Gee Gee and Me is an equestrian lifestyle blog that puts everything equine to the test, bringing to you honest reviews and the occasional Dear Diary post, about my personal journey with my Connemara pony.
I am a hat girl, I love them and during the winter months I am seldom seen without a bobble hat to keep cosy and warm, a cap to hide my dreadful riding hat hair or a beautiful Hicks and Brown Fedorawhen best dressed.
I purchased my first in April '17 ready for a wet day at Aintree Racecourse on The Grand National Thursday, saving my dress and fancy fascinator for Friday's Ladies Day! The weather was true to the forecast and unkind, my Hicks and Brown Fedora kept the rain away from my face, my hair reasonably in place and coped well against the elements, drying out as good as new. Proof the felt wool hats are water resistant. Since then my collection has grown and a Hicks and Brown Fedora would be an asset to any country chic wardrobe.
- Hicks and Brown provide an excellent size guide on their website - in cm's - click on a hat and look to the right.
- I have purchased all of my Fedora's online, using the guide successfully. If you're buying as a surprise gift, sneak a look in your loved ones riding hat. I wear a 56cm riding hat and a size small Fedora fits perfectly. Don't go up a size, as you want it to be secure in all weathers! No one wants to chase a Fedora on a windy day...
No two Hicks and Brown Fedora's will be the same, the feathers vary in colour and size making your hat truly unique. A fantastic Christmas present for the equestrian in your life and the perfect season for wearing it...
A delivery from Botanica International was perfectly timed in October because it coincided with the arrival of Arnold, a 3 year old Connemara pony and the newest addition to our family. Coming from a large herd in Ireland, he had a chewed forelock, the odd bite and a very stubbly tail. Knowing Botanica International is a brand renowned for natural goodness and healing, I couldn't wait to show Arnold some TLC.
The Cleansing Wash is a unique combination of natural healing ingredients, blended to make a soothing antiseptic. With my guinea-pig aka Connemara pony tied up and ready for pampering, I boiled the kettle and followed the instructions;
As the steam rose from the bucket, the yard was filled with the most beautiful aroma; lavender, tea tree, aloe-vera and comfrey. I dipped my sponge in the liquid, rung it out and smoothed it over Arnold's coat. Paying close attention to any bites or scabs with confidence knowing the Cleansing Wash can be used on broken skin safely, without it needing to be washed off. I finished by washing Arnold's tail. This has been our weekly routine and Arnold has lost most of his scabs, new hair is growing and he looks wonderful in his coat, his tail is recovering too.
Left - when Arnold arrived, apologies the pictures are a little dark.
Right - four weeks later.
I loved the product so much I have started to use it as my hot cloth tipple after clipping Oscar too, its effective in the battle against scurf and his coat looks great. I too go home with soft, clean hands that smell less like a yard and more like a spa.
The Cleansing Wash is available in various sizes, starting at 300ml for £10.95. Thank you to Botanica International for sending this product to me and giving me the time needed to properly put it through its paces.
I grew up wearing a blouson style equestrian jacket to the horses and I always have one lurking in the depths of my car boot. Why...? Because they're the most practical jacket you will find. Rydale have recently updated the design of their best-seller to create the perfect one, so it's out with the old and in with the new!
The Rydale Ripon III Equestrian Jacket is the perfect blouson shape, pulled in at the bottom by an elastic waist for a snug, high fit that doesn't get in the way. The fabric is waterproof with a hood secretly concealed within the collar for the wet weather days. The jacket is lined with soft fleece for warmth and comfort, without being heavy or bulky, so you can layer up/down as appropriate. Available in sizes 8-18, I wear a size small.
Then there is the attention to detail. The Ripon III Jacket is available in seven smart and practical colours, something to suit every personality - being 'Safe Sally' one of my nicknames I am less fond of, I chose navy. It has two outer pockets that have tabs of fabric over them to avoid things falling out if you fail to zip them closed and a zipped inside pocket too. The front and outer pocket zips and poppers are chrome or gold - gold for navy - with contrasting embroidery and a faux-leather arm patch for a stylish finish. The inside has a galloping horse ribbon for decoration and the packaging it arrived in felt high end and luxurious, wrapped in Rydale tissue and beautifully presented. Hard to believe it costs just £45!
After wearing the Ripon III Jacket on horseback for a few weeks, it came with me as my only coat on a recent jolly to Ireland. I wore it to travel in with my jeans, with base layers and jumpers on the blustery wet days when we viewed horses out in the elements on the Wild Atlantic Way and as I toured the city of Galway. A true reflection of how smart and versatile the Ripon III Equestrian Jacket is, you can view the range by clicking here. Happy shopping...
Visiting the fantastic Horse Health trade stand at Badminton Horse Trials back in May, I was spoilt for choice on what to purchase. From the newly released rider range of breeches, base layers and polos to something shiny and new for Oscar. I met somewhere in the middle and purchased Oscar a 3D Mesh Air Pro Grip saddle pad in navy and treated myself to the new LeMieux Competition Socks. Little did I know we were about to embark on one of the hottest summers on record. Making the pads arrival to my tack room perfectly timed...
The3D Mesh Air Pro Grip saddle pad is a marriage of LeMieux's lightweight foam fabric and their unique Pro Grip technology. The innovative design results in an extremely breathable, stylish and secure saddle pad. Including all of the trademark features we know and love from Lemieux; the underside is lined with beautifully soft bamboo for its natural wicking properties. The velcro D ring tabs are the perfect length, the girth loops fit both double and mono-flap saddles with a reinforced area to protect against the wear and tear of stirrups and boots.
The Pro Grip panels sit either side of the saddle pads spine, in line with where the seat of the saddle rests. The panels are soft to touch, flexible and slim enough not to alter the fit of a saddle. Yet are enough to reduce movement, alleviate pressure points and aid shock absorption. Horse Health always recommend washing their saddle pads before the first wear to soften the fabric and reduce the risk of any rubs, as everything does in the LeMieux Collection it washed beautifully.
Since Badminton I have ridden in the 3D Mesh Aid Pro Grip saddle pad in 30+ temperatures. I have hacked, jumped, been to the gallops, travelled tacked up and even ridden around Burghley Horse Trials 4* XC course - yes, literally around the jumps - and on the hottest of days Oscar has remained dry, happy and comfortable. As the season changes, it will be a great pad to continue using that will make my life easier so that after a fast ride I can rug up and turn out a dry horse, reducing the risk of them catching a chill.