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Some of you may have seen recent social media posts announcing the winners of our "Equetech Real Riders Competition." Our aim was to engage "Real Riders" throughout the Equetech community and beyond to join with us in celebrating our 25 years in business. The competition offered four winners the opportunity to feature in a very special photoshoot to mark this significant moment with one of the four winners featuring in the brands #equetechrealrider campaign. Running this competition through our social media posts and website, three of the winners were to be chosen from entries submitted directly to our MD, Liz Hayman. However, one further winner would be chosen from the competition run in conjunction with Horse and Rider Magazine.

So who are the winners?

Despite the recent gloomy, damp and grey conditions all may not be lost! You may have noticed that our beloved British weather is always a topic of conversation especially our summer or usually the lack of. This year we have been graced with a fabulous June but typically as soon as the schools broke up autumn appeared to arrive. I don't know about you, but I'm horrified to see that my horses are already starting to lose their beautiful summer coats and I'm back in a fleece and my gorgeous Equetech Quest Micro Jacket, so it's not all bad! Our warm, heady summer days may yet prove to not be a distant memory after all. No doubt as soon as the kids go back to school summer is sure to be resurrected. Maybe foolishly, I also tend to believe my husband when he tells me we will get an Indian summer.

With the showing season in full swing and many chasing down qualifications to championship shows, Equetech sponsored rider Helen Newbold has kindly agreed to share some of her showing tips. As a ROR panel judge and top show horse rider and producer, Helen's knowledge and turnout of not only her horses but herself is exemplary. Helen says "It's always important to make an impression for all the right reasons as soon as you enter the ring. However most of the hard work begins at home and the actual day of the show is the culmination of all those hours of training, polishing, trimming, tidying etc. The weather won't always be your friend and your horse may not be particularly on side

Blood, sweat and tears have been shed in getting your horse fit, healthy and competition ready. Your trainer has pushed you to you and your horses' limits and wonderfully the hard work has paid off. Your tenacious efforts have gained you that much sort after qualification to your riding club championship/British Dressage Regionals/Nationals/ Area Festivals. Having been out competing to obtain your qualification you may feel your competition outfit now looks a bit tired, your breeches are no longer bright white or you may just desire something special or unique to compete in. There are many ways to alter or refresh your competition outfit; the most cost effective and easiest way would be to change your accessories.

Recognising the new trend for unique equestrian apparel, we at Equetech have embraced our customers love for creativity. Following on from the hugely successful Custom XC Shirt and Custom Hat Silk, both still available, new for this year we bring you the Custom Competition Shirt. As with the Custom XC Shirt, the Custom Competition Shirt comes in both adult and junior sizes. The front of the shirt is a classically designed stock shirt with a ¼ zip and ratcatcher collar and capped sleeves. The main body is in white but this is where the standard design of the shirt ends, the back panel of the shirt is where you can unleash your creativity! With four different back panel options to choose from; pinstripe and name design

According to official statistics, the average dress size for UK women is a size 16 with an average bust size of 36DD. With more women embracing and appreciating their curves, it sadly appears that some equestrian clothing manufactures have been slow in realising this, meaning there is a lack of quality and flattering apparel for the UK's average female body size. Equetech's Managing Director Liz Hayman likes to keep her finger firmly on the pulse of current trends in style, colour and design, keeping an eye on fashion predictions for up-coming seasons, analysing data from Equetech's sales and customer feedback. Armed with this information Liz, also Equetech's head designer can effectively design stunning, flattering and on-trend ranges for future seasons and varying body types.

The schools have now broken up for the long summer holiday break heralded by exalted delight from children amidst cries of despair from parents all across the country! How to keep the little treasures amused for a whole six weeks I hear you cry! Well thankfully those that are lucky enough to have a pony will probably have a full diary of Pony Club and other equine related events to keep them amused and those not so lucky to have their own pony probably have a full schedule of events organised by the riding school or equestrian establishment they frequent. Pony Camp will be your saviour! With a full schedule dauntingly laid out in front of you, you realise that you have so much to organise not least of all a wardrobe fit for Pony Club/Pony Camp

Comfort and style is just as important on the bottom half of our body as it is on the top half. So let's talk comfort and the often embarrassing subject of chafing! As horse riders, at some point or possibly on a regular basis in our riding lives we have experienced the misery of a chafed and sore rear or worse a chafed and sore – let's call it a front bottom for the purposes of this blog! We have had a fabulous yet challenging lesson by the sadist that is our instructor, always demanding we put more effort in/work harder/suffer sitting trot for longer, you get the picture, and we are so focused on not dying of heat exhaustion and exertion we don't realise until we dismount that our underwear has caused some serious chafing issues – ouch!

You've decided it's time to update your competition jacket but where do you start? Most of us will quickly peruse our favourite retailers whilst on our lunch break or sneakily go online when the boss isn't looking! We search out deals and easily compare products but is this the best course to take? In some instances then definitely, yes, but when looking to buy your next competition jacket, then possibly not. The ease of online shopping has created many "Wardrobe Hoarders" an affliction for many of us horse owners where we find what is considered the bargain of the month or simply a "Must Have" item but upon delivery, it's not what was expected or it just doesn't fit/hang correctly. So, as a hard working horse owner

We are currently enjoying a fantastic yet uncharacteristic hot summer here in the UK. As we are totally unaccustomed to seeing a huge orange orb in our rather unusually blue sky many of us are struggling to keep not only our horses cool but also ourselves. We are resorting to either riding very early in the morning or late at night in order to work our horses during the cooler hours of the day. If we are unable to ride at these times, then we have raided the bottoms of our wardrobes, dusted off our sun tops or for the more toned of us, our bikini tops and are riding in temperatures more accustomed to summer holidays in the Mediterranean! However, when we are competing wearing as little as possible simply is not acceptable.