Proud to support family owned British businesses, we need your help to give a very warm welcome to a new brand! Quite possibly Scotland’s best kept secret… Say Hello to Hoggs Of Fife!
Hoggs of Fife History
You can’t put a price on experience, right? Preparing to celebrate 134 years of trading, Hoggs of Fife were founded in 1888. It all began in the small village of Strathmiglo, when Andrew T. Hogg sold his very first pair of hand welted footwear. Thanks to their quality, durability and comfort, word about these brilliant boots spread fast. Taking a short break during the Great war, Andrew dedicated himself to making boots capable of withstanding the trenches. Once the war was over, it wasn’t long before Hoggs of Fife was known all over the country!
Hoggs of Fife Today
That’s all history, right? Wrong! While some things have inevitably changed, to this day they remain owned by the Hogg family. Dedicated to upholding the values of their founder, they’re still making hand-made leather boots, rubber boots and practical country clothing. With three distinct ranges to meet the needs of every outdoor, there really is something for everyone…
Technical high performance clothing and footwear, specifically created for long days hunting and shooting.
Classic, comfortable clothing and footwear, perfect for enjoying life in the great outdoors.
Performance garments and boots, manufactured to meet the needs of modern agricultural and horticultural workers.
Top Picks From Hoggs of Fife
Harping back to where it all began, Hoggs country boots are at the very heart of their range. To this day, each pair is bench made, using the very highest quality materials. From brogues to dealers, there’s a style for every occasion and budget. Take a look…
Whether you’re out hunting, walking the dogs or down at your local pub, do it in Hoggs. Carefully engineered for rural and countryside life, they’ve got you covered from head-to-toe. From wax jackets and cable knit crews to gilets and shirts, take a look at their full clothing range for her and for him…
You can shop Hoggs of Fife and many more brands at www.naylors.com or in-store. Don’t forget, if you make a purchase share your pictures with us in the comments or include #NaylorsSnapAndShare on your social posts for the chance to win a Naylors gift card!
We all love a good day out with our horses, right? If you’re here, there’s a good chance you already know that the rules around towing a trailer will soon be changing. So, the bigger question is, what do the changes mean for you? If you passed your driving test after 1st January 1997, keep reading to find out.
What You Need To Know About Towing
As part of a move to tackle HGV driver shortages from Autumn 2021 you’ll no longer be required to take a test before towing a trailer up to 3,500kg MAM (the weight of a vehicle or trailer including the maximum load that can be carried safely when it’s being used on the road). Once the law has officially changed the DVLA will update your driving licence record. This will happen automatically, so there’s no need to contact them.
When Will The Changes Happen
Officially, the date for these changes has not yet been confirmed. However, if you plan on making use of them be sure to sign up for email alerts to be the first to know when they’ll happen. Don’t be tempted to jump the gun – You can be fined up to £1,000, be banned from driving and get up to 6 penalty points on your driving licence if you break the current law. If you wish to practice before the changes come into place, be sure to have L plates displayed and be accompanied by a category BE qualified driver, who is at least 21 years old.
Our Top Towing Tips
Lessons aren’t all about passing a test! Helping to develop your confidence and skills, we’d always recommend getting some lessons before you head out on the road! After-all, towing a trailer can be daunting, even without your horse on board! Designed to make sure you’re all clued up and prepared for any challenges you may face, lessons will ensure that you:
Have the correct licence to drive the combination of vehicle and trailer.
Know how to check that your trailer is suitable and legal for use on the road.
Are aware of any speed and motorway lane use restrictions.
Are insured to drive the combination of vehicle and trailer.
Have a vehicle that is capable of towing the trailer and understand the manufacturers recommendations.
Know how to find the ‘nose weight’ and how to check that this is safe for your cars tow bar.
Can safely and correctly couple a trailer to a vehicle.
Know how to carry out the correct safety checks.
Know how to brake, slow down and stop.
Are aware of any additional blind spots and how to use additional mirrors.
Are able to overtake safely.
Understand how to make allowances for the extra length of the vehicle with the trailer, particularly when turning or emerging at junctions.
Can safely and correctly uncouple the trailer from the vehicle when it’s no longer needed.
Are able to reverse the vehicle and manoeuvre with the trailer attached.
Understand how the trailer may affect the handling of your vehicle.
Unlike horseboxes, getting insurance on your trailer is not a legal requirement. But, that’s not to say it’s not a good idea to have it. Before you go taking out a policy, check your car insurance. This may be of some help, but usually only offers third party cover. Consequently, it can be wise to look for a more comprehensive policy, this may help with the repair or replacement costs in the event of a road accident, fire or theft.
Be warned, even a fully comprehensive policy will not cover your horse. So, you’ll need to make sure you have suitable insurance in place for your four legged friend too!
We’ve all heard horror stories about poorly maintained trailers and horseboxes, right? The fact is, it’s really important to carryout regular checks to ensure they’re safe for both you and your equine companion. So, take a look at what you should be inspecting!
Horse Trailer Checks
Metal and wooden floors are both prone to decay. It’s a good idea to regularly remove any bedding and the rubber matting, allowing you to thoroughly clean and check the condition of what’s underneath.
Ramps and Doors
Often overlooked, ramps and doors are there not only for loading and access but to keep your horse safe and secure! If you’ve noticed the catches are tricky or the hinges are stiff, these are sure-fire signs that something’s not quite right. As with the floors, ramps should regularly be checked for any ‘spongy’ areas or signs of visible damage that may impair their ability to support your horses weight.
It’s really important that our horses are kept cool and comfortable while traveling. To ensure this, all windows and vents should be regularly opened, cleaned and checked for damage.
To keep your horse safe during transit always ensure that the partition and breast bars are securely pinned in place with no potential to cause injury.
While that covers the specifics of horse trailers, there’s also a few basic checks that you must complete whenever you tow. Before you set off, always ask yourself…
Are you properly coupled?
Is the breakaway cable properly attached? This is a legal requirement, activating the trailer brakes if it becomes detached.
Is your electricity plug/pin connected and do all of your lights/signals work properly?
Are the reflectors present and correct?
Are your tyres properly inflated, with a tread depth of at least 1.6mm?
Does your trailer display the same number plate as your car?
Are the mudguards secure and undamaged?
Is your exterior spare wheel secure?
Is the jockey wheel secure and functioning properly?
Do you require towing mirrors for an adequate rear view?
Traveling light is one thing, but never get caught unprepared! Whether you’re off for a day out, taking your horse to the vets or attending a show, there’s some things you should always have:
It is a legal requirement that passports are kept with horses while they’re in transit. We’d recommend keeping it in the glove compartment for easy access!
Be prepared for any possibility. Ensure your car has a human first aid kit, and your trailer contains one for your horse. We hope that you’ll never need them, but it’s better to have them just in case.
Food & Drink
Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong! Whether you’re vehicle breaks down, you fall ill or there’s a traffic jam, it’s better to be prepared. We’d suggest always taking something to eat and drink for yourself and your horse.
Hi-Vis isn’t just for hacking! If your car breaks down, you may need to stand beside it while you wait for assistance. So, it’s best to have a hi-vis tabard and some lights to hand.
5. Speed & Lanes
As always, speed limits are in place to keep ourselves and other road users safe. Towing can make our cars more difficult to handle and increase the risk of snaking. Because of this, there are additional restrictions in place. Vehicles with a trailer up to 7.5 tonnes are limited to:
Built Up Areas: 30mph / 48 km/h
Single Carriage-ways: 50mph / 80 km/h
Dual Carriage-ways: 60mph / 96 km/h
Motorways: 60mph / 96 km/h
When towing a trailer on a motorway that has three or more lanes open for use you are not permitted to use the righthand lane (offside).
6. Reversing When Towing
As if trying to park at the supermarket isn’t embarrassing enough, imagine trying to reverse your trailer! It’s a thought awful enough to put off even the most experienced drivers but with a little practice, it gets easier! Take a look at how it should be done…
We all like to give our horses something different to snack on, right? The problem is, all too often treats and licks are packed with hidden nasties. From sugar and artificial flavours to cereals and fillers, they’re a total minefield. But what’s the alternative? Designed to compliment your horses diet (rather than ruining it), more and more of us are turning to Equilibrium Vitamunch blocks. Keep reading to find out why they’re becoming such a popular choice…
Why use a Vitamunch Block?
By nature, horses are grazers. In the wild, they’d spend up to 75% of their time eating. That’s a whopping 18 hours every single day. As owners, we strive to replicate this when our horses are stabled by providing access to hay or haylage. Sadly though, this hardly ever lasts them all the way through to their next feed. This means they’re left with an empty net, and more worryingly an empty tummy.
A great snack to be fed alongside their usual diet, Vitamunch blocks are a boredom busting challenge, well worth putting in the work. Highly compressed into a small bale, they’re impossible to eat at speed. This helps to eek out their food intake to last throughout the day. Not only does this ensure we’re not left feeling guilty, it’s really important for their digestive health. By encouraging chewing, promoting saliva and releasing food slowly, they can help to prevent gastric ulcers. These sometimes occur when horses go too long without food, as unused acid irritates their stomach lining.
What’s inside a Vitamunch block?
Unlike the other options out there, there’s no surprises to be found here! 95% of a Vitamunch block is slow dried Timothy grass, with 3.25% alfalfa. Offering an enriched formula, quality vitamins and minerals have been added for improved nutritional value, meeting around 50% of their daily requirements with just 1 block. The remaining ingredients are flavourings, with each block containing a unique blend of tasty natural plants and herbs for palatability. So, it’s no wonder that nine out of ten horses prefer a Vitamunch block to their usual hay or haylage!
Designed to promote a calm and relaxed outlook, Calmmunch is great for nervous and anxious types. Taking an all natural approach, the formula is fortified with magnesium, B vitamins, camomile, hops and vervain.
Ever wondered if horses have a favourite ‘flavour’? They do! In the wild, they’re known to seek out naturally occurring hedgerow herbs, including Rosehips, Hawthorn Leaf and Cleavers. All packed inside this one little block, even the fussiest eaters are sure to love Vitamunch Heavenly Hedgerow.
As owners, there’s no thought nicer than being able to turn our horses out in huge wild meadows, packed with palatable plants. Designed to simulate this natural wonder, Vitamunch Marvellous Meadow contains tasty Dandelion, Red Clover and Nettles.
Designed to be a suitable snack for all equines, Vitamunch is high in fibre, low in calories, low in sugar and cereal free. So, it’s even safe for those who are overweight or prone to laminitis. Something we bet you didn’t know, it’s not just for horses and ponies! It can also be given to donkeys, cows, pigs, rabbits and guinea pigs. Due to the high levels of nutrients, it’s recommended Vitamunch is not given to sheep or goats.
How and When To Feed
Vitamunch is versatile, so the options are endless. Dependant upon your horse and their indervidual needs, it can be fed dry or soaked, in either a Vitamunch net or a bucket. Not just for in the stable, they’re a great addition to paddocks with limited grazing, and even to trailers or boxes for traveling and competition.
Will your horse be vita-munching?You can shop all of the products in this blog and many more at www.naylors.com or in-store. Don’t forget, if you make a purchase share your pictures with us in the comments or include #NaylorsSnapAndShare on your social posts for the chance to win a Naylors gift card!
Once upon a time, picking up bedding for your horse was simple. If you were lucky, there was two choices… Shavings or straw. These days however, the options are never ending! From pellets and sawdust to shavings and chippings, it’s daunting! So, we’ve decided that enough is enough. Taking all the stress out of selection, we’ve been doing some digging to find out what, when and how to use each type. Keep reading to discover which is best suited to you and your horse.
When it comes to bedding, it doesn’t get more traditional than straw! In fact, almost all of us will have mucked out a straw bed at some point!
If you’re looking to make a big bed on a small budget, this might be the one for you.
Advantages: Used for centuries by horse owners all over the world, there’s no denying it has plenty of advantages. Warm, comfortable and cosy, most horses love straw beds, it even helps some to sleep better! There are three main types of straw available, wheat, barley and oat. Most often we use wheat, this is easy to get hold of and thankfully, cheap.
Disadvantages: Sadly though, it’s not for everyone! Straw can be a little rough, dusty and mouldy, causing skin reactions and respiratory irritation. It also carries an increased risk of hosting feather mites, especially concerning for those of us with hairy horses. Perhaps the largest drawback though, it’s relatively non-absorbent. While this means it doesn’t become heavy to muck out, it can result in wet, slippery floors and unpleasant odours. Straw can also be a challenge to bulk buy and store, taking up lots of space and deteriorating in quality.
Arguably the most popular type of bedding, next in the spotlight is shavings! Specially created as animal bedding, shavings use dust extracted softwood timber. Ideal if your horse is fond of nibbling straw or can be particularly wet, take a look at what you need to know…
Advantages: Is there anything more satisfying than a perfectly banked shavings bed? NOPE! Neat and tidy, shavings undeniably look the part, even when they’re neatly stacked up for storage! More than just pretty though, they’re practical too! Older horses and those prone to becoming cast can benefit from the additional support offered by a firmer, sturdier bed. Highly absorbent, shavings are also fantastic for wet and dirty horses, soaking up large quantities of urine to keep their stable dry.
Disadvantages: Now for the bad bits. Unfortunately, unlike sawdust which is generally a biproduct, shavings are made using virgin wood, which doesn’t come cheap. As a result, shavings can be expensive, and while they come in large bales, an average stable usually requires a minimum of 4. Understandably this can make it tempting to look for the cheapest brand, be wary though. Shavings are notorious for varying in quality, so look for the best you can afford!
A new boy on the block, you might not have heard much about wooden or straw pellets, let alone used them. As the name suggests, these are made using highly compressed dried natural materials formed into small pellets. The question is, are they any good?
Advantages: While they may be made from wood or straw, they’re very different to their unprocessed counterparts! During the manufacturing process a higher percentage of their natural moisture is removed. This makes them much more absorbent, capable of soaking up multiple times their own original volume. As a result, these are far more efficient and economical. This also helps them to rot quicker too, great for your muck heap.
Disadvantages: It might seem a little counter productive but pellets require watering before use! Time consuming when laying a new bed, this must be done to soften the fibres and increase the volume. The soaking process requires about 10 minutes, once this is done they can be fluffed up. While this isn’t the end of the world, it’s a little tedious during the winter. As we mentioned before, pellets are highly absorbent. While this might sound great, it also means they’re a real workout to remove when soiled! Saving the worst until last, the initial cost… Requiring on average 6-10 bags they can be expensive. There’s a silver lining though, once established most horses will only need 1 bag per week adding.
The elephant in the room… Sawdust! If we’re honest, most of us have been told to avoid this like the plague, right? However, before you go dismissing it completely, there’s a little more you should know! Take a look at how and when it can be used…
Advantages: Sawdust often gets a bad name. In days gone-by bales of sawdust were little more than leftover bits from a sawmill. This meant they were full of dangerous splinters and hidden nasties. However, this isn’t always the case! Take AW Jenkinson Dry Sawdust – This contains 99% natural wood, passed through a 5mm mesh sieve to remove any large flakes and debris. Incredibly absorbent, when used correctly it makes a great under layer for soaking up urine.
Disadvantages: There’s no getting away from it… After-all, it’s right there in the name. Sawdust can be very dusty. Because of this, it takes a long time to settle. So, realistically, using sawdust as a standalone bedding isn’t ideal. As your horse moves around they agitate the surface releasing dust which can cause coughing. Always avoid using this in enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces.
Last but not least, let’s take a look at hemp! Hemp bedding is made using the woody core of the cannabis plant. While it’s possibly one of the best suited materials out there, it’s pretty uncommon. Find out why!
Advantages: Starting with the benefit, as a bedding, hemp is pretty perfect for most horses. It’s highly absorbent, dust free, comfortable and safe for those who suffer from allergies. Easy to store and neat, it usually comes in small covered bales. So, if it’s so great, why can’t you buy it everywhere?
Disadvantages: Light bulb moment? While hemp may seem like the best choice, there’s a few issues. Firstly, hemp is a seasonal crop. This means it’s notoriously tricky to get hold of. Not to mention, when you can find it – It’s expensive. So, if you’re planning to use hemp, you may need to buy it in bulk and store it long term.
Ready to create the perfect bed? You can shop our full range of bedding in-store at Rochdale, Cannock, Nantwich and Kidderminster. Don’t forget, if you make a purchase share your pictures with us in the comments or include #NaylorsSnapAndShare on your social posts for the chance to win a Naylors gift card!
Fed up of spending money on shampoos, sprays and brushes? We’re with you! Let’s be honest, 9 times out of 10, they simply don’t live up to all the hype. Thankfully though, there’s a better way. New from Shires, the Ezi-Groom range does exactly what it says on the tin… It makes grooming easy. There’s no fancy packaging or gimmicks, just good quality ingredients and materials that really do work for you and your horse. Sound good? Take a look at the full range available online and in-store now…
Ezi-Groom Shape Up Dandy Brush
Hands up if you’ve got a mud monster! Featuring stiff, long synthetic bristles, the Ezi-Groom Shape Up Dandy Brush effortlessly flicks away caked on dirt. Comfortable to use, it offers a lightweight and rot proof back, with a contoured shape to prevent fatigue.
Ezi-Groom Shape Up Body Brush
Now that you’ve removed all the loose dirt and hair, it’s time to switch to the Ezi-Groom Shape Up Body Brush! Featuring tightly packed short bristles, this reaches right down to the skin. Easily removing hidden dirt and grease, it leaves your horse’s coat clean and shiny.
Use For: White, Grey, Palomino, Cremello, Coloured
If you’re anything like us, you’ve tried everything from lemon juice and ketchup to vinegar and dish soap to get your horse clean. Mercifully, now you’ll never need to raid the kitchen again! New from Shires, Ezi-Groom Bright White Shampoo contains colour enhancers, blended with rich and creamy coconut. Perfect for manes, tails and coats, it leaves locks luscious in no time at all.
Free from bleach and peroxide.
Ezi-Groom Black Shampoo
Use For: Black, Dark Brown
There’s nothing quite like a glossy black horse gleaming in the sunshine, but what’s the secret to achieving this? First and foremost, removing dust, dirt and oils from the coat and skin. While any soap can do that, there’s something special about Shires Ezi-Groom Black Shampoo. Specially formulated for darker colours, it’s been infused with natural Shou Wu extract. This works with the hairs natural pigmentation, for a deeper colour and unbeatable shine.
Ezi-Groom Bay Shampoo
Use For: Chestnut, Bay
Lucky enough to own a bay or chestnut horse? It’s time to show them off! Designed to turn heads, Ezi-Groom Bay Shampoo removes dirt, while highlighting their natural brown and red pigmentation. Leaving a gorgeous glow without any artificial dyes, it’s a must-have.
Skin Care Shampoos
Ezi-Groom Aloe Vera Shampoo
A healthy coat starts with healthy skin! Ideal for soothing irritation, Shires Ezi-Groom Aloe Vera is an essential if your horse is troubled by sensitivity, dryness and itchiness. Caring and comforting, it cleans, hydrates and nourishes all in one simple step.
Ezi-Groom Neem Shampoo
Wave bye-bye to buzzing bugs! Infused with natural essential oils, Shires Ezi-Groom Neem Shampoo not only possesses anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, but it’s also effective against lice, flies and other external parasites. Best of all, while it’s tough on nasties, it’s kind to the skin, boasting added conditioning coconut extract.
Ezi-Groom Tea Tree Shampoo
Neem isn’t the only essential oil that can help improve your horse’s coat condition! Created for those who suffer from irritation, dryness, redness and itching Shires Ezi-Groom Tea Tree Shampoo is a godsend. Possessing natural antiseptic properties, it can be used to help combat skin concerns, while gently cleansing and removing dirt.
Fed up of sticky sprays and gunky gels? Meet your new solution to messy manes and tangled tails! Formulated using a blend of conditioning ingredients, Shires Ezi-Groom Mane and Tail Spray is simple and effective. Perfect for reducing static and helping your brush to glide effortlessly, it prevents discomfort without leaving a horrible residue. Fantastic for daily use, it can be applied directly to wet or dry hair and is even suitable for use when plaiting.
Ezi-Groom Shine Spray
The ultimate finishing touch, Shires Ezi-Groom Shine Spray contains a protein serum, adding a gorgeous glossy finish to any coat colour. Ideal for those times when you’d like to stand out from the crowd, it’s a real must-have in your competition kit.
Ezi-Groom Citronella Spray
A great alternative to traditional fly sprays, Shires Ezi-Groom Citronella is ideal for the summer months. Packed with bug repellent ingredients and coat conditioners, it contains citronella, lavender oil, chrysanthemum oil and tea tree oil to name but a few!
No hoof, no horse! Offering an all natural formula containing vegetable pine, Shires Ezi-Groom Hoof Oil is perfect for day-to-day use. Formulated primarily to nourish, it prevents splits, cracking and unpliable frogs. Available in black and clear.
Ezi-Groom Hoof Varnish
There’s nothing worse than entering the show ring to find your horse’s hoof oil has all rubbed off! Thankfully though, Shires Ezi-Groom Cosmetic Hoof Varnish is designed to stay all day. Easy to use and quick drying, apply it to clean, dry hooves for a deep black colour or a clear glossy shine.
You can shop all of the products in this blog and many more at www.naylors.com or in-store. Don’t forget, if you make a purchase share your pictures with us in the comments or include #NaylorsSnapAndShare on your social posts for the chance to win a Naylors gift card!