Monthly Archives: August 2015

Horse Of The Week – Mystic.

MysticMystic is a 12 year old Welsh Section D mare, standing at 14.2hh.  She has been owned by Sophie Smith for over 5 years.  Together, the combination do show jumping, schooling, hacking, cross country and anything else that they can have a go at.Mystic 3 smallerMystic 4

Sophie told us: “Mystic loves her jumping and has come first in unaffiliated competitions at 2ft3, 2ft6 and 2ft9.  She is nearly always placed when out jumping.  She does not enjoy Dressage, although we have done a few tests and we normally score around the mid-50s.  We have done some combined training classes and usually make up the points in the jumping to then get a rosette.  In April 2014 we did our first One Day Event and came 6th out of 40.  In November 2014 we did our first ever horse ability competition at home and came 1st!  I have never done a 3ft jumping competition on Mystic and that is certainly on my wish list.  I have also never entered a working hunter class and would really like to give this a go.”Mystic 2

“Mystic is a proper Welsh Section D in every way, and so she should be as her Damsire was Nebo Daniel, show ring superstar, who won some massive titles at the Royal Welsh as well as many other showgrounds. I started riding Mystic when she was 5 years old.  She had been broken in but not much else had been done with her.  The first time I asked her to canter she didn’t know what to do with her legs.  It was quite funny as she bucked her way up the field not knowing where to put each leg but she soon got the hang of it.  She also didn’t know how to jump but I was lucky she was kept on a farm where the farmer let us ride across hundreds and hundreds of acres of land.  She learnt to jump over tree branches, fallen trees, rock walls and anything else we could find that could be a jump.  I used to ride with my sister and a friend and the three horses and all of us loved riding around the farmland racing each other across the huge fields and jumping everything in sight.  I started doing unaffiliated jumping competitions with Mystic and we have now had a go at most sorts of competition although she is definitely best at jumping.”Mystic 5

Sophie explained “Last year I noticed she started standing strangely and seemed a less supple than usual. I was recommended to try more exercise to build up her muscles to support the joints, and to use a joint supplement.  I went away and did a lot of research on joint supplements and found that the 10:10 ones were the only ones with scientific research proving that they work.  I tried out a few different brands before I found Flexamine 10:10, but I have been using it ever since.  I can really notice a significant difference when feeding this to Mystic, and she holds her legs awkwardly in as little as 2 days when not fed it.  I would certainly recommend this supplement to anyone who wants to feed a joint health product.Mystic 6

A FREE 700g pouch of Flexamine 10:10 is on its way to Mystic 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.Mystic 7 edit

It’s all about the looks!

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As horse owners we pride ourselves on the outer appeal of our horses, we reap comments about our horse’s fabulous coat and lustrous bloom. People are drawn to touch the sleek smooth supple coat and this give us a great sense of pride.

The skin is the horse’s largest organ and its main function is to act as a protective barrier to the internal systems and can be susceptible to all sorts of challenges.  If you have ever had the misfortune of becoming unwell or feeling run down you may have experienced your skin becoming dry and patchy, your hair greasy or lacking shine, maybe even your fingernails have become weak and fragile. Horses show similar signs when experiencing a lack of adequate nutrition, an illness which may have impacted on the horse’s immune system or possibly a reaction or allergy.

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Common skin related problems in horses are a dull or scurfy coat, rubbing due to irritation and sweet itch.  Winter brings a whole host of new problems for the skin, damp conditions can trigger mud fever and rain scald.

As owners we feel embarrassed if our horse develops a skin challenge, why? Probably because we worry about what other people might think… like the healthy shiny coat, the scurfy coat or scabby leg will draw a crowd, subsequent comments and words of advice… its human nature I suppose.

What can we do to help prevent skin challenges, well, how long is a piece of string.  With shelves and shelves full of lotions, potions, feeds and supplements claiming to have the miracle cure for all skin challenges it is difficult to make an informed choice.

FB GroomThe best advice is to start at the beginning, look at the cause of the problem e.g. fly irritation, mud fever etc. try to reorganise your horse’s lifestyle to make them less prone to these environmental challenges.  If you are struggling to find the root cause of the problems then seek advice from your vet. For on-going dull or poor coats, start with the basics, look at your horse’s nutritional intake and ensure that they are receiving a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals as these are essential for your horse’s general health and wellbeing. For suspected allergy problems work with your vet to carry out an elimination diet to try and ascertain the cause.

If your horse is prone to skin conditions then it may be a good idea to feed ingredients such as Omega 3, nettle, burdock root, chamomile and B vitamins which are successfully used throughout the equestrian world for their effects on the skin and coat.

As horse owners we understand and share your problems so if you would like some friendly advice or just to chat through any worries or concerns regarding your horse’s health, nutrition or regime then please call us on 0800 585525, we’re open 7 days week or visit www.feedmark.com.

 

 

Feeding EquiDermis Plus can help to maintain healthy skin by providing omega-3 oils and specially selected herbs such as Nettle, Clivers, Chamomile and Burdock root to the diet. You will not only give your horse a wonderful bloom, but will help to support skin health naturally. 

It’s a dog’s life!

A Golden Retriever leads a horse from the barn by pulling on the lead rope.

A Golden Retriever leads a horse from the barn by pulling on the lead rope.

On approach to the majority of equine yards you can almost guarantee you will be met by the boss of the yard and usually they are 4 legged, and hopefully with a waggy tail!  

Why are so many horse owners drawn to having a canine companion?  Trustworthy, loyal and even a great hacking buddy.  Someone to accompany you with the daily chores, alert you to visitors and a great listener on a nervous drive in the horsebox to an event!

They come in all shapes and sizes but are always eager to please, they are often found curled up in rugs on a cold winter’s day or hidden away in the hay shed just checking for mice and rats!  They have respect and a bond with their equine friends, they know which horses will share their feed bowl and the ones who require a wider berth in the paddock.

They have the prowess to make our hearts melt with their puppy dog eyes and slight head tilt, and the ability to make us feel guilty about leaving them behind.

The stable yard can be hazardous to the not so savvy dog, the risk of being trodden on, having hay in one’s eye or getting attacked by the electric fence is all part of the steep learning curve and you can guarantee that at some point in a yard dog’s life Vet wrap would have been applied to some part of their anatomy.

Girl and horse at sunset

Girl and horse at sunset

Equestrian life would be a lot lonelier without your friend by your side. It’s not just about horses at Feedmark, many of our horse owning customers contacted us to ask if we could formulate canine supplements, due to the effectiveness of our equestrian range, so over the past 10 years we have successfully developed nutritional support for your canine friend too!  From joint support, digestion aid to skin and coat care, we even have our own complete dog food!

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If you would like any further information on either of our ranges please call us on 0800 585525 or visit www.feedmark.com or checkout our latest brochure.

Healthy skin, glossy coat and how to face skin challenges…

bay horse stallion portrait on the black background

This skin is the horse’s largest organ and is a barrier to external challenges

Why is the skin important?

The horse’s skin is a very important but often overlooked bodily structure.  It has many functions, including acting as a barrier to external challenges, helping to control body temperature, and helping to make vitamin D.

By feeding our horses a correctly balanced diet, their skin and coat should be healthy, but some horses need extra nutritional support to help them deal with some common skin issues.

 

 

 

Sweet itch

What is sweet itch?

Sweet itch is an allergic skin reaction, triggered by the saliva of biting insects such as the Culicoides midge.  If the horse is allergic to this, their body reacts to the bite, which causes intense itching and skin irritation.

Appearance: Commonly rubbed mane and tail, but can affect all over the body in some horses. In bad cases big chunks of hair will be completely rubbed out, and raw skin is left exposed, attracting more insects, and increasing risk of infection.

Treatment: Once the horse has bald, irritated patches it can be difficult to help the problem. Soothing the problem from the inside out by providing an Omega-3 rich supplement, and using cooling creams on affected areas may help, and also follow prevention methods.

Prevention: Use of fly rugs, turning out away from habitats that midges love (muck heaps, stagnant water), bringing horses inside when midge activity is prolific, feeding a skin supplement high in Omega-3

Mud Fever:

What is Mud fever? Mud fever is a term used to describe various symptoms that commonly occur on the bulb of the heel or the pasterns.  These problems are usually caused by bacteria, which can live on healthy skin with no detrimental effects.  However, if there is an abrasion, cut or scratch, this bacteria can enter through the skin and cause an infection.  Commonly the skin is harmed by exposure to wet or muddy conditions, and the problem then occurs, hence the name.

Appearance: This takes many forms, from patches of matted hair on the pasterns and bulb of the heel, scabs and minor swelling to pustular expulsions.  Sometimes the horse can also show as lame.

Treatment: In mild cases, effective treatment can include clipping off excess hair, using an antibacterial leg scrub and keeping the affected limb dry.  Barrier creams may also be beneficial if the horse is going back into mud; however these creams provide an ideal environment for bacteria to multiply between the greasy layer and the skin, so use with some reservation.  In more severe cases, veterinary assistance will be required.

Prevention:

  • Keep legs dry and mud free- if possible turn out in a rubber school or concrete pad when mud is very deep, or use protective boots, chaps or barrier creams when turning out or riding in wet and muddy conditions
  • Check for mud fever daily
  • Feed a supplement to keep skin healthy

 Rain scald

What is Rain Scald? Rain scald is the term given to mud fever when it is higher on the body!

It is a form of dermatitis, caused by bacteria that normally live on skin without causing trouble, but will multiply rapidly in a moist environment.  If there is a wound or abrasion in the skin an infection can develop, and this is more likely in older horses, or those with a compromised immune system.

Appearance: look for bumps, crusts, pus- filled scabs, matted hair or hair loss on areas of the body that are commonly damp- shoulders, hind quarters, and the back.

Treatment: The best treatment is sun and warmth!  If possible remove the horse from wet conditions, so they can thoroughly dry out.  Wash affected areas using anti-microbial shampoos, and dry thoroughly.  Keep the horse dry and warm while recovering, and call your vet if an infection fails to improve.

Prevention:

  • Provide dry shelter if the horse lives out
  • Rug adequately (if there is no current skin infection)
  • Never put a non-breathable rug on a damp or wet horse
  • Groom regularly to get rid of mud and dirt, and to spot infection early
  • Feed a supplement to help keep skin supple and healthy

If you would like any further information about your horse’s nutritional requirements please contact our nutritional help line 0800 585525 or visit www.feedmark.com, we’re open 7 days a week.

Olivia Colton MSc

Nutritional and Technical Coordinator

Horse Of The Week – Wanda.

Wanda SmallRichmoor Wanda (AKA Wanda) is a 16.3hh Irish Draught cross Thoroughbred.  At 20-years-old, she is Feedmark’s new Horse Of The Week.  Sandra Dainty, Wanda’s owner of 8 years, explains: “Wanda was used for Showjumping for some years before she came to my area.  She was then Wanda 2loaned out to quite a few people before I eventually found her.  I do not ride now, but we have had some great success at Prelim level Dressage.  The yard manager Sam rides her for me.  Wanda is a really happy hacker at the moment, but she may have a go at some more Dressage at some point.  Wanda is the nicest natured horse that I have ever owned.  In general she is quite placid but can have very Wanda 6silly moments, including nearly passaging into a tractor!”

“C-Plus has made a tremendous difference to Wanda,  I did try to take her off of it once, but the downhill effect was swift.  ShWanda 5e looked awful, her coat was dull and she was completely lifeless.  I put her back on to the C-Plus and the improvement was dramatic, within a week she was back to her usual self again.  I highly recommend this supplement!”

A FREE 3kg tub of C-Plus is on its way to Wanda 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 – Willow.

WillowWillow is a nine-year-old New Forest pony, standing at 13.3 hands high.  For 7 and a half years he has been owned by Alice Ward.  Alice explains: “Willow and I do everything and anything together.  He is a bit of a Jack of all Willow 6trades!  Willow was born in the New Forest,  at 6-months-old he was purchased by his previous owners, I then purchased him at the age of 18 months.”

“Willow is never leaving our family.  In the future he will be the Willow 9perfect child’s pony, so he will always stay with us. He is a master escape artist, and will jump any obstacle to get to where he wants to be – five bar gates included!”

“I first came across Feedmark at the Badminton Willow 7International Horse Trials 2014.  After an in-depth consultation with a nutritional advisor, I was recommended EquiDermis Plus for Willow who is cursed with sensitive skin.  Ordinarily I seek out supplements to keep the flies away, but this product really improved the condition of his skin and coat.  Reasonably priced, and Willow 3with real results, what more could you ask for?”

A FREE 4kg tub of EquiDermis Plus is on its way to Willow 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 Willow 5them.  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.Willow 2

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Does your horse need to be energised?

Va Va VoomEvery summer we have lots of people calling us concerned about their horse’s lack of energy.

The first step we take is try to pin point what the likely cause is, and to do that we have to ask a few questions:

 

1.  Is the horse otherwise healthy?

If your horse is normally happy and energetic and suddenly becomes very lethargic, it probably needs to have some veterinary attention to rule out a medical cause for this.  Pain, muscular issues, or serious deficiencies in the diet will all result in a lack of energy.

  1. What is the horse’s weight like?

Often when we ask owners will tell us that their horse is on the heavy side.  Just as with humans, if your horse consumes too many calories (energy units) and doesn’t wear enough off, they put on weight.  An overweight horse will often feel lethargic, and by helping them to lose weight they will often act in a spritely manner!

There is no quick cure to this, the only way to help your horse lose weight is to reduce calories by cutting down on hard feed if they are fed this, or by restricting access to grazing, and by increasing calories burnt by increasing time and intensity of exercise.  If your horse needs to trim up, please call our nutritional team who will help you to come up with a weight-loss routine suited to your horse!

If your horse is underweight, they may also be lacking energy.

  1. Could they be dehydrated?

Dehydration and a lack of essential body salts (electrolytes) will quickly result in issues such as energy loss, so make sure your horse always has access to clean water, and supplement with electrolytes if they have been sweating due to heat or exercise.

  1. Are they fit enough?

If you are asking your horse to perform at a level above their current fitness, they will be lethargic during work, and often for a day or two after, so make sure your horse is fit enough for the task in hand!  If their fitness needs working on, gradually increase duration and intensity.

  1. Do they need Oats?!

If your horse is at an ideal weight or (even a poor do-er) and they lack energy, the answer may be that they need an increase in dietary energy.  Try gradually adding oats or competition mix to a high fibre diet as a form of extra dietary energy . This is generally only needed if the horse is in medium-hard work.  Some horses can act very ‘fizzy’ on these feed types so introduce slowly and monitor behaviour.

If your horse is a good doer and is already overweight, it is likely that the extra calories will just get converted into fat, and the problem will get worse, so we do not advise feeding an overweight horse these high energy feeds.

  1. Anaemia or deficiencies

Anaemia is when your horse has got either fewer red blood cells than normal, or less haemoglobin (the bit that carriers oxygen around the body) in these cells, and this can result in lethargy.  Iron is a major component of haemoglobin, but even so, Iron alone is not a suitable supplement for anaemic horses, instead, you need a product which combine iron with copper, which is needed for iron absorption and uptake.

Deficiencies in B-vitamins can also cause energy issues: deficiencies in B12 and B9 (Folic Acid)  can cause production of overly large red blood cells that do not function correctly, which directly affects oxygen supply to bodily tissues.  The other B-vitamins also have an important role in energy metabolism, and a lack of any of these may make your horse more lethargic than is usual.

Adequate B-vitamins are usually provided from a high forage diet and synthesis within the hind gut, but older horses, those in stressful situations, competing, undertaking intense exercise, on a low forage diet  or those with compromised hind gut function will benefit from additional B-vitamins to ensure optimum levels are provided.

If you would like any further information or advice please call our free helpline on 0800585525.

Olivia Colton MSc

Nutritional and Technical Coordinator

Horse Of The Week – Regent.

Regent    This is Maesfen Regent, he is a 14-year-old Anglo Arab.  He stands at 16.2hh and he is Feedmark’s Horse Of The Week!  Louise Farrimond owns Regent, and has done so for 12 years. Louise explains: “Sired by the late Fairlyn Gemini and then bought directly from the breeder, Regent has been owned by myself ever since.  One of my achievements was the backing and breaking of him.  Mainly I school Regent and I also take him hacking.  Now that my two children are older I have more time, and I am hoping to compete in the near future.”Regent 2

“Regent is an extremely special horse to me and is always eager to please.  However, he is very nosey and can sometimes get a little distracted when being ridden!  Steady-Up Advance has given him focus and taken the edge off him, making him a complete pleasure to ride!  I have been using this supplement on him for years.  I have also tried others but none of them have been as effective as Steady-Up Advance.  It really does help Regent to stay calm and focused on his work.  He has been going beautifully in our schooling sessions, so I am looking forward to getting him out to some local Dressage competitions.”

A FREE 2kg Steady-Up Advance is on its way to Maesfen Regent 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.Regent 3

Horse Of The Week – Stan.

Stan 1Our new Horse Of The Week is a Hanoverian (Wendepunkt) cross Thoroughbred, named Stan.  He stands at 16.1hh and has been owned by Danielle Wrigley for five years.  Danielle explained: “At 22-years-old Stan is still going strong.  He has competed well at dressage in the past, but now we mainly school and play at home due to our lack of transport.  We are still doing Advanced Medium level movements, and include some hacking too.”

“Years ago, Stan was affiliated and competing in BSJA classes and also Medium level dressage, Stan 2before he was given to a friend of mine due to naughty behaviour. She spent a lot of time ensuring he was comfortable and his bad behaviour was gone completely.  I rode him once and couldn’t stop smiling for a week!  I then started to share Stan.  When I then had to move, my friend was incredibly kind and allowed him to come with me, so he now lives on permanent loan with me!”

“ I have recommended Feedmark supplements to my liveries over the years with excellent results, so I began feeding Benevit Advance to give him a helping hand.  I have found that since being given Benevit, he gleams!  Additionally he often gets comments on his coat shine and body condition. He doesn’t look or act his age in any way!”

Stan 3“We have found that Feedmark has saved the day again with Clarity.  Not only has it kept his airways clear, but it is the only respiratory supplement that is palatable enough for Stan to eat.  .”

“Our plans for the future are to continue maintaining his excellent health and happiness.  We would also like to get out and compete in unaffiliated Elementary level dressage this summer.  Stan is the kindest horse I Stan 5know, he is a bit of a comedian and makes each day entertaining!  I couldn’t be without Stan, he is my world.  He keeps me sane whilst I manage my livery yard.  We have had various ups and downs in the last couple of years, but I feel with the right care and Feedmark supplements he will continue to grow.  I really am sure that without these Feedmark extras, he wouldn’t look or feel as good as he does.  We still manage flying changes, and sometimes we can’t stop him doing them!”

A FREE 5kg Benevit Advance is on its way to Stan for being our Horse Of The Week!Stan 4

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.