I don’t know about you but I blooming love Instagram. It has given the opportunity to discover new brands and people I probably wouldn’t of come across otherwise. One brand I have recently discovered is Huff Equestrian. I was instantly drawn to this new brand because of their range of #honestriders sweatshirts. My favourite being “no scope, no hope” a phrase that I love, I had to order one! The sweatshirts are such fantastic quality and so soft. They are sure to keep you cosy on these colder days that we are having at the moment, along with their lovely merino wool headband, so soft and warm!
“An Equi-leisure brand – unique equestrian wear for ambitious equestrians with a style conscious outlook. Taking the very latest fabric technology into beautiful, practical equestrian leisurewear fit for the equestrian lifestyle.”
I caught up with Mel, one of the founders of Huff Equestrian to find out a little bit more about this exciting new brand.
How did Huff Equestrian come about?
Zoe and I (Mel) met working for O2. I was Head of creative and content and Zoe was contracting. We realised we had a lot in common and had developed a great working relationship base on trust and mutual respect. We worked from home a lot, and both juggled the same challenges of managing a career, looking after the horse, training and competing. We both also knew we wanted out of this corporate lifestyle and wanted to do something for ourselves. After a few brainstorming ‘hacks’ together, we both had the same bug bears about the equestrian world when it came to fashion. We were spending all day wearing equestrian clothing and spending a lot of money on it, but we were always just a little bit disappointed with everything we bought – especially at the prices we were paying.
We recognised there was a real gap in the market for unique, stylish but practical equestrian wear that still performed in the saddle, but also looked great out of the saddle.
We were sick of getting changed into 34 outfits away, just because we didn’t want to go out to the shops, lunch or a meeting looking like we had just stepped off a horse. Looking at the market, there are many traditional brands that we all know, love and buy from, because they deliver decent performance wear, but it’s not stylish and any attempt to bring style into the market seems to come in the form of diamanté and bling, which is just not us. And the one thing that is massively missing from the market is the passion for this sport. This sport, whether your event, do dressage, hunt or just hack requires true passion, commitment and dedication. Personally, I was sick of seeing brands in the market with images of models holding horse from an arm’s length as they clearly had never met a horse in their life. That does not represent our sport!
So we created Huff Equestrian.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I (Mel) live in Wiltshire on a farm with my husband Adrian, two mares, Flo & Bo, rescue mini cob Basil, Welsh Section A Figaro, Lurcher Ozzie, Jack Russell Myrtle and Kitty, the ‘ginger ninja’ cat. I compete BE100 and I’m campaigning for a 1* in the future. An ex London girl and once fashionista, style has always been close to my heart, but country life, passion for horses and my sport ruled, lending itself to a slightly more practical wardrobe.
Zoe lives on the South Coast with husband Tom, dogs Winnie and Luna plus two wannabe dressage horses Jester and Trevor, with the former currently campaigning at Small Tour level. Having ridden since before she could walk and totally in love with the sport, Zoe understands the demands we place on our clothing as equestrians.
How would you describe Huff Equestrian Style in 3 words?
leisurely, layering and luxe.
Tell us a bit more about your fabulous #HonestRiders range and how you chose the charities to support.
We always knew that within our business model we wanted to give something back. Having rescued two ponies myself and being rewarded with two beauties, Basil and Figaro, and between us Zoe and I have 4 rescue dogs, animal welfare is very close to our hearts.
When you work with horses in this sport, there is only one thing that will consistently get the best out of you partner and that is to be kind and patient. Most horses want to please. They thrive on learning. Too many horses aren’t given a chance. Whether that is because they have come to the end of what is seen to be their role in life, or they have been used as a commodity.
We just love the ROR as I have a little passion for the racing world having lived in the centre of the Racing… Epsom for years. The fact is, not all horses will make it to the track and that’s no different to a runner making the track or a footballer making the team. Potential is one thing, making it is another. But that doesn’t say they don’t have the potential for another role in life. These horses are used to routine and learning so infact they are perfect to retrain for a second career. RORs passion, to not only support the retraining of these horses, but also engage and support the racing community to help them help the horses is amazing.
World Horse Welfare cover such a diverse range of causes, but fundamentally their passion ensuring horses from all walks for life are treated with respect and compassion. To do this they work with communities and organisations all around the world to ensure ongoing improvement to standards and attitudes to the care of these animals.
We have just agreed on a 3rd charity Pablos Horse Sanctuary, it’s quite different to the other two charities. We were looking for diversity and passion and I think we have that in the mix now. We are so delighted to be able to support Pablos Horse Sanctuary nr Melton Mowbray. Pablos is a small but mighty horse sanctuary, run by a very special group of volunteers. Pablos was founded to ease the suffering of horses and ponies in the UK, whose owners either cannot or will not look after them.
Many of their animals have come to them through no fault of their own, either with various health problems, being elderly or if their owner’s circumstances has changed and they can no longer care for them.
Our animals are very lucky! But not all horses and animals are so lucky to land on their feet and be cared for like royalty.
Do you have a favourite piece from your collection at the moment?
Being 8.5 months pregnant, I love it all as it’s just so comfy and stylish I can wear it anywhere and feel great. But if I had to pick a piece I would say the Bregging’s as they are just so unbelievably comfortable and I’m still fitting into a medium right now. I’ve been riding right up until last week and I haven’t been able to wear breeches for the last two months are they were just too uncomfortable with my bump, so I’m not sure what I would have done without the Huff bregging. To be honest, our range is all I wear right now, because it’s the only thing I feel comfortable in. Oh and the other thing that never leaves my head…is the headband!!! Keeps my messy hair under control.
What are the most exciting things about Huff Equestrian at the moment?
Everything is exciting right now! Life is exciting right now! We are working with some amazing people. Zoe and I are great business partners and thrive off working with each other and just launching our first range alone is so exciting. But we now can start getting excited about 2018 range and our plans.
Can you tell us what’s in store for Huff Equestrian in the next year?
We have big plans for next year. Not only to expand the range but working with our sponsors and charities. The brand is very important to us. We both come from a brand and marketing background and the heart and the soul behind our brand is what will bring it closer to our customers. We’re really looking forward to spending time with our customers getting out to some events and creating great experiences for our customers.
Thanks for answering my questions Mel. I’ve really loved hearing more about your fantastic brand and excited to see whats in store for the future of Huff Equestrian.
You can keep up to date with everything Huff Equestrian by following them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. They have a fantastic competition running over on their Facebook page at the moment (until 16th December) where you can win £200 worth of goodies from them! Or you can browse and shop their range by heading to their website. I can recommend their socks, lovely and cushioned on the soles yet thinner on the leg so they don’t interfere with your boots, perfect!