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.
Finding the perfect partner to represent a brand can be tough but having travelled the country with our ‘pop-up-shop’, we discovered one rider in particular who showed dedication to the sport, an approachable attitude and a genuine passion for our innovative collection of products!
“We are very proud to announce our support of international show jumper, Mark Bunting,” says Charlotte Emery. “Mark is well respected, clearly has exceptional talent and represents all of the values we have at Performance Rider. He uses our products because he genuinely feels they are the best, and he is fully prepared to communicate that. As a growing company, it is vital that we work with someone who understands the importance of getting our messages across, and we feel Mark is in the perfect position to do this. He has already confirmed our belief in him having won the hotly contested Blue Chip Grand Prix at the Winter Show Jumping Championships while representing Performance Rider, and we are looking forward to helping continue his success.”
Warwickshire based Mark began his career at the age of 8 years old and over the years he has established a firm foothold on the show jumping circuit. With many successes at junior, young rider and senior level, Mark has competed at international shows across the globe and has a string of talented horses, which he has high hopes for.
Mark understands that to perform at the top level, all aspects of his horses’ management need to be considered, which is why he has 100% commitment to Performance Rider and our ethos. “Having used EquiFit boots for several months now I can honestly say they have made a difference,” he says. “When jumping at top level horses need to be fully supported, using EquiFit boots gives me peace of mind and I believe the horses actually jump better when wearing them.”
“As a competitive rider I want to use products that genuinely work and this is why I believe Performance Rider stands out,” Mark goes on to say. “All of the products have been carefully chosen because they do an excellent job. I am very pleased to have the company’s backing, it means I can focus on riding, knowing that the equipment I use is genuinely working for me and my horses.”
Many competitors are now turning to Performance Rider as their first port of call for equestrian essentials, including exclusive EquiFit horse boots and AGSilver horse care, GPA and Manfredi clothing, Cavalor and Horse First supplements and other must-haves such as the revolutionary ThinLine Reins and Heritage Gloves.
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…
EquiFit provide the latest in equine boot innovation by combining their revolutionary technology with in depth competitive expertise. Every boot brought to you by EquiFit aims to maximise comfort, improve performance and increase success, and the new RSL boot reinforces these ambitions.
Developed in conjunction with leading professionals, the EquiFit RSL Hind Boots have been designed to help create a superior jump, a more animated canter and a careful hind limb. The overall effect is to help control the horse’s jump stride kinematics (JSK).
As the ‘Official Performance Horse Boot and Leg Protection of the United States Equestrian Federation’ EquiFit RSL Hind Boots have a wealth of science and technology behind them. With many riders thankfully turning their backs on historical, but less ethical schooling strategies, EquiFit RSL Hind Boots provide an innovation in performance enhancement.
The unique EquiFit RSL Hind Boots work through a two-pronged approach. Gentle pressure points, which are adjustable, can encourage the horse to jump a fence more carefully and cleanly. Studies carried out in recent years suggested that performance enhancing boots could result in horses increasing their clearance of fences by up to 30cm over and above those horses wearing regular boots.
Unlike other pressure boots on the market, the design of EquiFit’s RSL Hind Boot offers a unique ‘cupping’ shape underneath the fetlock. This means when a horse lands after an obstacle – particularly for horses jumping larger fences, or those with a tendency to over-jump – it reduces the chance of hyperextension and therefore encourages a cleaner, more controlled landing after the fence, putting less strain on the fetlock and surrounding area and enabling the ride-away to be more regulated.
EquiFit RSL Hind Boots are made from high quality, durable leather to offer outstanding protection from knocks and scrapes, without the interference of heavy, bulky boots. The tidy, unobtrusive boot creates a streamlined look, coordinating perfectly with the rest of the EquiFit T-Boot collection.
The EquiFit RSL Hind Boot is the only boot on the market to offering removable “Pressure Points” so that you can adjust the boot and tailor it to each horse’s individual needs. As with the whole EquiFit T-Boot collection the RSL Hind Boots utilise innovative T-Foam, which absorbs 97% of shock and vibration from impact whilst still allowing air to circulate, keeping the legs cool and dry. With the help of T-Foam™ the EquiFit RSL boots conform to the horse’s legs for a custom fit, every time.
With many of the top riders in the world choosing EquiFit, including Laura Renwick, Guy Williams, Mclain Ward, Peter Charles and Michael Whitaker, it is clear that a better fit can provide a better finish.
Priced at £165 per pair, EquiFit RSL Hind Boots are available exclusively in the UK from Performance Rider. View and buy online at www.performancerider.co.uk or tel: 01483 346011 for more information. You can also ‘like’ us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PerformanceRider