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Course Brook Farm USEA Horse Trials - July 19, 2020

So, this was the big recognized BN event I had planned for and hoped for in 2020. Ellie and I had done well at the BN 2-phase in May and the BN cross country derby the week prior. I thought we could do just fine. Yet, we had started to have a problem with jumping that sort of began slowly and ended up becoming a real problem. At the time, I had a bad habit of taking my leg off and expecting my horse to jump, as my previous Standardbreds were so incredibly honest. Ellie is brave and willing, but as the fences got bigger (not that BN is that high, but 2'7" was certainly the largest we had jumped by 2020!) and I just sort of sat there passively, Ellie started to stop. She would stop if she thought the jump looked a bit scary, she would stop if she just didn't understand the question, she would stop because she really wasn't seeing the jump. Hmm. It took Babette and I a while to figure this all out, but the catalyst was this recognized event at Course Brook Farm in MA. We

Tack Review: Dark Jewel Designs browbands

It is no secret I like things to be matchy-matchy when I compete.  When I ride at home, I am usually a mismatched slob, realizing too late how much my shirt clashes with my saddle pad.

Case in point.

I have mentioned my custom browbands here a few times, so I felt as though it was time for a review post!  Amelia at Dark Jewel Designs does a fabulous job with her Etsy shop.  I met her years ago at UNH when we were riding at the horse barn, so when I stumbled across her gorgeous and affordable designs I knew I had to order one!  

So far, I have six of her designs (holy cow) and both the black and the brown browbands.  The coolest thing about Amy's design is that you can mix and match the strands however you want on either color browband.  I like the flexibility!  And Amy is super easy to work with, has great customer service and an eye for design.  She is an eventer, so she uses her products on her own horse, which matters to me!  I like knowing the products I purchase are approved by the owner herself!

The current rotation: Tiffany blue for dressage and dark green for XC!

This was made for Snappy, since her racing colors were maroon and gold!

This is dark blue (bad pic but the only one I have!)
I also have a dark grey and silver strand, but I cannot find a pic.  

If you are looking for an affordable and beautiful custom browband, I highly recommend Dark Jewel Designs!  


  1. I LOVE Amelia's work!! The browbands get compliments everywhere and I'm always thinking up new colors and designs haha. Definitely worth recommending to anyone looking

  2. I can never get enough of blingy browbands. These are all great!

  3. Thanks for the fantastic review! I'm glad that you are happy with the browbands and that we reconnected after all these years. Hope to see you around Area 1 sometime! :)


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