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Entertaining your Pony Princess This Summer!

15 Jul

The summer holidays are very nearly upon us and I can hear parents across the country worrying about how to keep their little ones entertained for weeks on end!  If your little ones are lucky enough to have their own pony then they can have fun at the farm not just riding but grooming and caring for their equine partner, perhaps using one of our junior grooming kits.  The summer is also a great opportunity to try something new – a new hack, join the pony club, set up a fun little gymkhana with your yard buddies or pop along to your local show.

wexford glitter kit

If you are not a horse or pony owner but you’re little one is pony mad then you’re in luck as many riding schools run extra activities for little ones in the holidays including pony camp, own a pony day, junior rallies etc. You can use the British Horse Society website to find an approved place to ride in your local area.  These activities are a great way to learn more about riding as well as pony ownership and I have fond memories of these as a child!

When away from the yard there are also plenty of other pony themed activities that little ones can enjoy! When the weather is bad why not get a couple of friends round for a craft play day.  The Melissa and Doug Wooden Stamp Set is great for little ones to make cards and pictures for their loved ones. Plus it’s not too messy to clear up!!

wooden horse stamp set

When going on holiday it’s also worth taking a few toys to keep your little ones entertained when you are busy.  The Horse and Riders Magnetibook is a lovely toy for children aged 3-8 years.  This horsey toy contains four interchangeable scenes, three landscape boards and 24 horsey themed magnets for little ones to make a variety of pony scenes. Plus the set all comes in a handy book/ box so they can be kept together and lightweight for travelling.

horse and rider magnetic set

It’s great to get the children outside to run off their excess energy and our horse skipping rope will also help with that!  Lightweight and easy to transport to any location, children can either play on their own or with friends making up various games.

skipping rope

On a quiet day when your little one is feeling tired perhaps they would enjoy some down time with a snack and one of our puzzles.  The Horse Floor Puzzle is a popular one – you just need a floor space so your little pony lover can create the beautiful horsey scene on this jigsaw puzzle.

We hope we have provided you with a few extra ideas for the summer holidays and want to wish you all a fabulous summer time.  Don’t forget to let us know what you’ve got up to – we look forward to receiving photos of you with your ponies!

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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.

 

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!

Pony Progress and a Little Luxury!

23 Oct

As regular readers of my blog will know, it has been a long tricky summer with difficult injuries and challenging times. However I am pleased to report this now appears to be behind us and we are firmly back on track. With the support on an experienced helper it was apparent that Skip had been pushing the boundaries…the combination of enforced rest and his teenage moments (he’s 6!) didn’t make for an easy return to proper work and further education. But a few pennies later we seem to be back in business and making great progress and I am looking forward to getting out and about over the winter. We certianly wont let the weather stop us – we haven’t had a day this week without getting drenched yet! Here are a few snaps of our latest work.
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On a different note, we have had busy times over at The Horse Diva, with the launch of our new luxury gifts collection and the upcoming range of toys due to available in the next few days. Here are a few of our favourite luxury items- look out for them in your favourite horsey magazine in the run up to Christmas. Of course all can be purchased through the website or please comment if you have any questions.
champagne_bucket_sml

hipflask_sml

horse brooch

snaffle necklace_exlrg

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