Privacy Policy

Equine extra's Big Test; Yard Kits & Caboodles

Big or small, the yard will be full to the brim with a myriad of products all aimed at making sure your equine friend is kept happy and healthy. From tack to disinfectants our panel members have been busy testing all manner of items for your delectation. Find out what they think ...

grippadVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Ideal Saddles – Grip Pad®

The company says: A revolutionary non-slip saddle pad manufactured from soft cotton with a neoprene overlay to support and protect the saddle area. The underside is lined with an exclusive speciality rubber that provides complete adherence to the horse and offers exceptional security. Absorbs sweat and does not pinch or rub, making it a highly effective, protective and comfortable pad. Available in numnah, dressage square, close contact, pony or general-purpose styles. RRP: from £89.00. www.idealsaddle.com

Our tester, Sally Burns, says: This saddle pad is up to size, doesn’t come up short at the back when the saddle is on and sits well on the horse.  Underneath is a non-slip material. The pad did not have a girth strap, so I was worried in case it moved and would come off.  However, after using it a few times I was relieved to see that it stayed in place even under faster work, plus the non-slip material didn't mark or aggravate the horse.  I have washed it a few times now and it has come out good as new.  I will be buying more of these pads.

 

backontrackHIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Back on Track® – 3D Mesh Brushing Boots with Fur

The company says: The ultimate in lightweight, comfortable protection for your horse’s legs, these all-purpose boots are lined with faux fur featuring revolutionary Welltex® which is infused with ceramic particles to provide the optimum benefit during exercise. The ceramic particles cause long wave infra-red heat to radiate back towards the body, enabling the body to respond positively to the infra-red wave thus increasing circulation, which can relieve joint tension, maximise performance and help avoid injury. The 3D mesh outer layer with shock-absorbent padding offer effective protection against brushing, knocking and abrasions. These multipurpose boots are available for front and hind legs and are easy to use with the adjustable triple hook and loop closures. Available in S, M, (RRP £52.00) L or XL (RRP £60.00). www.backontrack-uk.com/UK

Our tester, Claire Chappelhow, says: I like the idea behind this company’s products hence keen to try out a pair of their brushing boots with fur inners. The hard ground we had earlier in the year created a slight windgall effect with some horses who were permanently living out, but also in work and I was intrigued to see if this ceramic infused product could help. Using the large sized brushing boots, I found them on the large side for the front legs of a 17hh warmblood I was working, but a good fit on the hind legs. So I did start off with them on the forelegs for a couple of weeks before moving them to the hind legs. Conclusion - I think they have helped remove some of the puffiness above the fetlock joint on this horse and who seemed comfortable wearing them. They are aesthetically pleasing, easy to fit / use whilst schooling and hacking in dry conditions, but when used in muddy/ water paddling area there was drag on the boots and they slipped a little. But to be honest I would personally not use a fur lined boot for these more extreme conditions. The boots washed well but took more time to dry naturally than any of my other boots. I think these are definitely worth a try, if you think your horse would benefit from them.

 

wave forkVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Noble Outfitters – Wave Fork

The company says: Aircraft grade aluminum handle built for lightweight durability. Adjustable grip on handle for personalised comfort. Copolymer plastic resin tines bend but don't break. Outer tines form a basket for maximum load. Lightweight and customisable with a choice of colour ways of tines for personalisation. Five year guarantee. Colour Tines: Granite, Black, Noble Gold, Orange, Red, Flamingo, Purple, Royal Blue, Lime Green, Hunter.

RRP £39.95. www.nobleoutfitters.co.uk

Our tester, Barbara Clarkson, says: This is a great asset to our yard!  I had often wondered whether this fork would live up to the reputation others were giving it - well it really does. Lightweight, robust, strong, and balanced is what springs to mind.  The soft grip on the handle means that the fork doesn’t rotate in your hand when loaded and the button on the top of the shank gives a little more support and secure leverage.  The prongs are well shaped and perfectly spaced for picking up droppings and make easy work of mucking out.  If at some point a prong did break it can be replaced.  It seems unlikely at the moment that this would really happen as the plastic seems very hard wearing but I guess you never know!  We use a variety of beddings on the yard and this fork works well with them all.  Finally, the bright colour scheme is a lot of fun, ours is black orange and purple but there are many others to choose from. 110% from us and we’d like to have a couple more ready for the winter.

equithemeVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Equithème - FIR+ 180g Saddle Pad

The company says: Emitted by the sun, Far Infrared Rays (FIR) is invisible light energy that can be easily absorbed into the body to help with growth and development. The saddle pad is therefore equipped with bio-ceramic powder that permeates the FIR’s deep into the horses tissues and cells aiding in increasing blood circulation and promoting cell rejuvenation.

This means toxins and inflammation are easily eliminated, inflammation recedes and the healing process accelerates, relieving muscle spasms, lower back pain, tight or tense muscles and soreness. Black. Size: Full. RRP: £63.90. www.equitheme.co.uk

Our tester, John Collier, says: This saddle pad really is out of this world. It’s very attractive, has smart embroidery and offers even smarter technology. Plus it fits well and looks well too. FIR stands for far infrared ray, which is almost a magnetic pulse brought about by ceramics in the filling. This means it brings about health benefits in its use. I found it warming on the horse’s back and it made a marked improvement in the time taken for the horse to warm up. As I was really intrigued as to why and how it actually worked, I tried it for myself placing my hands under the pad and yes they warmed up! I do like it and will continue with its use. And at the price I feel it is a good buy.

 

WBPrimeVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Weatherbeeta – Prime Saddle Pad:

The company says: Made from cotton with a wick easy lining. Breathable mesh spine for extra airflow. PVC-covered girth patch for added durability. High wither design allows for extra space where needed. Matching bandages and ear bonnet available. Black, Denim, Maroon, Navy, Paradise Pink, Purple Penant, Turquoise, White & NEW Mustard Yellow & Royal Blue. GP; Dressage or Jump Cut. RRP: around £29.99. www.weatherbeeta.co.uk

Our tester, Chris Grant, says: If you’re looking for a new saddle pad, you wouldn’t come unstuck with this one. The first thing I liked about it was its smart appearance, made with good quality material. As far as a pad is concerned, this one has proven to be practical and versatile and under each of the saddles I tried it with, it didn’t move. It comes with traditional D-ring fastenings along with girth loops, which come with a suede like material to protect the girth. The Air Tex technology comes into force by helping keep the horse dry under the pad, proving to be breathable for the horse’s skin. Used on cross country, I found on return that my pony had little sweat underneath. The pad has a great finish, is useful for both everyday and competition riding and overall I’d say offers great value for money.

 

stubbsVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Stubbs - Numnah Hanger

The company says: Capable of holding five numnahs or saddle cloths this nifty piece of kit can be hung on a rail, be fitted flat to the wall or hung on a hook and works well singly or in multiples so is ideal for both small and large yards. It is balanced to create a slight onward slope for a tidy appearance and is made from black Stubbyfine-coated steel. RRP: £26.95. www.abbeyengland.com

Our tester, Ben Hobday, says: I have been trialling this numnah hanger for the past few months, and I have to admit that this was the first time I’ve seen a product like this let alone used one and this has proved to be a great addition to our busy yard. What sets this apart from similar products on the market is that it has five arms evenly spaced underneath each other, which is so much better that the standard design with only one option to hang a numnah. It is constructed from strong steel so holds its structure, is hard wearing and finished in a black coating. It can be hung on a hook, rail or fastened flat to the wall. Our yard uses a ridiculous amount of numnahs on a daily basis and this was really useful in helping to dry them after being washed as well as keeping them in an orderly fashion and kept them looking smart and tidy. My only comment would be that the space between the arms could be slightly bigger. However, it has been very useful and will come in handy on our hectic yard – but I can see us needing more!!

 

 rugbagVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Mark Todd Luggage Collection - Rug Bag

The company says: This large zipped bag is great for storing rugs, saddlepads and other essential kit. Perfect for use on the yard or when away at shows and events. Measures 65cm x 61cm x 35cm. Navy. RRP: £23.99. www.marktoddcollection.co.uk

Our tester, Pam Harrison, says:

Very practical and useful for storing not just rugs, but also saddlepads, travel boots - and anything else that needs to be kept clean and tidy for that matter. The strong zip opens both ways around three sides and the bag is easily deep enough for two large rugs, plus smaller items and the ventilated panel is a good idea too. There are handles on both ends, so if it is stuffed full, it can be carried by two people! Robustly made, it would work either for long term storage on the yard or probably more likely, for travelling to shows and training days. If like most of you need to be tidier, then order one – or more – of these!

 

noblebagVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Noble Outfitters – Equinessential Tote Bag

The company says: Keep your grooming kit in tip-top order, as this tote comes with perfectly sized compartments, pockets and dividers meaning all your tools, equipment, sprays, sponges and shampoos stay organised. The innovatively designed heavy-duty mesh bottom allows dirt and liquids to fall through easily and the removable shoulder strap, attached with sturdy Duraflex clips, means hands-free carrying and also enable the bag to be hung up without risking straps or clips breaking plus keeping the bag clean from muddy floors and fields! Durable 600-denier 100% polyester canvas fabric with water repellent finish. Black; Deep Turquoise; Red & Blackberry. Size: 26cm x 31cm x 38cm. RRP: £44.95. www.nobleoutfitters.co.uk

Our tester, Gillian McMurray, says: I was very interested to trial this to use for our showing products as a change from our basket which has seen better days. I found this bag to be very roomy with individual internal compartments, ideal for segregating brushes from enhancing products. It also has elasticated pockets round the outer edges which give excellent places for small items or for dirty products such as hoof oil. I was particularly impressed by the close holed, mesh base of the bag which means that small particles of dirt can drop through. It's easy to carry about either with the two hand grips or the long shoulder strap.  Made from a tough, black material with contrasting purple trim, this is undoubtedly a very robust bag which is absolutely ideal for carrying all the paraphernalia required for beautifying our show equines. I'm unlikely to return to using a basket and am proudly showing it off at events!!

 

FlexifrontVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Weatherbeeta – FlexiShell Front & Hind XC Boots

The company says: Lightweight, tough with flexible strike pads that contour to the leg creating a perfect fit. Breathable, with a micro-perforated neoprene lining that does not carry water therefore helping to keep the boots continuously light. Hind boots are shaped to the leg and mould around the fetlock area without restricting the natural action of the horses’ movement for comfort and protection, while the front boots feature a closed front that is soft and flexible under the knee. Air vents in the outer shell assist in keeping tendons and ligaments cool and are held secure by double adjustable touch tape closures with a press stud button. RRP: Front - £44.99; Hind - £52.99. www.weatherbeeta.co.uk

Our tester, Caroline Mosley, says: These boots are indeed lightweight and with the additional strap to place over the boot straps you have a very secure boot that does not slip at all. The outside touch and close tape also has a popper for additional security. The hard shell was great for protection when brushing or catching the leg on turns. Both pairs fitted well without impinging on the flexion of the leg and although I was concerned that they would become heavy when they were wet, I needn’t have been as they were fine. The neoprene lining means they don't slip either.  As you would expect with products from this quality company they washed well and looked like new after being cleaned.

 

cutawayVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Mark Todd – Cutaway Bridle

The company says: Ergonomically designed for maximum comfort, being manufactured in quality leather with a shaped, padded headpiece to reduce pressure at the poll. Features include an attractive curved browband, wide padded noseband with removable flash attachment, stainless steel buckles and rubber reins. Black or Havana. Size: Full. RRP: £137.50. www.marktoddcollection.co.uk

Our tester, Caroline Powell, says: I have always found all the products from this company to be of excellent quality and I didn’t expect anything else from this bridle. We had been looking for a while for a bridle that cut around the ears and relieved the pressure on the poll that wasn’t extortionately priced and this did the job. The wide padded head piece has been designed to look smart and also fit the natural profile of the horse head, giving enough freedom around the base of the ears, which so many bridles fail to do. The padded nose band, brow band and head piece all contribute to the comfort and style of the bridle as well. One specific point about this bridle that I really like is the symmetry of the smart stainless steel buckles which finish it perfectly, but this does mean if you want to change the noseband you need one from the similar range. It has been in action at some major events through the testing period and stood up to the test. Definitely value for money.

 

sheerluxe

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

NAF – Sheer Luxe Leather Cleanse & Condition

The company says: For a luxurious finish, this deep cleansing formula is easy to use and leaves a non-sticky natural finish and is recommended for daily use. Apply using a damp sponge. Massage directly into the leather, creating a light lather to lift dirt and grease. Leaves tack clean, supple and ready to use. (NAF recommend a 48 hour patch test prior to initial use, on leather and in an area in contact with your horse. RRP: £10.50 – 500ml. www.naf-equine.eu/uk

Our tester, Gail Smith, says: As I have come to expect from this company this is a superb product. It comes in an easy to use, neat spray bottle and is perfect for cleaning tack for everyday use and for giving it an extra clean before going to shows too. All items it was used on had a lovely shine and looked totally revitalised. It seems to give the tack a deep cleanse as it really soaks into the leather. The great thing about it is that it doesn't leave your tack sticky or tacky but still makes it look fantastic. We really like this and will continue to use it in the future.

 

 

 

likitHIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Likit - Snak-a-Ball

The company says: Designed to promote natural foraging behaviour, this robust feeding ball has a unique internal baffle plate which limits the amount of food deposited on the ground at any one time, thereby slowing consumption rates for a more natural trickle feeding pattern. Can be used in the stable or paddock and is ideal for overweight equines and good doers who are on limited rations, as well as those that bolt their food or who would benefit from environmental enrichment in order to alleviate boredom and reduce stress. Red or Purple. Price: £25.99. www.likit.co.uk

Our tester, Rachel Thomas, says: This is great - Barney loves it!!! I gave it to a horse who, even though he is ridden and turned out every day, is like having a toddler! It was a god send. He loves it; it keeps him occupied for hours and stops him banging his door- which must be a relief for his legs. It’s easy to use/refill etc. and simply a must for any horse who needs occupying. The treats provided with it were used up very quickly and they are quite expensive, so instead I just filled it with his nuts and he is just as enamoured with it!

 

absorbine1VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Absorbine – Leather Therapy Collection

The company says: The Tack Wash cleans tough dirt and grime helping leather to stay strong and supple. The formula is pH-balanced with micro suds to lift out embedded dirt, sweat and grime. Apply using a damp sponge or cloth or spray directly on to saddlery, bridle work or leather garment and wipe away sweat, grease and dirt. Does not stain or darken leather; will not leave a residue on the leather and there is no moisture build up. This helps prevent mould and protects against the deterioration of stitching. 473ml. RRP: £15.90.

The Leather Therapy Restorer & Conditioner is a blend of rich replenishing oils formulated to transform dry, hard leather to original flexibility. Leaving no residue or moisture build-up and works cumulatively as the effects are reinforced with each use because the mould and mildew inhibitors stay in the leather, not just on the surface. Ideal for bringing old, dry leather back to life and for maintaining your best tack, especially if going into storage or if it will not be used for a while. 473ml. RRP: £18.90. www.absorbine.co.uk

Our tester, Emma Woolley, says: I really loved these products. The wash cleans the leather up exceptionally well, removing dirt and grease much more easily than other tack washes I have used. The conditioner absorbs into the leather beautifully and leaves a gorgeous and non-greasy finish. It really feeds the leather well and I found the effects to last even when still using the tack on the following days. Because of the super finish it’s been my choice of cleaner and conditioner for my show tack since I’ve had it on trial!

 

virkon1VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Virkon® S – Stable Disinfectant

The company says: One of the greatest disease threats to a horse is from another horse, whether through direct contact or through surfaces, equipment, vehicles or people contaminated by diseased animals. Vaccination is important; medication can be used once the horse or pony is seen to be sick, but neither can offer complete protection against the wide range of disease-causing organisms that threaten horses. Virkon®S is the powerful disinfectant solution for your equine hygiene needs. It is independently proven effective against viral, bacterial and fungal organisms which can cause disease in horses. Virkon®S is ideal for stable blocks, horsebox, tack and equipment cleaning and disinfection. RRP: 1kg £21.99. 5 x 50g Sachet £14.99.

www.agrihealth.co.uk

Our tester, Val Williams, says: This certainly arrived at the most opportune moment and has undoubtedly been put to the test of late.  We have been re-locating our Glenwood Stud and as such, have had to deep clean about twenty six boxes, so being able to spray them with this disinfectant has been an absolute godsend.  It is so versatile we wouldn’t use anything else. The beauty of it is that it can be used on stable, yard equipment, feed and drinking apparatus, and also the horseboxes.  It is effective against equine influenza, strangles, ring worm and herpes, and has been proven to cover 65 strains of virus in over 19 viral families, 400 strains of bacteria and 100 strains of fungi. In this huge re-location we have had to move twenty three horses, stables, horse walker, multiple pieces of paraphernalia and so much more we really don’t know how we would have made things safe without it. It will most definitely be the disinfectant of choice from now on.

 

And finally ... an Added Extra

 

justjodzVERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Just Jodz – Riding Leggings

The company says: Designed to be an affordable riding legging without compromising on style and quality, these technical riding leggings have been made from the same polyester spandex mix as more expensive brands, with a breathable, four way stretch, friction based fabric. They have all the features riders have come to expect including a large phone pocket, thin Lycra sock, flat seam construction and wide comfort waistband. Designed for riding but also ideal around the yard and even comfy enough to wear for errands on a daily basis. The flat wide waist band and high waist design is not only extremely flattering but is very comfortable. New feature on these leggings is a practical seamless pocket on the side of the right leg, which is the perfect size for a mobile phone or keys. Round seat mirrored panelling over the bum and asymmetric panels that curve around your knee cap giving your knees total freedom whilst in the saddle. Black, Grey & Cobalt. Sizes: XS-L. RRP: £28.00. www.justjodz.co.uk

Our tester, Gail Smith, says: These riding leggings are fantastic for riding in and wearing around the yard. They are really affordable which is great, but that doesn't mean that they are low quality, quite the opposite in fact as they are extremely stylish. They are made from the same polyester spandex mix as more expensive brands, with a breathable, four way stretch, friction based fabric which makes them extremely comfortable to wear. Comfort is enhanced by the flat, wide waistband, flat seam construction and comfortable Lycra sock at the bottom. They have a large phone pocket which is very useful for a phone or keys while hacking out or just around the yard if you don't have a jacket on. I like the way the panels curve around the kneecap so your knees have complete freedom of movement when riding. There's a logo on the back of the waistband and one down the left hand side. They look amazing on, wash really well and are very flattering in my opinion. I was so impressed with them I have bought another pair! I tried the grey pair and bought the cobalt blue ones, but they are available in black too.