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Fight The Flies!

24 Jun

With the weather warming up the flies are out in full force pestering our beloved equines! To help combat the little critters we have a 7 day promotion on our fly sprays (starting 24/06/2014). See our top deals below and take advantage of our special offer whilst stocks last!

Leovet Power Phaser Fly Repellent Spray 500ml – £14.00

leovet phaser spray

Barrier Super Plus Fly Spray – £10.00

barrier super plus fry

Fly Away Max Strength Fly and Midge Repellent – £11.00

fly away max strength

Carr, Day and Martin Flygard – £12.00

flygard

Fly Away Defleqt – £10.00

fly away defleqt

Whilst stocking up on fly spray, why not ensure your fully kitted out for summer with the rest of our summer time essentials including sun cream, fly fringes and horse shampoos.

 

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Show Season!

13 May

Well what an amazing and inspiring Badminton Horse Trials this weekend! Sadly I didn’t manage to visit the event but I was gripped to the TV – never before have I seen so much action across country! With so many of us getting back out competing now – and okay we are probably not tackling the dizzy heights of the Badminton Cross Country Course – but we still want out horses to be turned out in tip top condition.  So here are a few goodies from our new show season collection to help you and your horse shine in the show ring.

To get your horse looking their best, preparation is key and the Supreme Products range of horse grooming goodies will help you with this process.  The Supreme Products Blue Horse Shampoo is great to add shine and colour definition to all coats where as we find the Supreme Products Stain Remover particularly useful for greys and coloured when tackling grass or stable stains.  Use in combination with the stain remover spray to maintain a clean gleaming coat for the show ring.

supreme products blue shampoo

 

For plaiting and quarter marks, the Supreme Products Easy Plait and Quarter Marking Spray are another two handy show essentials making your show preparation a little easier and stop any last minute panics on show day!

supreme products easy plait

To add that extra shine to your equine we have a range of sprays including the popular Absorbine Showsheen, the original show ring shine, hair polish and detangler for horses and ponies.  The formula even contains calming Jasmine and Sandalwood to help you and your horse perform at your best.  Plus the Kevin Bacon Liquid Hoof Dressing will give a stunning show ring appearance whilst being great for your horses hooves.

showsheen spray

Once you and your horse are prepared for the day ahead remember to pack all your essentials into your horse lorry in case you need them on arrival.  Be sure to include extra plaiting bands, thread and hoof picks as well as other little extras.  We also love the brilliant Wacky Practicals Foldaway Bucket which stores flat then easily expands to hold 7 litres so your horse can happily have a drink.  This makes a brilliant gift for a horse owner who is often out competing.

wackypracticals_bucket

Happy competing!

Step into Summer in Style!

22 Apr

There might be a few April showers around but it’s certainly warmer out there which means we can spend even more time with our equine friends, especially now there are more daylight hours.  Summer also means we get an opportunity to get out from our under out waterproofs and show off our equestrian style!  At The Horse Diva we have expanded our range to be able to create some funky equestrian outfits for you and your little ones.  With more children’s horse riding clothing arriving later this week, there will be something for every style.  In the meantime, here’s a sneaky preview of our first stylish equestrian outfits which we will be out and about modelling in the upcoming weeks.

We have put together a gorgeous girly look for lovely ladies which includes the super stylish HyPERFORMANCE Frayer Pink and Grey Check Ladies Breeches teamed with a funky pink equestrian polo shirt and the pink/ grey sport horse riding hat cover, riding gloves and pom pom socks.

womens outfit grey and pink

The next equestrian outfit is proving popular with women and teens combining our best selling “if you can read this…” equestrian hoodie with the HyPERFORMANCE Raised Polka Dot jodhpurs.  Team with the popular navy spot pom pom horse riding hat cover and Townend Socks to finish the outfit off perfectly!

outfit_ladies1

Our children’s horse riding clothing collection will be expanding further over the next couple of weeks, but the HyPERFORMANCE Denim Lola Teen/ Childs Breeches are already proving popular along with the matching clothing and accessories.  The silver horse hat cover and gloves have also just arrived and these would look great with the breeches as they pick up the cute diamante detailing.

denim look 4

The final outfit we have put together is a gorgeous and girly look for a special little pony lover.  The pink shetland hat cover and horse riding gloves go perfectly with the pink and black HyPERFORMANCE Tara Teen/ Children’s Pink and Black Jodhpurs and can be finished off with the rearing horse sparkle socks.  Little ones can keep their arms covered when riding with the Black Lucky Horse Hoodie – great for all the seasons.

outfit layout5_

We hope you like our first Horse Diva equestrian outfits and will be sporting some of our recommended clothing this summer time.  For any enquiries do not hesitate to contact us through the website and we will be happy to advise.

Happy riding!

Beautiful Brushes for Gorgeous Grooming

7 Apr

Spring is upon us, the show season has begun and we are welcoming the recent additions to The Horse Diva collections helping to ensure our horses are kept in tip top condition.  We try to spread our commitment to style through to our yard equipment and these gorgeous horse grooming kits work perfectly to brighten up any stables.  We have recently expanded the range of Bentley Horse Grooming Kits to include stunning designs in pink, purple, navy and black colour schemes.  Available in a range of styles, colours and price brackets, you can find the perfect horse grooming kit for yourself or a loved one.

black_gold_bentleygroomingset pink_plasticset_bentley purple set_bentley

Alongside these kits we also have a range of children’s grooming goodies which include a little sparkle in the Wexford Purple Glitter Grooming Kit or a pink treat with the Children’s Rucksack Pony Grooming Kit.

wexford glitter kit grooming set rucksac

These grooming kits make fabulous horse gifts for a loved one of any age, or are perfect to have on the lorry ready for horse shows.  A stunning treat that both horse and owner will appreciate!

Horse Rider Fitness

6 Nov

With winter now firmly settling in (I am not a fan of these dark evenings!) it is suddenly flooding back to me how challenging it is to keep our horses fit during the winter months.   However it has got me thinking about the importance of rider fitness and how we need to put just as much effort into our own fitness as well as our equine partners.  During Winter, I find myself doing more lunge work with Skip, especially if I am fighting the daylight, but obviously the reduction in riding means I am losing my fitness.  Granted there does seem to be more chores to complete during the winter, such as the endless mucking out etc, but perhaps we should focus on other ways to keep in tip top condition for our horses.  We don’t want to feel out of breath at the end of a strenuous lesson once a week or struggling to get round the cross country training at the weekend!

Of course eating well and staying active is key to a healthy lifestyle but we all have those days (especially during the winter!) when you don’t want to move far from the sofa or the chocolate.  I am not a fair weather rider but if it’s too miserable to face riding outside, or the snow and ice means it’s not safe to do so, here are a few suggestions that might help with your rider fitness.

  • Pilates for horse riders – There has been an increased emphasis on the benefits of pilates for horse riders and recently I have heard of classes designed specifically for horse riders in my local area (East Anglia). I am actually hoping to do one of these courses soon but there is currently a waiting list so others obviously have the same idea. One of the great benefits of pilates is its ability to help strengthen your core which is crucial for horse riding.  If you can’t find a class near you or don’t have the spare pennies at the moment there are a variety of books and dvds on the market and I am sure you can pick some up on ebay, Amazon or perhaps post a wanted advert on your local horsey Facebook group to see if anyone has one for sale.
  • Personal Trainer – If you are finding you are not spending money on competing or lessons as much during the winter you could put your pennies into keeping fit with a personal trainer.  You can exercise in the luxury and comfort of your own home and you can have a tailor made plan put in place to develop the muscles and strength needed for horse riding.  Again I have seen personal trainers offering packages for horse riders so it’s worth looking around in your local area to find the right person for you.
  • Horse riding machines – You might think I have gone mad here (and I will assure you that happened a long time ago!) but I am also quite a fan of my horse riding machine – see photo below.  With various settings you can sit and watch telly in the warm and build up your core muscles in the comfort of your home.  Now I won’t promise its exactly like riding a horse or as effective but it is a step in the right direction and can help if you can’t get out to ride or your horse becomes injured etc.  My other half bought me mine when Skip was injured and off work for months.  You can pick them up second hand like mine so keep an eye out on ebay and preloved etc.

exercise machine

  • Join a gym with a friend – if you struggle to exercise alone then joining a gym can be a good solution for many people.  If you can find a gym buddy then even better as I find I am much more likely to stick to my plan and go!  However it is really important to consult a professional trainer at the gym to make sure you are developing the right type of muscle, to ensure flexibility and suppleness when you increase your time spent in the saddle.

Now I am not expecting anyone to read this and instantly rush out and spend a fortune on gyms, personal trainers and classes, but hopefully this blog has helped give greater consideration to your fitness as a rider throughout the year.  Fingers crossed we can keep on track during the upcoming cold months which will benefit us and our horses now and when summer returns.  Plus if nothing else it means we can have a few extra mince pies at Christmas!

What qualities do you look for in your horse riding instructor?

8 Aug

After a summer plagued by injury, it seems a while since I have had a lesson with my lovely instructor. This week has seen Skip occur another injury on a front leg and treatment continues as I write this blog. As I enter into utter despair I decided it was time to catch up with my instructor who always gets me thinking clearly and rationally about horse related issues! This made me realise that my instructor is not only there to teach me how to ride, but also provides emotional support for equine matters. As many of you know this is why I nominated her for the NAF Magic Mentor and in fact I am going to take her prizes across to her at the weekend.

I am a firm believer that finding the right instructor for you and your horse is easier said than done. However when you do it can make all the difference to your riding and partnership with your horse. Everyone looks for different qualities depending on their likes and dislikes and the disciplines they wish to pursue.
Here are the top qualities I look for in an instructor, I wonder how they compare to yours?
• A calm instructor who is relaxed with me and my horse and doesn’t get flustered when either of us struggle with something, taking time to explain things in a way we both understand (perhaps two or three times!).
• A coach who is happy to move forward at the same pace as I am and recognises the correct type and nature of training for the individual horse, rather than implementing a “one rule for all” type of training. The ability to think outside the box really helps here.
• I like my instructor to be on her feet and close to me all the time watching every stride (poor thing!)! I am a perfectionist and I don’t want to be doing something wrong down the whole long side if my instructor is the other end of the school and cannot see me properly.
• Trust is so important, especially when training a young horse. Trust allows me to accept when my instructor is really pushing us to take our training to the next step.
• Patience- for when I just don’t get something!!
• Someone who is able to read the signs the horse is giving, highlighting when he is relaxed, when he struggles etc. This increases my learning and points out what I should be looking for when working my horse alone.
• A brief but motivating summary at the end of a lesson also really helps me and gives me guidelines of what to focus on during the upcoming week.

Now I am sure I have missed out many top qualities but these are the ones that initially spring to mind. Feel free to add your comments below on what you look for in your trainer, or in fact anyone you have working with your horse.

In the meantime I best get back to seeing to my poorly boy, he is feeling most sorry for himself, especially as I have wrapped him in a pink bandage for my own amusement (see photo below)! I think it rather suits him… But on a more serious note I wonder if these persistent injuries are a sign of something or telling me something needs to change. Whilst I figure out what this is I need to try and get his legs back in full working order…at least I am well practiced with horse first aid skills at the moment, perhaps it’s time for a change of career!

Fingers crossed you are all enjoying some fun in the sun with your horses and I look forward to reading your comments below. Thanks for reading xx

reinjured

Trust!

3 Aug

When I meet someone new, it takes a while for me to get to know them and be able to trust them. The same can be said for me and horses. I love horses (and humans sometimes!) to bits but it doesn’t necessarily mean I can instantly trust every one I meet.

Since purchasing Skip back in October much of the journey has been about developing trust in one another. Of course over time you get to know more about each other, develop a routine and your confidence grows. But there are a few occasions when you just have to take a leap of faith and trust that they won’t let you down and the past few months have shown me how true this really is.

As we enter the final few weeks of Skip’s rest after his tendon injury there have been a few occasions where I have had little choice but to put faith in Skip to do the right thing…and putting my trust in him has been hugely rewarding.

After weeks of rest, I had to trust in Skip to behave sensibly as we moved towards the next stage of recovery with daily in hand walking. Now leaving a 16.2hh 5yr old in a ten metre paddock for 6 weeks could result in a few explosions, and I do think that the extreme heat had something to do with keeping him calm, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that he behaved impeccably throughout this walking period.

A month on I had to return him to hacking walk work without any lunging or turnout to let off steam. In the end I just went for it and got straight on, and again he was absolutely fine and seemed happy to be back in work. We are now back out hacking, and I’ll admit there have been a few “keen” moments and spooky times (due to pigs chasing us along the field!!) but we are doing it and our bond seems better than ever. I have never really realised the value of in hand work in building trust and confidence in one another. As hot and slow and sometimes boring as it was, it has been really beneficial.

Of course I am under no illusion that all this hasn’t been without its hairy moments – a few handstands in the tiny paddock and a couple of flying bucks to be exact, but overall I am happy with how things have gone and of course happy to see these signs that Skip’s realised his legs are working well again. We have another 3 weeks of rest before turnout can hopefully be resumed and we can get back to normal in every sense.

So to anyone who is struggling to bond with their horse, or wants to develop their partnership with their equine friend I would truly recommend concentrating on groundwork. A lot of activities were out of reach for me due to Skip’s injury, but there are many great books to help develop activities and keep it less boring than the constant miles I had to walk. A good instructor will also value the significance of groundwork, so make sure you find someone supportive who may be able to introduce you to some fun confidence building tasks.

I would love to hear your stories of when you have had to just go for it and put trust in your horse, or any top ideas for groundwork exercises. So today I wish you not only happy riding but happy bonding with your equine, however it may be! Xx