Sunday, October 14, 2018

Life in the Doghouse - The Incredible Story of Danny and Ron's Dog Rescue Organization

Most people who love horses also love animals but especially dogs.  Most everyone I know on the circuit has at least one dog in tow.  Danny Robertshaw and Ron Danta, two well-known professionals in the hunter-jumper world, started a small dog rescue organization that has morphed into a well-oiled machine that has saved and homed over 11,000 dogs.  Amazing isn't it?

Based in South Carolina or Florida, depending on the season, they have a full-staff, a non-profit that has raised money to support their cause and now a movie.

The documentary film is showing across the country in select theaters.  You can use this link to see if it is coming to your town.  

A few years ago Essex Shirts created a Danny and Ron's Rescue Shirt and part of the proceeds go to fund this wonderful cause.  And aren't they cute?


They also have a version for non-riders.  You see the others here. I have this one and it goes with everything!  And what a great way to spread the word about this great organization (and look good at the same time!)





And they have a tie:


If you need a new dog, want to fund a great cause, and see a very heart-warming story that has a happy ending, then check out Danny and Ron's Rescue.

You can donate directly to the organization:

 Danny and Ron's Rescue
PO Box 604
Camden, SC  29021

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Unlikely and Unknown Story of the Incredible Horse Fitzrada

A dear friend loaned me a book a few months ago about a horse named Fitzrada and his rider and owner Jane Pohl.  It's a wonderful horse story about a rouge cavalry horse who was eventually owned and ridden by Jane, winning at the top shows of the day in both the jumpers and the hunters - the Garden, Warrenton, and other well-known shows in the East. I had not heard of the horse or the rider, sadly.  It's a story that should be remembered. 


 
It is all captured in a very good book, "Renegade Champion, The Unlikely Rise of Fitzrada."  If you like a good horse book, this is one you should add to your library.  Richard Rust is Jane's son and thankfully he has captured this wonderful story.



Jane's father was in the military and she learned to ride on military bases and at West Point at a time when the Army still had active cavalry operations.  Fitz was a horse that no one could deal with and Jane eventually was given the horse.  She moved to Virginia (near Middleburg and Leesburg) and there she spent years with the horse, gaining his trust and eventually showing him.  He became one of the very best show jumpers of his day beating the immortal Cappy Smith and his string and the top jumpers.  Jane rode him in the working hunters too quite successfully and she also fox hunted with him.  This was a time when women did not ride in the jumpers.  She competed in classes of 50 in which she would be one of two or three women in the class.  And she'd win.

There is a great short video clip here that shows photos and videos of Jane and Fitz.  Love that she showed at Warrenton, at Washington, Hagerstown, MD (they actually had a major horse show there?) and Meadowbrook, MD (which is now Meadowbrook Stables in Rock Creek Park).  Love this history lesson in old horse shows!

Jane and Fitz also have a Facebook page full of old photos.  See it here.

There is also a documentary about Jane and Fitz but it is out of stock.  If anyone has one of these let  me know!

Fitz died in 1952 in Virginia from a pasture injury, a broken hock at the age of 22. Jane competed him until very late in his life.   He is buried there too but I am not sure exactly where his grave is or if it is even marked.


The combination of Jane and Fitz is akin to McLain Ward/Sapphire or Meredith Michaels Beerbaum/Shutterfly today.  This is a team that was so good together in their day, that if they were together now they'd be on any US Team. They were that good.  It's a great story.  Jane struggled to keep afloat in the years with and without Fitz.  She had one son and unhappy marriages in a time when getting divorced would label you an outcast.  Her happiest times were the years with Fitz. It's heartwarming that this horse brought so much joy and success even if for a short period in Jane's life.  Lesson learned - cherish the good years - you never know how long they will last.  Great story!  Needs to be remembered often!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The New Superhorse - Winx

You know it's a super-sized story when it's making waves around the world.  There is one amazing horse named Winx, in case you have not heard about her. Yes, a mare and she lives in Australia.  She's in the category reserved only for the great ones - Zenyatta, American Pharoah, and Rachel Alexandria.  She has won an amazing 28 straight races. Yes, that many.  And these are not slouchy races at the local track.  These are real races - 21 graded stakes races to be exact.  She won this past weekend in her stalking style, coming from dead last or near the back only to launch her amazing speed at the bitter end.  Remind you of another horse - Zenyatta?  Yes, it should.  They have the same sire - the great Street Cry.  And she's not done yet.

 Stay tuned!  She's still going!

Fall Clothing for Riders and Non-Riders

The fall clothing from Ariat and Dover are fabulous and you don't have to ride to wear these clothes. I saw this orange vest yesterday and fell in love. It is true Hermes orange.  The weight is very good - not too thick or thin.  And the Ariat quality is also top notch.

I also tried on this sweater that pairs nicely with the orange vest.  And it's mostly wool.  Remember that?  It is more brown than gray.

And if you are into teal then you'll love this one from Ariat:

There is a matching sweater too!


I'll think you'll be able to wear this stuff by the weekend.  Fall is indeed coming!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

New Needlepoint

I've been trying to replenish my "stash" for the coming winter stitch season.  There are lots of good new designs out there but sadly not so much for the "equestrian market."  Here are some of the canvases I have seen and loved.  Are you going to stitch the winter away as well?  Hope so!  These can be ordered by your local needlepoint store, Needlepoint.com or Po's Point Needlepoint in Charlotte, NC.

This ornament is so cute. I am planning put my needlepoint ornaments on a garland this year.  It has inspired me to add many more to my collection. 








I am trying to add pieces that I can use in the house throughout the seasons.  The autumn sampler above would be great to put out starting in early Fall through Thanksgiving.






Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Fall is in the Air

Between the rain, the storms, the monsoon and the tornadoes, I do believe that fall is in the air somewhere.  Our poor friends in North Carolina will need the crisp fall temperatures to dry out everything in the eastern part of the state.  Hang in there!  But everywhere else, fall is arriving and isn't it a welcome sight?

I am loving this new horse print from Pomegranate.  Can you see this on your fall table?  Yes, I can!



Tory Burch has some delicious new handbags for fall......

And I wish I had somewhere to wear this navy dress. Isn't navy the new black?

And this Whitney Jacket from Tory Burch is just timeless.  

And I love this flannel tote:

And this green bag:

What about this red coat from Boden?


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Horse Country Chic Hiatus

Many of you may have noticed a significant drop off in activity this summer.  Much is going on here at HCC and I apologize for not being a good Blogger these past few months.  We are working on an upgrade - I have not had time to work on it.  And I decided that sometimes less is more. I'd rather not blog than to do it second-rate.  Please bear with me as I hope to be back to normal activity in a month or two.


Friday, August 17, 2018

All-Time Favorite Horse-Related Products

So what can't you live without?  These are the items that you really didn't know you needed but now cannot and will not live without?

1) Tiger's Tongue Horse Sponge
You MUST buy one of these.  What is it?  It's a grooming tool that makes cleaning up a horse so darned easy.  Use this after you ride to get off saddle marks, before you ride to clean off all that dirt.  This will be the best $10 you have ever spent on a horse.  Bar none!


2) The Ultimate Hoof Pick
I would never buy one of these when I could get a hoof pick for $4.  Never again!   This is without a doubt the second best tool I have in the barn behind the Tiger's Tongue. Buy one of these if you don't have one already.


3) Back on Track Wraps
These are the best wraps for Alfie.  No need to poultice his legs, that does not keep his ankles from puffing up but these do.



4) Magic Cushion Hoof Packing
Nothing works on sore feet like this stuff.  Nothing!



5) Alcohol
I use this as a brace in lieu of Sore No More and other products.  It's far cheaper and I spray it on everything - legs, back, hocks, to clean off manure spots.  It's so versatile.  Put it in a spray bottle and quit buying expensive braces.



What's in your tack room?

Horse Barn Organization 101

Storing all the stuff you accumulate when you own horses can be maddening. I don't know where all the things come from but one day you look around and you realize that you have too much stuff and it must be organized!

I pulled some photos of barns that have accomplished the art of organization and neatness, traits that I hope I have in my next life.  Some people are able to think of everything like having a towel barn to hang damp towels in a wash stall.  


To have all this room would be total bliss, and no cobwebs anywhere (a menace in an old bank barn).  I love how the vacuum fits neatly between the two grooming stalls.  This is too neat to belong in my world!

It would be blissful to have a washer and dryer in the barn as well as a large refrigerator but I love the shelves and the organization here. 

Luckily I don't have a bell boot and horse boot fetish but if you have this affliction here is a good way to store them all:

This is a great way to store boots and hats (for people):

I do store my winter blankets this way but for someone reason it does not look like this:


Have I inspired you to organize?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Fun Fall Finds

I am loving some of the clothes I am seeing for fall - practical, easy to wear, vibrant colors, classic styles.  Here are a few picks so far......

I love these suede mules.  They will spice up most anything - jeans, a black dress or pants:

 

This dark blue dress is very versatile:

 

I struggle to find these types of bags without paying a fortune.  Adds a bit of punch to a black dress and heels.  Use with jeans and a white cotton blouse when you want to dress down.  Love this and the price.

While this bag is really more summer than winter, it's dark coloring enables you to use it year-round.  Love this one!

Not surprisingly this dress is already sold out in most sizes.  This is a classic!  See it here.

Like everyone else on the planet I have ordered this J Crew dress and love it.  I tried the black one.  Pair with the bag above.  


I'm also in love with this silk dress but hoping it goes on sale.

Love these shoes:


And I love this green mini-satchel. I'd take off the strap:


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