Monthly Archives: February 2015

Horse Of The Week – Cookie.

Cookie…

Cookie, at 19 months of age.

Cookie, at 19 months of age.

Cookie having a bad hair day.

Cookie having a bad hair day.

Cookie is a 14.3hh, 19 month old Hackney cross and she is owned by Tracy Cook.  Tracy describes Cookie as “a bold character, cheeky and inquisitive. She is always watching what is going on and accepts new challenges with a really brave attitude beyond her years. She is bright, intelligent and calm, but with just enough attitude to remind you that she is still only a baby.”

“Cookie came in to our lives as a 3-month-old, when due to unfortunate circumstances, both she and her mother found themselves on the yard where our other two horses are kept. I started to care for them both and needless to say I started to become quite attached to them. A bond soon developed between Cookie (originally named Brambles) and I. Cookie has therefore been very well handled from an early age, and has spent her days in the field and her evenings in a nice warm stable. She became accustomed to a halter and being led; being tied up on the yard alongside her mother; and being groomed, which she still loves! By the time she had her first farrier appointment at the age of 10 months, the farrier remarked on how well mannered she was! Cookie has been introduced to life, and the scary things it has to offer, in a calm, fun and relaxed manner. After being introduced to traffic; wearing rugs; having a go at chewing a bit; and having a saddle cloth and saddle placed on her back, She couldn’t care less. We do not rush anything, and therefore nothing seems to really bother her. She was weaned at 8-months-old, and a very good home was found for Mum. Cookie now spends her time with my two other horses, learning lessons of ‘horse life’! She has become an integral part of our lives, we love her to bits and she now has a home for life!”

Tracy explains: “Cookie was introduced to Feedmark’s Mare & Youngstock Balancer when she was 8 months of age, and has been fed it ever since. Apart from hay, Molichaff and being out at grass for at least 8 hours a day; Mare & Youngstock Balancer is all that Cookie gets. I am so pleased with the results of this supplement. The farrier has recently commented on how strong her feet are. Cookie is developing nicely, with no oversized joints or excessive weight gain. Her coat is in excellent condition, her eyes sparkle, and she is developing in to a beautiful, very well behaved young lady.”

A FREE 5kg Mare & Youngstock Balancer is on its way to Cookie for being our Horse Of The Week!

Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to [email protected] or go online and write a review.

Feeding Stallions

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When looking after breeding males, keeping the stallion healthy and fertile is of paramount importance.

In order to perform well, whether it is natural covering or AI reproduction, a Stallion must be physically fit, and of a moderate body condition. If their condition is too poor and they may not have the energy to perform adequately, and too fat increases risk of heart problems and metabolic diseases, puts additional strain on hind joints during covering and may reduce fertility. For this reason, among others, correct nutrition is of vital importance for ensuring that your Stallion is able to breed successfully.

During covering season (usually Feb-July in the UK), the nutritional requirements of a Stallion will normally increase by up to 25%, depending on their workload. Traditionally this demand was met from feeding mixes and cereals.  However, it is important to remember that stallions are just as susceptible as mares and geldings to excessive starch consumption related issues, such as gastric ulcers. As with all horses, the diet of a stallion should be based around high quality forage, fed at a minimum of 1.5-2% bodyweight. During the summer being turned out on a good quality pasture should satisfy these forage needs. To meet additional energy requirements, unmolassed sugar beet and alfalfa chaff are an ideal feed that also provide a quality protein source, and to this is it advisable to add to this a multi vitamin and mineral supplement to ensure that all micronutrients needed for a healthy reproductive system are being supplied.

Fertility boosters?

Many supplements claim to help to boost fertility in Stallions, but often there is little evidence to substantiate these declarations! However, research has shown that supplementing the diet with Omega -3 fatty acids increases the percentage of healthy sperm cells, increases sperm output, improves motility, and (very importantly for AI stallions), it has been shown to help improve sperm cell membranes, making them better able to withstand cooling or freezing processes.

If wanting to feed a supplement to help with sperm cell health, it is important to remember that, even though sperm is produced in large quantities every second, an individual spermatozoa take 54-57 days to mature and develop, so it is wise to start feeding Omega-3 rich feeds, such as linseed, at least 2 months prior to the covering season to ensure maximum fertility.

Horse Of The Week – Jack.

Jack…

Jack, with owner Susan.

Jack, with owner Susan.

Jack is a 14.1hh, 11-year-old, Irish Cob gelding. He has been owned for the last 3 years by Susan Kandes. Susan practises Australian Natural Horsemanship with Jack, and after being encouraged by her trainer to go barefoot, she had Jacks shoes removed in May 2012. She then began to feed him Barefoot Formula late in 2012, and has been buying it ever since.

Susan explains: “I am really pleased with the improvement in Jack’s hooves. He has been barefoot for almost 3 years now, and has been fed Feedmark’s Barefoot Formula for 2 and a half years. Jack now has strong hooves and a lovely glossy coat, I am very happy with the results of feeding this supplement. I wouldn’t use any other hoof supplement as it has worked so well!”

A FREE 6kg Barefoot Formula is on its way to Jack for being our Horse Of The Week!

Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to [email protected] or go online and write a review.

Help keep your golden oldie mobile this winter!

IAFLooking after older horses during the winter can be a bit of a challenge. While giving a youngster the winter off when weather and daylight hours don’t permit you to ride regularly may be good idea, giving a senior horse time off over the winter requires a bit more thought! For one thing, it is much harder to bring a senior horse back into work after a long period of time off, so if you are wanting to get out and about in the spring, your horse may not be fit enough to cope.

Helping to keep veterans sound and mobile is key to their well being, and just as with humans suffering from muscle or joint degeneration, cold weather can exacerbate age-related joint issues for your horse. Regular moderate exercise will help to keep your horse mobile, and is much better for them than not riding for five days then expecting them to hack out for hours at the weekend! Routine exercise will also help to keep chunkier veteran horses at a correct weight, which reduces pressure on compromised joints. You may not think any of this applies to your senior equine, but remember that joint problems will often come on so gradually that as an owner, you may not notice it, in fact, one study showed that less than half of owners recognised that their horses had impaired movement!

Aging horses often find uneven or difficult terrain even more of a problem than younger horses- meaning that frozen ground, ice, snow, and mud can all pose an issue. Plan before you ride to ensure you are choosing a hack with good footing, or exercise on a surface if conditions are not ideal.

As well as joint problems, older horses are more prone to limbs filling than younger horses, which can make leg flexion more difficult. This is especially common if your horse is stabled more than usual, so make use of any suitable turnout, horse walkers, and consider walking in hand to help relieve this. If the fluid is only in one leg, or does not disperse with light exercise it may point to a more serious cause, and you should consulting your vet.

Lack of mobility is not just limited to the legs either- problems in the neck and back are also common, and in some cases may make eating from the floor more difficult- use haynets placed where the horse doesn’t need to stretch up or down to eat rather than feeding off the ground and consider using a hanging bucket/ manger for hard feed, to help to avoid your horse having to reach to the ground to eat. Other stable management- such as using rubber mats to help give the horse traction to get up/down, and having a deep bed can also make your horse more comfortable.

If you think your horse is feeling a bit less agile than usual this winter, please give us a call on freephone 0800 585525, or visit www.feedmark.com and use our online chat facility and our dedicated team will be delighted to help you.

 

 

 

 

Horse Of The Week. – Poppy.

Poppy…

Poppy at an in-hand showing show.

Poppy at an in-hand showing show.

Poppy is a 32” tall, 4-year-old, miniature Shetland mare who was bred by Hermits Stud. Kathy Chapman is Poppy’s second owner, and has owned her for 2 years. Kathy loves her to pieces, and says that Poppy is very nosey and always likes to come in first. Poppy has quite a talent for showing, she was a Youngstock Champion at White Rose County Show in Kathy’s first year of owning her. Since then they have shown at the Great Yorkshire Show, and at several smaller local shows.

Kathy explains: “I tried many supplements but to no avail. Hormonease helped her more or less straight away after one week on the supplement. It has helped her tremendously, she is now a lot more settled whilst in season. I cannot recommend it highly enough! Fantastic product, I have just ordered some more!”

A FREE 1.25kg Hormonease is on its way to Poppy for being our Horse Of The Week!

Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to [email protected] or go online and write a review.

Horse Of The Week – Wats On Lucky.

Mops…

10-year-old Thoroughbred, Mops.

10-year-old Thoroughbred, Mops.

Wats On Lucky (Mops) is a 16.1hh, 10-year-old Thoroughbred mare whom, for just over a year has been owned by Savannah Olde. She is an ex National Hunt chaser, and she enjoys hunting and hacking out with Savannah and her children on their ponies. Savannah also shows Mops, entering her into Riding Horse classes and Ladies Hunter or Side Saddle classes. She has recently started performing Dressage to music. Savannah’s daughter Lolah is 11 years of age, and she has ridden some Intro Dressage tests on Mops. Savannah describes Mops as “an utterly adorable mare”.

Savannah explains: “I absolutely love Settelex. Within 48 hours of running out, Mops’ tummy is gurgling away and the windsucking increases. Whatever the magic ingredients are… they sure do work! Well done Feedmark!”

A FREE 1.8kg Settelex is on its way to Mops for being our Horse Of The Week!

Each week, the Feedmark team select a horse of the week from reviews, letters and emails sent to them. If you would like your horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to [email protected] or go online and write a review.