Equestrian Decor: Outside the Tack Room

A few years ago, I had the daunting task of going back home and packing up all my childhood belongings. Along with the usual stuffed animals, board games and boxes of teen novels, I grew up on a show horse farm, which means I have my fair share of "horse gear" that I'm not ready to part with. Is there a way to tastefully incorporate equestrian decor into my home, without making it look like a tack room or scene from National Velvet?The first element that made its way into my decor was a wool saddle blanket. The colors were perfectly suited for my bedroom, as was the thick and lush feel of it underfoot, so it now serves as a rug at the end of my bed. But that was an easy one. What about my boots, saddles, chaps, photos, trophies, ribbons... and the list goes on. While I don't need to display all of these items (and I have parted with many), I would like to tastefully incorporate some of my favorite pieces without it appearing too staged. I decided to seek out some examples from around the web.

Along with blankets, boots and helmets seem to blend without much effort. A simple hook or shelf for a helmet, while boots can be placed just about anywhere and look stylishly cool. I've noticed in some images, adding vintage wood boot forms to the inside, looks a heck of a lot better than the rolled magazines I currently have my boots stuffed with. But what about a saddle? Can it work?

A saddle's size definitely makes it a statement piece if it's included in your room's arrangement. That said, I wouldn't want it to be the focal point of the room, as it is in the fourth photo above. I've seen saddles draped over a stair banister, but does that only work if you have a horizontal section to your banister? So as for my saddle, the jury is still out. And while I'm not sure any of my shiny trophies will be finding their way to my book shelf, I completely love the idea of displaying ribbons in a shadowbox configuration (photo six).

Have you found innovative yet stylish ways to incorporate artifacts from your past into your decor? Does equestrian chic decor work if you aren't a rider?

Images: 1, 2; Style at Home; 3, Goodwill Hunting; 4, Bainbridge Blues; 5, House and Home; 6, 7; Habitually Chic

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