Share the Love with EQUO

Since the beginning of Horse Glam last summer, I have enjoyed being part of the EQUO family as an influencer/ambassador. More importantly, I am also proud to be a part of this brand. From its inception, EQUO has celebrated the horse, donating a percentage of all sales to the EQUO Fund. The EQUO Fund then distributes this fund money to various organizations that care for horses (or teammates, as EQUO respectively refers to them) in need.

EQUO recently made an unprecedented announcement that further illustrates EQUO’s commitment to the sport and our equestrian community. On Valentine’s Day, EQUO will be releasing their first ever breeches in tan, white and navy. EQUO is offering everyone 50% off this new breech IF they pledge to trade-in a pair of used breeches. They are accepting any breech of any size and/or color. These donated breeches will be going to organizations that EQUO has partnered with, in an effort to share the love for our sport with children and adults that may not have previously had the opportunity to experience these wonderful animals, or teammates, like we have.

To learn more about this program and to claim your 50% off special launch discount, Click HERE. Please keep in mind that this is not a review of the EQUO breech. These breeches have not been released yet and I have not even seen pictures. 🙂

IMG_8017.jpg
Pictured in the EQUO Schooling Pant!

 

The Styled Equestrian

IMG_3726.JPG
Somehow all the stars aligned and we were able to land a Horse Glam Quickfire Style Interview with Jennifer Sims from The Styled Equestrian! To me, Jennifer is THE equestrian blogger (aka, GOALS), and the one that really pioneered the way for the rest of us.  A former professional model for over 12 years with brands such as Levi’s, Macy’s and Vans, Jennifer successfully combined her experience in fashion and photography with her passion for horses. Today she lives with her family in Seattle, WA and plans to ride in as many countries as possible in 2018. So if you are planning an equestrian vacation this year, be sure to check in with her new social media, EqGlobeTrotter, for fabulous (and stylish) ideas.

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

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

HG: Favorite vacation spot?
JS: Mexico.

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

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

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

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

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

HG: White or grey?
JS: Grey.

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

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

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

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

Artist Lara Kaller

final_web_res
There is something so whimsical about Lara’s work that I was moved enough to reach out to her a month ago on Instagram. Within hours she sent me this fun drawing, despite the fact that she doesn’t do portraits! I loved how she captured Chloe – she looks like her regal self. Her ears are her perfect pony ears, her forehead swirl is noticeable and her muzzle even has the infamous Chloe wrinkle in it. I showed Chloe the picture and she was pleased, although she thought Lara could have helped a girl out and added a few more forelock strands. I tried to explain to Chloe that it was supposed to be lifelike, which did not go over well. The giveaway for me, is the eyes. When I look at Lara’s picture, I notice Chloe’s eyes immediately and it really makes me happy. I will always treasure this picture! I cannot wait to get it printed and hung somewhere!

Lara has been passionate about horses her entire life and went to riding schools in Israel, and her home country, Ukraine, where she dabbled in dressage, show jumping and western. While she doesn’t own a horse, she does live nearby a ranch that provides a constant source of inspiration and a place to occasionally ride.

Lara is a professional illustrator, animator and graphic designer and has been working in the gaming industry for over a decade. Recently, at the urging of her husband, Lara decided to offer her private equestrian inspired drawings for sale. You can buy her various drawings and designs as art prints and/or on different lifestyle products, such as apparel, home decor items and tech accessories.

You can currently view these, and some more of her products for sale, on the following two sites:

www.redbubble.com/people/LaraKaller
www.society6.com/larakaller

Want Lara to email you a sketch of your horse for FREE? Enter our contest by following the simple rules below:

  1. Follow “Larakaller” on Instagram.
  2. Sign up to receive email notifications from Horse Glam by entering your email at the bottom of THIS PAGE

Jasper the Friendly Mini

IMG_7113watermarked.jpg

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

HG: Favorite treat?
Jasper: Waffles and nuggets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xoxo Chloe, the friendly horse.

Good Vibes Only

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

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

The Young and The Restless

tracey and ovi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrea: My Mane Problem

Okay, despite my best efforts of trying to ride every Tues/Thurs, and maybe once on the weekend, the weather (closed arena) + cancelled lessons is getting the best of me. Today was the first day I was able to really ride Chloe in the last 2 weeks!!! AAHH!! Luckily she was SO GOOD and I had the best time riding her. It definitely made up for my lesson being cancelled! However, when I was cooling down, I snapped this picture of her. It is super embarrassing but worth sharing. I know 95% of you will totally see what I am talking about: the grass in her mane! It made me so sad when I was walking around because it is just yet another reminder of how rushed I am at the barn now. Years ago, that would never have happened. I appreciate the beauty of a well turned out horse, but I also truly believe that without it, you show lack of respect for the sport, and even worse, your horse. Anyway, it is dumb, but it really bummed me out to see such a glaring thing I missed before I hastily tacked up. Here’s hoping to the snow disappearing tomorrow so I can lesson! Wishful thinking!

 

SaveSaveSaveSave

Mantra Matters

LOVE the equestrian mantra bangles from Bitkeepers. You can buy the complete set of 7, or buy 1, 3, or 5. Each bangle has a different equestrian motivator and comes in the colors shown in the picture: silver, gold or rose gold. My favorites are “one stride at a time” and “enjoy the ride” and “soft hands, strong legs, steady mind”.  Everyone can use stackable bracelets AND riding motivation, so these make for fabulous gifts!

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 11.13.52 AM.png

Starts at $20.00, BUT get FREE shipping with code: FREE SHIPBLING.

Note: there are dressage mantra bracelets here!

Pony Parts

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

IMG_7511

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

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 4.42.19 PM.png

How about a glass of Marelot?

As the owner of Pony Glam, I love when a sassy, fun company pops onto the equestrian scene. If the company also talks about wine 50% of the time, I am doubly interested! Eqwine Co., caught my eye on Instagram with their witty apparel and sassy memes. You will not be disappointed if you follow their account. Look at this t-shirt that I am currently coveting. It comes in black too, but I love a good white t-shirt! Eqwine Co., is based in Canada but will be shipping to US soon!

marelot.jpg

Life Equestrian is Equestrian Life

Life Equestrian is Equestrian Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks so much Helen! xoxo

Are Ya Gettin’ the boot?

I have had my eyes on brown tall boots for a while. I love how they look, especially with all the gold accents I tend to have on my clothing and accessories. I just can’t justify it though – mainly because I really should buy boots I can actually wear in the show ring, if I am going to be buying boots at all. Recently Sarah, fellow fashionista and the owner of City Girl Equestrian, sent me the link to these Ariat boots that were very marked down to $199. She had just snagged her own pair and I was so jealous! The sale was only good for a few more hours that day and of course I forgot about it! So now I will have to live vicariously through Sarah until the next huge sale!

Do any of you have a pair of brown boots that you love?

Meet C&C Signature

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

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

IMG_4903.jpg

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

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

IMG_4901.jpg

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

To browse more C&C, click HERE.

IMG_4904.jpg

 

img_7288
Rubber reins, yet still so fancy!

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

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.

Screen Shot 2017-12-29 at 2.36.57 PM.png

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! 🙂

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

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.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Winter Woods (Limited Ed.)

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

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 2.10.21 PM

SaveSave

AeroEquine: The next generation of Tack Trunks has landed.

AeroEquine: The next generation of Tack Trunks has landed.

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

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

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

trunk_40c

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Grey is the New Black

I know I am forever talking about LeFash breeches, but have I mentioned their show shirts? I have two myself, and if I showed more I would definitely want to add this one to my wardrobe. The Grey Check Open Placket is GORGEOUS. The collar is magnetic, which makes it easy for horse shows, but it also “opens clean” so that it coverts into modern street wear… an equestrian trend that LeFash pioneered.  I included a picture of the back so that you could see the signature block paneling. The bamboo sides and sleeves are everything. Not only are they so soft, comfortable and breathable, but they are very flattering on your body. My LeFash shirts almost mold to my skin. Also important to note, in my opinion, is that these shirts tend to have longer tails than other shirts I have worn. I really appreciate that because it makes it easy to tuck in and helps give you a more tailored look. Comes in XS-XL. It isn’t cheap at $195 but the quality is top-notch and it will last you forever. It obviously looks great with the white breeches but I am sort of digging the Alphabet City Breech, with tan patches and gold detailing. Maybe my next breech purchase? What do you guys think? xx, HG

 

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.

SaveSave

SaveSave

Ponies = Parker Peacock = Name To Remember

Ponies = Parker Peacock = Name To Remember

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

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

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

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

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

DSC02096
Parker and Neigh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

pa
Mini playing at Peacock Acres.

SaveSave