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Photo Essay

The Life Equestrian: Snapshots of the Street to Stable Lifestyle

Photo by Brian Whipple

Kristin Thornton, August Guest Editor and stylish founder of equestrian lifestyle platform
?Street to Stable??shares snapshots of life in the saddle…and all that comes with it.

By Kristin Thornton | August 2019

A YOUNG EQUESTRIAN’S NATURAL INTRODUCTION TO META-LUXURY?

Supple leather. Smooth velvet. Soft Wool. Shining metals.?These unique sensory attributes created the ambiance of one of the San Francisco Bay Area?s largest saddle shops that captivated my attention from an extremely young age.??This destination was a special experience with my parents and it was also where I learned to save to purchase coveted items of the highest quality I could afford.???To say I was born with an innate passion for all facets of equestrian sport would be an understatement.???My family was not connected with horses, but my interest was so intense that I independently listened, read and observed to grow my acumen.?

Riding was my introduction to an appreciation for excellence. I was exposed to the importance of education and perseverance in growing skills. Additionally, I developed an understanding of the relationship between fine craftsmanship and superior materials to create equipment that served a purpose. My eye honed into details. I learned that less was more. Ultimately, these lessons learned in my youth and adolescence guided my appreciation for authenticity and integrity of quality in all facets of my adult life and subsequently my career.?

Meta-Luxury, Brands and the Culture of Excellence

Meta-luxury is the economic reflection?of?a culture of excellence.??Meta-luxury brands embody the human quest??for unique achievements?that can stand the test of time,?enduring and evolving?from one generation to the next.?They challenge the boundaries of knowledge,?transforming history into the future,?sustaining excellence into eternity.?

By Manfredi Ricca & Rebecca Robins

Voltaire Design Saddle, Made in France

 

Riding was my introduction to an appreciation for excellence. I was exposed to the importance of education and perseverance in growing skills. Additionally, I developed an understanding of the relationship between fine craftsmanship and superior materials to create equipment that serve a purpose. My eye honedin to details.?These lessons?have?guided my appreciation for authenticity and integrity of quality?an appreciation for the modern artisan.? I feel a tremendous responsibility to accurately tell the stories of these individuals.

The strength and?athleticism of the majestic horse?influences the?mind, body and spirit?of?the?dedicated?modern?equestrian.?Health and wellness are integral topics?prioritized by?Street to Stable?in an effort?to?assist?each rider?reach their?potential?in the sport?and?additionally prioritize?respect?for?their horse?s well-being.??

Photo by Brian Whipple.?Kristin is wearing a Le Fash? Paulo Alto Sport Shirt and custom monogrammed buckle made by Swanky Saddle.?

 

Mental clarity is essential?to equestrian sport.??Kristin is seen here?using?a visualization app on her iPhone?before the start of her class at a competition.?An?instrumental?contributor to Street to Stable?is performance?psychologist?Darby Bonomi?PhD?whose ?mission is to promote the longterm health and happiness of riders, horses and their support systems.??

Photo by Brian Whipple


To prepare for each ride, Kristin cross-trains in the gym?
using endurance, core and balance exercises.??Her?goal is to?ultimately?work in tandem with the?horse?using fluid motion.?

HAND-CRAFTED INSPIRATION, FOR GENERATIONS?

Advanced studies in agricultural marketing was an extension of my pursuit of excellence in craft and ingredients.??My father?s tiny cabernet sauvignon vineyard and personal production of wine influenced my choice to specialize in agricultural marketing at university. After almost twenty years working in multiple facets of the agriculture sector?and supplementing?my experience with a?Master?s?in Business?Administration, I never lost my desire to seek excellence in production and align with experts that share similar values. Collaborations with like-minded producers affiliated with food production, ranging from winery owners to privately owned olive oil companies and interacting with Michelin starred chefs continued to enhance my understanding of the passion required in the pursuit of perfection.??

Photo by Paul Bellinger

Monograms & leather details add the finishing details to an elegant appetizer table. 

Photo by Tony Moody

Curated art, textiles and accessories?contribute to the?equestrian motif in the d?cor of a formerly owned home office designed?by Kristin.

Riata Designs?specially created?hand trimmed?sun hats?using?exquisite?equestrian motif fabrics?in a?collaboration with Street to Stable?.?

Decorated horse statues?welcome?spectators?from around the world?to?the?Winter Equestrian Festival?located?at the Palm Beach International Equestrian?Center.???

FULL CIRCLE, FROM STREET TO STABLE

My commitment to meta-luxury has not wavered and in 2012 I formed my own business, K.M. Thornton & Co., LLC, to primarily assist high quality equestrian lifestyle product and service driven businesses.? An offshoot of the original business was an educational?blog that grew exponentially in popularity and thus?encouraged?my?decision?to?and?build an?independent web platform?that closer resembled an online magazine.?Street to Stable??officially launched in?2014?and is?a wholly owned subsidiary of K.M. Thornton & Co., LLC.?We are the storytellers that are dedicated to sustaining and preserving the artisans, educators, entrepreneurs and artifacts that enhance the equestrian way of life.???To perpetuate our objective, we?have?curated items that complement?the equestrian way of life?and?we also collaborate?with artisans that share similar values. ?The proceeds assist in funding the expenses necessary to write and promote future stories.??

Historically, fashion?is one of the most prominent?means of?expression of the horse in contemporary culture.?

The?Modern Eco Striped Horse Bit Throw created by in2green?and?woven?in a custom palette?custom designed for Street to Stable?.??Co-founded by female entrepreneurs, in2green?uses?recycled and organic cotton yarns to?create?sustainable products?with modern designs that are?produced in?the U.S.A.?

Photography by Paul Bellinger

Kristin is wearing a limited edition feathered fedora hand trimmed by Jill Slater, the founder of Riata Designs. It is paired with her personal Burberry trench coatone of the historic high fashion houses that has utilized an equestrian themed logo in their branding.   

Wool, leather and brass are?staples?in the?well-furnished?barn.? Kristin is draped in a custom wool windowpane ?horse cooler??embroidered with her company?s logo and?trimmed in leather?with?brass?hardware. Her?saddle leather bracelets are finished?with engraved?brass?nameplates?that notate two special horses in her life, past and present.???

Connect with Kristin Thornton and her Street to Stable? community at
StreettoStable.com, on Facebook and on Instagram @streettostable.?