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Emily King’s first HorseHage Blog

Welcome to the first blog from our latest sponsored rider, Emily King (21). 

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Emily, who is just 21 years of age, competed at her first event aged just 12 and represented Great Britain at the age of 15, finishing 7th overall. She won individual silver at the Junior Europeans in 2012, team gold in the Young Rider Europeans in 2015 and in the same year made her four-star debut at Pau, finishing in fourth place. We will be running a regular blog from Emily so watch this space!

Emily King
A Great End To The 2017 Eventing Season

“We had a great end to the competition season with a mixture of inevitable ups and downs! Our first autumn international was up in the beautiful Cairngorms, at Blair Castle. It’s the most stunning and picturesque setting – just like entering a scene from Game of Thrones. It was a fantastic week… Zara (Walitze F Vejgard) did a beautiful test in the CCI**, followed by an awesome clear inside the time cross country, which pulled us up to the top spot. Unfortunately after having an early fence down in the show jumping, the title slipped out of our grasp and we finished runner up. Still – it was a hotly contested CCI**, so I was very pleased with Zar! She’d finished runner up in the CIC** at Bicton a few weeks before – so she’s really made her mark at that level.

Zara finishing 2nd at Blair Castle

 

Zara being groomed in the truck by Katie!

“Amme (Amadeus) was also super and finished 10th in the CCI*. He’s still quite green and babyish but gave me a fantastic ride in the cross country… an exciting future.

Amme at Blair Castle

“Unfortunately it wasn’t the event for Dre (Dargun). He didn’t feel himself in the ERM dressage – he was quite tight and not as happy and forward-thinking as his normal self. He warmed up well for the show jumping, but then when I went into the ring he went very backward-thinking and stopped at the second and third fences, which he’s never done in his life. Once he exited the ring and his adrenaline from the large atmosphere died down, it showed that he had tied up (this is a form of cramp which some horses suffer from due to a chemical imbalance inside their muscles). So unfortunately that was the end of his Blair debut. He travelled home happily and was examined closely by our home vet, Richard Stringer, to make sure he returned to full health as soon as possible.

“I then had a week at home, training and taking the younger horses to shows before re-packing and heading off to Blenheim Palace CCI*** with Dre! He was fantastic – he felt on top form all week, doing a beautiful test of 45. Unfortunately there was a huge difference in marks from one judge compared to the other two and this moved him out of the top few but I was still over the moon. He really is becoming amazingly consistent in the complex 3* tests – he’s so balanced, beautifully uphill and obedient, he’s a pleasure to ride on the flat. After giving me a great ride about the meaty and undulating Blenheim cross country course, unfortunately we were one of the 40%  of starters to fall into trouble at the arrow head, ‘C’ element, of fence 15. You jumped into the dark woods over an upright rail, one stride to a wide ditch, then a curving two strides to the arrowhead. I felt he just genuinely didn’t actually see the final element due to the rustic profile of the brush blending into the dark wonder background. He’s very straight normally and after this little blip, he gave me a fantastic ride around the rest, finishing with plenty of petrol still in the tank. He’s now enjoying a well-deserved holiday and I’m very excited about him for next year!

Quinn

“The last few events sweetly concluded a successful year, with Zara winning the OIu21 at Pontispool and Quinn (Quinlan Z) winning the Open Novice at Sapey and then going on to finish 10th and winning the leading six-year-old prize at Lignieres, France. I’m immensely proud of Quinn’s progress this year – it’s amazing to think he only jumped his first ever cross country fence in January and now he’s an Intermediate level event horse gaining eleven top ten placings this year, three of them being victories! He’s a stallion and we’ll hopefully collect from him in the Spring so it’ll be exciting to see his offspring hopefully coming up through the levels in a few years’ time! Speaking of babies – we did four embryo transfers with Zara last year, resulting in four beautiful little foals this year (all out of surrogate mums)! They are absolutely adorable! Bay and Fern (by Royaldik) and Maggie and Maple (by Jaguar Mail) are all a picture of health and are dancing around the field, dreaming of filling their mother’s shoes!

 

Quinn at Lignieres

 

Maggie and Barry

“As I finish writing this, I’m currently sitting in beautiful, sunny Corfu, where I’m enjoying a rare, beautiful holiday with my boyfriend, Sam. I always think it’s important to soak up a little sun before layering up for the cold, dark winter ahead!! I return home in a few days’ time and then I shall spend the winter training for a few weeks in Germany with the legendary showjumper, Marcus Ehning, and then at home with my younger horses.

Lots of ups and downs and invaluable lessons to take forward to 2018… fingers crossed for a good un!

Emily.

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Posted in Emily King HorseHage by admin.

Great Show Offers at Your Horse Live on Mollichaff Complete!

SHOW OFFERS

If you’re going to Your Horse Live this weekend (11th – 12th November), don’t miss our great show offers on the Mollichaff Complete range!

We will be selling Mollichaff Condition Complete at just £6 per bag (RRP: £10.50), and Mollichaff Calmer Complete and Mollichaff HoofKind Complete at just £5 per bag (RRP: £9.50) on HorseHage – Stand number 28.

The offer will only be available at Your Horse Live while stocks last and for cash sales only.

Marvin’s Story

Here we feature the story of Marvin (Spot of Luck) and his owner, Julia Wilkinson, of County Durham. The pair won HorseHage sponsorship for one year and featured in a major advertising campaign. You may also have spotted them on our tradestand back drop at the shows and events we attend.

Julia and Marvin galloping

“My horse Marvin (Spot of Luck) and I have experienced some huge highs over the past few years,” writes Julia Wilkinson of County Durham.

“In 2012, I won a year’s sponsorship from HorseHage and Marvin and I starred in an advertising and marketing campaign for the feed company. As a keen eventer, I had set myself the challenge of competing at the prestigious Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships (now called the Mitsubishi Motors Cup), which takes place at Badminton each May, just before the famous horse trials.

“I was bursting with pride when Marvin and I qualified for Badminton, by winning our section at Burgham Horse Trials to qualify for the Regional Finals which were held at Skipton Horse Trials in August 2013. Luck was on our side again as we jumped a double clear, completing on our dressage score of 22.

“Things didn’t go our way at the finals, unfortunately, and we didn’t finish the cross country, but it was still an amazing experience and an incredible achievement just to get there.

“I had a fantastic few days at the event with my good friends around me, and have some great memories to look back on.

Julia and friends walking the course at Badminton

Julia and friends walking the course at Badminton

“One thing that only my close friends knew during the build up to Badminton was that my husband and I had agreed to split up (and latterly divorce). I stayed with a close friend and then moved to a rented property in the village where Marvin was on livery. That time in my life was a bit of a rollercoaster ride. ”

Moving On
“I had always said that once I had been to Badminton in the Mitsubishi Motors Championship, I would have a break from competing and take my life in a new direction. I was on my own for the first time in 12 years.

“After Badminton, I sold my horsebox as I knew it would not be used very much. I was sad to see it go but knew it was the right decision and I later bought a trailer and did a few BE100s and latterly BE90 competitions as I felt Marvin missed going to a party and when he was there, he felt fantastic. It was lovely to compete without any pressure of needing to qualify for a change!

“I moved permanently to the village I had been staying in, as there were two big positives. Firstly, Marvin was just a mile up the road and secondly, I would be close to my good friend, Karen.

“The village is a lovely place to live and everyone is very friendly. I soon became friends with my new neighbour, Johnny Smith.

“Johnny and I seemed to have a lot in common. He and his wife had also split up, and it was nice to have a friend to talk to, and he felt the same.

“We became close friends and later that year started a relationship – it was time to introduce Jonny to Marvin!

“Johnny loved coming to the farm where Marvin was on livery. He has a busy job as a station manager for the fire service and found that being at the stables was very relaxing for him. We all know there is nothing more uplifting than fresh air and horse muck!

Oct-2017-3

Johnny progressing well

“In March 2015, I asked Johnny if he wanted to have a sit on Marvin. He was a bit nervous at the suggestion, but I helped him get into the saddle and then led him around the indoor school in walk.

“Marvin was a saint, never putting a foot wrong and, to my amazement, Johnny really enjoyed it. He loved it so much, he went out and bought a riding hat and riding boots without me knowing!”

Johnny

A developing partnership
“I began to help Johnny learn to ride on my amazing horse, who I never thought for a moment would be capable of being so patient with a total beginner.

“In no time at all, Johnny and Marvin progressed to trotting and cantering in the school. They would also hack out around the village, first me with on foot and then with Johnny going it alone.

“The pair were soon trying out some low cross-poles, then little jumps and eventually popping round some of the cross-country fences we have at the yard.

“Johnny loved every minute of his time in the saddle and it was lovely to see Marvin having fun, too.

“Friends at the stables offered me their horses so I could ride out with Johnny. It felt weird to be on another horse and I did feel guilty that I was not on Marvin, but it meant that Johnny would be safe with Marvin and we could enjoy hacking together. I don’t think Marvin really minds!

A first fall
“As Johnny progressed, he went to some unaffiliated show-jumping and cross country competitions at our stables, and at local venues such as Leamside, Ivesley and Gloucester Lodge Farm – the places where Marvin and I started out at.

“One of my favourite days was the Hulne Park Ride, held on the Duke of Northumberland’s estate. A friend lent me their ex-event horse so Johnny and I could go together.

“I can’t tell you how proud I was to be riding around the Duke of Northumberland’s estate with my boyfriend riding my horse of a lifetime. It was also memorable because that’s where Johnny had his first fall from Marvin! If you’re going to fall off, why not fall in style at such a beautiful venue.

“There was an enforced break when Johnny had a hip replacement operation, which meant three months off riding. When he felt ready, he made a steady return to the saddle, with Marvin continuing to be an absolute star and looking after his novice rider.

“It’s wonderful to see Marvin move into older age in fantastic health and as a true schoolmaster in every capacity. He is now 17 years old, so classed as a ‘veteran’, and is so easy for Johnny to manage, both in and out of the stable. This is really good as Johnny has no previous experience of handling horses. He has had to learn how to groom, pick out feet, put on and take off rugs, as well as field management and how to deal with multiple horses around each other.

“Marvin has made all of these things really easy to learn. He has been so patient and has never done anything naughty.”

“We have recently moved livery yards to Ivesley Equestrian Centre, for a number of reasons – one is that it offers access to superb hacking. Also, it holds regular unaffiliated competitions, which Johnny and I can take part in.

Johnny, Marvin and Julia

“This year, we thought it would be great to share Marvin for the events. I competed him in some Novice-level dressage classes and achieved an amazing score of 81 per cent and enjoyed a spin round the 95cms one-day-event.

“Johnny has set his sights on competing in a one-day event and did a ‘show cross’ class in preparation, which combines show-jumping and cross-country. They were brilliant!

“Marvin was very excited to be out competing and was quite a handful in the show jumping – I think he wanted to jump the fences in any order, but it was great to watch. They also had a fantastic cross-country round. Having achieved a double clear, they came second.

“Johnny still has a lot of work to do in the dressage phase – especially as he hasn’t learnt any of the letters around the arena yet – so that’s currently his homework. That said, all you need to do is set Marvin’s satnav – he’s so experienced he’ll take him round! Then they can go off to enjoy what they really love – the fun jumping bits.

“Our last bit of news is that Johnny proposed to me last year, the day after my 40th birthday, so we also have a wedding to look forward to.

“I hope Marvin will be our guest of honour. We know only too well he loves being the main attraction – as long as he doesn’t stand on my dress!

So, we will continue to enjoy life with Marvin and here’s hoping we all have even more exciting times ahead.”

Oct-2017-4

Julia uses Mollichaff Veteran to bulk out Marvin’s feed ration. It’s a high fibre forage mix that’s highly palatable and is ideal for horses and ponies that are unable to consume long stem forage.

Posted in HorseHage MolliChaff by admin.

Spencer’s Latest Blog – October 2017

Spencer Roe

It’s been a hectic end to the summer. I have been looking for some new staff to help keep things running smoothly here on the yard at home, especially when I am away competing. This has been harder than I envisaged, with one person not even turning up for the interview! However we are now sorted and I have two new girls starting soon which will be a great help. We have eight horses here at the moment and some new ones arriving soon. One of the new girls is moving to our yard with the new horses which will be a great advantage as she will already know their little quirks and habits and it will help them settle in too.

I took five horses to the Arena UK Major Show Jumping Championships in Lincolnshire which took place from 18th to 24th September – two six-year-olds, a five-year-old and a four-year-old, plus my top horse, Wonder Why (or Disney as he’s known at home). I was very happy with how they all went and Disney took 3rd place in the Grand Prix. Robert Whitaker won the class and Rowan Willis was second but I was thrilled with how well Disney jumped. It’s always a really good atmosphere at this venue and there were some great show-jumping classes.

Spencer Roe

Spencer Roe

Spencer Roe

I will be heading out to Oliva Nova in Spain on 17th October for three weeks to compete with Gambler and Gusto (both six-year-olds), Wonder Why and also two new horses. We’ll be stocking the horsebox up with plenty of High Fibre HorseHage which is great for travelling as the bales are easy to handle and split easily into wedges plus I know they’re getting good forage whilst they are working hard. It will be a great opportunity to get to know the new additions both in and out of the ring.

When we get home the horses will have a couple of weeks off and another three new horses will be coming onto the yard so it’s all exciting stuff. We’ll be straight into the indoor show season, both local and national and then in February we’ll be heading out to southern Spain for the Sunshine Tour, but lots of work to put in before then.

Best wishes,

Spencer.

Posted in HorseHage Spencer's Blog by admin.

HorseHage – Flying The Flag For Forage

Horsehage Range

Choosing the type of forage to feed your horse or pony should be the most important feed decision you make, as up to 100% of the equine diet should be provided by forage.

Hay can often contain dust and mould spores and soaking and steaming it is time consuming and not always successful. The nutritional quality can vary a great deal too and a typical hay sample can contain around 10% sugar.

Big bale haylage is usually made in large bales which are designed to be fed whole in the field and can be difficult to handle and break up. The quality can be variable and unless you are feeding several horses or ponies, there is the chance of wastage as a bale should be consumed within a week before it goes off.

HorseHage bagged forage offers all you and your horse could wish for in a forage and the company has over 40 years of expertise in producing the highly compressed, dust-free product that has become widely recognised as a premium quality product.

Unlike most haylages, HorseHage is not re-wrapped. It is compressed down to half its size and packed into heat-sealed, double-skinned bags. It goes through a fermentation process that causes the sugars in the grass to break down, reducing the acidity level and giving it a sweet smell whilst preserving the grass. This gives it a much lower sugar content (around 4%) than most other forages.

We don’t add anything to HorseHage. No chemicals, mould inhibitors or inoculants. It’s a totally natural product and has BETA NOPS and FEMAS certifications.

So if you’re looking for a forage that is dust-free, low in sugar, easy to use, totally natural and comes with a guarantee, HorseHage is ideal. It is available in four different varieties offering a choice of energy levels for every type of horse or pony including those prone to laminitis.

But better still….most horses and ponies relish the taste and so there’s no wastage and it may enable you to reduce the hard feed ration by up to a third, saving you money too!

Posted in HorseHage by admin.