I’m often asked about my favourite gear and equipment, so here’s my top 5 must-haves for the year!
Bits and bridles
It sounds obvious, but what’s important is putting a lot of effort into finding a bridle that fits your horse’s anatomy correctly. I sometimes even create a bridle from multiple different parts, if I can’t find a suitable whole bridle. The more comfortable the horse, the better the performance, so try not to just pick the one that you think looks the prettiest. Choose the one that fits your horse and he performs the best in! The same goes for bits – play around to find what creates the best connection, it can make a huge difference.
A rolling tool box
This is an inexpensive, must-have piece of equipment for me! I have a Fat Max brand, always loaded with absolutely everything I might need at a show. Being on wheels, it’s easy to move around. I never take anything out of mine that doesn’t go straight back in.
Ice boots and Incrediwear equine leg wraps
I ice my horses’ legs every day after work, regardless of how strenuous the workout. This is a cheap and easy preventative, and well worth investment in time! Incrediwear have a line of human and horse products designed to increase circulation, I use them in conjunction with my ice routine, and find them fantastic for tightening up filled legs.
Supportive riding boots
It’s amazing how the right pair of boots can make a huge difference to your riding! A well supported ankle can really help to keep your leg in the correct position – toes forward, working off the upper inner calf and keeping the leg still. My favourite brand is Celeris. They are close-contact, fully bespoke and offer an amazing amount of ankle support. If you’re not ready to invest in a pair of boots, try wearing an ankle wrap or brace, this really helps too.
An iPad or iPhone
Mirrors are great, but nothing is better (or sometimes worse!) than seeing yourself on video. This is a huge motivational and educational tool for me. If you can’t con someone into filming you (even 5 minutes is good!), buy a little camera grip or tripod, point it at the arena and you’ll still see what you need to see.