I have been farming all my life – born and bred on a dairy farm near Fintry. Powblack was purchased just after we got married and our vision at that point was to farm it in a tradition method, like the previous owners. It soon came apparent that we couldn’t make a living in this format, so we had to diversify. The idea of making Haylage came from delivering Hay to a local client and I noticed she had a bale of Haylage (Horseage) at her stable door, at that moment a light bulb moment apparition happened. We did our research and developed Timage over 20 years ago, we’ve never looked back since that point.
Timage has given the opportunity to farm my farm that I so passionate about, tour around the country and meet many lovely, interesting people who are not only clients but are lifelong friends (I like talking over a cup of tea) and most importantly I get to purchase and play with farm machinery (I love machinery!!).
Farming on the Carse of Stirling wasn’t quite the dream I had envisaged at the outset of moving into Powblack. I am farming girl from a dairy farm at Dunlop, Ayrshire. When I was young my job was to gather the bales of Hay in the Summer – stack them into ‘Stows’ by hand. The amount of times I cursed and swore about Haymaking when I eased myself into a bath with scratched legs, was too many times to mention. My dad decided to move with the times and progressed into a more mechanised system of forage gathering, so therefore, my Haymaking days were put retirement – hooray I thought.
When Powblack was bought I realized very quickly Hay was the main earner, I was back at that painful experience of easing myself into a bath. Thankfully, over time modern techniques and the introduction of Timage simplified the process, requiring less manual labor – I was even promoted to operating a tractor and implements. My hobbies mainly involve working and caring for animals, horses always at the top of the list. I have had horses since I could walk and I can’t think of life without them, someone once told many years ago, the addiction of owing a horse is like an incurable disease, there is no cure. The most pleasure and gratification I get from life, is witnessing my horses (my boys) perform and my daughter grinning from ear to ear while riding these amazing animals.
I have grown up with the mayhem of living on the home farm – Powblack. There is always some drama or incident happening, never a dull moment. As a family, we all pull through at the busy times and enjoy each other company, when there is down time. I work away from the farm working for a local animal feed business. My focus when I started my career was to care and improve animal welfare, probably dictated by my farming experience at home.
Outside work, if I am not helping on the farm, I exercise and care for my lovely horses. I have had so many opportunities and one in a lifetime experiences with my horses, I feel I am blessed. I still have many targets that I want to achieve, I suppose the ‘biggy’ is to be able to compete at Blair Atholl Horse Trails. I am so proud to promote Timage when I am out about with my horses, people now recognize the product as a well known brand and regularly approach us giving us positive feedback.
Like my Dad I love working on the land, I couldn’t think of any other career other than working outside on all weathers, maintaining the farm and caring for the animals that thrive from it. I am fortunate to have my own pedigree Hampshire Down folk of sheep and Simmental cattle which I produce and show regularly at local and national events. They are feed on Haylage that don’t meet the equine standard, so therefore in essence they are like waste disposal machines.
I am active member of Callander Young Farmers’ where I meet and learn from a community of people with the same passion in life – farming and agriculture. Timage has give me the opportunity to be able to work with the most advanced farm machinery on the market and enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Goya was born and bred in Belgium. We fist met Goya on a yard in Leicester and when Zoe sat on him, there was an instant connection. He loves to jump, and he adores people – constantly looking for cuddles and kisses. In fact, Matthew always comments that that horse gets far more affection than he does. We have had many successes with Goya, but I suppose the one that stands out is competing at Royal Highland Show competing at the Working Hunters class. The jumps were massive and intimidating, Goya just loved the experience and it ticked off another experience off the bucket list. We are so lucky to have such a lovely and talented horse.
Dee is half brother to Goya, and they are so different. They fight like brothers, to the point they can’t be stabled together. He is a fairly new acquisition, but we are very impressed with what he is producing so far. Our very first outing was at Ayr Show last year and he won his first class doing Working Hunter class and was second in a Show Hunter class, Zoe and I were taken a back on our success because it certainly wasn’t expected. So, we are extremely excited of the future of our fabulous young boy.
Declan – the horse of our lifetime, what a horse. We bought him from a woman in the borders and I remember looking over the box when we were viewing him, and I thought this horse is far too big and strong for my slight Zoe. Once again Zoe sat on him and instantly clicked, she had a smile that would make the stars shine. He introduced us to pushing us out of our comfort zone and realizing our dreams. He is now retired through injury and now we call him the ornament that looks after the others. He is so caring and willing to please – a gentle giant.
For the size of her she puts all the boys into place, she tolerates no nonsense. It was quite sad that we didn’t get to do more with her, her jumping career was cut short through an injury. She was such a character when she was competing, she would either be phenomenal, and she jump her socks off or she would point blank refuse to do anything. A loveable little rogue and ornament.