Bridles & Baubles

Beauty and The Beast: Quenching Dry Skin and Dry Hooves

This is the time of year when dry skin sets up shop and refuses to budge, thanks to hot heater air and dry arctic air. It is also the time of year you need to keep your horses hooves moisturized. The cold dry air and heated barn air (if your barn is heated) combined with spending more time in their dry bedded stalls due to inclement weather, can cause your horse's hooves to dry out. Dry hooves, hard frozen ground and daily work can lead to cracked hooves that can spell big trouble for your horse. Banish your dry skin woes and your horse's dry hooves with some of my favorite products!

Let's start with banishing your dry skin! The secret to soft skin lies in a two step process, exfoliation (which removes dry dead skin cells and reveals softer skin but also allows your skin to better absorb moisturizers) and moisturizing (replacing lost moisture and creating a barrier to keep skin hydrated). I have become obsessed with Soap & Glory's Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub and Smoothie Star Body Buttercream. They both smell heavenly and make my skin incredibly soft and moisturized.

Soap & Glory's Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub features a super skin-smoothing blend of cupuacu bio scrubs, shea butter, bananas, almond, and honey extracts to gently polish, smooth, and moisturize the skin. This scrub has won many awards and also has all 5 star reviews on Sephora's website. It also does not contain any bad-for-you parabens, sulfates or phthalates.

Soap & Glory's Smoothie Star Body Buttercream is a luxurious, lightly whipped, super nourishing 5-OIL™ body buttercream, which features pistachio, almond and coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter. It goes on silky smooth without any greasy residue and immediately soaks in leaving behind deliciously scented, baby soft skin. It has permanently banished my rough elbows and knees and has kept away the dull, flaky skin I usually get in the winter.

Now that we have cured your winter dry skin woes, we can move on to making sure your horse's hooves are healthy. A few months ago I tried Healthy HairCare's Hoof Moisture on a whim, when I noticed that it came in a spray bottle. I liked the idea of using a spray bottle instead of the usual thick gloop and brush routine of most hoof moisturizers. The spray idea is pure genius and so easy to use but I was more concerned with how well it moisturized my horses' hooves. It wins on both fronts, ease of use and delivers healthy hooves. All three of my horses are currently barefoot and you have to keep chips away with good moisture. I have used it on my two at home since summer and just recently started using it on my new horse who is in training. My horses' hooves that are at home look amazing; shiny, hard hooves that have not chipped once this winter when faced with dry frozen surfaces. I immediately saw results with this spray that I have never seen with any other hoof moisturizer. My horses are also on Farrier's Formula because true hoof health comes from the inside but when combined with the Healthy Haircare Hoof Spray it has created strong, healthy feet.


Mirror Mirror

The history of the Ray-Ban Aviator dates back to the 1930s, when new airplanes allowed people to fly higher and farther. Many US Army Air Service pilots were reporting that the glare from the sun was giving them headaches and altitude sickness. In 1929, US Army Air Corps Lieutenant General John MacCready asked Bausch & Lomb, a Rochester, New York-based medical equipment manufacturer, to create aviation sunglasses that would reduce the headaches and nausea experienced by pilots, which are caused by the intense blue and white hues of the sky. The prototype, created in 1936 and known as ‘Anti-Glare’, had plastic frames and green lenses that could cut out the glare without obscuring vision. The sunglasses were remodeled with a metal frame the following year and rebranded as the 'Ray-Ban Aviator'. On May 7, 1937, Bausch & Lomb took out the patent, and the Aviator was born.

Still to this day, the Ray Ban Aviator retains it's spot as not only a highly functional item but a timeless fashion accessory that looks equal parts stylish and badass on everyone who wears them. They look at home with jeans and a tee as well as an elegant summer dress. Slipping on a pair of aviators instantly adds glamour as well as imbibing the wearer with the confidence of fearless aviators of the past. This season Ray Ban has added brightly colored mirrored lenses to their original aviator style. In Easter egg, candy colors such as purple, pink, turquoise, green and orange, they make the perfect accessory for spring. I love the bright pop of colors that instantly flatter your skin tone and update a true classic. Available at Ray Ban and Sunglass Hut. The only problem is what color to pick?


Product Review: SmartPak Piper Breeches

This cartoon perfectly sums up the difficult task of finding the perfect breeches.

Now that I am back riding, I have started the "perfect breeches hunt". In some circles it would be sacrilege to say what I am about to type but, I don't like Tailored Sportsman breeches. I have tried them in all the styles numerous times and I just don't care for their fit or fabric. Every time I wear them they feel and look frumpy, plus the fabric is slicky yet sticky and feels like something an old man would wear. Yuck! 

So I decided to try SmartPak's Piper Knee Patch Breeches for everyday riding and I can honestly say I really like them. They are made from a thick (yet not hot) stretchy fabric that does a nice job of holding you in and camouflaging any lumps and bumps (maybe indulged a little too much over the holidays). The seamed back stitching and pockets are super flattering and give your derriere a little lift. One of my favorite elements is the fact that they lined the inside edge of the pockets with a super soft faux suede so you fingers and hands don't get scratched when you put your hands in the pockets (it's the small details that count). They move and stretch in all the right places and are very comfortable to ride in. The wider waistband is super flattering and hits in the right spot, not too low, not too high. They come in a variety of fun colors with contrasting trim, making them functional yet stylish.

My only complaints would be that the waist stretched out a bit as the day went on (easily remedied by going down a size) and the SmartPak logo appears in two places (front pocket and back) as well as a rubber plastic patch with the Piper name and all rather large in size. A smaller logo in just one spot would suffice.

Overall great, well-designed breeches at reasonable price and well worth a try! I am still on the hunt for the perfect show breeches and have three styles coming to me from SmartPak and am hoping one is a winner! Tell me about your favorite brands and styles!

Hey Sailor

It's that time of year when the stores are rapidly moving out winter merchandise at deep discounts and slowly adding in resort items. It never fails that navy and navy stripes in particular always play a large part in most resort collections. I guess they are less jarring than neons and pastels when the weather is still bitterly cold and the thinking is they still look good paired with dark denim and boots now but also look fresh paired with white denim later.

This navy combo from Bailey 44 caught my eye and actually got me thinking about adding them to my closet. The ponte knit navy pea coat is updated in a cropped silhouette that allows longer length tops to peek out. I love it paired with the Retreat top, which happens to be the most interesting sailor striped top I have ever see. The traditional navy and white linen shirt gets a boost from a contrast stripe woven shirting bottom hem. This whole outfit will allow you to dream about warmer days while still staying warm and cozy. Available at Bailey 44.






January Love List

Hi y'all! Happy New Year! 

I hope if you did this on NYE:

You did not end up like this:

But if you did, all's well that ends well, move on to the next year with dignity and your head held high, no judging here! I am back to blogging after taking a small hiatus and hope to share with you my love of fashion, beauty, food and all things horses. I am kicking off with a new feature that I will do the beginning each month that chronicles some of the things that I am loving, using, eating, enjoying, looking forward to in the coming month. So, put away those silly resolutions and enjoy my January love list.

January has been ushered in with a powerful arctic blast and tends to be one of the coldest months in Oklahoma so many items on my Love List help battle the cold.

1. North Face Osito 2 Jacket

I was lucky to receive one of these gems for Christmas and let me tell you, it is like wearing a warm, furry hug. It is made out of this soft, silky, fuzzy fabric that feels amazing (much like a baby's blanket or expensive stuffed animal) and blocks the wind, keeping you very warm. You can wear it alone or as an extra layer under a coat. I also love that it comes in 22 yummy colors, perfect for adding a touch of cheer to cold, gray days.

2. Chapstick Total Hydration

Cold wind and dry heat combine to create super chapped lips and this new product from Chapstick is the real deal. It keeps your lips super soft and hydrated, banishing rough, flaky lips. It contains botanical oils rich in Omegas 3/6/9 which help maintain younger, healthier lips. It is thicker and glides on smoother than traditional Chapstick and is only available at Target.

3. Ugg Volta Boots

I love Uggs, even though some think they are out of style. They are supremely comfy and warm and I feel no shame when I bust them out every winter. This season I needed a leather bootie that was warm and water-proof that I could wear with skinny jeans. I was pleased to see that Ugg has created some more "fashion" boots that still retain the warmth and comfort of their traditional boots. The Volta comes in leather and suede and is embellished with buckles and looks perfect with skinny jeans.

4. Tough-1 Wild 600D Turnout Blanket

I invested in a few of these blankets for my horses this season and am loving them! My two horses that live at home, Woody and Scout, stay in a heated barn and get daily turnout and these blankets keep them warm inside and out, as well as being super durable. They are also waterproof and have been tested a time or two when we got a sudden rain shower or non-stop drizzle. The back leg straps (which tend to get ripped off) are made out of stretchy elastic that does not tear when the horses run and play. They also come in fun colors and prints.

Scout in her hot pink blanket:

5. Ally Carter's series and book Embassy Row Book 1: All Fall Down

I am a huge fan of fellow Oklahoma author Ally Carter and am looking forward to her new series Embassy Row. The first book All Fall Down will be released January 20th and I already have it pre-ordered to be downloaded on my I-Pad. If you have never read anything by Ally Carter I also highly recommend her Heist Society series. Here is the teaser for All Fall Down on Amazon: 

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:
1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her -- so there's no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can't control Grace -- no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn't stop it, Grace isn't the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Glitterball

Viv and Ingrid is an amazing jewelry line that I used to carry in my store. It's delicate, yet statement-making, jewelry is elegant and timeless. Their keepsake cards with dainty posts always sold out in my store and for fall/winter 2014 the cards were inspired by the year of the horse. They have paired dainty 6mm Swarovski crystal studded glitterballs with horse print cards. These are the perfect earrings to add a little sparkle to your riding and show outfits, as well as wear everyday outside of the barn. They also make the perfect gift for the equestrian chic friends in your life. Give them as a pick me up, thank you or good luck gift! Available for $38 in silver or gold with black, champagne, clear, navy or plum crystals on a variety of horse cards at Viv and Ingrid.

Well Heeled

As August fades into September I can't help but dream about fall clothes; in particular, boots. Even though hot weather has set up shop for the duration, I find myself drooling over every boot and bootie I come across. I have fallen particularly hard for these boots from Kate Spade.

 I firmly believe that women's shoes should look like women's shoes. I don't like brogues, smoking slippers, manish boots or overly tall/overly wedged heels that look like they belong on a cross-dressing/stripper in Las Vegas. I prefer feminine details, elegant designs and simplicity with a few unexpected details. These booties check all the boxes and are versatile enough to wear with a wide range of outfits. Booties will remain the item du jour as long as skinny jeans allow you to show them off. 

The first boot is the Lanise boot and it's simple stacked heel, rounded toe and smooth leather scream "wear me every day" and the bow detail is just icing on the cake, giving it a fun, flirty and feminine kick. It is available in black, tan and brown. It also seems to be selling out very fast so if you like it, you better hop on it. Available at Kate Spade, Zappos and Nordstrom.

If you are on your feet a lot thru the day then might like the flat Prospect boot. It comes in luggage brown and black and looks like a fancy pair of paddock boots. It will look equally at home with skinny jeans and cozy knits. Available at Kate Spade and Nordstrom.

If you, like me, think everything is made better with sparkle then you will love the Landon boot. It combines three of my favorite things, black suede, glitter and a bow. Seriously, you can't go wrong! Wear these with skinny leather pants or black tights and skirt or dress. Available at Kate Spade and Nordstrom.

Weekend Musings


Another week as come and gone and I have compiled a random compilation of things to do, see, buy, try, eat or read this weekend.

Eat This: Boozy Bailey's Toasted Marshmallows 

Light a fire after a day of swimming and dip a marshmallow in Bailey's Irish Cream and toast s'more style. Eat by them by themselves or sandwich between chocolate and graham crackers for an adult s'more.




Do This: Add An Electrolyte Supplement To Your Horse's Daily Feed

Now that summer has set in, make sure your horses stays well hydrated by encouraging them to drink more with an electrolyte and salt supplement. Did you know your horse needs 1 ounce of salt and 5-10 gallons of water a day? Progressive's Aqua-Aide is my horses' favorite.




Try This: Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Push-Up Liner

This eyeliner has been getting a ton of buzz and the reviews run the gamut from "best beauty invention ever" to "hard to use, clumpy and flaky". But it has my attention and I am game to give it a try!




Buy This: Athleta Andale Pant

I have been living in these super-lightweight pants ever since the UPS man delivered them to my door. You can wear them ankle length or pull them up to crop or knee length. They are the best kick around casual summer pants to pair with flip flops and a tank. 




Read This: The Dog's Bollocks by Lynda Renham

On arriving home after a friend’s posh wedding, launderette worker Harriet finds her life irrevocably changed as she discovers her flat ransacked and her boyfriend missing. In a matter of hours she is harassed by East End gangsters and upper crust aristocrats. Accepting an offer she can’t refuse, Harriet, against her better judgement becomes the fiancée of the wealthy Hamilton Lancaster, with dire consequences. What she had not bargained on was meeting Doctor Brice Edmunds. 

The Dog’s Bollocks is Lynda Renham’s funniest novel so far. A cocktail of misunderstandings, three unlikely gangsters, a monkey and a demented cat make this novel a hysterical read. Follow Harriet’s adventure where every attempt to get out of trouble puts her deeper in it. I love British chick lit and this book is perfect to read out by the pool.



Stay Spotless

I am a little old fashioned in regards to wearing white pants before Memorial Day. I just can't do it!! So, now that it is Memorial Day I can pull my white pants (primarily jeans) out of my closet and wear them with reckless abandon. Except for the fact that you have to constantly be careful the whole time you are wearing them to avoid spills, dirt or in my case dog paws. But, that has all changed thanks to Joe's Jeans brilliant Stay Spotless collection! 

This collection features an innovative wash treatment that repels spills no matter what surprises your day brings. It resists liquids such as coffee, wine, soda and melted chocolate ice cream, which are essentially wiped away with a napkin. It doesn't repel pigment based stains from lipstick, nail polish etc... This wash is available on a variety of white styles including a skinny jean, skinny ankle jean, denim skirt, shorts and trousers. And if you hurry and order today (Memorial Day) you get 30% off with the code HONOR. Available at Joe's Jeans.

After seeing the videos of these jeans repelling stains I began to wonder if there are any breeches that utilize stain fighting technology. As you know breeches take a beating and it is always hard work to keep them spotless before entering the show pen. After a little search online I discovered that Tredstep uses NanoSphere, a naturally self-cleaning finish that repels water, dirt, and oil to keep your breeches looking great and reduce the need for frequent washing. In their video they show ketchup, honey and coffee just being rinsed off with a spritz of water leaving no trace of the stain. This finish is available in their Tredstep Symphony No. 3 Rosa Front Zip Knee Patch breeches, which come in a variety of colors. Available at SmartPak (and if you order by Memorial Day you receive 15% off with code MEM14).

Tredstep has wonderful video on YouTube that shows these breeches repelling stains: click here.



Lived In Tees

This time of year I begin my search for the perfect tees to live in all summer. When I find one I love I usually buy it in bulk so I can wear it to the barn as well as everywhere else. I ask a lot of my tees, they have to be soft, comfy, easy to wash and wear, have some style and not cling to me. I don't need a t-shirt to cling to my love handles or feel like it's suffocating me in the heat. I also want the length to be relatively long, I hate short tees.

I am happy to report that early on in my search I have found two tees that check all the boxes. The first tee is from Anthropologie. It is a cotton modal blend that is super soft and has a slouchy fit with side slits and is longer in the back. Looks equally great paired with skinny jeans/crops and yoga pants as well as with breeches. I actually dressed it up with a scarf and skinny black ankle pants and wedges. Trust me you will want one in every color. 





The next tee I am obsessed with comes from Madewell (who has long made tees I love). This lightweight linen tee keeps it shape while still having a cool drape, it defines your body without clinging. The scoopneck is extremely flattering and the high-low hem covers your bum. The linen keeps it cool and airy, perfect for hot days in the barn or running errands. It is a little sheer so I recommend layering with a tank or a fun sports bra when you ride.