It’s May already! The spring season is well underway, even if the weather does still think it is winter! We’ve had our ‘pop up shop’ out and about quite a lot in the last few weeks despite the belief that we should be on an ark rather than in a tent! We went to Wales and West for the first time and really liked it there, we will definitely be going back for the second rounds. We were also at one of our favourite venues, Addington, although we are sad to say the weather did beat us on this occasion. We gave up when we had a river flowing through the stand and a gale threatening to do a ‘Wizard of Oz’ to the tent. Frank really should take his red shoes out with him more often as a precaution! Clocking up the miles again Frank went to Southview for the second time this year, we’ll be back there again for the British Masters. As you’d expect the Kingsland competition rainwear has been selling quite well! We didn’t take the stand to Hartpury’s Winter Show Jumping Championships but Frank did go up to catch our new sponsored rider Mark Bunting win the Grand Prix – he was wearing our first ever Performance Rider saddlecloth – must be a lucky charm!
Quite a few friends were at the Dressage Winter championships, Sarha Harnett my old yard manager from School Farm won the freestyle with Okey Dokey and Vicky Strutton, owner of the cheeky Shetland Chad, came 5th in the Advanced Medium Petplan finals on Sound Barrier (check out her write up in this week’s Horse and Hound after a double win at Cobham Manor). Good to see both Claire Leggat and Fiona Gair, liveries at Heathfield Equestrian where we keep our horses, in action too at the Winter Championships. If you’re a Performance Rider friend and would like your results name checked then drop us a line or post on Facebook!
We’ve been busy working on the website. We realized we’d taken on quite a few new lines and the site was looking a bit cluttered. Hopefully the new layout will help you find stuff more easily. We’ve introduced a new section, Competition Essentials, the stuff that we think is the best and you really need to have in the lorry, and launching this weekend another new section, Saver Bundles. These offers will change regularly so keep an eye on it for our latest and best savings.
Last month we announced that we’d taken on Cavalor, a new range of supplements to sit alongside our popular Horse First range. We’re really pleased with the response they’ve had, so if you’ve any specific issues please don’t hesitate to call us for advice. We’ve extended the Cavalor range this month as well, we now stock the Cavalor Cooling Wash. This natural cooling wash is the ideal way to refresh your horse and revitalize its muscles after exercise. It’s low foam formulation will leave hair and skin thoroughly cleansed, muscles cool and , here is a real bonus in this unseasonably cool weather, horses actually dry quicker than with a normal shampoo/wash! Moisture is evaporated away to speed up drying. Pretty sure this will become a yard essential! Find it on our website for £18 for 500ml bottle or on the trade stand.
It’s also worth thinking about how to keep your horses fit and healthy throughout the competition season, so here is our Top Tip number 2 from Cavalor. (see our March post re Cavalor Resist +Vit C for boosting immune systems when staying away and at coat change time) Cavalor Muscle Fit ensures flexible muscles before and after intensive work by working against lactic acid build up. For horses prone to stiffness after strenuous work you should be able be able to feel a difference in only 2 days. It’s particularly good for use at competitions, we recommend you start using it 2 days before the competition and continue until the end. In extreme cases of muscle stiffness a preliminary 4 week course may be required and then dose as above and extend to one day post the competition. For superb ‘competition’ performance it’s particularly effective if used in combination with Cavalor FreeBute. This is a natural (& legal ) pain killer and inflammation inhibitor which also helps support the muscles and joints of horses that have to deliver optimum performance. Check out our ‘Saver Bundle’ section on our website to purchase both together and save, save, save!
On the riding front our girls are now fighting over Chad, the Shetland. At two years and 1 week Nell’s very definitely learnt to shout ‘NELL TURN NOW’ the moment Evie gets in the saddle. A second pony may be required soon. Nell also had her first of what will be many falls, nothing serious but she won’t hold on to the handle she’s too busy patting him and showing off! It was the gentlest of slips out of the saddle, she cried because I wouldn’t let her get straight back on until she said “YESTH’ to holding the handle. Evie is also mastering our lead rein Chad off the lead. He’s quite cheeky and prances about. She managed to steer him in a lovely trot round the common on the Bank Holiday, which, if you knew Chad, is not as easy as it sounds. Proud Mum moment!
Looking forward to seeing you on the trade stand sometime soon.
Charlotte and Frank
Back pain in horses can be a serious problem, causing poor and reduced performance, grumpiness and bad behaviour, not to mention unnecessary discomfort for the horse. It is no secret that one of the most common causes of back pain is an ill-fitting saddle and whilst regular visits from the saddler should alleviate most major issues, horses in work are constantly changing shape, so maintaining a “perfect fit” in between visits can be tricky.
In reality, getting a saddle checked every few weeks is not an option, and particularly with ever-changing young horses, and those who are gaining or losing muscular tone as a result of lifestyle and workload, their body shapes are continuously altering. This is why we have introduced EquiFit’s extensive range of Therapeutic Saddle Pads to our growing portfolio.
The flagship product within the range is the EquiFit Double Thick Non-Slip Contour Pad which has been designed to ease saddle fitting difficulties and help minimise the chance of performance-zapping back pain in horses and, because it has been created using innovative T-Foam, the Pad conforms to the exact contours of both your horse’s back and your saddle shape each time it is used, and returns to shape after.
T-Foam is used in the EquiFit Double Thick Non-Slip Contour Pad because of its superb shock absorption properties and because of its unique construction, which reduces the chance of uncomfortable pressure points. By minimising vibrations from the horse up to the rider, and from the rider down to the horse, a more harmonious feel is achieved leading to greater comfort for both horse and rider. The double thickened material also provides a soft, yet bulk-free layer to support and protect the back and with an open cell structure, it can disperse heat quickly and efficiently to prevent overheating issues caused by many other pads on the market.
The EquiFit Double Thick Non-Slip Contour Pad also helps ensure that no pain or discomfort is caused by the slipping or movement of the saddle with a non slip outer material providing unrivalled saddle stability without the use of untidy straps and fastenings.
The EquiFit Double Thick Non-Slip Contour Pad does not alter the shape of a well-fitting saddle and can be used simply as an extra layer of protection against concussion on the vulnerable back area, or to help bridge the gap between saddle fitting visits. Prevention is better than cure when it comes to maintaining fitness, muscle tone and performance levels, and by purchasing an EquiFit Double Thick Non-Slip Saddle Pad you can help reduce the risk of unplanned interruptions in your competition campaign.
Available in one size only, in black, the EquiFit Double Thick Non-Slip Contour Pad is part of the comprehensive collection of Therapeutic Saddle Pads from EquiFit and costs £170 and is available exclusively in the UK from Performance Rider. View and buy online at www.performancerider.co.uk or tel: 01483 346011 for more information.
With the eventing season underway we attended the British Eventing Horse Trials at Tweseldown, our local event, with the PERFORMANCE RIDER pop-up shop. As always the course and venue was superb and it was good to see so many friends out and about. After a winter indoors with the stand it was brilliant to be outdoors in the spring sunshine (very lucky for March!) in fact, Frank is already working on his t-shirt tan!
The sharp eyed among you will have spotted that we now stock CAVALOR natural supplements and products to sit alongside our popular HORSE FIRST supplement brand and AG SILVER natural healing products. We feel that this is a winning combination to help keep your horse in fantastic condition throughout the year.
We met with the head of Cavalor Mr Peter Bollen to get fully trained on how the different products work and should be used to get the best effect. He had real insight in to how to keep horses healthy and/or resolve specific issues, so if you have any particular concerns about your horse please give us a call to discuss which product might be right. Also we thought we could pass on some of his hints and tips so keep an eye on our Facebook page for regular updates to keep your horse healthy throughout the season.
Our ‘start of the season’ top tip… Some horses don’t cope with the coat and season change at all well and get run down very easily. Dull coat, loss of performance and general lower ‘bounce’ sound familiar? And just when you think they should be picking up after winter! This is really true of one of our horses who definitely gets down at this time of year, he looks like he has already done some hard graft despite the season hardly starting, and the final clue, he gets skin complaints. One season we started eventing with half his hair missing off his head! Not an attractive look but you do find people give you wide birth in the collecting ring! So to overcome this type of problem Peter recommends CAVALOR RESIST with Vit C. It increases your horse’s immune system and resistance to viruses, particularly at this time of year. It is also brilliant if you are staying away in communal stables a lot throughout the season. He says for best results you should start using it ten days before staying away. If you think your horse might benefit then we are stocking the 2kg tub at £110, you can find it on our web site, http://www.performancerider.co.uk. We are starting our horse on this and using our AG Silver Max Strength and Daily Strength Wash to keep skin complaints at bay.
Our new clothing range, Manfredi, is getting lots of attention on the stand. The Red and Royal Blue Ladies Fontana jackets are proving very popular. And as you may have already seen on one our blog posts, after a lot of pestering last year for men’s clothing we have both Manfredi and GPA men’s jackets, breeches and shirts as well as some other essential fashion items for the season. Don’t be shy, come on over and try some on!
Thanks for reading! Oh and when I get a chance I will post a little tale to make you laugh under the title of I SHOULD KNOW BETTER! Watch this space…
Is your horse nervous when hacking? Does he go to pieces in prize givings? Can loud noises such as clipping or fireworks send him into orbit? There are many stressful situations that can be eased with the help of earplugs, however for years the equine variations of these handy products have been a far cry from their human equivalents, with ‘make-shift’ concepts often lending to uncomfortable, bulky, untidy and unhygienic solutions.
A simple revolution from EquiFit could be the solution. Produced using the same technologies as human ear plugs, the brand new EquiFit T-Foam EarPlugs have been manufactured from heat reactive T-Foam, which softens with body temperature and allows the EarPlug to conform to the horse’s ear canal. The result is an EarPlug that creates a strong seal and eliminates virtually all noise, replicating the same benefits that their human counterparts would offer. The unique T-Foam retains shape use after use, ensuring EquiFit EarPlugs provide a custom fit every time.
EquiFit T-Foam Equine EarPlugs are a tack-room-essential and can be used for a multitude of occasions when a soothing influence is needed. Whether riding in the ring when regulations allow it, or during the line-up of a prize giving, EarPlugs can help dull background noise and lead to a calmer, less anxious horse.
Other uses include clipping, bathing, during fireworks or shooting season and even to help horses that suffer from nerves during travelling. In addition some highly-strung horses on busy yards can benefit from a more peaceful environment, particularly if they are already uptight due to box rest. EarPlugs can also be used when hacking to help build confidence in horses that have had a fright from loud traffic, or simply in day to day riding during spooky conditions, such as high winds.
Not just a show ring accessory, the EquiFit T-Foam Equine EarPlugs can be trimmed to fit the ear canal if necessary and provide a soft, subtle and unobtrusive solution to anxiety caused by noises. The EquiFit T-Foam Equine EarPlugs are simple and easy to use; the unique foam gently expands within the ear canal to provide an ergonomic fit, without the risk of pressure points or discomfort.
Earplugs are permitted during British Show Jumping competitions, in the jumping and cross country phases of British Eventing horse trials and during prize givings at British Dressage shows, however Performance Rider recommends that competitors always check that Earplugs are permitted in their chosen discipline.
Priced at just £7 per pair, EquiFit T-Foam Equine EarPlugs are available in black or brown, exclusively in the UK from Performance Rider. View and buy online at www.performancerider.co.uk or tel: 01483 346011 for more information.
At Performance Rider we have found that equestrian fashion caters widely for female riders, however for the men that are passionate about equine sport, competition wear is often overlooked and it can be a challenge to find stylish and comfortable performance apparel.
Having been approached by many male riders, disappointed with the lack of competition wear available to them, we have now made it one of their focuses to offer a comprehensive collection for the guys!
Continuing the emphasis on technical fabrics and innovative designs, we have selected items that are proven to cater for the discerning male rider.
As self confessed technology addicts – most male riders are familiar with the evolution of smart-fabrics in the sporting industry, however it has only been in recent years that these technical materials have become available to the equine market. Design and innovation have since paved the way for specialized garments to become available, and in addition to improving performance, they can also look great too! Now, with our help, male riders have access to a collection of competition jackets, show shirts, breeches, casual wear and accessories, all chosen to help give a stylish edge.
Within the collection, brands such as GPA and Manfredi answer the demands of male competitors, focusing on classic tailoring, a smart appearance and performance to the highest standards.
The brand new Manfredi collection, which provides clothing made specifically for men with input from leading male riders, uses evolutionary fabrics to bring practicality and innovation to competition wear and succeeds in achieving an elegant, but masculine look.
The result is a selection of products, including the striking Sacramento Competition Jacket and Grand Prix Breeches, which have both been designed to offer fit and comfort, along with a superior appearance, to help achieve unbeatable performance in the saddle.
Gone are the days when male riders had to choose between style and quality! With the launch of our collection of men’s attire, every guy can now achieve beautiful tailoring, technical innovation and most importantly superlative quality that really lasts.
The lower limb is one of the most vulnerable areas on a horse with injuries often occurring, whether small external knocks and grazes or more serious internal tweaks to tendons and ligaments, these ailments can reduce comfort and affect performance levels. By offering extensive protection riders can make a conscious step towards optimum leg care and with this in mind Performance Rider are proud to bring EquiFit to the UK Market.
As the ‘Official Performance Horse Boot and Leg Protection of the United States Equestrian Federation’, EquiFit Boots have a wealth of science and technology behind them. Over the years the use of boots to protect horses’ limbs has become more and more prevalent and the ranges on offer have grown extensively. There is however, some fundamental issues with the fit and support that many of these boots offer and it is no longer responsible to simply choose a cheap product which may or may not provide adequate support and protection.
EquiFit have combined revolutionary technology together with years of competitive horse expertise to create an evolution in horse boots. Now chosen by some of the world’s top riders, EquiFit is committed to all horses and riders and actively seeks new and innovative ways of helping improve performance, recovery, comfort and overall, encourage success at all levels, in all disciplines.
What makes EquiFit stand out is the use of advanced technological material, T-Foam. Originally developed for astronaut seating to help reduce pressure points, T-Foam is a shock absorbing material that conforms to each horse’s body for a custom fit, every time and with 100% recovery for the next use.
You have to see and feel T-Foam to really believe it! The neoprene-free material absorbs 97% of shock and vibration under impact helping to disperse any knocks or bangs to the leg and prevent injury occurring. In addition it allows air to circulate which prevents the build up of heat and sweat – helping to keep tendons cool and legs dry.
The removable T-Foam lining is fully washable which extends the lifespan of the boots and can be replaced when necessary without having to purchase new outers. In addition, for riders with more than one horse, linings can be interchanged to help prevent cross contamination. For training purposes, weighted liners are also available to help condition the horse.
EquiFit boots are hand moulded at a purpose built factory in the USA using a unique process and it is the inner T-Foam lining which creates the fit rather than the outer shape, unlike many stiff, injection moulded boots which can be restrictive and cause discomfort. EquiFit Boots are designed to be worn snugly and the T-Foam reacts to body heat and pressure which ensures they follow the contour of each individual horse’s anatomy. This ergonomic fit also means there is minimal risk of dirt and debris building up underneath the boot, which in turn reduces the chance of rubs, chafing and abrasions.