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Latest Blog from Julia Paterson on her Route to the ‘Mitsubishi Grass Roots Championship at Badminton’.

Julia Paterson Winter RidingA Busy Few Months Ahead!

Well January is a very busy month for me, in terms of work, so we didn’t get the chance to do as much activity as I’d have liked, but that being said, we have had weekly dressage lessons with Claire who is really happy with our progress and the lessons are really helping Marvin improve his suppleness. We have also been getting some good long hacks in at the weekends, and despite the weather not being ideal on some days, we are sticking to our reputation of ‘no fair weather riders here!

We missed our show jumping clinics with Susie Gibson as I was away working in London on both occasions so instead, I hired a bigger outdoor school just up the road where we have been able to work on our show jumping practice.

January is also a month of MOTs with Andy Wheals giving both my saddles a good check over. I use the adjustable air flocking system from Flair and both saddles needed re-adjusting as Marvin’s shape has altered due to his work load changing. Marvin also had a physio session with Andrea Bainbridge and she was very happy with him – no problems at all.

So February is a very busy month with our training. We have five days booked in with Susie and two with Claire, in addition to a number of show jumping competitions to get our focus on jumping the bigger classes. Marvin’s feeling very fit and well – we have been working on his ‘interval’ canter work and he is like a coiled spring! He could certainly complete a one-day-event tomorrow and still have more energy to boot, so if the weather holds I think we may start some cross-country training too, just to get our eye in earlier as it’s only three months until Badminton and two months until our first run!

So until next time – bye for now!


Posted in HorseHage News by admin.

Laminitis – Feed Advice for Farriers from HorseHage

HoofKind Range

As a farrier, you will very likely be the professional that sees a horse most regularly and will notice any changes in the horse’s condition, temperament and soundness. Therefore it stands to reason that your opinion and expertise is very valuable to a horse owner.

One condition that you will have come across regularly, which greatly affects a horse’s feet is laminitis. This very painful and complex disease needs careful treatment and good teamwork between owner, veterinarian and farrier in order to manage the problem.

The owner must manage the day-to-day care, the vet must provide medical treatment and the farrier should understand the mechanical aspects that this condition can cause and provide support to the bone column whilst the new hoof grows.

One of the most important aspects for a horse or pony prone to laminitis is diet. This is where your knowledge may provide extra help to an owner managing an equine with this condition, as being highly qualified to look after their horse’s feet, your recommendations will be taken on board.

Many owners have the misconception that horses and ponies suffering from laminitis should be fed poor quality hay alone or, worse still, starved of food for long periods of time. Either of these management styles can easily lead to many other serious health issues on top of the existing laminitis. The digestive system of the horse is designed to process small amounts of feed at very regular intervals, and this does not change when a horse is diagnosed as suffering from laminitis.

Laminitic horses, or those who have been identified as being at risk, require carefully controlled diets that are low in starch and sugar but contain a high level of fibre. They require a balanced diet that reduces their calorific intake whilst continuing to meet all their daily nutritional requirements. This can often be problematic for horse owners when faced with choosing a suitable diet that meets both of these requirements.

The Mollichaff HoofKind Diet has been specially devised by HorseHage to supply all the nutrient and fibre requirements of laminitics, without the need to feed lots of different products which can be expensive and confusing. The diet also allows sufficient quantities to be fed, ensuring that the horse is not left for extensive periods of time without food.

It consists of Mollichaff HoofKind, a complete feed designed to provide the nutritional support of equines prone to laminitis, to be fed alongside High Fibre HorseHage or Timothy HorseHage, which are bagged forages.

Mollichaff HoofKind (A complete feed specially formulated for laminitics)

High in fibre

Low in protein, starch and sugar

No cereals

Highly palatable

Contains broad spectrum vitamins and minerals

Contains therapeutic levels of biotin for hoof health

Contains added magnesium to support metabolic processes and help prevent glucose intolerance and insulin resistance

Contains selected plant-based antioxidants to support nutritional maintenance of respiratory and circulatory systems, hooves and laminae

High Fibre and Timothy HorseHage (Bagged forage)


Contain no chemical additives, mould inhibitors or inoculants

High in fibre

Low in starch and sugar

Highly palatable

Highly digestible

Suitable for laminitics

Both these types of HorseHage are suitable for laminitics. These products are all high in fibre and essential nutrients, but are very low in starch and sugar and carry the HoofKind symbol on the bag to indicate their suitability. They contain a typical sugar level of around 5%, which is considerably lower than a typical hay sample which can contain as much as 10%.

It is essential that Mollichaff HoofKind is fed at the recommended levels to ensure that the vitamin and mineral requirements are being met and that the biotin level is sufficient.

Posted in HoofKind MolliChaff News by admin.

Choose High Fibre and Timothy HorseHage for Laminitics!

High Fibre and Timothy HorseHage

There is often a misconception that HorseHage is rich in energy and therefore unsuitable for horses and ponies prone to laminitis. This is not the case with the High Fibre and Timothy varieties of HorseHage.

Forage can vary in quality as well as nutritional composition. Some batches of hay can contain large amounts of sugar – as much as 10% – whereas with HorseHage sugar levels are only around 5%, due to its unique fermentation process.

High Fibre HorseHage is made from ryegrass but in this particular variety, the ryegrasses have been allowed to mature before harvesting to attain higher fibre, lower protein and lower energy levels. This means it is very different from ordinary haylages made from ryegrass and makes it an excellent choice for laminitics, good doers and horses and ponies that are convalescing or resting.

The same low protein and energy levels are found in Timothy HorseHage which is made from timothy grass and is very similar to the famous Kentucky bluegrass of America. It is already naturally high in fibre and because it has a different ‘nose’ to ryegrass, horses find it very appetising, so it’s a great choice for fussy feeders.

As well as the low sugar and energy benefits making High Fibre and Timothy HorseHage safe to feed to laminitics, these bagged forages are also dust-free – an essential quality to avoid causing serious respiratory problems such as RAO. They contain no chemical additives, mould inhibitors or inoculants – just natural grass – and are more digestible than other forages allowing more efficient utilisation of the available nutrients. In other words, your horse or pony will get more nutritional value from this type of forage, which may enable you to cut down on his hard feed. Even better, because HorseHage is so appetising, there is rarely any waste.

HorseHage is BETA FEMAS NOPS certified which means it is produced from specially-grown grass with a high regard for feed safety, consistent quality and full product traceability, so you know exactly what your horse or pony is being fed.

We have devised a special diet especially for laminitics called ‘The HoofKind Diet’. Feed either High Fibre and/or Timothy HorseHage alongside Mollichaff HoofKind, which is a great value, complete feed specially formulated for horses and ponies prone to laminitis. When fed at the recommended levels, it contains all the vitamins and minerals your laminitic horse or pony needs to keep him healthy.

Posted in HorseHage News by admin.

Latest Blog from Julia Paterson on her ‘Route to the Mitsubishi Grass Roots Championships at Badminton’.

Happy New Year!

Julia Paterson - © Daryl Bush Photography

Julia Paterson – © Daryl Bush Photography

Well hello again everyone and welcome to my new series of monthly blogs. As you know from the introduction earlier this week, Marvin and I have qualified for the Grassroots Championships at Badminton Horse Trials in May which is extremely exciting and the final piece of our ambition jigsaw. Our training is in full swing and we have lots planned to get us in peak condition for May.

Since August, Marvin has had a six week holiday to coincide with Neil and I moving house and our summer holiday. The weather during his holiday was still fantastic so he was basking in the sunshine for nearly four weeks.  Then when the season changed I popped his rug on to keep him warm at night but he was still living out and happy as Larry.

As with any horse who has had a break, I put together a work schedule for Marvin and he came back into work mid-October. He completed two weeks of walk work then gradually trot and canter work until we were back up to jumping in December.

We have resumed our dressage sessions with Claire Dryden and started working on the more advanced movements such as pirouettes to help Marvin lift and stretch from his shoulders and half pass, linked with our other movements such as shoulder in, travers and leg yielding every stride, basically stretching work in all three paces to help Marvin become even more supple which is working. To put our work to the test, we ventured out and competed in two Elementary tests at Richmond Equestrian Centre at the end of December. Marvin worked really well, his warm-up work was excellent and he feels so confident now we have a great bond and it shows as we won both classes but more than that was the fact of the difference in marks. We had increased by 5% with much more conviction in our work.

At the end of December we had a two-day show-jumping clinic with Susie Gibson which could only happen thanks to my fantastic friends, Jacqui and her daughter, Sophie, who provided space for us to stay with them at their farm in Carlisle.

Greenlands Equestrian Centre is just over two hours away from us but Susie teaches there every two weeks so I wish we lived closer. But Jacqui is an amazing friend who wants to do anything she can to help us in our quest for Badminton and so has said they will provide a bed for the night for us both anytime we book in for the two-day clinic! This is absolutely amazing and means we can progress at a much faster rate as the clinic demonstrated.

On Day One we were very rusty in achieving Susie’s high standards. Our issues were our changes in canter left to right, as I struggle to push my right hip forward and rush the change, but the good points were the fact that Susie had us jumping around fences of 1m and more, with big square oxers (my Achilles heel).

On Day Two (with a sore right hip) I really worked on slowing the changes to the right to help Marvin make the change easier, and lightness of the rein contact which was another lightbulb moment.

The following week, Susie was back in our region so I took Marvin back for a sharpener lesson which was fantastic. Susie was over the moon as everything we had taken away from our two-day clinic had been ratified in this session – the perfect finish for Christmas for both Susie and us. Roll on January for our next clinic!

So to finish the year off we went to Janice Mews’ show-jumping held at Stainsby Grange and really upped our game. After jumping a warm-up class at 90cms we entered into a 1m 05cms and Marvin didn’t disappoint. He jumped an amazing clear round and I then decided to try the jump off at 1m 10cms, but this was out of our comfort zone and in hindsight we should have withdrawn. I felt Marvin just draw back as the first fence was a very wide Liverpool oxer and Marvin hit the back bar and I felt this jolt in his confidence. I should have ridden the fence with more power. He did jump the course but knocked a few more fences and I could feel his confidence dropping. It was a great learning curve and Marvin loves his jumping so I knew he would have his holiday and come back to cover this with Susie, so looking forward to our next clinic….

So January will be a month of MOTs – getting our saddles checked and a physio session booked as Marvin’s shape will change in terms of muscles building back up.  I am always keen to ensure his muscles are repaired with a good feeding regime and physio sessions to prevent injury to ensure that everything is ok before we start to ramp up his work. We have some dressage and show-jumping lessons planned and   will then come out again to compete at the end of the month. So until then, bye for now.




Posted in HorseHage by admin.

HorseHage Supports Amateur Rider for Badminton Grass Roots

Julia PatersonDurham-based amateur rider and horse owner, Julia Paterson, was the winner of a national competition we ran back in 2012 to find a true amateur rider for the brand to support for one year.

Her horse, Spot of Luck (or Marvin, as he is known at home) was able to enjoy High Fibre HorseHage and Mollichaff Alfalfa Oil and had a great season competing in British Eventing. Julia wrote a monthly blog for us on our Facebook page for the year, detailing her successes, and last August, they qualified for the Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships.

This competition offers amateur riders the chance to qualify throughout the season and all over Great Britain, for Badminton in early May. The setting of Badminton House and the excitement generated by being part of the foremost three-day-event in the world give these Championships a very special feeling.

Julia and Marvin qualified firstly by winning the BE90 at Burgham Horse Trials in July 2012 which gave them a ticket to the Regional Final in 2013. The pair went on to win the Regional Final at Skipton Horse Trials in August 2013, finishing on their dressage score of 22.5%.  They now just have the last and most exciting part of the jigsaw to complete – achieving Julia’s dream to compete at the Badminton Horse Trials Grassroots Final in May 2014. And HorseHage will be following them and supporting them all the way!

37-year-old Julia has been riding since a child and has had many ups and downs in her quest to find her beloved horse. Julia and Marvin went back to basics at first to get to know one another but have progressed well and now, five years on, enjoy competing in British Dressage at Elementary level (working at Medium at home and aiming to compete at Medium this year), and at British Eventing BE100 level.

Like many horse owners, Julia has had to cope with many setbacks over the last few years, including almost losing Marvin through serious illness and a freak riding accident which almost killed him and then the extra worry of being made redundant from two jobs. But the pair came through it all and Badminton is now within sight.

We will be following Julia and Marvin’s progress closely – training, exercise, fitness, diet and stable management all play a large part in their success and we will post Julia’s blogs regularly on this website. We also hope to run a ‘pictorial diary’ from Badminton on Facebook over the two competition days, so watch this space for further information!

Posted in HorseHage MolliChaff News by admin.