When you own a horse, time is always of the essence and sometimes a shower is the thing you have to sacrifice when you are rushing from the stables to the office in the morning. But fear not, H&H is on hand to offer some great life hacks to help you out so your non-horsey colleagues aren't left wondering where the unusual aroma is coming from...
1. Essential hairbrush: arriving at the office with dishevelled hair complete with bits of hay entangled in it is a dead giveaway and will probably be met with some disapproving looks from any non-horsey colleagues. Luckily, there are plenty of hacks out there for keeping your barnet under control if you have just dashed straight from the yard.
My top tip is to invest in a detangling hairbrush, such as a Tangle Teezer. A great invention when it comes to the world of hairbrushes and it can tame the wildest of manes — say goodbye to those frustrating knots caused by inevitable hat hair and messy buns.
2. Magic shampoo: once your hair is brushable, a generous spray of dry shampoo is also beneficial and will hide any grease or horsey odours — just like magic! They range in price but you can pick some up at most supermarkets.
3. Styling tools on the go: portable, cordless hair straighteners are also a godsend (thank goodness for 21st Century technology eh?)
4. No more sweaty hair: if you are riding in the morning before work, try wearing a handkerchief or headband underneath your riding hat. This will mop up any sweat (we have all been there). If you are only mucking your horse out, a clean hat or cap is a sensible option because it will limit the chances of unpleasant smells clinging to your hair.
5. Yard attire: wearing a pair of clean overalls while mucking your horse out will limit the chances of you smelling all day in the office — another good investment.
6. In the stable: your choice of horse bedding could play a big part in the level of smell that it creates. Straw is renowned for being rather smelly because it absorbs horse urine, so is best avoided if you are having to dash straight to work — no one wants to smelling horse wee all day. Opt for shavings or wood pellets instead.
If you have rubber matting down in your horse’s stable, a clever hack is to sprinkle garden lime (usually used for gardening) under the mats. The lime breaks down the urine and stops it smelling quite so much, or alternatively deep litter the bed so you don’t have to get too close to the urine in the first place.
7. Banish bad nails: the state of your hands is another telltale sign that your colleagues will probably pick up on in the office (do they not know what hard work looks like?).
There is one simple way to resolve dirty hands and grubby nails; wear gloves ALL the time. Whether it is mucking out, brushing your horse or riding — gloves, gloves, gloves. They will prevent a whole host of hand sins.
Oh, and don’t forget to smother your hands in hand cream before you get to the office and no one will know you have been slaving away at the stables since 6am.
8. Must-have toiletries: add the following useful toiletries to your bag (the one you have packed with such organisation the night before…) and you will be winning this yard-to-office situation. Face wipes are a MUST and will remove any grubbiness — also pretty good for armpits, although we don’t recommend using the same one on your face…
Deodorant is another obvious one and we recommend a reliable antiperspirant — none of this body spray business. Purchase some nice-smelling perfume to mask any stubborn smells, which the above have not managed to abolish, and keep in your car for a last-minute spritz when you arrive at work.
9. In the car: keeping an air freshener or an odour-eliminating product, such as Febreze, in your car means you can spray any smelly horsey gear you keep in the boot. If possible, drive with you windows down a bit to let fresh air in too — unless it is freezing cold obviously…
10. The laundry basket: washing your work clothes with a laundry scent is a great hack and means they will smell fresh when you put then on after riding. To keep costs down, you can make your own laundry scent at home. Just mix 30 drops of an essential oil of your choice, such as lavender, with two cups of Epsom salts and mix. Add a quarter of the mixture to each wash.
11. The delights of tights: If you are wearing a skirt to work, opt for a pair of skin-coloured tights. That way you don’t need to panic over whether you shaved your legs the night before (men, count yourselves lucky you don’t have this problem).