Equestrian Blog

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10% Off Horse Care Products (online only, 4th – 10th March 2013)

A few years ago, possibly in a moment of exasperation, I blogged about the frustratingly disparate nature of the horse world. With so many very different disciplines, each of which seems to attract very different types of rider, it struck me that there seemed very little of the vast range of products we offer that absolutely connects the equestrian world as one: "It's like trying to bridge the gap between the Spanish Riding School and the donkeys on the seafront at Blackpool. How on earth can we call ourselves a community? I always used to think that the answer to that question was the humble grooming kit. If you have a horse, whatever it is that you do (even if it is nothing), you'd always need a grooming kit of some sort. Ownership of a grooming kit was, I thought, the most accurate indicator that that person is a member of the horse world." Perhaps I was being a little flippant. The grooming kit is just one part of the area we call Horse Care – and this week, we're offering 10% off our prices for all horse care items sold online. Care for the horse is intrinsic to all forms of equestrianism, and rightly so. Many riders will recall that when they were keen to begin riding, their access to a horse or pony was often granted on the basis that they spent time learning how to look after it. It's part of the fabric of our world. Of course, there's far more to horse care than simple grooming, although grooming, with its many and varied brushes and combs is a great place to start the learning process. Any experienced horse owner will testify to the importance of hoof care to the well-being of the horse – and not far behind that is the vital area of understanding and administering first aid. Once the basics have been mastered, it's likely that the next stage is to learn about the myriad of products available to help with coat and skin care and then, of course, mane and tail care. At certain times of the year, different considerations arise. In the summer months, protection from flies is a major area whereas in the colder months, it's generally replaced by the need to keep working horses clipped and trimmed. As our knowledge grows with experience, we find we can begin to take on more advanced areas of horse care, with responsibility. Therapeutic techniques and even basic farriery (in emergencies) and use of studs are some of the more sophisticated areas of horse care that an owner or rider can learn. Whether your passion is showing or showjumping, vaulting or eventing, driving or dressage, Western or endurance – or anything else that involves a horse – you'll find that you can't begin to learn the techniques required to achieve your ambitions until you've mastered the care of the horse that will help you get there! In addition to these savings on a wide variety of products, all products priced £1 or above will also earn you Rider Rewards, which can be used to pay for all or part of your future purchases – just make sure you use your site login to claim the points! If you can't remember what your password is, don't worry! Go to our 'Forgot Your Password?' page and send us the email address you used when you registered and we'll send you a link to reset your password. Thanks for reading, Paul  

Sale FAQs - Things it helps to know

For a number of years now, we've become known for holding large-scale Sale events three times a year.  Like many of the high-street Sales, they've become both famous and notorious as a result of their popularity.  Here are a few questions we're often asked about them - and the answers we give. Why are you so busy? Our Sales are so busy because they're so popular.  We're not just a lot busier on Sale days (like twice as busy as normal), we're many, many times busier.  The bargains tend to be good and there is always a limited amount of stock, so it's no surprise that items sell out quickly and customers often have difficulty getting their questions answered. Why don't you do more to deal with the demand? We only have a finite number of telepone-trained operators, desks for them to be accommodated and software licences for them to use, so we can't hope to scale up our capacity to match the level of interest we can generate.  Of course, we always do everything we can to make sure we can deal with the maximum number of orders and enquiries possible.  Holidays are refused, all staff who have any telephone training are drafted in from other departments and desks and software licences are also drafted from other barts of the company for the very busiest days.  The only other option after that is to pay a third-party company to handle our calls for us for a biref time.  We've never done that because as a specialist retailer, we're concerned that technical questions would not be handled correctly by someone else's staff who have no access to the information our customer requires.  With the growth of the web, the telephone has taken a slightly different role, but it's still the method of choice for many customers and we're very aware of that.  Sales are supposed to be busy times though and we're always very reassured that most people do appreciate that and make alowances.  Even in the world of the large retailer, a Sale is not something that is expected to be taken easily in stride.  Have you tried to return an item at a Next branch in the first few days of their Sales? Why did your site crash last time? No prizes for guessing!  That's right, more demand than it could handle.  For years, this has been a crucial consideration for us from one Sale to the next and while it's not always obvious, we have always made it a priority to increase our capability to handle more in time for the following Sale.  This time will be our first on our new site, which in itself is more helpful to you the browser than ever before and may encourage more people to take part.  From our point of view, the new site will be interesting because for the first time in years, it won't be hosted here.  With all the website data being housed somewhere else, we're now not limited to the capacity of the hardware (or boxes with twinkly lights, as we call them) that we had here.  It's much, much easier for us to push all the necessary buttons in order to 'ramp up' the capacity of the site.  As a result *in theory* - because as I type, we haven't done it yet - slowing and crashing of the site during a Sale should be a thing of the past.  You can be sure we'll be watching the site performance very carefully all day on Tuesday, though.  Why do you start online Sales at 6am? For the same reason.  Because we're so busy.  We've always felt that if we were going to generate a stampede, we should at least do it to suit those who are most committed.  Anyone who has ever queued for a rollercoaster will recognise the sense of frustration when someone seemingly gets to the head of the queue without putting up with the inconvenience of waiting.  We did once start a Sale at mid-day and the fact that it became much more of a lottery resulted in more annoyed customers than we'd ever had.  Having learned from that experience, we started one Sale at midnight and we annoyed people by keeping them up too late when the site slowed.  After many years of trial and error, a 6am start seems to be one which by and large, most people seem to feel is fair.  Again, looking at Next with their 5am starts, it seems like we've learned from the same lessons that they have. How long will deliveries take? There is no straightforward answer to that.  We try to clear our pending orders tray the day before a Sale, so if you order via Standard Delivery at 6am on Tuesday, you should receive their parcel on Thursday.  If you're lucky and your delivery fits in with the courier's schedule, you may even get it the next day (although we'd never promise that).  Depending on how many orders we take, the whole of Tuesday's despatches may be taken up by orders received by a certain time.  After another unspecified period, all of Wednesday's capacity will have been placed and so on.  However, once you place your order, it is yours and will not be allocated to anyone else.  We will try to get every order out as quickly and fairly as possible.  It's also important to stress that we never knowingly accept an order for an item that we do not have in stock.  If we know how long we think the despatch will take, we will tell you.  It's just as important to us as it is to you that we do our utmost to keep this promise. We're always very wary about the level of service we can give during Sales.  We only make promises we expect to be able to keep and if we don't know something, we train our staff to say so, but do what they can to find out.  If you have any comments or queries about this Robinsons Sale or any other, please address them here. Thanks and happy bargain-hunting!

NEHS: Your Knowledge, The Power to Help Horses Everywhere

The National Equine Health Survey (NEHS) has been set up to improve the health of horses in the UK and is jointly administered by the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) and the Blue Cross animal charity. In 2010, they decided that disease surveillance was based around exotic diseases such as African horse sickness and West Nile virus - leaving a gap in our knowledge about what other health problems the national horse population face. As a result, they decided to survey as many horse owners as possible to gain a 'snapshot' of Britain's equine health and understand just what health issues faced horse owners that week.  Around 3,500 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules were surveyed.  By gathering data about common problems, like lameness, obesity and coughs, the equestrian community will be able to target resources towards preventing those ailments.  As a member of that community, Robinsons are very keen to help by promoting the NEHS and encouraging as many horse owners as possible to take part. You can take part this year on one day during the survey week, 14-20th November. We hope you’ll be willing to take part and help contribute to a healthy future for our horses.

Exciting New Instore Promotion!

Visit any of our stores over the Easter holidays to experience our latest retail promotion that’ll feature huge discounts on all departments! Scheduled to start at 9am on Saturday 16th April our latest retail promotion is a chance for you to pick up some amazing offers on everyday equestrian essentials and for the show season ahead! We’re only half way through selecting the products for this special promotion and we already realise that we’re going to have to schedule in extra deliveries from our warehouse to our stores in order to get everything there! So, when you plan your visit, make sure you allow plenty of time for ‘rummaging’ through all the goodies! Throughout our four stores you’ll find tons of reduced turnouts, quilts, coolers and fleeces in a huge array of colours, sizes and styles. Within the riding wear section you’ll be faced with heaps of jods, breeches, riding hats, shirts and all kinds of footwear that will have had their prices well and truly slashed! As an extra special addition to the promotion, we’ll also be selectively discounting across the whole range of our exclusive and ever-popular Requisite brand. As you can guess, we’re planning on Retail Rummage 2011 being one of our biggest retail promotions ever and it will be available at all four of our retail stores, including our newly opened 4,000 square foot Cardiff store! You really won’t want to miss out on this one and as new products will be getting added every day that the Rummage is running, whenever you visit between 16th and 25th April you’ll be guaranteed an offer you can’t resist! Remember that our Retail Rummage must end Monday 25th April. 9am Stores Visit our Ashton Megastore Visit our Basingstoke Megastore Visit our Cannock Superstore Visit our Cardiff Store