Very excitingly one of my first jobs on arriving home from Dubai was to meet with Nic Read from Saracen Horse Feeds. Saracen have very kindly decided to sponsor me and provide me with some feed and the lovely rugs, numnahs and coats pictured above. I have fed Saracen feeds for about 15 years now, and really believe in their products. I had a very difficult event horse and years ago Lizzie Dury came to the yard, brought some free samples of feed and completely turned a corner with feeding him.
Saracen's product Releve is, I believe, the best cereal free feed on the market, and it is invaluable for giving horses that struggle with with stress, or with tying up, all the nutrients they need without exacerbating any other problems. The other unique feed that Saracen provide is Equi-jewel which is absolutely invaluable for putting condition and top line on young horses or those who struggle to keep condition. We feed it to all our youngsters, keeping them shiny and well without adding any extra fizz. Saracen have a free nutritionist service, somebody always answers the telephone, and we have found it absolutely invaluable if we have had any feeding queries. We also feed Cooling Mix with Herbs, Enduro Performance, and two balancers - Stamm 30, an all round balancer and Competition Fit balancer for Emma and Kvint.
All the Saracen feeds are batch tested to check that nothing that contravenes FEI rules has crept in by mistake so you can be absolutely confident in your feeding for international competition. I will be very, very proud to be wearing their logo on my numnahs this year and can't wait to go to a show to show them off.
It has certainly been all systems go since we got home from Dubai. Steff had clipped Emma for me when I was away and since we came home Camilla has helped me clip Emie, and Kvint has had a very beautiful makeover - we have managed to clip his ears for the first time! Lyra has had a tidy up and Heidi and Askeaton have had their first ever clips and are looking very smart. In this cold weather they have only had trace clips as they find life quite exciting enough without having cold backs.
Both babies were very good to get back on after their week's holiday, especially given the hideous weather. A quick lunge and then a hack round the village. Sophie came home for the weekend and rode Heidi beautifully for me and they both had a jump on Monday before heading off for their first lesson with Shane on Tuesday. With eight horses jumping in Ring 4 at Hickstead in the wind and rain this was a pretty exciting experience for both of them. Once the initial rodeo was over Askeaton was absolutely fantastic. She is so bold and athletic and she finished by jumping a little course of at least 1m - considering she was only broken in December she really is a little star. Heidi wasn't really helped by me flying off her at her second jump and we needed a little bit of welcome help from Chris Megahey to get her going - but she certainly jumped very well for both Chris and I, and she has all the time in the world to get more established. It was a huge experience for both of them. Heidi was absolutely knackered on Wednesday, but Askeaton is no quitter and she was very happy to go for a little hack round the woods.
They are both going really well on the flat, and we've got a schooling trip to Felbridge planned this week before hopefully going to a clear-round day and then to a real show at the beginning of February.
Kvint has also had his first jump since his holiday and feels in flying form. He has really filled out and strengthened up while he has been hacking out and enjoying some time in the field. Emma has had a few set backs with her colic, and now an haematoma on her chest from an injection. However, she has given me a few unnecessarily exciting moments in the last few days so I think she can have a little jump tomorrow!