One of my favorite equestrian paintings by Rene Magritte in 1965- Le Blanc Seing
You may have not seen this painting, but know Rene Magritte’s work from the raining men- Goncolnda painting or the apple- Son of Man, or cloud paintings that are more main stream:
Rene Magritte was an internationally acclaimed surrealist artist of all time, yet it was not until his 50s, when he was finally able to reach some form of fame and recognition for his work. Rene Magritte described his paintings saying, “My painting is visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, ‘What does that mean?’ It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing, it is unknowable.”
I’ve been going back and forth with figuring out how to transition with this and I just haven’t figured out the best way, so here it goes
So Announcing that I’m moving Down Under in my fashion, style, trend and overall reports! I will still share fabulous things and event happening all over the World that I love, but my home base has drastically changed to Australian Equestrian Fashion!
Stay with me, you most likely will find something fabulous to add to your style that you’ve never seen or heard of!
Ok it’s not that easily done, but it can be done if this is what you want. But you have to want it and be willing to put what you want into plan. Thats the tricky scary part that I feel like most people don’t do.
As I wrote in previous posts, I needed a change. I started this blog along with making spur bracelets and other pretty equestrian themed items and ignited my passion again!
I quit my job, sold my house, and have started doing some marketing and social media for various small companies while traveling to beautiful places visiting friends in Maine, USA- Calgary, CAN- and Geraldton, AUS.
I bought a couple of plane tickets! Australia here I come.
I don’t know about the tan, as I’m more of a freckle connector(white skin, freckles + sun=more freckles that connect which create an appearance of a tan, but really its just more freckles)
I fell in love!
I firstly, fell in love, with myself again! Wow did I miss you! I feel like a lot of people let this part of life go. It’s very important to get back to that, cause if you’re in love with yourself, you open opportunities that are beyond your imagination!
The funny thing while Ive been traveling- That old saying- You find love when you’re least expecting…
Yeah it’s true- Yes I fell in love too!
I fell in love with an Aussie Bloke who’s kind, fun, happy, responsible, and get this… Horsey and not gay!
I spent enough time on my best friends couch back in the states discussing with her over bottles of wine(not bottles of wine at once, but multiple discussions) who is the ideal man for ourselves.
What do you do when you actually find the guy that you were talking about? Hit the panic button- yes, I totally did this. After a phone call to my best friend, I took a breath and let it happen, just like Ive been letting everything that I set in front of me happen.
And the never to return part…
Well that’s been the hardest part. You have to say goodbye and let go of many loved friends, family and animal. I hadn’t thought of this total shift in the big plan at all. I have just had to stay positive and look forward to the future for new wonderful things verses looking back at things I’ve had to leave behind- Like my horse and two beloved dogs. I just can’t justify the money it costs to ship a horse or dogs for that matter. And my wonderful dogs, one is old and to ship a dog that far I feel is cruel. So they stay behind with wonderful homes and I just have to be happy with that. I think of them often and wish at times that I could spend time with them and have a good cuddle session with them.
At least they are back in the states to visit.
So look to the future for new wonderful things and smile back at all the fantastic opportunities you have had in the past!
Look forward to a fabulous Australian Equestrian 2016 from The Equestrianista!
Life as it is has not been satisfying… I want more!
Ever felt like this?
I want more out of work, a relationship, and location of living!
I have decided I need a big change. I want to move across the country! I feel like I’ve outgrown where I live. Works sucks- Everyday I wonder, along with other co-workers, are we going to have a job tomorrow??? Last but not least, I live in a lovely town. A lovely town to raise kids, it has a great public school system, fun places to go, and you feel safe. The only problem is everyone seems to be taken. The men that are left are losers who live in the basements of their parents’ houses, enjoy that their moms still do their laundry, barely have a job and are ok with that! Not my kind of man!
I’ve decided this is not the way I want to live!
When I tell my plan to friends or family, they say: You are so brave to make this decision. Am I really? Why do people consider this a brave move? Is it because it’s something that they have thought of doing, but never did cause they were scared?
THIS IS MY PLAN:
I have a rough plan, eventual goals, and leaving everything else open to new or better opportunities.
I’m putting my house up for sale. Once it sells, I will move out west to Colorado. Inbetween, I’ve been invited up to Maine, one of my favourite places. I am going to help an old horsey friend out open her art gallery!
Then my plan is to pack my bags for 4 months. Fly to Calgary Canada to go to the Calgary Stampede and teach Polocrosse with Polocrosse Calgary for a month.
After Stampede a wonderful friend has reminded me that “the door is always open” She lives in Geraldton, Western Australia.
Yes the water is really this color!
AUSTRALIA! How can I not go visit, help her with her family, ride horses and play polocrosse for a season?
I’m going on Walkabout
All in the meantime, I will be working on uncovering what works for me as a career, direction in life and what really makes me happy.
Am I brave or stupid?
Im leaving the rest open to bigger and better opportunities that I never dreamed of. I wonder how this will pan out?
Where was I? Oh yes Change… Once you feel like you need a change, what do you do about it?
I feel like most people do change a bit. Once they really feel like they need to change something in their life, they do go down a path to do something about it.
Anyone out there up your workout routine so your clothes fit you better. This probably happens every year as the gym commercials ramp up and New Years resolutions start to be promoted! What about a change in your job? A change in location of living? A change in your relationship or lack of?
What do you want to change?
I had been feeling like I needed a change, I wasn’t really sure what exactly yet.
My advice for anyone feeling a need for change in their life:
Figure out what is making you feel like you need a change first.
Then think about how to steer towards that direction of change.
Think about short term things that need to happen and long term things that need to happen.
The more specific you are, the more direct and exact of a change you will receive. If you leave details very open, change will happen regardless, but a loose plan will open yourself up for possibly much more than you ever thought, possibly something way more than you ever pictured, and something much better than you ever dreamed.
I know I should write about myself within my blog…I mean that’s what blogs are about right? Recently I have had comments that I need to write more about myself….So here it goes:
I think about it often and then get stuck as to where to start.
The Equestrianista blog started sitting at a kitchen table in mid October of 2012 with an old equestrian friend and a glass or two of wine(ok it was probably a bottle shared between us if I really think about it). The Equestrianista started because I needed an idea, I needed change in my life, and I needed a chance to create something. Also.. who knows who I would meet along the way, get to know, find other opportunities out there!
I said I needed a change in my life-
So Why Not Do This and see where this Journey would take me?
OMG If you told me then where I would be now- I would’ve bet you were lying and making up the biggest story EVER!
But I guess I should back up to the beginning – enter at A, go down the center line and halt at X to start.
When I was young, my parents enjoyed taking long walks together. As I’ve been told, my dad would pack me on his back and they’d go for a long walk exploring around. Little did they know, that going to pet the horses, one day at the local barn, would influence my entire life. At age 2, I was pony crazy and with a little luck on my side, there was a very small pony for sale by the name of Peanuts at the local barn.
Some things have never changed, I love decorating the house, making things, etc…My favorite color is purple, and I have a soft spot for chestnuts. Yep this picture sums it up pretty much!
From the very beginning, I was a total pony girl, even when I was not spending time riding or at the barn.
Here is evidence, I used to make cloth bridles for the dog, pick her “hooves” and lead her around the house. When this wonderful dog passed away, from cancer, not my horsing around, I got a Jack Russell. I continued my horse training by collecting empty plant pots and sticks to jump her in the back yard. *On a side note, a Jack Russell and an active child are a perfect pair- they will wear each other out!
From out of the womb, I’ve always been very independent. I have been reminded by my father that I used to yell at him for trying to help me put my saddle on when I was 3yrs old. Even though I was not strong or tall enough to get it on and would belt the pony in the side with the saddle.
By age 4, I wanted to be just like the cool teenage girls and take jumping lessons. So my dad would put rails on the ground and lounge me over them as I bounced around on the saddle.
Asides from being naturally horse crazy- there were other influences to take into consideration of how I have come to be:
Other major horsey influences was fact that I grew up in the heart of horse country in New Jersey! I lived in Mendham which was 20 mins from Gladstone, NJ- a major epicenter for all things horses. That area has Hamilton Farms- the headquarters for the USET in Gladstone, NJ
Also at the grounds of the USET, there used to be a very big International 3-Day event by the name of Essex 3-Day. The Jersey Fresh 3-day has essentially taken its place. There is also a very well known international driving event called Gladstone Driving Event.
There were two great saddleries in the area.
Bevals, which is a very big fancy English riding tack store.
Coach Stop Saddlery, one of my favorite places to go as a kid. Just the other year I went to visit and check it out. It smelled the same and brought me back. It was wonderful!
Then you can’t forget Essex Fox Hounds! A very old hunt who has had some very high profile participants, including our favorite, Jackie O . Who I remember, as a young kid hunting with a very nice pretty lady who used to hang around the kids…hmmmm
These horsey things really stick in my head as far as being first influences in my life to be a pony crazy Equestrianista.
The Rolex Grand Slam- is up for grabs again. This time it’s up to William Fox-Pitt to win it this weekend at Badminton!
As reported last year, The Rolex Grand Slam is not impossible, but sometimes it seems so. Only Pippa Funnel has accomplished such a feat!
The biggest 4-stars in the World are Rolex 3-Day in Lexington, KY, USA & Badminton 3-day in the UK. They will be held in late April/early May – one weekend apart. Other big events is The Landrover Burghley Horse Trials held in the fall. These three top events are part of The Grand Slam of Eventing.
The Grand Slam of Eventing, sponsored by Rolex, consists of three of the top CCI****eventing competitions in the world. To win the Grand Slam, a rider must consecutively win all three events, although they are permitted to ride different horses in each competition. This is especially important, since the Badminton Horse Trials is only one week after Kentucky, and the horse would not have sufficient time to recover between the two competitions, especially since he/she would have to be flown overseas in that time.
Winners receive an extra $350,000, in addition to their winnings from each event.
Pippa Funnell at Badminton winning Badminton and the Rolex Grand Slam
William Fox-Pitt has four horses entered in the Badminton 3-Day event. Will that be enough to be the second rider in history to win the Grand Slam? He had the Grand Slam in his grasp last year at Rolex, but then fell short when Andew Nicholson won, taking Williams chances away.
Does he have this in the bag? Can he do it? Does he have what it takes?
You bet ya!
Traveling to Badminton?
What to pack for Badminton this year?
Weather Report- Weds- Sun:
The Highs of 14*C and lows of 8*C- with chances of showers from day to day.
When you live in one of the most beautiful historic horsey areas in the USA, it’s hard not to be involved with horses and pick up a camera!
It all started two years ago for Alec Thayer, a typical teenager who resides in Unionville, PA. In my opinion, Unionville, PA and the surrounding area ranks right up there as far as a more amazing famous horsemen/women found per square mile than any other place in the United States. Eventing, Dressage and Racetrack Superstars such as Phillip Dutton, Martin Boyd, Silva Boyd, Michael W Dickinson, Lana DuPont, Bruce Davidson, Jennie Brannigan- Just to name a few off the top of my head(sorry if I missed you). I’d have to do a whole blog post as to who lives around there!
If you ever get a chance to drive down the stone wall lined country roads in that area you will understand why.
What started it all for Alec, of AP3 Photography, was taking a national outdoor leadership school program. He was assigned to take 10 pictures a day. He enjoyed that so much that when he returned home that he took his camera and headed down the road to the Plantation Horse Trials to take some more!
After Plantation, he received many encouraging comments about his pictures that he has taken photography up as a main hobby. With a good natural eye and a camera in hand, Alec set off for more competitions and horsey events to attend to.
What do you love so much about what you do?
Being a recreational horseback rider and a self proclaimed adrenaline junky- skiing, sailing, etc.. Alec comments that he understands the timing of the horse & rider jumping. He really enjoys the challenge of taking pictures of a moving object and getting that perfect shot! That is his adrenaline rush when taking pictures of horsey subjects.
When fall came, Alec started to chase Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds. Started in the early 1900′s, the Cheshire Hunt has a rich heritage and is still a very active hunt. This is where the real love for photography started for Alec. For him, and many other foxhunting photographers, it’s the Chase of the Hunt that makes them come back for more!
Pictured above, it’s not just some crazy fit guy who runs 10 miles or more with the Cheshire Hounds on foot, but a very famous steeplechase jockey/ 5 Guiness Book of World Record title holder / turned race horse trainer from UK who also trained in Maryland, USA- Michael W Dickinson!
What do you love the most about taking pictures of foxhunting?
All of it, he replied. It’s the whole thing: capturing parts of the hunt, getting up close and achieving the ultimate goal of getting a picture of the hunted- Mr. Fox! It’s the challenge of figuring out where to be and how to get there ahead of the hunt so you can actually get a picture of it happening! It’s a game of getting the whole thing on camera.
Alex explains, that there are about 30-40 in car followers of the hunt. They follow the hunt in vehicles and all end up following the guy in the hound truck! The hound truck guy has “specialized skills, fox radar, built-in intuition, along with excellent driving skills” to know the back roads inside & out and where the hunt is probably going. First Alec would follow in his own vehicle, but has befriended the hound truck guy and now he rides with him!
This has enabled Alec to capture the real prize- the fox!
I asked Alec what he does in the off season. He replied, ” There really is no off season. There is a nice balance between Eventing and Foxhunting.” At the moment, finishing High School and getting accepted into College is the main priority for this young photographer. Alec hopes to get back into full swing once summer arrives. In the meantime, when he can, he gets out to continue to shoot photos.
His photography goals are to take some lighting classes and learn about indoor studio lighting. His ultimate dream location to shoot would be The World Equestrian Festival- CHIO Aachen this summer!
Best of luck with all your goals this year Alec!
I just love this picture, it reminds me of an old English hunt painting!
To see more of Alec Thayer- Check out his website and follow him on Facebook!
RM Williams, one of the quintessential Australian brands of leather goods and clothing.
The history behind this famous brand:
“Reginald Murray Williams was born in 1908 on a farm in mid-north South Australia.
Since the age of 16, RM worked through more careers than there are stitches on his brand-name boots. He was a camel boy, drover, well digger, boot maker, miner, businessman, historian, author and leatherworker, just to name a few.
He was born seven years after Federation to the optimism of the words of Australia’s first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton; For the first time in history we have a continent for a nation and a nation for a continent” and he lived to see the eyes of the world focused on Australia for the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
RM first went bush in his teens lime burning and building in stone in Victoria and on the Western Australian goldfields. In the late 1920′s, he signed on as a camel boy with the missionary explorer William Wade in his treks across Australia’s central western deserts.
He learned valuable bush lore and survival skills from the aboriginal peoples of the area, and honed his stock handling and bushcraft skills from the stockmen of the desert fringe cattle stations.
By 1932, the onset of the Great Depression found RM camped out in the Gammon Ranges of South Australia with his young family but his luck changed when he met Dollar Mick.
A self-taught genius in leatherworking, Dollar Mick passed on his skills to the 24 year old RM who made and sold his first pair of riding boots for 20 shillings to a man from Hilltaba Station whose name he couldn’t remember.
Having worked on some of the great pastoral runs of the interior, no one knew better than RM what men who were born in the saddle wanted when it came to footwear. Other landmarks of RM’s life include founding the Australian Roughriders Association, and helping to form the Equestrian Federation of Australia in 1951 and the Stockman’s Hall of Fame in Longreach in 1988. He was also editor of Hoofs and Horns magazine in the early 1950′s.
In 1985, RM was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for services to the outback community. In 1992, he was named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to business and community, and in 2001 he was awarded the Centenary Medal.
Reginald Murray Williams passed away on 4th November 2003 aged 95.”
The R.M.Williams Company was founded and established in 1932 by Australian legend, Reginald Murray RM Williams AO, CMG.
How the company started:
“In the early 1930′s, RM met a thin, wiry and colorful character by the name of Dollar Mick. RM was camped out in South Australia’s Gammon Ranges where he was barely making a living for his young family, sinking wells and doing odd jobs on surrounding stations. His fortunes turned when Dollar Mick arrived at his campsite, driving a dilapidated buggy drawn by two mules.
There was an age gap of almost 30 years between the two men but they built up an incredible rapport. Over the following months, Michael George Smith (Dollar Mick) passed on his vast knowledge of leather work and craft to RM, teaching him the secrets of bush saddlery and stockmen’s accessories, still prized today.
After much trial and error under the watchful eye of Dollar Mick, RM fashioned his first pair of boots which he sold to a man from Hiltaba Station.
RM later said that this defining experience with Dollar Mick marked the true beginning of his life’s work.
With boots sales to this first unknown buyer and cattle king, Sir Sidney Kidman, RM set up the beginnings of his first factory in an iron woolshed behind his father’s house at 5 Percy St, Prospect.
With no capital and little help, he built up a team of dedicated craftsmen and took out advertisements in the rural press that asked customers for cash with their orders, his mail order boot service and an iconic Australian company were born.
Over the following decades, RM developed his business, diversifying into bush saddlery and equipment and the company’s trademark moleskins, jeans and bush shirts.
Today, R.M.Williams exports to 15 countries, has more than 50 retail stores in Australia and two international stores in London and New York. In addition, R.M.Williams is available at more than 900 stockists around the globe and has retail space in numerous Myer department stores across Australia.”
A true staple that almost everyone has is an RM Williams belt.