I’m sure many of us have been there. You’re riding and something feels wrong. Are you pulling on the reins too much? Is your seat not right? Are you out of balance? I naturally go to what I’m doing wrong (which is the usual suspect), but this time, it was Chance’s leg that gave out.
Chance is my steady Eddie…the Golden Retriever of horses; forever an ambassador for the equine species to kids and adult beginners and husbands alike. To see him out of action breaks my heart. His gait was never completely even, but this seems different, like we won’t ever do that training level dressage class we were working towards.
Chance has a bad stifle (the rescue where I adopted him said it was because of an injury as a colt…we’ll never know for sure). There seems to be quite a bit of arthritis in the joint, and it’s basically taken all summer to for him to feel up to trotting at a good clip for more than 20 minutes; we’ve yet to canter.
I’m left wondering if he’ll ever be back to normal, but then I think will I? My back and neck have arthritis and hurt every other day. I’ve been feeling carpal tunnel start in my wrists of late, and I have to struggle to keep off that last 5 pounds these last few years. As we age together, I’m happy to fight for every canter, trot and trail ride we have left. With enough Advil for me and bute for him, there is definitely life after lame!
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)!
Many of you have heard of the eye-wear brand Warby Parker, but if you have not, I invite you to check them out. A company with a conscience, the founders began with the problem of not being able to afford quality eye glasses:
Every idea starts with a problem. Ours was simple: glasses are too expensive. We were students when one of us lost his glasses on a backpacking trip. The cost of replacing them was so high that he spent the first semester of grad school without them, squinting and complaining. (We don’t recommend this.) ….Where were the options?
It turns out there was a simple explanation. The eyewear industry is dominated by a single company that has been able to keep prices artificially high while reaping huge profits from consumers who have no other options.
We started Warby Parker to create an alternative.
By circumventing traditional channels , designing glasses in-house, and engaging with customers directly, we’re able to provide higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear at a fraction of the going price….Almost one billion people worldwide lack access to glasses, which means that 15% of the world’s population cannot effectively learn or work. To help address this problem, Warby Parker partners with non-profits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.”
Pretty cool, right? They have some pretty fun frames, my personal favorite is the Laurel in Tea Rose Fade at $95 (for single-vision, $295 for progressives). You can use your web cam and try them on virtually from the comfort of your home. For many styles, you can order a sample pair to be sent directly to you for a test wear. These would look adorably preppy for a schooling ride, and then stylish when reading the latest Georgina Bloomberg novel, watching the Real Housewives with friends, or simply going out for a drink and being able to actually read the cocktail menu. If they fall off and get trampled by your equine buddy (let’s hope this doesn’t happen), you won’t need sell your first born to replace them.
My style suggestion:
They also have may wonderful sun shade options. In fact, they just launched a new line, called “Ghostly”, which is stylish and can be worn in the ring and out. Perfect for a man or a woman; one part Tom Cruise and one part Audrey Hepburn. I don’t have a final price on the Ghostly line, but their other shades go from $95 non-prescription to $350 progressives. Not bad, considering a pair of designer shades can go up to $500 w/o a prescription.
We’re all excited for the launch of the Ghostly, although how fun would it have been to have launched them on Halloween (hmmm…maybe too cliche). Anyway, try them out and give someone who can’t afford to purchase their own, the opportunity to have clear vision. It’s all about the shades. 😉 They can be purchased at http://www.WarbyParker.com.
It’s no secret that I love fur and leather. I prefer vintage fur, but show me a wonderful shearling and I melt. I have always, however, shied away from ponyhair products. As an equestrian I can’t seem to put the skin of something I love so much on my body (yes, it’s very hypocritical as I’ll put on leather boots until the cows come home)…but is it really PONY hair? I decided to find out….
Survey says, “NO!”. Hooray! Pony hair is a generic term for “hair-on hide”, i..e. cow or calf leather that has not had the hair removed, also known as “haircalf”. No ponies involved. Tina Craig, expert fashionista from The Bag Snob (now Snob Essentials), explains it below:
The leather that we are most familiar with is actually the underside, the non-hair side of the skin. Haircalf (the most common term but in fashion pony hair is used to make it sound sexier) is more expensive than the average leather but the cost is in the finish of the hair, since it needs to be treated (chrome tanned is a process that gives the hair the super shiny sheen), most of the time it is cut down short (this is necessary for any use other than a rug, as in, in a cowboy’s house), and it is dyed.
So in light of my revelaSKIN, let me list some of my favorite finds which are sure to show well in cooler weather; our little ponies can breathe easy.
As the fall and winter weather rolls in, I’m reminded that I do not own a pair of rain boots. I typically alternate between my slUggs (slipper-like Uggs) to my super duper arctic fur-lined winters. I think I need to find a pair for the fall and spring when the slush and rain puddles are up to my ankles, but the weather isn’t so cold. I only have a budget for one pair, so I need to find some that are stylish enough for Soho but functional for the times I’m at the barn cleaning my tack and stepping in poop. I need to be able to rinse off the manure and jump in my car without too much residual slime…my husband likes a clean car (again, sorry dear).
I have a fun new Hunter Umbrella – it reminds me of the clear plastic one I had as a child – it’s great because I’m totally protected, but can see where I’m going on the streets. For some reason, New Yorkers love to either open ginormous golf umbrellas while exiting a crowded subway stair, or rest their umbrellas strategically on their heads so the little end spikes are at on-comers’ eye level. Probably some defense mechanism or complete obliviousness, but I digress….
I also have a navy blue Jules Horse Poncho for rainy days when I need to push my baby’s stroller and I need both hands free.
As I will be wearing all my rubber at once, I have to match. Here are my options:
Jules makes really cute wellies.. They have a sale on their “horsey” patterns, but I think with my poncho, this may over do it just a tad; a little too preppy for downtown.
Of course I LOVE the Hunter for J Mendel boots with muscrat fur and shearling. Boot bliss, but perhaps it’s a little decadent for doodoo.
I also adore the Burberry Shearling-Lined House Check Winter boots, but yet again, I digress from the practical side of my purchase….
Chooka makes a pretty wellie for a reasonable price. This pair is definitely in the running. The added contrasting color straps give this a little luxury.
Hmmm, maybe I can get a twofor…barn work with riding ability. The Green Rag Bone X Hunter Tall Boots seem to be okay for riding (heel, zipper on outside, tall). Again, they’re not cheap at $295, but if they double as a winter riding boot, that’s two in one. I’ll have to try them on to be sure.
My last option is the good old Original Hunter Wellington. I love the silver – and added benefit of matching Annalise’s new little girl pair. Mommy and me wellies always win.
Backpacks are trending hard this fall. My daughter is starting preschool Monday, so I’m investing in a super cute new back pack for her, as well as for my son, who’s entering the 2nd grade. I thought I may pick up one for myself while I’m at it. I totally forgot how comfortable it can be to schlep my goods on my back. Carrying everything in my super-huge mom bag on my left shoulder has left me somewhat lopsided. Check out the cute back-bags below – most of which can be carried by modern mommies and fashionable teens.
Lazy Oaf Batman – $85
Burberry Check School Backpack – $175
Herschel Supply Company Heritage Plus Backpack
Lazy Oaf Black Bear Necessities – $70
Green Herschel Supply Coreg Survey Backpack – $55
Marc by Marc Jacobs Preppy Nylon Backpack – $248
Pierre Hardy Gold Suede Backpack – $1775
Better hurry – I’m ordering that elephant backpack asap!
At this past week’s Hampton Classic, I stumbled upon a wonderful designer sportswear line by the charismatic and gorgeous Kate and Shawn Boyer: Anatomie. I was pulled in by the delicious Italian and French fabrics and sleek lines. Kate and Shawn successfully married high-performance workout wear with modern designer clothing for a fashionable, functional and fun look.
This is exactly what many of the competitive riders must have thought, as their beautifully crafted items were selling like hot-cakes. The equestrian-set favored the City Slick Long Jacket (also comes shorter for ease in the saddle), and the iPod athletic shirt (sorry, I’m waiting for a pic of this – trust me, it’s perfect for riding – bikes or horses). Most of their clothes include silky soft stretch panels that breathe and move with your body, perfect for anyone on the move (yes, you too busy mommies).
The best is all these garments are created to travel well. In fact, Anatomie offers a travel packing guide on their web site as well as a packing service with everyone’s favorite, NetJets airline. All savvy society types need to do is consult with Anatomie before their trip, and all the styling and packing is done for them. Travelers just arrive at their NetJet and travel in fashionable comfort (pretty cool, no?).
For myself, a mere mortal, I’ll settle with wearing the comfy and modern Shelly Long Sweater in my coach seats, sticky with spilled juice boxes on long flights to Grandma’s.
I probably don’t have to tell you this, but Hermes makes some of the most beautiful items in the world. I think their bags are amazing, but as an equestrian, I cannot help but drool over more horsey items. In celebration of this week’s horse show in Bridgehampton (the Classic), I am listing some of my “if I had tons of money I would get these” items.
I cannot wait to see and feel their saddles in person when I got to their booth later this week.
Hermes Horse Blanket
Hermes Women’s Puffy Coat
Hermes Women’s Riding Breeches
Hermes Riding Vest
Hermes Saddle Pad
Hermes produced a video named (in English) “Hearts and Crafts”. It’s a beautifully made short featuring the Hermes artisans and their craft. It helped me understand why their goods are so beautiful, durable and expensive.