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Equine extra's Big Test; Casual Wear

We haven't been complaining about the glorious warm and sunny weather honest, as it’s meant our panel members have been able to enjoy testing the really ‘cool’ casual wear items that have been on offer. On the list you’ll see some updated staple items and some new, innovative ones too.

Ideal for Wearing On and Off the Yard

HKM Sports Country Rain JacketVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

HKM Sports ~ Country Rain Jacket

The company says: Tailored and comfortable to wear this rainproof, breathable and dirt resistant jacket comes with a lightweight lining and elasticated waistband. Two front pockets with zips, inside pocket for security and taped seams, it will stand up to the job and also has a reflective front zip that shows up when hit by light for an extra safety feature. Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL. RRP: £63.95. www.hkm-sports.com

Our tester, Clare Chappelhow, says: Just what I have been looking for! A jacket that keeps the rain out during a British summer, but without creating a steam room effect. This arrived just as the thunderstorms did, so great timing to test its performance and it certainly proved that it was waterproof, windproof and breathable under these conditions. I wore it over a thin jacket one day and a t-shirt on another, thus showing its versatility and comfort to wear whilst under usual working conditions at the Stud, bringing horses in and out of fields along with exercising them too. It also fits over my riding jacket so would be useful at a show on a wet day also and the hood may be held back by touch and close fastening when not in use.

The zipped pockets were handy to use and the items stayed dry within them. There is also an inner pocket, which can be fastened, which I didn’t use but could be useful. I have not needed to wash the jacket but it looks easy to do. I also notice the description says it is reflective, but again have not managed to test this one out.

 

Back on Track Slim Fit T'ShirtVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Back on Track ~ Slim Fit T’Shirt

The company says: Made from the company’s unique Welltex® fabric, which reflects the body’s infra-red waves allowing the body to respond positively by increasing circulation, which can relieve joint tension, maximise performance and help avoid injury. This shirt is an excellent choice if you have shoulder and back problems. It is very stylish and great for everyday wear and has black piping seams and a small standing collar with a short-front zipper. White or Black. Sizes: XS-XXL. RRP: £45.00. https://www.backontrack-uk.co.uk

Our tester, Barbara Clarkson, says: This is a great addition to my wardrobe! The fabric returns heat back into the body without making you hot so helps to keep muscles working and repairing while keeping the wearer comfortable. It is also very smart and I use it as a competition shirt under my jacket and also as a cross country shirt too. I like it so much it’s been washed repeatedly and every time comes back looking brand new. 

The information with the shirt suggests that it should be worn for short periods of time to start with. I haven’t found increased wearing to be a problem. It’s a good quality item and is wearing very well.

 

radiusVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Noble Outfitters ~ Radius Insulated Vest

The company says: Offering the perfect amount of insulation without the bulk, this is the ideal riding garment for chilly mornings and evening, or for layering under jackets when colder weather kicks in. Features include: 100% polyester with water-repellent finish, 250-gram polyester insulation for added warmth, Zip-secure front hand warmer pockets, Soft brushed lining inside neck and hand pockets, Embossed interior logo lining, YKK® 2-way front zipper.

Navy or Ashpalt. Sizes: XS – 2XL. RRP: £59.95. www.nobleoutfitters.co.uk

Our tester, Josella Scott, says: I must admit to being quite intrigued to see what this 'vest' would look like. The word vest conjures up something I wear underneath my clothes when the weather is freezing so I admit to being pleasantly surprised when this ‘vest’ arrived. In many respects it is a 'gilet' with the only difference being the length. If you are looking for something to come a good few inches below the waistline and cover your derriere then go for a gilet.

However the advantages of this vest are that not only can it be worn without a jacket, but I found it is a really comfortable fit for a layer. It is made to the exacting standard as you would expect from this company, is very warm and extremely versatile. It is my definite 'go to' garment for the transition from Spring to Summer. Light but neverhteless cosy enough for those early mornings that still are a bit chilly. It washed very well on a cool cycle and dried quickly. All in all I am very happy with this new addition to my country wardrobe.

 

Mark Todd Unisex Sports Bomber JacketVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Mark Todd ~ Unisex Sports Bomber Jacket

The company says: A lightweight, Italian designed jacket manufactured in a comfortable, breathable four-way-stretch fabric with a polyester lining. Featuring zip pockets and front zip fastening, the classic colour combination makes this jacket a smart and practical choice for casual wear, general yard duties or warming up on competition day. Navy. Sizes: XS-XL (child sizes available). RRP: £94.99 for adults sizes. www.marktoddcollection.co.uk

Our tester, John Collier, says: This is definitely one for your wardrobe; a jacket with a really nice look and feel about it. Very smart, a definite cut above your normal blouson, and I find myself reaching for it as jacket of choice, as it’s perfect for this weather and comes complete with a useful inside phone pocket. Well I do reach for it as jacket of choice unless number one daughter has got there first, so it obviously has some street credibility too! It is a neat fit, unless I have put some weight on, so do try one for sizing. Even my mother would approve of the quality; it’s a really nice item to wear.

 

 

 

 

Darn Tiugh Over the Calf Padded Cushion SocksHIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Darn Tough ~ Over the Calf Padded Cushion Socks

The company says: Like floating on powder. Cushioning on the bottom of the foot and shin area make this sock the gold standard for comfort and performance whatever you are doing. Targeted shin padding means you can leave the shin bang behind too. Coal/Grey Grey/Red or Black/Blue. Sizes: S (5.5-7.5); M (8-9.5): L (10-12); XL (12.5-14.5) & XXL (15-17). RRP: £27.00. www.darntough.com

Our tester, Jon Fletcher, says: These socks are very comfortable and provide a good fit.
The calf length version is ideal for wear under riding boots as they give a little extra support and padding and they also don't tend to slip down. Riding out in this hot weather we’ve been having recently I found that they wicked moisture away from your skin really well and during early morning, late evening yard and field work they kept my feet warm when wearing wellies or yard boots. As a whole these socks are suitable for both riding and everyday use.

 

 

 

Equit’M ~ Sleeveless Padded Jacket

 VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Equit’M ~ Sleeveless Padded Jacket

The company says: Need another layer for when the days get a little cooler? Well this is a perfect addition to an equestrian’s wardrobe. Down the side of the padded gilet are stretch inserts which allow the wearer to move freely without feeling restricted, ideal for when working down on the yard.The two-way zip down the front of the jacket also makes it comfortable whilst sitting in the saddle. Other features include pockets with zips, a high collar with ribbing and is machine washable at 30ᵒC for easy care. Sizes: Ladies’ XS - XL & Men’s S - XXL. RRP: £66.50. www.equitheme.co.uk

Our tester, Caroline Powell, says: With the weather at the moment being so hot and the mornings being slightly cooler, I think I have found the most comfortable gilet to wear! Its soft outer shell is extremely lightweight and the stretch material down the sides gives it a very sleek fit. The outside pockets are a good size for mobiles and look seamless with the zip hidden away, but cunningly tucked inside the front are two sneaky pockets, again a good size, with the stretch panels down the side compensating for the pocket expansion. A nice white inner collar adds to the sleekness of the gilet, the only thing I had to do was wash it a few times as the inner seam around the neck was a bit scratchy to start with. Machine washed very well and is also a brilliant base layer for the colder months. It’s a thumbs up from me!

 

Zamberlan ~ Trail Lite Evo Boots GTXVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Zamberlan ~ Trail Lite Evo Boots GTX

The company says: A versatile boot for mixed grounds and conditions. Cut and padding provide high comfort. The single piece upper is made of tumbled nabuk leather and its waterproofness is improved by the Hydrobloc treatment and the GORE-TEX Extended Comfort lining. Side locking hook for better fit and Vibram Pillow outsole with spaced triangular lugs for better grip also on muddy grounds. EVA midsole for lightweight and cushioning. Black, Dark Brown, Dark Green & Dark Blue. Sizes: 4-13. RRP: £185.00. www.zamberlan.com

Our tester, Chris Grant, says: My first thought when on putting these boots on for the first time was ‘Why have I not had a pair of these before now?’ Well I’m glad I have a pair now. They are literally the most comfortable boot of this type I have ever had. They are so light to wear on your feet whilst maintaining the foot support of a walking boot. The boot has been useful for everyday wear on the yard whilst carrying out un-mounted duties, but have also encouraged me to commence some walking ahead of a mountaineering challenge I have found oneself signed up to later in the summer! The boots are made from the most luxurious of leather, are waterproof and have a great grip on the sole. I hope they wear well as I’ve never had them off since receiving them, but so far so very, very good.

 

Noble Outfitters ~ Balance Riding TightTMVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Noble Outfitters ~ Balance Riding TightTM

The company says: Meeting the optimum combination of equestrian performance and fit. Next level, innovative design and high-recovery stretch fabric that gives the most flattering fit you'll find in a riding tight. Opti-Dry Technology wicks moisture away; Toray Ultrasuede knee patches for grip; Secure phone pocket at front thigh; Hidden stash pocket inside back waist; Lightweight stretch hem reduces bulk inside boot; Flat seam construction; Machine Washable. Fig; Brown, Black, Asphalt, Pacific Blue, Plum. RRP: £59.95. www.nobleoutfitters.co.uk

Our tester, Pam Harrison, says: These are just lovely to wear! They are lightweight, cool, incredibly comfortable and so easy to pull on. The plum colour I was sent looks very smart and although I have only worn them with jodhpur boots and half chaps for riding, not long boots, the ankle hems are a practical design that doesn’t bunch at all.

The ‘phone pocket on the thigh is a convenient feature too and although I didn’t use the back waist pocket whilst schooling, it would be great for a key or two and/or a few coins if out hacking.

Easy to wash and dry, it has so far kept its shape and the stretchy fabric makes mounting easier – although I always use a mounting block of some sort – as unrestricted movement makes you feel more athletic!

I also wore these into the local market town for shopping as they are easily smart enough and they’d be great for a pilates class too!

 

Alan Paine ~ Mens Kexby GiletVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Alan Paine ~ Mens Kexby Gilet

The company says: Manufactured using a water repellent cotton outer, insulated with a soft polyester wadding and featuring a two-way centre front zip fastening. Zip-secured pockets and two secure internal pockets. Trimmed with a luxurious leather binding. Khaki, Olive and Navy. Sizes: S-5XL. RRP: £119.95. www.alanpaine.co.uk

Our tester, Paul Malone says: This gilet can be summed up in one word - quality. It is beautifully tailored with a subtle quilted pattern on the cotton outer... no shiny fabrics here! Although made from natural fabrics, you’d never notice that it’s water repellent. I only realised when there was a spot of rain. The soft leather binding really finishes this garment off in style.
This gilet is tailored with a casual fit, enabling a layer or two to be worn underneath with ease. This really gives versatility of use in all weathers but the hottest of summer days. The styling of this gilet means that it is equally at home in town or in the country, whilst the double zip means that this gilet could be worn for riding. I must admit that I’ve not let it near the horses just yet and have no intention of doing so at the moment! There is no shortage of pockets either. There are two on the outside of this gilet which I’m told are insulated ‘hand warmer’ pockets (genius!), and two internal pockets. Could I be the only person looking forward to an end to the hot summer days so I can wear this more often?

 

Harry Hall ~ Bala Women’s Riding TightsHIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Harry Hall ~ Bala Women’s Riding Tights

The company says: A hot trend and so comfortable for summer, these have a mid-rise fit, deep waistband, suede effect knee panels and a good pocket for your phone, keys or hanky! Their fabric is very kind to the figure having compression qualities that aid muscle fatigue. Dark Grey. Size: 24” – 34”. RRP: £31.50. www.harryhall.com

Our tester, Gillian McMurray, says: Upon unpacking these riding tights my first impressions were that they looked very stretchy and comfortable and they haven’t disappointed. The high elastic waistband fitted well with no zips or fasteners to dig in when moving and the slim fit legs were a flattering cut. The tights have thick, suede effect knee patches which worked well to alleviate any rubbing as the rest of the fabric is fairly lightweight and cooling. There are no seams in uncomfortable places and they have a gusset, a novel feature, which certainly lead to comfort when sitting in the saddle! The tights come in an attractive, grey colour with contrasting detail in teal and came up like new even after several washes. One of the great features of these tights, sadly lacking in most other riding tights I've seen, is the large outside pocket on the thigh which is absolutely ideal for a mobile phone and they are a very practical and comfortable garment for summer riding.

 

Noble Outfitters ~ Ladies Karleigh Short-Sleeve V’Neck T’ShirtHIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Noble Outfitters ~ Ladies Karleigh Short-Sleeve V’Neck T’Shirt

The company says: A staple base layer for any rider's wardrobe. Designed to keep you cool and dry, no matter how demanding your ride. Breathable stretch mesh and Opti-Dry technology ensure you don't overheat when layering up and keep you cool in the summer months. Ideal wardrobe piece for casual day-to-day wear too. Dropped back hem, Stretch mesh back panels for added breathability, UPF 50+ Protection, Flat seams, Reflective logo detailing, Machine Washable. Grape Heather, Coral Heather, Vivacious Heather, Crystal Blue Heather. Sizes: XS-2XL. RRP: £19.95. www.nobleoutfitters.co.uk

Our tester, Val Williams, says: This is very comfortable indeed. Not only comfortable to wear but, because it has stretch mesh back panels which are breathable, you are able to keep very cool and dry in summer no matter how busy you are. It therefore makes you feel comfortable as you don’t overheat something which is such a bonus in this hot weather. Mine came in a vivacious heather colour so great to wear for casual wear too. The short sleeve and V-neck means it’s been ideal to pop on when working on the yard, at shows or when riding. Washes very well and has kept its shape.

 

Equisafety ~ Charlotte Dujardin Renver Gilet VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Equisafety ~ Charlotte Dujardin Renver Gilet

The company says: Using technically advanced laser cutting, intuitive design and unique garment construction, this gilet is wonderfully lightweight and breathable. Made from 4-way stretch softshell material for ease of movement and features include a two-way front zip, two hidden pockets with waterproof zip garages, designer satin lining with French seams, a contoured collar and large hidden fishtail pleat at the rear. Fully washable on a 30° wash. There’s also a surprise to this garment ~ check one out and see if you can find it!!!

Yellow or Pink. Sizes: Medium 10-12; Large 14-16; XLarge 16-18; XXLarge 18-20. RRP: £69.99

www.equisafety.com

Our tester, Caroline Mosley, says: As we live next to a busy main road, any hacking requires fluorescence and this is perfect as I already have it on! I also love having my phone with me, obviously for emergencies but also for the customary through-the-ears shot of the beautiful countryside and this gilet is absolutely perfect for this as the pockets are large enough for my Iphone 8! 

It has a very flattering fit and design and is very comfortable to ride in especially as it has a zip (fishtail) in the back to allow for the cantle. I love the design and the material used. Wore it all day and even to the supermarket! Not sure what people thought when a bright pink person walked around the store but it’s so comfortable I forgot I had it on. As the gilet came with the detachable sleeves (that’s the surprise!), I will mention the best bit about those. They have inner cuffs with THUMB HOLES! Woohoo this means I can wear them in the winter and keep my wrists warm! Love it! As usual with this company’s products it’s really well made! If I had a plain black one I would use it to wear for work as it’s so comfortable!

 

Musto ~ Women’s Team GBR Pique PoloVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Musto ~ Women’s Team GBR Pique Polo

The company says: Constructed in a timeless design from garment washed cotton pique for softness against the skin. A stepped hem adds length for a tailored silhouette. High quality Team GBR branding makes it easy to show your support for this incredible organisation. Ribbed collar and cuff, button placket to the chest, High Quality British Equestrian Federation Branding. True Navy. Sizes: 8-18. RRP: £8-18. www.musto.com

Our tester, Emma Woolley, says: This really is a very smart piece of clothing and I love wearing it. It looks very official being navy and red and bearing the Team GBR logo- it’s my first choice for wearing at competitions to walk around in! The material is fantastic, it’s very well made and the cut is flattering, I will be ordering another one! It has washed very well, and has kept its shape and size, as one would expect from a company of this calibre. Simply gorgeous.

 

Noble Outfitters ~ Ladies Brooke Tank HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Noble Outfitters ~ Ladies Brooke Tank

The company says: Perfect for layering or adding a burst of colour to your summer riding outfits. For high activity days, Opti-dry technology wicks moisture away from your body. With a UPF 50+ sun protection and reflective logos help to keep you safe. Comfortable layer with bra friendly cut out back detail, Flat seam construction, Machine washable. Coral Space Dye, Mint Geo Space Dye, Tahoe Blue Space Dye. Sizes: XS-2XL. RRP: £24.95. www.nobleoutfitters.co.uk

Our tester, Rachel Thomas, says: I really like this top and with the weather we have been having recently, it has been well and truly tested! It’s so comfy, it’s not at all tight or restrictive and the material keeps you cool and wicks away any sweat, great to work and ride in. Also the colour is really nice, not sure what you would call it but it’s different and looks attractive, very flattering. I also love the back of it, I’m not sure what they have done but the added piece of material at the back not only looks great but keeps the top in place and means the straps aren’t constantly falling off your shoulder which can be a real pain. I would definitely buy another.

 

 

 NikWax ~ Footwear Cleaning Gel & Waterproofing Wax for LeatherVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

NikWax ~ Footwear Cleaning Gel & Waterproofing Wax for Leather

The company says: Making your boots last longer is crucial when they’re spending time outdoors, so it’s vital that you care for your footwear in order to achieve optimum performance and protection. These easy to apply products will keep your boots in tiptop condition and your feet dry in the toughest, harshest and most demanding of environments.

Footwear Cleaning Gel: The safe cleaner for all waterproof outdoor and sports footwear. Cleans safely, revitalises breathability and water repellence. 125ml, £3.75.

Waterproofing Wax for Leather: High performance waterproofing that maintains support and breathability. Available in: neutral, brown and black. 60ml, £2.99/100ml £3.99
www.nikwax.co.uk.

Our tester, Peter Bulman, says: Easy and clean to use and gave very pleasing results on all of the differing footwear on which I tried these two products, including a pair of 'old' and well used leather (steel toed) jod/yard boots.- the Cleaning Gel nicely cleaned out the 'creases 'and followed by the easily applied Waterproofing Wax. Yes, I reckon they will now last me a few more comfortable years as they feel more supple. I also used the wax on a pair of new-ish (pale coloured nubuck fronted) deck shoes. They 'came up' great - a much better colour and with a smooth waxy texture, so will now be less prone to soiling. Very good, easy and clean to use, effective stuff for everyone's shoe cleaning  kit.