HorseHage & Mollichaff Helpline – 01803 527274

Feeding For the Changing Seasons

Feeding for Changing Seasons

As the season starts to change from summer to autumn, your thoughts will be turning to thinking about when to bring your horse or pony in from summer turn-out, along with which forage and fibre feeds to choose for the winter ahead.

Every horse owner should take into consideration their horse or pony’s diet with the changing of the seasons. From summer to autumn, there is still a risk of laminitis so owners of laminitics should be aware of this.

From autumn to winter, as the temperature drops, your horse or pony will need to consume more calories to maintain its body temperature. These extra calories should, ideally, come from forage as the horse’s system has to work harder and longer to digest fibre, thus creating more warmth. Also the nutritional value of grass will be reduced too and so extra forage or concentrates will need to be provided to make up for this.  From winter to spring, calories may need to be reduced again to prevent too much weight gain once horses are out grazing on the fresh pasture and the weather warms up, and at this time there is once again the heightened risk of laminitis.

MolliChaff Complete Feeds

The most important dietary aspect to consider  for your horse or pony is plenty of good quality, dust-free forage, such as HorseHage. 70 – 100% of a horse’s diet should be provided by forage. Choose a high quality, branded forage that is dust-free, consistent  and has BETA NOPS FEMAS certification to ensure that it has been manufactured to the highest standards. Forage should never be dusty or have any signs of mould on it. It should have a sweet, pleasant smell and be a nice, green colour.

MolliChaff Condition

Fibre in the horse’s diet is extremely important. Horses have evolved to utilise a high fibre diet, using bacterial fermentation in a highly developed large intestine. Low levels of fibre, or poor quality fibre in the diet put horses at serious risk of problems such as colic and gastric ulcers.  Leaving horses for long periods of time with nothing to eat can also lead to serious digestive and metabolic disturbances.

HoofKindLaminitis is still a risk at this time of year. When grass grows under normal conditions, it contains high levels of soluble sugars and non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs). When there is a ground frost and grass is frozen, the grass accumulates more sugars to try and enable it to carry on growing in adverse conditions. This extra sugar content can be one of several different triggers for laminitis. If a horse or pony is prone to laminitis, it should be fed a low sugar, low starch and high fibre diet. It is important not to starve laminitics as this can cause further problems such as hyperlipaemia which can be fatal. Choose forage that has a lower sugar content than hay and, ideally, a complete feed suitable for horses and ponies prone to laminitis that contains a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement, ie. Mollichaff HoofKind.

If your horse or pony is a poor doer, struggling to maintain condition during the winter, prevention is better than a cure, so try and maintain his summer weight before it starts to drop off. Excellent forage is most important and a high fibre-based, complete conditioning feed with added oil, such as Mollichaff Condition.

Posted in Feeding HorseHage MolliChaff by admin.

HorseHage Sponsors Donkey Classes at Llansawel Show

Welsh DOonkey Show Class Sponsorship

We are to continue our sponsorship of the donkey classes at the annual Llansawel Show for 2015.

The winners of each of the nine classes will receive a bag of Mollichaff Donkey – a highly palatable, complete feed formulated specially for donkeys and each competitor will also receive a free sample of Mollichaff Donkey for their animal to try.

The Llansawel Show has nine donkey classes this year including the usual breed and fun classes plus a new addition to the schedule – ‘Have a Go – Donkey Agility’ class.

The show is a very popular event with all the usual horticultural, craft, cookery and livestock classes and takes place at Llansawel in Carmarthenshire on 12th September 2015.

Many people do not realise that donkeys require a very different feeding regime compared to horses. They are desert animals and in their natural habitat they have evolved to survive in some very harsh environments and will therefore browse much coarser, fibrous herbage than horses, eating little and often. They have a much lower energy requirement than horses and can easily become overweight, therefore lush pasture is best avoided.

Mollichaff Donkey is specifically formulated for donkeys and is low in sugar, starch and energy and contains a balanced blend of dried grass, fibre pellets, oat straw and soya oil with camomile, mint and lemon balm. It also contains a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement which includes limestone and magnesium.

For further information on the donkey classes at Llansawel Show, please contact the Show Secretary, Ann Slater, on 07554 050712 or  email

MolliChaff Donkey

Posted in MolliChaff MolliChaff Donkey by admin.

Team HorseHage Riders Are Looking Ahead To Success

Bert Sheffield

Lincolnshire-based para-dressage rider, Bert Sheffield, who is on the Canadian para squad, is working hard towards her aim of selection for Rio next year and was recently one of twenty Canadian active, national senior team athletes awarded the ‘AthletesCAN’ bursary which provides funds for valuable training.

She is currently number one on the Canadian Short List rankings and has recently been competing successfully on the Canadian European Tour but is now back in the UK for the Hartpury Festival of Dressage this week, followed by Bishop Burton CPEDI*** and Bury Farm CPEDI***.  The scores attained in these CPEDI*** events will go to help selectors decide who will represent Canada in both team and individual events for Rio 2016 and so are hugely important for Bert.


Bert is fairly unique amongst para riders as she prefers to produce her horses herself. Buying a ‘ready-made’ horse at the quality needed to reach the requirements for top level competition was out of the question for Bert. Her current horse, Double Agent (or Darcy as she is known at home) was bred in Wales and Bert has recently purchased a two-year-old by Sir Caprimond and out of Seven Percent (Darcy’s grand-mother). The youngster is called St Sheri and already stands at 16.2hh and possessing a kind and friendly temperament, Bert has high hopes for the future with her.


Bert is also responsible for the day to day management of her horses, including the mucking out!  When she isn’t competing, she is works hard as a trainer and is building up a client list of pupils locally.

She has qualified for the British Dressage National Championships in September and is the reigning Grade III Champion. As well as the para competitions, she will be campaigning Darcy at able-bodied Advanced Medium level. The pair have only been out once at this level and won with a score of over 69% so the aim is to go Advanced and Prix St Georges in the near future.


Having dual nationality and making the decision to ride for Canada over Great Britain has worked out very well and has given Bert the opportunity to compete at the highest level in para-dressage competitions.


Mary King

Following the retirement from competition of her top mare, Kings Temptress (Tess), owned by Derek Baden, Mary has made the exciting decision to breed from her. Tess has already had five successful embryo transfers in the past but this time the baby will be her own!


Credit – Liz Knowler

Mary will continue to compete Lottie and further her education this season. Her home-bred five-year-olds competed in their second BE100 at a lovely new event at Millfield School in Somerset and Mary will continue her work with them this autumn.


Althea and Janou Bleekman

Like Bert Sheffield, the Bleekman sisters have dual nationality.  They have made the decision to ride for Holland but are based in the UK.


Elder sister, Althea, will be competing on Meepswood Conquestor and Ziomf in the CIC*** at Jardy in France in mid-July, and the following week, younger sister, Janou, will be competing in Renswoude in Holland in the Dutch National Young Riders Championships with Dasj in the CCI**.


It will be Dasj’s first CCI** (three-day-event) and Janou is hoping for a good result as the pair won the Junior National Championships last year. She will also be aiming her at the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses in the seven-year-old class. She was placed 19th in the six-year-old class last year. Janou will also ride Granntevka Prince in the CIC** and Caliari Kiko in her first CIC***.


Both Dasj and Caliari Kiko are home-bred horses and with the girls based at their parents’ Whorridge Farm Stud in Devon, breeding horses and the importance of bloodlines is a huge part of their lives, along with top level competition, as both parents, Edward and Clarissa Bleekman, were also very successful international event riders. The family are a close-knit team and use their extensive knowledge to work well together, combining breaking, schooling and selling on youngsters with stud work and the girls’ international eventing careers.


Beverley Brightman

Beverley’s latest addition to her team of horses, Walkman (Bugsy) has been placed at every Premier League show this season and she has qualified him for the British Dressage National Championships. She is hoping to do her first international with him this autumn,


Her other ride, Hexagons Platina (Magic), has gone from being an all-rounder with a young girl to a Grand Prix dressage horse in three years and is now aged 18! She has been 1st, 2nd and 4th in the three Grand Prix music tests she has done at the Premier League shows this season. Beverley is also hoping to be competing Magic at the Nationals later this year.



Jeni Gilbert

Jeni continues to campaign with her pair of Connemara endurance horses. Campaign veteran, Flurrie, on whom Jeni has had major national successes, is still competitive and is ranked 10th in the Distance League Table having clocked an amazing 7929 km over 119 rides during his years of competing from 2002 up to the present date, and shows no signs of slowing down.



Credit – West-End-Photography

The ‘new kid on the block’, Alfie, has now competed in his first 80k in one day and passed with flying colours, being placed second and is now eligible to progress to advanced level.

Credit -

Credit – Kerry Dawson


Helen West

Devon-based event rider, Helen West, continues to combine her eventing career with managing  the south-west’s leading equestrian venue at Bicton.

Her next big event is at Hartpury in August where she will compete her top horse, Foxdon Sunny Jim, in his first 3* event along with Eebay who will be doing his first 1*.



Spencer Roe

Lincolnshire-based show-jumper, Spencer Roe, has represented Team GB for the last four years, from Junior and Young Riders Nations Cup Teams to winning his first 5* Nations Cup Team in May 2014. He earned his second 5* Nations Cup win in La Baule earlier this year, in May. He has now represented his country on six 5* Nations Cup Teams as well as the World Equestrian Games and is the youngest rider to be selected for a British Championship Team in twenty years.

He was placed 4th in the 1.60m 4* Bunn Leisure Derby Trial at Hickstead last month on his top horse, Wonder Why, and will be competing there again at the end of this month at the Royal Interntational Horse Show.


He has a great team of horses, including the stallion, Chaccomo Agostini, owned by Darren Hardy, Hill Valley Stud, plus six other rides owned by Spencer and the Roe family.

Posted in HorseHage Team HorseHage by admin.

Mollichaff Alfalfa Oil – Molasses-Free!

Mollichaff Alfalfa Oil

Alfalfa supplies not only a great source of highly digestible fibre, but high quality protein along with naturally low levels of sugar and starch. It is also a great natural source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including Vitamin E and selenium.

Mollichaff Alfalfa Oil from HorseHage contains the nutrient rich leaf as well as the stalk of the plant. It combines pure alfalfa with a generous dressing of pure soya oil and contains no molasses.

It provides controlled energy and condition with an energy level similar to that of a medium energy hard feed. Because this is ‘slow-release’ energy, it will not cause the fizziness or excitability associated with grains.

Mollichaff Alfalfa Oil carries the HoofKind logo to denote that it is naturally low in both sugar and starch, making it suitable for laminitics.

It can be used as part of the forage ration or in place of hard feed.

As with all the products in the HorseHage and Mollichaff range, Mollichaff Alfalfa Oil is backed by our 100% quality guarantee and offers great value for money.

If you would like further information or feeding advice, call the HorseHage Helpline on 01803 527257 .

Posted in HorseHage MolliChaff by admin.

Royal Highland Show 2015 Blog

Here’s the second of our show blogs for 2015. This one is written by Karen Howarth from our Equine Sales Team. Karen is based at Friendship Estates Ltd in South Yorkshire – our licensed producer for the North of England, Scotland and Wales.

“It was my first visit to the Royal Highland Show and everyone I had spoken to about it had told me what a great show it is, so I was looking forward to arriving!

Setting Up Day

“Wednesday was ‘Setting Up Day’ and having set off early I arranged to meet Kate, our sales representative for the South East, who flew up to Edinburgh in style, walking into the show ground from the airport. The runway seemed to be situated right next to our stand and we had fantastic views of planes taking off over the showground!

Work in progress

“Thursday, unfortunately, was cold and dull but this did not deter the visitors making it a busy day on the stand. It was a credit to the show to talk to so many people who had travelled such long distances to compete, including many from Ireland who told us they were regular visitors.

The finished trade stand

“Friday and Saturday gradually grew busier, especially on Saturday afternoon when we had a respite from the weather and the sun came out, improving conditions greatly.

“The show jumping ring opposite the stand provided a wide variety of classes and attracted large crowds while the main ring was the stage for showing classes for everything from Shetlands to Shires and sheep to Charolais cattle.

“We started extra early on Sunday to enable us to park near the stand so we would be ready to pack away at the end of the show. The early start gave Kate and myself time to take advantage of the breakfast bar and have a quick look round before another busy day on the stand, meeting many of our Scottish stockists as well as end users.

Mollichaff on the stand

“As the show came to an end we said our goodbyes to those we had met, both old and new, Kate went off to catch her plane back home and I set off back to Yorkshire.

“We would like to thank the RHS for including us and hope to see you next year.”


Posted in HorseHage Royal Highland Show by admin.