Everyone makes fun of me at the barn for my helmet visor(s) (or my “sombrero” as they like to call it). That’s fine. I like to think that all that laughing will just add to the wrinkles they are going to have from all their sun damage! But seriously, we all know that the skin of an equestrian takes a brutal beating from the weather. We are outside a lot: in the sun, in the wind, in the cold…usually without much shelter and for hours upon hours at any one time. I typically always have a baseball hat on when I am going to the barn or horse show, but sometimes you have to be wearing your helmet. The helmet visor fits onto your helmet so you can continue to protect your face from the sun.
Karina from The Hunt Eq knew I was searching for a new visor (mine was over 5 yrs old and had lost its velcro abilities) and she suggested the Soless Visor. This visor provides shade for the front and sides of your face/neck and is transparent, providing the rider with an unobstructed view. My last visor was straw and my view was way more limited. The transparent material also blocks 92% of UV rays, protecting much more of your skin than a typical straw or fabric visor.
The Soless is lightweight – about half the weight of my last visor. It has the same velcro design that I am used to and wraps around your helmet snuggly. However, the Soless comes with a little S- shaped clip that clips onto your helmet. This is definitely something my last visor was missing. I had to google a YouTube video demonstrating how use the clip because the first time I used it at my lesson, the visor flew off as soon as I started jumping! After watching the video and reattaching my helmet, it hasn’t flown off my head again. Ps: The clip is supposed to work with any brand of helmet (mine is Charles Owen).
Additionally, something I didn’t even know until I started to write this blog post, is that the visor can be worn directly on your head. I gave it a try and it was sort of big and flimsy, so I wouldn’t recommend using it without the helmet, but of course if it were your only option you could make it work (and protect your face). Or maybe my head is just very small!
I purchased the $45 version, but there is a more expensive version (that only works on your helmet) at $75. I actually didn’t know about the latter when I bought mine, but so far I am happy with mine. I will be sure to do an update!
Summer is my favorite time of year, but it also means the flies are out with a vengeance. The horses at our barn are show horses, but they are lucky enough to have access to large paddocks where they can go out in groups of two for 12 hours a day. This also means I go through a ton of fly spray. Sometimes I think it does nothing because Chloe is still stomping and swatting. She wears a fly mask (tip: don’t buy black – I learned that those get hot and she would take them off for that reason) but I have never purchased her a fly sheet mainly because I always felt that if I were a horse, I would hate to wear it. Especially since we just got over blanket season not too long ago! So, I have avoided the fly sheets…but now I wonder if I need one.
I did a little research and from what I found, the Amigo Bug Buster “Vamoose” by Horseware Ireland is the way to go. The fabric is soft, reflects sunlight and contains the active ingredient, Permethrin, which is an odorless and invisible film protecting against mosquitos, ants, ticks, flies and midges. This repellant lasts up to 35 washes. I also liked that the belly was protected, as that is typically the area Chloe is kicking at, and I liked that the neck detaches. There is also shoulder and mane lining to protect against rubs.
If I decide to take the pluge, I will do a full review for you all! If anyone has any other suggestions or comments about this Amigo let me know!!
If there is a tack store, two things are for certain: 1. I am going to go; and 2. I will end up in the consignment section. The latter part is amusing because the consignment section typically disappoints me, rarely having anything I want or need. For the most part, the clothes are horribly outdated and out of style. Often times they are stained and missing a button or something comparable. The horse gear is even worse. I am all for wanting to sell my used goods and make some money back, but I would never take a grimy white fleece saddle pad or dirty polo wraps (with even more dirt caked in the velcro) to consignment,… and I see both of these examples each and every time I shop consignment.
So needless to say, when I heard about The Tried Equestrian, I wasn’t expecting much. Then I found a pair of LeFash, barely worn, breeches and matching show shirt, each for 50% off, and I couldn’t click-through all the apparel, accessories, tack and other horse gear fast enough! My absolute favorite part about The Tried Equestrian is that they generally will not take any clothing that is over 3 years old, unless it is still fashionable.This is a consignment store that is committed to providing equestrians with current brands and products (i.e., clothes we actually want to wear) at prices that are affordable. They also are picky about what types of horse products they will take, opting not to sell things like the aforementioned saddle pads and polo wraps.
And all this amazingness is just from the consumer perspective! For the seller, The Tried Equestrian does all the hard stuff. They market for you, uploading your items on their sales website, taking your goods to pop up shows and posting pictures and doing shoutouts to their large social media following (18K on Insta!) for FREE. They also ship the package to the buyer for you, which is awesome because no one likes going to the post office. Their cut is 40% of the sales price, which is on par with most other tack consignment stores. Seems like a good deal considering The Tried Equestrian doesn’t just stick your item in the back room where it will collect dust.
Using clothes from The Tried Equestrian, I put an outfit together consisting of brands I haven’t tried because of their high cost. This look stars Callidae breeches (Stone; size 28R). The breeches actually still have the tags on them and are $150, compared to $395 on the Callidae website! Did you hear me, the breeches are brand new and still have their tags!! The Sakkara Equestrian polo (navy/white; size small) is also a steal at $66, compared to $110 on the Sakkara website. I hope someone gets to grab this outfit while it lasts! I know that the next time I want to buy something new, I will definitely first check to see what The Tried Equestrian has in stock!
Look at these unicorn inspired bows!!! This isn’t fair! I remember the days that I did Short Stirrup and I swear my braids were in a single strand of navy or hunger green ribbon! I can’t wait for Logan to actually have hair that can support a real bow! For all you pony mommas out there, you have to visit Gray & Co. Designs for the most unique and colorful bows!
At my comeback show, I was a bundle of nerves. To make matters worse, my right foot kept slipping out of the stirrup – something that had never really happened before. I kept picturing this occurring in the middle of my course and it was freaking me out. The rain and mud were not helping things, caking into the irons and making my boot soles and stirrup pads more slippery than normal. Luckily, after schooling at the show (where my foot again slipped out, causing Chloe to spook and fart simultaneously, LOL), I was texting with a friend and she told me about the Super Comfort Stirrup Pad by Millenium Equine Products. All the Eventing riders at her barn swore by them. I figured if it was good enough for riders galloping through jump combinations in 12 inches of water, then it was good enough for me!
Thanks to another friend (I have the best friends!), I was able to get these pads hours before I showed. I knew immediately by the looks of them that they were going to work. The textured, rubber surface of the pads encase the entire iron, gripping your foot securely into place. I popped my old pads out of my irons and easily attached these by using the 6 provided zip ties. I had a friend help me and it took less than 5 minutes – only required regular scissors (to cut the zip ties).
My foot hasn’t slipped since using these new pads. It was such a relief to be able to show Chloe knowing that my heels were securely in the irons!
Also worth mentioning is that the pads are supposed to decrease joint pain by reducing impact. I can’t really comment on this – it isn’t an issue I struggle with and I solely purchased the pads for their superior grip.
Sizing can be tricky. We measured my current irons and then went 1/2 size down because my stirrups are jointed. You can buy them HERE!
I see the bucket. I don’t need my nose dipped in, thank you. We all have been here. Whether it is at a horse show, recovering from an illness, going through a change in weather, at a rest stop while traveling, during a new barn or change in atmosphere, our owners will try to force a bucket of water on us.
You may know that Andrea and I were back in the show ring together after a 4 year hiatus. We went to a show in Camden, SC where it was nearly 90 degrees and muggy. This time, however, instead of trying to dunk my nose in the water like it was the first time I had ever seen someone fill a bucket, Andrea mixed Horse Quencher in my water. After a taste, I actually hoped she would dunk my head in like old times. I drank 3/4 of the bucket in a matter of minutes.
Horse Quencher is a mix of all natural grains and flavorings that taste amazing when added to water. The all natural ingredients are found in most all horse feeds, so it is competition safe. All the horses at my show barn use this at shows daily to make sure that they get enough water to avoid dehydration and aid in recovery of muscles. Horse Quencher is also safe to use in conjunction with electrolytes, and in fact, it is highly recommended.
Horse Quencher boasts a 99% success rate in terms of getting horses to drink their water, so if you are up for a challenge, tell your owner to give it a try HERE. Single dose servings are also available if you want to test it out first. For a sample, click HERE.
For answers to commonly asked questions, CLICK HERE.
Since I am 65% unicorn, it made complete sense that I would review Myst Equine Products. I am pretty sure they used my exact unicorn horn on their fancy product labels anyway. Speaking of which, if I hear Andrea say one more time how perfect their product packaging is, I might colic. I mean, you’ve seen one rainbow hologram, you’ve seen them all, you know?
You may already know that I dislike being groomed. Some humans find this odd. They just assume that it should “feel good”. Well, it doesn’t. Let me curry your butt as hard as I can and see how you like it. Myst Equine’s Dry Shampoo understands this common horse misconception, and it not only gives you super shiny results, but it CUTS YOUR GROOMING TIME IN HALF!! This means that Andrea can go back to Instagramming (a whole other story) and I can be back in front of my hay, faster. A win-win for all! Even more fantastic is that NO WATER IS INVOLVED. As much as I love dancing around the wash stall and soaking Andrea in my bathing process, I love not having a full bath even more. The Dry Shampoo can be rubbed in with a hand towel, gently removing stains, dust, dander and unsightly bridle sweat marks. The results are a clean coat, with extra shine and luster, all without turning on the hose. The dry shampoo is gentle enough to be used every day and has become a staple in my grooming process.
North Carolina skipped the season of Spring and is in full-blown Summer, with temperatures in the mid-90s already. After my lessons, I have been pretty sweaty (mainly because we have to repeat simple combinations because Andrea cannot count) and I have been fully rinsed down afterwards. I don’t so much mind this (compared to full-blown bathtime) because the cool water feels good and sweat is itchy. About twice a week Andrea has been adding Myst Coat Elixir to my rinse off. She just adds a very small amount to a gallon of water and sponges it on me. There is no need to further rinse it off. The results are a beautiful coat with added shine. If it was an especially long jumping lesson (see aforementioned counting problem) she will even add my Vetrolin Liniment to the bucket to help sooth my muscles/prevent stiffness – this does not affect the coat elixir’s results at all. Like the Dry Shampoo, the Coat Elixir is gentle enough for every day use, but I have been hoarding mine. At the time of writing this, I have used nearly all of the 32 ounce container, but before these pictures I used 7 “doses” and saw obvious results after only 2.
Also worth mentioning is that all Myst products contains Anti-Itch Herbal Infusion to help prevent fungus and skin irritations. This is particularly nice in the spring/summer when the morning dew has been known to cause me a few irritating scratches, especially on my white ankle.
If you are looking for an affordable and time efficient way to “up” your grooming game, then I highly suggest giving Myst Equine a try. Tell them Chloe sent you! In fact, if you put CHLOESQUAD in the coupon code at checkout you get 10% off!! This offer lasts only 30 days, so hurry up fellow unicorns!
Reminder: Before using either product, be sure to SHAKE the containers. The first time I used the Coat Elixir I forgot to do this (pesky hooves) and I was very shiny, but it felt like I had a product on (it wasn’t sticky). After shaking the product thoroughly before each use, this never happened again.
All Chloe pictures taking by Shannen Smyth Photography.
I have been a fan of Tara Kiwi t-shirts for many years now. The brand has a modern Californian feel with a strong nod to classic equestrian images, two descriptions that do not typically get said in the same sentence. Tara Kiwi seamlessly, and quite effortlessly, pulls of the style combination. The color palettes are soft and cheerful, easily pared with jeans, gym shorts or breeches. I also really appreciate that Tara Kiwi has a large kids selection. Now that I have a 2 year old daughter I am always on the lookout for cute kid-sized equestrian clothing. Surprisingly, it is harder to find than I thought it would be and it is even harder to find kids clothes that are not obnoxious or cheesy. Tara Kiwi is neither.
The “Helmet and Boot Wreath” is one of my favorites – I actually have this same print in adult size for myself (navy). The helmet/boot image is as traditional english as you can get but the hot pink t-shirt gives it a playfulness that is perfect for ages 2-14. I should add that the t-shirt is more of muted hot pink, as you can see from the pictures. Claudia is wearing a size 8. This t-shirt also comes in grey.
The “Roman Horse” is inspired by vintage stock pins and equestrian jewelry. I swear I had a ratcatcher pin exactly like this when I did Walk-Trot as a kid! The horse head is pictured over a riding whip. Jenna is wearing a size 10 in Cancun Blue. T-shirt also comes in grey.
Why have just one horse when you can have 16 horses? “Gaits of a Horse” is one of the best selling designs and depicts all 4 gaits of the horse. This was the first design collaboration with talented artist Danielle Demers (who you may know from Dapplebay, Inc.) and Tara Leu, the owner of Tara Kiwi. This shirt also comes in hot pink and cancun blue.
One thing I really appreciate about the t-shirts is they are long enough to easily tuck in, with no worries about them coming untucked over the lonnnng spot fence or when your pony is dragging you over to the clovers! All shirts are pre-shrunk and made from 100% cotton (or organic cotton). Each design is made and screen printed in California.
I have seen a few different horsehair bracelets over the last decade and I can 100% tell you that the bracelet I received from deTails Horsehair Jewelry is the NICEST one I have ever seen. The horse hair is interwoven so tightly and securely that I can’t ever imagine seeing a stray strand sticking out. The hand braiding is top notch. The sterling silver mini heart charm is a subtle and small detail that compliments the braiding pattern without distracting from it. I went with the square bracelet but there are other styles to choose from, as well as other charm options.
Don’t be worried about the amount of tail that you need to snip off your horse. I know this is something that gives people anxiety, but for the bracelet the amount you need is quite minimal. You need 12 inches of tail length but only a pinkie width of tail diameter. I usually see that much of Chloe’s tail hanging on her water bucket, after a late night scratch, LOL, so it really is an inconsequential amount.
Timing was extremely reasonable, taking just under 2 weeks to arrive after mailing. And be sure to take their advice and measure the length of your favorite bracelet to ensure that you get a custom fit. The last thing you want is for the bracelet not to fit you and then cutting a piece of your horse’s tail would have been for nothing!
deTails Horsehair Jewelry also has horsehair necklaces, earrings, tree ornaments and keychains. I thought the horsehair keychains were pretty unique, I have never seen those before and they are almost half the cost of the bracelets. Whichever product you chose, details Horsehair Jewelry provides you with some great ways to keep a forever memento of your horse BFF.
To buy your own click HERE. Photographer: Shannen Smyth.
Special thanks to Morgan Lieske and her horse Belle for modeling!
I was sooooo excited to interview Melina. Most people know her as MPMSporthorses and follow her daily journey with her main 4 legged squeeze, Zini (short for Caraszini). I love her account because it is honest, brave and it motivates me to just do better. Melina treats Zini like a teammate and I love that.
Melina’s love for horses started at the age of 4. She rode her entire childhood in Arizona at Crossroads Farm, until in 2011 at the age of 16, she underwent reconstructive hip surgery for an injury unrelated to horses. The recovery time took months and her doctors advised finding a new hobby. Melina did fully recover, but school and work forced her to put showing on hold.
Today, at 23, Melina is married and residing in Tampa, FL. With her husband’s support and encouragement, Melina was able to fully return to riding and fully commit to pursuing her equestrian dreams. By the end of 2016, Melina had purchased a new show partner, Caraszini.
Caraszini, aka Zini, is an 8yr old KWPN Dutch Warmblood out of Carambole. His grandfather is the great Cassini, hence his name. Melina currently trains with Haley Robinson out of Salt Creek Stables.
HG: Can you describe your riding style in 3 words? Melina: Effective, Conservative, and Committed.
HG: Biggest equestrian wishlist item? Melina: If we are allowed to shoot for the stars, my own barn is number one on my wishlist.
HG: If you could ride another INSTA friend’s horse, who would be the lucky horse? Melina: I would love to ride Lillie Keenan’s jumper, Super Sox.
HG: If you could change one thing about the equestrian sport, what would it be? Melina: I wish there was a way to crack down on “professionals” in this world that jeopardize the horses well-being for the sake of performance / winning. It breaks my heart hearing about some of the methods people will use to train these top-level horses. These animals deserve so much better.
HG: What do you remember about your first pony/horse? Melina: The first horse I owned was Missy, and I still own her to this day. My parents bought her for me on my 10th birthday, and I have owned her for 13 years now. She is, and always will be, my heart horse, which is why I have promised her the best retirement possible. She is one of the kindest, most gentle horses I have ever come across. I have always told everyone that she has a heart of gold to match her beautiful golden Palomino coat.
HG: What is the most important thing Zini has taught you about yourself? Melina: Zini has taught me that I am more capable of doing things than I give myself credit for.
HG: What is your horsie goal for this 2018? Melina: My goal was to move up to the 1.20m / 1.25m Low JR/AO classes and I am proud to say that we did so at this last horse show.
HG: Tell us the secret to the Zini shine! Melina: I credit the shine to the endless hours of currying. I am obsessive with my grooming routine, and always start there first. I limit his baths with shampoos/soaps, and try my best to use only waters, damp rags and brushes during our grooming. On top of that I am very particular about my horses feed/supplements. I have also recently started using equine sunscreen as well as UV protection fly sheets, which have worked wonders for protecting his skin. I noticed last year the sun really took a beating on his skin and it resulted in a much duller summer coat.
HG: Do you have any pre-show rituals or superstitions? Melina: Before heading to the show ring I always have to wear my “lucky bracelets” and place my “lucky lady bug” in my jacket pocket.
HG: What are you thinking about 1 stride before your last jump on course? Melina: How excited / proud I am going to be making it through the end timers.
HG: What is your biggest (current) riding struggle? Melina: I struggle with severe anxiety. At times it can be crippling, especially with the horse show nerves. When I let it have a hold of me, it almost always negatively affects my riding. I am working on staying calm, remembering the plan, trusting myself and not panicking on course if this does happen.
HG: Tell us what is packed in your show ring tote! Melina: My helmet, hairnet, gloves, spurs, lucky bracelets, sunscreen, water, PEScience Amino IV ( electrolyte /hydration product) and always some sort of cookies for Z!
HG: We know you love black/grey for your show colors…but if you had to add one pop of color what would it be?! Melina: I recently incorporated “baby blue” in my newest show set with black/grey. But if I had to pick a different color I would probably go with a bright red!
HG: What are you bingeing on Netflix right now? Melina: Currently binge watching Billions and Greys Anatomy.
HG: Approximately how many pounds of treats do you think Zini consumes per week? Do you think it is more than Donny from The ECE? 🙂
Melina: I think he eats more than his weight in cookies per week (haha). He always has peppermints, flax cookies, Pony Pastries and fresh carrots stocked in my trunk/fridge. I would say Donny & Z are at least tied on the cookie consumption. 😉
Thank you so much Melina and Z!! You two are the cutest!
Out with the old and in with the Nora. The “Nora” softshell jacket, by R.J. Classics, presents a modern fitted, performance enhanced show coat, without sacrificing the traditional hunt look. Gone are the days of the heavy wool-blends. Show coats now are all about performance, fit and convenience.
PERFORMANCE. The half-lined mesh interior is less restrictive when you are riding, promotes better ventilation and helps to streamline the overall shape of the jacket. No more extra bulk wearing you down, preventing full range of motion or making you over-heated.
FIT. The Nora has a hidden interior zipper (I had no clue until I borrowed one for a picture before purchasing my own!) that provides a tailored look and prevents any unsightly gapping. There are 3 exterior buttons, maintaining the traditional hunter/jumper look.
CONVENIENCE. The jacket can be machine washed (be sure to read care instructions first!), which is so much more convenient than going to the dry cleaner (and cheaper!). The fabric also has antimicrobial properties that help tp prevent odors and it easily wipes off, so you have a better chance of getting more than 1 day out of it at the show. According to the website, the the softshell is moisture wicking and has UPF 50 protection.
I would say the fit is true to the size chart. Also comes in Black, Green and Grey. Navy is pictured. Click HERE to buy.
The reins have gone to the dogs! “Fancy stitch” is not just for the horses, but is now for the hounds too, thanks to EqWine Co. Let your dog parade proudly around the show grounds in style with these leads made from real reins by EqWine Co. You can have your choice between “Fancy” and “Flat”. Both leashes have brass hardware. The Flat leash has flat leather between the braid and the clip. Priced at $75CAG and $50CAD respectively.
I originally posted “6 Reasons to Own a Child Rider” a few years ago on Pony Glam, but I’ve matured since then and now have even more reasons to continue to proclaim that everyone should own a child rider at least once in their lifetime. The facts still remain that your mouth may become quite dull and calloused, you will be forced against your will to enter a costume class and you may spend countless hours in zebra-colored polos (bonus: wrapped incorrectly), but one thing I can assure you is that they will always have your back.
1. Treats. They always give you treats. They give you treats before they even get you out of the stall. They give you treats if they fall off. They give you treats even when the mean boss-mare trainer says not to. And they don’t just give you boring apples, they will give you anything that is remotely edible, including half of their packed barn lunches on the weekends. Who said horses don’t like goldfish?
2. Easy work load. If left to their own devices, these child riders would opt for bareback gossip fests in the arena with their other pony friends every time. Practicing their sitting trots or doing “no-stirrup November” is thankfully lost on the child rider. The best part is that when the trainer asks, “did you practice your transitions today?”, the little child rider nods her head “yes” when in reality the only thing practiced was seeing who could stand up on their pony’s bare back the longest… at the trot.
3. They give undivided attention. Child riders are known for giving you their undivided and sincere attention. When they are grooming your itchy spots, they aren’t thinking about homework or talking on the cellphone. When you are bored in your stall because you have already inhaled your hay, they aren’t gossiping about Susie’s new ex-GP horse, they are singing songs in your stall and feeding you goldfish (see #1 above).
4. They are always up for anything. Child riders will do anything their trainer tells them to do in a lesson. They are not scared of anything and are always up for new challenges. Finally! No more boring and predictable courses. How many times can you practice the same bending line anyway? YAWN. Jump the Roll Top one stride, to the Log Jump Skinny…with no hands and your eyes closed…”DONE and can we raise the height” says the child rider!
5. Light as a feather. I have yet to meet an adult rider that has a self-proclaimed “good eye”, even though they always appear to have two working ones. Every horse has experienced the feeling of their rider getting left behind at the jump (imagine an elephant doing a cannon ball on your back) or their rider eating mane at the chip fence (yea, sure I can jump with your entire body weight on my ears). And yes, a child rider may not have the best judgment on where to leave the ground, but at least they rarely interfere with your ability to judge the distance for yourself. And if they do get left behind or end up around your ears, at least you barely know they are there.
6. Showtimes are early. 8:00am showtimes! Need I say more? No one wants to stand around all day waiting for their class, especially if it may mean multiple baths, longes, schooling rides, tacking and untacking, etc! With a child rider, you wake up, eat your grain, trot around the show ring a few times, take a few pictures with your ribbons on your reins and then you are back in your stall in time to watch an entire season of Vampire Diaries on Netflix. Winning!
7. They understand that grazing is an art form. With a child rider, they understand that if anyone knows where the best section of grazing grass is, it is YOU, the horse. They don’t try to lead you to the clovers. They let you lead them and if that means you pull them all over the show ground or the barn facility, they are fine with it. They don’t question you when you want to eat weeds, lick dirt or smell poop. There is no judgment with a child rider.
8. Child riders let you get to know your neighbors. A child rider isn’t afraid of a few high pitched squeals or sudden front leg thrusts. They understand that it is only friendly to want to say hello to a new face so they let you sniff a nose or a new butt without pulling you away. Adult riders really have no social skills.
9. Height advantage is in your favor. Child riders are typically shorter than their adult counterparts. This means they can’t easily get the halter on you, or the bridle, or the saddle for that matter. They also can’t reach 50% of your body area during bathtime, which cuts down on the entire shower process and results in you going back to eating grass sooner than later.
10. Summer breaks. The child rider has summers off from school which means your day is over earlier too. No more getting yanked out off your stall just as you were preparing to settle down for your evening grain. No more having your blankets ripped off so that you can trot around a semi-lit ring in the cold darkness. Child riders understand the value of your time, so in the summer they are there in the morning, leaving promptly just in time for lunch and your afternoon snooze fest.
11. Better moods. Let’s face it. The only thing on the child rider’s mind is sleeping, eating, and you. They live and breathe us horses. They never bring the drama or the stress that the adults bring to the barn and are generally in great moods most of the time. They are just happy being with you, which means you can get away with so much more, even if they are looking.
The pictures do not lie. This bag from MaeLort is gorgeous. The black and tan colors, combined with the gold zippers and gold hardware, instantly got my immediate attention on social media. Honestly, in person the bag is just as drool worthy and it is true that it has pockets, zippered sections and D-rings galore. There are the typical places to store your laptop, cell phone, wallet, water bottle, makeup/chapstick, but there are also thoughtful touches for extra equestrian items, like a hidden helmet pocket, crop holder, and D-rings for spurs and other clip on items.
It is made of waterproof nylon, which makes sense if you are going to use it at shows or outside in general. It is soft and flexible, easily adapting to what you stuff in there without feeling stiff when you are wearing it. The version I got has magnetic buttons for quick top entry which is convenient for me. I also think the flap gives it a more polished and mature look than the typical zippered bookbag. The bag is pretty lightweight, but I did feel like it was a little long in length for my personal taste. Maybe I am just short. 🙂
The endless compartments and trendy design make this bag PERFECT as a travel backpack, school bookbag or even diaper bag. I would have totally loved using this bag in law school or even as a diaper bag when my kids were younger. Unfortunately, however, I don’t really see it as a good ringside backpack, which is super disappointing to me. I think this would work as a ringside bag IF you are at a full service facility, meaning that you meet your horse at the ring, hop on to school/show, and then dirtbike it over to lunch (I say this with no sarcasm or judgment – full service is fabulous and like anything else has its pros/cons). In this aforementioned situation, it would be perfect acting as a bag that contains your helmet and other personal equestrian effects. If you wanted it as a true ringside bag that carries everything you or your groom may need ring side for your horse (brushes, hoof pick, towels, flyspray, hoof dressing) then this bag maybe is not for you.
Truthfully, I probably should have investigated it a bit more before I ordered it, and in retrospect I feel silly, but I don’t think I am alone in thinking that ringside bags could carry your horse’s immediate show effects too (in addition to yours). I did an Instagram poll asking what people carried in their ring bags and only 2 of people who responded did not pack flyspray, stiff brush, hoof pick and towels, meaning that a majority carry their horse’s gear with them. Additionally, 81% of over 300 pollers said they were NOT at a full service barn when at shows, which means that they are in charge of having everything they or their horse may need easily accessible from the schooling ring or show ring. Perhaps this bag is used for that, but for me personally it wouldn’t work. Not to mention, it really is so nice – I would hate to cover it in Chloe’s show slime. 🙂
What do you use at the shows for a horse + personal ring side bag? Let me know!
My most recent Horse Glam Quickfire interview is with influencer and blogger, Lindsay, from the award winning blog, Paperchases & Petticoats. Lindsay has one of my favorite equestrian blogs in regards to both content and design layout, and her direct and witty writing style really resonates with me. Plus, Chloe is a fan of Dexter, Lindsay’s big squeeze (pictured above), and we all know Chloe is pretty picky when it comes to, well, anything.
HG: For those readers that do not know you personally, can you describe yourself in 4 words?
Lindsay: Driven, meticulous, reliable, persistent.
HG: I love your introduction on your blog of how Dexter found his way into your heart. If you could have every future horse retain just 1 of his qualities, whether aesthetic or personality-wise, what would it be and why?
Lindsay: My favorite quality that Dexter possesses is his ability to be flexible. He’s the kind of horse everybody wants because he’s willing to do things outside the purview of his job description—from paperchasing to jumping to modeling, Dexter easily adapts to any situation or environment I’ve thrown at him.
HG: If Dexter could talk for one minute, what do you think he would say to you?
Lindsay: “Excuse me, but I don’t feel like having my picture taken today, try again tomorrow. I’m just gonna keep running around my field every time you pull out the camera. No cute pictures for you! This is payback for the ginger wig! I don’t want to remember it!”
HG: Can you name a horse grooming product that you use on the daily?
Lindsay: I use Sport Horse Essentials Coat Spray as part of Dexter’s daily grooming routine. It breathes new life and luster into his coat. The essential oils also infuse Dexter’s coat with a burst of fragrance.
HG: Vintage tan knee patches or patches that match your breeches?
Lindsay: I tend to wear more monotone knee patch breeches since they bring out the best of my long legs.
HG: Favorite riding gloves for schooling?
Lindsay: The Roeckl Roeck-Grip Gloves are my absolute favorite for schooling! I love the fit and the fact that they have a slightly sticky texture which is excellent for gripping the reins. Yes, they’re pricey, but you really do get what you pay for!
HG: Dream equestrian photographer and shoot location?
Lindsay: I would jump at the opportunity to work with German equine photographer Diana Wahl. She is a true artist with a unique style unlike any other. I am OBSESSED with her gold foil portraits. Diana turns horses into magical emotive artworks!
HG: Best style advice you’ve received? Worst?
Lindsay: Best advice: never wear a boring coat. If you’re not wearing something great underneath, no one will know! Worst advice: don’t buy something if it isn’t practical. Fashion should be fun, so I think it’s okay to occasionally splurge on trendy items.
HG: One equestrian item that you are drooling over.
Lindsay: I’m in need of a new schooling helmet and recently came across THIS must-have from KEP Italia. You can never go wrong with grey OR lace!
HG: Wellington or Hits Coachella?
Lindsay: I’d have to pick Hits Coachella, purely for the backdrops.
HG: Chapstick or lipgloss?
Lindsay: Oh, I’m a chapstick addict. If I don’t use it, I become extremely uncomfortable and can’t think about anything else. I make sure I always have it on me.
HG: Advice for a first time paperchase (or hunter pace)?
Lindsay: Never underestimate the power of a tailgate! Serve up snacks and drinks AFTER your ride to help keep the fun going.
HG: What are your life goals for 2018?
Lindsay: It’s my job to be online at least 8 hours a day, so fighting digital distractions is an ongoing process for me. Looking ahead, I would like to cut down my Internet usage to put more focus on being in the moment.
Huge thanks to Lindsay for taking the time to answer my questions! Looking forward to collaborating in the future! Chloe sends Dexter her love!
Chances are good that you have heard about BOTORI. BOTORI is short for Born ToRide and is a new company created by two avid equestrian friends who wanted more from their riding attire. The founders, PJ and Angela, are very relatable. They are amateur riders that are passionate about their sport. They also are working professionals, with demanding careers and schedules, juggling riding, work, families, pets, errands and favorite Netflix shows just like the rest of us. They needed a riding pant that would seamlessly transition with them throughout their busy days. BOTORI’s first riding pant named “Gina” was released this Winter and I was one of the first lucky customers.
Comfortable, Flexible, Retains shape. Each day I have worn the Gina pants I have had them on for more than 8 hrs. This includes all day long at a horse show, but more typically I have worn them to ride in the AM and then to run around doing errands afterwards. The fit is like a second skin and the material is very soft and breathable. It is basically like wearing Lululemon with suede knee patches. They are very flexible but they retain their shape. There isn’t any stretching out, which I LOVE because I feel like everything I own pants-wise stretches so much that Chloe can get in there with me by the end of the day. In fact, since they don’t stretch and they never look dirty (see below), I have worn them multiple times before washing.
Easily Wipes Off. You might have caught some of my Instagram stories on this, but Chloe challenged BOTORI to a duel and well, BOTORI won. After an intense Chloe grooming session, filled with dander and short horse hairs, my BOTORI easily brushed clean, much to Chloe’s dismay. In fact, even at the horse show (as mentioned above) the dust did not stick.
Pocket Perfection. There are two cell phone sized pockets on either size of the pants. Made of breathable mesh, they are not obvious (unless being used). I love the pockets because when I am at the barn, I usually only bring my phone with me, leaving everything else in the car. Now, I won’t misplace my phone 10 times and I can have it on me when I am riding, so I can listen to music, check the time, answer any important messages and/or take pics of Chloe’s cute ears. There is also an obvious safety aspect to it if you are riding alone, which I do most frequently. At the horse show, I even carried cash in them, but typically I just have my phone in there.
Not see through. Enough said.
Breathable fabric, versatile in different temperatures. The first day I had them on, I wore them to a horse show, where the weather fluctuated from 40s to high 60’s and then back to chilly. Despite the variation in temperatures, I was always comfortable in the pants. The inside is lined with a thin layer of thermal material to help keep you warm in the chilly weather, so it will not be suitable for the NC hot summers, just FYI. BUT, they are coming out with a Summer pant!!
I have the BLACK pants, but they come in a dark grey as well. I wear a size SMALL and I would say they are true to size. Sizes range from XS – XL. The waistband is high and ribbed, which I really like. I was pulling it up more than I wanted to, but I think that is more of a nervous habit of mine rather than a fit issue, as I didn’t notice I was doing it until someone commented about it. I also really liked the ankle cuffs, which are also ribbed and snug, but still comfortable. They easily fit under chaps or boots, and look great with non-equestrian shoes when you are running errands.
Final note: If you are looking for an affordable, modern and comfortable riding pant that you can wear to the barn, and all the hours in between, you should give BOTORI a try. The Gina is currently on sale for $95. Click HERE to check it out.
When I am asked to describe my style I have no idea how to label myself. The only thing I can ever think to say is that I really like to “appear” effortless and casual. I love layers and oversized or unrestrictive tops. For this reason, I was really excited to try a few pieces from an Australian company called HORSELY. HORSELY has an entire page dedicated to Boho style, and it is there that I found two of my new layering pieces for Winter/Spring.
The Baha Boutique Knitted Pullover is the perfect accessory to any outfit. It is embroidered with large and intricately designed flowers that nearly pop right off the sweater. The flowers are colorful (red, blue, yellow, green) but they are set in a warm gray tone that help pull the look into a more neutral palette. I wore mine with hunter green riding breeches in the pictures, but it goes great with dark skinny jeans and heels too. The website has it paired with white jeans, which is a fun idea for Spring/Summer, especially for cooler nights when you may be eating/hanging outside.
The Baha’s fit is best described as slouchy. The sleeves are very long and flowy and the overall width of the sweater is loose and unrestrictive. It is shorter in the front and looks best when it is halfway tucked in. The quality of the sweater is very good – it isn’t thin – it really will act as a layering piece and help keep you warm, all the while looking cute.
I stepped out of my comfort zone of neutrals when I tried the Tribal Print Bohemian Jacket. IT WAS SO FUN! Again, this is another HORSELY piece that you do not have to worry with accessorizing because it is the accessory! I wore mine with breeches and a pocket tank underneath for the pictures, but once it warms up I am definitely going to try layering it over a dress. It really can be dressed up (maxi dress) or dressed down (black t-shirt and jeans) depending on what you are doing. These versatile pieces, like the jacket, are the BEST to have – they give you so many options.
The fit was tailored around the shoulders and then flowed more loosely as it went down. The arms are not tight and are 3/4 sleeve, making it more casual and playful. There are no buttons and so it stays open for a modern look. A fantastic addition to your wardrobe for $30!
NOTE: FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING AND FREE RETURNS.
HORSELY has other items besides apparel: equestrian decor, equestrian inspired jewelry, bags, and belts. The FREE shipping is huge – it is so expensive to ship international that I am shocked they offer this free shipping option. Note that it is coming from Australia so you need to give it 2 weeks or more to arrive. The customer service is great too. I am really excited that I found this company and can share it with you all!
The Spring Fling giveaway hosted by my girl, Taylor, from The East Coast Equestrian and ME will run Friday, March 16th through Friday, March 30th. A winner will be randomly drawn on the 30th and announced on our IG stories MARCH 31st. The winner will be sent a direct message announcing they have won and will have 24 hours to respond and accept. In the event the winner does not respond after 24 hours, another winner will be randomly selected and announced on our IG stories April 2nd.
How do I enter? To enter for a chance to win, you must:
Follow all participants listed in the rules on the giveaway post; and
Tag two friends in the comments; and/or
Re-post the giveaway creative with #SpringFlingEq for an extra entry. NOTE: IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A PUBLIC INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SEE & COUNT YOUR EXTRA ENTRY. SPAM AND GIVEAWAY ACCOUNTS WILL NOT COUNT AS A VALID EXTRA ENTRY.
When will the winner be announced?
The winner will be randomly drawn March 30th and announced on @theecequestrian’s and @horse_glam’s IG stories March 31st.
What countries is the giveaway open to?
Due to shipping costs from the US, the giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada.
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 #SpringFlingEq and have a public account we will see and count your extra entry.
Being silly with my bestie! SO many fun tshirts are coming out by different brands. This one is from Bending Lines and comes in black (as pictured) and white. It feels good to shop small! Check the Insta for more pics by Shannen Smyth Photog!
Soooo excited to have been able to catch up with 20 year old Carolina Silva, from Equestrian Trend. Carolina lives in Portugal and when she isn’t sharing her love for all things equestrian on her blog, Equestrian Trend, she is either studying at FEP or at the barn riding her 7 yr old gelding and show jumper, Galileu. I hope you all enjoy getting to know more about Carolina’s style as much as I did. 🙂
HG: If you had to pick only 1 equestrian item to best express yourself, what would it be? Carolina: It would probably be my Miss Shield by Samshield. I love how it completes any outfit!
HG: If you could ride any horse, who would it be? Carolina: Edwina Tops-Alexander’s Inca Boy, he’s so powerful!
HG: Describe your perfect ride in 3 words. Carolina: Challenging. Smooth. Trustful.
HG: I see you are an ambassador for the Spanish Boot Company. Can you tell us your favorite pair of SBC boots and why? Carolina: The Valverde Jodhpur Boots, I can easily go directly from college to the barn without ruining them! And I can spend an entire day with them on my feet without feeling exhausted.
HG: Black boots or brown boots? Carolina: Although I own black boots, a brown pair would be awesome as well. I would say always black for shows and brown for training at home.
HG: Bridle charms or nameplates? Carolina: Nameplate.
HG: What is your go-to saddle pad color for schooling? And for shows? Carolina: Grey or burgundy and, obviously, navy for shows!!
HG: What are your 2018 Goals for yourself and your beautiful mount, Gali? Carolina: Ending the season confidently showing at 1.20m and maybe, if everything goes super well, taking him to one 1.30m class with my trainer…but let’s see how he feels, we have time and his wellbeing is the most important to me.
Thank you, Carolina, for sharing your time with me and participating in the Horse Glam Quickfire Questions! Always so fun to get to know a fellow equestrian lifestyle blogger! Best of luck to you and Gali the unicorn this show season! xoxo
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.