Winter riding motivation

I'm quick to admit that I am very much a fair weather rider, which has only been fuelled on by the fact that for the last TEN years of my life I've always had an indoor arena either on the yard we were at or close by. So having to deal with the British winter weather (rain, gusty winds, showers, rain, wind, blinding sunshine and then some more rain) it's been a bit of an adjustment not only for myself, but also for the ponies πŸŒ§πŸ’¨ I always used to be a "I'll ride in any weather - if there is an indoor" kind of person, but now with no indoor arena near us, it's turned into "I'll ride in most weathers, but torrential rain and wind means a day off" kinda person. Although some people will tell me to man up and get on with it, I don't think riding my horses in terrible conditions with both the horse and I in a horrible mood is the right choice, so often the crappy weather days are for lunging, in hand work or a massage and grooming day. But anyway, here are my tips for creating as much motivation as possible for riding even on those miserable days ⤵️
1. Invest in warm clothes, gilets and shower-proof coats: Layers, layers, layers. My tactic for not only in the cold, but also for riding in the rain too as normally you won't get soaked through to the bottom layer. The more comfortable you know you will be, the more likely you are to follow through - even in miserable weather! So invest in those lined riding breeches (Pikeur FTW!), three pairs of gloves and several sweatshirts and jumpers that you can change as soon as you are done riding. My Rydale gilet is my favourite go to on dry but cold days and my current favourite knitted jumpers are from Rydale, sweatshirts from H&M and sweatshirts with motivational quotes on from Olco Equestrian πŸ’ž


Trends to watch out for: Equestrian Stockholm SS19 collection

Following on from this year's first 'trends to watch out for' post earlier this week with PS of Sweden's SS19 collection, here is the second one featuring Equestrian Stockholm! πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ͺ Funny how the Scandinavian companies are both in a hurry to be the first one to release these collections, when Eskadron and Le Mieux and a whole host of other brands are releasing new collections later on in March/April time.
Equestrian Stockholm have released moroccan blue and grenadine as the new colours for their SS19 collection, and brought back the ice blue for a re-release but this time with matching rider clothing as well as matching bandages! So those people who missed out on ice last year can get one this year, with matching bandages as well as new rider clothing. Grenadine looks like a super bright orangey red colour ❤️ and moroccan blue is drool worthy! I'm just very disappointed that ES haven't done matching bandages for the moroccan blue but instead have gone for navy bandages with the tab matching the saddle pad... Not for me thank you! However, I do love the look of their rider clothing, and going by the reviews and comments I've seen online they are well worth the money πŸ’Έ


Trends to watch out for: PS of Sweden SS19 collection

It looks like spring is on it's way...! 🌿🌷 That is all I could think of when I saw the video PS of Sweden posted on their social media channels and we finally saw the new colours in real life, not just teased on their Instagram stories with a very heavy filter on! Pinks, blues and greens make up PS of Sweden's latest collection and I adore it, so let's take a closer look at their new collection ⤵️
The new colors from the PS of Sweden for their SS19 collection are: seagrass, minimal grey, rose and citadel ☀️🌸 I've already pre-ordered the blue, but I actually like all of the other colours too, especially the grey. There are three more colours to be released later on (next month I believe) which are the darker versions of the blue, green and pink colours. But this first lot is a beautiful pastel group which just screams spring at me! πŸ’ I know some people aren't fans of the beige/white binding but the more I look at these photos the more I'm getting used to it. I mean I'd prefer the binding to be the same colour as the pad, but looking back at their collections it looks like they're now sticking with a brown binding in the AW collections and a beige binding in the SS collections. What I'm very curious to find out is what the inspirational quotes along the spine will be!
Also lets give points to PS of Sweden who have done a wonderful job of sharing photos from the photoshoot on their Instagram page and their Instagram stories, so if you're not already following them I would highly recommend it - it means you'll be kept up to date with the latest releases and lots of very nice photos. πŸ“Έ


Centaur 4 Bar ECO rug dryer

Although we were fortunate enough to build and design our own brand new barn for the horses when we moved over here in July last year, what we didn't anticipate was needing a lot more space for drying rugs... We have our storage room, the tack room as well as the rug rack outside the storage room but after 3 or 4 consecutive days of torrential rain, we really struggled to get the turnout rugs to properly dry out! ☔️🌧 After several weeks of grumbling and moaning with a nearly constant 95% humidity inside the barn and all the wet rugs taking over the entire barn, we decided to invest in a rug dryer after seeing posts about it on Facebook, and ended up buying the Centaur 4 bar ECO rug dryer just before Christmas.
We went for the four bar dryer which is best for people with 4 to 8 horses. Centaur claims that the dryer has the power to dry rugs which are soaking wet in just four hours, so that it's possible to dry two sets of rugs each day. And according to their website, its running costs average £0.04 per hour, which will obviously add up to be expensive if you use it all day every day, but so far we've needed it  only twice or three times a week for 5+ wet (but not soaked through) rugs. What really sold this particular product for us is the fact that it's fully portable and it can easily be manoeuvred from place to place - ours is out in the aisle during the day and locked in the storage room over night - even though the 4 rug dryer weighs 43 kilograms! It's very easy to move around, I move it every day when sweeping the aisle and have never struggled moving it, even when it has four wet rugs on it.


#ROOTD: sparkles

Sparkles ahoy! πŸ’« If there's something that can cheer me up on a grey and cloudy winter Monday, then it's definitely sparkles! It's been a while since my last #rootd blog post, but I thought now that the SS19 collections are on their way, I should really get back into these posts and hopefully inspire others to go and sparkle with their horses into the arena. As much as I love my bright colours, in winter I find myself really digging darker colours that won't show up mud and dust so easily, which is why I absolutely adore this soft sweatshirt from Kingsland with glitter threads pulled through it to give a subtle sparkle. I got it as a Christmas present and then realised how well it would go with Anky's blue water drop pad (which I promptly purchased, haha!) 🌠🌌 The black boots make it into such a lovely smart outfit that you can chuck on fast when you're pushed for time and need to get ready quickly. I'm also wearing my trusty Roeckl Lara gloves which also have a tiny bit of glitter on, just to complete the look.
 Saddle pad: Anky blue waterdrop
Boots: Le Mieux Fleece Brushing Boots black croc effect
Over reach boots: Eskadron Platinum black 
Top:  Kingsland navy sweater
Breeches: Pikeur Gia leggings


Rydale Wansford II hooded gilet review

Having purchased several knitted jumpers from Rydale for myself this autumn and then several others as Christmas presents for family members this year, I was over the moon to receive an email from the guys at Rydale about teaming up to feature their products in the form of a product review on my blog. It's amazing to think that companies are wanting me to highlight their beautiful products ⭐️
But back to the product itself! The Wansford II hooded gilet is warm and padded with panel stitching, it is suitable for all seasons. It's stylish, offering a flattering shape and with it's generous padding you are guaranteed to stay warm - I have worn it most days since receiving it and my goodness do I love it ❣️BTW, the hood is detachable so if you're like me and hate the hood bouncing whilst you ride, you're able to take it off. Surprisingly when riding in this gilet I've honestly not noticed the hood because of the padding in the hood keeping it pretty much totally still! Unlike other brands who save pennies by not putting any padding in the hood itself, it feels like Rydale have put in the same amount of padding in the hood as in the rest of the gilet πŸ‘πŸ» And when lunging in the rain, the hood has been cut so well so that it is big enough to keep you dry!
Each gilet has been carefully designed with contrasting trims with really lovely metallic detailing and embroidery. It honestly looks and feels like a product from those very high end and expensive equestrian companies where half of the price tag comes just from branding. But Rydale has kept it's pricing very reasonable, so that this gilet is just £50, and they have others in the sale for just £20 (my mum has just bought one and more jumpers for us!)


2018 in review

I love looking back on the past year and seeing how much has changed as it's easy to simply forget what has happened months ago. For me, 2018 has definitely been a year for the record books as simply SO much has happened last year. Although throughout last year there were some weeks when I simply had to take a break from blogging and social media (Master's thesis I'm looking at you πŸ‘€) and some days I thought about giving up on the blog, but looking back at the year I've never felt more convinced that I want to carry on πŸ’ͺ🏻At the end of this month, I will have had this blog for six years, so I think it's about time that my new aim with the blog is to keep at it until we reach the big ten! πŸŽ‰

Rather than doing a recap of the whole year month by month, I've looked back at the big moments of 2018:

In January my oldest brother held his first clinic in a long time in Finland which I went to with my mother and one of our best family friends.
In February my mother was amazing and lovely when she decided that instead of selling Erik to give him to me so that I have the chance to finally get back into competing again.
In May we got a new horse for mum, our #teambay increased again and now we have 5 horses! Funny how the OG gang of just Nelli and Basse has increased to such a big group. At the end of May/beginning of June I travelled with the horses to Germany where we spent 6 weeks (all of June and half of July) at my brother's yard waiting for our new house in the UK to be emptied and ready for us.
We finally made it to the UK and I arrived home with all the horses at 1am on 13th July! We arrived just as the worst heatwave was hitting the country, and we had several weeks of +30C... I lost all motivation to ride and instead I painted and organised my new room.