Friday, May 31, 2013

Is Brown Back?

Seeing a lot of brown these days, maybe more in the jumper ring than in the hunters, but is it really back?  Like in this Charles Owen hat?

Or this one from Troxol which likely would be used at home or for schooling....

I wish brown field boots would come back.... we wore them in the 70's.....


And I simply adore this brown Animo riding coat:

So brown gets my vote.  I say let's see more of it.  Black and navy need a little spicing up!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Horse of Course Shop on Etsy

A reader mentioned her shop on Etsy this week, so I thought it worth sharing as she has some cool stuff.  There is so much out there on Etsy that sometimes it is hard to find everything.  Here is the link to her store. 

This is probably my favorite item, also one of the most expensive. But is this not unique?  What is it you might be asking?  This is a custom hand crafted wooden "Jeu De Course" Horse Racing Lawn Game.  These appear to be made to order. 

All parts and pieces fit securely and conveniently into a custom carrying case.   A set includes:
6 - giant sized hand made and hand painted solid wooden dice, with actual router indented "pips" ( "not just painted on").( you pick your favorite colors!)

6 - hand made and individually hand painted race horses, which stand approximately 12" tall and are made of 1 1/8" thick solid pine wood.( you pick your favorite colors!)

1 - 2 ft wide x 8ft long custom painted artificial grass racetrack, which features 6 "starting gates", 7 "lengths" and finish line.( 12ft and 15ft lenghts available for additional fee).

1 - custom carrying case, personalized on the inside and outside of lid with your choice of racetrack name and "vintage look pinstripe graphics"( not shown in photos). The case measures approximately 26" wide x 24" deep x 14" tall. Made with a combination of 3/4" thick medium density fiberboard and 1/2" thick plywood, the case features brass plated latches, piano hinge, box corners and handle for easy transportation, durability and long life. A decorative, easily installed lid support is included to support lid when in the open position. (Again, box and racetrack name painted in your choice of colors!)

Also love this antique Jeu De Course Horse Racing Game from the late 1880's. Still works too!

Some other stuff:

Happy browsing, or maybe shopping!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Essentials

Now that it is going to top 90 degrees today, it's time to go on summer mode, thank goodness. I love summer and the heat and humidity don't bother me too much.  Horses stayed in today, fans came out and night turnout is on!

What things do you find essential for summer?  Here are a few of mine:

Ariat Breeches

I love Ariat breeches, they fit the best and just bought a pair of Heritage breeches for the summer. I have two pairs that I use only for shows but they have some great lightweight ones for summer and they hold up well.


I always use sunscreen and since I am outdoors a lot during the summer, it is a must. 

Sparkling Ice Water

We drink a lot around here and Sparkling Ice Water is my new favorite.  At less than a buck, no calories and lots of flavors what's not to like?

A Good Cheap Fan

Not a fan of air conditioning but I do turn it on when it gets really hot. I prefer a fan.  Love the noise, the breeze it creates and not to mention that it keeps the power bill down.  Just a $20 one from Wal-Mart will do.  The horses like theirs too!

J Crew Shorts

I love most things J Crew but really like their shorts and you can always get them on sale at a great price like these I just ordered for around $30 including tax and shipping.  Shorts and summer just go together.


I also love tunics in summer.  Am eying this one at J Crew but I like many brands like Sheridan French, Elizabeth McKay, Lilly, and Tory Burch:

White Jeans

White jeans are worn in my house most of the year.  But we like them more in summer as they go with everything.
( photo)

Jack Rogers Sandals

Can't beat Jack. From Jackie to today, they never go out of style.

Lilly Anything

Need I say more?

A Crisp Linen Dress

This one is from Elizabeth McKay and I love it!

The French Open started this week.  Then comes Wimbledon and finally the US Open.  I love to watch tennis at night after a hard day's work. The picture below is from a warm-up tournament for the US Open last August.  Hope to see that one again too!
Welcome summer!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Horse Country Chic Goes Retail?

Thought I would show you a few items that I currently have for sale in a small store near where I live.  My plan has been to set up a store on Etsy but that has not happened yet.

The plan is to have items with an equestrian-theme.  Like this green magazine rack below with a horse painted on it:

 Some antiques, like these old shot glasses or apertif glasses:

This very old plate:

And of course the lawn jockey.  I had a green one that sold in a few days:

Would love your comments, suggestions, ideas.........

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Minis Up for Adoption in Virginia

Have you always wanted to own a mini?  And I am not referring to a Mini Cooper although I have always wanted one of those.  Well, now's your chance.  A Rescue in Virginia has several available and you can "save" one of these adorable animals for $100.  A Facebook page has all the details here.

They are indeed adorable and they each deserve a wonderful home!  Happy Holiday Weekend!

Friday, May 24, 2013

"Technical" Show Shirts

There has been a lot of chatter about the "new" technical show shirts that are popping up in the show rings.  Seems the world is indeed changing and those white cotton ratcatchers with the pretty monograms, well, they are so "old school."  Instead, there are lots of new vendors out there producing shirts that breathe, dry, wick, maybe even give birth.  Who knows?

The ECE Knitted Competition Shirt falls into this category. Won't win an award at Fashion Week, but is oh so practical...

Ece Technical Show Shirts

I have not seen this in real life but it has signature pearl snaps and printed technical fabric on the inner collar.  Aeorocool fabric (must really be cool, no pun intended).  

Another popular shirt is the Essex Classics Talent Yarn.  Am a big fan of Essex and like their more traditional styling.  These are so popular right now that it is hard to find them in stock in some sizes.  You can get these in different fabrics around the collar, not that you will see that on the horse with a jacket on.  Machine wash and dry.  Gotta love it.  No more ironing....

The Tredstep™ Symphony Long Sleeve Competition Shirt in exclusive AirSilk™ four-way stretch fabric keeps you dry even in very hot and humid conditions. Silk-like fabric converts perspiration to cooling energy and fights odor-causing bacteria to help you ride with confidence. It also provides protection from ultra-violet rays, dries quickly and allows cooling, two-way breathability. Exquisitely detailed for competition, this shirt has a crisp woven collar and hidden snap closures, figure-flattering seams and ribbed side panels. Feels like silk against your skin for a touch of luxury in and out of the saddle.Machine wash.Imported.

 The FITS Anna Silk Touch Show Shirt looks like a more traditional show shirt but apparently it is not.    It is made with powermesh fabric, and claims to be "air conditioned" which is a unique claim.  People say they are great.

Here is another vendor to consider, but your pocket book should be warned that this vendor will have a dangerous effect on your bank balance.  The Animo shirts.  Love these!

Are there others out there that you would also recommend?  Ariat?  New companies that maybe we have not heard about yet?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Great New Book to Read!

I don't usually promote books or authors here but I thought I would make an exception for my friend Lian Dolan.  Her second book, Elizabeth the First Wife, just came out and it is hilarious.  She has the best sense of humor and the book is beyond entertaining.  Here is a clip from Amazon just to give you the flavor:

Elizabeth Lancaster, an English professor at Pasadena City College, finds her perfectly dull but perfectly orchestrated life upended one summer by three men: her movie-star ex-husband, a charming political operative, and William Shakespeare. Until now, she’d been content living in the shadow of her high-profile and highly accomplished family. Then her college boyfriend and one-time husband of seventeen months, A-list action star FX Fahey, shows up with a job offer that she can’t resist, and Elizabeth’s life suddenly gets a whole lot more interesting. She’s off to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the summer to make sure FX doesn’t humiliate himself in an avant-garde production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

As she did so skillfully with her first novel, Helen of Pasadena, which spent more than a year on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list, Lian Dolan spins a lively, smart, and very funny tale of a woman reinventing her life in unexpected ways.

Her first book, Helen of Pasadena, was fabulous and this one is no different.  Lian lives in Pasadena and makes all kinds of references to her West Coast life.  But I think most people will enjoy her books.  Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Keswick Farm Tour

If you happen to find yourself in central Virginia in early June, make your way to Keswick for the annual barn tour.  It is only held one day, June 8th from 10 to 4.  As usual, Grace Episcopal Church will be on tour and a host of properties. Tickets are $15 per person, kids under 12 are free if you buy early.  At the event, tickets are $20.  You can learn more by going to the web site,

Kinloch Farm is on tour and has an illustrious history.  It was once part of a larger property, Belvoir, and the first house on the farm was built in 1764. In 1765 the farm was purchased by Col. John Walker, former aide to General George Washington and friend and legal guardian of Thomas Jefferson.  Monticello is not far from here.  Kinloch grew to include  four tenant houses, a barn, garage, and a lakeside log cabin. It was at Kinloch that William Faulkner, a friend of the owner, wrote The Mansion.

Make your way to Keswick, which is just east of Charlottesville.  Sounds like a fun day for everyone! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Historic Meadowbrook Stables

Meadowbrook Stables never intended to be a "hold out" but now sandwiched between cookie-cutter housing developments and what little green space is left inside Washington, D.C.'s Beltway, it's the one of only a handful of stables left in the concrete jungle that circles our nation's Capitol.

Some records claim it was built in 1930, others 1934, but at the time it was one of the finest.  Now sitting on about 10 acres in Rock Creek Park not far from Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase, Maryland, the property still possesses glimpses of its illustrious past.  The farm is Federal but is run by the Maryland National Capitol Parks and Planning Commission (MNCPPC); they lease the land to someone to run the stable which houses a riding academy as well as private boarding.  Many of the riders compete in local and rated horse shows in the region.  There are about 50 horses on the property today.  And there are "rules" that aren't quite the norm in most horse properties.

Tractors can't come out before 7 am.  Loudspeakers are not allowed to be used until 9 am (not an issue except the three times a year the facility hosts horse shows).  An ornery neighbor likes to complain about the dust from the ring even though she can't see the facility from her house. Manure has to be picked up and removed, a huge expense.  And being in the "city" lends itself to watching out for people who wander in "just to look" but most likely know nothing about being around horses.  The property had a facelift about 7-8 years ago and looks great, but in keeping with its historical roots.  Renovations must be "approved" following a strict code.  But the modern touches do exist, like the outdoor lighting that is used in winter months.

The property was the site of the first official raising of the D.C. flag seven years after its completion.  It was "originally established by the Meadowbrook Saddle Club to encourage Olympic-type equestrian events and to make open country riding possible for city residents."  (From a plaque located outside the barn).  

Pegasus Stables once existed a few blocks away but was torn down to make way for housing.  Pegasus was the public barn for recreational riders while Meadowbrook was the private barn where the ambassadors kept their horses those who were more serious show riders.  The Chevy Chase Country Club (just a few blocks away) used the stables to board their members' horses.  And the Meadowbrook Hunt once existed, with many members riding from this site, if you can imagine a fox hunting club existing today inside the Beltway.

I took a photo of an old magazine article dated from the 30's and there were no big trees, no houses anywhere in site, and these jumps are huge (riders and horses were bolder back then).

This is the old farrier shed that still exists on the property today, much like it did way back then.  The same tree is also there, only much smaller.  And the lovely old stone fireplace is still there as well!  

The inside of the barn is charming and part of the space was once an apartment, house, area used by the hunt club.  There is an old newspaper article showing a group of riders in tweed coats and breeches hanging around this old stone fireplace with drinks.  Probably talking about a good day's hunting. Today this is part of the tack room and office.

Another old photo from the past:

Not sure when this one was taken:

The barn is old but still charming and the horses look happy. It is cool in summer and warm in winter according to those who know...

Today the barn has all the amenities you would want, like good outdoor (and indoor) wash stalls:

The old stone foundation still encircles the entire structure:

 Upstairs in the "loft" is a tack shop and more storage. Supposedly, the hunt held their formal hunt balls upstairs too.

 The barn has a round pen (for lunging) and turn out:

 The three rings have good footing:

 And the landscaping is lovely!

Another old photo/article showed Calvary riders jumping their horses (from Chile) at a show (date unknown) at Meadowbrook, as a warm-up for the Washington International Horse Show. What a past this place has!  If only these stalls could talk!
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