as this weekend is PS of Sweden x nicola weekend and you can get whatever you desire minus 30% off when using the special code NICOLA30 I thought it would be fun to share our favourite 30 PS of Sweden looks.
In this 6th part of presenting my favourite brands and sponsors it is all about a very new and exciting company I got to know last autumn: Winderen Equestrian produces very innovative and technical saddle pads and as I am always looking for ways to improve the well-being of my horses I was happy to test the pads over a few months. I felt that especially the young horses did not tire as fast in the back. I then had the horses examined by my vet and physiotherapist who too came to the same conclusion. The pad definitely had improved the horses during training and helped avoiding to much stress in that sensitive area of the back.
I thought it would be exciting to read a bit about the history and even more so about the future plans of Winderen Equestrian.
How did you come to build up a company for equestrian equipment, and why (what drives you)?
We are a group of people who combine their work with passion. We are coming from fields of technology, design and industrial manufacturing but privately we are horse riders. Riding has always been our greatest passion and a way of life.
Winderen brand was created from linking professional experience with real needs of horses and riders that we experienced. By observing the world around us, we noticed that there is a room for innovative products that can make horses and riders life easier, more comfortable and – most of all – safer.
Our driving force is satisfaction of the people who notice (usually quite fast) the difference in their riding comfort and horse behavior while using Winderen’s products. And for us it’s just amazing to witness it working and bringing joy!
What is the company’s philosophy?
In Winderen we decided to focus on creating products that have real and noticeable impact on the riding issues we are aware of. Each and every one of our products helps riders, horses or both in the same time.
Moreover, our brand aims to bring new technologies into the equestrian world and by that helps to increase the comfort of riding in a new way. We also care about design!
What materials & technology do you use and how do you test it? What is your policy concerning environment and recyclable materials?
Our production process starts from identifying the need – once we know what kind of issue we want to solve we start to build prototype and search for material that we can use.
Finding the right components is the first step. We test solutions that are already on the market and consult our partners from different fields, e.g. chemistry or physics. Sometimes we find out that there is no known component that we can use and in that case we move on to creating unique material only for our usage. We collaborate with global manufacturers and we make sure all of the materials are safe for horses and riders.
Once the materials are in place we’re moving to phase two: prototyping. First prototypes are always tested on our own horses – we know them best and we can easily observe the impact of the product on them. Prototyping phase is the most important and also most time-consuming. It means constant iteration: making materials better, shaping product differently, testing, applying corrections. In that phase the product changes constantly both visually and functionally.
Later on, we’re expanding our trail groups with Winderen‘s Ambassadors and Consultants – it’s a group of people we trust when it comes to honest feedback on the product. All of these people work with horses on daily basis (as professional riders, vets, trainers, physiotherapists) and they just know how to “hear what horses have to say”.
Throughout entire process we have just one thing on our minds – the product has to work. It has to solve issues we are addressing and serve horses and riders. In reality in means months of work and endless trails. But it’s all worth it!
In the moment when we are sure the product has all the functions needed we’re moving to phase three: design. Here we’re focusing on visual side of the product. We’re selecting shapes, colours and adding finish touches, also creating packages and accessories.
Although we are using components from around the world, we decided to focus our manufacturing locally – in Poland. We wanted to make sure that we have an impact on factories and vendors we collaborate with, making sure it’s all done sustainably and with the respect to environment. We know each and every single one of our producers personally. We see them face to face and they understand the philosophy behind Winderen.
What are your plans & goals for the future? Are there new products/lines/etc planned?
In the nearest future we’re launching three new products: stirrups, bits and tack lockers. Every single one of these product bring new quality to the market.
First, Winderen‘s stirrups are designed to have double absorbers system – something eventers and jumpers can truly appreciate as the main purpose of the stirrups is to reduce the excessive forces on riders legs and joints. Next, our synthetic, resilient to the bites bits with interchangeable shank were created to suit even the most sensitive horses. And last but not least, Winderen‘s electric drive tack lockers with it’s own power supply, electric dryer, freezes, music player, phone charging slots, electric saddle pads dryer and many things that every rider can make a use of during competitions.
Once all of these three product are on the market we’ll be back to working on more prototypes. And we can assure you – our heads are full of new ideas!
One week ago on January 20, 2018 the ‘All about Wetzlgut’ event took place. What at first started out as a small idea grew into a proper event. As it was the first time ever I opened my stable doors to the public I wanted to offer a full insight to everything that is important to me.
So I made a list, that started with young horse training and ended with gummy bears…
At 12am guests started to arrive and Bad Gastein showed its most beautiful postcard-winter wonderland-sunny weather-face. Just perfect for welcoming everyone in front of the stables with a cup of hot glogg and a photo wall to take first pics.
I am still overwhelmed everyone came -most traveling really far (Norway, Sweden, Italy etc). Also almost all my sponsors came and we finally had the chance to meet in person and chat.
We started the afternoon’s programme with a tour through the stable, so everyone could meet all the horses. When planning the event’s schedule I had wondered how the horses would react to such a crowd of people in their usually very quiet home and I learned that they had the time of their life.
Next was showing some of the horses in training together with my trainer Jochen Rothleitner. Since we started organising ‘All about Wetzlgut’ I was thinking how I should do it and what I wanted to show and communicate. We discussed it a lot and finally decided on not doing the usual ‘display’, like on stallion shows or auctions but to try to make it an interactive dialogue with the audience. I wanted people to ask as many questions as possible and me on horse back and my trainer would answer.
This turned out to be (I believe not only for me) really interesting and good fun. We were discussing topics from how to lunge correctly and what we focus on doing so, how to adjust the side reins and why, etc. How to develop first piaffe steps and why it is a good exercise to not only enhance the horse’s health but also the communication between horse and rider. To how to sit smoothly and correctly on a horse, with me ending up explaining & showing whilst trotting Harry one-handed in front of the stands… lol.
Most amazing for me was to see how my young horses, like Harry or Santi for example, managed the whole situation. It was not only the stands, displays, buffet and many people but also the sound system, lighting and the whole atmosphere which they had to cope with and they handled it like true future champions.
After this ‘practical’ part we had two lectures. Nina Hammarstrom, equine nutritionist with whom I am working since May 2017 talked about aspects in nutrition especially for sport horses. Vet Antonia Zanker, Pferdeklinik Wolfesing -my trusted vet clinic, spoke about tendon injuries and how to deal with and heal them. Although we had installed some heaters on the stalls and provided blankets and hot drinks -it was rather cold, but no one could be shied away from following the lectures with keen interest. Again it was not designed as one way communication but an open discussion and if it had not been for the dinner to be served I guess we would have never stopped talking! Once again a display of what a tough bunch of people we equestrians are (as long as we can talk about our favourite topic…)
After the lectures during dinner my sponsors Back on Track and Acuswedemat had prepared surprise lotteries, so two lucky guests had the chance to win a set of my favourite Back on Track PK Scandic bandage wraps (underlayers) and a new Acuswedemat that I indeed use almost daily to relax my back muscles. -Special thanks to both companies for that!
But also all my other sponsors and cooperating brands provided displays of their newest and signature products and a separate blog story on all the exciting new tack will follow!
During dinner I finally had the time to sit (at least briefly) with everyone and have a little chat and for me it felt as if we all had known eachother for ages. The truth is, that thanks to all the social media we indeed do know eachother -even nicer it was to meet in person!
So what’s left to say is: THANK YOU everyone for traveling all the way to the mountains and for making my first event such a wonderful lovely experience I decided we will for sure do another ‘All about Wetzlgut’ event in the nearer future…
all pics by awesome Marktl Photography, Manuel Marktl
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
…and some BTS ❤
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
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/
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.