Mark Todd Heavy Weight Turnout Rug (Full Neck)

Where did 2014 go...? I can't believe it has been 12 months since I wrote about Oscar's medium weight Mark Todd rug that he lived in last Winter. I wrote about my anticipation of Winters arrival, it had happened "officially" but the cold never came, the month averaged out at 4.8 degrees celsius, frosts were few and far between and there was no sign of snow. 2014/2015 couldn't be more different...we even saw a white Christmas and this same week a year on, temperatures have struggled to get above 2 degrees celsuis most days, therefore out of storage it came, Oscar's heavy weight turnout rug.

I love the fit of Mark Todd rugs and therefore purchased the same design as his medium weight but with increased filling, this cost £115.99 from Equestrian Clearance - I always find this website competitively priced.

Outer; 1200 denier, made with waterproof and breathable rip-stop, Teflon coated polyester material. Gussets at the shoulder - all must haves for me, I find shoulder gussets allow more movement and rugs with these features are less likely to rub and although a heavy weight this rug hasn't caused rubs even on a fully clipped Oscar, plus the reflective strip on the tail flap is a great safety feature. 
Fastenings; twin buckles with quick release clips on the chest - again another must have for me - Mark Todd rugs ticks so many boxes!  Velcro and twin buckles on the neck, low crossing adjustable surcingles across the belly and removable/adjustable webbing legs straps, which I always use! As I documented in my previous blog these are helpful for a spooky pony and secure the rug in place and reduce the risk of it slipping after a good old roll around! 
Inside; 350g filling with a soft nylon lining and fleece poll protection and Oscar is always dry, cosy and warm underneath! The rug has rubbed Oscar's mane a little but this is inevitable, I find rugs with built in necks rub less than neck-less or attachable neck rugs though and once these season is over when it's time for rugs to be cleaned and packed away I am going to sew lycra into the neck area as I have read doing so can avoid rugs from rubbing away the mane, along with generous lashings of mane and tail conditioner - watch this space for a post in 2016 on whether it worked.

The only positive of all this's frozen the paddock entrance equalling less mud!!!

Thank you for reading, Jessica and Oscar xxxx


Celeris, Maker of Bespoke Riding Boots

Celeris are makers of bespoke riding boots, their leatherwork comes all the way from a Portuguese workshop where every single boot is handmade using ancient skill and craftsmanship. A flourishing business in Portugal, the boots were launched to the UK in 2011 and now have a faithful following from professional and amateur riders alike and in Summer 2014 I was lucky enough to join them when I was chosen to win a pair of short (jodphur) boots from a Facebook "Like & Share" competition.

I danced with glee when I saw I had won, as a self confessed Ariat addict (see here and here) I couldn't wait to put these boots to the test and I got off to a fabulous start, when shopping for my Ariats I am Miss Sensible, shopping at Celeris is a far more enchanting experience; laces...or no laces, navy, chestnut, chocolate or faux croc? Heaven! Or hell, as I could only pick one pair!

I chose the Mistral Boot (£132), the perfect luxury jodphur boot. The Mistral Boot is made from full grain calf skin lining, with elasticated side gussets and a rounded toe, a leather insole, rubber sole and spur rest, playing it safe - as per usual - I opted for black to match my Ariat chaps, and they are a vision. When they arrived I frantically unwrapped the box, eyes half closed...have they been worth the wait (Celeris boots can take 8-12 weeks to be created), they did not disappoint! I threw out the packaging and opened the boot, placing it on my foot the delicious leather is buttery soft and instantly felt like a second skin, I couldn't wait to get to the yard and ride, somewhat like a kid at Christmas, on my Mistral's went...would they fair as well in the saddle? 

The boots are delicate, smooth and slim and mould to my feet, they don't feel as though I should do yard jobs in them (so I haven't) but they make up for that by the close contact they give me when my foot drops into the stirrup, my foot hasn't budged once when riding in them, they're very secure. 

I don't know if I can live with only one pair of Celeris boots in my life and I now have a wishlist of the Passage in polished black, the Bia in calro, the Diogo in medium tan, and I can guarantee Celeris will meet your wishlist too, they offer an extensive colour range with any combination you require with or without 'bling'. Twenty four measurements are taken to ensure a supreme fit, measuring the foot and leg to your individual requirement, fitting can happen face to face, via the telephone or Skype

Celeris are a sure way to beat January blues so what are you waiting for...      (Payday...)

Thank you for reading, Jessica and Oscar xxxx


Keeping Up With The Unicorns - KBF99 Grooming Brushes

I am a traditionalist, I love my wooden grooming brushes with their natural fibres, I like how they look, their softness and have a grooming bag full of varying bristle strengths, shapes and sizes...therefore I'd never been drawn to the KBF99 range, until I came across a pink one - yes, I am a 12 year old girl at heart...glitter hoof oil you say?? The pink brush made me stop and read the packaging, I had heard about the KBF99 technology and based on looks alone I had assumed they weren't for me, however the packaging is extremely informative and very easy to understand and that's when I changed my mind and decided to put the technology to the test...

KBF99 products state they are bringing a revolution to horse health - the technology will assist in the prevention of infection and re-infection of troublesome diseases such as strangles, ringworm and and e.coli...this barrier has proven to be at least 99% effective in killing such bacteria under laboratory testing. 

How does it work? - The surface of the KBF99 brushes bristles are coated in molecular strands, these give the brush a positive charge, this attracts negatively charged bacteria such as fungi, algae and mycotoxins - yes I had to Google too, this link explains mycotoxins....! The spikes of the bristles claim to stab the membrane of the bacteria, killing the cell, the positive and negative charges then clash and the cell is blown apart - very dramatic, I'd like to see this under microscope.

I am fortunate that Oscar has his own set of brushes and I do not share these with another horse, therefore don't feel we are at high risk of infection. Also the KBF99 science hasn't been tested and proven on equines/in working yards and this is something I'd like to see happen before I down my traditional tools and switch to the full KBF99 range. 

The dandy brush took a few weeks to 'wear in', I bought the brush in Summer when Oscar had a fine coat and he didn't enjoy the sensation of the brush on his skin, even if I brushed delicately and I don't blame him, when I ran it over my hand it was hard and spiky, therefore it sat in it's box until Autumn/Winter arrived and I've since used it everyday. I flick off his saddle patch area with it, the benefit of his Winter coat means he doesn't feel the bristles quite so much and it's excellent at removing dried on muddy patches. 

Taking everything into consideration I have to be honest and admit that the KBF99 brush isn't a must have for me, however the science makes me curious and I get a lot of use from it therefore I don't regret the purchase, it would be great tool for horse owners who choose not to clip in Winter, however it is on the higher price end at £14.99. I would be interested to read case studies carried out on infected yards and the success of the technology...this could make me eat my words.

Thank you for reading, Jessica and Oscar xxxx


Pikeur Lucinda Grip Cork-Shell Breeches

For many Winters I have lusted after a pair of soft shell breeches, admiring them at every equestrian event I attended and trying them on in numerous country pursuit shops but there has always been one problem...the price, you don't get much change from £150! 

I fell upon the Pikeur Lucinda Grip Cork-Shell Breeches by accident - honestly, this wasn't planned, promise - a local tack shop had a 20% off event in the run up to Christmas and I went with the intention of treating myself to something...que giddy excitement! I entered the changing room with numerous fleeces, gilets, the odd coat and as I waited in line, I had breech-envy as a girl tried on the Pikeur breeches in question, I forfeited my place in the queue and dashed to grab a pair! 

The Lucinda breeches from Pikeur are a classic design, they're based on the Lagunas (if you know your Pikeur, you'll know what I mean) a smart, classic design, however the Lucinda's feature a slightly lower waist - but not hipsters, I can't cope with my lower back exposed in winter...oh my, I sound 80! The following sentences may well confirm I am actually 80...the thing I love most is the inner material, I am a cold person, such a cold person I have to psych myself up before I get undressed, in the shower...out the shower, putting my bare naked legs into cold breeches isn't something I look forward to - yes, I am that looser who lays everything out the night before on their radiator. These are emotions I never experience when stepping into the Pikeur Soft-Shell breeches, the inside is a soft, fluffy fleece, with the full seat of cork-shell providing up to 50% more insulation due to it's excellent natural properties. The outer soft-shell material repels water and dirt with these beading off the breeches.

Apart from being incredibly warm and cosy, they're secure, the cork-shell full seat has Schoeller GRIPit technology - that's what the little shiny ovals on the seat are - GRIPit is a transparent coating that lends fabric good gripping ability, offering more security in the saddle - needless to say I haven't fallen off in them yet. And as with all Pikeur items they look beautiful, they have the Pikeur logo on the side, the lower leg is fitted and elasticated to reduce any bulkiness around your ankle and worth every single penny I paid, these were £140 in the shop, £112 with the 20% discount.

Exploring with the Unicorn on Exmoor over the Christmas holidays, you can just see the bright white logo on my leg - PIKEUR

For Winter, I recommend everyone owns a pair of soft-shell breeches, chilblains definitely wont be a problem if you wear these. 
I have lived in mine since November and they probably won't be leaving my legs until May!!

Thank you for reading, Jessica and Oscar xxxx


2015 Wishlist

Daydreaming on a long car journey over the festive season I put together a wishlist for the coming twelve months of 2015, it's full of fun, glitz and glamour with the occasional hint of practicality...Oscar and I would love to put these items through their paces and hopefully finances will allow and we'll be lucky enough to test a few...

  1. Thermatex Quarter Rug - for those chilly days, I don't own a quarter sheet...but each time I remove rugs from a freshly clipped Oscar to ride I wonder just how fresh he will be, and I wish I owned one...and again, once I'm on...I wish I owned one, I have this vision that a quarter sheet will equal no bucking -  must share this with Thermatex, could be a clever marketing campaign; "Keeping Oscar's bum warm, and Jessica's firmly in the saddle". I could purchase any old bum warmer (officially titled exercise sheet) and it would be much cheaper than a Thermatex but after my admiration for their Quilted Leg Wraps I can justify the £££'s and they look so pretty and professional - all the gear...
  2. Equilibrium Massage Pad - I love the mitt, read my review here and you'll understand why I am lusting after a massage pad too.
  3. Mac Wet Gloves - 'all grib, no slip' technology, fantastic marks to the marketing team. I enjoy everything I read about these gloves, although I haven't seen any in shops and that's probably the only reason I don't own any...although I know my size, just avoid browsing online as I'd have a pair in each coloured sneakily making their way into my shopping basket
  4. Jin Stirrups - please take a look, they're known for their revolutionary design and are incredibly lightweight, coming in an incredible colour range...the dressage diva in me loves the precious stirrup
  5. Turn Out Weatherproof Hood - Snuggy Hoods are one of the brands who offer these hoods and they sponsor Mary King, an immediate thumbs up from me...I am cautious of horses wearing these hoods in the field due to safely reasons, getting them trapped or if they move and irritate etc...however in my campaign to Keep Up With The Unicorns I'd like to try one in my battle against the blasted mud!
  6. Celeris UK, Long Riding Boots - the Passage, no the, no the Bia....I can't decide on my favourite, they're all so luscious! I was fortunate enough to win a Facebook "Like & Share" competition for a pair of bespoke jodphur boots from Celeris and I'm currently noting my thoughts for a blog post later in the year but I can let you in on a secret, I'm a little bit in love with them
  7. Veredus Magnetik Boots -  from boots for me, to boots for Oscar...Oscar was a seasoned Irish hunter before coming to me for the next chapter in his life and this has taken a toll on his body...therefore after extensive research I'd love a set of four Veredus Magnetik boots, the only thing that's stopping me is the price tag, at a £124.95 a pair...they're not cheap
  8. Equine Magnetix Horse Rug - continuing with the magnetic theme, if Oscar is having boots, he needs magnetic body therapy too and with the price tag of the Veredus rug being even more eye watering than the boots, I've done a lot of homework and found Equine Magnetix to be a highly recommended brand
  9. Equiture Browband - this wishlist item comes with a health warning as by clicking onto the Equiture page could turn you into a magpie, Equiture create the most beautiful browbands I have ever laid eyes on available in every shape, colour, leather, sparkle and finish you could dream of, my favourite is the green one pictured to bring luck to my Irish bog pony and I
  10. Sparkly Riding Helmet - I can't let the pony have all the sparkle can I? I have delved into the glamorous world of Shamshield, Uvex, Charles Owen and KEP, I had my heart set on a Shamshield with £200 saved towards one in the piggy bank, that was until the devastating news of revised safety standards for 2016, I am so fortunate not to have purchased one prior to them being released so I'll be keeping my eyes pealed for new releases that meet the standards coming onto the market this year
  11. LeMieux Four Seasons Rug - because who doesn't want a rug for all four seasons, hence the name and it looks stunning
  12. Equipilates Studio Session - something you may not know about me, I'm pilates obsessed!! I have been training weekly with a pilates instructor for over a year, making notes on the benefits it has on my body and riding ability and I am fascinated by it therefore I hope to enjoy a session with Lindsay Wilcox-Reid in 2015.
Re-reading the above is overwhelming and if I only get to purchase one product on my wishlist in 2015 I will be a very lucky girl and Oscar, a very lucky pony...but we have to dream because without a dream, how can things ever come true?

Thank you for reading, Jessica and Oscar xxxx


Happy New Year

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and thank you for visiting Gee Gee and Me in 2014, I love the freshness that a New Year brings, may 2015 be full of good health and happiness for you all.

Oscar & I spent the New Year visiting family on Exmoor...therefore I saw in the New Year feeling incredibly blessed.

The finest view in England, as always, thank you for Jessica and Oscar xxxx