In the Saddle with Elaine Lockhead Castelao: All About the ThinLine Brand

thinlineFrom saddle pads to horse boots and more, ThinLine is an easy brand to love. We sat down with Elaine Lockhead Castalao, founder of ThinLine, to hear more about how she developed the brand, what products she loves and what we can expect to see from ThinLine in the near future.

We would love to hear the story of how you developed the ThinLine brand. Tell us what inspired you and how you got started.
The ThinLine story is the American Dream story. I found myself a single mother without a job in 2004.  After a few months with no luck, I recall sitting at an intersection, watching a plumber, an electrician, etc drive by and said to myself: What is wrong with me, I live in America, anything is possible.  Soon I met another rider who had a piece of foam that was being developed for a shoe insole company for athletes.  I saw it and I realized I could live my passion; protecting and caring for horses, creating a product line and generating jobs for others.

ThinLine sells a wide range of products; what type of item did you begin with? How did that lead to the others?
I started with just a basic saddle pad made entirely of the foam.  Little by little I began searching the industry for other top quality manufactures who would be interested in joining materials to create a better product. The Contender Pad by Back on Track is an excellent example. Back on Track fabric plus ThinLine foam equals the perfect saddle pad.

I also saw where the benefits of this foam could help in so many other areas: reins for riders with arthritic hands and girths for horses who had sensitive skin or just needed a soft, supple, no-slip product to keep them from being “cold backed”. And of course, the breathable impact material just made perfect sense in a horse boot.

What is the technology behind ThinLine that makes your pads and equipment so effective?
ThinLine performs differently from anything else on the market.  Instead of compressing, it moves shock, weight and heat laterally along the product. Since it is very thin it has no sheer, meaning, for instance in a saddle pad, there is no movement transfer from the pad, so the rider stays very quiet.  It absorbs impact but improves the feel between the rider and the horse. Riders sit quieter, horses lift their backs, it is a two way street of comfort and communication.

elaine lockhead castelaoYour horses must be quite comfortable with all their ThinLine gear!  We’d love to hear about your equine companions and what sort of riding you do with them.
I wish I had more time. I am lucky enough to have one horse, a Lusitano I call Uri.  We do not compete. We just enjoy each other. I am a dressage rider at heart and I have competed to FEI in the past. Now you can just find us at home happily playing with pirouettes or just plain playing.

We know it will be hard to choose, but what would you say is your favorite ThinLine product?
Because I have had the extraordinary privilege of riding in ThinLine for years, I would have to say my favorite product today is the seat saver.  It is invisible by feel but it does so much for your riding.  I ride with it all the time, but when I take it off I can feel how much more I move in the saddle. It gives me a greater perspective about what the horse must need to filter through to figure out what I am actually saying with my seat. It is a life changing product.  I ride for a few days, take it off etc.  My seat continues to improve every time I do it. Simply amazing. And my horse is so grateful I can now be so still. It has improved our connection, our bond.

Are there any new product innovations or product lines coming up that we can look forward to seeing?
We have a radical new product scheduled to launch September 2016.  Have you always been frustrated with bell boots? Tired of hook and loop fasteners or pull-ons?  We have invested four years in the new product and we think we have solved one of the great frustrations for all horse owners. Cannot say more now, stay tuned to this blog to be the first to hear.

Guest Blog: Hoof Health from the Inside Out with Hooflex

Our friends at Absorbine® explain how their Hooflex® Concentrated Hoof Builder works and show what kind of improvement you can see.hooflex supplement

Your horse’s hooves endure a lot throughout their daily activities. Talk with any farrier about hoof health, and you’re likely to hear the same thing: it starts from the inside out. That’s why Absorbine set out to develop a new formula that meets horse owner demands for a hoof supplement that delivers the results they’re looking for at a great value. Hooflex Concentrated Hoof Builder contains targeted nutrients with no fillers, giving your horse what he needs to support healthy hoof growth. Continue reading

Springtime Laminitis: Management Tips to Reduce the Risk

Our friends at Kentucky Equine Research explain how you can help lower the risk of springtime laminitis. springtime laminitis

In many parts of the country, dormant winter forages will soon transition to lush, green grass. As seasons change, forage growth accelerates and ingestion of fructan-rich grasses increases. While overindulgence of fructans can be problematic for certain horses, owners can take steps to ensure a seamless changeover in forage consumption. Continue reading

Know Your Bridle: Types of English Reins

types of english reinsMany English bridles come with reins. But are the reins you have best suited to your needs and riding discipline? English bridles typically use a buckled version of closed reins, which means the reins connect on either side of the bridle to the bit and then to one another over the horse’s withers to form one continuous loop. English reins come in a range of types and materials. Here is an overview of the different types of reins available: Continue reading

Guest Blog: Tips for Optimal Coat Health During Spring Shedding

Our friends at Kentucky Equine Research share their thoughts on caring for your horse’s coat this spring and what might help.

spring coat careSpring is upon us and brings with it the inevitable for horse owners: shedding those winter coats. The goal for most is to have a shiny, healthy coat appear after the flurry of fur has subsided, especially in show horses. Nutrition is a main contributing factor to a top-notch hair coat. Continue reading

In the Saddle with Jon Holling – From Training Young Horses to Rolex

jon holling

Photo Credit: Laura Szeremi

Since we last talked with Jon Holling, he has been busy preparing for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and continuing to bring along his young horses, one of which won the CIC** at Pine Top recently! We were excited to spend time talking with Jon again about his experiences bringing along young horses, favorite type of cross country challenge, plans for Rolex and Olympic ambitions. Continue reading

Guest Blog: The Ease of Bigeloil® Quilted Poultice Wraps

Curious about the Bigeloil® Quilted Poultice Wraps? Our guest blog from Bigeloil themselves will answer all your questions! bigeloil quilted poultice leg wrapsThere is a long time-honored history of poultice use in the equine world that is still relevant today because of its reliability in treating legs and hooves.  Horses are an amazing feat of nature with the support of such a large, powerful body resting on four narrow legs, and because of this we constantly work to keep them healthy and protected.  Poultice is one tool we have to keep our horses’ legs and hooves comfortable. Continue reading

Product Review: 5 Reasons We Love the Honeycomb Chill Chaser

honeycomb chill chaserHaving a good quality horse cooler is invaluable. The right cooler has a use in every season- from keeping a sweaty horse from catching a chill in winter to helping a freshly bathed horse dry off comfortably on a summer evening. One of our favorite multi-purpose horse sheets is the Upland Honeycomb Chill Chaser. Here are five reasons we love this product and make sure each of our own horses has one: Continue reading

In the Saddle with Shay Timms, Troxel CEO: A Look inside the New Troxel ES Helmet

troxel es helmet

Did you know that Troxel Helmets was the first company to bring an ASTM approved equestrian helmet to the industry? That’s right! These guys have been innovators since 1898, and they know a thing or two about head protection. That’s why we’re so excited about their latest English helmet, the Troxel ES. It not only looks good but has a TON of features built in to help keep riders protected. Here, we talk with Troxel CEO, Shay Timms about how they made the ES, what makes it special and what’s next for Troxel. Continue reading