Posted in Equestrian Fashion, Uncategorized

Summer Staples

After a short break over Christmas, I went through by equestrian wardrobe and realised something truly tragic. I had nothing to wear! Well practically nothing. All of a sudden, breeches that I had owned for a few years were ready for the bin, and I was left with very few pairs to wear. It also became apparent that I had no comfortable short sleeved shirts. Naturally I have been stocking up on some staples, and over the next few weeks, and I want to share some of my favourites with you.

Lets talk breeches…

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One of my favourite pairs, my pink and grey suede breeches, are from Wilson Equestrian (http://wilsonequestrian.com.au/product/wilson-equestrian-jodhpurs-grey-with-pink-seat/). Not only are they are super comfy and but they are on the cheaper end of the spectrum at just $64.95. These breeches are super hard wearing making them perfect for everyday use, and the grey is perfect for hiding stains and marks (great if like me you aren’t the tidiest of people).

The other thing I love is the abundance of pockets on these breeches, the generous back pockets easily fit even a larger phone (like an iPhone 7), while the front pockets are perfect for stashing treats like sugar cubes.

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Stay tuned as I share more of my favourite items with you all.

 

Posted in Dressage, Training, Uncategorized

Rain Rain Go Away

As an equestrian, my relationship with rain one of love-hate. While I can accept that regular doses of rain are necessary, bringing with it wonderfully lush grass, providing respite from the oppressive humidity and filling up rain water tanks and bores, there are also several negatives associated with the rain. When summer starts and brings with it several days of seemingly endless rain my heart sinks a little. Here in North Queensland, we are currently in the thick of it, so I thought I would share some strategies which have enabled me to retain my sanity in the rain.

When the inability to ride in your rain soaked arena becomes an issue, the obvious recommendation is to build an indoor… Just kidding, clearly this is outside the budget of many equestrians. Having an arena which doesn’t drain well has forced me to become both more creative and make the best of a situation. I am lucky to have wide grassed verges around my agistment centre and regularly make use this area during the summer rain. Although, the area is not wide enough to ride a 10m circle comfortably, it is great for riding transitions within the pace and lateral work such as leg yields, shoulder in and travers.  I also like to make use of this time to do a little bare back riding, I find that this helps me to engage the correct muscles within my core as well as allowing greater feel of my horses back.

When the ground has reached a point of complete saturation and riding just isn’t an option there are still things that you can do to get that horsey fix. Some strategies you could try include:

– Reviewing what progress you have made towards your goals and setting new ones

– Reflecting on your most recent training sessions and considering any areas of your riding that require more attention

– Visualising aspects of your training on which you are getting stuck or that you want to improve upon

Working with Danielle Pooles a performance coach at Dressage Plus (http://dressageplus.com.au/) has helped me to develop these skills.

Now I love my mare dearly, but I do on occasion wish that her skin was not quite so sensitive. Sensitive skin combined with two and a half white socks, quickly growing grass and bucket loads of rain is a recipe for greasy heel. Obviously a stable where she could get high and dry would be the simplest solution but until I have my own property, I will have to settle for dreaming about my future barn. In the meantime, to prevent greasy heel, I use a combination of antibacterial washes (such as Malaseb), drying her heels and pasterns and then lathering them in Pottie’s cream. Despite my best efforts in the past, there have still been two occasions that I can vividly recall, where she has developed a mild case of greasy heel resulting in her normally elegant legs looking more like those belonging to an elephant from the hock down! Fortunately around 18months ago Mum stumbled across Mud Guards (http://www.mudguards4horses.com), which are a pleated canvas wrap (similar to gaiters that hikers wear) that fasten just above the fetlock, that help to keep the pastern and heel dry as well as keeping the sun off. I have used these over the last two ‘wet seasons’, they have saved me time, money, stress and best of all no more elephant legs!

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Nonie enjoying the fresh grass in her Mud Guards.

I hope these ideas help you to make it through to winter with the least amount of drama possible. If all else fails enjoying stomping in a few puddles and wait for the rain to pass!