She Rides I Pay

Fleeceworks' Rolex Scavenger Hunt: Do It If You Dare! April 24 2017, 0 Comments

Win a Clinic at Your Barn

 With Tamie Smith of Next Level Eventing!

Fleeceworks Rolex KY 3 Day Scavenger Hunt


 Sunday, April 23, 2017—Are you headed to Rolex? Is your shopping route planned? Is this a girlfriend getaway, a once in a lifetime trip to see the world’s top eventers, or maybe even an aspirational look at your future riding career?

No matter what brings your to RK3DE, Judy McSwain and Fleeceworks (Booth 117), along with Eventing Nation, are ready to make your Rolex experience even better. Get a team together for the second annual Fleeceworks Rolex Three Day Scavenger Hunt! The grand prize is a clinic at your facility with professional eventer Tamie Smith of Next Level Eventing. Each day of Rolex, you’ll have trivia questions to answer and “to-do’s” that can only happen at Rolex! 


How Do I Enter?
Get your team together! Teams of not less than 2 and no more than 4 people must register to compete in the Fleeceworks RK3DE Scavenger Hunt. Now this isn’t going to be easy. But it will be fun and guarantees you a unique Rolex experience! Name your team (let’s keep it PG folks). Be creative. Email your team members' names (and individual email addresses) and team name to Elizabeth Howell ( starting RIGHT NOW and no later than Thursday, April 28 at 5 p.m. EST. Or send a Facebook IM to Fleeceworks with the info. We'll then assign you a hashtag to use on Instagram so that you can post your entries. Elizabeth will email you a complete list of rules and requirements. 


What Do I Do When I Get to Rolex?

Well, there will be two types of tasks—daily trivia questions and then a list of Scavenger Hunt To-Do’s. Come to the Fleeceworks booth (117) to collect your daily trivia questions and tasks from Judy. Turn your written answers in to Judy or Elizabeth at the booth.  This MUST be completed each day of Rolex competition. Turn your finished sheet in once completed after answering the last trivia question Sunday morning. 


Be prepared for trivia questions that cover:

Historic moments of Rolex.

Career achievements of Rolex horses and riders. 

Questions about Fleeceworks saddle pads, natural fabrics and Tamie Smith’s ride Fleeceworks Royal aka “Rory.”

For example, some of last year’s questions included: 
Who was the first horse to win the Rolex Kentucky 4 star and how much did he cost?

How many mares have won the Rolex Kentucky 4 star?
What was the only fence from the 1968 World Championships that was left on the course for the inagural RK3D 4 star?


And then, you’ll have a few, ahem, tasks to complete. 


The Scavenger Hunt Task List
Your team has been accepted to the hunt. You’re ready. Come to the Fleeceworks booth, 117, to receive the task list that must be completed to successfully finish your team’s entry. Complete each item on the checklist and then post your results on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #RK3DEHUNT17. 

Some of these things will be easy, such as “Follow Fleeceworks on Facebook and Instagram.”

Some may be a little more, shall we say….challenging? Possibilities include:

“Take a photo of a Rolex rider,” or “Get a sick selfie in the Land Rover Extreme Stable Experience booth,” or “Film a mannequin video of your team in action at Rolex.”


How Do I Earn Extra Entries?

You can earn additional entries by completing additional tasks that will be assigned each day. Possibilities include things like: “Take a selfie with any Rolex horse,” and receive an extra entry.

“Take a selfie with a Fleeceworks rider at the Fleeceworks autograph signing, Saturday after cross country in the Fleeceworks booth,” earn one extra entry. You’ll receive a complete list when you check in with Judy.


How Will the Winning Team be Chosen?

All teams who turn in completed checklists by the end of competition on Sunday morning and have had their entries verified by Fleeceworks, will be entered into the drawing to determine the winning team. Bonus entries will be added. Winner will be announced the week after Rolex by Fleeceworks and Eventing Nation.


Do I Have to be at Rolex to Participate?

Yes. But, we will be running online promotions and specials during the week of Rolex, so be sure to visit our Facebook and Instagram pages for details! 


Requirements for Clinic Host Facility.

The winning team must have a facility at which to host a clinic with no more than 15 riders. The facility must have safe and accessible areas for a flat and show jumping clinic. A cross country area is a bonus, but is not necessary. An indoor arena is preferable in the case of inclement weather.  Canadians are eligible as long as the facility in the US

Should the winning team be unavailable to host the clinic, the prize will be given to another randomly drawn team that has completed the scavenger hunt requirements. We will discuss details with the winners when they are chosen.


The clinic with Tamie Smith will be hosted by Fleeceworks. All members from the winning team will have clinic costs for one horse and rider waived. The winners  cannot make substitutions of riders on at the clinic Up to ten additional participants may be invited to ride in the clinic at a cost of $200/per horse and rider combination. The entire fee will be donated to a worthy cause. 
Note: Facility fees, stabling, etc. may apply as additional fees. Note. No substitutions of team members for Clinic ride




Contact: Elizabeth Howell

She Rides I Pay



Fleeceworks Royal is MINI!!!! Enter to Win! April 24 2017, 0 Comments

In celebration of Rolex Kentucky 2017, the biggest 3-Day Event in the US, Fleeceworks is offering a way for you to enjoy the fun! To celebrate her incredible journey with this unique horse, Judy McSwain has commissioned a Cuddle Clone of her beloved "Fleeceworks Royal," known around the barn as "Rory." 

Rory made her mark last fall at the 2016 FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships as an American bred and produced horse. She held her own in the most elite age-based competition in the world. “Rory” is a Holsteiner mare (Riverman x Marisol) competing against the best of the best at the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships in the 7-year-old CCI2* class.

Join the fun by entering to win a Rory Cuddle Clone today! Ten runner's up will receive a pair of super comfy Fleeceworks Bamboo Slippers!  

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Big Discounts on End of Year SALE!! December 27 2014, 0 Comments

Hoping everyone had a lovely holiday! We're offering two great discounts from now until midnight on Wednesday, Dec. 31.

Ten percent off any order of $49 or more. Just enter the code TENPERCENT on the checkout page.

Plus, fifteen percent off any order over $100. Just enter the code 15PERCENT at checkout. End 2014 with the gear you need for a great 2015!

Should I bring a hostess gift? December 16 2014, 0 Comments

It's that time of year. You're going out to parties every weekend. And the old adage is true: don't show up empty handed. Take it from me (18 years with The Emily Post Institute). But who wants another bottle of wine or scented candle you say? I personally prefer chocolate....

The point of a hostess gift is to let your host or hostess know that you appreciate the effort they went to to create an enjoyable evening. Hostess gifts don't need to be fancy or expensive. Do accompany your gift with a gift tag or note so that it doesn't end up lost. And whatever you choose, it shouldn't be something that requires your host to stop what they are doing to take care of your gift (for example flowers that need a vase or live animals). Here are my suggestions and it's often easier to keep a few on hand so that you're not stuck at the last minute.

If you're a baker or otherwise artistically talented homemade gifts always ROCK. A dozen muffins for the next morning, cookies that don't have to be shared, or a personalized holiday ornament are great ideas!

Belts, Belts & Bracelets December 04 2014, 0 Comments

As someone embracing her "mom years," belts don't really factor into my wardrobe. That changed when I met Claire Painter of Clever with Leather. Claire is a Master Saddler who also designs and makes beautiful leather goods including belts, bracelets, dog collars and more.

I met Claire at an AETA trade show and walked by her booth several times before plucking up the courage to go in. I came out with a new friend and a fabulous new line to add to She Rides I Pay.

Fashion is not necessarily my strength, so I'm very careful to obtain the opinions of "cooler" people before I make buying decisions. With pride, Claire showed me her newest design, the Figure-8 belt. ($89) Wow. The leather is so soft and it is truly a unique piece that makes a statement. Your equestrian roots are on proud display when you wear this belt.

Still, new to this business, I was hesitant and nervous about putting in my first order. Finally, I just asked Claire to help. She was respectful of my small business budget and made sure that I knew the story of each piece and how it came to be. Ok, I left with a mentor and a friend.

I sold out of that first order in three days.

I love the Figure-8 belt, but I love Claire's Hoofprints ($69) design too. It's a wide-ish belt with hot stamped horse shoes burned into the leather. What was the inspiration for this design? Oh, the time Claire went to the barn in flip-flops (yes, she knows that's a bad idea). And yes, she was stepped on and look closely at the Hoofprints belt. Yes, that's what her foot looked like.

Both the Figure-8 and Hoofprint designs fit the belt loops of 99% of breeches I've seen. Custom orders of the Figure-8 belt are welcome, there's a wide range of color options. Email me for details The Hoofprints belt is available in red, black, tan, and dark brown.

Another of my vendors, Noble Outfitters, a company I'm crazy about, brought Claire in to design a belt line. The results are fantastic! The quality is outstanding, the designs are equestrian through and through and the price points can accommodate any budget.

These belts are available in size XS which will fit most kids. The Equus Charm Belt is a great choice for a child's first show belt. Your little rider will wear it for years and at $39.99, it's a very reasonable price for a leather belt.

The Double Buckle belt ($49.99) is clearly an equestrian design, one that you'll want to wear while riding and when you are out and about.


The On the Bit Belt  ($59.99) is hardy, ready for a long horse show day, with room to add at least three brass plates engraved with your favorite horse's name. Each design is available in black (to match your tall boots) and brown (which will look kick-butt with your jeans).

So, I'm not wearing a belt YET, but I have downloaded a 5-minute ab workout app. ;-)

Noble commissioned a video that tells Claire's story. Watch it and you'll be a fan of Claire too!









Is Your Horse Show Season Over Yet? October 28 2014, 0 Comments

Ours just ended with the New England Equitation Championships (NEEC) in Springfield, MA. Carry on ye riders and families to Kentucky and Maclay Finals. We wish you well!

She Rides I Pay, The Store…. April 03 2014, 0 Comments

Hello friends. I am happy to report that the Howell family is alive and well. I have received many complaints for my long absence from this space. Well, I’m baaack–and with exciting news to share. About six months ago, I opened a mobile equestrian-inspired gift store filled with horse show necessities and luxuries. I’ve traveled to a variety of shows with our 16-foot-trailer/store. We spent six weeks in Manchester, Vermont, at the Vermont Summer Festival horse show. I’ve attended several one-day shows on the Vermont Hunter Jumper Association (VHJA) circuit, had a great week at the New England Equitation Championship in Springfield, MA, and went to the four-day extravaganza that is the Equine Affaire, also held in Springfield. I have just returned from four weeks at HITS Ocala and was quite dismayed to find winter had no yet left Vermont upon my return!

Hello friends April 17 2013, 0 Comments

Well, it’s been a long time. We’re all alive and mostly well. Samantha continues to ride. Our “new” horse is named Chili Pepper a.k.a. “Chili” or “Baby Chill” or “Dufus.” He is a seven-year-old Holsteiner purchased from Annie Dotoli and Aster Pieters of Tibri. We purchased Chili with the generous support of a family member in December, 2011. It has been an interesting journey with Chili. He is very young, something he continues to remind us, lest we forget. Samantha had encouraging success with him last show season in the 3′ equitation. She qualified for the Mass Finals and New England Finals. She rode leased horses at both of these finals, as Chili was not quite ready.

MHC Days of Champions October 03 2011, 0 Comments

We’ve just returned from the Massachusetts Horsemen’s Council Days of Champions  held in Northampton, MA. It was a great weekend, aside from the pouring rain. What can I say? Samantha and Mondavi were outstanding. Nerves were running high. Not mine! OK, well, mine and Samantha’s.

Her first class was the Open Equitation 14 and Under. She was in section B. I brought her to the show at 6 a.m. and we walked the course with Mo so he could sample the flowers. (The orange mums are the tastiest). Then I quickly went back to the hotel to check us out and take a shower. I returned 25 minutes later and she was waiting to go into the ring. It was HIGH DRAMA because I had her back number. Oh the SHAME. Oh the DRAMA. THEY WERE HOLDING THE RING. I WAS ONLY GONE FOR 25 MINUTES. HOW DID THEY GET THROUGH AN ENTIRE (A) SECTION CLASS IN 25 MINUTES?

Colic Surgery For The Girl June 03 2011, 0 Comments

I’ve been missing. There’s a story behind it. Here it is.

When you are responsible for the care of someone else, be they canine, equine or human, there are times when you inevitably fail them. If you are critical in your self-assessment of this care, you no doubt can find fault frequently.

I pulled a doozy recently when I misdiagnosed Samantha’s virus. Umm, it was appendicitis. She had an emergency appendectomy on Thursday, April 21. In my defense, when she seemed to be suffering from her second bout of the fever/upset stomach bug that was making its rounds, I did call the pediatrician’s office.  The nurse told me that the current virus running through the area was particularly virulent and was striking quite a few kids more than once. She did say that I was more than welcome to bring Samantha in to be checked out. Alas, not wanting to be that mom (again) who dragged her kid to the pediatrician only to be told, “It’s a virus,” I decided to just wait it out.

Celebration March 18 2011, 0 Comments

The riders of StoneHaven celebrate a successful 2010 show season: (from left) Samantha Howell, Rachel Buckley, Morgan Bessette, trainer Tara Valade, Melissa Woolpert and Karen Clark. Photo by John Oren.

It’s been a busy month of business travel, which has taken me away from visiting with all of you—I hate it when that happens! On the horse side of life, we had our Vermont Hunter Jumper annual awards banquet last month. It gave us a good excuse to get dressed up in the middle of the winter and celebrate the 2010 horse show season.

I’m sure many of you across the country plan or attend similar functions. It’s always an interesting experience to see horse people clean, sans helmet and wearing dress-up clothes. There’s that awkward moment when you try to figure out, “Is that….?” Because without the helmet and breeches, who knows?

Dear Lauren, Eight Reasons Why I Still Hate You, Love Elizabeth February 04 2011, 0 Comments

The lovely and talented Lauren Sprieser, my fellow blogger and online friend, is trying to tell us all that the seasonal relocation of her barn to Florida ain’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

It seems her friends, colleagues and readers (ahem) are sending her emails, texts and phone calls expressing a certain je nais se quoi—oh, could it be JEALOUSLY? And, in her kind and eloquent way, she’s hoping to suppress our little green monsters by explaining that hey, things really aren’t that great here in the Sunshine State.

Lauren, I beg to differ. As I sit here watching more than 20 inches of snow dump from the sky and listen to three 10-year-old boys play knee hockey in my basement at 9 a.m., I’m wondering how hanging out with Midge and Ella could be worse.

Let’s address her points one by one, shall we?

The Many Moods Of Mondavi January 22 2011, 0 Comments

Greetings sports fans from the frozen tundra that is Vermont. I continue to hibernate, coffee cup in hand, looking out the window, thinking about going to the barn to watch the girl ride, but it’s really cold!

The girl continues to put in long hours at the barn, ever the faithful and committed young horseperson. I shamefully admit that over the past several weeks, I have only done drive-bys—picking the girl up at the end of the day, not even getting out of the car. The only real barn time I’ve put in is my regular Saturday afternoon barn chore shift.

My punishment for such wimpy and unsportsmanlike conduct? The weather forecast is calling for temperatures between 10 and 20 degrees below zero this Saturday, during the day. And I get to spend Sunday at a hockey tournament.

George Soothes the Winter Brain Freeze January 05 2011, 0 Comments

The holidays are over and we’re settling in for our remaining five months of winter. As I read aboutLauren’s seasonal relocation to Florida, I assessed my own state of mind and find that I am (surprisingly) OK. There will be no trip to Ocala this year. There are no business trips on the horizon to warm weather locales. It’s just winter as far as the eye can see. It’s cool. I can handle it. Just check on me every couple of weeks, OK?

There are so many interesting things going on in the equestrian world—both here in our little corner and in the bigger COTH world—that I’m hardly minding the daily white-knuckle drive through snow and the short, seven hours of daylight. (Only a slight exaggeration, it’s now light out until 5 p.m. rather than 4:15 p.m., woo-hoo!)

Barn Manners: The Holiday Edition December 23 2010, 0 Comments

‘Tis the time of year when people give you a gift, and you don’t have one to give to them. When you receive a pink fuzzy sweater that you’d like to exchange. And perhaps there’s a coffee maker, a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine you’re thinking of regifting.

How’s a polite barn girl to handle these situations? It’s also the time of year when we want to thank the folks who work hard all year to care for our beasts—the barn workers, the trainer, the farrier, the vet. What’s an appropriate gift?

Vermonters in King George’s Court November 25 2010, 0 Comments

Last week, two trainers and one junior rider from our area had the opportunity to ride in a George Morris clinic, held at The Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, Nov. 12-14.

Barn mates pooled resources and gifted the clinic to our trainer Tara Valade as her Christmas present. Fox Horn Stables, our friendly neighbors down the road in Charlotte, caught wind of what we were doing and decided to do the same for their trainer Ashley Conway. Junior rider Piper Oren’s parents decided to send her as well. Just like that, three lifelong dreams were about to be realized.

Dawn does the work for me: E-Reader reviews November 24 2010, 0 Comments

I love it when a friend does the work for you. Tis the holiday shopping season, and this is a post less about the mom horse life and more about the mom shopping life, especially around the holidays. It’s crazier than usually, with even more things to do. The girl’s list is long with horse supplies. The boy wants WWE games. Sigh, yes, he has discovered Professional Wrestling. So, why am I currently thinking about e-readers? Because that’s what’s on MY holiday list.

Time For Mom To Follow The Horse Show Rules November 14 2010, 0 Comments

From May through October, I kept a kid and horse entirely presentable and A-rated horse show ready. I dry cleaned show coats, I hand-washed Essex Collection shirts, I removed stains from Tailored Sportsman breeches. I found a hand-me-down pair of ancient tall boots and taught my kid how to polish and nurse them through the season.

The girl learned from her trainer and me never to go into the show ring without an immaculate horse wearing clean tack. The show day was only over when your horse, tack and stall were clean. Wherever we were, Massachusetts, Vermont or New York, the girl was packed and prepared. And so was I. She made it through an entire horse show season without forgetting or losing much of anything. I considered these skills—what she was learning outside of the ring—to be as essential as what she was learning in the ring.

Barn Manners: Banish The Borrowers? November 05 2010, 0 Comments

Question:  There’s a person in our barn who is constantly borrowing things from everyone else—polo wraps, boots, bits, spurs, stirrups, she even used someone else’s saddle for the entire show season. We all know it’s expensive to ride, and you can’t always afford to buy everything your horse needs. And I don’t mind lending things out once in a while. But this chronic lending seems to be a solution rather than a stop-gap measure. In my opinion, if you can’t afford to be in the sport, get out. Harsh, I know. Should I share my views or sit back and continue to watch this person benefit from everyone’s generosity?

How To Have A Happy Horsey Halloween October 30 2010, 0 Comments

How many of you have Halloween plans that involve horses? And costumes? Come on…fess up! How many of you have spent time and money this month making or buying a Halloween costume for a horse? You can’t hide it from me. I made a tutu last year for a Connemara. It doesn’t get more embarrassing than that.

This year, we’re forgoing the Halloween barn party, since we had all kinds of hoopla last year. Don’t tell the kids, but in my opinion, phew! I am lacking in the creativity department and dressing up a pony as a princess last year just about maxed me out in the talent department. After many frantic posts on the COTH forums, I had tips and suggestions from some pros and was able to make it through.

New England Equitation Championships: Day Two, NEHC Medal Finals, 18-22 Year-Olds October 24 2010, 0 Comments

The third group of amateur adult competitors entered the exposition hall on Friday in Springfield, Mass., to compete for the NEHC Adult Medal Final in the 18-22-year-old division. The second day of competition at the New England Equitation Championships featured 84 riders from seven states.

The challenging 11-fence course provided no easy options with broken lines, an end line fantail oxer that was the downfall of many horse and rider teams, and two one-stride in-and-outs. Riders had several options throughout the course to show off for the judges with tight inside turns.

NEHC Medal Finals: Sylvia De Toledo Wins 34th New England Equitation Championship October 24 2010, 0 Comments

It was an early start for the junior riders competing in the 34th annual New England Equitation Championships held at The Big E coliseum in Springfield, Mass., on Sunday, Oct. 24. The course walk began at 6 a.m., and the first rider was on course at 7.

According to the 16-member organizing committee, the New England Equitation Championships has grown from humble beginnings to become one of the most prestigious and well-attended equitation finals in the country. The four-day competition closed Sunday with the junior equitation final which featured 255 riders, each of whom qualified by winning one NEHC medal class during the year.

A Horse Girl Through & Through October 23 2010, 0 Comments

Our former barn manager left a few months ago to have a baby. She’s in her early 20s and has taken to motherhood like me to chocolate.

Less than four weeks postpartum, she made her first appearance at the barn, and we were on her like dirt on a gray mare. All of us barn moms were “oohhing” and “aahhing,” making the necessary comments about beautiful features, long fingers and the eternal mystery of the sweet smell of newborn baby.

New England Medal Finals: Day One-Adults (23-40) October 23 2010, 0 Comments

Part One: NEHC Amateur Adult Medal Finals 23-40-Year-Olds

Yesterday was an exciting start to the 34th annual New England Equitation Championships. An event with humble beginnings, the organizing committee now boasts that it hosts one of the most prestigious and well-attended equitation finals competitions in the country. With no one arguing otherwise, the four-day competition kicked off with adult equitation finals broken down by two age groups: a 23-40 division and a 41 and over division.