Monday, September 18, 2017

#ROOTD | Show Vibes

Good morning everyone, and welcome back! You know me, when I like something I wear it so many times that I almost forget that I have other clothes. I have been feeling so in love with this Horse Pilot  outfit that every time I pick something to wear at a show I have to include it - thank god I enter 3-day shows, otherwise I wouldn't be able to wear all my show shirts and breeches!

The shirt is what I enjoy the most in this combination and it is easy to tell you my favorite features: it is a body (I have never ridden in one before) and I absolutely adore the coral/red details of it, I think they make the shirt so beautiful and elegant. Although it is a body, this shirt provides a total freedom of movements. The fabric is reallyyy, really thin. I hate competing in clothes that make me feel I am suffocating!!

The breeches are cool as well. Their fabric is soft - surely they're the softest pair I own - and, just like what I have said about the shirt, it is thin. The bands on the quadriceps, lumbar region and knees give them an edgy look but they actually have an important purpose. According to the brand, they were designed to secure, relieve and tone all the areas in contact with the bands and to enhance our elastic response. I don't know if the technology really works or if it is just like a placebo effect from all the information I have read but they are just...comfortable!
There is only a thing I don't particularly like, the fact that they are high waisted on the back and low waisted at the front. I think this doesn't flatter my body as much as a normal pair of high waist breeches would. This last photo doesn't look amazing but I still wanted to show you how I look from the back. I am conscious I lost some weight since the last time I wore them and probably that is why they aren't fitting me that well though.
Lastly, my socks are from Miasuki and I've talked about them here. The belt is from Springfield but I bought it years and years ago! :)

As you know, I only write about products I LOVE so my overall opinion is that if you are looking for competition gear that will make you feel fresh and that will "increase" your performance, these are worth to take a look at. Let me remind you that these aren't the most affordable competition clothes but I believe that in this case we are really paying for the quality of the products.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Fresh Schooling ROOTD

Do you know those hot days where you have no idea of what to wear because you feel that you will melt the second you put something on? I had one of those days a few time ago, I looked to all my riding clothes and the only top that seemed reasonable to me was the Antilope show polo. It is from the brand Cavaletic which creates really comfortable show gear - I've talked about the brand here. Although I have never worn a show shirt or polo on a normal day before, I really liked the combination!

I paired the navy show polo with my GPA breeches that unfortunately aren't produced anymore and with my trusty tall boots from Pioneer Italy. My helmet is the Miss Shield Shadowmatt which I absolutely love! Fun fact: ever since I bought it my trainer calls me Pénélope because he says my helmet reminds him of Pénélope Leprevost. :)

Gali wore his matching polos and saddle pad from Eskadron and we all know how amazing their sets are. I wish I was like those people I follow on Instagram that own more than 100 sets!!
His bell boots are from Lehxis. They were super cheap and their quality is impressive, I'm so glad I bought them.

What do you think of this riding outfit? Let me know! 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Longines Global Champions Tour of Cascais - 2017 Edition

It has been a while since the last time I attended a Global Champions Tour event... In fact, the last one was Valkenswaard in 2014 and I can't even remember the last time I attended the LGCT of Cascais!
This year college finals ended earlier and therefore I was finally able to visit that impressive place again. It was the first time I went there without my dad and I even slept at Vila Galé hotel near Hipódromo Manuel Possolo which made my experience much better.

On Saturday, July 8th, we arrived around 1pm which only gave us time to check in at the hotel and to have lunch at Jardim da Cerveja - an amazing restaurant located between the hotel and the show. If you don't know Cascais, it is a very small village where you can go almost everywhere by foot. The food is incredible (if you go there please eat a French burger!!!) and I ate near Harrie Smolders. Scott Brash, Markus Ehning and Bertram Allen were also there after the show so you're basically eating among the starts!

After our meal, we went to the event right in time for the first class of the day: the second competition of the Global Champions League. I was a little sad because Ludger, Meredith, Staut, Christian Ahlmann and many other familiar faces weren't there as usual but I knew that the show was still worth it. It was the first time I was going to see a competition from the League and I knew it would be something great.

Luís Sabino & Acheo di San Patrignano
Georgina Bloomberg & Manodie II H

Ben Maher & Quilata
Luciana Diniz & Lennox

Cian O'Connor & Super Sox

Bertram Allen & Molly Malone V
As I thought, I loved the class and specially to see the riders from the different teams - and their outfits, of course! :)
At the end of this class we went to the warmup arena and I spent most of my time there admiring all the grooms working, the friendship between the riders and their love for the horses. They seemed so normal but I couldn't avoid staring at them, after all I was admiring the best riders in the world, which always makes me feel so lucky (and like a little girl).


Georgina Bloomberg

Marcus Ehning & Funky Fred

Monodie H

Bertram placed 3rd
The following class was the Grand Prix. Although it is always the most exciting class to watch, most of the riders jumped on the same horses and it took some of the magic away to me. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand why they jump on the same horses and I know that they are 100% capable of jumping the two classes but it would be terrific if they brought even more horses!
The most exciting part was to see Danielle Goldstein winning. I think nobody was expecting that, not even her and this is how dreams start becoming a reality!

Hello Forever

Hopefully I will be back next year!
I must thank Carolina Fontes for all these stunning photos, they are truly special to me! Did you enjoy them as well? 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Grazers - A Place To Sell Our Tack And Apparel

Hey everyone! I'm finally done with my college exams and I can finally relax after such a stressing month!

Today I want to show you a website that I discovered not long ago and that I find incredibly well done and useful. I am talking about Grazers a place that was created by riders for riders to sell their used or nearly new tack or equestrian apparel.

Grazers was founded by Casey Norton and Jennifer Burke. They met at the barn when they were 5 years old and have been riding and competing against one another in the hunters, jumpers and equitation divisions since then. Now, after so many years, they live together in Boston, MA and have decided to launch their company.

When I first visited the website it immediately reminded me of eBay but much better because Grazers is exclusive to equestrians and the attention to detail is huge - as the founders state "The biggest thing that we emphasize is that we are building a trusted community for horseback riders which sets us apart from someone buying or selling tack on something like eBay. We are not just selling our tack, we are passing on well loved items with a story behind it and our love for the sport.".

All the informations on the "How is works" page are extremely clarifying and it just looks really easy to work with. Because I live outside the US, I had a couple questions about buying and selling there but the team promptly answered them! I leave them here since they may be useful to some of you as well:

I live in Portugal - Would I be able to sell/buy on your website?
Yes, you would be able to sell and buy from Portugal. The one thing to note would be especially when posting product to sell you would want to 1. adjust the shipping cost or 2. include the shipping cost in your price so that you would be able to break even on it if you were to ship internationally. 

Could I ship the products using a different shipping company?
Yes, you can use different shipping companies. This is something that we left open due to the fact that different people prefer different shipping sources.

I am going to sell some things that I don't use anymore on Grazers, I will let you know when I do it. And please let me know if you start using Grazers as well! :)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Does EquiGroomer Really Work?

A few months ago I saw many people sharing EquiGroomer's videos on Facebook and I wanted to understand how that colourful piece of wood was "mysteriously" removing loose hair. I decided to put it to the test on Halona because Gali was recently clipped and it wouldn't make any sense to try it on him...

If you are familiar with this grooming tool, you should know that it comes in a variety of colours and in two sizes - the one on the picture above is the largest one (12cm or 9-inch). It consists of a steel blade set in a wooden piece that was designed to provide us comfort and although many people refer that the blade seems very sharp, it only looks like that because of the tiny teeth. I can assure you that this is a safe tool for both us and our horses.

Halona's body didn't have mud but she did have some dry stains of sweat on her body. EquiGroomer made those disappear, just as promised...but because she didn't have a ton of loose hair we didn't get the wow factor that I saw on all those Facebook videos.
Is this tool as unique as everybody claims? It is really nice but would work 100% better on horses that often stay outside! - be honest it would also have been the most helpful thing if I didn't have a clipper, Gali looked like a bear during this Winter and we all know how annoying it is to have grey hair all over us!

Overall I would recommend it to anyone who needs an efficient hair removing tool that is perfect for the shedding season. 
I have seen people using EquiGroomer on dogs and cats as well so I will see how it performs on mine when I come home from college. To finish the post here's a small video of me using it on Halona:

Images & Video credits: Carolina Fontes
I hope this post was useful!
Have a nice week! 

Monday, April 24, 2017

#ROOTD: Show Outfit

Hello everyone! Today I bring you a show outfit - how is it possible that I have never posted a show outfit here before?! - that I am so in love with. This year I still didn't get the chance to go to a show but luckily I will be able to do what I love the most in a near future!

Let's start with the polo shirt that was kindly sent to me. It is called Effrenoise and it is from Cavaletic, a French eco-friendly brand that shares with us riders, ethic values and promotes a safe and healthy manufacturing method.  
I couldn't be happier about this polo, besides being made in Portugal (LOVE), it was one of the best surprises ever, the photo on the website - you can check it here - doesn't make it justice at all so when I tried it for the first time I couldn't believe how awesome it looked!
This beauty is made from Lyocell, a biodegradable fibre that comes from eucalyptus wood cellulose which makes it incredibly soft and flattering. I had never tried a show polo with this type of sleeves before and honestly, don't you think they are super cool?! Before moving to another piece, I must say that V on the front is what I love the most. Definitely my current fave!!!

I always like to match my outfits, I tend to keep them classic and discrete but with a little of color and that is why I chose this belt. Despite being discrete, the red adds something more to the look. I don't know the brand of the belt but I got it at this store.

I had to present to you my new show jacket as well, you might have seen me wearing a same one from GPA in the past but I just bought this one that looks...exactly the same! Why? Because my old one doesn't fit me anymore and this was only 28€ - it would be a crime if I didn't take advantage of this deal. Here's the link to it, there's only a few left though...

My breeches are from VRT a Portuguese brand that sadly doesn't exist anymore. My dad bought me these a few years ago and they still look brand new, I wish they were still available...
Last but not least, the boots that people often think that are Parlantis but really aren't, they are from Pioneer Italy and I have had them for more than 6 years. I didn't realise they are looking a bit short on my leg until I saw these photos, maybe because I grew up or just because I have used them for so long...I guess I need a new pair but I love these!

I hope you enjoyed this outfit as much as me! As always, let me know your opinion and why not showing me your current favourites?

Thank you, Carolina Fontes for the awesome photos <3

Have a nice week!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

[REVIEW] CHB200 Star Cordless Clipper by Vivog

Hey everyone! Over the past month I have bought some stuff that truly deserves to be featured here. My first splurge of the month was the CHB200 Star cordless clipper by Vivog.

I have waited so much time (years, in fact) to get a clipper but I always thought - and maybe I was wrong - that a good clipper meant that it would be really expensive. I didn't want to ask my parents for one but Gali was seriously needing to be clipped and I only had two options, paying someone to use their machine on my horse or finally buying one...

I was getting ready to go for the first option when I saw a deal on Horse Store Privé. There were a few clippers from Vivog on sale so I had an "it's now or never" moment.
It got here in exactly 15 days and the store was constantly sending me emails that always kept me informed about my order, I loved their service. The sticker of the case was detached but besides that everything was great!

The kit includes the machine, two batteries, one 1mm blade, one 3mm blade, a small bottle of oil, one charger, one brush and a screwdriver.
It's very quiet and big enough to clip an entire body without spending too much time but the batteries last about 1h30 each. There's something else that I love, we can use blades from other brands on it - we have already tried Heiniger blades and they fit perfectly.
When I placed the order I was a little afraid that I wasn't buying a good product but it is really, really awesome. Incredible value for money and so far I can only recommend it! 

Gali isn't an easy horse to clip at all so we didn't get the best result - look at his head hahaha! However, his body looks pretty good and he has been getting many compliments from everybody, mission accomplished! :D

Photo credits to Carolina Fontes

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

New Products To Keep In Mind - SS17

Hey everyone, it seems that this season almost every brand of the horse industry is investing in innovation. I've selected some products from different brands that I find very interesting. Regarding fashion, pink is the color of the moment and t-shirts or sweaters with quotes are also one of the biggest hits for this Spring/Summer.

❤︎ Horseware Rugs With Disc Closure System

Horseware is known for their four V-Front closure points but for this season they have changed it to a better design. The brand has created the Disc Closure System which is more flexible and mimics the horse's shoulder movements, according to Horseware. This is a quick remove system and we can include our name on the disk.

❤︎ Stud Plate by HipHoof

When I go to a show with a grass arena I always stress because of the horseshoe studs, I hate putting them on because it is a time consuming task and I always end up asking my dad to help me. Well, this problem is exactly what made Pia Sternberg create this stud plate. HipHoof was founded in 2013 so technically this isn't a new product but I had to include it. I think this is super helpful for the outdoor show season.

❤︎ Chevalior Customizable Fleece Rugs

As I have said before, pink is one of the biggest trends of the moment. I had to include the Chevalior Night & Rose fleece rug in this selection. I seems to be so comfortable, right? Uhh, I feel so tempted...but would Gali enjoy a pink rug? I always have this dilemma!

❤︎ TKEQ Equestrian Lifestyle T-Shirts

I love when my #ROOTD's are fun and these tees from TKEQ are incredible! They are really simple as you can see but perfect to complete a badass riding outfit. My favorites: the "no scope no hope", "show girl" and "top prospect" tees.

❤︎ Cavalleria Toscana Compression Breeches

Cavalleria Toscana has created the first riding breeches with calf muscle compression. They promise a better blood flow and less muscle fatigue - these would be helpful because sometimes I have cramps while I am riding. Are these the best looking breeches on Earth? Nope...but I can imagine the comfort they provide.

❤︎ Eskadron Fanatics Sweaters

Eskadron has a clothing line now? I didn't see that coming but it's true. Its name couldn't be more accurate, some people are really Eskadron fanatics and I love to see all their sets. =) I am obsessed with the sweater featured on the picture above.

❤︎ Ariat Vortex Boots

These new tall boots feature Ariat's Nitro technology which provides heel and mid-foot torsional stability. Their Shock Shield technology provides comfort and maximizes shock absorption. Ariat boots haven't had a special place in my heart until know but these seem to be extremely comfortable - they're certainly not cheap though.

What do you think of this selection? What are your favorites for the season?
Have a nice week!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Q & A With World-Renowned Equestrian Photographer Jessica Rodrigues

Jessica & Van Gogh
I am more than happy to share this Q&A with the awesome equestrian photographer Jessica Rodrigues. Jessica caught my eye when I started seeing her photos at RB Presse's Instagram and, to be honest, when I saw the Portuguese name I immediately fangirled and used my stalker skills to find out if she was Portuguese...and she really is. =) 

As you can imagine, this is a very special post for me!

Jessica can be found on all major showjumping events. I spotted her in Paris behind her camera and she even took me a photo (another fangirl moment). She has the sweetest smile but don't let it fool you, she is a beast when it comes to capturing the most unique moments!

I read that when you started working at RB Presse you didn’t know anything about the equestrian sport. How did your adventure in this world start? 

Yes, it’s true. I began with an internship at RB Presse which was supposed to be only for six months and here I am, 7 years later! It’s kind of a happy coincidence that I work in the equestrian world as I have ever been attached to horses but not so much as professionally as I’m today. I ride a little bit since I was younger, I always liked horses even though I never was interested in equestrian sports. One of my best friends, who happened to be my roommate when I studied communication in Paris, was and still is a good rider (Clara Darty), she was every week-end in competition and I went to see her a couple times at the CSI of Chantilly, my only international showjumping experience before RB Presse!

Do you ride or have you ever ridden? 

I often rode when I was younger, even in very little showjumping competitions. Now it’s time to time when I have the chance, just for pleasure. 

At this moment you are one of the most well known equestrian photographers and many people admire your work. How do you feel about your fans? 

First, I am really surprised by the positive feedbacks I get by messages or people who come to see me during the shows. It’s amazing to see how we can reach some people with photos. It’s a true pleasure to share these moments of emotions about this sport and all the good stories with them. And it has became one of my principal motivation to do this job right.

You have recently published a book that features the French showjumping team at the Olympics. How did you come up with the idea? Can you tell us a bit more about it? 

This book exists because of the incredible story of the French team in Rio. It was so emotionally intense, I wanted every moment to be remembered. When I came back in France, I received some messages of people who told me I should make a book with all my pictures of Rio. I was tempted but I couldn't do it on my own. Luckily, I had a meeting with an editor, Lavauzelle, in September, for another topic but this idea came on the table... it was a good timing.

Why is the bond between horses and riders so special for you?

I am not a real expert in equestrian sport, on techniques and all the specificities so I focus on the emotions I feel on the instant, maybe with an innocent look towards this sport. I'm looking for details, one look, one move which tells something, which convey an emotion. And I usually find it in the bond that links riders and horses. This bond is the most beautiful thing in this sport, what makes it unique and often what makes a couple so performant in the arena.

What is your typical workday?

When I'm not working on a show, I'm at the office, a wonderful place in the Great Stables of Chantilly. During these days, I work in the press relations and communication for our equestrian events, and riders as Simon Delestre, also for the TV channel Equidia or for equestrian shows at the Horse Museum of Chantilly. I mostly work on my MacBook Pro who became one of my best friends during times! I work on photos, press releases, social medias, websites etc....

Can you tell us something that we probably don't know about you?

A lot of things, I hope! But I can't tell you everything ;) Maybe that I love to travel and discover new places and meet people. Also, I can tel you that I try to do sport often (swimming and running) or that I am not afraid to challenge myself sometimes, like climbing peaks or running a marathon (soon...!)

Who is the most photogenic horse you know? Who is your favorite rider?

The first horse I think about is Quickly de Kreisker. He is clearly a horse that gets to me, so expressive, a lion in the arena and so cute and lovely in the stables. Photogenic but not only; also extremely moving. Quickly is the main character in some of my best pictures and his story with Abdelkebir Ouaddar is incredible.
Regarding the rider, I first think about the human side, not only the riding skills's Bosty. He is the first rider I "fell" for and who created my interest in this sport. Since then, I have had many other favorites: of course Abdelkebir Ouaddar, Patrice Delaveau and most recently Lorenzo de Luca. Beyond that, I try never to never miss Kevin Staut, Rodrigo Pessoa, Simon Delestre, Steve Guerdat, Daniel Deusser or Marcus Ehning's rounds...Always impressive to watch.

What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone that aspires to work as an equestrian photographer?

Stay focused on what happens around you and always look for the emotion. The power of observation is the key and the feeling is the most important thing in art, every picture has to tell a story. A good photographer knows where to stand to capture the best moment.

What are your plans for the future?

Just keep going on doing what I love as long as I take pleasure in it. And, I am confident about random meetings which can evolve to great things. In photos, just like in real life, everything is a matter of feeling.

Photo Credits: Jessica Rodrigues