The Anti-Helmet

The Anti-Helmet

Have we been so conditioned to wear traditional helmets when riding, that we’ve stopped considering alternatives? I know this will be controversial, but after watching a documentary about Sweden, I was introduced to the newest revolution in urban bike “helmets”, the Hövding, and I love it.

The Hövding is a crash collar that inflates in .1 seconds when it senses a potential collision. It not only covers your head, it also supports and protects your neck, which traditional helmets don’t do. A study by Stanford University says the helmet is eight times safer than a traditional bike helmet, which sounds wonderful. There were, of course, caveats. For example, if the airbag doesn’t fully inflate, it will cause the bag to “bottom out”, protecting the head from impact less than a foam helmet. I still believe it’s a step in an interesting direction.

This hasn’t been tested or approved for horseback riding, but I really feel it’s worth looking into. We’ve all fallen off our horses, and we all hate hat head 😏. I know some Western riders who won’t wear helmets (this is changing, thank goodness), but maybe this type of “airbag” system adapted for horseback riding, can be a viable alternative. 

What do you think? Is this something that equestrians should look into? Would you wear this if it were approved for horseback riding?

xo

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En Lusitaine by Beatrice Bulteau

En Lusitaine by Beatrice Bulteau

A couple years back, I met the artist Beatrice Bulteau at the Equus Film Festival in New York City, where her short, En Lusitaine (above) won Best Artistic Film. Born in the countryside of Loire France, she is currently based in Portugal and works in a number of mediums. Porcelain, print, watercolor, animation, illustration; there’s nothing she cannot do. I instantly fell in love with her simple but elegant aesthetic as she celebrates the clean beauty and noble nature of her frequent subject, the Lusitano Horse.

I will have to save some money to have one of her original watercolor pieces grace my humble home’s walls, however, I can adorn my body with either one of her new clothing pieces or leather handbags. I do recall a gorgeous maxi dress in one of her promotional ads, but I cannot find it to order (please comment below if anyone knows where to find it). I will be ordering one of her beautiful t-shirts (perfect for a night out or a ride in the ring). Her original handbags and silk scarves, as well as any of her artistic works can be purchased online at BeatriceBulteau.com.

bulteaubag350
Leather Bag B 350usd
bulteau$50
TShirt Blue Jumping 50usd
bultau250
TShirt Luso Grey 50usd
bed+sheet+and+pillows
Pillow and Sheets 350usd
IronSculpture280
Iron Trot Sculpture 280usd
lusogreywatercolor650
Luso Grey Watercolor 625usd
scarf+jacq+158
Mousseline Silk Scarf 158usd

xo

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There’s a bun (or two) in the oven…

There’s a bun (or two) in the oven…

No, I’m not with child, but we’ve been busy here at T&T! We’ve been collaborating with renowned Equestrian Artist Beatrice Bulteau to create a gorgeous new product just in time for the holidays – will launch tomorrow….

Also, we’ve put together our annual Tack and Tweed Holiday Gift Guide which will be published in less than two days….can’t wait!! Okay, back to work….

xo

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Equus Film Festival NYC

Equus Film Festival NYC

FilmFestival2I’ve lived in and around NYC for almost 20 years now and I’m a little sad to say I’ve never participated or attended any film festivals. I’ve thought long and hard about getting my butt to the Tribeca Festival, but never actually made it. Last Thursday, when I heard (last minute) about the Equus Film Festival at MIST in Harlem Friday and Saturday, I called in a last minute babysitter, grabbed my notebook and jumped on Metro North. Quite clearly, hours of horsey films take priority over a DeNiro (my favorite actor, by the way) sighting ;).

It took me a couple minutes to find MIST, but once inside I felt very much at home. Three theaters playing equestrian cinema, world-renowned artists and horse activists all convening to share a drink and a bite at the delicious bar of Madiba, and the 7 or so obligatory protesters (anti-horse and carriage types as there was one short film being screened that defended NYC’s horse carriages) out front all conspired to make a wonderful and entertaining evening. I had a bite to eat at the bar, and I realized that this was of the same Madiba of Fort Greene Brooklyn fame, right down the street from where my husband and I lived years ago. It was one of our favorite haunts, so I was happy to see them thriving. Not to mention, the food was amazing. My little hand meat pie and truffle fries were perfect, as was my husbands dish of Chicken Durban Bunny Chow (spicy curry-like dish served in a hollowed out organic bread loaf). DELISH.

Okay, so I grabbed another glass of South African chardonnay, and sat through some evening flicks. First, some shorts. A short about Dr. Maria Katsamanis, who specializes in classical horsemanship, then a quickie about the Festival of the Horse and Drum, which looks to be a fun event scheduled for next August 15th and 16th in St. Charles, Illinois.  Sorry to report that the Asmar Equestrian (my regular readers know I love this brand) ad wasn’t aired at this point, but was seen on screens across the lobby and perhaps at another point in the festival. We then screened Free Rein, a glimpse into the life of a natural horsemanship trainer in Cananda named Jessica Fobert. She teaches us to listen to horses, and gives them a voice – they also happened to win the “Best Equestrian Series” award – congrats!  Next was the talented and artistic Riders of McCrae Farm. Specializing in French Classical Dressage, movements are given by, not forced from, the horse. Not the best cinematography, but a great performance and fun to see.

The next film was a treat. Animaglyphes, a labor of love by director and creator Manolo Bez, creative mind behind the Theatre du Centaur along with his wife, Camille. The film takes us on a journey of animals and man, so that we cannot tell where one ends and the other begins. They bring together a collage of hundreds of people, sheep, horses and onlookers as they undertake an epic journey across many miles through the south of France, ultimately parading though the un-barricaded streets of Marseilles. A piece of art, his objective was to demonstrate the oneness of man and animal while capturing different points of view, the most striking being one of birds as they witness hundreds of sheep being herded behind a female “centaur” (actually Manolo’s wife riding standing up on anywhere between 1 and 3 horses). When I asked what were some of his largest challenges making the film, besides securing the necessary bureaucratic permits, the largest challenge was the massive amounts of animal and human waste and how it was to be controlled and kept clean. Poo above all. 😉

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After this, I took a break to see what was happening in the lobby. I wasn’t disappointed as there were some protesters trying to cause a ruckus over the screening of a 10 minute movie named Save the Horse Carriages by Mary Haverstick (narrated by Liam Neeson). Eh, what’s a good event without some rabble rousers to bring in some media attention :)? I’m posting it here – reason for protest? I’ll let you decide.

Anyway, on the lighter side of life, I also met a wonderful artist named Beatrice Bulteau, who specializes in equestrian art and the celebration of movement and capturing the essence of the horse. She also happens to be the artist behind this year’s festival poster. As much as I wanted her beautiful watercolor mural (and everything else I saw), I only walked away with a signed festival poster and a beautiful iPhone 5 case. Hailing from Paris and now living in Portugal, Ms. Bulteau has been at her art for decades. I am sure that any piece of hers is a wise investment; tasteful art that will ad beauty and class to any room.

If I had more time and less children, I would have attended Saturday – all day. Alas, I had to call it quits after Friday. I’m anticipating next year, and will absolutely make time for the train ride back to the city to attend. Well worth it!

xo

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Congrats to Jessica Springsteen – Winner of the American Gold Cup!

Congrats to Jessica Springsteen – Winner of the American Gold Cup!
Jessica Springsteen Round One -  a killer round!
Jessica Springsteen Round One – a killer round!

Fabulous day of jumping and sun. Just a quick post to congratulate Jessica Sprintsteen in her win. Beating former Gold Cup champ Brianne Goutal and perpetual competitor Todd Minikus can’t be easy!

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xo

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Report from the American Gold Cup

Report from the American Gold Cup

I had a lovely morning at the American Gold Cup at the pristine Old Salem Farm in Westchester County, NY. I arrived when the booths were just setting up, so I was able to catch some serious jumping before hitting boutique row for some shopping. Great performances from Brianne Goutal to Todd Minikus to Georgina Bloomberg; it was truly wonderful.

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Okay, on to the fashion!

There were so many stand out products, that it was difficult to edit, but here are some of my favorites:

I love, love, love DerDau, and at this show, I got to meet the wonderful Mr. Der. He introduced me to HIS favorite boots (at least for today) and they are truly a piece of art. Completely hand made out of beautiful ostrich and alligator skins, these were beauties. Western in style, Mr. Der assured me he can adapt them for a more English preference, if desired. He’ll put in zippers or change the heel, color or skins. Price on these babies is around $4500, so you better break out the visa black. Other styles and skin combinations are easier on the pocket book, but wow, amazing.

 

They have a fun line of men’s ties, I bought my husband this one:

If you haven’t heard of B+ (that’s “B Positive”), you will! It all began 7 years ago when founder Deb Gorman’s husband successfully underwent a stem cell transplant, changing his blood type from A+ to B+! Their first B+ necklace, a simple silver charm on a leather cord, reminded family and friends to BE POSITIVE. Along with Sari Seewald, they have created a line of beautiful, wearable jewelry lovingly named after influences and places they remember in their lives, like “Annie’s Cove”, “Dakota Sky” and “Moonstone”. I purchased a really cute charm bracelet with their signature B+ charm, a sterling silver stirrup and a pretty blue stone. It can worn casual or dressy. Check out their line here.

 

I want to shout out to Hunt Limited – they have a beautiful boutique filled with all the latest trends, styles and must-haves. They offer something for the rider to wear after show, and for the non-rider to wear TO the show. I was greeted by Gretchen and Ginny who showed me their favorites:

 

Currently, they sell to only the horsey set who follow the A Circuit, however, they are currently working on their website/facebook page so they can sell their wears online to the masses!

There were so many more, here were some other highlights:

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I urge ANYONE who loves horses or equine fashion, to take the trip to beautiful Old Salem, NY for the festivities. They continue every day until Sunday evening, September the 14th.

I’ll be back Saturday – I have so much more to cover!

xo

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Grand Prix Sunday – Glamptons Classic

Grand Prix Sunday – Glamptons Classic

The last day of the Hampton Classic ends with the Longines Grand Prix. I’m watching it live, as I cannot be there today. I am sad, as I had a great time last year acting as a low-level paparazzi, capturing the celebs in the VIP tent, but I’m sure they will be strolling in their heels through the acres of shopping in the Boutique Garden.

Here are three of my favorite booths, all of whom give meaning to the word Glampton 😉

My first stop was the famed French fashion house Hermès. They were named the Official Technical Riding Apparel Supplier of the United States Equestrian Teams. Hermès has been became the Title Sponsor of the U.S. Show Jumping Team since February, and their designs did not disappoint.

James Sardelli, the equestrian account executive, let me try on the official show jacket, and let me say it was like butter. The fabric was stretchy, soft and breathable, with the added benefit of being machine washable. I’m not convinced that if I was lucky enough to have one of these babies that I would just throw it in the washing machine, but it is a nice option. The tailoring is impeccable and the buttons are made of palladium; they never skimp on quality.  Regular, but well-heeled, riders are able to buy the riding jacket in dark navy blue for a mere $1925 (men’s and women’s both available). The competition red jacket is only for the team members, darn. Absolutely gorgeous.

The breeches were beautiful, of course, and created with the same quality and craftsmanship. I love the tan and black, but are also available in white. $990. Men’s come in black and white.

Inside their award-winning booth, I was also drawn to their warm up jackets, belts and just about everything else they had. The saddles, of course are just a dream.

 

Across the boutique row, and hard to miss, was another favorite designer of mine, Missoni.

They had a gorgeous presentation of their famed chevron print, and set up a mini lounge where tired Classic-goers could kick back and put up their feet….like Dane. I met Roxane Mosleh, COO of Pomme, NY Inc and Christopher Philips, VP of Sales, Missoni The Americas. Mrs Mosleh said her husband is an avid rider so she thought it would be a great idea for Missoni to “show” at the Hampton Classic, I agree. I especially loved their bath towels and robes. Soft and plush, I can see Annalise and I fashionably exiting our evening bath for our evening drink (milk and wine, respectively).

 

Last stop of note (there were so many, I had to edit), was the Der Dau booth.

Known for their customization of just about everything, I was not only drawn to their impressive display of boots, but also their breeches. One particular style has real snake skin on the knee patches and detailing around the belt loops. Gorgeous, fun and funky, I loved them. The rep said that she was sure he would even design in fur, if requested. That would be cool. Back to the boot wall – every imaginable color and leather is available, only limited by one’s imagination. Price points are hard to calculate, as different details/customizations cost different amounts of money, but there is a “ready to wear” collection, which are gorgeous and more affordable.

Enjoy some other shots of cute and fashionable people items from the Glamptons Classic:

 

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xo

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