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23.9.18

TurmerAid by The Golden Paste Company


The memories of summer 2016 are clear in my mind. Oscar wasn't right and everyone thought I was going crazy, seeing something that wasn't there. But I was certain I saw the occasional pottery stride in the field and XC schooling one day Oscar went from being a machine to the refusal of a jump. Time to visit the vet. 

Thankfully we are only a short drive from Oakham Veterinary Hospital where Oscar had x-rays to MRI scans and was given the diagnosis of degenerative joint disease...aka arthritis in just one of his front pasterns. The option of repeatedly injecting the joint was given to me, with a warning of steroid induced laminitis or long term management of the inflammation in the joint. 

I opted for the latter and have had a huge overhaul of our lifestyle. Our XC days might be over, with the exception of jumping a fallen down tree or log out hacking. But we enjoy dressage training and low level competitions, local showing classes - ground dependant - and lots of hacking to keep fit, walking up hills with zero trotting on the road or uneven surfaces and lots of cantering at a controlled pace when the conditions are right. I must say Oscar is feeling fabulous two years on and I never take a single ride for granted. 


Part of Oakham's recommendation was a joint supplement that Oscar continues to this day, but the drought like conditions the summer left me wanting more this year. The benefits of turmeric are hard to ignore; claiming to reduce pain, inflammation and stiffness relating to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis in both humans and animals, but had been put off by the idea of a home made mix that would leave me with orange stained fingers. Often visiting the yard in my work clothes - yes, guilty as charged - I didn't need any more hazards than there already are to not arrive in the office clean, tidy and hay-free. Shortly after I walked past a new delivery of TurmerAid by The Golden Paste Co. in my local feed store and I purchased my first 2kg tub for £18.99.


The turmeric pellets smell delicious and are a blend of turmeric powder, linseed oil, black pepper, apple cider vinegar and yucca, a palatable blend even for fussy eater Oscar who continues to lick his feed bowl clean with one small scoop of the pellets added to his daily ration. The ingredients are specifically targeted to support healthy joints whilst promoting well-being and general good health. We're now on our third tub and after the concrete like ground conditions as of late I credit Oscar's wellness this summer to the TurmerAid.

Purchase here from The Golden Paste Co. or visit your local feed store...

Thank you for reading
Jessica 
Gee Gee and Me


16.9.18

3D Mesh Air Pro Grip Saddle Pad Review from the LeMieux Collection


Visiting the fantastic Horse Health trade stand at Badminton Horse Trials back in May, I was spoilt for choice on what to purchase. From the newly released rider range of breeches, base layers and polos to something shiny and new for Oscar. I met somewhere in the middle and purchased Oscar a 3D Mesh Air Pro Grip saddle pad in navy and treated myself to the new LeMieux Competition Socks. Little did I know we were about to embark on one of the hottest summers on record. Making the pads arrival to my tack room perfectly timed...

The 3D Mesh Air Pro Grip saddle pad is a marriage of LeMieux's lightweight foam fabric and their unique Pro Grip technology. The innovative design results in an extremely breathable, stylish and secure saddle pad. Including all of the trademark features we know and love from Lemieux; the underside is lined with beautifully soft bamboo for its natural wicking properties. The velcro D ring tabs are the perfect length, the girth loops fit both double and mono-flap saddles with a reinforced area to protect against the wear and tear of stirrups and boots.




The Pro Grip panels sit either side of the saddle pads spine, in line with where the seat of the saddle rests. The panels are soft to touch, flexible and slim enough not to alter the fit of a saddle. Yet are enough to reduce movement, alleviate pressure points and aid shock absorption. Horse Health always recommend washing their saddle pads before the first wear to soften the fabric and reduce the risk of any rubs, as everything does in the LeMieux Collection it washed beautifully.

Since Badminton I have ridden in the 3D Mesh Aid Pro Grip saddle pad in 30+ temperatures. I have hacked, jumped, been to the gallops, travelled tacked up and even ridden around Burghley Horse Trials 4* XC course - yes, literally around the jumps - and on the hottest of days Oscar has remained dry, happy and comfortable. As the season changes, it will be a great pad to continue using that will make my life easier so that after a fast ride I can rug up and turn out a dry horse, reducing the risk of them catching a chill.  


The range comes in CC/jump fit, half pad design and a dressage square all costing £57.95.
Colours available: white, black, brown and navy.
Oscar wears the CC/Jump in navy and size large - click here to buy.

Thank you for reading
Jessica and Oscar
Gee Gee and Me

3.9.18

Caroline Towning - Contemporary Equine Artist


Caroline Towning is a London based contemporary equine artist, who many of us will relate to because she has been drawing horses ever since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Caroline was also taught to ride before she could even talk and has a deep love and affection towards these spectacular animals. Spending many hours in their stables and sat alongside them out to pasture, studying their beauty and making sketches. For me this affinity is clear to see in Caroline's breathtaking artwork.

Caroline's main focus is large scale horse paintings on canvas, her passion is capturing the essence of the horse. With each painting bringing their powerful presence into the room with the viewer. I learnt of Caroline Towning through her luxurious gift range, that allows an everyday horse lovers like me to have a special piece of her work to call my own and includes:

  • Tote/Grooming Bags
  • Coasters
  • Placemats
  • Cushions
  • Cups
  • Greeting Cards
...I have the White Horse Tote Bag.




The tote is versatile, strong and a great size measuring 50 x 47cm with a 38cm handle and can be used for the grocery shopping, grooming kit and carrying competition essentials...or as mine did this weekend the picnic and prosecco at Burghley Horse Trials, where it got so much attention (the tote, not my picnic)! 


Enter Caroline Towning's wonderful website here to view the totes in three iconic prints of Caroline's work, they cost £35.00 with worldwide delivery available and make the perfect present to yourself, or any horse lover.

Thank you for reading

Jessica
Gee Gee and Me

10.8.18

Why Quick Knot Will Give You Plait Envy



Do you ever get plait envy...? When I see a horse with a silky, frizz free mane that has been evenly plaited and smartly rolled into perfect bunches, I certainly do. Oscar is a Connemara Pony, his mane is true to his breed, thick and unruly. Tidy, consistent plaits are no easy task and to get the perfect finish I find they have to be sewn in, because of the extra time this takes I often section and plait down the night prior to an event. Securing everything in place with a lycra hood, fit for a superhero and hope for the best.

For this reason, my ears pricked when I saw Quick Knot's product video on my Facebook newsfeed...



Three seconds to secure a plait...impossible?! Well, it turns out it is possible with Quick Knot and I had to try them. They come in packs of 11, 250 or 500 pieces and cost £24.95 > 99.95 in black, brown, grey and white. I was kindly sent grey for Oscar and they are silver in colour.

The process is to section the mane and plait down, securing with a band as per usual. The plait is the rolled up and secured by a Quick Knot clip, pushed through the back of the plait then bent over to secure the end. It takes seconds and they appear immaculate and just like a well sewn in plait the Quick Knot is invisible once in mane.


I recently used them in a Showing class, an Equifest Qualifier. Having once been scolded by a judge, many years ago for forgetting to remove my stud earrings. I was a little nervous they might notice the Quick Knot clips and make a remark...but nothing and we were placed 2nd in our class. Giving me a huge confidence boost to use them again.


The pictures were taken after our two classes, in sizzling hot temperatures and you can see how secure, neat and tidy they look, even in a less than ideal mane for plaiting.  

Purchase from Quick Knot UK here.

Thank you for reading,
Jessica
Gee Gee and Me

3.8.18

The Unsung Hero, Kevin Bacon


Today I am writing about a product I have used for as long as I can remember, an essential I would be lost without, an unsung hero, that undeservedly has never made it to the bright lights of Gee Gee and Me; my Kevin Bacon Hoof Dressing

It was a general conversation with my farrier that made me realise I had to write this post, he asked if I had seen the Kevin Bacon Facebook post sharing the hoof clipping? At Kevin Bacon HQ they took three fresh hoof cuttings to demonstrate the importance of hydrating hooves and the experiment went like this..
  1. Apply nothing
  2. Soak in water
  3. Apply Kevin Bacon Original Hoof Dressing


They were left in the sun for one hour and the results show how much specimen 1 dried and shrivelled up from the lack of moisture. The experts at Kevin Bacon HQ went on to explain this is why a shod horses clenches seem to rise much quicker in summer, as the hooves shrink when they dry out, leaving protruding clenches. The use of Kevin Bacon's Hoof Dressing daily on both the inside and outside of hooves will help to keep them hydrated, reducing cracks, splits and lost shoes. 

Both gee-gee's in my life have their own pot and I apply it daily. When Bridge came home a stock of Kevin Bacon's Hoof Dressing was on my 'essential' list for him and it is something Oscar is never without. Because both boys have dark feet, I choose the Ash over the Original, the difference being one is black, Ash and the other clear, Original. To create the colour, the magic ingredient is a natural burnt ash giving the balm a dark appearance. This avoids the use of tar and the risk of hooves drying out.


I believe it is thanks to my great farrier and Kevin Bacon that Oscar' feet are as strong and healthy all year around and I don't often say this but, if you don't have it, buy it.

Thank you for reading,
Jessica
Gee Gee and Me

24.7.18

Beautiful Brass Tacks Nameplates

I am incredibly sentimental and Oscar wears the same Horseware headcollar today, as he did the day he came home to live with me, over 5 years ago. I wish I could say the same about the lead ropes, unfortunately we've snapped many of those! I remember choosing it so carefully, I wanted blue because ideally I was looking for a gelding. Cob size, knowing he would be a Connemara and by Horseware because of my trust in their brand.

This is Oscar and my amazing Dad in the Horseware headcollar 
that means so much to me on the day we bought him home. 
It was in March and snow was starting to settle on the ground!!

When visiting Badminton or Burghley Horse Trials, I would always admire the Brass Tacks trailer. Showcasing their beautiful English leather headcollars and thinking how smart Oscar would look in one, but not  entirely comfortable with the idea of throwing out his trusted Horseware. Then I received a leather headcollar as a gift...

I decided to name it Oscar's 'out out' headcollar and I was recommended by a fellow Facebook friend and Connemara owner - also a fellow Jess - to buy a Brass Tacks Nameplate. I had it engraved with Oscar's Sunday name, this cost £19 including P&P and Jess assured me I could fit it myself. The Brass Nameplate arrived in excellent time, including easy to follow instructions, all I needed was a leather hole punch and it took all of five minutes!


I think you will agree Oscar looks very smart wearing it, I hope it will be another that lasts forever...

Thank you for reading
Jessica
Gee Gee and Me.


1.7.18

Ariat Tri Factor Breeches - when tack, turnout and tweed matter

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My competition clothing dilemmas usually involve finding a jumper slim enough to conceal under my tweed, whether to pack an extra pair of tights and what thickness of glove to go for. Never how not to overheat until last weekend! I took Oscar and his handsome friend Ronnie showing, where tack, turnout and tweed matter more than anywhere else in the equestrian world.

With the knowledge that removing my tweed jacket would be out of the question, I knew it was time to update my breeches. They're older than I'd like to confess to and the seat is a little discoloured from saddle soap, yet I always smile when I slip them on because they still fit me and aren't going anywhere near the rubbish bin for some years yet. But I needed something more technical; my brief...breathable yet classic.

The Ariat Tri Factor Full Seat Breeches came up in my Google search. Made from an innovative compression fabric infused with cooling technology and a full silicone grip seat, to provide in their words 'exceptional grip in the saddle' they were ticking lots of boxes, I read on...

  • Icefil® Xylitol-based cool system reduces skin temperature
  • Moisture Movement Technology™ wicks moisture away from the skin
  • Core Control Technology® provides targeted support for core muscles and slims the silhouette
  • Ariat® V3® elastic "V" panel built into the back waistband for superior stretch and recovery
  • CFS™ Calf Fit System provides custom support at the calf and ankle, alleviating pressure points and friction
Although I was baffled by the science and trademark logos I loved the classic design of the Tri Factor Breeches. The tan colour is the perfect shade, the faux pockets on the back look smart, the thick waistband is a perfect height and the muted Ariat logo on the left thigh meant they ticked so many boxes, I purchased a pair immediately. Knowing Ariat sizes can be a little generous I chose a 26"R and I wear a size 8/10.


The weatherman had got it right and Sunday was hot. Arriving back to my truck and trailer at midday, the thermometer was showing 32 degrees. My Ariat Tri Factor Breeches were a fantastic choice, I was cool and comfortable in the saddle during my classes. With the hot weather set to continue, a good investment made.

Thank you for reading...
Jessica
Gee Gee and Me