Thursday, May 14, 2015

Riding For Brian Moore; How Can You Be More?

It is with heavy heart that I am even sitting down to write this. Okay, I took a short break from blogging, but I'm back and back to stay. 

On May 2nd, 2015, I heard news of a cop shot in the face in Queens, New York. I did my normal rounds of texting all of my cop friends to check in and make sure that they are okay. Never did it cross my mind that I would not receive a text back from a friend of mine, never. 

On May 4th, 2015, NYPD Police Officer Brian Moore succumbed to the injuries sustained by a heinous act of violence.

The sudden loss of a friend produces an emptiness that can not be accompanied by words. The feeling is so strong and powerful, you feel it so deep within yourself. I spent last week trying to make sense of it all, while picking out an outfit, at 24 years old, to wear to my friends funeral. While I do not want to make this a vent blog, I will end there but invite you all to do a google search to read the stories for yourself.

This year and beyond, I ride for Brian Moore.

Brian Moore, or as we called him BMoore, was NYPD shield number 469 (prior to his posthumous promotion to Detective First Grade by Commissioner Bratton at his awing funeral). My helmet currently has my initials, but will soon be replaced by a decal his badge number. I will be riding with a white saddle pad with black trim and royal blue piping, adorned in the corner will be his badge number embroidered with the thin blue line. Beneath the number is a play on his name, in cursive writing is "Be More". 

I ride for 469.

Every dollar that may be won, every profit I make from riding, every blue, red, pink, green ribbon won, it is all for BMoore. I am pledging my earning to Brian's family and memorial fund. I want my statement in the ring to spark awareness, I will be sure to keep BMoore's legend alive. 
He is my hero, and I can do everything to make him proud. 

So I ask you, how can you "Be More"? In the ring, at home schooling, or in everyday life; how can you be more? 

Me? I can be more forgiving of myself for a chipped jump, I can be more focused on my turns, I can be more excited with my rounds than being my own critic.

So here's my movement, a movement to be more. Bmoore was the most genuine man, the funniest friend, all around good time kid without a bad attribute to him. The friend that you could count on to comfort you and make you laugh, the one who always kept his promise, the one who always asked about the horses, worried about me, sent good morning texts, addressed me as "princess". We could all be more like Brian. So, I'm inviting everyone to join me, leave a comment of how you can be more

I will love you always BMoore, fly high my angel.

*I invite you all to do a quick google search of "Brian Moore NYPD" to find the full story. His story should be heard, his story should be known. Support your law enforcement officers, and don't forget to always give your loved ones an extra hug. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Review // Personally Preppy

As if all of a sudden these small companies are popping up out of no where. Oh, how I wish that I had one of these brilliant ideas. There is no argument that monograming everything is certainly a trend around the circuit. 
Me? I decal everything and I am not ashamed of it! Heck, my water buckets for traveling to shows are decal-ed out with the farm logo!

So where did it all begin? How do you go about this? Personally Preppy is arguably the first, or at least the most-well known, company to do the "decal everything" movement. Personally Preppy is run by two sisters, Kir and Tate, in Zone 2. 


Product Review
Before the craze really took off, I made a helmet monogram purchase. Hey, I went to school in the south and was introduced to the monogram-everything sorority movement (nope, no sorority for me). After looking at a few others, I decided that I wanted something subtle for myself. I ordered a vine monogram in shiny black vinyl for my black/black GPA speed air. 

Let me tell you, this decal looks fabulous. It's subtle enough that you don't see a floating color as I ride, but you can definitely still see it. I've had it placed on my helmet for almost a year now and there are zero signs of any peeling or need for replacement. The staying power of this decal is fantastic. Application was super simple (and they provided the small alcohol wipe), a monkey could do it.

They are innovative. They will put a monogram on anything and try it out. My personal favorites are boot monograms and the spur strap decals. Have you ever lost your spurs before? If so, you feel my pain and would kill for those three letters stuck on the straps. 

Now these girls are fantastic, and I believe do everything for the company themselves. But I'm here to give you an honest review. 

Delivery was long. It took nearly two weeks for my order to come way back when. It was post marked 9 days after ordering. Maybe they upped their order fulfillment and delivery since, but I can account for the few purchases I've made from this company, each of which the delivery was a bit lengthy. Patience is a virtue (which I have none of). 

Price point. Sigh. This is where Personally Preppy pushes me to another seller. Their prices are extremely high for their products!  Case and point, I was able to get my farm's logo made into a custom 5" decal for $3 + $1 to ship. Same decal through PP would set you back $11.50 ($16.33 with tax and shipping). Ouch. 

I am all about supporting local and what these girls created was fantastic. I hope that their prices will come back to a competitive market soon and I will be an much bigger advocate for their products again. Right now? I will buy the exclusive products on their site but go elsewhere for the generic decals. 

.the inside turn.

Similar Shops to Check Out:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Shop Small Business - Treat Edition

I'm such an advocate for small businesses! I love my local tack shops, and I definitely aspire to come up with a genius creation to make my own small product business. So today, I have for you my favorite small businesses that bake and sell: horse treats!

Dont these look amazing! Order These Here!
We're all suckers for giving our horses treats. While I have a boxes upon boxes of Bobs Soft Peppermints, these are a staple in my barn jacket pockets. Sometimes I splurge and buy specific horse treats. These are some small businesses who are giving a go at making their own treats. 

Check them out, let them know I sent you.

Cowgirl's Kitchen 

Cowgirl's Kitchen is definitely a hit with the horses. Great packaging, great treats. I definitely suggest Cassino's Kisses - the sugar hearts are an adorable pop of color and they leave my horses begging for more. Even better, Cowgirl's Kitchen will send you Cassino Kisses with custom colors. They are packaged well for maximum freshness. (Doesn't hurt that the company is baked locally to me! NICE and fresh!)

Pony Pizza Company

Genius. People love pizza, so why not make pizza-shaped horse treats?! Introducing the Pony Pizza Company. The packaging is on point, the treats are adorable. My pick is the Pony Pizza Jar. I have to add that I just love their logo.

Charleighs Cookies

You've got to try Charleigh's Cookies.  High quality treats, owned by a mother with a great story. At one point, we've all turned to our horses to help us get through a hard time; and that is where Charleigh's Cookies stand. I suggest you indulge in the XOXO Hugs & Kisses Jar. Keep them at home or bring them to a horse show.

Do you shop local? Ever try these treats? Let me know!

.the inside turn.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. My horses just enjoy to stuff their faces. But if anyone would like to provide a lifetime supply of Bobs Soft Mints, the ponies would not mind.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review // SmartPak Piper Breeches

As equestrians, we know the value of a good pair of breeches. We also know that the monetary value is normally around $150.  But alas, SmartPak has come through with a "win" with their $80 Piper Breeches.

I had the Bradley's, and I loved them at first- which quickly grew to hate them. The zipper broke, the material pilled, they stretched out. But the Pipers have happily taken their place.

Photo Credit
Starting with the colors, bravo to the designers for adding a little bit of flare to these breeches. The colors kind of proving that they were designed for the schooling ring, not the show ring (Piper Show Breeches can be seen here. But that is no worries. My personal favorite is the navy and emerald (below). The Merlot is a beautiful wine-red color, and the grey is classic and slimming!

Photo Credit
The material is pretty great. It is thick enough that you feel like there is protection, but thin enough that you can move easily. The downfall? The material fades in the wash a bit. My suggestion would be to wash inside out, in woolite, and line dry to keep the color lasting.

The fit is great for me. They hug my hourglass shape well without making my hips looks too wide (doesnt pull at the fabric). I must mention the pockets. First off, there are back pockets for females. This is pivotal. Not only are there back pockets, they are deep! My iPhone 6 fits perfectly as I'm doing barn chores and I never have to worry about it falling out.

The price is on point. For a pair of breeches for $80, paired with SmartPerks & USEF member discount  they come out to be $68 (and shipped free!). These are a winner.

*Extra tip: Keep your eye out for all of the SmartPak sales- most discount codes will work on these!
.the inside turn.

Disclaimer: I was not prompted to or paid to write this. My professional career is a SmartPak SmartBarn, but had no affiliation to the product listed above. I paid for all of the SmartPak Piper breeches that I possess with my own money. I have not been approached by SmartPak to write this review. All ideas above are honest. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Steals & Deals

Always a great sale by SmartPak! Their brand items are great for the price. I personally adore my Wellfleet Bridle. Very well made, leather is great, and I'm obsessed the new monocrown. 

May I also suggest the SmartPak Piper Breeches? 

My downfall of this sale.... Wellfleet Monocrown Wide Noseband Hunter Bridle


.the inside turn.

Buying & Selling.

When you enter the world of horses, you enter the world of never having your own money too. There's always that one bridle you've been fiending for (hello CWD Figure 8 with the $460 price tag) or those boots that you promise will only be to show in (Parlantis anyone?!). It's become the norm to sell the stuff you no longer use, and gladly buy the well used items that you find the "deal" on. 

So, here's some tips for buying and selling your used equestrian items!

People will buy anything. I recently posted old boots that were way too big for me. Oh yeah, they also had a broken zipper. Be honest. I wrote the post specifically stating that they needed repairs to be functional. I didn't want to spend the money to fix a pair of boots I'll never use, so price accordingly and list them. For $20+ shipping for a pair of Ariats, I got a ton of bites! I moved the boots quickly, and had an extra few bucks in my pocket. My trash, another one's treasure.

Don't ignore the ISO (in search of) advertisements! People who post specific ISO ads are generally ready to buy. Avoid those who "need all kinds of tack!"; posted by the 12 year old. Respond to the ISO ads that are asking for a specific piece of tack; i.e. Large Rambo Exercise Sheet, Horse Size High Quality Figure 8 Noseband, those buyers are normally looking before buying new and are ready to pay. 

Respond in a timely manner. Make sure you answer those who are inquiring quickly to keep their interest. They could find the item elsewhere (and possibly cheaper) if you keep them waiting. 

Price your items a few dollars higher than you actually want. Just like when you list price a horse, always leave room for negotiation. Buyers feel like they get a deal if they have a bit of wiggle room, so ALLOW for that wiggle room. I became a sucker and would sell items that I really didn't want to go that low for, but I had no choice. If they want to negotiate down too much- offer the listed price with free shipping (more on shipping next!). Buyers want a bargain!

Don't use the flat rate envelopes for anything that is not a significantly heavier item. I shipped out an 80" cooler to someone. Attempted to ship in one of the $13 flat rate boxes. No matter how much I tried, it just would not fit and I'd have to size up to larger ($20 box). I found an old SmartPak box, shoved it in there and went to the automated weigh station. EIGHT DOLLARS ($8) LATER, it was shipped out! USPS, I see right through you!

USE PAYPAL. End of story. Buyer and seller protection, there is nothing better. 

Last buy not least, avoid the mass sellers for the best deals. Some have found a goldmine of buying high quality tack and selling it. Unfortunately, these mass sellers discount products minimally. If you want the deal; you've got to find the little people and you'll be sure to find a deal. I saw a CWD figure 8 that the original seller wanted $90 for. Sadly, mass seller messaged first and got the deal. Within a week, said mass seller listed the noseband for $160. Easy $70 profit for her

I find Facebook to be the easiest to sell items. Here are my favorites!

English Tack Trader : With nearly 45,000 members- you'll be sure to find some good deals.
High End English Tack : Specifically for the higher end brands such as CWD, Antares, Edgewood, Back on Track, Fleeceworks, etc. (You wont kind Kincade here).
English Riding Apparel  : Just for Apparel!

Also check out Horse Grooming Supplies Classifieds for forum selling.

Do you sell your stuff online? What's your secret to buying and selling? Which site is you favorite?

.the inside turn.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tax Return Wish List: 2015 Edition!

Starting off this blog with a bang, and big (spending) dreams! 

We're upon the tax return season, which for us "grown-ups" is like a shopping spree reward, why not build my own wishlist. These may be the hottest trends in the hunter/jumper universe, but I'd like to add them all to my tack room. Last year's tax return season, I splurged on my Ogilvy pad with double piping; was money well spent! For this year, I've got a few things in mind.

Tailored Sportsman Two-Tone Trophy Hunters
Have you seen these navy and tan breeches? Way-to-go TS for bringing some color blocking to the equestrian world. I'm a fan of dark breeches, but the pop of light color on the knee patch bring a little flair to my wardrobe. Retails at Willow Equestrian for $189.99

CWD Classic Girth
Just beautiful. I find the quality of CWD to be top-notch (to match the top notch price tag too.. ouch). My CWD saddle is now a staple in my tack room, hope to add this to my collection of girths sometime within the 2015 Show Season.

Le Fash
I own 5 Le Fash shirts, but there is always room for more. These were my everyday attire at HITS. I even paired them with shorts and headed out for dinner one night. No shame there. Right now I'm obsessed with the Navy Tuxedo Open Placket Shirt. Retails at $195.00

Bit Box
Oh, how my life would be so much simpler with a bit box. I believe the time has come to replace my unorganized Smartpak drawer of tangled bits.  I'm hoping by the spring I will have this to travel to shows with. Sporting my farm logo, I'd be happier than a pig in.... Well, you know.

My Barn Child Crown Charm
MBC is the latest craze in the junior world, but why do they get all the fun? A barn symbol, I'd like to add a crown to my breeches in the show ring. From MBC's website at $17.00 with free shipping!

Leather GPA First Lady
My GPA and I are tight. It's actually the only helmet that I feel actually protects my head and doesn't just sit on it. The leather first lady, coming it at nearly $900 is so beautiful. Hey, you can't put a price on protecting your brain... Right?

Wishful thinking, right? I'm definitely a bargain shopper and hit up Facebook groups like English Tack Trader of High End English Tack to buy items that I do not necessarily need new. 

.the inside turn.

*Disclaimer: No company mentioned above has asked me to write this post. Links are all non-affiliated and just provide an easy route to buy the product mentioned (and I should mention if you click to buy- I am jealous). I am a CWD Sellier sponsored rider. Again, I was not prompted or paid to write this post by any company above, including CWD Sellier, I am just in love with that girth. 

Why Take the Inside Turn?

Welcome! I'm glad you've decided to stop by. If you're reading this, I assume you are a part of the hunter/jumper world. Ah, how there is nothing that quite compares to this large, yet oh-so-small community. 

I mean, we have our own celebrities- McLain Ward, Beezie Madden, Reed Kessler to name a few

We definitely have our own language - "straight approach to the single oxer, roll back to bending line, gallop the inside turn to the triple combination, try not to add to the liverpool" makes complete sense... And no average person, the horse is not ACTUALLY the color green. 

We have little developed a numb perception of money- a child's pony easily costs more than one year at an Ivy League college. 

Our horses are our lives, and we simply don't know what the "commoners" do every day. How are you people not bored!?

I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say... What is sleep?

While this world may have its downfalls, you wouldn't ever replace being a part of it. You will meet your best friends, your bridesmaids, maybe even your significant other, a few odd-ones here and there.. The list just goes on. You've learned that your horses will always eat before you, there is no barn closing time when your horse is colicing, 8am class is hell-on-earth while a 4am horse show day is just a day in the life.

So why name this blog, The Inside Turn? Because that is just what you need to do. 
Take the inside turn.
Be brave, show off your guts, take the road less traveled! While this blog is not dedicated just for jumpers, rather covering all of the hunter/jumper world- just take the inside turn. 

So you've made it to my blog. I love blogging, so I figured why not blog for the equine community? I read The Legal Equestrian like a morning newspaper, so why not start one up myself? This blog will have things I love, things I hate, covering the trends in all aspects of the equestrian world, updating with big news, tips/tricks/hacks, and everything else in between. I promise to always be upfront and honest with y'all.

I talk, a lot. And I always want to engage in conversation-  so be sure to always leave a comment! 
To start up the convo, what zone are you in and what kind of riding do you compete in?

.the inside turn.