Monthly Archives: October 2016

Horse Of The Week – Fern.

fern-2This little Exmoor Pony is Fern, our new Horse Of The Week. Fern’s owner Gemma Wesley explained: “Her fern-6official name is Tawbitts Kernick Fern, and she is nine years old. She stands at 12.2hh and I have owned her for eight years. I bought her after she had just come off of the Moor, along with another older one, and I have never looked back since!”

fern-4“At the moment, Fern just keeps the grass down, but she will be starting her ridden career next year. Having owned Fern from a yearling I know her well, but I saw her grow from such a sweet, loving little girl, to a grumpy, biting monster every time fern-1she was in season. It was just unbearable. I tried a few hormone supplements to no avail, and I just wanted my sweet girl back.”

“I decided to give it one last go with Feedmark’s fern-5-smallerHormonease and I am so pleased that I did! She is just like she used to be! I love how nice it smells and of course the amazing results! I can’t wait for Fern’s ridden life to begin.”

A FREE tub of Hormonease is on its way to Fern for being our Horse Of The Week!fern-3-smaller

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT 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 .

Horse Of The Week – Tigger.

tigger-8This 12-year-old gentle giant is Tigger, who is owned by Anita Vernalls. Anita told us: “Tigger stands at 17.3hh, and he is tigger-3Hanoverian cross Irish. I have owned him since 2006 when I bought him as a two-year-old from Hereford. Tigger is a multi-purpose, family horse who my partner also rides. I use him for show jumping and showing, and my partner uses him for cross country and for trail hunting.”

tigger-14“Tigger has won many firsts in show jumping and is a perfect lead horse in the hunting field. On the road, he is a perfect gentleman whom tigger-1-editis good when out alone but is also a very good lead for young or nervous horses.”

“In the future I would like to do more dressage and showing with Tigger and to improve his groundwork. He is always enthusiastic towards work and acts like a youngster in the field with our others. Tigger always has plenty of confidence, whatever discipline he is doing, from dressage to cross tigger-16country.”

“For the past ten years Tigger, along with all my other horses, has been fed Feedmark’s Benevit Advance. tigger-6They always look very well and no matter what time of year, they always have a glossy, shiny coat. I think Benevit Advance keeps Tigger’s feet in excellent condition, as he keeps his shoes for a good eight weeks.”

A FREE tub of Benevit Advance is on its way to Tigger for tigger-11being our Horse Of The Week!tigger-18

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT 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 .

2016 Endurance Season Round Up – Katie Bedwin.

I cannot believe it’s already the middle of October, 1151 successful kilometres ridden this season, but where has the time gone! I’ve been very fortunate to ride some very special horses this year; Elayla, Burfield Goodie Two Shoes, Penhwnllys Samala De Mons and Nahzira bint Chantanz. They all had very different goals this year, but they have all been achieved, and then some.


Burfield Goodie Two Shoes, has defied all odds and is qualified for the 2017 World endurance championships for young riders in Italy, after completing her two CEI 2** 120km rides, with a 1st at Kings Forest and 8th at Euston Park. She has also had good placing’s/grading’s in all of her other competitions this season, including her first ever Red Dragon experience, where she was 8th in the Little Dragon 80km class.

Layla’s season plan has been the most difficult this year, at times it felt like every ride I entered was cancelled/changed! But she had a brilliant run at Royal Windsor CEI 2** 120km, where she placed 22nd, the 3rd GB combination home and I was the first young rider home. Layla also went on to win the 80km National race at Kings Forest in the summer, she led from the start and it was one of those races, where everything seems to go to plan – and this doesn’t happen often!  Layla has also been instrumental in taking my young horses out this season, she is a brilliant confidence giver and has gained the top grading, even though she thought it was boring being a nanny!


Nahzira bint Chatanz has been with us since she was 6 months old, but it is still daunting when you enter their first ever endurance ride. I had no need to worry because Izzy has taken her three novice rides in her stride, and the atmosphere did not bother her in the slightest. She has now upgraded to open level for 2017, and has her first 40km qualifier under her belt, to start her pathway to FEI.


I am very fortunate to have the ride of Penhwnllys Samala De Mons, a mare who I backed at three years old and has subsequently returned to me to complete her first few longer rides. Marley has a lot of potential, and her owner was keen for her to fulfil this, so we started her on the FEI ladder after completing her last 80km qualifier. She was 2nd in the CEI 1* at Kings Forest, and this was a great start to her FEI career. Unfortunately, the CEI 2* we had aimed for was cancelled, so we will have to wait till 2017 to obtain her next qualification.


I could not ask any more from my horses, but I equally could not achieve what I have without my support team and sponsors. Every one of my horses benefits from a diet aided by Feedmark supplements, and it is instrumental in their performance.


So, whilst I watch the horses grazing in the field, on their winter breaks, my thoughts turn the 2017 season. Now I will never make ‘plans’, horses know about ‘plans’! But there is no harm in looking at the competition calendar…


Horses generally have a low rate of cancer. However, their commonest type of cancer or tumour is a sarcoid which is a type of skin growth. Cancer sounds so serious, what does this mean? Cancer is a purposeless multiplication of cells which creates an abnormal mass or lump. It can be devastating because it can damage normal working parts of the body by squashing them, destroying them or altering their function. This all sounds very sinister, so we need to be sensible, lumps and growths should not be ignored.  Simplistically small ones are easier to deal with then large ones. But now for some better news: equine sarcoids, unlike some other types of cancer, very rarely spread to other organs in the body, so it is also extremely rare for them to be life threatening. But they can be a major inconvenience and on occasion stop a horse from working.


Large ulcerated malevolent inner thigh sarcoid.

There are many types of sarcoid and also other types of skin tumour too. Sometimes samples will need to be taken so that a lump can be identified, because different types of growth need different treatment. Some types of sarcoid your vet will be confident to identify just on it’s appearance and advise accordingly. Sarcoids are commonly found around the eyes, sheath, mammary glands, inner thighs and between the front legs. These are sites commonly frequented by flies. One of the commonest supported theories is that sarcoids are caused by a cattle wart virus (bovine papilloma virus) which is spread by flies. Research is ongoing to try and clarify this virus theory.



Sarcoids are classified as six types:


Occult Sarcoid – flat areas often found on the face, sheath or inner thighs.

These often start as hairless or depigmented (pale) areas mimicking ring worm or tack rubs. They can thicken and may become crusty or bleed. They are subtle lesions and can be difficult to spot.


Nodular Sarcoid – raised and firm spherical lumps usually covered by normal skin.  Photo of nodular sarcoid in hairless groin area. Often found between front or back legs, on the ears or sheath and may be single or multiple.  These can frequently be lifted clear of underlying structures. They can turn into fibroblastic sarcoids if traumatised.


Verrucous Sarcoid – flat areas of wart-like appearance often found on the ventral abdomen (under the belly), face, sheath or groin. They are often grey in colour and may look warty or flaky. Can become more aggressive if interfered with. Single or multiple.

sarcoid-verrucous-face1-small wales-jade-june2010-001-small


 Fibroblastic Sarcoid – have fleshy, ulcerated appearance so bleed easily. May occur at the site of wounds as well as on the face and legs. They can look like an ulcerated “bunch of grapes”. These often enlarge at speed.



Malevolent/malignant Sarcoid – aggressive – may spread along the path of veins or lymph vessels. May appear as cords of tumours. Malevolent sarcoids are the most aggressive type. They rapidly spread over large areas and appear as a mixture of nodules, warts and ulcerated areas, often large bundles. Sometimes these can be so severe they are untreatable, fortunately they are rare.


Mixed Sarcoids –




An individual horse may have just one type of sarcoid, whilst another horse may have a mixture of several types. They are commoner in geldings than mares and most cases are initially seen in horses aged 3-6years.

So if sarcoids are not life threatening why treat them?

There are many reasons:

  • to prevent deformities and the disruption of the function of important structures, e.g., sarcoids around the eyes can cause eyelid deformities which interfere with eyelid function and tear distribution. Rarely the resulting irregularity of the eyelid can cause corneal ulceration.
  • to prevent interference with tack e.g. girth, martingale or bridle, which would lead to discomfort or bleeding.
  • to stop the spread of sarcoids on this horse
  • to also stop the spread of sarcoids to companion horses via flies,
  • to prevent the discomfort of the tumours e.g. between the hind legs,
  • to reduce fly annoyance by removing the bleeding sarcoid – some of which can become infected and unhygienic
  • to improve the appearance of the horse


Treatment options

Sarcoids can mimic more sinister tumours and vice versa, so biopsy (taking an actual sample of the mass and sending to the laboratory for analysis) may be necessary.

Also, sarcoids can mimic sweet itch, ringworm, traumatised and thickened skin and vice versa.  With such a large range of different appearances of actual sarcoids (and other skin diseases) it is not surprising that a huge range of treatments has also emerged. No single treatment is 100% effective. Ask your vet for the best advice on an individual case, please don’t dabble with treatments as this often just delays an effective treatment and may actually make the condition worse eventually costing more money to treat. Often the location and type of sarcoid will dictate the best treatment.

Wilful neglect. Sometimes a vet may advise just to monitor a single occult or nodular sarcoid.  If the sarcoid changes or enlarges further veterinary advice should be sought. Rarely an isolated sarcoid may shrivel/fall off presumably due to the horse’s own immune system ‘rejecting’ the tumour.

.Nodular sarcoids, which can be lifted clear of underlying tissues, can often be simply treated by ligation with a rubber ring. This can be very successful as the sarcoid is starved of a blood supply, withers and dies.


Many creams have been used and a full discussion is too large for this article. However, Liverpool Cream is probably the most frequently used, this cytotoxic (cell killing) treatment has been very successful but needs multiple applications by a vet. It is dangerous and will damage normal skin on you or your horse, so great care is required.  Horses tolerate its application better if pain relief is provided before the area swells and becomes sore.


healed-small mid-tx-small pre-tx-small

Three photos of sarcoid pre-treatment, during treatment and after treatment.

Cryosurgery – involves cycles of freezing and thawing tissue to destroy it. It can be effective on small lesions, but recurrence rate seems to be high after this treatment.

BCG injection (BCG is a human vaccine for tuberculosis) – this can be injected into nodular lesions on the face every week for three treatments.  Horses must be monitored for an hour after treatment for an allergic reaction so it is time consuming but very effective for facial nodular and fibroblastic sarcoids. It should not be used on lesions elsewhere on the body. Good cosmetic results.


Photo of pony during BCG treatment.  This resulted in no scar.

 Other forms of chemotherapy, radio therapy and traditional surgery have all been tried with varying success.

Currently surgical laser removal of sarcoids is becoming popular and backed up with scientific evidence.  The laser cuts and burns tissue providing a margin of dead tissue around the sarcoid as it is   removed.  This leaves a large area which heals slowly with scarring.  In a recent research paper, 82% of sarcoids removed by laser did not recur.


Photo of post treatment scarring.


Small lesions are easier to treat than larges ones. Extensive lesions will need more aggressive treatments. Not all treatments are successful; recurrence is common. Trauma to a sarcoid will aggravate it, this may be surgery or cream application, so a treatment plan is required. All horses can suffer sarcoids, even donkeys and zebra.


Photo of donkey with extensive nodular sarcoids.

No two sarcoids are the same so an individual treatment plan and monitoring is required. Sarcoids can be frustrating to treat.  Many horses have a mixture of types, often in different locations. Every sarcoid should be assessed by your vet and monitored/treated as advised.

Please feel free to look on our website or contact me for further details.

Helen Whitbread BVetMed CertVR MRCVS, Deben Valley Equine Vet Clinic, Birds Lane, Framsden, Suffolk IP14 6HR.  (01728) 685 123.



• Feed to horses and ponies with skin imperfections
• The herb turmeric, red clover and burdock root are traditionally used for skin health and coat care
• Contains micronised linseed, a source of omega 3 fatty acid which may help support healthy skin and promote a shiny coat. It may also be beneficial in animals with fly bite sensitivity
• With BioPerine to increase bioavailability of the active ingredients
• NOPS approved

Horse Of The Week – Romeo.

romeo-8This is Romeo, our new Horse Of The Week who is owned by Alison Taylor. Alison explained: “Romeo was born in 2001 in Ireland. Sire was Tullibards Shakespeare, a coloured eventing stallion, whose foals were bred for temperament as well as athleticism. Romeo is a registered ISH gelding on a blue passport. He was gelded in 2010, the year before I romeo-13bought him, and had sired lots of foals – one of which I have managed to trace, also called Romeo!”

“Our Romeo is a 16.1hh skewbald with a lovely laid back attitude, but I knew when I bought him we would have to be careful about his tummy, so I put him on Feedmark’s Original Balancer. Before I romeo-9bought him he had hunted and jumped and since we have had him he has done pleasure romeo-4rides, jumped, hunted, shown and competed in dressage, but due to ill health hasn’t done much in the past year.”

“Over the past couple of years he has had various serious health problems, including loss of an eye. We have stuck with Original Balancer the whole time, and I am sure the ingredients in it have helped to prevent hind gut issues and to romeo-3help him back to full health. He is now jumping and schooling again despite losing his eye, he has healed and is looking really well again.”

“He is a horse in a million, despite all he has been through over the past year he is still romeo-5lovely and laid back and very popular with the ladies (both horse and human). He will have to wear an eye mask when turned out, with 6 monthly eye checks on his remaining eye, but it is a small price to pay. My daughter goes off the University this week so I will be taking over riding him again, so hope to get out on some pleasure romeo-10rides and maybe do some dressage throughout the winter.”

A FREE tub of Original Balancer is on its way to Romeo for being our Horse Of The Week.

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT romeo-11HORSE 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 .

Horse Of The Week – Iemke.

iemke-1This is Iemke, a 21-year-old Friesian mare who has been diagnosed with cushings and she is our Horse Of The Week, and her owner, Linda Miller, explains: “I have had Iemke for eight years. She stands at 16.2hh and together we do Western Riding.”iemke-3

“Originally, Iemke was a ride and drive horse, imported from the Netherlands and I bought her from a lovely couple in Stevenage. I rode English for a while, and we competed in Prelim Dressage classes, but then converted to Western Riding. Iemke and I have competed in a few western competitions and we iemke-5achieved 3rd place in the Western Novice Rider Horsemanship 2013.”

“My future plans are to enter more western competitions as iemke-8well as trying some western dressage, but mainly I plan to go trail riding and to do lots of hacking as Iemke really enjoys going out. Iemke’s ground manners are to die for, being very respectful on the ground, she is a gentle mare with a kind eye.”
iemke-4“I have used various other supplements but have found the C-Plus is by far the best as it has helped Iemke in so many ways. The smell of C-plus is lovely, Iemke eats it without turning her nose up and she is a very fussy eater.”

A FREE tub of C-Plus is on its way to Iemke for being iemke-6our Horse Of The Week!

COULD YOUR HORSE BE THE NEXT 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 .

Horse Of The Week – Tally Ho Tilly.

tally-ho-tilly-19This is Tally Ho Tilly, our Horse Of The Week who is owned by Deborah Fisher. Deborah explains: tally-ho-tilly-7“Tilly is a sixteen-year-old, Welsh Section D. I rescued Tilly when she was six years old, she was unrideable at that time due to her severe headshaking. She is only 14.3hh but takes a 6’3 rug!”

tally-ho-tilly-16“Tilly is my world, and has helped me through my anxiety, depression, and bereavement after losing both my Mum and Dad. I am an only tally-ho-tilly-8child, so Tilly fills more than just a gap. I believe that she rescued me more than I rescued her.”

“Tilly is a Happy Hacker, and also competes in Pony Club and Riding Club events. Tilly excels at show jumping and cross country, and also enjoys Pony tally-ho-tilly-21Club Camp. Tilly recently won her first ever One Day Event!”

tally-ho-tilly-9“Feedmark’s ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips has maintained Tilly’s soundness. We have plenty more Pony Club and Riding Club activities lined up, and I shall certainly keep feeding ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips!”

A FREE tub of ExtraFlex HA with Rosehips is on its way to Tally Ho Tilly for being our Horse Of The Week!tally-ho-tilly-1

tally-ho-tilly-5the 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 .