Equestrian women may be used to, if not proud of, being no-nonsense types.
Often, we are without a trace of make-up, with short nails and hair scraped back, dressed for practicality and not afraid of hard work. (Definitely not afraid of hard work.)
We arrive home with bits of straw in our hair, mud –or worse- on our boots and the occasional bit of horsey slobber on our jumpers where our darlings have decided to give us a kiss.
Which I think makes it all the more enjoyable when we do get the chance to smarten up.
So after a quick poll around my fellow equestriennes, I’ve put together a few accessories which still celebrate our love of the outdoors and all things horse related, but also add a bit of luxury and finesse to our lives.
To begin, I thought we should look at a product that not only looks and feels amazing, but will keep us warm as summer draws to a close.
Cashmere is such a stylish, timeless product and Kitted in Cashmere fits the bill but with a contemporary twist.
The Oxfordshire based designer, Helen Greene, uses a knitting technique which involves the use of two or more colours. Her range of jumpers, ponchos and scarves make you feel cosy and cossetted just looking at them! Jumpers with heart and poppy patterns will lift a pair of good jeans and the pop of colour adds something unique.
The two tone scarf is in a range of colour combinations, and if you’re like me and have a bit of a fetish for scarves, these are definitely on the list for acquisition.
Jewellery with an equestrian theme is not a new idea. I’ve seen various items for sale but have never been tempted because too often the quality has been lacking.
At last, I have now found County Equestrian Jewellers. These absolutely beautiful pieces are handmade in Worcestershire by designer Chris Stead. Each item is made with sterling silver, 9ct gold, 18ct gold, rose gold and white gold, and the high quality of this jewellery is absolutely clear to see.
Stirrups, horseshoes, bits, horse heads and farrier nails are just some of the items Chris uses as inspiration for her designs. I’m particularly taken with the snaffle bit necklaces and bracelets and may have to leave the page open on my desktop for my other half to see. After all, Christmas is coming…
Other items I think provide the perfect finishing touches to the country look?
Leather of course has to feature. A really well made leather bag is a thing of joy and beauty and will last just about forever. Again, even if you’re just in jeans, trainers and a sweater, a fine piece of leather slung over your shoulder just makes you look and feel better.
Finally – and I don’t care if the sun isn’t shining – a good pair of sunglasses.
Winter days can start off quite dull but the sun may come out later and you need to protect your eyes, just as you do in the middle of summer. Plus, a good pair of sunnies are the finishing touch – just imagine, a pair of ordinary jeans, a cashmere sweater and or scarf, some beautiful silver jewellery, a leather bag and a pair of designer sunglasses on your head.
Not quite so mucky horse girl now, eh?