UHIP Photoshoot

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You all know that I love the Swedish functional wear brand uhip, so I felt very honoured when they asked me if I could model for the campaign of their newest project.

Uhip is expanding to Russia and will open on November 26 a showroom in one of Moscow’s most exclusive equestrian facilities.

The aim of the photoshoot was to capture some winter vibes, so our place was just perfect. Even more so when it started to snow… The locations were my stables and also one of the most beautiful places in Bad Gastein, called Sportgastein. It is a plateau 2.000m above sea level and a national park and I love it so much as in my world it looks like the Scottish Highlands -especially in late autumn.

It indeed was freezing cold and I was so grateful for all the winter jackets and coats *lol but I really love what Max Steinbauer (the photographer) created on this day.

I have for you some exclusive (not yet published) campaign pics, but also lots of making of and behind the scenes and I hope you like them as much as I do…

For even more pics please look at uhip.se and on the Instagram accounts

@uhipwear and @uhipwear_russia

 

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…and some BTS ❤

 

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Just for you: Stall Wetzlgut homestory part 1

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As my Instagram has reached incredible 99.7k followers yesterday I really wanted to give you something very personal. For the first time in German, but don’t worry I think you will be able to follow, and we are already planning an English version too 😉

The idea & all the filming, music & creative work was done by Antonia Koch & Lena Kaindlstorfer aka Dressage Team KK.  Their YouTube channel is called Dressage Team KK and I will link them also on Instagram so you can follow them and their amazing videos ❤️

Und hier ist Teil 1 meiner Homestory -als eines meiner großen ‘Dankeschöns’ für all Eure Unterstützung, Interesse und lieben Kommentare und dafür dass Ihr meine Liebe zu den Pferden und dem Sport täglich mit mir teilt!

xoxo Eure Nicola

Denim -finally

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I love fashion but I confess that I am rather picky. My fashion must be chic, sleek, cool, definitely 99% free of bling and if possible not totally mainstream. When it comes to riding fashion this is something not so easily found especially if you add attributes like functional, durable, washable, etc.

As I love denim I thought it would be so cool to have denim breeches, jackets or even shirts for riding but although there are several companies on the market producing denim riding wear I did not manage to find the ‘ultimate’ denim piece.

Then one day somehow this small Hamburg based label popped up and I immediately loved the vibes the website spread and this is how my lovestory with Kudamono started ❤

Kudamono, was founded 2 years ago by Nele Obst (Obst means ‘fruit’ in German and Kudamono means ‘fruit’ in Japanese -just to explain the unusual name…) who, herself a rider and having worked for fashion label Marc O’Polo, was searching for a sleek approach to equestrian fashion. Since then her aim is to produce sustainable fashion that is functional enough so that you can use it as a professional who rides way more than 1 or 2 horses a day and sleek enough to be worn also outside the stables.

In my opinion this mission was accomplished. I tested myself now for a few weeks the Kudamono breeches, shirt and jacket and not only that I absolutely love the look and fit, I wore them almost daily, washed the pieces several times and as I am always short in time threw them to the dry tumbler (luckily mine has a special denim program) and everything stayed in perfect shape.

What I love most, is that the Kudamono garments are cut very thoughtfully with many clever details, for example the jacket’s front zipper is a bit shorter in order not to scratch the saddle. The materials are (in my opinion) unique: comfortable, smooth and stretchy like the denim shirt, that indeed feels like a jersey one.

So I am sure you will see Kudamono on me quite a lot as I am so happy to finally have found my denim love ❤

Have a look yourself on http://kudamono-company.com/shop/

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Young horse training part 3: getting on

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It has been quite a time since part 2, so we really have to catch up now, because if you are following my Instagram you for sure have already seen what a model pupil Nessie has become.

Last time I told you how we started the communication while lunging, how I start doing small transitions with the young horses and mainly already implement all basics that would be needed when riding.

Since Nessie loves to work and is such a clever boy, he improved rapidly so I felt save to start getting on. Since he had a break since spring and also behaved rather green we started once again from the very beginning.

This means after I lunged him, Anita held him and I started getting on, first just leaning on the saddle and when he seemed to be ok with it slowly getting into the saddle. Still standing, still being held. What I like to do is while in saddle cuddling and talking to him, also Anita was feeding him a little treat to avoid any tensions and make this the most wonderful experience.

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After he was fine with me in the saddle we proceeded with walking in hand. Again with lots of appreciation and talking. What I also like while doing these first exercises with young horses is music and various other distractions -no I am not talking about heavy construction works or other bucking horses in the arena 😉 but I find it easier if the environment is not absolutely sterile but as ‘normal’ as possible. In our case this means music, the clicking of the camera, noises from the grooming place, the tractor, etc.

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While walking in hand I try to build a little connection to the bit and also see how the horse reacts to my legs, to slightly adjusting the weight etc and I ask to widen the distance between the person leading and the horse so that in our next step we will be on the lunge. And if this feels right I prefer trotting to walking, so the young horse can move forward and needs to concentrate on moving rather than on its environment.

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Even on our first cautious rounds Nessie gave a wonderful feeling. For his young age he already is quite balanced and has this natural ‘go’. Although I also had a super nice connection to the bit I preferred to have him on the lunge for a couple of times, as our arena is quite big and I really wanted to avoid any misunderstandings or miscommunication steering wise. As I said before, for me it is all about building trust and therefor I gladly accept progressing a bit slower than perhaps usual. In my opinion (and experience) the time and patience spent in these first training units is easily saved later once you trust and know each other.

So after a few times on the lunge we finally removed it and did our first rounds ‘free’. It was a very proud moment, as proud as you probably are when doing your first three or more one-tempi changes…and I can tell you Nessie was proud too (at least he behaved like he was) and very tired… although it was just a training unit of 30 minutes and the actual ‘riding’ time was for sure less than 10 minutes it takes all his mental strength and concentration. I am always overwhelmed of how hard our horses try to please us and what a privilege it is to train these amazing creatures. So I always try to ‘listen’ hard and feel in order not to exhaust the young horse, because as I said before if you end your unit right both of you will look forward to the next one.

And if we are talking about ending a training unit: I always try to do one correct transition to walk and see that the horse proceeds in medium to extended walk with longer reins and again lots of vocal appreciation (yes indeed you can shout ‘good boy, super boy, such a gorgeous boy’ (or girl) I swear they will understand 😉 …) and cuddling, then I will do a correct halt and see that the horse really stands still for a bit, again high praise and only then I will get off.

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Get to know my sponsors and favourite brands part 5: Back on Track

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In this 5th part about my sponsors and favourite brands I am proudly presenting Back on Track. A brand I was introduced to ten years ago when Dondolo’s former owner gave a set of underlayers for stable bandages to me and told me that these were the best for recovery after intense training… Since then I loved and used Back on Track products on all my horses. When Back on Track asked me last winter if I would like to join the bot-family you can imagine how happy I was! What I did not know until then was how incredibly wide the range of products is and how many new developments & innovations there are.

Who founded Back on Track (who stands behind the brand) and why (what drives you)?

The brand Back on Track was founded by the Swedish scientist, Dr Erland Beselin, who developed Welltex® fabric which has minute ceramic particles infused into it. The ceramic gives the fabric its unique property as it reflects infra-red energy when heated by your own body. This Welltex® fabric has been used to create a range of Back on Track products.

Erland – whose background is in 35 years of medical research – discovered the benefits of longwave infrared energy in China, over two decades ago.

“We were given a gift of a pair of infrared knee wraps that had a very primitive design,” he reveals. “The wraps were tried by a member of our group who had a prosthetic knee following an ice-hockey accident as a teenager”.

“He had suffered from discomfort for many years, but said the knee wrap gave him relief after a few days. When he stopped using the wrap, the discomfort came back – the relief returned when he started using it again. “This result caught my interest and I decided to investigate further.” After a clinical trial together with veterinarians we decided to believe in what we heard people saying about our Welltex® fabric.

What is the company’s philosophy?

Prepare, perform, recover. With addressing these three we think we can make the difference in many horses, dogs and humans life. To set the mind towards a vision is the first step towards making it happen. Please join us by creating your own vision and start to take care and prepare better, perform in the same excellence as your own thoughts and if things go wrong we are there to help you to recover. Use our products to come prepared for your feat’s, performing at a new level, and to recover swiftly. To have products like we have enriches life. Just think of it, to be part of a journey that moves somebodies life a step further towards having a rewarding and enjoyable life. We have brands that create team spirit and involves the employees, co-workers as well as suppliers and customers.

What materials & technology do you use and how do you test it? What is your policy concerning environment and recyclable materials? 

Materials are always a concern. It is a difficult balance between for example durability and easily recyclable. The choice of material is connected with working environment for our supplier, their families and their children. It is a steep learning curve and lots of traps to fall into. You need to learn, listen and ask questions and not count on that people will tell you if you have made a wrong choice. For example we learned that a nice and clear plastic package often contains the heavy metal cadmium, and that removing it makes the packages dull and not so interesting for the customer. Also our customers need to learn much more to understand that their buying pattern makes the difference.

We have tested our Welltex® the same way as toys are tested to secure that children can chew on them and that there are no heavy metals.

It is good when a product is recyclable but please also note that some countries forbid the filling inside the product to be made of recycled material. In Canada you need a tag stating that it is free from recycled material.

Trading products makes people talk about risk for environment and how to protect nature. I also believe that trading is one of the best ways to create peace between countries since we work for the same goal and you get to think about other people’s concerns and culture.

What are your plans & goals for the future? Are there new products planned?

Our supplier says that we never make the same product twice. We have an obsession to improve and make better. It is an art and it is joy. The end of the journey is perfection. We are crazy about developing new fabrics and brainstorm for new details. We like to look into products used for completely other purposes and to bring inventions from a total different product to add value to our fields of interest. The answer is yes, we plan new products every day and select a new one every week. We love to be curious and push any lead or development that eventually has the potential to improve quality of life. Please join us on this journey.

http://backontrack.com

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Get to know my sponsors and favourite brands part 4: UHIP functional wear

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In this part of my mini series about my sponsors and favourite brands I am very happy to present Swedish equestrian fashion brand UHIP. Last winter when it was in October already really freezing cold I scanned my fellow Scandinavian Instagramers to see how they are generally surviving the daily training at freezing temperatures. So I found UHIP and soon after we started working together, which literally saved my life, as all the items are not only chic and fitted but also highly functional and super warm.

Who founded UHIP (who stands behind the brand) and why (what drives you)?
Ulrika Falkman, a hobby rider who loves smart functional wear made of good outdoor material, that allows to enjoy outdoor activities despite cold temperatures and rainy weather.

What is the company’s philosophy?
We want to offer equestrian sporty – yet feminine wear with smart functionalities.

What materials & technology do you use and how do you test it? What is your policy concerning environment and recyclable materials?
All our collections are made from high tech materials only, that withstand harsh weather. We do not use natural down and only use eco leather. As well as all our fabric’s DWR treatment consists of no hazard chemicals that are effecting the environment. And we have a special recycle program for old/used Uhip clothes to get a new usage for them.

What are your plans & goals for the future? Are there new products planned?
We are consistently working on our design development and functionality, testing our collections in all kind of outdoor activities and becoming more and more Global. Our goal is to be the number one brand for Equestrian high quality functional wear! So horseback riders can enjoy riding out, train and just look fashionable and good in Uhip no matter what weather.

in the pics: pre-f/w collection 2017
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just a little preview of the winter 2017 collection (the official shooting will be soon and I am so excited as I love the collection)
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First show ground experiences for Bofi

Last week it was Beaufort’s (Bofi’s) first training away from home and on the weekend we even had the chance to experience show flair and competition atmosphere without (yet) competing. This was a super positive opportunity to getting used to all the traffic, noises, decorations, people which Bofi mastered like a pro and even better really seemed to enjoy it!

I did a short video and hope you’ll like it

Bofi’s first show ground experiences

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Welcome: A tour of Stall Wetzlgut

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A little picture tour of our Mountain based stables. We are based in the thermal wellness area and ski resort Bad Gastein in the Austrian alps.

I am lucky enough to have not only a 20×60 indoor riding arena, but also an indoors treadmill, outdoor paddock, all-year woodland hacking track and summer turnout facilities.
I am very proud that all facilities have been built out of our own wood (so the trees literally just transformed into the horse stable without leaving their origin, creating a natural and comforting atmosphere)
The stable accomodates 5 horses and 2 sheathes at the moment and it was my priority to have ammenities like a little horse spa with solarium, automatic dryer and the famous Gasteiner thermal water which is especially used to heal or prevent all strains of the joints and tendons and a hot shower to really pamper all athletes afterworks even in coldest winter.
So it is my dream come true to have my horses ‘at home’ and what I love most is seeing my horses first thing in the morning and doing my ‘good night’-tour, making sure everyone is fast asleep last thing before going to bed myself…
xoxo
Nicola

 

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