2014-The Year of the Horse -is a time of fast victories, unexpected adventure, and surprising romance. It is an excellent year for travel, and the more far away and off the beaten path the better. Energy is high and production is rewarded. Decisive action, not procrastination, brings victory. But you have to act fast in a Horse year. If you are not 100% secure about a decision, then don’t do it. Events move so quickly in a Horse year that you don’t want to gallop off in the wrong direction.
What does this translate into for The Equestrianista?
More Horsey Travel Adventures are needed! Go off the beaten path to find the best travel destinations!
I’m Worn-out but feeling rediscovered & refreshed!
I packed for 90 days in Australia and ended up staying for over 7 months! Here I sit in South Western Australia looking at my worn out clothes and feel refreshed and rediscovered!
We all reflect the year that just past.
If someone told me where I would be sitting down to write this blog post,
I would’ve told them that they were lying!
Lessons learned and enforced to live by from 2013:
Starting with my favorite old life lesson and ending with my new life lesson.
1. Be cautious of people who don’t have close good old friends.
I have always found that there is something askew with people who don’t have oldie but goodie friends. Not that every person you run into has the same thing wrong with them- but there are excellent good person qualities that are needed to have good old friends and be able to keep them! People who lack those good person qualities usually dont have many good old friends.
2. If you’re unhappy, change things.
Easier said than done sometimes, but if you can find the courage to take the first step, the rest of the steps come easy. There is NO reason to be unhappy and NO reason not to CHANGE things. You’re just wasting life on being unhappy- who wants to do that?
3. Life is too short- do what inspires you.
Earlier in the year of 2013, I was unfortunately reminded this life lesson. My wonderful friend Renee, pictured above, was killed in a horse related accident. It was one of those stories you read about that reminds you to practice being safe around horses. As much as I am still crushed to even think that she is not spreading glitter around this earth any longer, I am so grateful that she reminds me that Life is too Short and you need to do what inspires you and the rest will come. Renee was a huge advocate for animal rights in NYC and a big supporter for the carriage horses in NYC. She always followed her heart and did what inspired her.
Fashion Advice in honor of Renee- But something sparkly pink for 2014!
4. Create your own destiny.
This one is also a hard one, but as soon as you become inspired, feel that passion and fire inside of you, there is really nothing you can’t do. I don’t think that Destiny is a predetermined course of events. It’s your willingness and openness to try new things and go on different paths in life that inspire you.
5. Trust your gut.
Another oldie but goodie- You can never go wrong with this one. You will always wish you had gone with your gut when you were on the fence about something and you will NEVER look back on a decision if you allow your “gut” to point you in the right direction. *** Apply this to shopping for items. If you totally fall in love with a piece of clothing and you think about it often. Go back and buy it- you’ll end up wearing the worth out of it!
6. You’ll find love when you least expect it.
Yep they always say that and it’s true. I think when you finally take care of what needs to be taken care of along with a little bit of timing on things- you will find love when you least expect it.
7. You can’t deal with Crazy (This is stolen from a good friend of mine)
We have all tried to deal with crazy people and in the end, you will end up saying: You can’t deal with Crazy.
Steer clear of people when you get the “crazy person” feeling from them. Usually nothing good comes out of it.
8. Selfless and Selfish people just don’t mix
Again a personality difference that just never works out for both parties. If you feel that you are dealing with someone on the extreme end of one or the other- it might be best to change your strategy on how you work with them.
9. When times get tough the tough step in and offer help.
I have always been a person that has stood on their own. I fought for my independence out of the womb. I was reminded of that when my father told me that I used to yell at him for trying to help me put my saddle on my pony when I was 2 years old!
When times get tough, accept help, let friends step in and offer support. You’ll really find who’s who when you do. Last year I quit my job, sold my house, and set sail on a life adventure. Yes, that all sounds very fairytale, brave and adventurous- It was a bit calculated and a definite leap of life, and the best thing I ever did.
I just want to thank all my wonderful friends who offered places to stay, jobs to do and places to travel all over the world! PA, NJ, MD, ME, USA, Calgary, Canada, Western Australia!
Thank you Cara, Megan, Sarah, Lesley, Jane, & Mandy
10. Make yourself complete, love yourself & do what makes you happy. All else falls into place like you thought it would.
As I look back over the year of 2013, there were some real lows but also some great highlights. Looking at my clothes that I packed for 90 days in Australia that has turned into 7 months, I’m embarrassed of the wear and tear.
Thank you to some companies which I did pack!
I would like to thank Smartwool- the best sock company for keeping my feet happy while riding horses, exercising & hiking, and having an all around good time.
Click above to visit SmartWool’s site
Walmart for making great fitting, cheap, jeans that you can ride in as well as wear outside of the barn! My go to Cheap pair of jeans are LEI that is carried by Walmart!
Click above to visit Walmart
Thank you Victoria’s Secret for making great fitting bra’s. Even though they wore out after 6 months, I did only pack 3 along with some sports bras.
Click above to visit Vicoria’s Secret
Thank you Wrangler for making fashionable, classic jeans that make your butt look great in!
Click here to visit Wrangler’s Site
I will need to get my Lagrange Cowgirl boots resoled as I am afraid I have ridden and danced right out of the soles! Beautiful fashionable designs that Australia has never seen the likes of- Everyone wants to buy my boots!
Click above to visit Lagrange Leather’s site
My favorite Polocrosse playing boots- The Buckaroo made by Twisted X.
Click above to visit website
Man have these boots been through alot of riding this year, let alone the last 2 years!
Since July 2013- 25 weeks of riding multiple horses a day plus most weekends playing polocrosse tournaments in Western Australia. They still look great!
Click here to visit WAPA website
2014 is going to be great! It’s the year of the Horse and 2014′s Color of the Year is Purple! What more could an Equestrianista ask for?
I have made a silent observation this year. After being in three different countries and four very different locations, I’ve concluded, that this year I have been following the Lupines around the World! What does this mean? I’m not exactly sure yet…
The name ‘lupin’ derives from the Latin word lupinus (meaning “of or belonging to a wolf; made of wolf-skin”)
I do have trouble sleeping during a full moon- Maybe I’m part werewolf? Just kidding.
Maybe it’s partly my mother’s passion for flowers that has given me a fondness for the plant. I remember reading when I was young, Miss Rumphuis- A children’s book about a lady in Maine who spread the wild lupines all over the state.
Lupinus, commonly known as lupin or lupine (North America), is a genus of flowering plants in the legumefamily,Fabaceae. The genus includes over 200 species, with centers of diversity in North and South America. The legume seeds of lupins, commonly called lupin beans, were popular with the Romans, who cultivated the plants throughout the Roman Empire; hence, common names like lupini in Romance languages. . It is not certain why the genus earned such a name but it may have been inspired by the reputation of lupins as killers of livestock due to their toxicity,or the belief that they ravenously consume the nutrients in the soil.
My first sighting of these plants was in Texas while playing polocrosse in April- The famous Texan bluebonnets filled the land. It’s the state flower. Some of the views were breathtaking, especially when the bluebonnets were mixed with wild red paint brushes.
My second sighting of the Lupines was in June along the coast of Maine. Maine is known for their lupines along the roads like Texas as well as in New England gardens throughout. They cherish their lupines up north.
There’s a wonderful children’s book called Miss Rumphius that I highly recommend.
Next along my travels, in July, in the mountains of Calgary Canada I discover more Lupines. Above the barn, where some polocrosse horses were kept, was a large hill that was covered in wild flowers including the lupines. They were blue, small, and scrappy looking.
Last but not least, I land in Western Australia for more polocrosse, in August, only to discover that the Lupines are out here as well! About 85% of the world’s lupin seeds are grown in Western Australia. Along the path that I ride is filled with wild blue Lupines. They are considered as a weed by most locals. You can also find fields of white crop Lupines ready to be harvested as well. They are high in fat, protein and energy- They are great for horses that need to put on some weight and need energy.
Ialso had the opportunity to make some pretty bouquets of the flowers along with other local wild flowers found for a charity event. This is a great way to display flowers in a unique horsey equestrian way! Try it sometime!
What flowers do you observe while around equestrian disciplines?
I’ve been traveling the East Coast of Australia for the past week and was able to meet up with a good Equestrianista friend, Maryanne Gough of Icewood ASH. She was competing at the largest campdraft in the country, called Paradise Lagoons.
There were many new trendy styles at the campdraft which I would highly recommend adding into your wardrobe. Here is just a taste, a full report of wonderful ideas to add will come next week.
Three essentials to any trendy Equestrianista here were a beautiful crisp shirt. Either pretty and ruffled or colorful and bright, a felt hat, and an antique matchbox vesta made into a chunky necklace. Silver matchboxes were used back in the day to keep matches crisp to strike. They tend to be handed down to family and some creative women have turned them into beautiful chunky necklaces as keepsakes.
The Stampede Parade is a two-and-a-half-mile smile. A fitting way to kick off The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, the Parade begins with the World Champion Calgary Stampede Showband. A dynamic ribbon of pageantry follows, featuring beautiful floats, bands, riders, celebrities and cultural entries.
Arrive early on the route to ensure your seat and watch the Parade Prelude.
Calgary Stampede Parade Marshals occupy a prestigious place in our history. Parade Marshals have included Hollywood legends and humanitarian icons.
The 2013 Parade Marshal will be the first Canadian Astronaut to walk in space and the first to command the International Space Station (ISS)–Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Chris Hadfield.
Commander Hadfield accepted our invitation from space where he was the first Canadian to command the International Space Station.
There are between 300,000 – 500,000 spectators cheering on the parade participants. It’s one of the most incredible experiences I have ever been a part of. I can’t wait to ride in the parade tomorrow. If you are going, I will be with the big group – Calgary Polocrosse!
If you are lucky enough to get a great seat, remember to bring your camera, you never know what you will see!
I tend to over pack, I think a lot of us suffer from this. The trick that works for me is to put the luggage bag out a week or so ahead of time, as I come across something in my wardrobe that I feel would be essential, I start making a pile in the bag.
I stick to the basics:
Well fitting clothes.- If it doesn’t fit well, you end up not wearing it.
Keep in mind being able to mix & match pieces
Pops of color in accessories
Then to narrow things down, I ask myself these questions:
Do the pieces have multiple uses- can I dress it up or down?
Stick with general color schemes that go well together.
Take in consideration the season & your activities planned.
What’s trending right now?
What pieces do I wear often and really love?
Other packing tips:
If traveling internationally, pack a carry on bag with a day or two worth of clothes just in case your bags get misplaced.
Also if you are going to a certain destination for the first couple of days, pack for that in your carry on so you can get up and go when you arrive. Do all the work before you leave.
Constance Douglas was born on Sept. 26, 1901, in Eagle Pass, Tex., on the Mexican border. She swam in the Rio Grande and rode horses with the cowboys. Her grandfather gave her her first horse when she was 5. The family moved to San Antonio when she was 16.
Her father was a lawyer, and her mother was so genteel that she refused to go to the grocer’s without gloves and a hat.
At 101 years old, Connie was still riding her horse everyday. She was a huge inspiration to many people. Her health was great and her mind was sharp.
She was one of the first women to study law at the University of Texas, and she started one of the state’s first girls’ drill teams, a movement that grew into a Texas passion. She had to withdraw from school and get a job to help her family during the depression.
In 1998, Mrs. Reeves won the Chester A. Reynolds Award for major contributions to the Western way of life from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, one of two women to do so.
She was also the oldest member of the National Cowgirl Museum Hall of Fame. She was elected to the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1997, and rode in the parade to honor the Hall when it moved to new headquarters in Fort Worth in 2002. She was over 100 years old at the time.
She taught at two San Antonio high schools. At one, Thomas Jefferson High, she founded a drill team called the Lassos, which is still in existence.
She also started a riding stable to teach city boys and girls how to ride and care for horses. Although the stables were successful, she accepted a position as riding instructor at Camp Waldemar in 1936 for $50 a summer. She eventually taught Western and English riding styles to the granddaughters of her original students.
She came to the conclusion that horses respond best to women.
”The harsh voices and rough bark of boys and men seem to frighten horses,” she wrote several weeks before her death in a script for a video about riding. ”The same horse that refused to take the bit in its mouth will accept it from the more gentle hands of a girl.”
At the camp she met Jack Reeves, a former rodeo star, trick rider and keeper of the camp’s horses. They married in 1942; he died in 1985. They had no children, and she left no immediate survivors.
What was her secret?
“Well Honey, you just don’t let that rocking chair take over…you get up and go even if you don’t want to.”
Waldemar’s program that builds character, refinement, and self-esteem in young women, along with the exceptional beauty of the camp location sets this camp apart. Today, the styles may have changed, but the Elmore family continues to run Waldemar by preserving the camp legacy.
“I believe in the girls of today. In this age of transition they have already accomplished much, but with greater possibilities opening every day for physical, mental, and moral growth, there is almost no limit to their achievements. Camp Waldemar was founded to create opportunities for developing the best in every girl. Encouraged by the unusual success of the past seasons, it has become my ambition with the aid of my counselors and girls to build in Texas one of the best camps in the United States.” – Ora Johnson, 1926
If you would like to read more about Connie’s life, she wrote a book: Click on the book to order!
The stressful question: What to pack for vacation?
Equestrianista, Beth just wrote in for advice about what to pack on her vacation to Jackson Hole, Wyoming! She’s going with her family and should look great, be prepared, and western themed in all her pictures that she will be taking! She’s a busy wife, mom of two great rowdy boys with a full time job. She juggles everything and always looks great doing so.
She’s beautiful onthe inside as well as outside- I hope you have an amazing time on your vacation!
Her problem is that she’s from the “english” world and wants to fit in out west!
How can an english rider look western and fit in?
#1 Advice- The more bling the better!
Hopefully you have some basics in your closet- Like a great pair of Cowboy Boots, good fitting jeans, some button down shirts, a couple of cute dresses, some outdoor adventure wear, etc…
Here’s my advice and thoughts:
I don’t want to pack a ton of stuff, but I want to be prepared for all the wonders Jackson Hole has to offer!
Things to think about: Luckily, Demin on Demin is very trendy right now. White is always great for summer. Button down shirts are great for any occasion.
If I was going out west for a week, this is what I would pack:
I had the privilege of talking with tailgating experts Jennifer Buracker and her daughter Charlotte about tailgating essentials for the upcoming horsey event season!
Jennifer established Cassel Interiors, Inc . in 1998. She has designed for clients throughout the Metropolitan DC area and the Carolinas. Jennifer understands the marriage between creating a vision and creating a home. With an eye for detail, she designs interior and exterior spaces that speak to each client’s personal aesthetic. With her experience and expertise, she efficiently brings a project from concept to completion. Well regarded by the designing community, Cassel Interiors, Inc. is committed to creating a beautiful home that brings joy to each and every client.
Introducing Cassel Table Couture by Cassel Interiors, Inc.
After moving a couple years ago to the Middleburg, VA area, Jennifer’s table cloths has become a very popular item in Middleburg, since the town is filled with horsey people and horsey events almost every weekend all year long! In Middleburg, it’s unusual to not see someone with breeches and boots in the grocery store!
There is a point to point almost every weekend throughout the summer.
“Tailgating is such a fundamental part of an event, especially in Middleburg, VA.” You can find Cassel Table Couture at polo events, steeplechases and the Warrenton Horse Show.
A fantastic tailgate should encompass individuality and fun! That’s what we are all about at Cassel Table Couture.
Jennifer’s table cover designs are unique for several reasons:
They are custom designs that reflect the individual or business.
They are waterproof and look spectacular rain or shine.
They don’t blow off- they are specially designed to stay in place.
They are environmentally friendly as you can use them year after year. They are made out of outdoor fabric. All you have to do is hose them off with a little ivory soap and water and they are as good as new! We like things that are easy to clean and take care of!
What color combos are great?
Cream and/or Navy, both colors really pop with the green grass background. Plaids and herringbone patterns make wonderful runners.
What is your tailgating creating advice?
Plaids and herringbone patters add wonderful contrast.
Use pewter or silver
Add horsey and quirky touches- like tall boots turned into a vase.
Very similar toe fashion advice: brighter colors and color blocking are very popular right now. Stick to your basic colors such as cream or navy for the cover and add color with accessories or the table runner, which you can have a couple of. Sky’s the limit of what you can do. Right now fun runners are a wonderful way to add color- Try polka dots or go classic. 1 cover and a couple of runners is all you need.
What’s trending in fashion this year at these events?
Hats are always in, but we are noticing different hats- like a fedora
Also lady’s are not only seen in great dresses, but a well fitted trouser suite look is in!
It only seems fitting that as the business grows, Rebecca has included family and friends that are all well-versed in the horse and dog community. From the Amish harness makers who hand-make her leather products to the sales team who ride and show world-class horses, a large team of authentic animal enthusiasts and experts work side by side to develop this beautiful product.
Today, through the use of authentic equestrian hardware, responsibly tanned leather, traditional handwork, and the finest quality fabrics, Rebecca Ray Designs reflects the spirit of the Sporting Lifestyle: nostalgic, modern and timeless. Uniquely American. Untamed Spirit. Unharnessed American Couture.
Travel Tips from Rebecca Smith, of Rebecca Ray Designs!
What does she wear traveling?
What does she use as her carry on?
What’s in Rebecca’s purse?
Rebecca’s travel outfit is classic, professional, and comfortable.
Rebecca says she’s kind of boring when traveling with her outfit choices. She sticks to a good pair of jeans, a button down shirt, always her bit belt, a black blazer, Donald Pliner boots, and one of her cuff bracelets. She admits, she’s a black clothes person.
Rebecca chooses The Maryann bag as her go to carry on bag. She can fit a variety of things into it. She packs a pair of clothes and 3 cosmetic bags that carry various items. 1 bag will carry all her computer plugs, phone charger, etc… 2 bag will carry any medications or first aid items. 3 bag will carry makeup.
I know you’re dying to know. What is in Rebecca Smith’s purse?
“Hmmmm…. , she says. Let’s see….”, as she rummages around in her Christy bag. ” I don’t need these anymore!”, as Rebecca refers to the Rolex 3-Day admission tickets and the Kentucky Reining Cup tickets.