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Author: Lisa McKendry

Well, I've been quiet for a while, apologies for that. Sadly Trusty had a slight injury in July 2020 where he had a check ligament strain. Although it was very minor, due to the fact ligaments are very temperamental and with the joys of lockdown, the decision was made to very slowly rehab Trusty to give him the best possibility of the injury to heal properly and also prevent it from happening again. This has meant a long process of firstly hand walking then, walking under saddle, and thankfully, we are finally on the last stretch of ridden trot work. Poor Trusty cannot understand why his life is a constant stream of four walls of his stable, the arena, or endless amounts of country lane walking; he's desperate for a canter and a jump! We are hoping for a sign off scan at the start of February to finally start some faster work and then it will be all preparations towards hopefully getting out eventing dependent on Covid restrictions. My hopeful aim this year is towards the new Cotswold Cup which is a new unaffiliated series running this year where you get points at several events working towards the Championships in September. One of the most exciting events for me that run as part of this, is held at Barbury Castle in July which has been one of the venues on my eventing bucket list so it would be amazing to be able to get here. The first event of the Cup is at Oxstalls at the end of May which I think, so long as everything goes to plan, should be a reasonable goal to work towards. I'm hoping to link up with fellow FOMO ambassador Alex Holman for some regular lessons in flatwork and jumping once Trusty has the all clear; Alex has been having some great success not only with his own horses but with his growing client base as well and with him being on my doorstep it would be rude not to take full advantage! So keep your fingers crossed that we will continue going well; Trusty has had his fresh clip and he's desperate to get back out strutting his stuff  I've also got some very important kit that's been sat gathering dust, waiting for a cross country run; I cannot wait to test drive my FOMO body protector!...

My winter training tip is: to work on the basics! This is something that sounds as it is, basic, but it is very important for our training and is definitely something that I make sure I get into all coaching sessions I deliver and every time that I get on a horse! 1, My first, and most simple tip is to remember 3 essential ingredients to a good position from the rider – a good position allows both ourselves and our horses to find their balance, and to keep it whilst working on the flat and over fences, whether they are cavalettis or Advanced fences. No time in the saddle is wasted when it comes to our positions. They are: 1) EYES 2) SHOULDERS 3) HEELS If you keep your HEELS down it stabilises your lower leg and keeps it in the right place to use it as an aid to the horse. Keeping your SHOULDERS open engages your core and secures your body over the centre of the horse. Keeping your EYES up and focussed on the new direction or task keeps the balance ‘up’ and helps to direct the horse onward. You can think of all of these things whether you spend 10minutes walking in the arena, or hours out hacking, and it will make a difference as several new clients can testify. 2. My second tip is to help work on suppleness for the horse – both left to right & over their backs. As clients I coach regularly will know, I LOVE a serpentine! You can make these as easy or difficult as you like, ie as many or as few loops as you like, and within these, you can add extra circles, transitions, and/or poles.  Focus on riding even loops, with the horse really connected between your inside leg and outside rein, and staying straight between your aids. If you work the horse on a serpentine for a period of time, they really start to soften around your leg and are ready to work – it’s a great one for a warm-up. I definitely practice what I preach on this one, as I have permanently had poles set up on a serpentine for over a month at home, for flatwork, and used poles to warm up for jumping when we went to hire a local arena for a jump.  Whilst on the serpentine, don’t forget to remember the 3 main points of your position… My favourite exercise involves a serpentine in trot using poles and halts, but either you’ll have to book a lesson or wait until next time to see a demo…! Hope you have found these useful. Alex  ...

New research into equestrian body protection delivers surprising results. FOMO, the company behind the UK’s newest body protector FAZE that was launched earlier this year has just released the first findings in a study into body protection for the equestrian market. FOMO was awarded an Innovate UK SMART Grant in October of 2019 and has spent the past 15 months completing a feasibility study on the named technologies working alongside thought leaders such as the University of Edinburgh to determine “life-like” test methods for assessing each technology. The company was founded by Carmen Cummiskey, an experienced equestrian, and a graduate in Sports Engineering from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Throughout her development of FAZE, Carmen was always of the belief that the best balance of performance and comfort would not be achieved with the use of a single technology and that the combined characteristics of complementary technological solutions would be needed to achieve a step change. As with all safety products, ongoing technical evaluation is crucial and the team at FOMO recognised that three technologies had to be considered in this latest study – microcellular foams, air cushion (including inflation technology), and ‘exoskeleton’ (structurally engineered in suitable materials). The aim of the study was to provide an overall solution in which the individual technologies provided for performance and comfort exceeding the sum of their parts. The Study Working with Edinburgh University, FOMO developed a unique numerical modelling system that evaluates the stress on the rib cage and the body's internal structures with and without various forms of protection. Falls were evaluated at multiple speeds to assess how the various technologies work to protect the body and its internal structures. The first impact scenario aims to replicate the impact between the rider and a fixed wooden corner fence, and the second aims to replicate the impact between the horse and rider as a result of a rotational fall. Both impact scenarios took place at velocities of both 5 m/s and 9 m/s. This approximately corresponds to the minimum and maximum required speeds across levels. The properties of the microcellular foams were taken from testing on the FOMO FAZE layering system. This foam is a unique, polyurethane foam manufactured and developed by FOMO with the support of Horizon2020 through the European Commission. During a collision with a fence at 9m/s the stress on the rib was calculated to be 35% lower with FAZE’s DION foam protection than when hit with no protection. In addition to this, at 5m/s the internal stress on the rib cage was reduced by 47% with a FAZE protector. The air system alone displayed a negative effect on the body with the pressure of the air inflation increasing the peak level stress on the ribs. The peak shown was higher than that without protection. However, there are multiple factors that come into play that can positively or negatively affect this value. Firstly, the rate of inflation of the jacket, the jacket’s shape, and whether the jacket inflates away from the body or in the path of least resistance. The research suggests that outward inflation jackets, when worn with a foam protector underneath would be the best option should an air jacket be chosen to be worn. The team at FOMO is excited by the new testing process which allows repeatable testing of multiple impact scenarios. The research is already being implemented to the design process and the team is looking toward BETA International which has now been moved to later in 2021 to initially show the outputs from the project to both trade and public.    ...

So after a good final few runs of the season, finishing with both my own & Carrick Diamond Bard (Gerry)’s first CCI3*-L at Bicton, all of the horses enjoyed a holiday in the field! They are all so different and have run at different levels during this strange year, so some had more time off than others, but all had plans to suit them. Unfortunately for me, COVID has not allowed me to have a proper break, unlike last year, but I have had a much quieter November than usual, not only with the horses on holiday but with the November lockdown affecting things further. All of the horses are now back in work, and we have started having a few lessons and outings again. They are all feeling extremely well, partly thanks to their TopSpec feed & Animalife supplements, and I have survived more than a few exciting hacks during their walking and roadwork! I have already hosted the amazing Holly Woodhead at my yard twice since the horses have been back in work, and the few lessons I’ve managed to have with her have really helped me to plan where I want to take the horses to the next level in their training. Holly makes me ride so positively and the horses really respond well, which gives me so much confidence in them and how I’m asking them to work. Rathnageera Aussie (Billy) & Hocus Pocus (Hugo) both showed off their post-holiday progress with 2 super tests each at our local venue Prestige Equestrian, with Billy successfully tackling his first 2 Novice tests, and Hugo posting easy wins in a Novice & Elementary. We scored well on all of the specific areas I’ve been working on, which was very pleasing, and makes me excited to improve our scores as we head on to the more difficult movements again – I always like to start the horses out in an easy test for them after their holidays so that it helps them feel confident and relaxed in the whiteboards, and the harmony I felt with both horses was exactly what I was aiming for! We then rewarded them with a couple of jumping outings over the following weekend, and despite them feeling VERY keen on the first day, they settled and worked well the next, both jumping well around decent tracks. We all felt a little bit rusty, but as a friend pointed out: it’s December so we’re allowed to! The next stop will be some jump lessons to really get us back into the swing of things. I have been mentally keeping myself engaged by doing a few online group zoom meetings with Caroline Moore, on ‘Podium Mentality’ throughout training/competing in all 3 phases. These have been very inspiring in dark, wet winter months, and have been a huge help to focus me in a quieter time, and have given me some great pointers to use when teaching as well. It has been lovely to greet both old and a few new clients through teaching over the past few months, as the lockdown rules have allowed. I have to give a special mention to long-term client Chrissie and her horse Guto, who came out jumping with me and put in their best SJ rounds ever, over pretty big tracks, and also won their dressage test at Prestige! Hopefully, when the COVID situation becomes clearer after Christmas I can get back to organising some clinics, which I love doing. I hope that everyone manages to stay positive and enjoyed some festive cheer before we head into 2021 – I have learned a lot in 2020, and feel that I made the most of the situation we got, but cannot wait to see the back of it, and I have exciting plans to look forward to… Hopefully starting early with (finally!!!) a move up to Advanced level with my own & Janet Coe’s super horse Gerry… Fingers crossed! Alex...

The year 2020 began as the launch year for FOMO, with our final testing dates and approval set for spring, and a series of launch events thereafter at various equestrian shows and competitions up and down the country.  However, as we are all acutely aware March came along and all our lives changed as we once knew it.   Being locked down and parted from our loved ones, both two and four-footed has taken its toll on us all in many different ways, however, we have had to find alternative means to continue with our everyday lives.  Here at FOMO has been no different and we have had to adapt and change to deal with the issues we have faced. Our main issues were getting our final approval due to the test house scaling back on staff, coupled with the equestrian season being put on hold with competitions and shows being cancelled.  However, we were determined to get our final approval and be BETA (2018) L3 certified for when the season resumed.  We worked tirelessly around the clock making changes and tweaks when required and working closely with the test house.  When our final approval came through, we were ecstatic that all our hard work had paid off.  Although, our problems didn’t stop there as we have had to adapt to the way in which we manufacture our FOMO FAZE body protector, which we now do in-house in our factory in Glasgow, Scotland.  We are also relying more and more on using UK suppliers due to the uncertainty of bringing in goods from overseas.  This, in fact, has been something that we are extremely proud of; helping UK businesses to survive in these tough times, as well as create jobs to produce our products. As lockdown ended and restrictions eased things got back to so some sort of normal however our launch strategy could not go according to plan.  We have had to make do with pushing out our product on social media and have worked closely with help from fellow equestrian brands such as Apt Cavalier, DVR Equestrian, and LIKIT.  We have run a series of Instagram Live events with them as well as competitions all being hugely popular.  Our media coverage has also increased thanks to our agency Sam Forrest PR with over 10 pieces of online and offline coverage over the months of August through to December, circulating to over 88.7k, covering a readership of 331k. We also have our Scottish retailer A2B Equestrian where a full-size range of our FOMO FAZE is available to try and buy.  We recently enjoyed attending a socially distanced Christmas outdoor fayre at the shop doing fittings during a visit from Santa!  Due to the restrictions that still exist, we offer a free virtual fitting service where we send out a pack with a tape measure, info leaflet, and colour swatches and then set an online slot to carry out the fitting. Apart from the FAZE launch and BETA certification, our next most exciting aspect of 2020 has been the launch of our horse wear range FORM.  This consists of our Fly Veil, Half Pad, and Show Rug all in our body protector back to black colourway.  All of these products have been used using offcuts from our body protector, supporting our minimal waste company policy. We are sure you will all agree, 2020 has been a challenging, busy, yet successful one for FOMO and we are looking into 2021 with excitement for what the future holds.   This includes many things, such as extending our horse wear collection, adding some rider clothing but also the launch of our children’s body protector FLIP.  So, we end 2020 on a positive note and hope that you all do too.  We wish you all a happy, healthy, and festive season and look forward to seeing you all out competing next season in your FOMO FAZE. Team FOMO...

It's almost Christmas and what a year it has been - lockdowns, shows cancelled..! We did however still manage to compete in our first ever Hunter Trials kitted out in our FOMO FAZE body protector and matching XC colours.  We also made it to some training and dressage competitions. We are giving the horses a bit of a winter's break but are looking forward, to hopefully having a bit more of a season in 2021.  All going well we will be aiming to qualify for any big shows that are running, with Take the Biscuit and Lincourt Max will be looking to continue his success in dressage.  Foxy's Frolic will be hunting for the rest of the season and will be showjumping during the summer. But for now, we are looking forward to spending Christmas as a family of 3 with the celebrations continuing into January for Freddie's 1st birthday. We wish everyone a safe and special festive period and can't wait to get back out in the new year. Jodie x Team Shieldhill...

For those of you who are looking for ideas for Christmas then look no further than FOMO.  We have teamed up with some partners, other equestrian businesses as well as some really nice creative gift companies to pull together the perfect collections for you and your loved ones. First up is for the Style Queens Team our Feel Taupe FAZE body protector with the Aztec Diamond Taupe base layer and legging set for the ultimate look.  Complete the look with a Foxy Equestrian velvet hat silk in plum. FOMO                                                                    Aztec Diamond                       Foxy Equestrian   Next up is for the Serious Competitor Team our FAZE body protector in Back to Black with DVR Equestrian's Penny Pull On's in stone grey for a professional XC or showjumping look.  Top the look off with an Apt Cavalier Contrast Hat Cover in black. FOMO                                                                  DVR Equestrian                         APT Cavalier Now we have a look for the XC Fiend Team our FAZE body protector in Back to Black with a FOMO branded base layer and hat silk.  The hat silk and base layer are perfect stocking fillers! FOMO                                                                        FOMO Never forget the Ground Team!  For the chauffeur in your life who drives you back and forth to the yard and competitions and stands around in the cold supporting and cheering you on, this Mountain Horse Alicia jacket stocked in A2B Equestrian is perfect for keeping them nice and toasty.  To top it off, team it with a Tìr-Dhàimh scarf, which always has us in awe, or simply use it on its own as a fashionable piece for trot ups or sipping prosecco in the sun. Mountain Horse                                                           Tir Dhàimh For the Horse in your Life Our FORM range is sleek and sustainable using off-cuts from our body protector manufacturing process.  The perfect gift for use at both competitions and at home. FOMO                                                                 FOMO                                                    FOMO Last but not least this is for Your Stable Neighbour Our horses are OBSESSED with these bad boy stud muffins!  In addition, this Likit Snak-a-ball is the perfect toy for the winter months, a great, fun Christmas gift for your hacking partner!   Stud Muffins                                                            LIKIT These are just some of our ideas, we hope you have found them useful and given you some ideas.  Just click on the links to check them out. Happy shopping, with love Team FOMO              ...

What a strange year it’s been for all of us. For many, it’s brought upset but for me the opposite. I was lucky enough to complete two events at Poplar Park and Islam before the March coronavirus lockdown was announced. These events allowed me to assess and critique my winter training but also decide what I needed to work on. For this, the lockdown was a blessing in disguise as the list wasn’t short.  Having only just this year moved on to young horses from perfect ponies, I was finding it extremely hard making the transition and putting immense pressure on myself, so time at home allowed me to build a partnership with my new horse. In July, British Eventing announced eventing could restart and I was soon entered into lots of events. The first few competitions at Elmwood, Aston le walls, Solihull and Broadway saw two wins a 7th and an 8th,  really proving the lockdown training had paid off. These events not only boosted my horse's confidence but also mine too. Finally, by the continued success at the lower levels, I was ready to step Fable up to Novice, between both my team at home and due to coronavirus we came to the conclusion that the step-up must be made at Calmsden horse trials.  This is one of the closest events to home, so it was very exciting to be there competing again. Fable scored a 27 dressage and jumped a fab showjumping in his first Novice with a very confident cross country round to add as well, I’m super excited for the next eventing season and, with such a special team, that I’m sure will shine in the future. Well, 2020 was short and sweet but brought lots of successes including fab training during hard times and some great results too.  There are so many people to thank behind the scenes at team Partridge; from mum and dad, my grandparents who own my horse fable, to my trainers Erica and Jamie for their relentless support and last but not least fabulous team FOMO providing some amazing kit. Bring on 2021 and fingers crossed for a great year! Freya Partridge...

The only plus for lockdown has been managing to do a bit more riding. I have two horses 20 years in age apart! The first one is Filius who is 26yrs,  just over 15h and has been with us for 20yrs.  He has been there, done it, for the t-shirt and written the book.  Now we just skiddle around these days, I sit on top with an idea, and then he does his own thing, he's certainly not one for retiring. My other horse, Rubin, is my homebred and at 16.2h and 6yrs old is quite a bit different from Filius.  Originally intended for my sister, Olivia, to compete with I have been lucky to be able to enjoy him for myself recently.  I fell off Rubin last year having only ridden him a few times that year and ended up with cracked ribs. I had struggled a bit to get to grips with him as having had Filius for so long I had picked up bad habits and Rubin has grown a lot in the last 18months. When Olivia had mentioned FOMO body protectors to me I was intrigued by them after my fall. I’ve been XC schooling a fair bit since the end of lockdown so I’ve worn it quite a few times. It makes me feel secure and protected without being restrictive. My season started with a hunter trial at Strathearn where I was 2nd on Filius and although Rubin had a wobbly start we got round. I had one more xc schooling session with Rubin before Forgandenny BE. It went well and felt I was finally managing to ride a little better.  We were double clear round the BE 80 and would have won without our time penalties. All in all a good day and super proud of my home bred boy. Hopefully more to come before Olivia steals him off me!! Rubin and I have one more SJ and XC training day to end the season which we are both looking forward to. Ailz Haddow...