Saturday, 29 November 2014

[Product Review] Hy Diesel Jodhpurs


S.Milner & Son - £25

I have owned these jods for around 10 or 11 months now and decided I should do a review on them as I love them. Normally I prefer breeches, but as they can be slightly on the expensive side, these jods are the perfect item for everyday wear. They cost less than £30 and considering how I wear them most often, they are lasting really well! 

One feature that I absolutely adore is the pockets! They feature a front zip pocket which is something I always look for in riding legwear. I hate jods that don't have a zip pocket as I hate the ones inside so like a zip one to put my phone in when I ride. Not only do these jods feature that pocket, but they also have 2 rear pockets and a front slant pocket - absolute bonus! 

The one feature, however, that I'm not so keen on is the leg. They are quite long for me so I have to fold them up at the bottom which makes them slightly bulky which is a bit of a pain under socks and if I wear thicker socks then it's a bit of a hassle with my riding boots. 

Overall I would give these a 4 out of 5 as they are super comfortable - you can easily wear them all day! Also the pockets are so useful and for the price that they are they are good quality and have lasted me a while so far! 

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

PS - in case you're not aware, I've been nominated for Haynet's blogger of the year along with some fabulous other bloggers. If you would like to vote you can do so here!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

[Laura Loves] HKM Lauria Garrelli Champagne Collection


So I was browsing the 'Equus' website the other day and had a peek at their lookbook section when I came across the HKM Lauria Garrelli collection, especially this Champagne horse set. After browsing the Equus site, I then went and perused on the 'HKM' website where I discovered that there are also other items in the Champagne range and it's all so gorgeous!

Saddle Pad (Deep Blue) - £34

The first item that is my favourite is this saddle pad. The pad comes in a dressage and GP cut as well as there being three colours to choose from - deep blue, deep green and ivory. I can't decide between the blue or the green as they are both so nice! I really like the patches and this is continued with their other items. 

Another favourite is this Anti Sweat rug that's not featured on Equus but I found on the HKM website:
Anti-Sweat Rug (Deep Green) - £61.95
I really like the set that you can buy on Equus with the saddle pad, bandages and ear bonnet. I like the patch on the bandages but it would really rest bandaging skills to ensure the patch is at the top in the right place! 

Bandages (Deep Green) - £20

Other items on the HKM website in the Champagne range include a lunge line, head collar and turnout rugs. There are also other collections in the Lauria Garrelli range such as the Majestic (another favourite), Naples and Milano. I strongly recommend you check out both the Equus and HKM website to view the range!

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Monday, 24 November 2014

Christmas Website Gift Guide


This year, instead of a normal gift guide, I thought I would feature 5 websites which sell some amazing things to give some inspiration for Christmas gifts!

The first is one which I have featured before and that is the wonderful 'The Dog & Dobbin'. If I had unlimited funds, I would buy so much of their stuff! They sell items such as scarves, photo frames, jewellery and mugs among other things and they are affordable which is always an added bonus! Some of my favourite items include this Silver Snaffle Leather Bracelet (£45):

I also like the Derby Stirrup Desk Clock (£32.95) and the Dog Breed Silhouette (£35). 

The second site is 'Equidivine' and is perfect for those competing in dressage, show-jumping or those who just love glitter! Equidivine sells products such as crystal plaiting bands, sparkle hoof varnish, glitter paint and stencils for use on the horse. My absolute favourite, which I might purchase in the future, are the Swarovski Crystal Plaiting Bands. These come in a whole range of colours (I'm possibly thinking blue which will hopefully stand out more against Pea's grey mane) and come in either single, double or triple rows! The price ranges from £0.99 for one single row band to £19.99 for 20 triple row bands and so these are definitely great value for money!

Next to be featured is the ever so talented Kathy from 'Kfsoriginals'. Kathy's items are not mass produced so if you see something you like, I suggest you snap it up quick! I think this is something which I love about her stuff as it makes the item that bit more unique and you can be sure that no one else will buy the same present! Her artwork is amazing and she designs on either ceramic, glass, slate or canvas which in my opinion is even better! I think the things she does on slate is my favourite as it's that bit different and the slate makes for an excellent background! 

Another site is 'Bespoke Browbands' who make handmade browbands, dog collars, bracelets and keyrings. They have a range of different browbands which can be made either beaded, plaited, have a name stitched on or just plain. I really like the beaded ones. I love that they are person specific, so you can't order from their website as you need to email them with what you want, therefore making them unique just to you! They are actually fully booked for Christmas, however you can order a gift card if you're planning on getting one made for someone. I do actually quite like the colour theme of this browband and I feel like it's quite Christmassy? However, I think I would go with a blue bead theme for Pea!

Finally, the last website to be featured is 'Harriet Glen Creations'.  Harriet creates bronze finished resin sculptures, cast bronzes and jewellery. I particularly love the rings and the bronze finished sculptures. My favourite sculptures are the Shetland pony and the one entitled 'Elegance', however my absolute favourite product is this Snaffle ring (£22). It's not too over the top and I think it demonstrates an equestrian love without being too 'in your face'! 

Hope this has given you a few ideas for any gifts if you need any?

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

P.S. I've been shortlisted for Haynet's blog of the year. If you enjoy my blog and would like to vote for me then you can do here

Friday, 21 November 2014

So Quotable


This is a bit more of a fun and random post really, but whilst I was trawling through Pinterest, I cam across some quotes that I just had to share! These are quite comical but I feel that they relate to Pea, and no doubt some of you may find your horse/s relate too! 

This is definitely Pea down to the 't'! He can be covered in mud, but you ask him to walk through a boggy patch and he slams the brakes on! There's this particular part in his field which is always boggy so if he's on that side of the stream, I have to walk him up the hill to come back down to the gate just to avoid the bog! Even if I pick the part which isn't that bad, he refuses to walk through it! Muddy puddles are the same! The only time he will walk through them is when he's going back out to the field! If our arena gets a bit flooded, he will spook at the puddles, go slow, side step them, anything and everything to try and avoid them! Rolling however, a completely different story! 

Every now and then, Pea likes to trick everyone! In the warm-up, he will start going really nicely, pretty much the best he's ever gone, and you start to get slightly hopeful that the test might actually go well and then bam! You enter the arena and he suddenly decides that everything is worth looking at with his head in the air! No matter how hard you try, he is not going back to that superstar pony he was in the warm-up so you just have to smile and laugh! 

I do love some of the comments that dressage judges write! I remember the times when Pea would buck during a test and you'd see the judges comment of 'slightly disobedient' or 'wasn't really working with you today but a good try'! There was one particular time when Pea had a right bucking fit half way up the centre line and I had to try my hardest to stay on (luckily I did); when I received my score sheet, the comment to go with that was: "nice entry. disobedient. Not quite straight." I think we all laughed at that! 

Let me know if any of these relate to you and your horse/s or if you've found any others!

Thanks for reading, 
Laura xx

Thursday, 20 November 2014

We're Getting There


As many of you will know, Pea has recently had a 3 month holiday and so this month is being spent bringing him back into work. The first two weeks have been spent out hacking building his fitness up. Obviously, we still have a long way to go, however he does seem to be feeling really good and is so far being a saint coming back into work! He had his back done just prior to starting work again as he had become rather stiff behind and looked uncomfortable, especially in trot. My chiro made a few comments on just how hairy and fat he was looking, which is something she's not seen in him before! He definitely needs to lose weight and he will be clipped in December which will hopefully make him look smarter and will also help with him losing weight. He had put his pelvis out of place again and had a few tight spots but other than that he wasn't too bad. She mentioned that he needs to lift his back more which will help stop his pelvis from rotating, so we need to work on doing long and low work which is rather difficult for us! If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them! 

For the first few days we just went for a short 20 minute walk, which Pea seemed rather confused about! I tend to try and stick to a 3 days work, one day off, three days work routine which doesn't always stick but tends to be our standard. So after a few days walking and then a day off, we increased the walk to around 25 minutes and I also included short trot steps. The thing with Pea, is that if I spend ages just walking then he'll get bored and start napping/bucking and misbehaving so I need to keep him entertained by doing lots of transitions, change of pace, and also some leg-yielding to open him up more. So for the past week and a half we have been increasing the trot work and incorporating some schooling whilst out hacking. Pea tends to get a bit lazy with his walk sometimes and so will trip. This used to concern me but after speaking to instructors we have established that it's mainly him just being lazy and that he needs to use his back end more to give more impulsion. I have dug out my spurs for the time being as he tends to ignore the whip and my leg so I need something to give him an extra 'listen to me' kind of aid! Hopefully once he gets into more work and gets fitter I can get rid of these again! I have also noticed that when we do a 'walk-trot' transition, he half stops before walking off and we have had one or two issues previously with him falling out of the transition so I have been taking advantage of hacking to do lots of these transitions and ensure that I keep my leg on to push him forward into the walk. 

Over the past few days we have also introduced short bursts of canter. This wasn't necessarily the plan but plans change so hey ho! This change of plan was down to Pea who decided that if he can trot, he can canter too! The first time he attempted it was by playing his old trick of doing a short trot as normally when I nudged him on he'd canter off, though I was wiser to it this time so it didn't work but the next day I failed. He did his little half trot, half canter stride and then the next thing we're cantering. I have been rather apprehensive about cantering him as I've been expecting explosions, but so far so good! He has only had a short canter twice now and he has been well behaved each time which is a bit of a shock! 

I have now started to slowly start schooling again and doing pole work which is something my vet recommended a while ago as he seems to be a little stiff in his stifles which the pole work will hopefully help out on! I am just keeping it short and sweet at the moment and nothing too taxing, sticking to walk and trot with large circles but plenty of transitions and some lateral work to open him up more and get him more responsive. I don't want to canter him in the arena until we've built it up more out hacking and he gets fitter with stronger muscles, especially as cantering in the school has been a major issue of ours previously. 

I am contemplating doing a simple walk-trot dressage test in December just to have a bit of a play and see what he's like. There's one at my yard or there's one near-by so I'm debating which to do as he goes better away from home but I don't know whether to take him out just for one test... I am also hoping that he might be a bit fitter in December to start having lessons again as I have noticed a few issues rising such as him wavering a bit when trying to go straight and I also want some ideas on how to get him to lift his back and generate more power from behind. 

Sorry for the rambling post! I felt that Pea hasn't been featured much on here as of late so decided to let you know what we're up to! There will also be the November Review at the end of the month and hopefully some better photos! 

I have been nominated for Haynet's Equestrian Blogger of the Year 2014 and would be honoured if you could please vote for me! There are also some other great bloggers nominated as well! If you would like to vote, here is the link:

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Monday, 17 November 2014

[Laura Loves] Exercise Sheets


Is it acceptable to have more than one exercise sheet? This is something I have been pondering for ages so if any of you have more than one, please let me know! I've had my current exercise sheet for a few years and do rather like it, however what annoys me about it is that it's not cut away at the leg so I have to fold it back and it doesn't always stay in place then. However, what I do love about it is that it's waterproof on top and fleece underneath. 

With it being the season where people are starting to dig out their exercise sheets, there have been a few that I have spotted and have my eye on..if only I had the money!

The first one, which has previously been featured on a wishlist on here, is the Amigo Competition Sheet (retails around £30-£40). I like this one as it features the same thing my current sheet does with the waterproof top and fleece lining but with the added bonus of being cut away for the leg. Furthermore, it also features reflective stripes which is great for winter riding. 

The next two are ones which I have seen on Fur Feather Meds. I love browsing this site and it fuels my saddlecloth addiction! Good thing I don't have money to buy them! 

The second is the Eskadron Next Generation Fleece Exercise Sheet (retails around £45). This one is only fleece, but I love the design on it! I think I slightly prefer the navy one more and I think it will look slightly better on Pea, however I have seen the blue one pictured on a bay on Instagram and I have to admit it looked great on their horse! 

The final one is typically the most expensive one on my wish list but I do rather love it! This is the Euro-Star Exercise Sheet and it retails at around £69 :/ It's quite simple in design but I love how it comes in either fleece or waterproof! There are three choice colours - Black, Navy or Eucalyptus - and I genuinely don't know which is my favourite! 

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

Friday, 14 November 2014

[Product Review] Horse Head Cake Tin


Another one of my passions is baking and you will find me most weekends, or even some weekdays, in the kitchen baking mainly cupcakes or brownies. I am forever browsing supermarkets and shops for their baking equipments and have a slight cupcake case addiction! I can't wait for December when it will be more acceptable for me to use either my reindeer cases or snowman ones (I actually bought the reindeer ones in about March...)! My family are often asking me to bake cakes for birthdays/anniversaries/meals/occasions! 

Hobbycraft has recently opened near where I live and I was browsing at some of their stuff when I discovered that they have a baking section. I was so excited when I saw their cake tin selection, especially as there was a horse head shaped one! I was even more excited when it was half price so obviously I just had to have one! 

My cake didn't quite turn out perfect as I found it a bit hard to get the cake out of the tin but overall I'm pretty pleased with it, I just need to maybe grease it a lot more which is hard with all the grooves in the tin! Overall, I think this is a great buy and will be perfect to use for birthday cakes for any horse enthusiast or child! 

Have you made any equestrian themed cakes? I would love to see any photos (you can tweet me at @Lauraaa_CB)! I'm always looking for new ideas! 

Thanks for reading,

Laura xx

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Rosette & Sash Display Ideas


For this post, I thought I would feature a few ideas that I have come across (mainly on Pinterest) to display rosettes and also for sashes. For many riders, rosettes important memoirs from competing or participating in certain events. For me, there are certain rosettes on my wall which I can look at and remember when I won them and I am sure this may be the same for many others.

The way I display mine for Pea is that I have a small wall with string up to hold the rosettes and then a large photo frame underneath with various different pictures of Pea and I in. This could be developed for others, if you have a larger space, by making it more of a feature wall with individual frames and/or a painting/portrait of your horse/s. I am keen to get a drawing done of Pea to match one that I had done of my old pony so I might end up changing my display wall to a larger one in the future. 

Image source: Pinterest

Another idea which I have seen on Pinterest, is large photo boxes/frames filled with your rosettes. These especially look good in large tack rooms, so would be perfect if you own your own yard! Another alternative would be to hang the frame over your bed or sofa as a bit of a statement! The assortment of colours looks really great and you can display them however you like - either mix them up or organise them by colour! Another possibility, which is a bit of a DIY, is that you could make a coffee table using an old window/large photo box and fill the middle with the rosettes/sashes. Or, if you have a few sashes and are a keen DIY person, you could potentially make a coffee table using just sashes by stapling them round either wood or a fabric coffee table.

Image source: Pinterest

A further idea is to fill vases/jars with your rosettes. These look surprisingly good and means that you can put them anywhere! Or you could hang them on shelves to make the front of the shelf look less plain! (The shelf idea came from the wonderful Becky at kickingon!)

Finally, this last idea is if you fancy turning your sashes into cushions or bed throws and do not want to do it yourself. There are some companies out there, such as Ribbonsettes (UK) which convert your sashes into either cushions or bed throws and so are a nice touch to the home to proudly display your sashes as these can be slightly harder to display!

I hope this has given you a few ideas for how to display your rosettes! Let me know if there are any other ideas you do/have come across which I haven't featured!

Thanks for reading,

Laura xx

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

DIY Stable Toys for less than £5!


As it has reached that time of year when many of us bring our horses in at night, I've decided to do a post on some quick and simple 'toys' to help keep your horses happy whilst confined to their 4 walls! There are various stable toys available on the market, however these can be expensive - especially if your horse doesn't get on with them! 

#1: A Swede
These are really good as they take a while for horses to get through and can also be hung or left to roll around on the ground (however, be aware that if you are going to hang them, it takes a lot of effort to make a hole in!). 

#2: Carrots & Apples
These can be hidden in haynets, in the bedding, in water buckets - anywhere that involves your horse having to do a bit of digging and investigating in order for them to get the reward! Putting them in water buckets also encourages them to drink, so perfect if your horse is a bit reluctant or you want to see if they are getting water. 

#3: A Football
This can be a hit or miss one as some horses may like it, whilst others may not! They can act as a 'Jolly Ball' or you could also make a DIY 'Distraction Aid'  by placing the ball in a carrot net and then adding the carrots round the edge and using some string/baling twine to hang it up! 

#4: Licks
This is a slight cheat but you can get some licks for less than £5 such as a salt lick or 'Uncle Jimmy's Licky Thing' and then as a means of making it cheaper, instead of forking out for a lick holder, just use some string/baling twine, through the middle and hang where you desire :)

There are also other ideas which I found such as traffic cones, old plastic containers with holes put in and used as a treat trickle feeder or stuffing a paper bag with hay/carrots/various other edible items!

Let me know if you've ever tried any DIY stable toys! Or even ones you've bought! Pea has a likit snak-a-ball but he never worked out how to use it properly!

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx