New Color Drop from myMareCo

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

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

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

All headbands available now at myMareCo. Shop NOW!

BE YOU. BE RIATA.

Original Sun Hats for An Original You.

Custom RIATA

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

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

Custom RIATA Visor

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

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

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

The Hippest Rider’s Wristlet

The Hippest Rider’s Wristlet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everyday with Dapplebay

Dapplebay Sunshine & Horses Tshirt
PC: Shannen Smyth Photography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Logan wearing size 2 in Dapplebay Kids

Keep a Cool Head.

Wearing a navy myMareCo moisture wicking headband

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

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

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

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

Wearing a black myMareCo headband.

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

Buy your myMareCo headband HERE.

Horse, Wash Your Face.

Introducing Equi-Clean Grooming Wipes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Horse, Wash Your Face.

Introducing Equi-Clean Grooming Wipes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manhattan Saddlery House Label

Manhattan Saddlery House Label

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

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

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

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

Silk Scarves: The Perfect Summer Accessory

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

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

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

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

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

It’s Epic

Epic Animal Superfood Treats
PC: Shannen Smyth Photography

Epic Horse Treats first contacted me about Chloe trying their handmade “superfood” animal treats. They are called “superfood” because the treats are made without any corn, wheat, soy, sugar, dyes, fillers or preservatives. Packed with vitamins, Omega 3-6-9, plant proteins and (healthy) plant fats, these treats are recommended for support of healthy joints, connective tissues, heart and brain function. Not only did Chloe’s eyes pop out of her head for these treats on the daily, but I felt good about her eating them. Sure, I think the decorative treats are so creative and they make fabulous gifts, but they aren’t treats I feel comfortable giving after every ride. Now if I could only do something about Chloe’s potato chip habit…

Soon my whole barn was consuming boxes of these superfood treats, each horse hooked just as much as the next. My mom’s dog was also into them, as was the barn farrier’s corgi who consumed half a box when I wasn’t paying attention. Epic’s treats are for almost all animals: donkeys, dogs, pigs and even chickens! They really are a treat for the whole barn. It wasn’t long before Epic expanded their treat line to carrying CBD infused treats, providing additional noticeable benefits, such as calming and anti-inflammation. Since they contain no THC, they meet all horse show regulations. These are great additions to your snack bin, perfect for nervous horses or anxious 4 legged car travelers.

The treats were my first experience with CBD products. I live in conservative North Carolina, and CBD shops are just now popping up in my area. When Epic branched out further from treats, into CBD salve and tonic sprays, I really did not know what to expect. Truthfully, I have never been so pleasantly surprised.

Organic Healing Salve: consistency of shea butter. SALE!

The organic healing salve can be used on horses. A quick smudge on the nostrils can help calm their anxiety. The smell is pretty strong, so don’t be surprised if you get a few lip curls. If your horse has shaved ears, you may want to apply it there. Honestly, I have used this product mostly in my own human household. One of my friends who also purchased the product said it best when she referred to the salve as “duct tape”. You really can use it on EVERY ache, pain or area of discomfort. It took me 15 minutes to be a believer in this product. Things it noticeably relieved: PMS cramps that woke me up in the middle of the night (sorry if TMI), pulled shoulder muscle from working out for the first time in months, my husband’s chronic knee ache, my family’s sinus pain and drainage issues from NC allergies, my neighbor’s back pain and head cold, and the list goes on. Duct tape, people, duct tape! It is pricy, I won’t disagree, but the jar is pretty big and the consistency is closer to shea butter, so a little goes a long way. It really is a fantastic product! UPDATE: SALE on SALVE going on NOW!

Believe it or not, I saved the best for last. This is my favorite item in my everyday routine HANDS DOWN. I love Epic’s Face and Body Tonic spray. It moisturizes, tightens, tones, brightens, plumps, highlights, and improves the texture of my skin. You can tell a slight difference in a matter of days, but give it a month and you will really notice a change. I am at two months and I swear it has made my skin look years younger. It also makes me happy, which is an actual side effect of the spray that I didn’t realize until another friend (and Face Tonic user) pointed it out to me. Every morning and every night, I spray this on my clean face and let it air dry. I then put my moisturizer or sunscreen, as applicable, right over it. I cannot imagine it not being part of my skincare routine and I am starting to have anxiety about it running out. I brought it with me to the horse shows and I am even bringing it to Mexico this coming week. I linked the 2 month supply because I really think it just keeps getting better and better each day, but there is also a cheaper 1 month supply option. If you are looking for a change in your beauty regimen or even something nice to do for yourself, I highly suggest this product. You won’t be dissapointed! Reminder: there is no THC in CBD products.

USE this code for 15% off on all Epic products: Horseglam

Face Tonic. THE BEST THING EVER! See, I really did take it to Mexico!!

The Infused Equestrian: For Horse and Rider (by Chloe)

As a horse, I usually don’t pay much attention to what I am eating or wearing, but today it is trendy to be ingredient and label savvy. Never one to be socially aloof (unless you are trying to catch me in my field), I have been taking more of an interest in what Andrea has been soaking my legs in or spraying my beautiful mane with. I might be just a measly horse (with a Tier One law degree), but I don’t think most humans can pronounce all of the ingredients they are putting on their supposed “best friends”. For instance, when looking at the liniment gel in Andrea’s trunk, the first five ingredients are: Acrylates/C10-30, Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Chloroxylenol, Cyclomethicone. Umm, okay. Let’s check the fly spray that Andrea immerses me in ALL Spring, Summer and Fall. Again, another long list of seven syllable words. Then it clicked. Andrea has been trying to poison me. I knew it! She’s always been jealous of my popularity.

Lucky for me, I have become friends with the owners of The Infused Equestrian. They make ALL their products naturally, with 100% infused therapeutic oils. Say goodbye to harsh toxins that you don’t recognize. With The Infused Equestrian, you can get the results you want, with the added comfort of knowing exactly what you are putting on your horse. And to top it off, the products work and they smell fantastic.

I am about to have my 19th birthday, so it is understandable that I have some extra aches and pains. Particularly after Andrea is done riding me, as she sits off to one side and causes my back to hurt. My minions have been rubbing my back and legs with Comfort, the cooling and relaxing liniment gel from The Infused Equestrian. Comfort soothes my muscles and aids in their recovery. And compared to the previous liniment, I actually know these pure ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel, Spearmint, Peppermint, Ginger and Tea Tree essential oils. Sounds almost like something I could eat!

Nothing looks better than a shiny, healthy mane and tail. The Infused Equestrian can hook you up with just this, but without any toxins. Shiny nourishes, strengthens and conditions your flowing locks with pure essential oils like Coconut Oil, Rosemary, Cedarwood and Clove (not limited to). Shiny comes in a spray bottle for easy and effective use.

I personally enjoy fly spray. Andrea, on the other hand, tries to avoid the blowback from the spray hitting her exposed skin at all costs. After reading the label, now I know why! The Infused Equestrian makes their own pure and natural version of fly spray called “Swat. A Fly Spray”. Now, Andrea does not have to do Matrix-like back bends to avoid the spray particles from landing on her face. Due to the timing of this review, I was not able to test it on any flies, but I will be sure to post an update later this year.

The Infused Equestrian has four different essential oil roll-on blends for the Rider. Andrea received two that were quite fitting, called Hello Monday and O.M.G. The other two roller blends are titled, “The In Gate” and “Recovery”, for focus and injury repair, respectively. Each roll-on is a convenient 10ml glass bottle with stainless steel rolling ball, easy to slip in your pocket or store in your trunk. To use, just gently roll the blends around your stomach area in a circle.

O.M.G, or Oh My Girth, is perfect for Andrea on the weekends. She eats like a horse. Now she can continue to stuff her face with grilled cheeses at the horse show and rely on a blend of essential oils to help with her digestive pains. Hello Monday helps to combat Andrea’s moodiness and rejuvenate her mind and body. I wish she would use this on the daily.

Major thanks to The Infused Equestrian for spending time and money researching the healthiest and best ways to make your products. Your 4 legged best friends appreciate it! xo Chloe


New Year, New Skin…thanks to Medica Labs

When it comes to anti-aging products, the ingredient retinol plays a major role. Sadly, I had such bad experiences with retinol products that I had given up using it. Even the smallest amounts would have my skin irritated and peeling for WEEKS! Being in the sun makes it even worse, and honestly as an equestrian and a mom of 2 little ones, avoiding the sun is pretty much impossible.

So when Medica Labs reached out to me about reviewing Emu Medica, their new anti-aging face cream that contains over the counter strength retinol, I was very hesitant. I explained that I worried “my face would fall off” and how if that happened, the review would have to reflect it. When the product arrived, it came with a personal note from Medica Lab’s marketing director promising me “my face would stay on”. So, on January 3rd, after washing my face, I used the most microscopic amount (gently applying in upward strokes per the instructions) and waited. I woke up the next day, and as promised, my face was still there. And it wasn’t red. And it wasn’t flakey.

Since then, I have gradually applied more with each use, about once per day (I might have skipped some days when I didn’t shower…don’t judge). I am also careful to use sunscreen. Luckily I have had ZERO sensitivity issues and no peeling. This is because Emu Medica uses a patented, next generation form of retinol that delivers the highest power of non-prescription retinol possible (1% retinol; 2.5% non-active retinol) but in a way that is tolerated by the most sensitive skin. They call this magic “the next generation retinol” or “not your mother’s retinol”. Cute.

Power Point: Despite containing retinol, this will not irritate your face!

​As I have mentioned in previous blogs, my face is always dry and I never travel without a face lotion. Typically any sort of anti-aging creams leave my face dry and tight, especially in my cheeks. After applying Emu Medica at night, I only felt the need to double up with my own moisturizing cream a few times. Emu Medica uses ultra-pure Emu Oil (ELA 1004) to hydrate the skin. It also contains the moisture binding ingredient, Hyaluronic Acid, which essentially doubles the hydration of the Emu Oil, and is most likely why my face didn’t feel uncomfortably tight. Besides feeling smooth and supple, well hydrated/moisturized skin is crucial in terms of anti-aging as it is essentially what keeps our skin plump, elastic and young-looking. 

Power Point: Ingredients Emu Oil + Hyaluronic Acid keep your face Hydrated… and Radiant.

Let’s talk some more about Emu Oil. For centuries in Australia, it has been used by the indigenous people as an all purpose beauty/health fix, specifically for the skin. Not only can it be used to treat fine lines, sun damage, increase elasticity, decrease sagging and hydrate, but it also can be used as a vehicle for trans-dermal penetration. Retinol is great, but if it can’t penetrate to the deep skin layers that it needs to, it doesn’t do any good. Emu Oil is a natural oil that most closely resembles our human sebum, and because of this it most easily allows for the active ingredients of Emu Medica to penetrate to the deepest levels of the dermis, going through 4 more layers of skin than most creams.* (*Note: This information was found on Medica Lab’s website)

Power Point: Deeper dermal penetration than most creams

After approximately 30 days of use, I can report the following: my face did not fall off and was not irritated or chapped. Fine lines around my eyes and forehead were diminished. However, the deeper lines around my mouth and forehead did not appear to change – but I will keep using and report back! My face felt smoother overall and more taut (in a good way). I did think I regained some “plumpness” for lack of a better word in my cheek areas, but of course that could be psychological…or my collagen could have truly been regenerated. In summary, I do feel like my face looks more fresh, especially in the mornings. I feel like it looks more healthy too. I am definitely going to continue to use Emu Medica as part of my everyday skin care regime. This new year has been about becoming a better and healthier version of me and I am thankful that Medica Labs could help me kick it off with more radiant skin!

To buy directly on Amazon (yay free Prime Member shipping), click HERE.


My Weekend With Tucker Tweed

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The title of this blog post should probably say “weekends” plural because ever since I got my hands on this beautiful bag, it hasn’t left my side! The Tucker Tweed Tryon Travel bag was the perfect size for my long weekend at the horse show and what a bonus that the nylon material wiped clean because… you know… horse show. It also didn’t let me down at girls’ beach trip weekend when it let me overpack with three times as many outfits as I truly needed. It was a perfect chic carry-on companion on my week-long excursion to Italy, where it fit in nicely in the overhead compartment of the airplane as well as on the streets of fashionable Rome. If you have any doubts about whether to purchase the newest bag in the Tucker Tweed lineup (or add it to your holiday wish list), than this blog is for you!

THINGS I PROMISE YOU WILL LOVE:

The size. It matters. When I started packing for my beach weekend I was really surprised how much I fit in there. I wayyy overpacked for the 3 day trip, but every single unnecessary item I wanted to bring made it into that bag without a problem. Sidenote: it made me really appreciate the zipper on the bag too. It was sturdy, all leather and substantial. Sounds like a silly thing to comment on until you find yourself with a cheap or broken zipper which happened to me in Las Vegas once and it was horrible! Anyway, back to the size. It truly is the perfect size for a 3 day weekend, which means it would make a stylish horse show companion! The exact dimensions per the website are 24 x 8” x 12”.

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The material. Like I mentioned above, it is made of padded/heavy duty 900D Nylon with smooth grain leather accents. It is durable and water-resistant. I love that it can wipe clean easily. I am sure many of you will be using this for horse shows because it is the perfect size for it, but it also is really convenient because with a damp cloth you can easily remove any dusty handprints or smudges you get on the bag. We all know it is nearly impossible to be around a horse for more than ten minutes without being covered in dust, dirt, and hair! Also, it is worth mentioning that the material is not shiny. Other bags of similar material sometimes look shiny and cheap. You do not have to worry about that with this bag.

The design. The design is sharp and simple, fitting in seamlessly with the rest of the Tucker Tweed fleet. Like with other styles, you are able to choose between your riding discipline or the brand signature logo. I had a hard time deciding between the all black and the black/chestnut, but I chose the black/chesnut because there is something so chic about it. I am sucker for those rich colors  – maybe because it reminds me of a bay horse, right Chloe? 🙂 Inside you will find ample pockets. One is a large zippered area that is approximately 11″ by 7″, which I put my kindle, vanity kit and passport in on my trip to Italy. The other side has 1 large open pocket, perfect for things like a cell phone and small wallet. Also, on the bottom of the bag to protect it from the ground or whatever surface you are sitting it on, are 5 tiny metal feet. I actually always forgot these were there until I had to sit it down on the hotel lobby or airport terminal. I was thankful they were there each time, because eww. It really is the little things, right?!

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The adjustable, detachable strap. I love that Tucker Tweed did not skimp on the strap. It is well made with solid brass end snaps that detach easily. When I wasn’t using the strap I folded it up and stuck it inside the bag. The strap has a largely padded shoulder area that I really appreciated in Italy when Zach made me walk from the train terminal to the hotel. It also is adjustable (can drop 30 inches) so when I made Zach carry it back days later (on the reverse walk from the hotel to the train terminal – fool me twice…) he was able to quickly adjust it for his height and comfort.

Price. I still cannot believe this bag is currently priced at $215. I KNOW! What a steal! Seriously, what are you waiting for. You are welcome 🙂

All pictures by Shannen Smyth Photography. 🙂

NF.Edit

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PC: Shannen Smyth Photography

As promised on my live unboxing video, here is my review of the new NF.Edit subscription box by Noelle Floyd. Unlike any other equestrian subscription box, this one is geared solely with the rider in mind. Take that Chloe! Each of the boxes are stamped with the message, “You spend your time taking care of your horse, so we’re taking care of you”. The items are geared towards rider indulgence, rider recovery, and rider performance. With the classy and fashionable lifestyle brand of Noelle Floyd behind the boxes, you are guaranteed to receive the best of the best products. They search extensively for what they call “rider realities” and they are taking the advice of some of the top riders in every discipline when they fill the boxes.

Each box is $59 and promises over $100 worth of goodies related to health, beauty and fashion. The boxes come every 3 months, just like most other subscription box services. The contents of each box are a total surprise, which is definitely fun for the surprise factor, but also means that you cannot customize your boxes. Typically I would lean towards the customization factor of other boxes, but because I trust the NF.Edit team completely in their tastes, I am totally down for the surprise! It is sort of like opening up a birthday gift from your most fashionable and bestest friend. You just know it is going to be amazing and … it was! So what was in my September box, which happened to be the first EVER NF.Edit box? Hint: The retail value totals over $140! Let’s dive in:

Rider Performance:

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Scentuals De-Stress

Scentuals seems to be tuned into my current riding mood lately. Actually, my current life mood. The NF.Edit box contained two roll-on essential oils by Scentuals. One was De-Stress, which obviously promises to calm you down, and the other was for Emotional Balance. Two things that you need before you sit on a horse, any horse. I am so excited to use these. I mentioned in my live video that I am a mess before I show (I mean total mess), but recently I am starting to get anxiety before my lessons, which is so silly. I really look forward to using these essential oils from Scentuals. I bet Chloe will appreciate it too! Note that the retail value is a total of $25.

Rider Recovery.

Essential Helmet Spray from Equestrian Wellness was such a pleasant surprise as my helmet had mold in it recently. Yes, MOLD!! The spray helps to break down and remove any bacteria from your helmet, so I will be sure to douse mine with my new spray before and after I ride. You can also use the spray on other things too, like your boots, gloves, and even hair (it is non-toxic and all natural). It retails for $14.

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PC: Equestrian Wellness

Another item from Scentuals was the quick absorbing Grapefruit and Turmeric Hand Cream. This could easily go under the rider indulgence category, but I am putting it under rider recovery for me. My hands are always so dry and rough from the harsh barn atmosphere and washing them 100 times a day. They totally need this cream in order to recover from this Summer. Retail value is $8.

 

Rider Indulgence

I was shocked to see a belt from Ruespari in the box. This belt alone retails for more than the cost of the subscription box.  The color is called “black caviar” and the look and style is so classic it will go with every riding or non-riding outfit. My clasp was silver. I also liked that it is able to fit within all of my belt loops so far! Some of my current belts are too wide, which can be frustrating when you have a certain look in mind. Retail value is $75.

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Ruespari Belt

Who doesn’t like cozy socks, especially if they are by Dreamers&Schemers? Unlike their typical bootsocks, these are much thicker. I personally wouldn’t be able to get them under my custom half chaps because they are so tight, but that is okay because they will go perfectly under my jeans, or under some mainstream fashion boots. They will also be great for when I am bingeing on Netflix, which feels like it is every weekend.  I am not sure of the retail value of this because it is a total custom thing for NF.Edit, but I would guess it is more than the typical bootsock of $18.

So, not too bad for only $59, right?! I think NF.Edit delivered on their promise to deliver an equestrian lifestyle subscription box that focuses on health, fashion and beauty. What do you think? Let me know!

Sign up for the next Winter box right HERE!

A Charmed Life by Chloe

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It is always nice to be appreciated and recognized for the unicorn that you are. Bit N’ Bridle Boutique totally gets it. They get me. They sent me two charms that they felt had my name all over them. The cool thing about charms is that you can put them anywhere. I am going to put one on my C&C Signature leather halter. The other is going to go on my schooling bridle. If I wanted to be generous, I could share one with Andrea. She could put it on her key chain, a bookbag, a handbag or even on a bracelet. I am not feeling generous though.

Bit N’ Bridle Boutique took a brief break last year from selling charms, but as of this August they are back and ready to customize charms for you! Charms cost on average $8 and are an affordable way to add some personality to your conservative equestrian items. They are easy to remove, if needed, and store so easily in your tack trunk that you can collect as many as you want. Let’s face it, some days you are feeling like a pink sparkly unicorn and other days you are more of a silver shimmery mermaid, so it is nice to have options. I also think they would make fun gifts to your riding pals and at only $8 you don’t need to wait for a special reason to give them out.

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Bit N’ Bridle Boutique posts their different charms on their Instagram page. You can order via their PayPal link on the Instagram page and just drop a note regarding which charm you want. I have the white Unicorn Tear Charm and the pink Mermaid Charm for reference. If you want a custom order, just shoot them a direct message. They have great customer service and will respond timely. Also, if you didn’t catch my Live video, you should also know that they have very cute packaging and even more importantly, they are giving all my followers 15% off their order with the coupon code CHLOE15. Happy shopping!

 

 

Cavali Club: What’s It All About?

I was lucky enough to get Cavali Club’s inaugural subscription box. The Fall box order deadline has passed but you can still sign up for the Winter Box! Here are the facts you need to know:

What is it going to cost me? Boxes ship out every 3 months (one for each season) and cost $55 for a one time subscription (that automatically renews) or $199 for the yearly subscription, which saves you $20 (which automatically renews yearly). In addition to the the $20 savings with the yearly subscription, you also get box customization options. This will make more sense when you keep reading below. Signing up is very easy. Just hit the “subscribe” button on this page. NOTE: Remember, each box has an approximate value of $150, approximately three times what you are paying!

What is in these boxes? Full size products are in these boxes. Did you hear me? FULL SIZE! Every other subscription box I have seen has been sample size products, which honestly limits what brands and types of products can be represented. Here are the items that were included in my Fall Cavali Club box:

Polo wraps made from fleece by Snowy Mountain Horse Shop, based in snowy Montana. These quality wraps are hand crafted and come in autumn colors with a Navajo print. There are a few different patterns you could receive, but they all are in the same western vibe and color scheme.

Bit bracelet from Love the Links. Dainty and simplistic, this bracelet looks great alone or stacked with other arm candy. Your box could contain a bracelet in either gold, rose gold or silver. If you are a yearly subscription member, I believe this is an example of where you could customize your bracelet, as mentioned above.

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Lip Treatment from Bibimbap Skincare. This is a chapstick on steroids. It soothes, protects and heals your delicate lips from all the harsh elements. This is great coming out of Summer and going into the chilly, dry months ahead.

Bootsocks from Dreamers & Schemers. These socks need little introduction, as I doubt there is an equestrian that is unfamiliar with them. High quality and hilarious designs. It was really exciting to see what design was in the box! Every box contains 1 of 6 possible designs and none will disappoint! Again, another example of the customization option for yearly subscription members.

Cable knitted headband with fleece lining from Equestrian Stockholm. This cozy headband will be perfect for keeping my ears toasty when I am not riding. I love the dark navy color because I can even wear it with black. Looking forward to keeping this in my tack trunk in a few weeks when the temperatures dip here in North Carolina.

Hair and Tail Mask by Pampered Skin. Perfect for coming out of the harsh Summer weeks (sun damage, chlorine damage), this hair mask can be used to hydrate and nourish damaged, dry hair. Bonus, it can be used on your horse’s tail too!! You know I am definitely using this on Chloe! She gets all my good things (and all my money).

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What makes this box different?: Cavali is different than other subscription boxes I have used because it is geared to both horse and rider (not just the horse). Also, as previously mentioned, you get full sizes of the products. It was admittedly fun to receive a headband for myself, for example, in the Cavali Club box and not a sample size of thrush ointment for Chloe. Not to hate on thrush medicine, but I have like 3 little bottles of it that I have never opened, all samples from other boxes!

So, join the fun at Cavali Club and get your first box this Winter!! It will be like Christmas!!

The Donna B Brand: Wrap Yourself In Art

The Donna B Brand: Wrap Yourself In Art

A scarf just might be the best fashion accessory you don’t realize you are missing. A pretty silk scarf can add instant sophistication to any look.  Make it the star of the show by using it with an all black outfit or a conservative suit, both easy ways to add a pop of color or show your personality.

For this reason, I was really excited to receive a set of luxurious silk scarves from Donna Bernstein, the owner of the Donna B Brand. Donna Bernstein is a NY based artist that mixes mediums and materials in unconventional ways to create equine images that are simultaneously powerful and peaceful. Her artwork is breathtaking. My (current) favorite piece of her art is called “Gold Lightning“. The metallic gold gets me every time! As much as I would love to hang her pieces in my home entryway, it is not currently in the budget and I want to stay married! Luckily, Donna Bernstein has transferred some of her drawings to silk scarves so that we can wrap ourselves in her artwork instead.

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PC: Shannen Smyth Photography

The “Checkmate Pink & Black” scarf is 100% pure silk charmeuse (15″ x 60″) and is a reflection of the “Checkmate” painting. I love the boldness of the pink/black/white together. I chose to really put the scarf on display by wearing an all black riding outfit, as you can see from the two pictures above. Simply adding the scarf took these Botori breeches and plain black pocket t-shirt to the next level. It also is an easy, yet fashionable, way to protect your neck from the intense summer sun.

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PC: Shannen Smyth Photography

I used the Run for The Roses scarf, also 100% pure silk charmeuse (15″ x 60″), as a belt to again show how you can easily transform an average look. I love white t-shirts and have quite a few that I wear with jeans or linen shorts, like here pictured. In the 5 seconds it took me to loop the scarf through the belt loops, I had a casual yet chic look. The Run for The Roses scarf was inspired by the blanket of roses draped over horses in the winner’s circle. The green, red, and yellow colors are very soft and work well with neutral colors. I took the same scarf and tied it onto my LV handbag, instantly mixing up my daily look.

I highly suggest adding a scarf like these to your wardrobe. At the very least, take a few minutes to be inspired by Donna B. You won’t regret it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bibimbap (BEE-bim-bap)

bibimbap (BEE-bim-bap)

I have been wanting to test out Bimbimbap since the company first popped up on social media.  The owner, Lynn, is a lifelong equestrian, so she totally gets how we equestrians abuse our skin. Due to the nature of the sport, our skin takes a harsh beating from the sun, the cold, the wind and the dust/dirt. The constant long hours in the outdoors is a easy recipe for sunburns, wrinkles and early age spots. It’s actually kind of hard to believe that there aren’t more skincare lines out there for, and by, equestrians. Bibimbap is definitely on to something!

Lynn was nice enough to send me the entire Bibimbap skincare line and I have spent the last 4 weeks using the majority of the products every day. I wanted to give myself (and my skin) some time with the products before I gave an opinion. The skincare line currently consists of a face cleanser, serum, face moisturizer, healing salve and a lip treatment.

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The face cleanser is probably my favorite of the line. The first time I used it was a Sunday night after a horse show and I was so excited to lather my entire face and neck with the product. It is a gel to foam, which I love, because I like seeing and feeling the suds. It rinses off easily and does not leave your skin feeling dry or tight. In fact, the cleaner contains glycerin, which helps to hydrate your skin. Also important, even though the cleanser is labeled as “mild” in strength, it is strong enough to remove full makeup. I used the cleanser with a washcloth after a photoshoot and was able to easily remove my eye makeup.

The serum is my second favorite. With a pea size amount of liquid, you can cover your entire face and neck with the serum, which means the 30ml bottle will last you quite a while. Many people are unfamiliar with serums, but they pack a powerful punch for needing such a small dose. Bibimbap’s serum delivers antioxidants to your skin, which help to fight against damaging free radicals that prematurely ages skin. The serum not only helps to fight premature aging and wrinkles, but it also brightens the skin, which gives you a youthful and fresh glow. I have used my serum on my face and neck almost every day, right after I wash and dry my face. I like how easily it spreads on. This is something that you can use at night and in the morning, underneath your lotion/makeup.

The moisturizer has a clean scent to it and spreads on very easily. It is not greasy or heavy, and absorbs very fast.  Fresh basil, raspberry, and rosehip oils help to give the skin a refreshed look, which is something I can appreciate as a mother of two little ones! I really wanted to love this one, but there were days that I had to use too much of it for my face not to feel dry. I have very dry skin and it is hard for me to find face moisturizers that leave me feeling dewy. My friend tried the moisturizer for 3 days and she loved it, so like I said, it probably is best for people that do not have super dry skin, like me. I know, I need to drink more water!! I did appreciate that this lotion did not contain SPF because I use my face lotions at night too, so I typically stay away from lotions with SPF, opting instead to put sunscreen over top during the day.

The Healing Salve helped me out at the beach when my family got annoying bug bites. Instead of using cortisone (which I actually didn’t have), I used Bibimbap’s Healing Salve instead. The soothing cream helped to decrease the inflammation and redness quickly, as well as combat the itchiness. I also used it once on a cooking burn on my finger, which I am not sure if this was an appropriate use of the product, but the cooling action felt so good! Luckily these were the only times I had to use the salve, but the salve can be used to fight all kinds of dermatological issues, like eczema, rashes, hives and dermatitis, so it is great to have on hand.

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The lip treatment is a “protective emollient balm that hydrates, smooths, and protects delicate lips”. I wish Bibimbap would sell these suckers in packs of 3 or 5! I have been keeping mine in my breeches so I can reapply multiple times at the barn. I am going to a horse show this weekend so my lip treatment will definitely be coming with me! The only way to improve on this product is if it had SPF in it.

Overall I was really happy with this new equestrian skincare line and liked how my skin felt and looked after 4 weeks of use. I am really excited to see what Lynn has in store for us in the future. For a 40% discount on your bimbimbap skincare use code : GETGLAM40.

 

 

 

 

 

Riding “Sombrero” Review

 

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PC: Riding Warehouse; Soless Visor

Everyone makes fun of me at the barn for my helmet visor(s) (or my “sombrero” as they like to call it). That’s fine. I like to think that all that laughing will just add to the wrinkles they are going to have from all their sun damage! But seriously, we all know that the skin of an equestrian takes a brutal beating from the weather. We are outside a lot: in the sun, in the wind, in the cold…usually without much shelter and for hours upon hours at any one time. I typically always have a baseball hat on when I am going to the barn or horse show, but sometimes you have to be wearing your helmet. The helmet visor fits onto your helmet so you can continue to protect your face from the sun.

Karina from The Hunt Eq knew I was searching for a new visor (mine was over 5 yrs old and had lost its velcro abilities) and she suggested the Soless Visor. This visor provides shade for the front and sides of your face/neck and is transparent, providing the rider with an unobstructed view. My last visor was straw and my view was way more limited. The transparent material also blocks 92% of UV rays, protecting much more of your skin than a typical straw or fabric visor.

The Soless is lightweight –  about half the weight of my last visor. It has the same velcro design that I am used to and wraps around your helmet snuggly. However, the Soless comes with a little S- shaped clip that clips onto your helmet. This is definitely something my last visor was missing. I had to google a YouTube video demonstrating how use the clip because the first time I used it at my lesson, the visor flew off as soon as I started jumping! After watching the video and reattaching my helmet, it hasn’t flown off my head again. Ps: The clip is supposed to work with any brand of helmet (mine is Charles Owen).

Additionally, something I didn’t even know until I started to write this blog post, is that the visor can be worn directly on your head. I gave it a try and it was sort of big and flimsy, so I wouldn’t recommend using it without the helmet, but of course if it were your only option you could make it work (and protect your face). Or maybe my head is just very small!

I purchased the $45 version, but there is a more expensive version (that only works on your helmet) at $75. I actually didn’t know about the latter when I bought mine, but so far I am happy with mine. I will be sure to do an update!

It’s all in the deTails

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I have seen a few different horsehair bracelets over the last decade and I can 100% tell you that the bracelet I received from deTails Horsehair Jewelry is the NICEST one I have ever seen. The horse hair is interwoven so tightly and securely that I can’t ever imagine seeing a stray strand sticking out. The hand braiding is top notch. The sterling silver mini heart charm is a subtle and small detail that compliments the braiding pattern without distracting from it. I went with the square bracelet but there are other styles to choose from, as well as other charm options.

Don’t be worried about the amount of tail that you need to snip off your horse. I know this is something that gives people anxiety, but for the bracelet the amount you need is quite minimal. You need 12 inches of tail length but only a pinkie width of tail diameter. I usually see that much of Chloe’s tail hanging on her water bucket, after a late night scratch, LOL, so it really is an inconsequential amount.

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Timing was extremely reasonable, taking just under 2 weeks to arrive after mailing. And be sure to take their advice and measure the length of your favorite bracelet to ensure that you get a custom fit. The last thing you want is for the bracelet not to fit you and then cutting a piece of your horse’s tail would have been for nothing!

deTails Horsehair Jewelry also has horsehair necklaces, earrings, tree ornaments and keychains. I thought the horsehair keychains were pretty unique, I have never seen those before and they are almost half the cost of the bracelets. Whichever product you chose, details Horsehair Jewelry provides you with some great ways to keep a forever memento of your horse BFF.

To buy your own click HERE. Photographer: Shannen Smyth.

Special thanks to Morgan Lieske and her horse Belle for modeling!

MaeLort Bag Review

The pictures do not lie. This bag from MaeLort is gorgeous. The black and tan colors, combined with the gold zippers and gold hardware, instantly got my immediate attention on social media. Honestly, in person the bag is just as drool worthy and it is true that it has pockets, zippered sections and D-rings galore. There are the typical places to store your laptop, cell phone, wallet, water bottle, makeup/chapstick, but there are also thoughtful touches for extra equestrian items, like a hidden helmet pocket, crop holder, and D-rings for spurs and other clip on items.

It is made of waterproof nylon, which makes sense if you are going to use it at shows or outside in general. It is soft and flexible, easily adapting to what you stuff in there without feeling stiff when you are wearing it. The version I got has magnetic buttons for quick top entry which is convenient for me. I also think the flap gives it a more polished and mature look than the typical zippered bookbag. The bag is pretty lightweight, but I did feel like it was a little long in length for my personal taste. Maybe I am just short. 🙂

The endless compartments and trendy design make this bag PERFECT as a travel backpack, school bookbag or even diaper bag. I would have totally loved using this bag in law school or even as a diaper bag when my kids were younger. Unfortunately, however, I don’t really see it as a good ringside backpack, which is super disappointing to me. I think this would work as a ringside bag IF you are at a full service facility, meaning that you meet your horse at the ring, hop on to school/show, and then dirtbike it over to lunch (I say this with no sarcasm or judgment – full service is fabulous and like anything else has its pros/cons). In this aforementioned situation, it would be perfect acting as a bag that contains your helmet and other personal equestrian effects.  If you wanted it as a true ringside bag that carries everything you or your groom may need ring side for your horse (brushes, hoof pick, towels, flyspray, hoof dressing) then this bag maybe is not for you.

Truthfully, I probably should have investigated it a bit more before I ordered it, and in retrospect I feel silly, but I don’t think I am alone in thinking that ringside bags could carry your horse’s immediate show effects too (in addition to yours). I did an Instagram poll asking what people carried in their ring bags and only 2 of people who responded did not pack flyspray, stiff brush, hoof pick and towels, meaning that a majority carry their horse’s gear with them. Additionally, 81% of over 300 pollers said they were NOT at a full service barn when at shows, which means that they are in charge of having everything they or their horse may need easily accessible from the schooling ring or show ring. Perhaps this bag is used for that, but for me personally it wouldn’t work. Not to mention, it really is so nice – I would hate to cover it in Chloe’s show slime. 🙂

What do you use at the shows for a horse + personal ring side bag? Let me know!

 

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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Foolproof Eyeliner by Katherine Cosmetics

Foolproof Eyeliner by Katherine Cosmetics

I promise you that I have never applied my eyeliner so easily. It just glides right on. And it stays there. No weird corner marks or raccoon eyes. I use the angled smudge brush that is on the other end of the pencil when I want to attempt cat eyes for something more dramatic at night. I also appreciate that a sharpener is not needed, you just twist the pencil if you are running low. Comes in black and brown (I have brown, although I am thinking about purchasing black for night-time looks). Price is $26 and the pencil is a good size. I have been using it for all my photo shoots and I don’t see changing this any time soon. It seriously has made me want to test out the rest of the line so stay tuned for my review on some other Katherine goodies. Bonus: products NOT tested on animals, AND ships very fast! Packaging gorgeous. 

Direct Link: EVERYDAY EYELINER HERE

Katherine Cosmetics

 

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