East Coast native Abby Weese started riding at a young age. While growing up in the horse-rich countryside of Maryland, she went through the ranks of Pony Club, rode out in the hunt fields and competed in the equitation and hunters. But her sights have always been set on finding success in show jumping at the highest level. Over four years ago she packed up and moved West for the warmer weather, and to launch her show jumping career.
She rides with Mandy Porter in Southern California and is planning to step up to the World Cup qualifying classes this year with her two horses Ace and Urame. Even though she is happily settled on the West Coast, she never forgets her roots, and her style includes special touches to remind her of home and family every time she enters the ring.
Horse & Style: Describe your riding style.
Abby Weese: My riding style is modern and simple. I like to stay traditional with tan breeches and a dark hunt coat, and I keep it young by spicing it up with a festive belt!
H&S: What is your head-to-toe riding outfit?
AW: I am in love with my GPA First Lady helmet. I usually wear Tailored Sportsman breeches because they come in a variety of colors, although I don’t stray far from the tans and dark colors, and a good belt makes an outfit for me. I love the long sleeve white Cheval shirts, they are perfect for any weather and they always have such fun patterns on the cuffs and collar, with a dark colored sweater or hunt coat.
H&S: Do you wear anything for good luck in the show ring?
AW: You’ll never find me on a big show day without my necklace with an “A” on it. My sisters each have their own necklace and it keeps my family on my mind. And I always wear one black sock under my riding socks from my late grandfather – everyone’s got to have an angel!
H&S: What are your favorite equestrian brands?
AW: I love my Tailored Sportsman’s. I have been wearing them for so many years, and yet they still fit the same they did when I was a junior. I love the Alessandro Albanese and Cheval long sleeved shirts, and Equiline hunt coats. And my GPA, I don’t leave home without it.
H&S: How would you describe your non-horse show style?
AW: I am usually found in jeans and a sweater, but always with a scarf. I love scarves, and they always add a splash of color, and of course warmth, to any outfit.
H&S: What has been your biggest accomplishment as a rider?
AW: I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities I have had since moving out to California. I have ridden with some wonderful people and shown some fabulous horses. A great moment for me was winning the Jimmy Williams Week 6 Classic at Thermal, because it’s always a tough class, a challenging course, and has a slew of fantastic riders.
H&S: What are your riding goals for the future?
AW: I’m having a great time moving up in the jumpers, and just want to keep moving up in a positive way for all of my horses. I always have the dream to represent the United States on some level in riding, whatever that may be and I hope that one day I can do that. For now I’m really loving slowly stepping up into the World Cup Qualifiers.
H&S: If you weren’t a rider, what would your dream profession be?
AW: I played lacrosse all the way through college, so if I had to go a different route, I’d probably go back to coaching. I love the feeling of helping people succeed in their goals of being the best and doing their best at something they love.
H&S: Who has been the most influential in your riding career?
AW: My very first riding trainer from when I was very little was Holly Gilmore. She molded me into the rider I am today. She is super old school (no stirrups every week,) and very focused on flatwork. She had me go through Pony Club, sent me out foxhunting, and had me compete in the interschool equitation league. She pushed me to my limit every single time I put my leg over a horse and every time I hit the dirt. She taught me that as much time and effort as I put in to my riding I will be rewarded and then some, and that my horse and I are a team, and we need to believe in each other. I will never forget that. I feel very lucky to have had all those opportunities to try different things, to follow my heart and have the support and horses to do it.
H&S: What is one thing you never go in the ring without?
AW: For the big classes, my horses always have two pieces of yarn in the colors of my first barn back East braided into their manes. It is subtle, but it reminds me of where I started and how far I have come.
This article appeared in the February/March 2013 issue of Horse & Style Magazine. Want to read more? Go here to view the entire issue for free!