Thank you @people.com for the wonderful article – sharing here:
Is it me, or has the horse sale market been insane lately? My sweet older Appendix Chance hasn’t been himself for over a year now, and about 8 months ago, I surrendered to the fact that it’s time to retire my handsome chestnut and find a new riding partner <see footnote below>.
It’s been a hot decade since I’ve looked at getting a new horse, and in my naivety, I thought my budget was pretty hefty for a buddy that can do lower level dressage, trail ride, maybe some low adult hunters, etc. I wasn’t looking for a fancy sport horse, just an all around youngish, sound horse with a good brain. No problem, right?? WRONG.
I started with word of mouth at local barns or with local trainers. Horses that were in my budget not 2 years ago are now 3 -4 times the cost. What happened? I heard that perhaps during COVID when people were not going into the city to work, or being forced to stay home and isolate, people either started riding or became more interested in their weekend warrior habit. I suppose riding is naturally socially distanced. Nearby horses and their board cost an arm and a leg, and perhaps a kidney too. Recently boarding fees total more than most people’s rents, and horses have price tags that have more zeroes than sports cars. As I cannot afford to raid the kid’s college fund, I would just have to be more creative in my search.
At today’s inflated market this leaves me with limited options in my area -either find an older statesman (but soon to be retired – I can’t have another one of those), a sour schoolie or find a baby and train it up. (That would most likely land me in the hospital, as I simply do not have those skills.)
I expanded my search parameters; I scanned every horse listing on every facebook horse group, every online horse sale page, every classified on Craigslist. Did I need to travel to Oregon to test out a new horse without my trainer, pay for an unknown vet for a PPE, and then ship it 3000 miles only to find it has kissing spine? I looked at every breed, every conformation, every size. You name it, I considered it. I looked at horse finding trip airfares to Florida, Ohio, Colorado and British Colombia. I Google-mapped routes to western Pennsylviania, Kentucky, Ontario. My poor trainer had to screen every listing I sent her prompting her to politely tell me “do not to buy without trying” about 5 times per week. My search consumed my evenings late into the night.
I took a step back and a deep breath. I’m a blessed person to have a horse in the first place, so I needed to recalibrate and count my lucky stars and thank God for everything I have. I will find my new partner, just not now, and just like that, my stress level went down, and a new opportunity opened up.
My friend rides at a show barn with an excellent reputation. One of their clients had her experienced, sweet and super solid chestnut gelding available for a partial lease. I jumped on the opportunity. He’s perfection and I’m so happy to have such a sweet horse to ride while my search goes on hiatus for now. I will enjoy what I have, ride Chance when he’s feeling ok, and hug my kids and doggies and be thankful that I have such a great family. If God trots another permanent partner my way, all the better.
What are your experiences? What the horse market look like around you? Where do you think the market is going?
<footnote: As soon as I said out loud I was going to get a new horse, Chance decided that he didn’t feel so lame and was somewhat ridable again. I think he knew I was looking. As soon as I decided to wait little longer until purchase, he immediately went lame again – so all I can do with him at this writing is tack walk. Funny how that works….:)>
Many years ago, a fellow mom friend and I founded a baby food company named Petite Palate (good press: https://people.com/parents/petite-palate-g/ ). I was making food for my newborn son, and started selling it to friends and family and small retailers. It grew pretty large; eventually selling on Amazon, Whole Foods and other regional retailers. We were all the vanguard of the frozen baby food frenzy along with Happy Baby and Plum Organics.
It wasn’t long before our competitors started offering shelf stable options, like pouches. We refused as we really believed that frozen retains more nutrients and is healthier for babies, being closer to homemade. This turned out to be our tragic error, as most retailers do not want to dedicate their prime real estate next to the frozen pizzas to something as novel as frozen baby food.
Next blow was the crash of 2008, and poof, all our funding dried up, sealing our fate. (Not-so-good press: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/06/business/smallbusiness/06sbiz.html).
After YEARS of healing and recovering financially and mentally (it was such a labor or love and we dedicated our lives for years to our endeavor), I think I can finally start another project. This time, however, slow growth and complete control over finances is my goal.
I have been selling my t-shirts and equestrian themed apparel (available here), and it’s been so much fun, but I am excited to incorporate my chef skills to my business. I’ve been cooking my own fresh marinara, basil pestos for years. I decided to start exploring how I can monetize my love of cooking and my yearning to start a food business again.
I found a great kitchen incubator named Hudson Valley Beta Kitchen (HVBK), in the adorable town of Croton on Hudson. I’m putting together my recipes, scaling them up for small batch production and will be selling them at local farm stores, farmers’ markets, and local summer festivals.
Starting with Fresh Marinara, Fresh Basil Pesto, and Spicy Thai Basil Pesto under the sub-brand, Cavallo Rosso, meaning Red Horse in Italian – same brand look at feel as Tack and Tweed, but food-related.
I’m hoping to be ready in time to launch at the Summer Fest in the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, finger’s crossed I can secure all the necessary permits.
I’ll be posting recipes that can be made with the Marinara Sauce and ways to use the different Pestos, so stay tuned! If you are local to Northern Westchester County, NY and want samples, please email me at TackandTweed@gmail.com; in addition, any comments, please comment below as I need and appreciate any feedback!
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!
We miss you terribly. I’m not a huge fan of award shows; personally, I feel they drag on and on, and are typically filled with self-congratulatory dribble, but at least we could count on your honest, no-holds-barred review of the red carpet. Worst dressed culprits strived on the next go-around to make it to your best dressed list, and your best-dressed celebs could be confident that they absolutely did look glamorous. Joan Rivers, you had great taste.
Last night, I could almost hear your post-carpet review on Fashion Police in my head while watching what looked like a bad high school prom.
Given, I’m not under the scrutiny of every camera and bitchy princess in Hollywood, and I’m not churning out multimillion dollar movies (or anythings for that matter), but I would hope I would make some better choices than what we all saw last night.
For example, I wonder what the Fabulous Mrs. Rivers would have to say about the taffeta tulle trend:
Honestly, the only one that pulled it off is Emmy Rossum in Monique Lhillier, but still don’t these dresses harken back to Pretty In Pink? I know this style all too well; I actually wore these types of dresses 4 years in row. The bigger the better. The only thing missing is the carnation and baby’s breath corsage (wrist or pin-on depends on neckline).
I love a good tuxedo on a woman, but these just didn’t cut it. Too big (like she got into daddy’s closet), too short (forgot pants?) or just confusing, the fit of these were off.
There were some beauties, however. I thought the following two took the Disney Princess theme, and made it look classic, grown up and posh – definitely winners for the night:
Did you guys watch the red carpet last night? What do you think? Am I being too harsh?
For the New Year’s celebration, I’ll be kicking it here at home. My daughter has a nasty cold, so babysitters are out. This has, however, given me some time to shop online New Year’s Eve sales for equestrian equipment while sipping some bubbly.
Post Christmas, there are some great deals, so if you have a moment between parties, check ’em out.
Need new muck boots? Normally, these Noble Outfitter’s Ladies MUDS are over $100, but you can get them at Dover Saddlery for 39.95, and yes, there are multiple sizes and colors still available.
This is an adorable vest by Riding Sport at Dover, normally $40 on sale for $14.99, pretty great price for a pretty quilted vest. Different colors and sizes available (this one matches the boots).
It seems as if we’ve had (at least here on the East Coast) more days of rain than anything else. I’m about to build an arc…anyway, this rain jacket (it’s men’s, but I’m sure anyone can wear it. Beval Saddlery regularly $199 on sale for $49.99 – pretty good!!
If you’re looking for something for your four legged friend(s), like a new snuggly winter blanket or sheet, type on over to Statelinetack.com and you can shop their big blanket blowout. I found this really nice Tough-11200D Snuggit Tough blanket from $69.95 (normally $156):
And, if it’s not too late…try to go out and find this for your celebration or drink it at the barn with your buddies, Dark Horse Brut, $13.99.
May your holiday be filled with love and happiness, and yes, maybe a horse or two :). We spent the days before Christmas with our buddies Chance and Ron, who didn’t complain that they got their presents a couple days early. A belly full of candy canes kept Ronnie from wanting to work ;). Today, after a big present-opening extravaganza, our tummies will be treated to a prime rib roast (Happy Christmas to me), some hot toddies and old-timey Christmas music. Nothing better.
Please share how you spend Christmas with your family (or post videos/pictures) in the comments – I love to hear different family traditions.
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?
No, not THAT F-Word, but “Fit. Fashion. Function. and Flexibility” the motto of a new brand of athletic couture named F.Words. I had the privilege of meeting the founder and designer Kendel Neidermyer at this year’s American Gold Cup in North Salem, NY. I was immediately drawn in the by real leather knee patches (100% deerskin) on her breeches, a luxurious and functional touch (can you say “grippy”?). I moved from the beautiful leather to the soft, but durable breech material, which, when pulled on, acts like a slimming pant (horray) but breathes and moves freely with the body. The best part is the pocket on the thigh perfect for your phone. I always struggle with what to do with my cell when I ride, and breeches with “deep pockets” are great.
I also love her original and beautiful jackets, which can go from the ring to the restaurant, barring any unforeseen horsey-fails in the manure. Kendel’s rain gear will keep you dry but still stylish. She continues her collection with a bunch of well-designed leggings; any Basic B’s wardrobe go to. I want to put her “Frisky Leggins” that have an anti-muffin top to the test….
Kendel Neidermyer founded F. Words in July 2017. It’s a small, female-run, self-funded, luxury athletic wear brand. I, of course, focus on her equestrian pieces, which are exquisite, but these garments can be for any woman, whether she rides horses or not. In fact, some of these pieces are too nice for an afternoon hack, but you’ll look great doing it.
I love that everything is made in the USA, and although expensive, each piece is completely hand made and completed by one artisan; you are getting the highest quality. Kendel can be found at trunk shoes, at major horse shows; but her clothing can be found online at her site F. Words or at high end tack stores like Manhattan Saddlery in NYC, Ella Palo Alto in CA, and Kaval.com.
Fitting A Blanket to Your Horse
Now that the weather has started to turn colder, we’re all starting to pull our musty horse blankets out from deep storage. If you’re looking to purchase a new blanket, or even searching through used blankets, getting the best available size is very important. If a blanket doesn’t fit correctly, it can cause discomfort (even rubs or sores), get stuck on a fence or tree branch, or even completely fall off and to get trampled.
When I purchased my first blanket (after adopting Chance), I got it on super sale from eBay, and prayed that it would fit my horse. It didn’t, and I couldn’t return it. Good money thrown down the drain. After that, I decided to actually measure my sweet boy and find something in his size range.
Use the following tips to get the best size for your steeds and for a final fitting, please see the guide below from Your Horse Magazine. They posted a very comprehensive and easy-to-follow tutorial on YouTube.
- Make sure your horse is standing square.
- Have a soft tape measure or a long string available (having a friend to help is always nice!)
- Start measuring at the center of the chest (between the two chest muscles).
- Stretch out the tape measure or string up the broad side of the horse and all the way around to where the hair starts to hit the buttock.
- Keep the tape measure tight and level for the best measurement.
- This measurement will be your horse’s blanket size, in inches. (If you used a string, mark on the string where you started and ended and then measure the string between these marks.)
- If you are between sizes, order a size up for the best fit.
- Remember that size varies between brands, so do a little research on the brand’s sizing for best results.
Now the shopping fun begins!! Look at all the cute blanket choices that are available these days:
Post tips or your favorite blankets below!
Many brands are having horsey moments, and the house of Chloé seems to be leading the trend. Their collection is a “bit” whimsical and I really think it’s cute.
Without shame, they’ve covered entire outfits with rearing horse embroidery. My favorite item of the collection has to be the Chloe Bomber Jacket; 70’s inspired and indulgently “little-girly”. I normally don’t dig velvet (reminds me of the monstrosity I called my senior prom dress), but this just looks fun to wear. At $2750, the price tag is out of reach for normal girls like me, but maybe someday I can buy it off price at an outlet ;).
I also love the bags that they have to match this collection;
which (unlike the clothing) will last more than one season. For horsey people like me, these bags will last a lifetime.
The simple and elegant American brand Derek Lam, has captured equestrian eyes with this amazing dress. It features a simple cap sleeve suede top, with an elegant horse appliqué on the midi length skirt. I would wear this all day every day! It’s another high ticket item, at $2650. I’m searching for lookalikes for less money,; I’ll post updates if/when I find any.
What do you think? Would you wear any of these items (assuming we could all afford them)? Comment below!
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.