Tried and Tested – NAF ‘Love the SKIN he’s in’ Skin Wash

Image

As part of the recent launch for our new website www.bandweventing.co.uk I’ve been running a few guess the score competitions. The prize for those savvy enough to guess my final eventing scores have won some fabulous prizes donated by NAF. 

One such prize is a skin wash, part of a newly launched premium skin care range for horse called ‘Love the SKIN he’s in’ which comes with a red deep cleansing towel (known as a ‘red’ cloth on our yard).

 The ‘Love the SKIN he’s in’ products are all totally natural and have been formulated to complement each other in their actions, working from the inside and out to address the increasing number of skin problems that affect our horses, including lumps, bumps, rashes and irritations. In addition to the skin wash there are ‘Love the SKIN he’s In’ Skin Supplement, Skin Spray and Skin Salve, depending on your horse’s requirements. 

I’ve been trailing the skin wash on Wanda so I can report back to our readers with useful feedback.

Being half cob, and a horse that is fully clipped all year round Wanda often needs a good hot towel wash after clipping or when we are competing in the winter, when I still want her looking smart. In addition she is prone to having small waxy like lumps and bumps around her fetlock area and tiny abrasions that surface when her legs are clipped out. I’m not keen to deep wash her legs repeatedly or use a strong shampoo or a lot of abrasive rubbing in this area, especially with all the wet muddy weather we have had, but I think it’s important these areas are treated and kept fresh. With this problem in mind I contacted NAF for advice and they recommended I tried the skin wash.

The great thing about ‘Love the SKIN he’s in’ Skin Wash is that it’s a totally natural product, so its effective but is gentle, so you aren’t stripping natural coat oils as you might do with a shampoo. 

You can also use it in 3 ways, which means its multi functional, useful for many different horses on our yard and therefore saves me buying many different types of product. So money and storage space saved. You can use it in the following ways: 

• As a hot towel wash following clipping or for a deep clean.

• A cold wash for a refreshing cleanse to lift sweat, grease and dust from the coat.

• Applied directly in concentrated form to the affected area of skin. 

I’ve already used the skin was in three ways, last week after Wanda was clipped as a hot towel wash. The ‘red cloth’ was great for this. It was a chillier day so I didn’t want to hang about and for Wanda to get cold. You don’t need to use a lot, just two capfuls in a bucket, bung in the cloth, wring it out and go! The wash was very good at lifting grease and the cloth great for lifting excess hair. Wanda was soon clean and tidy and the cloth is easy to bung in the washing machine, drying quickly for the next use. I liked the fragrance of the wash; it smelt clean and refreshing without being perfumed. I’d say because the product assists with the lifting of grease and dirt Wanda did look shiner and much less scurfy after her skin wash test. 

Next I tried the product directly onto the waxy scabs and small abrasions on her legs. Again I used the cleansing towel to apply the wash. The bottle has a molded handle so it’s easy to pour some onto a cloth without spilling it all over the place. The towel is soft but slightly textured so it’s easy to rub the product into the required areas. It was easy to lift the scurf, wax and little scabby bumps without causing any abrasion to Wanda. The skin wash basically removed the damaged areas of skin leaving her nice and clean and fresh. I’m not sure how easy it would be to apply the product if you horse had long feathers but I think it could be used, diluted slightly in warm water to deep clean hairier horses.

In sum, I was really impressed with the cleansing ability of the wash. Wanda was left scab free and looking smart. I haven’t had to re-apply yet so envisage it’s something I will do every 4 weeks or so when she is clipped (she really gets that hairy!). 

I have yet to trial the skin wash as a cold wash as NAF suggest it can be sued to lift sweat and grease from the coat. I’m thinking though it might be something really nice to pop into a bucket of post cross country wash down water. It would certainly ensure that Wanda was nice and clean and fresh without going through a full blown shampoo. I will be trailing this at Burnham Market International event on the Thursday if anyone wants to pop down to the lorry and check out the product. 

To conclude, I think NAF ‘Love the SKIN he’s in’ Skin wash is a really useful addition to my bathing routine and I would really recommend a purchase, especially to  those who clip a lot or maybe have horses prone to waxy or flaky leg lumps. As a former owner of a horse with severe allergies to cotton and some pollens I think this product is worth considering for owners in a similar situation. The high aloe content and soothing herbs could help soothe a horse with a tendency to these sorts of problems. I would also recommend the NAF cleansing towels as they work so well with the product or as a general stable rubber / washing cloth or when applying show polish. They last for ages and I really like their bright red colour as they look smart and don’t get lost! I’d like to personally thank NAF for their generous support in providing products for trial and for prizes. It is great to be able to share the products we use with our readers! 

If you would like more details or advice about the product range please call the NAF Freephone Advice Line: 0800 373106, email info@naf-uk.com or go to www.naf-equine.eu/uk 

B and W Eventing will be running another ‘guess the final score’ competition, based on my Burnham Market result on 17th April. To be in with a chance of winning some skin wash and a super RED cloth, visit www.bandwevening.co.uk and check out the home page for further details. Win with Wanda!

Image

 

 

 

 

 

A not very happy hacker…

As many of our regular readers will know Wanda and I were unfortunate enough to be involved in a car collision while we were hacking just before Christmas. Luckily neither of us suffered major injury but I had quite a lot of leg pain for some time after wards and Wanda was sore for quite a while. We were both very lucky not to have been really badly hurt. Since the accident I haven’t been keen to hack on the roads and Wanda is definitely nervous about vehicles approaching us from behind.

It’s a real shame as she has always been such a great and very calm hack, I was even hacking her at 34 weeks pregnant. Although we are based on a farm the majority of our hacking is on busy and quite narrow roads. To get off road we have to hack at least 4k to the next village. So the winter has been a tricky time for us as we have struggled with high winds, rain and vehicles!

As the eventing season approached I set about planning Wanda’s fitness regime and wanted to factor in more long hacks to strengthen and condition. Although I can hack out with Coco our groom (riding my Niece’s horse) this wasn’t always convenient and I realised I was making excuses about not hacking. ‘It’s too cold / wet / windy / I’m too busy / I need to do more schooling’ were the usual excuses I made to veil the deep thoughts of ‘I don’t want to go on the road in case we have an accident and we get hurt again’ and ‘hacking isn’t fun anymore as I makes me feel dizzy, scared and sick’. I think this echoes a lot of rider’s views about road riding today… I hear it many times on social networking sites.

Things got to a point where I really felt I needed to try to do something positive to claw back the enjoyment I had from riding Wanda out and possibly begin to get her more settled about being on the road. I wouldn’t class myself as a ‘happy hacker’ sort of rider. I spend a lot of time training but I do enjoy riding with no pressure and just enjoying my horse, this was the one thing I was missing from hacking. I just wasn’t sure how to approach my problem which was even more exasperated when we had a lorry accident on the way to BD regionals in February. At this point I knew things had to change.

Sometimes I think people are destined to meet, through one way or another and some of my closest friends I’ve met by a chance encounter. Via a friend, Liz, whom I know via Facebook, I met Ferris Jay who works with a wide range of therapies and thought she might be able to help me out.  Amongst other things Ferris works with Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). This is a simple and effective tool for clearing negative emotions, limiting beliefs, fears, phobias and trauma.  While it may sound too good to be true, I decided that it was worth having a go. I certainly couldn’t continue with the way things were.

A few weeks ago I had a Skype video chat with Ferris and outlined my situation and my worries about road riding. She asked me how I felt when I rode on the road. I could describe the feelings quite well… claustrophobic, shaky, lack of breath, panicked and like all the surfaces around me were hard and unforgiving.  No wonder Wanda felt nervous, I was incapable of riding with any form of confidence at all and at worst case froze every time a vehicle went past.

So, how does it EFT work? Following our conversation Ferris had a clear idea of the anxieties I had and we went though a really simple sequence of verbalising a statement about how I felt, then tapping on particular acupressure points whilst focusing on the issue at hand. This may seem a little too simple yea? Well I have to say it was quite a release to verbalise and say out loud the things that had been bothering me for so long; to the point I was having nightmares about them.

The session in total lasted just over an hour and although it may seem strange doing this while on Skype, it was a really good way to communicate with Ferris who is now based in Ireland… funnily enough she has lived just down the road from me for the past 5 years!

We left the conversation on a positive note and I was all set to give hacking a try again. Unfortunately my planned hack for the next day didn’t go totally to plan as I ended up with a sick child to look after, but I did get out a few days later. I didn’t ride on my own but I wanted to test myself in company then gradually remove the safety net of having another horse between me and other vehicles. However, I came home from our ride with a new found understanding about how I needed to address my emotions and stress reactions in order to support and guide Wanda. I felt more responsible in ensuring that I was going to be the confident one that would tell her that it was ok to be around cars. This sounds quite softly softly for me as most of the time I’m a very black and white thinker and tend just to get on with things. I think it is just testament to how much accidents like these can damage both your horses and your own confidence.

The knock on effect has been interesting. I think I am riding with more confidence, when I get a few nerves I think I’m able to tune into these and try to focus on banishing them. Like a conversation with nerves, something like ‘ok so I hear what you are saying but I don’t think it’s helpful so can we move on please’. I’m by no means nerve free but I have a strategy to ditch the negativity now.

I wouldn’t say that I am 100% over our accident. I’m still not keen on other road users coming near us but I think I’ve accepted that it’s more dangerous to revert to pure panic than it is to try and ride objectively and deal with the matter in hand.  I definitely have the feeling that I am there to guide and support my horse which is reassuring in its own way. I really appreciate the insight that Ferris has given me into new ways of dealing with negative feelings and stressful situations and I will be continuing to have sessions with her until the last bits of nerves are banished.  As I’ve said I think the shock of the accident will stay with me for some time to come but at least I feel now I am making tracks towards healing the stress and enjoying my horse.

More information about Ferris Jay can be found at www.ferrisjay.com

A really useful BHS site with road riding information and a section for reporting horse related road accidents and http://www.horseaccidents.org.uk

A company selling Hatcams to use out hacking and some Highvis kit http://www.thehacksafecompany.co.uk

Equisafety… suppliers of a wide range of high vis kit http://www.highvisibility.uk.com/equisafety

 

Blogging, Blogging and Yet more Blogging!

After a great run at Isleham Horse trials over the weekend I’ve been busy writing blogs for other people.

On Friday I went to a fashion show run  by my  fantastic supporters Forelock and Load. I’ve gone back to my fashion roots (used to work in the industry) and have written a review here – some great country labels to check out!

http://www.forelockandload.com/wordpress/

For Eventing Worldwide I’ve written a bit of a chat about Isleham, eventing and positive thinking

http://www.eventingworldwide.com/the-black-and-white-eventer-mantras-training-and-kicking-on/

Enjoy and back blogging here very soon – no rest for the Team Black and White 😉