Anky Technical Casuals - Anky Silver A/W 2014

Anky Technical Casuals or ATC was created by Triple Olympic Champion Anky Van Grusven who was convinced their was a need for fashionable attire, for both horse and rider that combined technical materials, optimal comfort, quality and usability. 

I can only speak for the saddle pads and bandages as god forbid I'd spend money on myself and therefore haven't been fortunate enough to own any Anky clothing, however after a cautious start I am now a convert and can't wait to tell you all about Anky!!

So back to my came from the pad design, no tabs...will it slip down and pull over Oscar's withers in PolyPad style? Are they too thick and puffy...will they alter the fit of my saddle? Overall, the general lack of security from the pads, I mean, they don't even have girth tabs...?

And after taking the plunge and investing in an Anky matchy matchy set, I can truthfully confirm that none of the above are an issue for Oscar and I. Oscar has sensitive skin that rubs easily, especially at this time for year as his Summer coat peeks through and the luxurious suede pads black Coolmax lining is soft against his skin and unlike other pads hasn't made his hair loss worse. Alongside this he is never hot or sweaty under the pad, although it's thicker, it is always dry when taken off, even after the longest, fastest of hacks!

I mentioned the pads outer material being suede, this was the design for Autumn/Winter 2014, it's deliciously soft with the word ANKY (dressage) or ATC (GP) in silver glitter anti-slip gel where the saddle sits to ensure a more stable position, if that doesn't put heart signs swirling around your head I don't know what will, they're so pretty! And it works. I place the saddle pad on, ensuring the pad is pulled up at the wither - the pads are anatomically formed at the upper end to curve up as opposed to pulling down - then the saddle, no tabs, no girth strap, girth up and perfection, it stays put.

Anky bandages are 3.5 metres in length and made from quality anti-pill fleece wicking moisture away from the legs, I use them on their own as Oscar is a only 15hh, the length ensures I can wrap them around enough times to give adequate protection. 

I have used Anky saddle pads and bandages since Summer 2014 for long hacks, schooling, jumping and dressage lessons, and they've met my every need. Anky Silver is only one of the colours I've acquired, but it is a firm favourite, please let me know if you'd like to see more of our matchy madness!

Thank you for reading, Jessica and Oscar xxxx


LeMieux WrapRound Lambskin Over Reach Boot

This morning, as I tacked Oscar up...which involves oh so much more than just a saddle and bridle, my dad laughed at Oscar's fluffy boots - the LeMieux WrapRound Lambskin Over Reach Boots - I jokingly call them his Ugg boots, but in truth they're well used in Winter and aren't just for's just a coincidence that they look super cute, I promise. 

I use them because Oscar needs to wear over reach boots, both in the field and when ridden, and because the entrance to our paddock is muddy, on evenings when I ride I have to wash Oscar's legs off before I bandage and boot up. I towel dry his hair but due to his breed and that I leave his legs unclipped in Winter (only tidying with the Skylark Trimmer) they are never fully dry and the lambskin collar of the boot boot ensures he isn't rubbed.

The design of the boot is similar to our hardy leather LeMieux boots, I've previously blogged about;
The outer leather shell and easy WrapRound design are the same on both boots, making them quick to whip on and off, and the lambskin collar is made from the softest Merino wool - Oscar wears Large in these (to cover his tall feet).

Sizes: Medium > XXL
Price: £39.95
Colours: Black/White/Brown - natural wool

Thank you for reading, Jessica and Oscar xxxx


Equi-Theme Exercise Sheet - Does My Bum Look Big?

Those of you who follow my blog will know how much I love a good weather statistic and January 2015's information surprised me, the UK mean temperature was 3.7 degrees celcius - I'd argue that it felt far chiller than that Mr Weatherman!

This leads me nicely onto my Equi-Theme bottom warmer, officially known as an exercise sheet that I have been loving this Winter, I purchased it early November 2014 and it's had more outings than I ever could have anticipated. The exercise sheet is from the Stripe Collection (hence it's stripes...), I chose chocolate/beige/sand and purchased it from eBay costing no more than £22.00 including P&P.

The exercise sheet is made from anti-pill fleece polyester with wicking properties to take away any moisture from the horses skin, keeping them dry and comfortable when ridden. It has a fillet string at the back and a velcro tab over the withers to keep the sheet in place; I ordered a cob size (Oscar is 15hh) because I didn't want excess material flapping around when we rode, however I have found this to be too small in length and can't fasten the velcro. Instead I place each side under my saddle flap as shown in the pictures below, I have schooled, hacked and cantered and it has always stayed securely in place and it's super easy to remove once warmed up. 

The Equi-Theme exercise sheet is fantastic for the price, a great addition to my tack room for those 'FRESH' days, I 100% recommend them!

Thank you for reading, Jessica and Oscar xxxx


Keeping Up With The Unicorns - Bring Me My Bathrobe & Slippers

Who else feels guilty washing their horses mane in Winter? I am confident all those who have shown their hands, like me, have no access to hot water or heat lamps at their yard! Therefore my usual rigmarole is to boil the kettle numerous times *queue extreme boredom* I am literally waiting for the kettle to boil over and over - filling the time by sweeping the yard, carrot stretches with Oscar, staring at my watch etc..etc..

Once I have enough hot water and have successfully soaped and de-soaped Oscar's mane (I plug in the hair-dryer...ha ha, if only), I towel dry it and give him time in the stable to dry off before I can even consider putting a neck rug back on him for the night. Again, this is a timely process - mane washing is the easy part.

Therefore when the long awaited Ooteman Sale commenced and I found a fleece complete with full neck for a mere £26.35 I had to have it, it's about time the boy owned a bathrobe
Where are my slippers...?

The fleece is by Ooteman's own brand; Vantaggio and it is the first time I have purchased from this range. I have shopped at Ooteman many times, their stock is competitively priced (especially so when the pound is stronger than the euro), they have the best brands for sale and although postage can be pricey, items always arrive within 5 days by courier. 

The fleece is described as a cooler and is made from good quality anti-pill material, with a full neck, it fastens with front buckles, cross belly surcingles and detachable leg straps. The chest and mane area is lined with smooth fabric to avoid rubs and chafing and the neck closes with three velcro tabs plus three additional tabs around the head to attach the headcollar to avoid the rug slipping - I chose not to do this as Oscar only wears a headcollar to be led - although even when worn overnight it has not slipped down his neck, it fits perfectly. And is machine washable, love it!

Once it arrived, that night I hot clothed Oscar, washed his mane - let him have a shake of his head/neck, it's our ritual - popped his mane over to the correct side (spritz of mane and tail conditioner, of course) and placed the fleece on. I was immediately taken with the beautiful fit, I found the detachable leg straps useful too, something I miss on fleeces as they don't usually have them and finished off my jobs, the fleece did a fantastic job of wicking away the moisture and for the first time I wasn't concerned about Oscar catching a chill.

Oscar has even worn this rug overnight as an under rug, yes it did resemble one big shaving flake the next day but quickly and easily brushed off, for it's price it is an exceptional rug, a purchase I'm very very happy with. I wouldn't hesitate to purchase from the Vantaggio brand again.

Thank you for reading, Jessica and Oscar xxxx