A major part of the fun of Olympia Horse Show (16-23 December) is the retail therapy on offer — and the chance to catch up on all your Christmas shopping! The Olympia shopping village is so vast it can be hard to know where to start, so our products editor has been out scouring the stands, bringing you the most exciting and innovative products to make a beeline for at this year’s show.
1. The new technical clothing brand that’s helping save the planet
Not only do DVR Equestrian’s sweat-wicking base layers and riding leggings come with a whole host of technical features — they boast UV protection, shape retention and two-way stretch, and are silky soft against the skin — they are also made from recycled ocean plastic. Their range also includes fluorescent and reflective fabrics for ultimate visibility while out hacking. You can also check out their new technical riding trackpants — perfect wearing over your breeches on competition mornings and for warming up.
Where to find them: stand H284
2. The rug that will give you the gift of time
Say goodbye to long hours slogging away at a wet or sweaty horse with a towel — the Dri-Rug claims to completely dry a wet winter coat in just 30 minutes. It can be used after bathing your horse, or after sweaty work such as hunting, and the rug itself dries as the horse does, so afterwards you simply shake it clean — although it’s also machine washable. It’s super lightweight too — I was impressed.
Where to find it: stand G145
3. Bike lights for riders
Ever thought how much safer riding on the road would be if you and your horse had headlights? Well, now you can get the next best thing, with Exposure Lights. Originally designed for cyclists, the range includes white front-facing lights, and red rear-facing lights, which can be worn on the side of your boots, or on your helmet, using the bands provided. The pulse pattern of the lights is designed to make you visible from over 1km away in daylight, and by wearing them on the side of your ankle, it means the lights are at drivers’ eye level — making it even easier for them to spot you. These are definitely worth checking out.
Where to find it: stand D53
4. The genius tool that’ll save your clothes and carpets from horse hair
If you’re anything like me, horse and dog hair all over your clothes, your car and your carpets is the bane of your life. Enter the Amaze Brush. This great little tool removes hair and lint from all surfaces, super quickly and with minimal effort. It’s also for cleaning numnahs and rugs, as well as removing pilling from clothes. There’s no batteries required — the padding on the brush features thousands of tiny teeth that hook onto the hairs, and these pads can be replaced every couple of years when they wear out. I know what I’m popping on my Christmas list…
Where to find it: stand G220
5. A beautiful insight into The Devil’s Horsemen
I’ve always loved watching The Devil’s Horsemen whenever I have been lucky enough to catch one of their displays, and I found myself totally transfixed by the beautiful book on sale here. The Devil’s Horsemen provide horses, riders, stunt doubles, carriages and tack for major movies ad television shows — from Les Misérables to The Crown — and this hefty coffee table book captures a huge number of historical and behind-the-scenes moments from their training and long heritage. For anybody who’s interested in the team, or simply fascinated by horses in film, this would make a stunning Christmas present.
Where to find it: stand G170
Visit: the devilshorsemen.com
6. The chance to buy the saddle of your dreams
Dreaming of a new Devoucoux or Voltaire saddle for Christmas, but unable to stretch your budget? Let Equitack help — they sell used saddles from premium French brands for a fraction of their RRP, and there are some serious bargains to be had. There’s no need to worry about hidden problems either — all their saddles are thoroughly checked and reviewed by saddlers before being put up for sale, and most come with guarantees, as well as optional adaptations. The guys on the stand really know their stuff as well — I recommend paying them a visit.
Where to find them: stand F49
7. The boots you’ll never have to take off
Forever dreading the moment you have to heave your feet out of your cosy Wellies and ram them into cold, stiff riding boots? Grab a pair of Rudds and you won’t have to — at least not for riding at home. These neoprene-lined natural rubber boots are specially designed to be safe to ride in, due to the four-inch foot width giving you plenty of room in the stirrup, and tapered sole tread which helps with quick removal from the stirrups. They also feature a reflective rear strip for added visibility when riding on the roads, and come with a 12-month non-split guarantee.
Where to find them: stand A63
8. The perfect saddlebag for next summer’s picnic rides
Who doesn’t love a long, lazy hack in summer, with plenty of snacks at the ready? If you’re already dreaming of warmer days out and about with your horse, then the snazzy Duck Soup saddlebags are just what you need. Gone are the old, heavy leather saddlebags, that were a pain to attach and slipped all over the place; these neoprene bags are light, waterproof, robust, stretchy — oh, and they’re machine washable too. There are various easy attachment options, making them suitable for any saddle and rider. And did I mention that they’re super pretty too?
Where to find them: stand D59
Olympia Horse Show runs until 23 December. For more information please visit olympiahorseshow.com
Don’t miss H&H’s extensive coverage. Check out dressage and Wednesday-Saturday showjumping reports in the 28 December issue (out Friday, not Thursday this week because of Christmas schedules), while showing, driving and Sunday showjumping coverage will be in the 3 January 2019 issue.