Although it might not feel like it if you are in South Eastern Australia at the moment, summer is just around the corner. That means riding early or late to beat the heat, wishing you could ride in shorts and hoping no one notices that you're covered in dust and smell like a sweaty horse when you duck into the shop to grab groceries after your ride...
Although riding in shorts isn't really an option unless you like chaffing or riding bare back, it is possible to keep your cool while riding in hot weather if you wear the right gear. This is where sporty equestrian brand Tottie comes in. We call our Tottie gear "the Lorna Jane for horseriders" because of its activewear appearance, technical fabrics and performance focus.
A firm favourite for warm weather is Tottie's Wycombe Polo. This top has the cut of a traditional polo shirt, with a soft knitted neck to keep the sun off your neck, but the rest of the shirt is made of a super soft and lightweight technical fabric that stretches with you and wicks away sweat to keep you dry. We have tested this top in the hottest, sweatiest conditions and it has still passed the "whiff test". Definitely a winner. Available in marled charcoal or magenta.
Tottie's Mayfield Zip Polo is also made of a technical fabric to keep you cool and dry. Its high zip collar and ruched back are perfect for those looking for something a little smarter to wear out to clinics or training days. These polos come in 3 fantastic colour choices: peacock blue, white (with contrast blue stitching) and berry (with contrast yellow stitching).
Although we can't avoid the trade mark horse rider's white legs (sorry!), your legs don't have to melt when you are riding. Many riders tell us that they ride in running tights as a more comfortable, flexible, lighter weight option to breeches. Tottie came up with the perfect solution by designing a pair especially for riders. The Maven Endurance Jods are super comfy pull on jods made from a stretchy lightweight fabric. They are similar to running tights in weight but have the advantage of subtle silicon knee grips for that little extra bit of stability in the saddle. So now, when you want to go for a run after you've been riding (which I don't know about you but I do ALL OF THE TIME ;o)), you don't even need to get changed!
If you prefer to wear more traditional breeches but still keep your cool, there's always Tottie's Maven Knee-Grip Breeches. These breeches come in the super cool summery colours of white and pink and have a casual low rise jeans look, perfect for stable to street wear. Although they are made of 94% cotton for coolness and breathability, they have 6% elastane added for comfort and stretch. Cute contrasting triangle detail on the silicone knee grips add to the funky summery look of these breeches.
Finally, lets not forget your poor tootsies sweating it out in your boots. Tottie's Maven Tech Socks are lightweight material in the leg section, making them perfect for under snug long boots. However, they still have a padded foot section for comfort. And our favourite feature - little ventilation panels to keep the air circulating and your feet cool (well, as cool as possible in boots). They also STAY UP, which is an absolute bonus.
So get shopping and be prepared for the heat this Summer!
We've had a few requests lately from some lovely and incredibly talented riders wanting us to sponsor them. It is something we would like to do seriously in the future, particularly at pony club or adult riding club level as we are all about supporting every day riders who don't have the benefit of big-end-of-town sponsorship. But we are a brand new business, so we feel the need to establish ourselves a little bit before we take on the responsibility of little sponsored rider mouths to feed. Plus we're lazy. And a sponsored rider program requires a bit of planning and effort...
So, anyway, we were at the HRCAV TTT Dressage in beautiful Gladysdale, Victoria, last weekend with our little pop up shop meeting the lovely HRCAV peeps when we bumped into Katie Gray. We know Katie as she fosters Arch's little older brother, Chad the Wonder Pony. Katie is a bit of a fan of Arch & Alex gear and has low (actually, no) expectations of her sponsors, and no sponsors at all, for that matter. We decided then and there that she was absolutely the perfect candidate to be A&A's first "really, not-really" sponsored rider!
We'll be following Katie's progress as she moves up the dressage ranks with her super cute and smoochy, if somewhat cowardly, pony Kokomo Bravo (aka "BK"). And we'll be making sure she keeps the amusing blog posts going otherwise we will withdraw all non-existent sponsorship benefits. Here is her first blog, wrapping up all the thrills and excitement of the TTT Dressage...
Hello to all fans of Arch & Alex, my name is Katie Gray and I was excited to be the winner of their totally unpublicised grass roots Search for a Star campaign. (Helped slightly by being the foster parent of Arch & Alex’s favourite Shetland - Mini cross and pony club stalwart ‘Chad’). Last weekend myself and my trusty equine partner, who goes by a number of names though most commonly BK, turned our attentions to Top Teams Dressage. The pinnacle event on the HRCAV dressage calendar.
BK and I turned to dressage this year as our foray into eventing had been spotted with incidences, such as some extreme bronc riding at Wandin in 2014 - a very impressive display apparently. Anyway dressage it is! He had a good run up to the event with a fourth place at Dressage in the Valley and a reserve championship at Lilydale and Yarra Glen Dressage Day in the weeks before TTT.
So we arrived at the TTT venue in Gladysdale mid-hurricane and managed to park next to an extremely large and loud tanker dedicated to emptying the 4000 or so porta-loos on site. BK and I then set out on a fast disorganised march around the grounds with me having absolutely no chance whatsoever of tying him to the float adjacent to porta-loo activity. Luckily we tracked down our favourite casual horsewear stand and the lovely Samantha babysat the big baby while I moved the float to a location away from the loos and also from falling branches and flapping signs. BK, who already looked a treat and is blessed with an amazing tail, stood calmly while we took off all of our trendy horsey casual gear and squeezed into our Adult Riding Club uniform, complete with World’s Smallest Vest.
We however pulled out all of our stops in the second test achieving lengthens in canter and trot, a lovely bouncy shiny tail and overall great horsey good looks coupled with some semi average salutes to the judge to win that test and be reserve champion overall for our section! Phew, cheers all round, ‘good job mum’ from my 2 year old and my dad was even videoing the correct person in the correct arena for most of the test. Success.
Then BK and I happily slipped out of our squeezy Adult Riding Club uniform into some super trendy and MUCH warmer gear from Arch &Alex and chatted to Samantha and Cai Lin until the presentation. BK was thrilled to get more ribbons for his collection and Samantha and Cai Lin were pleased that I continued to top their Sponsored Rider Leader Board and that despite the complete lack of structure to their Search for a Star campaign, I was not a total dud. Together we are now planning an extensive 2017 campaign and actively searching for larger (yet very cool) navy blue vests.