Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Shires Equestrian supports Veteran Horse Welfare

Shires Equestrian is thrilled to announce its support of Veteran Horse Welfare, a charity based in Wales which is dedicated to the needs of veteran horses.

The charity’s head office in Pembrokeshire is home to around 20 horses and ponies who are in retirement or require rehabilitation, but the charity is responsible for contributing to the welfare of many horses across the United Kingdom and, indeed, the world as Julianne Aston, the charity’s founder explains, ‘Veteran Horse Welfare is a charity totally dedicated to the care and welfare of older horses. I am delighted to welcome Shires as sponsors of both the horses and staff’s clothing and equipment. Already their rugs and grooming equipment is proving excellent and I am sure the horses will put their new rugs to the test this winter. I would like to thank Shires for their support and for choosing Veteran Horse Welfare as one of their nominated charities.’

‘We are pleased to be supporting such a worthwhile charity,’ explains Rhea Freeman, Shires’ Marketing Manager, ‘Veteran Horse Welfare helps thousands of horses and their owners each and every year, whether this is through providing advice over the phone about feeding, finding a new home for an ageing horse or rehabilitating a horse who needs professional help. We are excited to be working with the charity and look forward to the future working together.’

For more information on Shires see, email or call 01568 613600.

For more information on Veteran Horse Welfare, see or call 01239 881264.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

The latest press release from Shires!

Here's a sneak peak at our latest press's about our gorgeous new Salisbury collection:

Stunning Salisbury!

Shires’ new Salisbury leatherwork range is available now and provides the horse owner with a stunning collection of bridles, breastplates, martingales, girths and accessories…all at an excellent price.

All Salisbury leatherwork is made from quality leather and uses attractive stitching detail, clever design touches and superb craftsmanship. Here are just a few products from the range:

Leamington Bridle
Quality leather bridle featuring extra wide padded headpiece, padded browband and flash noseband. It is available in two lovely colours with sturdy fastenings and matching accessories available.

Colours: Australian Nut, Black
Sizes: Pony, Cob, Full
RRP: £39.99

Five Point Breastplate
Super five point breastplate which attaches to the saddle d-rings and the girth to give maximum performance. This breastplate also comes with a martingale attachment and padded breastgirth section for added comfort.

Colours: Australian Nut, Black
Sizes: Pony, Cob, Full
RRP: £59.99

Leather Belly Girth
Shaped leather girth with attractive stitching detail, strong elastic at both ends and stainless steel fittings.

Colours: Australian Nut, Black
Sizes: Pony, Cob, Full
RRP: £69.99

This is just a snapshot of the range. To see the full collection and to learn more about what makes Shires’ Salisbury range so special, call 01568 613600, email, see, see your nearest Shires stockist or contact Shires to receive their latest catalogue.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Fabulous tried and tested report for Shires!

As some of you may know, we have a tried and tested panel that we use to test our products. We've got quite a number of people on this BUT if you're reading this thinking that you would be an excellent tester too, then please email and you will be sent a questionnaire to fill in.

Anyway, recently we sent our new Reflective Brushing Boots out on test and this is the report that we got back:

Product name: Reflective Brushing Boots
What were your initial impressions of the product in terms of packaging- could you tell what the product was and how it should be used, etc? I was extremely impressed with the bag they came in as I am able to hook them up outside the stable, I could tell straight away what they were for & how to use them.
What were your initial impressions of the product’s appearance? They are very stylish and different to the standard Black & Yellow/Pink boots, my partner does not like using the pink or yellow reflective boots but he wanted to use these ones as soon as we had received them.
How did you find the product’s fit? The product fitted well once we bent them in to shape.
Was it easy to use? Very easy to use
How did the product perform the first time that you used it? Some times using brushing boots they turn slightly but these were perfect for schooling in.
How did you clean/treat the product after use? Due to the dry weather we only had to brush the hair off inside.
How did the product perform the second time that you used it? They did not perform any differently, they are fantastic boots.
What are your overall thoughts about the product/do you use any other products usually for the same purpose and what do you particularly like/dislike about the products that you usually use? For hacking out we use brushing boots with Pink reflective strips but they slip down the horses legs, my partner won’t use them as they are not very manly so when he had the opportunity to use these he was happy as they look good.
What was the thing you liked the best about the product? The style
What was the worse thing about the product? Due to being flat packed the first time we used them we had to bend them into shape.
Are there any changes that you would make to the product and why? No changes at all
Are there any changes that you would make to the packaging and why? May be do a more rounded bag so the first time you use them they are already the correct shape.
Please rate the following out of 10:
Packaging 8
Product appearance 10
Fit 10
Function 10
Value for money 10
Performance 10

Would you buy this product again? Yes definitely
Would you recommend it to your friends? Already recommended
Do you have any other comments that you would like to make? I really enjoyed this tried & tested; the boots are fabulous & look really good. I think they will appeal to the female & male riders for safety out hacking.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, we are thrilled with this report…thanks Rebecca!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Hello blog followers...sorry for the neglect!

Hello blog followers,

I'm VERY sorry that you have been somewhat neglected over the past week. I do feel bad about it but I am determined to make a change...and I can tell you what I've been up to!

There are lots of things going on at Shires, I'm looking at riders for the new Performance Rider Programme and I've been looking at cover star venues, actually, I've seen two potentials this week and am going to see another one tomorrow...should be able to make up my mind then! I'm really looking forward to the cover star competition this year. Quite a few people have been enquiring already so I think it's going to be a really good one! As soon as I know more, I will keep you posted via this blog, through Twitter and, of course, through the website.

On another note, I was thrilled to see Rosie Thomas's groom at Badminton on BBC1's red button on Saturday sporting a Shires jacket. Rosie is a rider on the Performance Rider Programme and Shires are thrilled to be supporting her. I thought she did an amazing job making her way through the rankings after the dressage...well done Rosie!

There will be more guest bloggers on this blog in the not too distant future but I thought that, just to make sure you knew you hadn't been forgotten, I'd better write something!

Anyway, keep watching the blog, tell your friends and I'm sure I'll be back very soon!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Rosie Thomas blogs for us!

Rosie Thomas, a rider on Shires' new Performance Rider Programme has written a blog entry about her preparations for Badminton!

Preparations for Badminton have gone really well, I think that the training that British Eventing has given me has really helped along with the British Dressage Classes he (Barry's Best) has done and even won at Medium and Advanced Medium Level. We started the season at Tweseldown in the Open Intermediate, which he did a fab test and jumped a good double clear and came home 3rd. Gatcombe he unfortunately pulled a shoe off in the cross country but the dressage and show jumping were great. Weston Park he did the Advanced and I decided to give him a steady run cross country and not push for the time. We went down to Powderham Castle and he did a cracking test and show jumped really well, with only two weeks before Badminton, we didn't want to risk him cross country, so we withdrew him. Which I don't think he was too pleased about as cross country is both of our favourite discipline.
At home we have been doing plenty of fast work, we have got some really steep banks on the farm and the ground has been just perfect to work him on them. He's been doing plenty of dressage training and we have marked out a 20m x 60m grass arena with all the white boards so we can practise the moves for our dressage test. It's surprisingly different on grass, we all get too comfortable with our all weather arenas! We have been BSJA jumping and have jumped some good rounds, at home we have been doing lots of grids, to keep him supple and to really make him work.
At Badminton I'm number 91, I would prefer to be earlier as there is less hanging around, but more time to get him settled. I just want to get there and get on with it. I will be leaving for Badminton on Tuesday lunch time, I still have the lorry to clean and pack! I will meet Tracey Garrett my groom for the week there and she will help me unload and get everything organised. My family will drive down each day that I am competing, they have to go back and forwards to do all the work!
The two horses stabled each side of Baz, Graftons Jackpot and Watzmann, have both recently won classes at Sapey, so we have told Baz no pressure but! I think he knows all this build up is for something special, He's just the kindest horse that always tries his hardest for me and I love him to bits no matter what.

Rosie will be writing another blog for us when she returns from Badminton...GOOD LUCK ROSIE!!