Tuesday, November 8, 2016

the collection grows

So Charlie is a big horse, right? A tall drink of water, if you will. His head is surprisingly refined tho. I mean, sure, it's long (why the long face, Charlie?!) - but it's not really bulky. To the point where he actually fits into Isabel's cob-sized PS of Sweden dressage bridle.

(Yes I counted my lucky stars upon learning that!)

so many pretties!!
All the same tho, he's really not cob sized. After receiving a lovely full sized jump bridle for him as a gift (Thank you), it was time to size up my collection of Dark Jewel Design browbands and bead strands accordingly too.

I have both black and brown snap-on browbands, and prior to this week had three lovely custom bead strands done by Amelia. Two from my original browband, and the third from when things got really rough with Isabel. They are all very special to me!

what's that they say about variety?
I took the opportunity of watching Amelia and Duke compete at Loch Moy last month to hand over the browbands and strands to all get resized to full. And Amelia being her incredibly generous (and talented!) self, sent back a little extra something in my shipment: another browband, this time pearly gold with multi-faceted deep navy beads.

pictures never do the beads justice
And it's just stunning - a simple, elegant design with understated colors that are simultaneously so rich and vibrant! I'm totally in love with it! The warm gold tones will work beautifully with the brass hardware on my jump bridle too!

just bc it's hard to photograph doesn't mean i stop trying!
Really all of the bead strands just make me so happy. The very pearly ones feel fitting for the show ring, and the glitzy crystal-y strands are fitting for just about any occasion!

yesssss this will do quite nicely!
And obviously I was eager to start playing dress up with Charlie!! The snap-on browband works perfectly with the monocrown bridle, and the leathers match in hue quite nicely! Plus the fact that the browband has some nice squishy padding, I think it's going to suit this bridle for all our jumping adventures!!

blurry indoor lighting can't hide the sparkle and luster!
Mostly tho I'm just ridiculously excited about the sparkles haha. And excited that I can change out the bead strands to suit our moods (or outfits lol). Charlie's gonna look so fancy all the time!!

dis charlie's windswept cover girl face
It's kinda hilarious bc Charlie lives at a quintessentially hunter barn - where everything is very matchy and the program director loathes anything beyond a plain white saddle pad (no black pads, and certainly no pads with trim to be seen here!).

mine is easy to spot. it's the one with the bling!
(tho at least i'm not the only one whose bridle hook is playing double duty with more than one tenant lol)
The barn mgr was funny too. Upon hearing the kids ooh-ing and ahh-ing over Charlie's new sparkles, and saying their own ponies would look quite good in fancy browbands too, she told me that I was gonna get kicked out of the barn if the hunter kids started showing up to their lessons blinged out lol.

Sounds a bit like a challenge, no? Come to the dark side, young riders!! We have SPARKLES!!

What about you - are you into bridle adornments or embellishments? Do you like all out blinding bling? Or something more subtle and understated?

(Also - worth noting for those early Christmas shoppers out there: Place your orders by November 15 if you want your Dark Jewel Designs browband with the standard two fully custom bead strands delivered in time for the holidays!)

49 comments:

  1. I have some very similar strands coming to me very soon! Must have all the sparkles :)

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    1. Oooh yes now I'm super excited to see yours too!!!

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  2. I love it. I would have said the I leaned towards being classical and understated. Then I bought a grey mare....

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    1. Ha right! I tend to prefer classic and understated too. Tho I'm findin that even the loudest browbands just kinda melt into the bigger picture at shows. And I definitely like the extra touch!!

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  3. Girl, I'm an endurance rider at heart so I love BRIGHT COLOR lol! But really, it's too soon to tell if I'll like sparkle and glitz on a browband for showing. I tend to like my own jewelry to be stunning in an understated way. Nothing that jumps out at you, but when you DO notice, you can't stop looking. May have a bit of a challenge finding that in my tack? Time will tell! First I've got to GET some (saddle and bridle shopping as we speak).

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    1. Oooooh yay tack shopping, can't wait to see what you end up with!! And just sayin tho, both G and Q would like MIGHTY fancy in some custom colors ;)

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  4. So gorgeous 😍😍😍😍

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    1. Also meant to say, splurging on these for my girls & all my best barn buddies has been something I've wanted to do for ages...but I can't decide on colours or seem to penny pinch enough to treat myself 😶
      Maybe some day 😰

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  5. I really don't do bling at all: I'm not a girly girl myself, and I'm not drawn to sparkles and glitter like other people are. For Roger, his "wild colors" are navy, hunter green and black, maaaaaaaybe mint green if we're feeling rebellious on a particular day #teamnavyforever

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    1. Yep navy is maybe my favorite neutral too. And brown ;)

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  6. I'm not much on the sparkles, so no bling here. As for colors... da Bird is a 'winter' (he's grey gone white) and looks good in most jewel tones. He's typically dressed in navy or teal, though he has the obligatory dressage white for Out In Public.

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    1. i love blues on a gray horse!! and basically all jewel tones too

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  7. Love love love bling. I own a ridiculous amount of blingy browbands 😍

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    1. ha you can never have too many, right?

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  8. So sparkly! I totally want a follow up on how many kids get sparkles on their bridles. Program director is going to give you such a hard time for starting this. Bad influence you are HAHAHA!!!!

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    1. lol some of these kids are really into the hunter aesthetic, but some of them might be open to other ideas ;)

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  9. Dee doesn't get sparkly browbands.I figure there's no need to draw attention to the fact that her head is always moving. But now that I have William I think I may have to invest in some pretties!

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    1. oooooh yes!!! Wiliam needs a shiny!!!

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  10. Oh I LOVE the new colors. Amelia is amazing!! And omg the snap on design. I nabbed it when I got mine redone and it is a lifesaver on monocrown bridles.

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    1. i basically adore the snap on function - even if i had regular bridles i think i would still want the snaps. it's just so convenient!!

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  11. That gold and navy combo is GORGEOUS!! Despite coming over to the dark side of dressage and eventing, my style in the show ring is very much neutral, understated, and allowing the horse to be the prettiest thing in the picture. My hunter princess tendencies will never die! But for schooling? BRING ON THE COLORS!

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    1. ha yea i definitely agree about keeping the horse as the main focal point. that was never really a concern with isabel tho - her presence DEMANDED attention lol. and charlie is such a big guy that a couple sparkly beads could hardly distract ;)

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  12. That looks so good on Charlie! I sadly have no bling yet. It seems impossible to find blingy brow bands that are light reddish-brown leather to match my bridle/saddle for Savvy. But I do keep searching!

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    1. oooh yea ugh so hard!! tho perhaps there are DIY options?

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  13. Bahaha, I board at a hunter barn also, and I'm pretty sure I'm considered feral there- with my blinged out dressage browband, turquoise saddle pads, and actual jump boots (not polos). The dark side is MUCH more fun!

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    1. what is with hunter barns and polos???

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    2. IDK, but I still can't let go of my polos... they are my go-to for everyday schooling unless we are in a jump lesson (then open fronts) or going XC (XC boots). They are so cheap and then you can have ALL THE COLORS!!

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    3. haha agreed on the dark side being more fun, and would add that it's EASIER too. i also love polos, esp for their compression properties... but nothing beats the convenience of velcro!

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  14. These are soo pretty. Alas, I'm one of those boring hunter/jumper people. I have a few colorful pads from my younger days, but those are usually my laundry day pads. I'm all white pads (albeit I don't mind a little trim in a bland color) and maybe a navy pad here or there. And I definitely avoid any kind of shiny or sparkly browband. Lol. The only sparkle I have is on my spur straps, and I'm sure GM would crucify me for them but they're just too cute.

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    1. eh "boring" is all relative, right? i don't dislike the hunter aesthetic at all and appreciate that it's classy and clean cut. but i also enjoy being able to add my own little flair at will! which reminds me... sparkle spur straps have been on my list forever too haha

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  15. YESS CONVERT ALL THE CHILDREN.

    amelia really needs some flyers. I put her business card on my barn bulletin board but I wish I had something bigger. People always compliment me on my browbands!!

    I was thinking of picking up a high jump bridle (bc runkle apparently loves ugly ergonomic bridles for fancy princes) but I was going to get horse size. But now I'm worried that horse size would be too big because sometimes he wears cob... he wears cob everything except the micklem.

    O HOW I DITHER.

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    1. haha apparently i can't be trusted around children. scary lol.

      re: the PS bridle, the cob size fit isabel on the shortest possible holes and was definitely still a little too roomy. it worked well enough tho. it fits charlie on most of the longest holes (tho not all of them, surprisingly!) but i suspect he would also fit a full size just fine. my guess is that if Runkle typically wears a cob size, the cob PS might easily work for him. but my advice would be to pay particular attention to the sizing around the ears / crown / browband area, bc that's where it was most obviously not the right fit on Izzy.

      or. ya know. if we can ever get our horses together for a play date, Runkle can try on Charlie's PS!

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    2. omg our horses need to have a playdate. my trailer is done!!! buuuut its stuck in pottstown right now. because i have nothing to pull it with.

      teehee.

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    3. so jealous right now. my dreams of a bigger better rig remain unfulfilled as yet. are you sure you don't want to trade your sweet new fixed up trailer for my little Calico?!?! lolz...

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    4. I can do flyers 😊 Megan, let me know if you do indeed want one for your barn and we can talk. Emma, I don't want you kicked out of your barn so no fliers for you 😉 And on sizing for the PS, I'd do a cob if he wears cob everything else. Duke wears oversized on a lot of bridles and halters, and the PS horse size fits him beautifully. It's actually almost too big on the nose. Both my old bridles were oversize.

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    5. MEGAN I WILL COME PICK YOU UP FOR A PLAYDATE. You're pretty much on my way down to MD.

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  16. Nope no bridle bling because H/J but I actually don't care for them much either, call me old fashioned I guess lol. My friend Isabelle makes these interesting ones: http://www.themodernequestrian.com/2016/11/the-custom-equestrian.html

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    1. oooh nice! and idk if i would call a disinclination for bling 'old fashioned' actually. it's all a matter of taste, right? if we all liked the same thing then it would really truly be boring, right? ;)

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  17. If/when I do finally get my ass into the Dressage ring, you better believe I'm going to blow them away with one of these browbands. My show coat has an interchangeable collar. Everything will match.

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    1. ha nice!! i have full confidence that your day will come!!

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  18. OOOh I just love the beaded browband with the moonstone look! Stunning.

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    1. thank you! Amelia actually came up with all of these designs herself and i'm so indebted to her creativity!

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  19. OMG I love her stuff so much!! That grey/pearly one is my favorite. Just love it

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  20. Love the gold and navy! And yeah...I do love bling. Just enough to add sparkle so you know it's there, but not enough to blind the judges. Also, my trainer would disown me if I had too much bling. ;)

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  21. Every Dark Jewel post gives me grabby hands. Idk how much longer I can resist...

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  22. I am a navy and grey kind of girl and don't really do bling on anything. I can appreciate it from a distance but I guess my hunter roots won't let go haha.

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