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Meet our latest Rider Rhiannon Hinton

Posted on September 02, 2017 by Carrie

About me -  I’m a working mother of two, juggling corporate career and dressage diva ambitions. You can follow #RHintonStressage on Facebook and Instagram.

About my horses-

Giorgio ii

George is a 16.2hnds 2001 british bred Trakhener x TB (by Achtetermann out of a Devils Jump/Atlantus mare). Owned, backed and produced by Rhiannon since 2004. Rhiannon describes him as her “gift horse”, teaching her more than 10 different horses could have in the same time frame. What he lacks in ideal confirmation for advanced level dressage, he makes up for in heart. Rhiannon says he’s taught her the rewards of correct progressive training, appreciating biomechanics between horse and rider, and the tools/techniques to create the sound advanced level athlete that he is today.

“Its not all about the ribbons and titles, its not even about the fun we’re still having riding at GP in training / HC. It’s about the special bond we’ve developed on our journey together”

Competitive successes

- Midway Intermediate I Freestyle Champion 2017

- Midway Intermediate I Non Freestyle Reserve Champion 2017

- Small tour championship finalists at Intermediate 1 2016, one of few amateur horse/rider combinations to qualify. Achieving a PB score with over 70% in the Inter 1 freestyle.

- Consistently qualified for the Petplan Championship finals upto Intermediate 1 level.

Quakin Horatio

 

17hnds Bob is a 2013 british bred Oldenburger by Hotline, out of a Dimaggio mare. Purchased direct from his breeder as a 2yo - Rhiannon has backed and is following the same steady building blocks inspired by the TTT - Andrew Murphy and Charles DeKunffy.

“When I met Bob he was very plain and unassuming to look at, but very inquisitive and bright eyed…I instantly took to his cheeky character and nifty neat balance throwing shape! Pedigree is most definitely on his side, certainly at an immediate advantage over George and destined for GP in years to come”.

Raffaelus

 

17.1hnds british bred Hannovarian gelding by Rafarge (Rohdiamant) out of an Atlantus mare). “Alf joined George and I as a yearling, straight from his breeder. He grew into such a gorgeous impressive horse & the judges loved him. Everywhere we went people enquired after him. I backed him as a 3 year old and had trained him to medium level. Sadly he suffered a field injury and was pts. We were devastated. Our paths will meet again ”

Divine Equestrian says "We are really pleased to be working with Rhiannon, our paths have crossed more than once & we have always been inspired by her".

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Cavallo Inka Softshell Jacket - Tried & Tested

Posted on June 08, 2017 by Carrie

Cavallo Inka Softshell Jacket Night blue

When I saw this jacket online at Divine Equestrian I just knew I had to have it! Did I need it? No but, I had to have it ha ha. So off I go to check the finances and see what I can scrape together as not only do I need it, I need it NOW!

Suffice to say after planning beans on toast for dinner for the next few weeks (other half was in for a shock) I happily popped online and very satisfyingly placed my order.

As is always the case with this awesome company, it arrived the next day. Horror of all horrors, I was at work so had to wait till 6pm that evening to get to it, longest day EVER!

So I dash through the door yelling at my other half ‘have you got my parcel?’ He dutifully appears with parcel in hand, good boy. J Now I am one of those weirdos that has to open everything carefully, I think I Like to drag the excitement out. A few minutes later, there it is and it is just beautiful. Straight to a mirror to try it on.

Now as you may know from my previous Cavallo review, I am a bit of a fan of this brand for many, many reasons and I am happy to say that as expected this jacket was up to their usual fantastic standards and did not disappoint!

The night blue colour is just stunning. It’s not quite navy so a little different as you see so many classic navy blue jackets, which have their place but, it is nice to have something slightly different within that classic scheme.  The fit as always is perfect, I am quite curvy and really appreciate Cavallo for taking that into account when they make their clothing as you can tell as soon as you put them on, they are really made for women.

So I have now been wearing this jacket most days when it is not too warm but, I am not going to lie it has not gone near a horse, it is far too pretty. So I have been wearing it to work instead and have actually had quite a few comments from work colleagues on how nice it is. I have not worn it in the rain yet but, I am really not worried as I know that the Cavashell and Aquaskin technology they use is super-efficient and will keep me dry.

I would highly recommend this jacket to anyone; it is super comfortable, practical and yet still manages to be incredibly stylish. Both the night blue colour and the silver are equally gorgeous with a silver zip and streamlined pockets. The branding is subtle and classy and not in your face which is nice so stop reading and go out and buy yourself one of these, remember YOU NEED IT!

Written by Alex Whisken for Divine Equestrian 

 All readers of this blog can gain 10% off the SS17 Cavallo collection, just use discount code - Cavallo10  on checkout.

https://www.divineequestrian.co.uk/collections/cavallo

 

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Our Myler 36 Forward tilt ported barrel mouthpiece review

Posted on May 30, 2017 by Carrie

So as per our company ethos we were approached to become a stockist of Myler bits, we had been watching the evolution of Myler for a while & when the news broke that they had managed to get there bits with ports legal with British Dressage we were thrilled.

 

So instead of jumping in we needed to trial first, why do we do this you ask? Well as a retailer we feel it is really important to know our products as how can we truly sell anything without the knowledge behind it! We pride ourselves on this fact & we feel due to this we offer far more in terms of our customer service than most of the other retailers in this field.

I had previously used a Myler comfort snaffle for quite a few years with my horse Castle Troy. He was a big 18hh DWB but he loved the feel of the Myler comfort snaffle so much so I kept him in a snaffle all the way to Advanced level.

Bitting is such a contentious thing & it does like most things in the equine world move & change with fads & fashion. Back when I was a teenager it was fashionable to use bubble bits & Pelhams & french link snaffles.

Then it was a bit with peanuts then different types of metal. I once spent a whole day trying to find somewhere I could buy a German silver snaffle bit! So yes I feel all your pain 🙂  

The trouble with all the above was that all the bits had a tendency to pinch in one way or another. 

Plus we never gave a second thought as to the horses own mouth conformation!

Nowadays I’m much more safe when I bit, I don’t tend to try to many different bits as I have a good idea normally on what will or won’t work & once I find something that works I tend to stick to it. Good or bad that is what I do. 

Now when it comes to my PRE (Andalusian) & bitting I get quite stressed, he’s not easy to bit & has suffered for years with multiple Diastimas (gaps between his teeth) his contact as a youngster due to these issues wasn't good. He also has a big tongue so peanut type bits he has never got on with.

When I saw the Myler 36 forward tilt ported barrel mouthpiece, I instantly thought ‘my god Galante would probably really like that bit’. He hates bits that sit on his tongue (which is most let’s face it ) The forward tilt of the port on this non-collapsing bit give tongue room even when the horse is off the contact, it is really the ultimate in comfort. However it is only a medium port so there is some tongue pressure for when you need the horse to re-focus on you.  

Did i mention how excited i was to try this bit!

Having been riding in a Double bridle for the last few years with Galante, as this was the only option he was comfortable in, it was lovely to have Galante back in a snaffle bridle but not just any old snaffle bridle we chose the Stubben Freedom bridle. (btw we offer trials on these bridles)  

I introduced the bit to him & then started having a little play in hand standing by the side of him & moving it around, once I was happy that he was happy, we moved to the arena & I jumped on.

Instantly I could feel a positive difference, I felt like he was moving into the bit rather than ducking behind. 

Once I had fully got him used to the bit on a long rein I started to bring him up into a competition frame. He still felt extremely positive so I started moving him around laterally, his Half passes were brilliant, he stayed to the contact & I could even lift the shoulder by a half halt.  

Galante has a nasty habit of grabbing hold of the bit & pulling using his ridiculously big wannabe stallion neck against me, as a way of getting away from me when I’m asking a bit more of him. I was worried he would get away from me, he tried it once & to no avail. He never bothered again after that & hasn't tried again since.  

I then played with all the collected work & then changes which are still green & very airborne however he felt so comfortable & relaxed they were better than ever, needless to say the days that followed were all the same great work. So I decided to bite the bullet & take Galante to our trainer in the Freedom Bridle & the Myler 36 

He felt mega more together happier & more stable in the contact. He was really happy to be forward to the bit & my two days away training where brilliant & we kicked it up yet another gear. I can honestly say I’m thrilled with the bit.

I will continue to ride in it now & compete plus i will be trying my tricky mare in this bit also. 

So all in all i think this is the most positive review i could ever give, im no Bitting expert & dont try to be but Myler, make it fairly easy for a change with there amazing designs. We now have so many more options for our horses thanks to Myler.

Worried about which bit to choose? Well just drop us a line & we will be only to happy to help or go to Mylers own Facebook page 

Needless to say we also feel the Stubben Freedom bridle is a great bridle to choose also. 

 Even though we haven't added the Bits yet to our website you can buy through us, just contact us, by Telephone, email or messages through our social media.

https://www.divineequestrian.co.uk/

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Sponsored rider Alex Baker Dressage Tell's us more....

Posted on May 09, 2017 by Carrie

This is my first blog that I am writing in partnership with Divine Equestrian, who I am thrilled to be working with and be sponsored by.

Let me introduce the team first of all; My current European young rider horse Nibeley UJ Lady Lara, or Lara for short (I know it’s quite a mouthful!) She is 10 years old and has been with me since she was 6. Together we have trained up the levels from Medium to PSG/Inter 1.

This year is our second season at young rider level. We are aiming for the young rider Europeans again this year representing Team Ireland.

My other horse is Dutchman or Jack. Jack is a 9 year old Gelding by Jazz. I have had him since last summer and he is very talented, we are working together towards Grand Prix and hoping to compete at U25 Grand Prix next year.

Now that the important ones are introduced, now to introduce me :-)

I am Alex Baker, a 21 year old Irish Rider. Currently I am working for Anna Ross at Altogether Equestrian as a rider. I have been working for Anna for 2 years now, where I have learnt and improved so much about everything!

Training up the levels, training and backing youngsters, travelling abroad and social media to name a few.

Before working at Altogether Equestrian, I worked for Fiona Price-Jones at Sport Lusitano. I trained with Fiona whilst I was at school and then progressed to be a rider for her when I finished my A levels. Fiona taught me many things about horse management and training as well as breeding.

I fell in love with dressage when I was 12, trying to drag my (very long) first horse round a few prelims with highs of 60% and my passion just grew from there. Taking opportunities to ride anyone’s horse round a dressage test.

What I am most excited about right now; I am trying to train a horse to Grand Prix for the first time, learning how it is supposed to feel and the heightened need for the perfect balance and accurate aids is mind boggling at times but when it works is so thrilling. Jack and I are nearly ready to go out and try an Inter 2, we have 8 ones and baby piaffe/passage at the moment. Getting there!

Being on the Divine Equestrian team means so much to me, they have such an amazing collection of everything you need to be smart and fashionable with amazing quality. Before becoming a sponsored rider I was a customer of Divine Equestrian, the first thing I noticed about this shop was the huge range of all the best top named brands Pikeur, Eskadron,Cavallo and Cavallo boots and many more.

A personal favourite product is the Catago brushing boots that I bought last year. There is such a range of different colours that makes it easy to colour match either the Catago saddle pads or what I did which was to match it to my own numnah and riding boots (grey!).

It is easy to find bandages in every different colour of the rainbow but brushing boots are harder and I know that many people prefer the less hassle of brushing boots but of course it is still important be matching!

Lara and I have been sporting the new Euro-star SS17 Lychee colour this season! It looks amazing on her, coming out as a bright pink it goes well with her being black. I love my polo top and wear it on the yard and off! It is slightly longer so it is better for tucking in, and is a lightweight material that dust, hay and shavings don’t stick to. (Which is always good in my books!).

Thank you again Divine Equestrian for this opportunity and looking forward to writing my next blog for you all!

Follow me at -  

http://www.alexbakerdressage.com/

https://www.facebook.com/dressagealex/

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Stübben Virginia Dressage saddle review Part one

Posted on December 20, 2016 by Carrie

 

Stübben Virginia Dressage saddle review Part one -

We have been very lucky here at Divine to become ambassadors for Stübben UK, we have been big advocates of Stübben for years & could not be happier.

Stübben has all the things we love in companies, Quality, innovation & customer service. So to be now able to use one of their saddles is a great honour for Carrie (Director of Divine Equestrian).

I Carrie have owned horses all my life & whilst I do class myself as an amateur rider i have produced all my own horses for many years let’s just say over 30 years. Stübben was most definitely the Brand to have when i was growing up.

So When i was given this opportunity of working with Stübben i was extremely excited BUT I also had the old demon thought in my head, you know the one “ Stübben are great but there not forgiving on your backside”. This thought kept rolling through my mind & I was praying that this wouldn’t be the case.

So the day loomed when John & Sue from Stübben UK turned up, I was a little on edge more so as the horse we had chosen to use the saddle was my not long home backed Baby 4yo Hanoverian. So I had the added stress of Jasper behaving, let’s face it can be hard enough with horses but a just backed one trying a saddle he’s not used to the feel of could be a challenge!

John decided that they wanted me to try there new Dressage Saddle the Virginia, I was told that this was their basic dressage model so I wasn’t expecting much.

However out came this beautiful Saddle, soft leather with Patent bits, yes PATENT every blingy dressage rider’s most favourite thing!! I asked John again just to confirm that it was a Basic range saddle?? He replied with yes, I think I was starting to annoy him at this point lol.

I asked ok so how much will this cost??

How does £ 1837.50 sound??

It nearly floored us as we are so used to prices of £2,500 - £ 3,500 being banded about for saddles of much lesser quality these days!

Anyway once I had got over the fact this saddle was so affordable on it was popped, we all stood back & commented that it looked like it had been made for Jasper. Jasper was most approving.

It was at this point the technical elements of the Stübben saddles where pointed out to me. First thing which is the most important is the Tree, Stübben have invested loads into their unique Steel Spring tree. Not only is the design amazing but it is also an Adjustable Tree, now I hear you all shouting!!

When I say Adjustable the Tree points are adjustable by using a specially devised piece of equipment called aptly Change a Stübben device. The tree points can change in width from 28cm – 32cm. Major Tree changes can be done also by sending back to Stübben, so you really can try to have a saddle for life.

The next small but helpful thing is the Panels have screws to make the removal for flocking much easier, the panels are traditionally flocked with Wool.

For more info on the Stübben Steal spring tree click here http://www.stuebben.com/site/stubben-info-5727/saddle-tree-5382/

There are also many different options available on girthing, Gussets & Tree -

Long Billets

NT Saddle tree

Fourth Billets

Gusset Panel

Flap Straps

So next was my test ride, I decided to lunge Jasper for a few Mins first before getting on board. One I wanted him to get the feel of the saddle & two it was a cold rainy morning & he was fresh! If im honest I just didn’t want to face plant in front of John & Sue.

After 5 mins I parked him up at the mounting block & got on, instantly I knew I liked the Virginia as the moment I sat I felt it gently helping to put me into a lovely alignment. The knee rolls support but don’t block & the seat is deep yet open, I’m not a fan of being locking into a saddle and whilst this saddle does definitely help you it doesn’t give you the feeling of being blocked. The narrow twist really helps us ladies as well, my hips could drop a lot easier.

Instantly Jasper moved better & considering he had only been backed a few weeks at this point he moved a lot straighter as well. I felt I could get my leg on better & generally ride much nicer. I could of rode round for hours but he’s a baby so a walk, trot & canter on both reins with loads of neck scratches & polo’s had to suffice.

The major thing was the seat ITS NOT HARD, sorry to shout but I had to. The seat is in fact extremely comfortable so can we lay this to bed now??

Stübben have most definitely moved with the times & are producing majorly innovative & horse / rider friendly equipment a lot of time & research goes into their designs & it really does show when you try them.

So that’s it for now Part one of my blog complete, our next blog will be about how we prepared Jasper for the BEF Equine bridge selectors day & how the Stübben Virginia dressage saddle is getting on with us both now we have had more hours together.

If anyone wants any further info on this wonderful saddle please do get in touch, our saddle can also be viewed in Store at Divine’s Boutique shop as well as loads of other Stübben equipment.

sales@divineequestrian.co.uk

Or contact Stubben Direct 

http://www.stuebben.com/

Stubben UK have there own Facebook page, so do go give them a look & like - 

https://en-gb.facebook.com/St%C3%BCbben-UK-Ireland-1255283567834842/

 

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Cavallo AW16 Helen Gilet

Posted on November 10, 2016 by Carrie

Our latest Tried & Tested comes from our Ambassador Alex Whisken, she bought herself this Gilet.

I have always been a huge Cavallo fan and as always this stunning gilet did not disappoint.

The thing I love most about Cavallo is the fit, they are so flattering in the way they cut their clothing, you honestly don’t notice till you try something on, look in the mirror and go ‘Dang I look good!’.

I have a fair few items of Cavallo clothing now and am always super surprised that others I know don’t really know anything about them. They have all heard of other big name brands but, not Cavallo. I am always the first to say you need to try them, very similar if not slightly cheaper and just a good quality and always look so good on.

Firstly the colour of this gilet, prune……eeeeekk basically a gorgeous yummy purple and no girl can ever have enough purple in her horse wardrobe. It is truly stunning with a lovely sheen in the sunlight.

It is also very lightweight but, super warm, making the most of their winter high technology. It is so comfortable to wear due to the stretch sides, making any movement easy. Even jumping up and down and wind milling your arms (yes I have actually tried this).

The Helen softshell Cavallo gilet is a both water repellent quilt and wind and waterproof softshell whilst also still being breathable, making it highly practical for most English weather.

I have mainly been wearing mine with a lightweight long sleeve tee underneath and have found it has kept me at the perfect temperature whether out on an hours leisurely hack or a hard hours schooling, this has been in sunshine and much cooler weather.

I absolutely love mine and have and always will recommend Cavallo to everyone I know as they really do design and make the most gorgeous clothing lines.

 

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Exciting times with Stubben Saddles....

Posted on November 09, 2016 by Carrie

We have been given the very exciting opportunity here at Divine Equestrian to try the new Virginia Dressage saddle from Stubben.

We hope to have our saddle in the next week, we will be doing a full on-going Tried & tested blog as we will be using this saddle on our beautiful 4yo British Hanoverian.

Not only that but you will be able to to see the saddle in our Shop & you can also try it yourself.

All we can say for now is our trial ride in this saddle went extremely well. Both horse & rider felt improvements straight away.

The Price of this saddle is also amazing at around £1,950. 

 

 

 

For more information please go to Stubben website  - http://www.stuebben.com/

Also take a look at there Facebook Page  - https://www.facebook.com/StuebbenUK/?fref=ts

Please give there Facebook page a like also while your there :-)

Dont forget to keep popping back to see how we progress with this Saddle & take a look at our Stubben products not forgetting our Stubben Equi-soft Girth & Freedom Bridle Trials available now. 

http://www.divineequestrian.co.uk/collections/stubben-girths-bridles

 

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Euro-star Easy Rider Frea Breeches

Posted on November 03, 2016 by Carrie

Euro-Star Easy Rider Frea Breeches

When we saw the Easy Rider collection from Euro-star we just knew instantly we had to have it in our shop.

What instantly grabbed us both where the fabrics, so soft & the colours, the hard task was setting about which breeches to choose. We instantly felt that the Easy Rider Frea breech was the one, but little did I know that I would actually fall in love with these breeches.

It’s a long wait from ordering winter stock to actually receiving it so when I opened the box that contained the Frea Breeches I instantly remembered why we bought them.

These breeches have some major plus points not only are they Full seat Breeches, they also have gorgeous silicon swirls on top of the full seat. This means that you literally have the best of both worlds. They also have the ER logo & stud detailing on the back of the waist band & a gorgeous swirl pattern again embroidered on to the seat pocket. 

Two front pockets edged with leather like material really set these breeches off. I thought they might be restrictive but in fact there not at all, the waist is lovely a Mid / high waist so it really fits most ladies very well & there is no showing things you don’t want to when picking horses feet out!

Oh & did we mention they are WATER REPELLENT ?? Also with wick-able material that has a 4 way stretch??

Once I had my pair on which was ridiculously easy as they are true to size ( if anything possible a little generous) I couldn’t wait to get in the saddle to really test them. Once in the saddle I was very comfortable the silicon does give you more stick ability that most of the silicon breeches I’ve tried & wear daily. I’m one who doesn’t like feeling stuck in the saddle & I will say they didn’t make me feel that but I definitely felt more stabilised than normal especially when my PRE was practising Flying changes & I mean Flying literally :-0

Off the horse & around the yard i found these breeches really comfortable, nothing really sticks to them that a quick brush down with your hand wont fix, meaning there very practical as well as beautiful. They wash really well also, all in all these are one of my favourite breeches & i will definitely be found in a pair of these most days over the course of this winter.

Breeches available is Mid Grey (which is slightly darker in real life ) & Dark Brown.

Available & in stock now at Divine Equestrian

http://www.divineequestrian.co.uk/collections/euro-star/products/euro-star-aw16-frea-full-seat-grip-breeches-darkbrown

http://www.divineequestrian.co.uk/collections/euro-star/products/euro-star-frea-full-seat-with-grip-breeches-middle-grey?variant=28514354179

RRP £115

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CATAGO - COOLER RUG

Posted on November 03, 2016 by Carrie

CATAGO – Cooler Rug- Tried & Tested

Catago is a growing Brand in the UK & we are so happy that so many of our customers are appreciating the quality of this wonderful company, as always with Divine we do pride ourselves on being able to provide high quality products.

Earlier this year Catago very kindly sent us Catago Cooler Rug, we are always looking for nice fitting rugs which don’t cost the earth. Plus we will never recommend a product or sell one that we haven’t already tried it is our company ethos & we believe that this way we really can give better customer service through in depth knowledge of our products. Luckily Catago agree's with us & allowed us to try the Cooler Rug & ¼ sheet.

With owning many different breeds of horses we struggle with fit when it comes to rugs especially on my beautiful PRE. With this in mind we decided that we would put the cooler rug to the ultimate test & try this rug on Galante with the knowledge of if it fitted then it would be a good one for everyone else.

So the box arrived & in there was the most beautiful Red Cooler rug what immediately struck me was it is very similar to another top brand sold in the UK only half the price! We had ordered a 6’6 rug which is the true size of Galante but again is something we worry about as you never do know how there cut. But I was very pleased & relieved to find out that the rug is indeed true to size & fitted Galante beautifully even around his neck & shoulders. The gorgeous Red colour of the rug really does set it off well & it looks extremely classy without being over the top. Galante is Grey but this colour as you can see above really looks amazing on a Bay as well as Black horses.

I have been using this rug now since we had it which is now over 6 months & it truly is a lovely & highly practical rug, I have had no rubbing, it hasn’t & wont stretch as it has properly stitched edges & it does what it says it wicks really well. I use mine for travelling, cooling down & as a base layer when needed on colder nights.

 

The rug is available in Red, Anthracite & Black 

Its features –

100% acrylic with wool effect. Ideal as transport rug or after training as the material transports excess heat and sweat away from the horse.

The rug has black binding, double front closure, detachable cross surcingle’s and elastic leg straps.

They are an excellent price as well & easily stand up against other more well-known brands on the UK market.

One of the best features is the removable surcingle’s,which gives you the option of how you want to use the rug, high quality buckles mean there is no issues on fastening the rug even after multiple washes & wears.

Oh & it does indeed wash well, however a quick hoover will remove any bedding that has stuck prior to sticking in the washing machine.

They also would be very easy to embroider just like similar but more expensive cooler rugs on the market.

In fact it our next thing to do still is to embroider ours.

The Catago Cooler Rug is available to order from Divine Equestrian – RRP £79.00

That’s a lot of rug for not a lot of money!

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