Horse Pilot Clothing Review
We took on several innovative and exciting new brands throughout 2018, and one which has proven very popular is Horse Pilot. We first looked at this brand at the beginning of the year and were impressed by the quality of the clothing as well as the forward thinking and creative concepts behind the technical design features.
Horse Pilot’s aim is to produce clothing that allows riders to be as comfortable as possible, both in and out of the saddle, enabling optimum athletic performance. They are very confident in their designs, and therefore, have very kindly provided me with a Celcius Gilet and a pair of X-Balance breeches to put through their paces at the yard. Well, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to test them out over the Christmas period and my verdict is extremely positive.
So, I’ll begin with my review of the X-Balance breeches. These are super smart with subtle and elegant piping on the waistband, featuring the Horse Pilot logo and handy little zip pockets. They are packed full of technical features and designed in a preformed, ergonomic shape with Sensitive Fit bi-stretch fabric to allow excellent freedom of movement and comfort.
Now, in all honesty, these breeches were not love at first site for me. I am a curvy size 14 and I love a pair of breeches with a high waist – my ‘go to’ is the Pikeur Candela. The X-Balance have a unique waistband which is designed to provide support for the back. They are high-waisted at the back, but quite a bit lower at the front, which concerned me slightly as, after two children, I like my breeches to ‘hold me in’ if you know what I mean! When I first put them on, I automatically tried to pull them up as high as possible so that the waistband was sitting in a familiar position. As I’m sure you can imagine, this was a little uncomfortable and was not a good look!
As a plus, the material felt incredibly stretchy, almost like a pair of leggings. However, unlike leggings, the fabric is very flattering and manages to effectively hide my wobbly bits and feels of excellent quality. Big tick!
Off I went to the yard, sporting my breeches, to tack up my mare. Now, upon swinging into the saddle, I fell in love! These are genuinely one of the most comfortable pairs of breeches I’ve ever ridden in. About halfway through my ride, I realised that I had totally forgotten I was wearing them. This may sound odd, but I have several pairs of breeches which pull across my knees so that I can always feel a slight restriction in the saddle, but the X-Balance don’t do this at all. The fabric is so stretchy and allows me to move with my horse in any way I need to.
When I got off at the end of my ride, the waistband had worked its way down to where it was supposed to be and stayed there. It stayed there whilst I was untacking and turning out. It stayed there whilst I was filling haynets, topping up waters and skipping out. Normally, with lower waisted breeches, I feel as if I’m constantly pulling them up, but when I allow the X-Balance to sit in the intended position on my waist, I don’t have to fiddle with them again.
Also, my back felt incredibly well supported. After a lifetime of riding, I have several minor but niggly aches and pains, including my back. Whilst wearing the X-Balance breeches, my back ache was definitely not as noticeable and I felt very well supported throughout my ride.
These breeches have definitely changed my mind with wear and have become one of my favourite pairs. They wash really well, look fab and are super comfy – I would definitely recommend investing in a pair or two!
So, now onto the Celcius Gilet – this I loved as soon as I saw it. It looks sporty and smart and is really lightweight, whilst remaining extremely warm. It has loads of fantastic design features which make it incredibly functional. The outer is both waterproof and windproof, meaning it’s not a total disaster if you get caught in an unexpected shower and any belongings in your pockets will remain safely dry. The pockets are super deep, allowing for ample storage whilst keeping the silhouette and shape of the jacket in tact. The jacket has excellent, lightweight insulation whilst remaining breathable, with a mesh panel built into the double zip, which is handy when you begin to feel a little warm but don’t want to remove your gilet. The elasticated arm holes ensure a comfy fit whilst keeping warm air in and cold air out. It features an inner zip pocket with a media kit outlet, which enables easy access to your headphones whilst keeping the wires tidily hidden. The hood is removable and is cut so as not to affect your field of vision.
As soon as I tried this gilet on, I absolutely adored it! As I’ve mentioned, I have a curvy figure and gilets normally prove a bit of a problem for me. I have wide hips and big boobs which means that gilets tend to ride up and I either have to keep hoiking them down or buy them too big, which is not a very flattering look! However, the Celcius Gilet is cut in a preformed fit and is incredibly flattering for the female figure. It allows room for my hips and then comes in at the waist to fit snugly and super comfortably. It stays put in all situations, whether in or out of the saddle and I can completely forget I’m wearing it, which is a great feeling. I also feel like it holds me in all the right places and supports my back whilst I’m in the saddle.
So, in summary, I am super impressed with the Horse Pilot clothing, in terms of style, functionality and comfort. There has clearly been a lot of thought and creativity put into the designs and they really do work for horse riders. As I’ve mentioned, the fit of this clothing is really good for anyone with a curvier figure, espescially the tops and jackets. There is a great range of choice, both in the casual and competition collections. I love it and am looking forward to the arrival of the Spring/Summer range with all the gorgeous new colours!