Riding Right

When the winter’s snow recedes in Washington State and spring finally arrives, avid equestrians eagerly head to Methow Valley for the first ride of the year. “In the spring, the valley is blanketed with wildflowers,” says Susan Jackson, owner of Proforma Visible AdVantage (asi/491833). “Riders from across the Pacific Northwest and from all disciplines come here for the first ride of the season, and proceeds come in part from the sale of branded items.”

The proceeds for the Annual Spring Ride support maintenance of campgrounds and trails in the Methow Valley, which is nestled south of Okanogan National Forest in North Central Washington. The Methow Valley Back Country Horsemen (MVBCH) host the ride, and when they needed branded apparel, one of the members turned to Jackson, who has experience not only in promotional products, but also in the equestrian world as a rider, trainer, clinician and judge.

As the event’s apparel guru, Jackson’s main challenge was to choose garments that would appeal to all riders while offering freedom of movement, practicality, durability and style. She chose a short-sleeve T-shirt (5000), long-sleeve T-shirt (G2400) and sweatshirt (18500), all from SanMar (asi/84863), in light blue, kiwi green, yellow and black. She then suggested the lightweight, water-resistant Micro-Light Windshirt (WR-1) and the Squall Hooded Packable Jacket (PX-2) with mesh-lined vents from Stormtech (asi/89864). One more item chosen was the POWERCAP Stealth 2500 cap (PS2-139) from Panther Vision (asi/75825). “It has several lights under the bill for extra light while riding,” says Jackson.

Additionally, the organizers wanted a full-color print on the garments that showed the riders’ perspective of the valley while mounted on a horse. Jackson contacted local wildlife photographer Carolyn Edson for permission to use her work, and when Edson agreed, Jackson skillfully combined a photo of the valley with a between-the-horse’s-ears image from Edson’s collection. “The result brought the concept to life beautifully,” Jackson says, “and we embroidered the jackets and caps with a simple, classic look.”

Jackson says she wanted to offer apparel that would sell out, and by the end of the event, “all we had left were one jacket and one sweatshirt!” – Sara Lavenduski