Brands We Love: Charles Owen

charles owen

Many riders have proudly worn a Charles Owen helmet during their riding careers. With over 100 years of producing top-of-the-line helmets, it’s no surprise that Charles Owen has become one of the most popular helmet brands on the market. Starting with the development of better military helmets, then moving to motorcycle helmet production, and finally to jockey racing helmets and horseback riding helmets, Charles Owen is clearly a master of helmet development. Continue reading

Stay Warm with Our Favorite Winter Riding Boots from Mountain Horse

mountain horse winter riding boots

Finding the perfect pair of winter riding boots can be a tall order. In addition to finding boots with the right fit and support, you also have to consider insulation, whether or not they are waterproof, traction and thickness.  With cold weather dropping into the teens in many areas of the country, having winter riding boots that are able to keep your feet warm, dry and comfortable while allowing correct contact with the horse is essential. Mountain Horse’s line of winter boots is known for being extremely warm and is one of our favorite brands for the ideal winter wear. If you’re considering new boots this winter, here are our favorite options from Mountain Horse that will make your feet happy: Continue reading

Horse Blanket Care Tips to Help Maintain Functionality through Winter

horse blanket careHorses can be rough on their blankets, so sometimes a bit of mid-season horse blanket care and cleaning is required to help your blankets be as functional as they can. After being worn for a couple months, there are a few challenges that arise with blankets in the middle of the season, and we have the solutions for all your horse blanket care needs!

Challenge:  My beautiful horse blanket is caked in mud and dirt!muddy blanket
Solution:  You should only wash your blankets once a year at the end of the season, as over-washing can damage the integrity of the blanket. While mud and dirt on the exterior of a blanket does not affect the blanket’s functionality, it does look unsightly. Spruce up your blanket’s visual appeal by first letting any wet mud dry completely; then use a hard brush, Brillo pad or grill scrubber to remove the caked dirt from the fabric.

Challenge:  The hook-and-loop closures on my blanket aren’t sticking well anymore!
Solution:  Refresh hook-and-loop closures with a hook-and-loop brush to remove shavings and dirt that have gotten stuck in the material. This kind of brush has wire bristles which work wonderfully to make hook-and-loop closures work like new again.

Challenge:  My horse was out in the rain/snow all day and my blanket is soaking wet!
Solution:  Hang your blanket on a swinging arm blanket rack like the 3 Arm Rug Rack or the European Horse Clothing Rack. These types of blanket racks allow air to circulate around the blanket, which helps the exterior of the blanket dry completely faster. Make sure to flip the blanket inside out and hang it that way as well if it has gotten wet on the underside at all.

Challenge:  My tail cords and leg strap snaps are covered in manure- the snaps won’t manure leg strapopen and close!
Solution:  Soak leg straps or tail cords once a week in warm water to remove manure buildup. It’s also a good idea to have extra leg straps on hand in case one gets broken too much to repair. If your tail cords are routinely becoming too dirty from manure, you can replace them with the Rambo® Bungee Tail Cords, which are plastic-coated for very easy cleaning.

Challenge:  My horse ripped his blanket!Solution:  While most blankets are very durable, rips and tears do sometimes happen. Some rips are bad enough that the blanket needs to be replaced, but temporary repairs can be done with heavy-duty waxed thread or a blanket repair kit like this one from Horseware®, which includes nylon patches, Stormsure glue and easy instructions.

With our arsenal of blanket accessories and replacement parts, horse blanket care and maintenance throughout the winter is easy. It’s always a good idea to have spare replacement parts, such as surcingle stoppers, elastic surcingles, clip replacements and the leg straps we mentioned before, around the barn for when they are needed, so your blanket is always in functional condition.

Let us know in the comments how you maintain your blankets through the season!

Dover CEO, Stephen Day, Featured in Chronicle of the Horse!

chronicle of the horse

Last month, Chronicle of the Horse featured our very own CEO, Stephen Day, in a fascinating interview and story of his career in the equestrian world. Steve started to ride when he was twelve years old and hasn’t stopped since. He has worked with prominent trainers and Olympic riders, started riding schools, managed riding facilities at a Playboy Club, owned a range of equestrian supply companies, trained many OTTBs and currently has farms in Hollis, Massachusetts and Aiken, South Carolina. Continue reading

5 Tips for Keeping Hands Warm with Winter Riding Gloves

winter gloves

As winter progresses and the air gets even colder, it can become difficult to keep your hands and fingers warm while riding, mucking stalls, filling water buckets, changing blankets and taking care of everything else at the barn.  The right pair of winter riding gloves can go a long way in keeping your hands warm, but if you struggle with cold fingers here are some tips to help you stay warm so you can enjoy the time at the barn regardless of temperature. Continue reading

Ringing in the New Year with Riding Resolutions

riding resolutionsEvery New Year’s many of us make resolutions to improve areas of ourselves and our lives that will help us be happier and live better in the new year. As equestrians, so much of our life is about the time we spend with our horses, so this year we came up with some resolutions just for riders. Not sure what to commit to doing this year? Here are some of our favorite New Year’s resolutions for horseback riders: Continue reading

Favorite Horse Holiday Memories from the Dover Staff

holiday memories

This time of year is full of special holiday memories that will stay with you forever, such as loving time spent with family, the recollection of a warm, delicious meal or a particularly memorable gift that made a dream come true. As you make your own memories today, we wanted to share some of ours from over the years. These are our favorite holiday memories of equestrian gifts we received that still hold a special place in our hearts. Continue reading

High-End Horse Gifts for the Holidays

horse gifts

With just a little over a week until the holidays arrive, you may still be looking for that perfect gift for the special equestrian in your life. Stocking stuffers and smaller horse gifts can be quick to think of and pick up, but that one, bigger, special gift can sometimes be tricky to get just right. Not to worry! We have compiled a list of some of our favorite, high-end items that are commonly on wish-lists and make great horse gifts for the equestrian in your life. Choose the one you think is perfect for your loved one and make the holiday something to remember this year! Continue reading

How to Keep Your Barn Dogs Warm – Dog Blankets & Other Tips

dog blanket

For many equestrians, horses are not their only four-legged friend, and a barn dog is not usually very far away. With the weather turning colder, you may be leaving your dog home more often when you go to the barn or even shortening your walks for fear that your pup is cold. While it’s true that time spent outdoors may be limited in low temperatures, you can take some key steps to help your dog stay warm and happy so he can continue to enjoy time with you on walks and at the barn this winter. Continue reading

In the Saddle with Brigitte Schulte: Herm. Sprenger Bit Innovation

herm sprenger bits

The bit is one of the most direct methods of communication between the horse and rider, allowing the signals delivered by the rider’s hands to travel directly to the sensitive mouth of the horse. Selecting a bit with the right fit and features to allow the best, most effective communication is important. Herm. Sprenger has a long history of researching and developing lines of bits in the best shapes and materials to suit whatever you and your horse need. We were lucky to get to speak recently with Brigitte Schulte, Global Sales Manager at Herm. Sprenger, about the history of their brand and how their bits are designed.  Continue reading