First off. HAPPY NEW YEAR. Here at Equishopping we've got some great ideas to get 2011 off to a fabulous start.
We've all made new years resolutions before, but do they really make a difference. Here's a few of ours to get you thinking.
Do 10 minutes of pilates a day. Pilates is great for riding and really helps your core strength. Alternatively, skipping is good intensive exercise. 10 minutes a day, every day adds up. We spend hours getting our horses fit so it seems only right that we spend a bit of time getting ourselves up to scratch.
Another suggestion of ours is when you're out hacking to put your stirrups up as far as they'll go. Then do an entire hack out the saddle. This really builds up your lower leg stability and strength. There's nothing worse than seeing people's legs flapping all over the shop at the end of the course when they're tired.
For those of you who are already fit and raring to go we've a suggestion. Give your horse a hug for 10 seconds a day. Not just a pat but actually give his or her face a rub etc etc. It's all to easy to forget the emotional side of things when you're pushing for performance all the time. 10 seconds will seem like a veerryyy long time....
We've also selected a number of products that we think will make a difference to your 2011.
Comfy protective gear is first on our list. Body protectors don't have to be like wearing a straight jacket that weighs you down. Check out the How's Racesafe RS 2010 with it's flexi panels and extreme light weight. New eventing rules also mean that body protectors must have been produced since 2000 - if you're riding in an older one it needs replacing. Sorry to break the bad news if you hadn't heard...
Following that theme a new hat thats both lighter and cooler will be great for summer. Plus, its looks unbelievably better going showjumping in a proper hat rather than the beloved "egg head" hats eventers stick silks on to attempt to improve the look of...
The next suggestion we borrowed from a rather exasperated dressage judge. What she wanted was people to tie their stocks properly. However, after judging prelim dressage all day with no lunch break this request was phrased slightly less eloquently and with far more french! Equishopping't top tip to solve this problem is not to painstakingly practice tying your stock but to buy a new one. Certain stocks are easier for certain people to tie. What one person hates another will love.
Well what about the tack room? Check out Equishopping's range of tack room fitments and accessories. You could well be surprised at the difference made by a couple of rug heaters or a set of drawers. AHA! Another news resolution. To keep the tack room tidy. (much much much easier said than done.)
Finally, we've got a slightly unconnected suggestion. Equine online dating. Put it into google and you'll be offered a vast choice from expensive services to free ones from the local paper. Now there was a time when online dating or anything like that was only for people with social and communication skills similar to the Disney character "Goofy" and looks to match other less attractive comic characters. Fear not, times have changed and it might just work. Plus, if it works out I won't have to write anything about Valentines day which would be a great relief! Once again, happy new year!