2015 has been a good year for the horses so far. Once the weather broke (and it was horrid early on), I worked to get Alfie back in gear. It takes a while to get him going and we finally were able to hit the horse shows in April. Being the ADHD gelding that he is, Alfie must be in a routine, which means a quick ride five days a week. I must admit that I never thought I'd learn to love showing Alfie like I have this year. Maybe we finally have that 'understanding' that can take years to develop. He still has his moments, for sure, but he seems to finally understand that this is what he is supposed to do and he likes it. I have fallen in love with him, although I have always loved the guy in no uncertain way. It's just we now have that special something that Sega and I had all those years which I never thought I'd say about black boy. It's not the exact same, but it's more fun now, I feel like we finally have a true partnership. He's good most of the time, and his record on winning tricolors this year and blue ribbons is pretty special. He's all or nothing, lucky we've been "all" much of the time. Hoping that the second half is as good as the first. Love that face, how could you not? Cheers to Alfie. May you have many more tricolors in your future!
Thank you Adornment Needlepoint for letting us share these gorgeous needlepoint belts that were made to use with an Hermes belt buckle. What a cleaver idea and I can't wait to try this.....the belts are finished to 1 1/4 inches to go with the gold Hermes buckle. Love, love, love this....
Also like the color of leather chosen, not your typical brown or black. Another great idea.
Betty Meyer of Irondale, AL is the lucky winner of the giveaway decal. Congratulations Betty. Betty is going to use her decal on a wash bucket, for her Oldenburg's stall door. Hoping she'll send us a photo! Congratulations Betty! Thanks for reading and enjoy!
Thanks again to Foolproof Customs. You can see their adorable wares here.
There seem to be a number of what appear to be authentic lawn jockeys on Ebay at the moment. Some have hefty price tags but nonetheless these are hard to come by. If you are in the market for one of these vintage items and if you happen to live near the sellers (shipping will be high) then you might want to take a peak. The concrete ones may look old but they are not the original ones so don't be fooled. They are old, yes, but the "original" ones were made of cast iron. Here are few that I found today. You can start looking here.
We meandered over to our closest winery (and it's relatively new), Jump Mountain Vineyards, this past weekend. The wine is very good, especially considering the age of the vines.
We tasted reds and whites and even the reds (I prefer white) were worth bringing home a few bottles. The owners live in nearby Charlottesville and spend their weekends working the vineyard (and I thought I had zero free time). Very impressed with everything we saw. If you are traveling through Virginia and want to add another winery to your tour, make a note of this one. See more information here and they also have a Facebook page.
Foolproof Customs has offered a giveaway horse decal to one lucky Horse Country Chic reader. Owners Brittany and Kaitland have offered one of their horse decals with the round monogram in the center. I'm curious to learn where you might put this if you win it. Respond to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 pm Friday (CDT). Include your name, your initials, colors, and where you'll put it if you win. Drawing will be random.
If you have not seen their cute things on Etsy, you should! Check them out here.
Tory's having a great sale right now, 30 percent off all sale items. There's lots of summer left out there, so it's a great time to pick up some staples, at more than 50 percent off in some cases. Here are some of my favorites.....
Love this minaudiere. It comes in two colors, love them both.
Exactly on this day July 6, 40 years ago, in 1975 at Belmont Park.
It was a match race between her and that year's Kentucky Derby winner,
Foolish Pleasure. In the past, the
horses had shared the same jockey: Jacinto Vasquez. Vasquez chose to
ride Ruffian in the match race, believing her to be the better of the
horses; Braulio Baeza rode Foolish Pleasure. The "Great Match" was
heavily anticipated and attended by more than 50,000 spectators, with an
estimated television audience of 20 million.
As Ruffian left the starting gate, she hit her shoulder hard before
straightening herself. The first quarter-mile (402 m) was run in 221⁄5
seconds, with Ruffian ahead by a nose. Little more than 1 furlong (201
m) later, Ruffian was in front by half a length when both sesamoid bones
in her right foreleg snapped. Vasquez tried to pull her up, but the
filly would not stop. She went on running, pulverizing her sesamoids,
ripping the skin of her fetlock and tearing her ligaments until her hoof
was flopping uselessly. Vasquez said it was impossible for him to stop
her. She still tried to run and finish the race. Video showed Ruffian
was startled by a bird from infield and took misstep.
was immediately attended to by a team of four veterinarians and an
orthopedic surgeon, and underwent an emergency operation lasting three
hours. When the anesthesia wore off after the surgery, she thrashed
about wildly on the floor of a padded recovery stall as if still running
in the race. Despite the efforts of numerous attendants, she began
spinning in circles on the floor. As she flailed about with her legs,
she repeatedly knocked the heavy plaster cast against her own elbow
until the elbow, too, was smashed to bits. The vet who treated her said
that her elbow was shattered and looked like a piece of ice after being
smashed on the ground. The cast slipped, and as it became dislodged it
ripped open her foreleg all over again, undoing the surgery. The medical
team, knowing that Ruffian would probably not survive more extensive
surgery for the repair of her leg and elbow, euthanized her shortly
afterward.The only race she ever lost was the one that killed her.
Foolish Pleasure's trainer, Leroy Jolley, said that he assumed Ruffian
would win the match race before it was arranged; Ruffian's speed/time
records and winning margins were by far better than Foolish Pleasure's.
Before Ruffian broke down, she always led the field by over half a
length, and once there no other horse ever passed her; she would not
allow it, as demonstrated in her Sorority race when she refused to let
Hot n' Nasty by her, even though she suffered from a freshly popped
One of the most popular designs is still endearing even today in an age when most don't pay attention to fine china, linens and crystal. The design is based on the Tobacco Leaf
pattern originally made in China in the 18th century for export to
Portuguese and Brazilian markets. The pattern incorporates 27 colors,
with a small phoenix perching on the leaves of a nicotiana. It is used
in the board room at Sotheby's in Manhattan and at the American Embassy
in London. The original is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
My dear friend Susan was in a terrible riding accident and she is in our thoughts and prayers as she begins a long recovery. Her store in Charlotte has the best selection of equestrian needlepoint and she often comes to shows - Deep Run, Raleigh, Blowing Rock and WEF. Here are some of her canvases. If you'd like to learn more go to her website here. Happy stitching!
July 5th will be Sega's 21st birthday. I can still remember turning 21 and what a big deal it was; wonder if she's thinking the same. How fortunate am I to have had such a special horse in my life for the past 18 years and I pinch myself, that she's been with me all but the first three years of her life. Sometimes you just get lucky or maybe some things are just meant to be.
I hope it's the latter as I feel like we just belong. We understand each other. She knows my walk, my door slam, my voice, and my anger (although it's so rare for that to come out around her). She's like the child you always want to have - perfect student, pretty, athletic, popular and healthy beyond compare. And so far she is aging well and seems to love her life in her huge stall with two windows, a door to see outside, lush green grass paddocks to graze, an occasional ride, a trip out every six months or so and more love than anyone could ever want or need.
I hope I'm writing this post again when she hits 25. We've do real fireworks for the quarter century mark! As one trainer remarked to me a few years back, "when the mare goes we're going to have a State funeral."
Enjoy your holiday. I'll be hanging out with the caramel colored mare who loves Altoids. Happy holiday!
On the North Carolina coast, below the Outer Banks, by Beaufort-by-the-Sea, lies Shackleford Banks. On these shoals are wild horses, thought to be from the Spanish ships that wrecked off the coast hundreds of years ago. These horses roam wild and are protected. Here are some great photos of one new addition to the herd, born on June 30th. If you want to learn more about these horses, go to the Facebook page here.This is a great organization to support!