back in the saddle

cute equestrian apparel, bit and bloom riding, one k defender helmet, ariat contour ii heritage field boot
cute equestrian apparel, bit and bloom riding, one k defender helmet, ariat contour ii heritage field boot
cute equestrian apparel, bit and bloom riding, one k defender helmet, ariat contour ii heritage field boot
cute equestrian apparel, bit and bloom riding, one k defender helmet, ariat contour ii heritage field boot
cute equestrian apparel, bit and bloom riding, one k defender helmet, ariat contour ii heritage field boot
cute equestrian apparel, bit and bloom riding, one k defender helmet, ariat contour ii heritage field boot
cute equestrian apparel, bit and bloom riding, one k defender helmet, ariat contour ii heritage field boot
cute equestrian apparel, bit and bloom riding, one k defender helmet, ariat contour ii heritage field boot

TOP bit and bloom heather top (use code LONESTAR10 for 10% off) | PANTS baleaf riding tights | HELMET one k defender helmet | BOOTS ariat heritage contour II field boot | BELT black leather belt

On January 1st of this year, Andrew and I were taking a long walk through our neighborhood, one of our favorite things to do. Just a few miles down the road is an equestrian center, and on days we’re feeling particularly energized, we love taking the four-mile trek to go peer through the fence at all of the pretty horses.

I’m a horse lover through and through, always have been, and after growing up smack in the middle of Dallas (where I used to drive thirty to forty minutes out to ride) the fact that I now live just a two minute drive from a barn continues to delight me even after a year and a half of calling Gainesville, Florida home. Something about it just doesn’t get old.

On this walk, in particular, my husband Andrew encouraged me to do something a little bit different. “Why don’t you walk up and see if you can sign up for riding lessons?”

I’m not a “walk up and ask” kind of girl, mind you. I love rules, I love following rules, and I hate walking into unknown situations. Social anxiety, anyone? But after a bit of coaxing, he had me convinced. So in I walked… and after about fifteen minutes, out I walked to Andrew and Flynn waiting for me on the sidewalk, a huge grin spread across my face. After three years, I was getting back in the saddle!

Over the past month, spending a few hours outside in nature each week, away from my computer screen and my email, doing my favorite thing has been absolute therapy. I don’t know about you, but this past year had me spending so much time at home, by myself, looking to my screen for work and play. And while I’ve always enjoyed the creative aspects and connectivity of social media, I quickly learned it was an unhealthy (and anxiety-inducing) way to “escape” from the isolation brought on by the pandemic. Shocker, right? ;)

I felt a bit too weary to come up with any grand resolutions for 2021, and as I sit here closing out the first month of this year, I am so glad I didn’t force myself into any goals. Instead, I am so grateful I took a step away from more work, more screen time, more pressure laden resolutions and more time inside at home and towards a hobby that gets me outdoors, that gets meeting new people, and that fills my heart up to the brim.

I know how hard it can be to make the time to do something for yourself, especially when there’s always another email to answer or errand to run. (And I know that only multiplies once children enter the picture.) But one month into the new year, I’m so grateful to re-learn the gift of rest. Rest from work, rest from technology, rest from staring at a screen.

Even though it’s the opposite of what I often feel like I need to be doing, pressing pause on email, Instagram, and the demands of this world to get outside and do something I love has been the greatest gift. I have a suspicion it will never be easy to unplug and make room for these moments (there’s a sacrifice of time and finances, to be sure) but I’m learning it will always be worth it.

It’s been so long since I’ve shared a post “from the heart” (remember coffee dates?) and so I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to share this little update in my life with y’all. To be completely honest, criticsm and cruel comments/messages increased drastically this past year, and as a result, I’ve felt myself retreat quite a bit and grow more private than I used to be. But I’m working through that fear, and today feels like a step in the right direction for sure. A big, virtual hug to those of you who care enough to check in on these life updates. I am so grateful for you!

While I’m very much still a beginner and have no intention of turning this space into an equestrain-focused blog (if you are interested in that, however, check out My Equestrian Style!) I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to sprinkle a bit more horsey content into what I do here at Lonestar Southern. I’m feeling all sorts of inspired, and those moments are my favorite to share!

Before I sign off, I wanted to share the cutest equestrian apparel brand with y’all! Bit and Bloom was recommended by a reader, and I have fallen in love with their lovely, feminine pieces. A few weeks ago I ordered this top and this scalloped cutie, and have been so impressed with the gorgeous quality of both. While they’re designed for riding, I can’t help but think how cute they would be for tennis or golf as well! I reached out to the brand, and they were gracious enough to offer the code LONESTAR10 for 10% off!

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate

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16 Comments

  1. Laura said:

    OK Kate! We NEED more deets on this adordable little pony. What is his/her name?! I’m also a “retired” equestrian and I am loving this!

    Published 2.1.21 · Reply
    • A Lonestar State of Southern said:

      Laura! Isn’t she the CUTEST? This is Peaches and she’s the tiniest thing you’ve ever seen. First horse in my life to make me feel tall! :)

      Published 2.1.21 · Reply
      • Melissa said:

        Perfect name for her, she has a lovely pale chestnut blush under her white that is just like a peach!

        Published 2.1.21 · Reply
  2. Danielle said:

    So glad to see you happy and doing something you love! It’s wonderful that you live so close to the barn. I’m sorry that you have been dealing with cruel comments recently. You have so many followers who care about you! xoxo

    Published 2.1.21 · Reply
  3. Ashleigh said:

    Oh so fun! Seeing these pictures makes me miss my horse so much – getting a little emotional tbh! I would love to be able take lessons one day! Best of luck with your new hobby!

    Published 2.1.21 · Reply
  4. Sarah said:

    I love seeing you do something that makes you so happy Kate! This past year I have definitely struggled with screen time, and I cannot agree with you more that putting away the screens and getting out to do something you love is so important! I’m so excited for a bit more equestrian content, I’ll definitely be following along!

    Published 2.1.21 · Reply
  5. Brittany said:

    Riding is such a great escape! I’m glad Andrew encouraged you to take up riding again!

    Published 2.1.21 · Reply
  6. Melissa said:

    What a wonderful way to help ease the lockdown blues. That is a very pretty pony, and it looks like a great place to have lessons as she is so beautifully turned out and seems sweet-natured and gentle. You are also looking impressively turned out, too! I adore that sweet little top, though I do shudder at wearing white with horses as they always seem to want to rub their heads against any light coloured top that I wore when I used to ride and would leave them filthy! Enjoy your new equestrian adventures.

    Published 2.1.21 · Reply
  7. maria said:

    So fun to see you back in the saddle! i have been reading for a bit, and i am new in the comment section, but just wanted to let you know i might have been inspired to go get back in the saddle 💓

    Published 2.1.21 · Reply
  8. Jane Flynn said:

    Good for you – to do something for yourself and to reconnect with a hobby you have loved.
    During these times, and always, it is so important to take care of yourself.
    The cute outfits are just a bonus!

    Published 2.1.21 · Reply
  9. Marie P. said:

    Just keep trying and smiling, Kate, and ignore those who don’t welcome the positivity and encouragement you offer. You and your blog are wonderful! And enjoy your reclaimed pastime.

    Published 2.2.21 · Reply
  10. Margaret said:

    Hi Kate, My name is Margaret and I have followed along your journey for years now. I cannot tell you how truly happy I am to learn you are doing something that is truly good for you and learning to actually rest and not only do what my therapist calls “the junk food of self care” and turn to more screen time. I am right there with you in that self-care journey. I have been wanting to reach out for a long time because as a follower, as someone who has struggled with mental health issues (depression), and as a woman in a care-giving profession I just wanted to let you know that it is okay to not be okay. Sometimes we just aren’t and that is not what the world tells us is acceptable–we, especially as women and you as an influencer for a career are told to be perfect and messy emotional stuff is rarely welcome. Well, I am here to just say–your emotions are okay and it is always okay, right, and good to reach out for help and support when you need it–that is a major mark of strength. Keep pursuing the things that bring life. Truly I will be sending all the positive vibes to you and prayers for a continued journey of rest, rejuvenation, healing, and joy. Also, I told my husband I think I want to start horse back riding way back in December, maybe this post was my sign that I need to inquire about lessons too.

    Published 2.2.21 · Reply
  11. Katy said:

    I just wanted to say that I’ve been reading your blog for years, and I am so glad that you continue to post, ESPECIALLY this past year. I’m so sorry that you’ve been getting more criticism, because truly your posts make my day! I love that you are trying to find positives during a very stressful time, and your posts help me focus on happier things, if only momentarily. I really appreciate it, and wanted to counteract some of the negative opinions that you have been hearing. I think you have been doing a great job of showing fun things, but in no way pressuring people to spend money/travel unsafely/etc. Thank you for continuing to be uplifting!

    Published 2.3.21 · Reply
  12. Monty said:

    So thrilled to know that you are taking advantage of the Equestrian Center in our neighborhood. My in- laws live in the development that abuts it and we love taking walks over to see the beautiful horses. Have fun and enjoy this amazing weather!!!

    Published 2.3.21 · Reply
  13. Sue said:

    So glad you’ve been able to do something you love! People can be so cruel on social media. Keep doing what you love to.

    Published 2.6.21 · Reply
  14. HorseWeb said:

    Such an inspiring story. I felt the same…I’m very thankful that my horse farm (where I train) was working during the pandemic and I always had access to my horse. Cause all this media noise was driving me crazy especially when you have to keep yourself in a small house for a long time. Your photos though…They are incredible!

    Published 3.1.21 · Reply