Last week, I made the two-hour trek to Old Salem Farm in North Salem, New York for the start of their spring horse show series that runs for two weeks and concludes on May 21. Even during my competitive equestrian days, I had never shown on these grounds before, so this felt like a treat to make a day of the event—and it served as a great excuse to dust off my Nikon DSLR camera.
To beat the weekday traffic, I left my home on Long Island around 7 am and arrived in the North Salem area before 9. Since I had made such good time on the way up, I stopped at Hayfields Market, a short drive from the show grounds on June Road, to grab an iced cappuccino and a breakfast sandwich before a long day out in the sun. Hayfields Market has to be the cutest roadside cafe and flower shop I’ve ever seen with its inviting decor. If you’re looking for a fun vibe with great food and beverages from local purveyors, this is the place to stop. After taking a few minutes to enjoy my homemade breakfast sandwich from their in-house kitchen, I decided to head over to the show.
On the day that I arrived at Old Salem Farm, there was plenty to see in their three show rings, starting with the hunter classes (where the horse’s form on the flat and over fences is judged) and then in the jumper ring (where having the fastest round with the fewest rails down gets you a ribbon). I mainly stuck to the jumper ring, where I was able to get some ringside shots and where I could also hide out from the sun on an 85-degree day and enjoy some shade.
After a few hours of competition followed by a short break where the jumping course got changed, and riders walked the course before the next round, I decided to head over to the vendor area and do a little retail therapy. My first stop was Equisite Elements of Style’s booth to see the founder, Brianne, in person. I met Brianne at the Hampton Classic Horse Show last summer, and instantly fell in love with the riding apparel that she has thoughtfully created. If you follow my riding journey on Instagram, you may have noticed that I’m consistently wearing riding shirts from Equisite. I love how Brianne has incorporated lace details into her designs, which are both classy and also durable. But my favorite thing about her pieces is how functional the fabric is and how easy the shirts are to keep looking brand new. Of course, seeing Brianne in-person also meant that I was able to debut some of her new styles. She always selects the best colors of the season, so I was instantly drawn to her new teal and soft yellow looks. Before I returned to the show ring, I selected the Genevieve Shirt in Buttercup, which has perforated details making it an ideal choice for summer riding. I also got the Joanna Hat with the wide brim because it fit my head perfectly and was very flattering. Plus, it will be a welcome addition for keeping the sun off my face when I’m at the barn or at shows.
Once I finished shopping and grabbed a refreshing lemonade from a vendor onsite, I made my way over to the hunter ring to watch a little more of the competition in that division before heading back to the second round of jumpers that were getting under way at 2 pm. Unfortunately, I was desperate to make it back to Long Island ahead of the rush hour traffic so I could get to my grandmother in time for my nightly visit (#CaregiverLife), meaning that I had to leave around 2:30 pm.
Although heading to the Old Salem Farm horse show wasn’t initially on my radar last week, I’m so glad I decided to make a day trip out of the excursion. It was great to experience a new show venue and to get to see some old and new friends at the event. I’m grateful that having my own business means that I have the flexibility in my schedule to do things like this, and I hope to be at more east coast shows soon!
Check out my latest Instagram Reel for more behind-the-scenes content from the show!