8.31.2011

The Fashion Forward Equestrian

We're only a few short weeks away from Fall. It's time for back to school, back to work, and bye-bye to long days and warm weather. Since this weekend is Labor Day, it means it's time to retire my white jeans and turn my attention to the bright colored denim trend of fall. This autumn it's all about plaid, pleats, mixed textures, the color red, 60's chic, and mustard yellow. As I said in a previous post, no matter the season, equestrian inspiration is always on the runway.

Here are some back-to-fall picks.

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1. Plaid Riding Jacket Nordstrom
2. Midi Skirt with Equestrian Print ASOS
3. Mini Market Jodhpur Wedge Ankle Boot My Wardrobe
4. Polo Wraps Hermès
5. Leather Bracelet Perri's
6. Ladies Regatta Knee Patch Breeches Equine Couture
7. Dooney & Bourke Cork Large Equestrian Zappos
8. Tapered Equestrian Belt Barney's Co-Op

8.30.2011

The Prepared Equestrian

September is National Preparedness Month, and given the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Irene, with the death toll on the rise, and the damage to properties reported in the billions, now is the time to re-evaluate your disaster plan for your horse.



Natural disasters often occur without warning, leaving little time to plan and execute emergency procedures for your equine family member. Do you know where the nearest hose is to your horses' stall? Who would you call to trailer out your horse if you were out of town or stuck somewhere else? If your horse escaped its pasture, would someone know how to get ahold of you if they caught him on the side of the road?

These are all very scary, but important, questions to ask yourself. Just like you have an evacuation route at work or school, or a fire extinguisher in your home, you must apply these precautions to your horse and your barn.



The best first step is to find or create a thorough check list of items that you would need in case emergency. Items like medications, water buckets, lead ropes, and a human first aid kit. It's also good idea to purchase Calm & Cool or a similar product in case your horse becomes frightened or overwhelmed. Put these items either in your trailer, your tack room, or tack trunk.

An excellent checklist can be found here.
A brochure from the Humane Society can be found here.
A barn disaster fact sheet from the University of Minnesota can be found here.



A second step would be to prepare your barn just like you would prepare your home. Install fire detectors, purchase a fire extinguisher, and have batteries, a flashlight, and any other tools you might need like a hammer or rope handy in your tack room or trailer. It is also important to make sure your tires on your trailer and truck are in good working order. A trailer with a flat is of no help in an emergency. Always try to keep your tank at least half-full or have a full gas can on hand.

The third step to take is to have an emergency contact at the barn. At larger barns it is possible to board your horse without having to interact with the other boarders. This is the perfect way to meet your horses' neighbors and create a plan if you or the other person is unable to get to the barn in an emergency. It is also a smart idea to have an emergency contact sheet on your horses' stall. Include all possible numbers you can be reached at, your email address, and your horses' veterinary info.




Another step would be to get familiar with your city's emergency website. Find out where your city evacuates large animals if you are unable to reach your horse. Be in the know if an evacuation has been ordered in case your horse lives at home.

This last step comes from personal experience. Growing up in Malibu where fires were a common occurrence, I experienced several equine evacuations. When I was about 9 or 10 there was a huge fire that was burning near a lot of horse properties. The horses were evacuated to the local equestrian center and volunteers had shown up to help hand-walk horses and re-fill water buckets. I noticed that a large majority of the horses' halters had name tags like a dog or cat would have with a name and number. I highly recommend this for all your horses' halters, lead ropes, bell boots, blankets, anything that he could be wearing at the time he would be evacuated. I also recommend taking high quality photos of your horse, especially of any significant markings, in case you need to claim your horse from a rescue organization or in the unfortunate event that he escaped or is lost in the chaos of evacuation.

Be prepared and be safe.

The Complete Equine Emergency Bible


8.10.2011

The Vegan Equestrian

I've always wondered if it's possible to be a vegan and still be a horseback rider. I assume that if you disagree with killing animals for food, then you disagree with them being used in the making of equipment used on horses. Additionally, I've heard conflicting views on whether riding a horse is considered vegan.

From PETA.org
"With domesticated horses, PETA supports humane, interactive training. Horses are not equipment and can suffer from the heat, humidity, and overexertion. Horses don't enjoy constant work any more than a human being enjoys being forced to do manual labor all day long. Just as a dog can be housetrained in a positive manner, gentle methods can be employed to teach a horse to tolerate a rider on his or her back. PETA does not support training methods based on punishment"

While I think PETA sets the bar on this topic, I also found another, very different, stance.

From VeganFAQ.com
"To use any animal for our amusement is exploitation, and hence, not vegan. Others would likely argue that horses do, in fact, gain pleasure from the activity. However, do you see horses queuing up to be rode, yelling "Pick me! Pick me!"? No, of course not...That is, the defining characteristic of veganism is that we do not believe that animals should be considered property, and therefore we respect their needs and wants that demand that we do not exploit them."

I would say about 80-90% of the equipment I use is made from leather. The short list includes my saddle, bridle, crop, spur straps, riding boots, and show belt, but there are tons of other items out there that are partly or completely made of leather and other non-vegan materials like wool and fleece. However, there are certainly ways a rider can supplement certain everyday equipment pieces with synthetic ones.

Ladies' Equi-Star Synthetic AW Zip Paddock Boot
Easy care, great looks. Made of an easy care synthetic with the look of leather. An all-weather, no maintenance, comfortable riding boot. Just hose off and wipe dry.



Lami-Cell Airflow Shaped Close Contact Saddle Pad
The Lami-Cell Airflow Shaped Close Contact Saddle Pad features airflow material with synthetic fleece contour. Ideal for jumpers.



Dublin Easy-Care Mesh Half-Chaps
Stay cool on warm days. New synthetic half chaps have mesh that allows air to circulate to keep you cool and comfortable.




Toklat Contoured Synthetic Girth
A contoured design in a synthetic fleece girth by Toklat that allows for more comfortable movement. Double elastic at both ends and center D-ring. Stainless steel roller buckles.



Wintec Close Contact Saddle
Air panels constantly adapt to the horse's shape. This saddle has a look of traditional leather.




Synthetic Show Gloves
Perfect for showing, these synthetic gloves feature elastic at wrists for an easy fit, and small vents across fingers and palms for added ventilation.



Lami-Cell Elegance Nylon Halter
The Lami-Cell Elegance Halter is made of tough nylon with a synthetic padded noseband and headpiece to keep your horse comfortable.



It might be tough to switch out some of your show equipment for synthetic alternatives, but when schooling at home it should be no problem to outfit yourself and your horse in animal friendly options.

8.04.2011

The Festive Equestrian

Summer is the season of parties. There's birthday parties, 4th of July parties, television viewing parties, Labor day parties, Emmy parties, you name it. Between the warm weather and the numerous weekday vacations, summer is the best time to throw your equestrian themed soirée.

The inspiration for this post came to me the other day while reading an entry on Martha Stewart's blog. Martha is an avid equestrian herself, and often posts about her friesian horses and equestrian items that catch her eye.

She posted a blog entry about an equestrian themed Bat Mitzvah she had attended in early May for a friend's daughter. The decorations were extravagant and extremely detail oriented. They were classy while still being youthful and appropriate for the occasion. However, it is clear that this event sets a bar most party throwers can only dream of reaching.




Horses borrowed from Bergdorf Goodman

Party favors

Green glitter wallpaper

Trophies made of natural materials

Jumps with green glitter stripes



I believe the success of this party comes from the dedication to the theme of glittery green equestrian. You don't have to have hay bales and apple bobbing to give a party an equestrian feel. All you need is strong idea that reminds you of horses, not necessarily puts you in the barn with them.

For me, the hard part of throwing a party is sticking with the theme I've chosen. So I spent the last two days collecting images based on my theme and I think I did a pretty good job.

My equestrian themed party would have a rustic barnyard feel, and all the decorations and details would be things you would find around the barn. If I had to throw a party next week, these are the items I would want to include:

Carrots

Horse cookies for both humans and horses

Mason jars for a rustic feel

Ribbon decoration

White lights strung throughout the barn

I like this particular theme because it includes all kinds of equestrian imagery while having a subtle feminine feel.

8.02.2011

The Traveling Equestrian

This is post is waaaayy overdue, but better late than never. Over my hiatus I went to New York to spend time with my good friend Ally and then to Chicago to take a mini vacation since I'd never been before. Between eating pizza (of both the deep dish and thin crust varieties) and taking in the sites, I managed to snap a few pictures of equestrian images that caught my eye.



Ally's Fridge




The historic White Horse Tavern right down the street



Castor & Pollux


Cute pocket mirror







Reading material on the train to Connecticut


Ribbons in Ally's room in CT



Lion Hill Farm....


....was having a McLain Ward Clinic


Ally's Barn


Sasha loves carrots



A few days after getting back from New York, I turned right around and hopped on a flight to Chicago.



Horse Exhibit at the Field Museum


No cameras past this point :(

The Horse Exhibit at the Field was amazing. It had numerous types of equipment and all kinds of information about horses. You could measure yourself in hands and watch videos of different styles of riding around the world. It was a great exhibit and I highly recommend it.

I loved that there were so many inspiring things in these three places. I was overwhelmed by how prominent the horse image was in New York windows, restaurants, and parks. I was opened up to a new world when I visited Connecticut, with its beautiful fields of bright green grass and classic barns. Lastly, I was happy to have noticed the banners for the Horse Exhibit on the streets of Chicago, which lead to me a spontaneous equestrian adventure.

Overall an inspirational and relaxing break.

8.01.2011

The Penny Pinching Equestrian

Equestrian style is always in fashion. Tall boots and tailored jackets seem to grace the pages of any and every magazine each and every year. Just like the sport itself, equestrian fashion does not come cheap. You're not likely to find a pair of buttery leather boots in the bargain bin, or a Hermès scarf on closeout.

However, searching the websites of some of my favorite online shopping places produced an abundance of chic items that won't break the bank.

Echo 'Status - Bits' Triangular Scarf $28



Equestrian Afternoon Shirt $39.99



Saffiano leather skinny belt $24.50



Trouvé Ponte Knit Leggings $54




Ecote Equestrian Ankle Boot $50



Hive & Honey Velvet Trim Riding Jacket $69




Horse Detail Across Body Bag $34.48



You could purchase this entire outfit for the price you would pay for a pair of the cheapest available Ariat Field Boots.

The Unique Equestrian

This past weekend I attended an event in LA called Unique LA. It's a independent design show that holds several events throughout the year where Los Angeles and other California based artists, fashion designers, jewelers, and chefs, can come together under one roof and sell their goods.

I gathered up numerous goodies, including a cool t-shirt from sub_urban riot, a print from Urban Octopus, and a pair of glasses from Replay Vintage.

I was able to spot a few cool equestrian items as well.

I purchased several of these cards from Michelle Caplan.



I wanted so desperately to buy the original collage to hang in my room, but it was just a tad out of my price range.

Yummy leather reins from MacPherson Custom Leather.



Pink Cowboys Business, Credit & ID Card Holder from 11:11.




Cute unicorn items from Unicorn Crafts.



The best part is, is that Unique LA will host another event closer to Christmas so you can purchase all your unique gifts just in time! Between Etsy and Unique LA my shopping list will be all taken care of.