The Big Clean! The Cheats Guide To Preparing Your Horse for Shows

10 Jul

Well last night the great clean began for the weekend’s competition and I have to say I was grateful of the warmer weather (as was Skippy!).  I think I will be even more grateful tonight when I am plaiting up without frozen fingers. And while I am certainly not here to advocate cheating at all, anything I can do to make the preparation process a little quicker and easier is fine by me. After all there are only so many hours in the day!! So here’s how we got on…

Now at this point I realise I should have taken a “before” shot but sadly I quite simply forgot. But you can trust me when I say that these legs of my piebald hadn’t seen true white for quite some months. I was dubious about how many rounds of shampooing I would need to endure but actually I was pleasantly surprised!  So armed with my bottle of Supreme Products Blue Horse Shampoo, the hose and a large sponge I took on the challenge of turning the grey/ brown/ stable stained legs into pure striking white.  The bottle read leave on for 3 – 5 minutes for tough stains.  I definitely had some seriously tough stains so maxed out with the 5 minutes wait after a good lather.  There followed a thorough drenching (that was just me) and scrub to get all the shampoo out and I was thrilled with the results.  Only one shampoo needed! Although extremely good to bath Skippy isn’t keen on the water dripping off his legs and likes to show his annoying by swishing his tale in my face so I have to say I came out of this experience feeling like i’d been slapped around the face several times- charming!

I swiftly followed with the Supreme Products Leg and Body Whitener which I applied damp and then the legs were sparkling! Of course Skip took that precise moment to decide he needed to rub his (black) face all over the damp whitened leg.  So out came the damp cloths to scrub the strange white marks off his face, which is a bit like trying to give a toddler a face wash when they are really not up for it!!

By now I was getting a bit tired having had a 5am start, a very long day in the office, a lesson and minimal food so I cheekily ditched the shampooing of the tail and got out the Miracle Groom Bath in a Bottle (bit like dry shampoo for horses).  Finally finishing with the amazing Pig Oil Spray (which I cannot live without) I brushed this through his tail with the MagicBrush. I’ll be topping him up with this at the weekend to add some further shine but avoiding the mane (as I am plaiting and need a bit of grease!) and saddle area so he’s not too slippery.

So here are the final results…

bathing bathing2

Okay so there’s still the whole plaiting up, cleaning tack, learning dressage tests and getting myself looking semi-presentable to go but hey I think we’re off to a good start.  Just wait till I get in the rubber warm up arena and his legs go black again from the dust…lol!

I’ll be sure to post a picture of the finished turn out when its done.  Fingers crossed for a successful and most importantly happy weekend for all of us and our horses xx

Keeping Horses Happy in the Heat!

1 Jul

After the long, dark Winter it’s always a great relief when Summer arrives. When visiting your horse before / after work you can finally see him in daylight without having to wrap up in umpteen fleeces and jackets! Long, lovely hacks are easy to fit in and the standard “horse rider tan” (glove lines!) soon develops.

However Summer can bring its own issues and it’s important to keep your horse happy during these hotter months.

Just like us, water is essential for your horse to ensure healthy bodily functions and should always be available so your horse can replace any water lost and prevent dehydration.  This is something to think about when at shows as your horse may be out in the hottest part of the day.  The Wacky Practicals Pack Away Bucket – 7 Litres is great to offer your horse water and easy to store when out and about with your horses.

wackypracticals_bucket

Many horses (like mine!) enjoy dozing in the sunshine but it’s important your horse has access to some kind of shade, especially in the peak heat in the middle of the day. Lots of fields have natural shelter from bushes or trees or perhaps you are lucky enough to have a field shelter.  If your stable is cool it might even be an idea to bring your horse in during the daytime and turned out overnight.

For horses with pink noses its especially important to protect their muzzle to prevent sunburn.  Groom Away do a great sun protection cream. Your horse might not be very keen on having it applied but they’ll thank you in the long run as a red crispy nose is both unsightly and sore for your horse.

groom away sun protection

One of the biggest issues during the summer months are the flies!! They are such a pain!  Not only on a day to day basis but they easily cause further irritations and slow the healing of even small cuts and scraps so its important to treat these thoroughly and keep a very close eye on them.  For day to day care of your horse a good quality fly mask can make your horse’s life a lot more comfortable.

fly

Okay so they might make your horse look a little peculiar (the reactions from non horse friends is always quite hilarious!) but they help reduce irritation from flies around the face no end.

A top fly spray is an essential product for the summer.  You’ll have to find the best one that works for you and your horse – a lot have quite strong scents which I know horse owners can love or loathe!  We are big fans of Leovet Power Phaser Fly Repellent Spray 500ml which even seems to help combat flies when your horse sweats during exercise.

leovet phaser spray

Having previously owned a lovely cob with full feather I know how difficult it can be to keep them in tip top condition throughout the year, especially with mites during the hot seasons.  One product I would recommend is Lincoln Pig Oil Spray – Horse Coat Gloss, Conditioner, Barrier. This can be used to make the coat look glossy, as a useful skin barrier to protect against water and the environment and as an effective skin conditioner, plus will create an unpleasant environment for lice and other external parasites.

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Exercising your horse during summer also brings a new dimension.  Where possible, it’s best to avoid riding in the hottest parts of the day for both you and your horse – be careful to watch out for dehydration and the effects of the sun.  Horses often thoroughly enjoy a good bath after working to cool down their muscles and it’s important to take time to do this when your horse has sweated.  For this we love the Barrier Lavender Wash or the Absorbine Botanicals Body Rinse.  It’s quite refreshing for us owners too!!

botanical_bodyrinse

Lastly, we always make sure our horses have an available salt lick in their field or stable that they can take as needed.  You may even find that you need to offer your horse some electrolytes to replace lost mineral salts, depending on his workload.

Remember know one knows your horse better than you so its important to keep a close eye on him and his condition and if you have any concerns speak to an expert.  Most importantly enjoy your summer together and make the most of the glorious weather whilst its with us!

Pay Day Treats!

26 Jun

It’s the last Friday of the month and for lots of us it’s….pay day – yippee!   So we figured it’s time for a little treat for yourself and our four legged friends and here are our top suggestions.

With the weather warming up it’s time to brighten up your dressage training attire and our new favourite is the LeMieux ProSport Suede Dressage Square & Bandages Set  in Plum. Here’s Skippy sporting this very saddle cloth before his lesson – looks gorgeous!

saddle cloth

If you are spending more time in the saddle now the weather has warmed up, it might be an idea to invest in a pair of new breeches.  We’d highly recommend HyPERFORMANCE Frayer Pink and Grey Check Ladies Breeches that we ride in all the time – great for hacking, schooling and jumping and not too heavy for the summer months. These breeches WON BEST VALUE AWARD 2014 in Horse and Rider Magazine Tried at Tested and we can see why.

hyFRAYERjods  

We often find our calves get very hot riding in long boots in the summer. To minimise this, the Coolhorsesocks Ladies Competition Horse Riding Socks – Purple provide a great riding sock, packed with all the Coolhorsesocks features but they are 48% thinner as they are designed to fit under tight competition boots.  Great for show days but also a practical sock to wear at the yard during the summer.

purple_competition_coolhorsesock

The summer holidays and coming up and if you have a little one who will be spending every daylight hour with her pony or at the local riding school, she’s sure to love some of our new Pony T Shirts.  Just choose her favourite as a little treat for your little pony lover which won’t break the bank.

rainbowhorses_tee_navy  twinkle pink tshirt  

Finally if you are giving XC a go this season then making sure you look the part with matching XC horse riding gloves and hat silk.  The sports designs are super popular and available in pink and purple.  Just make sure you match these to your other equestrian wear for a full matchy matchy look!

sports

Equestrian Essentials for the Showing Season

4 Jun

With another summer of showing ahead of us its important to have the right equestrian gear so you feel prepared and confident for your classes.  Here are a few highly recommended pieces to get you and your horse shown off to your full potential.

When competing preparation is key and making sure your horse looks pristine is essential for the show ring.  Start at home with a thorough shampoo with warm water.  Depending on your horse’s coat we’d opt for one of the Supreme Products shampoos or the Absorbine Showsheen Shampoo and conditioner for an all round effective wash.

showsheen 2 in 1 shampoo conditioner

If your horse requires plaiting then we love the Supreme Products Easy Plait to keep your plaits secure on a windy day.  Ideal to use if plaiting up the night before with thread. Tried and tested on a variety of manes and it proves to be most effective.

supreme products easy plait

For any last minute stains then opt for the Miracle Groom – perfect if you arrive at the yard in the morning to find your horse has a huge stable stain (surely that doesn’t just happen to me!).  Comes in an easy to use spray bottle you can take this to the show with you for any last minute marks and its great if the weather is a little cold.

miracle groom

For manes, tails and extra coat shine we would recommend the Pig Oil spray.  This can be used sparingly especially on the coat as you don’t want your horse to become too slippery! Adds beautiful shine to mains and tails that will glisten in the summer sunshine.  Also useful for horses with full feather to add shine and condition.  Plus to add glimmer to your horse’s hooves the Kevin Bacon Liquid Hoof Dressing is the perfect product to look good and condition hooves at the same time.

PIG OIL SPRAY

In the warmer weather it’s important to ensure your horse stays hydrated and the Wacky Practical Foldaway Bucket is a brilliant product that doesn’t take up too much space.  Folds flat for easy storage then expands to hold water for your horse to drink or to wash him down with.

wackypracticals_bucket

And once your horse is ready it’s time to start on yourself – phew!!!  But don’t worry here are just a couple of products that will make you look super stylish in the show ring. The Equetech Kenton Tweed Messenger Bag is a gorgeous bag for ringside use and the perfect size for all your equestrian essentials.   Available in two colours so pick the best one to coordinate with your showing gear.

equetech bag_green

A luxury pair of horse riding gloves are essential to look the part and protect your hands – especially if your horse gets a bit keen on show day! We’d recommend the Carrots Brown Leather Competition Gloves for ultimate comfort and style.

carrots_leathershowgloves_brown

For other products for the show ring why not check out our full show season collection for a little inspiration.  And with these goodies in your kit just remember if it all goes wrong on the day at least you will look absolutely amazing! Good luck! xx

Best Lightweight Horse Riding Gloves for Summer

28 May

With the weather warming up and daylight hours extending it’s time to put the Winter gear away and revamp your summer equestrian wardrobe. What better way to start than with our top recommendations for lightweight horse riding gloves to suit all disciplines.

The HY5 Lightweight Ladies Horse Riding Gloves – Black/ Pink gloves are a great glove for everyday riding.  Available in three sizes for the perfect fit and at just £12.00 they are perfect for long hacks on your horse during the warmer months.

hy5 adults horse riding gloves_lightweight

For a high quality glove for all disciplines the MacWet Short Cuff Mesh Sports Horse Riding Gloves are the perfect solution. These gloves are designed to be used during the summer due to the mesh back of the gloves which aids circulation. Also ideal for riding on days when there is a high chance of a sudden summer shower as even in the wettest conditions MacWet gloves will give you 100% grip so your performance isn’t hindered.  A great buy at £25.

macwet short black cuff

For show days the Carrots Competition Gloves are the ideal solution. Made from lightweight, super stretchy fabric, these riding gloves remain comfortable as the heat rises. Available in cream in ladies and children’s sizes.  Tried and tested by The Horse Diva team and come highly recommended. Plus they are easy to wash if they get dirty whilst out competing!

cream competition gloves

If you have been wearing heavy fleece gloves all winter to muck out etc then it might be time to put them away until next season! However if you still want to protect your hands and nails whilst completing various yard tasks then we think its time you got your hands into a pair of the HY5 Multipurpose Yard / Stable Gloves.  Available in a range of colours and sizes (XS available for children too) these are perfect for all those fiddly tasks such as tacking up.  We really would be lost without ours and at £6.95 it won’t cost you much to give them a try!

hy5_yardgloves_blue

Horse Diva Favourites!

17 Apr

We thought you’d like to see a selection of our current best sellers but this time we’ve bought them to you in a video rather than endless photos. We hope you enjoy it and hopefully this may give you a little horsey gift shopping inspiration. xx

March Madness, Updates and the Latest Collections

10 Apr

As it (finally) feels like we are rolling in to Spring we are all looking forward to spending more time in the sunshine with our horses.  It’s been a busy time here at The Horse Diva. Thanks for all your lovely orders during March – lots of gorgeous gifts going straight to the recipient and we are pleased to hear you are thrilled with our gift wrapping and horse greetings cards.

bangcard_jumpforjoy spoil horse card

During the past few months we have taken the opportunity to expand The Horse Diva collections and we hope you are pleased with the results.  Here’s a summary of a few of our most recent updates…

We are thrilled to now stock the range of Equetech Equestrian Wear – from breeches to belts to babygrows!  If there is anything else you would like to see on the site, please do not hesitate to contact us.

denim_jods_equetech lace competition shirt

Our new range of Children’s Pony Books have been going down a storm with the selection including The Pony Detectives, Forelock Books and Pippa Funnell’s Tilly’s Pony Tails.  We’ll be expanding our range to do adults books as well soon – watch this space and get your requests in to us if you would like to see any specific collections available.

pony tails book

Our range of horsey gifts has also expanded to include some beautiful gifts for the equestrian home including cushions and cookware.

stable mates cushion

Plus we haven’t forgotten the youngest of pony lovers, with a special selection for baby and toddlers that are too cute to resist.

babygrows_equetech skiddle soother

As always we have been trying out many of our products and leaving our recommendations and comments across the website. You can also find helpful hints and tips about how to create your perfect pony present for a loved one. If you have purchased any of our products we’d love to hear from you with photos/ reviews so please do not hesitate to email us with your feedback.  We’d love to have your comments and photos featured on our social media etc!

We hope you all have a fun weekend with your horses and ponies – fingers crossed the sun continues to shine xx