Equestrian business

Equestrian business is a subject very, very close to my heart. Having run my own equestrian PR and marketing agency for the last 10 years, I’ve been lucky enough to support equestrian businesses of all sizes. I’ve run huge advertising campaigns, created website copy, crafted press releases, launched products (and businesses), worked with large teams, directed photoshoots, set up and managed social media platforms, managed influencers. The list goes on. I’m a bit of a bore on this subject!

I’ve worked with start ups to businesses turning over many many millions a year, sole traders through to companies employing 100 people. I’ve work with clothing designers and horsewear manufacturers through to instructors and jewellery designers. And a lot in between.

In this part of the blog, I share some of my tips for equestrian business with you, and get to showcase some of the real gems I have found in my travels too.

I am so, SO excited to be able to share this episode with you. Actually, I’m really excited to be able to share this lady with you. This is Emma Warren. Emma is the Queen Bee (MD) of Hiho Silver and runs her own luxury glamping business too. But this isn’t all there is to Emma – far from it. She’s an accountant by trade (keep reading, please!), but has had the most amazing career. The path she’s taken to get where she is not is a really interesting one, but more than that, Emma’s ability to be multi-passionate, to juggle so many things, to lead this multi-hyphenate life, is fascinating. The thing is, being multi-hyphenate (as in, having more than one passion and one job title) is branded as new… but it isn’t… as Emma explains. Have a listen here…

 

Let’s talk about being multipassionate and juggling life and work, with Emma Warren

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 7 – being multipassionate, leading a multi-hyphenate life, juggling and the career path she’s taken…

  • Emma talks about the journey she’s taken to get where she is now
  • Being multipassionate and how having a multihyphenate career isn’t a new thing (but maybe the branding is)
  • We talk about how Emma found Hiho Silver and how she become involved at first
  • How she believes accountants should earn their money because of their unique position within the business, and how they can be the ‘wheel hub’ for all the elements
  • The value of doing things you really enjoy – even though you may still have to do your filing(!)
  • What being the MD of Hiho actually involves – and how being hands on in a small business is really important
  • The value of a great team
  • The speed of change and how it’s important to try, test and break things
  • Where the idea for Dimpsey, Emma’s glamping business, came from as well as how she made Dimpsey different to other glamping experiences at that time.
  • Getting the family involved in the businesses to help make the experience more inclusive
  • Work/life balance and how Emma views it all – are blurred lines such a bad thing?
  • Emma’s top tips on how to juggle work, motherhood, running a ‘mini’ farm and lots more.

To find out more about Emma and her businesses, here are all the links…

Emma Warren:

Instagram

Website

Hiho Silver:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Dimpsey Glamping:

Instagram

Facebook

Website

Subscribe to the Small & Supercharged podcast on iTunes

I know I’m HUGELY biased but this episode is an absolute corker. I got to chat to the lovely Lucy Robinson (aka Footluce Eventing) in her capacity as Marketing Assistant for Fairfax & Favor. We talked about the current Fairfax & Favor Breast Cancer Care campaign the company is running, to raise funds for the charity. This is the third year that Fairfax & Favor has got behind the cause. And in this podcast you’ll find out why. Have a listen here…

Let’s talk about Fairfax & Favor’s Pink Tassel Campaign with Lucy Robinson

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 5 – Fairfax & Favor’s latest campaign, raising funds for Breast Cancer Care, big shoes to fill and why it all started. What you’ll hear in this podcast episode…

  • How the campaign began three years ago and why this particular charity is close to Marcus and Felix’s (the founders of Fairfax & Favor) hearts.
  • The last three years of the #fairfaxandfavorbcc campaign and the different products that have been used over the years.
  • How much has been raised each year so far to support this amazing charity.
  • How this year’s Fairfax & Favor Breast Cancer Care campaign has been promoted including a sneak peak at one of the jewels in the British Eventing calendar.
  • Why and how the design for this year’s tassels is completely different to standard tassels.
  • The value of customers and influencers of all sizes (and coming from a brand like this, if you’re ever feeling ‘meh’ about the size of your following, you need to hear this!)
  • Goals for this year’s Fairfax & Favor Breast Cancer Care campaign, and more…

How can you get involved in #fairfaxandfavorbcc?

You’ll also find out how you can get involved… but I want to reiterate it here too. The most obvious way is to buy a pair of Limited Edition tassels. The proceeds from each sale go straight to the charity to fund its amazing work. When you have these pink bits of magic in your hands, you can do even more to help if you like…

  • Post an image/series of images on your social media platforms. Don’t forget to tag Fairfax & Favor and use #fairfaxandfavorbcc (they’re doing a lot of reposting and sharing of these images so get in there!)
  • Tell people – whether you buy a pair of tassels of not, tell people about them. I think that we forget how powerful word of mouth is and the power we all have to do good.
  • Keep mentioning them and enjoy them in your daily life. If you can wear them in posts on your feeds and Stories then all the better… but don’t forget to enjoy them too. They’re to be worn and enjoyed… whenever I look at mine I smile. They’re SO pink!

Now, if you don’t have the budget for the Fairfax & Favor Breast Cancer Care tassels, that is fine too. You can still support the campaign and help it achieve its goals by keeping an eye on the hashtag and showing a little love and support when you feel the need.

Do have a look at the #fairfaxandfavorbcc hashtag on Insta – there are SO many stunning pics!

To find out more about the tassels, see the website here and bag your Limited Edition Fairfax & Favor Breast Cancer Care tassels. To find out more about the brand, just visit the main Fairfax & Favor site. Enjoy!

In this episode I chat to special guest, equestrian photographer, vlogger, blogger and all round legend, Sophie Callahan. You’ll know I love Sophie from, well, most of my content(!), but on this episode we’re talking about commercial photography. Commercial photography sounds a bit scary, but it isn’t – and more than that, it’s really important for your business. So, over to Sophie… and a huge thanks to her for her help with this episode.

Have a listen here…

Sophie Callahan on commercial photography

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 3 – Sophie Callahan on commercial photography… what you’ll hear in this podcast episode…

  • The scope of commercial photography, the kind of shots that can be taken and why. Sophie has done a lot of work for country and equestrian brands and she shares some quite eye-watering examples!
  • How to organise a shoot, whether you’re a brand or service provider
  • How to work out which photographer is the best one to suit your needs, what kind of questions to ask and more.
  • Even though it’s a good idea to find a photographer whose style aligns with your business, a photographer will usually adjust their style, if requested, to align with your brand better… but it’s also important to remember why you chose them.
  • You can be as involved (or not!) as you like. Some photographers will source models, locations and everything else – you just send the product. But there are opportunities to be more involved with your commercial shoot too.
  • What to send your prospective photographers to ensure they understand your vision and can do what you need.
  • Why it’s important to be clear about what you want to do with the images after the shoot. Images for social media, like Instagram, will be taken in portrait rather than landscape, for example.
  • Copyright and what you can do with the images you have taken.
  • The importance of communicating with your photographer to establish what you can and can’t do with the images you have taken.
  • How you can cost shoots and possible different options available.
  • How often you should have a shoot for your brand, whether it’s a service or product based business.
  • Why phones are great, but the camera isn’t what you’re paying for!
  • The importance of good photography on social media.
  • The difference good photography can make, even to eBay sales.
  • Combined shoots and how these can keep the cost of photography and commercial photoshoots down.
  • The difference between lifestyle and packshot photography, if there’s a place for both and how to know which to pick.
  • The value of using photographers who are skilled in your niche for lifestyle images – so using an equestrian photographer for your equestrian business, for example.

A HUGE thank you to Sophie Callahan for being an amazing podcast guest and for helping to demystify commercial photography. Sophie is EVERYWHERE on social media – here is where you can find her:

Thanks so much for dropping in. Don’t forget you can subscribe on Spotify, iTunes or Podcast Player, just search ‘Small & Supercharged Podcast’ or my name.

If you’re an Apple fan, you can subscribe here.

I’m a teeny tiny bit excited about this – welcome to the Small & Supercharged Podcast – episode 1…

Yep, the Small & Supercharged Podcast has officially launched! Named after the Small & Supercharged Facebook group (the group I set up to help support small businesses, particularly in the equestrian and rural sector), this podcast is going to be embody the group. It’s going to talk about PR, marketing, websites and social media (of course!), but also interview a range of business owners about their skills and knowledge too. The aim of the podcast is to be a real hub for small business. To help business owners feel a whole lot less alone, more informed and ready for whatever challenges their business life brings.

And, of course, for people who want to join the Small & Supercharged Facebook page and feel more of that community love and support, please accept this as an invitation to join the group… just please fill in the questions!

So, without further ado – here’s episode 1, enjoy!

 

If you liked the Small & Supercharged Podcast (and I’m kind of hoping you did!), the please consider popping over to iTunes and subscribing. And if you’d like to leave a review and rating I would be SO grateful. Thank you.

They say the consistency is king, and I for one preach that. But what happens when your life and work mean that you can’t be as consistent as you want to be? Do you throw in the towel? Do you just struggle on? Do you become completely overwhelmed and brand yourself as a complete failure? Well over the last few weeks I have not been as consistent as I want to be with my blog, just because I have not physically had enough hours in the day to do the work I need to do and do the blog as well. And I wanted to explain a little bit more about why that is. I’m also here to talk about how I am getting back on the path to being consistent. Because it really is important.

Ahh – September…

September is always a really busy month in my world. I have Christmas things that are kicking off for PR and marketing clients, but I also have Burghley Horse Trials and Blenheim Horse Trials. And this year I’ve chucked in a couple of extra fun things too. So first there’s Burghley Horse Trials. A number of my clients attend Burghley Horse Trials and it is a really big deal for them. I don’t actually attend in person and haven’t for a few years, but I am very involved in all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes to make the Horse Trials a big success for my clients. One particular client is Hiho Silver. Not only do they have a stand there, but the company also sponsors the best dressed at the first trot up. Because it is a sponsorship, a lot of preparation goes in behind the scenes before the event even starts. I was absolutely thrilled with how all this came together during the event, but it does take a lot of time. Worth every second though – seeing a big project come together perfectly is a real buzz and one I wouldn’t trade!

Then there was Style, Skills & Silver

A few days later we embarked on Hiho’s very first instameet which was called Style, Skills and Silver. This took place at The Fish Hotel in Broadway and was absolutely amazing on every possible level. I loved every minute, but it took a lot of work behind the scenes too. Emma Warren, Hiho’s Queen Bee, was the person who came up with the idea and did do a huge amount of work, but everyone involved also worked their socks off on their respective elements to make the day the huge success it was. 

Then there was Blenheim Horse Trials

The next thing was Blenheim Horse Trials which, again, was a brilliant event. I did actually attend on the Friday too. Again, Hiho Silver sponsored the best dressed at the first trot up, and there was quite a bit to do around that. I did go for the day on the Friday as I mentioned, and met up with a few people and had a really great time. But it’s another day out of the system and when I have a certain amount of work to do, it’s my blog and content that takes the hit (and so it should be!).

And then there’s my second TEDx talk…

And then this month, just for a laugh, I was very very pleased to accept the invitation to do my second TEDx talk. This one is at TEDx Telford in 10 days time. Not only did the application process take a little bit of time in terms of having to submit various things, but also preparing a talk. I’ve got another rehearsal to go and then the actual event itself. At every stage, this does take quite a lot of time, and so it should do. TED and TEDx are big institutions and when you have the privilege of being invited to speak at these, you need to pay it the respect it deserves. This means time, energy and a whole lot of sweat(!) go into making sure that what I am presenting is useful to the audience and withholds TED and TEDx’s values too. I take this quite seriously because I think it’s such an honour to be invited not just for one talk but for my second. I kind of think this proves that the first one wasn’t all that bad!

Excuses?

I’m not trying to make excuses but I’m being realistic here. My blog and the content I create have to support my business. When I have plenty of work to do, and the reason I have created this content (as in, to help people, create opportunities and show what I can do) has created the work I want, it would be crazy not to do those things in order to create more content, to get the opportunities that I’ve already been given. See what I mean? So the blog is the thing that’s taken a hit. I do tend to schedule my blogs in advance and I have a load saved as draft, but being a bit of a perfectionist (which is not a great thing), I like to proofread, tweak, add links and images after I’ve written them. This means that although I have quite a few saved and ready to go, they still take quite a lot of work to get to the final stages.

This isn’t a bad thing. I did really beat myself up about it because I do preach that consistency is king. I’m not changing that – it is!

But it’s not everything…

I haven’t dropped ball on everything. My social media is still pretty strong. But that’s how I think it should be. I like to experiment, try and test different things on different platforms, so I can pass this learning on to my clients and then they get the to use my ‘testings’ on their own accounts. Also, I feel that the referrals and everything else from my social media to my website and to my other social media platforms makes them really really valuable. And as someone who teaches and lectures on social media, I need to be on the pulse on that.

I really love writing and sharing what I’ve been up to with you all. Because of the amount of time and energy each blog takes to write, that tends to be the thing that gets the biggest hit when I’m busy. So I’d like to apologise. I’ve still been putting out at least one blog each week, but it can be up to three (as per my schedule). I’m thinking of revising the schedule too – but that’s another blog!

What do you do to get consistency back?

If you feel like you’ve dropped all the balls and want to get your consistency in content creation back again, I have some tips…

  1. Don’t beat yourself up. These things happen. We all make mistakes and when things get busy it’s very easy to become less consistent because you’re overwhelmed everything else. Accept that this is life. But also accept that you need to pick yourself up and crack on. Don’t dwell.
  2. Start with one thing. If you feel like you’ve dropped all the balls don’t try and pick them all up and start juggling at the same time because you’re just going to feel overwhelmed. If you think that you can pick up one social media platform at a time, for example, then do it. And do that one well. You can then add the rest in when you’re feeling a lot more confident in what you’re doing. So rather been completely overwhelmed by everything being thrown at you all over again, just add one thing at a time into your schedule so you know that you can cope.
  3. And last but not least – you need to get back on it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with work, you might wonder why you need to get back on it. Because things have been going well without being consistent in your content. But I think it’s because you’ve been consistent for so long. And this means it’s not something you should consider stopping too quickly. I’m not prepared to drop it. I’ve kept my social media channels running as I said above, but the blog for me is really really important for so many different reasons. It’s been so useful for me. I know how much it helps people and I get lots of lovely comments from people saying they’ve read something on my blog and it’s changed the way they view something. That, to me, is so important. 

So I hope that’s helped. Being consistent is king. It really, really is, but I also want to acknowledge in this blog that we all make mistakes and we all drop the ball. What’s important is how we pick it back up and carry on. 

 

Super X Country SXC Sports LeggingsIf you wandered over to Super X Country’s stand at Burghley Horse Trials, you may have seen the company’s new SXC Sports Leggings. I say may, because the stand looked absolutely stunning and was bursting at the seams with beautiful pieces. From sequin hoodies to bespoke cross country colours, new gloves to breeches galore. I took a bit of time to catch up with the lady behind the brand, Becci Harrold, to find out more about the SXC Sports Leggings. And why they’re so special.

Behind Super X Country’s SXC Sports Leggings

Leggings have become so popular, haven’t they? Why do you think that is? It always nice to have different riding pieces to choose from according to your style and the weather. I think the leggings make you
feel less restricted and also make you look more normal in the shops, when you’ve had to nip out!
What makes your SXC Sports Leggings special? I have designed these with affordability in mind. I know what it’s like wanting a new pair of breeches or leggings every few months; who doesn’t want something new! I have always found the problem is the cost! These leggings tick a lot of boxes and come well within most people’s budget at £38.99. They use good, strong, high quality Lycra that is not see through! They feature the all important gel knee, and in keeping with our practical ethos, we opted for two pockets on each side of the leg which, again, fit the biggest of iPhones. They are super easy to access too. I went for piping detail in a contrasting colour, which makes them really flattering from behind. The Lycra sock and top of pocket detail also match. The wide waistband is super strong and supportive, offering great comfort and support.
How did you choose the colour combinations you did? I have found our new colours for this season aqua & turquoise have been so popular in base layers, so with that in mind I wanted to add a touch of colour to
the grey & navy base colours we went for in leggings. Everyone loves matchy matchy too, we even have a hat silk, tops & saddle pads to match them!
What features do the SXC Sports Leggings have that make them must haves? The pockets on either side of the leg are real must haves for me. The gel knee is also a must. For the leggings, being made from Lycra offers extra support too. I love the waistband and the piping details too, anything remotely like them would
cost a hell of a lot more!
Have you been wearing them and testing them too? Yes, I wear and test all my own designs before going to manufacture with them. This ensures I get all the details exactly right. I also have fantastic sponsored
riders who help with this job too!
To find out more about the new SXC Sports Leggings, have a look at the over on Super X Country’s website here.

How to split test your Facebook advert - Rhea freemanHave you heard of split testing? It’s a really clever way to test two ideas and show these to a small amount of your audience (at a lower cost) before launching a full campaign. You can do this with many things, but Facebook adverts have a built in feature that makes split testing a breeze. And here I’m going to tell you the basics of how to split test your Facebook advert (and why you should have a go)

How to split test your Facebook advert

Split testing your Facebook advert is a lot easier than you might think – in fact – there’s an option on the ad platform designed JUST for this! Clever, hey?

  • Go to Facebook Ads manager
  • Pick A/B testing
  • Start creating your ad

How do you split test?

You can split test your ad in a number of ways. On Facebook, you can pic imagery/graphic, audience and caption. You do one of these at a time so you can see which variable has worked the best. If you ran two completely different adverts with different imagery, ad format, audience and caption – how would you know which ‘bit’ had worked?

If you like, you can test each area at a time.

Why would you split test?

Quite simply, to see which advert is likely to get you the best result before you put a lot of budget behind it. You can spend a few pounds over a few days split testing a Facebook advert (you can spend a lot more too, obviously!), but it is so useful. You might find a different style of image performs better, or a reworking of your caption, for example.

Have you tried split testing? 

Rhea Freeman - Equestrian PR and marketing - business coachAs you’ll know, I’m lucky enough to work with some amazing photographers in the industry. And I was even luckier when Sophie Callahan gifted me a shoot as a Christmas present. Bless her. The shoot was one of her portrait shoots, but I also wanted to use the opportunity to take some images for my website. Because images are SO important for your brand. Now, I’ll level with you – I was a teeny bit anxious before the shoot, but definitely in a good way. But I thought I’d use my experience and share it with you. So if you’re thinking of having a shoot and you’re on the fence, I can (hopefully!) reassure you. So this first part is all about getting ready for a photoshoot for your brand.

Getting ready for a photoshoot for your brand

Well, the first thing I did was book the date with Sophie… and I’d suggest that is THE place to start! I was lucky in that I could be really flexible on the date… the only real issue for me was the time of year (my horses were involved, both live out, and they don’t look their best in the winter!). We managed to coincide Sophie’s visit with a trip to The Game Fair as it was at Ragley Hall this year, which is only about an hour from me… so that worked.

So, the date was booked… and it snuck up on me a little. The weekend before I had all my clothes sorted… but realised that even though the horses looked good coat wise, they were a bit grubby. I have a skewbald and a piebald. And both have a lot of white. More than I realised. I think you start to realise how much white a horse has when you’re scrubbing away at it! So, the areas of prep… for me at least…

What I was going to wear

For me, I wanted to wear clothes that I was comfortable in, looked good and I loved. I felt quite organised, despite a small pile of ironing. Then it was hotter than the sun, so the tweed gilet (by Rydale- SO gorgeous!) and burgundy tweed jacket (by Really Wild Clothing, that I bought at Badminton and was really excited about wearing), were going to be featured, but not in the central way I expected. Because I was pretty sure I would melt. I also had three shirts (two by Joules, one by Rydale), my newly cleaned Hiho Silver jewellery (thank you Michelle!), my Fairfax & Favor Explorers with plum tassels, two fedoras from Mackenzie & George and a Bora sunhat from Annabel Brocks. Sounds like a lot, but I want to use these for a good while, and I didn’t want to look the same in every image!

The heat concerned me. But I shouldn’t have worried. When Sophie arrived I showed her my pile of clothes and she made sure that we took pictures of everything I wanted but in a way that would ensure I didn’t overheat. So we got everything ready and in position before I put my gilet, jacket or fedora on, for example. And actually, I didn’t feel that much warmer for wearing them because everything was slick. Complete credit to Sophie here… I wouldn’t have just sweated and got stressed.

What about the horses?

Well, after my realisation that the horses needed *some* work, I set to work on Monday afternoon and gave them both a good scrub… and they looked much better for it. I did manes and tails and legs, and trimmed what was needed. I had left myself rhea freeman equestrian business coachThursday morning to rewash them, but was pleased to get the bulk of it done. Of course, horses being horses, they needed a fair bit of rewashing on the Thursday morning too. And a bucketload of mane and tail conditioner, but that’s life.

Now, although I am pleased that I washed them twice and did all this (although I’m pretty sure they were both convinced they were being sold!), I was cross that I couldn’t make them really shine. They live out 24/7. And you know what horses are like. You nearly kill yourself washing them and then they roll. When Sophie arrived I apologised profusely for the state of them, and she wasn’t even remotely concerned. She (quite rightly) pointed out you couldn’t even see the grubby bits I was stressing out about. Argh!

And the location for the shoot?

I’d always planned to do the shoot in the field, but as for exactly where, I didn’t really think about it. I knew there was plenty of space, but I also knew that Sophie would know what would work the best and understand light and shadows and all the things that I don’t really get and make all the difference. And I was right. Sophie had a little look when she came and got two or three ‘locations’ in the field earmarked.

Are we talking about a shoot for a brand or a portrait shoot?

In my case, it was both… actually, we also did a commercial shoot for a client of mine too as the location worked and we had the right ‘resources’ (Ok, my children!!) to make it work. I’m going to go into this in much more detail, but it was an absolute breeze and so much fun. Sophie’s good with horses, we know this, but she’s also very good with children and people, so it worked incredibly well. But more about that soon.

For me, I wanted pictures of the horses with me, pictures of the horses without me, and some ‘headshot’ ones of me, because I’m being asked for more and more of these and keep recycling one from a while ago! I’m planning to use all of these on my social media and in my content.

But isn’t preparation key to a good shoot?

Yes, yes it is… but you don’t need to stress yourself out over it. Sophie is very, very laid back and is there to help. She’ll help you put outfits together, help you with your horses when you get changed in the middle of a field (!), listens to what you want and also gives ideas to make it as successful as possible for you. And more than this, she knows what is editable and what isn’t. As the shoot progressed, I was getting hotter and hotter and was worried I’d be way too red (it was the hottest day of the year I think…), but Sophie assured me it would be fine. And she was right. I’ve seen all the pics now – the image on this blog is one – and I have to say I’m delighted.

As I may have said, Sophie very kindly gifted me this shoot for Christmas, but I have already booked next year’s shoot (not an actual date!), so if that doesn’t reassure you about how much I loved it, nothing will. For someone who doesn’t like having their picture taken, this is quite a bit deal!

To find out more about Sophie’s photography skills and what she can do for you and your business, have a look at her website (just click here!)

 

Super X Country - SXC Summer BreechesI’m delighted to be able to share you a bit of what goes on behind the scenes in this blog. Today, we’re focusing in on Super X Country’s new SXC Summer Breeches. I have the absolute honour of working with Becci Harrold, the brains behind Super X Country, and continue to be blown away by what she creates. Not only this, the testing, her commitment to her customers and to what she does is second to none… and she’s a thoroughly good egg too! So, over to Becci to find out more about Super X Country’s new SXC Summer Breeches…

Behind Super X Country’s SXC Summer Breeches

You must be super excited to get your SXC Summer Breeches out – what makes them so special?
YES! The wait has been painful for me, but I am delighted now that they are here! I had so much fun designing the Gel-Tech knee, which is unique to us. It was a long process but I think the end result looks fantastic, especially with the other contrasting grey details.
Tell us about the knee patches – they look great, but they’re clearly clever too?
They took a long time to get right, but I am really pleased with how the knee grip has come out. The design is unique to us, and features our logo within the print. It’s subtle but does the job that is needed, which is what I wanted.
I love the grey stitch detail – what made you go for grey rather than a brighter/matching colour?
Grey is my favourite colour at the moment! I like something that looks classy and adds detail which stands out, but isn’t in your face! Especially when used for competing.
Can you talk us through some the features of the SXC Summer Breeches – the wide waistband, pocket, and the bottom of the breeches, for example?
I always love a good wide waistband. I hate to see and feel like I am popping out of my breeches! The 3″ waistband offers the perfect support to this problem! The pockets I have designed to be deep enough to hold the biggest iPhone. It makes them more practical when riding and walking the courses, as the phone can sit further down your leg, not in the annoying place on your waist! The Lycra sock at the bottom of the breeches is great. I wanted it to complement and bring out the other grey details, whilst offering close contact fitting under your boot.
What kind of testing have the SXC Summer Breeches had?
I have had these breeches now since November last year (2017) and have been testing and making changes to make sure they were exactly what I wanted. I am looking forward to
bringing out new colours now I am happy with the design.
They’re made from a lightweight fabric, so great for summer, but could you wear them in the winter too? Maybe with another layer underneath?
I designed these with summer in mind. Nothing is stopping you wearing them if it’s a mild winter! But I will be bringing out autumn/winter versions to cover all angles. These were focused on the summer market. They are the only breeches I haven’t got hot and sweaty in competing in this heat, which is saying something!
To find out more about Super X Country and the SXC Summer Breeches, just pop in over to Super X Country’s website, or follow them on social media through any of the links below…

What I wore for my photoshoot - Sophie CallahanI’m really, really excited to be able to share the pictures from my photoshoot with Sophie Callahan. You’ll see these on my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, blog, website… OK, everywhere. I want to give you a bit more information about what I wore for my photoshoot. Because I do get quite a few questions about where I get things from (which is lovely). I also really, really adore the things that I wore for the shoot and wanted to share them with you…

What I wore for my photoshoot…

Jewellery

Yep, it’s mostly Hiho Silver… so I wore…

Exclusive Double Chained Cherry Roller Necklace with sterling silver and 18ct rose gold plated beads – I’ve had this for a little while and adore it. I wear it all day, every day, and feel naked without it.

Snaffle Ring – my husband bought me this about five years and it still looks as good as new. As per my necklace, I wear it all the time.

Exclusive Cherry Roller Bangle with two solid rose gold rollers and three CZ purple ones – this has been tweaked and adjusted a few times! This started off as the classic two tone version… and then the sparkly beads came out and I loved them, so I sent it back to Hiho and swapped one bead for one. Well, long story short, that’s happened a couple of times now. I still love the original, but this is really special as I designed it. Well, with a bit of help from Michelle. I should say, this is an option for everyone, not just me, you can just decide to customise your cherry roller and pick all the beads when you buy… or you can swap beads as and when by sending it back to Hiho or getting it adjusted on the show stand.

Exclusive Fox Roller Bangle with 18ct rose gold plated fox – I was given this as a gift – isn’t it cute? I don’t wear this all the time, only for special occasions, but when it’s not on my wrist, I hang it on the top of a kitchen cupboard handle so I can admire it when I’m in there!

Exclusive Sterling Silver Foxtail Bracelet with three beads (Badminton 2018 and 2017 and CZ red bead) – I always loop this through my cherry roller- no idea why! The beads are a work in progress as I just keep adding to my collection as Hiho brings out new ones I love. That’s the great thing about the Foxtail.

Springy Bangle in sterling silver – another bangle I have had for ages and wear each day. I think I’ve had it for four years now? Maybe? A long time anyway!!

(I should add that Michelle at Hiho very, very (very) kindly cleaned these for me pre-shoot… that’s why they look so shiny!)

My wedding and engagement ring – these are white gold and the engagement ring has three diamonds, two of which were from a ring belonging to my late grandmother.

Diamond earrings – I always wear these – they were my grandmother’s too

Hats

What i wore for my equestrian photoshoot I wore two different hats for the shoot…

Annabel Brocks’ Bora Hat – this is superb. It arrived on the morning of the shoot and it’s so clever. It’s adjustable thanks to the adjustable elastic band inside, and it has a SPF of 50. Having got sunstroke a few weeks ago, I’m now a bit obsessed with hats. I mentioned my sunstroke to Belle when we were chatting and she very, very kindly offered to send me one of hers. It’s so lovely. I’ve bought one in blue and cream for my mother in law since!

Mackenzie & George Fedora and Feather Brooch. I love this combo so much. I had the brown hat and pin picked out as the tan coloured band coordinated with the colour of my boots. I do also have a lovely navy version, but the brown went better with this. The hat feather moves between the two as needed… although I have got my eye on a peacock feather one for my navy one too!

Shirts

I picked three shirts to wear. All were quite loose and floaty because it was SO hot I just couldn’t bear anything tight to be honest with you. I also really love these shirts – I’ve had all for a little while…

Rydale Willow Shirt – I’ve had this for a while and bought it in the sale, it was a complete bargain. I have the navy spot version and love the fit. It is so easy to iron, goes with everything and is a lovely length. There’s a pale blue daisy version too which is rather lovely.

Joules Dog Walker Shirt – I bought this for my TEDx talk and haven’t worn it much since, but really do like it a lot. It’s cream with a dog walker print on it, nice neckline and it’s a light and floaty material that is really cool.

Joules Pheasant Shirt – this is a classic… I think everyone has one of these, don’t they?

Jacket

Really Wild Clothing – I bought this at Badminton Horse Trials in the sale (I know- I do love a sale!) and fell in love with it. I mean THAT COLOUR! I also thought the length was really flattering and would work well with jeans, skirts and trousers.

Waistcoat

Rydale Bramham II Gilet – I was very kindly gifted this by Rydale. It combines tweed with suede-like fabric on the top of the shoulders, around the collar and down the fastening too. It’s really lovely. It has a closer fit than I would usually buy (and I ordered the size I usually am!), but I tend to order everything in a bigger size because I don’t like things that cling. However, this gilet fits really nicely and for a tweed gilet it is super flattering too. I was planning to wear it to The Game Fair, but due to the heat wave, I left it at home. There are a number of colours available.. and it’s an absolute bargain. This one is £45 and is made in the UK. They have great deals on in the sale too.

Boots

Fairfax & Favor Explorers – I wear these every day, whatever the weather, so I was always going to wear these for my shoot… although I did think I’d wear my Reginas too for a bit. In the end, I decided that when trying to hang on to two horses in a dusty field, good grip was a must… and I just felt the smooth leather, rather than a suede, would be better with all the dust. I switched the self coloured tassels for the burgundy suede, because, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I do like burgundy!

Jeans

Well… these weren’t actually proper jeans, they were jean leggings and were about £8 from Matalan.

And the horses…

They both wore their bridles. Marilyn (the piebald) has a Kate Negus bridle with padded headpiece and diamante browband. Gu (the skewbald) has a Kieffer bridle with a pair of Kate Negus X-Suregrip reins.

So that’s what I wore for my shoot… and what the horses did too… 

If you do want to see more of Sophie Callahan’s amazing work, have a look at Sophie’s website.