There are few sports that stick as closely to tradition as those that involve horses. In English riding (the version that doesn’t involve cows or the Marlboro Man), not much has changed since the hunt scenes in Ralph Lauren’s country home were painted. Equestrian apparel is timeless, practical, and often better priced than comparable items in department stores.
Now, if the thought of tartan wallpaper and fresh air throw you into convulsions, fear not! There are countless ways to incorporate great pieces straight from the saddle shop into your city life regardless of your tastes. Today’s we’ll focus on shoes and accessories but stay tuned for total look styling suggestions tomorrow. Tally ho!
Illustration by Michelle Ricks, Painting: William Anderson with Two Saddle-Horses (partial) by George Stubbs (1724 – 1806)
ACCESSORIES - Saddlers often carry a wide variety of gloves and belts – riding and city necessities. While most items are brown or black, fashion still occasionally finds its way into the mix without the fashion prices.
Gloves (L to R): SSG Cotton Crochet Gloves – $21.90 via Dover Saddlery, SSG Pro Show Deerskin Riding Gloves (shown in acorn and black) – $35.90 via Dover Saddlery, Belts: Alessandro Albanese Bi-Color Belt in navy/blue – $139 via Dover Saddlery, Tory Leather Snaffle Bit Belt (shown in black, havanna, and oak bark) – $34.90 at Dover Saddlery
BOOTS - I can say with full confidence that no one knows how to do a boot like a riding brand. They use leather that is strong enough to stand up to brutal abuse but supple enough to allow for freedom of movement and hours of wear. I bought a pair of Ariat Crowne Boots (featured above) almost ten years ago when I was competitively horseback riding and now wear them around New York City, often fielding questions about where I got them and if they’re Céline (!). Also, rubber riding boots are a sophisticated, lower profile alternative to regular rain boots (though if you’d still rather have a pair of Hunter Wellies, there’s no fashion markup at a tack shop -compare $109 at Dover Saddlery to $125 at Net-A-Porter).
Top (L to R): Ariat Crowne Field Boot – $399.90 at Dover Saddlery, Ariat Hunter Zip Dress Boot – $249.90 at Dover Saddlery, Middle (L to R): Derby Rubber Riding Boot – $57.80 at Dover Saddlery, Hunter Original Wellingtons – $109.90 at Dover Saddlery, Aigle Jumping II Boots – $189.90 at Dover Saddlery, Bottom (L to R): Ariat Heritage III Zip Paddock Boot – $109.95 at Dover Saddlery, Joules Medway Wellies (shown in marine navy and tabasco) – $124.90 at Dover Saddlery