It’s been a rough couple of months for those of us not lucky enough to either live in the South or West where riding is doable most of the year. We’ve had snow, ice, freezing rain (as differs from ice, go figure), below zero wind chills and frozen ground. Not very fun (or safe) for riding. I haven’t even seen the trail since fall, and our ring space keeps shrinking in size as the snow accumulates. It’s hard even getting my butt to the barn on days that I can barely get out of the house it’s so cold.
This past week, while the sun briefly peeked out though the thick cloud covering, and my little leased horse rested (growing a big belly) my trainer had the idea to take advantage of the crappy conditions and do something that I only see the up/dowers do – the longe line lesson with another sweet lesson horse. I thought, cool – I’ll take a break from aching thighs and let her drive for a while.
I’m sure most of you barely remember doing this as kids. Going in circles, no reins, and letting your trainer walk the pony around and around – all you had to do was stay on. This was different. Snow and ice covered the ground; we began at a walk. Cool, easy peasy. No reins today! Post the walk. Ugh. Okay, keep going. Up to a trot and post. Constant trotting, arms up, down, out to the side, behind me and then no stirrups. Try and sit the trot. Oops, quick spook, panic canter, then back on track. Post the trot. I regret thinking my thighs wouldn’t burn that day. After what seemed like a long time, we switched direction and did the whole routine over. She then asked me to close my eyes. This was a crazy feeling for me! Taking away my vision helped me pick up the correct diagonal easier, and helped me feel little Rocket underneath me, silly, but I actually felt closer to him. I also learned that I may depend on my hands WAY too much, and taking them away forced me to balance correctly.
It’s a great lesson in many ways. We helped my seat and balance, which need CONSTANT attention; helped my thighs, which get soft in winter; and helped my attitude, getting my horse fix even in the cold weather always gets me out of the doldrums. This was a great way to take advantage of what little riding we can do – give it a shot 🙂
Wondering what to get your horsey loved ones? We have some ideas to help you out!!!
We feature some of our favorite brands, as well as some new ones, most of which can be purchased online simply by clicking the link in the guide. For items sold by Ride Bedford, please give Courtney a call – she will personally help you with anything you need and will be sure to give you the best product at the best value.
By the way our very own Tack and Tweed limited edition cell phone covers designed by Beatrice Bulteau and made in France, may be purchased here, or by emailing me directly (Lisa@TackandTweed.com)!
Off topic Sunday…not an equestrian themed post today….
I love me some cute kiddie clothes. Typically, I get kids clothes from Gap Kids for the staples, Target (pronounced “tar-jay”) for the trendy soon-to-be-thrown away items, and if I’m feeling spicy, I go to Crew Cuts. I scour the internet for Splendid Littles sales (they are just sooo comfy – especially Splendid’s adult line for mommy). Once in a while, I find some fun Burberry items on Ebay, which I consider a major coup, as there is the added benefit of being able to sell said clothing after the 3 wears they last (no way is she wearing this in the mud puddle in the back yard).
Like Ralph Lauren years ago (I buy adorable Polo items at discount stores), many higher end designers are trying to cash in on the children’s clothing market. It used to be for a really special occasion, one could lay a Benjamin or two down on a gorgeous hand made dress at Bergdorff’s kids department, but now, that’s just a drop in the bucket for even the most common and out-grow-able children’s duds. I’m sorry, but I just can’t stomach or imagine throwing over $500 on a Baby Dior or Missoni dress for a 9 month old who can’t even walk. The styles are gorgeous, and I’m sure would look great on the tony tots being pushed by their nannies on Park Ave, but my hubby’s hard-earned dollars are better spent on our mortgage :).
In this spirit, I’ve found some beautiful children’s fashions and comparable reasonably (for some) priced garments. After all, kids either wear their clothes to death, or wear them once. I’m sure I can’t beat the quality of Baby Dior, but I can certainly beat the price!!
Most of the expensive finds are from Neiman Marcus and Barney‘s, their less-expensive counterparts are from all over – hover over image to see the source.
I love a dreamy princess ballerina dress like the next person and this Milly Minis one is killer (to the pocketbook). The Luna Luna Copenhagen dress is just as sweet and a fraction of the price.
I haven’t even listed the cute and fun options at Target or Kohls, etc (this post could go on for ever)!! Finding super cute kid’s clothes at a premium is fun, but finding less expensive alternatives is satisfying 🙂
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting an accomplished young woman, equestrian, and owner of a unique new store for equestriennes aptly named, RIDE. Courtney Caverzasi’s newest venture is one part high-end boutique and one part high-end tack shop in Bedford, NY; centrally located for the horsey set in Westchester and Connecticut. RIDE carries riding and apres-riding apparel for men, women, children (and yes BOYS) and their equestrian and canine companions.
Her vision is to provide a lifestyle boutique containing everything the well-heeled rider could possibly need all the while, giving them a wonderful shopping experience. She fills a niche for riders looking for great shopping, personal attention and exclusive brands that cannot be found in any high street shop remotely close to this area.
Front at night
More Beautifully Displayed Tack
Apres Ride Lux
Daytime Front of Store
When I walked in, I was amazed to see how beautiful and tasteful it was. A lifelong rider, Courtney shaped her vision through 12 years with Hermes, and it shows. Offering complementary coffee or tea (wine in the evenings), she personally escorts her clients through the different sections of her boutique. From the natural wood saddle rack wall, to the horse mural in the back of the store, everything is perfectly thought out, displayed well, easy to see, touch and try on.
She strives to provide highly desirable brands (many times sourcing items made in the USA) that are hard to find. For example, she nailed an exclusive with Antares, who typically only sells saddles direct. Not only does she sell these items, she understands them, and has used them herself. She has an in depth knowledge of everything she sells and will recommend the highest quality within each client’s budget. She is constantly nurturing her vendor relationships, resulting in an amazing selection and value for her customers.
Here are some brands she features (but there are MANY more):
“I want a pony. I want a pony more than anything else in the world.” The artist and children’s book author and illustrator, Susan Jeffers opens her book, My Pony, with these words. What little (or big) child bit by the horse bug hasn’t uttered this phrase? This is a book about a little girl, who dreams of having her own pony. Her family cannot afford one, so she draws a beautiful dappled grey mare named Silver, who becomes her dreamy equine companion.
My Pony (Cover)
I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Jeffers this past weekend at the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival this past weekend, (the CCBF is one of the most notable of book festivals in the NYC area). A rider herself (in fact, she used to have a horse not too far from where my son and I ride), Jeffers’ love for horses and children’s imaginations shines through in her beautifully illustrated books.
Jeffers has been writing and illustrating picture books for over forty years. She received the Caldecott Honor for Three Jovial Huntsman and has been honored with many other awards, including the Golden Kite Award for Forest of Dreams. Susan says she realizes now that she has always done the same things. When Susan was little, her best moments were spent drawing pictures, reading stories with her parents, playing with friends and sitting by the Ramapo River dreaming of horses. This has not changed. Being a children’s book illustrator has combined all of these things.
I read it to my daughter, Annalise, yesterday and she, even at three years old, loved it; she keeps flipping through the pages, perhaps dreaming of her own pony. I’m excited to read the next pony installment, My Chincoteague Pony.
Susan signed a copy and made a pony sketch on the inside front page especially for Annalise. We’ll have to be careful not to beat it up too much, but it will be a book that she and I will cherish for years. Click here to see a list of her other selections available on Amazon.com.
Like thousands of others, I love Etsy.com. It’s given so many arisans an easy outlet to sell their wares. Etsy provides a wonderful opportunity to help people make a living at their passions; equestrian-artists are no exception.
Trolling through hundreds and hundreds of stores, I found many focused on equine-related goods, and thought it would be a fun idea to highlight some standouts. Just about everyone has an Etsy account, so log on and support these amazing artisans. You’ll receive a one of a kind item, while supporting small business. I am having a rough time attaching links to photos, so you will need to type in the name of the store (the beginning of the picture caption) in the Etsy search bar. We’ll fix this asap ;).
Most of these crafts can be customized, so remember to ask the artist!