Growing up in Lexington, Kentucky, ‘the horse capital of the world,’ I was always enamored with horses, though I was never a rider there. After living in Colorado for 8 years, my life-long cowgirl's passion brought me to riding horses in 2008. I was definitely considered a latecomer when it comes to the sport, starting as an adult, when most riders start in childhood. Soon after, switching disciplines to eventing, I was wearing workout or golf clothes to the barn to ride in because the fit and fabric was better for wicking away moisture, layering and cleaning up from the stains and smells of just being around horses. I couldn’t find riding clothes that would fit me and would stand up to the sport and all of its elements and demands that weren’t outrageously priced. To me, it didn’t seem like riders were designing or even testing the clothing generally available to English riders.
Kristin Dougherty, President and self titled ”Boss Mare”, handles all aspects of the company: buying, marketing, scheduling, delivery, sales, inventory, set up, etc. I have spent my whole life selling something. I started selling shoes when I was about 13 years old in my parents’ retail stores. Thirty years later, stressed out from a successful career in marketing and sales, the idea for equipparel came to me on plane ride home from my family lake house.
In July 2013, I stopped into a tack store in Michigan when a large national horse show was going on and couldn't believe most of the clothes didn't work for me. Other than being tall, I'm considered the "average" size. The few things that did fit, were made in England with fabric that was too heavy or impractical to wear to the barn or to ride in; or anything other than use as street wear.
equipparel strives to be stylish apparel that is functional and looks good before, during and after athletes ride, walk, work and live. Our apparel is excellent quality and affordable prices suitable for the sport, created “For Riders, By Riders", durable and purposeful for all aspects of equestrian and other athletic pursuits. We are a retail mobile business. We carry sizes and brands that fit more than just the smaller sizes I was finding at stores. We cater to the “average” or above average sized rider so she looks good at the barn, in the saddle, as well as out doing whatever she needs to do before and after she rides.
We have selected an advisory board of riders, Olympic athletes and coaches as well as business experts for R & D recommendations and guidance. All of the clothing is tested in the saddle and in realistic situations prior to equipparel offerings.