Paperchases & Petticoats

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My most recent Horse Glam Quickfire interview is with influencer and blogger, Lindsay, from the award winning blog, Paperchases & Petticoats. Lindsay has one of my favorite equestrian blogs in regards to both content and design layout, and her direct and witty writing style really resonates with me. Plus, Chloe is a fan of Dexter, Lindsay’s big squeeze (pictured above), and we all know Chloe is pretty picky when it comes to, well, anything.

HG: For those readers that do not know you personally, can you describe yourself in 4 words?
Lindsay: Driven, meticulous, reliable, persistent.

HG: I love your introduction on your blog of how Dexter found his way into your heart. If you could have every future horse retain just 1 of his qualities, whether aesthetic or personality-wise, what would it be and why?
Lindsay: My favorite quality that Dexter possesses is his ability to be flexible. He’s the kind of horse everybody wants because he’s willing to do things outside the purview of his job description—from paperchasing to jumping to modeling, Dexter easily adapts to any situation or environment I’ve thrown at him.

HG: If Dexter could talk for one minute, what do you think he would say to you?
Lindsay: “Excuse me, but I don’t feel like having my picture taken today, try again tomorrow. I’m just gonna keep running around my field every time you pull out the camera. No cute pictures for you! This is payback for the ginger wig! I don’t want to remember it!”

HG: Can you name a horse grooming product that you use on the daily?
Lindsay: I use Sport Horse Essentials Coat Spray as part of Dexter’s daily grooming routine. It breathes new life and luster into his coat. The essential oils also infuse Dexter’s coat with a burst of fragrance.

HG: Vintage tan knee patches or patches that match your breeches?
Lindsay: I tend to wear more monotone knee patch breeches since they bring out the best of my long legs.

HG: Favorite riding gloves for schooling?
Lindsay: The Roeckl Roeck-Grip Gloves are my absolute favorite for schooling! I love the fit and the fact that they have a slightly sticky texture which is excellent for gripping the reins. Yes, they’re pricey, but you really do get what you pay for!

HG: Dream equestrian photographer and shoot location?
Lindsay: I would jump at the opportunity to work with German equine photographer Diana Wahl. She is a true artist with a unique style unlike any other. I am OBSESSED with her gold foil portraits. Diana turns horses into magical emotive artworks!

HG: Best style advice you’ve received? Worst?
Lindsay: Best advice: never wear a boring coat. If you’re not wearing something great underneath, no one will know! Worst advice: don’t buy something if it isn’t practical. Fashion should be fun, so I think it’s okay to occasionally splurge on trendy items.

HG: One equestrian item that you are drooling over.
Lindsay: I’m in need of a new schooling helmet and recently came across THIS must-have from KEP Italia. You can never go wrong with grey OR lace!

HG: Wellington or Hits Coachella?
Lindsay: I’d have to pick Hits Coachella, purely for the backdrops.

HG: Chapstick or lipgloss?
Lindsay: Oh, I’m a chapstick addict. If I don’t use it, I become extremely uncomfortable and can’t think about anything else. I make sure I always have it on me.

HG: Advice for a first time paperchase (or hunter pace)?
Lindsay: Never underestimate the power of a tailgate! Serve up snacks and drinks AFTER your ride to help keep the fun going.

HG: What are your life goals for 2018?
Lindsay: It’s my job to be online at least 8 hours a day, so fighting digital distractions is an ongoing process for me. Looking ahead, I would like to cut down my Internet usage to put more focus on being in the moment.

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Huge thanks to Lindsay for taking the time to answer my questions! Looking forward to collaborating in the future! Chloe sends Dexter her love!

Equestrian Trend(s) with Carolina

Equestrian Trend(s) with Carolina

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Soooo excited to have been able to catch up with 20 year old Carolina Silva, from Equestrian Trend. Carolina lives in Portugal and when she isn’t sharing her love for all things equestrian on her blog, Equestrian Trend, she is either studying at FEP or at the barn riding her 7 yr old gelding and show jumper, Galileu. I hope you all enjoy getting to know more about Carolina’s style as much as I did. 🙂

HG: If you had to pick only 1 equestrian item to best express yourself, what would it be?
Carolina: It would probably be my Miss Shield by Samshield. I love how it completes any outfit!

HG: Favorite breeches color?
Carolina: Navy!

HG: Current belt obsession?
Carolina: The GP belt by Horse-A-Porter.

HG: If you could ride any horse, who would it be?
Carolina: Edwina Tops-Alexander’s Inca Boy, he’s so powerful!

HG: Describe your perfect ride in 3 words.
Carolina: Challenging. Smooth. Trustful.

HG: I see you are an ambassador for the Spanish Boot Company. Can you tell us your favorite pair of SBC boots and why?
Carolina: The Valverde Jodhpur Boots, I can easily go directly from college to the barn without ruining them! And I can spend an entire day with them on my feet without feeling exhausted.

HG: Black boots or brown boots?
Carolina: Although I own black boots, a brown pair would be awesome as well. I would say always black for shows and brown for training at home.

HG: Bridle charms or nameplates?
Carolina: Nameplate.

HG: What is your go-to saddle pad color for schooling? And for shows?
Carolina: Grey or burgundy and, obviously, navy for shows!!

HG: Wishlist equestrian item to try?
Carolina: Well, in fact it’s something you just got… MaeLort’s Ring Backpack!

HG: What are your 2018 Goals for yourself and your beautiful mount, Gali?
Carolina: Ending the season confidently showing at 1.20m and maybe, if everything goes super well, taking him to one 1.30m class with my trainer…but let’s see how he feels, we have time and his wellbeing is the most important to me.

Thank you, Carolina, for sharing your time with me and participating in the Horse Glam Quickfire Questions! Always so fun to get to know a fellow equestrian lifestyle blogger! Best of luck to you and Gali the unicorn this show season! xoxo

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Life Between The Ears

Life Between The Ears

You know you have done it. Whether it was while cooling your horse out, strolling around the showgrounds or simply during a leisurely trail-ride, you have slipped out your cellphone, aimed right between alert and forward turned ears, and taken that oddly satisfying shot. Kristine Dahms discovered she wasn’t alone in this habit when she started posting her personal between the ear pictures on her Facebook account. Friends began posting their own similar pictures on her page, and she soon started noticing ear pictures from all over. Kristine decided to create a dedicated account for these pictures in 2011, appropriately calling it “Life Between The Ears” and using the same hashtag. Suddenly,  she had a movement on her hands as people from all over the world started uploading with their own #lifebetweentheears images. Today, her Instagram following is near 36,000 and she has successfully combined her graphic design background with Life Between The Ears (LBTE), creating a line of paper goods, gifts and accessories featuring the most popular images captured between the ears. Kristine lives with her husband on Maury Island in the state of Washington. Together they live on a small farm with two horses, two goats, two dogs, two cats, and one chicken.

HG: Do you recall the first image you posted with the hashtag that started it all?

KD:  Not specifically, but I’m sure it was from one of my hacks out in our local woods, or neighborhood, as we’d frequently stop by and say hello to our neighbors and get a carrot or apple.

HG: Today, how many of the images posted are your own and what percentage are from your world-wide fans?

KD:  I started by posting only my own photos, and still occasionally post my own here or there if they’re good enough. Now 99% of the photos on LBTE feature other people’s photos from around the world. That’s the fun part—seeing photos from every corner of the world.

HG: What is your favorite LBTE shot you have personally taken? Why?

KD: My favorite personal photo is one on my Welsh cob, Wyn, taken at Maury Island Natural Area, overlooking Puget Sound in the fall.  The light is spectacular that time of year and the clouds dance over the water. I’m lucky to live across the road from a 235 acre public park. I was part of a group called Preserve Our Islands that fought for over 10 years to save this piece of land and shoreline from an international mining operation. Truly a David vs. Goliath fight and we were fortunate to have the perfect storm, and win. Amazing group of people. Epic story. Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful I get to live and ride here.  To read more about this story click HERE.

Kristine Dahms Maury Island, overlooking Puget Sound AKA LBTE Headquarters; IG Handle: @LifeBetweenTheEars

HG: What is the most surprising location you have received an image from?

KD: So many are surprising, but a few of the most unexpected shots I’ve received were from: The Faroe Islands (featured in my latest collection of cards, No. 3), in the middle of the street in Monaco for the Longines Global Champions Tour; one of Ben Atkinson’s horses in a full suit of armor, working on the television set of “Victoria”; and more recently, one from New York City in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

HG: What is the key to making a great LBTE shot? Can you give me some pointers so that maybe one day Chloe’s ears can be featured? 🙂

KD: Funny you should ask because I’ve written a blog post for Equitrekking about that a few years ago. To summarize: 1. Take a million shots in order to get one good one; 2. Use treats to help train your horse to be patient; 3. The closer to your subject the better; 4. Morning or evening light is the best; and 5. Don’t be afraid to use editing tools.

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Ben Atkinson
Atkinson Action Horses, UK, on set.
IG handle: @ben_actionhorses

HG: Why do you think people are so moved to take these pictures? I don’t think there is an equestrian alive who has not done so.

KD: I can’t speak for anybody else, but I like being able to share the beautiful place that I am fortunate enough to call my home. I’m a graphic designer and my husband is a commercial photographer, so we love photos, needless to say. I think we all enter our own little world of escapism when we ride, and people want to remember and share that feeling.

HG: If you could get any shot from a famous set of ears, whose ears would they be?

KD: A tough question, but I’d love to receive a photo from a performance or even practice ride at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, chandelier and all. That would be fabulous.

HG: What do you hope to do next with LBTE?

KD: I have tons of ideas in the works for LBTE projects, but it’s still my side gig. My graphic design business, Twist Design, is my main focus that pays the bills, but I keep carving out as much time as I can for LBTE. It’s truly a labor of love. I also plan to be a bit more active with the sister page, Life Between The Rears, which features photos from carriage, driving, and sleigh views.

Thanks again to Kristine for chatting. I look forward to practicing my ear shots so that maybe one day Chloe can be featured! Anyone that joins LBTE mailing list will receive 
a free LBTE card. Click here!

Featured Image above Photo Credit: Saksun, The Faroe Islands; Beinta Jógvandsdóttir; IG Handle: @beintajo.
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IG handle: @mershykisses / Gabriela Mershad
Longines Global Championship Tour,
Monaco.
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St. Patrick’s Cathedral, NYC
Jackie Rappel
IG handle: @jackjack.8

The Styled Equestrian

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Somehow all the stars aligned and we were able to land a Horse Glam Quickfire Style Interview with Jennifer Sims from The Styled Equestrian! To me, Jennifer is THE equestrian blogger (aka, GOALS), and the one that really pioneered the way for the rest of us.  A former professional model for over 12 years with brands such as Levi’s, Macy’s and Vans, Jennifer successfully combined her experience in fashion and photography with her passion for horses. Today she lives with her family in Seattle, WA and plans to ride in as many countries as possible in 2018. So if you are planning an equestrian vacation this year, be sure to check in with her new social media, EqGlobeTrotter, for fabulous (and stylish) ideas.

HG: Must-have color for Winter 2018?
JS: Shades of Burgundy, Mulberry and Henna.

HG: Red Lips or Nude lips?
JS: Usually Nude, unless I’m feeling fancy.

HG: Favorite vacation spot?
JS: Mexico.

HG: Date night handbag?
JS: Tucker Tweed or Adi Kissilivech.

HG: Item you never leave the house without (excluding cell phone)?
JS: Chapstick.

HG: Beauty secret?
JS: Cetaphil facial cleanser, Aveeno face lotion.

HG: Favorite color schooling breech?
JS: Navy or Burgundy.

HG: Heels, booties or Flats?
JS: Booties all the way!

HG: White or grey?
JS: Grey.

HG: Favorite TV Show, when you have time!
JS: Curb Your Enthusiasm.

HG: Least favorite fashion trend in the horse world?
JS: Snapchat filters!! Ugh! No more!

HG: Equestrian trend you are looking forward to trying out?
JS: Snake skin leggings, but stay tuned to my Instagram to find out who the brand is 🙂

Thank you Jen!!! It was fun picking your brain!! 🙂

Jasper the Friendly Mini

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I present to you, Jasper the Friendly Mini! Chances are you have seen multiple images of this little fella on Instagram. After all, he has nearly 14,000 followers and a million selfies. I wasn’t sure what the hype was about – I mean sure he is kinda cute for a vertically challenged pony but once I got to know him via email, it turns out he is spunky and sassy and everything I like in a friend. Get to know him, too, below:

HG: Favorite treat?
Jasper: Waffles and nuggets.

HG: Favorite thing to do?
Jasper: Impress the ladies, and plot the revenge of my enemies… usually followed by a snack and nap (all in that exact order).

HG: Does your brother, Wallace, ever get annoying, and if so, what do you do? All my pasturemates are annoying and I bite them, kick them and chase them from the water trough but they keep showing up every day regardless.
Jasper: That fuzzy punk is the most annoying mosquito I’ve ever met… He steals half of my snacks and my mom keeps giving him attention no matter how much I try to just push myself in her space when she’s with him. I’ve tried chasing him away and biting him but now he just fights back!! The nerve… Although I do like when he scratches my withers… but don’t tell anyone.

HG: You are so lucky no one is ever riding you. Do you have any tips on how you accomplished this feat?
Jasper: When my mom tries to make me do something I don’t want to do I just fall to the ground and start rolling. They can’t force you do anything if they can’t get you on your feet!

HG: Biggest fear? Currently I am worried about monsters that are in the woods, but this fear usually only occurs when someone is riding me.
Jasper: Great big stallions like myself don’t fear anything… except for a flock of geese flying too closely… geese are the devil. 

HG: How do you use your height disability to your advantage?
Jasper: The closer you are to the ground, the easier it is to find snacks that the humans drop. Plus, I can bite all of the big horses’ ankles and laugh at them when they fall and if that doesn’t work, they don’t expect it when you jump up for their jugular. 

HG: What color would you say you are?
Jasper: A leopard unicorn of course.

HG: What do you look for in a girlfriend? Have you heard of Horse Tinder? Donny (from The East Coast Equestrian) and I started that last year.
Jasper: This stallion isn’t really a one mare kind of guy… I like to keep my options open for all of the lovely fillies, but I could probably get on board with this dating app. My dream girl would be taller than me so she can help me reach the things I can’t, beautiful long mane and tail because that’s just goals, boss mare because every stallion needs a girl who will fight for him, and must share all snacks with me. Oh and she must love tiny men.

HG: Best joke you ever played?
Jasper: One time my silly mom made the mistake of letting me go while hand grazing me after a bath. I figured I could dry off faster if I went galloping around the entire farm, especially through all of the bridle paths on the busy road.. she was not so happy about chasing after me I guess. Not my problem her legs can’t keep up.

HG: Favorite TV show?
Jasper: I really like the show Game of Thrones.. but if Daenerys Targaryen wants a real stallion, she should come talk to me.

Special thanks to Jasper’s minion, Kirsty, for letting him use her computer. Over a year ago, after years of leasing horses, Kirsty decided that she was going to purchase her very first horse. For whatever reason (she still has no idea!) she decided that she was going to purchase the smallest horse she could find.  She found Jasper’s breeder online and she picked out the spunkiest foal she had! After seeing a video of baby Jasper rearing on his mom, trying to cause some mischief, she put the deposit on him that very day. Jasper has been the same spunky, mischievous bundle of joy ever since and Kirsty shares his story with all of us via her (his) Instagram account at Jasper.thefriendlymini

xoxo Chloe, the friendly horse.

The Young and The Restless

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Tracey Bregman has been a mega-star on CBS’s hit daytime show The Young & The Restless for an impressive 35 years. Hard to believe since she looks like she isn’t a day over 30 years old. In my pre-interview research I discovered that Tracey and I had two big things in common: we are twice over re-riders and we fully believe in natural horsemanship. So basically we should be best friends and she should give me all her beauty secrets, specifically the whole looking like a non-aging supermodel secret. Okay, maybe we aren’t there yet, but she was nice enough to humor me and answer some of my questions.

Like most equestrians, Tracey got her start as a little girl and fell in love instantly with the sport. Unlike most little girls, however, Tracey began working in middle school on the set of Days of Our Lives and had to put her equestrian endeavors on hold to focus on her career and school. Fast forward more than a decade later, throw in a Daytime Emmy and two children of her own, and Tracey found herself back in the saddle. This time, she switched riding disciplines and took up dressage. However, when her young trainer was killed in a riding accident, Tracey was understandably shaken and she took a second hiatus from the sport. It wasn’t until 2013 when Tracey pushed the fear aside and allowed horses back into her life. Her son, Austin, had returned home on a break from college and simply said, “I want to learn dressage and I want you to do it with me. It’s time for you to get over what happened.” Soon, with the support and company of her son, Tracey was back doing what she loved.

HG: Like you, I have taken two breaks from riding, totaling over 12 years when combined. I am actually doing a fun online diary of my riding “comeback” this time, mainly to hold myself accountable. Do you have any tips on how to stay positive? 
TB: I wish I had tips. Just take it one day at a time and don’t push yourself.

HG: You have mentioned how your horse, Ovi (short for Standing Ovation) chose you. I totally believe in that, and feel very similar about Chloe, but could you share with me your experience?
TB: My trainer sent me his picture saying she was going to see this horse. Well, he literally took my breath away and of course, I had to go see him too. I remember when we drove up and saw him. My heart skipped a beat. He healed me. Now, if anyone has had a scary experience on a horse, I let them ride him and everyone heals. He is a very special soul.

HG: I love that you are a fan of Buck Brannaman and natural horsemanship.  You can learn so much about yourself, or what mental blocks you have, by how your horse responds to you or behaves.  For instance, Chloe recently reminded me to leave my work problems at work. What is the most important thing Ovi has taught you?
TB: I call Ovi my yoga, my zen. He clears my mind. I will tell you, whatever I am dealing with in my life comes up in my riding. I find it fascinating that somehow our horses can sense what’s going on and helps us move forward and push through.

HG: I am going to assume that you cannot have played Lauren Fenmore on Y&R all these years and have not been influenced by her fashionista ways! Can you share some of your favorite dressage brands for everyday riding or lessons? What is your typical barn attire like?
TB: Everything I wear is from Halter Ego. Love the name! Her Instagram is @shophalterego. I’m in breeches and boots all the time and go everywhere in them so I want them to fit perfectly and look great

HG: Dressage is pretty conservative in the show ring. Is there anything you wear that may skirt the rules a bit? 🙂
TB: Yes. I have been known to wear Chrome Hearts tank tops with my breeches. Ha!

HG: I have read that the hours on set for tv shows are demanding. This, combined with being a mom, must leave you exhausted. How do you balance riding with the rest of your life?
TB: I look at riding as my form of exercise, so I’m at the barn four days a week. Sometimes more, or if I’m traveling or shooting a little less, but I have three horses now and one on the way!

HG: Do you have any riding goals for 2018?
TB: When I have been asked, I have said I wouldn’t compete, but that I would think of doing an exhibition. I have a new horse, Art Nouveau, that may make me do more than I’ve said!

HG: Okay, seriously, can you share any beauty secrets?
TB: You are so sweet. I wear all lead-free, cruelty-free products.

HG: What are the chances we will see Lauren on a horse? I think Ovi wants to make his Y&R screen debut.
TB: Wouldn’t that be fun!

So, in summary, Tracey Bregman and I are best friends and she said her beauty secret is to own 4 horses. 🙂 Thanks so much Tracey for being a good sport. Lauren Fenmore forever! xoxo

Life Equestrian is Equestrian Life

Life Equestrian is Equestrian Life

Helen is a fellow equestrian blogger that I enjoy following. Her account is Life Equestrian and she is based out of Los Angeles. She is tall, blonde and beautiful, of course, but don’t let that intimidate you. She is very friendly and has been nothing but welcoming to me and Horse Glam. Her style is easy, breezy and I think everyone can relate to that.

Helen is an executive for FX Networks and with the high demands of the corporate world, finding time for horses can be challenging. Luckily she has found a balance that works for her; riding 3 days a week with a horse show every few weeks. She says that her time at the barn is her zen, providing her with clarity and a sense of accomplishment. She always leaves the barn feeling re-energized and ready to conquer her dreams.

So happy to have her partake in a HG Quickfire Style Interview!

HG: Favorite apparel color for Winter 2018?
Helen: I love black down jackets with a silver vest, so I would say that my go to is Black and Silver.

HG: Must-have warm weather riding jacket?
Helen: JOTT Seda vest is my favorite riding jacket. It’s the perfect warmth for your pre-ride and is easy to take off in the ring. The light weight nature of the vest makes it easy to store and stuff in small places. It’s very versatile and easily cleaned making it my favorite “go-to” for riding in warm weather. 

HG: Show coat: Green or Navy or black?
Helen: Depending on horse color, I always lean towards Navy. I feel like it gives a polished, yet classic look in the Hunter Ring.

HG: Favorite piece of jewelry for everyday?
Helen: I love layering bracelets from “Half Full LA“. They are hand-made and so fun to add to any outfit. Being that they are made of high quality materials (gold, conflict free diamond, etc) they are super durable so I wear them all the time, from riding to the shower.

HE: Heels or flats on Friday night?
Helen: Heels, boot heels that is! Rag and Bone booties are my “go-to”. They are so comfortable and provide just enough heel to dress up an outfit.

HG: Favorite horse show food?
Helen: Breakfast Sandwiches, as a kid I always remember the hot steamy sandwich that I would devour after my ride. Oh ya, only after my ride. I’m not one to fill my tummy before heading into the show ring.

HG: Messy bun or baseball hat?
Helen: I would have to say messy bun, only because I don’t usually have a baseball cap handy.

HG: Snow or sand?
Helen: Sand, 100%. I grew up in Canada with the chilling arctic weather so I feel like I have done my time with snow…it’s all beach for me!

HG: Plaids or Florals?
Helen: I love plaids but a nice floral can be a fun print. Keeping the Hunter’esk feel I do always lean towards a beautiful navy plaid for my horse gear and attire.

HG: Bomber or Blazer?
Helen: Bomber when choosing between bomber or blazer but my “go-to” jacket is a black leather motto jacket. It’s just bad ass enough that no one messes with me 😉

HG: Go to nail polish?
Helen: Essie Pretty in Pink….it’s a light classic pink that brings a natural look to both my toes and hands. I sometimes swap up for a fun coral or grey tone, but mostly stick to my fav light pink by Essie.

Thanks so much Helen! xoxo

Don’t let them tame you

Don’t let them tame you

“Don’t let them tame you” is a simple phrase, but if you ask 10 different people what that phrase means to them, you’ll get 10 varying answers. Each day I have a different reaction myself but perhaps this is what makes those 5 words so enchanting. Sometimes, it stirs in me motivation. Sometimes, determination or grit. Sometimes, it reminds me to be true to myself. Other times I see it as playful, and I fondly think of my headstrong mare, Chloe.  One thing is for sure, when I look down at my AtelierCG bracelet or matching ring I get instantaneous good vibes. And who isn’t all about good vibes?

I love everything about this set. I love the gold with the black. I love that the engraving isn’t flashy, but you know it is there. I love how even though the bracelet is elegant, it feels substantial. I love how the bracelet can easily be stacked with other pieces, but it is strong enough to hold its own solo on your wrist. I love that the ring is classic and is all you need on your fingers. It also fits under riding gloves and can be worn to the barn without issue, which is great when you are heading straight to the barn from your job or school.  Clearly, I was pretty much obsessed with this matching pair from the get go. However, when the owner, Cindy, shared with me her deeply personal story, I ended up loving the pieces even more. Cindy is so inviting that I soon felt comfortable enough to ask her why she came up with the inscription and brand motto, “Don’t let them tame you”. She laughed warmly and told me “to grab a glass of wine”. She wasn’t exaggerating. Seriously, go grab a bottle.

 

Before there was AtelierCG, Cindy and her husband owned a company together, where Cindy did all the design work. Unfortunately, their relationship fell apart and they separated. Unable to continue working with her husband, Cindy walked away from their company and her financial security.  She moved into a new place with her two small children and because she needed help with the rent, took on a roommate.  The rest of her family lives in Europe so Cindy was very much alone, wondering what she was going to do next to make ends meet.  For so long Cindy had felt like she had lost herself and her unhappiness was draining. Now, she had the additional anxiety of supporting herself and children. She knew she had to pick up the pieces and move forward. She made big plans to launch her own equestrian inspired luxury company where she would be the sole owner and her own boss, and have total artistic freedom.  However, the stress and crippling anxiety of her emotional, personal and financial situation triggered related health issues and, on the way to her design factory, she suffered a stroke. Doctors were unsure if the stroke was a result of a pre-existing heart condition or the enormous stress she was under, and they prescribed Cindy an anti-depressant. Suddenly she began to have seizures and she was prescribed more medicine to help prevent those. The seizures subsided but the combination of the two medicines made Cindy literally feel crazy. She was in a mental fog. She became “numb” and felt like “she needed a break”. This feeling of “needing a break” translated into two suicide attempts, with the last one landing her in a forced 72 hour lock down in a psychiatric ward. To hear Cindy describe her experience there is truly a scene from a movie.  She began to write the following notes to herself, repeatedly, “Stay strong, don’t let them tame you. Stay strong, don’t let them tame you”. When she was released from the psych ward, her medications were immediately reviewed.  The particular combination of medications had a history of creating mental health issues and she was taken off the seizure medicine immediately and weened off the anti-depressant. Once off the medicines, she felt normal and began the process to get her life back… and her kids. After the psych ward incident her husband received temporary custody of their children. With this final blow to her world, Cindy felt like she had finally lost everything. Feeling sorry for herself was never an option, she couldn’t afford it and it wouldn’t bring her kids back. Instead, the feeling of utter loss without her kids drove her forward. Cindy channeled all her hurt, anger and fear into her work and she passionately launched AtelierCG in 2016. Today AtelierCG is carried in over 25 retail stores and Cindy shares joint custody of her kids, who remain her greatest source of inspiration.

I asked her what those 5 words mean to her today. She paused and said, “I think I would want the message to be to never give up. Bad times happen to everyone, but bad minutes do not equal a bad life.” Saying there was nothing easy about her journey is an understatement. I cannot begin to imagine what it felt like to be so alone, broke and broken, with two kids you are fighting for and battling major health issues. Cindy inspires me because she never lost sight of what she needed to do. She dug deep, and then even deeper, and she survived. She would not be tamed. xx, HG

Ring/Bracelet set comes in other color options if you do not love gold like I do and they can be purchased separately, but it is much more price efficient to take advantage of the set. SEE HERE.

The gorgeous necklace I am wearing is adjustable, black leather with a gold horse bit pendant. HIGHLY recommend it, as it is easily dressed up or down. Leather and gold…it does not get more equestrian. SEE HERE.

Cindy and her family. PC: SimpleeFocused.
Cindy and her family. PC: SimpleeFocused.

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AeroEquine: The next generation of Tack Trunks has landed.

AeroEquine: The next generation of Tack Trunks has landed.

When I first read about AeroEquine’s arrival on the tack trunk scene, I was pretty intrigued. Like many, I’ve had my wooden tack trunk from Phoenix West for over 20 years. It still has my maiden name on it, it is covered in vinyl colors worthy of a 12 year old’s taste and it looks like a 100 lb bottomless box for unorganized equestrian gadgets. Tack trunks have been on the barn aisle scene forever and they haven’t changed at all…until now. AeroEquine has created a line of modern tack trunks that weigh substantially less and are thoughtfully designed for the wannabe organized equestrian.

HG: Can you share more behind the personal story which sparked the idea for AeroEquine. When did you realize you were truly onto something?

GE: My husband, Brian, works with his brother at Edwards Interiors and they manufacture a lot of aircraft parts for Gulfstream. He has access to the latest and greatest substrates available on the market. When he met me, he had absolutely no horse experience, which we all know can be quite a culture shock! I had a hideously beat up/heavy trunk from Phoenix West. One Christmas a few years ago, he re-wrapped the vinyl on it with my farms colors. It worked fabulously (for me a least!) until I became super busy last winter with my two young jumpers hauling to shows almost every week. He of course was assisting me loading and unloading the trailer. One particular show after a few hours of unloading, set up, and schooling, we went out for dinner. He said “You know babe, your trunk is SO ugly and heavy…. what do you think if I just made you a completely new one out of some aircraft material at our shop?” Of course I wasn’t going to turn him down. A few weeks later he came home with a clean-lined tack trunk, that he could easily lift by himself. To be honest the craftsmanship surprised me so much I said you know, I think these things would sell like CRAZY…. I showed a few of my clients here at the farm and they said they wanted to be our first customers. It’s been a whirlwind since then!

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HG: AeroEquine trunks weigh only 40lbs, roughly half the weight of traditional wooden trunks, which makes all the difference at the end of a long show week. What are some of the other major differences between AeroEquine’s basicBox and the traditional wooden box that is sitting in front of most stalls today? I personally love the organizational compartments, convenient catch-all mesh pocket, cork board insert, complimentary grooming tote AND bit box…did I miss anything?!

GE: We have now started spraying the interior of the boxes and all of the compartments with a truck Bedliner material. It provides extreme durability (I did prototype testing by beating on it with a hammer!) and easy cleanability! The basicBox also has lockable casters on the bottom. We can custom match most paint colors and it adds a beautiful visual texture to the inside of the box. When you walk down our farms aisle at the show, the basicBoxs have a stunningly simple beauty about them. Clean lines, matte finish, custom logos, and most importantly, every basicBox is crafted by Brian himself (of course after I approve the design and paint colors :)).

HG: So far we have only talked about the basicBox…and there is nothing “basic” about it. However, I am drooling over the techBox. As an equestrian lifestyle blogger and small business owner (Pony Glam), I am always on my phone. I am either taking pictures, emailing orders or doing my social media catchup/homework. In other words, my phone is always dead. The techBox comes with an USB charging port AND bluetooth speakers!! I could simultaneously charge my phone while making Chloe listen to my (amazing) playlists! This is genius! I also saw that there is an ammyBox that is coming soon. Any hints?

GE: I debuted the first techBox at a show in Aiken, South Carolina recently and it was a HIT!!!! Everyone was stopping by to play their favorite song and catch a quick charge. See a snippet from the show below!

 

The ammyBox was the brainchild of one of my amateur clients at the barn…. we are developing a cooling box that will keep your medications, water, cocktails, you name it, the perfect temp within easy reach! Also, I should mention we are doing  a ponyBox, which will be a smaller size of the basicBox for the pony kids at the barn!

HG: In the future, do you see additional products that you want to add to your line or do you think you will focus solely on the trunks for now?

GE: We have a few new products working their way through our design stage. The wallBox is a wall grooming box that we anticipate will weigh around 10-15lbs, compared to traditional wall boxes at 40lbs!  Also, be on the lookout for AeroEquine’s Wing. It is something everyone needs, but that is all I can say about it right now! 😉 I am also a bit of an equestrian fashion nut so I am hoping to be able to launch my own line of clothing sometime in the future, focusing on streamlined sophisticated style.

HG: Any good tips for running a new equestrian business with a spouse?

GE: You definitely have to have a sense of humor. Starting any business is so tough, and so many fail before you even get a chance to reap the benefits. The most important thing to remember is that you get what you put into it. If you truly believe you have a product that will make a huge impact on an industry, you have to put everything you have into it. And another key word is patience. Coca Cola sold 24 bottles their first year in existence. Our first year has been tough, and we don’t expect it to get much easier in the near future but we are firm believers in what we have to offer, and will do everything we can to make it successful!

Thanks so much Genevieve for giving me the scoop on AeroEquine. Best of luck to you and Brian- you have a truly great product and vision for the future! I can’t wait to hear more about the top-secret Wing! xx, HG

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Ponies = Parker Peacock = Name To Remember

Ponies = Parker Peacock = Name To Remember

Meet Parker Peacock. She’s cute as can be, full of spunk, and can ride a pony like a champ (quite literally). Parker is a mere 9 years young, although she was quick to let me know she is almost 10. She lives in Winston Salem, North Carolina, where she currently has 6 ponies she rides for Peacock Acres, a farm owned and managed by her mother, Ashley. Growing up in an equestrian household means that Parker “has been riding for as long as she can remember”.

HG:  When you are not at a horse show, what is a typical Saturday at Peacock Acres like for you?
PP: I go to the barn early and ride 2-3 ponies. Then I play with my mini ponies and jump them over mini-jumps.

HG: In addition to your minis, you have so many adorable ponies. I hate to have you choose, butttt I am going to anyway. When I say a word, tell me the pony that first pops into your mind.
HG: Sweetest?
PP: Neigh.
HG: Treat monster?
PP: Sailor.
HG: Class clown?
PP: Waylon.
HG: Fancy?
PP: Waylon.

HG: You answered that Waylon is the class clown of the pony barn. Why?
PP: Well, Waylon is the youngest and can often misbehave. He also has the most nicknames, like shrimp and grits, biscuit and cream puff.

HG: What is it like being the daughter of a trainer and the barn owner?
PP: I like it cause I always get to go to the barn.

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Parker and Neigh.

HG: Congratulations on recently qualifying and competing in the Small Pony Hunter division at the prestigious Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg. What was going through your mind when you entered the indoor arena for the first time?
PP: I was very nervous because it was my first time showing at Indoors and the arena is very overwhelming when you walk in. Neigh (AKA Glenhaven Astoria) was nervous too because it was her first time also so I rubbed her neck right before we walked in.

HG: What was the best part and worst part about Harrisburg?
PP: The best part was how cool it was to do an Indoor horse show. The worst part was how the arena felt really small when I was riding.

HG: Tell us about winning the Sportsmanship Award there? That is quite an honor. Why do you think you won?
PP: I always went into the arena with a smile. Even when the trip wasn’t the best, I always made sure to reward Neigh. Neigh was one of the youngest ponies, and I am only 9, so we were one of the youngest teams. I think the judges liked our positive attitudes, no matter how our trips went.

HG: What are your pony goals for this show season?
PP: My goals are to qualify for both Devon and Harrisburg, again.

HG: What is one thing you want to improve on with your riding?
PP: I need to keep practicing my course jumping. I want to slow it down and make it look as smooth as it can.

HG: Where do you see yourself in 4 years?
PP: I want to be doing 3’6″ hunters and start doing equitation.

HG: Do you have any good luck charms or superstitious things you do or wear at a big show?
PP: My grandmother passed away before Pony Finals 2017. I keep her casino card in my pocket.

HG: What is your must-have rider product and must-have horse product?
PP: Samshield helmet and Pony Glam Hoof Hi-lites.

HG: What do you hope Santa brings you this year?
PP: I want a puppy from Santa! I also want a halter for my mini, new riding gloves and chaps, and a Jott jacket.

Thanks so much for chatting, Parker. Can’t wait to see you shine in the pony ring this year! xoxo

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Mini playing at Peacock Acres.

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Bethany’s Equestrian Style

Bethany Lee is the founder and voice behind the hit blog, My Equestrian Style. She is in the top running for Style Editor for The Plaid Horse, so please be sure to vote for her if you can! A long time equestrian, Bethany has been riding since she was 5 years old, and currently shows as a professional in the hunter/jumper divisions in Jacksonville, FL. Her favorite thing about the sport is seeing how much a green prospect can change and develop in a short amount of time with consistent riding and proper training.  When asked about her personal goals for the remainder of the year she said she would love to be more consistent about hitting the gym, as she thinks it is the best way to get better at riding outside of being in the saddle. I was so excited to be able to chat with her about her personal style because I love her effortless look and casual vibe, and I think you all will too! Big thanks to Bethany for being Horse Glam’s first quickfire style interview!

Scarf from the Red Scarf Equestrian

HG: Must-have color for Fall?
Bethany: Rust and burgundy.

HG: Ruffles or pin-stripes?
Bethany: Both!

HG: Favorite color of Tailored Sportsman?
Bethany: I love that dark green with the vintage patches (Black Forest, I believe!).

HG: Big Christmas item on the wishlist this year?
Bethany: I got it early— my new CWD saddle 🙂

HG: Go-to hairstyle?
Bethany: I have so much hair and with the heat, I usually throw it in a top knot until it’s under a helmet!

HG: Beauty secret? (Mine is I wash my face every night no matter what!)
Bethany: Kleenex Cleansing Wipes right after I ride.

HG: Sun glasses or hat?
Bethany: Both.. have you seen my ginger skin?

HG: Lipstick or lipgloss?
Bethany: Lipstick.

HG: Black or navy?
Bethany: Black, but that was a really hard decision for me!

HG: Favorite Fall jacket?
Bethany: For fall, I’m more of a vest girl. I have a great Ellany Equestrian puffer vest with my monogram on the back of the neck. Its gorgeous!

HG: Off the shoulder or cut out sleeves?
Bethany: Off the shoulder, always.

Thanks Bethany!! xo Andrea + Chloe

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What’s in your Pony’s Pantry?

What’s in your Pony’s Pantry?

Meet 14 year old, equestrian entrepreneur, Gabbi Sousa. She rides ponies by day, and cooks up organic horse treats by night. Just 3 months ago, she launched Pony Pantry, a natural Horse Treat company based in Matthews, North Carolina. Pony Pantry’s inaugural treats are called OatNuts, which are donut-shaped treats made with yummy goodness, and they come in 3 flavors: Carrot, Apple and Peppermint. For those of you technical people out there that don’t trust my palate, Oatnuts are made of rolled and steel cut oats, molasses, whole grain rye flour and other secret, but healthy, ingredients.

Chloe:  So Gabbi, do you need any professional taste testers? I am pretty busy but I can clear my schedule for a longtime friend.
GS: That would be great! We would love to have a horse with your incredible palate try our treats!

Chloe: Offer accepted! I know you have been making horse treats for yourself and your barn friends for a few years. When did you decide to take your treat making to the next level and start Pony Pantry?
GS: I began making horse treats in the local Young Riders 4-H club as a project. I had always loved making horse treats because Bella, my first pony, loves treats. I always gave her some of my home made treats after a ride, and now I do the same with my current pony, Jackson! I wanted to begin my own business to create my very own treats so that Jackson could have an unlimited supply and so I could share with others!

Chloe: Sounds like music to my ears! What has been the hardest part of starting Pony Pantry?

IMG_4167GS: Learning that making treats and actually selling them requires a lot of approvals, legal things, laboratory analysis and other things that my dad was responsible for!

Chloe: Yeah, you should definitely make your dad do all the boring stuff! Tell me more about the monthly subscription service. Could I just slip you this credit card I found in Andrea’s bag and you add my name to the service?
GS: Absolutely! The Monthly Treats Club allows you to receive two tubes of treats each and every month for 1 year. You can cancel at any time!

Chloe: Is there anything you want readers to know about Pony Pantry? Why should they choose your treats over the other options?
GS: Our treats are a simple, nutritious snack with all natural ingredients.  After speaking with many equine veterinarians, they were concerned about the amount of refined sugars people were feeding to horses and ponies. So because of this, we do notdecorate them with sugar or fondant.

Our biggest seller is our Pony Pantry Trainer Treats. These are peppermint-flavored small treats that can be used as part of training for groundwork and bonding exercises, and simple rewards. Also, and why trainers love them, they are a great replacement for that piece of peppermint candy given ringside. Our feeling is that instead of giving them a lump of straight sugar, you can give them something that tastes good and is healthier for them! Finally, another cool thing is that our tubes can fit easily in your grooming box or in side pocket of your ringside backpack or riding backpack!

Thank you so much Gabbi, and dad, Rick, for hanging out and telling everyone more about Pony Pantry! For more information and to purchase your Pony Pantry treats, visit www.ponypantry.com.

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Chatting with Emily Moffitt

Chatting with Emily Moffitt

At 19, I was going to Dave Matthews Band concerts, thinking I was cool. At 19, Emily Moffitt actually is cool. Emily competes in CSI5* Grand Prix, flying over 5″3′ obstacles, looking fab and representing Great Britain. Her Great Britain teammates include olympic gold medalist (and her trainer), Ben Maher, and Olympic gold medalist, and number 1 ranked rider in the world, Kent Farrington. She currently owns 20 horses, including her first pony (aww), but her main string includes: Galip, Tommy, Maddie, Tipsy, Quinny, Riri, Ziggy, Tink and Love. It makes sense that Emily’s riding goal is pretty straightforward: 2020 Olympics. I mean really, what else is there?

Andrea: If you could run into the barn and give only one of your horses a treat and kiss, which one would it be and why?
Emily: This is a hard question for me because I love all my horses to death. Of course, if one horse is performing better than others I’m a little biased to love them more than the others at that time! My main man has always been Ziggy. He was my first proper horse so he holds a special place in my heart.

Andrea: When trying a potential new horse, what is one thing that is a must-have and what is one thing that is an automatic no?
Emily: When I try horses it’s very important to me that they have a good personality and heart. All of my horses have big personalities and are quite sassy! I always find when a horse has sass and extra personality it has extra fight for you once you have a relationship and connection with them. An absolute no for me would be stopping. I want my horse to try it’s heart out for me. I am “all in”, so I expect my horse to be too. To me, a horse that stops doesn’t love jumping and a horse that loves jumping is a winner.

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Andrea: What is a typical day like for you at Poden Farms?
Emily: I don’t get to be at home very often. I’m at shows almost every week, but even when I am home there’s not really a typical day for me. Every day changes. If all the horses are home then I’ll ride 5 a day. Sometimes the horses are at shows so there aren’t many to ride. I always try to jump them when I get a chance since I’m always away.

Andrea: Many of your interviews talk about how great your relationship is with your trainer, Ben Maher. Any tips for riders when searching for a trainer?
Emily: When my family and I were looking into a new trainer I had an option between a few and my parents asked, “If you could have anyone who would it be?” To this day I couldn’t explain why, but I just had a feeling Ben would be the perfect match. We met with him and talked about how it would work and it’s been great ever since! I don’t think it’s very common to have such a good relationship with your trainer, but I also think it’s why I have done so well since. We really help each other out. If he needs horses, I lend him mine. Then when they come back to me they feel even better than before. I would say the most important thing when looking for a trainer is that your personalities don’t clash. Someone could be the best trainer in the world, but that doesn’t mean they will be the best for you. It’s important to go with your gut feeling.

Andrea: I love when you talk about your experience in 2014 at the Chantilly GCT Grand Prix and how it was the defining moment in your decision to do this big time. You mention that your parents were immediately supportive and the next day your father was taking steps to make your dream a reality. Can you share what that was?
Emily: When I told my dad that I wanted to do this as my career he immediately set out to find out what had to be done to make this happen. My dad and I have very all or nothing personalities. Very soon after I had told him this was my dream we had amazing facilities being built on our property. I think if I left things to my dad I would have about 100 horses. My mom is also very supportive but just in a different way. She isn’t as involved with the horses as my dad is, which is nice to have both sides.

Andrea: You say your riding style is bold and that you love the Jump Off. When you are walking the course, what is your Jump Off strategy?
Emily: When I walk the course I try to think of all the possible problems or changes that could occur. Okay, sure you could come up with an exact plan that you need to execute with your horse, but at the end of the day it’s very unlikely everything will go perfectly. Ben and I will always come up with an original plan but before I go into the ring he makes a point to remind me to just ride and have fun. I think I like jump offs so much because I have to trust myself and my riding ability to figure out whatever happens in the ring. Ben and I are probably some of the most competitive people you will meet. We are a little deadly when one of us is in the jump off!

Andrea: Do you ever gallop up to one of those CSI5* fences and think “holy crap, this is huge?” Do you have any fear?
Emily: I have walked the course and thought this is really big or I have been watching and seen people crash repeatedly and think “this must be hard if people are struggling so much.” Usually this makes me ride better. I always do better under pressure. I never feel scared or nervous. I only really get anxious to win or do well. Once I get on my horse everything goes away and I just do what I can to go clear.

Andrea: If you could tell your horse one thing before you enter the show arena, what would it be?
Emily: I actually do tell my horse one thing every time before I go into the ring. Right before we walk in I always give them a pat and say, “Let’s do this.” My horses and I are a team. It’s important to me that they trust me in and out of the ring, so I always say a little something to them before we jump.

Andrea: What is your riding must-have? Something you think everyone should own?
Emily: I definitely HAVE to have my OnTyte magnetic stirrups and boots with me at all times when I’m showing. I have 5 pairs of boots with OnTyte magnets in them just to make sure I’m never without them. I feel so much safer and secure in the saddle than with regular stirrups. It gives me an extra sense of security knowing I won’t lose my stirrup half way around the arena.

Thank you so much, Emily, for chatting with me! Looking forward to chatting again before you leave for 2020 Tokyo!

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Cookies and Cordelia

Cookies and Cordelia

You may know her as the CEO of Charleigh’s Cookies, but I know her as Cordelia. She started Charleigh’s Cookies in 2012 and single-handedly did all the recipe formulating and baking herself.  Things quickly got serious and she moved her operation to larger and larger commercial kitchens and hired additional bakers. Today, Charleigh’s Cookies ships out over 7,500 lbs of cookies a month and has over 300 subscription accounts.

Cordelia has always inspired me as a businesswoman for pretty obvious reasons. The horse treat industry is crowded and it is hard to distinguish yourself from the competition. But her keen business acumen and thoughtful marketing campaigns helped propel Charleigh’s Cookies to one of the premiere organic and handmade equine treat companies.  Many props to her.

Cordelia has also inspired me as person, specifically a single mother. Her daughter, Charleigh, is adorable and a total hoot. I enjoy hearing the funny things she says, especially about ponies and riding. Cordelia got divorced when Charleigh was just 22 months old, and since then it has just been the mother-daughter duo. I can personally attest that life with a baby is about 10 times more difficult than life solo, and I cannot imagine going through it without a wingman (or wingwoman). From the few stories she has shared with me, I know it was hard. I know at times it seemed pretty impossible. And yet somehow she came out on top… with a grounded daughter, a booming business, an extracurricular life filled with show horses (and pony!), and a mega-watt smile. More props.

When I called Cordelia to chat for this 5 question inspirational interview, she was at spin class. SPIN CLASS! I told you she was superwoman. I would rather give up cheese for a month than go to spin class.

Andrea: What would 2017 Cordelia tell 2010 Cordelia?
C: I would tell myself so much! I would tell myself that it’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay not to be perfect. You don’t have to have a spotless home to be an amazing mother. You don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders alone. It’s okay to leave an unhealthy relationship. Trust your gut. Believe in yourself. You will succeed. The list goes on and on, but at the end of the day, the number one thing I would tell myself is to trust my gut. A mother’s intuition is never off.

Andrea: Speaking of a mother’s intuition, what is your advice for single mom entrepreneurs?
C:    It can often be scary not knowing the steps when stepping out on your own and following your passion. For me it was crucial to find a way to blend my passion for horses with the demands of having a young child. My advice is simple. Read “The Boss of You: Everything A Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run, and Maintain Her Own Business” by Emira Mears. Do the exercises they suggest. Put the answers in a visible place so that you are reminded of your goals and the many reasons you believe in yourself. Always put your child first. Get organized. Write a business plan. Know your budget. Educate yourself on what business classes are offered for free in your local community. Many times the Chamber of Commerce offers free/very affordable classes to new businesses. Take some basic business classes so that you are educated on the basics in accounting and taxes (OR find an accountant you can afford). Educate yourself on your competitors, if any. Once you have a plan and are ready to move forward with branding, interview current and past customers and ask directly what their experience was working with the individual with whom you are considering working with.

Aside from all of the above, spend one hour a day doing something for yourself. A walk in nature, hit the gym, go to a spin class, a manicure/pedicure. Make sure to nourish your soul while building your own business. It can be a lot to take on.

Lastly, hug your child. Read to them. Take them to the park. Nourish that relationship.

Andrea: What book is on your nightstand right now?
C: “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”.

Andrea: You mentioned to me that you want to take more vacation time for yourself. If you could spend 7 days anywhere, all expenses paid, where would it be?
C: Turks and Caicos.

Andrea: What are your horse related goals for 2018?
C: I want to show out of the state (California) and jump up to 1.10m. I would love to import a young hunter prospect sometime in the future. 🙂

Thanks Cordelia! xx

For more information about Charleigh’s Cookies, click HERE. To purchase Chloe’s favorite cookie, Southern Swag, click HERE.

The East Coast Equestrian

The East Coast Equestrian

Taylor Stevens isn’t trying to live the horsey dream, as the profile on her popular blog The East Coast Equestrian says. She is living the horsey dream. Over 9,000 followers tune in daily to see how the training with her young, gorgeous and gray, Donovan (aka Donny), is going. Together, they compete in the 3 foot Green Hunters and 18-35 Adult Hunters and have their sights set on 3’6″ Amateur Owners for 2018. Fellow riders and warmblood ooglers love witnessing her trials and tribulations and appreciate her candid posts. Taylor never tries to be someone she is not, and she is quick to find the good in any situation. Her positivity is infectious in a sport where sometimes it seems like your “meh” days can overshadow your “yay” days.

I look forward to chatting with Taylor myself down the road, but for now (okay, after Chloe saw a few drool-worthy Donny pictures) Chloe is taking the lead and interviewing Donny. I wonder if Chloe preps for all of her interviews by printing out Instagram pictures and hanging them in her stall? Hmm… 🙂

Chloe: Hi Donny. I couldn’t help but notice that TECE Instagram account is covered in your pictures. Have you thought about getting just compensation for that?
D: Hey Chloe – yeah, Taylor can be super annoying, she takes my photo nonstop. But she does give me tons of treats afterwards, so I guess that counts for something, right?

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Chloe: Yes, treats are LIFE! So, Taylor has mentioned that you were imported from France in 2016.  What is the hardest part about adjusting to American life?
D: Well I was born in the Netherlands, then moved to France as a stud as a 4 year old, and then to the US as a 6 1/2 year old. Trying to keep up with these humans and all of their languages was driving me crazy! I also used to jump really high and really fast. Now Taylor is making me learn how to go straight and keep one pace. It’s kind of boring sometimes, so I like to keep things interesting every now and then if you know what I mean. 😉

Chloe: Followers of TECE can see that you just returned from the Vermont show and will be attending CHJA Finals this weekend. Do you have a pre-show ritual that you enjoy?
D: Good luck bananas, lots of stretching with Taylor and one peppermint before entering the ring. I’ll look for it every time so they better not forget anytime in the near future!

Chloe: Nice! Wait, why don’t I get a pre-entrance peppermint?! Typical!  Is there anything you wish Taylor would work on harder? For example, I wish Andrea would learn to stay out of my way. In fact, she should just start staying home on her lesson days!
D: Sometimes Taylor gets in my way too! All I want to do is GO and she says WOAH – but lately we’re finding a pretty good rhythm. On Tuesdays she takes me out to the fields and lets me chase geese and galloparound so it’s all good I guess.

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Chloe: Eww, but what if you step in geese poop?! Do you have a favorite snack? Mine is potato chips. NOM.
D: I tried those for the first time this past weekend! Super crunchy and salty – what’s not to like? I like bananas and the occasional sour patch kid when some of the juniors around the barn sneak them to me.

Chloe: Do you have any pet peeves or things that frighten you? I used to be afraid of cows.
D: I don’t understand ponies. Taylor tries to make me be nice but they really confuse me so sometimes I’m rude. I’m ‘working on it.’ I also don’t like when other horses come at me, mainly when we’re both cantering. I’ll take them on almost every single time if I feel threatened, because who wouldn’t?! Taylor says I’m being dramatic but I’m just showing them who’s boss.

Chloe: What is one product you think every horse should have in his/her grooming tote, even the dreaded ponies?
D: Well… Taylor is always complaining about keeping me looking good, but I’m just all, ‘you gotta let me roll!’ She’s always carrying around a rag and coat spray to keep me shining. I also tried some hoof polish that made me feel pretty baller. 😉

Chloe: I bet you looked really dapper in that hoof dressing! Umm, do you want a girlfriend?
D: Are you on Tinder?

Thank you, Donny, for chatting with me. I knew we would bond over a love for chips and going fast! I really enjoy the videos/pictures of you bucking and hopping in the air, so please keep those coming!

Follow Donny’s journey HERE.

 

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Dreaming & Scheming with Kristy Lake: the Marketing Ninja of Social Media.

Dreaming & Scheming with Kristy Lake: the Marketing Ninja of Social Media.

Kristy first popped up on my radar when she owned the Canadian store, Dapple Gray, the cutest horse + hound + home boutique in all the world.  Why was I, a mere North Carolinian, following a tack store in Canada so closely? Because Kristy is a marketing ninja and her well-staged pictures and witty posts on Facebook told me to. Her savvy use of social media single-handedly transformed the equestrian retail scene and introduced a lot of us to unfamiliar, smaller brands that are well-known, favorites today.  Phyliss Stein, My Barn Child, Black Knight and SpicedEq to name just a few.

Kristy no longer owns Dapple Gray, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t seeing her social media posting. She owns Hold Your Horses Media, a company that runs social media accounts for 15 top equestrian companies. It is pretty hush-hush who her clients are, but to help put it in perspective, it is no secret that she was the genius behind the Ogilvy half-pad social marketing campaign.  You might recall that Ogilvy’s social media account seemingly came out of nowhere a few years ago and immediately people were rushing to purchase a pad in their favorite color.

In April 2016, she created her own brand of boot socks and launched Dreamers & Schemers Boot Socks. Yep, boot socks. And guess what? Within weeks, everyone wanted them. And by everyone, I mean EVERYONE. Myself included! D&S quickly had a cult following on Instagram, and today, only a year later, they have over 17,000 dedicated, sock-obsessed followers. Through my ownership of Pony Glam, I occasionally get to electronically “bump” into Kristy, and I try to soak it all in and hope that some sort of digital osmosis occurs. Recently, she was gracious enough to take some questions and send me some socks. I took it!

Andrea: Let’s get the important one out-of-the-way. Ninja stars or nunchucks?
KL: Hmmm…Nunchucks. I feel like when you asked it, I had a little bit of an immediate pull towards nunchucks.

Andrea: Why socks? Of all things, how did you sense that we equestrians secretly needed cooler socks?
KL: At Dapple Gray, I had a small mobile trailer that I would take with me to the horse shows. I saw that a lot of my sales were smaller items. It seemed like kids were coming to the mobile trailer with $20-$40 and buying items that were in that price range. My background is in action sports, and because of that I have had a lot of exposure to different brands. I started noticing all of these really fun socks outside of the equestrian industry, like Sock It To Me. In fact, I was the first tack shop that I knew of to carry that line and started selling them by the 100’s out of my trailer.  I sold so many that it almost became a sock-mobile! Perhaps it is because socks are really one of the few places you can express yourself at a horse show, especially in the Hunters. So I guess I just really paid attention to my mobile trailer’s demographic and their purchasing habits. Plus, I just love socks…I am a serial sock shopper!

Andrea: Unicorns and donuts on a sock does sound great in my mind, but I am not necessarily sure I would say that out loud. But you did. And you put it on a sock. And the socks sold out. Again, how did you know that others out there shared your quirky sense of humor?
KL:  I am 100% aware that not everyone is going to like you, no matter what you do. It is better to be authentic and be yourself than try to be something you are not. Life is too short. And you know, you are going to eventually find your tribe, people who will embrace you for who you are. Luckily, with D&S, I had a tone and message that people resonated with. So for the most part, I throw it out there and see what works, because if something doesn’t work, it doesn’t crush me, I just pivot and try something else that does.

Andrea: I know this is like asking someone to pick a favorite child or parent, but which pair of socks is your go-to, your favorite?
KL: Every new pair I make is my absolute favorite pair for a hot minute. And then I make a newer pair, and that one is the best. So I suppose I don’t really have a true favorite. I have some that are not my favorite on the website, and occasionally those turn out to be my big sellers. Sometimes I get surprised by what people like!

Andrea: On a serious note (I can be serious sometimes), what is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
KL: I haven’t exactly had a mentor, yet. I have kinda been flying by the seat of my pants, and as I have been going I have luckily collected a really amazing support network and an amazing group of entrepreneur friends that really question me and highlight the pro/cons of my ideas.

Andrea: Okay back to not being serious (shocker), what are the chances that Chloe can be your future sock inspiration? She’d really like a sock named after her. She (thinks) she deserves it…
KL: Uhh, yes! That can totally happen. Chloe should start putting a mood board together and we can make something happen for her.

Thanks so much Kristy for sharing your time and being a good sport. Until our next electronic bump…or Chloe’s new sock line! 🙂 xoxo

Check out the sock photo shoot BELOW! Pictures shot by SHANNEN SMYTH PHOTOGRAPGHY at Charlottetowne Stable.

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