Prolonged periods of dry weather can play havoc with your horse’s hooves, so a moisturising hoof balm is a summer essential. leovet Natural Oil Balm contains biotin and is designed to make hooves stronger and more elastic. It has a lovely creamy consistency and is quickly absorbed into the hoof. Plus, it leaves hooves shiny and comes with a handy brush, making it easy and mess-free to apply.
£11.95 for 500ml
Keep him hydrated
When your horse sweats he loses essential body salts and minerals called electrolytes. It’s important these are replaced to avoid him becoming dehydrated, so you should give him electrolytes after any exercise that causes him to sweat, such as hacking, schooling, fun rides and competing. The tricky thing with electrolytes is that some horses don’t like the taste, but Revive from The Animal Health Company is a great option because it’s palatable and easy to administer, too, as you simply add it to your horse’s drinking water.
£26 for 3kg
Super fly control
While we love summer, we could do without the pesky biting insects that drive our horses – and us – to distraction. So, we were really excited to hear that Barrier has launched Super Power Plus, a long-lasting repellent that offers protection for up to eight hours in dry conditions. As well as horse flies, it’s said to keep other biting and blood-sucking pests at bay, such as ticks, bots, lice and harvest mites. Plus, it contains natural ingredients including lemon balm, cedar wood, avocado and wheat germ, and will help keep your horse’s coat shiny, too.
£18.50 for 500ml
Pack up your troubles
We were forever running out of pocket space when going out hacking or on fun rides, then we came across this cleverly designed saddle pad from Decathlon. The Fouganza Trail Hacking saddle cloth has two handy pouches that mean you don’t have to leave any of your essentials behind, and it’s perfect for storing maps, mints, a small purse and even your sandwiches. The saddle pad is super-smart, too, and its cushioned, high-wither design will help keep your horse comfortable.
Are you sitting comfortably?
When you’re competing, you want to be able to focus 100% on your horse and the job in hand, and uncomfortable competition clothing can be a real distraction. Dublin’s Distinction Edge Gel full seat breeches are a revelation because they’re super-comfortable and move with your body. The air panel leg cuff eliminates bulk, and the full seat offers excellent grip to help you feel more confident as it reduces the risk of sliding around in the saddle.
Dublin’s Silver Pro riding hat is the perfect way to top off your show-day outfit, and it’s great for everyday riding and schooling, too. It has a smart microfibre suede outer shell, front vents to allow for airflow and the Coolmax removable liner helps you keep your hat fresh and clean. The Silver Pro is Kitemarked to British Standards and meets the PAS015 safety standard.
Fans of a sporty look will love the Equit’M short sleeved polo shirt, which is a summer wardrobe essential. The stylish top has a high collar and front zip fastening and thanks to its breathable fabric and mesh inserts you’ll stay cool, whether you’re in the saddle or on the yard.
A huge relief
A fly mask is a must-have for summer, but finding a well-fitting one that stays put can be a challenge. Luckily, Equilibrium’s Field Relief Max ticks all the boxes – its shaped design means you can achieve a great fit, it sits well clear of your horse’s eyes and the soft padding helps keep him comfortable. The mask helps protect against sunburn, too, as it blocks out 70% of the sun’s harmful UV rays, and the detachable nosepiece is a handy feature. It’s such a great product, it was named Best in Test in H&R’s fly mask Tried and tested feature (June 2018 issue).
Bang on trend
Who cares if the sun goes behind the clouds when you’ve got Pikeur’s fabulous Feebelle fleece jacket to keep you cosy. It’s super stylish and comfortable to wear and comes in a choice of tasty summer colours – peach, graphite and lime. It’s lightweight and breathable, too, made from a lovely smooth fabric, and the sequin detailing makes it stand out from the crowd
Let me entertain you
If your horse is on box rest, needs to be stabled for part of the day to help keep his weight down, or to avoid peak biting insect times, you’ll want to think of ways to enrich his environment so he doesn’t become bored. Silvermoor Swingers hanging forage block is the perfect way to keep him occupied, and because it’s made from natural ingredients with no added sugar, it’s suitable for good doers and those prone to laminitis. It’s easy to set up, and the swinging design means he has to really work for his reward, which encourages continuous saliva production to support a healthy digestive system.
£3.97 for 1kg
Get a grip
Gloves are a bit of a conundrum in summer as you don’t want to ride without them, but nobody wants hot, sweaty hands. The answer lies in SXC Sportsline gloves, which are lightweight and have breathable mesh panels. They’re close-fitting, but won’t restrict your hands and fingers, and silicone grip on the palms means there’s little risk of the reins sliding through your fingers, whatever the weather.
If you’re looking for a practical yet stylish top that’ll work on the yard and when meeting friends, look no further than Toggi’s Effie top. Made from a lightweight cotton pique fabric, it’s sleeveless so you can stay cool when doing your yard chores, and the added stretch means it won’t restrict your movement. Plus, with its summery striped design, and embossed poppers, it won’t look out of place for a trip to the shops or a summer barbecue.
Don’t be a hot head
You want the best safety protection when riding, but comfort is important, too. Champion’s Air-Tech Deluxe offers the best of both worlds as it meets the latest safety standards yet it’s lightweight and has triple mesh venting so air flows around your head, plus the lining is made from moisture-wicking material. Other key features are a moulded ABS shell, four-point adjustable harness and a dial-fit system so you can achieve a perfect fit. You can get the look you want by choosing a high shine metallic or silk finish. It meets safety standards PAS 015 2011 and VG01 01 2012.
We’re always hopeful for a bit of sunshine, and you probably don’t leave home without your sunglasses in summer, but taking your favourite shades to the yard is a no-no – chances are, they’ll get knocked off, trodden on or lost. The answer lies in uvex sportstyle 224 eyewear, which are specially designed to withstand the rigours of sporting life, including riding. They’ll shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, as they offer 100% protection from UVA, UVB and UVC rays. They can even be adapted if you need corrective or prescription sunglasses.
You’re probably really proactive about looking after your horse’s legs to try and reduce the risk of injury, lameness and lost riding time. If your horse has a tendency to knock into himself when he’s working, you want the right level of protection but it’s crucial to keep his legs comfortable. This is where WeatherBeeta’s Hard Shell dressage boots come in – they’re made from 3D mesh and will wick away moisture to keep his legs dry. They’re shaped to fit his legs perfectly and offer fetlock support and tendon protection. Plus, the elastic pin closures mean they’re quick and easy to fit.
Cob or full