The Real Just Riding

Rescue No.2 - That is a funny looking Pony?!

By Management Team

Rescue No.2 - That is a funny looking Pony?!

OK so it's not a pony... we cant rescue cute Ponies every week just to satisfy your need for looking at a cuddly, scrummy pony!

So a few months ago we were all working away in our offices at JR HQ when one of the girls shouted Awwwww!! Poor Thing!! Now, as many of you know "Awwwww!! Poor Thing!" is effective code for everyone in the entire office to jump up and run to where he or she thinks the "poor thing" might be. I don't know know if it is horsey people in general but anything involving an animal and the words "Awwww, Poor Thing" and it's like someone lit a fire under them. "What Poor thing? Where is it?!?"

In this case the "poor thing" in question was a little dog absolutely soaked through, shivering cold and wondering around outside the office having been dumped on the roadside. (sadly a common occurrence in our road which backs onto woodland) So I ran outside and called the little guy over, he wasn't keen initially but he came over and I gently picked him up. He was filthy, wet and cold and stunk of something not of this world. He was a little thin but actually not to bad. I looked over at the office window which was by now full of Just Riding staff...OK I said I'm taking him in doors to get warmed up and have something to eat.

OK so I am waffling.. Cue the "poor thing", here he is...

Stefan the Dog

Unfortunately we don't have a photo of him on the actual day we brought him in from outside, we think we might have one somewhere but are rummaging through thousands of images to fine it, If I do I'll post it on here.

So I took him home which is conveniently close to the office and got him clean, dried and fed. He was so good, just stood there while I washed him down in the shower.. ate so much food then passed out.

Bathtime.. we put Bonnie our cavalier in with him for reassurance.

Stefan Bathtime

The kids came home that afternoon to find our family plus 1 dog (we already have a rotty who lives out and a cavalier who lives in) I made it quite clear to the kids and other half that I would be looking for a good home for him as we couldn't possibly take another dog on... 

So during the weeks that followed "Stefan" as he was now called started to kind of blend into our life, we had a couple of upsets in the first couple of weeks which our spaniel helped him to sort out. We also took him down to our local vet to have him neutered as we felt this was the "responsible" thing to do for him and it also helps with them not spraying and humping everything in sight. I mean he literally humped everything when we first brought him into our home, lets put it this way.. the cat was not impressed.

Stefan here below post op... all inoculations done, micro-chipped and sorted.

Stefan the dog Post Op

The days and weeks rolled by and I seemed to try less and less to find a home for Stefan the more he seemed to blend into our lives. He is such a clever little boy, Oh I forgot to mention the vet said he was only just over a year old roughly the same as our cavalier.

I have a funny story about the first trip to the vet, I asked my husband to take me and we went into the room to speak with the vet about Stefan. In the days running up to this appointment for some reason my husband had convinced himself that Stefan was some kid of pedigree breed.

He said in an authoritative way (as husbands do) that the under bite he had looked like he was a pedigree of some kind., he was sure if it. So he said to the Vet "Excuse me is he a pedigree of some kind because I noticed his bottom teeth underbite the top row and I have seen this before on a pedigree breed." (I'm thinking British Bull Dog) the vet turns trying to be as gentle as possible.. errrm, No. The underbite is a defect of mixed breeding! I looked at my husband and LOL alot!!

So Stefan is somewhat "special", that's all good he'll fit right into this family.

Months have rolled on an I gave up on finding a home for him, he has become a real part of Just Riding and our family, he is in the office everyday the girls love him and so do my kids. It took a few weeks for Bonnie our Cavalier to accept that she wasn't the princess of the castle anymore and that she had to share her space with this new dog. It was a classic lady and tramp scenario, he tried so hard to win her over and she was having none of it. This is Bonnie below when we told her that Stefan the street dog was staying..

Not Impressed...

Bonnie 1

Since his arrival they started to get more and more attached and now around 4 months on from when we first found him they are inseparable I actually cant remember our life without him. I think to myself often, who could have dumped such a awesome little dude next to the road.. I can only imagine someone thought they were getting something else and when he started to grow they realised he was a bit of a special mix and dumped him, who knows? but their loss is definitely our gain in this case.

Bonnie and Stefan Below Sharing a bed..

Bonnie & Stefan Sleep

Bonnie - "He is telling the story about when he was a street dog.... AGAIN!"

Bonnie & Stefan 4

Treats for the gang, the Cat always wins...

Treats for the animals..

Stefan has turned out to be such an awesome dog, he is very clever and really independent. He is still a bit delicate with raised voices, men and quick movements even at home he will head for the door if someone shouts. But we are getting there slowly but surely.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed our story about Stefan our new addition, I know it's not a Pony or a horse.. maybe next time! :-)

Last photo here is Stefan sleeping with my daughter who he adores, yes they are both actually asleep like this.

Stefan & Catherine

I simply had to add this video which was taken a few days ago, my daughter and Stefan in the front garden... Apparently he likes it.

Thanks for reading... I hope you enjoyed it.

Any comments are appreciated below and of course your continued support of our store 

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Pony Rescue No.1 - Lucky

By Management Team

Pony Rescue No.1 - Lucky

Now this is just plain weird! seriously, I was writing the article about the fire at our place and that it had set us back with our plans for the rescue and re-homing side of the business. Anyway, as I stand here before you hand on heart my phone bleeped and I looked down at an incoming whatsapp message I opened it up and there appeared to be a black dog that looked soaked stood in the middle of a field. No, it wasn't a dog and it wasn't any old field. It was a tiny black pony and it was my field!

Little Pony 1st Image

So I messaged back wth is that? thinking an unauthorized pony purchase had taken place.. on the contrary no one bought him this guy had wondered through a forest which borders our place and into one of the paddocks with my two boys (who crapped their pants) he then proceeded to trot between paddocks under the bottom rail of the fences. 

He was eventually caught and Herbert who works on the yard said he was in a bit of a state with parasites and very bad hooves.. he had apparently crossed a river to get in with the other horses. We separated him off and started to call around the yards we knew, no one literally no one had lost a pony. How odd, in the 30 years I have worked with or been around horses this has never happened.

Later that I went down to the yard and gave him some apples and other norty treats and checked him out, I called my vet straight away as he did need some attention and also I wanted to be on the safe side, I also called the local councils department for strays etc and a welfare place locally. None had received any reports that a pony had gone walkabout. 

That evening the vet came out and powdered him with stuff to get rid of the lice and other nasty things, checked his teeth all the usual stuff, it turned out he is around 2 years old. 

The council and vets said as there was no chip wait around 2 weeks and if no one reports or claims him just chip him and put him on a passport yourself. So we waited and no one has come forward. We chipped him and got him a passport, his new name is LUCKY. (I know not completely original but my 5 year old named him, and lets face it he is lucky wondering onto my place I have sucker for ponies written across my forehead)

So week 3 and he is much better, we cant get to his feet yet to sort them out but he has been treated for everything else, a few trust exercises over the coming weeks and we'll get to his feet and sort them out to.

What a lunatic pony this is, seriously green as anything behave as though he never saw a person before, so funny the first time put him on a lead he just started bucking bronco all around me.. he is so tiny I have a dog bigger than him and when he puts his full stallion attitude on it is rather hilarious.

Pony on LeadWeek four and he has really settled in we made a miniature paddock but miss judged the little fences and he just jumps out, he is fascinated with show jumping.. when we are training on the big horses he comes running over and watches, so funny. The other horses like him and so do the kids.

Getting to know you...

Getting to know the human gang.. he is very shy not just head shy but all around shy. But we will work with him and he'll come right. He would make a great little grooming pony for a club or something..

Getting to know you 2

If I rear up surely I'll be as big as you are... ermmm, no.

Rearing Up

Going Home...

Week four and I received a phone call today from a lady who I know who says that she knows whose Pony it is, can you believe it 4 weeks after it went walkabouts!! Anyway I said that I would need to speak with her as I had concerns over the Ponies condition when it found ITS OWN WAY to my yard. 

Spoke with the owner and although she had no passport and no chip, after answering several questions I am assured that she is the rightful owner. It is a weird one sometimes when you "rescue" a horse or a pony you want to find either a new home or the rightful home for the animal, but sometimes there is a nagging voice in your head telling it would be better off with you. :-( but I cant keep them all. After a few meetings and some long conversations with this "non horsey" owner of the pony I am confident that he is going to be alright. She paid me back the vet fees which is a bonus..

So that brings this little saga to an end, I look forward to posting details of the next one on our blog for you guys to follow.

Any comments or questions in the sections below.. all are welcome and dont forget you can subscribe by clicking the subscribe link on the right.

Bye Lucky!

Bye Lucky

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Stable Development - Building the dream...

By Agnieszka JR

Stable Development - Building the dream...

In late 2015 Just Riding had been trading for a few years and so with profits from the business and ALL of our savings we commenced with our quest to build our own stables.

I think it is most horse owners dream to have their own place to keep their beloved horses and we are no different. We had and still have big plans for Just Riding Stables the first plan was to create a base for the business close to the horses, the second was to create a building and facilities that could accommodate the horses we rescue so that we could give them a comfortable temporary home in which they could feel safe, be well looked after, re schooled if necessary and eventually re homed.

Aside from our Brand Ambassadors program we had always wanted to build somewhere that we could use to rescue and re-home abused or unwanted horses. We managed to secure a deal on a very old stable and some surrounding land through my family. The stable was water tight, well mostly..but in need of a lot of work to bring it up to the standard we wanted it at and make it a habitable place for horses. After all it wasn't all about rescuing horses this would double up as our family getaway, a place for the children to play in and enjoy as well.

2016 came along and with it super exciting times, we commenced on site and made the first cut in the land for the schooling arena.

 The days and weeks rolled by with work on the build really steaming along, powered by me.. I was on site everyday! I am sure the builders loved that! lol

Here below is a gallery of images which shows how the development progressed over the following months, we found that our plan changed around 20 times as we moved forward the builders would come up with improvements and ideas which we always loved and of course agreed to. The problem is with working like this, sure you end up with the exact washroom you wanted and the toilets in the barn itself instead of outside but when the bills start coming in for these "extras" ouch! 

Click or Tap on the large image to expand the gallery.

The Build

The Build

Stable Build 23Stable Build 34Stable Build 31Stable Build 22Stable Build Image 3Stable Build Image 2Stable Build 30Stable Build 3Stable Build 21Stable Build 14Stable Build 13Stable Build 34Stable Build 29Stable Build 24Stable Build Image 4Stable Build 18Stable Build 17Stable Build 16Stable Build 7Stable Build 15Stable Build 12Stable Build 11Stable Build 10Stable Build 9Stable Build 8Stable Build Image 1Stable Build 6Stable Build 5Stable Build 4

Around 5 months on and you can really see the changes in this video from what was the old building to what is becoming the new. The guys were working tirelessly, we still hadn't secured the site with regards to perimeter fencing and so still no horses on site at this point.

These are the last few pictures towards the end of the year, the outstanding tradesmen we had employed had successfully and almost completely renovated and rejuvenated what was a completely outdated mess of a building. We could not have been happier.

My two favourite places was the wash bay created from nothing, tiled and looking stunning and the tack room which lead into the new office. I could not believe that from a room that was used for keeping pigs in at one time, something so beautiful could be created.

Washbay Tiled

Tack Room

One of the proudest moments of my life hanging the canvas picture on the wall of my grandfather who originally owned this building 50 years ago, one on photo he is standing one foot on each horse. He had horses in his blood like me.

Tack Room 3

A few days after completion the horses had been moved in, we were already using the yard as a valuable place for outdoor play with the kids and had cleared a space and thrown down some wood chipping for the much anticipated play area. Which arrived a few days after this photo below was taken.

Life on the yard was good

The two rescue kittens we had taken in where happy and content, life was good and everything seemed to be going in the right direction. We had taken one young horse on to train and we had already started to look for rescue cases that required our help.

Life on the yard was good 2

One late summer afternoon we were all at the yard, there were even a few tradesmen finishing off a few bits and pieces. I was washing off a horse with another rider, the guys were tinkering with the wi-fi in the office, kids were running around and the music was playing.. the weather and the atmosphere at the stable was just perfect. You know when sometimes you wish you could just cut a piece of time out and keep it forever well for me this was a time like that. 

To some it might not look like much but to me it was perfection and I had my slice of paradise and I was looking forward to doing so much...

I posted this happy photo on Instagram and wrote "LIFE IS GREAT !!!"

The Last Happy Post

We heard the children screaming first and I thought they were playing, but I then realised that something wasn't right. 5 seconds later I heard the word I think any stable owner fears the most... "Fire!!"

We immediately ran up to the hay loft to see how bad it was but it was way too late, the flames at the far end of the building where our new building attached to the old one were as tall as the roof itself and spreading so fast there was no chance to do anything other than to get everyone out and release the horses. A few guys tried in vain to use a garden hose to slow the spread but it was absolutely hopeless. We were blessed that everyone from the surrounding houses came running over as soon as they saw the smoke and started to grab everything and anything and dump it outside on the paddock. Within 10 minutes there was a huge pile of saddles, bridles, computer bits, furniture.. everything that was inside that could be moved was now outside.

We all stood in shock and watched 12 months of work and the last 10 years of savings go up in flames.. utterly powerless and utterly devastated.

Here is a short video which shows the sheer ferocity and scale of the fire.

A brave firefighter tries to do everything he can to save my stables.

The following photos are still today a little difficult for us to look at, some people might be thinking. What? it's only a building, but to me this "building" was the realisation of a lifelong dream. I had against difficult odds brought a building back to life that had once belonged to my grandfather who passed away just before I was born. Call me a romantic but I loved the notion of that!

The scale of the damage mostly from the gallons of water the fire service poured into the building is devastating. The fire destroyed the upstairs and the water destroyed the downstairs. In fact so much water (9 fire engines) was poured into the building that the concrete ceiling was found to be structurally unsound afterwards. #tackroomsdontmakegoodswimmingpools

Our new crisp white ceilings, a few days later they just started to fall into the building.


After the fire we found one kitten but his brother was missing for a while, we feared the worse. This was the final twist of the knife as far as we were concerned it was horrible news that we really did not need. As the guys that worked on the yard started to clear the rubble and fire damaged hay and equipment we received a call to say they had found the other kitten, alive! 

The poor little thing had actually singed his whiskers they were all curled up, it shows how close to the heat he must have been, one very lucky kitten and at least 8 of the 9 lives used up for sure I reckon. In an odd way this news lifted us a bit, a small triumph out of what was a hideous time.

We had been knocked down by what had happened but with horses and other creatures we were responsible for we got stuck into clearing up and assessing what needed to be done. It is at times like this that you find out who your friends are.. some of them even turned up to help with cleaning up and just offering to do whatever they could. Like Bishu in the photo below who literally threw himself into the soot and muck for two days we wont ever forget that.

We worked quickly to isolate 3 outdoor boxes and a room which was largely unaffected by either fire or water to store feed, we put up a tent for the hay and moved some horses to friends. The others that we could keep at the yard we did.

The roof had to come down and unfortunately the entire ceiling as it had been deemed to be unsafe. Our two handy men who had been working odd jobs at the stables for me tore down the entire roof and the ceiling, along with my Dad and some friends. I was speechless at how they all worked so hard on that building for me.

When I saw this after a few weeks of the guys working on the stables I truly wanted to throw in the towel and walk away, we were actually in a worse situation than we were when we started the renovation of the old building, at least then we had a roof. I think this was one of many moments where curling up into a ball in the corner was definitely an option.

Work has continued on the yard and we now have a ceiling but no roof, we have to get a roof on the building this year it isn't an option not to, because if we don't the winter will completely destroy the building. I am determined to make this happen this year, hopefully with the support and loyalty of our Just Riding customers your continued business will make this possible. 

The inside where the boxes are located is rubble but we are working slowly to restore it, the tack room below seen in the photos above have not been touched, the plasterboard all has to come off and replaced and repainted which we have not yet done.

25/02/17 -

There isn't much else to add at this stage, right now we have been developing this new website and invested in new brands, attending shows with the shop and moving forward.

The stables are being worked on currently but on a drip payment basis, basically it works like this...If we have a reasonable week on we put up some plasterboard or lay some bricks, or buy some materials for the roof. Everything we had went into the first renovation of the building and so it has to be this way for now.

We wont be deterred from realising our dream, every time I think about quitting I just have to look at my smiling face on that horse on the last instagram post I made before the fire.

In the words of the amazing Nelson Mandella "A winner is a dreamer who never gives up"

If you feel like making a donation to our project you can do so right here: 


Nothing is compulsory but trust me, everything is massively appreciated! :-)

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Animo Riding Boots... Talking bout my ger, ger generation!!

By Agnieszka JR

Animo Riding Boots... Talking bout my ger, ger generation!!

Who? exactly.. for those of you not as ancient as my self you wont understand a thing about what I just wrote, having said that who am I to assume perhaps you are all cultured music lovers who know exactly who, The Who are!?

The new generation of horse riding boots from Animo Italia are more than worth a look they are tipped to be the next huge thing in the world of riding boots and recent sales and the trends on social media suggest all the assumptions are correct, I mean come on even Madonna is instagramming herself in Animo!!

So in our last article we touched on the fact that Animo were now creating their riding boots entirely in house and this has proven massive in their move away from the first generation boots and into the latest designs which are simply beautiful. The calf skin is some of the finest calf skin leather, sourced in Italy and conditioned specifically for use on riding boots. The soles are the same as most hand made / made to measure boots use, they are glued and stitched vibram soles, even the zippers are YKK the best zippers in the world. The insides are lined with a softer calf skin leather and the inner soles are also leather lined. There has literally been no expense spared in the making of these boots, from the point of origin to the place of production quality runs through these boots like a vein of gold through an Alaskan mountainside. 

It is unsurprising that we are seeing super stylish and super talented young riders such as Jessica Mendoza, Jo Clee and Mario Stevens wearing Animo Riding Boots, I have a feeling that we are going to see many more of the worlds top riders favouring Animo boots in 2017.  

In a previous article I wrote about the state of riding boots today, in regards to the longevity and durability of the boot itself. I told you about the use of calf skin and importance of country of origin and conditioning of this ultra soft skin. I can not stress the importance of this enough, because calf skin is so naturally soft that it must be worked and handled correctly in the earlier preparation stages in order for it to provide a completely balanced solution. Too soft and sure your foot will feel like it is in a slipper for a few months but you will more than likely be shopping for a new pair within a year, particularly if you ride a few horses a day, Too hard and its blisters for weeks possibly longer and lack of flexibility in the boot which is paramount for riding. It must be just right, and given that I have tested the new generation of Animo for a good few weeks now I can honestly say with hand pressed firmly to heart that they hit the nail on the head with these models. They are soft yet durable, rigid yet flexible... I am so pleased with mine.

The only down side with Animo's new generation of riding boots is not a negative for you, but more a negative for Animo... if as I suspect their boots are going to last for years and years, there will be little need to replace them and so what then?? I think to be honest, I will be buying my next pair of Animo boots out of an obsession for the latest trends and styles rather than necessity.

I can almost hear you all saying, really?!? Yes, I am afraid so.. I own the Zody field boots which I am delighted with and now I see they have released the new Z10 with crystals actually embedded into the toe cap decoration.. I have never seen that before on any boot and so yes, I think I will be treating myself again this year! But isn't it nice to do it because you want to, not because you have to? :-)

Without further a do here are a selection of the new generation of riding boots from Animo for 2016/17.

On the left we have Animo Zody field boots or laced competition boots the most popular boot presently and on the right Animo Zen a ladies dress boot without laces.

Animo Zody and Zen Riding Boots


Here below we have ZOK a dress boot for men (without laces)

Animo ZOK Riding Boots

If you are looking for something with a bit of sparkle and glamour then look no further than the Z10 tall boots embellished with crystals in the toe cap decoration or the ZINIA/17 short boots also lined with Crystal.

Animo Z10 Riding Boots

Animo Zinia 17

You will notice the beautiful ZARA unisex mini chaps in the background on the photo above, a perfect accompaniment to the stunning ZINIA boots. They are also a great combination with the two boots here below. ZAMBIA the ladies short boots and ZEUS the short boot for men, classic timeless style.

Animo Zambia Riding Boots

Animo Zinia

For any questions about Animo you are welcome to speak to a member of staff or to browse the Animo Italia Riding Boots Collection you can click here.



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Parlanti Passion K Riding Boots | New Products | Blog

By Agnieszka JR

Parlanti Passion K Riding Boots | New Products | Blog

Introducing the latest offering from Parlanti the KK Boot or K Boot as some people are calling them. Professional riders seem to be seeking comfort of classical styling, certainly in 2016 we have seen this more and more with increased sales of Parlanti's K Komfy short boot and Ocala the tall general purpose boot which we like to refer to as a cross over boot because you can ride 5 horses a day in them, give them a polish and look perfectly respectable on the weekend.

Well these are the replacements for Ocala, and we are not disappointed!

Parlanti K Boots

First of all the boots are incredibly comfortable with increased use of buffalo leather and elastic stretch panels to ensure both durability and fit to the riders leg and foot. The exclusive B-Flex rubber sole and two elastic inserts will provide the best fit you could hope for. KK-BOOTS are the ultimate in lightness and comfort. They are both beautiful and durable.

Buy Parlanti K Boots right here.

Parlanti KK Boots

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Riding Boots Lasting the Distance & Buying in 2017...

By Team Just Riding

Riding Boots Lasting the Distance & Buying in 2017...

We have been selling riding boots well pretty much since cows started eating grass, it's quite a long time ago..

We have invested in a few riding boot brands over the years, some have stuck and some have not. The one factor that always and I mean always plays a key role in the rise or demise of a horse riding boot, and that is QUALITY. Quite simply if your boots are cheaply made even with all the best marketing in the world the company will have their glory year or two and then the warranty claims will start to come thicker than the new sales and bang, the company is drowning and twelve months later its goodnight sweetheart... thanks for the memories. So, now that I have depressed onto the in's and out's of it all.

What I said earlier is actually true, remember those custom Konigs you bought in 2006, the ones you polished last week (in 2016) and rode out on? sadly the days of finding boots built like they used to make them are dwindling into the non existent, because the demand for a more comfortable, more technical and more aesthetically pleasing boot has exceeded the ability to produce them. We live in a time where trends are now hashtagged and become global in seconds, not even hours or days! Gangnam style was released and within 300 seconds it had already trended as a global hashtag and people were going crazy about it, an hour later and the guy was ordering his first Lamborghini. So when the "right" people start hashtagging, blogging, faecbooking, Instagramming... blah, blah, etc about a new pair of riding boots then people start to ask questions. What's this all about? "Everyone" is raving about them... and then the golden question "Where can I get a pair?"

Something I hear often from our customers is, how come my old boots I bought in 2000 are still going and this new pair I paid $1000 for only 12 months ago are starting to fall apart. The answers to this questions fall across a couple of different categories. The first is, It is your fault! Now that may sound strange but let me explain..

Remember the days when you used to buy a new pair of riding boots and it would take 3 or 4 weeks to wear them in, you would be there every night rubbing the Vaseline into the back of the heel, using a warm wet sponge on the outside of the leather.. wearing them in your house wondering around your kitchen in your nightie and pair of riding boots. I remember it well, we had to do that because the boots were pure hell, they carved up the backs of our heels like fresh ham on a sharpened cheese grater. In fact I think some of the boots I bought in the past may well have had cheese graters inside them, stitched into the back of the heel.

But, and this is the big but.. it was all worth it in the end because these boots eventually molded to your feet and only your feet and you ended up with a pair of boots that slipped over your feet like a satin glove over a royal hand. Which brings me onto one of the reasons why we now have boots that don't last because a few of us just couldn't handle wearing riding boots with our nighties anymore, they didn't want to wait 4 weeks or more for their new boots to fit them, they had no patience or acceptance of the fact that their heels would be grated for the weeks proceeding the purchase of a shiney new pair of boots and they started to whine about it. Not only did they start to complain about the boots rubbing them they also started to complain about having to pay $1500+ for a pair of custom made to measure boots. So, inevitably the manufacturers stated to look at what they could do to meet the market demand.

They needed boots which did not cost as much and did not require wearing in, and so manufacturers started to explore using calf skin for the leather uppers and mass producing them as apposed to making them by hand. Now using calf skin for the leather uppers in riding boots is absolutely fine but you also have to remember that there are over 10 different ways to tan leather. They range from using vegetable products, Formaldehyde and even the oils from animals brains.. yes, you read correctly I said animal brains but this is a rare procedure. I am not going to get into the finer details of the preparation of leather all I will say is that there are three main stages which are preparatory stages, tanning, and crusting and within these stages in particular crustings which is the process that thins, retans, and lubricates leather there are around 20 possible options including the addition of colour.

So just simply using Calf Skin will give you a soft boot of course, but the process in which the calf skin has been made and the country of origin of the leather will almost certainly determine the life expectancy of the boot. 

I think and this is just my opinion, that in the pursuit to produce the most comfortable boots to meet the highest demand manufacturers have overlooked durability. Using the cheapest conditioning methods on the calf skin will reduce the final cost of the leather and also speed up the process of producing the calf skin. Using this type of conditioned calf skin for the uppers in the first place as apposed to regular cattle skin or buffalo will produce an "instant" comfort for the consumer but at what cost people?! Sure you'll slide your foot into your new boot jump up on your horse, run around the barn for a few hours and  be delighted at the fact that you don't have a blister in sight, but in 8 or 12 months when your calf has worn its way through the side of your boot or the soles have peeled off how delighted are you going to be? 

It is a delicate issue for the consumer, of course some wont mind replacing their $1000 boots every 12 months but most of the riders that I have spoken to aren't going to be overly happy about it. 

New K Boots from Parlanti

The New K Boots from Parlanti are becoming a popular choice due to their durability and comfort, they are made from conditioned buffalo leather.

My final opinion on purchasing riding boots in 2017. Don't rush into buying a pair of boots just because they feel soft, by all means you should consider calf skin but be aware of the company that is manufacturing the boots. Where the boots are really made and the origin of the calf skin used in the boots, most retailers will provide you with this information if you ask them. If you stand the new boots up in front of you and they sag over to one side something is not right, calf skin is soft but they should stand proud and firm when new. Look at the soles of the boots, stitched and glued vibram soles are used by the best boot makers in the world and this is a sure sign of a quality finish.

Animo Zody Riding Boots

Animo Zody Semi Custom Field Boots are made from the finest Italia calf skin, feedback on these boots is hugely positive. They are calf skin lined and they have glued and stitched vibram soles. These boots are made to last, 100% in Italy.

If your boots rub you when they are new then so be it, it probably means they are well made and will end up lasting you many years just get the vaseline out and rub a little on the inside of the heel and buy yourself some compeed patches. Don't going running out for a new pair of boots. Another tip for 2017 if you ride a lot of horses is to look out for boots made from Buffalo leather it is much tougher than calf skin and will last much, much longer. Once it has been worn in; Buffalo leather boots will fit your foot like a glove.

Tucci Marilyn Riding Boots

Tucci Marilyn Dress Boots, we have seen an increase in sales in the Marliyn model by Tucci in 2016, there is no denying that this Italian made boot is one of the most beautiful boots by appearance. This coupled with the use of fine Italian leather and you have a recipe for a stunning all round riding boot.

You can buy horse riding boots from Animo, Parlanti or Tucci right here.

This original article is copyrighted to Just Riding 2016.


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Horse Riding Helmet Safety Standards | UK & The Rest of the World

By Team Just Riding

Horse Riding Helmet Safety Standards | UK & The Rest of the World

Here we have a definitive list of safety standards for use in UK competitions.

KEP Italia Helmet      Kask Equestrian Helmet

British Dressage

British – All PAS 015, VG1 - provided they are BSI Kitemarked  
European – VG1 - provided they are BSI Kitemarked 
American – SEI ASTM F1163 04a onwards and SNELL E2001
Australian & New Zealand – AS/NZS 3838 2003 onwards.

British/European - EN1384, BSEN1384 may be worn until 31st December 2016 but not thereafter.

British Showjumping

101.3 Hats. A ‘Riding Hat’, designed to provide protection, must be worn, at all times when mounted by anyone, whether or not a Competitor, at a British Showjumping competition. Harnesses must but properly adjusted and fastened at all times when mounted.
When jumping, including warming up, all Competitors must wear ‘Protective Headwear’ i.e. a hat which meets one of the following standards:

British – All PAS 015, VG1 - provided they are BSI Kitemarked
European – VG1 - provided they are BSI Kitemarked
American –All SEI ASTM F1163 04a onwards and SNELL E2001
Australian & New Zealand – AS/NZS 3838 2003 onwards.

British Eventing

Protective Headwear, as listed below, must be worn by Competitors at all times when mounted in BE80(T), BE90, BE100 and BE100 Plus classes.

When jumping, including warming up, all Competitors must wear ‘Protective Headwear’ i.e. a hat which meets one of the following standards:

British – All PAS 015, VG1 - provided they are BSI Kitemarked   
European – VG1 - provided they are BSI Kitemarked  
American –All SEI ASTM F1163 04a onwards and SNELL E2001
Australian & New Zealand – AS/NZS 3838 2003 onwards.

‘Protective Headwear’ must have been checked by an official to make sure that it is labelled with one of the above standards and then marked with a visible current BE ‘hat tag’.

British Horse Society

G22.2: Protective Headwear
‘Protective Headwear’ must be worn at all times by anyone, whether or not a Competitor, riding anywhere at any BRC event. Harnesses must be correctly adjusted and fastened at all times. At all BRC Championships and Qualifiers ‘Protective Headwear’ must have been checked by an official to make sure that it is labelled with one of the accepted standards and then marked with a visible BRC ORANGE hat tag. Failure to do so will incur elimination.  Due to a change in the accepted standards for this year, BRC BLUE hat tags will no longer be accepted. ‘Protective Headwear’ constitutes a hat which meets one of the following standards:

British - PAS 015: 1998 or 2011 provided they are BSI Kitemarked
             VG1 01.040: 2014-12 provided they are BSI Kitemarked
European - VG1 01.040: 2014-12 provided they are BSI Kitemarked
American - ASTM F1163: 2004a or 04a onwards provided they are SEI marked
                 SNELL E2001
Australian and New Zealand - AS/NZS 3838: 2006 onwards provided they are SAI global marked

IMPORTANT CHANGE FOR THE CROSS COUNTRY PHASE: Only a “Jockey Skull” complying to the above standards may be worn for any XC phase. This must not have a peak, any peak type extensions or noticeable protuberances above the eyes or to the front and should have an even round or elliptical shape with a smooth or slightly abrasive surface. A removable hat cover with a light flexible peak may be used if required.

Credit to BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) for the content on this page.

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Animo Riding Boots | A Beautiful Proposition

By Agnieszka JR

Animo Riding Boots | A Beautiful Proposition

And so this year marks the year where Animo Italia seem to have really thrown themselves in the equestrian riding boot market. This year we can see at least 4 new ladies models of boots including a casual cross over boot as well as 2 new mens models but we will get onto that in a moment.

Lets talk about the new designs of these Animo Italia Riding Boots and the phenomenal quality of these new models. As many of our customers may know Animo first released boots a couple of years ago choosing to partner with established Italian boot maker De Niro, as we also know the whole thing just didn't quite gel the feedback we had on the boots wasn't as good as we had hoped for. I personally think the issue was this, Animo's design and style influence comes from one person, some might say a creative genius I would tend to agree.. when you start throwing other influences into what is essentially a one man machine I don't think it works well.

So the new range is made 100% by Animo Italia in house at their headquarters in sleepy Bassano Del Grappa, Italy and wow!! can you see the difference! I mean seriously these new boots are something else! The entire feel and general aesthetics of the boots has changed, they are in my opinion the closest you would come to perfection in a ready to wear riding boot right now. 

The Animo Riding Boots for Ladies consist of 4 tall boots, 1 paddock boot and 1 casual cross over. Respectively they are Animo ZOE, Animo ZAMI and Animo ZICO in the tall boots and Animo ZAMBIA in the paddock boot.

Animo Riding Boots ZICOAnimo Riding Boots ZOEAnimo Riding Boots ZAMI

The new casual cross over boot for Ladies named Animo ZEIT come in 3 colours Blue, Brown or Black and are decorated with metal studs which flow around the contours of the boots and across the toes. These are a statement of beauty and I defy anyone not to fall in love with them at first sight.

Animo Italia Casual Boots ZEIT

The men are attended to with a Tall Boot and Ankle Boot, The Animo ZEPPELIN and the Animo ZEUS. The Zeppelin feels more masculine than the previous four ladies tall boots, which is as it should be I feel. Many boot makers are offering these so called unisex boots that can allegedly be worn by men and women alike you just need to buy a larger size. My question is simple, when was the last time you dated a guy whose feet looked like yours?? Men have different feet and by this I dont just mean bigger I mean generally bulkier, wider, taller.. I think you get my point. Well as far as I can see Animo seem to be the only ready to wear boot maker addressing this in the shape of the Mens Riding Boots ZEPPELIN and ZEUS.

Animo Italia Riding Boots ZEPPELIN

The ZEPPELIN above looks like it belongs on the foot of a spartan warrior! Its chiseled and oozes testosterone, I have to say I love this boot!

If you are the type of rider who likes the combination of a short boot and chaps then Animo have answered this question to with the previously mentioned ZAMBIA for women and ZEUS for men. Lets take a look at these two and the chaps or gaiters whichever you prefer, you say tomato I say... etc etc..

The ZAMBIA Paddock Boot or Jodhpur Boot or Ankle Boot..again depending where you are in the world to me is reminiscent of a classic Italian sports car, it is sleek and low profiled, smooth, sexy and sublime. The line from the toe cap to the front of the sheen is uninterrupted and comforts the natural line of the ladies foot so well it's practically glove like. Combine these with the Animo ZELDA or Animo ZUNE half chap and you have just achieved absolute completion in riding footwear.

I'll come onto the half chaps in a minute, now lets take a look at the Mens short boots, the ZEUS.

As with the ZEPPELIN it is immediately apparent that you are looking at the mens version of the short boot and no longer looking at the ZAMBIA. While the incline from toe to shin is once again smooth and uninterrupted the line seems to move more steeply and with more aggression that with the ladies shoe, giving the shoe a slightly higher profile which is in my opinion as it should be with a mans shoe. The heel seems less apparent although this could be an illusion due to the nature of the incline from lower to upper shin. The boots are crafted in the same Italian calf skin as all of Animo Italia's riding boots they are soft and yet strong. The pairing of these with the classic Animo ZARA half chap is a marriage made in heaven. 

Animo Italia ZAMBIA Riding Boots

*Animo Zambia

The Animo Italia Half Chaps, Mini Chaps or even Gaitors as some call them are an absolute compliment to the boots, well obviously they would need to be wouldn't they?! Engineering chaps is a challenging and costly task, chaps are notoriously hard to make fit well and work in the right way, so many companies have released chaps and boot combinations but none to my knowledge have escaped problems with zippers and fit of the chaps, after several variants they are starting to get it right. For Animo this simply was not a problem, the solution and reason why Animo Italia produce the best possible product from the outset.. it is actually quite simple. Start right using the best possible materials and do not cut costs. Animo manufacture all of their chaps in Italy from the very best raw material including the best zippers and leather. By using the best of everything from the outset and making the products in their own building they were able to produce a perfect product from the outset. It really is that simple.

In the ladies range of gaitors we have 2 models both of which are beautifully decorated. The first is the ZUNE and the second is called ZELDA. Even though both chaps feature decoration they are still somewhat unassuming, stylish and classy not overly brash or too blingy for one to take seriously. For me it is typical of Animo in that they can produce such a serious product used for contact with the horse under stress and heavy workloads and still maintain that look of class and beauty, it doesn't look like an aggressive sports utility vehicle with zips and poppers all over it, its doesn't need to have all of that excessive nonsense going on, it is an Animo Gaitor 100% made in Italy under the watchful eye of the designer. That is what sets you apart from the next rider when you choose to put Animo on your feet.

Here below we have images of all three chaps including the ZARA for men, which is a classic chap which pairs beautifully with the Animo ZEUS ankle boots. These ones at the top are Animo ZUNE...

Animo ZUNE Half Chaps

I wanted to show the fit of the chap against the boots, look at these here below..

Animo ZUNE ChapsAnimo ZELDA ChapsAnimo ZUNE Chaps

If you are looking to make the switch to Animo Italia for your riding footwear browse directly to our website here:


Original Article Copyright Just Riding 2016


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