Monthly Archives: July 2015

Why feed Vitamin E and Selenium?

They are important antioxidants

We all know that antioxidants are a good thing, but does everyone know why?

The oxidation process converts food (fats, carbohydrate and protein) into energy, carbon dioxide and water.  While necessary for cells to survive, this oxidation also produces free radicals and unstable compounds; molecules that have an unpaired electron.  These are highly reactive, and rapidly try to steal an electron from another molecule in order to stabilise themselves.  This in turn creates another free radical, and a chain reaction starts, which can cause major damage to a previously healthy cell.  While free radicals are a normal part of many bodily processes, in high levels they can damage major components of cells, including DNA.  This damage may lead to development of cancer, among other health concerns.

The body protects itself against these free radicals using antioxidants.  These are compounds that ‘neutralise’ free radicals, making then stable, and preventing them from causing damage. While certain antioxidants are produced by the body, dietary antioxidants such as Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), Selenium (a vital part of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase) and certain other vitamins are also required to fulfil requirements

Fant training 15To counteract extra free radicals from higher workloads

When the horse’s workload increases, more fuel is converted, and more free radicals are produced, so more antioxidants are needed.  In addition to this, diets high in oil require additional antioxidants to deal with extra free-radicals produced when oils are metabolised.

For muscular health

Vitamin E has an important role in nerve and muscle function, as well as in many other bodily systems.  It combines with Selenium to maintain normally functioning muscles and prevent muscular issues, helping post-exercise recovery and relieving stiffness.

iStock_000003461943_SmallTo supplement horses in low selenium areas

In various areas within the UK (and indeed the rest of the world) the soil has a low selenium content, which will affect the selenium levels in forages and cereals grown on these soils.  Horses grazing these areas may need supplemental selenium in their diet to avoid deficiencies.

 

7To aid fertility

Antioxidants have been show to increase fertility.  In stallions, deficiencies of selenium have been shown to lead to lower levels of fertility, and some sperm may form abnormally.  Adequate levels of dietary antioxidants can help with sperm activity.

Selenium is also involved in many aspects that affect mare’s fertility, and it is known that mares with selenium deficiencies are more likely to have reproductive problems.  For example, activity of selenium-dependant enzymes was found to be lower in mares with endometriosis, suggesting there is a link with selenium deficiency and this common problem.

Post-foaling, there is also a trend showing that the placenta is retained for less time, suggesting that horses with adequate selenium levels are less likely to suffer with retained placentas, and the associated problems.

5For healthier foals

Adequate provision of selenium and vitamin E is essential to produce a healthy foal, as these nutrients affect immunity, both while being carried by the mare, and after birth through lactation.  Mares with good immune systems are known to produce better colostrum than those with impaired immunity.  Previous research has shown that feeding additional Selenium to lactating mares produced higher plasma, colostrum and milk selenium levels, leading to a better selenium status in the foal, which supports their immune system due to increased antioxidant activity.  Higher levels of influenza antibody titres have been seen in foals whose dams have been supplemented with Selenium.

BUT! DO be careful.

The levels at which Selenium can become harmful is closer to recommended feeding levels than with other elements.  Many feeds and supplements already have selenium occurring naturally, or added in, so if your horse is receiving high levels of supplements or feeds with added Selenium and you are concerned about this please call one of our nutritional advisors on 0800 585525.

 

Annie Joppe Update

Since my last blog I have discovered that Fantom and I were 3rd in the National Championships at Horseshoe; what a little superstar he is!

Fant training 15Watergate Endurance has been going through a somewhat quiet patch over the last few weeks, giving time to reflect and regroup with plans being made for the later part of the season.  Unfortunately Dilmun developed a persistent cough following his exploits at Windsor which he very generously passed on to Fantom.  Various medications were tried and none seemed to work on Dilmun although Fantom’s cleared within a few weeks.  This was the height of frustration; no second chance at a 3* this year for Fantom as the planned outing at King’s Forest did not materialise.  As to Dilmun, treatment will continue and in the meantime he is becoming a rather boisterous field ornament!

Fantom day 1 HorseshoeI have given a little thought to our mega busy week in May: racing at Royal Windsor and then competing at the Golden Horseshoe ride.  On the surface these two extremes of endurance bear little resemblance to each other, but are they really poles apart or are they just a variation on a theme?  There is no doubt that they are both forms of endurance and that the early, basic training is the same for both, but there the similarity in training appears to end.  Fantom was 160 kms fit for Haywood Oaks in April but he had been trained to race over flattish ground by doing long cantering sessions.  Apart from one session on the moors to build stamina, he hadn’t had the hill training, the practice in plunging through deep water with no hesitation or the exposure to varied rough terrain.  Despite this, however, he pulled it out of the bag demonstrating what a supreme athlete he is.  Horses for courses perhaps?

Flo June 2015Well young Flo has completed her early education with me and returned to her owner to develop into the well-rounded individual that she will no doubt be.  It’s always a bit sad to see one of ‘your’ homebreds leaving; and this time for good.

Horse shopping has been very much on my agenda and I paid a visit to Halsdon Arabians, an arab stud renown for breeding endurance horses and, luckily, not too far from me being in the next county (Devon).  There were several mares to choose from (the mares were all 6 year olds whilst the geldings were only 4 years old).  There were about 6 just-backed mares, mostly grey and all with lovely calm temperaments.  Two lovely strong, well-made greys took my attention and I tried them and walked around the school; very nice.  Then I was shown one that they had just backed and was still on the lead rein; a little bay, only 14.3hh.  She had the WOW factor which became immediately apparent when I climbed aboard.  Ok her feet weren’t as good as the greys’ and she was a little smaller than I would have liked, but I had to have her.

Chiara July1HS Chiara is now at home and has started her education.  Education for an endurance horse starts with the basics as for any discipline but there are certain specific things that have to be taught and specific training needed to develop into a good endurance horse.  The wonderful Wizard is now her nanny and she absolutely adores him and he gives her so much confidence.  Progress has been made to actually encompass the giving and receiving of empty slosh bottles in walk.  It might take some time though before these can be emptied over her!  As Chiara’s feet are not quite as hard as they could be, I have put her on Hardy Hoof as this worked so well with Storm Boy.

WizSt Just2Wizard has now had his 20th birthday which he celebrated with numerous carrots and apples and lots of pampering.  He is so fit and well and benefiting from being on ExtraFlex HA with Rosehip as well as Opti Muscle to keep him in tip top condition.

Last weekend Fantom and I did a 66 kms competition on the moors so that I could check whether he had truly recovered from his cough and assess his fitness levels.  Such is the vagaries of the British weather that we completed the first loop in rain and a little mist and the second loop in hot sunshine!  Fantom went well and got his usual grade 1 being placed 4th overall so I am convinced he is over his cough, although perhaps not as fit as I had hoped.

We have now entered a 2* 120 kms ride near Milton Keynes in a week’s time so, after a couple of days off canter work has resumed, new shoes with pads put on, a physio session booked, increased rations started and many little tweaks and adjustments undertaken to give us the best possible chance of success.  As we had missed our last chance to qualify for the Europeans by completing a 3*, it is now necessary to gain this extra 2* qualification in order to have another attempt at 3*, probably next year – such are the FEI qualifying rules!

An update from India Thomson

First things first I need to apologise for taking quite so long to write this after my last blog.  I spent three and half weeks on the sidelines whilst my hand recovered which was quite a frustrating time!  Breaking my hand couldn’t have come at a more annoying time really as all the horses were on such good form and it seems to have taken a while for us all to get back in the swing of things, and now with the ground firming up it’s proving tricky trying to prepare them well and find some good ground to run on.  Our recent events have had some good points and some annoying blips, such is the way with horses!

IMG_1448  Mr B had a great first run back with a double clear round the novice at Rockingham and gave me a brilliant ride cross country, feeling full of beans and towing me into every fence. We then went to Little Downham for a Novice regional final and he sadly had a minor mid life crisis in the show jumping,  The advanced cross country ran past the ring and the warm up and sadly it seemed to blow his brain slightly and he was very difficult to ride in the ring.  Even more annoying was that he wasn’t quite sound when we got home, cue more delays in trying to get back to form.  After some enforced rest he went to Purston Manor for the Intermediate Novice and did an average test with nothing wrong but admittedly lacking a bit of sparkle which sadly the judges seemed to dislike fairly, when they announced a score of 43 as I was going round the show jumping I nearly lost my way, poor Mr B!  He jumped a lovely clear show jumping which was a relief after his Little Downham antics.  He gave me a good ride cross country but was certainly holding a bit in reserve on the firmer ground and wasn’t eating up the distances like he does on good ground.  There was a double into water on a long two strides and landing short over the first part I kicked for two and he was too far off the second part and didn’t have much of an option other than to stop, in hindsight I should have held for three when he landed so short.  I have now taken up rain dancing as my new hobby and have to wait patiently for some decent ground for him.

IMG_2069  Purston Manor was a bit of a frustrating day really as not only did Mr B have a stop cross country but Rebel was storming round the novice and giving me an awesome ride, he was really bold and very straight on his lines until we came to the fourth last fence which was a double again on an undulating long two strides and the second part was a skinny plastic box.  He backed off coming into the first part and exactly the same thing happened as with Mr B, I kicked for two and he got there on two and a half and stopped!  I couldn’t believe it, different fences, different horses but the same result, to say I was mildly irritated with myself was an understatement, sack the jockey!  Positive of the day was Rebel lying third after the dressage in a strong section, he has really improved on the flat and has become much more established which is rewarding when it’s reflected in the marks.

Rebel and Dora both picked up a rosette at Little Downham which was nice!  Dora has been steadily improving and has really impressed with her improved cross country.  She stormed round a bold Rockingham 100 and gave me a great spin round a more technical track at Little Downham.  She did the 100 plus at Purston Manor and having stabled the night before next door to a field with two foals in she was definitely more in broodmare mode than eventing mode in the dressage,  I think her mind was elsewhere!  Annoyingly she had the first fence down showjumping which marred an otherwise really good round and she jumped well over the slightly bigger fences.  Dora got the best of the ground cross country being on the Saturday and she thoroughly enjoyed it, pulling all the way and feeling very confident.  She is now off for summer holiday duties and teaching her owner’s daughter the ropes before coming back to me for the autumn where she will hopefully step up to a Novice level.

IMG_1475  Ramesses B made his debut at Little Downham and was such a good boy!  He took everything in his stride and was so good cross country answering all the questions and gave me a great feel, he finished just outside the top ten after a steadier round.  He then consolidated that with a double clear at Stratford Hills.  Again we are waiting for a bit of rain so we can crack on with him.  I was asked to be a guinea pig rider in a demo with John Ledingham and Richard Davison at the Pony Club A test reunion and took Ramesses for that.  It was a great experience for him and a great opportunity to have a lesson with such a well respected and knowledgeable trainer, if slightly daunting riding in front of quite such a knowledgeable audience!  It was a fascinating day, meeting such incredible people from all different backgrounds, hearing their tales and successes.  One lady who passed her A test in the 1940s spoke after dinner and was so inspiring, between she and her father they had bred the winners of over 600 races amongst various other wonderful stories, she ought to write a book!

Away from eventing I had a great weekend away in Ireland after Tina Hazlem was asked to Judge the confirmation of the ridden hunters at the County Armagh show and to bring a ride judge with her.  I was slightly concerned about being caught at airport security with a pair of leather boots, spurs and a whip in my bag but luckily managed to avoid any embarrassment there!  It was a brilliant experience, it’s not often you get an opportunity to ride 70 plus horses in one day and some were real quality horses you could imagine winning at Dublin, then there were some slightly less quality ones..!  I have to say my body was certainly not used to riding that many horses in one day and my ribs were agony for a couple of days afterwards!  My boyfriend Freddie and Tina’s husband Simon came too and had great fun making some very amusing videos of us from the side of the ring as well as sampling lots of Irish cider!  We were looked after superbly, met some great characters and got to see some of the Northern Irish countryside.  The phone has obviously not stopped ringing since my judging debut (haha!) but for now I will continue with my rain dance and keep my fingers crossed for some good ground for the boys and girls, please feel free to join in…!

Joint health management

8The way we manage our horses can have a great effect on the health and function of their joints through-out their lifetime.  Due to a poor design, horses have relatively small joints in comparison to their body size, so a lot of pressure is put upon these joints. However, we see more issues in the domesticated horse than it’s feral counterpart, suggesting that the way we look after our horses can increase the risk of joint degeneration/injury.  By asking our horses to gallop, jump, slide, and perform collected dressage moves we cause additional stress.  In the other extreme, many horses are overweight, and this also puts greater strain on joints.

The function of a joint is to control movement.  Nerve signals makes muscles contract, moving tendons, which are connected to the bones, which then move too.  The joint acts like a hinge, allowing this movement.  Young and healthy joints work smoothly, as the ends of the bones are covered in articular cartilage, which protects the bones, and reduces friction.  It helps to spread pressure over a larger area, rather than it being highly concentrated, by acting a little bit like a sponge, changing shape by squeezing out water when pressure is put on, and absorbing it back in when pressure decreases.  Cartilage is constantly being regenerated, but the rate of turnover reduces as the horse gets older.

image 3In addition to the cartilage, joints are further protected by a capsule which has a tough outer layer, which connects to the bones, offers protection, and is filled with synovial fluid that provides lubrication, and nutrients. Synovial fluid contains Hyaluronic Acid, which has an important role as a shock absorber, and water, proteins and enzymes are also present, which can pass to and from the blood supply to the joints.

The most common cause of damage to the cartilage is inflammation- a natural response to injury from the body.  This occurs when cells are damaged, releasing chemical signals which then trigger a reaction where blood vessels dilate, causing heat and reddening, and fluid and cells are leaked into surrounding tissues.  This inflammation causes changes in the composition of synovial fluid, and cells in cartilage do not receive the nutrients needed to function effectively, so the repairs that would normally occur in healthy cartilage do not, and the cartilage becomes damaged, which means that joints start to lack protection.

To help keep your horse’s joints healthy, follow a few simple guidelines

  • Try to maintain a correct body weight
  • Use a qualified, competent farrier
  • Be aware of the damage that can be caused by working on hard or uneven ground
  • Warm up sufficiently before asking for hard work
  • Make sure you provide correct nutrition for your horse, and if you like feed a good quality supplement to support optimum joint health!

Olivia Colton MSc

Nutritional and Technical Coordinator

 

 

 

 

Is your horse at risk of sand colic?

 

iStock_000003461943_Small
It is very uncommon for horses or ponies to intentionally eat sand.  However, horses that eat hay from the ground, or graze sandy pastures especially during the summer months when grass is short, will often end up with sand burdens in their digestive tracts,

When sand is ingested it will usually pass through the digestive system with food and be excreted out, but its abrasive nature can irritate the intestinal lining, which may lead to loose stools, weight loss and colic.  In the worst cases sand will accumulate, slowing down passage of food, and it may cause an impaction.

Some horses have sand burdens without it causing a medical problem, but for lots of horses it becomes a clinical issue.

How can you help to prevent Sand Colic?

  • If you need to feed hay or haylage in the field, provide it on rubber mats or concrete pads that can be easily swept to remove dirt or sand
  • Try not to over-graze paddocks: ingestion of sand and soil is much higher when grass length is less than 2 inches!
  • Feeding Psyllium husks is a well-recognised way to reduce sand burdens within the gut- these fibrous husks swell, forming a gel like mass once digested and travel through the digestive tract picking up sand and excreting it in the horses dung.
  • psyllium_husk_454_xIf your horse is grazing sandy soil or you are feeding hay from the ground, regular feeding of Psyllium husks, for consecutive days every two months will help to maintain a clear digestive tract. This product should be fed dry, if necessary, layer between dry feed.

Olivia Colton MSc

Horse Of The Week – Ted.

Ted 2Our Horse Of The Week is now Ted, who is a 15.1hh, Welsh Section D Cob.  His full name is HRH Edward I. June Hayden is Ted’s owner, and has been for 8 years since he was a two-and-a-half-year-old.

June explains: “I backed, broke and schooled him myself, he is amazing.  I initially trained him for leisure riding, hacking, and for commercial carriage driving for weddings.  Not only does Ted drive singularly, but he also pairs up to one of my other horses to pull a two-horse carriage.  Additionally I will be training

Ted 4him with professional Dressage instructors later on this year.  Ted loves the sea, and he will paddle, trot and canter through it for miles!  We also go into the local pub together, which is called The Sailors Home in Kessingland.  Whilst we are there, Ted will drink a pint of beer out of a tub on the bar.”

“Ted has a heart as big as the ocean, and a temperament that is second to none.  He began his journey on a traveller’s yard, dehydrated, starving and full of worms.  Thankfully he was then retrieved and saved by a very caring lady, who then sold him to me to ensure that he would have a five star home from then on.  I have never looked back since, and neither has he!”

Ted 7 good“After putting Ted on Feedmark’s Flexamine 10:10, I noticed a considerable improvement in his action.  Namely that he no longer displays lazy foot work!  He is obviously feeling far more comfortable in his stride and this is all thanks again to yet another one of Feedmark’s great products!”

A FREE 700g pouch of Flexamine 10:10 is on its way to Ted 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 Ted 3horse to feature, then please send your horse’s details in to penny@feedmark.com or go online and write a review.

Ted 1

Tying-up, monday morning disease, exertional rhabdomyolysis, setfast and azorturia.

India DressageWritten by Olivia Colton MSc

Tying-up, Monday morning disease, exertional rhabdomyolysis, setfast and azorturia are alternative names for the same condition.  We still do not know all the answers about this muscular disorder, though modern research is helping us see how and why horses tie-up a little clearer.

 What is tying-up?

Tying up can affect horses differently depending on the severity of the attack.  If being exercised the horse’s gait can become stiff and stunted.  This will worsen with more exercise.  If the horse is still they may be reluctant to bear weight.  It is usually the hind quarters that are most affected, and these will look tense, and be sore to touch.  The condition is painful, and the horse may sweat and show other signs of pain such as increased respiratory and heart rate.  In severe cases the horse’s urine may turn red- this is called myoglobinuria, and is due to protein (myoglobin) leaking into the blood due to muscle damage.

How can I tell if my horse is tying up?

If you suspect your horse has tied up, call your vet, who can confirm this through blood tests.  If your horse has suffered from muscle damage there will be increased activity of creatine kinase (CK) and aspartate animotransferase (AST), proteins which are contained in healthy muscle cells, and are released into the blood stream when damage to muscle cells occurs.

 Why do horse’s tie-up?

Horses that tie-up can be defined as suffering from either:

PSSM (polysaccharide storage myopathy) or Rhabdomyolysis, which can be split into:

  • Recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis– where the horse tied-up on various occasions
  • Sporadic exertional rhabdomyolysis– horses that tie up once or very rarely

fantsquad4Sporadic exertional rhabdomyolysis often occurs when the horse is expected to perform a bout of exercise which is above their fitness levels.  It often happens when a horse has a compromised respiratory system.  It can also show a deficiency in vitamin E and Selenium. Not having enough vitamin E and Selenium, which work synergistically to form the most important antioxidant for muscle cells, contracting oxidative damage.  Imbalanced levels of electrolytes may also contribute.  The problem will usually occur during or after exercise.

Certain breeds are predisposed to the Recurrent form of the disorder, which is thought to be linked to a genetic mutation, and noticeably highly strung breeds such as TBs, TB crosses and Arabs are affected, suggesting that stress may play a role.  Mares are also more likely to suffer. It is thought that electrolyte imbalances can be a major factor, which makes sense as these salts play a major role in muscle function, and are lost during exercise via sweat.  As mentioned above, lack of antioxidant Vitamin E and Selenium can also contribute.

Risk factors for Rhabdomyolysis:

  • Predisposed breed
  • Hard, fast exercise
  • Exercising above training/fitness level
  • Lack of warming up/cooling down
  • High starch diets
  • Box rest

How can I help my horse with Rhabdomyolysis?

 By careful management of exercise and diet, tying-up can generally be well controlled.

 Exercise and management:

  • Make sure your horse is fit enough to undertake the work asked of them
  • Ensure you warm up and cool down for long enough
  • Keep your horse warm by rugging when necessary after exercising, especially if they have been sweating
  • Maximise turnout

Diet:

  • Do not feed hard food or cereal to horses that suffer from tying-up
  • Feed high fibre diets
  • If your horse needs bucketed feed try Alfalfa
  • If your horse requires extra energy add in unmolassed sugar beet and oil
  • Feed a supplement which provides antioxidants Vitamin E and Selenium
  • Feeding electrolytes is also advised

PSSM is a separate condition which leads to an abnormal storage of glycogen within the horse’s muscles, leading to symptoms mentioned above.  Horses with PSSM seem to be more sensitive to insulin, which stimulates uptake of glucose to the muscles, where it is stored as glycogen. This is thought to be a genetic disorder, as it can be due to a mutated gene, though horses can suffer from PSSM that do not have this gene mutation.  This typically affects warmblood, draught horses and quarter horses, and with this problem, either gender is equally likely to be affected, and the attack will usually occur at the beginning of exercise.

Risk factors for PSSM:

  • Genetic disorder
  • Predisposed breed
  • Lack of daily exercise
  • Lack of turnout
  • High cereal diets

How can I help my horse with PSSM?

 By careful management of exercise and diet, tying-up can generally be well controlled.

Exercise and Management

  • Daily exercise will help muscles to use the stored glycogen
  • Make sure the horse has long and steady warm-up and cool down periods
  • Live out or have long periods of daily turnout, but if grass is lush, use a non-grassed turnout area or starvation paddock to reduce intake!

Diet:

  • Remove cereals from the diet as these lead to insulin spikes, and increased blood glucose
  • Feed forage only diet if possible, and get hay tested to ensure it is not high in carbohydrates
  • Balance the diet using a vitamin and mineral supplement
  • To help with muscular health, consider providing a supplement that provides vitamin E and Selenium
  • If extra energy is needed, provide this by using unmolassed sugar beet, oils and fats, or a condition supplement
  • Feed electrolytes as necessary

If you would like any further information please call our FREE phone helpline on 0800 585525 or contact Olivia directly by email olivia@feedmark.com

Horse Of The Week – Trio.

Trilogy KJ (stable name: Trio), is a 5 year old gelding owned by Lauren-May Cardines.  He is Trio 2a bay Lusitano cross, standing at 15.1hh.  Lauren explained: “From previously working with horses, loaning and sharing, Trio is the first horse whom I have backed myself.  I would like to affiliate him in Dressage, but we’ve got a long way to go before I do.

I feed Trio, Feedmark’s Clitheroe’s Garlic and Magnesium.  The garlic I use to support his respiratory system, but the Magnesium I began feeding because Trio was becoming a handful on the ground and during ridden work.  He would spook at every opportunity, even small things such as my sneezing!  So I needed something to take the edge off.  We were unable to hack out for two minutes before something was extremely nerve racking and we would throw ourselves in the other direction.  It was increasingly becoming a nightmare!”

“Feedmark had an offer on at the time whereby Magnesium happened to be a free gift.  I had Trio 1been toying with the idea of getting some Magnesium anyway, but had thought I would persevere and try tackling it the old fashioned way, through repetition.  Indeed this was unsuccessful!  So I quickly jumped at the opportunity of having a free try of Magnesium, and I have never been so impressed!  I can honestly say that it works, he is like a different horse!  It was extremely windy the other day; branches flying around; gates slamming as they hadn’t been shut properly; birds flying out of trees; raining also; you name it, it was there.  A few months ago, this would have been a total disaster in which to turn him out or bring him in.  But I literally had to drag him to and then from the field, on the end of the lead rope!  One scoop a day seems like nothing, but it has turned him around.”

“Since being on Magnesium, Trio and I have done a couple of sponsored rides and a couple Trio 3of dressage tests.  He is a lot calmer to be around which is great for the both of us.  I would like to do a lot more with him, and I know that this is going to help.  He is a bright lad with a great future ahead of him and we’ll be using a lot more of the Magnesium over the years.”

“I have never used any other supplement company, always Feedmark because I know that your supplements work for me. Now, both Trio and I can relax out hacking and in ‘scary situations’.  So I just want to say thank you for having such great products, you’ve definitely got a customer for life.”

A FREE 1.26kg pouch of Magnesium is on its way to Trio 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 penny@feedmark.com or go online and write a review.

 

Has your horse lost its Va Va Voom?

Va Va Voom

 

If your horse has been lacking in energy then start with some basic checks…

 


Fuel

Fuel – Are you giving the right fuel for your horse’s energy requirements?

  • Feed quality (in date and good specification)
  • Correct quantity – too little or too much can = less energy
  • Vitamin & Mineral intake – providing a balanced ration is important to general health
  • Electrolytes – Keep them topped up – a lack of them can cause lethargy

 

Mile on the clockMiles on the clock – your horse’s workload

  • Is your horse fit enough? if you’re unsure seek advice from a trainer or professional
  • Are you fit enough? an unfit rider will quickly contribute to a tired horse
    • Take time to consider any injuries, age and condition of your horse when planning a fitness regime.

 

Check the body work

 

Check the body work – Is it in good nick?

  • If your horse is prone to skin challenges or is looking a little dull he may be lacking in certain nutrients, check with your vet or speak to an equine nutritionist.

 

 

Regular Service and motRegular MOT & Service – check everything is in good working order

  • Vet – Regular health check plus vaccinations
  • Dentist – at least once a year
  • Farrier – every 6-8 weeks
  • Physio – at least once a year
  • Saddle Fitter – at least once a year
  • Equine Nutritionist – at least once a year

Accessories

 

Accessories – pimp up your pony

  • Use heart rate monitors
  • Free tracking apps like Endomondo to keep track of your horse’s workload

 

If you are satisfied that your horse has passed these checks then try feeding Energize a supplement that  helps to support energy delivery, utilising Iron, Copper and B vitamins to support blood oxygen levels and energy metabolism to help optimise performance. 

If you would like to speak to a nutritional advisor about your horse’s energy requirements please call us on Freephone 0800 585525, we’re open 7 days a week!

Horse Of The Week – Jay.

Jay is a 16.3hh ex-huntmaster’s horse and is owned by Laura Ness.  At 18-years-old, Jay is aJay 4 schoolmaster and has been there and done it.  Laura told us: “I have known Jay for nearly 7 years now, and was fortunate enough to buy him for myself in September of 2014.  Coming in to the winter, it was then that I saw him at his worst, and it got to the stage where I admitted defeat and put him on a calmer.  However the calmer that I used, actually made him worse and I would have days where I wondered if I had bought the right horse, and whether or not I had made the right decision. I lost all confidence and Jay became unrideable.  In desperation and on the verge of not knowing what to do, I spoke to a friend who recommended Feedmark’s Steady-Up Advance supplement.”

Laura explains: Jay 3“Within two weeks of feeding Steady-Up Advance, Jay was a completely different character.  He was very easy, a pleasure to work, and all round a lovely animal to be around.  Jay had always been a struggle to lunge; he would stop, spin and rear at me.  It had got to a point where I felt as if I had to have him strapped down in gadgets for him to work properly, and to lower the risk of injury to himself.  However, since being on your supplement he has in the last 6 weeks turned himself around, and is now a complete pleasure to work with and train.  Also, for the first time since November (partially due to his behaviour!) he is back to jumping again.  He jumped on the lunge Monday and I was expecting him to be a nightmare but instead, he was happy trotting over some jumps with just a bridle and a lunge line!  With the help of Steady-Up Advance, we have been able to do our first show – a walk and trot test.  When we trotted down the centre line and halted, I was so full of Jay 2pride I burst in to tears.”

“Feedmark, I cannot thank you enough for producing this supplement, it has enabled me to keep my horse when I was at the stage of struggling to figure out what to do with him.  He has also been caught having quite a few sleeping sessions lately, I definitely have a more content and happy horse! Thank you!”

Jay 5A FREE 2kg tub of Steady-Up Advance is on its way to Jay 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 penny@feedmark.com or go online and write a review.