Horse & Hound Gives the Savanna Boot a Glowing Review!

H&H review

The Taurus Savanna Boot was recently reviewed by Horse & Hound Magazine, and we were thrilled to hear of the glowing review of the boot from the chosen tester! Horse & Hound said “Our reviewer found these boots were great for all aspects of equestrian life, from yard work to riding, and they still look like new five months on!”

The Savanna is a popular everyday riding boot in water-resistant waxy leather with multiple covered elasticated panels offering an improved fit. The Savanna is equipped with a practical side zip for ease of entry with elasticated strap at the top with press stud fastener.

The Thermy-tex treated padded lining has a high absorption capacity and is very breathable and is specially formulated to prevent bacteria and odours. The non-slip rubber riding sole has been designed especially for good grip in the stirrup!

Emily, our tester said…

“These are lovely comfortable boots that have worn extremely well. They arrived very well packaged and looked exactly as advertised on the website.

The boots fitted well from the start and took no wearing in and I found them brilliantly warm and comfortable for yard work and the soles offered a decent amount of grip in mud, ice, snow and water which I was very impressed by.

I also found them very good to ride in, offering a small enough foot to fit comfortably within the stirrup while feeling like my feet had room to move and ride easily.

The boots still look in very good condition after five months of use, and are very easy to clean without damaging the leather.

The only downside to the boots I feel, is the small velcro fastening at the top of them, which often undoes if the boots are wet or dirty.

I would definitely recommend the boots and I feel they are very good value for money.

My conclusion would be a score of 9/10 for these durable, comfortable boots with good grip which are suitable for both yard work and riding!”

To purchase your pair of the fabulous Savanna Boots visit the website today at www.taurusfootwear.co.uk or Tel: 01328 851432 to speak to a member of our team! Available in Black or Brown in sizes 4-8.

Riding Straight!

Michaela huntington

By instructor and showjumper, Michaela Huntington

Riding a horse in a straight line is easy, right? Actually, many horses are not straight throughout their bodies – but there are ways in which to improve equine straightness.

An exercise on the flat
Here’s a great exercise to improve straightness. Begin by placing two poles either side of X (the imaginary marker in the centre of the school) and the centre line, parallel with the long sides of your arena, approximately four feet apart. This will provide a corridor for you to ride in between. Further poles (or blocks/wings) can be placed along the edges of the arena, again about four feet away from the sides at either end of your school near A and C, for you to ride around as you approach or leave the centre line. You are building barriers for you and your horse to see and ride around and produce accurate riding. As your horse is more likely to drift when he is working away from the surrounding wall of the arena, plan your use of corridors to aid in training him to keep his concentration anywhere in the school. The exercises can be done in all three paces.

H&C coridors pic

Corridors can be used in conjunction with pole work and jumping in almost any combination, providing they are not within the take-off or landing areas of any jump.

To see a range of articles, videos and reviews concerning equestrian and countryside matters, visit http://www.horseandcountryside.com

“Saving Seconds in the Jump Off” with Taurus Rider Michaela Huntington!

cropped berks

This month The Equestrian Guide, out now, featured an article from Taurus Footwear’s very own sponsored rider Michaela Huntington, showjumper and riding instructor! We thought we would share Michaela’s top tips and advice as featured in The Equestrian Guide with you all. 

Michaela says…

Many readers will be looking forward to the British Jumping Derby and the Longines Royal International Horse Show, both held at the All England Jumping Course at Hickstead, this summer. I am lucky enough to be competing at this hallowed ground, and hope to see some readers there! Here, I offer some tips to anyone hoping to improve their scores in ‘jump off’ or timed rounds, and succeed in show jumping, whatever level they ride at.

The jump off is the final deciding round after a jumping competition. In competitions where a jump off is used, after a first round, all clear rounds are put forward into a separate jump off later on as a decider. (If your show jumping class is Two Phase or Single Phase, the jump off automatically follows on directly from the first round, if the round was clear). But how do you claim those valuable fractions of a second, when the round is against the clock?

The following tips should be able to improve your techniques, and turn you into a regular winner in jumping classes.

  1. ALWAYS WALK THE JUMP OFF COURSE if you have the opportunity; it will be shown on the Course Plan at the event. If you want to win the class, you will obviously have a huge advantage over fellow-competitors, having assessed the course more closely.
  2. TURNING CAN BE QUICKER than galloping, if there is room, and you feel you can ‘nip’ inside a jump to reach your next obstacle; this can save valuable time by being neat and economical in your route. There are always turns that are not possible, so pick and choose your options.
  3. JUMPING AT AN ANGLE over a fence, practised and perfected, will be a valuable tool for tighter lines. For example, a dog leg – a combination of two fences where there is a turn or bend to be made in between the fences – could be ridden more on a straight line, rather than a curve.
  4. KEEP IT SMOOTH throughout. Up your tempo by all means, but the rhythm and pace must remain consistent. If you go too fast, you are likely to lose the ability to achieve a tight turn.
  5. KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE FENCES. Once over the first fence, where possible, try to immediately focus on the next one, and so on – it will give a clearer message to your horse, a better line for you both and less confusion is caused. Don’t look at the object you wish to cut inside.
  6. BE AWARE of the start and finish positions, as you may be able to start at an angle to save time; and always ‘ride on’ to the finish!
  7. CHECK TURNS: If you are unsure of a particular turn, you will have a few seconds before you start your round to ride the line in the arena, and make your decision.”

Thanks Michaela!

Taurus Footwear is proud to sponsor Michaela Huntington. Here at Taurus we produce competitively-priced, high-quality leather equestrian footwear for all ages, sizes and disciplines. Michaela’s personal favourites include the Lancer Competition Boot, the Kentucky Jodhpur Boot and the Colorado Boot! To find out more about these boots or a wide range of equestrian and countryside footwear visit www.taurusfootwear.co.uk.

Blue Chip Show Jumping Championships sees Taurus Rider Michaela Huntington in the Ribbons

Taurus Footwear rider Michaela Huntington is a professional Show Jumper as well as a respected livery yard owner and riding instructor. Michaela and her team recently made the journey to highly acclaimed show; the Blue Chip Show Jumping Championships which proved highly successful over the five days for the Taurus Show Jumper!

Michaela was thrilled with her 3 horses which attended the show and shared her results with us. She says…

“Frankie (Frank Sonate), my home bred 5 year old came 12th in the Novice Final and 9th in the Discovery Final which was a great result and a positive way to launch his professional show jumping career.

Frankie 2 (Frank Sonate)

Zena (Alegro Z) my Chestnut mare superstar was 7th in the B&C final which was fabulous. Michaela says “I love this mare, she continues to prove herself as star.”

Zena (Alegro Z) 2

Finally Zac (Drumhowan Cavalier) the piebald Stallion who is on long term competition loan to me from Andrea Pearman at Jays Stud and Equestrian Centre, won the first class of the show, came 3rd in the 1st round of the Diamond, 1st in the second round of the Diamond and won the final of the Diamond so as you can imagine we were all over the moon with him!

Zac (Drumhowan Cavalier) 2

Well done Michaela and Frankie, Zac and Zena from the Taurus Team!

Michaela competes in her fabulously smart Taurus Footwear Lancer Boots. The stylish long boots are manufactured from quality black full-grain calf leather and feature an elasticated front lacing and covered elasticated rear panel for improved fit. The Lancer Boots are have dermo dry padded lining for added comfort and a rubber riding sole for perfect grip in the saddle when riders’ need it most!

To find out more about Michaela’s favourite competition boots; the Lancers and the wide range of other footwear such including others of Michaela’s top choices the Colorado and the Kentucky short boots visit the website www.taurusfootwear.co.uk

Local show jumper and instructor, Michaela Huntington, explains how boots affect our riding

EQ Life April 2015

There is a huge range of boots available depending on your discipline, and the choice of boot can have a direct impact on your riding. Taurus Footwear sponsored rider Michaela Huntington takes a look at her ‘wardrobe staples’! To see the full article featured in EQ Life Magazine, pick up a copy of the magazine today.

Short jodhpur-style boots – perfect every-day boots.

These are great for stable work, hacking and riding. The traditional styles are popular with younger riders while the more robust shapes are great for busy horse owners as they look great with jeans, and are usually very comfortable. Often worn with half chaps, they’re suited to casual and pleasure riders.

Short paddock boots – great for jumping and yard work.
These are a little streamlined and smarter than jodhpur boots and tend to have more ankle support when laced. Often worn with gaiters or half chaps. If you need to dash to the shops or do a school run, these are ideal, and there have been many high-street versions available too, over the winter!

Laced field boots – the showjumping must have.
Traditionally worn by officers, these boots are popular with showjumpers as they have a tighter fit at the ankle allowing for maximum support. The jumping rider often moves around in the saddle laterally, in order to negotiate turns and complex fences, so their boots tend to be extra flexible yet supportive. Ankle flexibility allows for a shorter stirrup length.

Plain tall boots – the height of elegance.
Favoured by dressage enthusiasts and ideal for shows , these create a classic, smart look. Long boots usually have stiffened side panels to aid a still leg position, and are tall to elongate the leg and accommodate a longer stirrup length. Discreet lacing at the ankle is often seen for extra support and to give a tapered appearance, to show off the ankle.

Field boots with elastic inserts – ideal for XC due to the stretch and comfort.
These are very popular for all kinds of schooling and also cross country riding, as they tend to be durable and comfortable, often having elastic inserts on the outside. Because XC riders spend lots of time out of the saddle in an XC position with the heels down as an ‘anchor’, these boots need stretch at the calf. Many models are very discreet with slim elasticated strips next to the zip.

Showing classes
I love showing classes, especially for my youngsters, as they are usually a good opportunity to get the horses used to different atmospheres and environments, and hone manners and obedience! Of course, you have to be turned out correctly in order to create a harmonious picture, so don’t neglect your footwear! If you are doing in-hand showing, a smart jodhpur boot is ideal to go with tailored trousers. For ridden classes, a dark coloured, straight-cut long boot is always smart for adults, while children wear jodhpur boots with thin soles and an ‘almond’ shaped toe designed to look streamlined in the stirrup. Black or brown are popular but a particularly smart favourite is ‘oxblood’, especially when teamed with yellow jodhpurs. Jodhpur clips in the same colour as the boot are usually worn.

Essex-based Michaela Huntington is sponsored by Norfolk-based Taurus Footwear, who produce competitively-priced, high-quality leather equestrian footwear for all ages, sizes and disciplines.

Horse & Countryside Magazine Features the Lancer Boot!

H&C mag april edititon lancer close up

This month saw Horse & Countryside Magazine feature Taurus Footwear’s popular Lancer boot as part of their Competition Fashion Feature. We were thrilled that they showcased our lovely boot and thought we would take the opportunity to share some more information on the Lancer Boot with you all!

The stylish Lancer is manufactured from quality black full-grain calf leather and features elasticated front lacing and a covered elasticated rear panel for an improved fit. Equipped with a non-slip rubber riding sole specifically designed for good grip in the stirrup and a high quality rear zip with rolled edges and an elasticated top strap with press stud fastener, the streamlined boot is ideal for all competitive riding disciplines.

The Dermo dry padded lining has a special anti-bacteria treatment, which absorbs humidity away from the skin and provides a fresh and dry touch ideal for warm summer days, or competing!

RRP – £169.95. Colour: Black. Sizes: Adults: Regular 4 – 8, Narrow 5 – 7.

Available to order from the website http://www.taurusfootwear.co.uk or for more information call Tel: 01328 851432.

The History Behind Arena Markers

dressage for taurus hc blog

Ever wondered what the reasons are behind us using the A,K,E,H,C,M,B,F letter markers in the school and where this originated from? Taurus Footwear rider, show jumper and instructor Michaela Huntington takes a look.

Whether you are a Dressage competitor with the markers ingrained in your mind, or you still remember the rhyme to remember the letters from your riding school days, dressage markers have been around for as long as most of us can remember.

The History

Dressage is thought to have been practised for thousands of years, beginning in the cavalry, as a way in which to achieve better control and harmony with one’s horse. However arena markers were not introduced until the 1932. The first event to see arena markers was the Olympic Games in Los Angeles where the markers were placed in the 60m x 20m Dressage arena.

The Theories
Although there are several theories regarding the origins of the arena letters the most common is that the arena letters date back to 18th century Prussia.

Stable grooms at the Imperial Palace are said to have waited for their masters with their equine charges next to the letter that related to their master’s position or role, in German; for example, K for Kaiser or King, R for Ritter or Knight, F for Furst or Prince etc.

Information sources suggest that there are sufficient German dignitary titles for the letters K,E,H,B,B,F, although it appears that the centre line letters, and some additional outer letters are absent! There is no definite answer as to why the extra letters were added, other than perhaps they were added to fill the gaps!

Today

Nonetheless, in modern Dressage we certainly wouldn’t be without them so whether your favourite rhyme to remember the letters is “All King Edwards Horses Can Manage Big Fences” or “Always Keep Every Horse Clean, Mucked-out, Brushed & Fed” you can’t be the next Charlotte Dujardin without knowing your arena markers!

To see a range of articles, videos and reviews concerning equestrian and countryside matters, visit www.horseandcountryside.com.

What to Wear on a Country Walk from Taurus Footwear!

a-morning-walk-in-the-misty-english-countryside-506302-m

Country walks are just as idyllic and peaceful despite what the weather brings. And just because you’re prepared for all eventualities and you may be well wrapped up, that doesn’t mean you can’t be fashionable and rock the latest outdoor trends. Here at Taurus Footwear we have some lovely countryside boots that are ideal for walking.

A lightweight, smart coat is a staple item for multi-tasking, outdoor style. Waxed jackets never go out of fashion! Cosy knitted jumpers, sweaters and cardigans will help fight off the cold perfectly on chillier spring days, and will create a stylish, chic look.

Keeping feet warm and dry on a country walk is an absolute must. Finding a pair of waterproof boots that are comfortable and don’t compromise on style is a tricky task. Bits and Pieces Saddlery in Ossett, West Yorkshire believes that the right boot is essential for countryside walking.

Nicola, owner of Bits and Pieces Saddlery says, “We all know that British weather isn’t the most reliable, so a boot that is comfortable and waterproof, but wouldn’t look out of place in a nice pub or restaurant can be hard to find. The Holkham boot from Taurus Footwear is a hardwearing, leather boot, and 100% waterproof. Not only that, they are the ultimate in country fashion and sophistication!”

We think that scarves and gloves are a must-have wardrobe essential – the late winter, early spring time weather is still changeable, so team fingerless gloves with a matching lightweight scarf, for the ultimate in warming outdoor wear that will take you from fresh morning walk, to pub lunch or school run.

Finally – don’t forget your dog! No walk is complete without one – here in the rugged Norfolk countryside where Taurus Footwear is based, we love nothing better than a brisk dog walk along the coastline at Sheringham or Blakeney.

Taurus Para Rider Mari Akhurst Updates Us!

mari

Taurus Footwear’s newest Ambassador rider is Mari Akhurst. Mari is a 20 year old Para Dressage Rider on the Para Squad of the British Equestrian Federation Excel Talent Programme and here at Taurus we are proud to be supporting her with fabulous equestrian footwear!

In our latest blog we take a look at an update direct from Mari about her recent exploits and plans for the coming season!

Mari says…

“The early winter months unfortunately resulted in us being ‘frozen in’  which frustratingly meant I had to miss two competitions, as I was unable to prepare properly for them. Thankfully now March sees the weather becoming warmer and it has been great to ride after University and not to have to turn the school lights on!

I have been having lessons once a week with my trainer Linsay and Sky has been going really well. We have been working on his collected work; asking him to come back to me and keeping him soft once he has done this then allowing him to go forward. My medium trot has really improved since we have been doing this exercise. We have also been doing lots of small circles, changing the rein and changing the bend, keeping him occupied as he gets bored easily!

Sky and I have quite a few outings coming up. We have got squad training next week. I am looking forward to my lesson with Maria Eliberg and then we are test riding on the next day, so it will be good to get input before my competition at Hartpury on Sunday. The competition season has truly begun again, so I am going to be a busy bee!!

Unfortunately my other horse Bear has been playing around too much in the field and has injured himself so he is now sadly on box rest. He’s quite happy as he’s out of the wet and cold weather! He is allowed to walk out once a day which he enjoys very much, a bit too much at times!

I have been getting on really well with my Lancer boots, I love them so much. I now have two pairs one for training and one for competitions, which is great and I would highly recommend them to anyone!

Next month I will be updating you on how squad training has gone and the results of the first few competitions of March. I can’t wait to get back out competing it’s been way too long and I obviously will be wearing my lovely Lancer Boots!”

To find out more about the Lancer Boots worn by Mari Akhurst visit the website at www.taurusfootwear.co.uk 

Choosing your Child’s Jodhpur Boots!

TAURUS FOOTWEAR HAMPTON OXBLOOD-1

Choosing your child’s show boots can be a tricky task. They need to be comfortable, smart, easy­ to slip on and off, high quality and not forgetting they need to be fashionable! The rules of the British Show Pony Society state that children can wear top boots or jodhpur boots during showing competitions. However, most young riders prefer to wear jodhpur boots; they are ideal for both competitions and everyday use. Their flexibility provides ease around the yard and the ability to move the ankle freely while out riding.

Why it’s important for children to wear the correct shoes:

According to Clarks, four million children are wearing the wrong-size shoes. Wearing a shoe that is too big or too small can lead to debilitating problems. We could, unknowingly, be condemning our children to a lifetime of problems.

It is easy to think we continually hear time and again how important it is to buy correctly fitting shoes, but many often don’t realise how important this advice can be. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to not only blisters, pressure sores and in-growing toe nails, but to more long-term problems such as knee and posture problems. Children’s feet can take up to 18 years for the foot’s bones, muscles and ligaments to harden into adult form. It is therefore imperative that young and older children have shoes that fit them correctly, especially when wearing boots all day around the yard and out riding.

Cost is an important factor when buying shoes. I’m sure many of us have bought a pair of shoes hoping our child “will soon grow into them.” The rise of cheaper shoes, sold without expert advice and proper fitting has also had an impact on how well our shoes fit. Sometimes picking up a pair of cheap shoes we believe will fit is simply more convenient. You can pay the cost for cheap shoes though, especially when it comes to jodhpur boots. Many will fall apart or break, which often means buying a few pairs of the same boot – something that need not be a concern when buying a boot that is made from quality leather.

We appreciate how important the correct jodhpur boot can be, but we also know it is just as important that we adhere to the latest fashion trends. Hampton, designed by Taurus Footwear, incorporates everything that a jodhpur boot should. Made from quality leather, they are durable, easy to take on and off, smart, comfortable and fashionable. They are available in a number of colours, including the popular Oxblood. Taurus Footwear also has a very descriptive size guide on their website and has a great customer service department who are keen to advice on any of their footwear, making it even easier to find the correct fitting show boot for your child.

All Taurus boots are available to order direct from www.taurusfootwear.co.uk. Or call 01328 851432.

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