HorseHage & Mollichaff Helpline – 01803 527274

HorseHage – Official Forage Supplier at HOYS

We are very proud to continue our role as Official Forage Supplier at this year’s Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), which takes place on 5th – 9th October at the NEC, Birmingham. HorseHage dust-free bagged forage will be available to all horses and ponies competing there.

A Royal Warrant was awarded to HorseHage in 1983 after Her Majesty the Queen’s horse, Burmese, was fed HorseHage when suffering from a respiratory problem. She was just one of tens of thousands of horses and ponies, from Shetlands to Thoroughbreds that have benefited from this dust-free, natural product.

HorseHage dust-free bagged forage is available in four varieties –High Fibre, Timothy, Ryegrass and Alfalfa, offering a choice suitable for all types of horses and ponies, including those prone to laminitis. It has BETA NOPS certification and comes with a 100% quality guarantee. Containing no additives, preservatives, mould inhibitors or inoculants, HorseHage is lower in sugar than most hays and is packed into highly compressed bales for easy handling and storage. No soaking is necessary and it splits easily into wedges for netting up.

Said top show jumper, Spencer Roe: “The fact that HorseHage is dust-free and sealed is great for the health of my horses and especially useful as I’m constantly on the road. I also like the fact that there are four varieties to suit different horses’ requirements, so HorseHage is a must for my team now.”

Posted in HorseHage HOYS by admin.

Tam’s Latest Blog – July

Summer is now well underway.  OMG!

All bets are now off.  We have been mentioned in Horse and Hound – albeit only on Twitter.  Thanks Mollichaff!

http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/544994-544994

Tams Blog July 2016

Side saddle

Quite the most exciting load my car has carried for a while is this gorgeous Champion and Wilton side saddle!

Tams Blog July 2016

I was put in touch with the lady selling it by our fabulous (dahhhhhling) instructor Ginny, and we tried it out with her to check for fit and suitability.  So exciting – and it fits!

Tams Blog JULY 2016

It just needs some tweaking in the flocking to be perfect for him.  The only downside is that I’ve been saving like mad and only managed to squirrel enough money away for either a side saddle OR some basic living in our truck.  I am sure Simon would prefer the latter but I figured that because this saddle will fit Beau so well I can’t miss it.  They’re all unique so it could be a while before another one pops up.  I have given it some love and can’t wait for the rain to stop so I can go out and play at home…  The next crazy scheme is to get out and do some wonky-ways Intro level dressage.  In the meantime Simon and I will have to work on our leg-up technique.  It took several go’s and ended with me sprawled over Beau with cramp in both hips!

Tams Blog July 2016

Parker 

Parker’s jabs were due this month, so Simon booked Mike the vet and took the day off.  Vets are always either late or early, depending on how their previous patients have been, so Simon caught Parker up early and rode, then tied him up ready on the yard.  Mike was a few minutes late, so by the time he got there, Parker had been washed and groomed and trimmed and primped and sprayed and oiled and shined.  He had had a lovely time and was relaaaaaaaaaxing…

Simon then asked if Mike would please check his back for pain, so Mike gave Parker a nice massage too (whilst he was feeling for trouble – and found none).

By this time 18 hand juggernaut, Parker, was very relaxed and falling fast asleep, so imagine his surprise when Mike stuck a needle in him…

Then try to imagine Mike’s surprise at Parker’s reaction – described as all four feet up in the air together and backwards at 90mph at the same time!  He only broke one needle though.  He was a good boy for attempt two!

Parker

Post-ride Entertainment

Tams Blog July 2016After a ride, the ponies have a nice brush and get to go and play out in the field.  We decided we should have some fun too, so we played over the jumps and the bank in the field:

Beau cleared the gate – it started out at an angle

Tams Blog July 2016

Hi-viz

I think it’s pretty clear that me, Tory and Mrs Whipcracker take visibility on the roads very seriously.  When hacking it’s easy to think that you’re easy to see, but it just takes a glint of low sun, or a driver who is not 100% on the ball for a horse and rider to disappear into the hedge.  My advice: You may look daft in hi viz but you and your horse will still be in one piece to laugh about it afterwards.

Tams Blog July 2016

Tams Blog July 2016

When the ponies are back in their fields and we have a mug of tea on the go, we also like to entertain ourselves ;)

Tams Blog July 2016

Tams Blog July 2016

Training – New faces

In my last blog you may remember I got to play out at camp on Indie, owned by Rachel.  Her coach is a very talented lady called Alison Kenward and, having got talking with her at camp, Beau and I had our first session on 29th June.

Tams Blog July 2016

It had been absolutely howling all day and the rain didn’t stop, so I was not looking forward to it!  I confess to being a total fair-weather rider; I’m too old for driving home in soggy underclothes these days.  Beau was as muddy as you’d expect for a June evening so he had to be hosed off before I could even tell that he is bay.  Up the ramp he went and off we set.  Rachel’s yard was the venue and luckily it is only about five miles from us.  It was still a stretch though, to get from work in Coventry, to home in Northampton, change into jodhs, stuff a soggy Beau and his tack into the back of the lorry, and be five miles away, tacked up and ready by 7pm.  Curse you Camelot!

You can see from the photo that Alison’s words had an effect (thank you to super-supportive little sister, Tory for the pic).  I am looking forward to the next session to try and remember what I learned, and perhaps add in being able to do left canter without asking for changes every other stride.  The next day though, even sitting at my desk hurt my legs…

We had a repeat session at the beginning of July and true to form – I could hardly walk the next day!  Some good work achieved but we are still missing the ever-elusive connection – both through my hands, and through his body.  I suspect if I sort the former, the latter will happen.

 

Tams Blog July 2016

Tams Blog July 2016

 

Royal International

In last month’s blog I told of how much fun it is to volunteer for BRC, and how well it looks after its volunteers.  Well, I had a lovely email from Jennie at BRC HQ to invite me to join them ringside at Hickstead for the Royal International Horse Show!  How cool is that!!  It’s a fair trek from Northampton to Brighton, and all the local motels are booked up (first thing I checked!).  Luckily Tory wants to come too so we can share the driving.  I can’t wait!

Olympics

My call up hasn’t arrived yet and I see posts all over Twitter from other people who have had theirs.  I am assuming we’re not going to Rio.  We are not overly worried about mosquitos – I’d have taken a fly sheet and some spray for Beau – so that can’t be the problem…;-)

Progress?

Our dressage scores seem to have taken a dive.  It’s interesting because it feels like it’s coming together more than ever.  When it’s good, it’s now very good, but when it’s bad it’s worse!

Tams Blog July 2016

We did the BRC Area 5 dressage qualifier at Princethorpe.  A lovely day out and very well-organised – it’s a shame the judge was paying attention!  You can see from the pics that it was a test of two halves – we started well and ended badly.  Needless to say we’re not going to the BRC Championships this year.

Tams Blog July 2016 Beau Princethorpe

Tams Blog July 2016

Tams Blog July 2016

Team Quest

In early June we played out with the Questers at Glebe Farm.  Beau was having none of it this time and, very unusually for him, was verging on naughty!  When we got him back to the lorry I realised his riser pads were in the wrong end, so instead of alleviating pressure it was making all the weight of saddle and rider dig into his shoulders.  No wonder he was stroppy.  Lesson learned!  Simon was coming to take photos for this blog, but for reasons known only to himself, he went to Bury Farm instead!  He was quite worried when he couldn’t see Buxton the truck parked up there!  We also played at Swallowfield and got some lovely work in the warm-up but dreadful scores in the tests!  The sheets didn’t give me any clues as to why though.  Dressage judges have such a hard time, comparing everybody fairly and writing motivational words at the end whilst trying to be honest and subjective.  I wish they’d also say “Try X to achieve what you need to for better scores”.  Overall our scores have not improved and have indeed been going down.  I haven’t given up though – we’re still aiming for 70%!

Twitter

Follow @BeauBayou to catch up with what we’re up to between blogs.  By ‘we’ I mean me, Beau, Parker, Simon, Tory, the cat, Mrs Whipcracker (which is a new promotion from Mrs Motivator) and the rest of the gang at Happy Acres.

Quadrille

What with GCSEs, beach trips and dressage competitions we have only practiced once this month, but we have pretty much built the routine, mixed the music and put together the human costumes.  I know what we need to do for horse costumes too – we just need to do it!  If you are free and near Bury Farm come and see the evening performance on 1st October – it’s very entertaining.

Shopping

The right side saddle turned up!  :D :D (see above).  This means that there will be no living conversion on the truck now until next year at the earliest.  We will only need it for a stay-away show twice more now this year (Veteran Championships and Quadrille), so a blow up bed and baby wipes will just have to do.

Goals: updated for June:

  • Dressage:  The main focus is now to get 70% in a prelim test unaffiliated.  Hard!  In fact see above for achievement of PW (Personal Worst) score and not much improvement from there!
  • Team Quest:  This goal now has to be updated to be ‘qualify for the regionals’  *bites fingernails*
  • Side saddle: I just want to get better – maybe enter a show if I can find a suitable saddle and habit.  The saddle needs properly fitting to Beau, so that’s the next mission.  Also I think I will have to make the habit.  Perhaps a winter project.
  • Quadrille: To play out at Bury Farm again in 2016 for Cherwell Valley RC.  It would be awesome to qualify but Quadrille is such immense fun it doesn’t matter if we don’t.  So excited to see the judges’ faces when our entrance music comes on.  There will not be another team using our tunes (or even the same music genre) – that is for definite!
  • Jumping: To jump a whole course in canter.  See above for brave pants installed at the end of our hack – getting there..
  • Former goal: To get into Horse and Hound (for the right reasons) which is the only way I can top the Village News – Achieved :D – only on Twitter but nevertheless, we are named!
  • New goal: Tracy to compete with Beau at Elementary (and maybe me next year if I ever understand the movements)

Much love, Tam and Beau x

Posted in Team HorseHage by admin.

HorseHage – Official Forage Supplier to Equestrian Team GBR

Team GBR

HorseHage is continuing its role as official supplier of dust-free forage to Equestrian Team GBR.

 

HorseHage bagged forage has been supplied to the British equestrian teams since 1984 and offers a healthy, dust-free, consistent alternative to hay or big bale haylage. It has BETA NOPS certification and is free from any chemical additives, mould inhibitors, flavourings, molasses or inoculants and has a lower sugar level than hay. It is available in four different types, offering a choice of energy and protein levels, so there is a variety to suit all horses and ponies, including laminitics.

 

Said Chris Tar of HorseHage: “We are thrilled to be able to continue our support of the British Equestrian Federation and Team GBR competing in the various equestrian disciplines and wish the teams much success in the forthcoming major events this year.”

 

Posted in HorseHage TEAM GBR by admin.

Tam’s Blog – June 10th

Now spring is well underway, we’ve been stepping up our activities.  Beau is doing fine but I’m worn out!

Mollichaff HoofKind CompleteHe’s looking great on Mollichaff Hoofkind Complete, which he seems to really enjoy, as does Simon’s horse, Parker.  Beau squeals like a little piggy at feeding time so I know he’s enjoying it!  We changed from using hay to using HorseHage for travelling, and he is doing really well on that too – hay was making him snotty after being in the truck and that problem has now gone.  We also changed his bit which has been really good for him.  A good friend was selling a Neue Schule Verbindend dressage legal bit and I thought it was worth a try.  He has lost his stiffness on the left side and is not resisting this one at all.  I suspect that because the Myler is independently jointed, my lazy left arm was not moving with my right, therefore blocking him and causing stiffness on that rein.

Tam & Beau

Camp

May 20th to 22nd was Cherwell Valley RC senior camp at Bury Farm Equestrian Village.  It was brilliant!

We had decided to stick to two sessions per day because Beau is 19 now and having made it this far with clean legs I don’t want to be the cause of any injury by asking him to overdo it.

We started with a flat lesson from the ever-patient Matt Cox, where, in the heat of the international indoor arena, Beau and I learned to canter leg yield so that we can ride better corners.

Matt Cox Lesson

Then Simon took over the ride for a session over ground poles with our CVRC Chairman, Amanda.  That was a cracking session!  Last time Simon and Beau attempted polework, Beau took charge and did everything at canter (very stompily!).  This time, after having worked on some of the control and balance techniques he’s been learning, it was Simon, rather than Beau, that decided when to walk and when to trot.  I was so proud!

We tucked the ponies in and tucked ourselves into wine and spag bol to build up energy for the following day.  After hardly any sleep because of the rain on my friend’s (extremely comfy) camper van, Saturday dawned with sunshine and no wind – marvellous.

Simon started the day with a jumping session with Jonathan Canty, who was chuffed to bits with Simon’s progress and that he was no longer getting carted at the mere sight of a pole.  At one point the old boy did let himself down and decide it was all too slow and steady but Simon wouldn’t let him take control so all was fine .  One rider in the session commented – “Oh, so he’s not completely the perfect horse then!”

Poles

My afternoon session was another go at side-saddle with Ginny Oakley teaching and providing saddles (and ladylike-ness), which was one of the highlights of my camp – Beau was legendary.  And to make it even better, my quadrille team-mate, Batman-Nanna came to play too. It was her and her horse’s first time wonky and they were both amazing.  She won’t mind me sharing that she suffers from hip pain so wasn’t sure she’d be able to do it at all, but was off like a professional once the saddle was fitted.  Beau and I have had three or four sessions before this, so I decided we ought to build on what we’d done before and off we trotted.  Whilst Ginny wasn’t looking, I tapped him into a canter, and we even did (half of a) flying change across the arena!  Awesome.  I find it quite difficult to stay properly balanced but I think because you’re seated so far back on the horse’s back, it helps Beau to balance better onto his engine rather than his shoulders.

We have yet to source a saddle or habit so have yet to tick off the ‘attend a show side saddle’ target … but I’m hopeful of Camelot coming up trumps for me (see previous blog – they have clearly been giving their money to the wrong people all these years.  Hmph!)

Sidesaddle

Sidesaddle

Sidesaddle

Sidesaddle

One of the lovely CVRC members, Rachel, very kindly brought her horse, Indie, along to help out another member whose horse had been un-level during Friday’s session, but by Saturday morning he was fine so I took the ride for another flat session with Matt.  She is the most rhythmical, well-schooled and consistent horse to ride.  Her canter is like sitting on a cloud!  I could not get her to come round in walk but she is practically a machine the rest of the time!  She had her brave boots on too, coming past scary machines and into the big arena whilst the other horses were worrying along behind her. I learned that my instructions could be clearer – it’s a wonder Beau ever knows what I am asking him for!  And after that session my legs were like un-set jelly.  If there is one thing I am grateful for with Beau, it’s that you only need to give him a hint and he does it.  Therefore I totally blame him for my lack of fitness!

IndieOn the Sunday I woke up with my core muscles screaming at me that I’d ridden side-saddle the previous day!  We had a flat, a poles and a cross-country session booked, with the first one at 9am, so Beau was fed and mucked out by 6.30am and then he went back to sleep whilst we sourced coffee and breakfast.

I had chosen to do a flat lesson with Jules La Garde to work on my position and try to stop restricting Beau with my seat.  So I got to ride round in walk, imagining Daryl Dixon’s hands lifting my seat in rhythm with his walk.  She also gave us a marvellous warm up routine which covers off all the bits of the horse from back to front and only takes a few mins.  It was fun .  And funny, because with four riders trying to do 10 metre figures of eight in the same arena it got very confusing.  Just like quadrille!

Beau was such a legend at camp – 99.9% the perfect horse.  In fact he would probably write this blog better than me, though I guess his hooves would make a mess of the keyboard.  We pulled out of cross-country training on the Sunday and Simon did a poles session to give him a break.  He had been so good and we had had such a fab time – and we didn’t want to ruin it!

 

Progress?

It seems to have been get up, go to work, come home, go to bed, get up, go to a competition/camp, go to bed and so on in May and early June.  As I sit here I can’t remember what we have done!  I can tell you that we haven’t hacked enough, I must rectify that and make sure there is a little space in the diary for pressure-free fun for me and for Beau.  He loves hacking.  I think the progress has been building on what we have learned, and building the partnership more with Beau.  I have owned a couple of nutters in the recent past so it is taking me a while to stop expecting him to do what they used to.  We’re getting there though.  (I should hope so, I’ve had him a year now!)

Team Quest

We managed to fit in two Team Quest competitions this month, one at Quainton (where I rode for another CVRC team), and one at Vale View, another relaxed and friendly venue.  Sadly the entries have been low at Vale View so after 11th June they are not planning to run any more TQ .  The good news is that we scored 64.79% at Quainton and 65.5% at Vale View.  HOWEVER…Tory and Beau scored 67.5%.  Going to duct tape her arms and legs next time, then let’s see her beat me on my horse!  It’s only because I went first and got him used to the swags on the arena walls.  Nothing to do with the accidental tempi changes in the second canter.  Nothing at all…

TQ Vale View

I am not sure what is happening with my scores, it all seemed to be going so well but it looks as though I have now peaked and plateaued  and the all-important 80% still eludes us.  I need to go and talk to Beau I think.

Dressage scores tracker

We are mildly hopeful of a place in the regionals at this stage – ie. we’re still hopeful whilst all the proper teams have yet to post full scores.  The top 15 teams qualify and we are sitting 6th.  I am posting the leader board because the only way is probably down and I want a record!

TQ-leaderboard

Veteran Championships

Horse and Hound ran an article publicising the Veteran Horse Society Champs and qualification through BD Quest – so I checked, and Beau and I have qualified!  On 2nd June, his passport went off in the post to be stamped so we can compete at Bury Farm in the finals . I have never qualified for a Championship before, except the CVRC one of course, but this one’s NATIONAL!  Not letting Tory go, because she is a better rider and will beat me.  She needs to get her own horse sound and beat me on her instead.

BRC

The BRC Festival of the Horse was at Aston Le Walls on 4th June.  I had myself down to volunteer but found myself severely double booked with my in-laws golden wedding celebrations!  So my ever heroic little sister and a friend from CVRC stepped in and fence judged instead.  BRC look after their volunteers ever so well and I can recommend volunteering.  Unless you’re on a diet in which case stay away ;) It’s a great way to watch and learn whatever job you’re doing.  I was scores collecting at the Intermediate champs and learned lots about show jumping and also about organisation and team work which is all applicable to real life.  I also learned that day that another team has chosen the same quadrille theme as us (via a roundabout discussion on Facebook) so we have had to change themes!  I think the new one is funnier though – which is what people have come to expect from us, seeing as we go there to have fun, not to do wonderful dressage ;)

Quadrille

There will be plenty of acclimatisation for the quadrille venue which is Bury Farm.  By the time we get to quadrille on 1st October we will have attended camp there in May, and the previous week it’s the Veteran Championships there too!  We have re-written our music (I can’t WAIT to see the judges’ faces!!!) and tweaked the routine to fit.  There are really only so many moves you can come up with for quadrille, so fitting them together is the challenge – to try and tell the story.  Our star rider has her GCSEs this month too, and as she is the only one young enough to remember the test from practice to practice, the main difficulty is trying to do the same thing each time.  The summer season is now well underway, with dressage competitions and endurance for one of our team members, but we’re focused and making time to practice – usually on Friday nights after work/school when we’re all mentally drained and physically ruined from earning enough money to hire the arena to practice in!

Shopping

Horses are expensive.  There is no way to argue that.  We’re OK for saddles (though I am predicting a bank loan if I see the right side-saddle!) but the lorry we have currently has no living, meaning we have to remember to pack a flask, and a tent for away events.  Rockstar Horseboxes is run by a friend of ours so we are commissioning him to put living in.  It’s not cheap for what we need (want) so I can see a severe gin shortage in our house in the coming months and no shopping at all.  Thank goodness Mollichaff gave me all those gorgeous competition clothes!

Old friends for me and new for Beau

However, I did pop down to our local feed store the other day for our Mollichaff Hoofkind supply, and bumped into an old friend who I haven’t seen in a couple of years.  Turns out her daughters are learning to ride so she was there buying kit for them.  We got chatting and I offered her a play on Beau on the Sunday as she is currently horseless.  Luckily because of anniversary celebrations and me being so behind on my jobs at home, Beau had the day off on Saturday.  On the Sunday he had a schooling session with Tracy Schofield (new goal here – she will ride him in an Elementary class) followed immediately by another one with Ruth and then a pony ride for her eldest daughter.  I think Beau had had enough by this point as suddenly everything in the arena became scary!  I am pleased to report that Ruth’s daughter already has a superglue seat . Ruth seemed to enjoy riding the old battle-axe and will be playing out regularly now which is great for me working full time with a long commute, and great for Beau keeping his joints moving, and great for Ruth to keep her seat in for the summer.

Ruth

Fame and fortune

Well, imagine my surprise this month to be sent a link to our local paper – the Northampton Chronicle – and to see Beau and me staring out from the page.  That’s it, I thought, we’ve made it.  The following week, I was informed there was an article about us in the local village news booklet!  We really have made it now ;)

Read the Article

Beau remains unaffected

Goals: updated for May:

  • Dressage:  The main focus is now to get 70% in a prelim test unaffiliated.  Hard!
  • Team Quest:  This goal now has to be updated to be to qualify for the regionals.  *bites fingernails*
  • Side saddle: I just want to get better – maybe enter a show if I can find a suitable saddle and habit to hire.  Especially now we have cantered properly on both reins!  Ginny says we wouldn’t disgrace ourselves in a novice class – I just need to find one..
  • Quadrille: To play out at Bury Farm again in 2016 for Cherwell Valley RC.  It would be awesome to qualify but Quadrille is such immense fun it doesn’t matter if we don’t.  So excited to see the judges’ faces when our entrance music comes on!
  • Jumping: To jump a whole course in canter.  No progress, didn’t even jump at camp!
  • New goal – to get into Horse and Hound (for the right reasons) which is the only way I can top the Village News

Tam and Beau x

Debbie Celebrates 30 Years at Mark Westaway & Son

Debbie Harris 30 Years at Horsehage

Debbie Harris, our National Sales Manager for the HorseHage and Mollichaff brands, is celebrating 30 years of working at our head office, Mark Westaway & Son, in Devon.

Debbie began her career with the well-established forage and feed producer back in June 1986 when she was employed as a Sales Promotion Representative by the late Mark Westaway (Senior), the founder of the company and inventor of HorseHage bagged forage.

She was initially attracted to the position because it was a family-run business based in the country and coming from a horsey background, she thought it would be a good combination. She is now responsible for a team of staff and over-sees sales throughout the whole of the United Kingdom.

HorseHage is made in the UK by three licenced regional producers – Mark Westaway & Son in Devon; Fox Feeds in Hertfordshire and Friendship Estates in South Yorkshire. The producers also manufacture the Mollichaff range of complete feeds and chaffs.

Said Debbie: “What has kept me here is the products. I believe in each and every one of them as they have evolved. When I started, we had two products – Ryegrass HorseHage and Lucerne and as feeding has changed over the years, I have been involved in developing a range of high fibre products that do what they say on the bag and more recently, the Mollichaff complete feed range.”

“My role has obviously changed a lot. At first I was on the road all the time, visiting potential new stockists and we still have many of them now. I also attended all the shows both in the UK and Ireland. I am now mainly office-based but I do attend some of the events with the HorseHage tradestand team and this is one aspect I really enjoy as it gives me the opportunity to talk face to face with our consumers.”

“As the company has grown, wholesalers have enabled us to get our products into a wider range of outlets, but the biggest change is customer knowledge. Horse owners’ knowledge of feeding is amazing now. They are so much more aware of what they are feeding and why. Technology via the internet and social media has played a huge role in educating the consumer and also allowing us to reach them so much more easily – I love it! Just one click to send an e-shot instead of posting out costly and time-consuming mailshots!”

Said Mark Westaway: “Debbie has played an important role in the development of HorseHage and Mollichaff and we are proud to have such a long-standing member of staff on our team.

Posted in HorseHage by admin.