Monthly Archives: January 2016

Horse Of The Week – Humbug VIII.

Bugs 2Our new Horse Of The Week is Humbug VIII, who is owned by Sharon Armstrong. Sharon explains: “Known as Bugs or Bubba to all that know him, he is a black and white coloured cob. Having owned Bugs for four-and-a-half years, he is now 16 years old. We first met Bugs when my partner started having riding lessons as he actually learnt to ride on Bugs. When Bugs then came up for sale, we couldn’t bear to see him go, so we bought him for ourselves and also as a friend for our other horse Snickers.”

“Within the first year of owning Bugs, his eyes started running continually to the point where they were so sore and swollen that they were almost shut. We had many, many visits from the vets; green dye was put into his eyes three timesBugs 3; his tear ducts were cleaned out twice; and we got through around 15 different tubes of cream; after all of this, we still didn’t have an answer to the problem and we just had to try and manage it as best we could.”

“After struggling with his eyes all Winter, they seemed to improve by Spring and he went through the whole of Bugs 4Summer with no issues. Although I was still very careful, making sure he always had his fly mask on to protect his eyes. However, the following October his eyes flared up again. We realised that the problem had started at the exact same time the previous year, almost to the day! So we then thought that the cause must be something seasonal.”

“We did a bit of research, and after talking to Feedmark at Your Horse Live a couple of years ago, we decided to try Eyebright. Well, the results speak for themselves! Bug’s eyes are now fantastic! If I give Bugs a couple of months off of Eyebright, I always make sure that he is back on it again in September, in readiness for the October flare up. Last year there was no sign of weeping eyes at all! I’m so pleased, and could not be happier with Feedmark’s Eyebright! I will certainly continue to use it, to keep Bugs eyes healthy. I can’t thank Feedmark enough, for helping with a painful problem which had not obvious solution or cure… until Bugs 1Eyebright.”

“Bugs always tries his little heart out and always does his very best for me. He has a little fan club wherever he goes!”

A FREE tub of Eyebright is on its way to Humbug VIII 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.

He was sharp, argumentative and spooky… Now I have him on the buckle whilst enjoying a Sherry!

Libby bradbury

“My Connemara pony Milton can be quite sharp, argumentative and spooky. We started him on Steady Up Advance a few years ago and we’ve never looked back. This supplement just helps him stay a bit more sane but doesn’t hamper his performance at competition either. I can have him on the buckle now whilst enjoying a sherry at the hunt now! If I ever haven’t been organised and we run out, the difference in him is very noticeable. Here is a picture of my friend Claire at Hursley Hambledon Hunt’s pony club day on Milton and leading her 7 year old daughter, Molly who’s riding her pony Charlie”

Elizabeth Bradbury 

Steady-Up Advance is the original natural calmative. Added daily to feed, it provides Magnesium, Yeast, B vitamins and natural calming herbs. These combine effectively to support the horse’s nervous system and promote everyday calmness. For “fizzy” excitable or over-anxious horses and for a more pleasurable riding experience, feed Steady-Up Advance.

 

Horse Of The Week – Belle.

Belle 1Our new Horse Of The Week is Belle, she is owned by Samantha James. Samantha told us: “I am not entirely certain of Belle’s breeding, but the general consensus is that she is Clydesdale cross with a Welsh, and she stands at 14.2hh. I have owned her now for 18 and a half years. She enjoys her work, especially hacking out and jumping, and she will sometimes be calm enough for flat work! I have competed with Belle, in some Dressage and show jumping classes, Belle 2and also in shows at the livery yard. I would really like to show her though, in some veteran classes. She is a very good girl most of the time, but she does have the devil in her and enjoys bucking and thinking that she’s a racehorse.”

Belle 4“Belle needed respiratory support, after about 8 years ago, after a period of enforced box rest. A friend recommended Feedmark’s Clarity. Belle’s airways improved so much with the Clarity, that she was back to her old self. She was once Belle 6again acting like a racehorse cross with a Lipizzaner! If I am ever silly enough to run out of Clarity, Belle’s breathing becomes noisy again until I have bought some more and she is back on it.”

“In March 2015, Belle then started to get puffy legs. Belle 9 After resting her she improved, and I brought her back into work. Then in August 2015, I found that the left hind developed the same problem, only worse. After the success I had with Clarity, I looked to Feedmark for a possible answer and found No Fill. The ingredients in the No Fill really helped get her leg back to normal. I now Belle 11have my girl back in slow work again, so hopefully my plans for showing her this year are still on! Thanks to Feedmark, Belle still thinks she’s a 5-year-old.”

A FREE tub of No Fill is on its way to Belle for being our Belle 12Horse 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.Belle 13

Helping your horse cope with confinement

 
Bad weather, sodden fields and shorter daylight hours often mean that horses are confined to their stables for longer than usual over the winter months, and ensuring the horse has access to ample forage is essential to keep your horse happy and healthy through this.

Horses are designed to trickle feed, ideally needing ad-lib forage, or at least to be fed every 4-5 hours, so if they are stabled they need to be regularly supplied with fibrous food throughout the day to ensure that gastric or other digestive problems don’t occur. Access to forage is also important to keep your horse occupied and content, and in cold weather forage is vital to help keep your horse warm, as the fermentation of forage within the digestive tract acts as your horses own internal central heating system.

 

Here are some of the best ways to ensure your horse stays content through long periods in the stable:

  • Feeding from a haynet, as opposed to off the floor or from a haybar, has been shown to increase the amount of time it takes to eat the same amount of hay- one study showed that horses fed a certain amount of hay from the ground took an average 120 minutes to eat it, but those fed the same amount in a haynet took 193 minutes- suggesting that using a hay net will make hay last over 50% longer: ideal if you need to ensure that hay lasts as long as possible.
  • For slim horses, provide forage ad-lib, and for tubbier horses, feed little and often, making sure they get 1.5% of their body weight of hay daily. For good-doers soaking hay is advisable, as this reduces the sugar content of the hay, making it a cheap and easy way to help control your horse’s calorie intake.
  • Providing your horse with a pre and probiotic supplement, such as BioPro, helps to ensure that the microorganisms in the hind gut are healthy, especially when their routines or diets are being changed. Keeping the hind gut fully functioning ensures that the fibre you are feeding is being well utilised, and reduces the risk of digestive upsets.
  • If your horse is confined or not being ridden as much as usual, reduce the amount of hard feed they are getting to help reduce the likelihood of digestive problems, and hopefully help to limit excess energy!
  • Feeding Feedmark Fibre Blocks is also a great way to keep your horse busy – feed soaked with 5 litres of water to help keep your horse hydrated (cold water is known to put horses off drinking) or feed dry as a boredom breaker!
  • Encourage your horse to drink by supplying a rock salt lick and providing warm water, as equines have been shown to prefer warm water during cold snaps.
  • Try to exercise your horse as much as you can – if you can’t turnout or ride walk in hand, lunge, or use horse walkers to keep your horse moving as much as possible.

If you would like to talk to a nutritional advisor about any concerns you have with your horse, we are open 7 days a week. Call us on freephone 0800 585 525 or contact us via live chat at www.feedmark.com.

 

 

Horse Of The Week – Saturn.

Saturn 1

This is Saturn as a young colt, at 4 months old.

Meet Llanidan Saturn, a pure Welsh Section D. He is 6-years old, stands at 15.2hh, and is owned by Catherine Trimarco. Catherine explains: “I bought Saturn as a very wild colt, from the cob sales in Ruthin. He was only 4 months old, and weaned too young. Saturn was totally unhandled by the breeder, and I suspect weaned either on the day of the sale or the day before. Wild eyed, but very nicely put together I thought.”

“We took Saturn to my sisters, where he was in a nice big stable. I couldn’t turn him out until he had received a tetanus jab and until I was sure I would be able to catch him! However it was soon apparent that he was scouring and needed some help. I bought a tub of BioPro as I’ve been using Feedmark supplements since the early 90’s and have found that they achieve exactly what they claim to.”

Saturn, as a 2-year-old.

Saturn, as a 2-year-old.

“Saturn ate the BioPro in his feed with no palatability problems. The moment I took him off of the BioPro his droppings would become very loose again, which demonstrated to me how well it was supporting his gut flora which was probably very out of kilter. Clearly his little gut was struggling with the stress of being weaned, coupled with that of the sale ring; travelling; and being in a brand new environment. I feel that Saturn would have gone downhill very quickly, and would have become very dehydrated without BioPro.”

“Saturn is currently not in work, but I have shown him in-hand where he went well and was placed. I hope to break him in myself this year, and would like to give Dressage a go as he moves so nicely.”

Shown in-hand locally, as a 3-year-old.

Shown in-hand locally, as a 3-year-old.

A FREE tub of BioPro is on its way to Saturn for being our Horse Of The Week!

Saturn 2

Saturn now, as a 6-year-old.

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.

Has your horse got the winter blues?

Has your horse got the winter blues?

Horse Yawn

Wet, muddy conditions, lack of daylight hours and often less exercise can make the winter a difficult time for your horse, and just like humans, if their immune system gets compromised, they will end up feeling under the weather.

The immune system is there to help protect the body against infections and toxins. Many factors can affect the immune system including age, genetics, body weight, and many other reasons. In general, correct management and diet can help your horse to stay healthy, but in times of additional stress, such as winter weather conditions, they can need an extra nutritional boost to help them stay happy and healthy over the winter.

To ensure your horse stays as healthy as possible over the winter months:

  • Make sure your horse has enough forage- if at grass, they may need additional hay, and cold weather will also increase forage demands. Where possible, provide forage ad-lib throughout the winter
  • Vitamins and minerals are lost during the process of making hay and haylage, so if your horse is not receiving full rations of a mix, cube, supplement or balancer consider adding these in to your horse’s diet
  • If your horse is losing weight use oils or high fat supplements to add extra calories to the diet
  • Try to stick to normal routines wherever possible to reduce stress
  • Maximise turn out- horses are not designed to live in 12×12 boxes, so this can be stressful and increase the risk of digestive problems
  • Try to keep your horse exercised- if riding is not possible, walking in hand, horse walkers and lunging are all good options to keep your horse active and stimulated
  • Health check daily- keep an eye out for skin problems such as mud fever, which are common in wet and muddy conditions. Respiratory issues are also prevalent over the winter, as horses are in more, so watch for coughs and discharge, and optimise turnout and ensure regular exercise to help stiffness in older horses
  • Feed a supplement that offers antioxidant and immune support during times of additional stress

 

Horse Of The Week – Orange.

Orange 1This is Hi-lite, more commonly known as Orange. She is a 29-year-old, Cob cross Appaloosa, and stands at 14.2hh. Orange is owned by Rachael Lee, and has been for 22 years. Rachael explains: “Orange is now retired and is a field companion for my other horse, Whisper. She does still enjoy a walk down the lanes in hand though.”

“My Mum and Dad brought Orange into my life, after many years of me pestering them for a pony! She was 7 years old, and a bit green and lazy, but we fell in love with her character and her most wonderful temperament. I spent a few years’ worth of blood, sweat, and an awful lot of tears schooling her but in that time she has taught me so much. Orange turned out to be a lovely all round riding horse, and pretty much Orange 6turned her hooves to anything I asked of her. We competed locally in showing classes, dressage, pleasure rides and showjumping, although showjumping seemed to require a little bit too much effort on Orange’s part! She has taught all three of my younger sisters to ride, and has taught us all to sit a damn good buck!”

“In 2004, Orange needed six months of box rest, remedial shoeing, and controlled exercise, and she became sound enough to ride again. Unfortunately she couldn’t quite cope with the schooling work, so I made the decision to retire Orange 4her from competitions and use her as a hacking horse. I then fully retired Orange a few years ago, but she still enjoys her in hand walks, and being a field companion.”

“Since feeding Feedmark’s ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips, I have seen a big change in Orange’s mobility and in her freedom of movement. Particularly so, in the mornings as she is stabled overnight and would previously come out very slowly and shuffle a little. Orange 2Flexing her legs to enable me to pick her feet out was becoming a little more difficult. But since feeding ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips, she seems much more comfortable in doing this, and we have no creaky joints which I am happy about! She is still comfortable and free enough to trot or canter off down the field each morning, and kick her heels up! I am so impressed with Orange’s new found mobility, that I have started feeding ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips to my other mare, Whisper, who is 20-years-old!”

Orange 3“My future plans are to keep Orange happy and healthy in her retirement, so that she can carry on bossing the other horses around in the field, and also playing Nanny to the youngsters!”

A FREE tub of ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips
is on its way to Orange 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 Orange 5[email protected] or go online and write a review.