BY JESS CLAWSON
I love eventing for many reasons: the cross-disciplinary elements that compel us to make our horses both fit and rideable; the exciting nature of cross country; the enormous freedom of expression in tack and attire, especially in the jumping phases.
Eventers love to color coordinate our attire and tack, and have a lot of required equipment to match. One piece that’s been bothering me for years is the medical ID we have to wear when we run cross country. When I was growing up, we had arm bands. They were cheap plastic sleeves in which we’d insert a medical form and then strap around our arms with a velcro loop. Some folks still do this. It gets the job done, but no one would say it’s attractive.
Next came the various rubber or fabric bracelets with engraved emergency information. These are also fine, but I’m definitely trying to decrease my plastic consumption. Plus, many of these are made overseas with unethical labor practices.
When I learned about the Breese Pin Band, I got excited. This is the perfect solution to my fashion and practicality woes in one ethically-sourced, made in the USA band. Even better, when I attend Pony Club functions I can wear my required Pony Club pin on the same band as my safety ID. I’m a horsemaster member, regional horse management organizer, and all-around Pony Club fan, so I’m thrilled to be able to incorporate the pin and the safety ID on a bracelet instead of shoving the pin in my arm band the way a lot of members do.
In addition to being functional, this band is attractive. From the bench made bridle leather to the brass ID components, this product is clearly styled for equestrians. The stitching is perfect, and the hand burnished edges mean it won’t fray and start looking ratty. In fact, I think it will keep looking better as it ages and breaks in.
If you don’t happen to need a safety ID but still like a beautiful bracelet, you can add a special pin yourself. The pin band cuffs in chestnut, or black leather are the perfect way to display 4H pins, heirlooms, or barn colors with pride. A perfect gift for barn mates or equestrian team members, these bands have a buckle closure that makes them adjustable and able to hold any lapel-type pin. The pins click into a smooth backing so it’s comfortable on your wrist. An IEA, NCEA, or IHSA riding team with matching pin band cuffs would look great sporting pins with the school’s colors or mascot.
Once I found out that the company also makes browbands, I couldn’t stop with just an ID bracelet. I selected a havana cob size for my Thoroughbred. It fits him and matches my favorite bridle perfectly. Changing out the pins is very simple. The browband has the same smooth back built in that the pin clicks into, so the pin won’t irritate the horse’s face. I’m looking forward to changing out the pin for the season, to match my mood, or just for a fresh look. These browbands would look terrific in the jumper or dressage ring, and would be fun for the hunter schooling at home.
One of my favorite things about the creator of Breese Pin Band , Sabrina Brown, is her adherence to fair labor and environmentally friendly production for every step of the process. Sabrina uses leather that is sourced and vegetable tanned in the United States, and the bands are made by generational Amish harness makers in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Eventers and Pony Clubbers have been among her most loyal customer base so far, and Sabrina loves seeing her pieces in use from tiny D-1 Pony Club members to elite event riders like Chris Talley. Her company is still small, which allows her to develop relationships with her clientele and her brand ambassadors.
If you’ve been looking for an equestrian- inspired and eco-friendly way to wear your safety ID or want a new and interesting way to spruce up your horse’s wardrobe, Breese Pin Bands is the answer. Not only will you and your horse look great, you’ll be supporting a local business that cares about doing good in the world.
About the Author: Jess is a professional historian and educator who lives in northwestern Virginia. They completed their undergraduate degree in English at William & Mary, and did their masters and doctoral work at the University of Florida. Jess is an event rider with a passion for thoroughbreds, and has extensive experience in community organizing around queer identities, racial marginalization, and labor.
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