Equipment

BETA 2013

Well, first of all, neither of us had been before. It’s really great and well worth the visit if you can get tickets. Thankfully for us you couldn’t buy there and then unless a retailer, which I think saved our credit cards experiencing a major bashing!

de Niro boots, fashionista heaven.

General impressions: Lots of lovely stuff. Lots of bling. Quite a bit of animal print. Bling and animal print, coming soon to a tack shop (and then probably to an Event) near you. Brace yourselves, you have been warned. Are we placing bets on who will be the first to be brave enough to have leopard print as their XC colours or even a military print saddle?!
There were some great products, some “why on earth didn’t anyone think of that before?!” products, and a couple of ‘have you ever actually had anything to do with a horse?” products. 😉 😉

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Hiho’s fabulous prototype leather and silver bracelet.

There were a few things we coveted enormously for our horses (the new Fairfax saddles, ooooooh), for ourselves (de Niro boots, omg swoon-worthily gorgeous, and the Hiho jewellery, whose leather-and-silver new design prototypes nearly induced a fit of kleptomania in me) and for our yards: things which will make the day-to-day chores much easier – Fynalite’s new trolley for tubtrugs, and Bruno Gelle’s hugely improved poo-skip design – stronger, longer handle with cuff to stabilise against forearm so the wrist doesn’t take all the strain – I cannot wait to get my mitts on one of these.

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The new Fairfax saddle

In a bit more detail our favourite product of the event was the Fairfax saddle, just like their girths they have spent significant time designing and testing the saddle so as to provide the best fit possible. Some of the innovative aspects include sloping points to give maximum freedom to the shoulder, and the knee rolls have adjustable blocks to allow asymmetrical shoulders of the horse to be taken into account. During testing different saddle and girth combinations were tested and the neatness of the front legs shown had some fairly spectacular results with double digit improvements in the angle of the leg from when the horse was jumped with its existing saddle and girth and then with the Fairfax saddle and girth.

We were also incredibly surprised at the extremely reasonable price point of only £1600. We will get more details re the testing and results for you from Fairfax themselves to ensure we are doing it justice.

The Charles Owen 4 Star helmet

The Charles Owen 4 Star helmet

In terms of safety there were a variety of products on display including air jackets and body protectors. The stand-out product was the new Charles Owen 4 Star hat. The hat was originally due to be publicly launched at Badminton 2012 which was unfortunately cancelled, so its release has gone rather unheralded, but it is available to buy now. This hat is the first to pass all 4 of the main hat testing standards, PAS015:2011, BSEN1384, SNELL E2001and ASTM F1163 and retails at approximately £130.

IMG_7568Back to saddles and we look at a saddle which is being designed specifically with Rio 2016 in mind, the WisAir (pronounced WiseAir, from Wise Equestrian). The saddle has air vents at the front and sides and also an oval hole along the centre of the seat. In addition to the airflow aspects it is also incredibly light and the video showed a horse cantered continuously for 7 minutes in Florida heat, and when the saddle was removed it did not leave a single sweat mark.

Definitely top of the list!

Definitely top of the list!

Ecogold are seeing their brand awareness grow here in the UK. Their range of nonslip saddle pads and numnahs, and boots, is growing hugely in popularity and getting a chance to look at their products you can see why. The memory foam half pads have a fantastic shape and feel whilst the brand new saddle pad with built in memory foam pad was a personal favourite. The foam layers are removable and adjustable to enable you to choose your preferred thickness dependent on your horse’s requirements. The breathable nature of the modern materials will also keep the horse’s back far cooler. The benefits of memory foam are also of major note and best illustrated by a video made by Ecogold which you can view here. Some M&Ms were placed beneath memory foam and then hit with a hammer. The M&Ms remained intact as the memory foam absorbed the impact.

Francis Whittington modelling the new Bionic gloves

Francis Whittington modelling the new Bionic gloves

New gloves on the market were the Bionic range, which succeeded in the Dragon’s Den last autumn. The gloves contain structured support for the hand and are apparently very hard wearing. There are three main types in the range: a thicker more durable glove, a show glove and a light version. My personal favourite was the light version which literally felt like a second skin. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on (or should I say in!) a pair when they are released as I live in gloves at the yard and they were incredibly comfortable. The Bionic gloves will retail between approximately £30 and £40.

The new Tuffa Derby competition/work boot

The new Tuffa Derby competition/work boot

Tuffa have produced a new competition/work boot which caught our eye called the ‘Derby’. It retains a more workmanlike tread to ensure durability for everyday use but has a lovely slim fitted shape which means it remains smart enough for competition wear. The side zip and elasticated panels on the inside of the leg give a great fit and they are available in three width fittings, ensuring that whatever your shape you should find a pair that fits perfectly, due to the adjustability from the elasticated panels.

New Le Mieux lightweight exercise wraps

New Le Mieux lightweight exercise wraps

Horsehealth had a number of new and exciting products but sadly we can’t show them all. Look out though for some new and revamped saddle pads coming soon. They were also launching at BETA some new lightweight exercise wraps which we can picture.

So simple but so very effective the Tubtrug trolley

So simple but so very effective the Tubtrug trolley

Fynalite had some great practical products on display. If you are like me anything that makes mucking out easier and quicker is a godsend. The Tubtrug trolley is definitely one of the “why don’t I already have one” products. The new wood pellets fork looked very interesting and most definitely worth a look if you are struggling with your current fork.

New Horsewear Ice Vibe knee boot

New Horsewear Ice Vibe knee boot

Horsewear’s IceVibe boots are possibly one of the most innovative inventions in regard to leg cooling. The design ensures that although cooling the legs, blood flow is maintained by small vibrations of the boots. The blood flow is essential to the quick repair and recovery of the legs and this is often decreased by the fast cooling of the legs with ice etc. Essentially these boots are the best of both worlds by cooling the legs and maintaining the bloodflow, so providing the ideal recovery conditions. The boots are now available in leg hock and knee boot variants.

IMG_7556Other items that caught our eye include a new innovative laser system used to provide an accurate 3D representation of a horse’s back which can be transmitted to your saddler to be utilised to create a perfect saddle fit (subject of course to the horse changing shape!). This has obvious benefits for made to measure saddles and to saddle fitters as the exact dimensions can be recreated in their workshops using a hydraulic model as per the photo.

We are still going back over our notes and so will add to the above overview over the next few days. If you have any questions please do ask, and if we don’t know the answers we will ask the manufacturers for you.

About the author

Katie

5 Comments

  • Ha ha, we WERE there & we DID spend, spend, spend!
    It makes a lovely change, as a retailer, to be sold to, rather than being the one selling. We saw so much to love, including the Fairfax Jump saddle – I hear that a “top” rider will be taking delivery after the show, but Fairfax wouldn’t be drawn futher. I have a good idea who it will be, I can’t wait to see if I’m right.
    And yes, bling is still king. I am totally smitten with the Jeffries IR weymouth rolled bridle. It is so beautiful…..

    • Sue we heard similar about a rider who will soon be riding in the saddle but also couldn’t prise a name we look forward to seeing who it is.

      Bling was definitely paramount on a number of stands and could be found on anything and everything.

      From a retailer’s perspective I can imagine you were challenged not to order almost everything?!

  • Amazing stuff, I am very jealous! I really like the brown De Niro’s with the diamonds and pretty much everything from Horse Health!

  • I have been looking for something like those Tuffa boots for riding and yardwork at home and will try to pick up a pair before next winter. Not as glam as the de Niros, but then neither am I! Would also love to try the Fairfax girth/saddle combo on my horses to see if I should believe the hype. Next year I’m coming with you…

  • Can recommend the Tuffa Derby boots. Treated myself to a pair last year and am very happy with them, not glam, but comfortable, hard wearing and smart enough for lessons and clinics.