My days are long, and in climates that run to the extremes, with my winters in Wellington and my summers in northern Virginia. Heat and humidity are a constant, and I accumulate a lot of saddle time. I’m also a professional rider and trainer, so looking good in spite of it all is important - I want to look polished and presentable to my customers, even when it’s 104* with 100% humidity and theirs is the sixth horse of my morning.
I wear a lot of technical fabrics, and I believe there are One Shirt Days, Two Shirt Days, and the occasional Three Shirt Day. Beyond that, here’s what’s in my kit.
Romfh Sarafina full seat breeches. They’re made of a material with just the right amount of stretch - enough to move with me, not to show off every flaw on my 5’10” and Nordic body. And they always come in a few fun seasonal colors, just enough to be a little different.
Roeckl Madrid gloves. I have giant hands, so I can’t wear any of the cute, fun, feminine gloves. I ride in a few Roeckl models but the Madrid is my favorite, because it’s got a more breathable upper layer, with Roeckl’s tough-as-nails grippy palm, and still has a few fun decorative details. If I can make a pair of gloves last more than a year, it’s one helluva glove, and I can make the Roeckl gloves last (though I do have several pairs in rotation a day, because putting on wet gloves is, like, such a major ew.)
Charles Owen AYR8 or SP8. The SP8 is new, and it’s sized just a little differently than the AYR8, which has been my ol’ standby for years. And as such I ordered the wrong size SP8 and it has to go back. Doh! But my two rides in it were AWESOME - it has a cool channel in the middle of the head that really does make an airflow difference, and its wider visor is good for us Melanomas Waiting To Happen that need more protection from the sun. I’ve also got a flotilla of AYR8s in a few colors, but all with the leather-like exteriors. They wear like iron, and hold up beautifully to Florida’s windy dusty outdoor conditions. And they’re so comfortable I can live in them all day; I often do!
Swanky Saddle logo plates. Every black dressage saddle looks like every other black dressage saddle. But I’ve added gorgeous plates of my cool farm logo to the back of my saddles, and it’s just enough detail to stand out, without adding garish snakeskin or crystals to my bum. Swanky also carries a whole slew of cool belts and beautiful jewelry.
Funky socks. I know we DQs aren’t supposed to be silly and raucous, but I am, and there it is. I always have a funky pair of tall socks on. It lets me have just a smidge of personal expression, even under boring ol’ black boots and boring ol’ white breeches.
Bonus 6th item: the Panache underwire sports bra. I’m a big, strong 36D, and when I’m not riding I’m a distance runner and gym rat. To the bigger busted ladies of the world: you’re welcome.