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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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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When you are feeling fancy…

I love a good t-shirt. My life consists mainly of jeans, athleisure wear (okay, my fancy word for sweatpants) and breeches, so for me, having plenty of quality t-shirts to cycle through is key. While they are essential closet staples, solid white and grey t-shirts can be boring and routine. That’s why I tend to gravitate to brands like TKEQ. They have soft, quality t-shirts with single word or short phrases on them that make commonplace sense to your mainstream audience, but have underlying equestrian meanings that only other equestrians would notice. I LOVE THIS! The t-shirts come in neutral colors with a slim fit that makes them very versatile. I have worn them at the barn, shopping, and with pajamas. TKEQ is based in Canada, but the package got here cheaply and very quickly. Both shirts pictured are a size M. Hurry over to their website and browse all the major sales! Click HERE to shop!

 

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School Is In Session

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It is no joke that I wore the EQUO Schooling Pant for 3 weeks before I even wore them to the barn. When the pants came in the mail, I quickly tried them on and ended up keeping them on all day, a day that consisted of pre-school drop off, running to Target and doing my HG fitness challenge workout. It really didn’t feel odd. The pants are quite comfortable, almost like a second skin. They also do not look like riding pants to the untrained eye – so I am pretty sure every non-horse person figured I was wearing trendy athleisure wear.

I think my favorite part is the waist band. It folds over and makes the tummy area so flattering, even after two kids. The extra width of the folded area makes it relaxing to sit without feeling like you are being cut in half by the elastic. I also can attest that it never rode up – something it promises on their website. Once you got the pants in place, they do not move. My second favorite part was the design. I wasn’t prepared to like the grips so much. Something about the texture, subtleness and grip placement made me feel like an action figure, but in a cool, kick butt way! I also love that EQUO is spelled out in the grips. Again, this is something I didn’t think I would like so much, but I really do.

Don’t let the term “schooling pant” fool you either. These pants are designed to endure any sort of schooling ride or lesson.

I am wearing XS (I wear a 26R in breeches) and they fit like a glove. I think they would be too big in my lower leg if I ordered a S, but a S probably could have worked too. The color I have on is “Gray”.

MSRP: $199.99; Use “CHLOE” for a 10% discount!

To BUY, click HERE!

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Half Broke Horses: A Book Review

You may be familiar with the author, Jeannette Walls, from her break-through memoir, A Glass Castle, which was actually made into a movie this year. In Half Broke Horses, Jeannette once again delves into her family’s (not too pleasant) history, and follows the remarkable life of her maternal grandmother, Lily Smith. Remarkable is an easy, cheap word to throw out, but in all seriousness Lily was freakishly remarkable. I am always intrigued by people who start out with absolutely nothing but somehow beat the odds and “make it big”. Lily Smith started with very little and in all honesty, has very little the entire novel, but the book is never about her “making it big”. Instead, it is about her doing something most of us take for granted…surviving. The book starts off with a scene that sets the tone for what a survivor this woman truly is. In the opening scene, Lily is just 10 years old and I remember thinking, this single event would have probably wiped out most of the people I know and yet this 10-year-old had the quick wits and the unyielding grit to not only survive, but to save her two younger siblings in the process.

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You will really enjoy this book if you like true life memoirs about overcoming odds and not letting life kick when you are down. I was very transfixed with Lily’s life, and all the tragedies and devastating setbacks that she encountered, but it was also interesting to learn more about The Great Depression and parts of the country that I haven’t previously put much research or thought into. I found myself pretty inspired and, at the same time, embarrassed for complaining about trivial things in my own life. I definitely thought twice about all the simple things I take for granted.

Rating: 4.25 stars.  Scale: 0 being any law school book I ever had and 5 stars being Gone With The Wind.

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A Glass Of Chardon – neigh, Please.

A Glass Of Chardon – neigh, Please.

I am SO excited to share this newest find with you all! Customized, hand-painted wine glasses in your horse’s image!! Chloe looks so adorable on a wine glass – who knew!? Ordering from The Horse’s Glass is very easy. First, you have to decide if you want a custom glass or an already made wine glass.  If you can’t wait the 2-3 weeks for the custom order, then definitely check out her current, ready-to-go inventory. There are numerous types of horses to choose from, from bays to grays. If you are happy with one of the glasses she has available here, then complete your purchase as normal.

If you have the time to wait, and extra money to spend, then what are you waiting for? You HAVE to do the custom order. It takes a few minutes to fill out the order form (click here) and you must have a good picture of your horse handy. See a photo I provided her of Chloe below – I chose it because you can see the little bit of white Chloe has on her right hind. I think she did an amazing job and I know Chloe appreciates the extra bit of volume given to her lashes! I love the stem of the glasses – their legs/hooves crack me up!! The Palomino horse was a gift for my friend Colleen, who owns City Luxe Style. Colleen and I are planning on meeting up to do a video blog over a glass of wine, so hence the custom glasses. Colleen does not have a horse so I am convinced that Marci (owner of THG) made a horse in Colleen’s blonde image!! Marci was kind enough to incorporate Colleen’s logo on the stem too. See the end results below.

These glasses are so fun and practical at the same time. I think they are not only perfect splurges for yourself, but also for gifts. They would make a perfect holiday gift for a friend or family member. Custom is $48 and non-custom is $25. Order before December to receive in time for Christmas!! 

EQUO – Your New Favorite Source For Equestrian Apparel

I first heard about EQUO thanks to an Instagram story featuring their “Champagne & Horses” cover up. Champagne AND horses? These are two of my favorite things so I just had to figure out the source of this shirt and I had to have it!!  I found EQUO’s website and I quickly realized that I needed a second coverup – one that, according to my trainer, describes all of my lessons perfectly. I am sadly referencing the “Finding a Distance” cover up. 🙂

The coverups are super soft and light-weight. They have wider necklines because they are designed to be used as a layer when riding. The wider opening means you can take it off, or put it on, without removing your helmet. Safety first! I don’t know about you, but I am always discarding layers when I ride, so I thought this was sort of genius. Additionally, if you are at a competition, you can wear it over your white show shirt and keep yourself clean…well as clean as one can be around horses! I’ve had mine for a few weeks now and I have actually been wearing it mostly alone, either with schooling breeches or with jeans. Sometimes when I am just running errands, I put a sports bra underneath it and wear it off the shoulder. It really is quite versatile and both shirts come in a few different color selections. I really like the “wine” color above though. It would look great with dark breeches or jeans! I am wearing a size Medium below for reference, but I think I would have been okay with a Small too.

MSRP $49.00, but use Coupon Code “chloe” for 10% off storewide!

To purchase a coverup, CLICK HERE!!

 

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Splish Splash Vetericyn Bath

My minion, Andrea, has used the new FoamCare Shampoo from Vetericyn a few times now after receiving it as a surprise in the August subscription of A Horse Box. I have been known to use the Vetericyn Wound and Skincare line when I have pesky scratches (I know, gross, but these are mainly due from owner care error) but this was the first time I had heard of the shampoo. I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy spa days and baths, but I don’t trust Andrea with the hose. How would you like it if someone else determined your optimal shower temperature?? The FoamSpray shampoo means less hose action and less water dripping under my belly, so a total win for me. The shampoo sprays directly onto the coat with no mess. Andrea sprayed my entire left side first and then took a curry comb and scrubbed the foam into my coat. She then repeated the same thing on the other side, but this time used less shampoo than she did the first time. A little goes a longer way than you think, although she did seem like she was having fun squirting me with what appeared to look like white silly string. Rinsing was easy and less painful for us both, however, I will say that Andrea ended the whole process drier than I usually like to get her.

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The FoamCare Shampoo comes in a generous 32 ounce spray bottle which will probably last me all show season. They also make a medicated version for a few dollars more which treats a ton of different skin conditions, like scratches, rain rot, dry skin, etc.

BUY REGULAR VERSION HERE; FREE SHIPPING

BUY MEDICATED VERSION HERE; FREE SHIPPING

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Park North Designs Nailed It.

Excuse the pun, but Park North Designs nailed it with their signature PND Nail necklace. Hanging delicately from a silver chain is a PND nail made of premium sterling silver and shaped like a horseshoe nail. Rachel, the owner of PND, was on a mission to create a piece of equestrian inspired jewelry that was both bold and wearable. I say she “nailed it” because to me, the necklace encompasses exactly what she wanted. The nail is bold, with sharp lines and a silent fierceness. However, the way it just perfectly drapes on your body, naturally finding the center of your chest, adds a touch of warmth, softness and versatility. I really think the PND necklace can be worn with any outfit, so that was my goal with all my pictures: to showcase the wearability. Each necklace comes with a polishing cloth and has two different chain lengths to choose from. I think I would even like to see it offered in the future on one chain that has two lengths on the single chain, because it is nice to have the option to go shorter/longer.  I am obsessed with gold jewelry, but I had NO problem incorporating this silver necklace into my daily looks.

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Price: $116;  Buy HERE

Bonus: EVERY. PURCHASE. HELPS. A. HORSE. IN. NEED. 10% of every purchase goes directly to equine charities across the US. You can read her blog here to see what the current charity is, as they change throughout the year.

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How ‘Bout Them Dapples

How ‘Bout Them Dapples

Leah Kaufmann is back!! Leah started Dapplebay Inc., an equestrian clothing and accessory line, in 2011. She sold DB in 2015, but you don’t really forget about your first love, do you?  As fate should have it, Leah had a chance to buy DB back and now she is holding the reins again, energized and more excited than ever to release new styles and designs, even a new logo. Leah hand draws all the designs herself and each item is made in the USA. We were able to get our hooves on a brand new item, and bonus for us, it is a something we wear non-stop as soon as the weather gets below 55 degrees! Wait for it, wait for it…Dapplebay Inc., Leggings!!!

There are many colors to choose from. Seriously, every color you could possibly need or want for a legging. I happen to have black, grey and purple. The leggings are covered in DB’s signature Eventing, Hunter/Jumper or Dressage designs.  The fit for me was spot on. I ordered a Small,  based on the size I wear in breeches and they fit me perfectly. I like the soft and relaxing feel to them, but they also feel more substantial than I anticipated. Sometimes I hear the word “legging” and I worry that the material will be too thin.  OH, I also LOVED where the waist band hit me. It was the perfect mid-rise without being “mom-ish”, but still offering great coverage in case you want to go eat tacos and 20 lbs of chips/queso dip after your workout or ride. 🙂 Everyone does that too, right??

I have worn these about 7 times so far, and rode in them once (perfect for a light hack, but note that they do not have knee patches and I rode in my halfchaps), and they have not stretched out or lost their shape. Color is still as vibrant too. For $48 each, you can’t beat it. If you are looking for a versatile equestrian closet staple that won’t break your wallet, what are you waiting for? Click HERE TO BUY !

Colors shown below: Black, Grey, Purple (Hunter/Jumper); Size SMALL. Price $48.

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Dapplebay Inc., leggings
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Dapplebay Inc., leggings
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Dapplebay Inc., leggings
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Dapplebay Inc., leggings

 

 

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Bre.Avery Inc.: Equestrian Chic

Bre.Avery Inc.: Equestrian Chic

I was so excited to receive my package from Bre.Avery Inc.  These silk scarves are not only beautiful, but embody the luxurious side of the equestrian lifestyle. The silk chiffon and charmeuse are soft and delicate, but the design images highlight the strength, and sometimes masculinity, of our sport. I love this juxtaposition that Bre.Avery has capitalized on because it is true life. Every day we experience the compassion and tenderness of these animals, but we also are not quick to forget their inherent power. The hand-drawn designs depict iconic equestrian looks: the Pelham bit, the impulsion of the show jumper, a fierce head-on look at a mounted competitor, and so forth.  There are ample colors and designs to choose from. I decided on black and white patterns and I wasn’t disappointed. Pricing is $140, but keep in mind these are pure silk and something that will last a lifetime. The classic images will never go out of style and the quality is top-notch. They would make a fabulous gift for the equestrian, or non-equestrian fashionista, in your life.

Bonus: Free ground shipping for US orders AND proceeds from each purchase get donated to animals in need.

To see other styles or to buy, follow this link!

Check back later for my Bre.Avery Inc. photo shoot. 🙂

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Kiss My (Horse)

It is true that my tail has always been lacking in the thickness department. Of course, my constant swatting of Andrea’s face isn’t helping the breakage, but I am not giving that up anytime soon.  Some negative people (Morgan) like to also point out that my tail is sun-bleached, but I like the whole ombre’ effect. It is very low maintenance.

I’ve been using Kiss my Horse Detangler and Shine Spray for about a year now. I swear that even those pesky negative people (Morgan) have commented about my tail appearing to be thicker and “so much better”.  As previously mentioned, I do a lot of tail swishing and swatting, and so not only does my tail break easily, it is also quite tangled. The spray helps with both problems. Not to mention it smells amazing and truthfully is probably the main reason Andrea uses it, so she can smell it. Lord knows she never cared about my poor tail before! The product also doubles as a shine spray and you can see it does make my tail shiny! xx Chloe

Priced at $21, but use code “Horseglam10” at checkout for 10% off.

For more info on my favorite tail product, click HERE.

 

 

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