Most of us were not raised in a barn, so don’t look like you were!

When I was a girl I trained with a distinguished dressage rider from Sweden who emanated a worldly and refined elegance. Lilian Van Dahn was tall and lovely, with a perfectly styled curl of blond hair, and always impeccably dressed in finely tailored clothing. Her color palette was always subtle in nature, never anything darker than an English cup of tea with milk. With her silk blouses and pressed beige pants, all paired with delicate accessories, she had a style that was as graceful as it was sophisticated. There was never a wrinkle, crease or fold or even a spot of dirt—even after a full day of lessons at the barn.

She would become my idol, my inspiration for wanting to live the equestrian lifestyle, with all its romance, adventure and timeless fashion.  I try to convey this idea to my customers, that riding is in fact a discipline, and we should dress accordingly, and I hope to convey this to my blog followers as well!


While picking up lunch yesterday I decided to purchase some proper research material to peruse as I inhaled my spring bean chicken …In Style, Glamour, and Vogue. It’s moments like these where I feel completely at peace with my decision to drop out of my master’s program in Psychology with only five classes to go! This is a completely different state of mind, and I truly believe in retail therapy – just take a look at my American Express bill for February if you don’t believe me!

I flip through each glossy page the way I would walk through an art gallery, only stopping to focus on those images that evoke an emotional response, either positive or negative. I operate the same way when it comes to buying for my tack shop. If something inspires me, I want to bring it into the store to inspire my customers.


Looking back on some of the lines we have picked up for LA Saddlery, I have compiled a collection of pictures that I hope will inspire you to take the time to put together a cohesive look before you venture out to the barn.  I honestly feel that when you take the time to put yourself together you will ride just as fabulous as you look!

Make sure to check out!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebecca Mothander
    Jun 15, 2014 @ 04:11:25

    Lillian Van Dahn was my aunt. Although I only met her a couple of times I must concur that she was indeed elegant whether in the barn or making Swedish pancakes. Thank you for remembering her so eloquently. Your apparel is stunning — she would be proud to model them for you if she were here.


    • rspurge
      Jun 25, 2014 @ 02:42:49

      Hi Rebecca,
      It was so wonderful to see this comment and that somehow you found my blog about your amazing Aunt! I would love to connect with you! Please email me at so we can talk! My new blog is at Thanks!!!! Renee


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