HorseHage & Mollichaff Helpline – 01803 527274

May 2011

Cassie’s Column – May 2011

Cassie with PoppyDavid-field

Introduction to Cassie’s Column
Many equestrian websites feature diaries or blogs by celebrity riders, which are always interesting to read, but we have decided to run a new column which will be written by an ordinary rider and horse owner, Cassie James, who faces all the same trials and tribulations of owning horses and ponies as many of you out there. Within the column Cassie hopes to provide topical advice as well as all the latest news on her three equine friends.

About Cassie
26-year-old Cassie James is based in Shropshire and is currently studying Veterinary Science as a mature student at The University of Liverpool. She commutes from her home to Liverpool in order to be able to continue to provide care for her three horses that she has owned for many years, rather than place them all in livery which would be very expensive.

Cassie’s experience with horses started at a very young age and she was brought up with horses throughout her childhood. She left college at the age of 18 and became head girl at a show jumping yard before going on to work as an equine nurse and groom at a large equine hospital. After contracting and recovering from meningitis B, she moved back to Shropshire to work as a small animal veterinary nurse.

Said Cassie: “From this I started to understand the importance of a good diet and the key role it plays in convalescence, performance and the general well-being of the horse.”

Cassie decided to take a chance and fulfil her dream of becoming an equine vet and was accepted at Liverpool University after funding herself through an evening course to gain entry requirements. Through university she had to undertake placements in farm animal, equine, poultry and small animals in order to understand the industries and the husbandry systems they have in place.

This included a spell at a racing yard where she learnt about the specific diets of racehorses as well as riding out, all of which proved to be very useful in helping her to understand the needs of her thoroughbred mare.

Another placement included working at the yard of top event rider, Oliver Townend, where Cassie learnt more about the care and performance of a team of top event horses, as well as riding duties, which inspired her to push on with Poppy’s first season at eventing this year. Cassie will be returning to Oliver’s to work this summer during her break from university.

Cassie’s Horses

Poppy is a 16.2h bay Thoroughbred mare and is an ex-racehorse. Cassie has owned Poppy since 2005 and has completely re-schooled her and now competes at local shows. This year she hopes to start her first season in British Eventing.

Says Cassie: “Poppy has fantastic ability across country but lacks concentration in dressage so we are having regular lessons to improve this.”

Poppy is currently fed on high fibre cubes, cherry-flavoured Mollichaff ShowShine and High Fibre HorseHage. When her workload increases in preparation for her eventing debut, Cassie plans on replacing the Mollichaff ShowShine with Mollichaff Alfalfa Oil for increased energy without causing any ‘fizziness’.


Henry is a 16.2h bay Irish Draught/Thoroughbred and at 32 years of age, is a true veteran. A former hunt master’s horse, he is still in great condition and goes for three or four short hacks a week to keep his mind stimulated and his joints going. He isn’t on any medication or supplements which is impressive for a horse of his age, but he does have problems chewing hay. Because of this he is mainly fed chopped hay mixed with Mollichaff Veteran, which can be used as a complete hay replacer if necessary, and is ideal for elderly horses or ponies and those that cannot manage to consume long forage. He also loves Mollichaff ShowShine but if his condition starts to drop off, Cassie puts him onto Mollichaff Alfalfa Oil. He finds the taste of High Fibre HorseHage irresistible, and even though he struggles to chew it, he always has a small net available to keep him interested and provide a change from his big bucket of hay replacer.

Says Cassie: “Henry was the ultimate teenager’s horse for me and together we achieved numerous wins in local shows and hunter trials. He now spends his life being spoilt!”

David is a 12.1h grey Welsh Section A pony and is 21-years-old. Cassie has owned him since he was a three-year-old and he was her first competition pony. Together the pair competed most weekends at show jumping and showing. David is a chronic laminitic and also has Cushings Disease and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which means his diet and lifestyle has to be very carefully monitored. He is fed on High Fibre HorseHage, which, along with Timothy HorseHage, is suitable for laminitics; and Mollichaff HoofKind – a complete feed for laminitics, along with a few high fibre nuts and garlic, which is his favourite. All the products in the HorseHage and Mollichaff range are dust-free which is of vital importance for a horse or pony with COPD.

Says Cassie: “David is a truly special pony. He is now a driving pony and provides a lot of joy for my family, especially my dad, and is very much loved by us all.”

Check back here soon for Cassie’s Column which will begin shortly and will be regularly updated. We hope you enjoy it and if you have any queries, please get in touch. We have our HorseHage Helpline on 01803 527257 for feed related advice or you can contact us via our Facebook page.