October 2015 - New and Tried & True
Written by Kim F. Miller
Wednesday, 30 September 2015 22:40

Photo courtesy of www.kristinleephotography.com

Californians share their favorite items.

produced by Kim F. Miller and Alicia Anthony

As part of our bi-annual look at the latest and greatest in equestrian fashion and apparel, we asked several local riders three questions:

1. What’s your favorite item of new apparel and why?
2. What’s your favorite “tried and true” item or brand and why?
3. What piece of your regular schooling or show outfit would tell a stranger the most about you?

Photo courtesy of www.kristinleephotography.com

To start things off, hunter/jumper rider Makala Lutz and photographer Kristin Lee got together to answer those questions with images. Makala is a high school student who has been riding with Fieldstone Riding Club in Moorpark for eight years, working with trainer Michelle Pacyna.

The apparel item that tells a stranger the most about her is her collection of Equi In Style Cool shirts. The popular “EIS” brand offers super sun protection, moisture wicking and other qualities that the company says reduce body heat by five degrees. Makala’s been a fan of these for some time and they came in quite handy during this seemingly endless summer’s heat. “They are really comfortable, but still look nice no matter how hot and humid,” she reports.

Photo courtesy of www.kristinleephotography.com

Staying cool surely helped Makala and Astrid, her jumper and equine model, help their team to a second place finish in the USHJA Childrens Team Jumping competition in San Juan Capistrano in mid-September, one of the most sizzling weekends on record!

In shot #1, Makala has paired a blue Sunshirt with white bling breeches by Eurofit, and a red Sunshirt with the same breeches in shot #2. In shot #3, she’s wearing another favorite combination, Ariat Olympia breeches and an Arista shirt, both featuring neat pink accents. Ariat Volant tall boots and a black C4 belt are staples of all three of Makala’s outfits.

The C4 brand is a “cool” company for other reasons. It allows customers to “choose your color and choose your cause.” After designing a custom belt, you can designate one of four charities to which the company will donate $1 from each belt purchased. Pretty cool indeed!

Thanks to Kristin Lee for arranging this photo shoot. See more of her work at www.kristinleephotography.com.


Liz wears Ariat gear so often she’s “quietly hoping” the California company will sponsor her. It’s a fave brand for Sydney, too.

Liz Halliday-Sharp

Professional eventing rider, a California native who now splits her time between England and Florida.

1. When I was in Florida I discovered the Equi In Style (EIS) cool shirts and they are amazing! I now have quite a few of them and I wear them constantly. The fit is great and they give a very polished look while still being a sporty shirt. They also help keep you cool but still have a long sleeve so you can wear them in a variety of conditions.

Miela’s a new fan of Le Fash show shirts.

2. I really love Ariat clothing, especially their breeches. All of my breeches that I wear, both competition and everyday, are Ariat as they have some really cool styles and the fit is exceptional. I also love their coats, boots, etc. I’m quietly hoping that one day they might sponsor me as I wear almost nothing else!

3. I think my different belts that I wear when riding, especially the great belts that I have from Rebecca Ray Designs, who started supporting me last year, tell a bit about me.
I always try to look polished and tidy when I am riding, especially at shows, during lessons and when I’m teaching and I think an interesting belt really completes a look. My feeling is that as a professional rider you should get dressed and look tidy to go to “work” and present yourself in a professional way that shows everyone that you take things seriously. Everyone should check out Rebecca Ray Designs as they have some really interesting ways to bring fashion into your every day riding apparel!


The Equi In Style Cool shirt is a go-to for Liz and Makala.

Miela Gross

17-year-old hunter/jumper rider and winner of the CPHA Foundation’s 21 & Under Medal Final.

1. A new favorite show item of mine is my Le Fash White Herringbone show shirt. It’s made of bamboo/spandex knit, so it is incredibly breathable, as well as form fitting because the fabric is so stretchy.

2. My tried and true brand is Tailored Sportsman. All of my breeches are Tailored Sportsman. They are very reliable and fit me well.

Renee 'can’t ride in anything but Animo breeches.'

3. The item that would tell a stranger the most about me is my Black Charles Owen Ayr8 helmet. Not a lot of people wear it in that color because it is relatively new. However, I love the fit and the look of the smaller mesh over the vents.


Renee Spurge

Owner LA Saddlery, fashion maven & amateur jumper rider.

1. When I was in Italy last year I bought this beautiful show shirt. I don’t actually ride it in though, just wear it out with jeans!

Sydney adores her Roeckl Solar gloves

2. I can’t ride in anything but Animo breeches. I love the give of the fabric especially over the knee. As an amateur jumper, the grip system is invaluable to me! Their gripping fabric is by far still the best on the market as they were the innovators behind this technology. And now they offer a higher waist breech that fits me perfectly.

3. I have a super comfy shirt I wear riding that says, “I am on gluten’s side.”  


Sydney Callaway

Eighteen-year-old hunter/jumper rider, from San Diego and now a freshman at the University of South Carolina, where she is a member of the school’s NCEA equestrian team.

1. One of my favorite new riding items is a pair of gloves I started riding in at the beginning of Thermal Desert Circuit 2015. They are Roeckl Solar gloves, and I am so in love with them because of how sheer and form fitting they are. I would ideally prefer not to ride in clothes at all, but depending on the horse you can develop very bad blisters from not wearing gloves. I have previously tried deer hide gloves, classic black hunter gloves and every brand in between.

Cassidy loves Animo’s dressage coats.

Roeckl Solars are the perfect balance between very sheer material with minimal interference between your hands and the reins, allowing for a great feel and constant contact, yet offering protection from blisters. The tops are also made out of mesh, which offers a slight exposure to the sun, thus no glove tan line!

When heading to college, I left my Roeckls at home. And upon arriving at the USC barn and realizing my mistake, I called my mom and begged her to ship me another pair. It is a truly an obsession and I highly recommend them to any and all.

2. My tried and true brand would have to be Ariat. I have, at some point in my life, owned some form of Ariat attire, from paddock boots to half chaps, tall boots, bands, shirts, gloves.... the Ariat product lists is a mile long. Their pants have a great fit and have lasted for years. I can always trust that the new Ariat products are held to the integrity of the brand.

Now that I am at University at South Carolina, our equestrian team is sponsored by Ariat. Their commitment to the USC team is shown through the wonderful products they are providing all 20 of the hunt seat girls, including shirts, show pants and new Ariat Monaco boots. I am very excited to continue to support the Ariat brand through my next four years on the hunt seat team.

3. The item that speaks to who I am as a person and rider would have to be my belt.  It is not a horse brand belt, in fact I bought it online when I wanted to have some individuality in the classic equitation wear. Raised showing in the equitation, I am accustomed to wearing a strict uniform of navy hunt coats, white shirts and tan pants. My belt has old 60s and 70s British band posters all around it in pastel colors. I have had it for almost three years now and it’s still one of my favorite belts to wear, either at a horse show or with jeans and a tucked-in shirt.


Everyday is 'throwback' day for Sydney with her favorite belt stamped with Classic Rock icons.

Cassidy Gallman

San Diego-based dressage rider, college student and author of Say Yes To That Dress…or Coat.

1. My favorite new piece is my Animo show jacket. It has no shoulder pads and is super stretchy so I can really move. I can even take the saddle off after I show without feeling hindered or restrained at all. However, it is still very fitted and flattering. On the inside it has a super pretty blue floral design that makes me happy every time I put it on.

2. My favorite brand would have to be Animo for all the reasons above. I also wear an Animo show shirt. It is a beautiful shade of navy blue and has the matching blue floral design on the sleeve trim. An exciting feature of the shirt is the sleeves do not roll up when you put your coat on.

3. I would have to say my Samshield helmet with black chrome and a black Swarovski crystal top. It gives my show ensemble some sparkle and an edge. It is a modern twist in my mostly traditional outfit. When I am not riding, I am usually wearing black or dark colors and I prefer things that are fashion forward.