PonyUP! Kentucky Gives Back to the Pyramid Society
PonyUP! Kentucky was delighted recently to donate an original painting and a PonyUP! Kentucky handbags to the Pyramid Society for their silent auction.
Established in 1969 by a small group of North American breeders, the Pyramid Society is recognized today as the largest international community of Egyptian Arabian breeders, owners, and enthusiasts, all joining together with one purpose: to safeguard the legacy of the Straight Egyptian Arabian horse.
Comprised of active members on almost every continent, the Pyramid Society is a unique membership organization characterized by a strategic pursuit of breeding excellence. Preserving these amazing animals is no small endeavor! We encourage you to use the links on this page to explore the many ways the Pyramid Society supports its members and their breeding programs.
We couldn’t do it without your support! Thank you!
PonyUP! Kentucky Gives Back to Kentucky Equine Humane Center
As always, PonyUP! Kentucky was thrilled to donate $250 to a great horse rescue organization.
Kentucky Equine Humane Center (KyEHC), located in Nicholasville, Kentucky, is a first-of-its-kind facility. This tranquil 72-acre farm provides humane treatment and shelter while working as a clearinghouse to seek adoptive homes for all of Kentucky’s unwanted equines, regardless of breed.
We fully support the KyEHC’s mission of educating the public and raising awareness for responsible equine ownership so that fewer horses end up in crisis. We applaud the work KyEHC does in working with and serving as a model for organizations with the same mission in other states: to save America’s equines from inhumane treatment.
Thanks to all of you for your role in helping us help KyEHC!
PonyUP! Kentucky Gives Back to New Vocations
PonyUP! Kentucky was thrilled recently to donate $250 to New Vocations.
New Vocations has six locations in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
A 501 © (3) non-profit racehorse adoption program, New Vocations was founded in 1992 to offer retiring racehorses a safe-haven, rehabilitation, and continued education through placement in experienced, caring homes. Most of the horses arriving at New Vocations are injured and thin, suffering the many occupational hazards of racing.
New Vocations provides a safety net for these horses, matching them with qualified owners and following up on their rehabilitation and vocational training to ensure a successful transition. The organization’s focus is on adoption versus retirement, believing that each horse deserves to have an individual home and purpose.
Since its inception, close to 4,000 retired Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds have been placed in qualified homes through New Vocations’ efforts, including 429 ex-racehorses that were placed in 2011. These horses have come from 18 different states and have been adopted by families throughout the country.
Thanks to all of you for helping us give to New Vocations – helping horses in need!
Now through Friday, April 5, save 10% sitewide by entering EASTER at checkout!
New! PonyUP! Kentucky’s Genuine Leather Collection
PonyUP! Kentucky is all about equestrian fashion with purpose and passion.
As you know, we take the fashion part seriously. We’re always looking for ways to expand our product lines, and we think we’ve got another winner.
We just launched an extensive line of genuine leather handbags!
As great as they look in the pictures, they’re even better in real life. Our founder Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, travels to Louisville, Kentucky, to personally select each hide with love and care, with every PonyUP! Girl in mind.
Our genuine leather handbags are affordably priced. The collection features a number of styles and sizes, including Equestrian Hobos, Middie Hobos, and Petite Hobos, Equestrian Bridle Bags, Middie Bridle Bags and Petite Bridle Bags. Look for them on our Hobos Catalog with names beginning with “Leather.” You’ll also find Equestrian Briefcases and Saddle Satchels on our New Styles Catalog, all also with names beginning with “Leather.”
Check them out today!
Save a Little Green with our St. Patrick’s Day Sale!
We’re having a sale at PonyUPKentucky.com! Now through March 17th, enter the code PATRICK at checkout to save 10 percent sitewide!
PonyUP! Kentucky Gives Back to Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc.
PonyUP! Kentucky was delighted to donate $200 recently to Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc. (TPR) in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Our blog readers know that we love the concept of the organization’s horse show, which showcases off-the-track Thoroughbreds (OTTB). The Maryland Thoroughbred Charity Horse Show will be held at Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, on April 27 and 28 this year. Proceeds from the show will benefit the horses at TPR.
Currently, the Maryland racing industry has no official retirement program for race horses. TPR, Inc. exists to improve the lives of Thoroughbred racehorses, by successfully transitioning and retraining racehorses for other disciplines and uses these techniques and philosophies to help others learn these skills. The organization strives to improve the reputation of the Thoroughbred by providing the correct information about this wonderful breed. Through support, education, retraining, rescue, and placement, TPR strives to make a difference in the lives of Thoroughbred racehorses. Since November 2007, TPR has placed more than 600 horses—mostly Thoroughbred racehorses retired from Maryland tracks—through sales and adoptions. This terrific organization depends on donations from Thoroughbred enthusiasts and the public.
Again, our sincere thanks to all of you for helping us give to TPR, Inc. We love helping horses in need!
PonyUP! Kentucky Gives Back to Thoroughbred Placement Resources
PonyUP! Kentucky was thrilled to donate one of our Ascot Derby Equestrian Hobo handbags and a Gold Streak Equestrian Bridle Bag, along with a painting, and a copy of a book authored by our founder, Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH: Riding for Life, to Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc. (TPR, Inc.).
We love the concept of their horse show, which showcases off the track Thoroughbreds (OTTB). With our donation, we’re a Laurel sponsor!
TPR, Inc. exists to improve the lives of Thoroughbred racehorses, by successfully transitioning and retraining racehorses for other disciplines and uses these techniques and philosophies to help others learn these skills. The organization, based in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, strives to improve the reputation of the Thoroughbred by providing the correct information about this wonderful breed.
Through placement, support, education, and rescue, TPR, Inc. strives to make a difference in the rescue, retraining, and placement of Thoroughbred racehorses. This terrific organization depends on donations from both Thoroughbred horsemen and women and the public.
Thanks to all of you for helping us give to TPR, Inc., helping us help horses in need!
Save 10% Why? Because we love you!
Save 10% sitewide with code VALENTINE, through Feb 28. Please help us spread the word!
Thank you always for helping us help horses in need!
13 Things Your Horse Rescue Organization Wants You to Know
With a friendly PonyUP! shout-out to the popular Reader’s Digest feature “13 Things…,” we now present the following 13 facts about horse rescue organizations:
- There’s no trade association or regulatory agency for horse rescue organizations.
- While the IRS lists nonprofit, tax-exempt “equine rescues,” “horse rescues,” and “equine humane societies,” it does not include animal shelters that rescue horses or farm animals. There are countless private rescues operations—and no guidelines on what can be called a private rescue operation, so there’s no good way to know how many there are.
- Each year, dozens or more new rescue organizations spring up across the United States—and unfortunately, many rescues also close their doors annually.
- Horse rescues organizations perform a variety of activities.
- Rescue activities include taking in horses and other equines from various sources such as auctions or feedlots, off-the-track horses, donated or owner surrendered horses, and abandoned horses or those that have been removed from their owners by law enforcement agencies.
- Horse rescues organizations often provide education in the form of training and riding clinics, seminars on horse care topics, and printed information.
- When an owner has a horse that they fear they cannot keep due to illness, injury, lameness, or behavioral or training problems, some rescue organizations are able to help the owner find a veterinarian or other equine professional who can help the owner solve the problems and keep the horse.
- Horse rescue organizations often work with law enforcement officers to investigate reports of neglect or abuse and take in horses that have been removed from their owners due to neglect, abuse, or abandonment.
- Horse rescues organizations need our help!
- Most horse rescue operations are run solely by volunteers, and others have only one or two paid employees. If you have time to groom, feed, train, or otherwise handle the horses, a horse rescue operation needs your help! If you can foster or adopt a horse, or help out with trailering horses, your help is always welcome.
- If you have legal skills, accounting skills, fundraising skills, marketing or public relations skills, horse rescue organizations would love to meet you!
- Horse rescue organizations also need our donations. There’s no government funding for them, so they depend on fundraisers and donations to bring in the money they must have to support and care for the horses.
If you’re a seasoned horsewoman, you have a lot of valuable skills and experience to benefit horse rescue organizations. But even if you’ve never ridden a horse, you still have plenty to offer. Call a horse rescue organization nearby and see how you can get involved. You’ll never regret it.
PonyUP! Team Member Top Picks Part II
Jenn R. is the PonyUP! team member responsible for our website, among her many duties! She also fulfills all your orders, and answers your questions at email@example.com. Jen took time out of her busy schedule recently to share her fave PonyUP! bags.
Editor’s Note: This is one of our most popular styles!
Jenn R. says: “I have this and wear it all the time!”
Jenn R. says: “I have this one as well and wear it when I wear darker blues. Can you tell my fave color is blue?”
Jenn R. says: “I’m a simple gal and the solid colors of this handbag appeal to me.”
Thanks, Jenn! Awesome choices!
Thanks to you, PonyUP! Kentucky donates another $1500 in Cash and Merchandise!
Mylestone Equine Rescue: PonyUP! Kentucky recently donated $200 and a Peppermint Paddock hobo to be offered an upcoming silent auction to Mylestone Equine Rescue (M.E.R.). Located in Philipsburg, NJ, M.E.R. is dedicated to abused and neglected horses, and works to educate the general public about the plight of unwanted horses.
Mid-Atlantic Equine Rescue: PonyUP! Kentucky recently donated $200 and a Peppermint Paddock hobo to be offered at an upcoming silent auction.
Gentle Giants: PonyUP! Kentucky recently donated $200 and a handbag to Gentle Giants. Gentle Giants is a 501(c) (3) tax deductible non-profit organization.
New Vocations: PonyUP! Kentucky recently donated $200 and a handbag to New Vocations. New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, was founded in 1992 to offer retiring racehorses a safe-haven, rehabilitation, and continued education through placement in experienced, caring homes. Close to 4,000 retired Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds have been placed in qualified homes through New Vocations’ efforts since its inception, including 429 ex-racehorses that were placed in 2011. These horses have come from 18 different states and have been adopted by families throughout the country.
Second Stride: PonyUP! Kentucky recently donated $200 and a handbag to Second Stride. Second Stride placed more than 100 horses in adoptive homes over the last two years and is on track to place 100 horses this year. Second Stride is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization providing professional rehabilitation, retraining, and placement for retired thoroughbred racehorses in qualified homes so that they may reach their full potential in a productive second career.
Thank you for helping PonyUP!Kentucky help horses in need!
Our Gift to You: Save 10%
We are so grateful to our PonyUP! Kentucky friends who help us to help horses in need! That’s why we’re having an extended holiday sale! Save 10% sitewide through the end of 2012! Enter the code HOLIDAY at checkout!
Thanks to You, PonyUP! Kentucky Donated $1000 in Cash and Merchandise
Your PonyUP! Kentucky purchases have helped us to donate to these wonderful organizations!
The Arabian Rescue Mission: PonyUP! Kentucky recently donated $100 to the Arabian Rescue Mission in Glasgow, KY. The mission is a small, local horse rescue focused on helping as many Arabians and horses of other breeds as possible. With more than 400 horses helped this year, from 8 herds of 10 to 50 horses in different states, the Arabian Rescue Mission is a top rated 2012 nonprofit organization. We’re grateful for all these wonderful folks do to help horses in need.
CANTER of Kentucky: PonyUP! Kentucky recently donated $100 to CANTER of Kentucky. CANTER (the Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses) is a nonprofit organization in 10 states, dedicated to providing retiring racehorses with opportunities for new careers after the finish line. We’re so grateful to CANTER for helping so many deserving horses find loving homes!
Saddlebred Rescue Inc.: PonyUP! Kentucky recently donated $100 to Saddlebred Rescue Inc., in honor of Karen Rector and Connie Rhea, two of our PonyUP! Kentucky friends customers. Saddlebred Rescue and American Horse Adoption is a 501C3 horse rescue that incorporates the thinking and practices of a professional show stable with the realities of the plight of unwanted horses today. The wonderful folks in New Jersey are doing a great job rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming horses in need.
Speak Up for Horses: PonyUP! Kentucky recently donated $100 to Speak Up for Horses. Speak Up For Horses was founded by life-long horse owners and enthusiasts who met after the 2004 wreck of a double decker cattle truck full of horses in southeast Indiana. It’s a 501c3 registered nonprofit, and its big-hearted volunteers are doing lots of great things for horses and people.
CANTER of Michigan: PonyUP! Kentucky recently donated $100 and a PonyUP! Kentucky handbag for an upcoming fundraiser in honor of Crickett Killen to CANTER of Michigan. Cricket found her beloved mare Spritzer at CANTER of Michigan, and Cricket and Spritzer changed each other’s lives.
Kentucky Equine Humane Center: PonyUP! Kentucky recently donated $100 and a PonyUP! Kentucky handbag for an upcoming fundraiser to Kentucky Equine Humane Center. Located in the lush bluegrass of Nicholasville, KY, the Center provides humane treatment and shelter while working as a clearinghouse to seek adoptive homes for all of Kentucky’s unwanted equines, regardless of breed. The Center also educates the public and raise awareness for responsible equine ownership so that fewer horses end up in crisis, and works with and serves as a model for horse rescue organizations with the same mission in other states: to save America’s equines from inhumane treatment. The awesome volunteers at KEHC are doing a great job caring for horses until they can be placed in loving new homes.
We’re so grateful to all of the volunteers who give their time, energy, and love to horses in need, and we’re also grateful to our wonderful PonyUP! Kentucky friends for helping these wonderful volunteers save the lives of neglected and unwanted horses.
Team Member Picks!
by PonyUP! Kentucky blogger Jennifer Goldsmith Cerra
It’s super hard to narrow down my fave PonyUP! Kentucky handbags – each one is amazing and special for different reasons. If I had to give Santa my wish list, here are my top five (in no particular order):
Livery Middie Bridle Bag: I can see taking this one out on the weekend – it’s medium size makes it perfect for taking your essential items out with you when catching up on all those errands! I love the trendy faux leather too.
Metallica Equitation Handbag: Bigger than the middie – and more suitable for an everyday bag. Takes you everywhere – work, home, vacation – in style. I love the neutral color—it goes with all your favorite outfits!
Mocha Equestrian Bridle Bag: Yummy! And I love brown too.
True Black Premium Hobo: Every girl needs one of these. Goes with everything. Carries everything.
Enchanted Travel Bag – With the holidays approaching, this one comes to mind (again). It’s always been one of my faves – so perfect for weekend trips. Stylish and elegant.
Hope these gave YOU some good ideas!
Superstorm Sandy Impacts Horse Rescue
Superstorm Sandy’s devastating impact has understandably also touched the horse community.
As we know, even in the best of times, horse rescue organizations are regularly challenged to fund their operations. With the storm having wreaked destruction across the Northeast, there are even greater obstacles to overcome right now.
While so many have donated time and money to help our fellow citizens affected by the storm, it’s essential that we also remember our beloved horses.
We encourage you to share information on any horse rescue organizations you know of that need help helping horses in need in the aftermath of the hurricane.
As always, 100 percent of our profits go directly to horse rescue organizations. Thank you for helping PonyUP! Kentucky help horses in need.
For Horse Rescues, The Crisis Is Growing
Horse rescue organizations nationwide have been struggling to care for a growing number of animals abandoned since the Great Recession hit in 2007.
Their work has become even more difficult and expensive since last summer’s drought and wildfires burned up pastures and sent hay prices skyrocketing. As a result, farmers and ranchers from Ohio west to California have had trouble growing hay this year. One horse rescue organization in Nebraska got a 46 bale donation last year from a 22-acre plot but this year expects only six or seven bales. In that state, recent wildfires only added to the shortage, forcing ranchers to choose between feeding their horses and more profitable cattle.
Hay prices in many locations in the U.S. have doubled. Meanwhile, horse adoptions have fallen off as people become more reluctant to take on the expense.
Advocates say no one tracks how many horses are abandoned, but the Washington, D.C.-based Unwanted Horse Coalition estimated the number at 170,000 to 180,000 per year in a 2009 report.
In 2012, the problem appears worse based on the number of calls the coalition has received this summer from owners who can’t feed their horses, said Ericka Caslin, the group’s director. Caslin told The Huffington Post that her group tries to connect horse owners with shelters, but many are already at capacity.
The newspaper also reported that Tony Pecho, president of the Illinois Horse Rescue near Chicago, began the year excited that land purchases and a sharecropping deal with another horse owner had doubled the property he had available to grow hay. But so far, he said, the 70 acres he has this year produced one-fourth of the hay gathered last year.
Pecho said he’s concerned he won’t be able to store enough food to get his 15 horses through the winter, when they won’t be able to graze at all. Meanwhile, the number of calls to his rescue organization to take in abused and neglected animals has increased from four to 20 per month.
Horse owners said the situation has become desperate because those in trouble have few options, especially since some sanctuaries have stopped taking animals.
“There’s no place to go with a horse you can’t feed,” Iowa Horse Council President Bill Paynter, of New Virginia, Iowa, was quoted.
Even horse owners who have the money to buy hay may have a tough time finding it. James Noel of Coatesville, Indiana, said he harvested enough to feed his six horses this year, but he didn’t have enough to sell to others. He worries about what some people will do this winter, as supplies wane.
“If people have hay, they’re hanging onto it,” Noel, president of the Indiana Horse Council, was quoted. “It’s taken a toll on all of us, and we’re all sure it’s going to get a lot worse.”
Source: The Huffington Post
New Styles—Just for You!
The PonyUP! team is always thinking about new styles. After all, “equestrian fashion with purpose and passion” has to stay fresh and relevant for all our PonyUP! Girls.
We’re thrilled to announce two new styles have been added to our collection.
Check out our new Middie bridle bags and Petite bridle bags at www.ponyupkentucky.com!
As you might guess, our Middie Bridle Bags are sized between our Equestrian Bridle Bags and our Petite Bridle Bags. Our Middie Bridle Bags are 13.5 inches wide by 9 inches deep. As our other Bridle Bags, there’s no gusset separating the two panels. Inside, our Middie Bridle Bags have two 6-inch wide by 7-inch deep pockets on one side and a 9-inch wide by 5½-inch deep zipper-close pocket.
Our PonyUP! Kentucky Petite Bridle Bags are another recent addition to our PonyUP! Kentucky line! Our Petite Bridle Bags measure 10½ inches wide by 7 inches deep. What makes a Petite Bridle Bag different than a Petite Hobo is the Bridle Bags don’t have gussets separating the panels. Inside, our Petite Bridle Bags feature two 4-inch wide by 5-inch deep pockets on one side, and a 7-inch wide by 4-inch deep zipper-close pocket on the other side.
You’ll both of these great new bridle bag sizes on our PonyUP!Kentucky Hobo Handbag Catalog
Just When You Think You Have It All Figured Out…
Before I get to the drama of the summer of 2012, I need to set the scene for you. Let’s go back to last fall when I was offered my “dream job.” My friend, the owner of the ranch, read my first blog on PonyUpKentucky.com and asked me to leave my retail job and help run his ranch. At first, I said no. I was working hard starting my own horse business, a therapeutic riding stable, and I did not want to go work for someone else. But as he described the position, the more I thought it was the right path for me. He told me all the issues the ranch was facing: no job descriptions for employees, no policy and procedures, no budget, no accountability for workers, no marketing plan, no social media presence, no computerized record keeping, no team unity or company loyalty. These are all issues I have handled in my 18 years of retail management experience. Eventually, the other part of my job at the ranch would be managing the breeding program. But because I hadn’t been involved in horse breeding for years, we agreed I would not manage that part of the business until I had a year or more experience with the ranch’s breeding program. Okay, with the backstory explained, we can move forward to this summer.
If you’ve been reading along, you know that for years now I’ve been trying to follow my heart and create a horse business to call my own. I thought I was doing everything right: taking classes, doing research, getting healthy and then moving an hour away to help manage the ranch. Well as it turns out, I wasn’t meant to hone my ranch manager skills in this way.
On an unseasonably hot June day, I went to a co-worker’s husband’s funeral. It was a sad, but beautiful, day, as friends and family said goodbye in a very traditional New Mexican cowboy way. After the services, I returned to work and received a message to meet the General Manager in his office. He came into the room and said the words I never thought I’d hear; “We have to let you go.” I laughed, thinking he was being silly. I mean honestly, I had so many projects in the works, he couldn’t be serious! Then he said “Don’t take it personal.” How could I not? These words from a man I have known since 1994, standing here in the very place I came to fall in love with—New Mexico. I’ve known this family for so long, they almost feel like my family. It is personal, to me anyway. He told me “Your skills don’t match the position.” We were talking about a position that was created for me. It made no sense. The owner hired me specifically for my skills. He knew that I had spent the last 18 years perfecting my management skills in the retail world. He knew my strength was in building a loyal, hardworking team. I know what a great manager I am. I was brought on to help a multi-million dollar hobby run like a business. This was a very large task that I was diligently working on. I was creating a budget, writing a policy and procedure manual, learning Quick Books and payroll, tracking spending, digitizing the ranch records, creating sales marketing and handling social media. On top of all my daily duties, I was also helping plan the owner’s daughter’s 21st birthday party—a monstrous event, for which I even went so far as to hire the crew from the TV show,Full Metal Jousting as the day’s entertainment.
I was told to leave all of this unfinished and walk away. I was so devastated, I could barely speak. My sobs continued as I packed up my office and headed home to pack the house up.
Those first couple of phone calls I had to make to friends and family were beyond difficult for me. I was so overcome with emotion that I couldn’t even start to pack. Luckily, I have a very level-headed sister and best friend at the other end of a phone. The two of them came down and put my life back in boxes that weekend. Two days later, I was back in my house in Albuquerque.
Have you ever seen the first Sex in the City movie? I was like Carrie after Big left her at the alter: numb, angry, lost. How could I have failed so badly after only six months on the job? How was that enough time to get anything done? My self doubt and depression overwhelmed me for a few weeks. I was a walking, talking zombie. It was not pretty.
I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason, I just was not ready to look this particular nightmare in the eye yet. My friends and family reassured me this was all going to work out in my favor. After all, my sister was living in my house and paying my mortgage, and my parents were about to move nearby. The timing seemed to support the notion that the universe was pushing me in the direction I needed to go. Well, it was more like a double barreled kick in the booty than a push!
So now I find myself unemployed, broke, and in a great state of sadness as I try to regroup my efforts to start this business. It is not without its bad days, but it’s my reality now. I have to find the spark I had a few years ago when my sister and I originally dreamt up this plan of starting our own horse business. I know it’s still inside of me: I just have to sort through all the emotional baggage to get there. I will get there. I will make this happen, mostly for myself, to prove I can do it. But also to prove to those who doubted me that I am capable of incredible things. Just you wait and see…
This summer’s book: Second Acts: Creating the life you really want, building the career you truly desire by Stephan M. Pollan
Fall Fashion Trends
You know how much we love what we do – after all, our motto is “equestrian fashion with purpose and passion” – so you know we’re also determined to offer handbags that are as stylish and unique as you are.
Fall 2012 is chock-full of amazing fashion ideas. And we’ve responded with a selection of PonyUP!Kentucky handbags to keep you perfectly on-trend.
Here’s a snapshot of what’s out there on the runways, and what you can check out on our site:
Trend: Black & blue (together!)
PonyUP! Kentucky suggestions:
PonyUP! Kentucky suggestions:
PonyUP! Kentucky suggestions:
Trend: Winter White
PonyUP! Kentucky suggestions:
Keep checking back with us at www.ponyupkentucky.com for new, exciting handbags! All of our profits benefit rescued and retired horses in need. Whenever you carry a PonyUP!Kentucky handbag you won’t just look great, you’ll feel great too!
PonyUP! Kentucky Gives Back to American Saddlebred Rescue
In August, PonyUP! Kentucky donated – for the third time – $500 to Saddlebred Rescue, Inc. PonyUP!Kentucky took part in a fundraising luncheon for Saddlebred Rescue. held during the World’s Champion Horse Show in Louisville in August. Proceeds from PonyUP!Kentucky handbag sales were donated to the organization.
Saddlebred Rescue (SBR), based in New Jersey, is a truly unique equine rescue organization that incorporates the thinking and practices of a professional show stable with the realities of the plight of unwanted horses today.
SBR buys all horses in its program mostly from auctions and sales where they were slaughter bound. The organization’s trainer works with each horse to evaluate and design a schooling program to make the horse be as placeable as possible. All horses are evaluated by two professional horse trainers before they are placed with their new owners.
Each horse’s overall health condition is assessed by SBR staff, and veterinarian, if necessary, and urgent health issues are treated. All SBR horses are in a lifetime program and their new owners will always have the option returning the horses to SBR if circumstances change. Thanks to all of our wonderful PonyUP!Kentucky customers in Louisville who made this donation possible, and for helping us help horses in need.
PonyUP! Gives Back to the Humane Society of Pulanski County
This donation has an interesting back story.
PonyUP! Kentucky founder Rallie McAllister met Shannon Treece at the recent Kentucky Dressage Association (KDA) show. Shannon was new to our handbags, but it didn’t take long for her to fall in love with the handbags and our mission (and now she’s our latest PonyUP! Girl). Shannon promptly showed the ones she bought to her friends back home in Little Rock, and they ordered several for themselves.
Shannon and her friends are actively involved with the Pulaski County Humane society in Arkansas. As a private no-kill shelter, supported solely by donations, fund-raisers, bequests and grants, the Society receives no funding from the city, county or state, and it isn’t affiliated with any other organization. The society has been rescuing animals since 1955, and at any given time, it has 15 to 30 horses that have been rescued from abusive situations. The hardworking folks at the Pulaski County Humane Society work tirelessly to adopt them out.
Thanks to Shannon, her friends Ann Kline and Melissa Bowen, and all the PonyUP! Girls in Little Rock for helping us help the amazing team—and the horses—at the Humane Society of Pulaski County.
A New Chapter
As spring arrived in central New Mexico, so did the working students. Since I was living alone in the biggest ranch-owned house, I was told I needed to host the girls. It was a bit scary at first; I was worried about having to be a babysitter for two high school girls. I cherish my solitude, so having roommates was not on my agenda. But in the end, those two Swedish girls charmed their way into my heart!
A week into their stay, we took them on a Sundowner into San Lorenzo Canyon. We filled a cooler with drinks and dinner and set out in the gator to show off the New Mexico countryside and its amazing sunsets. We had a blast hiking and exploring the canyon. Driving back to the ranch, watching our reflection in the ground, I was struck by a moment so profound that it brought tears to my sunglass-covered eyes. This sunset canyon adventure brought me full circle from my days as a working student to managing this ranch. It takes my breath away, how beautiful this land is and what an opportunity I have “fallen into.”
The girls only spent four weeks with me, but it was a treat! We worked long days. I think that they learned a great deal about America and New Mexico culture. We still had to make time to have fun. They wanted to see “real” cowboys, so I took them to a fantastic rodeo in Magdalena, New Mexico. Toward the end of the day, the rodeo ended abruptly due to a tornado bearing down on the town! Dodging hail the size of marbles, we escaped to my car to wait it out. We sat there watching the tornado come toward the rodeo grounds, but as it did, it started to dissipate, thank goodness! It was quite the day out on the town!
I had such a good time with those girls. They were very grateful guests and wildly funny. I laughed more with them than I had in a very long time.
Leaving them at the airport was difficult for me and for them. We shed lots of tears, but I was grateful to have made life-long friends! And now I have an excuse to go to Europe!
The same day my houseguests flew back to Sweden, I flew home to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. My parents had finally sold the house, and I went home to help them pack up 40 years of our life.
I spent a week packing boxes, throwing away old stuff, and reliving memories with my mom. I slept every night in the room I used to decorate with Duran Duran, Boy George, and Menudo posters. All that stuff is long gone now and my room has been transitioned into a guestroom for all my mom’s writer friends, but my memories are still vivid. My feet still remember the rhythm and spacing of the 19th century staircase that leads down to the front on the house. As I helped box up everything, I found all kinds of family treasures: old photos of my ancestors, yearbooks and scrapbooks, my parent’s wedding photos and cake topper, as well as an Edgar Allen Poe book from 1933.
I wish I’d taken more time to say goodbye to the town that helped shape who I am. I did find time to go down to the beach where I had taken swimming lessons for years. I walked barefoot in the sand, stuck my feet in the cold Atlantic, and said goodbye to it all. It’s not that I can’t ever come back; it’s just that when I do, I will be just another Cape Cod tourist.
So much has changed in the 10 years that I’ve been gone. It is a beautiful place, but it was never my destiny to live there. Perhaps as a senior citizen, I will summer there one day!
While I was home, I got to participate in a wonderfully inspiring event. Last month, my mother won the 2012 International Doire Press Poetry Chapbook Competition. Her book of poems will be published in Ireland this July. The only thing the contest didn’t pay for was the flight to Galway, Ireland for the book’s launch. So, my mom’s innovative screen writing friends organized a fundraiser for her. About 60 people attended the event and many more sent in donations. At the end of the night, they had raised more than $2,300 for her trip. I enjoyed the wonderful night, surrounded by people (most of whom I didn’t know) who love my mom! She got to read some powerful poems from the book, which is called The History of Bearing Children. It is a collection of poems about raising children in a home with a Vietnam War veteran. The poems are deeply personal. One of them is about me. As my mom read it that evening, I cried for the beauty of the piece. I was so proud of my mom and so overjoyed that I’m her daughter. It was heart-warming to see how supportive my mom’s friends are. She gets to go to Ireland with the backing of the entire Cape Cod writing community. My sister will accompany her on the trip. What’s my price for “letting” my sis go to Ireland? She MUST ride an Irish pony while she is there! And perhaps meet a nice Irish lad to bring home!
After my quick “vacation” on the Cape, I returned to my ranch life and the biggest surprise of my life… (You’ll read about it in my next installment!)
In the meantime, here’s my mother’s poem…
Mount the Morning
By Jacqueline Murray Loring
Your tomboy torso rises atop
vine-like legs in brown, suede pots
to the helmet of velvet I’ve made you wear
under your Stetson all these years.
Wait to saddle that horse, I sigh,
more hands than I have grown you high,
till you recite your litany of ‘I’s’,
includes the numbers you’ve memorised.
Trace for me the wild life trails
You’ll ride along the abandoned rails,
promise not to cross for any reason.
Kids and horses have no season.
Don’t leave with just my love your guard,
You’re small, I warn and concrete’s hard
on braids if Lady falls on slippery blades
that wait beneath your Club’s parade.
No jumping rotting trees or bees,
skies threaten to dampen leaves.
Dragons fly above mirrored ponds
where monsters doze,
hide their breakfast
from the crows.
Come home, I cry,
from worry dolls
and leave me free
to mount this morning
and to start
to teach the squirrel
not to dart.
PonyUP! Gives Back to Saddlebred Rescue
Recently, PonyUP! Kentucky donated a handbag and sent a $500 donation to Saddlebred Rescue, Inc.
Saddlebred Rescue (SBR), based in Hardwick, New Jersey, is a truly unique rescue organization that incorporates the practices of a professional show stable with the realities of the plight of unwanted horses today.
SBR buys most of the horses in its program from auctions and sales where they are slaughter bound. When a rescued horse arrives at the farm, its overall health is assessed by SBR staff, and a veterinarian, if necessary, so that urgent health issues can be treated. Once the rescued horses are healthy and sound, they’re evaluated by the SBR trainer, who then designs a schooling program to help the horse become as placeable as possible All horses are evaluated by two professional trainers before they are placed. Every horse rescued by SBR is entered into a lifetime program, which continues even after adoption. Should an adopter’s circumstances change, he or she will always have the option of returning the adopted Saddlebred to SBR.
Thank you for helping PonyUP! Kentucky help American Saddlebreds in need!
PonyUP! Gives back to Arabian Horse Rescue
by PonyUP! Kentucky blogger Jennifer Goldsmith Cerra
In June, PonyUP! Kentucky sent a $500 donation to the Arabian Horse Rescue Association.
The Arabian Horse Rescue Association has a twofold mission:
- To rescue, rehabilitate and place horses, specifically Arabians, who have been neglected, abused or are unwanted, or where life situations change drastically, in permanent, loving, responsible forever homes.
- To educate people in the care, nutrition and responsibility of horse ownership and the commitment that relationship requires.
100 percent of donations to the Arabian Horse Rescue Association go directly to the horses. Thank you to our PonyUP! Kentucky friends for helping us help horses in need!
PonyUP! Gives Back to Midatlantic Horse Rescue
by PonyUP! Kentucky blogger Jennifer Goldsmith Cerra
In June, PonyUP! Kentucky donated handbags – our amazing Sable Equestrian Essentials and Devonshire Equestrian hobo bags – and sent a $500 donation to Mid Atlantic Horse Rescue.
Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue (MAHR), based in Maryland, is a federal 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization that buys slaughter bound ex-racehorses and adopts them into good homes where they can start a new life.
For 25 years, MAHR has been buying Thoroughbreds at livestock auctions, evaluating them, and starting them in new careers. Board president Ginny Suarez and executive director Beverly Strauss are lifelong horsewomen. As Graduate B and A Pony Clubbers, both women have extensive experience in eventing, dressage, showing, and foxhunting, and are licensed racehorse trainers.
Hats off to MAHR for helping horse in need!
Got Your Boot Socks On?
by PonyUP! Kentucky blogger Jennifer Goldsmith Cerra
You know that the PonyUP! Kentucky team is all about equestrian fashion with purpose and passion. And as much as we know our bags go with everything a PonyUP! Girl wears, horse ladies everywhere are working some other fashion trends these days.
We just had to share the latest: boot socks.
Yes, horse girls are rockin’ an amazing array of boot socks. From trendy styles to girly hues, from office-appropriate (?) to statement patterns, we’ve spotted some awesome socks in our travels lately. It’s not just girls, either. Guys are wearing them too. While boot socks are meant to make your horse riding experience more comfortable, it’s clear from this selection of socks that the fashionista in all of us won’t be denied.
We’re thrilled that fashionable equestrian gear is winning blue ribbons these days.
Check out some of the fun boot socks we’ve seen lately.
PonyUP! Gives Back to the Pyramid Society
by PonyUP! Kentucky blogger Jennifer Goldsmith Cerra
In June, PonyUP! Kentucky donated a beautiful Fearless Equestrian Hobo Handbag with shoulder strap to the Pyramid Society for the upcoming Egyptian Event Arabian Horse Show.
The Pyramid Society was created in 1969, by a small group of American Arabian horse breeders, and is now one of the most highly respected Arabian breeders’ organizations in the world. The Egyptian Event is the world’s largest showcase of the Egyptian Arabian horse.
Thank you to our valued PonyUP! Kentucky customers for helping us help horses in need!
PonyUP! Kentucky Gives Back to Second Stride
In May, visitors to our booth at the Rolex event in Lexington were invited to nominate their favorite horse rescue organization for a chance to win a $500 donation.
We received more than 200 entries!
The first winning organization, chosen at random, was Second Stride, and PonyUP! Kentucky sent this organization a donation for $500.
Second Stride provides professional rehabilitation, retraining and placement of retired Thoroughbred racehorses with a goal of ensuring safe, healthy and productive lives after the race track. The program specializes in giving retired Thoroughbreds the proper care and quality training they need to succeed in new disciplines.
Former Second Stride horses are now competing in dressage, eventing and polo, working as search and rescue horses, ranch cutting horses, lesson horses or trail or pleasure horses. Since its inception in 2005, Second Stride has placed more than 250 horses in new homes. PonyUP! Kentucky is happy to support the wonderful people and horses at Second Stride, and we’re thankful to our wonderful customers for helping us help the horses!
Some Exciting Opportunities!
by PonyUP! Kentucky blogger Kendra Loring
In order to keep my focus on my business, I have been looking for a way to teach riding lessons in my down time. Since my move, I’ve had quite a few people ask to come down for lessons, but they don’t understand the kind of place I work at. They think it’s a similar to a dude ranch with riding horses! When in actuality, it’s a multi-million dollar, training facility and show barn. So, I have been on a mission to find a place and a horse to teach on. I have some possibilities on the horizon but it’s a work in progress. I figured it can’t hurt to start to build my reputation while I am here. I am also trying to get involved with the local 4-H clubs. I am determined to be a part of this community since I am going to be here for a while. I can’t stand to be bored, I’d rather spread myself thin. That’s just who I am!
I’ve been thinking of finding a horse so I can teach riding lessons in my downtime. Driving to work one morning, I spotted a field of horses eating the bark off the trees in their “pasture.” I watched them for a few days to see if any food appeared, sadly none did. I had to make a call to the local livestock authorities. They found out that the woman was without a way to feed them and was going to sell them at the local sale barn. So, one of my co-workers and I purchased some hay and brought it over to her. She was very nice and appreciative! She even offered me the horses if I wanted any of them; she had 10 including a donkey. She told me they were all riding horses, good for trail riding. I told her I would love to take them off of her hands, but I had no place to keep them or to teach riding lessons yet. I thought about this for a few days, it seemed like a fantastic offer, free horses to start my small business with. It seemed like something I shouldn’t turn down, but I had no means to make it work right now. I am hoping that once I get involved with 4-H again, I might find some teaching opportunities. My neighbor, who has an off the track Thoroughbred that he no longer rides, offered the horse to me also. He said I would just have to pay the rent at the stable where he is kept and go clean up after him. I am not financially in a place where I am able to commit to that either. I am hoping to find someone with a backyard horse who would not mind me riding or using their horse to teach lessons on someday soon!
It has taken me a few months to settle into my new life, but I have done just that. I have a wealth of opportunity at my fingertips. I get to write for PonyUP! Kentucky still and now I am getting my writing published in a magazine! I get to ride incredible horses, any chance I get! I work with an amazing team of people, whom I learn from every day. I get to play with the cutest foals you’ve ever seen. I feel like my past, my present and my dreams have come together to give me this marvelous life. I wake up every morning wondering what new adventure the day holds for me.
Til next time… (Which I promise will be soon! I have so much fun stuff to tell you!)
Book of the Month: The Soul of a Horse; Life Lessons from the Herd by Joe Camp. Mr. Camp is the Creator of Benji, but this book is about how he and his wife learned how to be natural horse-people. It is quite an inspiring story!
Thanks to You, PonyUP Donates $500 to New Vocations
by PonyUP! Kentucky blogger Jennifer Goldsmith Cerra
In May, visitors to our booth at the Rolex Three Day Event in Lexington, Kentucky, were invited to nominate their favorite horse rescue organization for a chance to win a $500 donation. We received more than 200 entries!
The second winning organization, New Vocations, received a $500 donation and a Harness Horses Equestrian Hobo handbag with shoulder strap, which we happily engraved with New Vocations.
New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program was founded in 1992 to offer retiring racehorses a safe-haven, rehabilitation, and continued education through placement in experienced, caring homes. New Vocations provides a safety net for these horses, matching them with qualified owners and following up on their rehabilitation and vocational training to ensure a successful transition.
Close to 4,000 retired Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds have been placed in qualified homes through New Vocations’ efforts since its inception, including 429 ex-racehorses that were placed in 2011. These horses have come from 18 different states and have been adopted by families throughout the country. We are delighted to help New Vocations help horses in need!
I Feel Lucky!
by PonyUP! Kentucky blogger Kendra Loring
One dreary winter day at the ranch, I went out on a limb and sent an email to the editor of a horse magazine and proposed an article. My boss had told me to be creative with my writing and the marketing of the ranch and its horses. So I did just that! I gave the editor a couple of ideas, but the one he liked most was “an intimate look into a successful breeding operation.” I get to tell another narrative about my re-entry into the horse breeding world. It will be a wonderful story about this amazing place where I am lucky enough to work!
PonyUP! Kentucky Gives Back to Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center
A few weeks ago, PonyUP! Kentucky invited visitors to our booth at the Rolex Three Day Event at the Kentucky Horse Park Lexington to nominate their favorite horse rescue organization for a chance to win a $500 donation.
We received more than 200 entries!
The third organization, chosen at random, Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center, received a $500 donation and a Steeplechase Equestrian Hobo handbag with shoulder strap—engraved with Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center.
The Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center (MMSC) located in the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, serves as a premier reschooling facility and showcase for adoptable racehorses. Founded in 2004 by a group of people in the racing industry, along with Keeneland, Maker’s Mark, and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, the MMSC uses its illustrious location to herald the athleticism of the off the track Thoroughbred to the world.
Thank you, PonyUP! Kentucky customers, for helping us help horses in need!
Hocus, Pocus, Focus!
It is lonely here at the ranch in New Mexico, without a doubt. I have been in to town to watch my neighbor, our ranch farrier, perform with some friends in a band. I got to meet some cool local people. So far, no eligible cowboys, sadly! On weekends, which I currently have off, I go into town to shop or eat or do laundry, hoping to meet someone. But these little towns are not known for their dating scene I go to Albuquerque a few times a month to hang out with my sister and spend some time in “the big city.”
Some days I forget my personal priorities; my health and business plan. Just like any goal, it’s difficult at times to keep my head wrapped around everything going on in my life. I have to remind myself what’s important to me. It’s funny; this little town has many ranches, lots of horses, cattle, a post office, a truck stop and oddly enough, a yoga studio. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try yoga, so I started taking a class. In fact, I am hoping it will help me develop the class I’d like to teach on horseback someday.
100% for Horses
Since we started PonyUP! Kentucky, we’ve proudly told you that each time you purchase a PonyUP! Kentucky product, you are helping horses in need.
Now we have even more good news.
We donate 100% of our profits to 501c3 nonprofit organizations dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating horses.
That means every PonyUP! handbag sold has a direct impact on the life of a horse in need. Sometimes, it makes the difference between life with a happy ending or death by neglect or slaughter.
Thank you from the all of us here at PonyUP! Kentucky. Like we always say, we couldn’t do it without you.
Summertime for Horses
Summer is well underway. This is typically a time when vets are called to provide thorough annual health checkups for horses. While many vets offer their services free-of-charge to horse rescue organizations, veterinary care – and overall health care – is still a significant cost for all of these terrific organizations.
With that in mind, here’s a quick overview. We encourage all PonyUP! Friends to keep these costs in mind, and do what you can to help.
Vaccinations: The best immunity derived from many vaccines is during the first two to three months after they are given. Mosquitoes transmit one of the more common vaccinated diseases, encephalitis, as well as the West Nile Virus, so horses need the best protection during the worst of the mosquito season. Other diseases such as rhino and flu are transmitted from horse to horse.
Pre-Show Season Soundness Exam: This evaluative exam helps ensure a long, useful, and comfortable life for horses. This evaluation establishes a baseline on horses’ soundness and helps identify future health risks and opportunities for early intervention.
Supplements: When it comes to the nutrition of rescued horses, rescue organizations are often playing catch-up. Many rescued horses have suffered neglect and near starvation, and they often need nutritional supplements to regain their health.
Grooming Supplies: Horse rescue organizations always need to replenish their stock of shampoo, hoof care products, fly spray, and other grooming essentials.
Spring Turnout: Horse rescue organizations need to be cautious about turning horses out onto lush green pastures. The sudden introduction of a grass-rich diet can lead to founder and other health problems, especially in horses that are stressed or unsound. For this reason, many horse rescue organizations are still in need of hay during the summer months.
Disease Monitoring: Horses need to be closely watched for signs of thrush or rain rot that can occur during the early wet part of spring. Horse rescue organizations need veterinary supplies to treat these conditions.
De-Worming: Parasite control isn’t something to think about only in the spring. Fecal testing helps horse rescue organizations evaluate the effectiveness of parasite control programs, and should be performed several times per year.
Tooth Care: While there are some vets who are well trained in dentistry, horse rescue organizations frequently seek the services of certified equine dentists. Many rescued horses need immediate dental work so that they can eat properly and gain weight. Horse dentists are always welcome volunteers!
These are just some of the pressing needs for horses in rescue care. Like you, we’re doing what we can to ease the financial burden of horse rescue organizations everywhere.
In January, after only being here a little more than a month, I was left alone to manage the ranch.
“Are all the horses still standing?” My boss asked, from the horse show in California.
”There is no tragedy I can’t handle!” I replied.
I think I have turned the corner between melancholy and true happiness. I love living here, learning how to be a country girl again. I enjoy the solitude of the New Mexico countryside. I have lost 15 pounds so far, but that seems to be it for now. I might have found a place to swim and a safe place to bike ride. People in the country let their dogs run loose, so a safe bike route is really important.
I rise before the sun these days, even though I’ve never been a morning person. I wonder if I am becoming a morning person. I doubt it, but I’m working on that! I enjoy watching the sun rise, and I’ve fallen in love with a morning news anchor in Albuquerque, so that helps. I find myself rising earlier every day, even on the weekends.
PonyUP! Kentucky: Giving Back to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP)
The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington at the Kentucky Horse Park, was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, the AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its nearly 10,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.
We are grateful to our customers for helping us to help the AAEP!
Am I on the Right Path?
by PonyUP! Kentucky blogger Kendra Loring
So much is happening all around me every day. Sometimes, I feel like my head is spinning! We have a huge string of show horses, tons of young riding horses in training, yearlings and weanlings in need of an education, and 17 broodmares in foal for 2012.
My boss sent me to Texas A & M for a short course, so I could catch up on breeding techniques and current research. It’s been 18 years since I was in a classroom, so I think it was an excellent idea. Flying over Houston, I watched the shadow of the plane dance over the clouds, surrounded by a halo of sunlight. It was a beautiful sight. I felt like it was an affirmation that I am indeed, in the right place, the correct path in my life. I had a good time in Texas; I got to meet other horse people new to the horse breeding industry.t. I learned a ton of new info to take back to our breeding program at the ranch. Texas A & M is the university where they do all kinds of equine research, so the instructors have tons of current data on all kinds of breeding questions. They were a valuable resource and they will continue to be at the other end of an email or phone call for me if I need them!
Thanks to you, PonyUP! Kentucky Donates $500 to Old Friends
As much as we love talking to you on Facebook and posting new blogs on our website, this is our favorite type of communication: Sharing the story of our latest donation to a terrific horse rescue organization.
In late March, our founder Rallie sent a $500 check to Old Friends. From all of us at PonyUP! Kentucky, thank you for helping us help Old Friends do what they do best. Caring for horses.
Old Friends began as a retirement and rescue facility for pensioned Thoroughbreds. Then news broke of the inconceivable death of Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand in a slaughterhouse in Japan in 2002. The discovery gave even more impetus to the organization.
“We went from getting five emails a day to hundreds,” noted President and founder Michael Blowen. We knew such a death must never happen again. And so the plan became to bring at risk racehorses–those whose racing and breeding careers had come to an end–to Old Friends, provide them with the dignified retirement they deserve, and open the space to the public. By promoting these one-time celebrated horses through a campaign of education and tourism, we realized we could draw attention to all retired Thoroughbreds and all equines in need.”
Old Friends is the only Thoroughbred rescue/retirement facility that accepts stallions, and they take exceptional pride in their pensioned champions, which include 1988 Eclipse-winning Turf Champion, Sunshine Forever and one of the last great sons of Damascus, Ogygian. In addition to the pensioned stallions, Old Friends is home to some very deserving retired mares and geldings. (See Our Horses).
Old Friends hosts tours daily at its Georgetown, Kentucky, farm. While their guests come to visit a few retired racehorses, they leave having been touched by the heart of a Thoroughbred hero. Learn more about Old Friends at www.OldFriendsEquine.org.
A Horse for Me to Work With?
by PonyUP! Kentucky blogger Kendra Loring
With more than 100 horses on the ranch, I’d like to try to bond with at least one horse while I’m here. There are plenty of young horses in need of attention. These young horses are in that awkward stage between being a cute foal and an adult horse. They will benefit from an early education and at the same time I can become more confident in my abilities to handle them. Most of the young horses come up to me when I go out into the pasture, but there are a few that need more work.
I already have a favorite of course! I was madly in love with a broodmare that lived here 17 years ago. She has since passed away, but her offspring are still here. One of her daughters is a beautiful broodmare, in foal with the next generation of Holsteiner. She looks a lot like her mom. But both she and the grand-get act similar to their grandma. When I lived here in 1994, Calmilla was the outcast of the herd. She was a beautiful chestnut in a sea of bay mares. To me, she looked more Quarter Horse than Holsteiner. She was always hard to catch, but I think I finally started to grow on her after a while. Now her grandson is a member of the herd of weanling colts and he is showing the same tendencies as his granddam. I really hope to work with him!
I Have a Confession to Make
by PonyUP! Kentucky blogger Kendra Loring
This is hard to admit, but I almost feel embarrassed to get on a horse here. I am surrounded by fantastic, Olympic level equestrians and I don’t want to look like a fool riding around the ranch. I know it’s my own insecurity at work here and it may sound silly to some. I haven’t ridden on a regular basis for almost 20 years. I am certain that my body has not forgotten how, because I have ridden as much as possible over the last few years. It’s a family tradition to go horse-back riding on our birthdays and vacation, like Napa Valley through a vineyard and over the beaches of Florida.
All the horses here at the ranch are in training or for sale, so I don’t want to jump on the back of one and ruin it. The short cold winter days, the snow, rain and mud have all impaired my ability to ride my bike regularly. So I am desperately in need of an exercise outlet. One beautiful day, I was invited to go fox hunting with the boss’s hunt club. It was quite the adventure, wandering through the canyons and arroyos of central New Mexico. I felt more confident after that long afternoon ride!
I Feel Like I’m Drowning
by PonyUP! Kentucky blogger Kendra Loring
There are a ton of things for me to take in, a million and one things to learn in my new surroundings at the ranch! Fortunately, I don’t think anyone here expects miracles from me yet. I have over 100 horses to learn. There is a staff of 15 people to introduce myself to and get acquainted with, as well as the everyday running of a multi-million dollar ranch to experience. The marketing and social media for the ranch and its horses are in my hands now. I have new computer programs to play with, Quick Books and payroll to master. I have been trying desperately to remember my six years of Spanish class, without much success so far! I also have to learn a new approach to handling and training young horses. It provides me a way to try some methods I’ve learned from the natural horsemen of the world. If only there were more hours in the day, I could get so much more done!
It’ll All Work Out. I think.
by Kendra Loring
The second week in my new job started to get easier, but the employees at the ranch still didn’t feel like a cohesive unit. I want us to work together, as a team. The biggest issue has been communication. In my years as a manager in retail, I have found that the most important thing a successful team needs is to have open and honest relationships with each other. I love the staff here at the ranch and I am confident that we will work this out. In the long run, we will work together for the future of this ranch.
Did I Make the Right Choice?
by Kendra Loring
It was a hard start at the new job; the first week was a bit overwhelming. One day I found myself driving through the pasture, crying my eyes out; doubting the choice I had made, missing my house, my sister, my old life! What had I done? Where was my confidence? Where was my 401K? Would my cat ever get used to living in the country? Cold, dark, lonely winter nights in a new place an hour away from anything I knew. I had problems with the house at the ranch–freezing cold, running out of propane, spiders, tile/brick floor + goat heads = me wearing shoes all the time! (If you don’t know what goat heads are, count your blessings!) At first, I wasn’t feeling very welcomed by the employees, and I guess I should have expected that. I started to feel very sad. Watching Sex and the City reruns every evening, wondering what I was doing here! Did I make the right choice?
Could I Do It?
by PonyUP! Kentucky blogger Kendra Loring
It’s been a while, sorry for the delay! Uprooting my life and my career has been extremely time-consuming. In my heart, I knew it was the right thing to do, but it was not without its difficulties.. It was exciting and exhausting at the same time!
I’m happy with my choice; I know that my future is at the ranch, but I hate the actual process of moving. It’s so tedious, packing and unpacking your life! I found that leaving the store I’d worked at for over four years was easier that I thought it would be. I will miss my team, but they are in good hands. The house I am living in at the ranch is beautiful! Although, I neglected to plan time or money to turn on the utilities. Silly me! So that was a bit of a last minute wrench. Finally, I arrived at the ranch, and it was time to unpack and prepare myself for this new adventure. I had lots to do, both personally and professionally. I was excited to push myself and use all of that knowledge I had absorbed all those years ago in college. But I worried and wondered, Could I do it?
The choices are endless. The beach? A city? A theme park? A horseback riding adventure vacation?
While you’re making plans, plan on taking your PonyUP! Kentucky equestrian travel bag with you.
PonyUP! Kentucky travel bags equestrian travel bags feature delicate patterns and extremely durable fabrics. They’re made with exceptional craftsmanship in every detail. They’re large in size, with plenty of room for your laptop, a good book and a snack, and even a change of clothes.
Details, please (you ask)?
PonyUP! Kentucky Equestrian Travel Bags measure 18 inches across at the top, and they taper to 16 inches across at the bottom. The bags measures 15 inches tall on the ends and 13½ inches tall at the center point. The oval base of each bag is a separate piece, measuring 6½ inches wide by 12½ inches long, allowing the handbag to stand on its own when you’re not carrying it. Like all PonyUP! Kentucky bags, the Travel Bags are handmade in the USA.
Additionally, the Equestrian Travel Bags are fully lined with durable, watermarked and textured fabric. The interior has a side zippered pocket (8 inches wide by 6 inches deep) on one side. The top closes securely with three magnetic snaps. The bags also feature a divided panel pocket (10 inches wide by 6 ½ inches deep) on the other side, to help you organize all of your essentials.
Even better, the leather shoulder strap is interchangeable, so it fits all other PonyUP! Kentucky equestrian handbags. With just one strap, you can mix and match.
A Summer 2012 vacation wouldn’t be complete without your Equestrian Travel Bag along for the ride!
Check out the entire equestrian travel bag line here.
Spring Is Here!
This season of renewal and growth makes all of us appreciate the great gifts of life.
Think of everything spring has to offer:
- The end of hibernation
- Less mud around the barn
- Horse shows
- Longer days for riding
- Green pastures and paddocks again
The list is endless. Spring brings so much.
And as we always say, we love horses all year round. Spring’s glorious weather gives us more opportunities to visit our local horse farms and rescues to see the wonderful animals we all work to help day in and day out.
We encourage every PonyUP! Kentucky girl to join us in our celebration!
We’re so Grateful!
With Tax Day just behind us, a typical PonyUP! Kentucky girl has been busily going through a year’s worth of tax forms, receipts, and check stubs to take to her harried accountant. Charitable donations are a major tax deduction, and chances are good that you’ve helped a horse this year, because you love horses as much as we do. Your donation could save a deserving horse from neglect, starvation, or slaughter.
Horse rescue organizations are generally set up as 501(c) (3) nonprofit organizations, which means your 2011 donations will be tax deductible. And like us, you know how much your donation is needed—and appreciated!
These terrific organizations put your money to good use to pay for the following horse necessities:
- Hay and grain
- Farrier and veterinary services
- Fence and barn repairs
- First aid supplies
- Pasture maintenance
From all of us at PonyUP! Kentucky, Happy Tax Day!
And thanks for helping rescued horses in need.
Look Your Spring Best
With this special season of renewal in mind, our thoughts turn to how to refresh our wardrobe at the end of a dreary winter.
We’re always looking at what’s on-trend—and fine-tuning our products to match. So as you consider your spring favorites, take a look at some of the handbags in our catalog that can easily complement your look.
Trend—and bag to match:
Polka dots – Linen Polka
Whites – Wintercoat
And might we recommend a visit to Kentucky Horse Park.
The park is a working horse farm in Lexington, where you can enjoy an educational look at the state’s equestrian history, watch various breeds of horses being ridden by riders in traditional costumes, and get a firsthand look at Kentucky craftspeople making horseshoes and harnesses. Another great idea: Tour the nearby International Museum of the Horse and the American Saddle Horse Museum.
Perfect for Spring
At PonyUP! Kentucky, we think our handbags are great in every season. We know, we’re biased, but we think there’s a good argument to be made for taking our high-quality, made in the United States handbags with you everywhere–all year round.
That said, some of our product line just says “spring has sprung” more than other items. Something about the following bags makes us want to get out our umbrellas, put on our Easter best, and celebrate this most special season.
Why not check out these beauties? Any one of them is likely to work with your new spring outfit!
- Bonnie Bouquet
- Merry Me
- Pastel Polka (ideal for this season’s frosty color palette)
- Porcelain Filly
- Spring Rain (of course we have a bag with a name like this!)
Have an amazing spring, and stay with us for more on how to make your summer vacation even more fashionable. (We’ll talk about our hot-for-summer bags soon!)
Join Us on Facebook!
At PonyUP! Kentucky, we think a lot about how we can share the latest news on our “equestrian fashion with purpose and passion.” While our website is a great way to communicate, we hope you’re also checking out our Facebook page. Come talk to us on our Facebook page. We’re there all week long, announcing our new products, partners, and much, much more. We’ll discuss everything and anything that has to do with helping horses in need.
And we also tell you about our special offers – like January’s “HOLIDAY” deal, which offered 25 percent off sitewide.
We want our Facebook page to offer a two-way dialogue, where you tell us what you’re looking for from all of us at PonyUP! Kentucky. It’s often said the Facebook is “where people hang out,” and we certainly hope you’ll hang out with us at PonyUP! Kentucky.
We’re delighted to announce a new “Perk” for our Facebook friends—monthly drawings for a free equestrian hobo handbag! Beginning in April, the last day of each month, we’ll draw one lucky winner from our current Facebook friends! We’ll post the winner’s name on our Facebook page, and we’ll also message you so you can choose your equestrian hobo and tell us where to ship it. Please visit us on Facebook and let us know what you think of this! Please help us to spread the word too!
Equestrian fashion is indisputably classic, and as such, it lends itself to being sold in high-end retail outlets. Let’s face it: Horses are expensive. Mo most times, stylish equestrian outfits cost a great deal of money.
Thankfully, the best of equestrian fashion is now making its way to the mall. We can all find these timeless styles at Target, Gap, and other mainstream stores. As we said in a previous blog, just this past fall, the often-revisited “equestrian look” was all over the place. The major children’s retailers weren’t far behind. Gymboree and The Children’s Place both had tons of items that were horse or riding-inspired. What’s great about equestrian fashion is that it can be easily incorporated into your existing wardrobe.
At PonyUP! Kentucky, we’re always excited about clothing inspired by horses, because we love horses and also because it gives us the opportunity to come up with new handbags that work well with equestrian-friendly clothes. We’re also thrilled to offer unique, handmade handbags proudly made in the United States. Our handbags, competitively priced with bags of similar quality, work with all fashion price points! Plus, every handbag purchased helps rescued and retired horses in need. Whenever you carry your PonyUP!Kentucky handbag, you’ll have a warm and wonderful feeling, knowing that you’re supporting a great cause.
Look through our catalog and you’ll find any number of bags specifically focused on equestrian themes.
Here are just a few:
Check out these great bags—and our whole product line—at www.ponyuplentucky.com. See you there!
Huge St. Patrick’s Day Sale!
PonyUP! Kentucky CELEBRATES ST. PATRICK’S DAY WITH A “IT’S YOUR LUCKY WEEKEND” SALE
40% Off Everything Online March 16-March 18
PonyUP! Kentucky, the online store showcasing unique, equestrian-style handbags, announced a St. Patrick’s Day weekend event that will offer shoppers significant savings on all products. From March 16 through March 18, every PonyUP! Kentucky product is 40% off regular price. Simply enter the code PATRICK at checkout.
“Choosing your lucky outfit this St. Patrick’s Day should be fun, and we love the “wearin’ of the green” at PonyUP! Kentucky,”said PonyUP! founder Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH. “We want to give our customers a great opportunity to celebrate Ireland’s special day, so we’re having a terrific “It’s Your Lucky Weekend” sale.”
By entering the promo code PATRICK at checkout, shoppers will find the entire product line on sale. The handbags are all made in the USA, and shipping is free throughout the United States. In many cases, the PonyUP! Kentucky team makes only a single handbag using a particular fabric, so PonyUP! Kentucky handbags are typically one-of-a-kind, unique, and special.
“We hope our customers will enjoy the luck of the Irish this weekend,” says Dr. McAllister. “From handbags to travel bags, all purchases make life easier for horses in need.” A portion of all PonyUP! Kentucky sales benefits rescued and retired horses in local, regional, and national horse rescue operations, saving many from slaughter.
The handbags’ shoulder straps are interchangeable. They’re crafted from genuine leather horse halters with brass fittings, making them both durable and fashionable. Each strap is fitted with a brass nameplate, engraved as the customer wishes, such as with her name or the name of her horse or farm. The product line also includes handbags for girls.
About PonyUP! Kentucky
Founded by Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, PonyUP! Kentucky raises money for horse rescue operations through the sale of unique, equestrian-style handbags. A portion of all PonyUP! Kentucky profits are donated to benefit rescued and retired horses in need.
Thanks to you, PonyUP! Donates $500 to Gentle Giants
This amazing facility, a 501 c (3) tax deductible non-profit rescue located on 41 acres in Mount Airy, Maryland, is committed to saving draft horses from slaughter, and adopting them into new homes as trail and schooling horses.
Gentle Giants assists up to 50 rescues at a time. All of the organization’s horses are rescued from auctions just prior to being sold to slaughter. Chosen for their temperament, soundness, and usability, Gentle Giants’ horses are quarantined for a minimum of 21 days, during which time the staff rides them extensively. The horses are thoroughly evaluated to aid in the best possible match for horse and rider. A successful partnership creates a bond of trust and friendship for both horse and rider, and it is Gentle Giants’ goal to find that match for every horse saved.
Rescued horses range in age and ability from young and competitive sport horses, to older quiet trail mounts. Some of the horses have special needs, but most just had an unfortunate run of bad luck and need a new chance at a loving home.
An organization like Gentle Giants needs our help. As their site explains, “100% of all funds donated go directly to the purchasing of a draft horse straight from the kill pen!” Certainly any amount donated can be the difference between life and death for a deserving horse. Gentle Giants’ efforts are supported solely by donations, adoption fees, and volunteer assistance.
As you know, a portion of our profits go directly to horse rescue organizations. Thanks to purchases by customers like you, PonyUP! Kentucky was delighted to donate $500 to Gentle Giants recently. Like you, we love horses. These gentle giants need our love and ongoing support, and thanks to you, we’re happy to help.
Helping Horses in Winter
Winter is the most trying time for horse rescue organizations. While this winter has been relatively mild throughout the United States, colder temperatures add to the financial burden created by rising hay prices and the economic downturn.
The winter weather can take a toll on horses. When the temperature drops, horses need to eat more hay and grain to stay warm
With volunteers at nonprofit horse rescues across the country feeling anxious about how they’ll manage before spring arrives, all horse lovers need to think about how we can provide the assistance they need to survive. There are so many ways.
Providing foster care or permanent housing is one of the biggest ways people can help. Volunteer horse trainers, grooms, stall cleaners and helpers are always needed, too.
If you want to help by donating your skills and services, horse rescue organizations can always use help from electricians and carpenters, or even from fundraising or networking professionals. Any little bit helps.
Of course, PonyUP! Kentucky is committed to doing our part, and that’s where you come in! Every PonyUP! purchase helps. We donate a portion of our revenue to horse rescue organizations throughout the United States.
Winter is cold. Let’s surround the horses in our communities with love and warmth!
Horses in Song!
The 54th Grammy Awards aired February 12. The Grammys acknowledge the best in music over the past year, and just two years ago, country superstar Taylor Swift picked up two awards for her instant classic “White Horse.”
With their unparalleled beauty and grace, it’s no wonder horses are often written about in song. Horses bring out the lyrical quality in all of us!
Here are some well-known songs with horse-themed titles. Horses have such a close connection to the land, it’s not a surprise that many of these songs were recorded by country artists. Is your favorite on this list?
America – A Horse With No Name (1972)
Aretha Franklin – All The King’s Horses (1972)
The Firm – All The Kings Horses (1986)
Toby Keith with Willie Nelson – Beer For My Horses (2003)
Restless Heart – Big Iron Horses (1993)
KT Tunstall – Black Horse And The Cherry Tree (2006)
The Osmonds – Crazy Horses (1972)
George Harrison – Dark Horse (1975)
Mila Mason – Dark Horse (1997)
Tower Of Power – Don’t Change Horses (In The Middle Of A Stream) (1974)
Tom T. Hall – Faster Horses (The Cowboy And The Poet) (1976)
Judy Rodman – Girls Ride Horses Too (1987)
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – High Horse (1985)
The Fantastic Johnny C – Hitch It To The Horse (1968)
Cam’ron f/ Ma$e – Horse & Carriage (1998)
Cliff Nobles & Co. – Horse Fever (1968)
Trini Triggs – Horse To Mexico (1999)
Schuyler, Knobhlock And Bickhardt – No Easy Horses (1987)
Big & Rich – Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy (2004)
Tommy Cash – Six White Horses (1970)
Buck Owens & Susan Raye – The Great White Horse (1970)
Cliff Nobles & Co. – The Horse (1968)
Laid Back – White Horse (1984)
U2 – Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses (1992)
The Rolling Stones – Wild Horses (1971)
Gino Vannelli – Wild Horses (1987)
Ginuwine – Pony (1996)
Garth Brooks – Wild Horses (2001)
Susan Boyle – Wild Horses (2009)
Thanks to You, PonyUP! Donates $500 to Horse Rescue!
Mylestone Equine Rescue (M.E.R.), in Philipsburg, New Jersey, is dedicated to abused and neglected horses. M.E.R.’s goal is to place these horses in homes that will provide them with the love and care they deserve. What’s more, if suitable homes cannot be found, M.E.R. offers them a permanent home.
As always, we would like to express our gratitude to you for making this possible. We really do it all for the horses, and we couldn’t do it without you.
If you would like to learn more about the great work being done at Mylestone, check out their website, www.mylestone.org.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
That’s true at PonyUP! Kentucky too. Like you, we love our friends and family. Another love we all share? Horses.
We all have our own unique, special appreciation for these glorious creatures.
There’s plenty to love. The way they are put together, the way they move, their shining coats, the way they smell, their velvet noses and ticklish ears. Each horse is fascinating and different, and they all have a lot of great attitude and character.
That’s why, like you, we love horses. We’re so dedicated to making sure that retired and rescued horses have a dignified retirement. As a result, we provide a percentage of our profits directly to horse rescue operations. Every PonyUP! Kentucky handbag you purchase demonstrates your love of horses as well.
Love makes the world go round. And it makes life a lot better for a lot of horses.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Start Thinking Spring Fashion
The New York Spring 2012 verdict is in. Your PonyUP! Kentucky team has been taking notes, and we’ve got the bags you’ll need to make your outfit complete.
Sporty and sportswear are here to stay, and isn’t that great? You’re going to enjoy sorbet colors and low-key silhouettes. Flower power is still going strong. This season, the trend continues with a high-octane dose of floral prints, along with color blocking. (That’s a holdover from 2011.)
What’s new? The elegance of the 1920s – perfect for this year’s remake of The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as Daisy.
Daisy Buchanan would be thrilled by some of the elegant ’20s-era fashion, and then she would get ready for her African safari, enjoying the tribal references smattered across the runways.
Here are just some of our delectable creations to consider:
Hot Pink Hottie
Nice ’n Posy
Crazy About Daisies
It’s equestrian fashion with purpose and passion!
While PonyUP! Kentucky gals love fashion in general, our handbags are in the accessory category. What’s a PonyUP! girl to do when she wants to show her love for horses along with her PonyUP! Kentucky handbag?
Good news: Horse motifs are big news this fall on the runway!
Celebrities are snapping up horse prints faster than Secretariat at the Belmont. People in ponies are everywhere.
The horse print trend was started by Ralph Lauren, and most recently picked up on by Miu Miu and Marc Jacobs. Really, all printed animal motifs are in vogue, and it seems like one of the most popular is the horse. Equestrian prints also fit neatly in with the cowboy styling out there right now.
Everything from horse-covered bow dresses (seen on reality star Kourtney Kardashian) to a super-popular yellow sweater plastered with ponies (a fave of “Glee” star Jayma Mays) – horses are everywhere! We love it!
So get ready, PonyUP! Kentucky girls: There are tons of new ways to fashionably express your love of horses. Though we still think our way is the best!
Living the Dream
The Great Recession cut a path of destruction across the country.
Jobs and 401(k) plans have been decimated by the financial crisis that began in late 2007, and in many ways, that calamity plagues us with its aftereffects today. In the midst of so much hardship, it’s understandable to think that the economic turmoil also took out the American Dream.
Not so fast.
As we’ve seen from the recent blog entries by our new correspondent Kendra Loring, the pursuit of what makes us happiest is still alive and well. Kendra is living proof of that. Still, she does not underestimate the sacrifice and hard work involved. Making a business plan, securing financing, dealing with health concerns: It’s a daunting array of hurdles that would deter many.
At PonyUP! Kentucky, we love reading her blogs (and hope you do too) because they inspire us to believe in the importance of living your own life—not being tied to other people’s expectations. That can seem almost impossible to fathom when you’re out of work, and bills need to be paid. Certainly, Kendra is already facing the challenges that come with the plan she has in place for her life. But her tenacious chase of her dream shows that obstacles can be overcome.
We know that so much of taking care of horses is a true, innate passion. A passion that can be time-consuming, expensive hard work—but ultimately, so rewarding in terms of personal satisfaction.
That’s why we’re thrilled to go along on Kendra’s journey. We hope you feel the same way.
We talk a lot about how our handbags are made right here in the United States. Being made right here is one of our handbags’ most asked about characteristics, so we thought we’d give you a little background.
As the pride of Stanford, Kentucky, our terrific seamstress (or as we like to call her, “dreamstress”) Lorna Oaks is tireless in her pursuit of the quality for which USA-made items are rightfully known. Lorna and the PonyUP! Kentucky team also work diligently to source as much of our fabrics as possible from inside the United States. And our order and shipping centers, in Kentucky and Pennsylvania, are right here too.
We’re not alone. Americans make more products than any other nation on earth—by a wide margin. According to the United Nations’ comprehensive database of international economic data, America’s manufacturing output in 2009 (expressed in constant 2005 dollars) was $2.15 trillion. That surpassed China’s output of $1.48 trillion by nearly 46 percent. China’s industries may be booming, but the United States still accounted for 20 percent of the world’s manufacturing output in 2009—only a hair below its 1990 share of 21 percent.
Economists feel like the decline of America’s manufacturing sector has been exaggerated, but even so, the almost four-year long downturn in the US economy concerns all of us. Now, more than ever, it’s important to think about ways to support the United States.
Our handbags—and our team, always—do just that.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year from all of us at PonyUP! Kentucky! We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season with your friends and loved ones.
The start of every New Year is a great time to think about those in need. The challenging economic conditions have affected all of us. Certainly animals – and our beloved horses – are no exception. As we often outline in our blogs and Facebook posts, horse rescue organizations are impacted by rising costs, increasing numbers of horses, and declining funds. That’s why it’s important for new sources of revenue to come along – such as PonyUP! Kentucky – to maintain their operations.
Still, it’s good for everyone who loves horses to reevaluate what we can do to help. A new PonyUP! handbag for a special person in your life is always a good idea. Donating directly to a rescue – also great. Volunteering – no financial cost.
Ideas outside the box? Since it’s New Year’s, resolutions can work. Plan a yard sale for this spring, and resolve to donate a portion of your profits to your local horse rescue organization. On a diet? Now that you’re packing your lunch, take your lunch money for each month and donate to your nearby horse rescue. Cleaning out your overstuffed closet? Take the excess clothing to your consignment shop and decide to donate some of the profit.
2012 is brand new, but as the French say, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Helping horses in need is definitely still a challenge, but by working together, we can all make a difference this year.
One More Thing
One of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’s favorite phrases was “insanely great.”
As in, he wanted to deliver “insanely great” products to the world.
This legendary innovator—the Thomas Edison of our times—always delivered.
We like what Steve said. We too believe in innovation, in taking PonyUP! to the next level. That’s why we too have “one more thing” (another favorite Steve saying).
We’ve just launched a line of equestrian travel bags because we thought there had to be a bag that gave you the best of our everyday handbags combined with the added size you need for overnight and weekend trips away—maybe to those horse farms we’re always telling you about? The seven new travel bags in our catalog (more to come) are perfect for busy travelling PonyUP! Kentucky ladies. PonyUP! Kentucky founder Rallie travels a lot, and she loves the fact that she can pack everything she needs for a quick trip in one of her roomy travel bags and hit the road in style. . Our new equestrian travel bags offer you a distinctive way to showcase your style in new cities and towns to new friends.
Which one is perfect for you?
Look for more PonyUP! Kentucky product launches in the months ahead. We’re always thinking of our own ways to make your life better. And more fun!
Save 25% All January
As our thank you to you for helping PonyUP! Kentucky help horses in need, we’re having a sale! All of January, enter the coupon code HOLIDAY to save 25% sitewide!! A big thank you to you!
The First Snowfall
We’re already into the middle of December, so chances are good that if you live in the northern or eastern parts of the country, or if you’re one of our Canadian friends, you’ve already seen the first snowfall of the year.
There’s something so peaceful and magical about horses in the snow.
At this busy time of year we could all use a break from the hustle and bustle. Why not consider a visit to your local horse farm, to enjoy horse watching? Or think about riding. If you think winter isn’t a good time, think again. Those inviting holiday commercials with riders cavorting through the snow on horseback are perennial favorites for a reason. There’s nothing like a nice, long trail ride after a newly fallen snow.
The best of all possible worlds in the winter is footing with a few inches of snow cover, as long as it isn’t icy underneath. Snow provides wonderful exercise for horses and their cardiovascular systems, even if it’s deep. A relaxed walk on a long rein may be enough to give both you and your horse a good workout!
All horse lovers know that good quality hay is ideal for horses in the winter, since a horse’s energy needs can increase by 20 percent in cold weather. We can’t stress enough how much hay is required by horse rescue operations, so remember that at least 10 percent of all PonyUP! Kentucky profits go to help horses in need.
See you on the trails!
A New Tomorrow
By Kendra Loring
Do me a favor, will you? Next time you have a moment, go listen to a song called “Take Tomorrow” by singer-songwriter Butch Walker. Listen intently to the words of the 2nd verse, they are powerful. That song and it’s songwriter have helped me through some dark times in my life. In 2002 the lyrics reminded me that I had lost track of what was important to me, to my soul. A few years later, I had the vocal melody and the lyrics of that verse tattooed onto my left leg. It is a beautiful daily reminder to be true to who I am and not forget what makes me happy. In my almost 20 years in retail I did forget, I let a piece of me go neglected. I guess I did not believe in my dream enough to make it come true. But sometimes fate is working double time for us.
Have you ever put a thought, hope or prayer into words and then released it out into the universe? Has the universe ever answered you? Did you even realize it? I believe everything happens for a reason. When I was first asked to blog, I was nervous, but excited. I hadn’t written much since my years as a young rock and roll journalist. I didn’t know if I had it in me to share such a personal journey. What if I failed? Would I be judged? Would people laugh at me for thinking the world cared about my journey? I had no idea this blog would change my life.
This is how it happened.
Recently, a friend who owns a large breeding ranch here in New Mexico approached me to come join his team. He sees my years as a manager and my passion for horses as the perfect combination to ensure his operation is effective and lucrative. I see this unique opportunity as the way for me to get out of retail and to continue to work on my health and my business plan. I have accepted the position as Assistant Ranch Manger and Breeding Manger! I will be learning all the in’s and out’s of running a huge 400 acre ranch. I will handle some of the office work and record keeping as well as breeding and foaling. Imprint Training foals is another of my passions, I believe that every foal should have this valuable lesson in its first hours of life. I will also get to ride as much as my body can handle! The house I will live in is not on the property, so I plan to bike to work every day! I have started to build up my cycling endurance already!
The location of this ranch is one of the most beautiful and magical places I have ever been. I swear it has healing powers. I feel it when I walk the grounds or give a curious horse a withers rub. Because I already know and love the owners, I’m not really heading into the unknown.
This changes everything and nothing. It will change my day-to-day life, but my future remains the same. It may just take a bit longer, and my business will, without a doubt, be the better for it!
This new opportunity makes the process of leaving behind the comfort of the corporate world a bit easier. It’s a middle ground before I step out on my own. I leave the pay and benefits I have grown accustomed to over the past two decades. And I move forward to a place where my body and soul will be happy.
This adventure just keeps getting better! It’s a bit scary of course. Change is always daunting. Recently I read an amazing quote: “Most people miss opportunity because it wears overalls and looks like work.” I know I have a challenging road ahead of me, filled with lots of hard work and long days. But I now know this is the path to my future. I can feel in my bones that this is meant to be. Don’t get me wrong, from time to time I doubt myself and my ability to do the job. But I hear the universe loud and clear! It’s screaming, “Do this!” And I am. Here I go!
Til next time,
As you may have noticed, I am an avid reader! In June, the 20th book in the Anita Blake series was released, and I read it through that day! In the book, Blake wrote something that resonated with me so much that I keyed it into my phone and read it back when I doubt myself. I believe it was a hint of what was yet to come for me:
“To gain your heart’s desire, you have to lose some part of your old life, your old self. To do that, you have to have courage. Without it, you can’t make the leap.” Anita Blake in Hit List by Laurell K. Hamilton
All Hands for Hay!
Horse rescue organizations have so many expenses, and as we’ve said many times, hay is one of the most significant.
Keeping up with the need for hay is even more difficult in a state like Texas, which has been devastated by relentless drought. The resultant shortage has sent prices through the barn roof, forcing many cash-strapped horse owners to ask for “hay assistance” or to turn their animals over to the Humane Society.
We’re pleased to tell you that a recent Fort Worth Star-Telegram article outlining the dire situation spurred action.
Animal lovers in the Lone Star state stepped up with donations, pastures, and hay. One real estate investor is providing 75 acres and plans to build a barn to accommodate an adoption center for horses, and donkeys are being cared for by the local Humane Society. When the adoption center is up and running, Larry White Jr. will provide a 300-acre pasture.
Actress Doris Roberts of Everybody Loves Raymond fame headlined a Fort Worth rodeo and hay drive to benefit Texas’ Ranch Hand Rescue, and the Emmy winner hosted a fundraiser.
Melissa Orton, who was forced to ask the Humane Society to take four of her horses because she couldn’t afford to feed them, said she has gotten several offers of help and has found new homes for three of her nine horses. One is being adopted by an Arkansas woman who is pitching in 60 bales of hay to help Orton feed her remaining animals. A Louisiana woman has offered to take in a prized paint for a year until Orton gets back on her feet financially.
Finally, the Ranch Hand Rescue received a donation of $1,500 worth of hay from another generous woman and plans to redistribute it to smaller rescue operations.
“I am humbled by the compassion and kindness of people who have stepped up. It restores your faith in what is happening in the world,” ranch director Bob Williams said. He added that more than $1,000 in small donations has been mailed to the rescue operation.
Texas is one of our biggest states. Clearly, their are big hearts there as well.
Christmas Gift Ideas
Christmas List Picks from the PonyUP! Kentucky Team
We know it can be tough to figure out exactly which handbags to buy the special women in your life. You know they want one, but how do you find the perfect match?
Here are a few ideas to make your shopping easier this year:
She’s eclectic and unpredictable, in a good way. She just got back from a 10-day cruise, and she went straight to the local food bank to volunteer! She’s a busy lady who needs a handbag as unique as she is. PonyUP! Kentucky picks:
She’s timeless and classic, and she taught you everything you know. She deserves a handbag as special as she’s always been to you. PonyUP! Kentucky picks:
Your teenage daughter:
She’s amazing, smart and full of fun. You couldn’t be more proud. Her handbag has to reflect her sparkling personality. PonyUP! Kentucky picks:
Helping Horses at Christmas
Just like you, the PonyUP! Kentucky team supports horses throughout the year.
That’s why Christmas—the season of giving—is so special to all of us.
You know that at least 10 percent of all PonyUP! Kentucky profits are donated to horse rescue operations throughout the year. So any handbag you buy—or that a special person in your life buys for you—will definitely help horses in need.
We also encourage you and your family and friends to think about giving directly to your nearby horse rescue operation. For the giver, it gets any tax deductible donation in before the end of the year and for the organization, it helps them fill the needs that can be especially substantial in the cold winter months.
No horse rescues in your area? Any of our profiled rescues, or PonyUP! Kentucky partners, would be a terrific choice. Any of these organizations would welcome a cash contribution but if your funds are limited, there are many other ways you can help. Volunteers are always welcome and typically, no experience is needed—just a willingness to help!
From all of us at PonyUP! Kentucky, thank you for giving to help horses in need.
A Fall Visit to a Horse Farm
Fall is truly one of the most beautiful times of the year. Glimmering leaves in gorgeous shades, cool, crisp air, harvest moons – this month is perfection, in our view.
How do you improve on perfection? A trip to a horse farm!
We’ve profiled a few fantastic horse farms on our site, and any of them would be more than happy to welcome you a visitor.
We especially encourage you to consider horse farms with rescue operations (like our featured farms) and at the same time, remember to volunteer or donate what you can to help the farm continue its important work. Horses rescue operations require a continuing, substantial amount of funding. As a PonyUP! Kentucky fan, you know that our mission is “equestrian fashion with purpose and passion,” but more help is always welcome.
Fall is quickly going to be behind us, so visit a horse farm. Make the month even better than it already is!
Black Friday Sale!
Announcing PonyUP! Kentucky’s Black Friday Sale! Friday, November 25 (and Saturday, November 26 to boot), use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY at PonyUPKentucky.com, at the checkout, to receive 25 percent off our unique, handmade, high quality handbags. It’s our gift to you—to thank you for helping PonyUP! Kentucky help horses in need.
Stay tuned here for more special sales and events this holiday season! PonyUP! Kentucky: Equestrian fashion with purpose and passion!
Black Friday Sale!
Stay tuned here to our blog–coming soon we’ll announce the details of our first ever Black Friday Sale! We want to thank you for helping PonyUP! Kentucky help horses in need!
Should I Be Having Fun?
Starting your own business, sounds like fun, right? Working for yourself, no boss, no schedule, doing what you love. It’s the America dream! What worries me is the pressure of making it successful, having no cash, working seven days a week, having no health insurance and no paid holidays or vacation. I am not worried about waking up to the sounds and smells of my horses around me, but the reality of that dream.
Thankfully, I have been assured that people start businesses every day in this country. Some, the lucky ones, have the start-up capital and move forward without a plan or the bank’s help. The rest of us need a solid plan on paper to get both private investors and the bank on board.
My sister and I took free classes at the Small Business Development Center to prepare. I started reading books like Carve Your Own Road by Jennifer Remling and Joe Remling and Start Your Own Business by Entrepreneur magazine. The classes were all filled with women entrepreneurs, so we networked and exchanged phone numbers. They were great classes, and my sister and I learned tons of info we needed. One entire class was about the business plan.
We learned that the contents of a business plan include: Cover Sheet, Table of Contents, Executive Summary, Loan Request, Mission Statement, Business Description, Market Analysis, Marketing Plan, Business Management, Business Operations, Critical Risks, Future Plans, and then all the separate financial pages!
Initially, I was worried that the business plan needed to be as lengthy as a novel, but I was reassured that 10 pages were more than enough! If the plan was too big, no banker would read through it. The stumbling blocks for me are the business description and the market analysis. The description changes all the time as my sister and I find new things to do or teach or future students. Sometimes, I think I make things too hard for myself! I need to keep the business plan simple. The market analysis is difficult for me because I am not sure how you prove there is a market out there for a service that does not exist. Guess I am gonna have to take another class!
Proving to a bank that I can run this business and be successful is not my challenge. It’s showing on paper that people will spend what little extra cash they have these days to come ride with us. This is not a case of “build it and they will come.” I do not doubt my ability. I am just not 100 percent sure that a banker will have the ability to see my vision.
The ever-evolving vision of my horse business is multi-faceted, and we have many long-term goals. Initially our business will involve trail rides, riding lessons, and kids’ birthday parties. Then I intend to develop different levels of my horseback fitness class, from beginners to advanced riders. My sister and I will also start a therapeutic riding program once we become certified therapeutic riding instructors. It takes three years to get certified, so we will have plenty of time to make our facility accessible for the physically challenged.
Since moving to New Mexico, my sister has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), which is an autoimmune disease affecting the brain and spinal column. The local MS chapter here in Albuquerque has been wonderful, and we would love to give back to them somehow. We could offer their clients a discount or a frequent rider program, perhaps. My biggest immediate concern for my sister is her sensitivity to the sun, so part of our plan is to build a covered riding arena, which is another major expense!
I do believe that working with horses can help people, no matter what challenges they face. I know personally just how powerful a bond with a horse can be. It’s a partnership like none other! It is a natural relationship built on trust, raw emotion, and instinct. Horses allow (prefer, in fact) us to be ourselves. They ask nothing of us except kind leadership. I have seen horses heal emotional scars, and I have witnessed physically challenged individuals do extraordinary things on horseback. I know many veterans’ groups are now using horses to help people coping with post traumatic stress disorder, which is a wonderful practice that I would love to learn more about.
I wish that I had a horse during this creative period of our planning process. I would start to formulate my thoughts on my fitness class on its back. I want to incorporate stretching, cardio, balance, and problem-solving into my classes. I plan to expand upon ideas from Sally Swift’s Centered Riding and Pat Parelli’s Natural Horsemanship, as well as yoga and Pilates on horseback. Equine Assisted Therapy has long been recognized for its incredible benefits. Why can’t we adjust it to assist able-bodied people with weight or health issues? We should never underestimate the horse’s ability to heal a human mind, body, and soul!
Til next time, Kendra
Book of the week: GaWaNi Pony Boy’s Out of the Saddle
Product Line Additions
The writer asked about the dimensions of our handbags—in particular, were any bags smaller?—because she’s a petite lady. She was worried that some of our handbags might overwhelm her frame.
We were happy to assure her that our girls’ line, which is available in select patterns, would likely work well for her. The smaller size handbags, for girls and for women who prefer smaller handbag, can be worn with women’s or girls’ size straps.
These intriguing communications made us wonder: Are there other markets out there we should be considering?
We already have our travel bags, in the Enchanted and Ride before Dusk patterns. These newly introduced bags are perfect for on-the-go PonyUP! Ladies. (We’re impressed by how much travelling you tell us that you do!)
But surely there are other products PonyUP! Kentucky can offer. Ideas? We’re listening!
Thanks to You, PonyUP! Donates $500 to Help Horses in Need
We hope you agree that we provide terrific equestrian fashion. As important as that is, the PonyUP! team is even more focused on the “purpose and passion” part. That’s because we’re committed to helping as many of the country’s horse rescue operations as possible.
One of Kentucky’s most well-known horse rescues is the Kentucky Equine Humane Center (KyEHC). KyEHC provides humane treatment and shelter while working as a clearinghouse to seek adoptive homes for all of Kentucky’s unwanted equines, regardless of breed. The center, a charitable organization, needs ongoing assistance as it works to meet its mission in a tough economic climate.
As you know, the expenses associated with horse rescue are varied and expensive. Like most rescues, people and companies donate goods and services, volunteers (including the center’s veterinarians) donate their time to KyEHC. Feed, hay, and bedding are almost all donations to the center as well. These donations have been impacted by cost hikes. The price of hay has increased, and the costs of manufacturing the grain and fuel for transportation have also gone up dramatically. With hay a large percentage of its budget, KyEHC must always look for new sources of funding.
Recently, the KyEHC issued an urgent request for hay donations. We were thrilled to be able to donate $500, coming straight from our handbags’ revenue, to answer the center’s call for help.
Thanks to each and every one of you for helping us help horses. We couldn’t do it without you.
Keeneland’s 75th Anniversary
I have to wonder if Jack Keene envisioned the racing spectacle that Keeneland would become when he first set out to build a track on his private farmland in the early 1930s. Or if Hal Price Headley and Major Louis Beard had any idea that their lofty goal of taking Jack Keene’s half-finished facility that they bought in August of 1935 and turning it into one of the greatest racetracks in the world—during the Great Depression of all times—would ever become a reality?
Fortunately for Kentucky and for horse racing, Keeneland did just that.
Keeneland celebrated its 75th anniversary in grand style this past weekend. Thoroughbred enthusiasts the world over—mish-mashed with local college students and children who just wanted to see the horses—all converged on the Fenway Park of horse racing, taking in the sights and sounds of the fall meet.
Even though Keeneland is renowned for its traditional approach to racing, the track has undergone several changes throughout its 75 year run. Women are now allowed to wear pants in the clubhouse, a synthetic polytrack has been installed (as well as a turf course), and the facility finally hired a track announcer back in 1997. (Kurt Becker has kept the job ever since.)
A special race took place in honor of the festivities: the one-and-only running of the Keeneland 75th Anniversary Stakes. Rajiv Maragh rode to victory—and the winner’s share of the $125,000 purse—on Luke of York, just holding off Voodoo Daddy and Julien Leparoux at the line. It seems fitting that a race commemorating Keeneland’s anniversary came right down to the wire, as so many race have before it. The thrilling finish was truly a testament to the exciting moments that have been on display for three weeks each April and October for the past 75 years.
The 75th Anniversary Stakes, however, wasn’t even the most anticipated race of the day. That honorable distinction belonged to the 27th running of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes, which commemorates Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Keeneland during the 1984 fall meet. In an upset (and perhaps also a twist of historical irony), the three-year-old Irish filly Together, ridden by Colm O’Donaghue, beat out the rest of the field and took home the winner’s share of the $400,000 prize pool.
An Irishman winning Queen Elizabeth’s race; I wonder how that went over in Buckingham Palace?
All in all, it was a fantastic weekend to be at Keeneland—even if you aren’t a stalwart horse-racing fan. The atmosphere from the paddock to the track is simply unparalleled. Top notch racing, unrivaled facilities, and high fashion juxtaposed with Southern cuisine make Keeneland a place unlike any other in the world. Not surprisingly, it’s been designated by the government as a National Historic Landmark, which is a testament to the unmatched and unique experience that Keeneland has to offer for both the die-hard and the casual horse racing fan.
No One Ever Said Following Your Dream Is Easy
By Kendra Loring
Starting a business is not easy work. It’s incredible how much hard work is involved before you ever get to “open your doors.” Of course, no one ever said following your dream is easy. I guess it should be an arduous process. If it was easy to start a business, it would be just as easy to fail. But, failure, for me, is not an option. I will make a great business plan, have investors, and prove we have a market and future plans.
My dream started with an idea: We’d create a family compound where my parents (still together after 42 years!), my sister, and I could live together and have horses. Then the idea changed to include just me, my sister, and a horse business. With my parents no longer in the plan, our options were significantly fewer. Time to rethink our plan!
My sister and I brainstormed what we were looking for, the kind of place we could both live and work. We agreed that we wanted our separate spaces in our house together. A home with a casita or in-laws quarters would work perfectly.
Choosing a type of house was easier than choosing the horse facility. I don’t want to build that from scratch, nor do I have the money to build! I’d rather add on to an existing horse facility. That might just be me being lazy, but it allows us to have horses right away and build as the business takes off.
The location has a been a bit tricky to find. As young single women, my sister and I don’t want to be too far from the city. That means we’ll be buying a small horse property, one to two acres. That’s a good start, because we don’t want to get in over our heads right out of the gate! Albuquerque is not like most cities; it’s urban and rural at the same time. Downtown is literally minutes from farmland and ranches. It is a wonderfully organic and green city. There’s a village in the north-western part of the city, along the river valley, aptly called Corrales. In this artsy village, you can be eating a gourmet meal at a bistro when suddenly the parking lot is full of tractors and horses with hungry ranchers on board! My sister and I agree that Corrales is the ideal place for our business and our lives!
But of course cost is a factor too. The South Valley of Albuquerque is also a beautiful place, and the houses there cost half the price of the houses in Corrales. My sister and I have looked at houses in the communities of Placitas, Bosque Farms, Los Lunas, Tijeras, and Jemez Springs. No matter where we end up, I will be happy! Albuquerque, New Mexico, is my idea of paradise!
As our hunt for a great locale continues, I’m preparing my house for sale. When I bought my house, I got a fantastic deal, and selling it will make me a great down payment on my business! Although I will miss my beautiful home, selling it is a necessary step toward my future.
Right now a big obstacle to my plan is my health. After working almost 20 years in retail, the pounds have added up, and my body has responded poorly to the extra weight. I have developed insulin resistance due to having polycystic ovarian syndrome. I now have bursitis in my hips, and I’m getting fibromyalgia too. I feel my weight and my age have created a double-barrel kick to my health. But along with everything else in my life, I know that I’m in charge of my health. I have a great team of doctors and a wonderful therapist working with me to fix things without medication. I swim at the city pool, bike, walk, and go to the gym for cardio. Even though I’m in pain, I know I have to push through it to get better.
In the future, I plan to develop and teach a fitness class on horseback. I feel that I should look the part of a fitness instructor, so that means my body needs a transformation. Equestrians aren’t generally considered to be athletes, but the class I want to develop will prove that we indeed are. My class will involve cardio and stretching, sort of a “yoga on horseback.” Once it is developed, I will have to prove I have a market. I plan to go to Curves, yoga classes, and Weight Watchers meetings to ask women and men if this interests them and how much they would pay for an hour-long class. Would you join me in my class?
Life is funny: You think you have your life planned out very nicely and something comes along to throw you off your high horse! The universe has a way of bringing you what you need, even though you don’t see it in the moment! I’ve found it helpful to be open and aware to the people and things that cross my path. One of them might be your future!
Till next time…
PS: Here’s what I’m reading this week: Riding for Life: A Horsewoman’s Guide to Lifetime Heath and Fitness by Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, and Carve Your Own Road: Do what you love and live the life you envision by Jennifer Remling and Joe Remling.
Horse Rescue: It’s so Necessary
Making horse rescue possible—that’s what drives us at PonyUP! Kentucky.
Operating a rescue facility—or even adopting a rescued horse—requires an enormous commitment of time, labor, and love. Compassionate individuals and benevolent organizations across the country are saving thousands of unwanted horses from slaughter by taking them in at equine retirement farms, rescue organizations, and rehabilitation and retraining facilities.
If this great work was compensated by their dedication, there would be no need for fundraising, but sadly, that’s not the case. This intensive level of care requires ongoing and consistent financial support.
Horse rescue is so necessary, and so is whatever we can all do—together—to provide what’s necessary for horse rescue.
Why We Love Blogs
We really love making them, and we love telling you about them. Most of our conversations with you take place on our website and Facebook and Twitter pages.
What we think is even better: when someone else tells you about how much they enjoy PonyUP! Kentucky bags. And they are!
With the blogosphere a big and busy world (100 million blogs and growing), we’re so excited by the terrific response we’re getting from various bloggers. These Web posters are talking about our bags, and they’re saying great things!
We’ve noticed. Traffic to our website and Facebook and Twitter pages has increased dramatically this summer.
We hope that bloggers will continue to find our content interesting – and keep coming back for more.
So bloggers – please keep checking back with us in the weeks and months ahead for the latest on our bags and our exciting contests and sales!
At PonyUP! Kentucky, we love blogs. Almost as much as we love our handbags. But not as much as we love horses!
Back in School!
The kids are back to school, and PonyUP! moms—and grandmas, and aunts, and Mom’s BFFs—are busy taking the youngsters all over the place, to school, of course, but also to soccer games, swim lessons, and play dates. The list is endless (and fun).
With all that activity, these PonyUP! ladies have a lot of things to tote around.
That’s why our handbags are so perfect for their busy lives. Made of durable fabric, you can count on our handbags to make it through every event. They’re roomy, but not too big.
PonyUP! Kentucky bags. The right handbag for the right time. Every time.
Change Is Good, Right?
by Kendra Loring
Turning 40 was easy. I promise you, it was a breeze, compared to turning 30. For me, 30 was hard, just ask my friends and family. I was miserable, living in a place I hated. The arctic tundra is a very, very lonely place. North Conway, New Hampshire, is a beautiful place in the summer, but it snows feet of snow every day the other nine months of the year. It’s a sad and desolate place in the winter—if you don’t enjoy snow or winter sports. The pictures of my 30th birthday party are not of a happy girl. Surrounded by my friends and my Marilyn Manson birthday cake, I could not find a way out of my funk.
I remember being 20-something and dreading being 40. Why did 30 bother me so much? My depression wasn’t helped by my emotionally abusive boyfriend at the time. The only interesting guy in town, I stayed with him because I was lost and lonely. The following year, I was finally transferred to New Mexico and life was fantastic again! The breath-taking New Mexico sunset welcomed me home with open arms!
I always assumed that turning 40 would be just as traumatic as turning 30. But, being 39 is like being 40, so I started telling people I was 40 early on into my 39th year. No one ever believes that I’m 40! One guy even asked me to prove it. So I pulled out my ID and watched his jaw drop. I love it! I’m glad it’s not just me; no one thinks 40 is “over the hill” anymore.
So, is 40 too old to reinvent yourself? Is it too old to start your own business? Is it too old to push your life in the direction you want it to go? I don’t think so! I think most people come to a point in life when they realize this is not the life they should be living. But do you have the courage to change it? I do!
I’m not afraid of change. I embrace it. At 35, I left the company I had loved for 8 ½ years. I left behind an hour commute to Santa Fe, a large salary, and tons of awards to go work for the company I think I was destined to work for.
On my 40th birthday, I did something very out of character for me. I’m terrified of heights, but on that brisk August, morning my sister and I boarded a hot air balloon for a ride over my beautiful city. It was incredible!. We went up and over the bosque (Spanish for “forest”) then dipped down, skimming over the waters of the Rio Grande. All along the ride, we sent pictures and video to our friends and family, so they could feel like they were with us in the basket. It was a glorious way to kick off my year of new beginnings.
My birthday was chockfull of fun stuff to do. After breakfast, we went to the city shelter and played with the adorable dog up for adoption. We took them out of their pens, letting them run around and play with us. It was so much fun! My sister even assisted in getting a young pit bull adopted. Having lost my beloved dog in March, I’m not ready to adopt a dog yet, so this was the next best thing. After lunch, we went to a Wild Horse and Burro Adoption hosted by the Bureau of Land Management. Do you know that you can adopt a living legend for only $125? What a bargain! I was astounded by the diversity of color alive in the wild. Gorgeous, but scared in their corrals, they watched us watch them, wondering what was happening. I had never seen a wild horse up close, and they were smaller than I imagined. I fell in love with them, one beautiful blue dun in particular. He had a two-tone mane and tiger stripes on his hocks and knees. Just gorgeous! I knew that I couldn’t take any home that day, and I vowed to come back next time with a trailer in tow. I’ve seen Pat Parelli “tame” a wild horse in three days. I might need a bit more time than that, but I know I can do it. And I want to do it! I want to give back to the animal that’s given so much to me.
I’m happier at 40 than I think I’ve ever been. I might not be where I thought I would be at 40. I’m still single, childless, out of shape, and working retail. But I have finally taken the reins of my adult life, and I clearly know my new path. I’m writing a business plan, doing our market research, taking small business courses, swimming to get back into shape, and discussing with my sister how we’ll live and work together successfully. With courage, strength, and determination, I push forward. Will you join me on this adventure??
Til next time, Kendra
P.S.: My book of the moment is Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards.
Celebrity Horse Lovers
At PonyUP! Kentucky, we think our handbags are for everyone. Sure, they’re “equestrian fashion with purpose and passion,” but you don’t have to be a horse lover to enjoy a unique PonyUP! Kentucky handbag.
Still, there are plenty of celebrity horse lovers out there that we think would look great with a PonyUP! Kentucky handbag. Can’t you see these famous folks with one? Read on for more on their interest in horses, followed by our suggestions for their perfect PonyUP! Kentucky creation
Christie Brinkley: The former supermodel is an activist and a champion cutting horse rider. Christie doesn’t herd cattle that we know of, but that’s what her horse is trained to do! Christie became interested in the sport in the early ’90s, and she loved it so much that she even put together her own cutting horse show.
Shanai Twain: Country music legend Shania Twain, a native of Canada, is a well-known animal lover. She has seven horses, and one of them is a retired Canadian Mounted Police horse named Queeny.
Maria Shriver: California’s former first lady and successful network newswoman says riding horses was a big part of her childhood. Maria grew up with brothers and a lot of male cousins, so she says horses were her way of doing something on her own.
Camille Grammer: This star of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fell in love with horses and riding while she was married to former Cheers star Kelsey Grammer.
Hillarly Duff: The popular singer and actress grew up on her family’s ranch outside of Austin, Texas, and she has always had a passion for horses. Deeply philanthropic, she has combined her love of these animals with an important cause, serving as Youth Ambassador for Return to Freedom, the American Wild Horse Sanctuary. Hillary started riding when she was four.
Kendra’s Great Adventure!
by Kendra Loring
The folks at PonyUPKentucky.com asked me to blog about how I’m reinventing my life with horses. I hope my adventures and dreams keep you coming back for more. Sharing this journey with you is going to keep me focused on where I want my life to be. And perhaps along the way, I may help inspire you to make your own dreams come true.
I’m a 40-year-old single woman who’s about to reinvent her life to be closer to the one thing that holds her heart: horses. Let me tell you my story…
I was born and raised on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in a wonderful, ever-expanding family. When I was three, I saw a horse. My first real memory is of his hot breath on my face. My dad promised me I could have one when I was 10. I got Clyde when I was 11. That poor animal suffered through my learning how to care for him. It was rough, but my little Clyde was a trooper. We ran all over town: down to the Post Office, to the store for milk, to 4-H meetings, everywhere.
4-H was passed down to me by my grandmother and aunts. I resisted at first, not wanting to sew or cook or recite pledges. But I was very happy to find a local mom starting a 4-H group dedicated to horses. “Equus Friends” was the 4-H experience I was dreaming of! It was where I learned to be a leader, and where I gained many of the skills I possess today. I loved that group and the extended family it gave me. They helped me train and show all the loves of my youth—my horses—Clyde, Lady, King, and Rusty. Lady was my sassy 4-H loaner (she followed me home from camp), and Rusty was my young rebel, sent to test my mastery of horse training. King was my sweet older gentleman who I eventually lost to colic. His loss was very hard, and more than 20 years later, it still brings a tear to my eye.
It was the loss of my wonderful King that reinforced my desire not to be a vet. Much to my parents’ dismay, I ended up falling in love with a private, out of state university. Johnson and Wales was everything I wanted and needed: a four-year program with a perfect mix of practicum’s and classes. I loved living in the city of Providence. Such a cool city to be walking from class to class in my britches and boots!
The last trimester of my bachelor’s degree, I had two options. I could go to England and ride for three months, or I could go work in my chosen field: horse breeding. I knew I needed to get out of New England for this opportunity. I took Amtrak to New Mexico: Boston to Albuquerque, what a ride it was! Nothing prepared me for what happened when I got off the train at Alvarado Station in Albuquerque. I fell madly in love with the desert. I felt at home finally, like I knew this place, even though I had never been here before. It was strange and wonderful at the same time. I spent three months living and working at Rancho la Querencia, a Holsteiner breeding farm. The McElvain family hosted me and three other working students: Tim from Australia, Claire from England, and Cathy from Denmark. I learned, hands-on, how to breed, birth, and imprint train the foals, and I also got to ride. One day Guy McElvain let me ride my favorite horse, Dakota, for some jumping exercises. I loved and trusted Dakota, but Guy thought he was lazy and capable of so much more. So he slowly raised the jumps and made the oxer even wider! When Dakota sailed over the six-foot jumps, Guy took away my reins, then my stirrups and we again sailed over them, no problem. Amazing! Guy proving his point, and I gained a whole new respect for Dakota. We worked hard on the ranch, but we also had a blast. I even learned the art of fox hunting. And I made friends for life.
But as life often does, it took me away from my passion and into the real world, where you need to pay bills and have health insurance. For the past 17 years, I’ve worked in retail. Being a store manager comes with many challenges. I love working with diverse teams and succeeding together. In 2002, I was transferred back to sunny New Mexico, and I’ve been here ever since. My sister followed me here soon after, and my parents are moving here as soon as they sell the Cape Cod house in which I grew up.
Over the years, the retail world has worn me down, and I thought my dream of working with horses was out of reach. I felt stuck! But life is too short to not be happy, so I made a plan, with the help of my parents and my sister, to turn my dream into a reality.
My dream is to work with horses, give back to my community, and keep my family close. I hope to make all that happen with this adventure. It won’t be easy! I’ll have to clean, paint, and sell my house. I’ll need to find the right locale for our ranch, leave my full-time job, and get my body back to the shape it was in 20 years ago.
Yikes! It’s so much to do that at times it seems overwhelming. But it’s not an “if” it will happen anymore, it’s “when” it happens. No longer a dream, I am making it my reality, and I hope you’ll come along with me on this journey.
’Til next time!
P.S. Along the way, I want to share with you some books that have helped me. Right now, I’m reading If I had a Horse, How Different Life Would Be by Melissa Sovey-Nelson.
Call for Help
The Lexington Herald-Leader ran a recent story about the Kentucky Equine Humane Center’s urgent need for donations. The KyEHC is facing a hay-flow crisis—an increase in need as the economic recession hits home and a decrease in cash on hand as contributions drop off.
Lori Neagle, the center’s executive director and friend of PonyUP! Kentucky, told the Herald-Leader that, “We need funding to continue to keep the program going. “We’re not out of money, but we need financial support. We need volunteers, too.”
Neagle said the horse shelter, which takes horses of all breeds and does not turn away animals, gets three or four calls every week about horses in crisis.
KyEHC board member Meg Jewett also said the shelter has been hit with a “double whammy.”
Charitable contributions are down, but “the numbers of horses we’re receiving go up.” Jewett told the Herald-Leader that. “We can’t shut the doors. We won’t shut the doors. We’re struggling with what everybody else is, but we’re helping so many more horses at this time.”
In a way, the economic crisis is actually a triple whammy: Neagle said fewer horses are being adopted out now.
“People aren’t wanting to take on another horse unless they’re financially secure,” she said.
“The horses need us, so we need to be here to help them.”
We’re here to help them too, and we have heard their call for help. We encourage all PonyUP! Kentucky friends to answer their call—along with the calls of all horse rescue operations.
Your Busy Life
You’re moms. You’re single. You have kids. You don’t have kids. You’re working. You’re working at home. You’re working in the home. You’re just plain busy. And with all that going on in your life, you need a handbag that can go along with you. A bag that looks good, holds up under pressure and gets the job done.
In short, you need a handbag like you.
That’s why the PonyUP! Kentucky team designed our handbags to be the perfect complement to your life. They’re strong, durable, made of great material. They’ve got great personality, and they’re beautiful.
They’re handbags like you.
And even better, each Friday we offer special discounts on a selection of our bags, which makes them even more appealing. With interchangeable leather straps, there’s lots of beautiful PonyUP! Kentucky handbags to enhance your life.
PonyUP! Kentucky bags – made for hardworking ladies with busy lives.
Fall 2011 Handbag Trends
Your PonyUP! Kentucky team is on top of all the Fall 2011 handbag trends!
Animal prints: Zebra, leopard, tiger: They’re all hot this season. A PonyUP! girl will definitely stand out from the crowd with our Stable Safari bag, which is PonyUP! Kentucky team member Jennifer’s favorite bags! Worn the right way, animal prints can make your outfit look sophisticated and sexy.
Other animal prints to try: Wild Kingdom
Colorful handbags (and especially red): Colorful handbags were a huge hit this spring/summer, but for fall, red will zoom to the top of the color spectrum. Not far behind are deep forest green, dark mustard, and classic colors such as winter white, black and shades of brown.
Red handbags look great with an all-black outfit, or with a black and white outfit – a trend that is big on the runways for fall. You can also team a red handbag with brown and shades of grey for a versatile look.
Any of these trends can instantly energize your style. You can count on your PonyUP! Kentucky team to stay on top of what’s making news in handbag fashion.
Hug Your Horse Vet!
Indeed, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, founded in 1954 in Louisville, Kentucky, demands excellence among its practitioners, and meticulous concern for the health and welfare of the horse.
Horse vets really do perform “Good Works,” such as volunteering veterinary services or resources at an equine rescue or retirement facility, or contributing funds to support an equine-related benevolent program. “Good works” are acts of giving back to the horse, for the love of horses and the people they touch.
That’s why the organization’s 2011 Good Works Campaign got our attention here at PonyUP! Kentucky. If you know a veterinarian who is doing great things for rescued and retired horses in need, show your appreciation by nominating this vet as a candidate for the AAEP’s Good Works Campaign. And if you haven’t hugged your horse vet lately, now’s the time! To learn more about the AAEP’s Good Works Campaign, visit www.aaep.org.
The Volunteer Village
Volunteering is crucial to the success of all horse rescue operations. Horse rescue operations rely on the generosity of volunteers like you to assist with all aspects of their work. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to get involved.
Even if you’re not a seasoned horse person, no problem! Not every job associated with running a horse rescue operation requires an experienced equestrian. All that matters is that you have a little time—and a lot of love—for horses.
It really does take a village to run a great horse rescue operation, and with funding a continued source of concern, your help is invaluable. On rescue farms and ranches, there are stalls to clean, fences to mend, and pastures to maintain. In the office, there are papers to file and phone calls to return. If you’re pressed for time, stop by the barn with a couple of bags of horse feed, apples or carrots, or even a pack of paper and some light bulbs, and you’ll be hailed a minor hero! Also essential: compassionate veterinarians, farriers, and other professionals who donate or provide discounts for their time, services, and products to the horses in need at rescue facilities across the United States.
At PonyUP! Kentucky, we salute the tremendous efforts of volunteers who give of their time, energy, and love to help keep rescued and retired horses healthy and happy. Thank you!
Purposeful PonyUP! Kentucky Handbags
Here at PonyUP! Kentucky, we’re so focused on fundraising for horse rescue operations (which is why we’re in operation!) that we sometimes forget to talk about the practical pluses of our handbags. In addition to being what we feel is the best in equestrian fashion, our purses are also great for their purpose: taking your personal possessions from place to place. Some of the great qualities you tell us about are:
PonyUP! Kentucky handbags don’t slip off your shoulders like most purses! That’s especially important today, where everyone has a hectic daily existence. Like the leather horse halters used to create the shoulder strap, your PonyUP! Kentucky handbag will stay put, and that means less aggravation for you while you’re out and about.
PonyUP! Kentucky purses are easy to clean! No need to worry about cleaning nasty pen marks off other handbag materials. Simply detach the fabric handbag from the leather shoulder strap and drop it off at the drycleaner’s with your other fine-fabric clothing.
PonyUP! Kentucky handbags keep going, and going! With interchangeable shoulder straps, your original PonyUP! Kentucky handbag doesn’t have to be your last one. You can choose a new color or pattern for each season, or for special outfits and occasions. Just clip it on to your personalized leather shoulder strap, and you’ve got a whole new look. You’ll feel great about carrying your PonyUP! Kentucky handbag, knowing that your purchase is supporting rescued and retired horses in need.
When we say PonyUP! Kentucky handbags are equestrian fashion with purpose and passion, we mean it!
From Kentucky to New York
Our love of all things Kentucky is no secret. We think our great state has the best of the entire world right here–like we always say, from Albany to Winchester, and everywhere in between, though we are partial to Lexington!
As much as we support horse rescue efforts in Kentucky, we know that the need exists across the country. So too does one of our featured farms, Old Friends, and that’s why Old Friends is about to celebrate the first anniversary of its satellite farm in New York state. In July 2010, Old Friends opened Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division, located in Greenfield Center, NY.
Cabin Creek, owned and operated by JoAnn and Mark Pepper, has accepted retired thoroughbreds since fall 2009. The farm, named in honor of deceased New York-based Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, is currently home to Travers champions Thunder Rumble and Will’s Way, stakeswinners and former Frankel trainees Watchem Smokey and New Export, New York favorite Cool N Collective, America’s lovable loser Zippy Chippy, and other retirees Karakorum Patriot, Midnight Secret, Moonshadow Gold and Red Down South.
Built from scratch by the Peppers 15 years ago, the 40-acre facility offers 12 stalls, two round pens, five finished paddocks, and more space for growth and development. While the farm itself is leased out by Old Friends, the Peppers are responsible for day-to-day operations, so the extra hands of volunteers are obviously always appreciated. We’re thrilled that a percentage of our profits will support the Peppers’ important work in New York.
Kentucky is our home. Cabin Creek, in the beautiful countryside near Saratoga, feels like home.
For more on Old Friends and Cabin Creek, visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.
We love Kentucky at PonyUP! Kentucky
And while every region in the Commonwealth is truly terrific, we’re partial to the Bluegrass Region, where we’re based. The Bluegrass Region’s horse farms and scenic drives are an ideal location for our team, providing great inspiration for our handbags—for the “equestrian fashion with purpose and passion” that helps horses in need.
Fittingly, our headquarters are in Lexington, Kentucky’s second-largest city and the Horse Capital of the World. Visit Lexington and you’ll enjoy historic sites, shopping, attractions, dining and nightlife. What do we suggest? Keeneland Race Course, of course, and the world renowned Kentucky Horse Park where you can pet retired champion Thoroughbreds, including the legendary Cigar and Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide. You can also get up close and personal with dozens of horses representing a variety of other great breeds, In fact, from April 1 through October 1, the Horse Park features an exciting Parade of Breeds twice daily, The horses are put through their paces by riders in authentic costumes.
While you’re visiting, you might want to take a tour of the Horse Park on the horse-drawn tour trolley. The trolleys are pulled by the Park’s teams of “Gentle Giants,” including Belgians, Clydesdales, Percherons, English Shires, Halflingers, Suffolks and Norwegian Fjords. Feel free to visit the Draft Horses throughout the morning as they are groomed and harnessed for their work day in the Carriage Horse Barn and the Draft Horse Barn. You can learn more about the exciting events at Kentucky Horse Park by visiting KyHorsePark.com.
We’re thrilled to be a Kentucky business, based in one of the Commonwealth’s most beautiful cities. Our continued goal is for PonyUP! Kentucky designs and craftsmanship to reflect the very best of our great state.
If you’re not a Kentuckian, we’d love for you to visit us. For more ideas on what to when you’re here, try www.kentuckytourism.com.
What’s in a Name?
At PonyUP! Kentucky, we take great pride in the quality of our handbags—and how they’re inspired by our customers’ busy lives and love of all things equestrian. There’s a reason our terrific Lorna Oaks is called the “dreamstress”: She makes that vision become a reality in our one-of-a-kind handbags.
We also think that the names we give to our handbags are part of their charm.
How do we do it? The unique fabrics that we use are certainly food for thought. A few draw their monikers from Kentucky events and traditions—A Day at the Derby, anyone?—or the names of favorite horse colors—we have a Buckskin, a Dun, and a few Palominos in our catalog. But many of our handbags are named for the feeling that the fabric evokes in us: Wistful, or Sweet ’n Sassy. (Monica Hess comes to mind!) And we, of course, have one named after our founder Rallie, though she is so modest, we had to force the issue!
We’d love to hear your ideas for names. Please feel free to send in your thoughts. If they match our fabrics…well, who knows, a PonyUP! Kentucky classic might not only be yours, with a customized brass nameplate, and you’ll help craft its image on our website.
So, what’s in a name? An elegant PonyUP! Kentucky handbag is waiting to find out.
Celebrities Rescuing Horses
Actress Priscilla Presley and singer Willie Nelson are just two of the famous names providing shelter for horses right now. At Graceland, Elvis Presley’s former-home-turned-tourist-site, Priscilla Presley is determined to keep the legendary entertainer’s residence the way he left it, including its barn and horses. At least two rescue horses reside at Graceland, where they were nursed back to health after living in life-threatening situations. One is a Quarter Hhorse named Bandit, rescued from a Fayette County, TN, farm, whose owner was convicted of neglecting Bandit and more than a dozen other horses.
In addition to joining the Board of Directors of Habitat for Horses, legendary singer Willie Nelson converted his Luck, TX, ranch into a foster home for horses. Nelson is also working to stop horse slaughter. At his ranch, most of the horses can be ridden, some are companion only and there is no increase in the adoption fee for the new owners. While Nelson’s ranch’s adoption rules are the same, with property inspections and background checks, there is one big difference. Your final adoption contract will be signed by Willie Nelson.
Kudos to Priscilla and Willie for doing what they can to support horse rescue!
Statistics to Consider
Statistics don’t always tell the story, but they can certainly provide an outline worth reading.
Here is some data that explains why PonyUP! Kentucky is so committed to our handbags—“equestrian fashion with purpose and passion”:
The Kentucky Horse Council (KHC), a non-profit organization dedicated to equine education and protection, says that horse owners are working harder than ever to keep their horses.
KHC executive director Ginny Grulke recently told Danville, KY’s The Advocate-Messenger “People try really hard to hold onto a horse, maybe longer than they should, because they’re so emotionally attached,” she said. “The longer you go into a recession, the more people that are in that situation.”
Equine sale prices have dropped drastically. The average cost of a horse at Keeneland’s thoroughbred auction plummeted from about $95,000 in 2005 to about $54,000 in 2009. The values of privately sold horses has also dropped dramatically, Grulke said. Simultaneously, the cost of feed and hay began to skyrocket. A 50-pound bag of feed from Burkmann Feeds in Danville costs $1.50 to $3.50 more now than in April of 2007, Darrell Johnson, director of technical services at the mill told The Advocate-Messenger.
There’s more: Prior to 2007, national estimates indicated about 100,000 horses a year were slaughtered at processing plants in the United States, said Essie Rogers, KHC director of education and welfare. But in 2007, the last horse processing plants in Texas and Illinois shut down, meaning horse owners had to ship animals to Mexico or Canada to dispose of them. While a positive step for animal rights, the plant closures have contributed to the increasing amount of unwanted horses, making it nearly impossible for owners to sell the animals they can’t afford.
At PonyUP! Kentucky, we encourage everyone to remember these statistics, and the horses behind them.
Keeneland: Part of the Horse Capital of the World
When horse lovers come to Kentucky, their first stop is Lexington, the “Horse Capital of the World.” Lexington, the second largest city in the state, is located in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region. For hundreds of years, Lexington has been known as a major center for Thoroughbred breeding and racing.
Legions of Lexington visitors know the storied history of Keeneland Race Track, which is one of the city’s most visited attractions.
Part thoroughbred race course, part sales company—and considered to be one of America’s most beautiful tracks—Keeneland is known for its well-designed, meticulous landscaping. The grounds consist of the paddock, a prep area where visitors can view horses up-close before the race, and a combination of dirt and turf race tracks. This attention to detail is what brings visitors back year after year. The Keeneland team is dedicated to improving Thoroughbred racing while preserving its best traditions.
Spectators, trainers, jockeys and breeders from around the world gather annually for Keeneland’s spring/fall race meetings, which are world-class racing events. As the world’s most prestigious Thoroughbred auction company, Keeneland has a stellar reputation for its quality horses, diverse clientele, state-of-the-art facilities, and amenities for horses and people.
Travel websites are full of glowing reviews.
“Keeneland is the real deal. Absolutely fantastic. This is what people talk about when they talk about horse country.”
“Beautiful people, beautiful horses, beautiful scenery. If you are in Lexington in October or April and don’t go, at least once, you are missing out on the very essence of this city.”
PonyUP! Kentucky is a proud Lexington resident, and we second every word.
Coming to Lexington? Come to Keeneland.
The dramatic beaches of Normandy were the scene of a number of World War II’s most critical battles, including the start of the 1944 D-Day campaign. Indeed, this coming week marks the 67th anniversary of that offensive, which led to the liberation of northern France, the drive into Germany and the end of the Nazi Reich.
We salute the brave soldiers who fought for freedom in Normandy. A number of these tremendous individuals are Kentuckians, and we are delighted to share this story of our founder Rallie McAllister’s recent encounter with one of them.
A recent visit to a World War II veteran at the University of Kentucky Hospital provided an unexpected opportunity to talk about PonyUP! Kentucky.
I was there to visit a distinguished veteran – a fine gentleman who broke his ankle in 1942 when he parachuted into Normandy and was subsequently captured by the Germans at the tender age of 20.
Now, at the age of eighty-something, he had fallen down the steps of his grandson’s home and broken his hip. This terrific veteran knows all about bravery!
Along for the visit with me that day was a PonyUP! Kentucky purse. In the hospital elevator, a lady asked me about the purse. Her question gave me the perfect opportunity to tell her about the cause behind our PonyUp! Kentucky purses. She loved the purse, and she loved the cause even more.
The PonyUP! Kentucky Quiz Scoring
You took our quiz—now read more on how PonyUP! Kentucky handbags can take your style to the next level!
Mostly A: You’re a Timeless Tina
You’re known for your elegance. From your clothes to your accessories (including your handbag choices), you rarely put a foot wrong.
Style role models: Kate Middleton, Diane Sawyer, Gwyneth Paltrow
Mostly B: You’re an Enduring Edna
You’re the gal who brings the best of the past to today. You can be found in vintage clothing stores, scouring flea markets, and you always find the just right items from years gone by to complete your look.
Style role models: Helena Bonham Carter, Drew Barrymore, Sharon Stone
Mostly C: Graceful Gwendolyn
You’re the picture beside “ladylike” in the dictionary. Known for your soft, pretty choices, you’re always the epitome of Southern charm!
Style role models: Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams, Laura Bush
Mostly D: Spontaneous Sandra
You’re not one for any particular style, and that’s your style. Whatever your mood, whatever the day, that’s how you dress. Your friends love the surprise!
Style role models: Halle Berry, Michelle Obama, Tina Fey
The PonyUP! Kentucky Quiz
What color is your handbag? With dozens of PonyUP! Kentucky handbags from which to choose, it can be hard to pick just one. That’s why our handbags and straps are interchangeable, so you don’t have to pick just one!
But we’re here to help you narrow down the field. Here’s our first PonyUP! Kentucky Quiz.
1. How many items are in your handbag on a typical day?
d) Too many to count
2. What items are always in your handbag?
a) BlackBerry, iPod, wallet
b) Make-up bag, grocery list, magazine or book
c) BlackBerry, last night’s dinner receipt, lipstick
d) Wallet, comb, bag of M&Ms
3. Describe your style.
d) Depends on the day
4. What’s your hair color (or closest)?
a) Dark brown
5. How’s your handbag housekeeping? Are you:
a) Obsessively organized
b) Comfortably cluttered
c) Decidedly disorganized
d) Total chaos!
Check back soon for our next blog. We’ll tell you what PonyUP! Kentucky bag is perfect for you!
Fashion Rules Worth Breaking
Chances are, you know—and follow—at least one of the same old fashion adages we’ve all heard. White after Labor Day? Never. Shoes and a purse that don’t match? Unthinkable.
Not anymore. What’s news now? Those “rules” are distinctly “old news.”
Here are just a few of these old style ruts—and how PonyUP! Kentucky handbags can help you break out of them—stylishly.
Don’t wear white after Labor Day. White is always a “do,” and especially this year, with lace touches everywhere. So although picking the right white clothing for the season is probably a good idea, white can look just right in your PonyUP! Kentucky handbag at any time of the year.
Black and brown don’t match. That was then. Today, black and brown are a sophisticated combination. We’ve all seen how great these two colors work together in riding outfits, and that’s just one example. Here’s another:
Match your purse to your shoes. Ah yes, one of the most repeated fashion “rules.” When you’re going for the demure “Mad Men” look, it can work. But today, complementary bags and shoes are a fabulous look. We’re sure that any of our PonyUP! Kentucky bags pair beautifully with any of your great outfits. These are perfect pairs:
You can’t mix prints. This season especially mixing prints is an amazing fashion do. There are a lot of ways to try it, such as choosing a print with a dominant color and pairing it with another print of that same dominant color. Prints are fun in:
The Need for Horse Rescue
Even in Kentucky, with one of the country’s strongest Thoroughbred traditions, there is a need for horse rescue.
The ongoing economic challenge, and the resulting loss of jobs and income, has only increased the need. According to the Kentucky Horse Council, it takes approximately $2,500 to maintain a horse for a year, not counting any special health needs. Rescue operations in Kentucky do not receive government support and rely on individual donations to care for these horses. That’s why horse rescue operations count on a wide range of fundraising efforts. Please consider supporting a rescue organization financially or by donating goods, services, or your time as a volunteer. Most horse rescue operations are non-profit organizations, so your financial donation is tax deductible.
At PonyUP! Kentucky, we’re committed to doing everything we can to make a difference. A percentage of our sales directly benefits these critically important horse rescue operations.
Spring/Summer 2011 Filled with Fun Fashion!
What we’re seeing on the runways:
Denim everywhere – casual and cool!
Color blocking – creative!
Eastern inspirations – exotic!
Safari – bring out the huntress!
Lace – how feminine!
Sheer – romantic!
’70s wear – remember the old days!
Punk (??) – maybe we should forget this one!
Prints and florals – always attractive!
Business attire – every woman’s must-have!
With every “just right” outfit, you need the “just right” handbag.
You’re in the right place. Right here—at PonyUP! Kentucky.
PonyUP! Kentucky handbags are made with our broad selection of exclusive fabrics and patterns, so we have a handbag for all of these great trends. What’s more, our interchangeable shoulder straps provide a personalized touch for each bag, and you can purchase additional handbags for your strap at a special discounted price.
What about pairing:
Hawaiian Horse Girl and your favorite pair of jeans?
Chocolate Hearts with with your best 1970s pantsuit?
Palomino Glen and your safari shirtdress?
Check out all our bags in our catalog. At PonyUP! Kentucky, we’re proud to be equestrian fashion with purpose and passion.
May is a very special month for all of us at PonyUP! Kentucky.
This month heralds the start of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, with the annual Kentucky Derby. Known as “The Run for the Roses,” the Derby is a 1.25 mile race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds. It really is the “Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.” Kentucky’s biggest sporting event draws an average of 150,000 visitors each year, including celebrities, presidents, and even members of royal families. (Will William and Kate be here one year?) They all come to enjoy the tradition and history that is the Derby—and, of course, the amazing sight of the tremendous Thoroughbreds in glorious motion at Churchill Downs.
Helping to care for these wonderful horses is why PonyUP! Kentucky exists. Organizations like Kentucky’s Old Friends—and others—are terrific retirement and rescue facilities for pensioned Thoroughbreds. The excitement surrounding the Derby is further evidence of the importance of providing a dignified retirement for racehorses whose racing and breeding careers are over.
What better way to enjoy the Derby—in the grandstand at Churchill Downs here in Kentucky or on television—than with your mom? The Derby is held on the first Saturday in May, and Mother’s Day follows a week later on Sunday. If your mom loves horses as much as we do, our beautifully crafted PonyUP! Kentucky handbags make the perfect gift. Check out our catalog for the one that best matches your mom’s personality. We’re sure you’ll find the right one that’s just as one-of-a-kind as your very special mother.
These two great “May Days” are tailor-made—much like our handbags—for the entire PonyUP! Kentucky team. In honor of the Thoroughbreds we cherish, and of course, the moms we love, we welcome May!
PonyUP! Kentucky is committed to all horse rescue operations, but there’s a reason that Old Friends is the beneficiary of our team’s first fundraising effort–receiving a donation of 21 unique, high-fashion PonyUP! Kentucky handbags valued at $2625.00.
Old Friends: A Kentucky Facility for Retired Thoroughbreds is based in Georgetown, KY, with a satellite operation in Greenfield Center, NY. The creation of the facility was inspired by the death of 1986 Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand. Sadly, after a life of hard work and service, Ferdinand was slaughtered at a meatpacking plant in Japan.
Created in 2002 by Michael Blowen, a former Boston Globe editor, the Old Friends organization is run almost entirely from donations. The non-profit organization is dedicated to providing a dignified retirement to horses whose racing and breeding careers have come to an end.
The farm is home to such retired champions as Eclipse winner The Wicked North, Breeders’ Cup victor Gulch, and Travers stars Will’s Way and Thunder Rumble, along with many others. Old Friends is notable for being the only thoroughbred retirement facility in the United States that accepts stallions. Thank you, Old Friends!
Old Friends accepts tax deductible donations, but other income sources are always needed for this very special, focused, full-care facility. Caring for these marvelous athletes in their golden years is expensive, and Old Friends wants to continue to expand its facility. PonyUP! Kentucky is delighted to say that our first donation to Old Friends is an annual tradition. Old Friends has an impressive present and equally promising future, and PonyUP! Kentucky will support their team all the way around the track.
PonyUP! Kentucky is now on Facebook!
Connect with us on Facebook and of course, here online at PonyUPKentucky.com. We want to provide you with a combined resource that offers news on the latest additions to our great selection of one-of-a-kind handbags, along with fun stories and updates about our mission – equestrian fashion with purpose and passion! Click on the link below to take you directly to our site. Please “like” us! We’re looking forward to hearing from you!
Welcome to PonyUP! Kentucky
We’re so pleased to have our Website up and running.
Or should we say, galloping?
Now that we’re online, we think you’ll find a terrific shopping experience, so sit back and enjoy!
PonyUP! Kentucky’s unique, exceptional quality handbags – handmade in the USA – are all on display. Using exclusive fabrics and patterns, our handbags are often one-of-a-kind. Even better, proceeds from PonyUP! Kentucky handbags benefit retired and rescued horses in need.
We encourage you to check back often for updates on our products and fundraising efforts. At PonyUP! Kentucky, our goal is to offer handbags that exceed your expectations in every way. Our site is always evolving, so we hope you’ll give us your valued feedback on what we’re saying now, and what you hope to hear in the future.
PonyUP! Kentucky truly is the best of both worlds, for us and you, our valued customer.
Our founder, Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, says it best, “PonyUP! Kentucky is equestrian fashion with purpose and passion!”