Friday, March 9, 2018

[Interview] Andrea Wise from Horse Glam

Do you know that feeling when you instantly connect with someone?! I already knew Andrea's business, Pony Glam, and followed her blog, Horse Glam, but this empathy started a few weeks ago when we chatted for the first time, I immediately loved her vibe and that's why I wanted you to meet her as well - if you don't already, of course!!

ET:  I love your Instagram (@horse_glam) and your style shots. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Andrea: Thank you! Honestly, I should probably read more fashion magazines and visit other blogger sites to help stay ahead of the trends, but I have no time to do it. I just usually wear what I feel comfortable in and what I think looks good. I don’t force anything for the sake of fitting in.

ET: When I take photos for my blog, I struggle to make different poses and I always end up doing the only think I know: smile!! Does it feel natural or did you learn it?
Andrea: It is not natural for me at all!! I am by no means a model, I just go and have fun with Shannen, my photographer. She always wants me to smile, but I feel silly and then we both bust up laughing.

ET: Besides being a great blogger, you are also an entrepreneur and you went to law school too – that’s a lot! How do you find time to do everything?
Andrea: I have no time to do anything, lol!! My kids are both under 3 so they take a lot of time and energy, the rest of it just happens... somehow. I can’t remember what it feels like not to be tired!

ET: How would you describe the equestrian community in the US? It feels so different from what we have in Europe!
Andrea: I think the equestrian community on the (small) business side is very supportive and innovative. I love all my equine boss mares out there! From the riding side, I think it is also small and very connected.  I do wish, as riders, we were more encouraging to each other sometimes. I think what is missing from the sport, in my opinion and at my low level, is a sense of camaraderie and team spirit.

ET: You stopped riding for a few years, how did you feel when you got back in the saddle? Any piece of advice to someone who wants to start riding again?
Andrea: Scared. Defeated. Depressed. It was sad for me to not be where I was 4 years prior, and to feel like my horse wasn’t there either. Things have improved for me in the past 4 months or so, since I really started to get back into it. I would say the most important thing is to stay patient. If you want something bad enough, you will find a way to prevail.

ET: Are you competing this year? What are your riding goals for 2018? 
Andrea:  I promised myself and my friends that I would do at least 1 show, so that is sort of my big goal. But otherwise, I want to continue to improve in my riding and to try not to be so hard on myself.

ET: What’s your fave pair of breeches?
Andrea: LeFash is my favorite equestrian show apparel brand. I wish I had a whole closet full of Arianna’s items. She is a trendsetter in the industry and really initiated the whole stable to street concept, which I love.

ET: What are your everyday grooming essentials?
Andrea: A soft curry comb, Kiss My Horse mane/tail spray, face brush and Pony Glam Hoof Hi-Lites, of course! 
ET: Chloe seems to have a very strong personality. What would she say about you?
Andrea: “Takes one to know one”. Then she would lip curl.

ET: Can you tell us something we don’t know about you?
Andrea: My father is from Colombia, South America, so I am 1/2 Colombian, which explains my olive skin color. As a kid, I got teased about it a lot, and I can distinctly remember a few instances on the playground. It is funny how you remember certain moments like that in your life. It wasn’t long, however, before I loved being able to easily “tan” and was okay with looking different than most of the others at school.

I must admit that also wanted to ask Chloe, Andrea's gorgeous mare, some questions but she is a superstar and her agenda was super crowded! 😁

Dear Andrea, thank you SO much for taking the time to answer these questions! I loved learning more about you and I wish Portugal was closer to the US - I would love to personally meet you!
It feels so nice to meet other equestrian bloggers, I feel they're all way too far from me! One day I'll fly to the US to meet them and their ponies!!!!

See you on the next post!

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Blackwatch Stables Book Series

Last Friday I went home to spend the weekend with my mom and I had three books from the Blackwatch Stables series there waiting for me. They were written by Amber Cavalier Spiler, an American author from Ocala, Fl that started riding when she was just 5 years old.
I read the three books in just four days - I simply couldn't stop reading!!

Writing a book review without being a spoiler is really hard to me but I will try my best...

The story is about a 11-year-old girl, Maggie, who lost her mom. One day her dad took her to Blackwatch Stables, a place that had been important to her mom - who was a horse lover - and her life totally changed forever...Why? Well, that's the best part of the books!!! 

I can only tell you that after that first visit to Blackwatch, riding also became her passion and she then  rescued a very gifted horse, Bella. She is a grey mare and her bond with Maggie made me think a lot about Gali and my love for horses. Maggie also made friends (some of them also lost someone special) that helped her during some hard times and battles.

These books reminded me so much of my first barn and of all the days I spent there with my friends. While reading the books, a friend of mine asked me why I was smiling so much and I didn't even realize I was doing it. It's such an unique and engaging story.

I can't decide which of the books was my favorite but the last one is probably the one that made me think the most, it teaches some valuable life lessons about destiny, hope, friendship and forgiveness.

Although teens are probably their target audience, I guess I am not wrong if I say that most people of my age or even older will also enjoy this series very much! 

I wish I could be a big spoiler and tell you everything I loved but I don't want to ruin your experience... Maybe if anyone else reads them, we can have a discussion later?! That would be amazing!!!

Fingers crossed that Ms. Spiler writes more books in the future, I have to admit that finishing the last one and knowing that I didn't have another one waiting was a little bittersweet! 

See you on the next post,
Carolina πŸ’•

Saturday, February 24, 2018

My Tack Conditioners

Weirdly, I never shared with you the cleaning soaps and conditioners that I use but I recently started using a new one that you must try!

The BD oil is looking terrible, it got wet at a show! 

I am not very adventurous regarding the cleaning soaps. I have been using the Belvoir Step-1 Cleaner by Carr&Day&Martin ever since I got my first piece of tack. Most Recently - aka more than a year ago - I bought the Bruno Delgrange cleaning kit and I enjoy their cleaning soap too! However, today I am here to review the three tack conditioners that I'm using at the moment (and yes, 3 because they are all very different πŸ˜‚).

1. Belvoir Tack Conditioner Step-2 by Carr&Day&Martin

And please excuse my dirty nails! πŸ˜…

It's the basic of the basics, everyone (at least in Portugal) owns and uses it or has used it at least once in their life!
The Belvoir conditioner is probably the one that lasts longer and the one that I use the most when I'm in a rush. You don't need to use a lot of product.
This is the easiest to find and it retails (again, in my country) for around 20€.
I recommend it if you are looking for a basic and practical conditioner but note that you won't get the most amazing effect.

2. Bruno Delgrange Neat's Foot Oil

It came on the BD kit but you can get it without the soap. Retails for 20.5€.
I feel that I have to use a lot more product but it doesn't get sticky whereas the Belvoir does.
Do I love it? Meh, I would survive without it. I think I was expecting something better because it's from Delgrange but in this case the brand doesn't mean anything...
Ps.: The same doesn't apply to their glycerin soap, I love it!

3. Freewax by Freejump

This little one is the motive why I decided to post this review. When I bought my stirrups, Freejump offered me this sample of their leather conditioner and I thought it was nice of them but after smelling it, I thought it was REALLY nice of them. I want to eat it every time I use it, it smells like crème brûlée!
Although having a nice smell doesn't mean quality, the reality is that it is the best conditioner I have used so far. The leather looks nourished, shiny and I believe it makes my saddle look younger. πŸ˜‚ However, it's not as practical as the sprays.
It retails for 9.95€ and I will buy it once this one is over - can't recommend it enough!
Please note, the fact that this was offered to me doesn't affect my opinion.

What's your fave tack conditioner?
See you on the next post!
Carolina πŸ–€

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Brand Spotlight: On The Left

Discovering new brands in the equestrian community is great but finding innovative and fun companies is even better. I found On The Left on Instagram and their products made me laugh so it's obvious to me that they "deserve" a place on this Brand Spotlight series!

Statement t-shirts weren't created for the first time this season but at the moment they are one of the most noticeable trends of the fashion world, every store has them...Why not making them an equestrian trend as well?!

The one that caught my attention, Galiiii πŸ’•

I see you GoT fans πŸ˜‰

Mine says he gets too anxious and that's why the photos are blurry...Seriously considering offering my dad one of these two - yes, because bank of dad (and mom's) are the best sponsors ever!

You better believe I will buy these one day when I have kids πŸ˜‚

On The Left is a Canadian small business and they offer many more statement t-shirts, bags and even phone cases - these were just my favorites! We can even ask the brand for a custom design and they ship worldwide. Here's the link to the website if you would like to check them out.

Thanks for reading!
See you on the next post,
Carolina πŸ’•

Monday, February 12, 2018

Pull On Breeches - We Must Talk About This...

I own a pair of pull on breeches/riding tights (whatever you want to call them) by Noble Outfitters. I used them for a while and then, for some reason, I stoped wearing them. Probably it was because my style changed a bit to a more classic side or maybe it was the fact that no one else at the barn was wearing this type of breeches. 
However, in the past months some brands launched or relaunched this concept, with Kingsland Equestrian being the most well known brand doing it.

When Kingsland released their pull on breeches, I thought that it was great that they were being innovative but as the popularity of these started getting bigger and bigger, it got me wondering if I should “worry” about it… Don’t get me wrong, I love how comfortable they seem (haven’t been able so try them yet) but there’s something that I immediately think about when someone says Kingsland, it is the word “classic” and somehow, I am not able to include pull on breeches in my “chic, flawless and perfect” perception of the brand.

How would I tuck my polos in?  πŸ˜…

I don't think I would wear these two...

I would wear the two blue options of the Katja Pull On breeches if I was in the mood for a laid back riding outfit. They are not terrible at all but, please, Kingsland designers or whoever takes care of these decisions, - let me dream for a while and think that they will read this - never ever replace your fabulous breeches with the pull on version. Include them in your collections but don’t forget the classics (and basics), buttons and zippers are awesome too!

Am I alone on this or does anyone agree with me? I don't want to offend anyone or Kingsland (it's one of my fave brands as you may know), I just don't love this product!

See you on the next post,
Carolina πŸ’•