THE ORIGINAL HUFFER
Melanie Hunter Yell, mother and entrepreneur, is on a mission to redefine the equestrians wardrobe.
Based in Wiltshire with her husband , son Otto, four horses, two dogs and a cat.
When she’s not working on new designs, you’ll find Mel, riding horses, walking dogs and drinking Aperol Spritz with her close knit friends in their tiny but perfect village.
Why I started Huff Equestrian
I grew up in an equestrian family, and lived a very active lifestyle, so it’s in my blood. We did most sports and competed with our horses until I moved to London age 20 to pursue a career in Marketing and Advertising. As much as I loved London, I missed country life, dogs, my horses and riding. So in 2012 I moved to the countryside, rescued my terrier Myrtle from the pound and bought my horse of a lifetime, Flo.
I hadn't ridden properly in years, so needed new everything, but I was horrified to find equestrian wear had not moved on since the 1980’s!
It was so uninspiring, old fashioned and unflattering. The fit and form of the breeches weren’t designed for the modern sporty woman and were so uncomfortable. Fabrics weren’t fit for purpose, they weren’t sweat wicking, or offered 4 way stretch, moving with your body as you rode. I couldn’t understand it. As an equestrian we're athletes, so why are we only being offered polo shirts with no sportswear qualities at all?
So Mel embarked on a mission to create stylish, equestrian sportswear to empower equestrians to look and feel great, whatever your shape age or ability.
We call this Equi-leisure.
With 20 years working with global brands on their brand and marketing strategy, an aptly timed redundancy from her corporate job offered Melanie the opportunity to embark on her mission and Huff Equestrian was born in 2017.
‘Our sport is tough, physically and mentally. The relationship between horse and rider is intense. We both need to feel at our best to build those bonds and perform at our best whether you're hacking or competing. As riders, we’re great at giving our horses the best care. Diet, training schedule, fitness, physio, saddle fittings. But how good at we are looking after ourselves?
Riding is a team sport and I believe all members of the team need to be looked after to perform at their best. It’s as much about mindset as it is skill and ability. Feeling confident in what you wear, enables you to concentrate on what's important - building a harmonious relationship with your horse, perform at your best and enjoy the sport you love.'