Friday, February 26, 2016

Pay Day Treats!

I am told February is a short month but I don't believe it - February has felt like the longest month EVER! I don't know what it is...perhaps its the weather or the final slog to get through the challenging "Winter with horses" lifestyle but to me March sounds much more appealing and positive so roll on next week. In the meantime I think it's time for a little pay day treat. With lots of new products arriving at The Horse Diva HQ there is plenty to choose from. Here are a few of my personal favourites... 
Equetech Empire Ladies Breeches in Petrol. I love the striking colour of these ladies breeches and the paisley pattern on the seat is really pretty whilst being rather handy giving you a slightly grippy seat for those "Spring" moments!  They are super comfy with a lovely high waist and soft stretchy material. 
empire breeches_paisley
My colleague described the Ladies Toggi Fleece Socks as "the best fluffy socks out there" today and I couldn't agree more. Warm and comforting - these prevent you having freezing toes. These socks are also nice to wear at home at the end of a long day when you need to put your feet up.
fleece toggi socks
I love buying new products for my horse (find me a horse owner who doesn't!) and as we head towards the end of another winter its a good time to give your equestrian supplies a bit of a revamp. The HyIMPACT range of brushing boots and over reach boots are great for day to day use and brighten up your equestrian wear even on those dull grey days. 

I easily get bored of wearing the same equestrian clothing to the yard but an easy way to add a bit of vibrancy without too much expense is to change your riding hat silk depending on your mood. I have been wearing a navy spot one over the winter but I think it's time for a change. One that will look great with my brown riding boots and riding gloves is the Leopard Design Riding Hat Cover.
leopard hat cover_new
My final favourite is The Horse Boy book. I have just started reading it and I am really looking forward to continuing. This is a true story of a father's journey to heal his son's autism through his relationship with horses. It's great to unwind with a good book after a long day at the yard or at work. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mother's Day Treats for a Horsey Mum

Mother's Day is fast approaching and its time to be thankful for all those horsey mums out there! Whether your mum is always on hand to help you go out competing, watches your weekly lessons through gale force wind and freezing rain or gets up extra early to muck out your pony whilst you get ready for school, this Mother's Day be sure to treat her and say thanks for all the hard work and dedication it takes to keep these ponies going (and paid for!).  Whatever type of horsey mum you have, here are a few ideas to show how grateful you are with a special gift this Mothering Sunday.
For the Dressage Diva, who perhaps competes and trains herself, our LeMieux Dressage Square Gift Sets make a luxury Mother's Day gift for an equestrian mum. Choose from a range of colours including this beautiful Benetton Blue.

If you want your mum to put her feet up this Mother's Day, why not treat her to the Beautiful Horses book. Beautiful Horses showcases the elegance, strength, beauty and variety of breeds from the gentle giant Shire to The Arabian. Filled full of stunning photography and breed features.  You could even team this book with one of our horse mugs and make your mum a lovely cup of tea with her favourite biscuits on Mother's Day morning.  That way she might even enjoy a sleepy Sunday!
If you are planning to take your mum out for dinner on Mother's Day why not opt for a piece of equestrian themed jewellery she could wear. If your mum loves exploring the countryside, the Happy Hack pendant is a firm favourite.  Alternatively the Horse Lovers brooch looks wonderful on a jacket or jumper and any of the horse shoe earrings are delightful for every day wear.
As we head towards the end of another winter every equestrian is starting to feel in need of a spot of pampering. Any of the products from the Naked Horse bath and body range are a lovely way to treat your mum. We have even put together the Horse Lovers Pampering Set which will make mum feel extra special.
Finally if you are looking for something a little different for the horsey mum who has everything, these great equestrian themed Backdoorshoes are perfect for slipping on and off when going to and from the yard. Ideal to wear when popping in and out the equestrian home too!
We hope you'll find the perfect gift for your horsey mum from our suggestions above or check out our wider range for further inspiration. Simply team your present with a thoughtful Mother's Day card and just remember to get up extra early to give your mum a day off from all the mucking out!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Winter Equestrian Essentials

There's no denying the weather is turning and I for one am hanging on to the final few days when the horses can live out 24/7 - all be it well rugged at night! The colder nights have meant earlier clipping for us this year and I have taken the plunge and gone for the full clip, so looking forward to a Winter with no moulting for once - yippee.  If like me you are having a sort out and finding you need to restock on a few key Winter items, let me suggest the following equestrian accessories to ensure the colder Months are easier for both you and your horse...

Warm Equestrian Gloves and Socks
On those cold, frosty mornings there is nothing worse than freezing finger tips and icy toes.  Of course a good pair of wellington boots and riding boots will stand you in good stead but you will be in need of some toasty equestrian socks. Firstly we'd opt for a knee high length sock which will also help keep your calves warm and are easily worn under boots or chaps. Our firm favourites are the Cool Horse Socks range featuring arch and heel support and a padded food incorporating the Coolmax fabric that wicks away moisture when you are working hard.  For Winter we especially love the Aztec Blue design!

We all know that so much time with horses is spent out of the saddle so as well as some comfortable riding gloves we also wear some yard gloves for all our horsey chores.  Now although the HY5 Multipurpose gloves are not thick, fleecy winter gloves they are lightweight and close fitting so you don't need to remove them for any of your yard chores.  No longer am I wasting time searching for the gloves I took off to tack up, do up rugs etc. Actually we find our hands stay pretty warm in these and they help prevent your skin getting too dry and cracking in the cold. Just choose your favourite colour!

Long hacks in the Winter sun can be beautiful but we've all had that point when you are furthest away from home and your finger tips feel like they are going to fall off! We'd be lost without the amazing BionicLeather Horse Riding Gloves. A quality pair of leather riding gloves that will keep fingers warm though schooling, jumping, hacking etc . Another tried and tested product we love. 
Grooming Kit Goodies

So your horse is kitted out with new rugs, the mammoth amount of hair has been clipped off and then you look at your 20 year old grooming kit and decide it needs a bit of a revamp! Just a few handy products can make all the difference to your horse's daily grooming routine.  Firstly we'd be lost in Winter (well all year round really) without the fantastic MagicBrushes. These are so good for manes, tailed, thick coats, clipped coats, mud, feathers etc, etc!  When fighting the daylight to try and squeeze in an early morning ride or late schooling session as the sun is fading this is my go to brush! Don't waste time getting all your brushes out just grab a MagicBrush, give your horse a quick once over making sure he is clean for his tack and get on and go!  


With many of us working all hours to try and pay for the upkeep of our four legged friends the Winter months can feel like you only ever see your horse in darkness! If this is the case the popular Hooftorch can make your yard life a little easier. Trying to pick out hooves in darkness can be a bit of a mission but this Hooftorch has a bright light on it. Simply press the button on the end when needed and you can pick hooves out with ease. Plus the pick on it is great - we've had rave reviews about it!

Depending on your yard set up and other commitments, it can be difficult to bath horses sensibly in the cold weather. If that's the case there are a few products to make your life a little easier and keep your horse looking tip top ready for competition. The NAF Shine On Grooming spray is a great finishing product if you're heading out to a pony party. Plus its handy to use on manes and tails too so no need for your grooming kit to get swamped by bottles of everything! If your horse enjoys a good comfy snooze in his stable then going up to give him breakfast and finding more dreaded stable stains always results in a huge sigh (on a good day!).  To help combat these we'd recommend the Supreme Products Stain Remover. Plus take to shows too for any last minute touch ups. 

Last but not least it's important to get nutrition right for you and your horse during the Winter months. If you need advice or guidance on how to keep your horses weight and energy levels at their best most of the large feed companies offer expert opinions. Be sure to make any changes slowly and keep a close eye on your horse's behaviour to make sure its suiting him correctly. For yourselves, keep well with lots of fruit and vegetables and the odd treat doesn't harm anyone! We're firm believers in a bit of chocolate when needed and what better than this Mad About Horses Chocolate Bar.  Treat yourselves....after all you need a couple of extra pounds to keep warm in Winter right?!!

Happy Riding x   

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Back to School!

As we enter into another week of the summer holidays, there are no end of excited little people enjoying their pony camps and own a pony days!  Okay, so the weather isn’t that great at the moment but it really doesn’t matter when there are so many ponies to play with! But sadly the holidays can’t all be fun, fun, fun and you need to get organised to ensure that all supplies are ready for the return to school next term.  So why not brighten up school essentials with some horse and pony stationery and a funky horse bag that your little one can’t wait to show off to her friends.  Here are some of our top selections but be sure to check out our Back To School collection to see the range in full. 

Our most popular horse bag of the moment is the Milly Green Horses Pink Backpack.  A strong, good sized rucksack with a funky horse print.  Perfect for carrying books and stationery supplies.

For swimming / gym clothes then the Twinkle Gym Sack is the ideal solution.  This bag is also great to use at weekends when attending Pony Club.  A very popular print loved by all.

For all us stationery geeks out there we have a cute and colourful range of pens, pencils and accessories – all with a pony theme. Below are just a few of our favourites.  It’s a lovely idea to fill a pencil cases full of new pony pens as a little gift for the start of term.

And don’t forget lunchtime can be made a little more fun with our horsey lunch boxes including this popular Tyrrell Katz Lunch bag and the coordinating snack boxes for yummy treats – very popular with our little pony lovers.

Happy holidays everyone xxx

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Gifts for the Horse Loving Teacher

Most parts of the country are in to the last couple of weeks of term, if not already enjoying the school holidays! At the end of term it’s always nice to treat your child’s teacher, tutor or classroom assistant to a little something to show your appreciation for their help and hard work during the past year. We’re sure you’ve got to know them quite well so if the person in question is a keen horse rider or owner then here are a few teacher gift ideas for a thoughtful thank you that wont break the bank!
A thank you card with a thoughtful message and a cute Handcrafted Wooden Horseshoe Keyring or Horse Key Ring is a lovely gift for a special teacher. A bit different from the norm, more thoughtful and useful too. Perfect key rings for those with horse boxes/ lorries or yard keys!

The lovely Notecard Gift Pack for Horse Lovers mean your teacher will have some handy little note cards ready to write their own messages.  Great for the horse lover with a sense of humour – these note cards have three comical images that will tickle a keen horse lover.
Perhaps at school you have noticed your teacher loves their stationery! If that’s the case the fun Colourful Stripe Milly Green Horse Pen will be a great addition to their collection. Perfect to use for marking, writing reports etc, these pens feature a bright horse pattern and are one of our best selling pieces of stationery.

For other stationery ideas both the Catseye Horse Gallery Document Sleeve and the Padblocks Sticky Notes – Horses are handy additions to a teachers supply!

Lastly if your teacher loves a nice cup of tea, perhaps treat them to the Horse and Jack Russell Teabag Holder with some of their favourite teabags. That way they can enjoy their cuppa and be reminded of you!

Of course these are just a few gift ideas under a £5 and a lot more can be viewed here. We hope you find the perfect gift for your teacher and have a happy end of term before the adventures of the summer holidays begin!

Friday, July 10, 2015

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

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...

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!
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 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Keeping Horses Happy in the Heat!

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.

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.

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. 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.

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.

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!!

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!