Reviewed by Amanda Hayes
Having two horses of my own I was delighted when I heard the postman at the door with a large box from Aldi containing the latest equestrian clothing from their Specialbuys range. I excitedly ripped it open to find a lovely set in navy blue containing the following items; lined softshell jacket, riding gilet, winter equestrian gloves, blouson jacket and a pair of softshell riding breeches. I couldn’t wait to give them a try out and I had the perfect opportunity this morning when I had a show jumping lesson where the local temperature only reached a maximum of 2 degrees!
The first thing that went on, after my thermals, was the softshell jacket in blue, they also do a pink version called berry. This is incredible value at £19.99. It has 2 zipped side pockets, a two way zip which is a must for riding, a hood and a brilliant stretch panel at the cuffs. This is far better than the normal ribbed hem and was really comfortable. Inside its lined with a super soft velour style fleece and my favourite part, it has a water repellent finish, perfect for when I invariably get caught out in an unexpected shower.
Next layer was the riding gilet, this is very lightweight with rear zip vent for comfort in the saddle, two zip side pockets and a two way zip. It comes in the same two colours, blue and berry. I really liked the stretch side panels on this, it makes it move with the body whilst riding and working on the yard. The gilet is a really useful piece of kit as its thin enough to fit under a jacket but warm enough to be worn on its own over another layer. Again great value at £14.99.
Then on went the softshell breeches, these are fleece lined so perfect for the cold weather. I couldn’t actually believe these are only £29.99. Mainly as they have a full seat, something that normally costs twice the price but also because they are wind resistant and also water resistant. Another bonus is the discreet zipped pocket to one side, I didn’t even notice it at first. They also have the modern stretch cuff to the ankle, no Velcro to stick to other clothes in the wash.
My top layer was the blouson jacket priced at a very reasonable £24.99. The minute I put this on I felt warm but it’s not overly bulky to wear and fits on the waist nicely. It has a lovely soft fleece on the inside of the collar, zipped side pockets and elasticated cuffs and hem. The best bit is that its fully waterproof with taped seams so will keep you dry whatever the great British weather throws at you. I liked the fact that it doesn’t look like a standard waterproof coat either just a good quality yard and riding jacket that I would recommend to anyone.
Just before leaving the house I popped on the winter gloves, although I feel for me they would be too bulky for riding or tacking up they were super warm, and being fully waterproof were perfect for working on the yard, cleaning water buckets and mucking out. Great value for a waterproof glove at £6.99 a pair they also come in a hi viz yellow for hacking out.
So how did I get on during the lesson, I got too warm! That is a rarely heard of statement from me as I am always cold. I cannot fault these products for the winter they are brilliantly warm and comfortable worn together but will take you into Spring and Summer by removing layers. Probably not too many in my case! Everything was soft and stretchy and moved well around both the jumping course and around the yard, no stopping to hitch up my breeches or pull down the back of my jacket. I had a medium in all the tops and they are quite generous. I am a pretty standard 12 and the medium I would say is a 12-14. The breeches I had were a size 30 which were a little large on me, for a snug fit a 28 would have probably been better but other than that everything was perfect. Everything is machine washable at 30 degrees.
Now I have tried and tested the Aldi equestrian products I will definitely be treating my horses to some rugs, saddle pads and haynets from the range as the quality is exceptional for the price.