B&W Eventing Reviews… Calm Leisure Ladies Shaped Equestrian Underwear

Having reviewed almost everything from tack, to rugs, bandages and all manner of breeches, boots and riding shirts, it was a little different to be sent underwear to review for my blog.

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As any rider knows, be they a happy hacker or a seasoned pro, comfort in the saddle, is all important. Speaking quite frankly, as I always do, a pet hate of mine is riding in uncomfortable knickers. Let’s face it ladies, those who can ride in their best lacy knickers are few and far between. I have learnt the hard way after thinking my finest La Perla would be an on-point option for a day’s eventing in midsummer! Knicker regret of the highest order… So, from that point on I have been on the search for the most flattering, non VPL, comfortable riding knickers, that don’t cost a fortune, will last and perform. For a while my knickerage of choice has been classic Calvin’s. Hard to beat for sports style and function, but you pay for that logo!  Looking for alternatives, I was keen to try the shaped equestrian underwear from British brand Calm Leisure. Specialising in innovative clothing products that is ‘innovative in design, comfortable and purposeful.’

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What Calm Leisure say…

‘The shaped Equestrian Underwear is designed to fit like a boxer in the back but with shaped arching at the front to reduce “bulking ” of material around the front of the legs. The sides are shaped in to maximise a fantastic fit and stay in place.’

The knickers are made from a luxurious Bamboo Fibre material for super softness next to the skin. This has natural antibacterial and wicking properties to keep you dry and comfortable. They have a bound leg trim rather than elastic to reduce the risk of any chaffing.

They are also designed and made in Great Britain which is always a plus point for me.

Priced at £19.95 a pair and available in black or white, sizes XS to L.

What I thought…

At first look the Calm Leisure Equestrian Underwear looked quite large, however when I tried them on I realised that the style was definitely more of a boy short look and although they were a larger cut than the normal underwear I’d wear when riding, they were incredibly flattering. I was supplied with a Size L and I am about a size 14-16 normally.  I wore them for yard work and hacking out for over 3 hrs, under breeches on quite a chilly day. Immediately I noticed how well they fitted under breeches, with no vpl! The style literally just glides over your hips and bottom, being slightly higher rise they give a nice flat finish under breeches fastenings. Without being overly warm I found they felt really snug and breathable, which was pleasant on a cold day. When riding, I found the style very comfortable with no bunching or chafing, the bound leg trim really works well in this respect and I think this style of equestrian underwear would be great for long days in the saddle, or hunting. Overall, I was really impressed with the design and the soft Bamboo fibre fabric, which kept me both warm, but not too hot. They also washed and dried well, which is always a major factor for a busy person.  In sum, I think Calm Leisure have done a great job with their Equestrian Underwear, they certainly ticked many boxes for me and I’d be interested in trying out some of their base layers, made from similar fabric. Available in white and black, they offer a simple, functional option, especially for those who spend many hours a day riding. I’d love to see the same design in a nude colour, so that they were completely transparent under my thinner white Italian Dressage breeches. Maybe a development for the future?!

The Verdict

A 5/5 for style, design, comfort, practicality and quality.

To find out more & to buy click here

What’s New? Uvex Sports Style and Twin Flex Riding Gloves – with glamour styling!

We love to keep up with new products and innovation, and have been excited to discover the new glove designs from German, ultra-hip, techy design house Uvex. Our quest for great riding gloves has explored most brands and needless to say there are some great options out there, but many lack the sensitivity, comfort and durability I need from a riding glove, let alone the style.

The two new designs from Uvex – the Sports Style and Twin Flex – are future thinking gloves, and yet again its clear that the design team at Uvex has left no stone unturned when it comes to developing and manufacturing their new designs.

uvex-glovesThey speak of the ‘different material strengths at the functional parts of the glove that provide effective heat exchange, protect the rider’s hand from sweating and ensure a superior durability.’

and ‘The 2-way stretch Uvex equestrian gloves mould to the hand like a second skin.  With high stretch and great ventilation in the fabrics, for the best connection between you and your horse. The aim is a constant connection, a balanced and perfect contact with the horse fully accepting the bit. The more feeling the rider has, the more stable this connection is.’

Uvex has developed the perfect glove to achieve this goal. Thanks to sophisticated technical details and trendsetting material combinations, they claim they fit like a second skin. The elastic strap, held in place with zigzag stitch, provides Another unmistakable feature of the Uvex gloves is their clean and casual design.

But not only that… Uvex have added some sparkle! The new glamour variants of the uvex sportstyle and uvex twinfex are embellished with elegant Swarovski® crystals and rosepins to decorate their closing flaps. An eye-catching and on trend feature, perfect for dressage and winter jumping.

We can’t wait to see and try these beauties in the flesh, priced at £29.99 for the synthetic Sportstyle and £49.99 for the nappa leather Twin Flex they strike and affordable, high design option for riders across the disciplines.

Here’s the lowdown, with further details of suppliers on the Uvex site here

Uvex Sportstyle Glamour

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Available in black or white. This glove is made of high grip PU-material is adorned with sparkling details and ensures shiny performances. An absolute eye catcher in the dressage arena as well as on the jumping course. It offers active moisture management and optimal wearing comfort.

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backhand: elastic PU composition

palmhand: elastic PU composition

material palm hand: 100% PU composition

material backhand: 100% PU composition

Uvex Twinflex Glamour

csm_45311301_7200f8b78dAvailable in black or white. Three sparkling Swarovski® rosepins decorate the uvex twinfex in its new glamour-version. This glove is made of the finest, very gripping lamb nappa combined with bi-elastic stretch insets at the upper hand.

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backhand: fine lamb nappa leather rubberlike, breathable stretch material insertions

palmhand: fine lamb nappa leather material palm hand: 100% lamb nappa leather

material backhand: 5% stretch material95% lamb nappa leather

 

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Being friendly and pairing up!

A hectic half term for Black and White eventing with work, 3 children, the house build and a host of pony activities! So time for something different – you get to see me close up & personal (with no make up – EEEK!), riding out and Vlogging (without falling off)! A few words about what we have been up to, supporting one another and being positive (especially on social media).  A Massive thanks to Katie (my top notch XC partner in crime) and Kate (for being a lovely kind friend). Enjoy and have fun with your horses xx Nikki and Wanda

 

While I’m here… if you enjoy what we do and would like to support our work, we have been shortlisted as a finalist in the Haynet Equine Blogger of the Year Awards. The winner of the award will be selected on 50% vote and 50 % appraisal of their blog. If you would like to vote for us just follow the link by clicking onto the logo below. Voting takes about 30 seconds and we really appreciate your support!

 

 

Olympia set to welcome Victoria Pendleton in the Markel Champions Challenge

Olympia, The London International Horse Show, is delighted to announce that double Olympic gold medallist, Victoria Pendleton, will be gracing the Olympia arena as she turns her hand to show jumping in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund on the evening of Friday 16th December for the Markel Champions Challenge.

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She will be plying her trade against the best in the racing world. The Challenge is made up of a flat jockey team captained by Frankie Dettori and a jump jockey team captained by current National Hunt Champion, Richard ‘Dickie’ Johnson. The flat team will also include about-to-be-crowned Champion flat jockey Jim Crowley. Both teams will be gunning for glory making the adrenalin fuelled contest even-money.

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Frankie’s team: Frankie Dettori, Jim Crowley, Hayley Turner, Adam Kirby, 5th rider (TBC)
Dickie’s team: Richard Johnson, Victoria Pendleton, Sam Twiston-Davies, Tom Scudamore, Harry Skelton

The competition will see the five flat jockeys competing against the five jump jockeys over a challenging show jumping course built by the legendary course designer Bob Ellis. This exhilarating spectacle will task even the most experienced of riders, creating huge excitement around the Olympia arena for this year’s Friday evening performance.

Prior to the event, the former cyclist will undergo specialist training from a fellow Olympian, currently at the pinnacle of his career – Rio 2016’s individual show jumping gold medallist Nick Skelton. Nick will be giving Victoria special tuition as the multi-sport queen switches saddles yet again to take up this latest challenge.
Victoria Pendleton, multiple Olympic medallist, said:

“I am thrilled to be a part of such a prestigious event like Olympia. The Markel Champions Challenge will be an exciting competition with such a high calibre of jockeys and I’m really looking forward to riding in it. To be back involved in a team again and hear the excitement of the crowd will be immense, I just hope the jump jockeys can get over the line for the win!”      

Juliet Redfern, Markel’s Managing Director of Equine and Livestock, said:

“It is fantastic to see the return of the Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund; Markel are proud to be associated with such a credible cause at a brilliant event. To see Victoria on board will be enormously inspiring to everyone, and we would like to take this opportunity to wish all the competitors the best of luck.”  

Lisa Hancock, Chief Executive of the Injured Jockeys Fund, said:

“The Injured Jockeys Fund is delighted to be involved in this fantastic event. Not only will it be a lot of fun but it will help to raise awareness and crucial support for all injured jockeys and their families.”  

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To buy your tickets to this unique event and secure your place at one of the equestrian performances of the year, please visit www.olympiahorseshow.com or telephone the box office on 0871 230 5580.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Latest training and Nominating for the Equine Social Media Awards

Its been a busy time of year for me and less so for Wanda. I’m still recovering from my accident a month ago where we were hit by a car out hacking. I’m able to ride, but not every day and my lower leg has been very sore. Despite this I’m keeping my jumping and flatwork going as I am nervous about ‘getting out of the loop’ so to speak. Last week we had our first jump in a month and Wanda was firing on all cylinders as you can see by the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0J-1_HxRzs

I think Wanda’s jumping is really developing now and her canter is so much more powerful. I can really attribute this to the more intensive flatwork sessions I have been developing. Lots of trot poles and raised poles and much more lateral work. Wanda really thrives on this sort of work. This week I have a dressage lesson with Matt Cox planned and I’m really excited about this. I have recently started working with Matt and we are aiming to get Wanda out doing some elementary British Dressage tests soon. http://www.mcdressage.co.uk/

I also have a jumping lesson booked with my eventing trainer Val Gingell as I’m realising it wont be long til the season starts again and I want to hit the ground running!

In other news the nominations are open for the Equine Social Media Awards 2014. http://www.equestriansocialmediaawards.com/news-stories/public-nominations-for-the-2014-esmas-are-now-open-1463

Until December 20th, you can nominate your favorite equestrian businesses, personalities, charities and brands in the world of social media through this website, from the list of pre-registered entries.

I have been registered in categories 2, 5 and 14. So if you like what I do through my blog or twitter account @bandw_eventing do take the time to let ESMA know via the nomination form http://www.equestriansocialmediaawards.com/nominations

Those with the best nomination and personal statements about what they do will be put forward to the final public vote. So take a look at some of the great people and organisations using social media throughout the equestrian world.

 

 

A bit of pre baby reflection…

I was messaging a friend today about horses and her pregnancy and talking about my life pre babies and horses. I evented and show jumped on a string of horses until I was packed off to university at 21. I then had a massive break of 16 years before returning back to riding when my second son was 4mths old.

So today’s chat over Facebook made me think about my return to riding, three and a half years ago.

Before I had Henry, who is just 6, I really struggled with pregnancy. I lost 5 babies over a relatively short period of time and then had a difficult pregnancy with him. He was born a healthy baby but I really found it hard being a first time mum. It was difficult to adapt to having no career and after longing for a baby for so long I found the reality quite a shock. Add to this awful post natal depression and I was really in a bit of a mess.

My second son, Piers, followed quite soon after. A straight forward pregnancy and easy birth but again the depression returned. I piled on weight and felt pretty miserable. Although I had two lovely kids it was really hard for me to adapt to not working in a busy teaching job.  Four months after Piers was born my Mum suggested that we went looking for a horse to get me back into riding. My marriage was starting to fail and I think she was desperate to try anything just to get the old me back. We already had some kid’s ponies on the farm for my kids and their cousins. So we set about looking for a nice ‘mums hack’ and ended up buying a former field masters horse who had also team chased and evented a bit.

With the help of Val Gingell my trainer we set about trying to get me fit, core muscles back and confidence built. Clio was a beautifully bred horse. Out of Puissance, bred at Coolmore in Ireland and a quality horse. Sadly, although I really developed her flatwork she really was quite full on to compete. It was quite disappointing as some days I would have great dressage scores in the 20s and other days I would barely be in the 50’s – depending on where the cross country was situated. She was one of those very gifted horses who sadly didn’t have the right temperament to be a super amateur event horse.

Despite my setbacks with her I really did see an improvement in my mood. My self esteem retuned as I lost weight, a horse driven routine gave me a focus and my competitive drive returned. Sadly I decided to part with Clio as I felt I needed a horse that I could improve my riding on. Horses need to be placed where they can do the best job and she has now gone off to be a whips horse with a local hunt. She loves her job and is doing what she does best. I think she will be making some appearances in some Hunt races which she will adore.

Thinking back I can’t believe it’s only been three and a half years since I’ve been back in the saddle. It seems like much longer. My little chat with my friend today has made me feel quite proud. So many big life changes and challenges I’ve got through. Life has not always been easy but I haven’t given up yet and I have a lot to thank for my horses who have given me my positivity and tenacity back again. For that I truly am blessed. 

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