Thursday, October 17, 2019

Fun Cheeky Needlepoint

It's time to fill the stash for the coming cold and I am adding some cheeky needlepoint to my stash this year.  Never heard of it?  What is it?  Well, thanks to super stitcher, Jessica Chaney of Lycette (the most fabulous needlepoint store I not visited yet in Palm Beach), cheeky is back in.  But maybe it never went out? 

Fun, cheeky sayings stitched into perpetuity on a pillow or door hanging makes for great dinner table conversation among other things.  Some famous stitchers who partook in this -  C.Z. Guest and Bunny Mellon. Below is C.Z. Guest’s collection of cheeky needlepoint, purchased by the gents of Madcap Cottage.

Happy Thursday.  Stitch a spell.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Make Mine Fair Isle

Fair Isle is back again in a big way this season and I am loving it.  You can go high end or low end, but there's lots to choose from this year.  Glad it's back, again..............



Love this Joie Sweater from TJ Maxx.  Great bargain!

If you prefer high end, there is lots to choose from.......

Love it!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Its Indoor Season in the Horse Show World

Yes, it's that time of the year, when the horses go "indoors" literally but that's what we call the big
"indoor" horse shows - Harrisburg, Washington and the National.  Harrisburg, as in Pennsylvania, started late last week and it will go through the weekend.  It's a fun time of the year for the horse show circuit but it's not for the faint-hearted.

You have to qualify for indoors, so it's the best of the very best and it's not easy to get in.  It's very expensive to go, from entry fees, to stabling costs and hotels and it's hard once you get there.  You cannot school in the ring but you are allowed in the ring along with 50-60 other horses at the same time, so it's not like your horse can really get a feel for the ring until you compete.  I remember one year at Washington getting up at 4:00 am to ride Sega in the ring.  And there's another element - the horse is not comfortable in a big indoor with more flowers on jumps than you've ever seen  and people in the stands, it's hard to explain but you have what I call "the third element" to deal with at indoors.  I have been to Harrisburg three times, Washington three times and never to the National.  

At Washington the ring is long and narrow and there are narrow openings between the jumps so it is so easy to get lost in the ring. Washington is harder than Harrisburg.  The warm-up ring is about the size of a postage stamp and it has columns in the middle of the ring. It's not easy in any way.  And the horses have to be shipped downtown to F Street where they are unloaded in the middle of the city. It's very unsettling for the horse too.

They moved the National to Lexington, KY so it's not the same as it once was when the event was held in downtown New York. It just got too expensive to have the show there. But I was invited one year to go and I had planned to take Sega the following year, not knowing that they were moving it out of New York - a huge regret as she would have been good there as she always was at big venues.  

If you live near any of these places I encourage you to venture out and see the shows.  The night sessions are likely more spectator friendly and there is great shopping at these shows for horsey clothes and WIHS has a great auction. We need to keep these traditions going and support these shows even as spectators. But having a few ribbons in my tack room from Harrisburg and Washington is really something I never thought I would have.  But the memories are priceless.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Do Horse Therapy Products Really Work?

There is so much stuff out there now for horses, that it's hard to know what stuff really works. The big show barns have all the bells and whistles - Theraplate, Magnawave, Sports Innovation Blankets like the one below. But these things are really expensive so the average horse owner is likely not going to have access to these.  When I showed the circuit in a big way my trainer had a foot pad that Sega lived on (she has flat feet) and I do think it helped her to stay sound.  Alfie loves Theraplate and Madison had access to a Magnawave last spring thanks to my old trainer.  And it helped her. 

The Back on Track therapy works IMHO for some horses.  Alfie lives in their wraps at horse shows and instead of being poulticed after a hard workout (which does not work for him) he goes into his BOT wraps and they work like a charm.  I have one of these blankets too but I don't use it much and am not sure how effective it is.  You just have to try these out to what works for your horse.  Borrow a blanket from someone for a few days.  Try the wraps out (they are not terribly expensive).

I have been wanting to try out this blanket for quite a while as I think it might be a good alternative for Madison who is somewhat of a diva and likes to be "worked on."  These are expensive but not out of the galaxy and I have heard good things about them. The reviews seem to be better for the more advanced model.  It may be worth a try.

The cold therapy is tried and true (ask any elite tennis player) and you can use Ice Vibe boots for this purpose or just a bucket and some ice will also work wonders.

But no one therapy will work for every horse. Like people, we are all different and you have to figure out what fits your issues.  Horses are the same way. 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Wide Load

While I really like the look of wide legged pants, I was not sure that I could pull it off.  Not being tall or particularly long-legged, this is a look only a Ralph Lauren fashion model could wear well.  Or that's what I thought.  So I ventured out to try on a pair or two to see if this look could work.

My goal was to try these pants on but they did not have them at my local store:

I love the look and the color. They would go with everything and I could wear them except in the dead of winter (unless we skip winter, which so far looks like a possibility here in Virginia).

The ones I loved however, were these, and I don't think they look particularly good on this model.  These pants are the most comfortable pants that I have tried in a very long time.  I opted for the cropped but because I am short they hit my ankles, a perfect length. If you are tall you might opt for a longer version unless you want them cropped.  I liked these because they are wide but not too wide.  Size down too, I went down one size for a perfect fit.

I'll wear these with a black turtleneck, Gucci loafers or even tennis shoes.  Cannot wait to wear these.

I picked out a few more styles that I liked, wide but not wide, to add to your fall wardrobe.  We all need to learn to live on the wide side.  And these styles are very forgiving!  Love these cords!

And I love these from Ann Taylor:

And I love these faux suede pants also from Ann Taylor:

These are a bit summery but if you are wintering in a warm climate add these to your wardrobe.  Love them too!

Try the wide look.  You might really be surprised.  I was!  Enjoy your Sunday!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Fun Equestrian Bags and Totes from Henry Dry Goods

I've blogged about this Kentucky-based company before after I discovered her cute stuff at Keeneland. She has some new bags out - and they are so cute in person - these are perfect for holiday gift giving or gift one to yourself.  This large tote comes in two patterns. 

I love this duffle bag.

More bags.....

You can shop the site here.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Fall Barnwear

It finally cooled down here in Virginia and we got a little bit of rain over the evening, not nearly enough, but we'll take anything at this point.  It's time to pull out the fall boots, coats, gloves and sweaters.  Need some updated barn clothes or just something to wear to the fall races?  Here are some of my picks.......

I tried these boots on and love the look but they are too wide for my skinny feet.  If you need a fun pair of boots to wear around the farm, in the country, these are a great choice.  Those of us with skinny feet will continue to revert to custom or high priced Italian boots as nothing else fits.  See these here.

Finding good paddock boots is difficult and I have not tried these but like the look and they are well-priced.  Wish they came in brown but black is also functional.  See them here.

Loving yet another hunt print vest from Ariat.  You can't have too many of these can you?  See it here.  Pair it with a green wool turtleneck and jeans for a great fall look. 

These are my favorite boots ever. I have had mine for probably ten years and still going.  Wear them to the barn every morning in winter as they are the warmest boots I own.  Comfortable, easy to slip on and off and they somehow fit my skinny feet.  Worth the investment?  Yes. Yes. Yes.  See them here. They look good with jeans and skinny cords for a weekend at the races too.

Love these lined gloves for crisp fall mornings.  See them here.

Love this plaid Barbour vest.  See it here.

Wear this wool Barbour sweater under the plaid vest for a great fall look.  See it here.

Enjoy the fall weather wherever you are!
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