Gee Gee and Me Love Equilibrium Vitamunch

Oscar doesn't eat hay in Summer, he turns his nose up at his haynet and refuses to eat it...I have given bales away thinking there is something not quite right about them, only for his neighbour to tuck in heartily without a second thought. This has led me to conclude he a) has a full tummy as he is turned out 24/7 or b) proving his importance to me by refusing to touch such dry fodder when he could be eating green green grass. 

As this behaviour is only during the Summer months I can cope with it, but on the odd day Oscar is stabled due to the heat, flies, farrier, being trailered longer than normal or when stood at a show - in-between/after classes it does concern me that his digestive system may not have the correct level of fibre required to fully function. And this is my exact reason for purchasing a Vitamunch from Equilibrium

Equilibrium understand that horses are trickle feeders who naturally spend 75% of their time eating and Vitamunch provides a low calorie, high fibre, low sugar and cereal free snack suitable for all horses and ponies. Equilibrium take the quality of their products very seriously and state on their website that their own horses, all 15-20 of them guinea-pig product ideas before seeking wider approval, and where possible Equilibrium use human grade ingredients - they comment that their search for human consumption grade hay continues...but in the meantime source Timothy Grass slow dried at a low temperature to maintain a fresh and succulent flavour as well as nutrient levels.

Each Vitamunch is enriched with essential vitamins and minerals and suitable for horses or ponies prone to laminitis or obesity and can be served wet or dry, hidden in the middle of a full hay-net or in it's own Munchnet, via a bucket, in a stable, a field or a horsebox/trailer (much smaller and easier to transport than hay...but I have to confess equally as messy). 

There are five flavours to choose from, all with super cool names:
Heavenly Hedgerow - enriched with clovers, hawthorn and rosehip, I chose this one for Oscar as he loves a hedgerow picnic - £2.95
Marvellous Meadow enriched with dandelion, red clover and nettle - £2.95
Hoof Munch - enriched with Biotin, Methionine and Zinc with added kelp, nettle and rosehip£3.95
Flexi Munch - enriched with glucosamine, MSM, rosehip, ginger and boswelia - £3.95
Calm Munch - enriched with fortified magnesium, B vitamins, camomile, hops and vervain - £3.95

The mini Munchnets cost £2.95 and are purpose made for Vitamunch blocks, they come in four colours.

You can see for yourself how much Oscar loved his Heavenly Hedgerow Vitamunch from the video below and I have already asked my local tack shop to consider stocking these as I think they're fabulous and can't wait to buy more...I think Marvellous Meadow next to remind us of the Summer months...and maybe a Flexi Munch once Oscar is stabled at night to help with any stiffness.

Thank you for reading, Jessica and Oscar xxxx


Etrical Endurance Stirrups

I received an exciting e-mail early Summer 2015 from Etrical, offering me the incredible opportunity to put their safety stirrup through it's paces, I jumped at the offer and Etrical have been overwhelmingly supportive allowing me the whole Summer to use the stirrups in various equestrian disciplines to report back with an open, honest and comprehensive review of their safety stirrup.

I'd like to begin by explaining that Etrical stirrups are a product built around safety, designed by Yves Rainfray, a former competitive rider and equestrian professional. Yves noticed a gap in the market for a stirrup offering complete safety and decided to take an innovative approach and here is what he founded...

A simple structured one piece stirrup allowing free foot movement within the stirrup whilst preventing the foot from sliding too far forward and getting stuck - potentially very dangerous during a fall from a horse. The stirrups have a wide anti-slip footrest guaranteeing comfort whilst guiding the foot into the correct position and Etrical have a range of adaptors to fit their stirrup to any saddle/leather.

There are currently five designs, a style to suit every rider at any age, I chose to ride with the Randocal Endurance Openwork Stirrup, they're an extra strength stirrup, designed with long-rides in mind to suit our Summer hacking.

When I opened the box I was surprised by the size and I thought they looked big, but they aren't at all, it just took me a moment to change my mindset from the coat hanger like piece of metal I am used to seeing, and once my booted foot was settled in the footrest the fit was perfect with the stirrup no longer felt big. Oscar also didn't noticed the size as they swung backwards and forwards when we walked to the mounting block, he didn't bat an eyelid.

Once I had mounted...WOW, comfort, security, such relaxation in my lower leg and my seat altered slightly from the usual English straight back, shoulder, hip, heel style, what a pleasure they are to ride with! The tread on the stirrup is 13cm wide by 17cm deep and I leant something about myself I didn't foot must move in my normal stirrups and I lift and lower my foot by habit to re-adjust my position maybe only lifting a few millimetres when I slightly loose my perfect foot position and I found myself doing it in the Etrical stirrups but it had no effect because my foot was so secure, I wasn't ever loosing or changing my foot position...but my body continued it's odd twitch for our first few rides?! Thankfully my foot...brain, began to trust the safety of the stirrup and I soon stopped this habit. 
This experience left me thinking how much confidence these stirrups would entrust into a novice or nervous rider the security they provide.

The stirrups are feather light yet feel durable and unlikely to crack, they're safe enough to take a knock. They come in four cool colours, being my usual safe self I chose brown and think they look super smart.

I have hacked, jumped, galloped and had fantastic fun using the Etrical stirrup this Summer, my favourite feature is their comfort, the wide base for my foot absorbed any shocks, relaxed my foot and reduced pressure in my ankles, not forgetting their incredible safety features, they're an "endurance style" stirrup that every rider can benefit from and enjoy.

My next challenge for my Etrical use while perfecting my sitting trot!

Cost: 31.50 - 59 Euro (P&P by courier) and a very special 10% discount for all our readers and followers with the code JESSICA10

Thank you for reading, Jessica and Oscar xxxx


Amelia Jane London - PomPom Hat Silk

After one too many happy years together I recently traded in my Champion Skull Cap for a new riding helmet, and that meant transferring my trusty pink star silk over. What I hadn't realised until it came to taking it off is how torn and untidy it had become...I think it's on year 9, so I've definitely had my monies worth and I decided to purchase a new one...

My choice was an Amelia Jane London navy hat silk with a fur pompom, it's the cutest! There are ten gorgeous hat silk colours to choose from and the pompoms are detachable. I chose navy for convenience as I use it for all disciplines - it even came to dressage with me on Sunday, just unpopping the pompom with no hassle of changing silks.

The silks are cotton lined and due to my OCD nature I had to iron it before shaping it over my hat, the fit was perfect and true to size! I have also worn it in pouring rain and although my pompom resembled a pomeranian after a bath, it soon puffs up as good as new once it is dry!

The hat silks come in three sizes:
Small - to fit hats up to 55cm
Medium - to fit hats 56 - 58cm - this is my size
Large - to fit hats 59cm +
And cost £30.

Amelia Jane London also sell these cool woolly PomPom hats too...perfect for this coming Winter - I love mine!

Thank you for reading, Jessica and Oscar xxxx


My Dressage Square - Lemieux ProSport Dressage Square Suede

Due to transport it isn't often I get the opportunity to compete, however I couldn't resist the Lemieux ProSport Dressage Square in suede from their Luxury Dressage collection, I have owned it over a year now and I am proud to say it has had a handful of happy outings. I am always excited to pull it out of storage (as it's washed and wrapped away after each use) and it just feels gorgeous both on and off the horse.

The ProSport Dressage Square in suede is beautifully soft to touch and in white it dazzles with a pearly sheen. Horse Health describe the pad as having a dense feel, which is does, there is no fluffy padding and it moulds to the horse giving a close contact. The underside is a towelling flannel that absorbs sweat and minimises friction and again this is soft, Oscar has remained comfortable in it on some very warm days. 

Being white, the pad comes home decorated with brown saddle, girth and boot marks, regular readers may remember I featured this pad on a blog some time back when I trialled a Pet Hair Wash Bag and epically failed, almost breaking our washing machine in the process!! Since that unfortunate experience I have continued washing my saddle pads and bandages in a tub trug in the garden and this pad responds brilliantly to that method, coming up as new after each wash, the only negative is it takes a long time to dry due to it's material - to those of you with horsey washing machines, I am envious.

The Lemieux ProSport Dressage Square has velcro d-rings and a swan neck design for the perfect fit with the signature girth protection area and finally a hugely important factor for me, Lemieux's sensitivity rating for this pad is a one, suitable for sensitive skinned horses.

Cost: £39.95

Thank you for reading, Jessica and Oscar xxxx