I had a really good first day at BETA, the British Equestrian Trade Show. It is HUGE this year, with a bewildering array of stands and products, and I haven’t managed to see 1/3 of it yet, due to meetings and other commitments, so will really have my work cut out today to cover it all, but will do my best.
I had a look at what I could as I dashed about, and, as last year, there was a lot of bling! In fact, even more this year, I suspect. Very blingy breeches, in gorgeous bright colours, caught my eye… they’ll definitely delight the dressage divas, but might be a bit too much for some eventers.
I am on a bit of a mission to find the perfect long brown boots, something a bit different but ideally without me having to sell a kidney to pay for them, and these Toggi Chandler boots, from the Autumn/Winter ’15/16 range (so, not available until the autumn) really appealed, as they look workmanlike but still quite elegant, which is just what I’m looking for.
One of the colour palettes they’ve gone for for next Autumn/Winter is various shades of berry, and this was very appealing. Always flattering, lovely warm uplifting colours. If I could have gotten my mitts on any of these now to get me through the next month or two till Spring truly arrives, I would have!
Champion as always offers a huge range of helmets, from the traditional and understated to the very modern and sparkly. This has a pretty subtle spangly strip down the middle, in black to match the hat, so you get the bling without risking blinding the judges. Below it you can just see the version with pink sparkles, which I suspect may not be quite as popular, at least for competing!
The slow hay feeder from Parallax Plastics is something I’d seen and discussed online, but I really wanted to feel the type and density of the plastic (to be able to tell whether it would go brittle in very cold weather, as some plastics do, disastrously when horses are about!) before committing to a purchase.
I was reassured – it’s great quality, it’s just the right size (I am sure I can pack a whole bale of hay in there), and it is perfectly designed to be horse-proof (they won’t be able to pull the lid off or extract the part that drops down and holds the hay in place) and horse-safe. I am currently feeding 6 horses out in fields and, in spite of our very best attempts to make hay feeders that don’t let them waste much, I could still sob at the amount they manage to drop on the floor and then tread on! So this product will be an absolute godsend, no question. According to the website the RRP is less than £100… I suspect I’d save that on wasted hay in a month or so, so this is a definite “GO for it” item in my opinion.
Today are the Innovation Awards, which have a couple of things entered which I am already using day to day. Equidiet (which makes Equidgel) has their new low-calorie product LamiGel entered, and having been involved with this company for a while (and being a purchaser of both products… mine all get Equidgel, but one is on LamiGel as she’s a naturally good doer and I don’t want a growing youngster looking too fat!) and a real believer in the benefit of these unique products, I really hope it does well.
And my sponsor The Herbal Horse, whose Calm Mix is selling so brilliantly (with an 85% re-order rate, which definitely says something – it’s an absolute wonder for taking that top level of stupid over-reactiveness off a horse, allowing it to relax, focus and be rideable!) also has a product entered, their new Ultimate Mix feed supplement, which is a 3-in-1 “blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, probiotics, prebiotics, glucosamine and MSM formulated to be a complete supplement for horses”.
I have trialled it for a short while and it’s definitely very palatable to even fussy horses (which is important, as I’ve found some concoctions sometimes aren’t) and I am expecting to see a real difference in my horses soon… which is what it’s all about. So, good luck to them too, I hope it does really well.
Right, breakfast time and back to BETA! Catch you all later.