Get Ready for the Holidays!

The holiday season is upon us! You may have noticed my Etsy shop is currently in “Vacation Mode,” but it’s really not! I will be reopening November 14, with new listings! In the meantime, I will be sewing up what I can and starting a list for new supplies.

This is a great time to start planning any custom orders!

If you are interested in ordering a bag or sign as Christmas present, contact me now! I am excited to start working on all the wonderful ideas my clients come up with.

If you’re interested in some customs, contact me through my Etsy shop.

 

Horse Shoes are Here!

After months of talking about it and working on them. I have finally listed my first set of floral decorated horse shoes! I am pretty excited about these because, well, I first made them for myself. They have a great hand-made appeal without being so fussy that you can’t hang them in the barn. Plus, the faux flowers will never wilt!

You can find them here in my shop: Homemade Horseman Etsy Shop

In other news…part of my ‘online silence’ is because Todd and I have decided to drop both home internet and cable. We have been without it for 2 months now. It is killing me. Sort of. Really the only struggle is not being able to watch live feeds of horse shows, posting things, and doing research. It’s currently a love/hate thing going on. Also, I’m lazy and don’t like to have to get dressed to go to a cafe/library/fast food place just to use the internet.

Also, we have a truck now. It will pull the trailer. Woot. Next year…I will be back in the show pen (the whole year)!

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and I wish you all a lot of luck at your shows!

What’s New?

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted about things going on with Homemade Horseman and myself. I am happy to say that I finally did get a job.  I have been working at a smaller local garden center for just over a month now. It has really been a blast, plus I keep bringing home more and more plants.

The horses have both been doing well and I am finally riding outside! Show season is starting to really take off and next week I will be heading down to Indy (sans horse) for the first IRHA show of the year. This year is going to be a bit of a rebuilding year, I think. At least the first half. Todd and I drove to Indy in March to pick up our very first trailer. It’s a 2011, 2-horse CornPro. I am so excited to see what I can do with it! I have big plans to do a project to make it something I could camp in on the weekend. No it doesn’t have a living quarters or much space, but we all have to start somewhere!

I have taken a bit of a break from sewing and creating as I have had to get into the swing of things at work, but I think May will be a big month for creative thoughts and maybe a few projects. I have a new item that I hope to add in the next few weeks. They aren’t perfected yet, so they may be listed at a discounted price for a while! They are decorated horse shoes. I love them.

In the meantime, 2015 has started off as my best Homemade Horseman year so far! I really look forward to what the rest of the Summer brings and hope to see many of you at shows! Also, I would love to see any of my products in action! Feel free to send some photos or tag Homemade Horseman on Facebook!

Noble Outfitters

A little over a month ago, I was contacted by Noble Outfitters and asked if I’d like to review some products. At first, I didn’t know what to think. I’ve only done one review before and I wasn’t even sure if they would have any products that would suite me. While I’ve always associated Noble Outfitters with quality, I’ve also always associated them with hunter/english apparel rather than western. So, after doing some emailing with a rep about my audience and the types of products I’m likely to use, I anxiously awaited a test product.

I was overwhelmed when I opened a fairly large box with a variety of products! Noble Outfitters kindly sent me these items:

I was pretty nervous about the shirts. I’m 5’4 and 170 lbs (I had to pack on a few pounds to survive my first Wisconsin winter. Ha). I was pretty concerned about the fit. All the shirts I received are size XL. The shirts are meant to be fitted. My track record for shirts fitting right is pretty low. I immediately tried them all on. THEY FIT! Not only did they fit, but they are flattering as well. Below are some individual reviews as well as some photos (not my photos as I am a terrible model and don’t have a photographer)!

The Miley Polo in Periwinkle:

I’m not a huge fan of polo shirts mainly because most women’s come with cap sleeves and the men’s have no shape to them. I was pleasantly surprised at the length and fit of the sleeve. It fell mid-bicep and  was neither constricting or too loose and the princess seams actually give me a shape! It’s made with a technical fabric which has so far  been extremely comfortable. The length is also excellent long enough to ride in (tucked in or left out) and it has become a go to shirt for work as well. I love the double duty!

The Kahla Racer Back Tank in Heather Grey

I was excited about this tank the moment I put it on. One of the aspects the rep and I discussed was my need for equine products/apparel that can do double duty. When I put this on, I knew immediately how that could work. I’ve found plenty of applications for it already: warm-weather riding, yoga, boating, and as a layer under the Ashley shirt. It’s light-weight and flattering. As the days get warmer, I can see myself wearing it for riding quite often.

The Ashley Performance Long-Sleeve Shirt in Vivacious

This is by far my favorite item that was sent. It’s a bright, happy pink with colorful, mesh vents on the arms. I have worn this multiple times already! It’s marketed as a breathable, cool shirt for warm weather, but it has already proved to be a great layer under a fleece vest or jacket for the chilly, Spring days. I was also pleased with the built-in UV protection. I have quite a bad sunburn from a boating trip this weekend. I was able to ride comfortably outside, in the sun, while wearing this. I didn’t get too hot and I saved my neck, shoulders, and arms from further pain!

The dirt seems to stick to it a little more than I’d like, or maybe I’m just not used to not having a heavy coat on top, yet. The hair does not (which a bonus in shedding season)! But for the dirt that sticks, all of it has washed out easily and completely. I was concerned with all the shirts and their technical fabric, if they would wash well. I’ve been able to throw them in the washer and dryer with no problems. No fussy washing directions needed!

 The Xtreme Soft Boot Sock Over-the-Calf in Black

Socks are socks…but these are pretty nice! They are soft, cushioned on the bottom, breathable on top, and they don’t slide down! I have had issues with other brand name boot socks not staying up. These seem to stay put all day long no matter what  type of boots I’m wearing. I also like the fact they are a little heavier in the foot portion but not bulky over the calf.

The Over-the-Calf Peddies in Modern Roses

Despite being really cute (and they come in a ton of different patterns), I had my doubts about these socks. Cute isn’t always functional. When I pulled them out of the packaging and put them on, I was not a fan. The way they were folded left a crease that felt like I was walking on a seam and I just couldn’t picture how these would actually stay up. The “ultra-thin” upper seemed flimsy and too stretchy. They also seemed too big. But, I wore them around the house for a while then, took a chance and threw my boots on. Guess what? These are pretty good socks. The heavier bottom was comfortable and didn’t slide around. That crease worked itself out. They didn’t budge. Not even in my loose boots after a long afternoon at the barn. I can see these being great summer socks with their thin uppers and making some awesome tall boot socks as well.


So, yes. Noble Outfitters gets a rave review from me! If the prices and their website seem high, don’t fret. I’ve been able to find most of their products at retailers for what I consider a good deal (try Stateline Tack or SmartPak). The quality of the products and the multipurpose uses makes each piece worth the money. I can ride, workout, hike, work, and even just run around town in these clothes and feel comfortable and stylish. I’ve already picked out another tank, knife, and some roping gloves that I’m going to have to get.

Now, beyond the clothes I’ve just gushed over, I want to share a little info on the company, which I didn’t really know any thing about! They have a great website, seem genuinely interested in the happiness of horseman using their products, have a few lines of products that include western lifestyles, stable care, accessories, and hunter. The best part…they have a program called “Noble Tomorrow.” Noble Outfitters commits 5% of profits to equestrian focused youth programs! That is awesome.

about_noble_tomorrow_logo


***Noble Outfitters was kind enough to send me these products. The opinions on this website are my own. I love trying new products and sharing info on new companies, if their products are ones that I feel I will own, use, love, and share with my friends!***

Yoga and Horses

I’ve been interested in workouts and fitness programs geared towards riders for awhile. I have a few books, and saved a lot of articles. They never stick. I hate running (it’s boring to me), and the idea of actually working out just doesn’t appeal to me.  Workout videos. Yuck. They are almost always too advanced for me and I get discouraged. Don’t they have a level -10 beginner workout? I do like riding, biking, and hiking though! Unfortunately, winter usually cuts those activities down by quite a bit.

A few months ago, I was on a “I’m going to try to get in the habit of doing something…workout wise” kick. I tried APHA’s rider fitness program, but was disappointed that the .pdf was from 2008, they discontinued the online portion, and that there weren’t as many exercises for horse and rider to do together. Tango is pretty tubby and out of shape, too!

I also tried a beginner yoga video and really enjoyed it. It was Yoga with Adriene’s “Yoga for Complete Beginners”.  It really was for beginners and Adriene didn’t make me feel bad about being terrible at it (I know it’s just a video, but some give off some super judgey vibes! Ha!) Then, weeks went by and I thought about doing the video again, but never did.

My sister and I were talking one day, and  she mentioned she had been doing  “Yoga with Adriene” videos for about a month. We both agreed the videos were great and decided to try the 30 Day Yoga Challenge.  I did the complete beginners video for about 4-5 days before we started the challenge. I am still really, really a beginner. Today is Day 8. I have done all the videos, so far. While I can’t do a lot of the moves, I give them a shot and keep trying. I am improving! It also really helps to have a somebody trying the same thing and encouraging you to keep going, even better is that you don’t have to be in the same state!

Here is what I really love about the videos: they make me feel good, and I can apply a lot of the philosophy and results to riding. So far, yoga is beginning to help me be more aware of my tight shoulders, the difference in flexibility from one side to the other, and balance. And so far, I’ve been able to apply the philosophy of Adirene’s videos to improving my seat and overall posture. I’ve been focusing on opening my shoulders and sitting up, but “finding what feels good” (as Adriene would say). Riding correct isn’t all about perfect posture. You have to find a softness and level of comfortable too!

So, after my rambling on what I like about yoga, maybe you should give it a try! Here is the beginner’s video I started with, and the challenge I am doing now. Oh and a bonus for why I love Adriene’s videos…she has a heeler.

Maybe You Noticed…

Homemade Horseman has been undergoing some renovations. I have been developing my ‘brand,’ over the last few years, and enjoying learning about the ins and outs of brand identity and design. Slowly, I am developing Homemade Horseman (and trying to do it right, using commercial free or my own creations) into a reflection of my creativity and personality. I am also discovering what things other horse people, like myself, find interesting and trying to post it in one spot! It’s a process. So, here is where the look is going and what has inspired me.WORKING MOCK

New Fabric – New Ideas

I just spent a few minutes looking through the albums on my Facebook page and realized just how far my sewing skills have come along! When I first had the idea to start sewing zippered bags, I had only sewn a zipper on to a pair of chaps, once in my life. My only sewing instruction…8th grade Home-Ec (in which I only made pillows and a little drawstring bag). My first bags were pretty cute, but I’ve come a long way since and am still continuing to learn how to improve my sewing.

My quest to become better at sewing has also introduced me to the wonderful world of fabric. I love fabric. There are so many textures, patterns, and colors. I recently just purchased a large bundle from Fabric.com. It is the most I have ever spent on fabric. I typically buy my supplies at Jo-Ann, or recycle clothing and horse sheets, but trying out a new shop (one that I can afford, anyway) has really inspired me. I have a stack of amazing cottons for appliques and linings, and stack of bright, patterned polyester for shells. This new shell fabric is water-resistant and so pretty!

Be on the look out for some fun items in the shop soon! I will be testing a variety of new patterns and product In the meantime, here are my new fabrics and the first set of bags made with them!

2015!

The last half of 2014 was a whirlwind of challenges and changes, too long to write a post about, but worth a short list of the madness!

  • Tango suffered through on and off lameness through September, thankfully, I found a great farrier who helped get her feet happy and sound again!
  • I left a job I’ve been at since I was 18 (two weeks shy of 10 years).
  • The last week of my time in Indiana included a horse show, two blown trailer tires, a farrier visit, and a major transmission problem.
  • I FINALLY moved to Stevens Point to be with my husband!
  • Just 3 weeks after moving to WI, I hauled back down to Indiana for the final IRHA show of the year, the Midwest Regional Ranch Horse Classic, with three girls I had just met!
  • Tango and I won IRHA’s Am Ranch Riding 2014 High-Point

A lot of other things happened in between too, but overall, I am thrilled to be in Wisconsin with Todd. Stevens Point is a great town and my horses have settled in quickly, and happily. The biggest challenge has been finding work. I have realized that after 10 years working in the lab, not only do I have no idea about job searching, I also have no idea what I am good for! I would like to say this would be a great opportunity to find something I love and pursue it, but I have no idea what I would pursue? Genealogy? Something in the horse industry? More lab work? I have no clue? Job searching has also left me with huge self-doubt of what am I actually good at. For now, I am just looking for something to put a little money in the bank, hoping for the inspiration and guts to really go for something I can make a career of.

That all being said, maybe I will also take the chance to make improvements and try some new projects for this site! I have been busy sewing and selling my bags in my Etsy store. I have some cool ideas for projects, unfortunately they require me to be outside (and not in temps below 0)!