This week at Horse & Hound H&Q we spotted something a little unusual on top French showjumper Simon Delestre's Instagram feed: what looked to be a pair of beautiful, fluffy reins...

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There’s no denying that the equestrian world is susceptible to a trend: from matchy-matchy numnahs and leg wraps to diamante browbands for the dressage divas amongst us.

Social media is rife with the latest ‘must-have’ piece of kit, all at the swipe of your phone, meaning you don’t even need to leave your stable to find the next trend from your favourite riders.

This week at Horse & Hound H&Q we spotted something a little unusual on top French showjumper Simon Delestre’s Instagram feed: what looked to be a pair of beautiful, fluffy reins. Had we just stumbled across the trend for 2018?

Whilst looking extremely comfortable and cosy for both horse and rider (your hands would never be cold again holding the reins…) it does appear that on closer inspection Simon’s “fluffy reins” are in fact wool noseband covers that have been used to cover the reins. Genius.

Savvy riders are using the nifty covers to prevent reins rubbing particularly sensitive-skinned and clipped horses.

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So we went on the hunt to find out how you can fluff up your reins…

You can buy wool noseband covers from a host of equestrian brands including Le Mieux (from £9.95) and Griffin NuuMed (from £13.50), who both have their own range of luxury wool products in a variety of colours.

Buy sheepskin noseband covers from £5.90 on Amazon.co.uk >>

Blend in with black, cream and brown or stand out and take your matchy-matchy to the next level with bright red or blue. A handy solution for horses having their final winter clip of the season and who are prone to rubbing.

“The great thing about wool is that it is totally natural and you’re not introducing any foreign elements,” says  Rosie Pocock, managing director of Griffin NuuMed. “Wool has various attributes that help with protection — it is a soft gentle material that works very much with the horse. The material is able to spring back when compressed so you get a continual and very even protection that doesn’t become rigid against the horse’s neck.”

Just remember — if you warming up in them, do remember to remove them before heading into the jumping arena or trotting down the centre line in your dressage test…

Don’t miss next week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (18 January 2017), with our products special. We take a look at the best wearable technology, find out the latest tricks of the trade for grooming and round up the best competition jackets