Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter from Rome

Great way to spend the Easter holiday, with Pope Francis. Wish I was there too!  My lucky sister and her family are though. Have a great day!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Now that Daddy Winter is finally leaving, it's time to think about spring cleaning, around the barn.  Priorities!  House gets done later.  It's been so cold, so muddy and wet, well, cleaning has not been on my mind.  Where do you start?

Horses?  Barn?  Blankets?  Other?

I think I'll do the easy part first, the barn.  Time to pull out the water buckets that are heated and replace them with the regular buckets.  No more cords, thank you.  Buckets get cleaned, put away, new buckets come out.

I have started to put the blankets up, the ones I know I am not using again like the heavy wool coolers, stable blankets, and I have already washed a few. But I typically make a morning of going to the local laundry mat after just throwing them all in the back of the truck.  Just git r done! That will happen very soon, but there are still some cold mornings to deal with.  So that will wait another month.

Cleaning tack. I like to clean tack after a long cold winter, the stuff that has not been used too much since last fall.  Chaps got a good cleaning last night, oiled and ready to use until it gets too warm.

Tack store visit is also in order.  Aspirin (for horse shows), Sore No More, hair nets, maybe a new brush or two, clipper blades, linament, and shampoo; things I am sure to need in the next few months as we start riding a lot and showing.  It's always fun to get new stuff.

The barn gets a good cleaning too - mostly cob webs, sweeping, opening the outside dutch doors to bring in the cold air.  You can't get an old bank barn but only so clean, but airing it out makes all the difference.

I am also making one of these, after being inspired by Pinterest.  This will help me keep my hose folded and looking better.  Can't wait until it is done (it has been too cold to paint).

Ah, it's uplifting to get a good cleaning done, isn't it?  But then there's the house and the yard. Oh well....  Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Wreaths

 Lately I've seen several wreaths on doors that I just adore.  Maybe because I love rabbits and pastel colors, decorating for Easter appeals to me.  I came across these on Pinterest and believe you can find wreaths similar to these on

I saw a wreath like this on door yesterday.  Thinking maybe I could reuse a square Christmas wreath, with the right ribbon. 

Here are a few more:

This would be easy to replicate:

Which one do you like the best?  Do you have an Easter or spring wreath hanging on your door?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Horses and Hollywood

Hollywood and horses mix better than you might think.  Other than Tab Hunter, there are quite a number of people, past and present, who love horses and either found time to ride or own them, often both.  When I used to show in Vermont, we would see Glenn Close and her daughter at shows. She apparently rides with professional Lendon Gray.  Other than Ms. Close, look who else loves equines:

Fred Astaire owned race horses. Astaire, who died in 1987, romanced Robyn Smith, a successful, 37-year-old jockey who had not seen him in films. They were married in 1980.


Bing Crosby was also a race horse lover and owner.

(Wikipedia photo)

He bought his first racehorse in 1935 and by1937, he was a founding partner of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and a member of its Board of Directors.  Crosby and partner Lindsay Howard formed Binglin Stable to race and breed thoroughbred horses.  They also established the Binglin stock farm in Argentina, where they raced horses. A number of Argentine-bred horses were purchased and shipped to race in the United States.  The Binglin Stable partnership came to an end in 1953 as a result of a liquidation of assets by Crosby.

Tommy Lee Jones rides and plays polo.  He just put his Florida estate on the market for $22M.  He also owns a ranch in Texas.

Robert Duvall owns a farm in Middleburg, Virginia (which I have been to) but I would not say that he is a big time rider. He is rumored to have taken lessons with Joe Fargis (an Olympic show jumping veteran who also lives close-by).  His property houses many cows and the upper part of his large barn has been turned into a dance studio.  He is an accomplished tango dancer.  But he must love horses since he lives right in the middle of Virginia's best horse country.

Linda Blair, the star of The Exorcist is also rumored to be an accomplished rider who used to show the A circuit.

(Wikipedia Photo)

William Shatner is an accomplished saddle horse owner and rider.

 (UK Daily Mail)

Supposedly, Mel Gibson rides and Barbara Eden has an estate with horses.  Stephanie Powers plays polo and actress Shannon Dougherty trains with Susie Hutchinson.

Director and actor John Huston became Master of the famed Irish hunt, the Galway Blazers.  Yes, it's true. You can read about it in his own book here.

Apparently he became an Irish citizen and hunted with them and was later asked to be Master.  Who knew?

The Woodlawn Vase

Tradition has it's place, especially in horse racing.  The Woodlawn Vase is a glittering reminder of racing's illustrious heritage and why often, vintage is best and having a "past" is not necessarily a bad thing.


It's past is, well, let's just say, it has an incredible one.  Molly Jackson (the mare) was first awarded this 36 inch tall sold sterling silver masterpiece in 1861 in Louisville, Kentucky.  Since then the trophy has fallen into "Yankee hands" and was appraised by Tiffany's in 1983 to worth a stunning $1,000,000 but today is said to be worth four times that.  This is easily the most valuable trophy in American sports.

You may have seen the Vase on television if it happens to look familiar.  Today, the Preakness winner is handed the vase on television, but if you win, you don't get to keep it or even take it home.  But you did a smaller replica (35% of scale, but worth $40,000) that you get to keep. The winning trainer and jockey are given solid sterling cups that look similar to the trophy and valued at $15,000 each.  Since Native Dancer won it in 1953, owner Alfred Vanderbilt II declined to take possession of it and since then no one else has either.  The trophy now lives in Baltimore Museum of Art until it is escorted by the Maryland Army National Guard Soldiers and Air National Guard Airmen to the race course each summer.  

The trophy was created by Col. Robert Aitcheson Alexander, a breeder, who asked Tiffany to create a trophy for the Woodlawn Racing Association in Kentucky.  The Woodlawn Course was the precursor of Churchill Downs.  When Mollie Jackson won the cup in 1861 Capt. Thomas Moore took the cup home.  When the war broke out he smartly buried the trophy thinking the Union Army would find it and melt it down. After the war, the vase was unearthed and it remained in Kentucky until 1878 when the Dwyer Brothers captured it with Bramble in the American Stallion Stakes at Churchill Downs.  They took the trophy to Brooklyn.

The trophy was then contested at the Coney Island Jockey Club's meeting at Sheepshead Bay.  Later the vase was awarded at two other New York tracks, Jerome Park and Morris Park.  Thomas Clyde won the trophy in 1904 and gave it to the Maryland Jockey Club in 1917.  


The trophy is now part of the Woodward Collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art which is considered one of the finest collections of British sporting art in America with its 52 paintings of horses and racing scenes and silver and gold racing trophies along with replicas of the trophies from the three Triple Crown races won by Gallant Fox and Omaha, bred and raced by William Woodward who is from Maryland.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Dose of J Crewalade

It's hard to believe that it's spring when there's a snowstorm outside.  Just trying to get the spring fever but it's just not working.  Even a dose of Crewalade is not working today but here it goes:

And I must admit that there is nothing in the new catalog that is screaming at me.  My bank account will love it!

These are very cute, matchstick jeans, sort of Provence meets Prep...

This I love but nowhere to wear it.  I bet this will sell out.  In the catalog they have it with a white suit and it looks fantastic!
 This reminds me of the pants.

And I do have a soft spot for the tweed blazers. This I like a lot.  The one I bought last spring did not get worn that much though...

More pants. Are you seeing a pattern here?

I like these shoes a lot and maybe I can snatch them at the Outlet in a few weeks....

Another tweed jacket.....

This dress is very cute.  Beachy, clubby, just very nice:

Have had my eye on these in kiwi, they look yellow here but they are more green in real life.

Hope you are snuggled in warm somewhere in front of a nice fire!  Watching March Madness, maybe?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Tab "Heartthrob" Hunter, Rider

(Facebook photo)

Also known as the "Hollywood Horseman" Tab Hunter is the real deal.  For those of you too young to remember him in the movies, photos of his youth don't hide his appeal, to both sexes (he is gay).  Yes, that's him on the horse above.

 (Pinterest photo)

Now in his early 80's Mr. Hunter has added "author" to his repertoire, with his book, Tab Hunter Confidential, The Making of a Movie Star. He readily admits that horses have been his whole life. Who knew?  In the 60's he even contemplated giving it all up and moving to Virginia to ride.  He has fox hunted, ridden both hunters and jumpers, owned Grand Prix horses and has ridden western too. 

 (Pinterest Photo)

Mr. Hunter has known George Morris for years as well as Frank Chapot.  He rode in his third film in 1953, Gun Belt.  He rode also in The Burning Hills with Natalie Wood where he was able to use his own horse, a chestnut mare named Swizzlestick, who had been green jumper champion at Del Mar.  He was also able to use her in his next film Gunman's Walk  and in They Came to Cordura with Gary Cooper and Rita Hayworth. 

Tab's career goes way back.  He nabbed his first starring role at 19 and went on to make 40 major motion pictures including my favorite, the Academy Award-nominated Damn Yankees.  He also had a successful recording career, with his hit Young Love, which knocked Elvis out of the #1 record slotThis guy can do it all - sing, act, ride. 

Mr. Hunter's real name is Arthur Gelien (wonder if the name "Hunter" was his choice or someone else's)? 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Old and New Equestrian, From Etsy

I love perusing Etsy, you never know what you will find there.  And the prices seem to be reasonable most of the time, unlike Ebay today.  I bought some very popular gifts on for Christmas.  And people's creativity never ceases to amaze.

If I were having a birthday party, these invitations and decorations would be perfect!

This stationary is great. Very different.  Love it!

Hand towels make a great hostess gift.

More cards!

 This vintage Ferragamo belt is interesting.  Would probably have to see it in real life.

 People are starting to knock-off these bracelets for a lot less money.

Seeing this brought back many memories. I had a whole set of these when I was little, with the barn and riding ring that was covered in green felt!

 I like this too.  Vintage can be best.

 Another vintage item, a handkerchief. 

 These needlepoint lampshades are very interesting, a bit pricey but if you had the right spot....

More creativity at work. These are wine glass charms, for the person who has everything and loves horses!

Happy Thursday!  March Madness starts today...........
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