Alice Hallow’s Blog

Yuk is it still winter? Or is spring once again to be full of rain?

Either way, the winter preparation for the eventing season still needed to be done whatever the weather and the importance of feeding Dengie fibre was even more relevant for the horse’s nutrition and well-being, particularly with the grass not growing and fields turning into mud if we weren’t careful with turnout. Thankfully, my yard is on sandy soil so we can get away with turnout all year round, but the quality of grass is dependent on how wet or dry the weather is. Classically British to talk about the weather first isn’t it?

Our winter preparation begins in November. Whilst Quizical Z (Quiz), who finished the 2023 season at Osberton in the CCI3*-L, enjoyed a rest of relaxing in the field and hacking out, the younger horses were going out show jumping and to evening dressage at our local shows in readiness for their first BE90 event at Poplar Park in March. Once I was happy that Quiz had had enough time off we then focused on accomplishing our flying changes in readiness for the Advance dressage test that will follow in the new season.

During this time Dengie’s Performance Horse Nutritionist, Claire Akers MS.c visited to weigh and assess all the horses. We find this service from Dengie incredibly helpful especially in winter to see if any of the horses diets need to tweaking or if they need to increase their weight for the colder months to follow, particularly the older horses that we have on the livery yard.

Quickly, January was upon us and with some days being full to the hilt with the wind it did at least mean the ground was dry so I was able to practise the cross country at Poplar Park. We also went to Aston-Le-Walls for more cross country schooling having some fun with technical lines and bank complex’s.

Alice Hallows and Quiz at Poplar Park 2024

The best highlight of the winter preparation was going to the Wesko Equestrian Foundation training at Solihull Equestrian Centre. I twent with two horses Billy Lira (Billie) and Quiz where we had jumping lessons with Philip Surl and dressage lessons with Nikki Herbert. The Dengie Nutrition team also attended and were brilliant in supporting all the riders by giving important feeding advice and weighing all of the horses.

After that, we went to the Barrier Health Pony Club Spring Festival where I competed Quiz in the Open Dressage Championships and Billie in the Intermediate Dressage Championships. It was perfect getting the horses out in an atmosphere and into a long arena before the start of the season.

Finally, it was the start of the new eventing season and we were back at Poplar Park for the first weekend of competition for British Eventing. Quiz was super in the Open Intermediate with a 29.8 dressage score and a double clear to come 3rd! Isington Red Faerie (Faerie) came 3rd in the Open 100 and The Bizzness (Izzy) and Billie was great in their Open BE90, overall it was a good weekend with the horses and fantastic results achieved. Thank you to all those that help and support me to do eventing full time!

I seriously recommend the feeding of Dengie’s fibre as it is the backbone to all my horse’s diet and getting them ready to perform at their best all year round whatever the weather!