With the wet weather really setting in (with a vengeance!) we are all finding ourselves either a) wet and cold, or b) our horses are wet and/or cold.
Here are Lara and Carla's picks of the season to help heat you and your horse, up!
1) Dubarry Boots
Being a showjumper, I hadn't really been keen on the whole Dubarry craze that many Eventing fanatics (and possibly most normal people that choose warmth over the latest cute ballet flats) were into. I think I have regretted that many times since having my first pair of Dubarry boots! If you aren't familiar with these beauties (see pic above), their worth comes from:
- Goretex lining - keeps your feet dry by allowing wetness out (see 'waterproof' below) should water get in!
- Waterproof - yep that's right. Walk straight through the most "don't even think about it" puddles with these babies on your hooves and there won't be a speck of wetness. Try a water jump, if you're brave!
- Warm. They are so so so snuggly and toasty warm. If you're extra cold blooded (like me) perhaps add some faux-fur boot liners (also totally cute) or the cotton cable knit socks, or for non-visible warmth, chuck on some Dubarry Alpaca socks. Lightweight, soft and super toasty!
- Eternal classic style. Surrender to your inner Lady of the Manor and pull on a pair of Dubarry boots. Add some tweed if you're wanting the full effect!!
- A Style to suit anyone. From the infamous Galway through to city sleekness and equestrian style, there are a number of options to suit pretty much all foot sizes and calf widths.
2) Padded Jackets
We have a range of brilliant padded jackets with fill ranging from Eco material through to gorgeous down jackets for luxurious warmth. These are a few of our favourites:
- Anything Dubarry. Let's face it, it's cold in Ireland... so they have got one thing right - keeping warm! Dubarry jackets are not only stunning, classic examples of design. They're also really really good at keeping you warm. Some even have water resistant properties - including their Tweed sports coats!
- ANKY. Hailing from yet another cold place, ANKY knows how to do a winter jacket. She even throws in waterproof-ness to pretty much all winter garments, just to make sure you're a) warm and b) dry!
- Equestrian Stockholm (notice any pattern here?? All hideously cold places!). These guys use eco friendly materials in all of their garments, in the effort to help minimise waste and their ecological footprint. Pretty awesome, right? The garment even ends up fashionable and WARM.
- Another cold (and fashionable place) hailing brilliant winter garments is Italy, and Animo, Equiline and Makebe all have exceptional outer garments to help combat the cold.
3) Winter Breeches
Yep that's right - our friends at Animo make a 'winter weight' fabric which is worth its weight in gold when the weather starts getting cooler.
In both mens and ladies styles, white and beige (calla) - all with the water repellant & stain resistant wonderfulness that Animo puts into all their garments for extra durability and easy cleaning.
My picks for ladies would be the lovely Nipar (white) with the stunning crushed Swarovski tape on the pockets, and Naire (calla) which has a really flattering cut on everyone who has tried them; featuring small studs and Swarovski detailing over the back.
The lovely Nipar with incredible blueish/green hues in the tape on the pockets, surrounded by small Swarovski! Love!
These breeches are possibly the nicest and most flattering fit across the backside that I have seen from Animo in a while. Details that aren't too OTT either.
4) Winter Rugs
Stocking both Bucas (Ireland) and Horseware (Ireland), you know you're going to get rugs that are capable of dealing with the cold & wet!
There is nothing worse than getting a set of blistering cold, wet days and finding your rugs just aren't cutting it. Coming out to a sodden and shivering horse is pretty disheartening as a horse owner - we don't like seeing our beloved ones suffering!
Both Bucas and Horseware have some excellent rugs to prevent this from occurring, and here are our top picks from each:
Both Lara and I have been Bucas converts for a while now, and although the initial outlay is expensive, these rugs outlive many many others. Here's what Lara thinks of these rugs:
- Power Turnout Extra
- Smartex Turnout
- Shamrock Power
The Power Turnout Extra. With both living hectic life styles, we still want to give 100% to our horses, which i'm sure everyone does. This rug has made my life so much easier, especially with this horrible time of year. I ride my horses in all type of weather conditions and I don't have time to wait for them to dry before going back out in the paddock. BUT with Bucas rugs I can throw them on wet horses and with the moisture management in the fibers of the rug, it dries the horses out without compromising the rug or the warmth of the horse.
Now even when that sun comes out I hear people saying "Oh, I'm consistently taking rugs off on off on". When you're working full time you just can't leave your job, to go change rugs. That's where the real benefit of this rug is - heat reflective inner aluminium coating. You can safely leave on up to 18 degrees without the horse getting cooked. I no longer need to be stressing about what rugs I have on my horses when I'm at work.
Smart look of the Power Turnout Extra (and lighter Power Turnout)
Smartex Turnout. I wanted to see the difference between the two rugs. It ticks all the boxes - I throw it on after I have worked my horse and he is dry before I know it. It is still a unreal rug, I would mainly use this rug in winter for colder weather and pack it away once the weather starts getting warmer. The difference being it just doesn't have the heat reflective inner coating like the Power Turnout extra and Power Turnout rugs.
Smartex Extra is a great rug for cold weather
The Shamrock Power is a great all round under rug for extra warmth in the cold as well as maintaining the excellent properties of the quick dry lining so you can still throw it on wet horses. Travelling the long distances that I do with horses, I can rest assured knowing they are going to be warm and not overheat while travelling. After my lessons I throw this rug on straight away to travel my guys home, they are warm and they are dry by the time I am home. I also use the Shamrock under all my turnout rugs to give them just that little more warmth in these Adelaide Hills wet and cold conditions. These are available in navy or black, full neck or classic cut.
Of course we also have other options in stable rugs and turnout rugs from Horseware Ireland as well as the customisable Anna Scarpati, who make even waterproof rugs for those wanting to be colour coordinated!
As usual, there is plenty in store to choose from and we are more than happy to order you special order rugs in if we don't have the particular one you are looking for.
Keep warm! & look out for our next edition from SPOGA Horse!
Lara & Carla
I know what you're thinking, it's "just another half pad". Perhaps you need to see this to believe it - the revolution is beginning!
When Animo released their W-Pad in April, I have to admit that I wasn't champing at the bit to get it in store. Call me a pessimist, I just couldn't imagine what more could be done to a memory foam half pad that already hadn't been discovered!
The pads arrived, looking sleek and 'Animo-esque' in their packaging (boxes, not just plastic) and they sat, still in their boxes, for two weeks on the shop floor before even bothered to crack that seal and have a look at them... and boy, did I take everything I had said and thought back almost instantaneously!
That foam. That squishy, soft, pillows of marshmallow, scrumptious foam that I had thought would be like 'every other memory foam pad' out there, moulded to my fingers with every touch and prod. Can't find me at a show? I 99% guarantee you I'll be snoozing in my truck with this as my pillow.
Of course this is the major improvement and benefit to this style of pad, which is unlike other pads I've come across being much more rigid memory foam construction.
Naturally, it came home with me... in Blu Navy (so pretty). I tried it on both of my horses, both of whom are polar opposites in type (one 16.1 compact WB/TB, the other a 17.1, 4yr old leggy WB still growing and developing). The difference in how my saddle sat was quite noticeable. I had previously been using an older style sheepskin half pad with shims. There was less shifting of the saddle from get go - it didn't slip back so much on the youngster and it sat evenly on the rolly-polly compact type.
There was clearance through the wither thanks to the mesh wither panel which also provides a cooling effect and ventilation, and it was quite moveable to sit just where I wanted it. Both horses worked very happily with it on which is always positive.
Aside from this, the soft, microsuede feeling cover is entirely removable for safe washing through a velcro centre strip allowing the memory foam to be removed.
It is available in a range of colours - currently we have Black (nero) and Blu Navy in stock but being a stock line of Animo, we can order in other colours as required.
You can see them on the website by clicking here: Animo W-Pad
Any questions, we're always more than happy to have a chat and discuss products to ensure they suit you!
Lara & Carla
Lara & Carla go to Italy.
Animo. Equiline. Stivaleria Secchiari. Anna Scarpati. Lorenzini.
All brilliant brands, synonymous with style, cutting edge technology and quality. Our experience in Italy was a bit of a whirlwind/whistle stop tour - but none the less was i.n.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e in every sense of the word.
But I'll start from the start. After a fairly easy flight from Adelaide to Dubai, Lara and I very nearly missed our flight to Rome due to a *small* amount of Prosecco consumed with a rather delicious pizza (I know, go figure - in Dubai airport!), left us rather hastily bolting to the opposite end of the terminal with poor Amelie in the airport pram having the time (ride) of her life. Thankfully we made it as the last through the gates (let's face it, it's probably not that surprising of us really!) and onwards to Rome!
From Rome, we went north to an incredible town called Bassano del Grappa (yep, it's the home of Grappa!). So so beautiful, crowned with spectacular mountains looming in the background of the picturesque town, with the most beautiful river that runs straight down the middle. It really was the most serene way to start our Italian adventure! The next day we ventured out to Animo (after Carla becoming lost/found by of course none other than the owner of Animo's son, Marco... small embarrassment!) in Cassola. From the moment we pulled into the gates, we realised that this was something special and would be remembered.
A small tour of the incredible facility (including a full working restaurant - soon to open to general public, which created a truly delicious lunch of mushroom risotto and eggplant parmigiana washed down with a great local red wine) we ended up in the show room for our SS17 collection buy. We are so excited to bring this range to Australia, and some garments will be arriving in December ready for the summer season ahead! This is probably one of the most *cutting edge* collection from Animo we have received yet, but we're not giving anything away...!
After Animo we had a great weekend spent in Venice, eating pastries and getting lost in the streets. We then made our way towards Trebaseleghe, home of Equiline.
Upon arrival at Equiline, we were met with a different focus than we anticipated - their extreme passion to develop their leatherwear & saddlery to be second to none. Consequently, after an extensive tour around the facility we had decided to take on Equiline Saddlery including the newly developed dressage monoflap, the 'Cross' eventing monoflap and the highly revered Nick Skelton jumping saddle.
Further to that - we have also begun to import the Lorenzini jumping boots (tendon and fetlock) to accompany our current collection of Lorenzini stirrups! These great boots feature a panel of titanium down the tendon to provide extreme protection against knocks and bumps. Elastic closure tabs on front boots, with two fetlock versions offered - young horse (velcro, and shorter on the fetlock) and the style pictured below (elastic closure tabs).
The final leg of our Italian adventure led us to the indescribably hospitable and passionate Stivaleria Secchiari in Macerata.
Secchiari needs no real introduction, their modest family workshop hosts a small team of family members who all work incredibly hard to provide completely handcrafted, 100% Italian, leather boots. The quality and craftsmanship of these boots is second to none, and we are so proud to be able to offer them to you as the sole distributor in Australia. These boots hold very few boundaries - if there is something you desire or have always wanted to achieve in a boot, then get in touch. Secchiari can make it a reality!
The final 'icing on the cake' part of our adventure was again the acquisition of another superior label, Anna Scarpati - who along with her team can make any of your stabling, rugging, saddle accessories and travel luggage dreams come true with customised options through the entire range. We have been lucky enough to snaffle part of their SPOGA collection in a few colour ways, and will have it on show in-store and online shortly.
Hope you all have enjoyed our small adventure,
Lara & Carla x
One of our signature brands and one which we are immensely proud to stock at Dapple is that of the Italian Fashion House - Animo Italia.
Animo's fabric, style and point of difference is completely unique. The wearability of the fabrics and ease of cleaning (thanks to the stain resistant fabric) saves so much time on washing - I can attest to this having sat on a cast horses head (in a dirt yard) in a brand new pair of white competition breeches, seriously looked like I had taken the ground on in a sensational fall. Being interstate at the time, they didn't get washed, sprayed or any form of attention for three days; then were just chucked into the washing machine with all the other whites & came up good as new. No word of a lie. Another friend of mine (*cough-Kurt*) somehow managed to get squid ink on his whites [insert shocked look] which also surprisingly, washed out.
We are so impressed with the cut, quality of fabrics and style of the garments that we have imported another collection, featuring many one-of's (i.e. exclusive) in a range of summer and autumn items to fit our temperate spring ahead.
Breeches, including another two runs of the ever popular denim breeches, a number of shirts from sleeveless through to long sleeve, v-necks, stunning padded jackets, then the staple bandages, wraps and fly veils.
We hope to see you in-store soon, or at the 2016 Australian Showjumping Championships in a few weeks time!
Lara & Carla