Guest Blogger

Equestrian, Guest Blogger

Gem's guest Blog - eQUEST Leather Grip Pro Review

EQUEST Leather Grip Pro
By eGlove
https://www.eglove.co.uk/

Hi guys I am Gem Gilbert also known as @gemeventing https://www.instagram.com/gemeventing/
Im excited to be writing this blog/ product review for eGlove. 

The eQuest Leather Grip Pro is a brilliant leather glove which you can find here:  https://www.eglove.co.uk/horse-riding-gloves/  is not only is a fab riding glove but also allows you to venture on your phone or smart watch, anything electrical that you would usually poke thousands of times , until you give up and take off your gloves to use it. Well there will be no more of that! No cold hand faffing with these bad boys.

The Leather Grip Pro is available in 4 common equestrian colours-  black, navy blue, tan and chocolate brown. I have the navy and chocolate brown. Both stunning colours perfect for any type of equestrian discipline, I use mine for jumping, hacking, Dressage and day to day riding, the possibility’s are endless. However they are the perfect kind of glove for out hacking, I have found as when you see that perfect photo between your horses ears (if your horse is anything like mine you have to be quick to get the ears forward) you can take a photo really quickly and easy! 

So the glove itself you ask? You know they are electronic friendly. Now about it’s performance so the leather glove keeps your hands warm as long as the temperature is about 3 degrees. The elastic breathable structure in between the fingers and across the knuckle allows for your hand not to be suffocated and allow the glove to mould round you, also perfect for those competition sweaty palm nerves. The extra grip strip on the edge of the glove is my favourite bit as we all know that one horse that pulls! These gloves are perfect for that, as the grip allows you to get a firm hold of the reins without them slipping out especially on a typical British summers day when the heavens open. I can officially say my hands stayed dry for 30 minutes but the weather was horrendous but it didn’t affect my grip on my reins! 

My other favourite feature is how soft the leather is, it is so comfortable and breathable its amazing. The velcro strap allows you to have the gloves done up as tight or loose as you want! And they aren’t just all for adults they do a range for kids also! 

How to clean them? Everyone knows how grubby gloves can get and you wouldn’t go out competing with a dirty saddle so why would you go out with gloves. To clean and care for your gloves use a good quality saddle soap and rub it into the leather with a soft cloth in a circular moment that will get your gloves shining!  

I can’t recommend eglove enough! The Friendly and helpful service which is second to none, what more could you want? 

Be sure to check out there twitter and Instagram account and give eGlove a cheeky follow! 
Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/egloveuk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/egloveuk/

Thank you! Hope you have enjoyed my product review! Be sure to have a little look and a follow of my Instagram to see me Riding in my wonderful eglove https://www.instagram.com/gemeventing/ and twitter head to https://mobile.twitter.com/gemeventing to follow our progress in our eGloves! 

Gem Gilbert 💜

EDITORS NOTE - We met Gem at the West Country Equine Fair - where she purchased a pair of the leather gloves. She subsequently purchased another pair from the website. We then offered her a pair of the prototype Winter Elite's in blue for next season in return for a blog piece. We simply asked for an honest review. Hopefully you'll enjoy it!  Thanks Gem x

Equestrian, Guest Blogger

Olivia's Guest Dressage Blog - 2017 comes to a close...

It’s great to be back blogging for eGlove as I start reflecting on my busy dressage season that is drawing to a close coming up to Christmas.

This year has been incredible. Mine and Worldly Wises partnership has developed more than I could have wished for. Every competition I have attended has been another opportunity to learn something new about my Will. For instance, looking back at the difference from Keysoe CDI to Hickstead CDI (four months apart) shows me how without the constant arena experience it wouldn’t have been possible to develop and move from getting average scores to ones that made me a contender at an international.

Other than junior internationals this season, we have been working towards our Young rider debut next year (PSG level). With the help of my amazing trainer David Trott, our hard work in training resulted in us winning the Petplan festival at PSG level. We are now waiting to hear if I will receive a wildcard for the finals next April, however this has all been valuable experience to kick start my Young rider qualification in January at Addington Manor.

Another focus in the last couple of months has been Dressage to Music at Advanced medium level. After my first try during Keysoe CDI, it made me realise another side to dressage that I wish I had done a long time ago! My music consisted of Pirates of the Caribbean and The Great Gatsby coupled with a challenging floor plan that in two outings qualified me for the regionals with two 68% scores. Recently, I have been working on a new floor plan for PSG level ready for internationals next season.

Other than a busy dressage season, in July I finished my A levels and got my grades for my first-choice university at The London Institute of Banking and Finance to start September 2018. This means I have a whole year of focusing on my horses, continuing my teaching and reaching my dream of attending the European Championships for Italy as well as a bit of traveling now I have the time.

However, all of my achievements wouldn’t be possible without the support of my sponsors, family and friends. I cannot thank you all enough for being right behind me with everything I’m lucky enough to be doing. I finished the 8th best Italian Junior rider and moved up 127 spaces in the world FEI rankings. My next big competition will be at Addington Premier League in January where I hope to achieve my two scores to attend Keysoe CDI 2018.

Until next time…

Olivia x

www.oliviamorianodressage.com

Guest Blogger

Nikki's Guest Blog - The end of road marathons for me?

Bournemouth - is this the end of the road marathons for me?

Long distance running is what I do, it is what I love and the challenge that I set myself physically and mentally. Marathon running is a strange beast; some can go completely to plan while others can take you on a journey that seems far longer than half a day! It is the varied nature of these runs that keeps me going back for more and pushing myself each time with different goals. Sometimes my goal is to finish, other times it is to be a bit faster and this year at the start of Bournemouth marathon it was not to be sick! 

I ran two lovely trail marathons earlier in the year and enjoyed them both then April saw me at the start line for both Paris and London and both involved sickness which was particularly bad in Paris due to a combination of heat and fuel.  I then ran a 50-mile trail race and a 62-mile race with no issues. So with Bournemouth the aim of finishing marathon number 20 without the sickness that hits me on a road marathon.

The morning started well with sunshine and a light breeze and I chatted with a couple of friendly faces in the starting pen. Once we got going it kept getting hotter and hotter and I was glad of my visor and the fact that I was wearing my race vest with my own water with electrolytes and fuel. 

The route is really nice and the crowd support is great especially when you approach Bournemouth Pier for one of the out and back sections and you seem to hit a wall of sound.  This gave me a boost as I had just seen Mr eGlove and team and then my friend and her running club buddies.  I ran towards Boscombe Pier and was beginning to feel very hot and noticed I was covered in salt! I had a bit of a walk break along the pier and then ran back towards Bournemouth Pier.  By this time, I was seriously wondering what I was doing and whether the best thing to do would be to pull out. The hill after the pier found me having a slight retch over the side but I am not classing that as sick! I poured water over my head from the next stop and headed along the route.

Mile 18 or was it 19 and I sat down on the curb next to a brilliant marshal and had a cry! He asked me if I wanted transport and had I done a marathon before and I asked him how long was left so that I could work out if I could walk the rest! His encouragement and the sit down gave me a boost. A quick phone call to James with a cry and another offer of support from another marshal this one was on a bike and I was ready to go.

I zipped up the man/woman suit and got on with it and actually enjoyed the rest of the race. I started to incorporate a walk break for each mile which gave me a focus and I picked out people ahead of me to try and catch! Both of these things worked despite the sight of three runners needing pretty serious medical help along a section in front of some beach huts which is always a sobering sight.  I found myself actually smiling and singing along to the music playing in one of my headphones.  The steel band were fantastic and the sight of the pier was encouraging.  I found a runner in the last mile who is the daughter of my friend at work. She was having a bit of a moment so I said let’s run together to the end, it was a lovely way to finish the race as we saw James and her Mum and the sight of the finish was fantastic.

I have some lovely tan lines which is incredible for an October marathon, the beach was full of people having fun and swimming in the sea! We headed back to the car and a quick change and we were on our way home, job done, marathon 20 complete. The medal and the finishers shirt are great and I will wear the shirt as a little reminder to myself!

I found this marathon made me realise that my heart is in trail running and that tarmac is not for me! I enjoy seeing the fast runners and the crowds and the atmosphere of a road marathon is really special but I missed the varied terrain and the scenery and the quietness of a trail run.

Thanks for reading! 

Nikki x

Editors note - links for the Bournemouth Marathon are here

Mountain Bike, Guest Blogger

Mountain Biking in Bike Park Wales - The Hills, The Falls, The Fun!!

Bike Park Wales - The Hills, The Falls, The Fun

Bike Park Wales had been on the agenda for a few years with various things getting in the way of 2 pals and me actually getting there. Then back in October 2016 we all said enough is enough we are going and we are going next month..... as long as everyone's wife says it's ok ;-) 

They did and we booked for November 29th!

We got together the week before for a full bike inspection and kit check. After ticking everything off one of my pals commented I still hadn't bought any decent gloves and it was going to be cold. I knew eGlove did thermal mountain bike gloves, and as I have been a wearer of the Black XTREME's for a couple of years, thought I would give them a go! The key elements I needed were:

1. Have good grip material on the fingers and palm

2. Be warm but not too thick so that I couldn't get a good feel and grip of the handle bars

3. Not be too in your face, my clothes and bike cover that area ;-)

4. I wanted to be able to use my phone without taking them off

Number 4 was a important for me as I like to take a few snaps whilst we are out on the bikes and always get annoyed with having to take my gloves off to operate my iPhone each time.  

I was told that this was a blog post about Bike Park Wales - not a glove review, but suffice to say I loved them - and now my mates have them too! 

The 29th came around quickly and off we went of the long drive to Bike Park Wales. On arrival the outside temperature gauge on my car was reading -3 so I was glad we had packed accordingly. 

We kitted up, eGloves on and got riding.  Bike Park Wales was far greater than I could imagined and had been worth the wait, after the first run the adrenaline was running high my ears and nose were cold but amazingly my fingers were still toasty. No blisters and warm fingers is always an extra bonus during a winter down hill blast, you don't need extra hassle as the few falls (which did happen) are enough!!

The whole set up at BPW is excellent, the fact that you get driven to the top of the vast amount of runs each time is epic and believe me you will want to pay for this option as the descents are long and zap the energy from you. Being out first visit we took the advice of the team there and started on a blue run to help warm us up and get a feel for the runs. 

What better way to start than with the Beast of Burden which is 4.6k on its own. Instantly we knew this was going to be a good day, the standard of the trails is first class. The terrain is perfect giving you ample grip and the the though and design that has gone into the angles and berms is second to none. 

Now warmed up and buzzing we went straight back to the top and decided the red runs needed exploring starting with Wibbly Wobbly then Vicious Valley. You could definitely feel the step up in technicality needed as the pace increased and the odd tree stump coming up quickly and the jumps being that much bigger and longer. 

Confidence grew and the morning went on so I said to my pals let's go for a black run, I was met with resistance and for good reason I learnt very quickly. Whilst discussing if we should I decided just to jump on the bike and pedal on down entering Deep Navigation...within 30 seconds I regretted it and toppled sideways into a rock - that made me feel a bit silly and rather bruised! This experience gave me a reality check that at Bike Park Wales more than any other Bike Park I have been to in the U.K. You really have to respect the levels each track is rated at. 

The team at BPW should be chuffed with what they have achieved as they really have created a great place that lives up to expectations.

I can't wait to return in February 2017 and I can assure you my eGloves will be coming with me along with a full face helmet!!!

Contributed by Tom Cheverton @tomchev on Twitter. Tom is a friend of eGlove, and wrote this for our blog after I twisted his arm! Bike Park Wales looks Awesome!!

Website - www.bikeparkwales.com

Equestrian, Guest Blogger

Olivia's Guest Blog - Progress in my Dressage Journey

It is great to be back writing for eGlove as now I don’t have my exams to worry about. Since my previous blog, myself and Worldly Wise’s (Will) partnership has improved vastly resulting in having a very memorable summer which was valuable preparation for our exciting season ahead.

During the summer, I attended my second Home Internationals on the England squad where we grew in confidence over the two days. We finished 4th in the Junior FEI championship by less than a percentage. Considering our young partnership, I was over the moon with where we have come in less than a year together. After reading the judges’ comments and having an intense training programme to perfect my test riding ability, we entered as many local competitions as we could to put our training into practice.

We attending the summer regionals at Bury Farm which turned out to be a valuable learning curve. We got an average score as Will got very excited. This taught me how to control his energy and to use it to my advantage to increase his impulsion through our tests in the future. From here, we went to Sparsholt and came 1st with 68.97% in Advanced Medium 91. At this competition, I shortened our warmup time and kept him engaged throughout resulting in our pleasing score and positive comments from the judges. Sadly Hickstead CDI got cancelled due to lack of funding, however it has given me more determination to go out even stronger now our partnership is much stronger.

We have qualified for the Winter Regionals at Advanced Medium from another recent win at Merrist Wood and the Priory in Surrey, also putting us on track to secure our Italian qualification. Our next aim is to attend Keysoe CDI in March next year to gain my scores for the European Championships in 2017.

Hopefully our successes recently will continue into next year. On top of dressage, I have recently applied for university in London as now I’m in my final year of college. An exciting but nervous time however is made easier by thinking about my horsey gap year once I finish my A2’s next July.

Once again, a massive thank you to eGlove for your continued support with my dressage journey. I ride in my gloves every day and especially during this sudden cold weather, they have saved my hands during the ice mornings!

Love,

Olivia Moriano x

Guest Blogger, Running

Nikki's Guest Blog - Even for Runners, Rest is Best Sometimes!

After abstaining from running for 9 days (see previous blog) I was chomping at the bit and laced up my trainers (new Hoka One One) for a chatty parkrun with my friend Ros. Ros and I chatted our way around the friendly Fareham parkrun, at one point she asked if we were running fast and glancing at my watch I lied and said not especially! Think it was a course pb for her, she is on fire at the moment and I love running with her.  I was on a runners’ high for the rest of the day basically boring everyone with how happy I was.

The next day I was up and heading over to race HQ for my duty as Sweeper for the Meon Valley Marathon. In my kit I had various essentials for myself and any runners that may need a little help – mainly sweets, gloves (eGlove of course!) and ibugel  - oh, and tissues!  It was a glorious day as the runners met in the hall and Phil Hoy gave the runners the final brief and asked us all to make a note of his mobile for the duration of the race.  This is a tough course and he wanted the assurance that we would all look out for each other and if things got desperate we could contact him or the medic.

The start of the race is on the Meon Valley Trail for a few hundred metres before we take a right hand turn and head up towards Old Winchester Hill.  There had been some rain the day before but the ground was perfect and the weather was pretty good in the early stages. Myself and Dean had the role of taking down lots of orange ribbon that had been placed on the course the day before (by Dean!) and scrubbing off the markings on the trail and taking signs along to drop off at each marshal station. This meant that we were going along at a steady pace and ended up covered in orange ribbon. Dean was also having to use pliers to remove some of the signs that had been tacked to posts – our eGloves came in handy for this task – no cold hands and no splinters either.

The route winds through many shared paths and as sweepers we also had to ensure that every gate was closed behind us. Sometimes this meant that we ended up in a field way up high above the church of East Meon full of cows and bulls! Luckily they weren’t that bothered about us and our neon signs. Bearing in mind that I had had 9 days rest my legs were totally fine, especially the knee. I can only think that the rest and yoga etc paid dividends. Some runners were struggling in the second half of the race and made the decision to stop and get taken back to base by the marshals. We had instructions to encourage the runners to get back to race HQ by 4:30 – effectively before it got dark. This meant we had to have a pace of at least 15 min miles and with the hills that this run has that can be a challenge.

The second half of the run has some pretty challenging ups but some great downs too and the views as the sun was setting were just fabulous. There was a chilly wind too, so I was particularly glad that I had chosen to run with the eGlove Winter Elite – nice and warm! All the marshals were brilliant, lots of them popping up in two places throughout the day and yet they were always smiling and wrapped up warm. The light was starting to fade as we made our way along a track towards Meonstoke and then suddenly there is the field and the finish, we made it! The medal was an unexpected bonus and it is a pretty sizeable one too. The post run chilli and chat was great, everyone pleased to have finished and comparing notes. The rain started as we left and the temperature dropped. I love trail running and love this part of the world, just being out there in such a spectacular Autumn is uplifting and that together with completing the run with no pain made for a brilliant day. I am looking forward to running this route again.

Much stretching and elevation of my legs when I returned home. I am continuing with the Glucosamine with Chondritin – it could be a placebo who knows! The biggest thing for me was that after a 9 or 10 day break I didn’t lose anything major in terms of fitness, it didn’t hurt and if anything, it made me love running even more.

Sometimes rest is best!