A Little Bit About Us & Hay Steaming...
The idea behind Hayvape came from a pony my daughter had that refused to eat hay. The only way he would eat it was if it was soaked in molasses! Surely there must be a better solution I thought, so here's the story behind our journey with hay steaming.
Times have changed since then and as we all know, hay steamers are proven to kill bacteria in the hay. The Hayvape idea came to me one day whilst thinking about introducing a flavour into the hay to replace the molasses. The placement of dried herbs into the steam line by means of a "vape" chamber enables the smell and taste of the herbs to permeate through to the hay box. The steam infuses the hay with whichever herb you wish to use - resulting in tasty hay that also has all the wonderful benefits of steamed hay.
We are proud to say that Hayvape is a system that is designed & assembled in the UK. We use key suppliers for all our components who share the same pride in the quality of their products as we do in ours.
Please scroll down to read more about us.
A little bit about our founding director - Sarah...
I have spent my life working with horses of various shapes and sizes from 10hh Welsh mountain ponies to top class showjumpers.
When I was a child, my family owned a riding school which I spent all of my younger years working in, riding the many varied horses and ponies and was always volunteered (by others) to ride the trickiest ones.
In my mid-teens, I spent a year studying my passion at a specialist equine boarding school. After leaving there, I moved to a well-known local show jumping yard and competed at BSJA and young rider’s classes. Moving on from the yard, I went on to manage a saddlery for many years whilst still owning and competing with my own horses. Always having had a hand in equine companies over the years and more recently getting involved in the manufacturing sector has helped give a rounded knowledge of business and the knowledge and confidence in making Hayvape a reality.
In my twenties, I became a mum and family life had to come first. Horses were still a big part of my life and always would be. So, when I had my second child, I was so happy when at the age of three, she developed an interest in horses too. As she grew up, we had so many wonderful ponies for her to learn and develop her riding skills. She followed in my footsteps and turned her hand to show jumping. travelling the length and breadth of the country competing in Pony Club team show jumping events and then later moving on to BSJA.
She recently moved away to study at university which gave me plenty of time to spend with her horse. Unfortunately, I had suffered a bad shoulder injury a few years before, so was unable to ride with any real vigour and couldn't risk coming off a horse. Since coming back, she has helped with the development of Hayvape by using her horse ‘Monty’ as the very first Hayvape guinea pig.
A little bit about our technical director - Matt...
Although Matt does not have an equine background he is an engineer, 3D CAD designer and general tinkerer, inventor and fabricator. With a varied background in a wide range of manufacturing sectors, he has been a crucial part in the development of the Hayvape system. Matt has always been interested in conceptual design and problem solving, and as such, his passion for creating something useful from old parts laying around in the shed is often overwhelming.
Spending many hours sourcing the highest quality components for the unit, prototyping and rigorous development of the Hayvape system has been invaluable. Hay steaming is now a huge part of his life and takes up all of his spare time when not in the office.
He has also had a steep learning curve in website design to bring all of this together. No matter what tasks we set him, he will find a solution and turn his hand to just about anything.
His knowledge of horses is growing week on week. I guess we could say he is being "broken in" as we speak!
A little bit about Amie...
Amie is Sarah’s daughter; her horse Monty has been one of our test guinea pigs.
Amie has ridden since she was 3 years old, she has never had a kick and go pony or horse, they have all been very quirky but they have all played a part in making her the rider that she is today.
She has competed in many pony club show jumping teams with excellent results, she went on to spend a year at a show jumping yard and competed in BSJA.
Amie went to university to study psychology, graduating in 2015. Her work schedule and our current lack of horse transport has not really allowed for her to continue with her passion of show jumping, but she still has Monty and enjoys schooling and jumping him at home.
A little bit about Monty...
Where do we start trying to describe Monty?
He is a German Warmblood he is 16.2hh and the strangest colour I have ever seen. He’s a Strawberry roan appaloosa with tiger stripped legs and a dorsal line. Amie bought him as a 4 year old. He had only been backed for 6 weeks. As with all of Amie's past mounts, he is quirky!
He can be quite fussy about food but he absolutely loves his herb infused steamed hay. As soon as he gets his net, his nose goes straight in and there isn't much that will stop him eating until it’s all gone. If he has to have a dry net, it will take a while for him to start eating and there is always quite a bit left.
He is fairly new to hay steaming, but he is most definitely converted to the amazing results.