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It is always nice getting something at a bargain price or go one better and get something for free - ish! At the beginning of the year I took out a new horse insurance policy with Petplan. Petplan I guess to lure customers in offer 'free' gifts as a way of saying thank you for taking out one of their horse policies and of course the gifts vary throughout the year but I was fortunate enough to receive a gift which has come in very useful. With my policy I was informed I would be sent a Horseware Corrib Jacket after the first month's payment had been received. After two months I had completely forgotten about this and on arriving home one day I found a parcel waiting for me and inside was the Horseware Corrib Gilet - not the jacket as promised. Petplan informed me by letter that they had been having problems with the supplier hence why the gilet was received. Initially I was quite disappointed as I was in quite severe need of a waterproof jacket but not one to turn down this item I kept it!
Horseware are a leading global brand in the equestrian world. Starting out with their rug ranges for horses they have since over the last few years really expanded into clothing for men, women and children. They offer a great variety of clothing at decent prices, don't get me wrong they are not the cheapest but are certainly not the most expensive. But what I have found is that they make good quality and long lasting items. The Horseware Corrib Gilet is just a sleeveless version of their very popular Corrib jacket which is unisex as is the gilet making it quite versatile as the shape of the gilet is suited to both men and women. It comes in navy, black or seal brown and as mine was free I didn't get a choice of colours but I received the navy which I would have gone for should I have bought it.
To look at the gilet isn't exactly pretty nor is it full of bling. It is however very practical. The outer shell is made from a waterproof material which is also breathable ideal for those days where you need a little warmth but without sweating, so generally ideal for light riding, hack and general yard duties. The inside of the gilt has matching navy blue fleece lining which is incredibly soft but durable. The gilet itself is incredibly lightweight and is certainly not bulky so it is definitely more suited to a spring to autumn gilet as although it is fleece lined I don't think it would do much good during the colder, winter months as it isn't particularly thick. The gilet has an adjustable drawstring hem should you need to use it - I use it to get the gilet fitting a bit better around me but purely a personal opinion.
The gilet does up by a full length zip which features a little Horseware printed rubber tab to make it easy to pull up and down - note that the tab is velcro on the side for some reason so unless you wish to take the tab off the zip itself just leave well alone as chances are it could be lost! There are two decent side pockets on the gilet both featuring discreetly hidden zips. The pockets are actually deceiving as they are quite large so I have no problems carrying my gloves, keys, phone, polos around with me! They are lined with a suitably navy material in keeping with the gilet itself. On the bottom of the gilet there is a small embroidered white horse being the Horseware logo together with being around the back of the collar - just in case you forget which brand it is made by!
I have had my gilet now for around 5 months give or take and it has been used quite a lot! Not just for wearing to the yard but also for walking the dogs as it is so lightweight and of course having zipped pockets is very handy. Because it is made from breathable material I find that I don't overheat in it easily making it an ideal item to wear when riding horses especially if going on long countryside rides where having pockets are essential as you need to keep a phone with you and just general schooling whereby you need a bit of warmth in the cooler months but you don't want to overheat. Again, the jacket is waterproof so if caught in a shower this does a good job of keeping you mostly dry and so far it hasn't leaked through to the fleece lining.
The gilet is machine washable and I just pop it in along with my other riding clothes as they are mostly dark in colour and it comes out as good as new. It hasn't shrunk, changed shape it just looks like it has come straight off the shelf. Of course with most waterproof items of clothing it will eventually loose its waterproofness especially with constant washing but it can easily be re-proofed by using the same product I used to re-proof the horses rugs! Despite initially being a little disappointed with this gilet (as I needed the jacket more) I have actually come to wear this probably more than I would have done the jacket as it is so versatile and incredibly useful. I opted for the XS size (smallest they do) and I find that the fit is ideal, if being overly picky I probably could have done with a size smaller which of course they don't do but by using the drawstring hem I find that it does fit me a lot better.
If you are a horse rider, dog walker or just a casual country walker then this should definitely be looked at if wanting an item of clothing which is waterproof, breathable and lightweight. Horseware's products are not just limited to the people in the equestrian world! A very versatile gilet which is a firm favourite of mine. Can't fault it at all and would give it 5 stars.
~ Useful Information ~
Availability: Horseware stockists online and in store
Sizes: XS - XXL
Colours: Navy, black and seal brown
Price: RRP £45.00 but shop around
~ This review will also feature on Ciao under my username ~