Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tack; The White Saddle!

I blogged about Tekna a while back. Overall my reaction was positive. But is it just me, or does synthetic tack of any kind, create a hard-to-avoid, immediate judgment of; novice, cheap etc? It seems that way. But maybe this new company will convert some... So far, it seems responses have been pretty positive.. What do you think?

Upon looking at their website recently, I found this...

Yes, that is right! A white Dressage saddle! I don't think it will win with the traditional group of professionals and amateurs, but it's quite interesting. I'd like to see this being used.

And that's not all.. I could see a little girl and pony sporting this...

I know the traditionals among the crowd will run away when they see these nontraditional colours, but I actually think they have a place, somewhere...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Equestrian Exterior; Fashion & Horses.

It's always neat to me, when you see designers combining high fashion with equestrian themes. I would not be caught walking in those high-platform shoes alongside my horse, which can be seen below in multiple counts. But its fun to see how the two worlds combine. Not always practical or functional, but sometimes it does work..

**All above photos copyright to their rightful owners. No copyright infringement intended.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Top Picks; Equestrian Gifts of 2010 Part 1

It is that time of year...again. It comes so fast I tell you! Black Friday, which I presumably avoid - a day of horses and riding seems much more appetizing - is just not my thing. But you have to admit, the news about deals, sales and merchandise priced below anything you'd see any other time of year, is sometimes eye-catching. But it's never that appealing, unless it's related to horses of course! ;)

In honor of the season upon us, I thought I'd share with you a slew of things I wouldn't mind adding to my "wish list."

Here are my top three of very many...

Custom Woven Throw Blanket from SmartPak

Newmarket Fleece Throw from SmartPak (Love this!)

Oxer Napkin Holder (Ok, less exciting, but I think it's befitting and could so see this on my kitchen table!) from SmartPak

More to come!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Royals & Equestrian Lifestyle

It was announced earlier this week that Prince William, the elder of two children of Prince Charles and late Lady (Princess) Diana Spencer, will wed Kate Middleton next Spring or Summer. The couple, Wills & Kate, have been dating on and off for about eight years. Prince William proposed to the beautiful Ms. Middleton with none other than his mother's engagement ring, the beautiful sapphire surrounded by 14 diamonds.

Besides the engagement and the wedding, I was interested to know if Ms. Middleton had an equestrian background. You are probably aware that the royal family is quite involved with equestrianism and most specifically polo. Would Ms. Middleton fit in with the royals' equestrian activities?

I have always adored the late Princess Diana. Her beauty, her fashion sense, her class. She looked tough and keen, but at the same time soft, approachable and lady-like. So first, I wanted to learn more about Diana's own equestrian involvement.

From Associated Content, from Yahoo, here is what they said in an article about the late Princess Diana; Princess Diana: 7 Intriguing Facts About the Late Princess of Wales and Horses

"Elegant equines and equestrian activities have been part of royal tradition for countless generations. From medieval jousting to modern polo matches, from festivities to funerals, and from coronations to contests,horses have played an important role in royal history.

How did the late Lady Diana, Princess of Wales (and first wife of British Prince Charles), feel about horses? Was the princess a willing participant in equestrian activities?

Here are seven intriguing facts about Lady Diana, the late Princess of Wales, and how she related to horses.

As a child, Princess Diana grew up around horses.

Lady Diana Francis Spencer grew up on a country estate, where she had her own pony. Her family had stables filled with equines and practiced both horseback riding and equestrian driving.

As a schoolgirl, Diana received an honorary award for caring for her pet guinea pig. The British schoolgirl became a kindergarten teacher in her late teen years before marrying 33-year-old British royal Prince Charles of Wales at age 19.

Princess Diana of Wales loved animals, but she hated horseback riding.

Although Prince Charles of Wales has been an avid polo player and fan, his first wife Diana did not share his passion for the ponies. In fact, she curtailed her equestrian pursuits as a teenager after suffering a nasty spill from the back of a horse.

Even so, Princess Diana did encourage her sons (Prince William and Prince Harry) to learn to ride and to enjoy horses.

For her own fitness and recreation, Princess Diana preferred aerobic exercises, roller skating, running, skiing, swimming and other sports pursuits over equestrian activities.

Despite her reluctance to mount up and ride a horse, either sidesaddle or astride, the 5'10" and photogenic Princess Diana was frequently photographed in equestrian carriages, particularly on official and high-society occasions for the British royals.

Of course, Lady Diana Spencer did not do the driving.

Lady Diana Spencer rode in a horse-drawn carriage to her wedding to Prince Charles."

And what about Kate Middleton, the future Princess?

Here is what HorseSmart had to say;

"Today, Prince William announced his engagement to Kate Middleton, with a Royal Wedding expected next year - and it's believed a shared passion for equestrian sports helped to bring the two together.

Ms Middleton is rumoured to share the Royal Family's enthusiasm for country sports, and has a particular fondness for polo - something which should give her plenty to talk about over the dinner table with her future father in law, Prince Charles, who plays the game regularly.

Once, when she was spotted watching a game of polo intently, the subject of Ms Middleton's interest in polo was brought up. She reportedly joked:
"I’ve got to pay attention to every second, I’ll be discussing the game in minute detail later on.”

However, interestingly, when it comes to riding, Prince William's wife-to-be is unlikely to be subject to a photo opportunity any time soon, as she is reportedly allergic to horses. However, she has been spotted several times at leading equestrian events such as the Badminton Horse Trials and Cheltenham Festival.

Middleton is also a keen fan of country pursuits, recently pictured in the newspapers hunting alongside her future relations - which some experts believe was a signal of an impending wedding announcement."

Ah, well. I guess we can't all get what we want! ;). Not all royals are going to enjoy the equestrian sports like Zara Phillips, for example.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Top Picks; Winterizing - Blankets

Winter is here. Most of your horses have probably been wearing their blankets for about a month. If you're lucky, you have just went to your trusty storage bin and pulled out last years blanket. But if your like so many who are the lucky owners of blanket destroyers or that long-time blanket is reaching the end of it's life, you're probably looking or have looked at the many available, colorful, classy or new tech blankets on the market today.

I enjoy blanket shopping. The price, I am not a fan of. But in most cases you get what you pay for. And in most cases, Horseware (to name one of my favorite brands) owners are quick to point out their 3,4 or 5 year old blanket with pride. Maybe your horse (A) wears it's blanket like a dream. Kindly cradling it around, avoiding the tiniest part of fencing out of line within it's 10 acre pasture that any horse (B) would otherwise use to destroy and free itself of the confines of it's blanket.. So in that case you could probably tell me, "why buy such an expensive blanket?! This one (enter affordable brand here) has lasted me two winters so far!" If your horse is like example B, I am sure you would laugh and point to your trash bag filled with yet another "affordable" blanket down the drain..

I am not saying that you can't find an affordable blanket that is well-constructed. No, I am just saying that if you look at the long-term, affordable might not be realistic.

Enough with my blabbering. I wanted to share with you some of my favorite blankets.

One of my most favorites is the Rambo Wug. I'm not sure how long this blanket has been around, but I've seen it for at least a couple years. My most loved features are the high neck. It also has the two buckle closure, which I quite like. It now comes in three new colours; Plum(?) and silver, a blue and silver and soft chocolate with silver. It features all of the great quality and weather protection from the Rambo line of Horseware.

And now, for something different...

May I introduce you to TurtleNeck.

Here is what their website says;

The TurtleNeck® concept was developed by our founder Glen Hathcock because he wanted a better turnout for his own horses. His comments below give us an insight into his motivation.

“We had a genuine problem finding blankets for our show horses that fit properly and did not rub the shoulders or the withers. When we tried to use larger sizes for our horses they had gaping holes in the neck opening and they hung dangerously low. We once had a colt hang a hoof in a nylon belly strap while rolling and the ensuing panic it caused was the last straw. We were in a position to do something about it and we did.”

The company set out to create a turnout rug that would resolve these issues and provide a high degree of safety for horses. The first change was the installation of detachable elastic belly and leg straps to eliminate the possibility that any horse would ever be bound by unbreakable nylon straps. Our next change was redesigning the pattern with extra room in the shoulders and neck then we added heavy elastic binding in the neck to keep it from gaping open. The stretch in the neckline was tested and a ratio determined that kept the neckline snug against the horse yet comfortable. Finally we added the elastic binding in the shoulder gusset to allow it to stretch in conjunction with the elastic in the neckline and straps when the horse ran and played. The result was a blanket that moved and stretched with the horse in every direction but remained snug. An added benefit of the new snug design was that it kept the horse’s body heat inside the blanket and prevented wind, rain, sleet, or snow from entering through the neck opening. After extensive testing the first TurtleNeck was brought to the market in 2003. Our brand is now recognized by many horse owners and retailers as being a uniquely superior product that stands up to our motto “The Ultimate in Protection and Safety.”

So those are only two of my favorite blanket Top Picks for winter. What are yours?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Show Jumping; Georgina Bloomberg Falls At Competition

Show Jumping's 27 year old rider, Georgina Bloomberg had a "scary" fall off her horse Radio City, featured bottom left, according to various on lookers, while competing at the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament on Friday. Ms. Bloomberg, founder of Riders Closet and named by Forbes Magazine as one of the "Most Intriguing Billionaire Heiresses," was competing in the Gambler's Choice when her saddle slipped and she fell.

Georgina is said to have fractured her spine and suffered a concusion. Unconcious immdediately after the fall, she later walked off the course, un-assisted according to her Spokesman, Kenneth Kraus.

We wish Ms. Bloomberg a safe and speedy recovery.

New York Times
People Magazine

**Top photo (c) to the Huffington Post. No copyright infringment intended.

Monday, September 13, 2010

HorseMania 2010 : Art in Lexington

Have you seen the horses of HorseMania 2010? In July, 89 full-zied fiberglass horses and 50 foals, were revealed to Lexington, Kentucky. Each horse was designed by the many artists involved in the project.

"No public art initiative in our city’s history has captured the hearts and imaginations of Lexingtonians and visitors as did Horse Mania back in 2000. Horse Mania 2010 promises to be even more popular!

After their public viewing this summer and fall, the horses will be auctioned off in the Keeneland Sales Arena on December 11. Proceeds from the auction will benefit LexArts’ public art programs and non-profit charities throughout the region."

Here are some examples of our favorites..