Tag Archives: Black

Leather Advice for Non-Equestrians

As an equestrian, I’ve seen a lot of interesting tactics used by my non-equestrian friends to keep their leather clean and polished. Even though I tend to be pretty lazy with my leatherware (admittedly, I don’t always follow my own advice), I’ve come up with three simple tricks to keeping your boots, belts, and leathery goodness clean and conditioned:

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  1. Never clean polished boots with soap. Using glycerin soap (or any soap) pulls the polish off freshly polished boots. If you want to limit the times you have to fully polish your boots (its a pretty smelly process) wipe your boots with a wet cloth. Make sure you polish them at minimum twice a month. Men? You can do the same with your swanky work shoes. That ought to save you some money at the shoe-shining stand.
  2. Break in your boots/shoes faster.  If you just purchased fancy leather shoes or boots, wet them with a cloth or with the ‘mist’ setting of a garden hose and walk up and down a set of stairs for 40 minutes. Do this daily until they break in. DO NOT dampen white leather or light brown. This might leave permanent color changes!
  3. Do not use Urad. Though this product will make your boots shine through dirt, grime, and mud (probably) it does have one design flaw: the chemical compound for whatever reason eats through stitching. Not good. Stick to Fieblings or Kiwi (if you’re ok with cheap polish).

Hope that helps!

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Want, Need, Love

So you’ve heard a lot about what I don’t consider to be ‘equestrian fashion’, however there are some select items that I do, and they come from some incredible equestrian-based companies. Here is one company with items I want, need, or love:

(links to Dubarry)

Dubarry, an Irish-based company was founded in 1937 in the small town of Ballinasloe, in the heart of Galway. Their current wares include jackets, boots, sweaters, purses, and shoes.

Want:

It also comes in ‘Acorn’ and ‘Smoke’, but ‘Galway Blue’ is the showstopper.

Their elegant Blackthorn Jacket. Its made of Teflon coated wool, comes in an elegant ‘Galway Blue’ and feels like a classy street-smart extended blazer.

Need:

Comes in the classic tan and canvas look, but let’s be honest, get the denim.

I need a new pair of shoes at horse shows, because my Converse sneakers are beginning to shred apart. The Dubarry Barbados Ladies Deck Shoe in Denim is light, supportive, and has quickly drying leather (perfect for washing horses in…or walking on boats in).

Love:

Also comes in black if you’re boring.

The Dubarry Dalkey Handbag is understated, classic, simple, and has plenty of interior organization pockets for less-organized folks like me.

The classic space tat Dubarry sets up for horse shows even feels as homey and warm as any tack room in most barns. Image courtesy of Rural Intelligence.

Dubarry isn’t some elite designer in a chic studio throwing around the words ‘equestrian’ and ‘vintage’ haphazardly: they are the same tradition-driven company they were 75 years ago (with some modern innovations to boot). They take was is classic and traditional and seek to elevate it, not ‘become inspired’ by it. Put bluntly, Dubarry knows you are going to wear their stuff into a bar, walk in poop, get slobbered, and want to look great doing it.

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Work to Ride: Transcending Boundaries

Pictured: Most people's first impression of a 'polo player'. Image courtesy of CapMiller.com

When we traditionally think of polo as a sport, sometimes we conjure up images of the upper crust of society sipping flashy drinks whilst celebrity polo players charge across the field on expensive ponies, met with polite golf claps. Work to Ride, a program based out of the Chamounix Equestrian Center near Fairmount Park, focuses on making this traditionally bourgeois sport more accessible. Work to Ride program’s mission, as stated on the website, is to :”promote discipline, self-esteem, motivation, social development, life skills, academic achievement, and physical fitness through year round programs that encourage long term participation.” This ideology is better explained in the video below:

The Cowtown/Work to Ride team, which has been active at Chamounix Equestrian Center since 1994, is notable for being comprised of mostly black players. In a sport so dominated by mostly white teams, it is refreshing to see a diverse program successfully establish itself. When the team won the National Interscholastic Championship in 2011 against Baltimore, every member of the team was African-American, making interscholastic history as the first-ever all-black team to win.

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