Sustainability meets Elegance

An equestrian product that combines pure elegance with functionality and sustainability? It almost sounds too good to be true. 

One reason I was especially excited to be working with Belani Loden, was because they stand for natural materials, a high quality clean design and handmade products. A functional product where sustainability meets unique high end design.

I have been representing one of Belani Loden’s sponsored riders, Lisa Voss of Equiliber Portugal, for several years now, so since we already shared a similar vision by working with only the finest horsemen and women, it only became natural to finally work together.

“It was so much fun for all of us. Whereby fun doesn’t describe it accurately – it was a wonderful day, full of joy and creativity – everyone did what they love to do best! It felt like we had done it before – it was so harmonious and consistent. Just beautiful. We are incredibly thankful for that.”

~ Monika of Belani Loden

Our location was an equestrian center nestled into the mountains of Northern Tyrol, Austria, bordering Germany’s Allgäu. The Reitzentrum Schluxen, home of classical dressage rider Kathi Muxel, offered a desirable location for an equestrian clothing shoot because of it’s quaint austrian qualities being combined with a modern professional equestrian center. An absolute dream for me as a photographer. I felt welcomed and inspired in this stunning place where I could feel the roots of tyrolean tradition, but also photograph in a beautiful modern light filled riding arena. 

I learned that each piece is unique and conveys their passion and joy of creating these products. More than the clean and elegant design, I find the aspect of sustainability and functionality convincing. Having lived in the Rockies for many winters, I am a huge fan of wool and its characteristics. Wool materials such as loden have exceptional functional features. Wool is a natural high-tech fiber. It regulates heat, can absorb a high proportion of water without feeling wet and will keep you warm even when it’s soaked. Although soaking is not that easy to achieve because wool has a water-repellent effect even when it’s processed.

windproof, water-repellent and cozy and warm

The outdoor blankets are made of particularly dense loden. They are almost windproof, let water-repellent and keep you extremely warm in the winter. The material has breathable function and thus prevents heat build-up in the sun. Belani Loden produces outdoor blankets, which can be used on carriage rides in all seasons. A little rain shower is no reason to spoil the joy of the ride, because this wool can absorb up to 30% moisture without feeling wet or losing its warming effect. If you are just looking to make your home more comfy and cozy this fall, there are indoor blankets available and the matching cushions round off the arrangement perfectly.

Pure wool has many advantages over blended fabrics. No static charge, low odor absorption and easy to freshen up by ventilating. And if ventilation is no longer sufficient, the blankets can be cleaned in the washing machine using the wool program. Winters can be rough and cold with high humidity in Austria. Our model for this shoot, Kathi Muxel, a classical dressage rider in Austria, wears the riding skirt all winter to keep her warm during daily barn chores but also when she rides the horses of her Academia de Equilibrio Classico.

Once again, it became clear to me how seemingly effortless a shoot can be when all the parts work together so perfectly almost like in a symbiotic relationship to one another. 

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