A trip to Olympia Horse Show just wouldn’t be complete without indulging in some retail therapy in the vast shopping village. With over 250 stands, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to Olympia shopping, especially if you have some last minute Christmas gifts to tick off your list. Luckily, our products editor has surveyed the options on offer to bring you some brilliant present ideas.
1. For the ethically-minded rider…
Indulge in cruelty-free sheepskin with the Veredus Save the Sheep range of boots — which includes tendon, fetlock, turnout and overreach boots. The ‘techno sheepskin’ used is a completely ‘man-made’ fabric, free from animal derivatives, while still looking pretty snazzy. It offers a comfortable, cosy fit and the loose, wide knit helps prevent trapped sand. It can be easily washed and dried, and requires little maintenence to keep in good condition, unlike sheepskin which often dries out.
Where to find them: stand F41
2. For the trainer who’s losing their voice…
Swing by the stand of Finnish company No Shout, and test out its newest, most versatile wireless communication device, the Freestyle X. I can personally vouch that the sound quality is impressive, and it can be used one-way, two-way, with speakers and with as many receivers as required. And if you and your trainer don’t need quite as many bells and whistles, the tiny, discreet Rapide device at the other end of No Shout’s range offers handy one-way communication.
Where to find them: stand C51
3. For anyone looking for the perfect saddle pad…
Be one of the first in the UK to get your hands on one of these beautiful velvet Equitex saddle pads, which are handmade in Italy. They provide gentle cushioning, impact absorption and 5cm of freedom at the spine, as well as being breathable, durable and non-slip. The gloriously smooth velvet helps prevent hair breakage, and the best thing of all? They are machine washable. The contoured pads are available in a classic dressage, jumping and general purpose shapes, as well as a half-pad, and come in a variety of rich colours, plus white.
Where to find them: stand G160
4. For the hard-working horse owner…
Anyone who works with their hands and spends a lot of time outdoors in winter (so pretty much every horse owner) will know the pain of cracked, dry skin. Let Norse be a saviour this winter and pick up a tin of their delectable hand salve, or “paw chutney” as they call it. Full of rich, protective moisturisers, beeswax and essential oils, just a tiny sample of this salve left me with super-soft hands. It also smells wonderful, although don’t worry if you’re not a fan of scented products as the smell disappears completely within a couple of minutes.
Where to find them: stand G177
5. For the dog in your life…
I’m no dog, but just walking past the Barney’s Biscuit Boxes stand made me feel peckish. These handmade dog biscuits come in several brilliant flavour combinations, and are made from natural UK ingredients with no derivatives, preservatives or additives. The team put plenty of passion into their product, and each biscuit is taste-tested by Barney the rescue labrador, so why not swing by a pick up a packet (or three) to pop under the tree for the lucky hound in your life?
Where to find them: stand D59
6. For the person who deserves a serious treat…
This eye-catching ostrich leather saddle caught my eye from across the shopping village, but it turns out that there’s much more to the Australian-designed Stride Free saddles than just their super stylish exterior. The innovative tree design gives the horse extensive freedom, and therefore the potential for improved performance. These saddles don’t come cheap, but with an adjustable gullet meaning they can be fitted to any horse, they would be a fantastic investment.
Where to find them: stand G235
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7. For the Thelwell lover…
If you, or someone you know, is anything like me and a sucker for a good bit of classic Thelwell, then this is a stand you should definitely visit. The Print Rescuer offers a range of old classic prints and pages rescued from the likes of Thelwell, Winnie the Pooh and Beatrix Potter books. With prices including frames, these would make wonderful vintage gifts.
Where to find them: stand D27
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