With the Summer show season upon us in our latest blog Taurus Footwear takes a look at footwear for showing and how to best ‘boot-up’ for the show ring!
It is vitally important to have the correct footwear when dealing with horses and particularly in the show ring, where every point counts! You need your boots to be comfortable, safe, waterproof and supportive throughout the foot and ankle. It is also a real bonus to have a breathable boot in the spring and summer, as you are likely to be wearing them for hours at a time!
A sturdy soled jodhpur boot such as the range available from Taurus Footwear are ideal with your tailored trousers – plain black or brown is very smart, and will tone well with either light or dark colours. A short boot will give you maximum freedom of action and comfort, especially when you need to run with your horse!
Ladies will often favour a long boot which will show leg position to the best advantage. Traditional long boots for showing differ from those used in other disciplines, in that they have a straight top rather than a cut away design. If wearing jodhpur boots, or buying for a child, purchase a well fitting show boot with thin soles that will look streamlined in the stirrup. Again, black or brown are popular but a particularly smart favourite is ‘oxblood’, teamed with yellow jodhpurs. Remember to add jodhpur clips in the same colour as the boot, for the finishing touch.
Bear in mind your whole support team, particularly if one of them is to enter the ring to assist you at any point. A professional turnout is essential; country long boots, such as Taurus Footwear’s Holkham, would be an ideal choice to complete the picture. Aim for practicality and comfort together with traditional styles when shopping for your showing footwear.
The famous Oxblood boots from Taurus Footwear!
The 17th century word ‘oxblood’ describes the rich, browny-red colour (described as somewhere on the colour-wheel between bordeaux and burgundy!) that’s beloved in the show-ring. The Hampton show boot by Taurus Footwear comes in kids’ sizes starting at a tiny size 5. The Hampton is a smart, desirable jodhpur boot that is ideal for the show ring. This boot has a fine-ribbed rubber sole for a streamlined look and improved connection with the stirrup iron. The Hampton also features an almond shaped, tapered toe for a refined appearance. The boot features a beautiful, scuff-resistant leather upper and a calf leather lining, for breathability.
Other colours in the Hampton range include Black and Brown. Hampton children’s sizes 5 to 2 are priced at £29.95. Adult sizes 3 to 7 are priced at £39.95.
Taurus boots are engineered for performance and style and are available from stockists around the UK. Also available to order direct from www.taurusfootwear.co.uk. Call 01328 851432. A full range of equestrian footwear is available.
Mari Durward-Akhurst is one of Taurus Footwear’s Ambassador riders. The 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!
“This month has been extremely hectic as I have been sitting my final year Uni exams as well as keeping up with my training and competing but my sister who is working as a vet in America has been to stay and it has been fabulous to have her with us!
My first competition was a KBIS Qualifier at West Wiltshire Equestrian Centre. It was fantastic to have my sister there she hasn’t seen me competing for a while. Sky warmed up beautifully and went in and did two super tests, sadly in the first test we had a slight miss communication and Sky cantered on the 10m circle instead of trotting this was very costly from two judges. But we finished 2nd with just under 65%.
The second test which was the qualifier I was really happy about how it went and I was thrilled with the score 66.34% and a 2nd place. My best ever score :D, all our hard work is paying off. I have been working really hard at home with my trainer Linsay, and Sky really has come on leaps and bounds, it’s great to see the judges are starting to see the improvement!
Our last competition of the month was off to Oldencraig. I was having a very wobbly day and really struggling with spasm in my right hand. But I got onboard and Skysie was such a superstar looking after me. I was really pleased with the first test, the 2nd test I didn’t have much left to give but we managed an ok test. I was really pleased with the results we won our section in the first test and got 66.46% and in the 2nd test we got 68.18% and finished 2nd. I am pleased to say we should have now qualified for the Para Dressage Restricted Summer Championships and are on our way to qualifying for the Open Championships which will be held at Hickstead in June.
I then had a very exciting plan for the evening as I was off to the Luton Sports Awards. I had been nominated for an award and had been shortlisted to the top 3. We listened to a talk from Megan Harris who was the guest speaker and who is a Paralympic athlete herself which was inspirational and I then discovered I had actually been nominated for two awards!
The final result saw me win the Service to Disability Award and to come 2nd Runner Up in the Sports Women of the Year Category. I had an absolutely fantastic day topped off by a fantastic night! Thank you to everyone that nominated me and then voted for me. I cannot thank my support team enough as without them what I do wouldn’t be possible and I wouldn’t have won these awards. They are not just for me but also my support team and my two fantastic horses!
I’ve been enjoying wearing my fantastic Lancer boots which are so comfy and everyone everywhere I go always comments on how smart they are. Thanks Taurus…until next time, happy riding everyone!”
Manufactured from soft, calf Aniline Leather, a soft Amara lining the stunning Taurus Leather Gaiters have an elasticated rear panel to ensure optimum flexibility and a streamlined fit, hardwearing YKK rear zip and elasticated stirrup. The Leather Gaiters are offered in Black or Brown and offer a comfortable and robust alternative to long boots.
Now available in a range of Children’s sizes S-L as well as the pre-existing adult sizes – XXS to XXL: RRP £34.00 for Childrens’ and £42.25 for Adult sizes.
To find out more and purchase your pair visit the website today at www.taurusfootwear.co.uk or Tel: 01328 851 432.
Talented young event rider Jemima Gray is a brand ambassador for Taurus Footwear. Jemima has had a rough start to the 2015 season but we are are pleased to report she is back on track and recently met up with the owners of Taurus Footwear Sally and Jonathan on the beautiful Holkham beach! Here is what Jemima had to say…
“Well we’ve started – and paused – the season… After coming 5th at our first event of 2015 unfortunately I’ve became ill again (my body reacted really badly to a triple treatment of antibiotics and slightly shut down) so I’ve had to take some time off and do nothing but lie on the sofa, it’s been absolute torture. To most teenagers without horses my recent lifestyle may sound appealing, but without riding, running and generally being busy I’ve been going quietly insane, I think it’s safe to say that I’m rubbish at relaxing!
However I’m back on the horses now and have been competing my 14.2hh, 6yo Bug who has come on a massive amount. Two months ago he wasn’t balanced enough to canter round the school and stopped at a pole on the ground but now he’s pinging 1m SJ tracks and some decent fences XC schooling (see picture). He’s got the most trainable attitude and scary amounts of scope (I almost get jumped off on a regular basis) so I’m very excited about him. Sadly he’ll be for sale soon as I’m just producing him, so if anyone would like a potential pony show jumper, let me know!
My mother and I took the ponies (Bug and Foxy) to Norfolk last week to ride on Holkham beach and to see Jonathan and Sally who run Taurus Footwear. We stayed in the horsebox for a few days and the ponies had a little field just outside, slightly primitive but it was fun and definitely worth it.
The beach was stunning and riding in a place of such amazing natural beauty was slightly surreal – but in a good way! Jonathan took photos of us riding and afterwards they took us out to lunch, which was delicious and much needed! They very kindly gave me some more Kentucky and Holkham Rider Boots, as well as a gilet, shirts and saddle cloth, so I’m well equipped for my return to eventing and very spoilt! Riding on the beach has to be one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had, there couldn’t have been a better way to spend half term.
My AS exams are nearly over, a long summer stretches ahead of me and I’ve got three talented horses to ride and compete, life could be worse! We are keen to get Murphy out doing BE again as soon as possible, so who knows what the rest of the season will hold?! I’d like to say an enormous thank you to Taurus for their unwavering support, it makes all the difference and it’s a privilege to wear their high quality, stunning boots.
My favourites have to be the Kentucky short boots for training, Holkham boots for walking courses and to wear at events and the Lancer long boots for competing. Have a look at their website by visiting www.taurusfootwear.co.uk!”
We were thrilled to be named in the ‘best boot guide’ featured in Horse & Hound Magazine and the Holkham Rider Boot received some fabulous praise and an excellent review.
“The warmest and comfiest boots you will ride in! The Holkham is a 100% waterproof and hardwearing country boot, also suitable for riding. With waterproof waxy leather and contrasting leather bands and stitching, and with a fully adjustable top lace, this is smart boot with a durable and non-slip rubber sole that smoothly transitions from yard work to riding. Fully lined using Perlon and with a W-Tex Waterproof, windproof and breathable membrane throughout, this stylish boot has a straight cut shape. You can even wade through puddles in it!”
Available in sizes 4-8 in regular or wide widths. Priced at £179.95!
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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!
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
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.
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.