Who wants to look good while riding? I know I do!
When I first started riding, I didn't really wear a certain brand of shirt, breeches or helmet. Now that I am competing and riding more, my eyes have been opened to the fashion part of the equestrian world, and I like it a lot.
I will be sharing my favorite brands that I wear when I ride and why I like them so much.
First are riding shirts. For the past 3 years, I have only been riding in long sleeves. Mostly because it protects my skin from the sun and prevents me from getting a horrible farmers tan.
My go to long sleeve is the Women's Asmar Equestrian Long Sleeve T. It is a little on the pricey side being $68, but it is totally worth it. It has a very comfortable fit, easy to wash, colors don't fade and it's perfect for any weather.
Photos by Noel Asmar Equestrian
Next come the breeches. I am not the typical tall, long legged equestrian like the majority. I have more of a hourglass, athletic body. So breeches can sometimes be an issue cause they fit in one area but not the others. But I have found two brands that I absolutely love. The first are Romfhs. They are probably the breeches I have had the longest and have not let me down. Their material is super durable and very comfortable. I wish I could wear them everyday. My favorite style is the Sarafina Full Seat breeches which are $176. The second brand of breeches are the Tailor Sportsman. I recently got a pair of their breeches and I am head over heels for them. At first I didn't think I would like the tan knee patch, but I love it now. Material is soft but durable, easy to wash and fits good in all the right places. I highly recommend the Tailored Sportsman Ladies Trophy Hunter Low Rise which are $189.
Photos by Romfh and Tailor Sportsman
Lastly, let's discuss helmets. I try to recommend for people to have two helmets, one for schooling and one for showing. My schooling helmet is a Charles Owen Ayr8. I have had it over two years and it is still in perfect condition. It has vents on the top to let some air which is a great feature. This helmet goes for $399.99. My show helmet which I just got several months ago is a Samshield Shadowmatt. It is such a comfortable and stylish helmet and it goes for $439.99. Yes it is a bit more expensive, but I guarantee once you put it on, you do not want to take it off. Everyone is afraid that certain types of helmets might make their head look bigger, but both of these helmets have a very nice shape and fit. It really just depends on your head shape. I have a very round head so I was VERY happy that these two helmets fit perfectly.
Photos from SmartPak Equine
Everyone has their own routine they do before competition. Things they do to get rid of show nerves or what they eat or drink to give them energy. Now that I have been showing for a couple years, I have made my own routine. Here is how it goes...
If I have a class in the morning, let's say 8:15 a.m., I tend to wake up at 6:15 a.m. so I have time to fix my hair as best as I can , brush my teeth, change into show clothes and double check that I have everything in the car.
It takes me about an hour to get to the show, which is mostly at Del Mar Horse Park, for now. But I always like to stop about half way at my favorite Starbucks where I get a venti iced coffee, with cream but no sweetener and a protein bar. Rain or shine, I always order an iced coffee.
Once I get to the horse show, I check up with my trainer on what classes I will be doing for the day. I head to the ring to see what class is running and make sure I have plenty of time to get ready and warm up. I never like to rush or feel hurried otherwise my nerves build up.
I take a picture of my first course so I can engrave it in my mind.
(I used to have a bad habit of forgetting my courses half way through)
Once the class starts, I get on and warm up on the flat. If it is a jumping class, I do plenty of walking and a little trotting. My trainer will then come in and jump me around.
If it is a flat class, I get my horse nice and fluid and focus on my equitation. I walk to the ring and go over the course one last time before I get sent out.
Whenever I am not showing, I am helping my fellow barn mates memorize their course or watching them ride. I love supporting me team.
My diet at shows is kind of none existent. That doesn't mean I don't eat, but I try to keep a lighter diet. Besides coffee and a protein bar, I will probably get a smoothie and a small salad for lunch. But most of the the time I just snack on whatever.
So that is pretty much what I do at competitions. Not super exciting, but I thought it would be nice to share. See you next time!
I never realized how much of a struggle it is to juggle my school life and my riding life. Now being a Senior in High School, I get more time to ride, but I also have harder classes which means more homework and study time. I have always had good grades and have turned in assignments before the deadline. If I didn't, I would not be competing. My parents made it perfectly clear that if my grades started slipping because of my riding, I could say goodbye to horse shows. When Champ Show came around last year, I had to complete all of my school assignments before hand and finish all future homework so I would not have to catch up after the horse show. Since Champ Show is coming up, I am already trying to get ahead of most of my classes so my parents don't nag on me the week before. I am just grateful that my school is very flexible with my competitive riding. But I have also come to realize that I want to get an education and go to a University so I can pursue my dream job and continue to ride. Riding will always be part of my life, even if I have to take a break from it, I know I will always go back to it.
When I first started riding, I never thought I would compete. All I wanted to do was get on a horse and ride. I mean, I still do that, but after several years of being in this sport, I realized I wanted to do more. When I went to my very first show, I was riding a small Arabian pony who took me around a 2'3'' hunter course. There were only 6 entries in my division, but we got Reserve Champion. I didn't show much after that, but that amazing feeling I felt in the show ring still lingered with me. When I got my horse Leo, I decided to really feel what it would be like to go to shows and compete in the county circuit. I began in the Green Rider and Low Children's the first year. By the second year I moved up to Children's. Now I am competing in the Modified/Jr/Am's. But I never planned on being a competitive equestrian. I even started later than most people. Most girls that I rode with began when they 8 or 9. I began competing right before I turned 15. I remember talking to my mom one night and she asked me why I wanted to show more. She always knew I love to ride just for pleasure, but I don't think she would have ever thought I would compete someday. I told her that even though I love to ride for fun with my horse, competing gave me a sense of accomplishment and a new meaning for my riding. Competing has become the cherry on top of my whole riding journey, and I plan to keep it that way. I don't compete to be the very best or to get the most points, I compete to have fun and learn new things as I continue to grow as a rider.
I would say that I am not the typical equestrian. I was not born into the equestrian world like many others. I grew up in the city of Los Angeles where the closest horse barn was about an hour away in Burbank. Add L.A. traffic and make it 2 hours. My parents introduced me to many different types of sports, gymnastics, soccer, golf and tennis. But none of them never seemed to click. I decided to stay with soccer for a while and I enjoyed it for the time being. I was around 7 at the time and I remember visiting my friend at her house one day day. She began to tell me her true passion was horses. Her older sister rode at a barn half an hour from her house, so she invited me to go watch her lesson. I decided to go along with it. I never realized until now, but that single trip to watch my friend's sister ride changed me whole life. As I saw how a girl could have such an amazing connection with a horse, I realized that was I wanted to do. I went back home and got rid of all the Barbies and girly toys in my room and began to collect horse related toys. I am pretty sure my parents thought once or twice if I was okay, but I didn't really care.
By the time I turned 8, I was telling everyone at school that I was going to move out of the city, live on a ranch and buy a horse. Then my friends began to tell their parents and their parents began to call my parents. Now I was pretty sure my parents began to question their child's sanity. I kept at it for a year, until one day, my parents asked me if I really wanted to move. I had never been more serious in my life. That night, I dreamt of my house, a one story home, surrounded by lots of land, and a barn nearby. I could picture it so vividly. Well, I must have really convinced my parents about the whole riding thing because on February 5, 2010, we moved into our new house in a small town called Fallbrook, that was exactly like the one I dreamt about. A month later, when I turned 9, my mom and I began to look at potential riding barns for me to begin my equestrian journey.
So that is pretty much how I started out. I am now 17 years old, a Senior in High School, I ride my own horse at a great barn and compete. It is quite amazing how far I have come from being a 7 year old city girl with a dream and now 10 years later, living the dream.