December 2015 - Gift Idea Grab Bag
Written by CRM
Saturday, 28 November 2015 01:16
PDF Print E-mail

An Amazing Bra

“The amazing bra lady” was almost as popular as the dressage riders playfully strutting their stuff at the fabulous Dressage Extensions fashion show last month in Moorpark. (see page, 26) That’s Mary Helen Shashy, inventor and spokesmodel for the Cheata Sport bra.

This is not your average sport bra and it’s not just for people that are super well endowed. “It’s for women who want to achieve little to no breast movement with comfort and look dramatically smaller and sleeker in their show clothes,” Mary Helen explains. She’s not an equestrian herself, but when she saw our sport, she knew the Cheata “Trotter” bra was perfect for riders. She was surprised to see how often bouncing breasts detracted from the otherwise lovely result of considerable effort, time and money that go into showcasing our horses and talents.

She tells of a young rider with a common story: trying to find a show coat that she could button closed without it being too big in the shoulders and elsewhere. She started with a size 10 to accommodate her bust, but, after trying on the Trotter bra, was able to fit comfortably into a flattering size 6 that was appropriate for the rest of her torso.

Mary Helen says the bra also does wonders for posture. “The first thing that happens for big busted girls and women is they hunch their shoulders forward. When things are bouncing around while riding, that happens even more.” The support and compression delivered by the Trotter bra has a “freeing” effect, she says, encouraging riders to sit tall and straight.

Eliminating the appearance of back fat is another benefit. That’s especially valuable with riding coats made of today’s technical fabrics. They are comfortable and breathable, but they don’t do anything to hold in stray bits of extra flesh. The Cheata does.

The Cheata bra comes in three models: The Trotter, the Trotter Tank and the Step-In bra. The latter has a front zip allowing those with limited shoulder flexibility to put it on easily.
Available from Dressage Extensions or visit

Handy Must-Haves

Equine Comfort Products is best known for its extensive line of saddle pads equipped with inserts to address saddle fit and/or back sensitivity issues. But saddle pads are a little hard to stick into a holiday stocking, so if you’re looking for a smaller gift, check out the company’s new line of micro-fiber tack and wipe down cloths.

The Waffle Weave Wipe Down Cloth and smaller micro-fiber cloth are perfect for a last-minute shine before entering at A, after-workout removal of sweat and dirt or shining up bits, spurs or barn hardware. Both are handy at the barn and well beyond.

Lavender Dreams Farms’ organic fly-spray uses the insect repelling properties of lavender grown at its Tehachapi farm and combined with other natural ingredients. Created by Southern California horse owners Patrick and Dr. Elizabeth Kolve, the spray smells good!

Available at Dressage Extensions or visit

Balios Sensor

This product it apparently not out until April, but we’re seeing it crop up on a lot of riders’ Facebook pages and getting a lot of likes. So, maybe a good future gift for the tech-savvy rider.

Here’s the description of the device from manufacturer, Equisense:

Balios is a connected device that attaches to the girth of the saddle. Once the workout begins, it automatically tracks the intensity of the training session and the horse’s movement. The data tracked by the device is then sent to a free smartphone app via a Bluetooth signal, which allows the rider to train the horse more effectively.

The app creates a report summarizing all of the collected data, which can be shared with your coach, veterinarian, or lessee, allowing all parties to adapt their training or treatment to the needs of the horse. The coach has access to all the data of the horse’s training session – even if he/she wasn’t present for the ride. The data from the app can also alert to the first signs of injury or fatigue to the horse, contributing to a more horse-friendly training.

Equisense is offering discounts on pre-orders. Visit for more information.

Colors Galore


Annie’s Equestrienne Apparel is a family owned brand that specializes in “unique, comfortable, durable and affordable” riding wear. Check it out

The Equestrian Prep Collection features vintage, washed Comfort Colors pocket tees in short and long sleeves. Caps, beanies and koozies are also part of the collection.

Malibu 5 Star Naturals

Never any shortage of sunshine on the California equestrian circuit, so sunscreen is always a must. Malibu 5 Star Naturals’ collection of creams make perfect, purposeful stocking stuffers for every rider on your list. The company’s 30SPF sunscreen cream is made with real coconut milk, avocado, coconut, golden jojoba, red raspberry and carrot seed oils, shea and mango butters, aloe vera and oat extracts, ewax, Btms-50, hydrovance, isopropyl myristate and zinc oxide.

“It provides great coverage and doubles as a moisturizer,” explains creator Wendy Gleason. “Use sparingly as a tiny bit goes a long way. There’s no need to slather on like other sunscreens.”