Northumberland firm develops new product to disrupt equestrian sector
Alnwick firm Silvermoor Haylage has developed a new product which it believes will radically improve the quality of life for stabled horses.
Creating StableGraze, a brand new automated forage feeder, the firm hopes to disrupt the traditional equestrian sector through promoting the innovation.
Its unique design allows horse owners to ration their feed into three separate compartments which can be released at pre-programmed intervals throughout the day and night. This is beneficial for the horses as, in the wild, they are supposed to eat little and often.
If a horse is given their day’s rations at once they will work their way through it in a short space of time. StableGraze allows the feed to be released slowly throughout the day, increasing both the health and wellbeing of the horse as well as preventing bad habits developed through boredom.
Silvermoor Haylage has been producing feed for horses since 1992, and has been in its present form since 2005. By controlling every aspect of their production, from growing the crops to packaging the haylage, they have become known in the industry for producing a high quality product.
Lindsay Foggin from Silvermoor said: “The issue we focused on was the fact that horses are designed to eat little and often.
“This is, however, often impossible for owners to manage as they are not able to be at the stable throughout the day and night, so their only option is to leave all of the feed in one go in the morning or evening.
“We sat scratching our heads for a while trying to come up with a solution that would solve this problem and eventually we came up with a rough idea for StableGraze.”
The first prototype was produced in 2015 and the company took it to the British Equestrian Trade Show, receiving positive, encouraging feedback from other horse enthusiasts. Since then the product has been modified and redeveloped, and the final version is now available for purchase.
In order to support the development of its product, Silvermoor took part in RTC North’s Designing Better Business programme, receiving grant funding and expert knowledge to help launch its product.
The programme is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. RTC helps companies to innovate and grow through providing consultancy, training and grant funding.
Jamie Ollivere, RTC director and Designing Better Business programme manager said: “We got involved with Silvermoor towards the end of 2015 and helped them access funds in order to complete the final redesign of their product.
“By gaining access to our programme Silvermoor has been able to go to market with its innovative horse feeder and we couldn’t be more delighted with its early success.”