Black Backgrounds and Grey Tall Boots

Eli has adjusted to the presence of our new neighbors roaming around in the field of the adjacent property. Took him about two days to “get it” that the neighboring horses do not eat other horses.

When I arrived at the barn Tuesday evening, I was not expecting to ride because of the damp weather. However, the newly-leveled arena had great footing for the most part–a few slick spots that I could easily avoid but otherwise I had a very pleasant ride just before sunset and Eli focused on work rather than stuff outside the ring and apparently he saw no invisible lions in the dimming light.

I got to try out my new tall boots … I have made many immediate conclusions, but I will hold off on posting about them until I have ridden in them a number of times. The short version is I am pleasantly surprised. I got these boots primarily for schooling and I am not sure how long they will last, but if they go more than a year, then they’ll’ve beat the Ariats and I paid about the same price.

I also begged a talented young rider who has a good eye for photography and editing to give one of my snapshots of Eli the black background treatment, and I love it! I really like the contrast and how white Eli’s snip looks. Thank you, Rowan!

Horseware Competition Jacket Review

Now that we’ve established Eli and I have joined the Dark Side will try the hunters for this year, I can review the Horseware Competition Jacket that I wore for the show last Saturday. I got the green one from Riding Warehouse.

SGL Photography

This is going to be a very short review: I love this show coat and it is a steal. Get one.

Honestly, I tried on one of these a few years ago, and I think that the fit must have changed since then–in a good way. On the current version, the sleeves are long enough for my orangutan arms and the jacket nips in ever so flatteringly at the waist. The jacket is a bit shorter than most hunt coats and doesn’t have the formal look of a double vented jacket. But for my purposes, the fit works.

I showed in the morning last Saturday, and I never took the jacket off the entire time I was at the show. It was that lightweight and comfortable, stretchy and water-repellent (perhaps also wine-repellent a little bit). I got a ton of compliments on it, and people didn’t believe what I paid for it. Sadly, the jacket isn’t dust-repellent, and I am going to have to figure out how to stay cleaner at shows. But the jacket is machine washable and I have already washed it–it looks new again.

SGL Photography

For the price, I don’t think there is a better-looking or more practical, versatile jacket out there. I even may have convinced a barn mate to get the berry color because she does jumpers and she has a big dark brown bay, so it would be so complementary.

I am sure that many of you have already tried on one of these jackets, and might even own one. What do you think of it?

My Favorite $20 Shirt

You might have guessed by now that I love clothes. Riding clothes especially. My wallet is less enthusiastic about them. So obviously not everything I wear involves $200 breeches or $150 sweaters, because I am a public employee among other reasons. I find quality, inexpensive things to wear as much as I can, and there has been one shirt that I have more than one of and it’s worth mentioning to anyone who loves color, and plaid, as much as I do.

The Dickies Women’s Long-Sleeve Plaid Flannel Shirt

I get them on Amazon. I have three. And for around $20, I don’t feel all that bad about it, considering how often I wear a plaid shirt (almost daily, to work and/or to ride in). They are soft. They wash well. The arms are just barely long enough for my longish appendages. They are lightweight and thin enough even to wear in early summer in Texas. I typically wear a women’s dress size 4, and get this shirt in a size medium.

If you like a nice plaid shirt, but don’t want to drop $148 on one from Rails, Dickies provides you with an admirably economical option. Perhaps a green-themed plaid for St. Patrick’s Day? (I took these screenshots directly from Amazon. Apologies if this offends anyone’s intellectual property sensibilities or rights. But they are closely representative of the plaids in my closet.)

Β 

Spring 2017 Equestrian Style Wish List

I’m trying to stay on a stricter budget this year but clothes don’t last forever. Inevitably, a new pair of breeches or a new shirt become a necessity as older clothes start to fall apart. I try to buy quality stuff that lasts, but every once in a while I try a new-to-me brand that doesn’t live up to expectations, or simply falters under the daily wear-and-tear of riding. With all this in mind, a handful of brands have proved their worth to me and always come out with new and cute stuff seasonally. So here are my Spring 2017 picks!

Romfh Sarafina Breeches in Lake Blue

romfh-sarafina-breeches-ladies-euro-seat-m24
I recently sold a few pairs of breeches that fit me weirdly. Sell 2, buy 1, kind of like that whole promulgate one rule, repeal two … or something. I love both the Lake Blue and Periwinkle color for Romfh’s Spring 2017 collection, but ultimately decided my closet jives with Lake Blue the best. (Super curious about the new Gabriella style, too — anybody tried them?)

Asmar Equestrian Devon Technical Show Shirt

ae1708_whiteblack_back
I don’t need another show shirt, but if I were in the market, this would be my first pick. The few Asmar things I have are outstandingly crafted and have worn very well. Plus look at the back design! C’est chic.

EGO7 Orion Boots in Chocolate Brown

brownego7
What color looks great with lake blue? Yep, these exist now. I have been nothing but impressed with my current pair and my brown Ariats are basically dead (after merely a year!). These are an economical choice, too, when compared to custom.

Build-Your-Own GPA First Lady

gpa
You can do this now. Go do it. (Admittedly, I only just now found this option but maybe it’s already been around a while?) Seriously, no, I do not need another helmet. My hope is that when I do in a few years, the First Lady designs are still around because the shape fits my head the best.

Late Nights

Eli was … interesting … to ride on Monday night after almost a week off because of mud. Tuesday night he felt much better–high energy but obedient. I didn’t ride Wednesday or Thursday night because of work, but I will D E F I N I T E L Y ride tonight. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, ha. I plan to ride Eli in a small, private clinic on Saturday, which I am very much looking forward to. 

I would like to hope I won’t have too many late nights at work this spring, but I am not holding my breath. In much more fun news, I got the stuff I won from Mango Bay Design in the Horse & Style giveaway! 

Everybody have a great, science- and cute animal-filled weekend!

I won a thing!

I missed late last year that I won Day 1 of the Horse & Style 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway. Thankfully, someone with Horse & Style messaged me through Facebook to let me know! I feel a little slow on the uptake for not checking the Horse & Style Facebook page earlier, but better late than never.

12days2016
Now I get a set of Mango Bay belts and tee shirts! I love the belts and can’t wait to get these and match them to the right pair of breeches. I just had occasion to feel the material of some of the tee shirts in person and they are super soft. I love all of the designs so I am very excited about winning this!

The Horse & Style 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway is my favorite of the holiday season–it’s a great way to find new equestrian brands and reacquaint with established ones.Β  They always have good prizes.

Riding Through the Dark but Dressed for the Party

Winter kinda blows. The nights drag on through the endless black tedium of hopelessness and ennui … there ain’t no “hygge” in a central Texas December. It’s too windy. Worse, it’s damp. WORSE, molds.

screenshot_20161212-231340.png

You can’t really tell what I’m wearing but I know what I’m wearing and I LOVE IT.

So mustering up the motivation to ride on a winter night requires a little bit of mental cheerleading. Or self-bribery. I say things to myself like, “if you canter one more lap in this blasted gale you can make yourself a second Manhattan.”

So when we get a random week of more moderate winter weather (to say nothing of the even more random 100F in February that one year) I like to take advantage and get back to REAL work in the saddle, provided everything else falls into place–my horse has all his shoes and had a great day in turnout, I remembered to pack all my riding clothes AND they are appropriate for the weather, the footing is good, and traffic doesn’t turn my commute into The Grapes of Wrath.

night trot from patentlybay on Vimeo.

I have control over exactly ONE of those above things. Perhaps that is why I find such joy in riding clothes. They brighten my day, and my evening. I reward myself occasionally with a splurge on breeches or a nice belt. My horse is my primary motivating factor, but a cute outfit motivates me, too, especially on dark winter nights.