So often when I try to explain my life to a non-horse rider, I am followed up with a blank stare of absolute confusion. It is so hard to put into words this intricate equestrian bubble in which so many of us live. However, there are a select few riders who understand this equestrian world perfectly and integrate it into their lifestyles, all while being in the public eye. Teddi Mellencamp- wife, mother, accountability coach, and accomplished equestrian- was recently introduced as the newest member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. During last week’s episode, we learned more about Teddi, including a housewives excursion to watch her ride in a horse show. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Teddi about how she seamlessly weaves all of these passions into her everyday life.
Teddi Mellencamp, daughter of rockstar John Mellencamp, started riding at the age of 3 in her hometown of Hilton Head, South Carolina and had an instant obsession with all things horses. When she was about 7, she started showing consistently on the A circuit with trainers including Don Stewart and Jack Towell. With a lot of hard work and some wonderful ponies and horses, she had a very successful junior career before moving to California at the age of 17. At this time in her life, she thought it best to take some time away from riding and venture into the new bubble that was Los Angeles.
After working at a talent agency for 6 or 7 years, Teddi really started to miss riding, so she reached out to former trainer Don about getting back into riding, only this time in California. She connected with trainer Archie Cox and rode as a professional with him for about 10 years. She was living the equestrian dream: riding dozens of horses a day and heading to shows nearly every weekend. Once she had her children, she found it challenging to juggle the demands of a professional riding career with motherhood, so she waited a year to gain amateur status to continue riding and showing as an adult amateur.
Teddi told me one of the best equestrian decisions she ever made was the period of time she took a break from riding. Those years allowed her to gain perspective and learn who she was as a person away from riding and bring that fresh mindset back to the horses. Now, riding gives her balance and is that one place where every stress of life vanishes. No matter what is going on in her life, she knows she can hop on a horse and all that matters in that moment is the connection between her and the animal. It also taught her to be present because if her mind is elsewhere, her performance will suffer. Teddi is a very competitive rider, so as you may have seen in last week’s episode of RHOBH, she was a little nervous to go back in the show ring in fear of letting down her trainer, her horse, and herself. No surprise to us - she won her class.
What you didn’t see in the episode is the systematic routine Teddi goes through before entering the show ring. She drinks three small cups of water, adjusts her breeches, says the course to herself three times, gives her horse a pat, and walks in the ring. Her best advice to herself and others? “Your one job today is to stay the same pace.” No matter how long she has been away from the show ring, she says she follows this piece of advice and can usually pull off a course like she never left.
In light of New Year’s resolutions, I asked Teddi if she had any equestrian goals for 2018. While she doesn’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, she wants to ride out of pure passion, not pushing herself or her kids to ride more than what feels right. I think this clearly aligns with her balanced daily routine: waking up around 4:30 to hit the gym before her kids and husband wake up, taking kids to school, working with her accountability clients, going to ride (time permitting), after school pick up and activities, dinner and bedtime.
Of course, I couldn’t let Teddi go without chatting about a little equestrian fashion! Her go to equestrian brand is Callidae and otherwise anything from her friends over at Valencia Saddlery. I asked her to tell me a little more about the outfit she wore at the horse show in the RHOBH episode last week. She had on the classic "C" Callidae breeches in stone, which she finds super flattering and can easily transition from barn to brunch with friends. She was also in The Show Shirt by Callidae in White Dobby, which she said was both classic and chic. Teddi said there are two types of show shirts out there: comfortable but floppy, or stiff and old school. This shirt manages to be the exception. She was also in the Callidae C2 Belt which she found was more comfortable to jump in than her Hermes.
Callidae sent me the same outfit, and I can attest to these fantastic pieces finished off with my absolute favorite team jacket. Teddi and I both agreed that the bomber is the perfect cut - not too long, not too short - and perfectly compliments the breeches. I included some photos of me in Teddi's exact look so you can see some of the gorgeous Callidae details!
I can’t thank Teddi enough for taking the time to chat about all of her past and present ventures, equestrian and otherwise. After living in the sometimes challenging culture of Los Angeles myself, it was such a breath of fresh air to meet someone as accomplished yet humble and down-to-earth as Teddi. I’ve included her Instagram here, but make sure to check her out on this season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Bravo, Tuesday nights at 9 PM!