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Pirates and Princesses at The Donkey Sanctuary!

Rachel

Rachel

Want to know what the HorseHage and Mollichaff staff gets up to at the weekend? You would never guess it to be this!! Rachel Hornby of HorseHage explains:

“Well – not every Saturday morning starts with mucking out whilst dressed as a pirate, but I promise there is a perfectly valid reason!

Debbie, National Sales Manager, and I were heading to The Donkey Sanctuary in Ivybridge for a very special day. Now fully qualified volunteers, we were on our way to a ‘Princess and Pirates Party’ at the donkey assisted therapy centre which caters for children, many of which have additional needs and disabilities, and their families. And what a party it was!”

Our day started with a very quick, but well-needed cup of coffee whilst admiring the fantastic outfits of the other volunteers and the staff. It was then straight out into the yard for us landlubbers to collect the donkeys to be used for the morning rides. After a good groom the four donkeys were tacked up and even had their own pirate hats to wear. We were each assigned our duties for the morning. Debbie, along with another volunteer, was paired with Eeyore the donkey and Pirate Jill and I were partnered with Pedro. There was then a chance for lots of photos of the volunteers and donkeys in the arena which had been decorated with treasure chests, loot and bounty!! It also had its own pirate ship adorned with the Jolly Roger! Shrieks of “Yo ho ho!” and “Ahoy there, Matey!” rang out as we giggled our way through the photo taking!

Debbie

Debbie

The area where the children play was filled quickly with little pirates and fabulous princesses. The first four children were soon on board and it was all giggles and smiles as we collected treasure from all around the arena. The children also had to find and collect fish, which were then hung on hooks in the pirate ship.

Throughout the day there were lots of competitions such as the ‘Best Dressed Pirate and Princess’. My particular favourite was the young lady who had a fantastic sparkly red dress teamed with red hunter wellies (although she looked slightly unimpressed when I asked if she thought her wellies would fit me!)

Lunchtime soon arrived and the donkeys were returned to the barn for a well-earned rest whilst we grabbed the chance to sit down. The weather was beautiful so Debbie and I took advantage and enjoyed our lunch outside. The centre has a lovely enclosed play area where many of the children were also enjoying the fine spring day as we watched on, unable to contemplate the challenges they and their families must face every day.

Then it was all hands on deck before we knew it and, not wanting to be the ones to ‘walk the plank’, we jumped into action for the afternoon session.

Four new donkeys were bought in, groomed and we were soon collecting more loot and treasure surrounded by pirate music and children’s laughter. Our day very quickly came to an end and, though very tired, thanks to the children, staff, other volunteers and of course the donkeys, we had had the most fabulous time.”

Our Pirate Ship

Our Pirate Ship

The Treasure Island

The Treasure Island

The Donkey Pirate Crew

The Donkey Pirate Crew

 

 

Julia and Marvin’s Badminton Experience Part 3

Wednesday 7th May 2014

The day dawned, wet and rainy and very windy. Julia’s husband, Neil arrived the previous night and today another couple of friends – Nina and Simon – arrived with their two young children, to complete the team of supporters.

Julia and Jane were up early and worked hard to get Marvin looking perfect – he gleamed everywhere!

Ready for the dressage

Ready for the dressage

The dressage section was at 9.50am. Julia warmed up under a very black sky and the rain started just as she was about to go in. They were scored at 34.8. There was just time then for a quick look around the tradestands and a spot of shopping before getting ready for the show jumping at 2.10pm.

Competing in the dressage

Competing in the dressage

Competing in the dressage

Competing in the dressage

The show-jumping phase is Julia’s least favourite and unfortunately the pair had two fences down giving 8 penalties. But the relief that it was over was evident as Julia came out of the ring, excited to now be able to look forward to her favourite section – the cross country.

In the show jumping ring

In the show jumping ring

Warming up in the collecting ring

Warming up in the collecting ring

In the show jumping ring

In the show jumping ring

In the show jumping ring

In the show jumping ring

In the show jumping ring

In the show jumping ring

It was then time for another quick change of gear and into cross country colours and tack. By this time, the wind had really got up and several people were spotted grappling with their gazebos in the horsebox park and trying to keep them from taking off!

Unfortunately when Julia got over to the start there was a delay of 45 minutes, which seemed an age. However eventually she was into the start box and she was off, with Marvin’s ears pricked and a big smile on her face.

Clearing the first fence

Clearing the first fence

Warming up

Warming up

But sadly, it was not meant to be. At Fence 8 – the coffin complex – Marvin had two (very unusual) refusals and so, to everyone’s great disappointment, the pair were eliminated.

Said a gutted Julia: “Marvin never stops on the cross country, but at this fence he just really backed off and didn’t want to know.”

However, here at HorseHage we are thrilled and proud that Julia and Marvin got this far and managed to experience this prestigious event. The team arrived home around midnight on Wednesday and will now both be enjoying a few days rest and recuperation.

Said Julia: “This is the pinnacle of Marvin’s eventing career. I am delighted that we got this far and competing here has been a wonderful experience. There are a couple more events I would like to do with him this season but then I think we will wind down a little as he has given me everything and he is my horse of a lifetime.”

Team Paterson!

Team Paterson!

Posted in Badminton 2014 HorseHage News by admin.

Julia and Marvin’s Badminton Experience Part 2

Tuesday 6th May 2014

Julia’s dressage start time came through while she was driving down the day before and as it turned out, she was down to do all three phases on Wednesday so this allowed plenty of time for Marvin to get used to the hustle and bustle of his surroundings and to settle in and also for Julia to ride him again in the morning and walk the cross country course in the afternoon.

Julia takes Marvin for a leg stretch

Julia takes Marvin for a leg stretch

Another good friend of Julia’s arrived in the morning – Angie Shield – and so after lunch we all headed off to check out the show jumping and cross country courses. The weather was extremely changeable.

Jane, Julia and Angie

Jane, Julia and Angie

Julia felt happy after walking the show jumping course, even though it is her least favourite phase, and she said “It’s a nice, flowing course, forward-moving and a real ‘rider’s course.”

Checking the distances on the show jumping course

Checking the distances on the show jumping course

Black clouds had loomed above whilst Jane advised Julia on the show jumping course but by the time we set off towards the cross country fences, we were in glorious sunshine and sun glasses, hoping that this would be the weather for the next day and a half. (Unfortunately it wasn’t, and we were soaked by the time we got back to the lorry!)

 

The Cross Country Course

Here we have images of every fence on the BE90 Cross Country course:

Fence 1

Fence 1

Fence 2

Fence 2

Fence 3

Fence 3

Fence 4

Fence 4

Fence 5a

Fence 5a

Fence 5b

Fence 5b

Fence 6

Fence 6

Fence 7

Fence 7

Fence 8a

Fence 8a

Fence 8b

Fence 8b

Fence 8c

Fence 8c

Fence 9

Fence 9

Fence 10

Fence 10

Fence 11

Fence 11

Fence 12a

Fence 12a

Fence 12b

Fence 12b

Fence 13

Fence 13

Fence 14a

Fence 14a

Fence 14b

Fence 14b

Fence 15

Fence 15

Fence 16a

Fence 16a

Fence 16b

Fence 16b

Fence 17a

Fence 17a

Fence 17b

Fence 17b

Fence 18

Fence 18

Fence 20a

Fence 20a

Fence 20b

Fence 20b

Fence 20b alternative route

Fence 20b alternative route

Fence 21 almost done

Fence 21 almost done

Fence 22

Fence 22

Finish a welcome sight!

Finish a welcome sight!

Said Julia: “I am looking forward to riding this course and feel honoured to be riding here. We have worked so hard to get to this point. The fences are well built and the distances are good. I am a little concerned, though, at the length – it will be the longest course Marvin has ever done and it’s quite technical in places and the fences seem to come up quite fast. I’m not worried about any particular fence but there is that long pull up the hill so I must remember to save some petrol in the tank for that as well as riding forward to the fences.”

The rest of the afternoon was spent preparing – polishing boots, cleaning tack and plaiting Marvin up.

Nerves are setting in a little!

Nerves are setting in a little!

Getting spick and span for tomorrow

Getting spick and span for tomorrow

 

Posted in Badminton 2014 HorseHage News by admin.

Julia and Marvin’s Badminton Experience Part 1

We have been shadowing our sponsored amateur rider, Julia Paterson, from Durham, and her horse ‘Spot of Luck’ (or otherwise better known by his buddies as ‘Marvin’) for three days this week at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Grassroots Championship 2014.

Julia and Marvin qualified at Skipton Horse Trials in Yorkshire last season for the BE90 section and were competing against over 80 other entries from all over the UK. It has been Julia’s dream to qualify for this event and to be able to compete with Marvin on the hallowed turf of this glorious parkland within the grounds of Badminton House, home of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort.

But as every horse owner and rider knows, the sport of eventing is not without its ups and downs and this was no exception…

 

Monday 5th May 2014

Julia drove Marvin down from Durham to Badminton on her own on the Bank Holiday Monday – a long journey which took six and a half hours!! But Marvin travelled well and they arrived late afternoon which allowed plenty of time for Julia to take him out for a little hack around the show ground to loosen him up after the journey and stretch his legs.

Said Julia: “Marvin was really on his toes when I took him out and felt very alert. He had a good look round and felt really full of beans.”

We've Arrived!

We’ve Arrived!

Julia’s home for 3 night

Julia’s home for 3 night

All mod cons here!

All mod cons here!

He then had a 45 minute session with the FMB Activo-Med massage rug before he settled down happily in his stable for the night with his feed and plenty of High Fibre HorseHage to munch on.

Marvin enjoying his massage therapy

Marvin enjoying his massage therapy

Time for bed

Time for bed

Any more HorseHage, Mum?

Any more HorseHage, Mum?

Julia’s close friend and experienced horse-woman, Jane Lloyd, arrived in time for tea, along with her two terriers, Urchin and Pip, who took on their official duties of guarding the horsebox (and the all-important gin/wine supplies) for the duration of the event, and then it was time for an early night after a long day.

Pip sporting her very stylish HorseHage bandana

Pip sporting her very stylish HorseHage bandana

Urchin tries for a place on the 2014 Tug of War team

Urchin tries for a place on the 2014 Tug of War team

 

Posted in Badminton 2014 HoofKind News by admin.

Mollichaff Shines Through For Patch!

Patch

Mollichaff ShowShine

Patch, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred, owned by Cassie James from Shropshire, is literally a shining example of how correct feeding can help improve condition to your horse’s coat.

When Cassie bought Patch he had been out of work for around nine months and needed a helping hand to get some bloom in his coat and some added condition.

She added some Mollichaff ShowShine to his regular feed, and the results soon began to show.

Said Cassie: “ShowShine really did what it promised! Patch now looks great and his coat is wonderfully shiny. He has also put on a little weight.”

Throughout the winter, Cassie took Patch to do some Novice level dressage and some 1m show-jumping to help prepare him for his debut at BE100 level eventing this season.

MolliChaff ShowShine is a high-oil chaff for ultimate show condition. It is flavoured with cherry which provides a delicious taste and smell, ensuring it is highly palatable for even the fussiest of eaters.

It is made from the highest quality oat straw that has been chopped and dust extracted, and it is naturally high in fibre.

To give extra bloom to the coat and that added condition required for show horses and ponies, or poor doers, it contains a unique coating which combines high levels of soya oil with low sugar molasses. Limestone is also added to provide additional calcium for healthy growth and stronger bones.

Mollichaff ShowShine will add extra fibre to hard feeds, and can be mixed with concentrates to prolong feeding time and aid digestion by stimulating the production of saliva. The extra fibre helps prevent bolting and reduces boredom while your horse is stabled. It can also be used in place of hard feed if fed alongside an all-purpose vitamin and mineral supplement or feed balancer.

Posted in MolliChaff News by admin.