Good Vibes Only

Two things I can totally get behind are: good vibes and pullover sweatshirts. Put the two together and I am sold. We are in the midst of winter and so the pullover is out in full force, whether it is used as a layer on the coldest of days, or brought along just in case you may need it. Luckily Shop ECE totally gets the value of a good layering option and if you are familiar with the brand, you know that they do not do boring. All of the pullovers are embroidered with fun and cute sayings or images. This particular pullover I selected is embroidered with “good vibes” – which I love because it is something that is soooo important when I am riding. If I am in a negative mood, Chloe feeds off of it and we generally have a horrible ride together. It also is a good reminder for daily life. Spread happiness and positivity where you go – you never know when someone may need it and it always comes right back to you in the end. I personally also have the “magical AF” pullover and I wear it at least 2 times a week!!

Get your pullover HERE and hurry, each style is a limited edition and they go super fast! In fact, “magical AF” is gone! Current pricing is $45.00. Runs small so size up.

Pony Parts

When it comes to equestrian brands or themes, I have a hard time finding cute kids tshirts in size 2 or smaller. Horseplay Apparel was so generous to send Logan this tshirt and I honestly couldn’t have picked out a cuter one. The tshirt is called “parts of a pony” and it labels all the important pony parts you need to know, such as the mood indicators (aka the ears) and the mint vacuum (aka the mouth). The tshirt comes in a pale pink and the material does not shrink in the wash like I find many tshirts do.

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Direct Link to Tshirt: Click Here. Current price is $20.

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Meet C&C Signature

C&C Signature (“C&C”) is an equestrian company based out of Virginia that has two divisions, Filly Finery (custom-made fly bonnets, embroidered goods, vinyl decals and other similar accessories) and Cheval Classique (tack and leather goods). Owners Chloe and Carly began C&C officially in 2016, but have been working on the concept and designs since 2014. Chloe and Carly strive to bring you A-circuit quality and classical style, with modern trends, at a price point affordable for every rider.

If you need a new bridle, look no further. In fact, even if you don’t need a new bridle but you are tired of changing out bits, or cleaning your everyday bridle for the show ring, then seriously, you need to keep reading this review.  YOU WILL NOT FIND A BETTER BRIDLE FOR THIS PRICE. My previous bridle was more than double this price and there is no difference (to my eyes) in the quality or stitching. I promise you I will always look to C&C first for leather tack going forward. In fact, Chloe is in desperate need of a new leather halter and I plan to purchase this one !

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Chloe has been using the Cheval Classique fancy stitch traditional bridle with removable flash, as pictured herein. When I first opened the package, I was blown away by how nice the bridle was. Truly, the bridle is so reasonably priced that I just wasn’t expecting to find such attention to detail with an obvious emphasis on the horse’s comfort.  The leather is gorgeous and soft and the fancy stitching on the browband and noseband is beautiful. There is ample padding where your horse appreciates it most: crownpiece, browband, noseband, and noseband buckle guard. The crownpiece is anatomically contoured and there are ear cut outs to help with the release of pressure from your horse’s head, neck and poll. I appreciated that the leather was already dark (2 colors to choose from; I chose Havana) and I didn’t have to soak it in warm neatsfoot oil like I did my last bridle. I also liked how supple it was – I put it together in record time (for me). I am the worst at swapping bits out – seriously it takes me forever to work the leather. This leather, however, is like butter. I am not sure that is something that most people comment on normally, but I imagine that Chloe, my horse, appreciates the softness since it is wrapped all around her pretty face.

The first few weeks that I had the bridle at the barn, I had so many compliments and questions about it. People inquired about it and when I told them the price, they were blown away. In fact, my trainer purchased the same bridle for her new prospect! You can scoop this bridle AND the reins for $140. Yes, that price includes the reins. You can choose between leather or rubber. I chose the rubber reins because I had been contemplating buying a pair for rainy jumper days anyway. Like the bridle, the reins were super nice, with fancy raised leather stitching at the base and built-in leather martingale stoppers. I honestly haven’t owned a pair of rubber reins with fancy stitching before so I was super impressed. It really is the little things!

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As mentioned, there is a clear focus on the horse in C&C’s bridle designs with the extra padding and anatomical monocrown with ear cutouts. Additionally, the leather goes through a more natural process for tanning, without the use of chromium and other harsh chemicals. The rider shouldn’t feel left out, however, because the affordability of these leather goods, without loss in overall quality, is a major win and something you don’t often find in the equestrian world. I LOVE that this bridle is from a small company and I look forward to continue to support C&C.

To browse more C&C, click HERE.

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Rubber reins, yet still so fancy!

 

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The Polished Rider: The Maya Jacket

I am loving The Polished Rider – an online equestrian retail boutique that offers everything you need to look fashionable and ride functionally.  Winter is finally here in NC with temperatures dipping into the 20s! To be honest, I was sort of excited to try out my new winter riding jacket from The Polished Rider: The Maya Jacket by Horseware Ireland.

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FASHION:

  1. The color is lovely. Olive green jacket, with brass zipper and brown suede trim.
  2. Padding lines and darts are on trend and slimming.
  3. High neckline is flattering and super cozy.
  4. Love the subtle sheen to the jacket. I could easily see myself wearing this with jeans too. AND because it is machine washable (see below) I can easily wear it outside of the barn.

FUNCTION:

  1. Machine washable! Bye-Bye horse hair!
  2. Water-repellent.
  3. Two-way zipper for riding comfortably.
  4. High collar to block the wind and other weather.
  5. Hidden hood in neckline.
  6. Pockets outside and inside. Large enough for phone and carrots.

This jacket is only $110 and ships free from The Polished Rider! Be on the lookout for more photos from one of my recent photoshoots! 🙂

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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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Winter Woods (Limited Ed.)

Hey friends! There is a sale at Mrs. Conns going on right NOW on their limited edition Winter Woods bath sponge. If you have been living in your stall for years and you don’t know what a Mrs. Conns bath day sponge is, it is a shampoo infused palm sized sponge that not only is packed with special ingredients that leave you clean, sparkling, and soft, BUT THEY SMELL GREAT TOO!! Each sponge smells unique and addresses a different equine coat/skin condition.  This sale sponge smells like “fresh winter woods” and contains an extra gentle whitening component. I hope I get one of these in my Christmas stocking because there is nothing worse than a bay with a dirty sock or two, in my opinion. The sale sponge is currently $8. Andrea has gotten about 4-5 uses from one sponge, so it is a pretty good deal. Like previously mentioned, there are multiple other sponges and smells to choose from, so you might as well buy some for your barn-mates too! All sponges are made without harsh soaps, detergents or parabens. Hurry before they are gone!

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Pull One Over

If you are looking for a good layering piece, or maybe you are lucky enough to spend your winter in FL and you don’t need a winter riding coat, this Dover Cowl Neck Pullover is a good option. I picked it up at the last Dover sale and was first drawn to it because of the color. It is mostly black with herringbone print on the neck. The snap closure is offset, giving it a fashionable feel. The neckline is composed of thermal fabric and can be buttoned to provide you with a variety of neckline heights. It was perfect the other day for blocking some chilly wind during my morning lesson. Also, there are rollover mitten sleeves with thumb holes to provide extra warmth for when you forget your gloves (always me).  The pocket is large enough for a phone, but not much else.  I purchased mine on sale, but typically it is priced at $89. Not sure I would pay this much for myself, but it would make a great gift for sure.Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 2.19.01 PM.

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