All Posts in the ‘Road Trips’ Category

October 30th, 2011

Style at the Washington International Horse Show


There can be no dispute that the equestrian world has and still does influence style, fashion, and design.  After a week at the Washington International Horse Show we’re reminded exactly why that fashion world continues to draw on its equestrian friends for inspiration.

The equestrian world will continue to inspire designers around the world not just for the inherent style in our day-to-day lives whether a gleaming driving harness, a luxe wool rug, or the fine leather of our boots, but also for what we represent. The equestrian world is inspirational because it’s the symbiotic partnership between man and horse, it’s an afternoon hacking across a hillside in a Fall breeze, it’s dreams lived rather than dreams deferred. We are hope and happiness grounded in the sun rising early in the morning with the crunch of our boot on gravel as we prepare for a day with our horses. We don’t need an Hermes scarf to get that feeling. We already have it. We’re just passing it on.

A heartfelt thanks to Leslie Threlkeld for the beautiful photos that capture the essence of equestrian elegance and spirit. There will be more to see at her equine photography website so be sure to visit and dive into the Washington International Horse Show!

October 30th, 2011

Washington International Horse Show: On Trend with Ear Bonnets

The Washington International Horse Show dishes up competitive edge, soaring moments of glory, heart-breaking losses, and teeteringly high fences as well as its own fair share of style. One trend that popped out amidst the bustle was the pervasive ear bonnet in coordinated colors. Used typically to shoo away pesky summer-time flies or to hush the roar of a crowd the ear bonnet, more and more, has become a style accessory to the equestrian attire.

Some riders opted for classic looks like navy with a red accent

and others waded further into more unusual colors

Regardless of their color palette, though, all riders coordinated their horse’s ear bonnet with their own attire.

I confess to caving to this particular trend and buying Ellie a black ear bonnet with gold trim. I justified it as a summer purchase to be used when trotting through the Virginia fields and forests which, while beautiful, offer up plenty of relentless winged, and biting, insects, much to my sweet Ellie’s chagrin. The ear bonnet helps, no doubt, and we also stay right on trend.  A win-win. What about you, are you on board with the trend for practical reasons or style concerns?

Thanks to Leslie Threlkeld Media for these incredible photos. There are many more that capture the excitement of the show so be sure to visit her equine photography website to see the rest.

October 29th, 2011

Excitement at the Washington International Horse Show

The Washington International Horse Show does the impossible. It brings all of our favorite things right into the heart of the city. Into the heart of our capitol city, as a matter of fact. And with it comes everything we can dream of from masterful horsemanship and performance from the charming Australian Guy McLean

dashing terriers

perfect ponies, and lots and lots of teeteringly high jumps with horses soaring clear across. The temporary stalls squat right in the middle of the city across the street from the National Portrait Gallery (check out the collection of Native American Portraits in between rounds) and tuck in tight next to the Verizon Center where hockey, basketball, and, when the time is right, horses take center stage. It makes for something of a double take when walking down the street and you pass a museum, a club with party goers chatting on the sidewalk, clusters of tourists clutching maps, and then (don’t blink) you might miss the tiny white pony primly walking by led by its equally tiny rider on their way to their next class.  It’s refreshing, unexpected, and exciting.

What’s more, where we have horses and performance we have, inevitably, equestrian style.

We’ll have more on that soon thanks to the talent and vision of equestrian photographer Leslie Threlkeld.  For now I recommend grabbing a ticket for the show if you’re anywhere near by. Terriers on the run, darling ponies, heart-stopping showjumping feats, and classic equaestrian style may be part of your everyday life, but I doubt you get to do that in the heart of a beautiful city.  Grab your tickets online and Leslie and I will meet you there!

February 14th, 2011

Poplar Place Ponies

One of our favorite photographers and writers, Leslie Threlkeld, captured all the best moments at Poplar Place Farm Horse Trials. She also noticed a contingent of eventing ponies, of which (as you already know) we’re a fan. We thought you might like to meet some of the ones who caught her eye.

Above: Pocomotion is a 14h Welsh/TB gelding and competed in Open BN.

Below: My Valentino competed in Open Novice. He jumped double clean all around.

Adanac is a 14h New Forest gelding.  He still gives lots of lucky little girls riding lessons every day. Competed in Open BN.

Rockin Royal Sierra is a 15.1h Quarter Horse gelding.  He was taking his rider, Maggie, around her first Training level event.  He’s not technically a pony, but he still pegs the cute meter in our book!

As You Wish is a 14.1h Paint pony gelding.  He’s well-known for his interesting markings and incredible blue eyes!

Pretty please can I have one? Thanks to Leslie for sharing her photography with us and for bringing 3-day eventing into our living rooms. And especially for bringing adorable eventing ponies into our living rooms. You can see more of her work at and, if you haven’t yet bought your photo from Poplar Place to remember all the good times you can still do so. You can also follow her comings and goings on her blog.

September 28th, 2010

Simon Helps Me Pack for the WEGs

Where would I be without Simon?  He helped me pick out all the mandatory clothes for the 2010 World Equestrian Games, as you can see. I never would have made it without his critical intervention! I’ll be seeing you soon in Kentucky. And what fun we’ll have!

By Courtney in Road Trips | 2 Comments »
September 24th, 2010

Sneak Peak of the World Equestrian Games

We’re practically moments away from the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games.  It feels surreal. But the buzz in Kentucky is undeniable as the final pieces fall into place.  Our Three Days Three Ways contributor, Shannon Crocker, takes us on a tour to see what’s ready to roll, what needs some tweaking, and what’s out on the cross-country course!

The main arena made me do a double take.  It’s a far cry from what Rolex looked like this past Spring!

Soon the machinery will be gone and this road will be teeming with equestrian fans.  Including Three Days Three Ways!

Wait, are we at a Rolling Stones show?  This stage looks like something that would be in place for an enormous show.  Which I guess it is!

Thanks to Shannon we even have a sneak peak of some of the World Games cross-country course.  Any takers on this island complex?

Mostly I just want to take a swim.  It’s still so hot in North Carolina my sweet Ellie and I would opt for a wade.

The course is flagged and roped off.  But the brush is still to come.  Any bets on the height?

Being outside in the arena and on cross-country with all that sun I’m ready for one of these.  Though I’d only be trying it so I can report back to you.  Obviously.

Thanks, Shannon, for bringing us the inside scoop on what’s happening at the Kentucky Horse Park just moments before the 2010 World Equestrian Games begin. Check back during the Games to hear more from Shannon, her take on style and fashion, and about a special gentleman named Waylon.

September 12th, 2010

Hay Gain’s got 3-Day Eventing Spirit

Hay Gain’s got 3-day eventing spirit!  The international hay steamer company hosted an autograph signing with PRO at the American Eventing Championships to which eventing fans flocked. Riders and fans had so much fun that even an arm or two got signed.  This one in particular by top eventer Sinead Halpin. Now that’s eventing spirit!

By Courtney in Road Trips | 2 Comments »
September 12th, 2010

American Eventing Championship Wrap Up Moments

The American Eventing Championships are winding down.  Trailers are pulling out, spectators are thinning out, and the prizes have been collected by their respective winners.  As always, the competition seemed to stretch out before us with endless promise but has already come to a close. We’ll miss the gripping rides, the chatting riders, and this incredible eventing city that has sprung up in the Georgian hills of Chattahoochee Hills.

Congratulations to Becky Holder and Courageous Comet, winners of the 2010 American Eventing Championships.  They are an incredible pair to watch and you can’t help but pull for them.  Make sure you check the USEA site for a interviews with this compelling duo!

Congratulations also to all the riders who came to the AECs and made it the festive and warm community that it is.

Everything is always better with our dogs along for the ride and our canine eventing fans, sure enough, made the experience that much better. What troopers.

Including Emma Ford’s sweet lab complete with stylish British flags collar (a nod to Emma’s home country).

The competitions always come to a close far too early.  That means we’ll just have to start planning for the 2011 USEA American Eventing Championship at Chatthoochee Hills!  It seems impossible to improve on this well-run event in this incomparable facility.  But somehow I imagine our host, Carl Bouckaert, and his team, will wow us all once again.

Thanks to the USEA for this celebration of eventing at its finest.

You better start planning for the AECs 2010.  Good luck!  See you next year same time same place.

By Courtney in Road Trips | No Comments »
September 11th, 2010

Saturday at the American Eventing Championships 2010

Saturday at the American Eventing Championships is still going strong.  There’s much to see from perfect eventing ponies,

the the Land Rover Learn and Drive,

to our now-favorite Chattahoochee Hills vistas.

Not to mention the pretty ribbons!

But most important of all are the eventing fans!

Showjumping ran beautifully and to rave reviews all day long in the main arenas thanks to course designer Mark Donnavan.

But there’s much more to come of showjumping including the Advanced Division led by Becky Holder and Courageous Comet.  If you’re craving AEC coverage make sure you pour over the incredible USEA photos and videos which just can’t be beat!

By Courtney in Road Trips | No Comments »
September 11th, 2010

Cross-Country Tips from Olympian Leslie Law

British Olympian Leslie Law took a pack of eager Beginner Novice eventers around the championship Chattahooche Hills course here at the American Eventing Championships. What he had to say worked for Beginner Novice but I think resonates at any level.  Here are some of his tips.

We love pace.

Be positive coming out of the start box and get your horse well in front of your leg…and not looking like a drunk!

Keep your rhythm and carry your momentum downhill so long as you’re in balance.

Your eye will take you there. We look through the windshield not at the wheel.

Thanks for the tips Leslie!

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