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HorseHage Continues Support of Meirionydd Special Riding Group

Katy practices the first steps of vaulting on the barrel

Katy practices the first steps of vaulting on the barrel

HorseHage has announced it is to continue supporting the Meirionydd Special Riding Group – a registered charity and member of the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) based in the Meirionydd region of Wales – which has been providing riding and horse care opportunities to people with physical disabilities, special needs, behavioural difficulties and mental health problems since 1973.

Approved instructors give lessons through the medium of Welsh and English and each rider works towards a goal.  Aiding the instructors is a team of volunteers that is the backbone of the group. As well as regular riding lessons, riders have the opportunity to take the RDA’s graded tests, ride out through the beautiful countryside, compete in regional and national competitions and learn to care for ponies.

Kieran Humphries riding Paddy 3rd in Countryside Challenge

Kieran Humphries riding Paddy 3rd in Countryside Challenge

The riding group runs sessions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for 38 children and adults who travel from Gwynedd and Powys. As well as the physical benefits of riding, the riders achieve specific skills and targets set during the weekly lessons, and each year up to 10 of them go on to compete in the North Wales Regional Riding for the Disabled Championships held near Wrexham.

Kirsty riding Marsala won three classes Countryside Challenge, Intro into Dressage, Combined Training.

Kirsty riding Marsala won three classes Countryside Challenge, Intro into Dressage, Combined Training.

For the last four years, riders have qualified to go through to the National Countryside Challenge Finals at Hartpury College, and within the last couple of years, two riders have qualified for the Dressage finals.

However, the group is currently at full capacity, due to the restricted number of suitable horses available to rent at the riding stables where the sessions are held. Therefore they have expanded the group to set up an equestrian vaulting session.

Alison Sheen riding Benson placed 3rd in Total Visual Impairment Dressage Class

Alison Sheen riding Benson placed 3rd in Total Visual Impairment Dressage Class

Vaulting is often described as ‘gymnastics on the back of a moving horse’ and is an intensely motivating team sport that encourages self-confidence and increases physical fitness in each individual.  This sport uses only one horse per session for up to eight young people who share time on the horse, time working on the ‘barrels’  and time practicing technical moves on gym mats.

The group currently uses Sheridan – a 12-year-old cob – for teenagers and adult vaulters and has recently been gifted a pony by a local couple to start training for the future of the younger vaulters.

In addition, to mark its 40th Anniversary, the group is currently applying for a grant to either buy or rent land to move to a new venue and are looking for land in the Dolgellau area (Gwynedd, North Wales). This will allow them to keep their own horses, picked and trained especially for this type of work. The eventual aim is to set up an independent specialist equestrian centre in the area to provide horse riding, vaulting and carriage-driving opportunities for people with special needs, disabilities and mental health problems, as well as working with local schools to target disadvantaged and/or demotivated youngsters.

One of the group’s trustees said: “We recognize that this is a challenging and ambitious plan but feels this is the right direction so that we can continue to promote the values of the Riding for the Disabled Association in supporting local people with additional needs. We will now be actively fundraising and looking for land and facilities where we can be autonomous as a group.”

Said Matthew Cooke of Friendship Estates, regional producer of HorseHage: “The Merionydd Special Riding Group provides a valuable facility in the area and the fact that these RDA horses do so well on HorseHage helps us to shatter the misconception that Horsehage is too high in energy for the everyday horse. High Fibre Horsehage is the ideal forage alternative.”

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For further information on the Meirionnydd Special Riding Group please visit  www.msrg.org.uk 

Posted in HorseHage News by admin.

Mollichaff Condition Transforms Monaco Prince!

Monny After

Monny Before

Mollichaff is well-known for high fibre chaffs but the range also features three specialist complete fibre feeds which need no further supplementation other than good quality forage.

Included in this range is Mollichaff Condition – a feed which does exactly what it says – it encourages weight gain and condition in all types of horses and ponies.

Said horse-owner, Samantha Chiappini: “I have had my ex-racehorse, Monaco Prince (Monny), for five years now and when I got him, his coat was dull – even in the first summer – and it wasn’t how I wanted him to look. He was also a little on the thin side. I spoke to my local feed supplier and she suggested Mollichaff Condition as it would not make him excitable but would give him the condition I was looking for.”

“Within a very short time scale you could really see the difference in him. He put on a bit more weight and his coat began to shine. He is now doing well and loves to live out most of the year round and hates coming in!”

MolliChaff Condition“We also own two more horses – another ex-racehorse and also an Irish Draught – both 17.2hh. They are also on Mollichaff Condition and the transformation in their build has been superb. We now have three fabulous looking horses, thanks to Mollichaff Condition. Monny competes regularly in Trailblazers dressage and show jumping and we qualified for the Trailblazers Championships this year in dressage as well as the ROR dressage too. All three horses live out virtually all year as they are very happy to be out. They are rugged correctly and only come inside in extreme weather. None of them have ever dropped weight at any time during the year and their coats are commented on all the time. Mollichaff Condition is the best feed I have come across in 30 years of having horses – they are happy on it and it keeps them well and looking great!

Made from a balanced blend of alfalfa, dried grass, oat straw, fibre pellets, barley, soya flakes, soya oil and mint, Mollichaff Condition also contains Yea-sacc® and a prebiotic to help maintain a healthy digestive system. In addition it contains a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement so it can be fed as a complete concentrate feed, enabling you to cut down your feed shopping list and save some money too!

Monny Jumping

Posted in MolliChaff by admin.

The Importance of Forage In Your Horse’s Diet.

HorseHage Range

Did you know that 70 to 100% of your horse’s diet should be provided by forage?

It stands to reason then, that your choice of forage should be the most important feed purchase you make and therefore of the best possible hygienic and nutritional quality possible.

Horses have evolved to utilise a high fibre diet, using bacterial fermentation in a highly developed large intestine. Low levels of fibre, or poor quality fibre in the diet put horses at serious risk of problems such as colic and gastric ulcers.  Leaving horses for long periods of time with nothing to eat can also lead to serious digestive and metabolic disturbances.

HorseHage NetDecent forage is dependent upon the quality of the grass harvested and its dry matter at the time of baling, as weather conditions whilst it is being made will significantly affect the end quality.

Most samples of hay contain unacceptably high levels of dust, mould and dust mites, together with their faeces! These can cause serious problems for your horse’s respiratory health. If left un-managed, dust exposure can often result in an allergic reaction which may lead to permanent respiratory problems such as RAO (Recurrent Airway Obstruction).

Freedom from dust and mould spores is probably more important than the nutritional value of forage.  Hay is never 100% dust free and even soaking hay only removes some of the dust spores. It can sometimes minimise the levels of dust and mould, however it rarely eliminates all spores. In addition the nutrient value of soaked hay will be greatly reduced and once the hay begins to dry the spores will become airborne again.

Unlike hay, haylage is usually dust-free, but be sure to choose a brand which clearly states that it is dust-free to be totally certain. Ideally, rather than big-bale haylage, choose a bagged forage such a HorseHage, so that you know exactly what you’re feeding. HorseHage is bagged straight from the field to ensure there is no risk of mould or myco-toxins contained in the bag.

Good forage at a reasonable price is a cost effective option.  Poor hay at any price is a false economy. Top quality bagged forage from a well-established, reliable producer like HorseHage will have a high nutritional value as well as a full nutritional analysis and quality guarantee. It can be more expensive than hay, but the quality is consistent and there is no waste, plus the nutritional content is far better quality than hay. This means that you can often reduce the level of concentrates you feed. This can help reduce your overall feed bill!

In addition, HorseHage produces four different varieties and has lower sugar levels (around 5%) than hay (around 10%). Both the High Fibre and Timothy varieties are safe to feed to laminitics, so there is an option to suit all types of horses and ponies.

Posted in HorseHage News by admin.

The West Riding Rodeos Win West Riding Endurance Challenge!

Tess Wheldon and her mother Paula Bocalandro collecting the prizes on behalf of the team

The trophy for The West Riding Challenge which is run within the South Yorkshire Endurance Ride – an annual event organised by HorseHage-sponsored endurance rider, Jeni Gilbert, will stay in the West Riding of Yorkshire for another year after the West Riding Rodeos team took first place.

The competition involves teams of three riders – one may be from the longest distance class (66km), one may be a pleasure rider and the other from the normal graded classes. The winner is the team with the highest points based on heart rate, speed and distance.

The competition which took place just north of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was fiercely contested, with 15 teams taking part, and 90 riders in the whole ride. The West Riding Rodeos – the winning team – consisted of Nikki Wright, Tigs Gordon and Tess Whelden. The runners-up were Hamra and The Half-Pints (from Lancashire) and in third place were The Durham Dynamos.

Said Jeni: “Linking pleasure riders with graded riders enables the challenge to have wider appeal and is aimed at encouraging new riders to the sport of endurance.  There is a strong team spirit and riders help each other, sharing their knowledge and experience.”

Posted in HorseHage News by admin.

Mollichaff Condition Transforms Astral!

Astral-after

Astral After MolliChaff Condition

MolliChaff Condition

Thoroughbred mare, Astral, had a very stressed out nature and struggled to keep weight on, especially during the winter months. Following a bout of colic, she had to have surgery which meant she had to be kept on box rest following the operation.

Said owner, Susan Otway: “This proved extremely difficult due to the mare’s highly strung temperament. She would pace around the box and stressed all the time, apart from feed time, and every morning her bedding would be upside down.”

Susan’s vet recommended that Astral should have Yea-sacc® in her diet on an ongoing basis so Susan opted to feed her Mollichaff Condition – a highly digestible, high fibre, high oil and low starch blend which can be fed as a complete concentrate feed alongside good quality forage, and is suitable for encouraging weight gain and condition in all types of horses and ponies.

Mollichaff Condition contains Yea-sacc® which is a live yeast culture based on Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain 1026 and has been shown to improve a horse’s ability to digest fibre and to increase microbial fermentation in the hind gut. As well as Yea-sacc®, Mollichaff Condition also contains a prebiotic to help maintain a healthy digestive system, plus a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement.

Said a delighted Susan: “I can’t tell you how impressed I am with Mollichaff Condition. Astral has been transformed! She is no longer stressing at the slightest thing and is calm to handle. Her guts are normal and she is altogether chilled out. Her coat looks fantastic and she has gained weight and looks a picture of health. She is easier to muck out too as she’s no longer kicking her bedding around. She is a different animal to the one I bought five years ago, thanks to Mollichaff Condition!”

Astral-before
Astral Before MolliChaff Condition

Posted in MolliChaff News by admin.