Monthly Archives: September 2015

Horse Of Week – Yorkshire Lass.

Meet Yorkshire Lass, a Thoroughbred who turned 29-years-old in April. Yorkie stands at 15.3hh and is now retired from work. “Yorkie has had many achievements in the past, in show jumping and cross country. She has also given me two fabulous foals, one with whom I went on to do Novice level dressage. The other foal from Yorkie, excelled at showing and at jumping” explains Yorkie’s owner of over 25 years, Lynda Hammond-Lawrance.Yorkie 2

“Yorkie came out of racing at three-and-a-half years old, and came to myself at four years old. I worked with her to slow everything down, and to relax her into her new job. This did take some time, but finally we had some success and she was excellent to hack out.  She could often be ‘giddy’ at shows but she did her job well. She just loved cross country, and never let me down at a jump!”

“In the past three years Yorkie has had lots of problems. Then, a freak accident on the fence this January resulted in Yorkie having her right eye removed. She has adapted very well, and has always been an excellent patient. We still walk her out in hand, but now her job in life is to babysit the foals.”

Yorkie 1

Yorkie, with her friend Robyn. Robyn was her last lightweight rider who still visits her almost every day!

“From almost day one, Feedmark products have helped us along our path in life together. Glucosamine HCl along with Devil’s Claw has helped her to cope with all of the other issues that she has had to deal with. She is now on the mend! I still love her to bits after 25 years! Thank you Feedmark, keep it coming!”

A FREE 540g pouch of Glucosamine HCl is on its way to Yorkie 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.

Coping with confinement!

Over the winter, bad weather can lead to horses being stabled for long periods of time. You may be unable to turn out at all, and often people are unable to ride. Those of us without the luxuries of horse walkers or indoor schools may have to keep our horses permanently stabled with very little exercise while snow and ice persist. This confinement doesn’t suit horses, who have evolved as wanderers and are much more suited to live out in massive paddocks than in a 12×12 block! Confinement may have negative effects on the physical and mental well-being of our horses, and we often need to adjust how we look after them to ensure that they stay healthy through a period of intensive stabling.

Here we take a look at common problems owners face, and how we can help their horses through their box rest.

Q:           My horse goes mad if he has to be stabled for more than a day- he becomes very angry and difficult to handle, is there anything I can do to help him when the weather is so bad he has to stay in?

A:            While some horses are happy living in, for other horses it can be very hard to adjust to 24hr stabling. If your horse is stressed by being confined, they often react by being difficult, angry or bargy. To help to reduce your horse’s stress levels, make sure they always have hay or haylage available, as this keeps them satisfied, and eating gives them something to do! If they are a very good doer, double net small holed haynets to reduce intake! Reduce hard feed, if your horses are fed a chaff, keep feeding this it helps with gut fill and take your horse much longer to eat, and consider using a horse ball and a few nuts to keep your horse occupied. It can help some horses if they can see a friend nearby, and stable mirrors may also help. Try to avoid high sugar licks and treats while your horse is cooped up, and concentrate on slow release energy sources.  If your horse is of a nervy disposition, we recommend that you feed our fantastic calmative Steady-Up Advance to your horse while they are stabled, and when first turned out to reduce stress.

Q:           My horse is prone to hard droppings, and often gets this over the winter- how can I help him if he has to be confined?

A:            Horses that are on box rest are more prone to digestive disturbances. To help to reduce the risk of these problems, increase your horses hydration by providing them with clean, fresh water at all times (warm water is shown to help increase drinking when the weather is cold!). Give your horse a rock salt lick in their table, and add table salt or electrolytes to their feed to encourage drinking. Feeding soaked hay and soaked feeds will also help your horse to stay hydrated. As mentioned above, reduce hard feed and provide ad-lib hay or haylage to help keep the digestive tract moving. In addition to this it is wise to add BioPro to your horse’s feed during and after periods of confinement. This provides your horse with probiotics- the good bacteria needed by the hind gut to digest fibre, and maintain a healthy digestive system, and prebiotics, which are not used by the horse, but feed these good bacteria, helping to maintain the right balance of gut flora in your horse.

Q:           My horse’s legs swell up when they are stabled, is there anything I can do to help?

A:            Filled legs are a common problem when movement is restricted, such as when your horse is stabled for longer than normal periods of time. This is due to a collection of fluid, which would ordinarily be pumped around the horse’s body when the horse moved, when the hooves hit the ground. When the horse is unable move around as usual, such as when confined to their stable, this fluid does not get pushed around the body, and the legs become filled. If it is possible, walking the horse (in hand or using a walker) will help to disperse this fluid. However, this is often not an option when the weather is foul. Feeding NoFill to your horse helps to support the lymphatic and circulatory systems and keeps your horse more comfortable.

Q:           I reduce my horses hard feed when they are unable to be ridden, how do I know that they are getting all the vitamins and minerals that they need?

A:            If your horse is usually fed the recommended levels of a mix or cube, it is usually recommended that this is reduced over periods when they are not being worked, especially if they are stuck in. In these cases we recommend that over the course of a few days you reduce the hard feed, and introduce a vitamin and mineral supplement to ensure that your horse is getting all the nutrients they need- for poor doers or those that would normally receive a relatively large amount of hard feed, we would recommend our Original Balancer, which provides vitamins and minerals, a probiotic and naturally occurring amino acids to help maintain muscles.

 

 

 

 

 

Horse Of The Week – Jigsaw.

Jigsaw 4 Meet Longslade Jigsaw, a 12.2hh part bred New Forest mare.  She is 14 years of age, and is owned by Jenny Abery.  Jenny explains: “I do a lot of groundwork with Jigsaw, and she is hacked out and schooled by her lovely sharers.  My four-year-old son now seems to have adopted her for his own too!  I first got Jigsaw 8 years ago and completely retrained her myself, using Intelligent Horsemanship methods.  When I got her she was difficult to catch, she wouldn’t load or stand still toJigsawE tie up.  I took her with me on one of Kelly Marks’ courses and we now have the most amazing bond.”

“Initially, Jigsaw was what you might consider a difficult horse. She had a few behavioural problems, and I only took her on with the intention of retraining and selling her on to a forever home.  Eight years on and we are still together, she is now very settled and an absolute joy to own.  In the future we plan to have some fun with Horse Agility and I would also like to teach her to drive.”Jigsaw 3

“I was recommended Benevit Advance by my equine podiatrist several years ago.  I’ve been feeding it to Jigsaw ever since, and consider this the best value for money multi vitamin supplement on the market.  She looks great all year Jigsaw 6round because of it, and I believe she has had improvements in her overall health and well-being since feeding it.”

A FREE 5kg tub of Benevit Advance is on its way to Jigsaw for being our Horse Of The Week!Jigsaw 2

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.

More French & Sanders than Fox-Pitt and Funnell! India Thomson Blog 10!

I have to start this blog with a warning – I advise you to stop reading immediately if you are anticipating reports of red rosettes, trophies or maybe even medals.  Alas, it would appear the last few months of eventing for us have been more French and Saunders than Fox-Pitt and Funnell!

IMG_2279We started with two trips within a month to Aston Le Walls, our new favourite place apparently, the first requiring a 2am alarm call which is never pleasant.  Our early departure backfired as we were so early that the A14 night closure was still in place, we were diverted round the M25 and so still arrived late, marvellous start!  However it was worth it when both Mr B and Rebel did a good dressage, Mr B followed up with a double clear and Rebel having a pole but giving me a great ride across country in the Novice.  “What are you complaining about?” I hear you say.  Yes I too thought hurrah we are finally getting back on track, things can only improve, we’re on a roll again…

Next trip back to Aston, Mr B obviously got wind of his scheduled intermediate run, duly pulling a nail half out of his shoe and going hopping lame the day before and despite our best efforts of tubbing and icing, he wasn’t sound enough to go.  So off we trundled with just Rebel.  He started the day with what should have been a very good test, just marred by a slight over reaction to kicking some sand at the judge’s box, he is quite the sensitive soul.  He then had two fences down which was disappointing, he is a very capable jumper but is not the easiest in this phase to get to relax and use himself efficiently.  He did then go brilliantly cross country and I think he could have gone round on his own, he got into a lovely rhythm and his ears were pricked the whole way, he was in his element.  Needless to say when we got home that night and trotted Mr B up, he was perfectly sound….

Next on the agenda was Keysoe.  This has never been a happy hunting ground for me and about four years ago I vowed never to return after another bad day there.  However, after Mr B’s self-harming tactics and the dry ground we were getting fairly desperate for a run, so I gave in and entered them, after all it’s been four years, and it can’t be that bad…

The day started well with Ramesses B going double clear in the 90 and coming 10th, his first run since his summer holiday which was really pleasing and he will do a 100 next time out.  Next was Mr B in the intermediate who despite some slightly unnecessary antics in the warm up produced a nice test for a 35, he’s improving all the time at this level and has to work hard to get good marks as he’s not the most natural or flashiest mover so I was pleased.  It was quite a big show jumping track and he got a bit strong and had two rails, including the first fence, which was a shame as he’s generally much more careful now.  I thought the cross country course was quite strong but very well built and presented.  Mr B’s ideal course is a bold galloping track and Keysoe runs over a relatively small area so it’s not the easiest to get going on if your horse is thinking backwards at all, it suits a nippier quick thinking type.  He set off feeling backward from the start and despite my encouragement to get stuck in a bit more he was having none of it and ground to a halt at the ditch, he then threw his toys out of the pram until we got the big E!  He is a very frustrating horse as when he’s on form he feels just amazing, yet when he spits the dummy out I think super nanny would have her work cut out!  Back to the drawing board.

All was not lost though as we still had Rebel in the novice, he’d gone so well at his last two events that I was hopeful of another good run.  Again he had all the makings of a good test but spookiness and tension crept in to prevent him getting a score that reflects his capabilities.  He then didn’t show jump terribly well having three down, which I was really disappointed with as he’s appeared to be improving and very rarely touches a fence at home.  The day then carried on in its dismal downhill spiral when Rebel took exception to two identical fences and a spooky corner on the cross country and I was walking home for the second time!  This was a slightly surreal moment as I don’t think I’ve ever been eliminated twice in one day, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry!  He is another who loves to run and jump and the twisty track just really didn’t suit him, he never got going.  So after yet another appalling day at Keysoe I’m afraid to say I shall be avoiding it at all costs in the future.  Oh and I almost forgot, I managed to fall off Rebel at the walk when he did a very swift 180 at first sight of an enormous champagne bottle in the door way of the indoor school, even better it was in front of about 20 people so that just topped the day off, cue a chocolate fuelled journey home with the promise of a large G and T at the end!

I then had some much needed inspiration in the form of Burghley week.  Things didn’t go to plan for Harry sadly, after doing his best 4* test Xam then didn’t feel 100% in the cross country warm up so couldn’t run.  I was really sad for Harry, after all the excitement and build up it was such a disappointment for him.  It’s so inspiring watching the top riders and this year was no exception, it would seem Michael Jung is some sort of eventing wizard, Tina Cook must have shares in Pritt stick after staying on at the Trout hatchery and maybe William Fox-Pitt is human after all, having a momentary lapse in his sense of direction. Another brilliant Burghley, definitely my favourite event of the year still.

IMG_2641After a good dose of Burghley enthusiasm and a slight change of tactics, Mr B and I headed off to Gatcombe, the ground is always pretty good there and I thought the bold flowing course would suit him so I hoped it would be worth the trip as it’s not exactly next door to Suffolk!  Mr B is not the easiest horse to have at an event when on your own as he doesn’t tie up and for some reason can’t bear being tacked up on the lorry either.  We didn’t get off to a great start.  I looped the rope through the string on the side of the lorry, but didn’t tie him up, whilst I put his studs in.  He duly pulled back but managed to break the head collar before the rope came free, so he’s now trotting around the lorry park (or free schooling as I prefer to call it) minus his head collar and generally causing havoc.  Off I trot in hot pursuit, quite tempted to turn the other way and pretend he’s nothing to with me, to try and catch the feral beast.  By this point he’s been in the dressage warm up and said hello to somebody lunging their horse, there is now quite a crowd gathered to watch this amusing spectacle as every time I get anywhere near him he trots off again.  At times like this I wonder how on earth I passed my pony club A test!  Eventually he gave up and let me catch him, looking terribly pleased with himself, what fun he’s had!  However this is perhaps a tactic I should employ in the future as he went on to do his best test so far at intermediate and score a 32.  His show jumping however was less impressive, he had a tantrum of enormous proportions in the warm up, went in the ring in a fit of rage and white lather and proceeded to boot out 5 rails. 5 RAILS!!!!  IMG_2642I was tempted to take his tack off and set him free again after that performance!!  Having not got very far round the course at Keysoe I think he was just stupidly fresh, finding the excitement of being at an event all too much.  But it got my blood up and I set off meaning business cross country, he duly responded and gave me such a brilliant ride.  When he goes like that he just feels awesome and made quite a decent intermediate feel like a pre novice.  It was really cool to have had a proper run on him again and the euphoria of his cross country just about kept me going for the 6 1/2 hour journey home!

IMG_2702So like I say, not quite the season we’d been hoping and dreaming of so far, after such a promising start we’ve had some fairly character building days but some glimmers of brilliance too and that’s what we cling on to.  As we head into the last part of the season it would seem some of the team are getting ready for winter already, Ramesses is a typical teenage boy and is proving very hard to get out of bed, it’s a daily struggle……

Horse Of The Week – Royal Diamond II.

Smudge 1 50This is the lovely eventer Royal Diamond II also known as Smudge, whom is owned by Mr. Toby Pigott.  He is a 7-year-old Irish Sports Horse by Manor Diamond.  Toby bought the 16.1hh as a 5-year-old from the Little London Stud, in November 2013.

Toby explains: “Having previously show jumped as a four-year-old, Smudge has since been produced by myself to event.  He stepped up to Novice Level as a six-year-old with numerous top 10 placings, and also finished 11th in the CIC* Young Horse Championships, Osberton.  In this, his seventh year, he has continued his success with more top ten placings at Intermediate level and coming in at 13th place at Houghton CCI*.  At Nunney Horse Trials, Smudge was the winner of the Rodney Baker Silver Fox Memorial Trophy.”Smudge 2

Due to Smudge having brittle feet, Toby decided to feed him Feedmark’s Hardy Hoof Formula:  “There has been a real difference in the quality of Smudge’s hoof growth, in his horn and especially an improvement in the hoof wall.  My farrier has commented on how the hoof has improved generally and I now feed Hardy Hoof Formula to all of my horses.  I have noticed similar results in all of them, I really could not be without it.”

Smudge 3 SMALLER“Our plans for the future are to continue to establish at intermediate level, and at ** level in 2016.  Specifically, we will be aiming for The 8 and 9 Year Old Horse CIC*** at Blenheim.”

A FREE 5kg tub of Hardy Hoof Formula is on its way to Smudge 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.

Does your horse or pony have runny or puffy eyes? Eyebright

“I have a 2yr old Welsh sec A filly that has a white face & blue eyes. The 13 months that I have owned her she has had constant problems with runny sticky eyes & will stand in the field shelter on bright days if she is not wearing her fly mask aka her’shades!’ I decided to try your Eyebright for her. Within days they stopped being sticky. After 10 days she is coping without a constant fly mask. She still tends to tear up a little if it is very bright but she is so much better it’s quite incredible. Thank you, I have never seen this product anywhere else so am very pleased to find that it really does help.” Reviewed by Angela Matthews on 12/10/2014

Eyebright is a native herb of Britain and Europe that has beneficial mucous membrane soothing properties. These qualities make it the ideal herb to supplement the diet of horses with tired, puffy or weeping eyes.

http://feedmark.com/index.php?page=product&product=EyeBright

Feedmark's photo.

Horse Of The Week – Kinnagoe Bay.

Pete 2This is Kinnagoe Bay, known to his friends as Pete.  He is an exceedingly charismatic, 16.2hh, bay Thoroughbred gelding by Centro (NZ) out of No Less (NZ).  This 21-year-old, veteran 4* eventer was acquired by Dr. Harley Kemp just over five months ago.

Harley explains a little about Pete’s history: “Pete has evented his whole life, to the highest levels.  He has been there, done it, and got the sweat rug!  He has competed at the 4* at Burghley and at Badminton; and has also travelled to Strzegom; Fontainebleau; Le Lion D’angers; and Boekelo to name just a few. The list is literally too long to mention all events!  For the first three seasons of Pete’s career he was ridden by THE Andrew Nicholson.  He then moved to compete with Julian Trevor Roper and other locally well-known eventers, before being sold on.  Competing at CCI/CIC 4* level, he is a horse with an impressive career.”

Pete 1 (poor)

This is how Pete looked when he arrived home with Harley.

“When I arrived to view Pete, I expected to see a semi-retired eventer in good condition, however I did not expect to find him in the extremely poor state that he was.  I was quite shocked and knew instantly that I had to buy him and take him home.  He was rather skeletal and wobbly, but still such a kind and friendly horse.  I suspected he may have some form of dietary issue, I didn’t know whether he would come back to full form or if it was too late to repair the damage.  However, once I got him home I set about gradually introducing good quality fibres and superior quality supplements to support his recovery.  He had lost a great deal of muscle as well as fat, his coat was dull, his skin dry and flaky, and his eyes were runny. He was also quite irritable when grooming around his girth area.  Along with beet and chaff I decided to introduce Feedmark Gastric Comfort and Replenish.   The result has been nothing short of remarkable!  He has eaten everything put in front of him and seems a much happier horse.  I am totally convinced that without such good nutritional support, he would not have turned around.  I will not stop feeding these supplements to Pete and I have also introduced my other horses to the products as I feel the Gastric Comfort has protective qualities for horses that are in training.  Twelve weeks on and I have a horse that looks every part the athletic eventer that he is!”

“I am now training Pete for pure dressage and hope to qualify him for the BD Veteran Horse Championship this year, at Vale View.  He is really enjoying turning his hooves to some pure dressage, and because of his eventing background finds the more advanced dressage movements all too easy!  He especially loves checking himself out in the arena mirrors when training – but who can blame him, he is rather gorgeous!  The whole family adores Pete because Pete 3of his fantastic nature, even my six month old daughter Amelia is totally smitten with him. Thank you for producing such a super, quality product that has helped Pete thrive once again!”

“I aim to keep Pete happy with hacking, competing in affiliated dressage, the occasional jumping class and whatever else he fancies doing!  Although he has retired from eventing as such, I would never rule out competing in an unaffiliated ODE with him.  He is as fit as a fiddle and does love his cross country.  Hopefully he will also teach Amelia to ride, as she already enjoys sitting on him!  Pete really is a one in a million.”

A FREE 2kg tub of Gastric Comfort is on its way to Pete 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.