Thursday, July 5, 2018

GPA Global Concept

Hey everyone!! Are you familiar with GPA's new "Global Concept"? A few days ago I was talking with a friend about the famous "equestrian tan lines" and I told her that I have one of my helmet straps "stamped" on the right side of my face and she told me that I should see the new GPA helmets without the side straps. I had already seen photos of these new helmets but until I did a little research and read about the technology involved, I couldn't understand how they could remove the strap without compromising safety! If you have the same doubts, this blog post is for you! 😄

Photo credits: Marie Sapin

First of all, this helmet was inspired by the “survival cell” technology that is used in Formula 1 to protect the pilot. This means that the helmet features an ultra rigid but light shell that absorbs the energy of the impact. This is possible because the Global-Concept helmet incorporates multiple layers that include carbon, Kevlar and aramid honeycomb – these materials are used in Formula 1 cars and space stations so I would say that we can definitely feel protected!

Then there is the feature that catches everyone’s eye, the new back retention system without the side straps. This system, among other improvements, contains a rigid chinstrap (“rigid jugular”) which made the traditional side straps completely unnecessary! The new design improves the helmet’s stability on the head while giving our cervical vertebrae extra protection.

But there's another surprise...the visors are removable which means that we can change the style of our helmets without having to buy a new one!!! How cool is this?!

It's hard to give you more details as I have only seen these on the Internet but I'm very curious to try them. Fingers crossed I can find one in a near future...although I don't think that will happen because according to GPA's website they will only be sold by appointment! But don't worry, if I find one I'll let you know!!!

Have you tried them? What's your opinion?
See you on the next post,
Carolina 💙

Saturday, June 30, 2018

PegaseBuzz App

Hi everyone!! I'm sooo happy to tell you that I'm back after almost an entire month of college exams! Before going to the barn to ride my sweet Gali, I want to sit down and write a blog post. I missed doing it so much during these past weeks that I can't wait any longer, specially because I've wanted to introduce you this app for a while now!

A few months ago, just after I met her in Paris, I discovered that Roxanne from PegaseBuzz - one of the first equestrian blogs I started reading - was launching an extension of her blog, an app for equestrians. Of course I downloaded it! It was a big surprise and a relief that I didn't have to worry with it being written in French as there is an English version as well!

From the taylor-made feed (when you create an account, the app immediately asks you what are your interests) to the job offers section, I feel it has been one of the places I visit the most when I want to know what is going on. In fact, my absolute favorite feature is precisely the job offers section, I always enjoy reading the new offers because although I'm not looking for a job at the moment, it obviously makes me dream about my future job.

Launching an app is such a big thing but making it look this good must be even harder. Big congratulations, Roxanne!!! 
The PegaseBuzz app is free and you can download it on both App Store and Google Play.

See you on the next post!
Carolina 💗

Monday, May 28, 2018

[ROOTD] Kingsland Day

Hey, everyone! As you might have already seen on my new video, Kingsland Equestrian has sent me some products to review and I can't tell you how thankful I am for this! For those of you who have been following this blog since its beginning, I am sure you know that I am a big fan of this brand, not only because many of their clothes are blue (my favorite color) but also because they have always been able to combine the classic equestrian style with technology in their collections.

Starting off by the vest, I must admit that I really needed a new one and this Vidalia Body Warmer couldn't be any better. First, I really like the two elastic panels on the sides, they make this vest super  flattering and allow a total freedom of movements. I think its collar is absolutely stunning as it reminds me of show shirts and, besides that, its (very light) weight and the metal patch with the KL logo are big game changers to me.

One thing that you probably don't know about me is that I'm always complaining that it's cold outside and that is why I always take a light jacket to the barn. As curious as it might seem, I don't own that Kingsland nailed it by choosing something I consider essential - and made me feel they know me!! 😍

Speaking of essential, this jacket should be elected as the "everyday essential every rider needs" , not only because it is the softest and stretchiest fleece jacket EVER but also because of the fit. If you see the photo below, you will understand what I mean! Modesty aside, I love the silhouette it gives me! 
I adore its colors, beige and grey are such an unlikely combination but they made it work. Another thing I must refer is that the grey panels are actually mesh panels. Yesterday Gali was particularly stubborn, he really made me sweat but thankfully I could feel some fresh air inside the jacket!

Regarding the Karina Compression Tights I don't know where I should begin, perhaps by saying that this product was the biggest surprise and that it made me change my opinion about riding tights/"pull on breeches" - or at least partly. 
There is nothing on Earth that will make me love these more than I love a good pair of breeches (aka my "Princess Breeches" that I just bought)! This is mainly because I think breeches are something that really sets us apart from other sports but also because most of the times I wear polos and I don't think they would look perfect together. However, like I said on my video, on a day where I just want to wear something comfortable, I will definitely take these to the barn: the reality is that they win in terms of comfort (and their back pocket is so useful, at least Gali thought it was, I put some of his treats there! 😂).

Now the thing that amazed me the most was the full grip. As I compete in the jumpers, I never bought full seat breeches but after riding in these yesterday, I can't stop thinking of how helpful that extra grip was, I felt even more connected to Gali - is this possible or am I just imagining things?!

And it's finally time to talk about Gali's new saddle pad, ahhh, the magical world of Kingsland saddle pads!! Although I am that type of rider who owns one horse and 20 saddle pads, I didn't have any from Kingsland (mainly because every time I was going to buy one, someone would say that I didn't need more). Now that I have one, I only regret that I didn't get it earlier! I knew their quality was good but yesterday I really got so see how effective the Coolmax lining is...Gali was soaked and the saddle pad was dry! In fact, I didn't even think there would be anything different regarding sweat but then, after taking it off I couldn't stop thinking how that was even possible...
Also, the crown with the pearls matches my "Princess Breeches" and the color matches my Freejump stirrups, that's why I love it so, so, so much!!! 😍

Hope you enjoyed this review!!
See you on the next post,
Carolina 💙

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Hoof Nail Polish by Hoofbrite

Hey everyone! Today has been a long day of studying for finals but I'm so happy to take a break to show you one of the funniest things I've ever received!! I'm talking about "Hoof Nail Polish" and it was very gently offered to me by Hoofbrite, a Swedish online shop that is 100% focused on...hooves! 
If you look to the photo above, you might recognise the name on the box...Cemtec is really well known for their horseshoes and I have seen a few farriers using them so it was a nice surprise to discover that Hoofbrite is related to them. In fact, on the cans you can actually read "powered by Cemtec".

As I am being completely honest with you, at the beginning I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to use polish on Gali, after all he's my sweet horse and his health is a priority. Before accepting to review these, I made sure the ingredients were safe and that they wouldn't harm Gali's hooves - I even asked Hoofbrite if the product was safe... 😂 but they totally understood me and took the time to explain  that the product is "water based with added keratin" - love when a brand really cares about my concerns!

Moving on to my personal experience...first of all, I must admit that my painting skills aren't great but I really tried my best!!
Regarding the polishes, my favorite color was navy (obviously!!!). The darker colors only needed one coat and the lighter ones asked for a second one - they didn't look very translucent but I was looking for a more opaque finish.
The polish dried quickly which was great because I used more than one color on each hoof and, even better than that, they didn't get sticky!
As for the amount of product you get on each bottle, on Hoofbrite's website they claim that we can paint up to 16 hooves with one can but I think mine will last longer than that - I'll tell you once I've finished them.

One of the funniest things was that everyone at the barn stoped to see what we were doing, we had so much fun and laughed so hard, see that green hoof? A groom asked me if he could paint one of Gali's hooves and I swear he took that job so seriously that we even had to film the moment to share with everyone! 😄
After painting the hooves, we took Gali to the indoor to see if the polish would stay in place or if it would naturally disappear. It vanished a bit on the parts of the hoof that were permanently in contact with sand but you could still tell they were painted.
I was told that I could leave the product on but that I could also remove it with hot water, soap and a brush...I only needed cold water and a few seconds of scrubbing, much easier than what I expected!

This experience was super fun and I'll definitely use these again in the future, probably to celebrate special occasions or when Gali asks me to get his hooves done again! #spoiledpony 😋

What do you think guys?!
See you on the next post,
Carolina 💙

Saturday, May 12, 2018

[ROOTD] Princess Breeches

...the story of the most difficult breeches to find on Earth...!

It all started a couple of months ago when I went to Kingsland's website to check their Spring/Summer 2018 collection. I saw them, it was love at first sight and I dare to say that I never wanted a pair of breeches (or a piece of clothing, in general) so much. Their color, fit and especially the pleated details on the pockets were screaming my name but my size wasn't available in the color that I wanted - Blue Flint Stone. I then started looking everywhere, tack stores, eBay, amazon and no sight of my much desired breeches, I even asked on my Instagram if someone knew where I could find a pair!! I didn't get any answers so I kept visiting Kingsland's shop and other online stores every single day and I almost lost my hope but last week on my lunch break between classes I decided to check it one last size was finally available!! I was going to buy them right away and my phone died, NO!!!! I didn't have my charger with me so I had to wait until I got home, I was afraid that they would be gone again but, thankfully, they were still there!!!

I ordered them on Wednesday, May 2nd and GLS was supposed to deliver my parcel on Wednesday, May 9th but, again, something had to go wrong and it said on their website that my address was incomplete, I called GLS 5 times but no one answered my calls so I decided that I wasn't going to wait, I couldn't lose my breeches again so I drove to the GLS warehouse and after almost two hours (thanks a lot Google Maps for sending me to all those wrong roads!) I finally had them!!! 😂

By now I am sure that you think I am crazy, after all they're just breeches...well, no, no, no! I would normally agree with you but have you seen the "ruffles" and the pearls?! They are unique and, definitely, the most beautiful pair I currently own!! Besides that, have you seen how flattering they are?? Check the photo below, their fit is amazing for girls like me who have a tiny, tiny waist and  bigger hips!

I rode in them last Wednesday and even without a belt they stayed in place and I felt comfortable. The knee grip also feels very nice (it was my first time trying KL breeches with silicone grip). Consequently, if you enjoy feeling like a princess, I highly recommend you this pair of breeches. They are called Kadi E-Tec Knee Breeches...and by the way, I have just checked the website and my size in this color is sold out again, does this mean that everyone wants them?! 😂

My sneakers are filthy but I promise I am going to wash them after I get home from the barn, I will show you me cleaning them on my Instagram stories later today - I promise!!! 

Just before saying goodbye, I am wearing one of my Equestrianista t-shirts. I believe they don't sell this one anymore but the brand deserves a big shoutout because I have been wearing their clothes for years and they still look p-e-r-f-e-c-t!!!

Did you enjoy this #ROOTD and my crazy story?
See you on the next post,
Carolina 💕

Friday, May 4, 2018

Equestrian Accessories

Hey, everyone! Today I'm bringing you the outfit I wore yesterday to college. I've been on a "I'm an equestrian and I'm proud of it" mood for a while now, specially after adding some key items like the ones I wore yesterday to my wardrobe - they make such a big difference!

This particular outfit would have been so different without this bag, belt or boots, the equestrian details made it look so much better in my opinion!!

As I told you on Insta Stories, last week when I went home I had a package from Horse-A-Porter with the most beautiful bag there waiting for me. I had spent so many months eyeing all the bags they  sell so you can imagine my excitement!!!

Besides being navy and having a grey horse stamped - could this bag be a better definition of myself?! - it is big enough to fit all my personal belongings as well as my laptop and notebooks. As I walk to college everyday, this is something I was missing because I hate carrying those things in my hands.

The GP belt plays another big role here! It's hands down my favorite belt, I've worn it so much since I got it last year, people must think it's the only belt I own. 😂 I can't get over how polished it makes me look!

Lastly, I must dedicate a paragraph to my lovely Valverde Jodhpur ankle boots. We have been best friends for almost a year and I can't tell you how precious they were during the Winter. They have been through rain, mud and arena sand and they still look this fabulous (and I never cleaned them or properly took care of the suede, don't judge me!!! 🙊 ).

Let me know what you think of these three equestrian accessories!!
See you on the next post,
Carolina 💙

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Freejump Launches Spur'One

Hey, everyone!! New launches get me feeling so excited! Freejump has created another product after the Soft'Up Classic stirrups that I have been loving so much - this weekend at the show, there was a guy at the warm up arena staring so much at Gali that I even thought something was wrong with him but then I realised that he was just trying to see my stirrups hahaha 😂😂.

This time, the French brand has created spurs that are as interesting as gorgeous! The product is called Spur'One and its internal branch is flexible so that we can adapt it to the width of our boot, where do they get all these ideas from?!
Its body is made from carbon fiber and its inner side has ellastolan for a grip effect. 

Spur'One will be available from June and there's only one size but 3 different colors - black; black/pearl blue, black/pearl red - and 5 different types of ends - round, prince of wales, hammer, extra long and disk.

See you on the next post!
Carolina ♡

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Barn I Call Home

This weekend we travelled from Porto to Coimbra, my hometown, to compete at my old barn. I can't describe how happy I feel when I'm there and now that the show is over, I am already missing that magical place. 

Today it was raining a lot and they had to cancel some classes, including mine, so my trainer took the horses home early in the afternoon. However, since I was wearing my show clothes, I thought that I should take advantage of the situation and get some pics before it started pouring again.

Excuse the muddy feet guys 😜
I left this barn in 2015 when I came to college and, undoubtedly, my barn in Porto has given me many friends, new experiences and, most importantly, Gali but everything just feels different in Coimbra and I can't believe that everyone still remembers me, from my first trainer to the "barn keeper" - can't remember a better name for his job 😬.
I miss trail rides, trees and birds singing because in Porto, the barn is literally in the middle of the city.

If you're still reading this blog post after four paragraphs of whining, I love you! I promise the next paragraphs are about my #ROOTD.
Every time I wear these Horse Pilot breeches, I wear the Horse Pilot competition body as well but it's never on purpose - I like how they look together though! 

I own quite a few show shirts and polos but this one has to be one of my favourites regarding comfort and design. Love, love, love the coral details! As it was a bit chilly, I added a beige v-neck to the outfit.
Since I forgot to bring a jacket and my "barn kicks" from Porto, I had to wear my trusty navy jacket and a pair of really, really old trainers that I had at my mom's home. 😂

I hope I can come back soon!
Carolina ♡

Monday, March 26, 2018

[ROOTD] Sunday At Downtown Porto

By now I'm sure most of you already know I study in Porto - or Oporto. I am from a small village located in Central Portugal but I moved to this lovely city to attend college, brought along my passion for horses and moved to a barn that is really close to my home. 
The problem is that the University of Porto is divided in three different campuses and mine isn't located on the most exciting part of the city - although it's really quick to get there.

Since Spring Break has just started, yesterday I decided that it would be fun to enjoy the city a bit more but, of course, always rocking my equestrian style.
Our first stop was Starbucks and it was actually the first time I went to a Starbucks in Portugal, sounds weird, ha?! Well, the famous coffee company only opened its first store in Porto at the end of last year!!

After the delicious Frappuccino, we strolled down the Santa Catarina street, one of the most special streets in the city where you can do some shopping, watch street artists perform or visit Majestic Café, a place that everyone around here knows (it is closed on Sundays though). 

The weather was great, therefore we thought that crossing the iconic D. Luis I bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia and watching the sunset there would be a nice plan. The bridge has two levels and on the top  one you will get the best view (and photos!) but I must admit that those 60 meters above the water can be a little scary!

Regarding my outfit, who would say that breeches and pearls look so good together?! I have been wearing the Mr. Castle breeches so much recently, mainly because I am obsessed with their soft fabric and the comfort they provide. I could have worn a hoodie with it, in fact I was going to do it but then realised that this Zara knitted sweater would look cuter. I love mixing "normal clothes" with riding clothes when I am not at the barn!!

To complete the outfit I chose Stan Smith sneakers by Adidas, the Horse-A-Porter GP belt and my famous Horsegloss bracelet. The jacket is also from Zara and my backpack is from Parfois.

I thought these photos wouldn't be enough to show you Porto so there's also a new vlog coming up soon on YouTube!!

I hope you enjoyed this #ROOTD!
See you on the next post,
Carolina 💕

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!