Fashion, Horses, Castles, good Food and Wine have always been my passion. So I can’t even tell you my excitement when we decided to do our first ever Goode Rider wear test in France, riding from Chateaux to Chateaux for 6 days. I enlisted my 2 sisters Teresa (an avid horse woman who breeds and owns 60 Andalusians in Spain, www.horsesofspain.com) and Anneli (my sister in Sweden who has not ridden in 24 years, but grew up riding, so kind of like riding a bike right?) So 3 sisters came from 3 different countries and met up in Spain and drove up to Dordogne, France where we started our trip.Needless to say we were fully equipped with Goode Rider clothing ,Spring’16 and Fall’17 Collections, to test for each day! Having checked the weather report, rain every day, we came prepared! This is what our car/luggage looked like.
We drove through the French Country side and 5 ½ hours later ended up at our first stop, a Chateaux in the Village of Tremolat, population 666 people in 2007. However, this seemed more of a summer vacation town and since we were in mid May, the whole town was empty. Exactly what we wanted, privacy and seeing the country for what it really was without tourists. Tired, a little jet lagged but excited we settled in to our rooms and were treated like royalty with a 7 course gourmet meal!
We were picked up early A.M. by our Equestrian Tour Guide Stéphane Fournier.
He was slight, built like a jockey, and we quickly found out he didn’t speak a lick of English…..slight setback, we had been promised an English speaking tour guide. Luckily for us Teresa speaks fluent French and had to be the trip translator or we would have missed out on all the rich history the area of Dordogne has to offer.
We found out that Stephane was an Arabian Endurance Rider, was scheduled to do 120 km the week after our trip, and had been doing these trips with his father for many, many years.
Arabian? What? I’m thinking to myself……we will be on sturdy, calm, quarter horses for our ride, right?
Nope, Arabians they are, beautiful animals, high spirited but obviously used to doing these kinds of trips. Stéphane introduced us to our horses, “3 sisters for 3 sisters”, he says. Get ready for a 6 hour day in the saddle! Our Rain or Shine Rain Jackets were quickly peeled off as the sun came out as we left the stables. Today’s outfit: the Iconic Breeches in Smoke with the Goode Henley in Charcoal.
Being used to big necked Andalusians and calm controlled canters on the bit, we quickly had to switch gear as after the first canter, I mean Gallop, the necks went up in the air and there seemed to be no stop button.
We were going fast and tears were streaming down my face from the wind. I quickly turned around to check on my sister Anneli, being worried that the speed would be a lot for her after not being in the saddle for so long. Only to see a s**t eating grin from side to side. Wow, this was riding! We felt like we were 16 again. And the views, oh the views…….
“Pinch me”, I said to my sisters after a little while, is this really for real?