Favourite Things

Stuff I love and highly recommend!

Love, love, love Ariat everything!…..from my Insulated Tek Grip gloves (the only gloves I have used for years) to the everyday Windermere yard and field boots (on my second pair now), the Coniston lace up country boots (third pair and which I use for all endurance competitions) to indoor shoes and clothing. Class, quality and design!

‘The Mobiliser’ from Back in Action

What a piece of kit! Loved by top equestrians and top athletes such as Stephen Redgrave, The Mobiliser does what it says on the can and literally mobilises your back. The manufacturer says “it’s most effective on pain that’s lasted more than six months and hasn’t responded to rest, drugs, treatment or gadgets. It’s been tested by NATO, MOD, RAF and is used in every UK military Rehab Base and has helped tens of thousands beat back pain.”

I used it daily for three months and kept a diary of the results. Having had discomfort for a number of years from a variety of injuries, I am now virtually 100% pain-free. Here is an early communication with the Back In Action team, who supported me with advice while I was using the Mobi.

“Hi guys, after a week of using the Mobi daily, I am thrilled with the results. Back pain (from an injury about 18 months ago) has all but gone, I was struggling to bend down to muck the first horse out each morning and a silly thing like bending down to stroke two cats at once really hurt. I have had a lot of different types of treatment on my back in the last few years but using the Mobi every day has made the difference as everything else has only given short term relief. Plus, a great result with sleeping, just as you said. I use the Mobi before bed as part of my wind-down routine and I find myself falling asleep on it, so I roll off it into bed and sleep has been much deeper, less interrupted and more refreshing. This is a great relief after years of poor sleep through the menopause. So thanks are due for adding quality to my life which is helping me manage an OTT outdoors lifestyle working a smallholding and training and competing at international level endurance riding age 57, when I was seriously wondering if it would be do-able. It most certainly is!”


Red Horse Products

Authenticity is rare in a business world full of meaningless straplines! So when you find it, it’s a breath of fresh air and you naturally want to tell other people about it. Red Horse Products is a smallish, passion-led business where founder Sam is at the helm concocting original and unbelievably effective lotions, potions and supplements for humans and horses based on experience from his farming and equestrian activities. On his website, there are anecdotes of how his products came about but you’ll be pleased to know you won’t find any ‘marketing speak’. Sam says it as it is, often with humour.

Red Horse Products is completely transparent as to what is and isn’t in its products and provides illuminating comparison tables of ingredients and cost against the ‘big guns’ in the industry. The reason you probably haven’t heard of the company is that it doesn’t spend money on advertising. The business has grown organically through word of mouth and, instead, invests in the quality and quantity of natural ingredients in its products with absolutely ‘no compromise, shortcuts or useless fillers’ as Sam says! Unusually, Red Horse also offers products in development which it sells at a discount and invites customer feedback.

I have been using the products for the past few years (and all of the time I was competing in international endurance). Joint Support helped keep my horses on the road and is hugely superior to most of its competitors. Red Zone Super (fly repellent) really works (well, most don’t, not for more than a few nano-seconds in my experience), it’s also gentle (vital for sensitive skin) and smells great. My horses no longer screw their noses up when I reach for the fly spray! Personally, I am addicted to Rider Rescue Lip Balm and Handcream. The lippy feels and tastes lovely (so many leave a horrid taste in your mouth) and the handcream is ‘the only one’ for me – it’s the best I have ever come across and believe me, being outside most of the time, I am an expert in hand creams! I look forward to trying other products such as Honeyheel (a natural healing and barrier cream which was the company’s foundation product) and Rider Rescue Hand Wash, amongst others.

But don’t take my word for it, many vets and top riders rave about Red Horse Products and I am sure you will too! Check them out at www.redhorseproducts.com

Pics: Getting high on the gorgeous scent of Rider Rescue Handcream; just love the lip balm; Joint Support and Super Red!

Murals Wallpaper

Talisman has moved in! He stands right next to me when I am working in my study so I don’t even have to go outside to look at his lovely face now…..

In fact, this is an arab horse mural from the amazing website www.muralswallpaper.co.uk. It’s not Talisman but it’s obviously his twin brother as it’s so incredibly like him! The whole site is brilliant and offers endless ideas to embellish your home in a totally original way. You can have your breakfast in a life-like, life-size jungle, swim with marine life or fly through outer space ….at least, that’s what it will feel like! You can even submit your own photo and murals come made to measure to fit your wall. I have another two wall spaces I am eyeing up for more. What a great concept!


Equilibrium Therapy Massage Pad

Over the many years I have been using this, all my horses have loved the Equilibrium Therapy Massage Pad. It’s a brilliant relaxation aid which stimulates muscles and therefore improves flexibility, so I use it before exercise. I also use it on rest days to help alleviate any stiffness. It’s lovely to see the horses flop and let everything hang out! Compared to similar products, its very affordable and it’s also easy to use and store which makes it an essential part of the kit you take to competitions. On that note, I have found it helps the horse to settle into unfamiliar event stabling, when it’s part of his normal routine at home. A total must!



Pic: Talisman sporting the Equilibrium Therapy Massage Pad, which is so relaxing he has to rest his head on the window sill!


Equisteam Hay Steamer

I have been steaming hay for my horses for about 15 years. During this time, I have tried a variety of methods and equipment with varying results which were not always convenient or as effective as I would have liked, though certainly preferable to feeding dry hay, soaked hay or haylage. A thorough steaming removes dust, mould and bacteria which is why I like it – a plus for any working horse. However, having competed in both eventing and endurance, I felt it was essential that my horses didn’t have any unnecessary impediment to their breathing. Steamed hay gave me this peace of mind and was part of my philosophy about ‘controlling the controllables’. It also smells wonderful and is highly palatable which is helpful if you have a fussy eater.


While there is certainly more choice available these days, buying a steaming unit can be pricey so when my previous system mal-functioned beyond repair, I found myself on the look-out again for an easy to use, effective and affordable system, if one existed? Well, I am pleased to say there is indeed such a ‘beast’ and it’s called the Equisteam Hay Steamer.


The system consists of one or more lightweight bins (I use two) which can be linked to a single steamer unit. They come in a variety of colours so horses can have their own bin if you vary the quantities of hay you feed. I steam a net but you can also steam hay loose. The hay sits on a grill at the bottom of the bin and it is thoroughly steamed right through to the centre every time. I empty out the small amount of water that collects in the bin and give it a quick swill with left over hot water from the steaming unit (which must be emptied after each use) and, hey presto, job done bar descaling once a week (using vinegar, as it happens).

Pics: Two bin system (top); grill in bottom of bin (below)