Nothing Beats Tradition; The Newmarket Exercise Blanket

The Newmarket Exercise Blanket is iconic and the golden stripes of the trademark Witney pattern have a certain romance to that is hard to resist.

Made from pure English wool and hand crafted on the Lancashire Moors by a company called Friday Fox, they use the same traditional methods and machinery, as the original Early's of Witney. Early's were a family business founded in 1669 that manufactured blankets for some of the finest equine athletes to have graced our world. When they ceased trading, Friday Fox became the custodians of this much loved, traditional English product and kept a piece of history alive.

I chose the Race Cut Newmarket Exercise Blanket, embroidered with my initials. A blanket recognised for its fit, warmth, comfort and hardiness and although a little big for Oscar - maybe I should refer to him as 'Desert Orchid' in this blog - I hope for it to grace the bottoms of many happy horses and ponies over the years. A timeless classic, that will last a lifetime and maybe even generations.

Each blanket is reinforced over the withers and shaped at the quarters, designed with standard girth loops, it can be worn square, or folder up at the corners - as pictured - with a smart fillet string to match and bound in a navy boarder. It isn't hard to understand why, that even in today's modern times the Newmarket Exercise Blanket continues to be a wardrobe essential for many equestrians.

Whatever your chosen discipline the Newmarket Exercise Blanket is a beautiful and practical piece of tack room treasure.

Thank you for reading,

Jessica & Oscar
Gee Gee and Me.


Eskadron Lambskin Underlay: Preventing Saddle Pad Rubs

One of the many jubilant things I associate with the month of January are rubs. Even Oscar, a "hardy native" is sensitive and his top three offending areas are;
  1. Chest
  2. Shoulders
  3. Back of the saddle
Over the years I have learnt that early prevention is better than any cure and Oscar is rarely without his silky smooth Bossy Bib when rugged, and when ridden his Eskadron Lambskin Underlay because the latter can be a real cause for concern for any horse owner/rider.

I purchased my Eskadron Lambskin Underlay from Lili Brooksby-Dalby's Feather Dressage after I saw her using one at a similar time of year, for the very same reason. The Lambskin Underlay is exactly what it says...a long piece of lambskin with no seams or edging and minimal thickness. It is positioned directly onto the horses back in the seat area and can be secured to any saddle pad using the plastic buckles at the front, ensuring it won't slip back and disappear mid ride! 

The Eskadron Lambskin Underlay has other benefits too, because it is a natural fibre once on a horses back it warms up and cools down at a much slower rate to synthetic fabrics. Reducing temperature fluctuations in the back muscles and therefore, reduces the risk of injury too. And it goes without saying that lamkskin (and sheepskin) is widely recognised for its breath-ability, sweat absorption and pressure reducing benefits. 

The Eskadron Lambskin Underlay cost £55 and I have had mine three years - pictured - it is easy to care for and as mine is only used during the winter months, a simple dandy brush down brings it back to life. When required, it can be washed with a specialist lamb/sheepskin detergent.

So if your horse is sensitive at this time of year too, don't hesitate in buying the Eskadron Lambskin Underlay, it is a product I 100% recommend. Roll on spring...

Thank you for reading
Jessica and Oscar


No Foot, No Horse by My Horse Box

For my first blog of 2018 it only felt right to write My Horse Box a fabulous farewell. Having been there from the very beginning of the companies journey as one of the first subscribers to the luxury equine subscription box. I was honoured when invited to officially blog for the team, I have loved every moment of being part of My Horse Box.

My final box to review was November's 'No Foot, No Horse', arriving with impeccable timing as the 23rd December 2017 marked the one year anniversary of Oscar going barefoot behind, lets dive in...

Supreme Products included a tub of their Heel, Sole & Frog Care product. Feet can be wet and smelly at this time of year and Oscar's frogs take a lot of TLC to remain strong and healthy. Since the arrival of November's box on the evenings when time allows, I clean and towel dry Oscar's feet and apply the Heel, Sole and Frog Care liberally to, well as it says...the heel, sole and frog, using my hands. It has no smell and a soft, clay like texture. As Oscar is stabled overnight, it can get to work cleaning, cleansing and hardening his sole and frog whilst he is stood on clean, dry bedding. 

Then of course, there are the evenings when time doesn't allow and my saviour is Bio-Hoof from Safe-Care Equine. After picking out each hoof I simply spray Bio-Hoof directly onto the frog and sole, it cleans and disinfects overnight whilst Oscar is stabled. Keeping smelly frogs at bay!

Now for the outside/upside of the hoof, something shiny and delicious; Topline Naturals Hoof Dressing. Applied using a hoof brush, it is thick in texture and smells of traditional pine tar, fresh eucalyptus and tea tree, organically grown ingredients to help regulate the moisture content in the hoof, providing a degree of protection against hooves swelling and contracting (=cracking) and against fungi and bacteria. Dark in colour it also makes hooves shine, a lovely tack room product.

This leads me onto my final two products, the most important of them all...

1. A hoof pick, hand crafted by Bespoke and Personal for My Horse Box subscribers.
I remember the lesson of how to pick out a horses hooves being one of the first I was taught and the importance that was stressed upon the task. I also remember Oscar not being very good at it when he first came home and the hours I spent teaching him how to lift his legs, calmly and politely. A hoof pick is always hanging by our stable door and hooves are picked out before turnout, and after. Before riding, and after...the theme, before and after most things. 

2. Nutrition; some horses are naturally blessed with good feet, others need a little more.
My Horse Box sourced a sample of Farriers Mix, a cutting edge equine feed supplement to maintain and support healthy hoof and horn growth. Containing kelp, biotin and methionine. Fortunately Oscar is blessed with good feet on his diet of balancer and forage, the beauty of the native breed, therefore I have gifted this to a friend whose breed of horse is less fortunate with his feet.

My Horse Box costs £34.99 for a one month subscription, make it your new years resolution to treat yourself at least once, for the thrill and anticipation of the fantastic products that will be found inside. Or better still, treat someone equine obsessed, My Horse Box will not disappoint. 

For now, it is over and out for now from Gee Gee and Me on My Horse Boxes. Oscar and I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Annabelle and Jonathan for their support in 2017, here is to an exciting 2018...

Jessica & Oscar
Gee Gee and Me