First, thanks to everyone that voted for ME as their favorite social media “influencer” in the Dreamers & Schemers Instagram questionnaire! Your votes resulted in me receiving a package of boot socks from the D&S NEW spring collection! As you can imagine, the sock prints are just as creative, silly and unexpected as they have always been. We are talking ninjas, whales, ombre’ colored ponies, and my personal favorite, and true-life representation of my financial situation, images of stacks of dollar bills flying away. I am sure this is something every horse owner can understand!
I have been wearing D&S since its beginning and have even interviewed Kristy Lake (the CEO) previously on Horse Glam (see HERE). In 2018, the design still packs the same humorous punch, but the function is noticeably improved. Perhaps the most obvious improvement is the addition of light padding in the heel, toe and bottom of the foot areas. Not only does this provide your foot more comfort, but the durability of your sock is positively impacted. The cuffs (top of the sock) are now knit with black thread so if your boots slouch, your socks will not be noticeable, as the black will blend right in with your tall boots. This same black thread is throughout the new padded areas I previously mentioned, keeping your foot game looking fresh when you take your boots off after nailing your class. The top of the foot and calf area is now made with material that is slightly thicker than your normal nylon, which means better snugness (is this a word?) and no more falling down your leg.
So, as you can see, D&S has made a number of changes to improve their already awesome socks. I will be sure to report back in 60+ days with a follow-up report. I really look forward to letting you guys know if the change in material in the calf/top of foot areas will continue to help my socks from slipping down. So far, so good though!
I confess I was not familiar with Millbrook Leathers until a junior rider at my barn was talking about Millbrook Stirrup Leathers on her social media. The website states that these much wider stirrup leathers provide better leg stability and give you a smoother ride. If you have been following my online riding diary you know that as a re-rider (someone who is coming back after much, much, much time off), you need all the extra leg stability you can get! I was pretty much willing to try anything to potentially make my long road ahead easier.
Do the leathers provide more leg stability? Honestly, I am not sure. My leg definitely feels more secure, but I can’t promise that is from the stirrup leathers alone. I do know that I really like how they feel around my calves. I feel like I have something extra and substantial to grip and wrap my leg around. The ride does feels smoother to me and I really can’t explain it better than using those exact words. I read that your weight is better distributed due to the wider stirrup leathers and maybe that is in fact what makes it feel smoother. That also may be why my right ankle doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. I had injured it years ago and it has always been sore after a few days of riding, but I haven’t noticed it since I started using these leathers TEN weeks ago.
I can also tell you that when I rode in another saddle, one that did not have the Millbrook Leathers, it felt all wrong. Sort of like when you ride for weeks in tall boots and then go back to half-chaps. Or maybe I am just weird with things like that? In fact, when I went to put my right foot in the stirrup after mounting in my friend’s saddle, the leather was twisted! I had been riding in my Millbrook Leathers for about 7 weeks at that point and totally forgot that twisting was even a possibility because with the Millbrook Stirrup Leathers twisting is virtually impossible.
Bottom line is, I am not sure what is going on, whether I feel more secure in the saddle because I am riding more OR if it is because of the leathers, or a combination of both, but regardless, I am keeping the leathers! I really did NOT like how it felt when I did not have them a few weeks ago when borrowing the saddle.
Things you should know: 1). I think they run large. I took the advice on the website and measured my previous leathers. I was sort of in the middle of the sizing so I went the shorter route (on the recommendation of the MB owner) and I am glad that I did. They fit perfectly and I have many inches of lengthening to spare. 2). It will take about 2 rides for the leathers to settle and flatten at the buckle. The first ride I was sort of concerned because you feel the buckle rubbing your inner thigh. I promise that goes away after 1 full ride. 3. Check with your trainer. My previous trainer was visiting me one day and she could not get over the look. However, if you look at the picture of my leg in the saddle, you can’t even see the wider part of the stirrup. Regardless, if you are a junior equitation rider you may want to double-check with your trainer because the stirrups are non-returnable if used, due to stretching.
Speaking of stretching, I have not had any stretching issues. These leathers are so much more substantial than my previous leathers that I cannot imagine having to replace them for many years. If you are on the fence about making the transition or have any questions, I really encourage you to reach out to Millbrook Leathers directly because their customer service was very helpful. Let me know if you join the stirrup revolution too. I’d love to hear what you think!
Ever since I started my re-riding journey, I have been using my mini notebook from ShopECE to keep my lesson notes in. I don’t know about you all, but I LOVE making lists and keeping notes. It makes me feel more organized than I really am. I start out each day with a “to-do” list, so it made total sense to start taking notes after my lessons so that I could be better prepared for the next one. Plus, maybe if I keep writing “stop hanging in her mouth” enough, it will sink in?!
In the last few months, View Halloo has blown up on social media, launching the first ever equestrian organizational planner and journal. Made with the highest quality paper and convenient lie flat binding, View Halloo’s nearly 300 page journal is complete with sections for general horse information, equipment lists, training notes, travel itinerary, competition record, riding goals and horse show expenses (okay maybe we don’t want to keep track of that one View Halloo!). There is also extra space for your notes and scattered throughout are beautiful color illustrations of classic equestrian images. The journal comes in black or saddle brown faux leather, with gold or silver foil embossing on the cover.
I have not yet decided if my current equestrian career deserves such a nice journal, but if I showed more I think I would definitely splurge and pay the $75 for this beauty. If anyone has it, let me know what you think and if you think it is actually perfect for my re-riding journey!
Also, I just want to say I had no idea what View Halloo meant until today! Per Google (LOL), it is “a shout given by a hunter on seeing a fox break cover”. And now you know!
BONUS: a portion of proceeds goes to animals in need and funding vet care expenses.
In case you all missed it, I had the honor of being the first guest blogger for the amazing photographer, Karinda K’s, weekly blog articles on “what to wear”. The blog discussed the very scientific method of how I put my outfits together. For more details, you can find the entire post HERE. Pictures and direct links to items are pasted below. 🙂
You know you have done it. Whether it was while cooling your horse out, strolling around the showgrounds or simply during a leisurely trail-ride, you have slipped out your cellphone, aimed right between alert and forward turned ears, and taken that oddly satisfying shot. Kristine Dahms discovered she wasn’t alone in this habit when she started posting her personal between the ear pictures on her Facebook account. Friends began posting their own similar pictures on her page, and she soon started noticing ear pictures from all over. Kristine decided to create a dedicated account for these pictures in 2011, appropriately calling it “Life Between The Ears” and using the same hashtag. Suddenly, she had a movement on her hands as people from all over the world started uploading with their own #lifebetweentheears images. Today, her Instagram following is near 36,000 and she has successfully combined her graphic design background with Life Between The Ears (LBTE), creating a line of paper goods, gifts and accessories featuring the most popular images captured between the ears. Kristine lives with her husband on Maury Island in the state of Washington. Together they live on a small farm with two horses, two goats, two dogs, two cats, and one chicken.
HG: Do you recall the first image you posted with the hashtag that started it all?
KD: Not specifically, but I’m sure it was from one of my hacks out in our local woods, or neighborhood, as we’d frequently stop by and say hello to our neighbors and get a carrot or apple.
HG: Today, how many of the images posted are your own and what percentage are from your world-wide fans?
KD: I started by posting only my own photos, and still occasionally post my own here or there if they’re good enough. Now 99% of the photos on LBTE feature other people’s photos from around the world. That’s the fun part—seeing photos from every corner of the world.
HG: What is your favorite LBTE shot you have personally taken? Why?
KD: My favorite personal photo is one on my Welsh cob, Wyn, taken at Maury Island Natural Area, overlooking Puget Sound in the fall. The light is spectacular that time of year and the clouds dance over the water. I’m lucky to live across the road from a 235 acre public park. I was part of a group called Preserve Our Islands that fought for over 10 years to save this piece of land and shoreline from an international mining operation. Truly a David vs. Goliath fight and we were fortunate to have the perfect storm, and win. Amazing group of people. Epic story. Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful I get to live and ride here. To read more about this story click HERE.
HG: What is the most surprising location you have received an image from?
KD: So many are surprising, but a few of the most unexpected shots I’ve received were from: The Faroe Islands (featured in my latest collection of cards, No. 3), in the middle of the street in Monaco for the Longines Global Champions Tour; one of Ben Atkinson’s horses in a full suit of armor, working on the television set of “Victoria”; and more recently, one from New York City in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
HG: What is the key to making a great LBTE shot? Can you give me some pointers so that maybe one day Chloe’s ears can be featured? 🙂
KD: Funny you should ask because I’ve written a blog post for Equitrekking about that a few years ago. To summarize: 1. Take a million shots in order to get one good one; 2. Use treats to help train your horse to be patient; 3. The closer to your subject the better; 4. Morning or evening light is the best; and 5. Don’t be afraid to use editing tools.
HG: Why do you think people are so moved to take these pictures? I don’t think there is an equestrian alive who has not done so.
KD: I can’t speak for anybody else, but I like being able to share the beautiful place that I am fortunate enough to call my home. I’m a graphic designer and my husband is a commercial photographer, so we love photos, needless to say. I think we all enter our own little world of escapism when we ride, and people want to remember and share that feeling.
HG: If you could get any shot from a famous set of ears, whose ears would they be?
KD: A tough question, but I’d love to receive a photo from a performance or even practice ride at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, chandelier and all. That would be fabulous.
HG: What do you hope to do next with LBTE?
KD: I have tons of ideas in the works for LBTE projects, but it’s still my side gig. My graphic design business, Twist Design, is my main focus that pays the bills, but I keep carving out as much time as I can for LBTE. It’s truly a labor of love. I also plan to be a bit more active with the sister page, Life Between The Rears, which features photos from carriage, driving, and sleigh views.
Thanks again to Kristine for chatting. I look forward to practicing my ear shots so that maybe one day Chloe can be featured! Anyone that joins LBTE mailing list will receive a free LBTE card. Click here!
Featured Image above Photo Credit: Saksun, The Faroe Islands; Beinta Jógvandsdóttir; IG Handle: @beintajo.
There is still time to order a little something for your favorite person! Mare Goods put a few love-inspired items up on their website that are perfect if you are looking for a simple way to say “Happy Valentine’s Day”! Bonus: you are shopping small and all items are made in the USA.
How about this “Lovey Tee“, which depicts two horses interlocked in a loving groomfest. Everyone has caught their horse in this pose before. Chloe usually ends it with a squeal and a bite! Feminine cut; runs small. I wear a Medium. Currently $35.
You might have seen this “Lovey Tote” on my social media. I use it when I am running errands or if I want to go “paperless”. An interior pocket makes a good place to store your cellphone. There is also a metal interior snap to keep those extra carrots secure and the bag is fully lined. Note: there are only 3 left in stock as of 2/7/18! Would make a great gift. Currently priced at $65.
More Valentine’s Day ideas coming at ya for less than $20!! Keep your loved ones’ melons warm with the perfect winter gift from Gray&CoDesigns. The 3 color choices are perfection: plum, charcoal and silver gray. The cabled texture takes the beanie and your outfit to the next level. Buy HERE for $18.
This RED snaffle bit bracelet is a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your special equestrian (or treat yo self) for just UNDER $50! Made by Ideana and sold by The Polished Rider, the bracelet is adjustable to fit ladies and children sizes. Strap is genuine leather. Comes in other colors too, but nothing says xoxo like red. 🙂
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. 🙂
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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!
Starts at $20.00, BUT get FREE shipping with code: FREE SHIPBLING.
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.
Direct Link to Tshirt: Click Here. Current price is $20.
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!
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.
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?
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 !
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!
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.
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.
The color is lovely. Olive green jacket, with brass zipper and brown suede trim.
Padding lines and darts are on trend and slimming.
High neckline is flattering and super cozy.
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.
Machine washable! Bye-Bye horse hair!
Two-way zipper for riding comfortably.
High collar to block the wind and other weather.
Hidden hood in neckline.
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! 🙂
“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.
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!