Here's at Toast to the Brands of LA Saddlery!


I don’t know if you have noticed lately, but there are new equestrian brands popping up in your social media like weeds.  I am bombarded with ads boasting the best fitting breeches, the lightest weight show coat, the most fashionable equestrian streetwear.  And it’s the same at the horse shows too. Every week a new brand is setting up shop.  Mostly younger amateur riders whose story is the same, they couldn’t find any equestrian clothing that satisfied their particular needs, so with their young go-getter and glass-full attitude they think ok, I will start my own brand, and then it will pay for all my horse expenses! Yeah that was me 15 years ago… 

Well ladies I hate to be a bubble buster, but after running a successful equestrian retail business and lifestyle brand for the past decade and half, I still can’t afford to have a horse to show, not to mention the time to show him. But I am sure your company will be the exception, and soon enough your parents won’t have to foot the horse bills anymore, and your perfectly fitting, price friendly, environmentally sustainable ensembles will make you a millionaire in no time.  Yes I sound snarky and bitter. Not because I think less of those brands, ok well some of them I do. But mostly because I have seen similar brands come and go, and what they never seem to understand is the key to a successful brand has very little to do with social media followers, and everything to do with staying power and stamina. Oh and patience. And of course cash flow. The economy has to be stable too. And hopefully no current pandemics to worry about.

I usually give the new brands about 2-3 years, 5 if mom or dad is helping out.  Once they figure out that they have to deal with people more than horses the honeymoon effect dies fast.   Not to mention the day to day grind of running a business. It’s not all TikTok videos and photo shoots with your barn friends. But what do I know.  I drive a 2016 Tundra not a 2023 Tesla, so they already have more in the bank than me.  And the only help I get from my mom these days is when she buys gifts for her friends on my website. I am sure her finance friends, who have nothing to do with the sport just love their “I heart my Horse” sweatshirts. But hey I’ll take any help from the parents!

After all these years I have been through my fair share of brands. When it comes to taking in a new brand I can be a bit of a fashion snob. Just because they have great social ads or some rider with 100K IG followers, doesn’t mean they have great quality. Or great customer service. Both of which are essential to a good working relationship.  Also if their target audience is 30 and under, they’ve lost me.  I am 47 and most of my good customers are within 10 years of my age, and we just think differently about life, back fat, and what constitutes real style.  If you don’t know what tweed, gingham, or plaid looks like than you don’t know equestrian fashion, or least not its roots.  And roots are important to me. 

Since I closed my brick and mortar 6 years ago, (I know it’s been 6 years, I can’t believe it either), I had to focus on less brands. More style and even more substance.  And since I am a snob, all the brands I have kept are worth every penny. And yes I only carry high end clothing, so you need to have lots of pennies when you pop into my shop! 

Here’s a breakdown of my best selling brands and why I have stayed with them for so many years.

Goode Rider


Goode Rider is like your old friend from high school that gives you the warm and fuzzies every time you get a chance to catch up over lunch.  Their quality always surpasses their price point, and their core pieces are timeless and chic.  I mostly order from their Fall Collection because where they really excel is their outwear.  Cozy sweaters, fashionably functional vests and jackets, my closet has a little bit of everything, and GR is usually my go-to when it gets chilly in So Cal.  Plus the two ladies that own the brand are lovely people, and I only like giving my hard-earned money to lovely people. Oh and their sales rep is my sassy and sarcastic soulmate, and I have to find more reasons to hang out with her!

Winston Equestrian

Another sassy woman, the US distributor of Winston Equestrian and I became instant friends. A small boutique Belgian company, I helped launch the brand to the US market in 2013 at the then HITS Horse Show in Thermal, CA.  I had one year of exclusivity to put the brand on the map, and it continues to be my best selling hunter equitation coat.

Winston, in my opinion, is the one brand that remains consistent with the classic aesthetics of the Hunter/Eq world, while still looking modern and polished.  The coats, despite being a wool/tech blend are extremely lightweight and washable.  And they look good for years. I have customers who still have and show in the coat they bought from me 10 years ago.  So pennies well spent!



With a handful of beautiful high end Italian brands competing for the same market, why did I stick with Equiline?  Well first of all the quality of their fit and softness of fabrics is superb.  Despite some of the Italian brands running on the slimmer side, I have sold Equiline to all shapes and sizes, especially their show coats. And speaking of show coats, this is where Equiline really shines. The options for customization are endless, and every year I have a blast coming up with new custom collections for my out-of-the-box customers to choose from. 

And yes, even an all blinged out coat can still be washed at home. And not hand-washed in the sink, in an actual washing machine.  I was a bit skeptical myself, but after I had a run in with some mega dirt at Thermal I had to wash a couple of them and honestly I was a bit nervous. But man if those coats didn’t look better after I washed them! All the little creases that were still showing from shipment were gone, and the fabric looked posh and polished. The coats are definitely an investment, but they are also a statement piece in your wardrobe, and if cared for properly will last longer than most of your horses or trainers! 

Iago Italia


If Goode Rider is like an old friend, than Iago would be your first love, or for me the love of my life. Fate brought us together and a shared commitment to home based manufacturing has kept our relationship flourishing.  Fast fashion is saturating the equestrian market (i.e. some of the newbie brands I mentioned above) knock off, half-ass made clothing in subpar Chinese or Indian factories. Iago is 100% still made in Italy, in a small Northern town that was once the  hub for high fashion manufacturing. However, just like here in the US, many European brands have opted to move their production to China to cut costs, but usually not prices. So the company makes more profit, meanwhile their home town businesses are struggling to stay afloat.  It’s one of those global issues like childhood hunger that people feel awful about, but at the end of the day don’t care enough to alter their shopping behavior. They are too hooked on Amazon prices and speedy delivery, that they keep a blind eye to the growing divide between the handful of billionaires and the billions of people struggling. So Made in Italy doesn’t mean that much to people, especially when they see the higher retail price. But it means something to me, and if I can play a small part in keeping a timeless art alive in a small town, than it’s the least I can do in my industry. 


Both my fiancé and I ride in our Iago breeches from 7 years ago, and they still look fabulous. The fabrics keep getting softer and more breathable, and also have stood the test of time with even my most abusive customers.  I don’t claim to be a fashion designer by any  means, but I am a natural fashion editor. Iago has offered me the opportunity to tweak their styles, with my own personal adjustments in fit, fabric, and other fashion details, creating collections that are Hunter/Equitation friendly, as well as one of kind looks.  It has been my top selling brand for the last 4 years, and I am really excited to be working on a whole new collection.



This is the new kid on the LA Saddlery block. Once I kicked Samshield to the curb, I needed another brand to satisfy my buying addiction. I had been eyeing the Vestrum brand after meeting with them several years back at the International Equestrian Trade Show, SPOGA, in Cologne, Germany. I was impressed with their high fashion aesthetic, particularly their bold knitted sweaters with original horse inspired graphics, which of course have been my selling items from them since I picked up the line in 2021.

 I also think their show shirts are totally on trend with main stream fashion. They are modern and edgy, but also quite delicate and sophisticated.  Their color palettes are completely out of the box and their one of kind prints and graphics make them a stand out in my book.

 Bad Horse Los Angeles


This one is my baby, literally. It was conceived in my little snarky brain and has become everything I always wanted a brand to be. It’s original, it doesn’t follow any rules, and it makes people smile.  Also it’s all made in my home town of Los Angeles.  So no ugly mass produced blank tees with crappy screen printing. The styles are all original patterns, cut, sewn and printed in downtown LA.  Which is also why it is a casual luxury brand, not a souvenir shop purchase. Yes as far as tees go they are more expensive, but I still wear my original giddythefup. fleece and V-neck from 2018, and they look brand new.


Those of you who already own a Bad Horse tee or sweatshirt can attest to the softness of the fabric, and the flattering fit of all the styles.  They are cut generous, so I have yet to be called a sizest, and I have clothed many shapes of woman all over the US and Canada.  It’s fun and feisty and keeps me in a good mood, so that’s always helpful! I never get bored of coming up with new designs, and I have recently ventured into my cute and playful side in addition to my usual snark and sass, so something for everyone.  I am currently working on a girl’s line, Bad Pony Club…so stay tuned!


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