The Riding Bug

Both my kids have always loved the idea of my horse, Chloe. They talk about Chloe nonstop at home and we pretty much have the Netflix cartoon Spirit Riding Free on the TV on repeat. As soon as we get to the barn, however, they freeze up around the horses. Ask them if they want to sit on Chloe and they run the other direction. 

I am not entirely sure what was the catalyst in this change of heart, but one day after my lesson when I was walking Chloe, Logan said she wanted to ride too. We put a helmet on her, she sat on my lap holding the reins and Jackie led us around the barn together. We got in the car and she immediately asked to do it again the next day. Naturally Tanner, not to be outdone by his little sister, wanted to ride next time too.

A week later we were at a friend’s barn so that the kids could visit with something a little less intimidating (sorry Chloe): a medium pony named Chase. Chase is adorable and friendly. He is black and white. Logan did shed a tear the night before when I confirmed he wasn’t pink. However, Chase also loves powdered donuts, a fact that made the aforementioned fake tears stop immediately.

The kids took turns riding Chas lead-line style in the field in the most adorable and comfortable looking small western saddle. Logan took it very seriously, sitting straight and center, holding the reins and concentrating. Tanner, in typical boy style, wanted to go faster. Afterwards, they brushed and fed Chase the promised powdered donuts, moving around him with an ease I’ve never seen from them before in regards to horses. Of course it is understandable. To them, Chloe is massive and they only come to her belly. As adults, we forget how imposing horses really are and honestly It was sort of a good reminder for myself that any horse is inherently dangerous. 

Once Chase was back in his stall, we surprised Logan and Tanner with another barn resident: a miniature paint pony named “Little T”. They both took turns leading him around the barn and grooming him. I thought Logan was going to burst with excitement. The smile on her face when she was holding the lead rope and letting him graze was priceless. I cannot say the same for the pony I see in my near future, though! I think it is safe to say they caught the riding bug! Must be genetic! 🙂

This blog was first published for Ramm Fence: Your Horse Farm on August 13, 2019

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!

How to Talk to Horses.

We have all wondered, and even joked, about what our horses would say if they could talk. I have a whole blog section called Chloe’s Chatter dedicated to giving Chloe a voice. As most suspect, that voice is arguably my sassy alter-ego. I think to some degree we all do this with our horses. Horses are our teammates and best confidants. They are partners who we have an intense working relationship with, and therefore it is easy to overly humanize them. It is easy to start envisioning their voices sounding similar to our own.

I have contacted Debbie McGillivray a few times over the last decade. The most recent time was about 5 years ago. Debbie is a real horse whisperer, using telepathy to communicate. She works countless hours a week taking phone calls from people all over the world who want to talk with their animals. She also has 3 books and conducts online workshops on the topic.

Like our past conversations, we started with what Chloe wanted to talk about. She complained about the “annoying horse” in the paddock adjacent to her (I witnessed and even took pictures of her a few hours earlier trying to bite him over the fence and herding her girlfriend away from him). She let me know that I spend too much time talking when I ride her (guilty as charged). She commented that a change to the hay was causing her stomach to feel very sensitive and gassy (I confirmed a recent hay change). During her body scan, Debbie noted 3 main issues (lower right side of the back, right hip and left shoulder) that match Chloe’s recent chiropractic chart. Debbie also mentioned that Chloe’s left front foot, for lack of a better phrase, dragged the ground. My farrier came out a week later and confirmed that was a common issue for her.

Knowing that I intended to blog about my conversation, I asked Debbie for something more from Chloe that would let me know she was really talking to her. I wanted to be able to show my husband and any “neigh” sayers that this was for real. I didn’t want anything that could be general to most horses. And this is where I think I let my over-humanization of Chloe cloud my judgment. In reality, I was looking for Debbie to come back with a personal story that only me and Chloe knew about. I basically wanted Chloe to tell me something like you see on a medium show – I wanted her to say, “Remember that time we were on a trail ride and you lost your keys when I spooked at the deer”? However, instead, these are the 3 things Chloe came back with.

  1. Her left eye was watering and irritating and really bothering her. Like I previously mentioned, I was at the barn earlier that day. When I went out to give her treats with the kids, I noticed that her left eye (not her right) was really watering (it had the discharge half way down her face). I had my kids and I just didn’t have time or the ability to deal with it, but I vividly recalled it. However, I still wasn’t too impressed. After all, this wasn’t the smoking gun that I was looking for.
  2. She said that her pasture-mate was very stiff and sore in her right hind hock. I have since confirmed this with my trainer and the owner of the mare, but at the time I had no knowledge of it. Again, it wasn’t what I was wanting to hear so I sort of dismissed it.
  3. Lastly, Chloe referenced a big barn change. Debbie got the intense feeling that it was a horse that recently left. I had no idea what she meant. The last horse left months ago and I didn’t think Chloe had even ever noticed him to begin with. I thought perhaps she meant Stella, who had left on the trailer earlier that day for a day trip. However when I described Stella as a bay horse, Debbie said it wasn’t her. She continued to reference a big change in the barn and a horse leaving. I just had no clue what she was talking about and honestly was disappointed that after 10 years together this was the best that Chloe could do.

I cringe when I recall saying to Debbie, “Oh typical, Chloe. Not giving me what I want from her.” Looking back, with the new information gained just 15 minutes after my phone conversation with Chloe, and my taking the time to process everything, Chloe was giving me exactly what I was asking from her. I, as perhaps is typical, just wasn’t listening.

Like I mentioned earlier, I am guilty of humanizing Chloe. I want her to think like me. I wanted her to tell me a story. But at the end of the day, she is a horse. She can’t think in terms of stories or complex thoughts. She feels and thinks in the present. So when I asked her for proof, she gave me 3 things that were in the moment, things that if I were there I could verify. Her eye WAS watering, it was irritating to her in that exact moment. The horse who she was in the pasture with during my phone call, IS stiff and sore in her right hind hock. And unbeknownst to me, at the exact time of my phone call, there was a big change occurring in the barn. A horse did leave. A horse that was not a bay.

When I got off the phone, I immediately reached out to Jackie (trainer/friend) to let her know about my conversation. Jackie was emotional when I talked to her. Less than an hour earlier, at the exact moment of my 25 minute conversation with Debbie, a horse was put down after complications from a recent injury. After recovering from my initial sadness upon this news, the realization of what Chloe said really hit me. She was right. This was indeed a big change and someone did leave. It is a small barn, and the horse was arguably Jackie’s favorite, as well as the most successful of all our current show horses. He will truly be missed by all, and I am positive his loss is felt amongst the other horses.

So if you ask me how to talk to horses, I’d tell you that we all have the ability. Debbie’s books and workshops are geared to teaching you to communicate yourself, but if you want immediate answers from a professional, I would look no further than Debbie McGillivray. However, I think the biggest lesson gained from my recent conversation with Chloe is that perhaps talking to each other isn’t the answer. Maybe it is just as important to start listening.

To schedule a phone consultation with Debbie visit HERE.

Pictured above, Debbie McGillivray

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!

Not Your Basic Invites

My custom stationery created at Basic Invite.
PC: Shannen Smyth Photography

We live in a world of texting, Facebook and FaceTime, but nothing beats receiving a letter in the mail. I know I am excited when I open the mailbox and see a handwritten personal envelope, addressed to me, buried in the mass of bills and junk mail. Oftentimes, when I receive products to review from equestrian brands, a handwritten note is in the package. I always enjoy that. It feels more special knowing someone took the time to draft the note. In the past, I have looked for stationery for Horse Glam to use primarily as thank you cards to send back to the brands. Basic Invite has two of the requirements on my stationery list: custom options (so that I can upload my logo) and gold foil. I LOVE gold anything! Furthermore, not only can I add my logo to the stationery, but with over 180 colors to select from, I can perfectly match my Horse Glam color scheme.

Chat box on far right!

There were tons of samples of stationery to choose from (and even MORE wedding related paper products, if you are in the market for that), but I found one (called “painted wash”) pretty quickly that complimented the subtle watercolor design scheme of one of my Horse Glam logo sub-marks. The “Painted Wash” also was the same ballet color pink as my logo. Naturally the design I liked was not one of the ones that you could upload your logo to, as I wanted to remove the “Hello” text and just put my logo in its place. However, within seconds of me browsing the site, a chat box had popped open asking if I needed help. I decided it couldn’t hurt to ask the question: “Could they add my logo for me, even though the product I wanted to add my logo to was pre-designed?” The online rep answered momentarily and led me through the process to do it. After two rounds of instantaneous previews, I was ready to see my sample product. Actually, it was better than that…I was ready to hold my sample product.

Basic Invite is one of the only websites that I have encountered that lets you order a printed sample of the actual invitation so you can see exactly how it will print (as well as the paper quality). This surely beats having 150 invites delivered to your house only to then discover that maybe you don’t like that hot pink font after all. My sample arrived within 10 days and it looked exactly like the online preview: it was perfect! I opted for just the plain white envelope but when I place my actual order I am going to take advantage of the over 40 colors of envelopes they have available.

I look forward to ordering my custom Horse Glam stationery from Basic Invite, especially now that I know it will turn out exactly how I wanted. If only ordering my wedding invites (12 years ago) was this easy!

Collection of pretty paper from Basic Invite

wedding photo coasters favors 

wedding rsvp websites

Behind the scenes at TKEQ.

Kaelyn Kennedy, 19, and founder of TKEQ the shop

Meet Kaelyn Kennedy! She is the 19 year old founder and creative director of TKEQ the shop. Kaelyn started to ride when she was nine years old and within less than two years, she shared three horses with her mom and was attending horse shows regularly! Today, she has two retired horses, but is looking into getting into the Adult Amateur Hunters very soon. If Kaelyn is not working on her business or at the barn, she is most likely doing schoolwork in pursuit of her Bachelor of Commerce Degree at Athabasca University (AU).

HG: Kaelyn, you first launched TKEQ the shop in 2016, at the impressive age of 16. I think everyone in our equestrian community would agree that TKEQ has been very successful. Looking back, was there a time that you felt like your (young) age was a hindrance? In what ways was it an asset?

TKEQ: The main hindrance I faced was being second guessed. I have had my trades, who have been around the sun a few more times than me, change my design because they thought I “wasn’t thinking straight”, was “making a mistake” or my personal favourite, “we changed it because your generation wouldn’t like it”. In the long run it was a blessing because I feel very comfortable standing up for my vision which has gained me a lot of respect. 

My age has definitely been an asset in the sense that I know/am my target market. Since the beginning of TKEQ I have really tried to make pieces I would wear at prices I would pay. I am constantly looking at all of our pieces from a now nineteen year old’s perspective making sure its appealing in all aspects. 

HG: TKEQ Athletics is your new baby and focuses on the athliesure trend. I love the catch phrase of “from the gym to girls night in & everywhere in-between”. What inspired you to start this new line when most people would have their hands full with just one business?

TKEQ: TKEQ Athletics has been a long time in the making, even the name was different when I first came up with it! I have been very passionate about this project for the last year and seeing it all come to life has really been amazing. Being a rider means being athletic, from the moment you get to the barn until you leave there is really not a minute that goes by that you are pushing or pulling or lifting; We are incredible athletes! I created TKEQ Athletics to be activewear specifically designed for equestrians. 

HG: I would imagine there have been many days where you feel overwhelmed with school, riding, running two businesses and making time for your friends and family. Do you have any advice on how to keep moving forward and balance it all?

TKEQ: All the time! Sometimes I don’t even know how I actually get it all done. I have found the best way to keep it all under control is to plan, plan, plan. My iPhone Calendar and Notes are always full plus my day timer as well as my social media planners are never far away. I am constantly writing things down or checking things off a todo list just to keep all my balls rolling! Definitely my saving grace has been the ability to give myself an hour or two of time to be away from my phone, day timer & various papers. Just being able to disconnect has helped a lot! I highly recommend.

HG: What is the most influential piece of business advice you have been given or have read?

TKEQ: It’s OKAY to make mistakes, you learn more from mistakes than you do getting things perfect every time. The idea of a mistake or failure is really scary to me! I have always been that way and it flared up a lot when I started TKEQ. I would be so afraid of failure, I would push product launches back and procrastinate. I really had to learn it is perfectly okay to not be perfect! Not every launch is going to be “confetti and champagne”, sometimes it is going to be crickets but that is OKAY. Just keep learning, grinding away because that experience will bring you to a whole new level.

HG: When you were designing the first pieces for TKEQ Athletics, what sources did you use for inspiration?

TKEQ: Most of my inspiration came from my experiences buying and using athletic wear as a rider. I know many girls who ride in Lulu or Under Armour tops, which are fantastic but are usually designed for yoga or dry-land training not the constant wear & tear we go through. All of TKEQ Athletics’ items have four-way stretch, UV protection plus special features like extra length in the arms & just the right body length to stay tucked in without extra material.

HG: I love the flirty, feminine and soft colors used in the TKEQ Athletics. How did you select those?

TKEQ: Thank you so much! I love monochromatic colour palettes (you can probably tell from the five different greys incorporated into TKEQ the shop)  so keeping that theme throughout Athletics is really important to me. I believe the best part of activewear is the fun colours so I experimented with releasing Bittersweet, a soft peachy-pink, and Reign, a heather purple. They have both been so positively received. I really feel we nailed the perfect combination of fun and soft colours!

Reign, a heather purple that is a must-have.

HG: How does it feel when you see the TKEQ clothing being worn at a show or elsewhere out in public? 

TKEQ: It is truly an indescribable feeling. I recently saw a girl at Spruce Meadows wearing an amazing outfit – I literally had to do a double take before noticing she was in our ‘EZ’ vest! At the beginning I would see my friends/ mutual friends wearing TKEQ and now I see people wearing it that I’ve never met before. Definitely cool to see how much the brand has expanded over the last year.

HG: What is next in the pipeline for both brands? How soon are you developing what is next?

TKEQ: TKEQ Athletics is just getting started – seriously! The Collection for Fall 2019 is 100% ready and is going to be a game changer. Extended colour ranges, additional sizes, new styles and maybe a few merino wool sweaters… you didn’t hear it from me though! I am so excited to also announce we are released The ’Taylor’ Seamless SHORT SLEEVE in Reign, Bittersweet and Nickel this month – everything you love about the ‘Taylor’ just short and sweet. 

As Pony Finals is approaching – our annual Pony Finals Collection is being released. Plus a customizable Sweatshirt for Pony Kids (just like #HORSEGIRL). TKEQ the shop will continue to release graphics throughout the year as well as extended colour ranges!

HG: Describe your perfect outfit for a girls night in.

TKEQ: My favourite three words – Girls Night In! My go to look is Leggings with an oversized Tee, usually tucked in at the front or tied (I size up in our Boyfriend Tee to achieve this look) add a Pullover if its chilly. Finish the look with a mini-backpack and some sneakers for any snack runs!

HG: Do you have any professional goals for 2019?

TKEQ: I am super excited to be attending AETA for the second time. I feel like its been a decade since I first showed up with my graphic tees and now I am showing the TKEQ Athletics Collection that has created a new category for equestrian apparel. I have also started to expand TKEQ the shop to include more lifestyle pieces designed to take you from the street to stable, with lots of layering elements for the modern fashionistas of the equestrian world.

HG: If you could have any celebrity or rider wearing your brand, who would you love to see pictured?

TKEQ: Karen Polle – for sure! She is such a lovely, positive, beautiful person. Seeing her in TKEQ Athletics would be amazing (plus I think Wings would love Bittersweet).

Thank you so much Kaelyn! We are all looking forward to seeing what is next. Use code HORSEGLAM for FREE SHIPPING! Shop HERE!

Answer to TKEQ riddle? TKEQ stands for TEAM KENNEDY EQUINE!

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.

My Weekend At TIEC

Part 2: My Experience with Hamster

If you missed Part 1 of My Weekend at TIEC, where I describe in detail the facility of Tryon International Equestrian Center, please take a few minutes to read it HERE. If you are not familiar with TIEC, or as I like to refer to it as, “my horse show paradise”, it is A MUST READ. 

I arrived at TIEC on Friday morning. It is a quick and easy drive from Charlotte, so I got there just in time to help almost everyone who was showing that day. Having arrived on the trailer the day before, Hamster was already there to greet me. His dappled gray head was hanging out of his stall door, attempting to fraternize with every nearby person or animal as if were on a social call and not there to work. I couldn’t blame him though. I felt the same way. 

After a quick stall cleaning, I took Hamster for a hand-walk so he could stretch his legs. We first took a left, walking by the jumper ring and two hunter rings. For the most part, the majority of the show rings are near the stables, coming in handy when a rider inevitably forgets a crop or for keeping an eye on how things are progressing in certain divisions. I was trying to look at the horses schooling in each of the smaller areas that precede the individual show rings, while Hamster was more focused on saying “hello” to every butt within range or dragging me into every landscaped area we passed. We stayed on the separate walkway reserved for horse traffic only which consists of footing like that in the rings. Chloe has been barefoot for 8 years so I really appreciate that at TIEC the horses are always walking on soft, rock-free surfaces.

The rest of the day went by pretty quickly and I stayed busy helping clean stalls, tack and horses. My trainer (and Hamster’s owner) took Hamster for a quick jump school and he was a really good boy. That evening we went to Legends Grille for dinner as a barn, which is located on the other side of the show grounds. One of my favorite parts of TIEC is that you really never have to leave the center all weekend. Numerous restaurants and even a mini grocery store are right on the show ground. Even though we spend so much time together, we rarely dine together as a barn group so it is always nice when we have the time to do so. Afterwards, we walked over to the stable and checked on the horses before making the 1 minute drive to our cabin. Perhaps the best aspect about TIEC is that you can stay on site in these super cute cabins. We had a 1 bedroom, but it had 3 sleeping areas. It really makes checking on the horses convenient, and more importantly, means you get to push back that dreaded wake-up call.

Hamster is 4 years old so we didn’t plan on showing him this first time, but instead just wanted him to tag along for the experience. On Saturday morning, my trainer wanted me to school Hamster in one of the open rings. I assumed that I would just hack him around and warm him up for her to jump. When she came into the ring without her helmet I knew she had different plans. I was instantly nervous and coming up with different excuses I could use. However, Hamster hacked around like such a pro that it was impossible not to have confidence in him. I whined when she told me to canter the first single, but I did it anyway. En route to the jump, Hamster hesitated slightly, asking me if it was okay to jump. The gentlest pressure with my leg is all he wanted and he carried us up and over like he had jumped it 100 times. Next thing I knew, we were doing a course together. It was the first time I have jumped more than 3 jumps in a row since a year ago so inside I was freaking out! Despite the jumps being set super low, Hamster made the cutest effort over each jump and I could see his little knees in my line of vision. It was hard not to have the biggest smile on my face afterwards. 

The show ran smoothly the rest of the day and we were actually done early, around 4pm. We hung out with a neighboring barn, enjoying the perfect NC mountain weather. Then we went across the center to have sushi at Blue Ginger Sushi & Noodles. Yes, sushi at the horse show. And it is really good! Afterwards, we relaxed back at the cabin and had an early night. Typically we would go to Saturday Night Lights, but it had not started yet for the season. 

When we had some down time on Sunday, I hacked Hamster in an empty ring to continue giving him the total show horse experience. There was a lot going on outside with traffic and construction equipment, and on top of that he was the only horse in the arena, but he was totally chill. I couldn’t keep from thinking how 19 yr old Chloe would have been high strung in this situation. I definitely would not have needed the spurs and crop I had! After a bit, we cooled out by walking the perimeter of the facility, along the horse bridle path. We walked by all the stables, the show rings, and even down past the hammock section.  We continued walking towards the large grand prix stadium but Hamster’s attention was on the grass derby field, emphasis on the grass. I think our walk was a highlight for us both. Hamster loves seeing what everyone is up to, whether he knows them or not. I joke that he has a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). He likes to be where all the action is. I must admit I love that too. And perhaps that is my favorite part of TIEC (for real this time). No matter what you are doing, whether it be cleaning a stall, riding a horse, going to a restaurant, a yoga class, shopping at Dover or a boutique vendor, eating ice cream or running back to your cabin for a shower, you are still just seconds away from where all the action is. That is the beauty of TIEC. You really never have to leave. 

My Weekend At TIEC

PART 1: First Impressions

Tyron International Equestrian Center, also known as TIEC for short, is any horse show competitor’s dream. Actually, I revise that to be “any horse show competitor’s, trainer’s, parent’s, cheering squad’s, or groom’s dream”. When my younger brother visited me there, he was walking around with his mouth wide open. He is quite familiar with the horse show scene, having tagged along with me and my mother to bi-weekly shows for years when I was a child pony rider. He was not prepared, however, for the splendor of TIEC. Then again, neither was I. 

Nestled in the foothills of the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, sits an equestrian complex that seemingly pops up like an equestrian mirage in the middle of miles of highway. Freshly painted black wood fencing engulfs the center and outlines the many show rings, the grand stadium, the derby field, schooling rings and the separate footpaths for horses and riders. The permanent stables have large matted stalls, complete with optional windows for the horses to hang their heads out (or make feeding easier), built in halter and bucket hangers, and already mounted fans. Who else hates hanging fans at horse shows? The concrete aisles are wide enough for tack trunks, multiple wheel barrels and grooming cross ties. The tack rooms have secure keypads, which means I was never taking expensive tack to my car each night. The front of each stable aisle has picnic tables with umbrellas, perfect for some down time spent with your barn squad. And let’s talk about the bathrooms located within 100 feet from each barn aisle. Each bathroom area has 3 clean toilet stalls, two sinks with soap, a mirror and air conditioning. I also like to mention that there are faux hardwood floors. I know I sound obsessed with the bathroom, but most of our shows in the area have porta potties. You try pulling up sweaty riding breeches in July in 90 degree heat. Actually try just breathing in a porta potty in July.

Between each ring are stairs that lead to ample shade and wooden chairs for spectator seating. The wide walkways connect the stables to the other side of the center, providing you with front row views of jumping rounds on each side while you make the walk. The rings are extra large, with beautifully decorated jumps and inviting footing. Once on the other side, you will find a line of retail shops that house everything from flavored lattes to ice cream, riding breeches to straw hats, and equine paintings to jewelry. If you have time, there are plenty of stand-alone restaurants to choose from. For lunch, I usually chose between Roger’s Diner, or a taco salad from Siesta Cantina. For dinner, you have your pick of the following restaurants: Sushi, Italian, Mexican and a traditional steakhouse/grille. If I am in a hurry, I will run to the General Store and grab a made-to-order salad or sandwich. The General Store is basically a mini grocery store with a deli and mini-bakery. At the General Store you can buy groceries and alcohol, which is perfect if you are staying at TIEC in a trailer with living quarters or in one of the many on-site cabins (chose between 1 bedroom, 3 bedroom or 5 bedrooms). The General Store also has a variety of TIEC gifts, and a collection of Breyer horses that I had to try really hard to resist for my daughter, Logan. 

Try as I may to avoid it, I always end up popping into Dover Saddlery while I am on the retail side of TIEC.  A full size Dover is right on the premises, which is so convenient when you want to change bits, buy new support boots or new show clothes. 

There is also much to amuse and entertain the whole family, making it even more unique from most other horse show venues. For the moms, there is boutique shopping and a spa, complete with nail salon and yoga classes (opening Summer 2019). For the younger siblings, there is a carousal, mini-jump course and face painting. For the dads, there is the Silo Bar, golfing, gun club and a shaded hammock area. Okay, that hammock area is actually good for everyone. Horse shows can wipe you out! Then, of course, TIEC has Saturday Night Lights. The competitive grand prix event is the focus in the large stadium under the bright lights, but the live music, additional food vendors and kid-friendly entertainment (magicians, acrobats, fire-twirlers, etc.) are a blast for all. I love how well attended Saturday Night Lights is. The local community really turns out to support the event and it is a great reminder how lucky we are to be a part of this sport.

This facility is so amazing. I could go on and on about it. You can see pictures and videos from my weekend there on my Horse Glam (@horse_glam) Instagram account under the “TIEC” story highlights. Stay tuned for Part 2 of My Weekend at TIEC where I talk about my experience while at the TIEC show with Hamster!!!

Let’s Hear It For The Boys

As published on June 11, 2019 in my guest blog for Your Horse Farm….

To me, Father’s Day is a time when you can thank your dad for being supportive of you and your many endeavors. Chances are he could have purchased a sail boat if it weren’t for your pony, … then that other bigger pony, … and then that dream horse. So here’s to all those dads that support us crazy horse girls in our equestrian pursuits, whether that support is financial, mental or emotional, we cherish it all the same. 

If your dad is a cool dad, or maybe you want him to be a cooler dad, this first item is for you. H.K. Lyons has designed the most rugged, handsome courier bag (can bags be handsome?) you can find. Made for any function: work, meetings, hiking, traveling…this bag can do it all in style. This is pricey at $268, but you only have one dad. And remember that last vet bill you forwarded? 🙂

You can’t beat the gift that keeps on giving! This equestrian print mini silk scarf from Donna Bernstein fits perfectly as a pocket square for your dad’s suit jacket. It also can be used as a neck tie or handbag accessory, just saying! Priced at $65.

This next gift option will make the idea of a long horse show more enticing for your dad. The Yeti Rambler (with Lid) easily fits in the hand and will keep your dad’s coffee piping hot or his adult beverage icy cold, depending on what time a day your division is. Perfect for all those times where you have to “hurry up…and wait”. Priced at under $20, which means you should scoop one for yourself too!

Looking for a more sentimental gift for your dad? How about this Minted personal photo calendar for his office, complete with 12 monthly pictures featuring you and your horse. Maybe pop a few pictures of you and your dad in there too, just to even things out.

Want to upgrade your dad’s kicks? These classic, equestrian inspired slip on boots from Ariat are just the ticket. These boots can easily be dressed up or down. They come in 3 different colors. Priced at $278, with free shipping.

This Custom Leather Catchall from Etsy is great for a jewelry, watch, and wallet. It also means your dad won’t misplace those things every other day! The leather and monogramming gives it an equestrian touch. Priced at $51.

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!!

Apacceli: Luxury with an Equestrian Twist

Apacceli launched last Fall promising luxury clothing, with an equestrian twist, made for the athletic woman. I received two of their current pieces, both of which fulfilled Apacceli’s promise.

The Studded Sweater is dark gray, with gunmetal studs placed in flattering patterns. The neckline is wide with a more conservative front cut, but surprises in the back where it dips into a lower, feminine V. I wore mine with Botori riding breeches to play on the equestrian feel, but the Studded Sweater would stun in a pair of black jeans and booties. It could easily transition from casual Friday at work to dinner that night with your girlfriends. It is cut shorter than I anticipated, but I thought the length (hitting right at my belt loop area) gave it a modern, younger feel.

Inspired by the famous cave paintings in France (I drew a blank so I had to Google too, don’t worry!), the Lascaux Bull Sweater uses faceted studs and maroon colored brush strokes to create the outline of a bull. I originally was going to wear black cut-up jeans with the sweater to balance out the fancy stud detail, but at the last minute decided to embrace the glamour. I used faux leather leggings and loved the final look.

As you can see from the pictures, Apacceli delivered on luxury. The pieces are luxe and well made. They also are not cheap, each around $200. The equestrian influence is also apparent but subtle. The studs were a nice touch that did not distract from the overall picture. The sizing is based off an athletic build so you should size down if you are in between sizes. Both of my sweaters are a size XS.

I previously mentioned that both sweaters would look great with black jeans. Conveniently, Apacceli sells black jeans with gunmetal studs, similar to those on the Studded Sweater. These are currently sold out, but definitely something to think about when they are re-stocked. If you are in the market for cocktail attire or a formal dress, be sure to check out Apacceli’s Velvet Cape dress. Off-the shoulder and hitting mid-thigh, this would be a showstopper.

I look forward to seeing the upcoming collections from Apacceli. Be sure to follow them on Instagram to see what is next!

Velvet Cape Dress; Picture from Apacceli

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

Leader of The Herd: Interview with Forest Franzoi

Forest Franzoi, 32, is the creator/owner behind Herd of Zebras, a new lifestyle equestrian brand that focuses on individual empowerment and group solidarity. Forest began riding at just 5 yrs old and continued to ride through college and graduate school, where she got her Masters in Digital Marketing. Today, she owns 4 horses, including Sparky, a large pony she owned when she was 8 years old, and the inspiration behind her logo.

Forest Franzoni and Sparky, the inspiration behind the HofZ logo.
PC: Copper Arrow Photography

HG: Your website mentions that you suffer from chronic pain. It also talks about your decision to shift your attention from this pain to something more positive. Can you expand on this?

HofZ: I am not a person who likes to sulk in feeling bad for themselves. I have a rule that I will give myself one day to cry and be upset when something major happens in my life that I can’t control. In this case, it was endometriosis taking over and needing to have a hysterectomy at such a young age (before I was able to have children of my own). This was a really hard time for me. I was tired of feeling bad for myself and wanted to turn that energy around into something positive. I wanted to help other people who felt that they were alone in their struggles. This is not just about endometriosis, but for anyone who has gone through their own personal hell, and has the courage to get up and change their narrative. 

HG: I imagine that living with chronic pain, as well as the emotional pain you described above, can be at times mentally and physically debilitating. How did you stay on course and not get sucked back in to feelings of negativity?

HofZ: It is exhausting in ways people don’t understand. Endometriosis is an autoimmune disease which not many people know. I am in pain every day and tired a lot.  It really wears on someone’s mental health when you don’t feel well the majority of the time. What has helped me was finding doctors who specialize in this condition and are empathetic of what I am going through and are making an effort to help me feel better. I also have been in therapy which has helped a great deal. I was so reluctant to go but it was one of the best things I have ever done for myself.  

HG: I love the idea of starting fresh and positive. Most people will never be able to relate to your trials, but of course everyone has something in their life that has the ability to bring them down. I do believe that it is our job to choose to be happy each day. Do you have any tips for how to accomplish this?

HofZ: I could not agree with this more. “Everyone has their stuff.” That is something I say a lot and remind myself of daily. We all have things that make our lives more difficult and challenge us every day. But it is our choice as to how we react to these challenges. We can’t control everything, but we can control how to respond to these situations.  My family is also a massive part of my life and keep me smiling every day. I am very lucky to have my sister-in-law as my partner in this crazy adventure. My animals also help me daily to see how lucky I am. My horses and my two goldendoodles are a constant reminder of the joy in life. They are so goofy and loving. Whenever I am sad, they show me unconditional love and constantly make me laugh. 

Forest and Bindi

HG: No two zebras are alike. Zebras have unique stripes that they proudly and strongly display on their own, yet they survive in the wild through their ability to bond together as a herd. What does this mean to you – especially as it regards the equestrian sport?

HofZ: The bond that is shared among equestrians is so similar to that of a herd. We are stronger together than we are alone. It has never mattered your age, social status at school or work, or your background at the barn. It has always been my safe haven and I know many equestrians feel the same way. 

HG: The reception surrounding your new brand as been very welcoming. What has surprised you as being the easiest, and the hardest, part of launching?

HofZ: Honestly, I have been so shocked at how kind people have been when I have reached out to them for help starting my business. The small businesses that I interact with on social media have been amazing. It is so nice to see other women owned businesses reaching out and helping to support one another. It is a lot different from the corporate job I had in the past where everyone was in constant competition with each other. This has been a very refreshing experience and I am so grateful for the amazing people I have met in the process!

HG: What is next for Herd of Zebras? Can you update us on any Summer ’19 plans?

HofZ: We have some exciting partnerships coming up with some brands that we really admire! We will also be launching an awesome Spring/ Summer line that my partner and HofZ designer/ sister-in-law, Liz, have been working really hard on. They are going to be our strongest items yet!

HG: If you could have one equestrian rider or celebrity wearing Herd of Zebras who would it be?

HofZ: Kaley Cuoco! I adore her. Not only is she a great rider (and entertainer) but she actively supports animal rescues. If anyone knows her, send her my way! A girl can dream, right?!

Thank you so much, Forest! You are such an inspiration and I am so excited to see where the Herd takes you!

Botori “G2” – An Update to My 2018 Review.

Botori “G2” Riding Pant; PC Shannen Smyth Photography

Nearly one year ago I wrote this review (click here) on Botori and their first riding pant, the Gina. I liked the pants back then, but I really love them now. This Winter, Botori updated the fit of the Gina, calling the new version the “G2”. Don’t fret, Botori kept all the original parts that made the Gina a must-have: the brushed warm fleece, the ribbed ankle cuffs, the streamlined mesh pockets (perfect for your cell phone while riding), shape retention fabric and opaque material (no see through moments).

The G2 improves upon the waistband fit. It is still ribbed, which makes it comfortable and flexible. It is also still high waisted, which I still very much appreciate. However, the waist area compression has been greatly improved. You may recall from my review last year that I did have some problems with the pants slipping down. This year, I tested the G2 over an 8 hour day and paid careful attention to how often I readjusted the waist area. I had gotten this question from my Instagram followers so often after the release of the G2 that I took this quest really seriously and even made notes. I wore the G2 from 8:30am to 3:30pm, using them to ride Chloe, then to scrub her legs afterwards (pesky scratches) and then for 5 hours worth of errands and toddler things. During that nearly 8 hr period I only had to readjust twice. Once was after I was done washing, scrubbing and drying Chloe’s legs. The second was after Logan (2 yr old) was throwing a fit about me carrying her on my hip throughout Target, as opposed to riding in the cart. Needless to say, I was very pleased with the results.

Botori is a young company, but they really understand the needs and wants of a modern rider and woman on the constant go. If you have a chance to buy one new item this Winter/Spring, I really suggest the G2 or even the Taylor pant. At only $85- $110, you won’t regret it. I have lived in the G2 this Winter, refusing to sacrifice comfort and versatility for a traditional waistband and belt! Use my code HORSEGLAM10 for 10% off your order!

GALentine’s Day Giveaway

To celebrate women supporting women, and to show how much we value all of our friendships made here on Instagram, we are hosting a GALentine’s Day Giveaway featuring some of our favorite friends! Swipe to the second photo for the complete list of Giveaway items!
•Tag two friends in the comments. (On any of the participants posts.)
•Follow EVERYONE below. (You may want to take a screen shot to double check.)
•Repost the main photo with #GALentinesEQ to double your chances of winning.

A winner will be chosen 2/13 (Galentine’s Day) and announced 2/14 on participating host’s Stories.

For full prize descriptions and FAQs please see below:

A winner will be randomly drawn on the 13th and announced on our IG stories Feb 14th. The winner will be sent a direct message announcing they have won and will have 24 hours to respond & accept. In the event the winner does not respond after 24 hours, another winner will be randomly selected and announced on our IG stories Feb 15th.

How do I enter?

To enter for a chance to win, you must:

  1. Follow all participants listed in the rules on the giveaway post
  2. Tag two friends in the comments
  3. Re-post the giveaway creative with #GAlentinesEq for an extra entry


When will the winner be announced?

A winner will be randomly drawn on the 13th and announced on our IG stories Feb 14th.

What countries is the giveaway open to?

The giveaway is International, but if the winner is outside of CAN and USA, winner will be asked to pay shipping due to costs. CAN and US winner does not have to pay shipping.

Do I have to tag two friends on every participant post or just one particular post?

You can tag two friends in the comments on ANY of the participants posts.

If I repost the giveaway photo for an extra entry, do I have to tag all of the participants?

No, you do not need to tag all of the participants. As long as you repost with #GALentinesEq and have a public account we will see and count your extra entry.


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.

Giddy-Up Goodies: Not Just Another Equestrian Subscription Box

I know you are probably thinking, “another subscription box review?” But have I yet mentioned this is my favorite box so far? Seriously, it is the first box where I have used all of the products fairly quickly instead of having them collect dust in my trunk. In other words, each product was useful! It is also the first box that has full sized items instead of sample sizes. I had zero expectations but was very pleasantly surprised when I opened the Giddy-Up Goodie Box. Let’s open it together!

The first thing you notice is the handy flyer pasted to the inside of the box. This colored sheet clearly details all of the items in the box, with a little description of each one. I actually really appreciated this and liked that it was the first thing that I saw. Now, on to the goodies!

  1. Equine Edibles Candy Cane Mash. I was SOOO pumped to see this. The bag made a medium sized bucket full of minty-fresh mash. It was easy to mix – you actually poured the water directly into the bag, kneading it with your hands. With the chunks of peppermints and cinnamon flavors, it smelled delicious and I was momentarily jealous of Chloe. It made for a wonderful Christmas surprise for her – she licked the bucket clean!
  2. Stirrup Covers from MantraLove. Not only do these covers protect your saddle from being scratched by your stirrups, but they look adorable and quickly slip on without any fuss. A year ago I had grey stirrups that would rub off on my saddle, leaving me with pasty looking residue. It was the worst! These would have been great for that. You can also use the covers to wipe off your stirrups before you slip them inside!
  3. Bit Wash from Bit Butter. Wash and disinfect your bits with this convenient spray bottle from Bit Butter. Large enough to last you for at least a year, but small enough to fit easily into your trunk. It also is flavored with peppermint so your horse will thank you!
  4. Quic Silver Shampoo. A full-size bottle of the infamous shampoo that intensifies and whitens your horse’s coat. I used to go through bottles of this stuff when I had a grey pony. This shampoo could get any stain out and have her coat gleaming. Chloe only has a small white spot so I gave the bottle to a barn friend that has a white gelding. Needless to say, she was very grateful!
  5. Holiday Treats from Enjoy Yums. You can never ever have enough treats on hand at the barn and Enjoy Yums hooks you up with a large, super cute and handy gift bag full of tasty treats made of simple oats and rice bran.
  6. Multiple purpose brush from HAAS. This waterproof, shatter resistant (yes, Chloe has stepped on my brushes before) brush from HAAS has dense silver bristles strong enough for use on mane/tails and legs/coats. Truthfully my brushes are looking a little ratchet so I really welcomed the opportunity to replace one in my grooming kit. It is really pretty as far as brushes go, so would make an excellent show kit brush too.

As you can see, the contents of the box are all relevant, immediately useable, non-discipline specific and thoughtful. Usually with other box services there is at least one (usually more) item that I never open or use, but I was excited about each of these products.

So, let’s talk about price. I did the math and the total cost of each of these above items would be around $62 (note this does not necessarily include shipping) if you were purchasing on your own. The cost of the monthly subscription service is anywhere between $45 (12 month sign up) and $60 (a one time gig). No shipping fees on subscriptions. (There is also a $19 Mystery Box option which intrigues me, but let’s stay on topic here). Therefore, it is noticeably cheaper to go through Giddy-Up, but not quite as extreme as the NF.Edit Box. That being said, I personally would rather love and use everything in the box!

One big difference between Giddy-Up and the other boxes, is that Giddy-Up comes monthly instead of quarterly. I think this is pretty fun. I always love receiving any subscription box because it is like receiving a gift. I never know exactly what is going to be in there and how often do you get surprises like that anymore? Thanks Giddy-Up Goodies for a great Christmas surprise!

blanketsafe (by Chloe)


I am surrounded by filthy animals.  Did you know that my pasture-mate actually rolls in mud? M.U.D. And she is a mare! I won’t even tell you what the geldings are doing, but I am sure you can picture what their blankets look like. How can those boys wear a blanket every day that is encrusted with dirt, mud and even poop? And usually not even their own poop!

Needless to say, you can imagine how happy I was to receive professional grade horse blanket wash/deodorizer and blanket water-repellant from Blanket Safe. Blanket Safe’s wash is completely detergent free, meaning that there are no chemicals used and no oily residues left behind to irritate my skin. This is fantastic news when you want to keep your coat from looking sun bleached. Blanket Safe wash is also low-sudsing which allows for easy rinsing and further protects even the most sensitive skinned horse.

Bonus for all you geldings out there (as well as my uncivilized pasture-mate): Blanket Safe is also antibacterial. Truthfully, a blanket doesn’t have to look disgusting to need antibacterial help. Pet odors start at the microscopic level! Yes, that big poop stain isn’t helping anything, but most odors are from mildew and mold and so even the cleanest looking blanket needs a wash. Blanket Safe’s antibacterial component helps destroy all this bacteria and resulting stinky odor. Additionally, for an extra kick, there is a deodorizer component with a light fresh lavender scent to it. It is VERY lightly scented, which I am grateful for because as a horse, my sense of smell is way stronger than a measly humans.


As you can see from the BEFORE pictures, someone must have borrowed my blankets and rolled in mud. I would never! My minions, Andrea and Jackie, took my 3 blankets, as well as around 12 other blankets from the barn, to the local laundromat to test out Blanket Safe. Let’s just say that when they went to the laundromat they had the blankets in the truck bed (away from their noses), but when they came back, all of the blankets were in the back seat. Andrea said there were no noticeable smells and she was amazed at how clean everything looked. This is important because I know they were overfilling some of the washers, meaning that Blanket Safe had to work extra hard to get some of those gelding blankets cleaned! Seriously, she should have taken a before picture of the other blankets because they were caked in mud.


They dried the blankets for only 10 minutes (delicate setting) so that they were damp when they took them back to the barn and hung them along the fence line. Then, they sprayed the blankets with the Blanket Safe water repellant spray. After shaking the bottle, you simply spray the repellant all over the outside of the blankets. Please note that it does not affect the breathability of the blanket. You may wonder why you need to add water repellant if the wash is detergent/chemical free. Almost all the major blanket companies recommend waterproofing your blanket at least every 2 years because environmental factors can ruin the waterproofability (is that a word?). Things like urine, poop, mud and even improper care, for instance, can ruin a blanket. After spraying the blankets, you let them air dry and that is it! Clean, water-repellant and ready for use! Thanks Blanket Safe for keeping a girl’s winter coats looking and smelling fresh!

Friends: Use the coupon code “Chloe15” for 15% off! Buy HERE.


ProTips: Always wash your blankets in COLD water. Never use regular detergent! Use water-repellant on your freshly cleaned blankets at least every second year of use!




QuickDerm QuickFix (By Chloe)

PC: Shannen Smyth Photography

When your skin is already flawless it is quite difficult to review equine skincare products, but alas I am only a horse, and there is the occasional issue that pops up here and there. In fact, for purposes of this review, Andrea would use the QuickDerm Wound Technology on me whenever anything remotely looked like it could be a skin issue.

I didn’t receive QuickDerm until end of summer and so I couldn’t fully test it on my pesky scratches that strike my legs every spring, but I look forward to keeping a bottle handy in 2019 for that purpose. There were a few times early fall I was able to use it for some early signs of the reappearance of the scratches on my back legs, particularly after heavy rains, and the QuickDerm seemed to head off anything more serious from forming. Andrea would clean my legs with soap, towel dry them and then spray the scabs with the QuickDerm bottle spray.

There was also a time when there was a 2 inch cut on my right cannon bone. I like to tell others it was from a barn fight but really I just nicked myself stomping at a fly. After cleaning the cut, Andrea applied the QuickDerm (this time from the tube for easier application) and some AluShield Aerosol to help keep the flies away from the area. After the 3rd application (over 3 different days) the wound was pretty much healed and eventually the hair grew back just fine. Phew! Modeling crisis avoided.

There also was a time Andrea used the QuickDerm tube on the area under my front underarms. Andrea thought it was rain rot but since I would never be seen in public with rain rot, we decided that it was just Andrea’s failure to properly clean me after a sweaty lesson. After two rounds of the QuickDerm and better rinsing after riding on Andrea’s part, the two infected spots near that tender area were gone.

QuickDerm is strong enough to use just once per day. As mentioned, it comes in two different applicators: a tube (which has 200 applications) and a spray bottle (which has 300 applications). It has a bit more thickness to it than other similar skin and wound ointments, which was nice because you do not end up wasting a bunch of product due to it coming out too quickly. I appreciated having both the tube and the spray bottle. When Chloe does get scratches, they pop up all over her legs overnight. The spray makes it easier to soak the entire area. The tube applicator let me get smaller areas, like Chloe’s cut, with more precision. It also fits great in the tack trunk for shows and other traveling.

There are no steroids or antibiotics in QuickDerm, so there is no worry with competition testing. The active ingredients in QuickDerm are the naturally occurring ions Potassium, Rubidium, Calcium and Zinc. These natural occurring ions have been shown to regulate protease imbalance and stimulate the body’s natural healing defense. To see a list of other ingredients please click here. Typical uses of QuickDerm are: Proud Flesh, Scratches, Rain Rot, Burns, Cuts, Lacerations, Cracked Heels, Quarter Cracks, Sarcoids, Wire Cuts and so forth. Barn Bonus: QuickDerm can also be used on your barn cats and dogs on all of their skincare and wound needs!

Thanks QuickDerm for keeping a girl’s coat and skin looking good!