Riding Habit Revised a column where the best and worst of equestrian fashion and decor is reviewed with a modern edge.
Georgina Bloomberg may have been born an heiress, but in life she’s always been one to carve her own path. From her decision to eschew an Ivy League education in favor of an arts degree from New York University to her recent decision to have a child with long time boyfriend Ramiro Quintana, this second daughter of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in the business of redefining what it means to be the daughter of a multi-billionaire.
It is no surprise then that Bloomberg also brings this passion and energy into her participation in the equestrian realm as a world class show jumper. Believing strongly that horseback riding is not, and should not be, a privilege reserved for the wealthy, in 2006, Bloomberg began a charitable organization called The Rider’s Closet out of her home. The purpose of The Rider’s Closet is to make riding clothes more accessible to therapeutic riding programs, pony clubs, intercollegiate riding programs and individual riders in the United States who are in need.
The Rider’s Closet fulfills this need by accepting donations of new and lightly used riding gear, then donates them to riders who make a formal request for gear. Horses Healing Hearts USA, a nonprofit in Lake Worth, Fla., which works with children of alcoholics and addicts, is just one of the many organizations to have its request for boots and clothing answered by The Rider’s Closet. In a thank-you letter signed by the riders at Horses Healing Hearts, the program’s founder, Liz Olsezewski, noted that her riders “feel like true equestrians now and are feeling very proud,” thanks to the new gear.
You can also see this pride on the face of TylerMarie Hylick of Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, pictured to the right, modeling some of the apparel she received from The Rider’s Closet.
As demands rose for The Rider’s Closet, and Bloomberg’s professional riding career soared to new heights, it was necessary for Bloomberg to hand over the reins for the day to day running of the charity. In 2010, Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, another New York nonprofit, took over the management and daily operations of The Riding Closet, and it is thriving in its new home.
The number one request from The Riding Closet and Pegasus today is to keep those donations coming. There is always a running back list of needed attire. Boots are the most in demand, and ladies’ tall boots in sizes 7-10 are by far the most commonly requested type.
All of the information on requesting and donating gear can be found on The Rider’s Closet portion of the Pegasus Therapeutic Riding webpage here. So if you have any unused riding attire just gathering dust in your own rider’s closet, clean it up and send it on to The Rider’s Closet as soon as possible. You will be making make a fellow equestrian’s dreams a reality!