Equestrian Concierge Training Apparel Update

Editor’s Note: Today’s blog post comes from Chestnut Hill sponsor, Equestrian Concierge, located at Sonoma Horse Park in Petaluma, CA.  Owner Ashley Matchett Woods has created a equestrian-lover’s dream shopping experience through outstanding service along with high-end custom apparel and tack. Stop by the store soon – the holiday decorations are up and you’ll get a dose of cheer while finding great gifts for yourself or the horse lover on your list. 

Technical Innovation in Training Apparel

The key to a great performance is to make clothing so comfortable and functional that you don’t notice how hard it’s working for you.

FUNCTIONAL COMFORT ?To be truly effective, today’s athletic apparel must multitask – block the sun, wick moisture, breathe, and create a seal against cold, wind and rain. And it must do this without sacrificing comfort.

Base Layers to Cool and Warm: Microfibers like CoolMax, Ice-Fil and other proprietary blends work year-round to wick sweat.  These materials are great base layers for cooler weather.  If the moisture isn’t wicked away and insulated from our skin, we’ll get chilled.

  • Goode Rider has their first Ideal Technical shirt in – it’s smooth and silky, lighter weight than the original Ideal and looks great.

Trend watch: inventive necklines and luxury in wick-wear.  The most luxurious: PK Sportswear’s Fantasy zip in vibrant, saturated colors.

The Middle Matters: By the time we get on our horses, we’ve shed the outer layer.  The mid-layer has to regulate body heat and moisture and allow complete freedom of movement.

Good ol’ wool works.  It naturally transfers excess heat and moisture away from your skin – and looks elegant in the process

  • • Pikeur’s Henrika V-Neck is this season’s best.  A touch of glitz brings out the glamour in this simple, elegant, and versatile piece available in warm and cool palettes.


Microfleece affords maximum benefit. It combines fleece’s wind-stopping properties with less bulk and a slimmer silhouette.

  • • Horseware Pessoa does it best – it’s replete with stylish details; come take a look at the Marcela and the Anna.

  • Joules is back with its usual attention to detail and coordinating pieces.  Curl up with the Morley.


Trend Watch: Interesting textures and patterns in comfy, snuggly pieces from price leaders Kerrits, Romfh and Mountain Horse.

Outward Facing: Jackets and coats have a new profile this season: the trend is shorter lengths, lighter weights and sleeker shapes.

  • Synthetic “Down” for less bulk and more style. Quilt designs are as much a part of the look as the cut – Kerrits’ horseshoe-pattern quilting is a standout.

  • Trend Watch:  Belt it! We’re seeing belted waists on cute jackets, back belts on vests and adjustable waist tabs even on the heaviest pieces. Our favorites: Ariat’s Bristol belted-waist jacket and PK’s Claire vest.

EQ has a variety of coordinating pieces and accessories for all of these looks.  So don your favorite ensemble and don’t forget the technical socks!


Bernie Traurig Clinic

Editors note: Selena Weinstock wrote this post, a recap of the two-day Bernie Traurig clinic at Alder Lane Farm for Chestnut Hill last weekend. A big thank you to our fellow Chestnut Hill rider!

This past weekend, we had the amazing opportunity to host Bernie Traurig at Alder Lane Farm. Over a two day period, Bernie imparted his wisdom to us through a series of deceptively technical exercises, helpful and encouraging feedback and a great wit.

The legendary Bernie Traurig

Bernie demonstrating a point on Aurora Noel's lovely prospect, Basil

We were divided into four separate groups. The two morning groups rode in the grand prix arena and consisted of the big jumpers (assistant trainer John Wohr on Madison Bradshaw’s young jumper Ithaca and Aurora Noel’s prospect, Basil and Jen on Kelly Craig’s prospect, Carolina On My Mind), the smaller jumpers (me on my horse King, Judith on Pikadero, Sara on Gold Strike, Brit on Corazon, Kat Taylor on Axel and Maximus and Gillett, who decided to cross over to the “dark side” from the hunter ring and ride the jumper, Le Petite).

John Wohr on Ithaca

Judith on Pikadero

Jen on Carolina In My Mind

Sara and Gold Strike

Brit and Corazon

Selena and King

Gillett and Le Petite

Kat on Maximus

Each group rode similar exercises, albeit at different heights. Bernie stressed the automatic release and pace. In both day one and day two, his exercises challenged the riders to know their horses stride like the back of their hand. We were required to lengthen and shorten in many lines, which allowed us to both open and compress our horses strides.

Bernie also checked every rider’s tack and questioned each rider about their horse’s bit. He made several adjustments to many bits, which seemed to make a huge positive difference for everyone. By Bernie simply moving my reins from the lower ring on my two ring, to the top, it completely changed the way my horse King went, and allowed his stride to flow forward more freely, instead of compressed and vertical.

After the first two groups, we had a lovely potluck lunch in the main tackroom. It was a great time for everyone to re-fuel and also to connect and discuss our favorite topic – horses.

After lunch the ponies (Christina on Flash and Hayden and Bugzy) took to the hunter ring for their lesson. I unfortunately missed it, but the girls came away from their lessons with big grins and handfuls of cookies for their ponies.

Hayden and Bugzy

The hunters riders, (Aurora on AstraZeneca, Bonnie on Calvin, Christina on Holiday, Judith on Patrick and Jamie on Chicago) rode in the afternoon. Many of them expressed their desire for Bernie to help them to fix their turns, where their young horses would sometimes bulge, and making it difficult to get down the lines straight. Bernie took this into consideration and had each of them practice using an opening inside rein, while on a tight circle. It paid off greatly, and all the riders had fantastic flowing rides.

Aurora on AstraZeneca

Bonnie on Calvin

Bonnie on Calvin measuring her stride.

Christina on her young mare, Holiday

Jamie on Chicago

Bernie demonstrating a point on Patrick

Bernie stressed many things that really stuck with me. “Never do a flying lead change every time you go across the diagonal. Mix it up. Don’t ask for the change sometimes. Counter canter. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a horse that swaps it leads.”

He also encouraged us to really listen to our horses in terms of what kind of bit is most appropriate. “Too many people over-bit, which causes the horses to throw their head or be too strong or suck back.”  He was very glad to hear that Beverly and our vets always make sure to have the horses’ teeth floated annually, which he reiterated as being critically important.

My fellow Chestnut Hill rider, Christina said that “the most important thing I learned was how to use my hands and leg to correct Holly’s (Holiday’s) bulging as we approach the jumps. It was amazing how well it worked! He had me move my two hands together in the direction I wanted the horse to move while using leg. Holly was so much straighter. It also helped me improve my corners immensely. He made me really think about getting my heel down. My ankles are sore from it! They’ve never been that far down!”

I’m so happy I got to participate in the clinic, and that I didn’t have to travel far to get there. I thank Beverly for bringing such an amazing trainer here to work with us, and I must thank Marc and Aurora for preparing the footing in the rings both of the days. The footing was fluffy and absolutely divine.  Can’t wait for Bernie to return next year!!

~~ Selena Weinstock

A Well-Loved Horse

A few remembrances of Tommy Jovais.

I bought Tommy in 2002 when the vet told the client vetting him that he was lame in all 4 legs. He never limped or missed a lesson.

Tommy was kind to all his riders, the brand new ones, the ones that hadn’t ridden in 20 years, the young ones, the old ones, the fathers, the mothers, the brothers, and the boyfriends. He was never a problem, he just waited patiently for whatever was asked of him.  He would stand in the middle of the ring with his rider all day if you wanted.  He enjoyed being in the ring.  He didn’t love his grooming, but once you got on he was happy.  He will be missed.” ~~ Beverly Jovais, Trainer, Owner.

He was pretty picky about treats.  My mom got him some fancy cookies in London at Harrods.  She was all excited to give them to him and he turned his nose up to them.  Pacheco wolfed them down but Tommy only wanted carrots.  He liked the American cookies but was not interested in the Brit cookie option.” ~~ Katy Candy, Trainer.


“I loved that horse and he taught me so much.  I loved our lessons together and feel a sense of loss at his passing.  There have been a few great men in my life and he was certainly one of them.  I fondly remember calling him “my handsome man.”  ~~ Joene.  Student

“He made me feel qualified to be on his back.  He was generous to a rider who was riding with no real talent but with heart equaled only by a horse as kind as Tommy. He had to read my mind, because he was seasoned and I was not.  No mistake he could not adjust to.  Always appreciated being groomed.  He wore his shiny red coat with the dignity of a royal, but the humor of a clown.

Tommy was a one of a kind.” ~~ Patt Hull, Student.











Basically he was just the sweetest horse ever and could brighten anyone’s day just by being around him. When I would finish riding him after a long lesson and dismount he would rest his head against me as we walked back to the barn. He was so friendly and loving whenever I used to hug him it felt like he was hugging me back. And he’d always let me give him a kiss on his cheek. I remember during the Halloween Horse Show at Beaumont I was the Tooth Fairy and he let me put a big felt fake tooth on his back without any trouble and let me ride him in my big poofy dress. Also another time he was such a trooper Bev was teaching me in the outdoor ring and it started drizzling, but we decided to stay outside. Then it started pouring rain but he didn’t mind and it was one of the coolest lessons ever because the rain was so thick and coming down so hard.  Tommy taught me so much and I will never forget him.”  ~~ Alexa Samii, student.

He was very kind and gentle but he refused to do a few things.  He only got the pony strides.  He hated his left lead so most people learned to canter to the right and then counter canter going left.  We had (vet) Jack do his hocks and (vet) Sandy work on him but he still hated his left lead.  He only wanted to jump two foot six and let you know if the jump was too big by a very gentle drive by.  He absolutely  refused to go anywhere near the Eurociser.  I guess he thought he had gone around in circles enough and didn’t feel the need to practice walking in a circle.  He never stepped foot in one since he made it clear to us that he didn’t like it.  He loved kids on the ground but really seemed to prefer adults on his back.  He loved his ladies.  Donna, Patt, Dina and Joene.  He loved Alexa.” ~~ Katy Candy, Trainer.

“Somewhere in time’s own space
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
Some paradise where horses go,
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again.”
~~ Stanley Harrison 

It is HOT to be Cold

Today’s blog post comes from LEGISequine.com, and features Chestnut Hill trainer Beverly Jovais, and rider, Julie Garella. The post discusses new advances in cold therapies that aim at keeping horses sound and able to compete.  


Cold Therapy Takes Equine Sports Medicine to the Next Level



Team McAllister keeps their horses going strong with cold therapy Photo: Flying Horse Photography

Jumping is a demanding sport on both riders and horses. Where there is demand there is stress, and sometimes this leads to injury. Knowledgeable horsemen know that when our equine partners work hard or sustain an injury, icing contributes to recovery, reduces downtime, and encourages better performance. LEGISequine.com wants to bring you stories that provide useful information about horse care and valuable developments in technology to use with our horses. Chill out and read about some hot items to keep your horses cool, feeling good, and jumping great. If you ever have questions about these stories or insurance in general, give us a call and we’ll be happy to talk to you. We like talking horse to fellow owners and riders.

While ice boots, which provide some cooling effects, cold therapy machines such as Game Ready and Show Ready can really cool things off and provide quantifiable therapy to your horse. When dealing with an injury, the RICE motto (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) is still valuable advice, and both Game Ready and Show Ready provide both ice and compression.

“Every time the horse gets worked, he gets micro-tears in the tendons,” explains professional horseman Steve McAllister. He and his wife, Jenni, run Team McAllister, a successful hunter/jumper barn at the Flintridge Riding Club. They train all levels of horses from youngsters to grand prix winners. “We ice horses after every strenuous workout, and since we started using cold therapy machines, we’ve seen a great deal shorter recovery time. There’s no question it’s a benefit to any competitive program. It’s definitely worth the cost if you’re going to really be competitive with sport horses. Go to any major event, and you’ll see many people will have a cold therapy machine.”


Enjoying a little cold therapy from the Game Ready machine after a hard workout. LEG Up News file photo

Doctors specializing in sports medicine have proven the RICE regimen successful in helping human athletes recover from injuries and minimize healing time. Meanwhile, cold therapy has helped bridge the gap between human and equine sports medicine by introducing the element of compression. Seasoned veterinarians and world-class trainers alike value using cold therapy preemptively, applying it after a hard workout or competition to prevent injuries and accelerate the recovery process.


The Show Ready machine straps to the horse's back, making it safe and convenient. LEG Up News file photo

Equine Sports Medicine Specialist Douglas Novick, DVM, is a proponent of using cold therapy machines instead of ice boots. He noted, “They are effective because they are able to keep the temperature constantly cold, and the compression helps to push out the fluid that makes tissues swell. The pulsing compression action the machines use seems to work better to push the fluid out, reduce inflammation, and protect from tissue damage and therefore reduce pain and swelling.”

Although the both human and equine injuries can be treated similarly, they do have some differences. “You can’t elevate a horse’s leg,” Dr. Novick explains. “However, horses can actually have cold therapy applied for longer periods of time. In humans, applying cold therapy for more than 20 minutes becomes counterproductive because humans will switch from vasoconstriction to blood vessel dilation after 20 minutes. This change was not seen in horses.” When blood vessels open up, it increases blood flow and the temperature of the surrounding tissue rises.

Trainer Beverly Jovais owns a Game Ready system and her client, Julie Garella, owns Ice Horse, a manufacturer of ice boots. Beverly loves using the Game Ready system in conjunction with Ice Horse boots. “My horses work hard all day,” Beverly says, “so it helps them recover from a long day. They truly enjoy it.”

Beverly uses cold therapy both at the barn and at shows. She comments, “I love how Game Ready comes with a battery pack and a power adapter so we can use it at the shows, even without a power source.” She considers cold therapy the reason that her horses remain so sound. “The Ice Horse boots work amazingly well because the patented ice packs remain cold for a long time.”


Using cold therapy machines like the Show Ready displayed here can prevent injuries before they occur and speed the healing process of existing injuries. LEG Up News file photo

The Game Ready cold therapy machine was originally created for human athletes, and the company launched products for equines in 2004. Game Ready is unique in that it uses cyclical compression instead of static compression. It is so effective that numerous trainers and vets endorse Game Ready, as seen on their website. In fact, Beverly credits her Game Ready machine in conjunction with her Ice Horse boots with keeping one of her horses in the show ring. “He had injured a suspensory and the vet thought he would reinjure it, but he is still showing with us today.”

The Game Ready company consulted veterinarian Mike Tomlinson when they developed the system for horses, and he had a hand in making sure it was safe and effective for his equine patients. “This product is amazingly effective,” he shares. “I’ve seen many horses’ careers saved because the Game Ready completely cured their injuries. You can use the boots anywhere on the horse’s body; I’ve even used it on a horse’s eye when he banged it in the stall. The Game Ready machine gets the cold into the tissues for more effective cooling than applying ice directly, without the pain the patient might feel when ice is applied to the skin. This machine might seem expensive, but it’s well worth the investment for high level competitors. You couldn’t do the Olympics without it.”


Susie Hutchison credits Game Ready with keeping her horses sound and comfortable. Photo: AC Custom Photo

A fan of Game Ready, successful grand prix rider and trainer Susan Hutchison credits Game Ready as an integral part her program. “Game Ready is great because ice is a great healer and prevents problems,” she explains. “It can be used all over the horse’s body and it’s easy to use. My groom uses it on all our horses.”

Show Ready, another cold therapy machine, is considered by some to be even more straightforward and uncomplicated to use. “All of my youth riders can utilize the machine,” says Troy Peterson of Show Ready, “but what sets Show Ready apart from other products is that it is battery operated. It sits on a horse’s back like a saddle, so it can be used in a horse’s stall and not just the cross-ties.”

Game Ready boots in use. LEG Up News file photo

Steve and Jenni have both Game Ready and Show Ready machines, and they make good use of both. “The pressure it applies is good for therapy,” Steve says, “and users can choose the level of pressure or use none at all. With these machines, you know the temperature of boots will stay below 40 degrees, which is necessary for it to be therapeutic. With ice boots you can’t be sure how cold they are, and they gradually warm up.”

Using both machines gives Steve a good basis for comparison between the two. “I like the ease of use of the Show Ready,” he says. “It sits on the horse’s back, so you don’t have to watch them quite as closely as you do with the Game Ready, which sits on the floor. However, the Game Ready is a better made machine. It applies pressure a little better, has more settings, and the boots are a little more solidly made.” Both machines are easy to use and to set up on the horses.

This portability allows Show Ready to be used on-the-go at horse shows or wherever needed and comes with rechargeable batteries. Game Ready is equipped with both a power cord and a rechargeable battery. Although Game Ready machines are a bit pricier than Show Ready, they can be rented or financed. Cold therapy may come at price, but veterinarians and riders alike consider it well worth the price to keep their equine athletes in the ring.

Marnye Langer, Sarah Berry, and Matt Harris of LEGISequine.com don’t just work in the horse industry, they live it. Marnye’s mother was a professional horseman, and Marnye competes in hunters, equitation, and jumpers up to the grand prix level. Sarah competes in jumpers and eventing, plus she has worked as a show secretary and scoreboard operator.

Matt showed extensively as a junior and worked as a professional horseman, plus he spent time as a barn manager and attended many of the top shows. Matt is a respected USEF Jumper Judge and announcer at shows around the country.

Connect with LEGISequine.com on facebook for news, photos, contests, and more!

LEGISequine.com is staffed by horse people experienced in many different aspects of the horse industry and provides a wide range of insurance coverage for horse owners, riders, professionals, facilities, and event managers. For more information about LEGISequine.com, contact marnye@langershows.com.

LEG Up News provides public relations and marketing services to the equestrian sport, especially show jumping and dressage. For more information about LEG UP News or to see how we can work for you, please contact jennifer@legupnews.com.

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Contact: info@legisequine.com | 866-780-3713 phone | 818-748-1532 fax

LEGISequine.com | 480 W. Riverside Drive, Suite 1 | Burbank, CA 91506


Moments from Menlo

Editor’s note: Once again, a big thank you to guest blogger and Chestnut Hill rider, Madison Bradshaw for this terrific post on this year’s Menlo Charity Horse Show.  

This year’s Menlo was an incredible show for Chestnut Hill.  We only brought four horses but all of them rose to the occasion.  The country club was transformed into a beautiful show facility including the lovely Chestnut Hill skinny fence that made it’s debut on the Grand Prix Field.  The shopping was supposedly fantastic, although I am no judge since Gwen and I stayed far away from it.  The best part however, had to have been the buffet in the VIP tent.  We would sit and wait for it to open and pile our plates so full that it would work as breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The showing itself went well too; Wednesday my mare, Ithaca (Moofy), did the Ride and Drive class.  The past two years the segway had proved disastrous but this year it was the horse section that caused problems.  Ithaca had a slip rolling back to the combination but jumped great and finished eighth.  Gwen had the highlight of the day winning the Children’s 14-17 with a flawless performance that garnered a score of 87 and winning the under saddle.

Thursday Gwen was fifth in the Children’s Hunters with Olympic, Gillett and Illux won the older Adult Amateur class with an 84, and Ithaca won the Low Junior Jumpers. It was also our assistant trainer John Wohr’s birthday, so we had to celebrate with cake!

On Friday, Ithaca was second, Olympic was fifth, Horace was sixth, and Illux was second and sixth. But we were still just warming up.

On Saturday, Ithaca did not show but  still wound up Reserve Champion in the Low Junior Jumpers.  Illux was seventh in the first round and won the second round to end up Champion.  Pyper and Pepe, looking fabulous, won the Lead Line!  To finish the day, Gwen and Olympic were third in the Children’s Hunters, won the USHJA Zone 10 Children’s Hunter Championship, and ended up Champion in the Children’s Hunters 14-17 and high point Children’s Hunter Champion!

Sunday was the icing on the cake when Ithaca finished sixth in the classic, Olympic finished fifth in his Children’s Hunter classic, but it was Illux who brought home the blue in the Adult Amateur classic with an incredible first round receiving scores of 87, 89, and 89.  It was an incredible show and our horses performed brilliantly thanks to our fantastic training staff!

Editor’s note: Please go to our Facebook page (Chestnut Hill LLC)  and check out all the photos from Menlo, and be sure to “like” us if you haven’t already.  

Giant Steps Charity Show Recap

Editor’s note: A big thank you to guest editor Kris Loewenthal for today’s blog post!

The best thing about the 2012 Giant Steps Charity Classic was that everyone had an amazing time. The show was nearly sold out and there were smiles abound from all of the competitors. The show raises money for the Giant Steps Equestrian Therapeutic Riding Center which is located on the showgrounds at Sonoma Horse Park. Giant Steps services over 100 riders from around the Bay Area with a wide range of disabilities. Their mission is is to enrich and change the lives of children and adults with disabilities through the extraordinary benefits of therapeutic riding and related equine-assisted activities. They receive no state or federal funding and this event is the biggest fundraiser of the year. It was really fun to watch all of our fellow riders having such a great time at this special show.

Thursday night was the infamous Wild Turkey Farms Battle of the Sexes. Ten men and ten women battled it out over a speed course that was not without its thrills and spills.


Assistant trainer John Wohr completes his ride on my wonderful mount, "Ari." Photo credit: Alden Corrigan for Equestrian Life.

One of the girls get a little too fast to the last fence!!! Oops! In the end, as hard as we cheered for the ladies the boys took home the prize. Well done boys! Photo credit: Alden Corrigan for Equestrian Life.

Friday night was the Revolution Moto Ride and Drive where pairs of riders teamed up over a jumping obstacle course and then tossed their partners the keys to a Vespa which they had to ride through an obstacle course on the field. Again, not without it’s thrills and spills.

Assistant trainer John Wohr on the motorcycle grabs the keys from his riding team partner. Photo credit: Alden Corrigan for Equestrian Life.

And he's off. Photo credit: Alden Corrigan for Equestrian Life.

Many participants dressed in costume, some horses did too. Photo credit: Alden Corrigan for Equestrian Life.

The prize of the night went to Mandy Porter and Craig Starr. Mandy said she wasn’t sure who was going to have to drive the pink one!! (Photo credit below: Alden Corrigan for Equestrian Life.)

Saturday night was the night for the Barclay’s Six Bar and the Gala Soiree. The berm was transformed into a beautiful setting with gorgeous wines being poured and a lovely meal on hand. When the Giant Steps riders came out and performed a demonstration on the Grand Prix field and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Then some of the top riders and horses came out for the Six Bar. It was a great juxtaposition and a reminder of how special our horses are on so many levels.

Our riders represented well at the show. Chestnut Hill sponsored the Marguerite Burbank Memorial Ch/AA Classic to honor the passing of our dear friend and barn mate. She was a truly special soul who helped all of us smile and laugh on a daily basis. Thank you to Beverly Jovais for making this class possible. Congratulations to Caroline Robbins and Stir It Up for their win.

Madison Bradshaw and her young horse Flynn took home the Championship in the 1.05M division. Assistant Trainer John Wohr was Champion in the Baby Greens with Holiday, and Reserve Champion with Fullbright in the Beginning Hunters. Gwen McLaughlin and Olympic took home the Reserve in the the Children’s Hunters, as did Dina Smith and Capito in the Low Adult Amateur Hunters.

Dina and Capito riding to a Reserve Championship.

Aurora Noel and Astro Zeneca had a great outing for their first show together. New Mom Sara Guren moved up a division in the jumper ring and went fast! Several of our other riders also did well in their move up divisions.

A big special congrats goes to Haley Jacquin for winning the Best Child Rider Award. She and her mount Right On Time were Champions in the Small/Med Pony Hunters as well as Reserve in the Pony Equitation and when I asked the manager of Sonoma Horse Park, Ashley Herman, how you go about choosing the best child rider she simply said ‘It was obvious.’ Congratulations Hayley!!!

I was very honored to receive a special award, the Draper Technologies Best Foot Forward Award. The award gives recognition to riders who present the best attitude and horsemanship during each show,” said Kat Wojtylak, Product Manager of Draper Equine Therapy. “Riders with a positive attitude and a smile on their face make the show world a far better place, and Draper Equine Therapy wants to reward those riders by proclaiming they are putting their ‘best foot forward’.

Thanks to everyone who came out and participated in the show. Everyone at Giant Steps was sincerely grateful for the support. What a great way to have a lot of fun and contribute to a fantastic cause!! Hope to see you next year!

Tech Advances in Equestrian Apparel

Editor’s note: Please welcome new guest blogger, Ashley Matchett Woods, who owns and runs Equestrian Concierge, a full-service tack, apparel and equestrian custom service shop located at Sonoma Horse Park in Petaluma, CA.  A former ad agency executive, corporate officer and independent consultant, Ashley left the corporate world in 2006 to pursue her dream of putting her myriad professional skills to work for her love of horses at Equestrian Concierge.  Trainer Beverly Jovais utilizes Equestrian Concierge, and this year, Ashley is sponsoring assistant trainer John Wohr as one of her Outfitted by EQ Elite riders. 


Equestrian apparel has always been about the elegant nod to tradition. And while it still is, our garments are now more like gear.

Let’s celebrate that we finally have technical performance options! I want to be sure you know about them, so here is EQ’s first post of a three-part series on innovations:

1. Showing – Performance and Style

2. Schooling – Functional Comfort

3. Horse wear – Relief and Well-Being


Most of the leading trainers and riders value tradition, but also take advantage of comfort fabrics, vented helmets and new materials for boots and equipment.

Take care while creating that modern look – you don’t want bold fashion choice detracting from the overall picture. Your apparel can be an advantage over another rider with a similar round.

Technology Meets Tradition

New Coat Fabrics: Microfiber, Softshell, Pro-Stretch, lighter stretch wools that mimic the techies.  A few are even machine washable.

  • In-Style: Three or four button, traditional two-vent or modern single-vent.
  • Make a statement: Suede (easier to care for than velvet) collars and/or piping is more acceptable in all rings.
  • EQ Favourite: Grand Prix’ tech-Lite fabric is lighter and stretchier than former softshell.  Kingsland’s Technical is as just as light with beautifully crafted details: American Flag touches and brass buttons.
  • You may miss: Tech coats don’t have colourful linings as an option.

  • Breech Advancements:CoolMax, Schoeller, second-skin stretch.
  • In-Style: Euroseat, frontzip, microfibers with back pockets.
  • Make a statement: Always color in the jumper ring but more greys and shades of beige/tan/khaki in the other rings.  Whites are trimmed in colors and carry lots of logos.
  • EQ Favourite: Ariat Olympia is #1 seller with Pikeur Ciara is #1 quality for the Hunter/Eq crowd; GPA’s Skin breech with no thread and thermal bonded edges is the latest.
  • You may miss: side-zip, flat-front – especially for your shad belly.

• Shirts Evolved:Techy and lighter (see the pattern?)

  • In-Style: Long sleeves are still in, but so are short sleeves, and customers love that both are available with the new wrap collars.
  • Make a Statement: Consider these options: colors work in any ring; the polo style covers up under a coat; the sleeveless options look more Euro; check out contrasting collars and cuffs.
  • EQ Favourite: Tailored Sportsman for the more traditional with beautiful colours and patterns; GPA takes it again with its most-stretch Salma show shirt.
  • You may miss: embroidery on your collar.

  • Not-So-Hot Helmet Designs: They are now vented and washable.
  • In-Style: Black is still the “it’ color, but vents are acceptable everywhere.  Do keep the bling minimal and go for the removable/washable interior.
  • Make a statement: Custom designs and different colors.
  • EQ Favourite: Antares’ Casque is beautiful from its all-black ultrasuede Hunter to its custom Ostrich leather.  The black/brown combo is our fave; we’ve even been known to apply a barn logo! Charles Owen Ayr8 is the most popular and now the SP8 (wider brim) is available for the sun-sensitive rider.  We love the GPA First Lady for elegance and ultimate protection (but the price tag is steeper).
  • You may miss: The traditional velvet “hunt cap” sleekness – but you won’t miss the concussions.

Stay-tuned for EQ’s next entry on innovations in schooling attire where Ashley will talk about boots!




Horse Tales from Guest Blogger, Alexandra

Guest blogger Alexandra hanging out with barn buddies Caroline and Christina

Welcome to new guest blogger, Alexandra Polidora, age 10.  She takes lessons at Chestnut Hill, and loves spending time at the barn. She wrote all the text and took many of the photos.  Go to the post and add a comment, or share via FB! ~~ Editor.

At Chestnut Hill you don’t only meet horses, you meet friends.

Alexandra on Petey, Caroline, and Christina on Bear.

And you don’t just become friends with people but with horses, cows, sheep and chickens too.

Neighbor cows at rest.

The sheep are so friendly!

Alder Lane chickens lay the best eggs!

There is never a place at Chestnut Hill where you won’t feel welcome.

Taking a lesson on Petey, under Katy's watchful eye.

Besides the wonderful pleasure of riding, there are many other fun things you can do with the horses that will be almost just as fun.

Kari and Alexandra and Katy getting lunch ready in the feed room.

Opening up the SmartPak containers for each horse.

Off to the paddocks to feed via the golf cart express!

Feeding is fun, but lots of work!

MMMmmmmm lunch!

You can wash them up, feed them treats, make and deliver their food, give them love, and much more.

Turning the horses out in their paddocks. Alexandra and Pacheco, and Caroline and Tommy.

Our wonderful trainers/friends Katy, John and Beverly help us through and through. With them around there is always a vibe to never give up.


John, Alexandra and Madison.

Beverly with Smith brothers Hill and Braden.

 Also our grooms Ricardo and Avel are always there with their arms wide open to help.

Head groom, Ricardo.

Our newest groom, Avel.

At Chestnut hill we have big horses, small horses, brown horses, black horses, white horses, red horses, multi-corlored horses, special horses, and My Little Pony!

Posing with Aurora's "big" horse Basil.

Basil + Alexandra.

With Hayley's "little" horse Mac.

With new Chestnut Hill rider Brit and her "brown" horse.

With Aurora's "black" horse, Fafie.

With Madison's "white" horse, Lottie.

With Sidney's new "red" horse, Rolf.

Aurora's "multi-colored" horse, Rocky.

With Ligeia's "special" horse, Metro.

And with everybody's favorite, "My Little Pony," Pacheco.

After a day or even a minute you will find a pal that leads to a wonderful tale!

Guest blogger, Alexandra at work.

Spruce Meadows Week Two

Another guest blog post from Chestnut Hill rider Madison Bradshaw, this one featuring her second week at Spruce Meadows. 

The first week finished up really well as far as the horses were concerned however, the weather continued to deteriorate.

The storms held off for all the divisions except the 1.40m and everyday it poured for the 1.40m.

The worst came when Katina 12 (Kat) went on Friday.  The sky opened up and there was a torrential downpour as we stepped into the ring.  It was so bad that I couldn’t even see fence two.  The following two riders after us pulled up because the visibility was so bad.

Despite the conditions Kat still qualified to compete in the final four, a class where the top four rider from each division ride each of the top four horses over a shortened course.  We however opted out of competing in the final four because of Kat’s upcoming trip to Kentucky.

Sunday was back to normal competition. Fellow Chestnut Hill rider and 1.0M team member Kris Loewenthal and Solo put in a double clean round to finish 5th in the 1.00m Barrage, a fabulous conclusion to the first week at Spruce.

Solo and Katina 12

The competition week two didn’t begin until Thursday.  Fortunately, the rain ceased for the second week, however the absence of rain brought out the giant Spruce Meadows mosquitoes.  Thursday Ithaca (Moofy) was clean in her class and finished 7th in the 1.20m Jr welcome class. Kat put in a 4 fault round and finished just out of the ribbons in the 1.40m. Friday Moofy was clean and finished 3rd in the accumulator and I had a rail on Kat, but we were the fastest of the 4 faulters so we finished 11th.  Just Moofy showed Saturday and she had a rail in the first round, but no one jumped clear so we jumped off four faulters, and although we had the fastest time a rail at the last fence resigned us to 5th.

Although putting in solid trips and placing doing well was amazing, the Spruce experience was even more incredible. The caliber of horses and riders is unmatched at every level, especially in the higher levels.  Every horse there is normally one of the nicest horses on the show grounds but at Spruce they are just average.  I learned so much by watching the best in the world compete in the 1.60m everyday.  Both the US and Canadian teams were there preparing for the Olympics.  It was incredible to watch the best in the world tackle some of the most challenging courses in the world.

Team members Destry Spielberg, Hannah Von Heidegger, Collette, and blog author and Chestnut Hill rider, Madison.

Madison, and team coach Jeff Cook with poster of Chestnut Hill trainer, Beverly Jovais ("Flat Bev")

Another unique factor at Spruce is the community support.  Spectators from Calgary come to all of the Grand Prixs.  It is cool to have the local support and be able to share our sport beyond the equestrian community.  The caliber of Spruce is unmatched by any other show in the Americas in every aspect and that is why it draws riders from all around the world.

Spruce Meadows Guest Post

Today’s Chestnut Hill blog post is again courtesy of rider Madison Bradshaw.  She and fellow-rider Kris Loewenthal traveled up to Canada with assistant trainer John Wohr to compete at the legendary facility, Spruce Meadows.  

The horses  left Sunday afternoon to travel to Spruce Meadows. Each traveled via box stall in Glenn’s trailer for the 30 hour trip.

Each of the four tack trunks was packed to the brim, complete with an itemized list required to cross the border.  They arrived safe and sound midnight Monday/Tuesday.  Despite the long trip, altitude and drastic weather change they held up really well.  Katina 12 literally jumped off of the trailer.  The next day, however, they spent plenty of time resting before their hacks.

Some of the Spruce Meadows residents turned out in one of the 18 rings.

Kat doesn't like Canadian food (I can't blame her). Behind are the tents where the horse are stabled.

The Spruce Meadows facility is truly unmatched in the Americas with its 7 sprawling grass fields.   The show is run on time down to the second and the caliber of horses and riders is incredible.  Just walking around the show grounds it is common to see Rich Fellers hacking Flexible or Beezie Madden on Coral Reef’s Via Volo.  The caliber of competition and the beauty of the facility is truly unfathomable unless you see it first hand.

Jeff Cook, John’s mentor, traveled up here to school us and made a seamless transition in the training program. The first day of showing went extremely well.  Despite only arriving 36 hours prior and never having seen the spooky rings and jumps each horse had just one unlucky rail.  Thursday, team competition day, went even better.  My horse Ithaca (Moofy) had 1 rail in the 1.20m and her team finished fifth.  My other horse, Katina 12’s team qualified to jump both rounds of team competition where she had 1 down in each round to finish sixth.  The highlights of the day however were Kris’s trips.  Her team “NorCal Teens and Queens” qualified to jump both rounds.  Kris put in 2 solid trips with 1 rail in the first round and a clean second round.  At the end of the both rounds there was a 3-way tie for first and they were forced to jump off for the final placings.  After the jump-off, NorCal Teens and Queens came out on top, winning the 1m Prix des Nations competition!

Kris and Solo taking a victory gallop after their big win.

The trip so far has been incredible but there is still a lot more to go with the “Grand Prix” rounds tomorrow.  Hopefully the weather holds out, but that is always a toss up at Spruce, where it is common knowledge that you will get all four seasons in 1 day! Fingers crossed…