Wednesday, December 10, 2014

More Fun than Stamps

Riding out last summer
By Francesca Prescott

I’m probably going to come across as super superficial, but that's ok because there are plenty of other aspects of my personality that don’t strike me as such. Let’s just call this part of my lighter side. Life’s too short, and all that jazz isn’t any fun without a little touch of color. Besides, I don’t really like jazz, unless it’s been bubblified by someone like, well, Michael Buble. Ok, so my musical tastes are superficial, too...

"When in a hole, stop digging," I hear someone saying.

But I’m not even digging, I’m just telling the truth. I love Michael Buble. Among other artists, of course (I wrote “Mucho Caliente!” with Ricky Martin in mind). Mainly, I like my music to be musical. Humm-alongable. Sing-alongable. I like a good tune, not a schizophrenic freak-out. But that’s just me. My husband enjoys all that senseless tromboning and bungled double bassing. When he plays it I tend to roll my eyes and go bake a cake. Our terrain d’entente is the ambient chill-out genre, which makes our son roll his eyes and turn up his iPod. You can’t please everyone.

Which brings me back to what pleases me. I’ve always been into clothes and fashion, as well as into horses. Since I spend a good part of my day with my horse, and that I rarely wear anything other than jeans and a nice t-shirt or sweater (depending on the season) when I’m not with my horse, it’s strikes me as perfectly normal to want to look nice when I’m with my horse. And, basically, if I’m not at the stables, I’m either at home or at the supermarket. Which is perfectly fine with me. 

What I particularly enjoy is matching what Qrac wears to what I wear, if only by way of subtle detail. For example, Qrac has an off-white saddlepad edged with a tiny ribbon of leopard print. I think there’s also a touch of gold braid involved in the edging as well. Yep, it’s pretty fancy. It’s Italian. While I don’t think many horses could pull off this look without looking totally OTT, I think Qrac manages it perfectly. Put me into this particular equation wearing my super discreetly patterned brown jodhpurs with an off white techno-top and – tah-dah! – my leopard-print belt, and you’ve got a fashion victim on horseback! So I get teased. And maybe that look is not so subtle. Pff!
Qrac wears Marta Morgan
Note the subtle leopard trim...

The thing is, Qrac has a lot of saddlepads. A LOT. In fact, my horse has so many that my husband says I should open a saddlepad museum, and give guided tours to raise money towards, errr, more saddlepads.

Imagine: “Step this way, madam. Now, on your right you can admire what appears to be a simple white RG competition model. However, if you look closely you will notice a discreet sprinkling of Swarovski elements adorning the bottom back rim. This particular saddlepad can be traced back to Francesca and Qrac’s somewhat diffident, while also memorably explosive, first meandering (incidentally, oh how we exploded and meandered!) in the dressage show ring. 

Our first show, a fiesta of meandering explosiveness.
Qrac wears RG

And on your left, beginning to look slightly worn in, you have the lovely, far more blingy white Equiline show pad, marking the beginning of a slightly more confident, if not altogether successful, period of competing. 

Gaining confidence.
Qrac wears Equiline

Moving on now, let’s admire this fabulous white and black Marta Morgan mega-bling marvel of Swarovski handiwork. Note the intricate design worked into the black Swarovski detailing. This saddlepad represents a milestone in Francesca and Qrac’s showing career as it was worn at the Vidauban showgrounds in the south of France, and, as such, marks the couple’s first foray into the international dressage scene (ah-hum… yeah, well, sort of… It was out of Switzerland, anyway.).”

Our "international début" in Vidauban, France.
Qrac wears Marta Morgan
You probably get the gist. And I haven’t even touched on all the coloured ones Qrac gets to model. Randomly chosen from my selection, let me show you:

1)   The blue and white gingham. Fresh looking, don’t you think? By RG. Tricky to combine with outfits; stray from blue and white and you’re teetering on the borders of tacky territory.

Qrac wears RG

2)   The brown and hot pink. I think Qrac looks great in this one, it’s easy and fun to match my clothes with. Also, I love pink.
Qrac wears RG

3)   The general purpose grey. Easy to coordinate with just about anything.

Qrac wears RG

4)   The burgundy Swarowski-embellished velvet by Marta Morgan, sometimes worn with matching bandages. I’ve coordinated it with a burgundy sleeveless vest worn over navy blue jodhpurs and techno-shirt. So regal! 

Qrac wears Burgundy Swarovski-embellished Marta Morgan
Regal or what?!

5)   A piled up portion of my saddlepad museum. There are more at the stables… Qrac looks great in red, too. And green. And beige. And ivory. Not to mention multiple shades of grey.

A portion of the saddlepad museum.

So there you have it. Some people collect butterflies. My sister collects porcelain ducks and fish. My friend Victoria collects just about everything. When I was a little girl, a kindly great-aunt once tried to get my pulse hyped-up over stamp collecting. Hmmmm.

I think collecting saddlepads is far more fun.

How about you? What do you collect?


AareneX said...

Honey, you really need to check out endurance riding outfits....

jenj said...

Some time ago you wrote a post entitled something like "All the pretty horses" that talked about your matching outfits. At the time, I had an unfortunate tendency to wear paint-splattered yoga pants, an oversized t-shirt, and whichever saddle pad was on top of the very small pile of very old, faded pads. But thanks to that post, I bought a bunch of new pads, along with coordinating shirts and vests. Now, I try to match or at least not clash. While my collection is not nearly as extensive as yours (let's face it, you're like the Imelda Marcos of saddle pads!) at least I'm not stuck with nothing but faded black pads to choose from.

Thanks! I think? ;)

Francesca Prescott said...

Aarene, you are wearing bright colors! Total endurance Diva :)

Jenj: oh dear, I'm getting old and starting to repeat myself! I had a feeling I'd already written a similar post, but just got carried away with it...and all the pretty pictures. I'm happy you went out and contributed to the equestrian fashion economy after my previous post. I'm sure you feel much nicer and your fancy pants than in your yoga pants...and surely more comfortable too? I accept my label as the Imelda Marcos of saddle pads. You'll find me in the musuem, trying to decide what to wear...

Anonymous said...

What a fun post! Loved the collection of picture. Francesca, keep on posting because I love reading about your and your horse.
My bay TB looks nice in most colors but I try to stick to purple, blue, black and white. I really wanted to put him in pink but it would definitely not suit his personality.

Anonymous said...

Oh, such fun; this is a great bunch of photos!

Francesca Prescott said...

Thanks, sumire, I will try to keep on posting regularly! About pink, I'm tempted too...I think it's a possibility, as Qrac is "man enough" (!) to pull it off. When I do I'll let you know!

Anonymous: thank you!

Alison said...

Qrac is such a hunk, he would look good naked!

Oooo. That was bad. A fun post!