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The Sky’s The Limit For New Therapy Donkey


Bryndafydd Animal Assisted Therapy which is supported by Mollichaff Donkey, has a new star on the scene!

With huge hooves to fill, it is hoped that new donkey, Sky, will take over the role of being a very special therapy donkey following the retirement last year of 26-year-old Enoch, a foster donkey from The Donkey Sanctuary. Enoch was the absolute master in visiting nursing homes, hospices and hospitals. He formed a strong bond with his foster owner, Ann Slater, which gave him the confidence to happily enter any environment and to bring happiness and love to many people. He is now enjoying his retirement and just has twice weekly visits from school children to keep him ticking over.

Although Ann’s five other donkeys are very well behaved and do a great job as therapy animals, Ann wasn’t sure that they had quite the temperaments required to do the very important duties of visiting hospital wards and nursing home bedrooms. Her miniature Shetland pony, Robbie, has mastered the role perfectly and often accompanies her, but fantastic as he is, it’s the donkeys that seem to really inspire and bring out the confidence in many people.

So with help from the grooms at The Donkey Sanctuary, Ann has been searching for the right donkey to follow in Enoch’s footsteps. She wanted a small gelding suitable for therapy work but ended up travelling down the M5 to meet a 12.1hh mare called Sky – not quite what she envisaged.

However, she went with an open mind and as soon as she met Sky for the first time, Ann immediately knew that she had the vital characteristics required for the task ahead and that the grooms had made a great choice.


Said Ann: “She has a calm nature and her love of people just makes her perfect for the job!”

So Sky is now in residence at Bryndafydd Animal Assisted Therapy and over the next 12 months will settle in to establish a bond with Ann. She will experience meeting new people and new environments until Ann is sure she is fully ready to make special visits as a fully- fledged therapy donkey.

Posted in MolliChaff Donkey by admin.

Variety Is The Spice of Life For Alfie

Ballydoolagh Alfie, owned by Huddersfield-based endurance rider, Jeni Gilbert, is proof that variety is the spice of life for this 11-year-old Connemara.

Alfie is making his mark in the sport of endurance with Jeni, a former Novice Champion, Endurance GB Senior and Supreme Champion (2007, 2011) and winner of several other titles. He has now completed more than 2300km in 48 competitions in his five year endurance career – an impressive feat for a native breed in a discipline that is dominated with Arab horses.


Photo: West End Photography

Photo: West End Photography

Jeni believes that competing in endurance gives an important advantage over other horse sports. As well as improving the fitness of your horse and regularly assessing his soundness, endurance also helps to develop a horse’s confidence and manners, and gives him great experience in learning to balance and cope with different types of terrain.

Over the past few winters Jeni has expanded on Alfie’s experiences by competing him in Winter Trec, which takes place indoors and so is very different to endurance. It provides obstacles and questions for horse and rider and, although the instant obedience to change of pace proved to be a bit of a challenge for Alfie at first, Jeni is working on improving it! The pair were placed 11th in the National Trec Winter Series last season.

Alfie has also enjoyed turning his hooves to show jumping and cross country classes at riding club level and this summer Jeni looked at other sports as the ground was so hard. He tried eventing, although Jeni handed over the reins for this to Emma Martin, a friend who enjoys jumping. He competed in three BE80 classes and a couple of British Riding Club Area qualifiers, and in the latest one he was placed second with the Ackworth & District RC team out of 75 entrants.

Said Jeni: “He loved the eventing and did fairly well in the dressage, but we were so pleased when he finished on his dressage score with a placing. We do need to work a bit more on his movements as they are slightly different to Trec and endurance. I would say to other riders to make sure your horse is fit and then go ahead and try some other disciplines and see what you and your horse can do!”

Jeni is sponsored by HorseHage and has a wealth of experience. She enjoys endurance riding as a hobby rather than a career.

Mollichaff HoofKind Complete


Posted in Mollichaff Hoofkind by admin.

Pony Success with Mollichaff Donkey!

Missy (Small and Handy) at Hickstead

Missy (Small and Handy) at Hickstead

Although Mollichaff Donkey has been formulated as a complete fibre feed for donkeys, it is also a fantastic low energy choice for horses and ponies too, as young rider, Thalia Nuttall, can testify to.

12-year-old Thalia from Lincolnshire grew up surrounded by donkeys as her father is award-winning beach donkey owner, John Nuttall. She started riding the donkeys at a very young age and moved onto ponies when she was just five years old. Her parents soon realised she was naturally talented and she quickly progressed to show-jumping, having success with her starter ponies, Victor and Cruise, including winning the Under-10 Style & Performance at the Pony of the Year Show 2016 on Another Victory.

Just Ozzie qualifying for HOYS

Just Ozzie qualifying for HOYS

In August 2015, her father purchased a coloured pony called Ozzie – a little skewbald mare standing at 126cm – from Ireland. At eight years old, Ozzie hadn’t really done much and was quite buzzy so not a typical child’s ride. The Nuttall’s decided to let Ozzie settle in for a month or so as Thalia was still only nine years old herself but the pair soon bonded and became friends, forming a close partnership.

Thalia worked hard with Ozzie and they were registered to jump affiliated with British Show Jumping in February 2016, with Ozzie showing promise with her bold jump and character. Over the following two years the partnership had amazing success, qualifying for the Great Yorkshire Show in 2017 and partnering up with Chloe Smith for the Mini Majors class. This achievement was repeated in 2018 and Thalia competed in the Mini Majors again, this time with Nigel Coupe. They also qualified for the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) at Hickstead; the Graham Heath Equestrian Final at the Scope Festival; the Silver League Final at the British National Championships (finishing in 7th place). But the icing on the cake was winning the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) qualifier at the British Show Jumping Welsh Home Pony Show at the David Broome Event Centre in July 2018. It was Thalia’s dream to qualify for HOYS on a pony she had produced herself. Sadly she didn’t get the result she hoped for but it was a great experience and a marvellous achievement to produce her own pony to this standard.

Thalia’s other pony, Missy, also qualified for the Great Yorkshire Show; Scope Graham Heath and the Silver League Final as well as the RIHS at Hickstead where they were placed 10th.

Both Thalia’s ponies are fed on Mollichaff Donkey (as are John’s beach donkeys) as it provides a palatable fibre feed which is low in sugar and starch but high in fibre.

Said Michelle (Thalia’s mum) “Mollichaff Donkey provides a good, balanced feed which includes all the vitamins and minerals they need plus soya oil. Both ponies are highly strung and we prefer to feed a fibre-based feed rather than concentrates.  The ponies are also fed on High Fibre or Timothy HorseHage as they have lower energy values and are handy to take to our stay-away shows as the highly compressed bales are easy to fit in the lorry and the ponies love it.”

Thalia with her father John

Thalia with her father John

Mollichaff Donkey is made from 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 for additional calcium and magnesium as this is often deficient in UK soils. It is low in sugar, starch and energy and is safe to feed to equines that are prone to laminitis. When fed at the recommended levels, there is no need for further supplementation other than good quality forage, and it can be used as a partial hay replacer.

Thalia is currently coming to the end of her time competing in 128cm classes as she will be 13 years old in May next year so has to move on to the 138cm ponies. She has had an amazing few years with her two lovely ponies, Ozzie & Missy and is currently producing her next pony. So fingers (and hooves!) are all crossed for some good results next season.

Mollichaff Donkey

Maintain Weight in Winter with Mollichaff Condition Complete

Mollichaff Condition Complete

With the possibility of a hard winter ahead and forage prices increasing, you can provide additional high quality digestible fibre by feeding a fibre-based feed in place of cereals.

If you have an underweight horse or pony or one that tends to lose weight over the colder months and then struggles to put it on again, Mollichaff Condition Complete may be the ideal feed choice.

Mollichaff Condition Complete is a highly digestible, high fibre, high oil and low starch blend in a single bag. It can be fed as a complete concentrate feed alongside good quality forage, when fed at the recommended levels, and contains a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement. This makes life easier for you as you don’t need to shop for anything else to feed other than good quality forage, because it contains all the dietary requirements your horse or pony needs.

It is made from a balanced blend of alfalfa, dried grass, oat straw, fibre pellets, barley, soya flakes, soya oil and mint, plus Yea-sacc® – a natural live yeast culture – and a prebiotic to help maintain a healthy digestive system.

Essential fatty acids are provided by the soya oil to help maintain healthy skin and encourage a glossy coat.

Winter feed

Kelly Marsden’s horse, Mr Anderson (or Neo as he is known at home), a 15-year-old, 16.2hh Kinsky horse (a Warmblood that originated in the Czech Republic) was purchased by her as a scruffy, unbroken seven-year-old when she was living down in London and was looking for a ‘project horse’. She started feeding him on Mollichaff Condition Complete five years ago as she was looking to build him up ready for the show season.

Said Kelly: “Neo absolutely loves Mollichaff Condition Complete and it really has improved how he looks as well as his energy levels, but without the fizziness. It suits him so well and I feed him on it all year round.”

Kelly since moved up to Yorkshire and currently competes on Neo at Elementary level dressage.

“He’s been a dream and is the best horse I’ll ever have the chance to own. He loves the spotlight and now looks wonderful – so different from the ugly horse I took a gamble on!”

Mollichaff Condition Complete is suitable for encouraging weight gain in underweight horses and ponies and can also help to maintain weight and condition in competition horses and ponies.

Because it is a fibre-based feed, it provides a more natural way of feeding your horse or pony compared to a high cereal diet. The addition of mint makes Mollichaff Condition Complete particularly appealing to horses because of its taste and aroma, so your horse should really enjoy it!


Additional Fibre for Fritz from Mollichaff Veteran

Winning In Hand Veteran class in July 2018

29-year-old, 16hh gelding, Fritz, owned by Gwen Findlay from Glasgow for 24 years, has been a faithful companion – a real golden oldie. Over the years, Gwen and Fritz have enjoyed having a go at a variety of disciplines and in later years have had some success at veteran showing, with Fritz qualifying for the Scottish Supreme Veteran Final at the Ingliston Grand Slam showing event in 2014, having been placed Reserve Champion at a local qualifying show. He has kept his good health despite his age and is still ridden four times a week and just this year he won the In-Hand Veteran class at Gwen’s local show.

However last winter, Gwen noticed he was struggling to chew long stem forage and was sometimes quidding (balling up the forage in his mouth and spitting it out). Fritz had his teeth checked regularly by the vet and there was not a problem apart from the age and wear of his teeth, so Gwen decided to put him on to a chopped fibre source to supplement his forage and grazing.


She opted for Mollichaff Veteran – a high fibre forage mix that has been specially formulated for older horses and ponies but it is also a great product for those that are unable to consume long forage and require a partial hay replacer.

Many equines, particularly as they get older, have loose or missing teeth and cannot chew long stemmed forage such as hay or haylage. If you notice bits of partially chewed forage dropping from your horse’s mouth or scattered on the floor, this is a tell-tale sign that he is struggling to cope.

Mollichaff Veteran is made from chopped ingredients so it is easy to manage and is very palatable too, making it great for fussy feeders.

It is made from a balanced blend of dried grass, dried alfalfa and high quality oat straw and is topped with a unique dressing combining linseed and soya oil with a small amount of low sugar molasses and added vitamins and minerals, plant-based antioxidants, biotin, mint, nettle and salt.

Linseed oil is a rich source of amino acids and essential fatty acids including Omega 3. Antioxidants from a plant-based source are included to help combat free radicals and maintain your horse in good health and nettles are naturally high in vitamins and minerals.

Mint contains flavanoids that act to relax the digestive tract and most horses also find the aroma and taste of mint to be particularly appealing; and salt provides two important electrolytes – sodium and chloride. Mollichaff Veteran also contains added limestone to provide additional calcium and biotin for healthy hoof growth.

Mollichaff Veteran

Said Gwen: “I am delighted at how well Fritz is doing on Mollichaff Veteran. Several people on the yard have commented on how well he is looking. Despite his winter coat coming through, he has retained a lovely shine which I put down to the linseed and soya oil in Mollichaff Veteran. No need to buy separate linseed oil this winter! I am sure even the fussiest of feeders would not be able to resist this highly palatable feed. Fritz has a large double handful in each feed and has no issues with chewing it, as it’s a lovely soft mix of grass, alfalfa and straw. He cleans his bowl every time!”

Posted in MolliChaff Mollichaff Veteran by admin.