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Let the team share their top tips – You Got This Equestrian – Rider Confidence Series.

Welcome to You Got This Equestrian Confidence Series by Hayley at Red Bear Equestrian.

This week we welcome some of our Brand Ambassadors.

Nadia

Lolly

Lily-May

Alice (and Charlotte)

Caleb

Winnie

Join us while we they share the best parts of being an equestrian and their top tips.

Horse rider confidence and equestrian confidence needs to be spoken about more, I am excited to bring you, You Got This Equestrian where we discuss real topics and give real tips that work for real riders.

Join me every week for more inspirational stories, hints and tips to support your equestrian confidence journey.

Confident rider, confident horse.

Check out the You Got This Equestrian Clothing Range Here

Website

Instagram

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Nadia from Tales of an Anxious Amateur talks with Hayley on You Got This Equestrian

Welcome to You Got This Equestrian Confidence Series by Hayley at Red Bear Equestrian.

This week we welcome Nadia from Tales of an Anxious Amateur.

Join us while we talk equestrian and rider confidence and our journeys.

Horse rider confidence and equestrian confidence needs to be spoken about more, I am excited to bring you, You Got This Equestrian where we discuss real topics and give real tips that work for real riders.

Join me every week for more inspirational stories, hints and tips to support your equestrian confidence journey.

Confident rider, confident horse.

Check out the You Got This Equestrian Clothing Range Here

Instagram

Website

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We all blow it up

you got this equestrian episode 6

One thing I have learnt over my time recording interviews and chatting with a variety of equestrians for this video/blog series is we are all at the mercy of our own mindset and our own perception is usually different to the reality.

Take my daughter for instance, last weekend my (very naughty) fell pony decided that he was so excited at going in the big fields (where he had been daily all easter holidays!) that the only way to deal with it was to bounce and semi rear down one side of the field.

Being on the ground my reaction was to tell her to ride through it as he was just excited and would soon calm.

Her reaction being on his back was that she would ride him but felt he was doing huge rears and was very bouncy.

Luckily we had his excitable moment on video.

Both our perceptions were different to the video.

Videoing lessons is something I used to do a lot so I could reflect but not something I do often now.

I tried it in my riding this week. I turned my video on and headed out.

In my mind he was on edge but I couldn’t understand why. Once I watched the video back I could see why.

It was the same point on every circle he tensed up, why?

It was excitement as that’s where my daughter usually lets him canter. Its funny how they come to expect a set routine even in their ridden work.

If I didn’t have the video, I would probably have blown it up in my own mind.

We do that with so much stuff, create our own version of reality, thinking our ride was awful, hitting that pole was caused by a huge error, the buck was massive, we rode terribly.

We create our own narrative. Video combats that as it shows us the reality.

So….now I am busy looking at Pivo’s. Does anyone have one? What do you think? Do you have an alternative?

As I find that my video on my phone only captures half my ride and even then I need to zoom in.

We can be our best and worst critics but we can also be our best teachers if we just allow ourselves to change the story we tell ourselves about the rider we are.

So I challenge you this weekend, get your camera out, film your riding and see how much potential you and your horse really have and how far you have both come.

Happy Bank Holiday x

Check out the you got this hoodie and t-shirt.

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Body Protector – Love them or Hate them?

Girl riding a white pony

You have probably seen that our new equestrian confidence series has now arrived. If you want to know more you can check out episode one here.

Each week we are releasing either a blog or interview/video around an aspect of being an equestrian and especially around equestrian confidence.

This week I wanted to share something that is one of those subjects that everyone has an opinion on.

Body protectors.

Currently they are only mandatory in FEI Eventing. They have carried a stigma for years.

I have spoken to so many riders creating this series and they all have opinions, I also found lots of gaps within generations of riders where you can see how body protectors have been perceived.

I don’t think I ever wore one growing up, I had non horsey parents so they didn’t know and one one ever said.

It was only as I became an adult that I started to think about the pros and cons. Up until recently they were never the comfiest item. So yes I had one, no I never really wore it.

Yet as a parent, my kids had body protectors and wore them.

Hypocritical I know.

However in 2012 my opinion changed.

I was trialing a horse we were looking at buying, I shared the story in video one (click here to watch) of this series.

As soon as I got on the horse it was a bad idea but I brushed it off. Before I rode though something made me go back the car and get my body protector, despite that I rarely wore and had only taken to pacify my husband, I felt I should wear it.

Little did I know the impact that decision would make.

My body protector is the reason that I am not in a wheelchair. I would have been paralised without it.

That was when I realised the importantce.

No they don’t stop every injury but they decrease the chance of sever injury.

We have all heard that you are not a real rider until you fall off 7 times, 10 times, 15 times….we all know its nonsense but riding is risky so why wouldn’t you protect yourself. A study carried out by the British Medial Journal showed that using a body protector decreased the risk of injury during cross country by 56% regardless of the riders experience! 56%!

Body Protectors are now at the top of my shopping list, I spend money on getting properly fitted and ensuring they meet safety standards. I champion others wearing them, and am first to say when someone isn’t wearing one. We all love our horses but we shouldn’t be in a culture where we risk our safety for our hobby.

They are the marmite of the equestrian world. Everyone has an opinion.

One of those things that you don’t see the value and benefit from until its too late.

We put our safety into the hooves of half a tonne of flight animal on a regular basis, a body protector might seem irritating and not look great but you cannot predict how your horse will react on each ride as they are flight animals. You wouldn’t go jumping or hack out with no helmet to protect your head, so shouldn’t you be protecting your back, pelvis and vital organs in the same way?

My kids have recently discovered Champion titanium body protectors and love them, and that is the next one I am going for.

I would love to know what you think, do you love them or hate them?

Hayley x

Disclaimer

When purchasing always make sure you take advice on the safety regulations and fit from a qualified professional.

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It is almost our birthday!!

lady and child in red bear equestrian t shirts by the river

It is official.

I only have less than one week left in the office before our first birthday.

Next week I am out of the office to enjoy some family time (but I will still be appearing on our socials and I am leaving you in very capable hands).

Then when I get back we are officially in birthday week.

What an amazing year it has been.

I never thought at the start of 2020, I would be sat here having started this business and having such an amazing community supporting us.

We are a family business, the pandemic and lockdowns have solidified this even more.

The name came about because of my kids, you can read more about that here.

Our clothing has been designed in house and created locally for us.

However our new Fell Collection has now come in house within our own team which I am so excited about.

The new and upcoming Fell Collection has been totally inspired by you.

It is what you have asked for from the pieces, designs, colours, logos and pricing. Every time you vote in one of the polls I put out I listen.

The homeware has enabled me to work with some amazing local crafts people. There is so much to come in this range.

Our jewellery is designed and finished in-house, by me and I adore getting back to where I started in jewellery creation many years ago.

All of our pieces have names which are all linked to our family.

We donate towards a charity so close to my heart via your purchases. You can read more about why Day One means so much to be here.

The models are mainly family.

The photography is myself or my eldest son.

The designs are all passed by my kids who are the most amazing inspiration, as well as being amazing critics, to ensure everything is the best it can be.

Our new puppy seems to have his own fan club, with our followers regularly asking after him (he is definitely using that against the other dogs and fame is going to his head).

We are now starting to bring others into the team and thank you for supporting us so we can do that.

There are so many plans for over the next 12 months I cannot wait to share them with you.

Our birthday week is going to be amazing and our first birthday on 10th June is going to be filled with fun, so keep looking out for more on this.

I know I have said it before but Red Bear Equestrian would not exist of it wasn’t for you, so thank you for all of your comments about our ranges, votes in my polls (I know there are lots), purchase, shares on social media and general support.

You are all amazing and are helping our dreams come true.

Hayley and Team Red Bear Equestrian x

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Top 7 mounted games for kids

Girl riding a white pony

Summer holidays seem to have got here quickly and with another seven weeks off this means a lot of time for riding.

In our house the boys seem to have plenty planned however my daughters only plans are riding, her poor pony is getting ready to pack its bags and escape I think, it has never had so much love and attention.

With this in mind I have pulled together our top 7 mounted games to play while horse riding, as schooling can get boring, hacking is not always possible and as much as my daughter has decided cantering and jumping are great fun there is only so much her pony can do of this each week as we need to care for their joints and jumping daily is not good for them.

So here goes, they are all easy to set up and most importantly fun.

1 – Bending – Super simple but races round bending poles or cones in different gaits. I often use a timer or spots on the floor which need to be hit and there is a prize at the end (an ice lolly usually works well).

2 – Simon Says – Just like the unmounted versions but I use a mix of horsey tasks for example touch your ponies bum, touch your toes, ride one handed, stop, ride to the fence, trot to the cone, round the world, trot, touch ponies ears, touch your head, etc.

3 – Sponge and Buckets – Set up two buckets either on small tables or hung on fences, fill one with water. Give your child a sponge and get them to use the sponge to move the water from one bucket to another. They can do this against the clock or against a friend or just to see how much water they can move.

4 – Red and Green – Great game for if they have another friend who is also riding with them. Green means go, Red means stop. When you shout Red the last one to stop is out.

5 – Fetch – Set up some items attached to a fence, on cones etc and when you shout an item the child has to ride to it, pick it up and then ride to an empty bucket or basket and place it in there. This can be timed or against someone else.

6 – Egg and Spoon – Just like a traditional egg and spoon race but on horse back, however you can adapt this and use a shallow basket or bowl with a ball for younger children or a cup of water for older ones, you can even ask them to trot, making it harder to not spill the water.

7 – £5 Challenge – I loved this as a child. Place £5 under your bum/thigh/knee and try keep it there while you walk/trot or canter. Keep it there and you get to keep it. This is also a lot of fun (and a lot harder) bareback.

I hope you have the most amazing summer of riding fun, make sure you tag us in some of your pictures @redbearequestrian we may even pick our favourite and send them and their pony a special treat.

A note about safety

Safety is so important when it comes to riding activities. You know your child’s ability best so adapt the activity to them and ensure they don’t get to excite and start pulling on the ponies mouth or kicking a bit to hard. It is easy to get excited and competitive but these games should be fun for the ponies too.

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Do clothing sizes drive you mad? or Are you a Mum of Boys? I need you.

Hangers in the background. With text do ladies clothing sizes drive you mad? or Are you a mum of boys? I need you

Do clothing sizes drive you mad?

I ask this because every brand and shop seem to be slightly different and it drives me mad, especially when shopping online. You either end up having to order in a range of sizes and then send back some of the sizes or you order what you hope will be the best fit, sometimes that works out, sometimes it doesn’t.

This is why I wanted our clothing to be different, I wanted to support you through the sizing of each item.

So on each listing I give you an overview of the sizing, to help you make an informed decision and get the right size. No more sending back, yay!

Red Bear Clothing is also there to be developed by you, so you ask we deliver.

You asked for a black base layer in addition to the grey and navy, we added that for you this week.

You have asked for riding leggings, we are working to find some we love, with great quality and at an affordable price.

You have advised on one of our new items and a new colour for an existing item, they are on their way.

You have messaged about larger sizing in some of our items and they are being added weekly.

I am so excited to grow our clothing range with you.

Next for us is expanding our children’s line. We have items aimed at girls and also several unisex item, but as a Mum of two boys I know how hard it can be to find nice equestrian everyday clothing for them, so I ask you, if you are a Mum of boys and know the struggle I have just mentioned please drop me an email, instagram or facebook message and tell me what you would love to see, either what items or what designs.

Plus as always if there is anything you would love to feature in our ladies range, homeware or jewellery please get in touch, Red Bear Equestrian is a brand built for you.

Thank you for all your support so far, I am so excited for the rest of 2020.

Hayley x

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Can horses bob for apples?

Because of the heat we have been looking for new activities to do with our horses which keep them cool.

There have been lots of early morning or late evening rides and groundwork but during the day I needed something to keep my daughter and her pony busy.

Her top three activities so far have been;

1.Water fights, although these start as showers for the ponies and quickly turn into water fights usually with the ponies joining in by tipping buckets and throwing them (one of their favourite pass times).

2. Carrot Stretches, they need to keep supple for riding and stretching really improves the stiffness if they are not ridden for a few days and also you can use these to build up one side if it is not as flexible.

3. Apple Bobbing.

Yes apple bobbing. This started as my daughter was worried her pony was not drinking enough, as I needed to get home I needed a quick and easy way to get the pony to water. This ended up being their favourite game.

We started with a big tub with a shallow amount of water, we showed her the apples then placed in the water, after a few minutes she found it and ate it. From here we built up how many apples we put in and to not luring her to bob with apple. She got quicker and quicker.

Soon we were throwing apples into a bucket from a distance and she would hear them hit the water and bob for them.

This is the perfect game, no mess, kept the kids busy and the ponies hydrated and their minds active.

Plus they could play in the shade and keep cool.

Wonder what we will try next…….I would love to hear what games you have been playing with your horses and ponies.

cof