LENS: JUSTINA REINHART
G R E E N L I F E S T Y L E : L AV E N D E R F I E L D S • G I V I N G B AC K : P O M E G R A N AT E FEATURE: @BL AC KEQUES TRIANS • DESTINATION: ALISAL GUES T RANC H C U R A T E D BY AN E Q U E S T R I A N : D A N I E L L E D E M E R S
SHP Spring Festival | Schooling Show April 17 - 18, 2021 SHP Spring Classic | AA May 12 - 16, 2021 HMI Equestrian Challenge | AA May 19 - 23, 2021 SHP Summer Solstice | Schooling Show June 12 - 13, 2021 HMI June Classic | A June 16 - 20, 2021 USEF Junior Hunter National Championship - West | AA July 20 - 25, 2021 HMI Equestrian Classic | AA July 28 - August 1, 2021 Giant Steps Charity Classic | AA August 3 - 8, 2021 Split Rock Jumping Tour Sonoma International CSI 2* September 8 - 12, 2021 Strides & Tides | A September 15 - 19, 2021 SHP Season Finale | A September 22 - 26, 2021 SHP Halloween Harvest Festival | Schooling Show October 23 - 24, 2021 SHP Holiday Spectacular | Schooling Show December 4 - 5, 2021
S O N O M A H O R S E PA R K . C O M I G & F B : @ S O N O M A H O R S E PA R K Photo © Alden Corrigan Media
8 | FROM
10 | OUT
World Equestrian Center – Ocala
12 | 10 THINGS The Equestrian Podcast 14 | OUT & ABOUT
Sonoma Horse Park Spring Shows
16 | PRO
18 | OUT
P U B L I S H E R & E D I TO R -I N-C HIE F
Sarah Appel email@example.com
E D I TO R & A RT D I R E C TOR
World Polo League Beach Polo
19 | TREND REPORT
21 | BET WEEN
A DV E RT I S I N G & SA LE S
Head Turners Stable Style
22 | GRAZE
Craft Beers for Summertime Sipping
23 | OUT
World Equestrian Center Dressage III CDI3*
24 | FEATURE
CO P Y E D I TOR
26 | EQUESTRIAN TASTEMAKER 30 | ST YLE RIDER Ali Telatnik
34 | VENDOR
The Modern Horse
39 | FEATURE
Fitness & Wellbeing for Equestrians
42 | NEW PRODUCT ALERT
Asmar Equestrian Youth Collection
46 | FEATURE
A Legacy Grows
52 | ST YLE
P H OTO G R A P H E R S
Jump For Jumpsuits
54 | ON
64 | FEATURE
72 | H & S
Calling All Horse Girls Headquarters
76 | BARN
84 | DESTINATION
Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort
94 | CURATED
102 | GREEN
CO N T R I B U TO R S
Laurie Berglie, Pam Maley, Emily Pollard, Natalie Keller Reinert, Helen Pollock, Jeanette Gilbert, Erin Gouveia, Annie Heise, Jen Spencer, Steph Kallstrom, Maya Pridgen, India Parker-Smith, Ali Sirota, Catie Staszak, Jacquelyn Kuba, Kara Scro, Jump Media, Terri Roberson, Psy. D., Carrie Wicks, Ph. D., Allison Troyan, Amanda Mactas, Claiborne & Lime
Andrew Ryback, Justina Reinhart, Tara Arrowood, Catie Staszak Media, Nicole Gearty, Alden Corrigan Media, Shannon Gage, NaCorea' Antone-Diamond, Stefan Latychev, Leah Lewis, Raquel Lynn, Jump Media, US Equestrian/Taylor Pence, Kristen Tatum, Maria Marriott, Sarah Appel, Ashley Sullivan, Rachel Havel, Ashley Neuhof, FEI/Anthony Demierre, Philip Talleyrand, Willy Dade, Nicki Sebastian, Candace Ferreira/Chukker TV, SusanJStickle.com, Victoria Pearson
108 | THE
Mixology: Test Pilot
110 | GIVING
Not Your Mama’s Table
ON THE COVER: Elena Haas; photo © Andrew Ryback
116 | C AT I E ’ S C O M M E N TA RY
Only The Young
| OUT & ABOUT
Sonoma Horse Park HMI June Classic
119 | ASK DR. CARRIE 120 | BEHIND THE LENS
Horse & Style Magazine is an equestrian lifestyle publication that is published three times per year and available at participating tack shops nationwide for $10, and while supplies last at large training centers and hunter jumper horse shows. The written and visual contents of this magazine are protected by copyright. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is legally prohibited. Copyright © 2021 Horse & Style Magazine LLC. TM
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122 | BUSINESS 124 | CAN YOU
2021 volume 2
© 2021 HORSE & STYLE MAGAZINE
AR D WIN
Danielle Demers lives on the coast of Maine with her husband and son. A lifelong equestrian, she has always been inspired by horses. After graduating with a BFA in Painting, she worked to find a way to combine her passions for art, design, and the equestrian lifestyle. Through her artwork, and as H&S’s Editor & Art Director, her interests have been melded together more perfectly than she could have imagined.
An avid former foxhunter, Pam knows well that special bond between horse and rider. With her husband she was co-owner of Dunford Farm, a Thoroughbred farm in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was involved in every aspect of the horses’ lives. Her journey with horses continues as a as Copyeditor and Contributing Writer for H&S. She has a BA in English and History from Vanderbilt University.
Laurie Berglie lives in the Maryland countryside where she enjoys renovating her fixer-upper farm, reading horse books, and competing in the hunters. Laurie is also an author of equestrian fiction and maintains her lifestyle blog and Instagram, “Maryland Equestrian.” She has a BA in English from Stevenson University and an MA in Humanities from Towson University.
Jeannette owns and operates Jaz Creek, Inc. in Petaluma, CA. Offering rehabilitation, retirement and breeding services, Jeanette is intimately familiar with the 24/7 equine lifestyle, but wouldn’t change it. The Jaz Creek breeding program has now been in operation for over 10 years and Jeanette is proudly competing and selling her young future stars.
Natalie Keller Reinert
Terri Roberson, Psy.D.
Based in Central Florida, Natalie is a novelist and writer specializing in the equestrian lifestyle. Her books have a popular following around the world, and sport several award nominations and wins, including the 2020 American Horse Publications’ fiction award for The Hidden Horses of New York. With an eclectic background spanning many disciplines, Natalie is always looking for her next adventure on horseback. Website: nataliekreinert.com
Annie Heise is an actor, a lifelong equestrian, and now a designer and entrepreneur. With television and film roles to her credit, she has recently added founder and CEO to her resume with the launch of Two Bits Equestrian in April 2018. The collection features a sleek line of equestrian-inspired athleisure designed to be worn while riding, to and from the barn, and in daily life.
Emily Pollard uses her BA in English from Saint Mary’s College of California to teach, write, and edit. She has worked in the equestrian industry for the majority of her life, as a groom, assistant trainer, barn manager, and everything in between. She trained and competed her horse, Skyler Ace, to the FEI level. She now enjoys sharing her passion for horses with her husband and two young daughters.
A licensed clinical psychologist, Terri Roberson combines her passion for horses with her clinical work in equine-assisted psychotherapy. She currently sits on the board of Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center. Over 25 years on the show circuit has given her an eye for equestrian style and provides constant inspiration for her frequent contributions to H&S.
Erin Gouveia of Silver Oaks Farm is an accomplished equestrian, award winning photographer, and an artist. She was born and raised in San Diego, CA, graduated from Colorado State University, and now resides in Park City, UT on a small horse farm with her husband. Erin has had careers in Medical Research, Zookeeping, and most currently as a Photographer. She has an Etsy shop filled with her fine art photographs and handmade goods.
Helen Pollock lives in Los Angeles where she works as a marketing executive in the television industry. In her spare time, she competes as an amateur at California's A-Circuit shows. Helen is also the founder and CEO of Life Equestrian, a marketing company for riders and equestrian enthusiasts. With Life Equestrian, Helen brings together her business expertise with her lifelong passion for equine trends, products and safety.
Ashley Neuhof has rapidly become one of the most sought-after photographers on the worldwide equestrian circuit, known for her uncanny ability to capture exquisite moments both in the arena and behind the scenes. Her images have been commissioned by top brands and are published frequently in luxury lifestyle magazines worldwide.
Amanda Mactas is a freelance writer based in New York City, who covers all things food, travel and lifestyle. In addition to Horse & Style, her work has appeared in Forbes, PureWow, Wine4Food, Greatist, and BELLA Magazine, where she currently serves as the Food, Travel and Accessories Editor. Keep up with her work @ManhattanTwist.
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Jen Spencer is a Toronto-based equestrian who enjoys taking her OTTB (Off-Track Thoroughbred) to the odd hunter/jumper show. She’s currently in the process of applying to law school with a plan of becoming a corporate and securities lawyer. Jen is also the founder of the Instagram account @BlackEquestrians.
Steph Kallstrom is a Case manager working with mental health and addiction in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. She holds positions on several boards including The City of Vancouver. She is also a co-coordinator for Black Equestrians (IG). Steph shows as an amateur hunter with her homebred horse Tigger (Wish List). Her show ring goal is to travel to WEF with Tigger.
Maya Pridgen is a psychiatric nurse practitioner at the University of Rochester. She lives in Pittsford, NY with her husband Todd, and their two goldendoodles Douglas and Trixie. Maya has been riding and showing primarily in the hunters since she was a teenager. She is a member of the USHJA Diversity Equity and Inclusion Advocacy Committee, and sits on the American Horse Council DEI task force.
India Parker-Smith is a Personal Trainer from the UK and since creating Chukka Wellness she has worked with top equestrians in Argentina, Spain, the US and Germany. She regularly travels the globe co-hosting polo-fitness holidays and clinics and combines her love of riding with fitness. Follow along at @chukka_wellness on Instagram.
Claiborne & Lime
Dr. Carrie Wicks
Jacquelyn is a lifelong showjumping junkie and after a failed attempt at an office job, has managed to make a career out of it. As the Operations Manager at Sonoma Horse Park in Petaluma, CA, she spends her days helping to create and run horse shows and showing her own horse. Jacquelyn started riding at age 4, and with the exception of a small break to get a degree in Political Science and Communication, hasn’t stopped.
Laura Mormann and Antoinette Watson turned their love of entertaining and hospitality into an art form when they founded Claiborne & Lime. Catering to both lifestyle brands and private clients, they specialize in designing intimate, thoughtful gatherings and celebrations. C&L provides peace of mind, allowing clients to be fully present and enjoy their precious downtime with loved ones.
Dr. Carrie Wicks divides her time between her private sport psychology consulting and family therapy practice, traveling with athletes, and writing. She completed her doctorate in psychology while researching the mental practices of equestrian athletes. Her passions include horses, yoga, mountain biking, skiing, and time in nature with animals.
Catie Staszak is the CEO of Catie Staszak Media, Inc. and the color commentator and journalist for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ NAL. Catie has announced at showjumping events across the globe and represented some of the sport's top athletes and operations. When she's not working, she's enjoying time with her superhero horse Zantos, whom she shows in the jumpers, and her dog/sidekick, Omaha.
Join us for our annual 12 D AY S
“12 Days of Christmas” is the giveaway event that we look forward to hosting each year, and, every year, this exciting lead-up to Christmas features everything from riding apparel, to artwork, to event tickets! The “12 Days of Christmas” giveaway is promoted in the magazine and across our social media accounts. If you are an equestrian business owner, we would love to have you join us this season!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how your product can be featured in this popular giveaway!
F R O M the
Life Reactivated While we all wait with bated breath on getting back to normal, slowly it feels like we are beginning to have glimpses of our old lives. This past spring, after a year of homeschool, Zoom school and cancelled almost everything, my family and I took a spring break trip to the Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort in Solvang, CA. For the first time in over a year, we were able to travel and experience all the luxuries of the Alisal. We rode horses, ate amazing meals and relaxed by the pool. Read more about our wonderful experience on page 84.
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Sarah Appel at the Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort
Just as she prepares for her first appearance at the NAYC (North American Youth Championship), we caught up with this issue’s cover star: Zone 10 Junior rider Elena Haas. It is not an easy feat to qualify for young riders, and after speaking with Haas and hearing about her hard work and dedication to the sport, it is no surprise that she made the team. Haas is a kind young woman who’s passion for riding and love for her horses is contagious. Read more about Elena Haas on page 54. So often I share about my family in H&S, and that is because the equestrian sport is incredibly family-centered. Sharing the passion of horses with your children is a gift. For Brian Cournane and his wife Jules of Glenbeigh Farm, the passion for riding has been passed on to the next generation of their young family. Read about the family, their goals
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and a new partnership with Prestige Saddles on page 46. As riders we are always learning; from trainers, from our horses and from our community. While our community can often feel like a bubble, away from the outside world, something that penetrates that bubble and is important not just in our riding community, but in society as a whole, is understanding racism and how we can change the narrative for people of color in our sport and in our broader communities. We are thrilled to learn from the creative and talented women behind the Instagram account @BlackEquestrians. Founded by Jen Spencer, with fellow female leaders Maya Pridgen and Steph Kallstrom, Black Equestrians has goals of increasing the visibility of Black riders and promoting anti-racism (page 64). As we continue to be cautiously optimistic about the world reopening, I am looking forward to getting back to a sense of more normality. With my girls back in school full-time in the fall, life as I know it is starting to feel more real. While I will miss some of the quieter times during the pandemic, hugging friends, spending time with loved ones, and of course our horses, feels pretty great! Cheers!
Quality You Can Count On
“Hygain is great, Chacco is a big horse and eats a lot, so having a concentrated feed with all the nutritional components in a smaller ration is better for traveling and his gut. Hygain has plenty of options to suit every horse in my program.” — Will Simpson, Team USA Olympic Gold Medalist
For more than 30 years, HYGAIN® has been working to improve the health and performance of horses around the world. HYGAIN’s equine-only feed mill in Melbourne, Australia produces a range of high-quality feed and supplements which are available throughout the USA.
For more information about HYGAIN’s premium feeds visit:
© 2020 Hygain Feeds. HYUS122001
WORLD EQUES TRIAN CENTER – OC AL A – OC AL A , FL
1. Hailey Hurst and Tangled Up In Blue 2. Sashes sparkle under the lights during a WEC - Ocala Grand Prix awards ceremony 3. Juan Pablo Gnecco and Ut Majeur de Brecey clear the picture-perfect WEC - Ocala wall 4. Lovely golden hour light highlights the beauty of the pristine WEC - Ocala grounds 5. Gavin Harley and Corbawido PS
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Photos © Andrew Ryback
8. 6. 7.
9. 6. Annabelle Wexler and Farnley Keep It A Secret looking pretty in matching pink braids and bows 7. Bordered by the Frenchinspired WEC - Ocala Hotel, the WEC Grand Prix arena is truly magnifi cent 8. Dorothy Douglas and S and L Lion King 9. Kylie Reynolds and Paperboy – looking very dapper in blue! 10. Aaron Vale (middle), Molly Ashe Cawley and Bryn Sadler celebrate atop the winners’ podium
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by Laurie Berglie
…you might not know about …
The Equestrian Podcast with Bethany Lee
Photos courtesy of Bethany Lee
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You may already know Bethany Lee from her immensely popular equestrian lifestyle account, My Equestrian Style, but what you may not know is she is also the voice behind the fast-growing The Equestrian Podcast. Bethany started the podcast in 2019 after traveling to horse shows, meeting and talking to new people, and realizing that there were areas within the industry that many people knew nothing about. She created the podcast not only to shed light on those topics, but also to inspire equestrians that they can thrive within the industry not just as a top rider or trainer, but as a groom, healthcare provider, course designer, writer, marketing agency – you name it! On The Equestrian Podcast, all horse lovers are welcome.
1. I grew up in Wisconsin and started
riding when I was four. I went to college in Ohio, moved to LA for a few years, and now live in Florida where I’m a private hunter/jumper trainer.
My vision when I started the podcast was to let listeners feel like they’re out to dinner with people at the top of our sport, but also to let them know they’re not alone with their insecurities, goals, struggles, and thoughts on their equestrian life. I had the amazing honor of interviewing Jane Savoie just a couple of months before her passing. She was an incredible horsewoman, so that was extremely special. I also thought my interviews with Boyd Martin, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, Jenn Gates, Georgina Bloomberg, and Laura Graves were great fun.
I would love to have McLain Ward on the podcast!
I love it when an episode really allows listeners to see that no matter what level, at our core, we are all just horse lovers trying to work hard and do our best.
8. I love to travel! I try to go on one
international trip a year, and I love seeing new places, trying new food, and seeing new architecture.
My husband flips houses so we are constantly in the middle of home renovations and living out of boxes! We keep people up-to-date on our flipping over at @leehouseflips on IG.
I see myself traveling more with My Equestrian Style and The Equestrian Podcast. I would love to do more event content, and show my community a behind-the-scenes view of some of the most amazing show venues in the world, interview riders, and ask the questions about the sport that helps others learn and feel seen.
6. I started My Equestrian Style five years
ago. It began with equestrian fashionspecific content, but over the years it has evolved into a real equestrian lifestyle platform. I love to talk about fitness, food, travel, beauty, and lifestyle fashion because we equestrians do more than just ride! It has grown into an amazing community.
If I weren’t in the horse industry, I would probably be in the fashion styling, photography, or fitness industries.
@equestrianpodcast 2021 volume 2 ·
S O N O M A H O R S E PA R K S P R I N G C L A S S I C & HMI EQUES TRIAN C HALLEN GE – PETALUMA , C A
6. 1. Hannah Selleck and Rumpleteazer DF 2. Phoebe Lang and Chadino, winners of the $30,000 Hygain Grand Prix 3. Ribbons and sashes abound: Carmen Gonzalez and Beforeanythingelse, winners of the Peregrine Equine Jr/Am Hunter Derby 4. Matias Fernandez and Lucas Van De Helvoort celebrate their $7,500 USHJA Shane James Memorial Welcome Prix win with a spirited victory gallop 5. Nicole Bourgeois gives Tic Tac Toe a well-deserved pat after winning the $5,000 Equine Insurance Open Hunter Derby 6. Participants in the SHP Junior Horsemanship Program take a pre-Hunter Derby course walk with Hope Glynn
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Photos © Alden Corrigan Media
7. Sophia Siegel and Stella Wasserman 8. Kylee Arbuckle and Opulance in perfect hunter harmony 9. Richard Spooner and Qurado RC 6 playing it cool after their victory in the $30,000 AIM Grand Prix 10. Melody Liu and Carnutelabryere soar over the Brandle vertical 11. Zone 10 NAYRC Selection Trials Champion Skylar Wireman aboard Citoki
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P R O pop
BUILD IT & THEY WILL COME:
Professional Pop Quiz
with Course Designer Kevin Holowack O
ne of the first questions riders ask when entering a horse show is “who is the Course Designer?” Whether competing in hunters, jumpers, or equitation, the Course Designer has a big impact on the horse show. Some are known for tough, some are known for fast, some for tracks that look crazy on paper, but ride great, and others for those that look simple, but ride far from it. Each Course Designer has his or her own style, no matter what arena or discipline they are designing for. Course Designer Kevin Holowack draws his style from a passion for all things horses and a love of architecture. As a young kid growing up in Canada, there wasn’t much that could peel Kevin away from the barn. After a successful North American junior career, Kevin headed off to Europe to ride and build his knowledge. He continued to ride and show during his college years while earning a degree in architecture. Then, he discovered course designing: a perfect marriage of his knowledge of horse showing and the art of building. Today, an FEI Level 2 Course Designer and USEF/EC Senior Hunter Designer, Kevin has been all over North America building tracks for jumper, hunter, and equitation arenas alike. Anyone who has ever worked with Kevin will attest to the fact that he truly loves his job. He brings a passion to course designing that is both refreshing for those with the chance to tackle his courses and encouraging for the future of equestrian sport. He is always thinking of ways to test a rider’s ability while giving them the best chance to shine. From the materials he chooses (or builds himself), to designing new, exciting tracks, Kevin leaves a little bit of himself on display every time he puts a page on the course board. Horse & Style Magazine had the chance to ask Kevin some of our burning course designing questions:
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Horse & Style: What is one thing you wish riders practiced more at home?
Kevin Holowack: I wish more riders practiced walking courses at home. Walking and breaking down a track to evaluate how to have the most successful round possible is an incredibly necessary tool to have. At home, we practice riding: flatting, jumping – essentially every aspect of horse showing – but if you don’t know how to correctly walk a course, it’s going to be a challenge from the moment you ‘walk’ into the ring.
H&S: What is your favorite test to build into an equitation track?
KH: For equitation, the goal is to test rideability. One of my favorite tests is building an ‘S’ line or one bending line directly to another over three jumps. This asks the rider to really ‘ride’ every stride and be deliberate. It also gives the option for a short or long strided horse to do the test successfully in their own way. Know your horse!
H&S: What is something that seems easy on paper but always stumps riders?
KH: Time allowed has started to play more and more of a role in our show jumping rounds. When the designer leaves some space from one jump to the next, it can be a time to organize, but it also gives riders a chance to make up time allowed. Don’t dilly-dally when there is a long way between two fences, this is your chance to give yourself a cushion or make up some time that has been lost!
H&S: What is your favorite thing to build into a course?
KH: A triple bar as the first fence on a slightly forward bending line to a vertical. I love doing this to encourage riders to start on a positive pace and then stay on it!
H&S: How do you keep hunter courses fresh? KH: I believe all designers have their own style, so I think it’s great that most venues have different designers every show. For me, with my background in showing horses in all disciplines, I try to design courses that are maybe out of the ‘standard’ and yet allow the traditional structure of the discipline to shine though. It’s about finding the balance between something new, and keeping the tradition.
H&S: Have you ever built one of your tracks at home and ridden it?
KH: Usually by the time I get home, I am just happy to be sitting on a horse and spending time at the barn. I am a big advocate of gridwork at home, so the majority of my time schooling is spent with simplistic cavaletti work and gridwork in preparation for the show ring.
H&S: Do you like building on large fields or small indoors better?
KH: Tough! Variety is beautiful. Large fields can give a more freeing feel to courses when you draw and lay them out. But my background in architecture allowed me to be comfortable in a small indoor from early on in my career. For an indoor track, the preciseness of your design/drawing/layout needs to be far more accurate which can be fun.
H&S: Grass or arena footing? KH: Good grass is hard to beat for me, as a rider and a course designer. Grass is traditional, historical, and definitely picturesque. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer shows on grass which is understandable due to the difficultly of maintaining it. They simply can’t take the same volume of hoof prints week after week, but a great grass field is unbeatable.
H&S: Do you prefer to build with natural
looking or more modern and colorful jumps?
KH: Variety is one of the great things about our industry. Different show venues, different arenas, and different building materials/jumps can all make showing really exciting. I appreciate a horse show that has coherency among its materials. Sonoma Horse Park in Northern California has done this very successfully in its hunter rings with beautiful, unique jumps, that although all different, create a coherent look throughout the ring.
H&S: What are the top three horse shows whose courses you’d like to build?
KH: Show jumping: Aachen and/or Olympia; equitation: Maclay Finals; hunter: Hunter Derby Finals (but I also have a great time building in WEF!).
H&S: What is something you try to build into every hunter derby?
KH: Flow! As a designer, I want you to be able to show off your horse, so when I have the space, I try to build open, flowing courses that allow a rider to showcase not only their horse’s jump, but also their canter and way of going.
H&S: What is something that you’ve found is consistently difficult for horses in the courses you’ve built?
KH: Horses are incredible animals that do incredible things for us every day. I would say 99% of the time, what we think of as problems on course are not difficulties for the horses, but for the riders and how they are presenting the questions in the course to their horses. Know your horse! A forward bending 7 to one rider might be a quiet 8 to another, and both can be done successfully and beautifully.
H&S: What is your favorite course you’ve built to date?
KH: I don’t think I can narrow that down to one! The beautiful part of our profession is at the end of every day we pull down our courses and draw new ones from scratch for the next day. So we take what works and what didn’t and file that info away for another day. I’m sure my favorite course is one I have yet to draw. Each issue, a new question is answered by an industry professional. Have a question you want answered? Send it to email@example.com
Course Designer Kevin Holowack; photo © Mosaic Photo
WORLD POLO LEAGUE BEAC H POLO – M I A M I B E AC H , F L
6. 1. Nic Roldan (Team USA), one of the world’s leading professional polo players, competes in front of a stunning turquoise backdrop 2. Marlon Humphrey (left) and Cuba Gooding Junior (right) at the 2021 World Polo League Beach Polo tournament 3. Selfies in the beachside VIP 4. The Setai Team (black jerseys) and The Ritz Carlton-GFI Team (light blue jersey) vie for the ball 5. The gorgeous Miami Beach venue is literally steps from the ocean 6. World Polo League Beach Polo 2021 winners from left to right (in yellow): Melissa Ganzi, Alejandro Novillo Astrada and Nacho Figueras
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Photos © Candace Ferreira/Chukker TV (1), Willy Dade (2,6), Philip Talleyrand (3–5)
by Allison Troyan
Head Turners As the horse show season heats up, long days spent outside are here! Pack your ring bag with sunscreen, and top off your look with UV-protecting sun hats to suit every style.
1. Straw Hat with Horsebit, Gucci, $650; 2. Daphne Fedora Hat, Eric Javits, $350; 3. Light Teal-Blue Fabric Original RIATA, Riata Designs, $75;4.Women’sUltrabraidXLBrimFloppyHat, San Diego Hat Company, $57; 5. The Ventura, Lack of Color, $89; 6. Lamé Papier Hat, Gucci, $510; 7. River Guatemalan Palm, Gigi Pip, $176; 8. Wasabi, Hemlock Hat Co., $32
2021 volume 2 ·
AVERY GLYNN 2021 CHAMPION THE AMERICAN TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE EQUITATION CHALLENGE, PRESENTED BY WHITETHORNE Thank you to the team at Elvenstar, my Dad, my Mom, Rebecca Bruce Glynn, the entire team at Sonoma Valley Stables for your support, to Georgy Maskrey-Segesman for making this special class possible, and to my wonderful horse Calle (Cocon 4) who gives me everything she can every time.
B E T W E E N the
by Laurie Berglie
Stable Style R AQ U E L LY N N Hardcover:$68.00 / 190 pages stablestyle.net / @stablestyle In 2015, Raquel Lynn of the Horses & Heels blog, created the website, Stable Style. Here she shares drool-worthy barns, stables, tack rooms, and exterior equestrian facilities that will inspire and excite. Large and small structures, professional operations and backyard barns, Raquel features stables from across the globe. In 2020, Raquel published her first coffee table book: Stable Style – Barn Inspiration for All Equestrians. “It’s hard to find words that adequately describe the joy and comfort that come from hours spent in the barn. The sweet aroma of hay, the sound of horses stirring in their stalls, the sight of your favorite bridle hanging neatly on its rack – the barn brings a sense of peace. It should be celebrated.” And within the pages of this book, it is celebrated indeed. While I am partial to traditional style barns with that classic English appeal, I was blown away at the sight of stables with gorgeous modern architecture as well as those with rustic, western designs. Inspiration jumps out of every page as Raquel has thoughtfully woven together these aesthetically pleasing, yet highly functional spaces. Some of my favorite chapters are a “Midsummer Night’s Farm” where we find a petite private barn boasting a cheerful color palette of yellow, cream, and rusty red. Delightful Dutch doors trimmed in white are accented by adorable window flower boxes overflowing with flora of red and white. Deeper in, the book reveals a tack room I am all too familiar with. “A Welcoming Tack Room” showcases the well-appointed space of Rebecca Yuhasz Smith, whose farm was recently featured in our Home column. I have seen this tack room up close and can testify that it is just as stunning in person as it is in the pictures. Along with the launch of the book, Raquel also developed a line of candles. Its signature scent is called Clean Barn, and I can’t think of anything better to burn while curling up on the couch perusing your copy of Stable Style. Clean Barn is the scent of leather, wood, and tobacco. A second scent, Dream Barn, launched in early June. These candles are warm and welcoming and allow you to bring your favorite pieces of the barn home with you. You can purchase both the book and the candles online at stablestyle.net. And while I do not have any official word, I did notice that Volume 1 is written along the spine of the book, which only leads me to believe that we can expect a Volume 2 in the future! I certainly hope so!
2021 volume 2 ·
by Amanda Mactas
Our Favorite Craft Beers for Summertime Sipping
BLOOD ORANGE S U N S E T I PA
South Beach Brewing Company
Located mere steps away from the beach, South Beach Brewing Company is a brewpub located in the eponymous neighborhood of Miami, Florida. All of their brews contain the company’s proprietary electrolyte, and all of their fruit beers contain 100% real juices sourced from their home state. The Blood Orange Sunset IPA is the ideal summer beer, loaded with mosaic, Dr. Rudi, and citra hops. Notes of orange (duh), mango and other citrus fruits complement all the hops in this drinkable IPA. SWITC HBAC K ALE
Switchback Brewing Company
Located in Burlington, Vermont, the Switchback Brewing Company’s Ale has
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become known as one of the most easy-todrink beers in the state, thanks to its smooth combination of malts, hops and yeast. Like all of the brewery’s beers, Switchback Ale is unfiltered, and carbonated 100% naturally with yeast. The result is a light, yet complex brew with subtle fruit flavors and a malty finish. S I E R R A N E VA DA PA L E A L E
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
One of, if not the most popular of pale ales, Sierra Nevada’s practically invented how we’ve come to think of pale ales. Packed with plenty of Cascade hops and nicely balanced with notes of citrus, this beer is a must-have in your cooler this summer. The California-born brewery knows how to transport its drinkers to the sunny, warm weather from which it hails.
TAN GERINE SQUEEZE
Nola Brewing Company
If there’s one thing New Orleans is known for in the summertime, it’s the scorching heat of the sun. Thus, Nola is second to none when it comes to learning how to cool down. Their seasonal wheat beer, Tangerine Squeeze, packs a refreshing, citrusy punch that makes for the perfect poolside sipper. P U L P A R T H A Z Y I PA
Sticking with the fruity summer theme, Brooklyn Brewery’s new Pulp Art Hazy IPA is packed with pineapple, mango and citrus flavors, along with a variety of hops. For those looking for an easy step into IPAs, the New England-style hazy variety is less bitter than their west coast counterparts - and this is one you’ll be able to drink all day long.
WORLD EQUES TRIAN CENTER DRESSAGE III CDI3* — WORLD EQUES TRIAN CENTER – OC AL A , OC AL A , FL
5. 6. 7.
8. 1. Big winners Lindsay Kellock (CAN) and Sebastien, owned by Kellock and Enterprise Farm Equestrian LLC, take home the top prizes in the FEI Grand Prix CDI3* and Grand Prix Special CDI3*. Pictured with groom Meghan Donovan, judge at C Maria Colliander, and Jennifer GlassofWEC,alongwiththeirnewSTXShowbox 2. Shelly Francis (USA) and Danilo, owned by Patricia Stempel, win the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3*, competing to music from the television show, Glee 3.PreparingforthehorseinspectionatWEC’srst fi internationalevent 4. Nora Batchelder (USA) and WGangster Girl, owned by Sally Seaver 5. Cynthia Davila and her own Fayvel, reserve champions of the Amateur Tour of the CDI 6. Olympian Lars Petersen jogs Wembley, owned by Nicole Polaski, for his wife Melissa Taylor 7. Anna Marek (USA),Duvel,andownerCynthiaDavilaintheirpresentationwithanewSTXShowboxfortheirconsistentperformancesatWECDressage events this winter 8. Kevin Kohmann (GER) and the stunning stallion Five Star, owned by Equitas LLC, sweep the Small Tour, winning the FEI Prix St. Georges, Intermediate 1, and Intermediate 1 Freestyle CDI3*
Photos © SusanJStickle.com, Jump Media (4 & 6)
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F E AT U R E by Kara Pinato Scro/ Jump Media
Brian Moggre and Balou du Reventon; photo © Jump Media
Adrienne Lyle and Harmony's Duval; photo © US Equestrian / Taylor Pence
The Road to the Podium Begins With a Solid Foundation IN
late 2003, the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation was named the philanthropic partner to the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). In this role, USET Foundation’s singular mission became fundraising for the USEF High Performance programs that lay the groundwork for how the U.S. supports equestrian athlete development and prepares our country’s elite for podium finishes at major competitions, such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Pan American Games, World Championships, and Nations Cup competitions. Although the U.S. equestrian team’s goal is a podium finish, USET Foundation’s Executive Director Bonnie Jenkins is quick to point out a common misconception about the Foundation’s efforts.
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“The Olympic and Paralympic Games are extremely important; however, the role of the USET Foundation is not just these pinnacle competitions,” shared Jenkins. “If we want to do well as a nation in years to come, we need to ensure our pipeline of athletes and horses is strong – and we need to be able to give our younger, talented athletes the experiences and training that will help them be successful at a major event like the Olympics.” Enter the Pathway Programs. Designed to support emerging, developing, and elite athletes, they are what ensure the strength and success of U.S. equestrian teams in years to come. The USET Foundation, thanks to generous supporters and donors, provides over 50% of the funding for these High Performance Pathway Programs each year.
“The absence of a pathway program has been the downfall of so many [other nations’] teams,” explained U.S. Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, who is credited with implementing the 3-2 methodology of choosing three team members from the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping ranking list and two less experienced riders, at the selectors’ discretion. “The top of our sport cannot be a closed shop just for veteran riders that have gold medals. Otherwise, you’re going to wake up one day and wonder where everyone went. Our whole preparation and [U.S. team] selection process offers opportunity for younger riders at the top.” Before riders get to the top, however, the Pathway Programs, such as the North American Youth Championships, the USEF
Horsemastership Training Series for jumping, the USEF European Young Rider Tour for dressage, the USEF Development, Pre-Elite, and Elite Training Lists and Eventing Youth Team Challenge competitions for eventing, and the Para Dressage Emerging Athlete Program, to name a few, give our country’s coaches the ability to guide younger athletes. In his program, U.S. Eventing Performance Director Erik Duvander has created opportunities for greener riders to learn from more seasoned athletes by working closely with U.S. Eventing Development and Emerging Athletes Coach Leslie Law. “I believe it’s very important [that riders in the] Under 25 or Development Program have a connection to High Performance, and that it doesn’t feel like the step is too far away,” said Duvander. “I think this is an aspect that we have improved upon year over year.” For show jumping, the Pathway Programs started to thrive in 2013 when Ridland became the U.S. Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe. By 2015, with the support of USEF Show Jumping Youth Chef d’Equipe and United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Technical Advisor DiAnn Langer, they began to present young riders with tangible benchmarks and opportunities for a clear, upward trajectory. USEF Dressage Technical Advisor Debbie McDonald also feels strongly that the
Pathway Programs are working as intended. “The Pathway Programs have given [Pathway Program coaches] an opportunity to see how riders are progressing and to keep eyes on the younger riders to make sure their pathway is directed in a way that is going to be successful for them,” she said. “Without these Programs, we wouldn’t have the depth [in U.S. dressage talent] that we have now. “This is the strongest group of horses and riders we’ve ever had going into an [Olympic Games],” continued McDonald, speaking of the U.S. dressage shortlist for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. “It is a product of the programs we’re offering.” According to USEF Jumping Managing Director Lizzy Chesson, success on the Pathway comes from offering young riders guidance wherever they are in the journey. For jumping, that means working with Langer as a young rider, before progressing to further development under the tutelage of five-time Olympian and two-time Olympic silver medalist, Anne Kursinski, who serves as USEF’s assistant jumping coach and development technical advisor. “You have three key people in Langer, Kursinski, and Ridland that have constant communication [with riders as they progress],” said Chesson. “We know who they were when they were younger, and we keep guiding them along.”
Sydney Collier and All in One; photo © Jump Media
For McDonald, the Programs provide a means to stay more connected to riders every step of the way, and from her perspective, it’s paid dividends. “We’re much more involved now [than in years past] in staying apprised of the riders’ results, [ensuring] that their pathway is going the way we want, and that their trajectory is going up and not down. It’s been everything for us.” Para dressage continues to gain momentum in the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Technical Advisor and Head of Coach Development, Michel Assouline hopes to continue to build on the country’s wellstructured program. Prior to joining USEF, Assouline spent nearly 13 years as head coach to the British para dressage program, which won four silver and seven gold medals at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He notes, however, that the British program was well-funded by the government. As the Olympic and Paralympic equestrian disciplines in the U.S. do not receive government funding, support from the USET Foundation and USEF is critical. “It’s become very clear that our Pathway Programs are working, so I think we should be very excited about the Games this year and what’s to come for Paris 2024 and LA 2028,” continued Jenkins. “However, we have to keep developing our athletes and horses – you can’t take a year off from that.”
Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z; photo © US Equestrian / Taylor Pence
E Q U E S T R I A N tastemaker by Annie Heise
Summer is here! I always feel this time of year provides a great opportunity to purchase a few new pieces that really enhance, refresh, and rework your style. A couple of versatile purchases can go a long way when paired with some of your old standard wardrobe staples.
Fresh Linen Threads SIR the Label
When I think summer, I think linen… SIR the label offers my favorite linen finds in amazing silhouettes; essentials that are mindfully created for uncomplicated summer dressing. Alena Maxi Dress by SIR the Label, $350: us.sirthelabel.com
The Catch All Carry All Stick & Ball
Summer is a time to be on the go: to the beach, farmer’s markets, picnics at the park… I am always throwing various things in my bag during the warmer months, and I always upgrade to a hearty and oversized bag – but I want to keep it chic! Stick & Ball has just the thing in their new woven bags made with sustainable water hyacinth. “Beautifully handwoven of water hyacinth, our new bags are highly textured, giving a rich look and a wonderfully natural feel. Our new straw bags mark the launch of a collaboration with Mon Panama and a sustainability project to eradicate Thailand’s waterways of the highly invasive water hyacinth, while providing jobs to artisans.” The Camille Woven Bag by Stick & Ball, $235: stickandball.com
Kitchenware Refresh Two Bits Equestrian
Statement Sunglasses Karen Walker
Karen Walker is known for her bold yet timeless eyewear. One of my favorite ways to refresh my summer wardrobe is to get a few new exciting accessories and what better than new frames! Number One by Karen Walker, $212: karenwalker.com
Sometimes your glassware just needs a little update for summer. Enjoy a glass of rosé in T.B.E. ’s exclusive stemless wine glasses, featuring their signature Two Bits Equestrian logo. Add equestrian flair to your summer soiree! T.B.E. Stemless Wine Glasses by Two Bits Equestrian, $12/glass: tbequestrian.com
Summer Sandals Hermès
These will never go out of style and are sure to match everything you already have in your closet. Elevate! Splurge! Oran Sandal by Hermès, $630: hermes.com
Crisp, Clean Skin Lumion
This past year living in masks has left my skin irritated, to say the least, but this product has been a true lifesaver – a perfect on-the-go mist that calms and cleanses skin. Found in white blood cells, HOCL defends against bacteria and promotes healing. Plus, Lumion’s proprietary technology allows the O2 to remain in the molecule until it hits your skin. Clean skin for the win! Miracle Mist by Lumion, $28: lumionlife.com
Modern Heirloom Hattie Banks
Founder Harriet “Hattie” Gilpin is committed to prioritizing wearability by creating modern, timeless pieces while using the highest quality materials. Her newest collection was inspired by the timelessness of her mother’s charm bracelet. Each stone is precisely set in a modern setting met with clean lines and rounded prongs. Each charm is attached to a swivel bail, that allows the piece to move seamlessly from chain to chain. Pink Tourmaline by Hattie Banks, $3,200: hattiebanks.com
Fresh New Staple Two Bits Equestrian
Looking for a warm weather coat? Here it is! Lightweight, unlined, and made with ethically and sustainably sourced linen and Tencel, this trench is ideal for year-round wear. It is also sure to turn heads, and pairs perfectly with T.B.E.’s other wardrobe staples. Perfect for travel, versatile, and timeless... wear with your favorite white linen or layer over your best cashmere. Available in Safari and Black, The Lightweight Trench by T.B.E. Collection, $395: tbequestrian.com
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Vintage Ralph Lauren Vintage Ralph Lauren scarves are both stylish and classically equestrian. I love scouring the internet for amazing vintage finds, and there is no shortage of vintage Ralph on eBay and Etsy. A perfect accessory to enhance any simple summer outfit or to tie on your favorite bag!
by Jeanette Gilbert photos by Andrew Ryback
ALI TELATNIK The horse is our greatest teacher, and Ali Telatnik learned that from a very young age. This belief has made her a compassionate instructor and trainer at her farm, Landmark Equestrian, based in Northern California.
elatnik is a lifelong equestrian with family ties to the horse racing business. She began riding at the age of five with John Turner and Jack Hammond at Thumbs Up Farm in Seattle, WA. Her junior years were spent under the tutelage of Anne Selinger at Parkside Stables, where the beginning of her amateur years yielded countless championships. As a catch rider through those years, she eventually wound up in Sacramento, CA at Joan Curtin’s Select Sales, riding professionally. After years of experience working alongside top trainers and coaches, Telatnik founded her own hunter/jumper training program in 2016. A fundamental part of her business
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is helping clients learn to ride the horse they came with. She has seen so many horses cast aside when riders change programs, and loves the opportunity to help riders thrive with the horse they have. Telatnik considers herself to be a lifelong student and loves to help instill that love of learning in her clients.
H&S: What is your head-to-toe riding outfit?
Horse & Style: Describe your riding
AT: A pair of diamond earrings from my
wonderful boyfriend, Shane.
Ali Telatnik: Most importantly, my
H&S: What are some of your favorite
outfit must protect me from the sun! I also need my clothing to be comfortable, perform well in the saddle, and look put together and polished. I prefer classic styles that are well-cut and flattering.
AT: My boots are by La Mundial, breeches are Iago, and my shirt is Tailored Sportsman. My belt is by Sandy Duftler – I have a bit of a belt obsession!
H&S: Do you wear anything for good luck?
AT: I love breeches! Struck, Iago, and Equiline all fit my petite frame well. Samshield and Cavalleria Toscana jackets
photo © GrandPix
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are some of my favorites because they fit like they’re made for me, with the right mix of classic and current style. Antares leather goods – especially my saddle. It’s beautiful and has a little bit of flash (patent black trim)!
H&S: How would you describe your nonhorse-show style?
AT: Oh lord... I guess my style changes depending on what I am doing when I’m not working! I would have to say casual, but quality and well-fitting. I love denim, and have an embarrassingly large collection of jeans. During the summer, I am almost always in a sun dress and sandals.
H&S: How do you handle high-pressure
situations, for example, right before you enter a big class?
AT: I get terrible performance anxiety before I go into the ring. It is something I have been working VERY hard to control. Breathing exercises are helpful. I am learning that I need to take “me time” before as well. A few minutes by myself, either at the set-up, or in my car if I have to, to clear my head and go over the game plan, are essential.
H&S: What are your riding goals? AT: My personal riding goals: I want to be a consistent performer in the International Derbies and start competing in some of the bigger jumper classes.
H&S: Do you want to be a professional rider one day?
AT: I am already living my dreams. I have a business in the East Bay of Northern California called Landmark Equestrian with a great barn family and wonderful clients.
H&S: Who has been the most influential in your riding career?
AT: Joan Curtin and Buddy Brown. I have been lucky to surround myself with some amazing mentors, and I take every opportunity that I can to learn. That is what I love so much about what I do. Every opportunity is a learning one.
H&S: What’s the one thing you never go in the ring without?
AT: A belt!
by Emily Pollard photos by Leah Lewis
THE MODERN HOR S E The Modern Horse has taken the subscription model and made it even better – by adding an equestrian twist. When The Bit Box lands on your doorstep, it holds the contents to everything you wanted but maybe didn’t know that you wanted (or dare we even say “needed”?). Part equestrian, part lifestyle, part beauty, but all luxurious and fashion forward, The Modern Horse founder, Julie Young makes sure each Bit Box comes together as the perfect equestrian care package. H&S had the opportunity to sit down with Young and discuss this new flagship product, and what is in store for this exciting brand.
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Horse & Style: When and where did The Modern Horse start?
Julie Young: I thought of the idea right
before Christmas of 2020 and I started by securing my domain, Instagram handle and more in early January. However, we did not launch anything to order until February 26, 2021. I am lucky enough to have an amazing friend as my Head Intern to help me brings things together so quickly.
H&S: Please tell us about your flagship product,The Bit Box.
JY: The Bit Box is a new quarterly
equestrian lifestyle subscription box related to the seasons. It is designed by equestrians for everyone. Our idea is that YOU don't have to own a horse, take lessons, or even ride to enjoy and indulge in the products in The Bit Box. The Bit Box combines
new products designed by The Modern Horse exclusively for the Bit Box, as well as products from top brands, and many small businesses. We love supporting women-owned businesses as well!
H&S: Do you have a background in consumer products and/or the subscription space?
JY: I have been a business owner and
horse trainer for over 15 years. Currently, my focus and strengths lie within the hunter/jumper disciplines, including importing and selling horses. I have no past experience with products or subscription boxes, except as a consumer within the equestrian industry.
H&S: What is your background in horses? JY: I am a third generation equestrian with a background in vaulting, hunter/jumper and dressage. I started riding when I was just starting to walk. I was given a large pony when I was three years old, and never looked back… and tried to never look down, haha! I also began vaulting when I was three years old, and I later took my vaulting career well into the international level, competing for the USA numerous times. I also represented the United States in two World Equestrian Games, once as an alternate athlete, and in 2010, on home soil, as a trainer and lunger for both the US and Denmark. I started my own Silver Bay Stables, a hunter/jumper training, sales and import business, in 2009 and still run that business today alongside The Modern Horse.
H&S: What do you love most about owning The Modern Horse?
JY: I have always been very interested in
product development and new designs for new, innovative items in the equestrian industry. But, the biggest reason I started The Modern Horse is to have the flexibility and freedom to work from home. I also founded the business to give my children support and to spend more time with them – time that I would not and did not have when I was traveling to horse shows multiple weeks per month. The transition from an idea to a fully executed and operating business has been something I am extremely proud of. I am so excited for the endless possibilities for both The Modern Horse and The Bit Box.
The next Bit Box ships September 1!
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H&S: What do you look for in the products and brands you choose for The Bit Box?
JY: We look for quality products and
brands that represent and embody fashion, function and innovation for the equestrian lifestyle. We also – as true equestrians ourselves – like to look for and use products that we have always found essential.
H&S: What brands are your favorites and why? JY: I have a few brands that I, as an
equestrian, think are wonderful. These brands have also been amazing to work and collaborate with on products for The Bit Box. Pony Suds, The Infused Equestrian, Willies Golden Gate, KF Clothing, Harcour USA, 49 Square Mile, AtelierCG, Sonoma Apothecary and DK Embroidery are all small businesses that are local and family or women-owned, and they have all been amazing to work with. They also all have products that never disappoint.
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H&S: What sets The Modern Horse apart from other online stores, deal sites, etc.?
JY: We offer top equestrian lifestyle brands and products in every box. We curate each box individually to fit the profile preferences of every subscriber ourselves. I work with Cheryl to make sure that the boxes are cohesive and the items are hand selected to make each box unique. We love being accessible for our subscribers; making it a personal and enjoyable experience four times a year for each box.
H&S: Please share some of the feedback you have received from The Bit Box subscribers.
JY: We have received an overwhelming
amount of positive feedback as well as some corrective comments that have helped us to ensure the next box is an absolute knock out. We are excited for our customers to receive something new and exciting in every box.
H&S: What would be your advice to someone
who wants to start their own equestrian business?
JY: Starting any business has its hurdles,
and an equestrian business is no different. But, just like an equestrian facing a tough course or difficult horse, the motivation and passion for success and the desire to accomplish challenges and goals should be the driving force.
H&S: What are your plans for the future? Do you plan to expand The Modern Horse?
JY: We have some exciting things in the
works for both The Bit Box and The Modern Horse. We are focusing the next couple of months on both the fall box and the winter/holiday box. Both will feature great new products and collaborations with some of the brands I mentioned, as well as a few new ones. There are also great new products and exciting new developments in the works for The Modern Horse. To learn more and to subscribe to The Bit Box, visit themodernhorse.com.You can also follow along with the latest news and developments on Instagram @the.modern.horse.
HUSHCHA HORSES When the heavy wind sprays the moonlight unto the bent branches and they dance while changing shape, I see the horses. I love horses.
Visit our website to view the collection of Leon Hushcha’s original work and prints
www.hushchastudio.com Original paintings • Editions • Commissions
The Gait 2020, Acrylic on paper, 26"x40"
Julie Young (left), Founder and CEO of The Modern Horse, with Cheryl Gray (right), Head Intern
Ali Telatnik and Somerset;
photo © GrandPix Photography
Ali Telatnik and Persuasion;
photo © GrandPix Photography
Landmark Equestrian offers boutique hunter/jumper training with the best in amenities, service, and location. Now based out of the Bay Area’s premier equestrian facility, Sandhu Stables. SANDHU STABLES 5900 O L D S C H O O L R D , P L E AS A N TO N , C A 94 5 8 8 S A N D H U STA B L E S . C O M L A N D M A R K E Q U E ST R I A N . C O M
Ali Telatnik, Head Trainer • Lindsay Bowman, Assistant Trainer 425.241.1410 • LandmarkEqCa@gmail.com
FEATURE by India Parker-Smith of Chukka Wellness
The Importance of Fitness & Wellbeing for Equestrians FROM RIDER TO ATHLE TE Good quality health and wellbeing enable us to thrive and succeed. The world of equestrianism is fast-paced and adrenaline fueled – its competitive nature requires creating every marginal gain we can to have the winning formula. For riders who strive to be the best we can, mental and physical preparation is key. As riders, we ensure that our horses are physically fit, well-rested, and in peak condition; ready for their next event. But are YOU physically and mentally ready?
questrians of all ages and abilities are prone to suffering injuries, whether incurred from a bad fall, a runaway horse, or picking up a heavy wheelbarrow (yes, this is more common than you think). Combine this high risk with fatigue, poor nutrition, lack of strength and high stress levels – you have the perfect mixture for burn out and reduced athletic performance. Sometimes injuries are unavoidable, but what riders can control is their body’s level of resilience. If muscles are strong, joints are stable, and the body is supple; the risk level is lowered. Last year we had the honor of training number one female polo player, Nina Clarkin, who understands the importance of staying strong and supple in order to avoid injury and maintain that competitive edge. During her pre-season training, we focused on joint and muscle stability, functional
exercises and, of course, lots of stretching! These elements all contribute to creating a ‘bulletproof ’ body ready for action!
We achieve this using our highly successful combination of equestrian-specific mobility routines, muscle activation exercises, stability workouts and aerobic/anaerobic training.
Along with injury prevention, there are many other benefits to integrating equestrian fitness into a weekly schedule: higher energy levels; reduced risk of injury; improved mental focus and competitiveness; quicker recovery rates; enhanced control in the saddle; and quicker reaction times. It is widely perceived that a typical equestrian workout involves hours of exercising until ‘complete fatigue’ and ‘breathlessness.’ Chukka Wellness aims to discourage this perception of ‘go hard or go home,’ and highlight that it’s about creating a regime that complements the movement patterns of those in the saddle. The Chukka Wellness motto is to help equestrians ‘become twice as Supple, Stable and Strong in the saddle’.
India Parker-Smith, creator of Chukka We llness
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This may sound daunting and complicated, but actually the formula is pretty simple, and it begins with preparation!
Warm-Up/Mobility: Back Stretch
Preparation is key, especially during busy competition periods. The more prepared you are physically and mentally for your season, the more likely you are to succeed! Competition days are usually very hectic and busy times; so prepping as much as possible in the days, weeks and months leading up to these important events reduces stress and creates a better, more effective athlete.
Warm-Up/Mobility: Hip Mobility
We encourage our clients to adapt their training routine throughout the year depending on how busy their seasons are, as naturally, priorities change and rider wellness can slip down the list. It is, however, a clever idea to maintain a certain level of fitness and suppleness throughout the season. Let’s have a look at what a typical rider fitness regime should look like during a busy competition season. WA R M - U P Mobility, mobility, mobility. Always start with an effective warm-up, whether it is for a workout or pre-ride. These exercises should always be dynamic (stretching cold muscles can lead to a pull or strain). Our mobility routines take around 10 minutes and aim to warm up all muscles and joints, preparing them for action. We also take this time to perform some deep breathing and reflection on the goals for the workout or event.
Warm-Up/Mobility: Pigeon Pose
Recommended: 20 reps per exercise STABILIT Y EXERCISES A typical equestrian workout should include a combination of stability exercises, especially targeting the hip, knee, ankle and shoulder joints. It is essential to focus on stability of the joints before moving on to strengthening exercises as to avoid any biomechanical issues or imbalances in the body – the more specific the movements are to riding, the more effective they will be… Stability: Back Extension
Recommended: 12-20 reps per exercise, 3 sets STRENGTHENING EXERCISES Now we have mobilized and stabilized, it’s time to strengthen. Equestrians need to be supple and lean, but strong enough to be able to move freely and in a controlled manner whilst in the saddle. Strength work should involve ‘light weights, more reps’ and have less emphasis on ‘heavy weights, low reps.’
Stability: Banded Ab Roll Down Stability: Banded Crab
We encourage riders to use a wide range of resistance bands to help strengthen the core, glutes and arms specifically. Recommended: 12-20 reps per exercise. 3 sets CARDIO Uh Oh! The dreaded word: cardio!!! Cardio work can involve the combination of anaerobic training (sprints and
High Intensity Interval Training [HIIT]) and aerobic training (endurance running, swimming and cycling). Both energy systems contribute to overall fitness, so we recommend involving both method types in your workout regime. Your cardio training should ideally change throughout the year depending on when your competitions are. ‘Off season’ is a chance to initially rest and then ramp up the cardio training, which may include some long runs or swims one day and then a 20-minute HIIT session another day. During a busy season, we would suggest focusing more on ‘body maintenance,’ reducing the workout intensity, and focusing on some long cycles or swims.
Stability: Banded Row
If you’re looking for a challenge, give this HIIT workout a go: 30 seconds high knees 30 seconds jumping jacks 1 min fast run 30 seconds rest 1 min fast run 30 seconds jumping jacks 30 seconds high knees
If you are looking to gain that competitive edge through improving your athletic performance, try implementing some of these exercises into your workout program. Remember that preparation is key; schedule in your weekly workouts and build out a pre-season training program. Mix up your training regime depending on where you are in your season; off season, focus more on high intensity workouts, and on season, switch to mobility, stability and body maintenance exercises. This ensures that not only is your horse ready for action, but you are too, and together you will be the ultimate team! To get you started, Chukka Wellness is giving away a FREE Become a More Supple Rider e-book, which includes five days of mobility routines.The exercises have been designed to reduce risk of injury and improve overall suppleness of the equestrian athlete. Get your free copy at chukkawellness.co.uk/e-book-sign-up-page
Stability: Plank with Shoulder Tap
India Parker-Smith India Parker-Smith is a personal trainer from the UK. Since creating Chukka Wellness, she has worked with top equestrians in Argentina, Spain, the USA and Germany. She regularly travels the globe, co-hosting polo-fitness holidays and clinics, and combines her love of riding with fitness. Chukka Wellness Chukka Wellness provides the leading training and movement methodology designed for the equestrian athlete to enhance suppleness, stability and strength in the saddle. Chukka Wellness provides online and offline services (including clinics and private training) created to elevate the wellbeing of equestrians, both in and out of the saddle, using tried and tested key ingredients. @chukka_wellness chukkawellness.co.uk Chukka Wellness firstname.lastname@example.org
Ankle & Hip Stability: See-Saw Stability: Superman
N E W product
by Helen Pollock
Asmar Equestrian EMPOWERING THE NEXT GENERATION OF RIDERS, ASMAR EQUESTRIAN L AUNC HES AN INSPIRIN G YOUTH COLLECTION
smar is expanding within the equestrian community, and the company is continuing to build a brand that focuses on an elegant and polished look that seamlessly guides riders from the barn to the board room or classroom, back home – all the while utilizing safe and sustainable materials and maintaining an affordable price point. Noel Asmar founded Asmar Equestrian based on a global demand for a modern
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women’s equestrian clothing line. As Asmar Equestrian evolves, they have expanded to include clothing for riders of all ages, genders and abilities, including their latest youth collection. Recognizing the admiration, love and determination a young rider has to compete at a young age, the Asmar team hopes to instill a sense of empowerment and establish a lifelong connection with every rider. “I see the love for riding and horses in my daughter and all the little ones training at
the barn. This next generation inspires me every day,” says Noel. The Asmar team is excited about the recent launch of their first-ever capsule for children ages four through twelve. This collection includes their Long Sleeve Sustainable Asmar Sunshirt, which matches their signature men’s and women’s long sleeve that kicked off their timeless collection ten years ago. The colors were chosen to create a brand that
both boys and girls can enjoy, with the Pony Print Sun Shirt quickly becoming their top-selling piece. Asmar’s youth line is functional, elegant and fun, yet its price point makes their apparel affordable for children’s frequently changing sizes. “When I was a little girl, I had an obsession with horses. I would drive by the fields blowing kisses to every one of them. I had the horse-obsession and now I get to see my daughter’s same love for horses. My team is passionate about designing clever equestrian gear meant to empower young riders to show up feeling prepared, polished and confident. This is a really exciting time for our brand,” says Noel. While creating an aesthetically pleasing children’s line, the Asmar team maintains their focus on using sustainable and recycled yarns, applying the same technical design principles for children that they do for their adult lines. This process includes the use of fabrics that offer UPF 50 + sun protection. Safety is always a priority for Asmar, and knowing children can overheat quickly, Asmar incorporated the most cutting-edge breathable activewear fabric. Looking ahead, this fall you will see a Capsule 2 launch that will include breeches, outerwear and sweater knits. After months of designing and testing pieces that are well-made, functional and affordable for families, the Asmar team is incredibly excited about the launch of their youth line. All of these items will make perfect gifts just in time for the holiday season. Plus, the Asmar Rewards Program is still free to join, and offers access to new products and private sales and the ability to earn points with every dollar spent. Asmar has truly created a brand for all generations of equestrian families. Plus, shopping is now easier than ever with products available for all ages and the opportunity to earn points with every purchase. All Asmar products are now sold exclusively online at asmarequestrian.com, including their equestrian-inspired Home collection. Order now, within the U.S., to take advantage of free ground shipping.
H&S Publisher Sarah Appel wi th her daughters, Piper (left) and Ella (right) all in As mar Equestrian styles; photo © Tara Arrowood
in the U.S. and Canada, but we serve customers all over the world with a loyal and growing customer base in Japan, UAE and Europe.
H&S: We know how important it is to the
Asmar brand to continue creating safe and sustainable products. Where do you source such sustainable materials, and do you design based around available materials or do you create your design and then source the materials?
NA: Our design team is passionate
about the entire process which always begins with finding the perfect fabric. The fabrics are the foundation upon which we build every season’s capsule to ensure premium craftsmanship for our customers. The dying process is important to understand to ensure that there are no harmful chemicals used during our lab testing. Our Italian leather belt and bag collections are produced in a family-owned factory in Florence, which works with tanneries that do not use harmful or toxic metals. Our team is always sourcing sustainable yarns to provide fabrics that work as hard for our riders as our riders work in the ring.
H&S: What has been the most rewarding experience as you grow the Asmar brand?
NA: As a lifelong equestrian, I love being
Asmar Equestrian founder Noel Asmar with her daughter Coco
Noel Asmar 44
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Helen Pollock for Horse & Style: Hi
Noel! Thank you for taking the time to be part of my second article for Horse & Style Magazine. We are just in time to cover the newest release of your Girls/Youth line in coordination with your growing Asmar Home Line. What is your focus for the Asmar brand as we are halfway through 2021?
Noel Asmar: Asmar Equestrian is
focused on every aspect of the rider’s life. We went direct to consumer at the beginning of 2021 to get closer to our riders and to help every one of them show up dressed for success in and out of the ring. We have an exciting chapter ahead that includes items for the home; exclusive equestrian-inspired gift and home products that equestrians will both want for themselves, and to gift to their friends and family as an expression of their passion. We are most well-known
a part of an industry that is growing in scale every year, and to be a part of an incredible community of designers, riders and trainers. Collaborating with these groups and individuals gives our team additional insight into a world we are so passionate about, and fuels our future goals. It is truly inspiring seeing our customers living out their dreams, wearing our functional yet stylish pieces; and we only want to grow to provide the best of the best for the industry and our customers. Our team is very excited about what the future has in store for Asmar Equestrian.
Scan the QR code below or visit asmarequestrian.com to shop Asmar Equestrian’s new youth collection online. Also, keep up to date on the latest brand developments on Instagram @asmarequestrian.
FEATURE by Pam Maley photos by Catie Staszak Media
The Cournane family
a legacy grows It’s probably safe to say that a young Brian Cournane, riding his father’s trekking horses in his idyllic home town in Ireland, couldn’t have imagined being where he is today. Now living in Wellington with his wife Jules and their two beautiful young children, on their Glenbeigh Farm (named for the town of his birth), he has quickly risen to the top levels of show jumping. But the road from Glenbeigh, County Kerry, Ireland to Wellington, Florida, USA has been anything but a straight line.
rian Cournane has amassed victories at the international level across two disciplines: eventing and show jumping. His sights are set on winning a five-star
show jumping competition this year; and in the longer term, competing at the World Equestrian Games. With his infinitely pleasant demeanor, his natural talent, and his commitment to hard work, there is little doubt that he’ll reach those goals. And his competition string is ready to take him there. Armik (2009 Armitage x Justinian xx), “my best horse,” Penelope Cruz (2008 Ustinov x Peter Pan), and Dino 2008 (Vingino x Coriano) are seasoned competitors that have already recorded top placings in some of the best venues in the world. Newer additions to the group, and showing endless promise, are Vittorio 12 (2011 Van Helsing x Carismo), Castlefield Dream (2011 Clinton I x Cero), and Jelesta (2014 Berlin x Heartbreaker). S TARTIN G OUT Brian’s father had a yard in Glenbeigh that offered horses for tourists. Located in County Kerry, on the southwest coast of Ireland, it provided young Brian endless pastoral treks through the forests and mountains, and along adjacent Rossbeigh Beach.
In 2000, when Brian was 17 and had finished secondary school, he chose a path to more serious riding by applying to the Irish Army Equitation School, an exclusive and highly sought-after school that has been compared to the US Military Academy at West Point. He was accepted, which was a great tribute to him and a significant opportunity for his future. As all the cadets do, he started with Cadet School for the first two years, to learn the infantry skills necessary to be a member of the Irish military. Upon completion of his cadetship, he entered the Army Equitation School, which is dedicated to competing at the highest level of international equestrian competition, and which fields the Irish Equestrian Teams in eventing and show jumping. Though he was leaning toward show jumping, there was a need for eventers, so he changed direction and remained in the army, competing on the Irish eventing team and attaining the rank of Captain, until his retirement at the end of 14 years of service.
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ENTER JULES Brian met his wife Jules at the farm of Capt. Mark and Sandy Phillips in England. (Mark Phillips had been the Chef d’Equipe of the US Olympic Team, and Sandy Phillips was a top dressage rider; both former Olympians). Jules was an eventer on the short list for the Olympics at that time, and both she and Brian were working with Sandy on their dressage skills. Brian and Jules married in 2014, and Brian moved to England, where they lived on Jules’s farm for two years. Soon after they married, Brian retired from the army, choosing, at his wife’s suggestion, to keep his title of Captain. So, though he no longer rides in uniform, he remains Capt. Brian Cournane, a nod to the myriad experiences and wonderful memories of his army years. Unlike Brian, Jules was not part of a family legacy of horses. For her, as for many of us horse girls, horses were somehow part
of her DNA. “I guess she just nagged her mom for a pony and for riding lessons!” says Brian. (Didn’t we all?) A native of Charlotte, Vermont, Jules became an internationally competitive eventer with full support of her parents, even though they had had no prior experience with horses. OFF TO WELLINGTON After two years in England, Brian and Jules made the decision to move to the US, transition fully to show jumping, and open their Glenbeigh Farm in Wellington. Show jumping had always been Brian’s first love, and Jules had injured her foot, requiring three surgeries. Both decided that show jumping was better for them, and not so hard on the horses as eventing. Asked if Jules’s foot was completely healed, Brian said, “Not completely healed, but manageable. She never complains, but sometimes I notice her limping a bit! At this stage, Jules is enjoying competing in the
Amateur Owner ranks just for fun; and with that and the children, her hands are full.” Now, with their son Bob, age five, and daughter Saoirse, age three, they are forging their own family legacy. Of the children, Brian says, “We started them early; they began riding at age two.” Charlie Moorcroft, one of the great Pied Pipers of children on ponies, is located in Wellington. “Both children are taking lessons from him, and they love it,” Brian says proudly. They travel to competitions as a family, and ride together at home. A N E W PA R T N E R S H I P Two years ago, Brian and Renaissance Saddles by Prestige, formed a partnership. Asked how this came about, Brian explained that he had always been an owner and admirer of fine French saddles, with their characteristic combination of excellent craftsmanship and the unmatched French skill in the tanning of leather.
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Before Brian came on board as an ambassador, Prestige Italia had collaborated with a legendary French saddlemaker to design the Renaissance saddle. The result of this collaboration is “an élite product for demanding riders, characterized by French taste in terms of shape and materials, entirely made in Italy.” (from the Renaissance website) It incorporates the technological advances of the Prestige saddles with unparalleled French design.
the pressure over a wider area. “Armik would hump his back when we tightened the girth, and now this donut girth has completely changed him. I know it could help so many horses, and it isn’t expensive.”
“A friend visited the farm and brought a Renaissance saddle for me to try. I did, and fell instantly in love! I was comfortable, the horse was comfortable – it just fit so well!” Brian and Jules were introduced to Audrey, a Prestige Master Saddle Fitter.
Fit is everything in all the Prestige saddles. At the headquarters in Wellington, “the service is so good. With other high-end saddles, once the saddle is yours, they don’t know you any more, and that’s just not true with this company. It’s so important to have a well-shod horse and a well-fitted saddle,” he says with conviction. The whole family rides in Prestige saddles, Brian and Jules in the Renaissance, and the children in another model that offers saddles for small children and small ponies.
“Audrey measured all the horses, and she let me try both the flocked panels and the latex panels that offer the closest contact,” Brian explains. “They were able to make the saddle for Armik because the hand-stuffed flocked panels could be adjusted to the shape of his back.” Another Prestige product that Brian knows has made a difference for Armik, is what he calls the donut girth (Girth A52 RP Jump) that distributes
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Brian is the perfect ambassador for the Renaissance saddles. His enthusiasm for the saddle and what it has done for his horses spills over when he’s asked about them. And we all know that is the best kind of advocacy.
“The goal,” says Aurélie Ferrut of Prestige Italia, “is to provide a saddle that will last a lifetime.” To that end, the innovative synthetic tree is crucial. Unlike the traditional wooden tree, this one is made
with a special blend of synthetic fibers so that it keeps its shape, unaffected by humidity. In the traditional French style, it provides a very flat seat for close contact. And most importantly, it can be adjusted to keep up with any new growth or muscle development of the horse; or it can be modified to fit another horse. The family legacy of Prestige Italia which remains in the hands of Mrs. Stocchetti, the original founder, and her son, in the small town of Trissino in northern Italy, has intertwined with the Cournane family legacy, and they are inextricably linked by the passion for horses and riding that inspires them all. To keep up with the Cournane family, go to: captbriancournane.com To learn more about the Renaissance saddles, go to: renaissance.prestigeitaly.com or renaissance.prestigeitaly.com/en/our_saddles.xhtml To read about the donut girth, go to: prestigeitaly.com/en/p/Girth_A52_RP_ JUMP.xhtml To read about the Prestige Pony saddle: us.prestigeitaly.com/p/PONY.xhtml
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jump for jumpsuits If you aren’t quite ready to fully commit to going back to “hard pants,” aka denim, the jumpsuit is your new best friend. Much like a show jumping horse, the jumpsuit comes in all shapes and sizes. From casual beachwear to sophisticated silk silhouettes, the jumpsuit is there for you! If you have been on the hunt for the perfect combination of comfort and style, look no further. Like a best friend, the jumpsuit doesn’t judge; class it up with heels or rock a low-key flat. You will feel empowered by the ease of the fit!
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Jovial Junior Mini Joan Leather Crossbody Bag, See by Chloé, $320 Tori Belted Distressed Denim Jumpsuit, Retroféte, $545 Horseshoe Bangle, The Simple Equine, $60 Jeanne CottonTrimmed Straw Fedora, Gigi Burris, $375 Mahe Leather Thong Sandals, See by Chloé, $315
Pony Mom Rockstud Espadrille Wedge Sandals, Valentino, $795 Shopping Toy LeatherTrimmed Straw Tote, Saint Laurent, $1,880 Star-Print Jumpsuit, Norma Kamali, $155 Seabiscuit Necklace, Signature Spurs, $130 Kauai Straw Hat, Artesano, $325
Gorgeous Gent Aviator-Style Black Metal Sunglasses, Saint Laurent, $395 Enunio Belted LinenBlend Jumpsuit, Isabel Marant, $1,090 Mini 1955 Horsebit Shoulder Bag, Gucci, $920 V-10 Sneakers, Veja, $154 The Masters Collection, Longines, $2,320
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O N the
by Natalie Keller Reinert photos by Andrew Ryback
ELENA HAAS Elena Haas is having a good day. She’s been in the saddle since before seven a.m., but the early wake-up call has paid off. Now it’s noon, and she’s already won the day’s welcome stake aboard her Oldenburg mare, Centana, at Sonoma Horse Park. She has more horses to ride as the mercury soars towards 100 degrees – there’s a heat wave this week in Petaluma, and everyone is trying to get their rides in before the afternoon temperature spike – but there’s an enthusiasm in her voice which can’t be missed. And no wonder. Because to tell the whole truth, Elena Haas is having a good year.
lready in 2021, she has won Desert International Horse Park’s North American Youth Championship (NAYC) Jr. Trial 1.40m Classic. She’s made the Zone 10 Junior Team for the North American Youth Championships. And she’s also won her first meter fortyfive – again with her relatively new mare, Centana. As far as last junior years go, this one is shaping up to be a doozy by anyone’s measure. So, how does a junior rider wunkerkind do it? I talked to Haas by phone in between rounds at Sonoma Horse Park, and with every breath, she was ready to sing the praises of the people who support her. From long-time trainer
Elena Haas with her horses Centana (left) and Ce Ce Senior (right)
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Elena Haas competes aboard Kalgary DV
Meredith Herman to veteran coach Richard Spooner, Haas attributes her success in the show ring to her team. And a lot of hard work. Just listening to her schedule makes yours truly tired. For example, I asked about an average summer’s day for this rising high school senior. “Show days start for me around 6:15,” Haas tells me. Because she rides in equitation and jumpers, she’s typically in the first class of the day. “So I flat one or two in the morning before my first class of the day, then I walk courses with my trainers around 7:30. I have three horses, two are jumpers and one is an equitation horse – so show days can be a little hectic running between rings. I’m usually busy all day, hacking for my trainer, and doing schoolwork.” Haas also fits in a daily workout. “I love working out because I think it really helps me mentally – as well as physically, of course,” she explains. “But mainly, because feeling strong and fit makes such a big difference in my riding.”
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Okay, so far Haas’s riding life sounds like a full-time job, so what about school? During the academic year, Haas has regular school hours to contend with. “So if I’m not hacking or showing, I’m usually in the tack room getting as much homework done as I can.” Or logging into Zoom meetings to attend class – it was 2020 for Haas, too, after all. But online education is working out for her, even if it means her day never stops. “I function well on that,” she laughs. “I like to stay busy.”
WHERE IT S TARTED It’s a future ten years in the making: Haas got her start in the saddle when she was seven years old. But even before that first summer camp session, she knew her heart was in horses. It started, she says, at her grandparents’ farm in Missouri. “They used to have a horse there, and I’ve always loved horses,” Haas tells me, “but when I was younger my parents threw me into every sport possible: soccer, softball, volleyball, tennis.”
I consider telling Haas that my summer days usually consist of sleeping until nine o’clock, then remind myself I am not the story. And it’s pretty obvious why.
Well-rounded? Yes – up until a few years ago, Haas was still playing school volleyball and softball in addition to showing. But she knew where she belonged. Even as a little girl, Haas explains, “All I wanted to do was ride, and I knew nothing about it. I just knew I wanted to be with horses.”
With her three horses – Centana, Ce Ce Senior, and equitation mount Kalgary DV, Elena Haas is a consistent competitor on the West Coast Circuit. In her downtime (if such a thing exists) Haas volunteers for Computing Minds, a non-profit which focuses on bringing coding to girls in underprivileged circumstances. Her full days are clearly leading towards a bright future.
It was the start of something special for Haas. Her first hunter/jumper barn gave her a start, building her skills for three years. When she was ten years old, Haas started showing. “And it progressed from there!” she laughs.
Elena Haas competes aboard Centana
The unusual circumstances of 2020 also led Haas to a coaching partnership which she values highly. When veteran coach Richard Spooner came to the farm to give some clinics while the show season was still on hiatus, Haas found herself learning valuable lessons from one of the greats.”
CIRCUIT ST YLE Haas’s riding habit of choice is a reminder that you can never go wrong with the classics. “I love the look of a black show coat,” she tells me. “I think it looks classic and simple, which is beautiful in the equitation rings. I try to stay away from anything that might be distracting.” Haas adds a touch of red to the jumper arena, with burgundy saddle pads, and burgundy trim on boots and bonnets. “I like this look on my jumpers because I think it looks sporty and is unique to them, but it is not distracting or overwhelming. I think a black coat ties it all together! I love the Charles Ancona jackets – they’re lightweight and comfortable.” S I LV E R L I N I N G S Being an up-and-coming rider in 2020 was a challenge, but Haas made it work. “2020 was obviously incredibly difficult for so many people. I feel immensely grateful that my family and I were able to stay safe through this time. Regarding the horses, it was, at times, difficult to plan and train, because no one knew when we’d be back in competitions again.” Still, they found ways to keep training going. School went to remote sessions, and Haas was able to ride more often, and even move to Thermal for the entire circuit. “So I just did my entire junior year of high school online. And that was weird,” she laughs, “but it let me ride.” The unusual circumstances of 2020 also led Haas to a coaching partnership which she values highly. When veteran coach Richard Spooner came to the farm to give some clinics while the show season was still on hiatus, Haas found herself learning valuable lessons from one of the greats. And their coaching didn’t end there. “It worked really well; now he helps me out at shows, and it’s really great,” she says. By working with Meredith Herman and Ann Ruffner of Burgundy Farms, and adding in Spooner’s expertise at shows, Haas has her coaching needs more than covered. And it shows. Haas’s progression through the disciplines is leading her towards a future in the jumper ring. “I’ve only been doing the jumpers for the last two years,” she explains. “A lot of my foundation is in equitation. I’m thankful to have shown in the equitation because it has made me focus on the little details, and it makes me ride better when I get to the big fences.” Now, she’s turning heads in the jumper arena with her relatively new mare, Centana. “She’s blown away our expectations,” Haas says.
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HORSES FOR COURSES Haas’s horses are clearly her greatest joy. Centana, a ten-year-old Oldenburg mare, is the newest and, Haas assures me, the princess of the barn. Plus, she knows what she likes. “She loves food probably more than any other horse I’ve ever met,” Haas explains. “She loves to jump and compete and is such a fighter in the ring, but she is also one of the sweetest horses on the ground.” Centana competed previously under Vasco Flores and was developed in Europe by Mark Martens. Then there is Ce Ce Senior. “Rocky is for sure my heart horse,” Haas says. “I got him when I was doing the children’s jumpers, and I just jumped my first Grand Prix on him last night. He has the biggest heart and it comes through equally in the ring and the barn.” The twelve-year-old Holsteiner gelding has a big presence wherever he goes, showing off in the warm-up ring with his own bucking routine. “But then he comes into the barn and has the personality of a puppy.” Kalgary DV rounds out the stable. “I’ve had him the longest of my three, and he for sure holds the ‘first child’ title dearly,” Haas says. The ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood lives for treats and attention: “He’s a very sweet horse and loves stopping people in the barn to beg for treats.” Of course, Haas understands that the process of moving up in the show ring often means changing horses – but she doesn’t let that stop her from falling in love with her rides. Horses may come and horses may go, but some will always steal your heart. “I have my very first horse retired at my grandparents’ farm in Missouri,” she admits. “I got him when I was eleven. He had an injury when he was thirteen, so we retired him. He and my grandma have the cutest relationship – he’s the family horse there. It’s really sweet to watch and I’m really happy he’s part of the family.”
This page: Haas with Centana; Opposite: Haas and Ce Ce Senior
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A TOP TEAM Horse show careers don’t just happen – they’re carefully nurtured, and a rider’s team is everything. From sourcing the right horses to providing instruction to moral support, the people standing outside the ring are essential to the success inside it. Haas isn’t shy about giving credit to the people around her. “I just want to express how grateful I
Haas’s horses are clearly her greatest joy.”
am for the people around me,” she says earnestly. “Meredith has been such a big influence on my riding, and incredibly supportive. And riding with Richard is a dream come true, I can’t even put it into words. Every day he pushes me to be better than I was the day before.” When I asked Haas about sourcing her show horses, she once again gave all the credit to her team. “There’s nobody better than my trainer Meredith at locating horses that are a great match with the rider. She really knows everyone, and what horses might be available.” Angel Karolyi helped her with Ce Ce Senior, and assisted in finding Centana. “Angel has been one of the biggest supporters of my riding. I’m so lucky, and so grateful for this support system.” What’s it like, horse-shopping at this level? “It’s exciting,” Haas assures me. “I’m really lucky that Meredith has a great eye for horses, and knows what types I like. Going to look at horses and trying horses around the shows has been a really positive experience.
“A lot of people are involved when we’re going to look at horses, and I’m appreciative of that. I think the whole process becomes more reassuring. When you find the horse you click with, you just know. I remember when I got on Centana – I tried her two days, and the second day I felt like I’d been riding her forever. That gave me the confidence I knew I’d need to jump big jumps on this horse. And it feels really special, too.” While the trainers get top billing at the shows, Haas knows that the real support starts at home. “None of my riding would be possible without my parents,” Haas tells me. “I’m so lucky to have their support. My mom comes to nearly every show and my dad always knows exactly what to say after a good day or a harder one. They’re both incredibly supportive and understanding, and once again, none of it would be possible without them!! My brothers are also really supportive and are always cheering me on!” WHAT’S NEXT Where does a junior rider go from here? I had to ask where Haas sees herself in a few
years. Not surprisingly, it’s in the saddle. “I would really love to just continue with riding – I have a lot of big goals down the line. My trainer, Meredith, focuses on sales, and I am interested in that. In the future, I see myself developing young horses to bring along and sell when they’re older.” But first, she has some pretty big riding goals to hit. Her near-future goals include riding in the under 25 divisions at Spruce Meadows, and moving up the FEI ranks. “Ultimately, I’d like to do the five-star grand prix, and it’s a dream to ride for your country – so that’s a goal as well. I hope to work my way up there, slowly but surely.” But it’s not all intense work ethic and big dreams keeping Haas in horses. I had to ask: what’s the next thing you’d like to do that’s not in the show ring? “My friend and I were just talking about this!” Haas laughs. “We’d love to go to my grandparents’ farm and just get on bareback and ride through the fields. It’s so peaceful and it reminds me of why I fell in love with the sport. It’s all about the horses.”
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feature by Jen Spencer, Steph Kallstrom & Maya Pridgen
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Jen Spencer, Black Equestrians Founder; photo © Stefan Latychev
Steph Kallstrom, photoNaCorea’ © Antone-Diamond, Indigenous Black photographer
Maya Pridgen, photo © Shannon Gage
In the great scheme of things, the horse community is quite small. And within that close fraternity, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) equestrians exist in such modest numbers as to feel quite isolated and, at times, even invisible. And so it was with special joy that Jen Spencer discovered a group of thousands – now upwards of 13,000 – that have gravitated to her Instagram account @BlackEquestrians (BE), begun in 2020. She soon recruited Steph Kallstrom and Maya Pridgen to join her, and with twin goals of increasing the visibility of Black riders and promoting anti-racism to help dismantle discrimination, this talented threesome is providing a vibrant forum for creating camaraderie and promoting change.
JEN’S S TORY & THE FOUNDIN G O F “ B L AC K E Q U E S T R I A N S ” I’m Jen Spencer, an equestrian from Toronto, Canada. I am biracial; my mom immigrated to Canada from Jamaica as a teenager and my dad’s parents emigrated from Manchester, England, before he was born. I’ve loved horses ever since I was a kid, and attended summer riding camps and occasional riding lessons when I could while growing up. Living in a city made it tough to get out into the country to ride, so it wasn’t until I became an adult and had my own car that I began to ride regularly. In 2018, I adopted Latin Piper (“Piper”), an off-track thoroughbred gelding, from Chiefswood Aftercare. With Piper, I competed in the hunters and equitation last summer under the coaching of Margie Gayford.
I started Black Equestrians (BE) on June 3, 2020, shortly after the horrific murder of George Floyd and the ensuing Black Lives Matter movement. Like most people at the time, I was reflecting on what I could do, as an individual, to help dismantle systems of discrimination and teach others about how they can be anti-racist. So, I decided to combine my two greatest passions – horses and social justice – into one, and established the Instagram account @BlackEquestrians. I had two goals for the page. The first was to increase the visibility of Black riders. As an equestrian of 17 years, I knew first-hand that diversity in equestrian sport was sorely lacking. Honestly, when I started the page, I worried that there wouldn’t be enough people to feature. My second goal for the
page was to promote anti-racism education to teach others how to do their part in recognizing systems of discrimination, and to reflect on what they can do to dismantle them. My personal belief is that the biggest changes come from small, incremental actions by many people. The more people that become aware of a problem, the sooner we can work towards creating solutions. Once the page was set up, it quickly garnered 1,000 followers in its first few days (with thanks to my friends who shared and promoted the page on their social media accounts)! Within a week, I suddenly had dozens of new friends in other Black equestrians. In addition to that, the page built a community of people from all walks of life and backgrounds who were all
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passionate for social change, and supportive of our page and its content. It was amazing to see. Even today, I still get a kick out of people who either aren’t equestrians, aren’t Black, or are neither of those things, but still follow along and engage with the page. So much for my worry about enough Black equestrians to run a page! Black Equestrians is popular on a forwardfacing front, in terms of garnering likes, comments, and followers; but it’s also popular behind the scenes, receiving countless messages from riders and nonriders of all races, expressing their joy in the existence of our page. I loved the messages, but it became quite a task to keep up with them all! So I eventually reached out for help, and that’s when Steph joined the team. Also a passionate advocate for social justice (and horses), Steph has been amazing at creating posts and sharing relevant content to our page. With her help, the page grew, and we enlisted our third and most recent addition to the BE team: Maya. Maya, also a passionate equestrian and social justice advocate, has rounded out a
wonderful trio. The three of us get along wonderfully, and it’s been an absolute joy and privilege to be able to partner with such great women. As for Black Equestrians, the page recently surpassed 13,000 followers. Our community of socially progressive riders is something I’m immensely proud of. It’s wonderful to see so many people engaged in important social issues, especially within a sport we love so much. Black Equestrians’ primary purpose is to increase the visibility of Black riders and provide education and information regarding important social issues. Our page exists primarily for the Black community, but we wholly believe in and support intersectionality. So, as part of this, we celebrate things like AAPI (Asian American, Pacific Islander) Heritage and Hispanic Heritage Month, featuring riders from those respective communities. We also regularly discuss mental health, the LGBT community, and any social topic making headlines, such as the Stop Asian Hate movement, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, etc. We always try to include horsey content, covering horse
PhotoNaCorea’ © Antone-Diamond, Indigenous Black photographer
Photo © Stefan Latychev Photo © Shannon Gage
history and welfare issues. We have a lot of stuff going on, to say the least! Like most things, the page has its highs and lows. One moment I’ll be tearing up at a young Black equestrian showing off her ribbon haul at a competition, and the next, needing to lie down before summoning the energy to deal with a racist message in our inbox. But all in all, the page has been amazing to run, and I am immensely thankful to our extraordinary community for making it possible. STEPH’S STORY My name is Steph Kallstrom, I use the pronouns she and her and I am a Black equestrian and hunter rider from Vancouver BC, Canada. I feel an immense privilege in being able to help Jen with Black Equestrians. It has been not only soul-filling, but provided so much joy to be able to connect with Black equestrians around the world. I was born in Peru and adopted at three months old by a white Swedish Canadian woman. My heritage is Nigerian and some Peruvian, which is known as Afro-Peruvian.
Representation across groups in a given population. Some examples of groups are race, gender, age, marital status, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, physical ability, etc.
Systemic outcomes that are the same across lines of difference. This requires striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups.
Being welcomed into, belonging in a place, and being able to fully participate.
Ibram Kendi has the following working definitions: RACISM
A marriage of racist policies and racist ideas that produces and normalizes racial inequities.
INDIVIDUAL RACIS T
One who is supporting a racist policy through their actions or inaction or expressing a racist idea.
INDIVIDUAL ANTIRACIS T
One who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an antiracist idea.
RACIS T IDEA
Any idea that suggests one racial group is inferior or superior to another group in any way.
There is a long history of slave trade in South America, and many West African slaves entered from Peru in the late 1500s. I started riding horses at 8 years old and have been hooked since. My late grandfather was the horse lover of the family, riding horses on his family’s farm in Sweden as a young boy, and he financially supported my biggest horse endeavors. I’ve owned several horses throughout the years, bred one, showed all of them, and won a few things in the show ring. A lot of people ask me when I’m going to “move up” into the jumper ring, and the short answer is never. I’ll forever be a hunter rider; there is something so special about the preciseness and formality of the hunter ring. I currently own two bay Oldenburgs who are both hunters and hack winners. In my professional role, I am a case manager in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. I get to walk alongside street entrenched members of the community, helping them meet their goals. I work with folks who have significant, complex mental health disorders, addictions and cognitive impairments, as well as women fleeing violence and a marginalized and racialized community. Aside from managing complex care, legal issues, and income assistance, I have worked with the provincial government to revamp policies that further marginalize the community I serve. Within my work, I also have nursing, social work and social services practicum students, and teach a trauma informed model of care for vulnerable clients. My time spent helping with the Black Equestrians page has given me purpose and “work” while on medical leave from my case work. I am managing a chronic disease that has often left me feeling unfulfilled and unoccupied. Adding my friend Maya to the BE team has also been wonderful, and I am very excited to watch this community grow; to see more opportunities and programs surface from what started as Jen’s idea last year. MAYA’S STORY I am Maya Schneider, an amateur hunter rider living in Pittsford, NY with my husband Todd, and our two goldendoodles Douglas and Trixie. I grew up in Northern California and showed on the “A” circuit as a junior and younger amateur. I took a hiatus from riding while finishing many years of education that concluded with completing my doctorate in nursing at Vanderbilt University. I work as a psychiatric nurse practitioner employed at the University of Rochester.
I have always had a love of the hunters and, with my new horse Noble, hope to return to the Amateur Owner hunter division in the foreseeable future. I also have the ambition of competing in at least one international derby. I ride with Sarah Barge at Stone Lane Farms in West Bloomfield, NY. My mom is white, primarily of British and Irish decent, and my dad is Black and a small percentage Native American. When I was younger, I was almost always the only Black equestrian or equestrian of color in the spaces I occupied. Over my lifetime I have seen some increased diversity within these spaces. I have been blessed to have riding and horses in my life, and overall have had a wonderful experience in this sport. I have not been on the receiving end of overt racism, but have often been on the receiving end of microaggressions by other riders and friends. Before a year ago, I didn’t really have the opportunity to talk to other Black equestrians or equestrians of color about our shared experiences. Jen’s creation of the Black Equestrians Instagram page has been pivotal; it has helped to connect thousands of BIPOC riders across North America and beyond. Black Equestrians has done an amazing job cultivating community, and I am honored to be an administrator on the page. As an administrator, I have been able to use my skill set as a mental health clinician to provide support to other BIPOC equestrians when they share racism they have encountered. Before this account was started, most of us never saw other BIPOC riders, and we can now call many of them friends. Images of equestrians are rarely diverse. I am passionate about increasing visibility of BIPOC riders, and helping to make our sport more diverse, welcoming, and inclusive. I am also a member of the newly formed USHJA Diversity and Inclusion Advocacy Committee.Through the USHJA committee, I have been able to participate in many discussions and connect with equine organizations and companies. I also sit on the AHC (American Horse Council) DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) task force, and am able to participate in a group of USEF affiliates to collaborate and share resources on different DEI initiatives across the various affiliate groups.Through this platform I want to be able to provide feedback, experiences and ideas from BIPOC riders who participate in this sport. I plan to pursue additional training, and continue educating myself to be a more effective educator and facilitator of DEI initiatives and change.
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G U I D E TO A L LYS H I P “In social justice work the term Ally is often defined as a noun; a person who uses their privilege to advocate on behalf of someone else who doesn’t hold that same privilege. Allyship is one of the first action-oriented tools one learns in social justice and bias trainings. Awareness of injustices; racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, and ableism (to name a few) is of course, the first step toward advocacy, but awareness alone is not enough to dismantle systems of oppression. To be an Ally requires that a person not simply notice an injustice, but also take action by bringing attention to the injustice and requesting that it be corrected.” – Lona Davenport, Ally is Not a Noun
Black equestrians, BIPOC equestrians, and equestrians from other underrepresented groups need allies. An ally is aware of social injustices and takes action to address the injustices. Any individual has the ability to show up as an ally. There are many intersections of privilege which afford individuals belonging to certain groups the opportunity to be an ally for another group. It is important to note that ally is an active verb. It is not a permanent label, but rather a committed practice that anyone can dedicate themselves toward.
EMPOWER uplift marginalized voices rather than speaking for them Think about sharing content posted by reputable marginalized and BIPOC voices on social media channels, butbesurethatyouunderstandthecontentfirst. Addresspeopleastheywishtobeidentified(ie:Black, BIPOC, queer) and share your identities to normalize the practice in your communities (i.e. as a white, cis, woman).
take the reins on your own anti-racism & anti-bias education
Diversify your media by seeking out and learning from marginalized individuals and groups active in this space.
consider and address societal stigmas, beliefs & stereotypes
Try to avoid asking BIPOC and other marginalized people to educate you on the basics or to proactively share their experiences. There are plenty of resources online and in books on bias, discrimination, and anti-racism. Shift your understanding as you learn new information. Share what you have learned with people like you and those in privileged positions. Acknowledge that you and everyone around you will make mistakes – we are all learning, always. When you make a mistake, be accountable to yourself and others. If someone callsyououtorcallsyouin,thankthem,they’redoingthe work of being an ally and helping to educate you. Resource: Anti-Racism Daily mailer, antiracismdaily.com
INFLUENCE help educate your family, friends & colleagues Use inclusive language in your everyday life. Use your power and privilege to uphold the dignity of others and to diversify the spaces you occupy.
Assume positive intent but prioritize impact. Remember, we’reallhumansonourownlearningcurves;theoutcomes and impact of our actions, policies, and mistakes should be considered more carefully than the intent in their creation. If and when you make a mistake, center the impact and those affected in your efforts to make amends. Knowwhentocall “ out.”Ifsomeone’swordsoractionsare causing harm, it can be very powerful for the marginalized person to hear a “call out” from a member of a dominant group or someone in a position of power. Ensure that you are physically, emotionally, and mentally safe before you do so. Know when to “call in.” When we are seeking to understand orlearn,wecanfocusonreflectionratherthanreaction. Stand up for marginalized voices when they are not in the room.Evenifyou’renotsurewhysomethingiswrongor offensive, if it sounds that way to you, pause and explore that with the person or people with whom you are speaking.
LISTEN listen to members from the group(s) you seek to support
Vote if you are eligible.
Members of any marginalized community are not a monolith – each person has an individual experience. Be sure not to generalize!
Speak up when you witness injustice – whether or not marginalized people are present.
A NEED FOR
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE I) in our Sport
Maya Pridgen, photo © Bryan Nigro
here is a need for education and clarification about what DEI training and the desired outcomes are, within equestrian sport. The primary reason for this training is to create and foster an environment where everyone feels included and welcome to enjoy horses.
According to research, white individuals are statistically more likely to decline to identify race. People of color have faced barriers to participation in equestrian sport, and our industry needs to be committed to improving opportunity and eliminating any form of exclusion.
There is a lack of diversity in our sport. Diversity is not limited to race but is a clear way to highlight issues that exist within our sport. In 2020, there were roughly 36,000 active USHJA members, with the following demographics:
Most people think of racism and discrimination as overt statements or actions purposefully made to harm someone solely based on their membership in an underserved or underrepresented group.There are different tiers of racism and discrimination. The more overt forms are easily identifiable, and the overwhelming majority of the population objects to them. Overt discrimination events do occur within our sport, but aren’t typically happening in public spaces and are less common than more subtle forms.
USHJA Natl. Avg.
White Native Americans/ Alaska Natives Black Asian LatinX Declined to Answer
0.002% 0.007% 0.02% 11%
13.4% 6.0% 18.5%
The less severe forms of racism/ discrimination, like microagressions and
denial, occur on a frequent, even daily, basis. Microaggressions can be perpetrated by anyone, including but not limited to friends, acquaintances, coaches/trainers, or during an interaction with an unknown person. Microaggressions differ from general insults or insensitive comments.They are derogatory or negative messages embedded in questions, comments or actions directed to individuals based on their membership in an underserved or underrepresented group. Microaggressions are usually derived beliefs the individual may not be conscious of; the intent is not typically to harm the individual or group. It can be easy for someone to look at an isolated microaggression and think or express that the incident is not a big deal. Most individuals are unaware of the cumulative harm caused by frequent exposure to microaggressions. DEI education aims to increase awareness and knowledge, and provide tools to combat their respective barriers. We all have bias,
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and at its core bias isn’t inherently bad. Understanding one’s biases and how they guide our thoughts, decisions, and actions is a key component in this process. Lack of awareness impacts our actions and interactions. Due to the harm caused by these exchanges, it is critical for us to identify our biases and fight against their negative consequences. Once one has identified their own biases, individuals can change cognitions and behaviors associated with those biases. The goal of training is not to identify and label people as racist (or anti-Semitic, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, ableist, etc.) however this exploration may lead an individual to identify engrained racist (ableist, etc.), ideas in themselves and others. DEI education will play a big role in creating a welcoming, inclusive culture. WELCOMING & INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENTS In addition to education and training there are other ways to help facilitate a welcoming, inclusive environment. Riding organizations and governing bodies need to establish rules and expectations around exclusion, racism and discrimination. There will need to be a clearly defined process to address violation of rules and organizational
SonomaHorsePark’sAt “ Sonoma Horse Park We Believe...” jump; photo © Alden Corrigan Media
values around racism and discrimination. There will need to be transparency of this process to the membership. This process will facilitate accountability in creating and maintaining a safe environment for Black equestrians, equestrians of color, and from all underrepresented groups. Representation of all forms of identity is key; it helps everyone to feel/see they belong and that our sport is for everyone. Kerrits is a company that is leading our sport in the area of representation, and being inclusive. It is wonderful to see riders of different races, sizes, and different abilities represented on their website, and across social media. Sonoma Horse Park (SHP) has also done a great job creating a welcoming and inclusive environment. SHP has two jumps that highlight this: their LGBTQIA+ Pride jump and their “At Sonoma Horse Park We Believe…” jump. Welcoming people into our space doesn’t mean that everyone needs to be a rider or to compete. Our sport would benefit from encouraging and welcoming spectators from a variety of backgrounds. Representation will also help to make our sport more attractive to a diverse pool, and bring in new people.
T H E F O R M AT I O N O F DEI COMMITTEES Currently USEF, USHJA, and many other organizations are working on DEI training. USEF has been offering panel webinars entitled “DEI community conversations” that discuss different aspects of DEI. There have been three webinars so far: Horses in Black Communities, Harnessing Accessibility and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, and An Introduction to LGBTQ+ and Becoming a Better Ally. These webinars are available on demand in the USEF Learning Center. USEF members, including fan members, are able to access these. USEF is currently offering a free fan membership with the promo code “inclusion21.” Both USEF and USHJA will start with licensed official training for their Boards of Trustees and staff, prior to addressing training for the general membership. The Diversity and Inclusion Advocacy Committee at USHJA was formed to ensure an equitable and inclusive environment for equestrian sport participants of all identities. The DEI Committee aims to find ways to welcome more people into the sport, expand USHJA membership and engagement, and share horses with a broader, more diverse population.
Photo © Stefan Latychev
Photo © Shannon Gage
A Short List of Resources... WEBSITES ucsd.libguides.com/antiracism guides.library.cornell.edu/antiracist/home guidetoallyship.com/license womenofcolorforprogress.org/allyguide rachel-cargle.com ibramxkendi.com
BOOKS When Affirmative Action was White, Ira Katznelson Me and White Supremacy, Layla Saad The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo How to Be an Antiracist, Ibraham X. Kendi Caste, Isabel Wilkerson Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, Beverly Daniel Tatum Inclusify, Stefanie K. Johnson A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein
PODCASTS WorkLife with Adam Grant Episode: Building an Anti-Racist Workplace April 20, 2021 WorkLife with Adam Grant Episode: How to Bust Bias at Work May 18, 2021
PhotoNaCorea’ © Antone-Diamond, Indigenous Black photographer
BL AC K EQUES TRIANS G O I N G F O R WA R D We have several big ideas for BE’s future. One project that is currently in the works is a BIPOC equestrian support network. The success of our Instagram page has highlighted the need for BIPOC riders to have a community; many/most BIPOC riders are in spaces where there aren’t other BIPOC riders. The support network would be open to all BIPOC equestrians to meet regularly on Zoom. This would be a great way to gather the community and make connections, in addition to sharing accomplishments and the complexities of navigating the horse world as an equestrian of color. The three of us would be facilitating the Zoom groups and our hope is that eventually we would gather a larger group to allow us to split into break-out groups according to age. The group would have a confidentiality agreement and a code of conduct to ensure that everyone feels welcome. We would run the group from a trauma informed and antioppressive perspective, in order to allow for a positive experience for everyone. Additionally, we are working on saddle pads, and other BE merchandise that our community members could buy. We are also looking into non-profit status in the future, to help bring more Black equestrians and POC into our sport. We would like to do outreach, including offering scholarships for young Black equestrians.
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by Laurie Berglie photos by Ashley Sullivan
“Suddenly Everything Felt Familiar” Emmie Strommen is one of the coolest horse girls I’ve met on the ‘gram. She’s laidback, funny, and one of those people who, after even the briefest of chats, you feel like you’ve known forever. But that’s the thing about horse girls – we speak the same language, right? Once a horse girl, always a horse girl, and we always seem to find each other. With that same idea of community in mind, Emmie created Calling All Horse Girls, an inclusive equestrian platform that is truly a place for everyone.
know our Home column usually features an entire house or farm, but when we saw Emmie’s finished home office on her account, we knew it was too good not to share.With a mix of new, custom, and vintage pieces, a combination of bright and neutral colors, Emmie has designed a space in which she can pull up a chair at her stunning pink desk, let those creative juices flow, and get to work uniting horse girls everywhere.
Horse & Style: Tell us about Calling All
Horse Girls.When did you start your business?
Emmie Strommen: I started Calling
All Horse Girls in 2019, and last year we launched our first magazine! It’s a community for horse girls who once were, still are, or have always wanted to be. I think having a relationship with a horse is one of the most profound experiences you can have, (I know most people reading this agree). I want everyone who desires that connection to have access to it – even if it
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starts with just reading our magazine, finding a like-minded community, gaining tools, and over time getting back into the saddle, or being near a horse for the first time.
H&S: Where is the Calling All Horse Girls office located?
ES: My office, which I humbly call Horse Girl Headquarters, is located in the 1930s home that my fiancé and I just bought. We moved back to our hometown in Minneapolis from Los Angeles about six months ago. Having the office in my home works well because my team works primarily remotely and the magazine fulfillment is done out of house.
I should also note that Horse Girl Headquarters is very different than the rest of the house. It is truly its own oasis. I wanted to be able to walk in and feel like I’m no longer in the house. Luckily, my fiancé is one, very supportive, but two, a musician who has
an entire recording studio in our basement. So, taking over one of the bedrooms for my dream equestrian office was only fair.
H&S: Do you have any anchor pieces that you worked your décor around?
ES: The big pink lacquered desk is the
exact same pink that we use for the Calling All Horse Girls brand. So, when picking textures and colors for the office, it all started with the desk. The desk is my favorite piece of furniture I think I’ve ever had, maybe because I made it up! My dad owns a printing and manufacturing company, so his team helped bring this vision to life. We’re actually working on creating a version for retail because there has been so much love for this desk, and rightfully so.
H&S: Tell us a little about your overall vision for your office, (after the pink desk). What colors/patterns/textures did you gravitate toward when decorating?
ES: Ultimately, I wanted my office to feel like a dreamy London tack room. I knew I wanted the pink desk, the green builtins, and the acrylic light-up “HG” sign. Everything else, my mom, (a professional interior designer), brought to the table, including using my old tack trunk as a
window seat, which my bulldog, Otis, has claimed as his own.
H&S: How would you describe your style overall?
The Farrow and Ball, (color is Sap Green), built-in bookshelves make me so happy. We added vintage hardware to all the drawers and stacked the shelves with all of my favorite decor. It also houses my acrylic light-up “HG” sign, which I turn on every morning to start my workday. It makes it truly feel like a headquarters.
I grew up in a traditionally designed home. My mom knows how to create the coziness and warmth that brings a home to life, so I have that in me, but I also love bringing in modern elements. I’m so inspired by Kelly Wearstler, for example. Her use of colors, textures, patterns, and elements are to die for. But I try not to go too trendy with decor because I can’t keep up with it. I just do what feels right and feels like the most me, so I’m really intentional about that.
My mom fell in love with the Nickey Kehoe Wallpaper, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with it too. The tone and texture add warmth to the space, and it plays a big part in making it the cozy oasis it is. My environment is a huge factor in my ability to create. Above all else, I knew the office needed to invite creativity and function. I have a massive whiteboard that had industrial silver trim that we painted the same green as the built-ins so it felt integrated into the room. When all the pieces started to come together, I stood in the middle of it, and suddenly everything felt familiar in the most beautiful of ways.
H&S: What is your favorite piece of décor? ES: So hard to choose. I frequent antique
and vintage stores almost weekly, and I recently acquired a vintage horse oil painting that sits right above my desk. It’s a regal portrait with soft lines and neutral colors. I love it dearly. I haven’t decided if it’s a mare or a gelding, but it gives me a bit of mare energy most days, which I think is fitting. I also have a lot of little mementos that have been given to me over time either from my mom or friends. They all hold a special place in my heart. My brother-in-law found an old onyx bookend for $5 at a Goodwill that sits in the built-ins. My mom started collecting brass equestrian pieces like the brass mail holder on my desk, (it currently holds the Calling All Horse Girls sticker sheets), along with countless other brass horse figurines that she would sneak into my stockings over the years.
H&S: What would be the most exciting item you could find at an antique store to add to your office?
ES: I would really love a small brown
credenza on the wall next to the door for even more storage. Since the desk and the built-ins are new, it would be nice to bring in one more vintage wood element to complement the tack trunk.
ES: I have such a hard time describing it!
H&S: Give us a little background about you as
an equestrian; how has this influenced your décor?
ES: I have been riding since I was four. I
grew up in the hunter/jumper world and was lucky enough to have my own horse and show around the country. I went to Johnson & Wales University for Equestrian Studies and rode on their IHSA team. A year in, I switched my major to creative advertising and therein lies the six-year break from horses. Horses have always influenced my decor with or without my knowing it. I think tack rooms, horse stalls, barn aisles, arenas, paddocks – they all feel a little bit like home to a horse girl. If I look at all the rooms in my current house or in my NYC and LA apartments, I can find parallels to these pieces of the barn. Whether it’s the wood from a tack trunk, the leather from saddles, the green, (my favorite color), from paddocks, the neutral colors of hay atop shavings, the depth of a black fence amongst landscapes, or the symmetry of barn aisles – it’s all there in subtle ways and always has been.
H&S: Do you consider your office finished, or do
you have any design projects you’d still like to complete?
ES: It’s close. I love the design process,
so I’m sure that it will forever evolve. We are still working on adding custom pink and cream vertical striped window shades. Eventually, I want to frame each magazine and have a magazine wall. I also have a dream of having a wall of art from our community. I fan girl over so many equestrian artists. I’m going to need more walls.
H&S: Describe your interior style in three words. ES: Personal, relaxed, and inviting. You can learn more about Emmie and join this relaxed and inviting community of horse girls at callingallhorsegirls.com or on IG @callingallhorsegirls.
2021 volume 2 ·
Gundi Younger poses with Indy (In Time DG), her FEI mount, and her dogs, Diesel, Ranger, and Remmie
by Emily Pollard photos by Tara Arrowood
Dreaming A PEACEFUL NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BARN
having known Gundi Younger for decades, I can speak to her kindness, great sense of humor, and dedication to equestrian sport. After growing up in Germany, and living and working in England, she moved to California in the early 2000s with her husband and their two young boys. She also brought with her a young, sweet Dutch Warmblood mare named Sam (Renate). When Younger wasn’t watching the boys, volunteering at their school, or tending house, she and Sam were traveling throughout California to attend clinics, demonstration rides, and shows, immersing themselves in the dressage community. And the dressage community was fortunate to have Younger join it. Stabling next to Younger at a horse show was good luck indeed; you could rest assured that the weekend would be full of strong support and ringside cheers, sore abs from lots of laughter and giggles, and good celebratory wine each evening. She is the type of woman who makes you a foreverfriend after one fun dinner together, so
it is with great pleasure that I am able to share that Gundi’s dream of being a barnowner came true with the building of Eagle Point Equestrian in Livermore, CA. A DREAM COME TRUE Younger has been a rider all her life, beginning when she was a child by riding a neighborhood pony she tended to after riding her bicycle to the little barn down the road from her home. As an adult, she boarded her horses at local boarding facilities, and while she always dreamed of having her own barn, she admitted it was not appealing while she had so many responsibilities at home with her young children and a husband who travelled. However she always kept the idea in the back of her mind, hoping the right moment would come along. As her children came to the end of their high school years, Younger started to feel as though the right moment was on its way. Her husband, Peter, was also in the process of retiring, which made the idea of building a dream barn together a possibility. Soon they would no longer
be bound by the constraints of time and location. Younger began poking around on Zillow and soon found a lovely property zoned for horses in Lafayette, CA that was still quite close to a bustling downtown. The little property at the intersection of Blackhawk and Eagle Point Road was purchased and a name was picked. Eagle Point Equestrian was born. A SLIGHT DIVERSION During the very beginning stages of building a barn and updating the house at the property in Lafayette, Younger realized that, while lovely, perhaps this was not the perfect space for their forever barn. The location, which was close to neighbors and downtown, was feeling a bit constrained for the dream she had in mind. So she sold the Lafayette property to a friend (for whom the property has worked out perfectly) and the search was on once again. Luckily, Younger did not have to wait long. One morning their realtor took them to a property in Livermore, CA that, although old, already had a working barn in place.
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Pictures of horses dear to her heart, and exciting trips – including those of a once-in-a-lifetime safari inKenyaadorn – Younger’sofficeandaisleway
Younger described seeing the property for the first time: “As we drove down the driveway the first time, I knew this was a special property. It was so peaceful and expansive, and surrounded by open space and vineyards. I immediately fell in love with the land. I knew this would be the right space for our barn.”Younger secured the special property soon after and reports that she was right – it was the perfect place for their barn. THE BARN THE COFFEE TA B L E B O O K B U I LT Though Younger was planning to replace both the barn and arena, the existing structures on the property were in excellent locations and gave her ranch the perfect footprint. From there, she started thinking about design. Although she loved the look of the European barns she grew up in, a stone barn in California just didn’t seem to fit. And she wanted to keep the care of the horses in the forefront of her mind as she designed, as opposed to fitting an aesthetic. She need not look far – she had a copy of Healthy Stables by Design on her coffee table. The book was by John Blackburn, owner of Blackburn Architects, a firm dedicated to equestrian architecture.Younger was able to work directly with the firm to design the plans for her barn. She said the design process was easy and collaborative. “I would have an idea and they would help me tweak it, and sometimes they would have an idea and I would help them tweak it. We easily worked together to get it just right.” After a year, the plans were ready to be built by Castlebrook Barns. Though the site work took longer, the barn itself went up in three weeks, and the Younger’s dream barn came to life. ALL ABOUT THE HORSES Everything about Eagle Point Equestrian, from the stalls, to the paddocks, to the arena, was built with the comfort and care of the horses in mind. Younger and Blackburn both believe in having excellent ventilation and natural light, so big stalls and access to the outdoors were paramount. Despite being in California (where space is very limited), Younger designed 14' x 14' box stalls with attached paddocks that are at least 14' x 30' large. The justso orientation of the barn allowed the west to east Livermore breeze to keep the air moving through. Natural light streamed in from windows in the gable, and even when the stall doors are shut
Indy (In Time DG)
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during wind and poor weather, light can be seen streaming in from the windows built into the doors. Between the air flow, sunlight, and pine shavings, home is a happy place for Younger’s horses. UNDERF OOT IMPORTAN CE As a dressage rider,Younger knew that her barn was only as good as her arena to ride in, so her footing choices reflected that. She teamed up with Tony Judge of Olympia Footing, and Premier Equestrian, to design an outdoor arena ready for year-round use. Working together, they chose the OTTO Sport System, which allows for the watering mechanism to be embedded under the footing.Younger explained that this was a great choice, “It saves on water, which is important to any Californian, and it also saves on labor. This system automatically waters the arena ‘from below.’ I can adjust the water level with an electronic control system, depending on weather and season. During rain storms the system pumps the water out. The arena is always watered evenly.” On top of the system, they used a custom blend of sand and fiber designed to work in Livermore’s unique climate. When asked if she misses any riding days due to weather, Younger laughed, “I only miss the crazy weather days I wouldn’t want to ride in anyway!” The outdoor ring was a perfect design choice for Eagle Point Equestrian. The footing in her paddocks is also exceptional. They have Equi Roster mats with Cedarest on top, so holes, mud, and dust are never a problem. One of my favorite footing choices at Eagle Point Equestrian is in the large retiree paddocks. The large majority of each paddock is done in baserock to help with the mud and clay found in California soils. But when the horses started rolling in the baserock instead of their attached stall with shavings, Younger couldn’t stand it. So she built a 16' x 16' “sandbox” in the middle of the paddocks for the horses to roll in, which they do, exclusively. Now everyone is happy – just the way Younger likes it. A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN At Eagle Point Equestrian there is a space for everything, and everything goes in its space, another feature that makes everyone happy. Younger worked with Blackburn Architects to ensure nothing would be left out, cluttering the barn, and that the specific spaces
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for items would not be overfilled and impossible to use. Large tack rooms and storage areas helped accomplish this goal, as did her spacious office, which Younger admits is her favorite space in the barn. When asked to elaborate as to why, Younger laughed and explained, “I get to display all my horse pictures! In the house I have to moderate how many horse prints I can put up because not everyone in my family is a horse person. But in my barn, there is no limit.” As I looked at each picture, Younger offered a fun anecdote about why it was special to her, and it was clear that the space was full of fond memories and much loved horses, past and present. A L ABOR OF LOVE Building Eagle Point Equestrian was an incredible team lift, and everyone involved in the process was a VIP to Younger. Now, she enjoys her time reaping the benefits of her hard work. Though she is an adult amateur, she trains her own horses, and currently has In Time DG, an eight-year-old Dutch warmblood gelding, competing at the FEI. She has bred many of her own Dutch horses, and one of her favorite Eagle Point Equestrian memories is helping her first mare Sam deliver baby Ollie right in her own barn. Her other foals, now grown, are all over the US, successfully competing with very happy owners, and are a great source of pride and accomplishment for Younger. Younger is quick to admit that the hard work at Eagle Point Equestrian is never done, and she could not enjoy it without the help of her team, specifically Raphael, who keeps the barn running smoothly. With his support, and with the inclusion of a few close friends and their horses, Eagle Point Equestrian is now the barn Younger always dreamed of. I asked her what she wanted people to know about Eagle Point Equestrian. She thoughtfully answered, “This is a happy place always full of life and love. I look around and I see content horses, and smiling friends. It is such a peaceful place to be, and I am so fortunate to be here.” Fortunate? Maybe. But, deserving? Absolutely. I could not think of a woman more deserving of her own dream barn. And as a Gundi Younger forever-friend, I know I will also be enjoying days of peace and happiness at Eagle Point Equestrian.
destination by Sarah Appel
guest ranch & resort Just on the cusp of California reopening, my family and I ventured south this spring for a quick family trip to the Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort in Solvang, California. Nestled in the Santa Ynez wine country hills and spanning 10,500 acres, the Alisal is a luxury dude ranch that is truly a gem. After over a year of remote work and homeschool, this Appel family was ready for some much needed adventure and relaxation. With something for everyone at the Alisal, we were able to pack in just the right amount of fun, relaxation, and family time.
S O LVA N G , C A L I F O R N I A
photo © Victoria Pearson
WELCOME TO H O R S E H E AV E N Admittedly, even at 38, I still dream of vacations that have me surrounded by horses and horse people the entire time. And now that I have two daughters that ride, in this dream vacation, we all experience this horse heaven together. Amazingly, the Alisal made my dream vacation come true. As we entered the property by way of their lovely tree-lined driveway, the first thing we saw was a pasture of beautiful horses. Our luxury cottage (simply designed with Pendleton accents and just the right amount of cowboy kitsch) had, to our delight, windows that faced the main pasture, full of even more happy, grazing horses. At the Alisal, everywhere we looked we were reminded that this is horse county, and that horse lovers abound. LIVING ON BRAND Having never visited a dude ranch, I wasn’t sure exactly what to wear. With horseback riding on the itinerary, it seemed obvious to pack boots. But then I thought, will I look like a real city slicker by showing up in breeches and tall boots? Or, do I pull the vintage cowboy boots I bought at a flea market in Paris 20 years ago out of retirement? Well, those were easy questions to answer: I just packed both! I was lucky that I did, because within seconds of arriving on property, I knew it was clear my tall boots would stay clean and I would live in my cowboy boots for the long weekend. I wasn’t the only one looking for a style moment in the roaming hills of the Alisal. It was almost as if a stylist sent out a curated packing list to each guest that included handkerchiefs, cowboy boots, and wide-brimmed hats. The guests’ fashion brand lineup included the best equestrianinspired houses out there today: Pendleton, Burberry, Ariat, and Wrangler, just to name a few. Each meal at the Alisal was as much a new opportunity to see what “dude ranch chic” inspirations other guests came up with as it was a time to eat. HORSE GIRL ENERGY My daughters, Ella and Piper, couldn’t wait to ride at the Alisal. Having only ridden and shown hunter/jumper, changing reins to western trail was a new adventure for all three of us. On day one the girls saddled up two of the most precious horses on the property – Parker and Moose – and set out for a private ride. Led by Head Wrangler Meghan Taylor, and Assistant
Sarah Appel, H&S Publisher, with her daughters Piper and Ella
Alisal Guest Ranch wranglers
photo © Nicki Sebastian
Head Wrangler Beth Fields, we set off for an hour on horseback winding through the Santa Ynez hills. At first the girls were a little nervous, having mostly spent their riding time in an arena on horses and ponies they were familiar with. However, Meghan and Beth did an excellent job making the girls feel comfortable and confident, and they quickly settled into the ride. With over 100 horses as part of their string, I was incredibly impressed by their knowledge of each horse at the Alisal. Beth and Meghan were able to give very specific instructions on how to best approach each of the horses. Within 15 minutes, everyone on the trail was calm and cruising along. We had an incredible morning enjoying the beautiful views, the sweet horses, and the good conversation. Later that day I was able to go for an advanced rider trail ride, and with the chance to pick up the pace beyond a walk, I felt like a kid again! There is just nothing more freeing than galloping a horse through the hillsides, feeling the air whip though your hair, and watching the landscape pass quickly by. My wrangler and trail guide was a quiet man who just emanated old school horseman
vibes. Just by the way he held his reins, I could discern what a seasoned rider and legendary cowboy he was. If I didn’t know better, I would think they cast him right out of the Yellowstone TV series. On our final morning, my family and I embarked on a breakfast ride which led us to the signature Alisal Pancake; the resort’s infamous cowboy cookout breakfast. As we sat and enjoyed a delicious breakfast with a little something to please everyone, we listened to acoustic music and poems told by legendary cowboy poet, Chris Hendricks. I have to say, that cowboy breakfast alone was worth a trip to the Alisal. FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD Come hungry! The elegant California cuisine is just as much on brand as everything else at the Alisal. We spent our dinners enjoying fine dining in the Ranch Room where the seasonal menu provided something delicious for adults and children. Signature cocktails, and an even more impressive wine list, made dining and drinking at the Alisal an exceptional experience all on it’s own. For a more casual nosh, we often had lunch poolside at the Chuckwagon Grill. With unlimited chocolate and vanilla soft serve swirls, Ella and Piper were huge fans of the poolside
offerings! Just as there was a perfect horse for everyone at the farm, the Alisal made sure there was a perfect snack for everyone, too. FOR THE KIDS A family vacation is meant to have something for everyone, and the Alisal does that well, especially with their activities and events for children. While we were there, they had after-dinner story telling under the stars, bingo, and a petting zoo to rival all petting zoos. My girls spent hours in the petting zoo every day, learning about the different animals and spending quality screen-free time with goats, mini-horses, pigs, and more. When the girls weren’t horseback riding or asking a million questions about the petting zoo animals, they grabbed some resort bikes and safely explored the property. The Alisal is an all-inclusive resort that feels incredibly exclusive. Throughout our entire vacation, I kept thinking that the memories we were creating on this trip were ones we would have for a lifetime. I look forward to going back to the Alisal with my family again, and hopefully bringing along other family members and friends. The Alisal is more than a dude ranch, it’s a magical 10,500 acres that makes you feel at home!
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equine-opposed I find it hard to believe that someone would not want to spend their vacation surrounded by horses, but there is plenty to do for the non-equine lovers in the family. With activity choices like golf, fishing, tennis, pool time, lake activities, and even a luxurious spa, spending time in the saddle is certainly not mandatory. Personal feelings aside, there is plenty to do out of the saddle at the Alisal.
Alisal petting zoo
H&C+ is the leading equestrian streaming service, bringing you live horse sport from the US and around the world. And, with hundreds of hours of masterclasses, barn visits and documentaries, all available on demand, H&C+ can help you make the most of your passion for horses. Find out more at horseandcountry.tv
Danielle Demers, artist and H&S Editor and Art Director
C U R A T E D by an
by Laurie Berglie photos by Nicole Gearty
DANIELLE DEMERS I know I may be slightly biased, but I believe Horse & Style is one of the most beautiful, aesthetically pleasing magazines on the market. The design, the colors, the photo spreads – each page is delightfully curated for your viewing pleasure – and we owe all of this to our Art Director, Danielle Demers. Her artistic eye and attention to visual detail is unmatched.
should come as no surprise then that Danielle, in addition to her work at H&S, has turned back to one of her first loves: drawing. After a short hiatus, Danielle sharpened her pencils and began creating art showcasing the thing she knows best, another first love: horses. THE GIRL WHO D R AW S H O R S E S Danielle’s life has always been defined by her creative aspirations, and her earliest memory is creating art with her paternal grandmother, a talented artist and knitting pattern designer. “She was always drawing,” remembers Danielle. “Before I started preschool, she watched me every day. Naturally, she spent quite a bit of time drawing and coloring with me, introducing me to her lifelong passion. I think her love for her craft transferred directly to me.” Alongside her passion for art, was Danielle’s love for horses, which she inherited from
her mother. While her mother didn’t grow up with horses, she and Danielle’s father purchased their first horse shortly after they were married, so it was only natural that Danielle combined her two greatest interests. “After I started elementary school, it didn’t take long for me to become known as ‘the girl who draws horses.’ I drew them constantly, as I am sure many of us did as young, entirely horse-obsessed girls. I also lived for art class, and I was incredibly lucky to have the same brilliant art teacher – with whom I am still in touch – from my first elementary school art lesson through senior year of high school. She was the one who encouraged me to pursue a fine arts degree in college.” FROM ART TO GRAPHIC DESIGN Danielle’s parents eventually purchased a second horse, and this one, known as Gemini, quickly became hers. She was
only five years old when the Quarter Horse/Arabian cross came into her life, but Gemini would be her inspiration for the next 17 years. “He was incredibly versatile and smart. Although my earliest days in the saddle were spent trail riding in a western saddle like my parents, I switched over to taking hunt seat lessons when I was eleven before falling completely in love with dressage while in high school. Gemini was game for it all, from Short Stirrup classes; to our 4-H horse project shows, clinics, and camps; to three-phases; and, finally, to my early dressage lessons. He was my heart horse, and I am very lucky that I had him throughout my childhood and early adulthood.” In college, while pursuing both a Studio Art BFA and a BA in Art Education, Danielle’s life was consumed with creating art and riding on the Intercollegiate
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Dressage Association team. By the time she graduated, however, she felt a bit burned out and decided to take a break from making art. “Unfortunately, we were also just coming out of the Great Recession and art teaching jobs were few and far between. So, in the months immediately following graduation, I bought a subscription to Lynda and spent hours learning how to use the entire Adobe Creative Suite and how to code HTML and CSS. Over the next few years, my career as a graphic designer took off, and many of you will know me first for my art direction and design work with Horse & Style, EqSol, Sonoma Horse Park, Tara Kiwi, and others.” THE FEELING OF BELONGING In 2015, horses and art took a bit of a back seat while Danielle and her husband lived abroad in London, England for three years. Then in 2018, her son Julian was born. When they finally made their way back home to Maine in 2019, Danielle felt the need to start creating again. “It feels very vulnerable to admit this, but I massively struggled with a feeling of lost identity after becoming a mother – I think many new mothers do. For the first time in several years, I felt an overwhelming need to pick up my pencils again. Returning to my art practice has been one of the best decisions I have made. I feel fulfilled.” She now describes herself as a contemporary equine artist and can be found drawing in her studio, which is an airy, light-filled room in her home. Danielle’s work has a bit of a vintage vibe as she draws using antique 19th and early 20th century photographs as a loose reference. Her pieces rest on neutral color palettes, and the lines and shapes have a familiar feeling, reminiscent of photos that graced our favorite childhood books. Each piece brings a bit of comfort and peace. And it’s actually a feeling of belonging that Danielle hopes her art will evoke. “I hope that when fellow horse people see my drawings, they see their own story being told in a true, beautiful way – possibly in a way it hasn’t been told before. The artworks hung on our walls are symbols of our own identities: proof of our passions, memories, and aesthetic tastes.” Danielle has completed two collections to date, “Lines” and “Treasured,” both with originals and prints for sale. “The goal with
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the “Lines” collection was to create gestural, emotive drawings that showed every step of the drawing process; not a single mark was erased. More detailed pieces, like those in the “Treasured” collection, took me about a week each, working on them an hour or two each day.” INFUSING HER LIFE INTO HER WORK Danielle credits her fine arts education and the exposure to hundreds of artists, aesthetic styles, and movements for influencing the stylistic approach to her work. She notes that she’s picked up little fragments here and there from dozens of different artists and eras and combined them into a technique that is all her own. However, there is one artist in particular who has had an influence over how she thinks of her art as a business. “Emily Jeffords, a contemporary abstract impressionistic painter, creative educator, and mentor, has completely busted the ‘starving artist’ myth. I have learned so
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much about how to run a sustainable art business from her.” Looking into the future, Danielle will use the tools of her educational foundation and Jeffords’ business practices to continue to create. She will also draw on a variety of aspects surrounding her personal life to infuse into her work. “Horses are my muse, but I am also hugely inspired by traveling, (is there anything more inspiring than visiting an art museum or immersing yourself in the local culture?), historic homes, antiques and vintage, interior design, film and TV series, music, reading, moments of beauty in my day-to-day… the list goes on. I enjoy pulling inspiration from dozens of sources and creating something unique. The textures and color palettes for my 2020 ornament collection were inspired by a mix of classic equestrian motifs, 18th century Rococo art and interiors, and the rich mid-century colors and fabrics present in The Queens Gambit TV series.”
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT A new collection of originals is on the horizon which will be launching in the coming months. Danielle is also planning a variety of holiday offerings with her bestselling ornaments making a reappearance. When not working on her craft, Danielle can be found spending time with her husband and son. “While living in England we fell in love with the tradition of taking long country walks. Now we try to get out every day for walks together as a family. We also love to travel, visit museums, discover great restaurants and coffee shops, and tour historic houses. And, now that we are settled back in the U.S., horse shopping has recently become a subject of conversation at home!” To learn more about Danielle’s art, please visit danielledemers.com or her Instagram account @danielle.demers.You can also find her here with us at Horse & Style – we don’t know where we’d be without her!
their owners their trainers their riders and the property they live on providing insurance coverage for the
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Joe & Donna Parker
Lavender Fields showroom; photo © Jennifer Azevedo
GREEN by Erin Gouveia
Lavender Fields H
orse farms require resources and energy that potentially produce undesirable environmental impacts affecting our soil, water and air. How can farms implement changes to reduce their environmental impact? We asked Jennifer Azevedo of Lavender Fields. She is bound and determined to create a sustainable horse farm by working with the land, climate, and animals, to create an atmosphere that is comfortable, thriving, and supports a long term ecological balance.
H&S: Tell us a little about yourself…your
background, your career, your love for horses?
Jennifer Azevedo: Let’s see. Where to
begin? Equine Management at Midway College, Midway, KY; Horticulture at UC Davis, Davis, CA; Business at University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA; Permaculture Designer and a patent in Fluid Dynamics. I was a real estate broker for over 15 years. I have three kids, a husband, three dogs, and one horse, Fara, who is the love of my life (my husband’s is our dog Finn!). I can’t explain my love of horses – it is just part of my soul.
H&S: What is Lavender Fields all about? JA: Lavender Fields’ goal is to create a
sustainable off-grid farm that works for the environment and the welfare of the creatures
that inhabit it. By working with the land, climate, and animals, we are able to create an atmosphere that is comfortable, thriving, and supports long-term ecological balance. We want to be an example of “yes, I can.”
H&S: When did you find your passion for green living?
JA: Honestly, when I started drinking
tea with honey. I was introduced to tea in England. I was staying there for a month and afternoon tea time hooked me in. I have been drinking tea with honey for about 30 years now. The realization that the bees made the honey, and that the bees make the fruit, vegetables, nuts… all the work and pollination, and life that this little creature is responsible for… I find it mind boggling.
H&S: What services are offered at Lavender Fields? JA: For boarders who want to experience
a green equestrian lifestyle, we are currently installing our barn and arena. It is taking a little longer than anticipated, due both to COVID-19 and my strict adherence to the goals and vision for the property. For example, we have beautiful, mature oak trees on the property. Traditional grading practices would just remove the oaks if in the way. I am interested in preserving these wonderful, fire-resistant trees. Additionally, we offer in-person and magazine advertising; we are situated on a unique location that sees over 1.2 million
views per month. Tevis Cup, Sacramento International, Dressage Championships, and Horse Expo all take place near our property. We have a showroom for brands to showcase their products. We also offer lavender oil, sachets, etc., and are hoping to add more products for sale soon.
H&S: Living out west you need to be fire aware. What precautions and practices can farm owners take to create a defensible space for fire prevention?
JA: Fire is a really big one for us.We had a
fire on Memorial Day of last year. A chain from a trailer on the road sparked and lit the grass. Fortunately, we are located next to the fire station. The firefighters didn’t use water – they used dirt to put out the fire. The pine trees burned and the oaks didn’t. It was a huge learning experience. My advice is: Create a dirt hack trail around the perimeter of the property. This allows for fire fighter access, creates a defensible space, gives access to dirt, stops the spread of the fire, and creates a nice place to hack out. Introduce fire-resistant landscaping such as lavender, oaks, etc. (research for your specific area). Understand that spreading manure and shavings is like kindling. It is so combustible! Fire extinguishers and shovels are a must. And, finally, have a water source for firefighters to access.
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H&S: Water is obviously a necessity on a horse
farm but can be in short supply in some areas of the country. What are some ways horse farms can manage water usage for arena footing maintenance, landscaping, etc.
JA: This is a big one too. In our area, losing power happens all the time. When you lose power, you also lose water. Water needs a pump to create pressure – most pumps are electric. So, you need alternate sources at all times. Then, add in drought and supply. Future plans for the Lavender Fields facility
Use waterless arena footing. To find the best option, do research for your particular area and weather. Weather can play an important role in the performance of waterless/dust-free options. Rainwater tanks are a great source of water. For example, a barn with a 2,000 sq. ft. roof with 21 inches of annual rainfall produces over 26,000 gallons of water! That is incredible. Also, ponds are a great water storage solution that is easy-access for landscaping and fire fighters. H&S: What are the benefits of composting and how can one get started?
JA: Composting saves money: disposing
Beautiful, mature oak trees on the Lavender Fields property; photo © Jennifer Azevedo
of manure costs money and is a nuisance. Composting the manure takes the same amount of time, effort, and energy as disposing of it. Once manure is composted, it is a commodity that can be used, sold or given away. Composting increases water: compost can hold 5-20 times its own weight in water, so adding compost to soil increases the amount of water that is able to penetrate the soil. Not only is this great news for plants, it also means that water can seep all the way down to the impervious rock layer where it swells up and replenishes local springs, ponds, and lakes. Composting reduces pests: a well-managed compost pile will reach temperatures high enough to kill fly eggs, larvae, parasites, and pathogens in manure. By reducing the amount of uncomposted manure you have, you’ll also reduce breeding grounds for flies. Composting reduces odors: a well-managed compost pile will be free of the odors often associated with an uncomposted manure pile. Composting reduces bulk and has 40 to 60 percent less volume and weight than uncomposted manure. Composting improves soil: when utilized for your garden, composted manure releases about 50 percent of its nutrients in the first season and a decreasing percentage in the following years. This means that little fertilizer of any kind may be needed.
Overhead plan of the Lavender Fields facility
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Lavender Fields visionary and owner, Jennifer Azevedo; photo © Maria Marriott
I would recommend an aerated composting system and implementing straw bedding. There are several online sources to create an aerated system. An aerated system means you don’t have to turn the pile and it will compost in about 30 days. H&S: What advice can you give a new farm owner who is overwhelmed with building and incorporating earth-friendly products and practices into their farm?
Make daily decisions that have a long term positive impact. Do your research and choose companies that align with your goals. H&S: Why did you decide to grow lavender at your farm? JA: It is fire-resistant. Also, lavender grows like crazy in my area and I love the smell.
H&S: You have a shop on your website.What
JA: This can be very overwhelming. Mostly,
H&S: What was the inspiration behind starting your online publication?
H&S: What does the future hold for Lavender
because you will get pushback. People love to tell you, “it won’t work, blah, blah, blah…” My advice: pick one thing that is important to you. Get educated on that one. Implement it. Know that it will need tweaking for your particular farm. And know that it will take experimentation to get it right. Most of the mistakes end up being the best information for moving towards success. Once you get the one down like clockwork, pick a new one and repeat the process.
H&S: What companies do you recommend to horse farm owners who want to go green?
JA: It is more about the daily decisions we
make; for example, shavings. Wood shavings are not a sustainable and renewable source for bedding. They don’t work that well. They come in single use plastic wrap. They don’t compost well, and they produce a poor compost. Straw comes in a bale, is renewable and sustainable, makes a great bedding and is very compostable.
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JA: Hopefully, to inspire others to question
some industry practices – are these practices really right for me, my situation, my goals? To inspire others to think, not to just automatically do something because someone said so.To really consider the cause and effect. The adult amateur features are a big one for me. To support and give accolades to the AA’s who work so hard in and out of the saddle. They can get a bad rap for being inexperienced with horses – but these AAs have entire careers and families outside of horses. They are incredible for what they accomplish. We need them for the industry. There are so many things that I have found over the years with horses, that people just blindly do without question. It is time we question. It is time we look at, research, apply logic, and be empowered to execute regardless of pushback.
products do you sell?
JA: With everything I sell, 100% of the profits go back into the farm. I currently sell lavender essential oil, lavender sachets, a market bag, and a leather equestrian collection. I will be adding lavender savon (French-style block soaps) and dried lavender bouquets. Fields? Any fun developments coming in the next year?
JA: Hopefully! I am feeling the COVID-19 delays, prices, and shortages like everyone else. It has made me really reflect on being/ staying local for all my supplies and ensuring I can maintain and be stable regardless of what is happening outside of the farm.
H&S: Can you share one practice that our
readers can do today to be more environmentally conscious in their daily life and at the barn?
JA: Identify your single biggest waste – the thing that weighs on your brain – fix it. It could be simple, like fix the leaking hoses. Or it could be more complicated, like flies (you have to not provide a source for them to breed). Identify the source of the waste, and fix it at the source. An end result bandaid won’t do anything. Fix the source. If you are chasing flies, you are too late. lavenderfields.co
Photo by Alden Corrigan Media
On the road or in our store
brings quality equestrian products for horses and riders Proud to be a sponsor at Sonoma Horse Park for the 2021 season www.tackwarehouse.com | 917 Main St. Woodland, Ca 95695
T H E good
by Claiborne & Lime photos by Rachel Havel
Believe it or not, not every aspect of our job is glamorous. However, one of the greatest perks is taste-testing cocktails, either with or on behalf of our clients. Our go-to for mixology are our friends at Good Lion Hospitality based in Santa Barbara, CA, and their tiki inspired Test Pilot bar is the perfect accompaniment to all of our clients’ summer entertaining needs. We stopped in to sample some of their top tropical picks, and we’re sharing them here with you… cheers!
Cocktail Recipes MONTENEGRO FOR T WO (in pineapple shell)
Montenegro Amaro Smith and Cross Lime juice Pineapple cordial Demerera cordial Cherry bark vanilla bitters Angostura bitters PURPLE MAI TAI (in pineapple glass)
Mai Tai rum Dry Curacao Angostura bitters Butterfly pea flower infusion (makes drink purple without changing the flavor) Lime juice Demerera cordial Orgeat ZOMBIE (in peacock mug)
Rum blend Falernum Absinthe Bitters Lime House Oaxacan cordial OAXACAN DEAD (in skull mug)
Reposado tequila Jamaican rum Velvet falernum Mezcal Angostura bitters Lime juice House Oaxacan cordial TEST PILOT (in octopus mug)
Rum blend w/ 151 Dry Curacao Velvet falernum Lime juice Demerara cordial Absinthe foam
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by Pam Maley photos by Kristen Tatum
Not Your Mama’s Table Angela Beck and Pomegranate have brought a fresh look to table linens. While the traditional white damask linens we inherited from our grandmothers are still elegant, formal and universally genteel, these are designed with a relaxed sense of style, to be used every day, as well as on special occasions. They are meant to be mixed and matched to create a more playful atmosphere that is #notyourmamastable.
Smoke linen napkins. Linen placemats fromtheHorseSnaffl & elinencollection
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“Pomegranate prints are combinations of my life experiences in many different art classes, different mediums, from textiles from my childhood through writing a thesis on Matisse’s cut-outs. Cheerful, uplifting, relaxed, refreshing.” Pomegranate products are invariably fanciful, beautiful, and easily recognizable. Having grown up in her mother’s art studio and studied art history and fine art throughout her education from grade school through college, Angela clearly has a talent, a gift, that was looking for an outlet. Every Pomegranate design has her artist’s stamp and a personality all its own. Angela is the designer and the driving force behind the beautiful finished products. A NEW JOURNEY BEGINS In the mid 1990s, newly married to Antony Beck, she was living in Cape Town with her husband, who was deeply involved in the family thoroughbred industry both in South Africa and Kentucky, as the owners of Gainesway Farm, one of the premier stud farms in the Bluegrass. In Cape Town, Angela had a friend who was importing textiles from India. Clearly enthralled with them, she “designed some prints and took my first trip to India to understand the product more in depth and to meet the manufacturers. I always say, had I taken my first trip to India before I had children I may never have left. But we started our family shortly thereafter, and given the political unrest in South Africa at the time, decided it would be best to raise our children in Kentucky at Gainesway.” “Ensconced in central Kentucky, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could enter the U.S. market with some of the products I had designed in South Africa. I set up a temporary booth at the Atlanta Market Center with a full [of baby] Baby Björn around my neck and tablecloths hanging on the walls. The response was overwhelming!” Five children and 25 years later, Gainesway, their historic 1,500-acre Thoroughbred stud, is home to Angela, Antony, Emma, William, Andrew, Henry, and Lily. As president of Gainesway, Antony oversees the breeding operations for the property that has become, under their ownership, one of Kentucky’s most acclaimed stallion stations, and as a tribute to its gardens, is the only horse farm in the world to receive accreditation as an arboretum. Angela Beck,
Top-left: The J" ockey Silks" collection; Bottom-left: Table cloth and linens from the G " reen Bamboo" collection; Right: Stirrup & Whip embroidered linen cocktail napkins. Black Pony Club bourbon glass
THE ANCIENT ART OF HAND BLOC KING Turning Angela’s designs into the finished product is a long journey through the art of hand blocking. Likely having originated 4,500 years ago in China, it was India that brought hand-blocked fabric to its full fruition. As its name would indicate, hand blocking is truly done by hand from start to finish. This art has been practiced in India for 800 years, but in the 1700s, English factories began to mass produce cheap copies, and the artistic knowledge that had been passed down from generation to generation became all but extinct. A group of artisans in the village of Bagru, by selling locally rather than trying to export to the English market, was able to breathe life back into hand blocking and keep the generational thread connected. By the 1970s, though, even
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the local clientele began to buy cheap copies, and poverty came close to wiping out the industry again. At about this time, a group of artisandedicated designers like Angela created the momentum to revive the traditional patterns, add new ones, and help maintain these families that have such specialized knowledge. The multi-step process begins with highly skilled artisans carving the blocks of teak to emulate the hand sketched artwork. Then the color masters use their skills, unmatched anywhere in the world, with natural plant dyes and mordants (metallic salts that both create color and allow it to adhere to fabric) to mix the colors to match the Pomegranate palettes. Chippas, a caste of printers, dip the blocks into the color and stamp them firmly with their hands to make a clear print on the fabric. “Each color pattern is stamped
repeatedly across the fabric, meticulously attending to the details of each design. Between each stamped layer, each item is washed to set the dye.” (from the Pomegranate website). This step, too, is done by a particular caste called the dhobi, who stand all day waist-deep in the water baths to wash the textiles. “Once each layer of the design has been stamped and washed, the textiles are hung to dry in the Indian sun. The slight human irregularities – inevitable in handiwork – create the artistic effect emblematic of block prints.” (from the Pomegranate website) Over the years, Angela has established relationships with her vendors, and she’s always on the lookout for new ones when she travels. “It takes time to develop a working formula with each team of artisans. We split production among different teams based on style and color, and the limitations of each group of individuals.”
P O M E G R A N AT E G ROWS After her very successful first foray into the Atlanta Market Center, Angela says, “I took over an extra tenant house on the farm, with tablecloths even stacked in the bathtubs. When Pomegranate grew out of that space, I moved to a converted cold house on the farm.”When they outgrew that, she kept the offices at the farm and moved the products to a nearby warehouse. Pomegranate reached its final destination four years ago, when she consolidated everything and everyone under one roof in town: design studio, business offices, storage space, showroom, and retail space, now complete. The designs spring from her creativity. “We have an established palette that we use from year to year,” she tells us, “adding variations based on current trends in the marketplace. Themes for print designs are dependent on the season, and they align with my life on the farm, in the gardens, and at our beach house in the Bahamas.” Those include florals and botanicals from her gardens, coastal motifs that abound in the pink sands of the Bahamas, equestrian subjects that surround her on the farm, and traditional Indian blocks in vibrant colors that form interesting borders. Angela does all initial sketches by hand, playing with them for different layouts and colorizations. The final sketches are sent to India, where they’re interpreted for wood blocking. She then receives samples and swatches, tweaks them for changes, and working together with her vendors, makes the final decision on the collection as a whole. Once she places her order, there is a four-month lead time. COVID INTERVENES Very few websites are as engaging as Pomegranate’s. Angela writes The Penelope Post, a lively blog named for her pug. Her table settings and the locations for the photos are extraordinary and inspiring. She explains, “Two years ago I took the plunge and opened a branded showroom at the Atlanta Market Center to be the showcase ‘home’ for the brand in the wholesale marketplace. Response was overwhelming and the product very well received. We went through the July 2019 market and January 2020 market and then COVID hit. Last March I was sitting on hundreds of cancelled orders for stocked items already in the warehouse. At the time, our website had become more of a sideshow since wholesale was our primary business. While my kids went Placemats and napkins from the Melograno Vine Fern & Poppy collection. Green Bamboo bourbon glasses
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Tablecloth and napkins from the Blue Jalore collection. Bamboo Cane placemats
online, so did I, rebuilding the website myself, learning how to code on YouTube, and figuring out what I wanted it to look and feel like as I went along. My business model changed overnight as soon as the new site went live. It was an all-consuming organic process that I was compelled to tackle head on, because this creative outlet is such an important part of my life.” As to the future? While in lockdown on Harbour Island in the Bahamas for four months, she built a collaboration with India Hicks, another designer who had just published a book on entertaining. “Needless to say, that was a tough sell,” says Angela, “as the word ‘gathering’ became taboo.” The plan is for Pomegranate to launch a few of India’s capsule collections each year. And Angela is excited to have another influential collaborator in the works for next spring. “Our website has taken off, and we are exploring additional
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product ranges for the prints, dependent on production capabilities around the world due to COVID.” “The situation in India at present is dire,” she reminds us. “Now more than ever, it is so important that I continue designing new prints so these artisans have work to tackle when the lockdowns ease. I feel very responsible to continue supporting this ancient art of hand blocking and the multitudes of individuals required to turn out our handcrafted products. We at Horse & Style applaud Angela for her energy and sincerity in support of these artisans, and for creating table linens that delight us. As she says, “We have your table covered so you can just worry about who’s in the chairs!” To view all the designs and peruse the blog, go to pomegranateinc.com
Tablecloth and napkins from the Spice Route Garnet collection. Bamboo Cane bowl
DO WHAT YOU LOVE (I LOVE WHAT I DO)
LET’S WORK TOGETHER Private Client Horse Shows Equine Portraits Horse and Rider Family and Lifestyle
Tara Arrowood (415) 596-3646 email@example.com www.arrowoodphotography.com @arrowoodphotography
C A T I E’S
by Catie Staszak
Catie Staszak (right) with 2018 FEI Sports Forum youth panelists; photo © FEI/Anthony Demierre
Only the Young
ach spring, I look back on one memory especially fondly. The 2018 FEI Sports Forum was hands-down the most incredible work experience I have ever been a part of, and its results still have an impact on the industry – and me – three years later. The FEI took a chance that year in hosting a youth panel. A group of eight riders, each of whom represented a different discipline under FEI jurisdiction – show jumping, dressage, eventing, reining, endurance, vaulting, driving and para-dressage – and each of whom was under the age of 25, addressed and proposed solutions to issues facing youth athletes in our sport. The day before the forum, our group congregated for several hours of planning and discussion. I was blown away by each rider’s passion, perspective and forwardthinking ideas. And when we did get on the stage, they also showed off their poise. I will never forget how confidently and
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professionally driver Martin Hölle (HUN) fought for greater university-level support for his sport, or the group discussions we had on finding the balance between sport and education. The female riders had to discuss a very personal topic in whether they could have a family and return to elite level sport, and they were brilliant. Show jumper Edouard Shmitz (SUI) discussed at length the challenges for U25 riders to earn enough ranking points to earn them entry into more prestigious competitions. As their moderator, I was only marginally older than my panelists at 26. And I must say, I have never been more nervous about speaking than I was in the moments before I took the stage in front of a room of more than 200 national federation delegates – with many, many more watching online from around the world. The occasion marked the first time in the then-sevenyear history of the FEI Sports Forum that youth athletes had been addressed so comprehensively. Those on hand were not
only watching; they were truly listening. Shortly after the forum’s conclusion, the FEI introduced FEI Youth Nations Cup Finals for jumping, dressage, eventing and reining – an idea directly proposed by the youth panel. I am frequently reminded of the 2018 FEI Sports Forum and take joy in watching my panelists shine brightly in their careers. Schmitz was named to the Swiss Equestrian Federation’s national elite squad for 2021. Tabitha Sternberg-Allen (GBR), a talented young reining athlete, completed her fourth year of veterinary school in the UK. Juan Matute Guimon (ESP) not only made the Spanish dressage team at the 2018 World Equestrian Games and co-hosted two FEI Awards banquets, but he, most remarkably, recovered from a brain hemorrhage that nearly took his life. He won the Grand Prix Freestyle at CDI4* München-Riem as recently as May 16. He, and every panelist, continue to inspire me. Sometimes, I am led to be embarrassed by my age, as the word for my generation – “Millennial” – has become such a
Catie Staszak moderates the 2018 FEI Sports Forum youth panel; photo © FEI/Anthony Demierre
derogatory term. At its essence, it refers only to a time period of birth – between 1981 and 1996. But the association now refers to a selfish and entitled group of young people desiring immediacy and lacking social skills – unless they involve a mobile device, of course. In our sport, the older generation further asserts that young riders can only ride in the show ring and lack basic horsemanship. While I won’t deny that there are some riders that might support their claims, I am not in support of such blanket statements.
Tori Repole, in September, I am filled with gratitude. This distinguishment is a source of pride for its description: “an up-and-coming professional who has made a significant impact in advancing equine media while upholding journalistic excellence, integrity, and trust in a competitive communications world.” I know this award is a result of my hard work, but I have not achieved any success alone. I have, on many occasions, been able to make the most of opportunities made possible by some wonderful veterans in our industry.
I recently appeared on the Horse Radio Network’s Equestrian Roundtable program, and co-panelist Stephanie Church brought up a surprising topic: the misconception that millennials and Gen Z are not up to the task of leading the horse industry forward. Church is a member of neither generation, but she has long supported up-and-coming media professionals in the industry, including myself. As I prepare to accept the American Horse Publications’ inaugural Equine Media NextGen Award, along with fellow equine journalist
If you’re a young equestrian desiring a career in our industry – whether it be as a rider, trainer or a writer – don’t place yourself in a category, especially one related to age. Forge your own path and never doubt that you can influence positive change in our sport.You might just find yourself moderating the FEI Sports Forum.
catiestaszak.com @catiestaszakmedia @catiestaszakmedia @catiestaszak
S O N O M A H O R S E PA R K H M I J U N E C L A S S I C – P E TA LU M A , C A
8. 1. Elena Haas and Centana, $7,500 Tack Warehouse Welcome Prix Champions 2. Dakodo Mower and Il Primo HX 3. #WinningSelfie: Chelsea Brittner takes a celebratory selfie aboard Calendar Girl after winning the $5,000 Estancia Farms Open Hunter Derby 4. LIT (Leadliner in Training) 5. Julia Nagler is all smiles after her $30,000 G2 Insurance Grand Prix victory aboard Killossery Kuidam 6. Angela Matthews and On Point 7. The Modern Horse Equitation Transportation Team Challenge winners circle 8. Avery Glynn and King Of Hearts in fine form on their way to a win in the $5,000 Equine Insurance Junior/Amateur Hunter Derby
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Photos © Alden Corrigan Media
A S K dr.
Dear Dr. Carrie, I am just completing a gap year before college and I have been riding, showing, and living horses and horse shows for the past year. I have focused on jumpers and young rider trials, which have been really challenging. I have had some big wins and some long dry spells. It is mid-May and I am not sure I can stay the course and keep going all the way through the trials and to the final competition. What should I do?
Signed, Running out of Steam
Repeat this process daily for a week and record your feelings so they become clearer. Also, I encourage you to become acutely aware of your self-talk about this process. Notice the language you tend to use in your mind and try to reframe it from negative and judgmental words to gentle and compassionate. In my humble opinion, working with the challenge and finding a way to complete what you set out to do – no matter what that means – is the goal. Focus on the process, not the product and you will likely reconnect to the passion that drove you here in the first place.
Dear Dr. Carrie,
Dear Running out of Steam, First of all, stop running. Take a break and get your mind and body regulated – even if it is for a long weekend. Build down time into your routine so that you can keep going if that is what you choose. I can’t tell you to stay the course or to stop early. But I know that the answer to this question is inside of you. It might be helpful to project forward and imagine having completed the tour regardless of outcome and then imagine stopping now. Feel into your gut when you imagine both outcomes. Observe how your body responds to these scenarios.
I had an accident jumping about four years ago and then I got pregnant with twins who are now three. I have a hunter and am getting back into riding shape but find myself stressing before I ride and worrying about my safety during most of the lesson. I absolutely love horses and show jumping and desperately want to return to the sport but I am questioning my ability to do so. Please help!
Dear Questioning, Although you sound highly activated when you approach riding, your love of horses and the sport are what’s important. I encourage you to dramatically slow the process down. Enjoy your horse on the ground, take time to observe her/him in the stall and paddock, and watch your trainer ride as well. Maybe you can walk him after schooling sessions if he is quiet. Take jumping and horse shows off the table for now. Allow yourself to become comfortable in your post-birth body. Get support with any trauma that is trapped in your muscle memory so that you can approach riding with less fear. Also, remember that 3-yearold twins take a lot of time and energy, so be realistic about what you can commit to riding at this time. Feeling overbooked can also give you a stress response. Additionally, know that the adrenaline released when getting ready to engage in sport is always accompanied with cortisol, the stress hormone. This combined chemical response may be retriggering trauma. Work with a sport psychologist to honor and reprogram this neural circuitry so that you are more familiar with your body chemistry. Your love of horses and riding will ultimately prevail if you give yourself the gift of time and get the support you need.
Dr. Carrie Wicks divides her time between her private sport psychology consulting and family therapy practice, traveling with athletes, and writing. She completed her doctorate in psychology while researching the mental practices of equestrian athletes. Her passions include horses, yoga, mountain biking, skiing, and time in nature with animals. If you would like to ask a question for this column or ask about a complimentary Performance Strategy session, please contact Carrie.
Carrie Wicks, Ph.D. | Photo © Ashley Neuhof
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B E H I N D the
Growing up in the equestrian industry, Justina Reinhart found herself drawn to horses as a means of creative expression at an early age. With the camera as her tool of choice, she began photographing vignettes of everyday equestrian moments; experimenting with translating the peace she felt in that environment to her imagery. As her experience grew, Justina developed her skills photographing horse and rider portraits, as well as horse shows. Deciding that photography was a career she wanted to pursue, she focused her efforts on pursuing an education in the field. A recent recipient of Sheridan College’s Honours Bachelor of Photography degree, Justina became fascinated with the visual language surrounding fashion and architecture during her studies. With an emphasis on equestrian and product photography, she began using the elements of shape and texture present in these references to inform her work. Mesmerized by the slow, meticulous components of studio work, she honed in on creating styled, carefully lit images that blended these two genres of photography. Following this creative direction, Justina is currently working in the realms of commercial equestrian and product photography. She focuses on telling brand stories and creating refined images through her unique point of view. Drawn to the fluid, organic lines and shapes of horses, she aims to embrace these elements in her photographs to create a calm and dreamlike visual experience. In addition to continuously adapting this approach to serve the equestrian industry, she hopes to carry her vision forward and into the fashion genre, celebrating artisanal leather goods and thoughtfully designed garments through campaigns with equestrian elements. @justinareinhart justinareinhart.com
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L A C E D L U X U R Y Capture the feeling of reins between your fingers all day long with the limited-edition JGB Tote from Rebar Works. This handcrafted equestrian-inspired bag is constructed from one piece of vegetable tanned bridle leather. Cinched with 14K gold plated solid brass hardware, the tote exudes equestrian style in every detail. And, with a removable saddle bag, Rebar Works matches function with fashion. Shown in Chestnut, the tote is also available in a darker Havana. Like many great horses and riders, these totes are proudly produced in the United States.
JGB Tote in Chestnut Leather with 14K Gold Plated Solid Brass, Rebar Works, $1,900
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