Winter Survival Guide For Horse Riders/Owners
Equestrian Advice & Guides General Equestrian Advice
Christmas is almost here! But if like us, you like to leave your gift buying till the last minute, or simply haven’t found the right thing yet, there’s still time to grab one of these fantastic gifts for the equestrian (or horse) in your life!
We’ve broken our present ideas down by budget and intended recipient so our guide is easier to shop. Simply click on one of the filters below to be taken to the relevant section, or browse the full guide at your leisure.
Masks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, so why not treat someone to a fashionable and stylish addition to their collection! We love these smart and practical branded face masks from Ariat, made in a technical knit with a bonded mesh back for layered protection.
The fabric is also cooling to avoid that hot and stuffy feeling and the mask has been designed with a structured centre seam for a more comfortable fit and to ensure easy breathing. The material also features odour control properties to keep it fresh and UPF 50+ for year-round sun protection. What better way to display equestrian style on the yard or at competitions!
An absolute staple for any equestrian is a collection of great leather care products to keep their tack in quality condition. Oakwood have a full range of products in their ‘Complete Care System’ designed to effectively clean, condition and maintain all types of leather, from saddles to riding boots.
Their entirely natural formulas are kind on the leather whilst ensuring they deeply clean or condition, restoring the natural texture and lustre of the leather and in turn, prolonging its life. A selection of pieces from their collection would make great stocking fillers!
Price: From £6.72
Just as handy as having the products, is having somewhere to store them on the go! This clever little Tack Cleaning Bag is designed to hold the daily basics or show essentials and features a concealed hook and chain, allowing it to be conveniently hung up whilst in use.
This simple design addition, along with the easy to use two-way front zip opening, makes cleaning tack fuss-free! We’re sure any rider would be more than happy to find this practical daily helper in their stocking this year.
It’s important to provide your horse with entertainment… especially at Christmas! This classic stable toy, with its Likit holder and robust ball containing inserts for two little Little Likits, will keep your horse busy for hours.
Designed primarily for the food-motivated horse, this toy can be hung in the stable or paddock (at wither height) to enrich their environment, providing them with the mental and physical challenge presented by its multi-directional movement and 3 locations of Likit. Make sure to change the location of the toy regularly to keep interest levels up and use a mix of Likit flavours to create a taste sensation!
During the cold months of the year, your horse can never have too many stable toys to keep them occupied. This tough and durable multi-sided Snack & Play Ball is ideal for reducing the winter boredom.
The 4cm opening on one side allows the ball to be easily filled with treats (feed, apples, carrots, swede, etc) which are then dispensed gradually as the horse plays with the ball. The solid, one-piece, roto-moulded construction also makes them pretty trample proof and the hole is nowhere near big enough to cause a safety risk to feet/hooves.
A seasonal issue for any rider is finding a good pair of riding gloves that will keep hands and fingers toasty in cold weather whilst retaining a good amount of feel, flexibility and grip. These Sportstyle Winter Gloves from Uvex combine the perfect combination of all four!
They are made of a very stretchy and durable outer fabric and feature Thinsulate insulation and a soft fleece lining to ensure great warmth retention. Despite the winter lining, we found that these gloves didn’t feel at all bulky and were still breathable enough for your hands to remain comfortable for long periods of wear. They have really great grip too, especially for winter gloves, and do all this whilst also looking stylish!
We LOVE this new take on Aztec Diamond’s best selling signature riding leggings. The cool and stylish monochrome snake print adds a pop of pattern and texture to these smart leggings, while the double strength, 4-way stretch fabric provides flawless full coverage whilst still being fully breathable.
As featured on all AD signature leggings, this limited edition pair have sculpted ribbed side panels and intensive elasticated core support at the waist, along with moisture-wicking and quick-drying properties to keep the wearer comfortable all day. They have been finished with a range of practical features, such as a seamless side pocket with a silicone grip inner to ensure a phone stays put, a lightweight ribbed sock bottom for ultimate comfort under riding boots and a subtle silicon pattern on the inside knee for better grip in the saddle. What more could anyone want in a pair of riding leggings!
Mechanical Horse Simulator
One that’s on the top of our list is to ride a mechanical horse! These lessons are suitable for riders of any age or skill level and have so many benefits, including developing rider skill, confidence, balance, coordination, core stability, position, symmetry and more. As I’m sure we can all agree, sometimes it’s easier to work on our skills as a rider without the complications added by our horse’s behaviour! These sessions remove that factor and allow you to fully analyse your riding technique, learn faster and develop muscle memory, which can then be transferred to riding your horse to create a closer partnership and deeper understanding. These sessions are available at various locations throughout the UK who will often offer specific gift vouchers or package deals, so it might be worth searching for your closest venue. There are also different kinds of mechanical horse available, some electric and some that work based purely on human power, and certain models of horse will be suited better to certain disciplines.
Price: £30 - £50 per 1-hour lesson (on average)
Here are a few venue suggestions to get you started;
Whatever your choice of discipline, these incredibly versatile boots are bound to keep your horse happy and free from knocks and scrapes. With the comfort of the horse at the heart of every product Equilibrium create, these boots offer a 4-layer protective construction and have been independently safety tested for protection, flexibility, breathability and weight… they weigh so little that they float on water!
What we love most about these boots is that they can be used for almost any discipline and by any rider, irrelevant of their level. They come in a range of 5 attractive colours and matching saddle pads are also available from Equilibrium Products; we’re particularly taken with the Royal Blue!
Help your horse look the part at shows with this beautifully crafted Valencia Luxury Martingale from John Whitaker.
With its contrasting stitching, decorative design and brass hardware, this amazingly supple and luxurious leather martingale comes in three colours to ensure it coordinates perfectly with the rest of your show tack.
We love this lightweight show jacket from Horseware. It has built-in mesh panels to allow for much-needed extra airflow and has been made in a 4-way stretch fabric with thermo-regulating properties to ensure the wearer is kept at a consistently comfortable temperature - a definite ‘must’ for competing!
The Air MK2 jacket is smart whilst being incredibly comfortable to wear and comes in a choice of Black or Sandstone... at this price, we want both!
There are a lot of products from this cutting edge brand on our list this year, but we think this classic yet modern competition shirt is a show-stealer! The clean styling, stunning cut and beautiful attention to detail makes this simple piece scream luxury.
It has been made in a revolutionary material that is comfortable, breathable and quick drying, and even has sun blocking properties to keep you safe from harmful rays year-round.
We’ve been lusting after this for a while! This quality grooming kit from LeMieux contains all 6 brushes in their highly rated ‘Flexi’ range and comes complete with a matching ProKit Lite Grooming Bag in a choice of 2 colours.
The range of brushes includes the Curry Comb, Goats Hair Body Brush, Horse Hair Body Brush Massage Comb, Scrubbing Brush and Soft Body Brush, all with a flexible design to allow you to reach every area of the horse. This smart and fashionable kit really looks the part whilst also being incredibly practical, making it a wonderful gift!
As the name implies, these innovative boots are designed to enable turnout in any condition without the worry of subjecting your horse to the potential of developing mud fever, or to help keep control of an existing condition.
The boot forms a protective, waterproof barrier from the knee down to the base of the heel to keep your horse’s legs free of mud, whilst still remaining fully breathable to encourage cool air to circulate. With the addition of a strike pad to act as brushing protection, these boots really are an all-round solution, and they can even be machine washed for convenience. Your horse will certainly thank you for this one!
Want to give your horse a real treat as well as improving their comfort and flexibility pre and post work? Then you’ve found the answer in this fantastic massage mitt from Equilibrium!
This battery-powered mitt features 3 different types of massage (pulsing, vibration and stroking) at 3 varying intensities to ensure all muscles are worked in a range of different ways over each 10-minute session. Massage has been proven to help improve flexibility and reduce stiffness and tension, promoting relaxation and healing. The massage mitt is really quick and easy to use and can either be worked into your horse’s warm-up and cool down, or simply used as a relaxing treat when needed! So go on… pamper that pony!
This brilliant little trailer camera is ideal for keeping an eye on your horses while you’re travelling. Its incredibly simple setup means there is no installation required, it just has a magnetic base and can therefore be placed anywhere with ease within seconds!
It also uses its own Wi-Fi module to transmit the video to a smart device of choice via the free app, so there aren’t even any wires… it really is as easy as it could possibly be. And with a connection range of up to 15m and no need for signal, the user will always be able to check that their horse is safe in transit.
Price: £149.99 (currently a saving of £50 on the RRP of £199.99)
With COVID-19 restrictions still ongoing, what better or more suitable gift to give this Christmas than that of coaching, tutorials and support, any time, anywhere!
wehorse is an Online Riding Academy designed to help the user build a stronger partnership with their horse and become a better rider and horseman through appropriate, horse-friendly training tutorials and courses. With over 100 training courses from more than 30 of the world’s best trainers, covering all levels and riding disciplines, wehorse has the most varied collection of online learning material. New content is added weekly so there will always be something of interest to get stuck into.
We know we’d love a full year’s subscription to this fantastic online resource so we could really make the most of it, but if you just want to give someone a taster, 1-month subscriptions are also available.
Price for 12 months: €14.90 per month (saving of 40%) = €178.80 / £163.35
Price for 1 month: €24.90 per month
Give the gift of matchy-matchy! PS of Sweden have a beautiful array of premium matching pieces for both horse and rider, so you can get that fully coordinated look with ease. We’re particularly taken with the rich and stunning ‘Wine’ colour in their Monogram collection, which has been finished with decorative details in ‘Chocolate’ brown - the perfect luxurious hue for winter.
However, if ‘Wine’’s not your bag, there’s a selection of other sumptuous colours to choose from, such as Blush, Scarlet and Moss. Each piece is sold separately so you can combine whichever pieces take your fancy!
To shop the full 'Wine' collection, simply click here or to shop the individual pieces featured above, click on the following product names to be taken to their product page on PS of Sweden's site;
The Cool Heat Horse Rug by Macs Equine solves the age-old problem of rugging for the changeable British weather. This unique and innovative rug is the only rug that lets your horse regulate its own body temperature… as nature intended!
The rug has been constructed with a traditional 1200D waterproof ripstop outer and a cotton and nylon blend lining, but the real difference comes in the fact that there are rows of soft, flexible plastic on the inside of the rug, which lift it 12mm (½ an inch) off the horse’s back. This means the horse has a protective barrier against wind and rain but the rug allows the horse’s hair (whether clipped or unclipped) to raise or flatten based on the current temperature, therefore creating more or less insulation for the horse, as they would naturally.
These portable massage boots from Horseware, used by the likes of William Fox-Pitt, have been proven to boost circulation in horses’ legs, combining the therapeutic effects of cooling and massage in order to effectively treat strains, ligament and tendon damage; the effect helps stimulate the lymph system to reduce soreness and swelling.
The boots are designed to be worn on either the front or hind legs and can be used with or without the beaded cold packs to create cold or warm circulation before or after exercise. They are also great for use during rehabilitation in order to speed up the recovery process. We think the Ice Vibe Boots are a fantastic and affordable way to treat your horse’s legs on a regular basis, and your horse is bound to enjoy their relieving effects.
So there you have it! We hope that this gift guide has been useful and that it helps you treat someone special in your life to something they'll love this Christmas. After all, it's been a difficult year for us all!
Horsemart wishes you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!