8 bits of kit we couldn’t do without

  • Every rider has a favourite piece of equipment they wouldn’t trade for the world, whether it’s for sentimental or practical reasons. Do you have any of these lurking in your cupboards?

    1. The ancient jute stable rug or canvas NZ that’s been used on a dozen horses, chucked in a cupboard, used as a dog bed, doubled up as a bench cushion and still remains perfectly usable.

    2. The ultimate pair of wellies. We’re all different, and when you find the right pair of wellies for you that are sturdy, comfortable, fit well and last then you’ll never, ever want to give them up.

    3. Favourite breeches. Whether it’s because they’re flattering, incredibly comfortable or sturdy enough to keep off even the British weather, we all have a pair of breeches that seem to be constantly on the go. Usually they’re no longer being manufactured, and we’re trying not to think about the day they finally fall apart.

    4. Gloves, especially in winter. There’s a fine line between ‘so thick you can’t feel the reins’ and ‘so thin you can’t feel your fingers’. If you find the perfect pair that combines cosy hands with the ability to retain the use of your fingers, chances are you’ve bought six pairs in every possible colour and are sticking to them like glue!

    5. A fabulous saddle. It may not be the latest thing, it may be less than pristine and it may be sporting several repairs, but you’ve been riding in it so long that it’s gradually moulded to your shape. You’ve always looked after it carefully, and it’s repaid you by being the most comfortable thing you’ve ever sat on, armchairs included. Frankly, when you finally give up riding they’ll have to prise this from your unwilling hands.

    6. A gadget. For authenticity, this should be something you bought abroad, found at a show or tracked down online and have never seen on sale since. Friends ask where they can get one, but apparently they can’t. Examples of this genre include unusual grooming tools, ergonomic saddle pads and anything designed to make horsey life easier.

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    7. A really decent penknife. This is normally one that you’ve had for years and years and has travelled with you in the pocket of a series of coats across different yards and events. It’s done everything from cutting baling twine to being an impromptu bread knife at a picnic, and you feel a bit naked without it.

    8. The ultimate yard jacket. As equestrians, we spend so much time outside that our kit really has to perform. When you find a yard jacket that’s waterproof, hard wearing, has lots of pockets, isn’t too rustly and is both light and warm, it’ll see more use than anything else you own.

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