Tag Archive: Christmas

  1. Ten ways to ride off those Christmas calories

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    We all overindulge at Christmas, but at least horsey folk get some exercise to work off the excesses. Whether they want it or not…

    1. Input: Smoked salmon and Buck’s fizz
    Output: 10 minutes of anguished hopping on one leg because the darned horse trod on your foot.

    2. Input: three cocktail sausage rolls
    Output: 10 minutes of urgent skipping out because the darned horse waited till you’d laid a fresh bed before answering the call of nature.

    3. Input: two pineapple and cheese on sticks and a vol-au-vent
    Output: Lugging about six feed and water buckets because you volunteered to do early stables during the holidays.

    4. Input: six roast potatoes
    Output: Traipsing round the field for 45 minutes with a head collar and a bucket of pony nuts because the darned horse won’t be caught.

    5. Input: three slices of roast turkey
    Output: 15 minutes of energetic grooming because the darned (grey) horse has rolled in the muddy bit again.

    6. Input: Parsnips and stuffing
    Output: 20 minutes of walking back to the meet because the darned horse dumped you at the third fence.

    7. Input: Christmas pudding and brandy cream
    Output: 2 hours of poo-picking in a five-acre field. Whose idea was this?

    8. Input: one of each colour out of a giant tin of Quality Street
    Output: 1 hour of pulling out ragwort — insanely mild December means the devil weed is growing again!

    9. Input: three mince pies
    Output: 20 minutes of chasing pony round field with its New Zealand rug dragging on the floor.

    10. Input: Brussels sprouts
    Output: 5 minutes of galloping across the fields. Not to get rid of the calories; just because it’s fun.

    Image: Christmas pudding by James Petts via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

  2. Ten fabulous Christmas gifts for horsey ladies

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    Desperate for fresh Christmas present ideas? Or perhaps your family and friends need a not-so-subtle hint on the perfect gift for you? Whether you are looking for yourself or for someone else, find inspiration in our pick of fabulous Christmas treats.

    1. Toggi faux fair hat and scarf
    Keep warm in style with Toggi’s fabulous hat and scarf, made of super-soft faux fur. Both hat and scarf are lined with a sateen fabric for a touch of luxury.

    2. Ariat Bromont Women’s boots
    These are performance boots at their finest. Handcrafted from leather and suede, they combine Ariat’s advanced waterproof membrane construction and ATS technology with a stylish design, elegant Spanish-cut topline and a brilliant plaid lining. A stretch leather back panel and full-length back zip make it easy to put the boots on (and take them off after a hard day’s riding).

    3. Derby House Elite Alderbury breeches
    The Alderbury breeches combine exceptional fit and top performance features with a gorgeous, contemporary look. These stylish denims, with their jean-style pockets, belt loops and gold rivets, are made of a woven, breathable fabric that stretches in all four directions, moulding to your body. They also gave Clarino seats for saddle grip and smooth Lycra ankle to prevent chaffing.

    4. Caldene belted wax jacket
    Available in navy and antique caramel, this fabulous waxed cotton jacket has a retro country feel, with its military epaulettes, big belt and myriad pockets for all your bits and pieces. The beautiful country-lady print used in the lining adds to the vintage feel.

    5. Toggi stag socks
    Made from bamboo, nylon and elastane with a padded, towelling sole unit, these socks keep your feet warm while adding a spot of fun to grim winter days thanks to their unusual stag motif and colourful contrast heels and toes.

    6. Sealskinz winter riding gloves
    The Sealskinz winter gloves have been designed specifically for riders — down to the smallest detail. Completely water- and wind-proof, they also ensure excellent grip and control, thanks to sheepskin leather and pre-curved finger forms. A highly breathable membrane keeps hands dry and cosy and hard-wearing finger reinforcements are perfect to cope with the reins.

    7. Toggi Quebec boots
    When it comes to sturdy country boots, little can beat the Toggi Quebec. Fully waterproof and breathable, these slip-on boots keep your feet warm and dry whatever the weather. Even better, they come with cushioning and gel foam for extra comfort, and with all-terrain rubber soles for a great grip on every surface.

    8. Caldene knitted snood
    Chunky and oversize, Caldene’s cable-knit snood is the perfect to beat cold winter days. Available in blue or grey, it comes with a matching hat.

    9. Kinpurnie Kinross boots
    Style and comfort meet in these elegant boots. A golden bit decorates the buff leather uppers while the waxi leather bottom keep your feet warm and comfortable and Neolite soles provide excellent traction. The elasticated rear panel ensures a great fit .

    10. Toggi tweed blazer
    This stunning Toggi blazer reinterprets the classic country tweed in a flattering key. Made from 100% wool, it is beautifully tailored for an elegant silhouette, with a trim waist, narrow lapels and a curved hem. The aubergine trims add a pop of modern colour.

  3. Top ten Christmas gifts for your horse

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    You’ve ordered the turkey, booked tickets to Olympia and you’re already wearing that all-important festive jumper – the countdown to Christmas has officially started. But wait, have you purchased your horse’s Christmas present? If not, here are some suggestions to make sure he’s not left out on the big day:

    1. Wax on, wax off

    If your horse is clipped (which does make life a lot easier when it comes to winter grooming and post-exercise cool down) or you live in a very cold area, he’ll need a selection of rugs to keep him snug during the winter months. Ranging from the affordable Classic collection to the top-quality Elite, Derby House’s rugs cover all bases — and the red Fair Isle model (pictured above) is perfect for the festive season.

    2. Changing rein

    Let’s face it — it’s cold, wet and dark. Unless you have an indoor arena, riding horses can be pretty miserable in the winter. Make your horse’s day by suggesting a career change – if he was a polo pony he would have had three months off by now (think how many lie ins that is for you).

    3. Let him embrace his inner unicorn

    Capturing the majesty and regal bearing of this mythical creature is not outside the realms of possibility. Treat your horse to his very own unicorn horn so he too, can become a legend.

    4. The way to your horse’s heart…

    …is through his stomach. You think he loves you? He loves the hand that feeds him even more. This Christmas, stock up on carrots and apples to supplement his diet – a succulent a day is good for any equine tummy, especially when the grass isn’t as plentiful. Or try Lincoln’s Santa and Snowman treats — a brilliant festive makeover of the classic Lincoln horse bix.

    5. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

    He’s probably not going to be universally admired as much as Whistlejacket or Copenhagen, but you can still have your favouite four-legged friend immortalized. There are lots of horse portrait artists and fantastic equine photographers out there who will be able to capture the true likeness and character of your horse, allowing you to gaze adoringly at him, from the comfort of your own home.

    6. Twinkle toes

    A little bit of bling isn’t just for browbands. You can add some glamour to your horse’s beauty regime with the Sabella Glitter Spray or Gel. Perfect for mane, tail, body, legs, braids and hooves, but also your gear, this cosmetic-grade glitter will stay on all day but won’t stay and will come off easily.

    7. Boredom breaker

    Winter water-logged fields results in many horses spending more time indoors, which is pretty dull, when you’re used to ambling free-range. Keep him stimulated in the stable by buying him a Likit Boredom Breaker, which promise to provide hours of entertainment for box-bound horses.

    8. Smarten up

    Make your horse feel like the superstar he is with an engraved nameplate, perfect for shows. A favourite with eventer Rose Carnegie, Brass Tacks engraves nameplates made of solid polished brass 1.5mm thick. Available in two sizes (depending on the length of your horse’s name, and with square or scalloped corners), each nameplate comes with rivets to attach it to your horse’s headcollar.

    9. Stable plaque

    Massage his ego and personalize his stable door by hanging his name where everyone can see it. Horze has an affordable option with a minimalist design or you can splurge on a bespoke Tags for Nags plaque, where you can choose from a wide range of stylish fonts and materials including wood, steel and perspex. The final finish can even boast gemstones and diamante, if you’re that way inclined.

    10. Roll up, roll up!

    You’ve undoubtedly watched all the cute videos on YouTube — the Parelli Green Ball is a play-tool that will help build your horse’s confidence and encourage curiosity and focus. Roll it, bounce it, teach your horse to push it — this exercise ball is a fun way to play with your horse (and if he doesn’t like it, it’s also a great spot to work off those mince pies and get your own core crunching).

  4. The top 10 gifts you should never buy a horsey girl

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    Santa may be making his list and checking it twice, but naughty or nice Christmas presents just won’t cut it for a horsey girl. Don’t fall into the festive trap and buy her one of these…

    1. Perfume. She spends her days up to her knees in muck and covered in sweat — both her own and her horse’s. Do you honestly think she fancies some Chanel? She’ll be the first to tell you that her favourite scent is Eau de Cheval.

    2. Earrings. They’re not allowed in the show ring, so there’s really no point, is there? In fact, veto all jewellery as impractical, unless it’s something woven out of her horse’s tail hair. Good luck with that one…

    3. Chocolates. She has to keep her weight down because she doesn’t want to overload the horse. Besides, you can’t eat chocolates on horseback.

    4. Lingerie. Chances are that what you think is sexy she’ll think is tacky, tacky, tacky. And seriously uncomfortable. Have you ever tried galloping a horse while wearing a cheese-cutter nylon thong? Actually, best not to answer that… (A word to the wise, chaps: NEVER buy a girl “sexy” lingerie, whether she’s horsey or not.)

    5. A onesie. Ridiculous garment. You can’t get jods or breeches over it.

    6. Shoes. Your average girl might be thrilled with a pair of Jimmy Choos, but for the horsey girl you’d be better off buying something from Dubarry.

    7. An M&S voucher. They don’t sell riding gear, silly.

    8. A handbag. Some women, granted, love their arm candy, but horsey girls aren’t usually among them. However, if you want to buy her something leather, a new saddle wouldn’t go amiss. Though it might cost you twice as much as a Mulberry.

    9. Gloves. They might seem like a good idea, but not elegant ladies’ leather ones — the reins will slip through them like a greased weasel.

    10. Any horsey book by one Nicola Jane Swinney. Your girl already knows all this stuff.

    Desperate for inspiration? Here’s what you should buy your horsey girl instead!

  5. The top 10 presents for a horsey girl

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    Christmas looms large on the horizon and you don’t know what to buy for your horsey girl? Don’t worry, we have it covered! You know you will always come second-best to the four-legged love of her life, but if you present her with one (or all) of the following, she’ll be yours forever. Well, until the New Year anyway…

    1. Another horse

    2. Another horse

    3. Another horse

    4. Another horse

    5. Another horse

    6. A luxury six-horse lorry with first-class living accommodation and all mod cons

    7. A luxury pop-out horse shower for the lorry

    8. A six-berth horse-walker

    9. A brand new yard, with stables, floodlit arena, indoor school, feed room, tack room, wash-down area, paddocks and off-road hacking. Oh, and a sweet little cottage (perfect for one person)

    10. Another horse