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