Saturday, May 18, 2019

[#ROOTD] Summer is Coming

Although I don't watch GoT (am I the only person on Earth who doesn't watch it?), I thought this post's tittle was good because most of my friends are constantly talking about it! πŸ˜‚
Today's #ROOTD post is about my sweet Kingsland again as I'm still trying the items they sent me from their Summer collection.

I'm so happy that I got to wear something from their Earth Collection for the first time. Kingsland's Earth Collection emerged at a time where every one is getting more informed and aware about the damage plastic causes to our planet and, especially because we are animal lovers, we should help making their lives better. The Earth collection is a sustainable collection and Kingsland uses almost or 100% recycled yarn to produce Earth collection's clothing but they clearly don't compromise quality.

The polo I'm wearing is called Cherry and is one of the products Kingsland has launched for the Summer '19 Earth collection. 
Besides absolutely loving its color, I've always wanted to try one of their polos with the standing colar - is this the right thing to call it? πŸ˜… - and I was curious to see if I would like the way it looks on me and if I could also make it look like a classic colar...spoiler alert, the answer is yes and yes!

I love the contrasting white stripe with "Kingsland" written on it, it's so different from the other 500 (joking πŸ˜‚) polos I own!
Regarding the fabric, I was very impressed that it feels exactly like their Lovita classic competition shirt I bought years ago. It also includes de quick dry function which I really need because I turn into a sweaty mess during Summer. The fabric is thin and kind of has that "silky" touch. So, if they didn't say it is recycled, I would NEVER have guessed it.

The breeches aren't from the Earth collection but they surely are one of my biggest loves too. As you probably already know, since I bought my Princess breeches I found out that my favorite style from Kingsland are the Kadi breeches which are high waisted (and two buttons instead of one) and incredibly flattering.
This time they came in size 36 which is usually too big for me (my size is 32-34) but I decided to give them a try anyway. I can make them work and I don't feel uncomfortable but I still have to think about selling them and then buying a smaller pair of the exact same breeches. I love feeling that the breeches are really hugging my legs but I know people who don't like that - how about you?

These breeches match the saddle pad I gave away on instagram (if you missed it, it was the gorgeous Las Flores saddle pad also from their Summer collection) and the metal patch on the back adds something extra to them - I love how Kingsland always adds something classy on the back of these breeches and that it changes in each collection. 
Also, one of the things I loved the most about these is that they added zippers to the side pockets so now they are both huge and safe!

One last thing that I must write about is that their fabric is extremely dust repellent. Look at the photo above, can you see they are full of dust? After realising I was covered in arena sand I just used my hands to remove it and the dark navy color was back - YAS, no more bringing half of the arena home! πŸ˜‚

Hope you enjoyed this #ROOTD and I'm off to the barn now, my pony needs to be ridden!
Have a great weekend!
See you on the next post,
Carolina πŸ’™

Monday, April 29, 2019

Super Blue by Smart Grooming

Hey, everyone! As the owner of a grey pony, I'm always searching for the most effective stain removers. I've tried sprays from the most well known brands to 100% natural sprays from smaller brands and I've shared my thoughts on pretty much all of them here. However, I've recently discovered a completely different concept which is this powder stain remover called Super Blue. I was contacted by Smart Grooming (Spain/Portugal) and they asked if I would like to try something from them so I took a quick visit to their website and this product immediately caught my eye.

Being completely honest, when it arrived I had no idea if Super Blue would work and the pot seemed too small. The instructions said to mix 1/4 teaspoon (this is NOTHING) with 3 litres of warm water - after reading this my expectations started getting really low, how could such a tiny amount of product work?! 

Because it's not easy to get warm water at the barn, I decided that I would use cold water and because I didn't have anything to measure the amount of water, I have no idea of how much I used but I'm pretty sure I used more than 3 litres. Also, the water bucket wasn't 100% clean!
As soon as I dropped the powder this started happening and I promise you I used the tiniest amount just like they recommend on the instructions. Before applying I stirred it well.

I dipped my sponge on the bucket and when I got it out, there weren't any signs of blue, it looked like I had just used the hose to wet it so, again, I started feeling like it wasn't going to work at all!
Surprise, surprise...the smaller stains disappeared after the first scrub and the most difficult stains only took a couple more until they were completely gone! Please see these photos:

Everyone at the barn was super impressed. I thought I would save Super Blue for shows but I used it again the day after - did you see my videos on insta stories??
Smart Grooming says it can also be used on their tails to make them white again. I haven't tried that yet because I completely forgot but I'll do it soon to see the difference. If that works then Super Blue will become the only product I know that works on tails!
Although I was very skeptical at the beginning, I'm completely sold on this product. The 30g pot goes a long way and I love that it is so different from traditional stain removers.

Hope you had fun reading this post!
See you soon,
Carolina πŸ’™

Monday, April 15, 2019

Riders Are Athletes | Kingsland Summer '19

Hey, everyone! I'm so, so, so excited to write about this riding outfit! I feel that I keep saying this but here it goes again: I'm the biggest fan of Kingsland...which literally means that every time they announce a new collection I see the catalog over and over and over! It has been like this ever since I discovered the brand and I feel that it only gets worse, hahaha. πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚
This year's Summer collection is probably one of the sportiest they have ever done and the outfit I'm wearing was definitely created for athletes.

Let me talk about the Isla training shirt first, I don't remember Kingsland ever doing something like it in the past. Isla is probably one of the sportiest t-shirts an equestrian brand has ever designed. I absolutely love its cut and the contrasting side panels - so, so flattering! 

The light blue fabric is really soft (I don't know its name) and although it is sort of "elastic", this is a structured shirt that won't stick to the body. As you would expect, it has a quick dry function.
On the back of the shirt, there is a mesh panel so there is a lot of air coming in. I took these photos on a ridiculously hot Spring day (30ΒΊC+) and after not moving for a few minutes I started feeling cold. I am so sure that this is the only thing I will want to wear for Summer rides that I am even considering buying myself the navy version!

As for the side panels, Kingsland used a technique called burnout - I didn't even know this had a name, I'm always learning new things - and the little dots with the light blue underneath tied everything together.
Let's be honest though, the one thing that is stealing the show it the back pocket!!! Can you see how big it is? But at the same time it is so discrete that only the most attentive people will notice it. KINGSLAND, YOU GENIUS! 

Moving on to the breeches, these are the real meaning of "the best of both worlds". Forget riding leggings (unless I'm only going to the barn to lunge Gali or to spend some time with him), pull on breeches are the real deal!!! These are the Katja E-Tech Pull On Breeches.

I must confess that I thought pull on breeches and riding leggings were the same - they're not!
Their fabric is the same we find on traditional Kingsland breeches and pretty much all the details make them look exactly like breeches but there are no buttons and no zippers, just a large elastic waistband!
I prefer them over leggings purely because of the fabric. Typical breech fabric is the only thing that will make me feel perfect, not that I don't like riding in leggings but breeches will always be my first choice. 

These feature the new knee patch design, the previous one had KL written instead of Kingsland, in my opinion this one is more feminine.
I absolutely love the pockets with small zippers and the golden detailing, as well as the embroideries give the Katja breeches the elegant Kingsland look I adore. 

Hope you enjoyed this #ROOTD!
Ps.: If you're a fan of Kingsland Equestrian, you might want to follow me on Instagram (here), there will be a surprise this week!
See you on the next post,
Carolina πŸ’•

Sunday, March 31, 2019

#ROOTD: Sunny Weekend

Hey, everyone! How are you?? Time has been flying and it's suddenly Spring! This week I didn't get to ride because I had lots of assignments and also a midterm (I did take a quick break on Thursday afternoon to go give Gali a kiss, ups 😁) so this is last weekend's #ROOTD. 

Last weekend the weather was hot but in the morning I still had to wear a usual, because my name is actually "Miss Always Cold". Before going to the barn I knew I wanted to wear this new one I got from Equifield. I've been wearing lots of their stuff lately, I'm so proud that we finally have an equestrian brand in Portugal!

This jacket is very simple but I love how the logo on the right arm stands out. I usually prefer classy logos (like their main logo). However, the bigger one is what makes the difference in this case.
The quality of the fabric is impressive and, most importantly, it is a "Bio Jacket" which means that its materials are organic and certified by Ecocert Greenlife - I've been paying more attention to what companies do regarding Ethics and Social Responsibility because that's one of my college units this semester.

Because I always wear the same color (50 Shades of Blue, hahaha), I had to ask for your help on Instagram as I wasn't sure of which breeches would look good with it. You chose my royal blue breeches from Mr. Castle and it was a great decision!
I bought this pair of breeches last year. I love their fabric and fit, the only thing I think they should improve is the silicone knee patch as it gets weaker every time I ride in them and, therefore, they're not providing as much comfort as other breeches I own do.

As for the shirt and belt I went with Hart Outfitters. I've previously mentioned it on Instagram but I'm more than happy to say it again, their training tee is super AWESOME: the fabric is very lightweight, stretchy and its moisture wicking technology has got to be my favorite thing. I seriously hope they make a baby pink version one day (well, they might be working on it already because the brand has been showing sneak peeks of the new collection on Instagram and I saw something pink... 😍)!

The belt is also from them and it was the easiest decision matches the jacket, what an obvious choice! Elastic belts are still the ones that work best for me and my favorite thing about this one is that the elastic is thin but still strong and, obviously, its price!

My socks are also from Equifield, you can read more about them in my previous post: here.

Did you enjoy this #ROOTD?
See you soon!
Carolina πŸ’™

Sunday, March 3, 2019

#ROOTD: Riding Gali Again

Hey, everyone! Yesterday was a very special day as I got to ride Gali again for the first time after his surgery! I was super excited but it ended up being much more emotional than what I had anticipated. Our first steps together made me feel incredibly grateful for having the chance to ride him again and I saw my dedication to horses really paying off.
Although we did nothing else besides walking, he behaved like a brave man and I honestly think he enjoyed being ridden again!

However, this blog post is about the #ROOTD I chose to wear yesterday. I knew there would be a lot of photos and videos so I wanted it to have a meaning, that's why I decided to wear clothes from the only Portuguese equestrian brand I know. Equifield wasn't launched too long ago but they are already conquering the equestrian world - like I will do with Gali! 

Although the days are getting warmer, mornings are still cold so wearing a jacket is a must. Equifield's soft-shell jacket has some features that are worth mentioning. It isn't bulky, it cuts the wind and its polar fleece on the inside make it a great option. I like that it is fitted (my fave type of jacket) but still leaves enough room for layering - I'm the queen of layering because I'm always cold.

It has a record amount of pockets, including a huge hidden pocket on the inside - I think I could fit my horse's passport there!!! This works amazing for me because I usually leave my bag as soon as I arrive to the barn and I carry everything from my phone to riding gloves in my pockets. 

Then we get to the best part: we can adapt it to our personal taste. Riders can make it more or less fitted and tighter or looser around the wrist. 
This is also the first jacket I own from an equestrian brand that has a hood, thank goodness!!! I never remind how important hoods are until it starts raining and my hair gets soaking wet!

The jacket's price point is incredibly fair, I don't think I could get a similar jacket for the same price and they have a great color range available.
Before moving on to the next item, I want to finish by saying that I love their logo, it's so classy and delicate. 

The socks are also from Equifield. They came in the prettiest - and sustainable - packaging and they are sold in packs of 3. 
Equifield made a nice job regarding the fabric as it is thin but not so thin that you can see the breeches under them. It looks like they will hold up for a good amount of time! I love that the navy and black combination matches the jacket and, surprise, one size fits everyone! Great, right?!

The sun was killing my eyes here, sorry for the extra weird face πŸ˜‚

As for the rest of the outfit, the base layer is from Horsegloss, the belt is from Horse A Porter and the breeches are from RJ Classics.

See you on the next post!
Carolina πŸ’™

Friday, February 8, 2019

The Girl on The Dancing Horse by Charlotte Dujardin

Hi, everyone! I finished reading Charlotte Dujardin's book yesterday, it took me a while because I couldn't always find enough time to read but yesterday's flight to Nice was enough to finish it.
I bought Charlotte's book in NYC this Summer, I had almost forgotten she had published a book but I went to Barnes & Noble (looking for horse related books, of course!) and found her book - I had to have it!

As you know, I am a show jumper but since I started seeing videos of Charlotte and Valegro, I became a true fan. Knowing that she's a Kingsland rider that has her own collections also made me consider her a very special person. Her life seemed so dreamy that I was curious to understand how it all happens: Was it luck? Hard work? How did she go from "nothing" to winning all the titles I could possibly imagine?

Immediately after the first pages, I found out that Charlotte's childhood was fun, she was surrounded by ponies, her mom was into horses as well. She describes many of her memories and, seriously, I had a good laugh reading some of her adventures. I don't want to be a spoiler but one of the things I really loved finding out was that Charlotte used to visit my country, Portugal, frequently! 

I thought most of the book would be about Valegro but it isn't. Of course a good part of the book is about him but she also writes about other horses, her friends, Carl Hester, what it is like to go to big shows, her routines, as well as how she found a way to deal with her nerves. However, I loved reading the whole story behind her bond with Valegro and she clearly didn't have a problem telling us that she's not perfect - after reading the book I could finally see Charlotte as a human being, she has the same fears that I have, she hates some things that I hate as well... This book really shows how down to earth she is and I felt I was with her when I read about her experience in the London Olympics (I've watched her  London Freestyle so many times after that).

There are some heavier parts too, like when Charlotte had to deal with depression, lost her boyfriend, thought she was going to lose Blueberry or when she decided she was going to retire him. I must admit those parts made me cry but, overall, the book is super fun, easy to read (even if you don't read that many books in English, like me) and gave me a different perspective about professional riders and their way to the top.

Reading this book felt like I had Charlotte by my side answering all my questions so if you're curious to learn more about this "separate" world and what it takes to get there or if you're a fan of Valegro, I would recommend this book to you.

See you on the next post!
Carolina πŸ’™

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Gali's New Diet

With Gali's surgery I knew a lot would change, namely he's diet. The truth is that he was already taking a few supplements to prevent colics but after the surgery I knew the supplements would become even more important and he would need more than those he was already taking.

During the first days, the shelf full of so many different packages was very confusing but thanks to the vet who's following Gali, Horse Remedy and Chia de Gracia's teams, everything got easier and I knew exactly what I should do! The photo above is my attempt to show you how I felt during the first days, hahahaha. πŸ˜‚

Let me show you what Gali is eating as I promised on my last blog post:

- Alfa Beet by Dengie Horse Feeds

Gali already knew and enjoyed Alfa Beet. It is made of alfalfa and unmolassed sugar beet pulp and it helps us keeping him hydrated as the pellets are transformed into a mash with water (and it requires a lot of water, which is great). 
Most importantly, Alfa Beet is low in sugar and, after the surgery, laminitis was something we needed to prevent.

- Alfa-A by Dengie Horse Feeds

Alfa-A was suggested by the vet. It is made from pure Alfalfa and it is the only solid he's eating (besides grass). It is important because it is a high fibre feed and, as Dengie explains, it "is proven to aid the digestive health and buffer acidity in the digestive tract". 

- Probioguts from Horse Remedy

I can't express how grateful I am for Horse Remedy's help. As soon as they heard the news, they offered to help me, even sent a couple of supplements for Gali and clarified all my doubts - they rock! Probioguts was one of the supplements they sent. Two of its functions I like the most are that it improves and maintains the balance of the intestinal flora and enhances nutrients and vitamins assimilation. 
It is made of spelt bran that was fermented with a mix of lactobacilli and bacilli (they call these "the good bacteria").

Oh, and the measuring "cup" is the cutest thing ever! There is no room for mistakes and it's easy to save inside the package.

- Vitamin E by Chia de Gracia

It isn't pink. It looks like this because of another of their products that turns pink with water!

I decided to include this on Gali's diet because he's not eating fresh hay (which would provide him this vitamin) and because Vitamin E helps Gali's scars. I put 3 pumps/day on his mash, he doesn't even notice it.

Another great supplement from Chia de Gracia but sent to me by Horse Remedy. Its ingredients are Himalayan salt, mineral salt, beetroot powder and dandelion root - this is the product that turns pink with water.
I've noticed Gali has started drinking more water since I use Electrolyte Up and I'm not even giving him the maximum daily amount.

This is it regarding the supplements. Gali also eats bran mash but we haven't reintroduced his Cavalor feed yet - for now he's good with these. I'm so happy to be giving him 100% natural products and I'm honestly such a big fan of these!!
However, before deciding to give your horse any of these, ask your vets for their opinion. Every horse is different and what works for Gali might not work so well for your horse!

See you on the next post,
Carolina πŸ’—

Friday, January 18, 2019

Gali Update

Ahhhh, I'm finally laying on the couch after two weeks of exams. It feels so nice to have time again!

Today, after my last exam. We can finally spend more time together!

The first few days after Gali came back were hard for me. I was trying to combine productive study days with waking up incredibly early to go to the barn, grooming him, taking care of the suture, hand walking him and prepping the meals for the rest of the day - he's taking lots of supplements and I didn't feel okay with asking anyone else to do it for me but I'm leaving that for another post.
Those days were also hard because I felt it was my first time around a horse, I was afraid of doing everything because the fear of doing something wrong was huge. It felt that anything could go wrong in a second. It also didn't help having so much people trying to take photos with him, Gali needed to be relaxed and there was always someone bothering him.

By the second or third day, Gali didn't want to eat his meals which was incredibly weird because he usually LOVES food. The situation also drove me crazy because he didn't drink water and the mash was the only way to keep him hydrated. So that day was the only day I cried since the vet told me he needed surgery.
However, his appetite came back a couple of days later and everything started getting less weird. At least until he had to have most of the stitches removed because he wasn't accepting them very well, the suture was starting to look so bad.

When Gali lost his appetite

After that, I've been applying a medicine every day. Gali absolutely hates it and has tried to kick me a few times but now I always ask someone to help me. That thing is effective though, it is looking so much better!!! I could post photos but they might be too much for some of you, it's definitely not the most beautiful thing for you to see!

He's clearly enjoying his meals again!
As for the rest...he's starting to get absolutely crazy, there's so much energy inside of him! Hand walking is getting harder because everything scares him now. Today someone made a noise, he bucked and lifted me off the ground, hahaha. πŸ˜‚

It has been almost a month since the surgery. Hopefully next week I'll get the okay from the vets to start lunging him! 

See you on the next post,
Carolina πŸ’—

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Gali Had Colic Surgery...

Yep...that's right. One of my biggest fears became true two weeks ago. 

On the second day of our last show of 2018 Gali was not feeling okay and it ended up being a colic that required surgery. I honestly couldn't believe it.

The only clinic available to perform that surgery in Portugal is located three ours away from our barn and a big trip isn't exactly what a horse needs in these cases but we got there in time. The surgery went well but Gali had an enterolith inside him that had been growing for some time (you can read more about it here and here).

After the surgery Gali spent two more weeks there and I just got home from the clinic. He looks okay and happy to be home but I can't stop staring at my phone (we have cameras) to see if he needs something. Right now, I'm feeling incredibly happy to have him back but I'm also overwhelmed by the amount of responsibility. It almost feels like I don't know anything about horses!

The enterolith weights 0.5kg.

This is not a post you would usually see on my blog but I think sharing my thoughts might help me dealing with everything or help others in the same situation. During the next months I would like to write a bit more about Gali's recovery, the new routines, the new diet, etc. Don't worry...I'll still be a fashionable equestrian "nurse" so the equestrian fashion posts will continue! πŸ˜„

Thank you so much for your love and support, I am very lucky to have my internet friends! And if you're interested in having a "closer look" at our new journey that has just started, Instagram is the place where you'll find the most so here's my Instagram account:

See you soon,
Carolina πŸ’•