Living in the heart of the Somerset countryside means that I spend most of my life in boots. I have more pairs of boots than anything else and I must admit they really are an obsession of mine. Finding boots I love isn’t the hard part but finding boots to fit my large calves is. It would seem I inherited my dad’s rugby player legs!
I have always been told I look like a ‘horsey girl’ and I can only assume that refers to my large calves and curvy figure. Finding tall boots that do up is a real challenge and means I often must stay away from the ‘pretty’ or ‘fashionable’ boots and go for either the one style they stock in ‘wide fit’ or even MENS!
I remember clearly one year at the Game Fair I was looking at a beautiful pair of boots on a stand when the lady asked if I wanted to try them. Feeling the dread set in as I knew there was no way they would fit my legs I waited for her to take a pair out of the box. Needless to say, I couldn’t get the zip beyond the top of my ankle however the woman, who I can only assume was keen to make a sale, proceeded to call her colleague over and the pair of them tried to shoe horn me into these boots for almost 10 minutes! My husband found the whole situation hilarious, I however, did not!
I am fed up of being made to feel like a ‘big girl’ just because my legs are not straight up and down. So many companies now only cater for a small minority of ladies and forget about the rest of us. There are a lot of us ladies out there with the curvier legs and I think more people need to cater for us!
Finding the Spanish Boot Company was a real eye opener for me. Fearing I would never be able to own a pair of the stunning Spanish Riding Boots that so many of my friends wear I was ecstatic to find SBC do not only wide fit but made to measure boots in pretty much every one of their designs. Hoorah!
The wide fit boots are very generous and are the perfect fit for me. The ladies at SBC HQ are brilliant and so helpful; they make you feel like a real person and do everything they can to get you boots that fit like a glove.
I wear my SBC boots a lot, and I mean a LOT and I just couldn’t be happier with the fit. If like me you are after a company that caters for all women, regardless of your shape and size then you need to look no further than The Spanish Boot Company.
Hello, everyone! I am Carolina @equestriantrend, one of the Spanish Boot Company style advocates. It is a pleasure to be writing for such an exciting audience and guest blogging for the first time ever!
I spent quite some time thinking about which topic I should bring to this blog post and even discussed it with my boyfriend. Because I wanted to bring something that perhaps would be useful to many of you, he suggested that I should share some tips on how I manage to survive the crazy life of owning a horse and still having time to have fun now that I am on the summer break from college.
During the month of college finals everything gets pretty chaotic, I don’t have enough time to ride, to be with friends or even to sleep enough so I can only think about holidays and the time that I will spend at the barn having fun (even barn chores become way more appealing during those stressful weeks!). But somehow, when holidays start it feels that I have even less time to do everything. Why? Because all my friends start making plans and they don’t remember that I also have a four-legged friend that I love and that needs me every day.
If you are like me and you also feel overwhelmed by the amount of things you have to do, here are five tips that I find incredibly useful:
Plan your days
A rider’s agenda is crazy and if you don’t plan your days, you will end up spending the entire day at the barn or even arriving late to all your dates. To me it is almost impossible to spend less than three hours per day at the barn and I don’t even leave 100% happy if I have to rush. Therefore, make sure you have enough time to be at the barn and to get ready to your next affair without having to stress too much.
Ride in the morning
I know this one is probably the hardest tip but I find it incredibly helpful. When I ride in the morning I feel much more productive and even if I leave the barn at 2pm, I still have the afternoon! Plus, I can have lunch with my equestrian friends and near my horse!
If possible, don’t go to the barn every day of the week
If you choose some days of the week where you can just relax alone or have some fun with your friends and family, you will notice that your trips to the barn and your rides get much better. You will also miss your horse so bad that when you get back you will appreciate more every second you spend with him.
Don’t let people put pressure on you
What usually stresses me the most isn’t the amount of things that I have to do. In fact, I can handle that pretty well but I hate when people start complaining that I’m always riding or the other way around when my barn friends say that I could spend more time with them. I used to feel really sad when that happened but I have learnt that there is a simple way to make them stop: describing your typical day to them, your obligations and responsibilities, the needs of your horse and so on. They eventually start understanding why you are so busy and even start being helpful!
Well, we have kept up our busy winter with lots of outings this month.
We had a great day out with some of the horses jumping at West Wilts! It was lovely having CAPTAIN FUTURE out jumping again for the first time in nearly a year!!! And I think the star of the show was SAN SOLO who is showing us what an exciting future he is going to have. He just needs to realise he doesn't need to keep showing off with how high he can jump! Thank you to my two girls Tui and Jane for standing out in the freezing rain doing fences!!! Your'e both so good to me!!!
Back to dressage and a couple to great days at West Wilts doing British Dressage with my dressage divas! SAN SOLO won the Prelim and was 2nd in the Novice with 73%. CALVIN won the Novice, COOLEY LEGALAND and CAPTAIN FUTURE 2nd in Elementary on different days. And then BLUSTEREN and CAPTAIN FUTURE competed in their first Medium finishing 2nd and 3rd with 67% which were great results.
Next up was a trip out cross-country schooling and two days at Boomarang. Everyone at the yard got to have a play on grass over cross-country fences and the horses felt fab and ready for the season! Another big shout out to Jane and Tu for having everything ready, even in the horrible rain (again) on the day, thank-you ladies! Star of the day has to be SAN SOLO, who although has done less than any other horse in the yard jumped all the tough combinations without a batting an eyelid, a huge prospect for the future!!!
We then had superstar dressage ponies at Summerhouse. A very competitive day, as it was a pre regionals warm up and we had more like 30 in each class rather than the usual 5-10, but the boys seriously held their own. CALVIN won the Novice on 71.9%, SAN SOLO on 71.3% and COOLEY LEGALAND 3rd on 69%. Then COOLEY LEGALAND and CALVIN finished 2nd and 6th in the Elementary in the spooky new indoor school! Very pleased with the boys!! CAPTAIN FUTURE won the gold section in the Elementary on 69% and also won overall and then went on to win only his second Medium test. BLUSTEREN won the silver section of the Elementary on 68% and was 2nd overall. And HALLTOWN HARLEY finished top 5 in both the Elementary and Medium classes!!!
We had a great day jumping at Summerhouse (my first trip BSJA in 2017 and my gosh I have missed it!) Sadly I had all the horses competing on a ticket as I have been concentrating on BD this winter. COOLEY LEGALAND was a bit spooky, pretending he was a 4yo who had never been out, but he jumped well with a double clear in the Newcombers and rolled a pole rolled in the 1.15m Open. CALVIN II was a super star, jumping a lovely double clear in both the Newcombers and 1.15m Open and would have won both classes.BLUSTEREN however, felt incredible, an easy double clear in the 1.20m and 1.30m. He would have been 2nd in the 1.20m and would have won the 1.30m.CAPTAIN FUTURE was on his first jumping show in 10 months and after an interesting first attempt he jumped a lovely double clear HC in the 1.20m and then he popped easily around the 1.30m, just rolling the last fence. We all felt a little rusty, but it was great to be out jumping!!!
Its not long now, only a couple of days until the 2017 event season properly gets under way and we are ready and raring to go!
Well we have had a busy January with lots of outings!
I had a good start to the month: The event planning is complete!! And I had a really good few days getting all the horses sorted!!
My first trip out was a day of 2nd placings at Summerhouse. CAPTAIN FUTURE and COOLEY LEGALAND were the two I had competing and although it would have been lovely to have a first placing, I was really pleased with them both! Their scoring ranged from 67-71% and it was great that both were placed 2nd in both their classes!!
Next up, I had my gorgeous boys back out at Summerhouse. This time with COOLEY LEGALAND again and he won the Novice and SAN SOLO competing in his first BD competition, placing 4th in the Prelim and 2nd Novice!! What a star!!!
We then headed to West Wilts again competing British Dressage. COOLEY LEGALAND won both Silver Elementary sections on 68% and 69% gaining a qualification towards the Regionals and CAPTAIN FUTURE won both Gold Elementary sections and was overall winner of both sections on 70% and 72%, gaining his second Regional Qualification!! A fab day with my gorgeous boys!!! A huge thanks to all my amazing sponsors The Spanish Boot Company, Mark Todd, Gatehouse, Baileys Horse Feeds, Treehouse Sporting Colours and Antares Saddles, my amazing team of owners who always come to support, Jane for top show Grooming and for Tui holding the fort at home and hanging onto the naughty horses!!!
We then had two trips to Wickstead HorsePlay to school the babies, I am very excited about my rising 7 year old COOLEY LEGALAND and CALVIN for the coming season!!! They are feeling fantastic and jumping amazingly well!!
We have also had a trip to Rabson to cross-country schooling and amazingly the ground is holding up and it was lovely to have them out on grass again!!!
The first event of the season is now entered and it's only 5 weeks to go!!
2016 was a busy year for the team and December was dedicated to dressage and time for us to wind down on the jumping front and focus on our dressage with a few new outings.
First off, we headed to Hunters with CAPTAIN FUTURE (our first British Dressage experience) and it was a good one with us winning both Elementary's, the later on with 70%!! It was particularly nice as this was his first competition since he broke his pedal bone in May this year, so its lovely to have him back out and feeling well.
Next we were at West Wilts with the young horses, SAN SOLO and TOP HONOURS. They both preformed brilliantly, both scoring 70% and 74% in BE100 tests. This was their first outing since their event in November at Aston Le Walls, so great results again.
The following day, we headed back to West Wilts for British Dressage with CAPTAIN FUTURE and again he was a superstar winning the first Elementary class on 68% we were absolutely delighted with him!! With Christmas came time to unwind but not long now and we'll be off out at our events again!!