A bit sits slightly differently on each horse depending on the elasticity of the horse’s lipsRead More
An incredibly useful training aid, arena mirrors give you immediate feedback on your riding, boosting your confidence and improving your horse’s way of goingRead More
If your horse has a weak topline, he may be reluctant to stretch through his back. Find out how a chambon could helpRead More
Buying a saddle is a big investment, so it’s important to make the right choice for you and your horse before handing over your moneyRead More
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Girths come in all types, shapes and sizes. Here’s our guide to picking the right one for your horseRead More
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Our easy to follow video shows you how to accurately measure your horse so you can buy the right size rug for him.Read More
Look and feel great in and out of the saddle with the autumn range of clothing from Just Togs.Read More
Thanks to the lovely summer we’ve had, any grass growth we’re now seeing is particularly high in sugar and could have an impact of your horse’s health.
The team from Haygain offer their advice to help you keep your horse happy and healthy as we move into autumn.Read More
The cleverly designed and supremely innovative Equisynergy 3-layer system from Musto is all you’ll need to keep your warm, dry and above all comfortable whatever the weather.Read More
Our handy video fitting guide will help you check your brushing boots fit correctly.Read More
We reveal the key signs that indicate it’s time to ask your saddle fitter to come and take a look at your saddle.Read More
Your riding hat is the most important piece of equestrian kit you’ll buy, so if you’re in the market for a new one, we're on hand help you make the safest choice
As much as we love them, we all know our four-legged friends can be unpredictable and riding is never going to be risk-free. It will come as no surprise that head injuries present the most serious danger, so make sure youre safe, not sorry by wearing a protective hat to the latest standards for riding and preferably when handling your horse too.
Thanks to the use of modern materials and designs riding hats are lightweight, well ventilated and look good too, as well as offering the very best protection to your head in the event of an accident. While there’s no law saying you have to wear a hat (unless you’r under 14 years old) we would always advice you do.
Choosing a hat
With a huge choice of riding hats available it's important you buy the one that's going to meet your needs. If you compete in certain diciplines, you'll need to check each dsicipline’s rule book so you buy the correct hat. It also comes down to personal choice whether you prefer a traditional looking riding hat, skull cap or perhaps one with a touch of bling.
Getting the right fit
Comfort and fit are essentail and it’s important to use a qualified hat fitter to help you find a hat that suits your head shape. Only a properly fitting hat rill provide you with the maximum level of protection in the event o a fall.
As a guide, your hat should;
- Sit on your head just above your ears and eyebrows
- It should fit snuggly all the way round your head but with no pressure on your temples.
- If, when the harness is fastened it can be easily dislodged, it’s too big for you.
Also, remember to check that the harness on the hat is correctly fastened. This, normally consists of two parts – a chin strap, which sits under your jaw. The other fits round the back of your neck. Some hat may have a dial adjustment here to help you get the best possible fit. It’s this strap that helps to prevent your hat from tipping forwards onto your nose and why it’s important to check that it’s fastened correctly. If you’re in any doubt about how to secure this, pop into your local BETA-trained retailer and ask them to check it for you.
Tack good care of your hat
Four tips to keep your hat in tip-top condition so it will take care of you when you need it:
1. If your hat suffers an impact, such as a fall, or if you drop ito onto a hard surface, you should replace it, even if there’s no sign of damage. Damage to the inside may mean it no longer offers you the protection it should.
2. You should replace your hat every three years. Over time the protective inner will deteriorate offering less protection.
3. Store your hat in a cool dry place. Buying a padded hat bag to puut your hat in will help to keep it protected when it’s not in use, as well as keeping it clean.
4. If you hat gets wet allow it to dry out natuarlly and slowly – never put ion a radiator to dry as this may damage it.
Know the safety standards
Whatever hat you’re looking to buy next, it should conform to one of the current standards and also have the CE Mark (a mandatory delcaration under EU law. All safety equipment must bear the CE mark to show that it meets the basic healthy and safety requirements).
VG1 (with or without Kitemark or IC Mark) - Similar testing specifiaction to the EN1384. This is an iterim specification for the purposes of CE marking. It’s unclear how long it will continue once the new version of EN 1384 appears on the market. Hats with the standard will be accpetmed by UK disicplines for some time to come.
PAS 015: 1998/2011 (with or without Kitemark or IC Mark) - PAS stands for product approval specifications which are developed by the British Safety Institute (BSI). The 2011 standard demands more from the hat than the previous one.
ASTM F1163: 2004a/2015 (with SEI mark) - An American standard similar to PAS 015: 1998, but it’s testing doesn’t include mechnical strength (crushing). These hats oftern feature quite large ventilation holes.
Snell E2001/E2016 - Developed in the United States by the Snell Institute, this is a high-performance standard, which includes all aspects of ASTM and PAS 015, but the test includes a sharper horseshoe anvil, which replicates a kick from a horse, higher impacts and an additional hemispherical anvil to prepresent an uneven but not sharp surface such as a tree or fence.
Don’t miss the latest issue of Your Horse Magazine, jam-packed with training and veterinary advice, horse-care tips and the latest equestrian products available on shop shelves, on sale now. Find out what’s in the latest issue here.
Picking the right pair of welly boots means you can wear them all year round.
Here's our five tips for selecting the perfect pair of wellington boots.
1. Outer material
To decide which material your next pair of boots are made from, you need to ask yourself how much use they're going to get. Are they going to be your daily footwear and subjected to endless punishment., or will you just dust them off occasionally when needed?
There are two main choices of outer material
Plastic polymer polyurethane- boots made from this material are usually cheaper but can be stiff and less reliable in tough conditions.
Natural rubber is supple and moulds to your feet, while being extremely durable.
2. Sole design
A good wellington boot should provide sure footing and traction on any surface. A narrow tread will offer better rip on a hard surface. A wider tread is better suited to soft, muddy conditions. A boot that combines both types of tread will give you the best security on all kinds of terrain.
3. Comfort and support
A reinforced sole that doesn't over-flex can reduce fatigue and product extra arch support, while also acting as a shock absorber for increased comfort and foot support.
There are three main options of lining;
Neoprene is a delight when it's cold but, although soft and squishy underfoot, cn be a little too cosy when the temperature rises.
Leather gives a truly luxurious feel, is surprisingly warm and breathable but, as you'd expect, they come with a higher price tag.
Jersey is a fantastic alternative; it's light and comfortable, even on warm days.
consider the size of your calves and your preferred fit. Ideally you're looking for a snug fit around your foot, leg and calf, which will provide maximum comfort and ease of movement.
However, if they're too tight they can be uncomfortable and rub. It's worth considering the different types of clothing you'll wear throughout the year, such as thicker socks during the winter months.
Gussets with adjustable straps or full zips will help you find a comfortable fit .
Don’t miss the latest issue of Your Horse Magazine, filled with the latest news, inspirational riding and horse care features plus all the exciting horsey products that recently hit the shelves.
Lungeing is an effective way of adding variety to your horse’s exercise and schooling routine and has many benefits for all horses, including improved balance, suppleness and engagement.Read More
The type of girth and how it fits is often over-looked, but it’s just as important as a correctly-fitted saddle.Read More
In the market for a trailer for your horse but not sure what to look for? We’re here to help you spend your cash wisely and make the best choice for your needs.Read More
The humble stirrup – no longer just somewhere to put your feet while you’re hacking out or schooling your horse.Read More
You’ve probably heard both of these words used to describe equestrian leg wear, but do you know actually know the difference between jodhpurs and breeches?Read More