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Girls Who Love Horses

"playing horses" heather ross for Kokka, available spring 2011Its hard to reconcile, sometimes, that horses were once a part of my life, and now they are not. I still have my chaps, my helmet, my breeches, my paddock boots, and a pair of very smelly and increasingly stiff riding gloves in the bottom of my closet. I hold onto them the way my husband holds onto the motorcycle helmet and form fitting leather suit that has not been used for over a decade. My cleaning lady (I'm not rich, just a really bad housekeeper) once found these last remnants of a brazen bachelorhood tucked away into a forgotten corner , and asked where the Mr.'s motorcycle was. "There isn't one anymore, he just can't bear to let go of the accessories", I answered, to which she responded with an expression of pure pity. She looked down into the dusty visor in her hands, shook her head and softly murmured "so sad."

He's not the only one who lives in a suspended state of denial. When I was packing a bag for my appearance on The Martha Stewart Show, I seriously considered including my riding gear. "Martha and I are just going to CLICK, I just KNOW it." I explained to a husband who was already exhausted by the general theme of self promotion that came along with the book tour that I had just begun. "and when she finds out that I RIDE, and that I grew up riding Morgans and draught horses, she's GOING to invite me to Bedford and I NEED to be READY. Because I can't possibly go RIDING with MARTHA STEWART in the WRONG CLOTHES. Now it was my turn for a long, pitiful look. "Oh Sweetie," TC said softly. "get over yourself." For the record, I have not YET been invited to Bedford to go riding. Nor, I should point out, have I put my riding things into deep storage.

But the acute awareness that a stage of life has ended, and the nostalgia and the piles of boxes of things that can't possibly be gotten rid of that begins to grow in it's place is really the third stage, isn't it? Before that part of your youth began or ended you must have first been able to imagine yourself loving a horse or a motorcycle or whatever it was that consumed you, probably for hours, in that fleeting stage of life where any perfect situation is possible and can be played out with the help of carefully arranged plastic figurines on one's bedroom floor. So when I saw this beautiful post over at Soule Mama I immediately knew that even though Kokka was requesting more princesses (yawn) for my new fabric collection that I also needed to do some little drawings of little girls and their plastic horses. I also knew that perhaps I had found a new and loving home for the collection of gear in the bottom of my closet. Of course, Amanda's little girl wont be fitting into anything for a while yet, which means that I can cling to my delusional dreams for just a little while longer.



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Reader Comments (89)

Oh, I love this so much! I still have a few Bryer horses stashed in the attic for my own little girl (honey, are you listening!?). I'm mostly cured of my hordey dreams...practicality and money are bigger concerns then when you are 10. But I still feel very envious whenever I watch someone barrel race or jump.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

Oooo that would be great then I can make something really cool for my sister, she is 38 and still rides and looks after horses. I gave it up, like you a long time ago, but my sister kept it up. Horsey fabric is an excelent idea and through fabric we can work out any unfulfilled dreams.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSonia

My eldest daughter is going to love this fabric. She is horse crazy (I think it is genetic!). I remember Amanda's post about the horses gifted to Adelaide. I can relate to the holding on to horsey stuff. I only recently sold my saddles that hadn't been used in 10 years. That hurt! Looking forward to seeing the fabric in stores (well online). Jacinta

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterembracingitall

This is my daughter! She just turned five and loves horses. Her room looks like a little horse ranch with all her stuffed horses on her bed and plastic horses that fill her wooden barn. I would love to see this fabric! Would definitely have to buy some for my pony loving girl :). Love it.

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkatie

Oh my goodness... I can't ell you how excited I am about this! I have 3 little horsey girls, and one boy. Our love, passion and my husband's job (farrier) revolves around horses. I don't care for the "westerny" fabrics. I LOVE this soooo much! You made my day!

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMissy

Yay! My daughter will be ecstatic! I can't wait to see more!

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristie

This is a must have fabric. Both of my girls played with horses when they were young. First My Little Pony then the Breyer ones. This is adorable. Where will we be able to get it? Have you done some other things to go with this?

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMama Spark

couldnt' get enough of your other pony and riding clothes fabric now this one sends me over the edge bc we are knee deep in horses and ponies.... thank you so much

January 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLara

Princess-schmincess. You did it well but please, Kokka, Disney, everyone, give us a break! These new girlies are dang cute.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkristi

One of your best!

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

My daughter is going to LOSE HER MIND over this fabric. She likes the princesses and the doggies and the mermaids, but she's a plastic horse girl. She's 8 and I can't wait to surprise her and her BFF with some hand made goodies!

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterViolet Craft

I haven't been this excited about a fabric in a LONG time. Thank you so much for this one!!! I already have a list of what I'm going to make!

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I love this new fabric too!!! For my little girls, for almost a year now, their play has been consumed with animals and cars (little plastic animals and matchbox). It is amazing the place these little toys can go and how many different set-ups have been orchestrated...maybe you could throw in a fabric with girls and their cars!!!

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJaime Laugelli

Love this! The fabric reminds me of a little girl I know. She loves horses and she looks just like her.
How do I find this fabric to make a purchase?

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebekah

I agree that the spirit of the design is wonderful. And yet... just as horses come in a wide range of colors, so too do little girls (and boys, for that matter) who love them. As a mother of children of color, and a person who simply seeks more representation of *all kinds of people* in the materials I purchase to craft with, I wish... I wish for beautiful Black and Latina and Asian kids to be portrayed by your talented hands. Let us see the world's rainbow of children represented (in skin tone, not costume) ~ it will make the designs ever so much more beautiful, and ever so much more meaningful to many more children. *Thank you* for considering this appeal.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea in Vermont

There are MANY girls out there that LOVE horsies. My sister is one of them, and although she is past the "playing with horsy's" stage, I believe I'll have to make her a quilt with your lovely horsy fabric!! You will make many little girls happy!!

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSweet Baby Jamie

love, love, love! I do love your princesses, but I just love horses so much more. I haven't been on a horse in 10 years (gasp, has it been that long?!?) and I still have all my riding gear very accessible. Can't wait for this fabric - I am doing some "selfish sewing" with it for sure!

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercourtney

Yay! I have three horse crazy girls and I can't wait for this fabric! Having grown up riding myself, it appeals to me too.

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHope

I love this and thought of Amanda Soule's post about her girl's curtains as soon as I saw the photo! I was girl who dreamed of horses. It's great!

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

That is adorable. I might have to get my 5 year old some horses....

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

I will admit that I don't get the whole horse-girl thing, but that is ridiculously sweet. I'm a little sorry to hear that the princesses bore you...I'm putting together a quilt for my little girl's 6th birthday next fall and I've been collecting your fabrics for it (Mendocino mermaids, Far Far Away princesses, the little bikes, the crafty stuff from Spoonflower) because they are so perfectly her. So thank you. In an ideal world there would be Heather Ross' "Little Girls Lounging Around Totally Absorbed in Books" and then I'd have a bit of everything she is :)

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I'm so glad you're bringing in girls with their horses! I have 2 currently deeply in love with ponies, horses and all things equestrian. I've never been a rider, but I'm so glad that I can provide the opportunity for my girls - who have their own pile of boots, breeches, helmets, hoof picks and various other paraphernalia all over my house :)

I cannot wait to order this fabric :)

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersarah

As soon as I saw the fabric I thought of Amanda's post! Oh I can't wait to see the colourways! We just moved onto a tiny little farm and the subject of a pony has come up. It is wildly impractical, we're sized just right for chickens and goats and a couple of fibre sheep, but the horsey girl and boy might win out just based on my own nostalgia. I can see pyjamas and maybe a window blind in our future!

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermudmama

don't forget... little boys love horses too :)


That's why I am so grateful your ponies fabric comes in mossy green too :) The boy is happy.

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterboatbaby

Lovely post and lovely fabric. I was a little horse loving girl and after a short pause of teenage years, I'm a grown up horse loving woman and a mother. I just can't get rid of them and I don't want to.

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiina

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