BY April Bilodeau
While style may not have a direct relation to how we place in the show ring, looking good makes you feel good, and when you feel good, you perform better.
It’s no secret though that equestrian style can be expensive, especially when you factor in the other expenses associated with the sport.
Catherine Winter, owner of Ride EquiSafe and Ride EquiStyle, is here to make equestrian fashion more available to all riders.
Winter is a lifelong rider and grew up riding in both the hunter/jumper and eventing rings.
A Foundation in Safety
In 2020, Winter was riding at a farm that catered to both disciplines, and she would take her horse into a hunter derby one day, and in the jumper ring the next. When she decided to take her horse eventing, she knew she needed a safety vest.
“I was disturbed by how difficult it was to find safety information for vests,” says Winter. “There was no guide on quality or fit.”
So she made a big decision: leave her job in the corporate world to start her own company, Ride EquiSafe, and become that resource for people to come to with questions on safety.
“I wanted to make sure that I had all the safety products and information that people needed,” says Winter.
While the team with Ride EquiSafe would travel to both horse shows and farms for group fittings, Winter also set up a brick and mortar store at Tryon International.
With many loyal customers appreciating Winter’s passion for equestrian safety products, they started asking her to consider branching the business out into a consignment store.
“People really liked the idea of being able to bring old riding clothes to the horse show and drop them off with me to evaluate and consign,” says Winter.
From that idea, she started Ride EquiStyle, originally based out of the same space as its sister company. When the company grew quickly, Winter made the decision to open up a storefront twenty minutes away from the horse show in Landrum, SC.
Favorite Brands, For All Ages and Sizes
Ride EquiStyle features all of your favorite equestrian brands. With a rotating list of “Hot Brands”, they offer high-end items at a fraction of the cost.
While they won’t sell any used safety products, they will sell “new with tags” items that have never deployed, meaning you can buy a brand new safety vest for less.
Winter also makes it a point to have a variety of items for all ages and all sizes.
“The more inclusive we can be, the better.”
How It Works
If you have items that you would like to consign with Ride EquiStyle, you can bring them to the Ride EquiSafe storefront at Tryon International, to their very own storefront in Landrum, SC, or you can ship your items directly to them.
“Anything we know we can’t sell, we will pull aside,” says Winter. “Products that we can work with we keep, take everyone’s information, then we look at everything more in depth. Anything we want to sell, we come up with a contract, take photos of things, and get things on the website.”
Ride EquiStyle offers the option to do a payout or a store credit with the told amount sold. Should a seller take the payton option they pay a 40% commission, while sellers that choose credit will pay a 35% commission.
For hot items, they will do special offers.
The storefront also has a large equestrian home decor section so your home can reflect your lifestyle.
Winter and her team are not only passionate about the style options that they are able to offer customers, they are also driven to provide the best customer service possible.
From the highly skilled fitters at Ride EquiSafe to the staff at Ride EquiStyle, creating a positive customer experience is top priority.
“We built our reputation not just on product, but first and foremost on service,” says Winter. “Just because you’re getting a deal on the clothing, we don’t want that to compromise the level of service that you are getting.”
While Winter continues to grow both of her business, she’s hoping to venture into a new consignment business…bits!
“So many people will buy a bit, use it once, and then realize it’s not for their horse but be unable to return it,” says Winter. “I think this is a hole in the market we could help fill.”
In the year that it has been in business, Ride EquiStyle has provided equestrians with an affordable way to look good and feel good. Ultimately, Winter aims to continue those sentiments for all her customers.
“We have such a strong and loyal clientele,” says Winter. “They were asking for this, and we hope that this is a way to say thank you to them and have this offering.”
For more information about Ride EquiStyle, please visit www.rideequistyle.com.