, Corro suggested the Effax Leather Combination Cleaner. I like it because it does not leave a greasy residue behind.
  8. Hamster is not going to like this one, but the Slow Hay Feeder will help slow his hay chomping down and hopefully not only help the barn’s hay bill, but will also curb some of that stall boredom I referred to above.

Whether you ride English or Western, all of your horse and stable shopping needs are just a click away. Also worth noting is the guaranteed prices. If you find an item for cheaper elsewhere, they will match it or better. Corro also guarantees receipt of purchases within 5 business days and shipping is free when you spend over $99. In essence, your complete satisfication is guaranteed when you shop Corro.

Use code HORSEGLAM at checkout and receive an additional 10% off your total order! Visit CORRO to get started now!

The Hippest Rider’s Wristlet

The Hippest Rider’s Wristlet

The Rider’s Wristlet from Black Knight Accessories is just what it sounds like. It is a leather wristlet, with zip compartments that can hold multiple items (like keys, phone, treats, chapstick, money). It can also be worn four different ways, but more on that later. Without hesitation, The Rider’s Wristlet, or “RW,” is one of my most loved items in my closet. Oh, let me count the ways…

Safety. I often ride alone. Chloe, even at 19, is unpredictable. It’s nice to know that if I did fall off, I could call for help because my phone would be by my side. I imagine it would be invaluable for those of us that like to ride on the trails or do cross country!

Convenience. It is sooo nice to have all your must-haves on your person, hands-free. No more looking for my phone at the barn. At horseshows, it is even more of a blessing. Now it is easier for those last minute phone calls or texts from the show ring, back to the barn, looking for a number or an extra ear plug. If I need to grab something to eat, my credit card is already on me and I don’t have to trek back to the barn or car to get money.

Versatility. My RW can be worn four different ways. So basically you get four different options for the price of one. Winning! Are you ready? 1. It can be used as a regular, mainstream wristlet. It comes with a snazzy strap that attaches when needed. 2. Add a youthful crosstie body chain when you want to use your RW as a crossbody. I love this feature and I love the chain aesthetics. My RW has accompanied me to concerts, girls’ nights out and shopping trips. 3. Leave your RW naked (strapless) and drop it in your bigger bag or show trunk as a wallet or organizer. 4. As previously discussed, attach to a belt for hands free storage and convenience. The RW can attach to any belt with its simple snap closure or you can take your purchase to the next level by ordering a belt like this one from Black Knight Accessories.

Put your name on it. I wouldn’t be a true equestrian if I didn’t want to monogram everything. Black Knight also gives you the option of including a “name plate” and of course I wanted to put “Horse Glam” on there. The color of the plate and type of font is fully customizable.

Stylish. I can honestly say I have never seen a RW that I haven’t liked. The color combinations are endless, the leather textures are numerous. I already have my eyes on this one, and I just received mine this summer!

Join the Round Table and get your Black Knight RW here. Use code HORSEGLAM for 10% off!! If you have any questions, drop her an email – her customer service is great!

Quality Tack For Less. Much Less.

This beautiful, fancy stitched, square-raised bridle and matching fancy stitched reins will cost you only $205. Yes! That is not a typo. Bridle + Reins = $205. You = happy.

Hamster, wearing the Fancy Stitched bridle from Pure Harmony Equine Apparel
PC: Jennifer Blades Photography

In a sport where almost every big purchase requires you to eat a week’s worth of Ramen, finding good and quality deals is a game changer. Especially for something as important as your tack. Pure Harmony Equine Apparel offers you beautiful leather pieces at prices you can afford and they also have customer service you won’t find at the bigger stores. Owner, Lisa Updike, is not only knowledgable and responsive but she is adamant about helping you find near custom-like pieces for your horse. She treats every purchase like it is $1,000 and she takes great pride in outfitting your horse correctly. When I was placing Hamster’s bridle order, she requested me to do multiple measurements to his current bridle, in an effort to get the best fit. After she received the numbers, she suggested that Hamster have a bridle that was part Horse size and part Cob size. The result was a perfect fit. My trainer was so impressed, she immediately ordered a second bridle for a new horse at the barn. Note that when you mix sizing, it can cost up to $1o more.

Pure Harmony Equine Apparel is the exclusive dealer in the US of White Medallion Italian leather. Lisa even visited the leather factory to make sure the facility and the product was up to her standards. This level of care and pride in her store is a reflection of the quality tack and customer service you will receive. In fact, prior to receiving the bridle, I also received a leather show halter for Hamster. After it arrived and we put it on him, I thought that it would be better in the smaller Cob size. I messaged Lisa, with pictures, and she agreed. The exchange was easy and fast.

Before I sent the Horse sized Fancy Stitch and Padded halter back, we borrowed a larger horse, Aracino, and snapped this picture below. Like the bridles, the halters come in numerous styles, leather and hardware colors and even price points. This particular halter is priced at $135, but the Standard halter is almost half that price if you are not in the market for a show halter.

Aracino in the Fancy Stitched Halter from Pure Harmony Equine Apparel
PC: Jennifer Blades Photography

I am so pleased to have met Lisa, and to have learned more about the various products she provides through Pure Harmony Equine Apparel. It is nice to know that quality tack and equipment does not have to break the bank.

The Riding Bug

Both my kids have always loved the idea of my horse, Chloe. They talk about Chloe nonstop at home and we pretty much have the Netflix cartoon Spirit Riding Free on the TV on repeat. As soon as we get to the barn, however, they freeze up around the horses. Ask them if they want to sit on Chloe and they run the other direction. 

I am not entirely sure what was the catalyst in this change of heart, but one day after my lesson when I was walking Chloe, Logan said she wanted to ride too. We put a helmet on her, she sat on my lap holding the reins and Jackie led us around the barn together. We got in the car and she immediately asked to do it again the next day. Naturally Tanner, not to be outdone by his little sister, wanted to ride next time too.

A week later we were at a friend’s barn so that the kids could visit with something a little less intimidating (sorry Chloe): a medium pony named Chase. Chase is adorable and friendly. He is black and white. Logan did shed a tear the night before when I confirmed he wasn’t pink. However, Chase also loves powdered donuts, a fact that made the aforementioned fake tears stop immediately.

The kids took turns riding Chas lead-line style in the field in the most adorable and comfortable looking small western saddle. Logan took it very seriously, sitting straight and center, holding the reins and concentrating. Tanner, in typical boy style, wanted to go faster. Afterwards, they brushed and fed Chase the promised powdered donuts, moving around him with an ease I’ve never seen from them before in regards to horses. Of course it is understandable. To them, Chloe is massive and they only come to her belly. As adults, we forget how imposing horses really are and honestly It was sort of a good reminder for myself that any horse is inherently dangerous. 

Once Chase was back in his stall, we surprised Logan and Tanner with another barn resident: a miniature paint pony named “Little T”. They both took turns leading him around the barn and grooming him. I thought Logan was going to burst with excitement. The smile on her face when she was holding the lead rope and letting him graze was priceless. I cannot say the same for the pony I see in my near future, though! I think it is safe to say they caught the riding bug! Must be genetic! 🙂

This blog was first published for Ramm Fence: Your Horse Farm on August 13, 2019

Everyday with Dapplebay

Dapplebay Sunshine & Horses Tshirt
PC: Shannen Smyth Photography

If you are looking for casual clothing with an equestrian touch, or even an easy gift for your horsey friend, I am confident you can find what you are looking for at Dapplebay. Dapplebay has apparel and accessories that are fun, fresh and often sport a cute or witty equestrian theme. From cellphone cases to baseball hats, Dapplebay has got you covered.

I get so many comments about my Dapplebay iPhone case that says something we all have thought from one time or another: “I like horses not people.” Naturally I have the matching t-shirt which is a necessary staple for those rough Mondays! Dapplebay t-shirts come in slim cut and boyfriend tee styles, but I tend to gravitate to fits that are looser like the boyfriend t-shirts. They tuck in easily and I feel more comfortable with the extra material to spare, especially if I want to half tuck it in.

I Like Horses Not People, T-shirt and Cell Case
PC: Shannen Smyth Photography

I am obsessed with my “Good Rides Only” cropped hooded sweatshirt (also comes in non-hooded option) and cannot wait for temperatures to dip lower in the fall so I can wear it weekly! To say it is soft and comfy is an understatement. The fleece interior, dropped shoulder and extra long arms are so cozy. I love the play on the popular saying “Good Vibes Only” too. If you like this phrase, you can find it on t-shirts here.

If you like my vintage black cotton twill hat, then be sure to visit this link where you can pick from numerous equestrian sayings. I loved the fit of this hat so much that I asked Dapplebay if I could get one that had Horse Glam on it! It fits low, relaxed and snug on my head.

Also worth mentioning is that Dapplebay has a NEW kids line, where most of the adult sized apparel is available in kids/youth, sizes 2-12. Leah was so nice to send Logan a t-shirt and she couldn’t wait to wear it to ride her first pony ever, Chase! When she saw that I had the matching t-shirt she about jumped for joy, it was so funny!

Thanks Dapplebay for giving us a sneak peak of your new lifestyle collection! Can’t wait to see what is next!

Logan wearing size 2 in Dapplebay Kids

Keep a Cool Head.

Wearing a navy myMareCo moisture wicking headband

It is 9:30am. I am at the barn ready to ride Chlo and I am already sweating before I even sit on the saddle. Welcome to summer in North Carolina…and sometimes spring, fall and winter. Of course, wearing a ginormous black helmet on your head with little ventilation, under the intense beating sun isn’t the most ideal method for staying cool. I’d rather be safe than cool and sorry though. When I am riding and sweat starts trickling underneath my helmet, down my forehead and into my eyes, I use my forearm to wipe it away. Each time I do this maneuver, I can’t help but be aware of the unpleasant sensation of the dust and grime on my bare arm sticking to my wet face.

This is where myMareCo enters the picture. myMareCo sells a moisture-wicking headband designed to keep any sweat from your head off your face. The headband has a wide band, stretching even wider when on your head. It slides over your ears, right over your hairnet. It’s very comfortable and sleek, without any bulk, so it will not affect your helmet size. When riding or walking around, you will forget it is there. We had a heat wave recently and I used it in temperatures of 94 degrees. My face was still wet, but it was not from sweat dripping down my forehead. The headband effectively caught all the moisture and kept it out of my eyes. I was also surprised to see how quickly it dried, making it easy to store for next time. An adult rider borrowed one of the headbands and had this to say: “One of the best things about this headband is I no longer have to worry about looking like I dunked my head in water during my ride. As someone who is a big sweater when I ride, I really enjoyed the headbands ability to keep it under control and from being absorbed into my helmet. It’s super thin and fits comfortably under my helmet.

The over-the-ears feature also helps to keep earbuds in. Many people ride while listening to music and the headband keeps the earbuds locked in place while cantering around. This would be helpful when running, doing yoga or other active activities as well. myMareCo was created by an avid equestrian, but the headband is versatile and can be used for any activity where you want to keep the hair and sweat out of your face. My mom has asked to borrow one for Pickleball (similar to Tennis).

Another feature advertised is that the headband helps to keep glasses from slipping down the bridge of your nose. I asked a Junior rider at my barn (who wears glasses and has this problem) to try the headband out for purposes of this review. She reported back that while her glasses slipped “only a tiny bit” she definitely noticed an improvement with the headband. She plans to keep on using the it when she rides.

Wearing a black myMareCo headband.

The myMareCo headband comes in numerous colors and patterns. Some are bright and feature pink, purple, white and green. However, if I am going to use the headband for riding, I prefer the solid, more conservative colors like black, white and navy. I think they blend in with my hair and my helmet and do not distract from my overall look. With over six colors to chose from, the myMareCo headband comes in enough colors to guarantee that you will match your outfit. They also come in packs of 2, 3 or 4 and can be hand washed. Currently priced between $10 and $16, depending on quantity, with free Amazon Prime shipping options. Additionally, they have a money back guarantee. You have nothing to lose by trying them!

Buy your myMareCo headband HERE.

Horse, Wash Your Face.

Introducing Equi-Clean Grooming Wipes

You will find face wipes in my bathroom, baby wipes in my car, and now, horse grooming wipes in my tack trunk. Baby wipes have always been part of my horse grooming routine, but NOW that Equi-Clean makes pre-moistened wipes in horse size, I only have to use one, instead of three regular-sized wipes per horse ear! It’s also nice to now know that I am using wipes on Chloe’s sensitive areas that are specifically designed with horses in mind and contain anti-fungal/anti-bacterial properties to help prevent fungus on the face, legs and body. No harsh chemicals here. In fact, they are made with the following natural herbs:  Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Comfrey, Lavender and Thyme. Of course Chloe’s wipes sound better than my own face wipes! Typical!

These wipes are not just for your horse’s eyes, ears and mouth, however. You can use them anywhere on your horse’s body that you want to remove dander, condition and create shine. Hence, cutting your grooming time down quite noticeably. In addition, the wipes are safe to use on your tack and riding boots (I didn’t hesitate to use them on my own Parlanti Boots). Because of this time and space saver, I took the package ring-side with me to our last horse show at Tyron International. As one of the show grooms, I was thankful that I did not have to lug around a stiff brush, wet towel and Show Sheen. Instead, I replaced the aforementioned items with my Equi-Clean Wipes.

At the horse show, I used the wipes when a horse was on deck. The wipes easily took care of any sweat marks, sandy legs, bit slobber, etc. The pre-moistened feature was a godsend for the rider’s tall boots, horse boots (if jumpers/eq) and sweaty reins/dirty bridles. It is also worth mentioning that one wipe not only could be used for multiple horses, but it also was so large that it stayed moistened for hours (note that I had the wipe in my tote, out of the direct sun).

This brings me to my next comment. When I first heard about Equi-Clean wipes, my first thought was “I wonder what makes this different than the generic baby wipes I am already using”. Besides being formulated for horses, the answer is the size! These wipes unfold to be about 10 times the size of a baby wipe, which makes sense since Chloe is 10 times the size of a toddler! And for those with dogs (and cats, if you have a death wish), these wipes can be used on all of our 4 legged friends, so you can toss your shampoos!

To scoop your very own horse-sized grooming wipes, you can click here. Priced currently at $24.95, each package contains 25 extra large wipes (23.5″ x 16″) that will last you multiple uses per wipe.

CODE: For 15% off these wipes and FREE shipping, use code: HORSEGLAM15 at checkout! Must order 2+ to get discount.

Pro-Tip: Place the wipes in a fridge or cooler and have a refreshing cleansing experience for your horse or you! Treat yo ‘self!

How to Talk to Horses.

We have all wondered, and even joked, about what our horses would say if they could talk. I have a whole blog section called Chloe’s Chatter dedicated to giving Chloe a voice. As most suspect, that voice is arguably my sassy alter-ego. I think to some degree we all do this with our horses. Horses are our teammates and best confidants. They are partners who we have an intense working relationship with, and therefore it is easy to overly humanize them. It is easy to start envisioning their voices sounding similar to our own.

I have contacted Debbie McGillivray a few times over the last decade. The most recent time was about 5 years ago. Debbie is a real horse whisperer, using telepathy to communicate. She works countless hours a week taking phone calls from people all over the world who want to talk with their animals. She also has 3 books and conducts online workshops on the topic.

Like our past conversations, we started with what Chloe wanted to talk about. She complained about the “annoying horse” in the paddock adjacent to her (I witnessed and even took pictures of her a few hours earlier trying to bite him over the fence and herding her girlfriend away from him). She let me know that I spend too much time talking when I ride her (guilty as charged). She commented that a change to the hay was causing her stomach to feel very sensitive and gassy (I confirmed a recent hay change). During her body scan, Debbie noted 3 main issues (lower right side of the back, right hip and left shoulder) that match Chloe’s recent chiropractic chart. Debbie also mentioned that Chloe’s left front foot, for lack of a better phrase, dragged the ground. My farrier came out a week later and confirmed that was a common issue for her.

Knowing that I intended to blog about my conversation, I asked Debbie for something more from Chloe that would let me know she was really talking to her. I wanted to be able to show my husband and any “neigh” sayers that this was for real. I didn’t want anything that could be general to most horses. And this is where I think I let my over-humanization of Chloe cloud my judgment. In reality, I was looking for Debbie to come back with a personal story that only me and Chloe knew about. I basically wanted Chloe to tell me something like you see on a medium show – I wanted her to say, “Remember that time we were on a trail ride and you lost your keys when I spooked at the deer”? However, instead, these are the 3 things Chloe came back with.

  1. Her left eye was watering and irritating and really bothering her. Like I previously mentioned, I was at the barn earlier that day. When I went out to give her treats with the kids, I noticed that her left eye (not her right) was really watering (it had the discharge half way down her face). I had my kids and I just didn’t have time or the ability to deal with it, but I vividly recalled it. However, I still wasn’t too impressed. After all, this wasn’t the smoking gun that I was looking for.
  2. She said that her pasture-mate was very stiff and sore in her right hind hock. I have since confirmed this with my trainer and the owner of the mare, but at the time I had no knowledge of it. Again, it wasn’t what I was wanting to hear so I sort of dismissed it.
  3. Lastly, Chloe referenced a big barn change. Debbie got the intense feeling that it was a horse that recently left. I had no idea what she meant. The last horse left months ago and I didn’t think Chloe had even ever noticed him to begin with. I thought perhaps she meant Stella, who had left on the trailer earlier that day for a day trip. However when I described Stella as a bay horse, Debbie said it wasn’t her. She continued to reference a big change in the barn and a horse leaving. I just had no clue what she was talking about and honestly was disappointed that after 10 years together this was the best that Chloe could do.

I cringe when I recall saying to Debbie, “Oh typical, Chloe. Not giving me what I want from her.” Looking back, with the new information gained just 15 minutes after my phone conversation with Chloe, and my taking the time to process everything, Chloe was giving me exactly what I was asking from her. I, as perhaps is typical, just wasn’t listening.

Like I mentioned earlier, I am guilty of humanizing Chloe. I want her to think like me. I wanted her to tell me a story. But at the end of the day, she is a horse. She can’t think in terms of stories or complex thoughts. She feels and thinks in the present. So when I asked her for proof, she gave me 3 things that were in the moment, things that if I were there I could verify. Her eye WAS watering, it was irritating to her in that exact moment. The horse who she was in the pasture with during my phone call, IS stiff and sore in her right hind hock. And unbeknownst to me, at the exact time of my phone call, there was a big change occurring in the barn. A horse did leave. A horse that was not a bay.

When I got off the phone, I immediately reached out to Jackie (trainer/friend) to let her know about my conversation. Jackie was emotional when I talked to her. Less than an hour earlier, at the exact moment of my 25 minute conversation with Debbie, a horse was put down after complications from a recent injury. After recovering from my initial sadness upon this news, the realization of what Chloe said really hit me. She was right. This was indeed a big change and someone did leave. It is a small barn, and the horse was arguably Jackie’s favorite, as well as the most successful of all our current show horses. He will truly be missed by all, and I am positive his loss is felt amongst the other horses.

So if you ask me how to talk to horses, I’d tell you that we all have the ability. Debbie’s books and workshops are geared to teaching you to communicate yourself, but if you want immediate answers from a professional, I would look no further than Debbie McGillivray. However, I think the biggest lesson gained from my recent conversation with Chloe is that perhaps talking to each other isn’t the answer. Maybe it is just as important to start listening.

To schedule a phone consultation with Debbie visit HERE.

Pictured above, Debbie McGillivray

Horse, Wash Your Face.

Introducing Equi-Clean Grooming Wipes

You will find face wipes in my bathroom, baby wipes in my car, and now, horse grooming wipes in my tack trunk. Baby wipes have always been part of my horse grooming routine, but NOW that Equi-Clean makes pre-moistened wipes in horse size, I only have to use one, instead of three regular-sized wipes per horse ear! It’s also nice to now know that I am using wipes on Chloe’s sensitive areas that are specifically designed with horses in mind and contain anti-fungal/anti-bacterial properties to help prevent fungus on the face, legs and body. No harsh chemicals here. In fact, they are made with the following natural herbs:  Aloe Vera, Chamomile, Comfrey, Lavender and Thyme. Of course Chloe’s wipes sound better than my own face wipes! Typical!

These wipes are not just for your horse’s eyes, ears and mouth, however. You can use them anywhere on your horse’s body that you want to remove dander, condition and create shine. Hence, cutting your grooming time down quite noticeably. In addition, the wipes are safe to use on your tack and riding boots (I didn’t hesitate to use them on my own Parlanti Boots). Because of this time and space saver, I took the package ring-side with me to our last horse show at Tyron International. As one of the show grooms, I was thankful that I did not have to lug around a stiff brush, wet towel and Show Sheen. Instead, I replaced the aforementioned items with my Equi-Clean Wipes.

At the horse show, I used the wipes when a horse was on deck. The wipes easily took care of any sweat marks, sandy legs, bit slobber, etc. The pre-moistened feature was a godsend for the rider’s tall boots, horse boots (if jumpers/eq) and sweaty reins/dirty bridles. It is also worth mentioning that one wipe not only could be used for multiple horses, but it also was so large that it stayed moistened for hours (note that I had the wipe in my tote, out of the direct sun).

This brings me to my next comment. When I first heard about Equi-Clean wipes, my first thought was “I wonder what makes this different than the generic baby wipes I am already using”. Besides being formulated for horses, the answer is the size! These wipes unfold to be about 10 times the size of a baby wipe, which makes sense since Chloe is 10 times the size of a toddler! And for those with dogs (and cats, if you have a death wish), these wipes can be used on all of our 4 legged friends, so you can toss your shampoos!

To scoop your very own horse-sized grooming wipes, you can click here. Priced currently at $24.95, each package contains 25 extra large wipes (23.5″ x 16″) that will last you multiple uses per wipe.

CODE: For 15% off these wipes and FREE shipping, use code: HORSEGLAM15 at checkout! Must order 2+ to get discount.

Pro-Tip: Place the wipes in a fridge or cooler and have a refreshing cleansing experience for your horse or you! Treat yo ‘self!

Not Your Basic Invites

My custom stationery created at Basic Invite.
PC: Shannen Smyth Photography

We live in a world of texting, Facebook and FaceTime, but nothing beats receiving a letter in the mail. I know I am excited when I open the mailbox and see a handwritten personal envelope, addressed to me, buried in the mass of bills and junk mail. Oftentimes, when I receive products to review from equestrian brands, a handwritten note is in the package. I always enjoy that. It feels more special knowing someone took the time to draft the note. In the past, I have looked for stationery for Horse Glam to use primarily as thank you cards to send back to the brands. Basic Invite has two of the requirements on my stationery list: custom options (so that I can upload my logo) and gold foil. I LOVE gold anything! Furthermore, not only can I add my logo to the stationery, but with over 180 colors to select from, I can perfectly match my Horse Glam color scheme.

Chat box on far right!

There were tons of samples of stationery to choose from (and even MORE wedding related paper products, if you are in the market for that), but I found one (called “painted wash”) pretty quickly that complimented the subtle watercolor design scheme of one of my Horse Glam logo sub-marks. The “Painted Wash” also was the same ballet color pink as my logo. Naturally the design I liked was not one of the ones that you could upload your logo to, as I wanted to remove the “Hello” text and just put my logo in its place. However, within seconds of me browsing the site, a chat box had popped open asking if I needed help. I decided it couldn’t hurt to ask the question: “Could they add my logo for me, even though the product I wanted to add my logo to was pre-designed?” The online rep answered momentarily and led me through the process to do it. After two rounds of instantaneous previews, I was ready to see my sample product. Actually, it was better than that…I was ready to hold my sample product.

Basic Invite is one of the only websites that I have encountered that lets you order a printed sample of the actual invitation so you can see exactly how it will print (as well as the paper quality). This surely beats having 150 invites delivered to your house only to then discover that maybe you don’t like that hot pink font after all. My sample arrived within 10 days and it looked exactly like the online preview: it was perfect! I opted for just the plain white envelope but when I place my actual order I am going to take advantage of the over 40 colors of envelopes they have available.

I look forward to ordering my custom Horse Glam stationery from Basic Invite, especially now that I know it will turn out exactly how I wanted. If only ordering my wedding invites (12 years ago) was this easy!

Collection of pretty paper from Basic Invite

wedding photo coasters favors 

wedding rsvp websites

Behind the scenes at TKEQ.

Kaelyn Kennedy, 19, and founder of TKEQ the shop

Meet Kaelyn Kennedy! She is the 19 year old founder and creative director of TKEQ the shop. Kaelyn started to ride when she was nine years old and within less than two years, she shared three horses with her mom and was attending horse shows regularly! Today, she has two retired horses, but is looking into getting into the Adult Amateur Hunters very soon. If Kaelyn is not working on her business or at the barn, she is most likely doing schoolwork in pursuit of her Bachelor of Commerce Degree at Athabasca University (AU).

HG: Kaelyn, you first launched TKEQ the shop in 2016, at the impressive age of 16. I think everyone in our equestrian community would agree that TKEQ has been very successful. Looking back, was there a time that you felt like your (young) age was a hindrance? In what ways was it an asset?

TKEQ: The main hindrance I faced was being second guessed. I have had my trades, who have been around the sun a few more times than me, change my design because they thought I “wasn’t thinking straight”, was “making a mistake” or my personal favourite, “we changed it because your generation wouldn’t like it”. In the long run it was a blessing because I feel very comfortable standing up for my vision which has gained me a lot of respect. 

My age has definitely been an asset in the sense that I know/am my target market. Since the beginning of TKEQ I have really tried to make pieces I would wear at prices I would pay. I am constantly looking at all of our pieces from a now nineteen year old’s perspective making sure its appealing in all aspects. 

HG: TKEQ Athletics is your new baby and focuses on the athliesure trend. I love the catch phrase of “from the gym to girls night in & everywhere in-between”. What inspired you to start this new line when most people would have their hands full with just one business?

TKEQ: TKEQ Athletics has been a long time in the making, even the name was different when I first came up with it! I have been very passionate about this project for the last year and seeing it all come to life has really been amazing. Being a rider means being athletic, from the moment you get to the barn until you leave there is really not a minute that goes by that you are pushing or pulling or lifting; We are incredible athletes! I created TKEQ Athletics to be activewear specifically designed for equestrians. 

HG: I would imagine there have been many days where you feel overwhelmed with school, riding, running two businesses and making time for your friends and family. Do you have any advice on how to keep moving forward and balance it all?

TKEQ: All the time! Sometimes I don’t even know how I actually get it all done. I have found the best way to keep it all under control is to plan, plan, plan. My iPhone Calendar and Notes are always full plus my day timer as well as my social media planners are never far away. I am constantly writing things down or checking things off a todo list just to keep all my balls rolling! Definitely my saving grace has been the ability to give myself an hour or two of time to be away from my phone, day timer & various papers. Just being able to disconnect has helped a lot! I highly recommend.

HG: What is the most influential piece of business advice you have been given or have read?

TKEQ: It’s OKAY to make mistakes, you learn more from mistakes than you do getting things perfect every time. The idea of a mistake or failure is really scary to me! I have always been that way and it flared up a lot when I started TKEQ. I would be so afraid of failure, I would push product launches back and procrastinate. I really had to learn it is perfectly okay to not be perfect! Not every launch is going to be “confetti and champagne”, sometimes it is going to be crickets but that is OKAY. Just keep learning, grinding away because that experience will bring you to a whole new level.

HG: When you were designing the first pieces for TKEQ Athletics, what sources did you use for inspiration?

TKEQ: Most of my inspiration came from my experiences buying and using athletic wear as a rider. I know many girls who ride in Lulu or Under Armour tops, which are fantastic but are usually designed for yoga or dry-land training not the constant wear & tear we go through. All of TKEQ Athletics’ items have four-way stretch, UV protection plus special features like extra length in the arms & just the right body length to stay tucked in without extra material.

HG: I love the flirty, feminine and soft colors used in the TKEQ Athletics. How did you select those?

TKEQ: Thank you so much! I love monochromatic colour palettes (you can probably tell from the five different greys incorporated into TKEQ the shop)  so keeping that theme throughout Athletics is really important to me. I believe the best part of activewear is the fun colours so I experimented with releasing Bittersweet, a soft peachy-pink, and Reign, a heather purple. They have both been so positively received. I really feel we nailed the perfect combination of fun and soft colours!

Reign, a heather purple that is a must-have.

HG: How does it feel when you see the TKEQ clothing being worn at a show or elsewhere out in public? 

TKEQ: It is truly an indescribable feeling. I recently saw a girl at Spruce Meadows wearing an amazing outfit – I literally had to do a double take before noticing she was in our ‘EZ’ vest! At the beginning I would see my friends/ mutual friends wearing TKEQ and now I see people wearing it that I’ve never met before. Definitely cool to see how much the brand has expanded over the last year.

HG: What is next in the pipeline for both brands? How soon are you developing what is next?

TKEQ: TKEQ Athletics is just getting started – seriously! The Collection for Fall 2019 is 100% ready and is going to be a game changer. Extended colour ranges, additional sizes, new styles and maybe a few merino wool sweaters… you didn’t hear it from me though! I am so excited to also announce we are released The ’Taylor’ Seamless SHORT SLEEVE in Reign, Bittersweet and Nickel this month – everything you love about the ‘Taylor’ just short and sweet. 

As Pony Finals is approaching – our annual Pony Finals Collection is being released. Plus a customizable Sweatshirt for Pony Kids (just like #HORSEGIRL). TKEQ the shop will continue to release graphics throughout the year as well as extended colour ranges!

HG: Describe your perfect outfit for a girls night in.

TKEQ: My favourite three words – Girls Night In! My go to look is Leggings with an oversized Tee, usually tucked in at the front or tied (I size up in our Boyfriend Tee to achieve this look) add a Pullover if its chilly. Finish the look with a mini-backpack and some sneakers for any snack runs!

HG: Do you have any professional goals for 2019?

TKEQ: I am super excited to be attending AETA for the second time. I feel like its been a decade since I first showed up with my graphic tees and now I am showing the TKEQ Athletics Collection that has created a new category for equestrian apparel. I have also started to expand TKEQ the shop to include more lifestyle pieces designed to take you from the street to stable, with lots of layering elements for the modern fashionistas of the equestrian world.

HG: If you could have any celebrity or rider wearing your brand, who would you love to see pictured?

TKEQ: Karen Polle – for sure! She is such a lovely, positive, beautiful person. Seeing her in TKEQ Athletics would be amazing (plus I think Wings would love Bittersweet).

Thank you so much Kaelyn! We are all looking forward to seeing what is next. Use code HORSEGLAM for FREE SHIPPING! Shop HERE!

Answer to TKEQ riddle? TKEQ stands for TEAM KENNEDY EQUINE!

Manhattan Saddlery House Label

Manhattan Saddlery House Label

If I could visit any tack store in the country it would definitely be Manhattan Saddlery. The only tack store located in New York City, Manhattan Saddlery has been New York’s destination for all things horse and rider since 1912. Located on 24th street in a historic, split level space, Manhattan Saddlery displays equipment, goods and apparel ranging from Jackie-O traditional and classic, to the very latest in equestrian trends.

Recently launched is the Manhattan Saddlery House Label, which features a line of items designed in-house by an experienced team of lifelong equestrians. The Claremont Belt is one of the first items released by the House Label and is named after the last riding stable in New York City. You cannot beat the look of this classic spur buckle. It instantly adds a look of equestrian sophistication to your outfit. The Claremont Belt comes in black or havana leather, with silver (nickel plated) or gold (brass) buckles, respectively. The bridle leather is top quality, deriving from a 150 year old tannery.

I love wearing equestrian pieces in the mainstream world, especially when they are subtle nods to our sport like the Claremont Belt. This belt is as easy to pair with jeans as it is with riding breeches. At 1 1/2 inches wide, I have had no problem with it fitting any of my pants, breeches or mainstream. The belt pictured is a size 30. Note that most of my belts are a size 32, but I thought sizing down would give the belt a cleaner look (I am on the last hole in this pictures). A quick way to determine your size is to measure your favorite belt from the hole most use to the start of the buckle.

The Claremont Belt is currently priced at $109, but use my code ANDREA20 for 20% off your House Label purchases at Manhattan Saddlery!

Silk Scarves: The Perfect Summer Accessory

If your outfit is missing something, but you can’t determine just what that something is, do not hesitate to grab a silk scarf. This simple, yet often overlooked fashion accessory, can immediately take your look from casual to chic. In the first picture, I was wearing a white t-shirt (you can’t get more casual than this) and riding jeans, but as soon as I tied the Belmont Scarf from Apacceli around my neck, my outfit took on a completely different vibe. Then, the same scarf, tied differently, completely dressed up my black wide-legged jumpsuit. By loosely draping it around my shoulders, my beachy jumpsuit transitioned from coffeeshop casual to cocktails with friends.

As much as I love black and white and the beautiful designs intertwined in the Belmont Scarf, I was very drawn to the cool colors in the Apacceli Preakness Scarf. This silk scarf depicts four jockeys and galloping horses, with alternating stripes in calming hues of pastel green, lilac and ivory. It is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Giving a nod to the equestrian theme, I paired the Preakness Scarf with black riding breeches with tan knee patches from LeFash. I thought the black really made the cool colors of the silk pop. Tying the scarf as a bandana gave my equestrian attire a polish and it also helped to keep those sun rays off my neck and chest. I really loved this look.

Like many people, I have always appreciated the look of a silk scarf, however I was really intimidated by them. I thought I had no idea how to tie or incorporate a scarf into my look. The goods news is twofold: 1. There are endless options for how to use and tie a silk scarf. 2. There is no wrong way to use or tie a silk scarf! Once I got over my phobia of “doing it wrong,” I recognized the positive addition they made to my wardrobe. I now look forward to the instant glam factor that a beautiful silk scarf can provide!

For other color options and designs, be sure to check out the rest of the silk scarf collection from Apacceli. There is even one for horseshow dog lovers! Reasonably priced at $89.

My Weekend At TIEC

Part 2: My Experience with Hamster

If you missed Part 1 of My Weekend at TIEC, where I describe in detail the facility of Tryon International Equestrian Center, please take a few minutes to read it HERE. If you are not familiar with TIEC, or as I like to refer to it as, “my horse show paradise”, it is A MUST READ. 

I arrived at TIEC on Friday morning. It is a quick and easy drive from Charlotte, so I got there just in time to help almost everyone who was showing that day. Having arrived on the trailer the day before, Hamster was already there to greet me. His dappled gray head was hanging out of his stall door, attempting to fraternize with every nearby person or animal as if were on a social call and not there to work. I couldn’t blame him though. I felt the same way. 

After a quick stall cleaning, I took Hamster for a hand-walk so he could stretch his legs. We first took a left, walking by the jumper ring and two hunter rings. For the most part, the majority of the show rings are near the stables, coming in handy when a rider inevitably forgets a crop or for keeping an eye on how things are progressing in certain divisions. I was trying to look at the horses schooling in each of the smaller areas that precede the individual show rings, while Hamster was more focused on saying “hello” to every butt within range or dragging me into every landscaped area we passed. We stayed on the separate walkway reserved for horse traffic only which consists of footing like that in the rings. Chloe has been barefoot for 8 years so I really appreciate that at TIEC the horses are always walking on soft, rock-free surfaces.

The rest of the day went by pretty quickly and I stayed busy helping clean stalls, tack and horses. My trainer (and Hamster’s owner) took Hamster for a quick jump school and he was a really good boy. That evening we went to Legends Grille for dinner as a barn, which is located on the other side of the show grounds. One of my favorite parts of TIEC is that you really never have to leave the center all weekend. Numerous restaurants and even a mini grocery store are right on the show ground. Even though we spend so much time together, we rarely dine together as a barn group so it is always nice when we have the time to do so. Afterwards, we walked over to the stable and checked on the horses before making the 1 minute drive to our cabin. Perhaps the best aspect about TIEC is that you can stay on site in these super cute cabins. We had a 1 bedroom, but it had 3 sleeping areas. It really makes checking on the horses convenient, and more importantly, means you get to push back that dreaded wake-up call.

Hamster is 4 years old so we didn’t plan on showing him this first time, but instead just wanted him to tag along for the experience. On Saturday morning, my trainer wanted me to school Hamster in one of the open rings. I assumed that I would just hack him around and warm him up for her to jump. When she came into the ring without her helmet I knew she had different plans. I was instantly nervous and coming up with different excuses I could use. However, Hamster hacked around like such a pro that it was impossible not to have confidence in him. I whined when she told me to canter the first single, but I did it anyway. En route to the jump, Hamster hesitated slightly, asking me if it was okay to jump. The gentlest pressure with my leg is all he wanted and he carried us up and over like he had jumped it 100 times. Next thing I knew, we were doing a course together. It was the first time I have jumped more than 3 jumps in a row since a year ago so inside I was freaking out! Despite the jumps being set super low, Hamster made the cutest effort over each jump and I could see his little knees in my line of vision. It was hard not to have the biggest smile on my face afterwards. 

The show ran smoothly the rest of the day and we were actually done early, around 4pm. We hung out with a neighboring barn, enjoying the perfect NC mountain weather. Then we went across the center to have sushi at Blue Ginger Sushi & Noodles. Yes, sushi at the horse show. And it is really good! Afterwards, we relaxed back at the cabin and had an early night. Typically we would go to Saturday Night Lights, but it had not started yet for the season. 

When we had some down time on Sunday, I hacked Hamster in an empty ring to continue giving him the total show horse experience. There was a lot going on outside with traffic and construction equipment, and on top of that he was the only horse in the arena, but he was totally chill. I couldn’t keep from thinking how 19 yr old Chloe would have been high strung in this situation. I definitely would not have needed the spurs and crop I had! After a bit, we cooled out by walking the perimeter of the facility, along the horse bridle path. We walked by all the stables, the show rings, and even down past the hammock section.  We continued walking towards the large grand prix stadium but Hamster’s attention was on the grass derby field, emphasis on the grass. I think our walk was a highlight for us both. Hamster loves seeing what everyone is up to, whether he knows them or not. I joke that he has a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). He likes to be where all the action is. I must admit I love that too. And perhaps that is my favorite part of TIEC (for real this time). No matter what you are doing, whether it be cleaning a stall, riding a horse, going to a restaurant, a yoga class, shopping at Dover or a boutique vendor, eating ice cream or running back to your cabin for a shower, you are still just seconds away from where all the action is. That is the beauty of TIEC. You really never have to leave. 

My Weekend At TIEC

PART 1: First Impressions

Tyron International Equestrian Center, also known as TIEC for short, is any horse show competitor’s dream. Actually, I revise that to be “any horse show competitor’s, trainer’s, parent’s, cheering squad’s, or groom’s dream”. When my younger brother visited me there, he was walking around with his mouth wide open. He is quite familiar with the horse show scene, having tagged along with me and my mother to bi-weekly shows for years when I was a child pony rider. He was not prepared, however, for the splendor of TIEC. Then again, neither was I. 

Nestled in the foothills of the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, sits an equestrian complex that seemingly pops up like an equestrian mirage in the middle of miles of highway. Freshly painted black wood fencing engulfs the center and outlines the many show rings, the grand stadium, the derby field, schooling rings and the separate footpaths for horses and riders. The permanent stables have large matted stalls, complete with optional windows for the horses to hang their heads out (or make feeding easier), built in halter and bucket hangers, and already mounted fans. Who else hates hanging fans at horse shows? The concrete aisles are wide enough for tack trunks, multiple wheel barrels and grooming cross ties. The tack rooms have secure keypads, which means I was never taking expensive tack to my car each night. The front of each stable aisle has picnic tables with umbrellas, perfect for some down time spent with your barn squad. And let’s talk about the bathrooms located within 100 feet from each barn aisle. Each bathroom area has 3 clean toilet stalls, two sinks with soap, a mirror and air conditioning. I also like to mention that there are faux hardwood floors. I know I sound obsessed with the bathroom, but most of our shows in the area have porta potties. You try pulling up sweaty riding breeches in July in 90 degree heat. Actually try just breathing in a porta potty in July.

Between each ring are stairs that lead to ample shade and wooden chairs for spectator seating. The wide walkways connect the stables to the other side of the center, providing you with front row views of jumping rounds on each side while you make the walk. The rings are extra large, with beautifully decorated jumps and inviting footing. Once on the other side, you will find a line of retail shops that house everything from flavored lattes to ice cream, riding breeches to straw hats, and equine paintings to jewelry. If you have time, there are plenty of stand-alone restaurants to choose from. For lunch, I usually chose between Roger’s Diner, or a taco salad from Siesta Cantina. For dinner, you have your pick of the following restaurants: Sushi, Italian, Mexican and a traditional steakhouse/grille. If I am in a hurry, I will run to the General Store and grab a made-to-order salad or sandwich. The General Store is basically a mini grocery store with a deli and mini-bakery. At the General Store you can buy groceries and alcohol, which is perfect if you are staying at TIEC in a trailer with living quarters or in one of the many on-site cabins (chose between 1 bedroom, 3 bedroom or 5 bedrooms). The General Store also has a variety of TIEC gifts, and a collection of Breyer horses that I had to try really hard to resist for my daughter, Logan. 

Try as I may to avoid it, I always end up popping into Dover Saddlery while I am on the retail side of TIEC.  A full size Dover is right on the premises, which is so convenient when you want to change bits, buy new support boots or new show clothes. 

There is also much to amuse and entertain the whole family, making it even more unique from most other horse show venues. For the moms, there is boutique shopping and a spa, complete with nail salon and yoga classes (opening Summer 2019). For the younger siblings, there is a carousal, mini-jump course and face painting. For the dads, there is the Silo Bar, golfing, gun club and a shaded hammock area. Okay, that hammock area is actually good for everyone. Horse shows can wipe you out! Then, of course, TIEC has Saturday Night Lights. The competitive grand prix event is the focus in the large stadium under the bright lights, but the live music, additional food vendors and kid-friendly entertainment (magicians, acrobats, fire-twirlers, etc.) are a blast for all. I love how well attended Saturday Night Lights is. The local community really turns out to support the event and it is a great reminder how lucky we are to be a part of this sport.

This facility is so amazing. I could go on and on about it. You can see pictures and videos from my weekend there on my Horse Glam (@horse_glam) Instagram account under the “TIEC” story highlights. Stay tuned for Part 2 of My Weekend at TIEC where I talk about my experience while at the TIEC show with Hamster!!!