Growing up on a farm, where we had Thoroughbred broodmares, it was often my job to keep the little bit of horse tack we had clean. I took pride in getting their halters glistening clean. I rode hunters as well and my trainer was a purist. Horse tack should be as simple as possible and be beautiful. It was the era of custom bridles and she was insistent on them (nothing bothered her as much as ill-fitting horse tack) if you were going to the AA shows, but, equally insistent on keeping them pristine. Buy the right thing once and take care of it. Although perhaps I can blame my expensive taste on her :), I do think working and riding for such a trainer I came to appreciate the luxury of true quality, the confidence gained from proper presentation (I am here to win this) as well as responsibility for your belongings. My favorite color horse was always a ‘plain bay wrapper’, as we said, in beautiful tack.
When I found this faux fur fabric, at a showroom for a famous Italian fabric mill, I had to have it, particularly when my assistant at the time said ‘we could call it Phony Pony!’. The iconic look of a gleaming dark bay hunter in show horse tack raced back through my head, mixed with my adult ideas about simplicity is the essence of elegance, etc. I had to convey this idea. Easier said than done. The girth detail, to get the sides turned under exactly right, took months of consultative development with the factory. Yet none of my bags are purely about form. There are no decorative touches for the sake of decoration. That is too easy. Form must serve function. And the girth detail, much like the functional strength of the halter square motif, was critical in lending strength to the fabric and structure to the bag. I feel this design and the Girth – a hard-won detail – is emblematic of Oughton’s use of thoughtful, authentic equestrian details. Shop this handbag.